The cloud-climate conundrum

by Judith Curry

Four new papers remind us of the very large uncertainties surrounding cloud-climate feedbacks.

CERN

CERN’s CLOUD Experiment recently published three new papers:

Science has an overview article: Earth’s climate may not warm as quickly as expected, suggest new cloud studiesExcerpts (my bold):

Clouds need to condense around small particles called aerosols to form, and human aerosol pollution—primarily in the form of sulfuric acid—has made for cloudier skies. That’s why scientists have generally assumed Earth’s ancient skies were much sunnier than they are now. But today, three new studies show how naturally emitted gases from trees can also form the seed particles for clouds. The results not only point to a cloudier past, but they also indicate a potentially cooler future: If Earth’s climate is less sensitive to rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, as the study suggests, future temperatures may not rise as quickly as predicted. 

It’s been long thought that sulfuric acid is really the key player [in cloud formation],” says atmospheric chemist Chris Cappa of the University of California, Davis, who was not involved in the research. The studies “show pretty convincingly that we don’t need sulfuric acid around to allow new particles to grow.”

The new research, however, suggests that the past may have been cloudier than scientists realized. To simulate ancient atmospheric conditions, one research group used CLOUD (Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets), a controlled chamber at CERN, Europe’s particle physics facility near Geneva, Switzerland. Nearly as big as a bus, the chamber was filled with synthetically produced air, allowing precisely controlled chemical conditions. Jasper Kirkby, a CERN particle physicist, and his colleagues introduced a mixture of natural oxidants present in the air and an organic hydrocarbon released by coniferous plants. The hydrocarbon was rapidly oxidized. The only other ingredient allowed in the chamber was cosmic rays, high energy radiation from outer space, which made the molecules clump together into aerosols. Sulfuric acid was not required. In fact, even when the researchers introduced low concentrations of sulfuric acid to the chamber such as might be found in unpolluted air, the aerosol formation rate was unaffected. In a second CLOUD experiment published simultaneously in Nature, researchers showed these same oxidized molecules could rapidly grow the particles to sizes big enough to seed cloud droplets.

In search of a pristine atmospheric environment, a second group of researchers made atmospheric measurements of aerosol formation at the Jungfraujoch high altitude research station, 3500 meters up in the Swiss Alps to confirm that this process really occurs in nature. Over the course of a year, they measured the changing concentrations of sulfuric acid and organic molecules in the air. They found more aerosols formed with more organic molecules around, and—crucially—observed formation of organic particles without sulfuric acid. They used exactly the same instruments as at CLOUD to analyze the aerosols: “The clusters were formed mainly by organics,” says atmospheric chemist Federico Bianchi of the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen, Switzerland, who led the Jungfraujoch research published today in Science.

All the researchers stress sulfuric acid is still a major contributor to cloud formation on Earth today. “Today the purely plant-based pathway is much less important than it was preindustrially,” Kirkby explains. Crucially, however, the result means climate modelers can’t assume that the ancient past was much less cloudy simply because there was less sulfur dioxide. If ancient cloud cover was closer to today’s levels, the increase in the cloud-cooling effect due to human pollution could also be smaller—which means that Earth was not warming up so much in response to increased greenhouse gases alone. In other words, Earth is less sensitive to greenhouse gases than previously thought, and it may warm up less in response to future carbon emissions, says Urs Baltensperger of the Paul Scherrer Institute, who was an author on all three papers. He says that the current best estimates of future temperature rises are still feasible, but “the highest values become improbable.”  The researchers are currently working toward more precise estimates of how the newly discovered process affects predictions of the Earth’s future climate.

Nature News also has an article on the papers: Cloud-seeding surprise could improve climate predictionsExcerpts:

The findings run contrary to an assumption that the pollutant sulphuric acid is required for a certain type of cloud formation — and suggest that climate predictions may have underestimated the role that clouds had in shaping the pre-industrial climate.

If the results of the experiments hold up, predictions of future climate change should take them into account, says Reto Knutti, a climate modeller at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. For 20 or more years, clouds have been the largest source of uncertainty in understanding how manmade emissions affect the atmosphere, he says.

In addition to releasing carbon dioxide, burning fossil fuels indirectly produces sulphuric acid, which is known to seed clouds. So, climate scientists have assumed that since pre-industrial times, there has been a large increase in cloud cover, which is thought to have an overall cooling effect by reflecting sunlight back into space. And they have assumed that this overall cooling effect has partially masked the climate’s underlying sensitivity to rising carbon dioxide levels.

The latest experiments suggest that it may have been cloudier in pre-industrial times than previously thought. If this is so, then the masking effect, and in turn the warming effects of carbon dioxide, might have been overestimated, says Jasper Kirkby, a physicist at the CERN, Europe’s particle-physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, who led one of the experiments.

But Kirkby adds that it is too early to say whether this is true in practice, or by how much, because there are so many factors that play into such projections. “There are many uncertainties; we are only talking about one,” says Kirkby. Knutti says the results will probably not affect the most likely projections of warming, as laid out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “Our best estimate is probably still the same,” he says.

Until recently, atmospheric scientists thought that only sulphuric acid vapour, which can be produced by volcanic emissions or by burning fossil fuels, could trigger this process. As a result, it was thought that pre-industrial skies were somewhat less cloudy than present ones because they contained less of this pollutant, says Kirkby.

In addition to feeding into climate predictions, the findings have another potential implication, says atmospheric scientist Bjorn Stevens of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany. Some scientists have warned that measures such as scrubbing sulphur dioxide from coal-plant emissions could remove some of the beneficial cooling effect of clouds and boost global warming, but this may now be less of a concern because trees can seed clouds too. “What it means is, we don’t have to fear clean air,” says Stevens.

It is also interesting to speculate whether trees emit these compounds in part because there is a benefit to them in making their own climate, Kirkby says. “This really does touch on the Gaia hypothesis,” he says, referring to the theory that Earth’s life behaves as a single organism that tends to preserve itself. “It’s a beautiful mechanism for trees to control their environment.”

JC comments:

There are some interesting results here in terms of confirming Svensmark’s ideas, and the experiments (both laboratory and in nature) seem to be well conceived and executed. However, the authors have made some bizarre and incorrect statements in the press release and in interviews, including the headlines.

Authors: Until recently, atmospheric scientists thought that only sulphuric acid vapour, which can be produced by volcanic emissions or by burning fossil fuels, could trigger this process.

Sulphate particles are the primary source of atmospheric cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). Burning fossil fuels and volcanoes produce sulphuric acid, which is transformed into sulphate particles (most frequently, ammonium sulphate). However, pollution and volcanoes are far from the only source of sulphate particles, and may not even be the dominant source. There are also marine sources of suphate particles, primarily from dimethylsulfide. Further, there are non-sulphate natural sources of CCN (e.g. sea salt, volatile organic compounds, soil). Biogenic cloud condensation nuclei (from organic aerosol or secondary organic aerosol formed from chemical reactions in the atmosphere) have long been known to be a source of CCN, although the exact mechanisms continue to be studied. A very good article on this is by Carslaw et al. 2013 Large contribution of natural aerosols to uncertainty in indirect forcing.  Key excerpt from the abstract:

Here we perform a sensitivity analysis on a global model to quantify the uncertainty in cloud radiative forcing over the industrial period caused by uncertainties in aerosol emissions and processes. Our results show that 45 per cent of the variance of aerosol forcing since about 1750 arises from uncertainties in natural emissions of volcanic sulphur dioxide, marine dimethylsulphide, biogenic volatile organic carbon, biomass burning and sea spray. Only 34 per cent of the variance is associated with anthropogenic emissions.

The headline for the CERN press release

CLOUD shows pre-industrial skies were cloudier than we thought

seems quite bizarre and unsupported by their research. They seem to infer that the only source of CCN acknowledged by climate scientists is pollution aerosol (from burning fossil fuels)- which is most definitely incorrect – and then somehow infer that pre-industrial times were less cloudy. No one to my knowledge has previous asserted, much less actually provided any evidence, that pre-industrial skies were less cloudy. CCN is not a limiting factor in cloud formation; there is plenty of natural CCN even in pristine, remote environments. Whether or not a cloud forms does not depend on the number of CCN, although the number of CCN can influence the concentration and size of the droplets, and hence the cloud radiative characteristics and whether or not the cloud forms precipitation – both of which can influence the lifetime of the cloud.

The observational problems surrounding the historical cloudiness records are described in this paper by Dai et al.  The only study that I am aware of that looks at trends in the global cloud data is a paper by Eastman and Warren that analyzed land observations during the period 1971-2009.  The paper concluded: “Global-average trends of cloud cover suggest a small decline in total cloud cover, on the order of 0.4% per decade.”  Eastman et al. 2011 analyzed observations over oceans from 1954 to 2008, and concluded: “Given the subtle long-term variation in cloud cover shown on the global-scale, spurious variation makes finding trends on a large scale a perilous pursuit. Looking at smaller regions (adjusted for the long-term global variation), a possible increase in total cloud cover is observed in the central Pacific, while possible declines are seen in stratiform cloud cover in regions of persistent marine stratocumulus clouds”. Note, pollution aerosol (generated mostly in NH land regions) does not have a big signal on marine clouds.

Author: If ancient cloud cover was closer to today’s levels, the increase in the cloud-cooling effect due to human pollution could also be smaller—which means that Earth was not warming up so much in response to increased greenhouse gases alone. In other words, Earth is less sensitive to greenhouse gases than previously thought, and it may warm up less in response to future carbon emissions.

I would be very interested to see if there is a trend in 20th century cloudiness as simulated by climate models. A quick google search doesn’t turn up anything of interest, but maybe I am missing something. But I sincerely doubt that modeled cloudiness prior to 1950 is much different from cloudiness following 1950.

The aerosol indirect effects – which relates to the effect of aerosols on cloud optical properties, phase (liquid or ice) and precipitation formation – has only a very indirect effect on cloudiness (fractional coverage of clouds). The magnitude of the aerosol indirect effect is the subject of much controversy and uncertainty, with the most recent estimate by Bjorn Stevens suggesting that it is much smaller than has been assumed by the AR4 and AR5 (and CMIP3, CMIP5).

While I agree with their conclusion “Earth is less sensitive to greenhouse gases than previously thought”, I don’t see that their research adds any support to that conclusion. I simply can’t imagine what their line of reasoning is, other than to assume that they are making an embarrassing assumption that there is a dearth of natural CCN and hence very little CCN in preindustrial times that somehow meant fewer clouds formed. Historical records of rainfall suggests that indeed clouds did exist in abundance in preindustrial times.

Pollution aerosol makes some stratiform clouds more reflective, and hence has a cooling effect. An abundance of natural aerosol can have the same effect. However, this affect impacts only certain cloud types with relatively small optical depths; at larger optical depths, any increase in the number of particles will have a diminishing impact on the cloud reflectivity. Their papers don’t change our understanding of this relationship.

Climate models represent the aerosol indirect effects in different ways, with varying magnitudes. Climate models don’t currently include interactive aerosol chemistry (modeling sources and sinks), although a few are beginning to introduce a sulfur cycle in experimental mode.

I found this statement by Bjorn Stevens to be significant:

Some scientists have warned that measures such as scrubbing sulphur dioxide from coal-plant emissions could remove some of the beneficial cooling effect of clouds and boost global warming, but this may now be less of a concern because trees can seed clouds too. “What it means is, we don’t have to fear clean air,” says Stevens.

I agree with this statement – we don’t need to fear clean air for eliminating this cooling effect. There are plenty of natural sources of CCN – I think Carslaw’s estimate of 34% anthropogenic is about right.

I also find this statement by Kirby to be intriguing:

“This really does touch on the Gaia hypothesis. It’s a beautiful mechanism for trees to control their environment.”

This reminds us that there are undoubtedly many feedbacks in the climate system that are not yet accounted for, including possibly stabilizing (negative feedbacks).

Cloud phase feedback

Another relevant paper was recently published in Science by Tan et al.:

The paper is described in an article in ScienceDaily Climate models underestimate global warming by exaggerating cloud brightening.  Excerpts:

As the atmosphere warms, clouds become increasingly composed of liquid rather than ice, making them brighter. Because liquid clouds reflect more sunlight back to space than ice clouds, this “cloud phase feedback” acts as a brake on global warming in climate models.

But most models’ clouds contain too much ice that is susceptible to becoming liquid with warming, which makes their stabilizing cloud phase feedback unrealistically strong. Using a state-of-the-art climate model, the researchers modified parameters to bring the relative amounts of liquid and ice in clouds into agreement with clouds observed in nature. Correcting the bias led to a weaker cloud phase feedback and greater warming in response to carbon dioxide.

“We found that the climate sensitivity increased from 4 degrees C in the default model to 5-5.3 degrees C in versions that were modified to bring liquid and ice amounts into closer agreement with observations,” said Yale researcher Ivy Tan, lead author of the paper.

In nature, clouds containing both ice crystals and liquid droplets are common at temperatures well below freezing. As the atmosphere warms due to carbon dioxide emissions, the relative amount of liquid in these so-called mixed phase clouds will increase. Since liquid clouds tend to reflect more sunlight back to space than ice clouds, this phase feedback acts to reduce global warming. The icier the clouds to begin with, the more liquid is gained as the planet warms; this stabilizing feedback is stronger in models containing less liquid relative to ice at sub-freezing temperatures.

“Most climate models are a little too eager to glaciate below freezing, so they are likely exaggerating the increase in cloud reflectivity as the atmosphere warms,” said LLNL coauthor Mark Zelinka. “This means they may be systematically underestimating how much warming will occur in response to carbon dioxide.”

These results add to a growing body of evidence that the stabilizing cloud feedback at mid- to high latitudes in climate models is overstated.

“The evidence is piling up against an overall stabilizing cloud feedback,” concluded Zelinka. “Clouds do not seem to want to do us any favors when it comes to limiting global warming.”

JC comments:

Quantifying the cloud phase feedback is elusive owing to the complexities of heterogenous ice nucleation – the freezing of water droplets between temperatures of about -4C to -40C that are mediated by aerosol particles (ice forming nuclei, or IFN, have different chemical compositions from CCN and are mainly dust, soil, soot.) Further, there are multiple mechanisms of ice nucleation. Most climate models use a simple temperature relationship for ice nucleation, although a few models include more sophisticated parameterizations.

The clouds that are susceptible to this feedback are the stratiform clouds of mid and high latitudes. However, for relatively thin clouds, there is also a longwave effect, so maintaining supercooled water clouds at colder temperatures increased the downwelling longwave radiation, and hence has a surface warming effect. In fact, the longwave effect dominates over the shortwave effect at high latitudes (I have published numerous papers on this topic). I suspect that the climate model does not include such effects in the longwave radiative transfer parameterization (but I haven’t looked at the most recent version of the CCSM radiation code).

The nature of the heterogenous ice nucleation parameterization (summarized in my 2012 publication) will determine the nature of the feedbacks – including only a temperature dependence (and not a supersaturation dependence) will provide a feedback that is quantitatively and qualitatively different from one with a supersaturation dependence.

JC reflections 

Clouds and their feedbacks remain the biggest uncertainty in climate models, and this hasn’t change since the IPCC FAR in 1990. The cloud problem is conceptually divided into two parts – the dynamics of clouds (i.e. how, when and where they form) and the microphysics of clouds (i.e. what happens to the cloud particles after the cloud forms, including nucleating new particles, particle growth, particle phase, and precipitation). Aerosols modulate the cloud microphysics, but only have a minor impact on cloud dynamics.

Since about 2001, focus (i.e. funding in the U.S.) has focused more on cloud microphysics. While a challenging problem, it is much more tractable problem than cloud dynamics. I refer you to our textbook Thermodynamics, Kinetics and Microphysics of Clouds for background.

Climate models are in their infancy with regards to parameterizing cloud-aerosol interactions. A 2006 RealClimate post describes the state of the art about 10 years ago. The sophistication has increased somewhat, but to really understand this we need climate models with interactive atmospheric chemistry and aerosol sources and sinks. Some regional and global climate models are experimenting with such interactions, but they are computationally very expensive.

Climate models are extremely sensitive to details of the cloud microphysical parameterizations, as reflected by the Tan et al. paper. My assessment is that this sensitivity is an artifact of missing degrees of freedom in the model that are needed to regulate the interactions among aerosols, clouds, radiation and temperature. Because of the nonlinearities in the model, we don’t really know how to make good choices about simplifying the processes until we can test understanding with a complete model having all the appropriate degrees of freedom. In the absence of this understanding, it might be a better choice to simplify the cloud microphysical parameterizations and avoid introducing new feedbacks into a model that doesn’t have the appropriate degrees of freedom.

After working on this general topic for decades, it is my ‘hunch’ that the aerosol-cloud indirect feedbacks are relatively small, with negative feedbacks in the system (e.g. aerosol removal processes, ocean and land emissions of volatiles). To first or even second order, I would say that these processes could be ignored in terms of their impact on the climate system.

The real challenge is getting the cloud dynamics and associated feedbacks correct. In fact, the cloud dynamics problem is probably an order of magnitude more important than microphysical processes in terms of W/m2. The regulating effects associated with cloud dynamics are potentially very substantial – Lindzen and Spencer have contributed to our understanding of this, but there is so much more that we don’t understand. I am hopeful that the (relatively) new cloud satellites (e.g. CloudSat and Calipso) will provide the raw data needed to understand the cloud dynamical feedbacks in the climate system.

The bottom line is that by focusing only on a single piece of the puzzle, there is plenty of scope for observational and modeling studies concerning clouds and climate to obtain dramatically high or low values of climate sensitivity. I can only hope that climate scientists studying these problems won’t ‘overplay their hand’ by proclaiming that climate sensitivity is higher or lower based on their latest study of a single puzzle piece.

 

337 responses to “The cloud-climate conundrum

  1. Pingback: The cloud-climate conundrum – Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. Judith; if you have ”uncertainty” about clouds – get the information from the deserts and rainforest – those extreme climates tell the lot. Desert has 10c higher day temp, but night is colder by that much than rainforest ON SAME LATITUDE. Deserts have the clearest sky, no CO2, they would had the best climate under the conspiracy theory. ”PRETENDING that are uncertainties” when the proofs are bigger AND LARGER than US… If you want Judith, I’ll send you a ”white cane” or a guide dog…?!?

    • Stefan, so good of you to school Judith. You can do better than this.

      • correction: I’m not schooling – I’m pointing out that: ”the truth is there, b] the truth exist c] ”pretending that are uncertainties” doesn’t hold water – the deserts and jungles said. Unless Judith needs assistance of white cane and guide dog – am I clear enough? #2: I have pointed out those big, big proofs 2,5 years ago – she is still uncertain.. I wander why?

      • Judith. in Amazon basin the clouds are referred as ”river in the sky” – east, ”on same latitude in Namibian desert and Australian Great Sandy desert” no CO2, no clouds, no WV = extreme temp between day and night; so clouds, WV are as shock absorbers and make BEAUTIFUL CLIMATE, but: if one collects the temp on all those three places for every minute in 24h, would be the same temperature in jungle and desert. That secret covers 1/3 of the sky, the biggest elephant in the room. #3: only if the ”experts can learn or discover if ” where is plenty clouds, WV is better climate, or in the deserts, that is the question…!!! After all the prolong period not discovered, can only be known the truth by the public, if they ask the trees which climate is better, OR waterboarding the ”experts” CHEERS!!!

      • Stefan, your post reads like a kindergarten student lecturing a writer about grammar. Judith is an expert in this field, and the simplistic suggestions you make come as as insulting.

        Cloud dynamics is a difficult area to research, and, as Judith points out, is probably not adequately funded.

      • fizzymagic what ”field” you are referring about? If somebody is involved in climate – would have being working on improving the climate, where is bad climate, as in deserts and semi-deserts #2: using the word ”climate” to sell the non- existent global warming is ”different field”. #3: clouds have being studied for a million years, didn’t need magnifying glass. #4: why don’t you elaborate on my previous post – instead of trying to denigrate the truth and reality?! Mate, if you don’t know; is it better climate in desert or rainforest, if you don’t know the effect on the REAL CLIMATE on those two extreme places = you are qualified to be an expert climatologist. I wish I’ll get a chance to put some of you guys on a witness stand, under oath. The world to see that: -”what a preschool student can see, 30000 scientist cannot see, and WHY THEY CAN’T SEE IT”?! Answer the question please; is it difficult to see what kind of climate clouds produce AND absence of cloud?!

    • yawn. you seem not to understand the difference between cloud forcing and cloud feedback

      • Until “climate science” comes to grips with the fact that, from a Hamiltonian systems standpoint, clouds–which modulate both insolation and radiative cooling–are neither a true “forcing” nor a looped “feedback,” polemical food fights will continue to prevail over genuine physical insight.

      • john – ”positive / negative feedback / starveback has being concocted for confusing the already confused ”climate skeptics”’ nothing to do with reality. Reality is overthere; where there are too many clouds and compare with where is no clouds. #2: same goes about CO2- 100 miles radius around Beijing, where the highest pollution is -/- compare with inland Australian deserts, where is the cleanest air – problem solved in a week. a] around Beijing is MILD / BEAUTIFUL CLIMATE, not much difference between day / night, BUT: in the desert where the air is the cleanest, clear sky – at night you feel you can touch the stars; the temp is sooo extreme between day / night. In honest days, that ”extreme between day / night used to be known as ”BAD CLIMATE” -and can be improved by H2O, – not until CO2 is falsely badmouthed by those ”climate experts. My suggestion is: ”WATERBOARDING THE CLIMATE EXPERTS, to admit the truth”

    • Joe Public

      Hi STD

      Oh dear.

      Gavin Schmidt: “A miracle has occurred!
      I actually agree with most of this critique of recent press releases.”

      • Joe, – Gavin and Spencer And Kristy and Hansen and Man, they all know that the phony global warming doesn’t have anything to do with the regular climatic changes or clouds, or any other gismo; only way to make them to admit the truth is; WATERBOARDING EVERY ”CLIMATE PRETEND EXPERT” – or get the truth out-there, in nature. Trees don’t tell lies, or getting involved in politics, they are reliable

  3. Do statistical analysis induce spurious conclusions, as suggested by Jamal Munshi (2016): “Demonstration of persistence in a time series”

    “The series on the right is pure Gaussian noise with no memory and it is created anew for each frame. The series on the left is derived from the Gaussian series by adding a probability of 10% that the direction of the change will persist. This degree of persistence corresponds with a Hurst exponent of H=0.8, much greater than the Hurst exponent of the Gaussian series computed as H-0.54 under the same empirical conditions.”

    • Thousands of physicists at CERN may be awakening to the fact that social scientists and mathematicians in the Social Sciences and Research Network (SSRN) are now aware of a discrepancy between reality and “consensus science” standard models of reality.

    • That temperature “trends” obtained by OLS regression presume–very unrealistically– independent Gaussian residuals is well known. Where Munshi goes astray, however, is in presuming that “persistence” (i.e., autocorrelation) in the data is a spurious statistical effect, instead of a genuine manifestation of a capacitive physical system.

  4. An interesting and thought-provoking post. Couple questions:

    My assessment is that this sensitivity is an artifact of missing degrees of freedom in the model that are needed to regulate the interactions among aerosols, clouds, radiation and temperature. Because of the nonlinearities in the model, we don’t really know how to make good choices about simplifying the processes until we can test understanding with a complete model having all the appropriate degrees of freedom.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t an increasing number of degrees of freedom imply an increasing risk that models tuned on the past will be totally unpredictive of the future? Or at least much less so?

    In the absence of this understanding, it might be a better choice to simplify the cloud microphysical parameterizations and avoid introducing new feedbacks into a model that doesn’t have the appropriate degrees of freedom.

    Does this really eliminate all those extra “degrees of freedom” or just specify them in a random and/or arbitrary way then hide the fact under the covers?

  5. The distinction between cloud microphysics and much more difficult (and potentially much more significant) cloud dynamics dispels some of the clouds in my own understanding of the biggest uncertainties in the climate system. Thanks.

  6. See essay Cloudy Clouds in ebook Blowing Smoke. Not new knews.

  7. There is no shortage of cloud seeding aerosols so theories relying on their scarcity can be discounted.

    The most important effect of clouds is that they are reflective when viewed from space so their net effect is bound to be to deny incoming radiation entry to the climate system in the first place. Theories about the net effect of clouds on energy that has entered the system are therefore irrelevant.

    This is the best answer to the cloud condundrum:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2015/01/is-the-sun-driving-ozone-and-changing-the-climate/

    That hypothesis has been in the public domain for some time and thus far remains unchallenged.

  8. Prof Curry, thank you for a good essay, and for the links.

  9. So it wasn’t just factory grime making things overcast? So all this cloud is not so new? It was retro all along, and we thought it was neo! This might explain quite a lot of pre-industrial pluvials…not to mention the rest of history.

    Cloud a bit of a conundrum now? Missed that with their models back in the 90s? I was wondering why last night was 10C warmer than previous nights in the last month. It must be that grey conundrum-ish stuff that’s been blocking the sun today and looks about to break our weird autumn drought.

    This is like being told that the researchers at certain major universities have discovered this cool new device for keeping shoes on: laces. You just sort of loop them, you see, then you pull…

    • Mike Flynn

      mosomoso,

      And just when I think I should leave the Warmists to their fantasies.

      Sorry, Professor Curry, but people like mosomoso support my outlook that the human race is not totally doomed to misery and gloom at the behest of our would-be Warmist overlords!

      Anyway, mosomoso, I had a good laugh. It could be worse, you know. Some idi*t could claim to have invented artificial leaves, or something!

      Cheers.

  10. Apart from rainfall, there is a source that does suggest preindustrial skies were cloudy: paintings. Hard to quantify their data, of course. But a glance at the works of Tintoretto, the Breughels or the Dutch masters does not support the notion of endless blue days in early modern times, at least not in Europe. Chinese paintings also often depict clouds and rain.

    • Beat me to it. With China, where I’m on holiday currently, having been in Vietnam too, I can concur with the cloudiness & rainfall, scarcely seen a clear sky at ground level in over 2 weeks.

  11. Steven Mosher

    “. I simply can’t imagine what their line of reasoning is, other than to assume that they are making an embarrassing assumption that there is a dearth of natural CCN and hence very little CCN in preindustrial times that somehow meant fewer clouds formed. Historical records of rainfall suggests that indeed clouds did exist in abundance in preindustrial times.”

    There “line” is maybe….

    1. They want to preserve the hypothesis that GCR are important.
    2. They realize that the modern record does not support this.. basically
    cloudiness doesnt vary with CGR..( we have plenty of CCN)
    3. So, you posit that in early times it was less cloudy with fewer CCN precurers and then GCR could have an effect.

    either that or lord knows

    • Steven, I like your Job.

    • There are more charged particles in HEPA filtered clean room air than can be produced by the measured amount of cosmic rays in the upper atmosphere.

      Else we would see it in the paleo record.

      Measured amounts of cosmic rays just aren’t enough.

  12. Mike Jonas

    Judith – You say you agree with a statement that includes: “measures such as scrubbing sulphur dioxide from coal-plant emissions could remove some of the beneficial cooling effect of clouds”.

    Well, I disagree. Cooling is not beneficial.

  13. Little Ice Age, London’s River Thames frozen over, yet again,
    in the 1677 pre-sulphuric-acid-period, – dang trees!

    • Not to mention those serious clouds. Someone cue up “Both Sides Now” written by Joni Mitchell and most famously performed byJudy Collins. For the youngsters that may not be familiar, it begins:

      “Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air
      and feather canyons everywhere, I’ve looked at clouds that way.
      But now they only block the sun, they rain and snow on everyone.
      So many things I would have done but clouds got in my way.

      I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now,
      from up and down, and still somehow
      it’s cloud illusions I recall.
      I really don’t know clouds at all”.

      • And sometimes, Peter, the lack of clouds means lower
        rainfall.

        Down under in Tasmania, drought has caused a costly
        energy crisis. The trouble with Hydro, like all renewable
        energy is it’s so dependent on the whether. No form of
        renewable energy can operate w/out fossil fuel back
        up. The back up energy cable bringing power to Tassie
        from Victoria is broken so diesel back up has had to be
        brought in at great expense. Still the State faces power
        black-outs costing heaps. The Green Party attribute all
        of the above to carbon trading cupidity. I’d attribute it
        to Green stupidity.

      • Wundering why I’m in moderation?
        Bad serf.

    • Your problems with hydro, may not be wholly down to drought. http://euanmearns.com/the-tasmanian-energy-crisis/

    • Steven Mosher

      Too funny.
      Artists always paint the average.
      Nobody paints the extremes…The sublime…The fantastic.
      Art is just like picture taking.

      • Steven Mosher,

        So let me get this straight, you’re not only arbiter of science, but of art too?

        Talk about “too funny,” you take it to an all new level.

      • I think my humanities teachers would put Hondius in the classical baroque group striving for photorealism instead of dynamic idealism due to oppressive influence of the Church.

      • Steven Mosher

        captain.

        1677?
        Photorealism?

        here is his painting of the arctic

        https://art-landscape.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-frozen-thames-looking-like-arctic.html

        OPPS he never visited the arctic

        Painted in 1677

        But back to his Thames picture.

        See the cathedral? Old St Pauls?

        It wasnt there. Burnt down the previous year

        Photo realism
        http://artuk.org/discover/artworks/search/actor:hondius-abraham-c-16251691

        TOO FUNNY

        he paints a arctic scene ( same year) but never went there.
        Gues which was painted first?
        he paints a cathedral that burned down the year before

        TOO FUNNY

        ya, paintings are like photographs

      • Steven Mosher

        too funny

      • Think about what Mosher is saying here for a moment. We have a painting from the 16 hundreds which shows the Thames frozen over. But it was painted in a year when it didn’t, and hadn’t frozen in the last couple. And there’s a church in the background which had burned down the year before.

        So Mosh’s proof that this picture isn’t in the photorealism style is that it contains a church that was definitely there the last time that river froze. Because obviously a master painter would never sketch out a scene in the middle of a frozen winter and not get around to painting it till a few years later.

        But for the sake of argument, let’s assume Mosher isn’t just being a troll and is right about the painting not being of a real scene. Lots of painters in that era did works that were even less based on real events then anything produced by Michael Bay. Heck, some of them even painted the Christ to look like a European. ^¿^

        So What? What was Mosher’s point here? Was he trying to claim the Thames didn’t really ever freeze? That the little ice age never happened? Does he really believe that if he can just convince enough people that this painting isn’t a real scene then they’ll all realize the moon landing Thames freezing is fake? Because this painting is hardly the only proof that it did in fact freeze over in several winters back then. This isn’t like some crazy Gian apocalypse religion that’s being propped up by a few poorly made hockey sticks, and if you knock one out the whole thing comes crashing down.

        Maybe it’s time Mosh stopped trying to disprove every little statement or picture that a skeptic or lukewarm error posts here in a vain attempted to convince us that 5 he past climate was perfect and unchanging for thousands of years before now. We weren’t impressed by it when Mann said it. It’s even less so now.

    • In Bruegel’s masterpiece
      ‘Hunters in the Snow,’
      though peasants skate upon
      the frozen river, no
      winter wonderland is this.
      Silhouettes of leafless trees
      stand stark against a leaden sky
      that matches matt-grey river.
      Exhausted dogs, hunters with meagre prey,
      peasants labouring on the snow fields,
      each trying to survive the Little Ice Age.

      • Despite the cold that looks like paradise comparing to humping it to work and sit at a computer all day, every day, for the rest of eternity.

      • Steven Mosher

        I saw a painting.
        It must be true.

        “”Art takes life as part of her rough material, recreates it, and refashions it in fresh forms, is absolutely indifferent to fact, invents, imagines, dreams, and keeps between herself and reality the impenetrable barrier of beautiful style, of decorative or ideal treatment.”

        http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/23/a-famous-painting-meets-its-more-factual-match/?_r=0

        Real skeptics question everything.. and question their own skepticism.

      • Steven Mosher @ 4.32. History of Art defined in less
        than five lines.’ …’Art ‘keeping between herself and
        reality the impenetrable barrier of beautiful style, of
        decorative or ideal treatment.’ Nope.

        For a penetrating analysis of the history of western art,
        re ‘making’ and ‘matching’ psychology and the riddle
        of style, see Ernst Gombrich ‘ Art and Illusion’ and his
        ‘Meditations on a Hobby Horse.’ What was important
        to Egyptian funerary artists, the pictographs of
        conceptual art were less so to the artists of the Greek
        Revolution of narrative art and pictorial realism requiring
        experiments of means to ends problem solving that was
        later rekindled in Renaissance Italy.

        In the late 1500’s Northern artists faced a crisis brought
        on by the Reformation. No religious idolatry. no altar
        painting. What to do? Holbein became a court portrait
        painter in England, The Bruegels’ exploited a talent for
        accurate portrayal of details of landscape,a flower, a
        tree, a sheep, that even the Italians recognised as
        unsurpassed. G P279.

        Pieter Bruegels became the great master pf Flemish
        16th century masters of the genre of scenes from rural
        life. Not photo-real but recognized scenes of peasants
        at work and merrymaking. Detail and accuracy were
        valued as an end, unlike those romantic painting of
        battle heroics Steven presents that has quite a different
        purpose.

        If you enlarge this Bruegel painting of a country wedding
        there’s a lot going on, like the crowd in the background
        trying to get in. The hungry musician…

      • Ah yes, Washington crossing the Delaware River.

        Washington and his army crossed the Delaware at night.

        This picture must be a re-enactment for the press, sort of like McArthur in the Philippines.

      • Mosher would apparently have us believe that the errors in this painting prove that the Delaware crossing never actually took place… and maybe this whole ‘Washington’ guy was just a legend.

        It’s to bad that the Climate Faithful don’t apply this ‘even the slightest error and the whole thing is wrong’ standard to their own work. Just the opposite, it seems.

  14. Mike Flynn

    From ancient Chinese book (Legalistic school – maybe 500 BCE?)

    “If the cloud is flat, there will not be heavy rain. Without the accompaniment of clouds which provide water, the rain cannot last long and will end soon.”

    On the other hand, clouds and rain in the Chinese connubial chamber meant something else entirely. Luckily, Noah wasn’t Chinese. 40 days and 40 nights of rain and clouds (Chinese) would probably wear an old fellah like Noah out. Fun, though!

    Cheers.

  15. Another related paper.

    “Our research shows how a compound called dimethylsulfoniopropionate that is made in large amounts by marine plankton is then broken down into DMS by these tiny ocean organisms called Pelagibacterales.”

    “The resultant DMS gas may then have a role in regulating the climate by increasing cloud droplets that in turn reduce the amount of sunlight hitting the ocean’s surface.”
    https://www.uea.ac.uk/about/-/tiny-organisms-have-huge-effect-on-world-s-atmosphere

    Sun, J., Todd, J.D., Thrash, J.C., Qian, Y., Qian, M.C., Temperton, B., Guo, J., Fowler, E.K., Aldrich, J.T., Nicora, C.D. and Lipton, M.S., 2016. The abundant marine bacterium Pelagibacter simultaneously catabolizes dimethylsulfoniopropionate to the gases dimethyl sulfide and methanethiol. Nature Microbiology, p.16065.

    My comment:

    Before the Svensmark’s cloud chamber experiment microphysics theory suggested that GCRs could not induce clumping of particles above the threshold for persistence and growth to the size postulated for CCNs. Svensmark’s experiment demonstrated conditions under which CCN formation could be induced. CLOUD has confirmed and extended Svensmark’s results.

    The experiments also demonstrated the condition under which CCNs would not form until induced by simulated GCRs. Kirkby, in a video lecture, illustrated the dearth of CCNs by showing ship tracks and jet trails. (Youtube or Vimeo?)

    My understanding of the Svensmark-Kirkby argument is that initial particles may form from the biochemicals produced in nature, but the initial clumps may not persist and grow to become CCNs.

    Kirkby has made a further claim: that GCR flux is attenuated further than about 40 degrees from the equator. There is a latitudinal cutoff that results from the increase in energy needed for incoming particles to reach the level at which clouds can form.

    I recall the early days of continental plate theory, before the discovery of the mid-Atlantic rift and the alternating magnetic stripes that led to acceptance of plate tectonics. It was all very dicey for years. We had to rethink everything because we were still half-wedded to Neptunism. It is too early too say if the cosmoclimatological theory will survive the tests. But that was true of the work of James Croll’s celestial explanation of the ice ages, until Milutin Milanković improved the calculations.

    In my opinion, the CLOUD results, and these related discoveries of biochemicals on land and sea, mean we ought to be exploring more seriously how Svensmark’s theory might work, rather than standing on the sidelines trying to explain why it doesn’t work.

    There is independent evidence from recent studies of variation in albedo.

    “A major change in albedo occurred between the early earthshine measurements and the more recent ones (Fig. 4). For the 1994/1995 period, Palle´ et al. (2003) obtained a mean albedo of 0:310 +/-0:004, while for the more recent period, 1999/2001, the albedo is 0:295 +/-0:002 (with a 0.6% precision in the determination). The combined difference in the mean A between the former and latter periods is of 0:015 +/-0:005, assuming the 1994/1995 and 1999/ 2001 uncertainties are independent. This corresponds to a 5% +/-1:7% decrease in the albedo between the two periods.”

    Goode, P.R. and Pallé, E., 2007. Shortwave forcing of the Earth’s climate: Modern and historical variations in the Sun’s irradiance and the Earth’s reflectance. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, 69(13), pp.1556-1568.

    ftp://bbsoweb.bbso.njit.edu/pub/staff/pgoode/website/publications/Goode_Palle_2007_JASTP.pdf

    • thx for the link

      • I’m curious if anyone is attempting to correlate magnetic field measurements with cloud trends? The new data is starting to reach the point that such work could be produced.

        http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Swarm/Earth_s_magnetic_heartbeat

      • Steven Mosher

        Palle earthshine is obsolete

      • Dr. Palle’s old project has something to do with ESA’s magnetic field research?

      • Palle earthshine is obsolete

        Dr. Palle’s old project has something to do with ESA’s current magnetic field research?

      • maksimovich1

        Steven Mosher | says

        Palle earthshine is obsolete

        Earthshine is a continuing experiment,and its importance to the radiative equations is obvious.eg Martínez Lombilla,et al.

        Earth’s global albedo, or reflectance, is a critical component of the climate. This parameter, together with the solar constant, determines the amount of incoming radiation reaching Earth. Probably because of
        the lack of reliable data (there is not a long-term global albedo database), the Earth’s albedo has been traditionally considered to be roughly constant, or studied just theoretically. Recently, however, several
        studies have shown a large decadal variability in the Earth’s reflectance. Variations in the terrestrial reflectance have been found to derive primarily from changes in the amount of cloud cover, and thickness
        and distribution of clouds, all of which seem to have changed over decade time scales.

        The money line is quite succinct.

        Radiative forcing at the top of the atmosphere derived from
        our earthshine observations. Over the period 1998-2013 a
        global radiative forcing decrease of about 3 W/m2 is detected.

    • Steven Mosher

      There is no measurable effect.
      No chang in clouDs .
      None.
      Zero.
      Go get actual cloud data. High level low level every level.
      North south east west.
      You won’t find any change as a function of gcr.
      None.
      Zero.
      Nada.

      • yawn.
        Before you can have no measurable effect you have to be able to observe and measure clouds and their effects.
        Of course if this could be done they would then be correctly incorporated in Climate models.
        Hello. Hello?
        No measurable UHI either.
        You guys just imagined it all.

      • There is no measurable effect.
        No chang in clouDs .
        None.
        Zero.
        Go get actual cloud data.

        Yes, actual cloud data. That would be nice.

        The problem is, the damn things are so small and ephemeral at the unit level, and so dependent on chaotic fluid flow at the macro level, nobody has any actual cloud data.

      • David Springer

        I’d listen to Mosher if I were you. He’s a world renowned atmospheric physicist.

        Oh wait…

        He’s got a BA in English. I was thinking of someone else. Ignore Mosher.

      • David Springer

        Mosher says GCRs have zero effect on clouds. That’s a very bold statement. Zero is a mighty small number and almost certainly wrong. Everything has an effect on everything else to some degree. Never zero.

        There is something closer to zero than GCR effect on cloud formation though. That something would be Mosher’s qualifications to comment on the subject.

      • There is no measurable effect.
        No chang in clouDs .
        None.
        Zero.

        Maybe. Maybe not.

        ​”​Expanding tropics pushing high altitude clouds towards poles, NASA study finds​”​
        http://phys.org/news/2016-05-tropics-high-altitude-clouds-poles.html

        ​”Hadley Cell Widening: Model Simulations versus Observations​”​ http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~qfu/Publications/jc.johanson.2009.pdf

        ​”​Understanding Hadley Cell Expansion versus Contraction​” ​
        http://www.columbia.edu/~lmp/paps/tandon+etal-JCLIM-2013.pdf

        ​”​Expansion of the Hadley Cell under Global Warming​”​ http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00323.1

      • I have difficulty reconciling any paper which speaks of the Hadley cell.

        The conceptual model indicates closed cells.

        In reality, air travels from pole to equator ( and across ) totally ignoring the conceptual model:

        A first step in understanding the motion of the atmosphere is considering the annual mean. But features of the mean of circulation are not real, but statistical artifacts.

        There is no such thing as the Hadley cell.

        There are individual cells ( polar anti-cyclones ) which travel along certain paths more frequently due to orography, crossing all the boundaries indicated:

        until they converge at the ITCZ.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Mosher says GCRs have zero effect on clouds. That’s a very bold statement. Zero is a mighty small number and almost certainly wrong. Everything has an effect on everything else to some degree. Never zero.”

        Note I said no MEASURRABLE effect.

        its pretty simply.

        Go get cloud coverage data. I used AIRS becuase it has the highest resolution– in terms of the sensor coverage and the various pressure levels.

        The files are HDF5 so you might have troubles as it requires some skill.

        Then go look. Look for changes, any changes in cloud cover.
        Look high
        Look look low ( svensmark says low )
        Look at every latitude you like ( your best bet is at mid latitude to north latitude — know why?

        Look at every pressure you like, 1000hPa, 900, 850, 700, 600, all the way to the top if you like.

        you wont find anything.

        But MORE importantly, even IF you found a signal that tracked with the 11 year cycle you have a problem.

        there is No secular trend in TSI worth talking about.

        So, there is always a chance that GCR will contribute to the formation of CCN.. but if your in areas where its already 100% cloudy, its hard to see an increase.. And if your in an area that is 0% cloudy, GCR can also increase CCN…. but if the air is not warm enough or if it doesnt hold enough water vapor, then other conditions will prevent the increased CCN from helping to form clouds.

        One cant rule out that there may be conditions where GCR contribute to cloud formation, but the sad fact is finding this effect ( measuring it) is not as easy.

        Look. if low level cloudiness data increased and decreased with GCR
        even YOU would take the time to go cloud data and show it.
        but you dont.
        I mean seriously you could show that easily, Rud could, Turbulent eddy could… but you dont..

        Maybe because you realize that even if you could show that, it wouldnt help.

        we can show in the lab that GCR aid in the formation of CCN precursors.
        That is not the question.
        The question is what happens in the real world.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Yes, actual cloud data. That would be nice.

        The problem is, the damn things are so small and ephemeral at the unit level, and so dependent on chaotic fluid flow at the macro level, nobody has any actual cloud data”

        Cool a theory ( GCR) for which there can be no data.
        nice.

      • TE:

        There may be no measurable effect on clouds from cosmic rays, but it seems some have detected changes in clouds — location, coverage, etc. — that can be associated with warming. Simply moving the exact same cloud formation toward the poles (or vice versa) would likely change the global energy balance. Hadley or no Hadley.

      • David Springer

        There is data, Mosher. Proxy data. Sunspots in particular. Correlation with warm/cold periods in history. There is a mechanism proposed. High altitude cloud seeding. The CLOUD experiment has shown a small but measurable effect. So your statement is still false. If you said no significant effect you might have at least an arguable point but, even according to your own completely inexpert opinion on scientific inquiry, you need to offer an alternative explanation for the correlation between sunspot activity and northern hemisphere warming/cooling. Good luck.

      • David Springer

        Steven Mosher | June 4, 2016 at 11:40 am |

        “I never claimed to be a scientist”

        You are a motherf*cking lying sack of sh*t.

        https://www.linkedin.com/in/steven-mosher-27bb071

      • @David Springer…

        He was quoting me. Of course, if he made more of an effort to distinguish quotes from answers, there would be less confusion.

        OTOH, if you made more of an effort to understand what he was saying, rather than chopping something completely out of context, there would also be less confusion.

      • Somebody go find some trends in cosmic rays, please.

        There is no trend there, so no possibility of any effect.

        thanks for playing.

    • The combined difference in the mean A between the former and latter periods is of 0:015 +/-0:005, assuming the 1994/1995 and 1999/ 2001 uncertainties are independent. This corresponds to a 5% +/-1:7% decrease in the albedo between the two periods.”

      At the top of the atmosphere, IR out plus Albedo out equal Solar in. If Albedo did decrease then IR did increase by the same amount, if Solar in is considered constant. We know ice has retreated in this warming phase. The retreat of the ice did decrease reflection and decrease melting and did allow the warming. The ice retreat was not a result, it was the force.

  16. John Costigane

    Judith,

    Jasper Kirkby is always worth following. I particularly like the drawing together of Science and Nature, with regard to tree processes mentioned. This fractured relation has caused harm to science, with it no longer a basic in education here. That must change.

    i also like the satellite observations planned. A new perspective on the switch from la Nina to el Nino, and back. would be very helpful. Conversations with ordinary people have already changed for the better, with the Jet Stream details in weather forecasts.

  17. Pingback: Climate Partly Cloudy | Science Matters

  18. I’m surprised JCH and Jim D aren’t more active, this does support aerosols are masking warming to some extent.

  19. Global SO2 emissions have been falling for a quarter of a century. To the extent there’s an effect, the sign would be positive, not negative.

  20. Very nicely done article. Thanks!

  21. I thought the inference to be made here is that clouds (particularly over land) are likely less sensitive to cosmic rays than in the past. But global greening and deforestation complicate things.

  22. Pingback: Judith Curry On The Cloud-Climate Conundrum | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

  23. David L. Hagen

    Declining Cloud Cover
    Judith
    Thanks for referencing Eastman and Warren on declining cloud cover. Vis:
    Eastman, R., S.G. Warren, and C.J. Hahn, 2011:  Variations in Cloud Cover and Cloud Types over the Ocean from Surface Observations, 1954-2008.  Journal of Climate, 24, 5914-5934. Eastman et. al. 2011
    Note also the 2013 paper by Eastman & Warren:
    Eastman, R., S.G. Warren, 2013: A 39-Yr Survey of Cloud Changes from Land Stations Worldwide 1971–2009: Long-Term Trends, Relation to Aerosols, and Expansion of the Tropical Belt. Journal of Climate, 26, 1286-1303. Eastman and Warren 2013
    See also Xie, X., 2012 March Significant decreasing cloud cover during 1954–2005 due to more clear-sky days and less overcast days in China and its relation to aerosol. In Annales Geophysicae (Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 573-582). Copernicus GmbH. Preprint PDF

    Abstract. An updated analysis of cloud cover during 1954–2005 in China was performed using homogeneous cloud cover data from 314 stations. Long-term changes in frequencies of different cloud cover categories and their contributions to long-term changes in cloud cover were assessed. Furthermore, aerosol effects on cloud cover trends were discussed based on comparison of cloud cover trends in polluted and mildly polluted regions. Frequencies of clear sky (cloud cover 80%) were observed to increase by ~2.2 days and decrease by ~3.3 days per decade, respectively, which accounts for ~80% of cloud cover reduction. Larger decreasing trends in cloud cover due to larger increase in clear sky frequency and larger decreases in overcast frequency were observed at stations with lower aerosol optical depth. There is no significant difference in trends regarding cloud cover, clear sky frequency, and overcast frequency between mountain and plain stations. These results are inconsistent with our expectation that larger decreasing trends in cloud cover should have been observed in regions with higher aerosol loading where more aerosols could lead to stronger obscuring effect on ground observation of cloud cover and stronger radiative effect as compared with the mildly polluted regions. Aerosol effect on decreasing cloud cover in China appear not to be supported by this analysis and therefore, further study on this issue is required.

    Any Chinese data spanning Mao’s 1958-’61 Cultural Revolution raises questions on its reliability. e.g., see:
    Chinese Statistics Classification Systems and Data Sources Carsten A. Holz, 7 Jan 2013
    However, for data that is not obviously politically related, any long term data that is available should be examined for possible evidence.

    There are 35 citations to Eastman & Warren 2011
    Also 14 citations to Xie 2012

  24. I know it may be controversial but personally, I’m for clean air but for me it isn’t a religious issue. The global warming hoax and scare tactics employed by radical environmentalists wastes tax dollars and make more difficult to maintain a healthy environment.

    Global Warming— Trees or no trees the pseudo-science of Global Warming already has metamorphosed and been transmogrified to Climate Change. So, perhaps there is hope for yet another change — to something far more realistic –e.g., ‘it’s the weather, stupid.’ Unfortunately, the environmentalism movement has been hijacked by the Left.

    I don’t blame them for seizing the opportunity. There was a lot of power in our movement and they saw how it could be turned to serve their agendas of revolutionary change and class struggle. But I differed with them because they were extremists who confused the issues and the public about the nature of our environment and our place in it. To this day they use the word industry as if it were a swear word. The same goes for multinational, chemical, genetic, corporate, globalization, and a host of other perfectly useful terms. Their propaganda campaign is aimed at promoting an ideology that I believe would be extremely damaging to both civilization and the environment.” ~Patrick Moore

  25. Judith: It would be most helpful (I think) if you could post a new report providing data on the range of assumed quantitative contribution of cloud feedback to warming predicted by typical climate models, and how the future warming predictions of the models would change if cloud feedback was removed.

    • The sign of the cloud feedback is still under debate; the IPCC AR5 said positive (while admitting large uncertainties); I suspect that it is negative.

      • Dr. Curry — Still (for us lay people) it would be very helpful to put this in context of TCR. Do you suspect clouds are a small, marginal, or big negative impact? Do you have a specific/unique cloud impact assumption in the Lewis/Curry estimate different than say, Schmidt? Thanks.

      • In LC, we don’t separate out the individual feedback components, which i don’t think are all that separable in any event (cloud feedback is intimately related to water vapor feedback and lapse rate feedback).

    • As long as the models always provide forecasts that do not agree with real data, I would not consider any future warming predictions they make. How they would change is not important, one wrong prediction is not better or worse than another wrong prediction. There is something important wrong or missing in their models.

  26. Judith

    There have been a large number of studies of pre industrial clouds by amongst others, Lamb, primarily by looking at historic paintings

    This study sums up the knowledge pretty well.

    http://bib.gfz-potsdam.de/pub/wegezurkunst/paintings_as_climate_archives.pdf

    The trouble with using paintings from the earlier era is that whilst sketches of the subject – in pencil or charcoal-may have been carried out in situ the actual painting is likely to have been completed over a period of time in a studio. This might have been far removed in time and geography from the subject and consequently the clouds may have been those present outside the studio at the time or may have been inserted according to the effect required, for example a romantic sunny day with a few wispy clouds or a stormy sky.

    By the time we get to the industrial era we had more ‘realistic’ studies or those that caught the general effect. These often showed the effects of smog, for example here is a page showing numerous examples of paintings by such as Monet and Turner.

    http://www.artnet.com/Magazine/features/nkarlins/karlins7-7-04.asp

    Many artists came to London in that period precisely to catch the extraordinary scenes. As an aside, during these events temperatures were many degrees cooler than in fog free areas 20 miles away and must have affected historic temperature readings.

    Writing 2000 years ago Tacitus remarked of Britain;

    ‘ Some tribes fight also with the chariot. The higher in rank is the charioteer; the dependants fight. They were once ruled by kings, but are now divided under chieftains into factions and parties. Our greatest advantage in coping with tribes so powerful is that they do not act in concert. Seldom is it that two or three states meet together to ward off a common danger. Thus, while they fight singly, all are conquered.

    Their sky is obscured by continual rain and cloud. Severity of cold is unknown. The days exceed in length those of our part of the world; the nights are bright, and in the extreme north so short that between sunlight and dawn you can perceive but a slight distinction. It is said that, if there are no clouds in the way, the splendour of the sun can be seen throughout the night, and that he does not rise and set, but only crosses the heavens. The truth is, that the low shadow thrown from the flat extremities of the earth’s surface does not raise the darkness to any height, and the night thus fails to reach the sky and stars.’

    From my own research of the pre industrial era, I come across numerous reports of constant cloud, little sunshine, rain that lasted for weeks or months.

    It is complete nonsense to believe that pre industrial Britain for example was a land much sunnier than today. It wasn’t. Where do people get these ideas?

    tonyb

    • interesting . . .

    • Biggest pollution event of recent centuries (Laki/Grimvotn 1783-4) gave the world a couple of years of cool weather and poor growth etc to follow on from the mass toxicity. The acid rain etc in the Eurasian grain belt may well have been the biggest prob of many big probs.

      But just a few years later the world copped those whopper El Nino years which brought the Doji Bara famine. We have pretty good info on the effects of monsoon failure for India in the early 1790s, which was also a near disaster for the new settlement of Sydney, well documented. Much of Asia was afflicted but what’s often forgotten are the droughts and famines of those years for Africa.

      So did post-Laki cooling lead into Super Mutiple El Nino conditions post 1789? Dunno, but I sure hope our climate botherers’ geo-engineering plans stay on the shelf.

      Just model it, guys. Everyone needs a hobby. But don’t actually do it.

      • Steven Mosher

        download the code for the climate community model.
        modify the code.
        do your runs
        post results.

      • Put down that joystick, Steven. Easy now.

      • Steven Mosher

        I love lazy skeptics.

        this is simple.

        we have a thread full of geniuses.. springer, yourself, geologists, chemists, stats professors, engineers, really smart skeptics.

        TONS..

        just look… just ask them..

        every day they are disproving AGW with their comments.

        Strange how a stupid english major can actually co author a science paper and none of these skeptical geniuses can?

        That’s really odd

        The worlds economy is at stake if alarmists have their way..
        our freedom !!!!! is at stake !!! good lord man our freedom

        yet, none of these geniuses can be bothered to collect their devastating insights and publish a paper that will save us from economic destruction!!!

      • Curious George

        Steven indicates that the climate community model is a volunteer effort, with no taxpayers money used. Then, of course, there is no due diligence of the modelers, and they can use their property any way they wish.

      • Steven Mosher

        George isnt curious.
        he has made up his mind

      • catweazle666

        Steven Mosher : “Strange how a stupid english major can actually co author a science paper and none of these skeptical geniuses can?”

        Mosher, do you really and truly believe that of all those geologists, chemists, stats professors, engineers, really smart skeptics posting on this blog, not a single solitary one has published a peer reviewed scientific paper?

        You’re even more deluded than I thought possible, even for a second hand temperature database salesman!

      • Steven has a hard enough time just saying the word Vostok.

      • Thin gruel statistics (yes, those things that come after “liars”, and “damned liars”, only in homeopathic dilution) will tell a little about climate, but often just enough to get one into intellectual trouble.

        This year, out of that weird emotion called curiosity, I’ve been tracking my region’s driest autumn “ever” (actually driest since the 1880s, but it’s impolite to specify length of record when people are looking for excitement). Now, just days after our driest autumn “ever” we have had a quarter of metre of rain in less than 48 hours. (Whew.) If that rain had come four days earlier the “driest autumn ever” would still lie way back in the past (hellish 1895, though with no relieving winter rain).

        My point: Average and total rainfall for any period serve a very limited purpose. But for humans living close to nature what matters is what happened. (I refuse to define my loose term “what happened” till climate warriors abandon their own slob terms, especially “climate change”.

        When you lack interest in the natural world and its past, even min/max is good for industrial processing and retailing as mental spam. The only thing an old min/max reading does for me is tickle my interest about what was actually going on (including the sobriety of nineteenth century postmasters and pilot station staff).

        While I’m open to the proposition that we have had a bit of warming in recent decades and some sea level rise since the late 1700s, I can see no point in worrying over the Holocene doing its usual “up” thing after it has done its usual “down” thing. To be challenged to do my own sciency-sounding beat-up to prove a point I have no interest in making is like someone telling me to jump off a moving bus to show me how it can be done better.

      • George isnt curious.

        Just figured that out did you?

      • Steven Mosher

        cat
        ‘Mosher, do you really and truly believe that of all those geologists, chemists, stats professors, engineers, really smart skeptics posting on this blog, not a single solitary one has published a peer reviewed scientific paper?”

        Oh, I have no doubt that somewhere one or two have,
        but read harder.

        1. They spend all this time ‘disproving” AGW in their blog commments.
        2. The economic threat from alarmist mitigation measures are real.
        3. Not a single one of these geniuses can get a paper published.. or heck they can even WRITE a paper, showing how AGW is wrong.

        with the economy at stake, they cant even do their own temperature series to demonstrate that it has nit warmed..

        WTF.. all these lazy skeptics cant even do the simplest science.

        and most, like you, cant even use a real name.. cowards.. we need freedom fighters, patriots I tell you..

      • catweazle666

        Steven Mosher: “3. Not a single one of these geniuses can get a paper published.. or heck they can even WRITE a paper, showing how AGW is wrong.”

        You’re making stuff up again, Mosher.

        To the best of my knowledge few or no sceptics posting here have asserted that AGW is wrong, merely that AGW is very unlikely to be remotely as big a threat as the Warmist industry (which includes YOU), certain politicians and their hangers-on are pretending it is.

        You just can’t help yourself, can you?

      • The “lazy skeptics” whom I know have spent a lifetime doing not just “the simplest science,” but cutting-edge real-world geophysics. Summaries of their work are usually found not in au courant “climate” journals, but in the monographs and other publications of learned societies and research institutions. They comment on blogs only rarely and to steer discussion toward scientific rigor, not to promote themselves or their employers. Only in the craven minds of carpetbaggers are “freedom fighters” on behalf of junk science considered heroes.

      • Mike Flynn

        Steven Mosher,

        You wrote –

        “Strange how a stupid english major can actually co author a science paper and none of these skeptical geniuses can?”

        Not only stupid, but gullible as well?

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but was your supposed science paper related to your volunteer work with BEST? It seems so –

        “The team’s preliminary findings, data sets and programs were published in journals operated by OMICS Group, a predatory open access publisher beginning in December 2012.”

        OMICS apparently publishes anything from anyone who is prepared to pay. At least one US Government body is underwhelmed by OMICS –

        “. . . the U.S. National Institutes of Health does not accept OMICS publications for listing in PubMed Central and sent a cease-and-desist letter to OMICS in 2013 . . .”

        From elsewhere –

        “Hyderabad, India-based OMICS Publishing Group is among the most abusive of the scholarly publishers classified as “predatory publishers.” One of the ways it rips off researchers is by spamming them without mentioning the article processing charges.

        Occasionally, researchers respond to the spam emails by submitting a manuscript, which is quickly accepted, with a quick and trivial peer review. Soon afterwards, the authors are surprised by a hefty and unexpected invoice, often for $2,700.”

        So pardon me if I’m less than totally impressed with your papers (I’ve read two, although there may be more if you had exceptionally deep pockets). They appear quite pointless to me, but maybe you paid for a second publication in a fit of enthusiasm!

        The point is that paying to have a paper published in a journal of any sort these days does not not guarantee factual accuracy or truth. Whether the paper was reviewed or not, be it peer review, pal review, or predatory review, may be irrelevant.

        Thousands of papers have been retracted by reputable journals after publication. Computer generated nonsense papers have been published by Elsevier and Springer, amongst many others. Peer review didn’t work too well in these cases, obviously.

        Fantasy, however published and reviewed, remains fantasy. The Warmist preoccupation with reducing CO2 levels to the detriment of humanity continues.

        Maybe try real science, rather than Cargo Cult science?

        Cheers.

      • The economic threat from alarmist mitigation measures are real.

        This from an English major?

        I don’t see how you can credibly call yourself a “scientist” when you can’t get details like that right. In your “scholarly specialty”.

      • Maybe I’m dreaming, but it seems to me that prominent scientists from other branches, when asked to dig deeper, almost always end up remarkably consensus like, and the blog dwellers often come off as having personality disorders.

      • Mosher – no one can write a paper that “proves” x ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere will cause Y degrees of warming over z time period. That would be what is required of climate scientists. Climate is so complicated, climate scientists can’t do that. It’s not surprising skeptics can’t write a paper to disprove it, although it is also kind of silly to try to prove x ppm of CO2 won’t cause y degrees of warming. It’s just not the right framing.

      • Steven Mosher

        “The “lazy skeptics” whom I know have spent a lifetime doing not just “the simplest science,” but cutting-edge real-world geophysics. Summaries of their work are usually found not in au courant “climate” journals, but in the monographs and other publications of learned societies and research institutions.”

        who where? AK? captain, momo, Bad Andrew? Glenn?
        Turbulant eddy? YOU? David Hagen? Where is work
        showing that C02 will not cause warming? where?

        “They comment on blogs only rarely and to steer discussion toward scientific rigor, not to promote themselves or their employers. Only in the craven minds of carpetbaggers are “freedom fighters” on behalf of junk science considered heroes.”

        where are these luminaries? on this thread? on any thread?

        point them out. then we can go ask them to write something

      • Steven Mosher

        Jim

        ‘Mosher – no one can write a paper that “proves” x ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere will cause Y degrees of warming over z time period. That would be what is required of climate scientists. Climate is so complicated, climate scientists can’t do that. It’s not surprising skeptics can’t write a paper to disprove it, although it is also kind of silly to try to prove x ppm of CO2 won’t cause y degrees of warming. It’s just not the right framing.”

        huh, you see all manner of commenters trying to assert that c02 cant warm.. or that it can only warm a little..

        my suggestion is simple.

        write it up. not in random comments where they get distracted…

        NOW, when Judith asked skeptics to give it their best shot

        None of you got your panties all twisted up..

        too funny.

        thank you for playing

      • @Steven (Trump Jr.) Mosher…

        who where? AK? captain, momo, Bad Andrew? Glenn?
        Turbulant eddy? YOU? David Hagen? Where is work
        showing that C02 will not cause warming? where?

        I never claimed to be a “scientist”, although I certainly (try to) use the scientific method in my own work. But that’s not the same.

        Since I have no idea whether, and if so how much, CO2 causes real warming, why should I try to produce work showing that it doesn’t? And why should I duplicate the work of scientists practicing in the field? There’s plenty of work showing that hyper-complex non-linear systems tend to have substantial internal variation.

        I say, based on that work, that the presence of internal variation, on time-scales ranging from annual to geological, should be the default assumption.

        You hold with the older, IMO obsolete, paradigm that places some credence in “averages” and ” planetary equilibrium”.

        Any effort to argue the matter would end up in our talking past each other, as Kuhn as described for most paradigm conflicts.

        There’s no point in “proof”, when the definition of what constitutes “proof” is different depending on the paradigm. The evidence presented in the “Stadium Wave” research is proof.

        But I do think you should make proper use of the language you’re arguing in.

      • So climate scientists make claims they can’t prove and so do skeptics. Both are talking gut feelings as far as I can tell.

      • You can start small and see if you agree whether variations in solar forcing cause temperature changes. For example the 0.1 W/m2, 0.1 C 11-year cycle. This kind of question makes a “skeptic’s” head explode.

      • “Where is work showing that C02 will not cause warming?”

        The Antarctic plateau. Most of the work is showing that the impact of CO2 is less than expected. About 1 C per doubling instead of 1.5 C per doubling “all else remaining equal.” The Antarctic plateau having a negative response would be part of that. The Arctic being weak or none is another part.

        The really hard part of the work though is waiting for the light bulb to turn on in “believer” heads.

      • maksimovich1

        You can start small and see if you agree whether variations in solar forcing cause temperature changes. For example the 0.1 W/m2, 0.1 C 11-year cycle.

        Changes in solar radiation from orbital forcing such as eccentricity is around 0.1%,is widely used as an explanation for the interglacial /glacial excursions.

      • Yes, even very small forcing changes can have measurable effects. Few would deny that much.

      • Steven, since when do people have to first publish the result of their own climate model runs before they are allowed to participate in discussions about climate science on internet blogs?

        What’s up with this weird notion of yours that people are not allowed to be critical of a scientific hypothesis lacking credible empirical evidence without having an alternative hypothesis or without doing scientific work on the subject themselves?
        Am I not allowed to criticize my local police if I am not a cop?
        Am I not allowed to criticize a politician’s actions if I am not active in politics?

        And who made you king of this blog anyway? You have done a little science yourself and all of a sudden you are behaving like a little dictator in these threads. And the incredible arrogance dripping from all your comments is really unpleasant, FYI.

        You will most likely not respond to me anyway, but if you do, don’t forget to say “too funny” three times in your reply, because that is not getting really old at all…

      • You can start small and see if you agree whether variations in solar forcing cause temperature changes. For example the 0.1 W/m2, 0.1 C 11-year cycle. This kind of question makes a “skeptic’s” head explode.

        Wishful thinking. Nobody’s head need explode. But, more likely, the realities of hyper-complex non-linear systems will make your head explode. Or would if you weren’t in denial over the fact that your preferred paradigm is obsolete.

        1.       The fact (if true) that a small “forcing” appears to have a linear “effect” in no way means that a larger one won’t do something different. Quite possibly in the other direction.

        2.       The proposed “effect” can only be detected over large averages. And averages can’t be used that way. Or rather, they can: you can calculate a number. But it only represents garbage. GIGO applies to garbage assumptions as much as garbage data.

        3.       To the extent that “forcing” is anything beyond a myth, the “forcing” from small changes to the solar “constant” has a completely different effect from the “forcing” from increased well-mixed GHG’s.

      • AK, your reply is self-contradicting. Just because a small effect can be detected, perhaps a larger effect may be the reverse(?). Perhaps the small effect can’t be detected anyway despite people showing observations. Perhaps larger effects like volcanoes don’t affect the climate either? Perhaps albedo changes don’t lead to ice ages? What, if anything, about climate change, large or small, do you think you do know how to explain? Do these questions give you a headache? And we haven’t even got to CO2 yet because there’s certain other things about climate to accept first.

      • AK, your reply is self-contradicting.

        Nope. It just contradicts the invalid assumption you’re building into your mental models.

        Just because a small effect can be detected, perhaps a larger effect may be the reverse(?).

        Not exactly. Just because the effect of a small “forcing” acts one way, perhaps the effect of a larger one may be the reverse. Yes. The Earth is not a spherical chicken of uniform density!

        Do these questions give you a headache?

        What gives me a headache is trying to figure out how to show someone he’s including an unwarranted assumption in his mental model when he’s in total denial over the fact.

        And we haven’t even got to CO2 yet because there’s certain other things about climate to accept first.

        Since they’re not true, efforts to get me to accept them will be an uphill battle.

        Why don’t you try accepting that you’re building an assumption into your mental models that might not be warranted. Then we can talk about that. Certainly, as long as you’re in denial regarding that assumption, you’re never going to convince me of anything except that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

      • AK, it’s not my mental model. I am just conveying general scientific knowledge to you. We have some idea how ice ages occur, the effect of solar variations, or that volcanoes have a cooling effect, or about paleoclimate swings in general being related to geological changes. A lot of this is textbook stuff, now taught in schools.

      • AK, it’s not my mental model.

        Sheer denial. It is your mental model. Your previous efforts at “logic” demonstrate it:

        Just because a small effect can be detected, perhaps a larger effect may be the reverse(?).

        Notice how you took “small” and “larger” “causes” (“forcings” or “perturbations”) and translated them into “effects”?

        Did you even notice the word change there? How you implicitly assumed that if the “cause” is larger the “effect” must be? That assumption simply isn’t warranted in complex non-linear systems.

        I am just conveying general scientific knowledge to you.

        Nope. You’re taking bits and pieces of “general scientific knowledge”, much of based on an obsolete paradigm, summarizing it according to your own preconceptions, then building logic onto it using unwarranted assumptions.

        A lot of this is textbook stuff, now taught in schools.

        A lot of “textbook stuff” in geology textbooks of the ’60’s turned out to be obsolete bunk. “Mountain-building eras”?

      • Maybe some, maybe not some, science is tough, Jim D.

      • wij

        “Steven, since when do people have to first publish the result of their own climate model runs before they are allowed to participate in discussions about climate science on internet blogs?”

        1. People are free to participate. I never suggested otherwise.
        2. People also have a free choice to do science instead.
        3. I observe that very few, perhaps zero, skeptics on this thread
        have the sense to do their own science and get it published..
        or HECK even try.

        “What’s up with this weird notion of yours that people are not allowed to be critical of a scientific hypothesis lacking credible empirical evidence without having an alternative hypothesis or without doing scientific work on the subject themselves?”

        1. of course they are allowed to.
        2. Noting that you can do something, doesnt make it an optimal
        choice.
        3. AGW has credible empirical evidence so what are you talking about.
        4. The job of science is to EXPLAIN. criticism can play a role,
        but its not the whole job.
        5. Name a single scientist who made his whole career ONLY the
        publication of skeptical replies.
        6. Skepticism of ANY and ALL scientific theory is ALWAYS possible
        By defintion. Since science is never proved it is always and foreever
        possible to raise objections. The real job is improving explanations.
        Skeptics never finish the job. lazy.

        Am I not allowed to criticize my local police if I am not a cop?

        1. Sure BLM
        2. EFFECTIVE critics change things. I see no effective
        skeptics.
        3. In the universe of public servants we create change by
        lawsuit, protest, and elections. in the universe of scientists
        we create change by doing new science. When in Rome.

        Am I not allowed to criticize a politician’s actions if I am not active in politics?

        1. You have a choice: Whine, Donate, Volunteer, Run for office,
        Leave the country, Vote. Many options.
        2. If I see you always whining, I actually get to point that out.
        I actually get to say “Whining is pretty lazy, do something”
        3. If I see skeptics whining about how science is done, I actually get to observe that! I get to say..”hey whiner, do your own damn science”

        LESSON: dont argue with questions because I will answer them in ways that show the foolishness of your questions.

        “And who made you king of this blog anyway? You have done a little science yourself and all of a sudden you are behaving like a little dictator in these threads. And the incredible arrogance dripping from all your comments is really unpleasant, FYI.”

        Arrogance? How, For years ( 2007 -2011) I listened to folks who were saying “do your own science” and I made all sorts of arguments about how I didnt have to. Just like you. Then I thought, why not give it a shot. I saw other people do the same.. ALL SKEPTICS.. Nic Lewis, Troy Masters, Jeff Id, Anthony Watts, O’Donnell, Willis, heck even Monkton.
        So how is it arrogance to tell you guys to FOLLOW ANTHONY’S EXAMPLE? Why do you get so upset when I tell you the best way to have an impact? The best way to impact science is to actually DO science.. I dont know how to motivate you guys. You have great successful examples.. Of skeptical commenters who went on to do science, of bloggers who went on to do it, and even and incredibly stupid English major who managed to do a tiny bit. And so I ask myself, so much is at stake why do thse guys not follow their own leaders, roll up their sleeves and contribute SOMETHING.

        Here is what I know: a long while ago Eric Steig challenged skeptics ( jeff id) to do his own science! And Jeff took up the challenge. With great results. So I’m telling you guys.. please please.. do your own science.

      • catweazle666

        “3. AGW has credible empirical evidence so what are you talking about.”

        Empirical evidence?

        No, it has nothing of the kind.

        Stop making stuff up.

      • I would rather guess for myself, Steven.

      • AK, you are complaining about linearity. Climate forcing, even for doubling CO2 is a 1% change, and so would temperature be, which is small in the grand scheme of things. Small changes of this size are linear, except in some crazily unstable system that the earth’s climate isn’t, based on millions of years of data where the forcing has remained within about a percent. A 1% change has profound possibly cascading effects on biological systems and on the amount of ice and sea level, but it doesn’t completely change the physics of the earth system. That is not to say that there aren’t large transient effects (Hansen’s meltwater pulse for example) and tipping points on the way to new warmer equilibria. We have seen these in the paleo record.

      • AK, you are complaining about linearity.

        Nope. The only thing I’m complaining about is your denial over your own hidden assumptions.

        I’m talking about linearity, and its absence.

        Climate forcing, even for doubling CO2 is a 1% change,

        Nope. It’s a 100% change in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. I’d guess that works out to somewhere around a 50% reduction in average distance IR in the relevant wavelengths travels.

        [… A]nd so would temperature be, which is small in the grand scheme of things.

        Assuming the outcome is linear. But you can’t make that assumption. You’re begging the question.

        Small changes of this size are linear, […]

        Argument by assertion. No proof. (Models aren’t proof, even the biggest GCM has many orders of magnitude fewer degrees of freedom than the real thing.)

        [… E]xcept in some crazily unstable system that the earth’s climate isn’t, based on millions of years of data where the forcing has remained within about a percent.

        Sorry, you can’t prove anything with paleo. Too many other possible factors you can’t control for.

        And a system as complex as the terrestrial atmosphere/ocean/biosphere doesn’t have to be “some crazily unstable system” to have unexpected effects from changing boundary conditions.

        So far, the “effects” (if any) of increased CO2 are well within the bounds of expected unforced variability. If they are linearly additive (unproven except for arm-waving assertions), they could still add up to a negative TCR, although I’ll admit that’s unlikely given the known temperature and CO2 record.

        Far more probable, IMO, is that TCR is a number that doesn’t exist at all, except in the simplistic imaginations of scientists following the obsolete paradigm.

        A 1% change has profound possibly cascading effects on biological systems and on the amount of ice and sea level, but it doesn’t completely change the physics of the earth system.

        Straw man.

        Want an example of a small perturbation causing “x”, while a slightly larger perturbation causes less than “X”? See here. Granted, it’s about sea-level rise from temps rather than temps from CO2, and also granted it’s models both ways, but complex models are also complex non-linear systems. Just not as complex as the real thing.

      • OK, the solar incoming forcing is about 350 W/m2, while doubling CO2 is about 3.7 W/m2, which is 1%. It is a small perturbation on a large background. It gives about a 1% rise in temperature too, also small in the grand scheme of things, but effective. There are nonlinear local effects. Hansen suggests that Greenland could melt out into the North Atlantic enough in a century to cause very large local cooling in Europe. This is one of your nonlinear effects, but driven by the small 1% forcing change. The thing that doesn’t happen under a 1% forcing change is nothing, which seems to be what you are hoping for. It has profound effects, much as you want to deny paleoclimate evidence or pointing to the Ice Ages as examples. It is also happening rapidly, 2 W/m2 already from CO2 alone on the way to 5-6 W/m2 by 2100 under BAU. It is a large hammer on the ecological systems. No surprise we are seeing all kinds of unprecedented weather, and we are only a fraction of the way to what it would be.

      • OK, the solar incoming forcing is about 350 W/m2, while doubling CO2 is about 3.7 W/m2, which is 1%.

        Apples and oranges. “Solar incoming forcing” is measured in incoming W/m^2 at TOA. The effects of added CO2 include zero change to incoming W/m^2 at TOA.

        “Forcing” from doubling CO2 is measured in the mean free path of emitted/absorbed (or not) photons of appropriate wavelengths. Which is cut by around 50% (AFAIK).By the time you get to “about 3.7 W/m2” you’ve gone through a lot of downstream calculations based on questionable assumptions.

        It is a small perturbation on a large background.

        Not so large as you seem to think.

        It gives about a 1% rise in temperature too, also small in the grand scheme of things, but effective.

        Nope. IIRC it’s been calculated to give about a 1°C rise in average temperature globally, but that’s different.

        More importantly, That rise in average temperature has absolutely no effect.

        There are nonlinear local effects.

        There are only local effects. And the calculations for most of them are simplistic, based on highly questionable “simplifying” assumptions. And the interactions among those local effects, the real ones rather than the “calculated” ones, are generally non-linear and cannot be reliably predicted using their global (or even GCM cell-scale) averages.

        The thing that doesn’t happen under a 1% forcing change is nothing, which seems to be what you are hoping for.

        If it seems that way to you, it’s because you’re so blinded by your own denial that you don’t understand what I’m saying trying to tell you.

        It is a large hammer on the ecological systems.

        Probably a great deal less of one than natural unforced temperature variation.

        And in any event, IMO there’s good reason to suppose that the direct effects of higher pCO2 are more of a “large hammer on the ecological systems” than any thermal effects.

      • TOA radiative forcing changes by 3.7 W/m2 compared to TOA incoming solar energy of 350 W/m2. This is the TOA energy budget we are talking about. The transient rate stands currently at 2 C per doubling. There is a significant TOA imbalance remaining after allowing for all the warming so far, meaning more to come and a higher equilibrium sensitivity. You are interested in the TOA budget. That’s the TOA budget. Pick your numbers to deny.

      • TOA radiative forcing changes by 3.7 W/m2 compared to TOA incoming solar energy of 350 W/m2. This is the TOA energy budget we are talking about.

        Nope. It’s “the TOA energy budget we[you] are talking about.” I haven’t gotten to anyenergy budget” yet. They depend on to many calculations based on questionable assumptions.

        Once we’ve discussed those questions and calculations, I may be willing to discuss “energy budgets”.

        I’m getting tired of your straw man arguments. I mentioned that the units of solar “forcing” are completely different from the units of “forcing” from CO2 increase.

        Solar “forcing” is measured in incoming watts/m^2 at TOA. Extra CO2 produces no incoming watts/m^2 at TOA.

        There is a significant TOA imbalance remaining after allowing for all the warming so far, meaning more to come and a higher equilibrium sensitivity.

        Unproven. Efforts to demonstrate any value of “TOA imbalance” are all begging the question, AFAIK.

        You are interested in the TOA budget. That’s the TOA budget. Pick your numbers to deny.

        Nope. There’s your fantasy.

        Worse yet, you’re mixing observations (no matter how defective) with model-based predictions in a totally unacceptable way.

        IMO.

      • If you don’t believe in the central role of the TOA energy budget, which is the starting point of even the skeptics (Lindzen, Spencer, Lewis, Curry, even Monckton!), you have a long way to go. Complain to them first, not to the mainstream people. See how they justify it to you. There is apparently absolutely nothing in climate you can explain with your current level of knowledge (Ice Ages, volcanic and solar effects, geological periods, earth’s mean temperature, global warming, etc.).

      • If you don’t believe in the central role of the TOA energy budget, which is the starting point of even the skeptics (Lindzen, Spencer, Lewis, Curry, even Monckton!), you have a long way to go.

        Science isn’t about “belief” As far as I know none of the people you named “believe in the central role of the TOA energy budget,” although I would suppose they accept it as part of the current paradigm. As for “central role”, AFAIK nobody has suggested that its “imbalances” are such as to require “balancing” on time-scales less than centuries.

        Complain to them first, not to the mainstream people.

        Why should I complain to them? AFAIK they understand the speculative nature of any paradigm. You’re the one who doesn’t understand.

        There is apparently absolutely nothing in climate you can explain with your current level of knowledge (Ice Ages, volcanic and solar effects, geological periods, earth’s mean temperature, global warming, etc.).

        Yawn. Pure social manipulation. You’re so far gone in denial that you can’t even look at what I’m saying to see whether I understand.

        For the record, I understand your paradigm better than you do. I just also understand all many some of the defects and unwarranted assumptions behind it.

        I didn’t say I don’t understand the “TOA energy budget,” I said I wouldn’t discuss it with you until we’ve resolved some of the issues with this “forcing” you insist on believing in.

        If you don’t want to defend your paradigm against people who have gone beyond it, you shouldn’t say things to them like this:

        You can start small and see if you agree whether variations in solar forcing cause temperature changes. For example the 0.1 W/m2, 0.1 C 11-year cycle. This kind of question makes a “skeptic’s” head explode.

        Looks to me like yours is the exploding head.

      • OK, going back to that first question that I posed. Does the 11-year temperature support a connection between temperature and forcing to you or not? Given that the forcing change is only 0.1 W/m2, and CO2 forcing is about 2 W/m2 and counting, you have decided not to believe larger forcings can lead to proportionately larger temperature changes for some reason. That looks like where you depart from rationality because you seem quite certain that the proportionality which the energy balance imposes is not there, and which like I said is a basic starting point for many skeptics. The same rules apply for 0.1 W/m2 forcing as for 1-5 W/m2 forcing, and they have explanatory power for past climate change too.

      • Does the 11-year temperature support a connection between temperature and forcing to you or not?

        Perhaps. There are other aspects of solar radiation that vary according to the sunspot cycle, so there’s no proof that whatever variations in “average temperature” correlate with the sunspot cycle are caused by changes to the solar constant at TOA.

        Given that the forcing change is only 0.1 W/m2, and CO2 forcing is about 2 W/m2 and counting, you have decided not to believe larger forcings can lead to proportionately larger temperature changes for some reason.

        Yup. Because in hyper-complex non-linear systems there’s no reason to assume they do.

        I linked to an example above, why not go look for/at it?

        That looks like where you depart from rationality [..]

        Pure ad hominem.

        [… B]ecause you seem quite certain that the proportionality which the energy balance imposes is not there, and which like I said is a basic starting point for many skeptics.

        The “energy balance imposesnothing on time-scales of less than a century or so, as even Trenberth agrees (AFAIK).

        The same rules apply for 0.1 W/m2 forcing as for 1-5 W/m2 forcing, […]

        Yup. The bigger the “forcing”, the more likely it is to go non-linear in its effect.

        [… A]nd they have explanatory power for past climate change too.

        So what? That’s fine when you’re debating somebody who accepts the paradigm, but I don’t. Does my preferred alternative paradigm also potentially “have explanatory power for past climate change”? Yup. So it’s an irrelevant point.

      • You are denying that there is any such proportionality even in a 1% change in the energy balance. We have had 0.5% and it is proceeding as expected, but you are having none of it. Fine.

      • @Jim D…

        I’m “denying that […] any such proportionality even in a 1% change in the energy balancenecessarily exists. Evidence suggests it very well may not.

        And it’s notproceeding as expected”! The “Pause” wasn’t expected, and if you’ll review the literature, you’ll see a constant string of “explanations”, usually combined with predictions that it would end “real soon now”.

        You’re re-writing history. BAD alarmist!

      • The pause was just noise. It had no statistical significance relative to other 15-year periods in the record, and trends vary 100% on 15-year time-scales. Take 30-year-mean temperatures and its trend. That trend is robust within 10% since 1980. It’s to do with internal variability that dominates short periods, but not longer ones where forcing takes over.

      • The pause was just noise.

        That isn’t what anybody was saying then.

        You’re re-writing history. BAD alarmist!

      • Most people consider 30 years as climate, for the very reason that anything less is noisy and you shouldn’t trust shorter trends as representative of anything more than that period itself. The worst period for a trend is about 1.5 solar cycles because that gets aliased in.

      • How many papers prior to 2005 (say) can you find that talked about “30 years”?

        You’re re-writing history. BAD alarmist!

      • I think 30 years has been a climate definition for decades.

      • How many papers prior to 2005 can you find that talked about “30 years”?

        You’re re-writing history. BAD alarmist!

      • It is the WMO definition for example.

      • How many papers prior to 2005 (say) can you find that talked about “30 yearswith respect to the PAUSE?

        You’re re-writing history. BAD alarmist!

      • OK, try this one. It goes back as far as they can trace the WMO and its predecessor.
        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2010BAMS2955.1

      • OK! I’m done. I’m not going to waste any more of my 50/1000 posts and risk getting dumped back into moderation.

        Prof. Curry, I’ll try to limit myself. I got carried away with (snip).

      • The pause never reached the length to affect the climate by the 30-year definition. The 30-year trend is the same at the beginning and end of it likely because “the pause” was preceded by 15 years of rapid rise.

      • AK

        “@Steven (Trump Jr.) Mosher…
        who where? AK? captain, momo, Bad Andrew? Glenn?
        Turbulant eddy? YOU? David Hagen? Where is work
        showing that C02 will not cause warming? where?
        I never claimed to be a “scientist”, although I certainly (try to) use the scientific method in my own work. But that’s not the same.

        1. Thanks for getting the attempt to channel Trump.
        2. I have not seen you do anything close to the scientific method.

        Go write up your ideas, that would be a start.

      • I have not seen you do anything close to the scientific method.

        I’m here to do Socrates, not Bacon.

        Go write up your ideas, that would be a start.

        I’ve done it in summary, a few times here. It’s been done much better here, by somebody who knows the math much better than I do.

        For instance, How simple is simple? by Tomas Milanovic:

        […]

        The weather/climate system is arguably one of the most complex systems we know and this complexity is with us to stay. No analogy with statistical thermodynamics applies to this dissipative non equilibrium system so that an analogous simplification will not take place.

        Eliminating as oversimplified and irrelevant all low dimensional deterministic toy models, the simplest approximations are probably low dimensional chaotic empirical models based on a selection of observed dominant Fourier modes and analysis of their non linear interactions (Tsonis like models). A breakthrough in coupled map lattices theory generalizing to variable local oscillators would bring us even farther.

        The vulnerability of low dimensional chaotic simple models is that their predictive skills crucially depend on the validity of the founding hypothesis that the spatial and temporal Fourier modes used in the models are and stay dominating. As the time scale at which this hypothesis stays valid is unknown, the statistical predictability of the system via such models is necessarily limited in time.

      • Making squiggly lines with the intent of scaring people isn’t science.

        Andrew

      • David Springer

        I haven’t tried to get my name on a scientific paper on climate change, Mosher. That’s because I’m not a climate scientist and it would be ridiculous for me to pretend I was and it would undoubtedly detract from the paper if my name were on it given my lack of qualifications. You are even less qualified than me. But you… you want to be called a scientist without actually going out and getting PhD and have kissed enough ass and worked for free long enough being R-code monkey that Muller humored you and added your name to a vanity press paper and gave you an honorific title (with no other benefits) just to keep you working for free. Try to imagine how pathetic that is to onlookers.

      • Steven Mosher

        Thats funny David.
        you of all people should know that qualifications and degrees dont matter.
        what matters is actually doing the work.

      • Springer, et al.:

        Personally, I am impressed with Steven Mosher’s level of knowledge and, especially, his willingness to engage with and inform others. His wit is just an added bonus.

        As for the recurrent ad hominem/appeal to authority attacks against him, I am utterly unimpressed. For the sake of civility, I’ll just leave it at that.

      • If genuine qualifications don’t matter, why not trust your next surgery to someone who merely may have read a surgical text or performed a trial operation on a doll. The exhortation to “just do it,” without any serious scientific consideration of results obtained, is a superficial sales appeal to an immature audience.

      • David Springer

        Being paid to do something by definition makes one a professional. I was paid in the millions of dollars by Intel, Microsoft, and finally Dell in salary and benefits for senior R&D engineering positions. I was lured out of college in 1982 by a small company who offered me a salary I couldn’t refuse. A year later the product, a portable computer designed by me and one other guy (hardware and BIOS) was pictured on the cover of Popular Science Magazine.

        So yeah, I understand how one can become a professional without a shingle in some circumstances.

        How much have you been paid under that scientist title @ Berkeley earth?

      • David L. Hagen

        Mosher
        See Roy Spencer’s papers linked at:
        Another Potential Reason Why Climate Sensitivity is Over-Estimated June 2nd, 2016

        BUT if it is instead a time-varying radiative imbalance causing a surface temperature change (causation reversed), then you cannot diagnose feedbacks.
        If you try, then you will usually diagnose positive feedback, even if strongly negative feedback exists. Our most complete analysis of the effect was described here.

        See: On the diagnosis of radiative feedback in the presence of unknown radiative forcing

        [1] The impact of time‐varying radiative forcing on the diagnosis of radiative feedback from satellite observations of the Earth is explored. Phase space plots of variations in global average temperature versus radiative flux reveal linear striations and spiral patterns in both satellite measurements and in output from coupled climate models. A simple forcing‐feedback model is used to demonstrate that the linear striations represent radiative feedback upon nonradiatively forced temperature variations, while the spiral patterns are the result of time‐varying radiative forcing generated internal to the climate system. Only in the idealized special case of instantaneous and then constant radiative forcing, a situation that probably never occurs either naturally or anthropogenically, can feedback be observed in the presence of unknown radiative forcing. This is true whether the unknown radiative forcing is generated internal or external to the climate system. In the general case, a mixture of both unknown radiative and nonradiative forcings can be expected, and the challenge for feedback diagnosis is to extract the signal of feedback upon nonradiatively forced temperature change in the presence of the noise generated by unknown time‐varying radiative forcing. These results underscore the need for more accurate methods of diagnosing feedback from satellite.

      • A: ( In white coat.) ‘So what do you do, B?’

        B: ( In fluffy dressing gown.) ‘Oh I’m a lazy sceptic.
        I jest loll around all day reading blogs like CA and
        Ce. Try ter understand the papers ‘n graphs they
        present. What do you do, B?’

        A: ‘Oh I’m a crazy climate scientist. I jest toil
        all day, sometimes even long into the night)
        crazily creating climate models that represent
        real world weather dynamics, crazily cherry-picking
        data, picking start and end-games, making projections
        about catasstrophic globul warming that the 97%
        consenssus will accept.’

        B:Guess a crazy climate scientist who’s always on
        the go is nuthin’ like a lazy sceptic. B. Pro’ly we’re
        jest talkin’ right past each other… Must try
        imaginatively, yet lazily, to take on a different POV,
        that’s what sceptics do, we’re not supposed to be
        energetically dogmatic, jest a bit on the low IQ side,
        (puts on green hat) …Hmmm takes a lotta’ work
        modelling our fuzzy climate, assuming, selecting,
        attributing, simulating,adjusting, occasionally gate-
        keeping. Jest thinking about all that wears me out!
        …Hafta’ go and take a nap.

      • Errata … coupla’ A/B confusions. You climate scientists
        out there werk it out fer yr selves, I’m takin’ a nap.

  27. What if turns out the we, and our times, are no more or less significant than any other?
    Seems that we may live in a self adjusting system and things even out in the end.
    Sometimes I think the tiny, barely perceptible but fatal, flaw in modern science is that it requires that we are special.

    • catweazle666

      That is exactly right, RR.

      We can no more significantly alter the climate with our puny efforts than we can significantly alter the time the sun rises and sets.

      To believe otherwise is hubris of the highest order, and will surely come back to bite us in the backside – big style.

    • Steven Mosher

      what if it turns out that we live in the matrix????

      questions questions questions

      • Do it with feeling this time Steven. Earth year 360 days…

        2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

        you can do the math.

      • What the heck Steven. Did your calculator batteries fail?

      • They know all about the weather and want to tell us everything they know today. Questions, questions, question why Peter, would talk about the dilation of time…and then write it down for all of us, just two days ago?

  28. In the broadest sense there are two classes of clouds – those than precipitate either rain or snow or those that only obscure or block radiation. Clearly the former has the greatest impact of the biosphere so given the increased level of global vegetation it appears there must be a trend towards more clouds that precipitate moisture. Following that logic the planet must have a higher albedo reflecting away more solar energy thus cooling the planet. That must be why keep hitting record high surface temperatures – so simple.

    • Steven Mosher

      I prefer this paper http://curry.eas.gatech.edu/currydoc/Curry_JGR100.pdf

      why? no crazy claims about there being no greenhouse effect.

    • Interesting. I would bet you could increase CO2 to 1200 ppm and it still wouldn’t raise the surface temperature enough to melt the ice if the humidity was near zero.

    • The lack of amplified Arctic warming is seen in records from weather stations around the Arctic circle.

      https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2016/05/06/arctic-warming-unalarming/

    • This is getting tedious.

      a) The strength of the greenhouse effect of CO2 depends crucially on the presence of H2O and vice versa. Therefore, the magnitude of the effect of CO2 is going to vary with humidity. Antarctica has extremely low humidity and can therefore be expected to have a weaker CO2 greenhouse effect.

      b) Antarctica has very low insolation, meaning there is relatively weak IR emission from the surface for the atmosphere to absorb. Increasing CO2 concentrations in this regime increases emission without any change to absorption, which cools the atmosphere. This is precisely the same effect that cools the stratosphere.

      c) The 20 year old claim that there is no greenhouse effect over Greenland is presented within paragraphs of a very recent paper suggesting there is a greenhouse effect over Greenland. We have a number of ways of putting this together. (1) There was no greenhouse effect apparent in 1993 but there is now, in which case the 1993 paper is out of date and irrelevant (2) The 1993 paper was able to distinguish the cloud driven greenhouse effect from the CO2 effect and establish that the latter effect is negligible – in which case the 2016 paper is simple plagiarism (3) one or both papers are simply wrong. I would suggest the simplest interpretation is option 1: a 20 year old paper no longer represents the cutting edge of modern observations. Moving from this hypothesis I note that there is no claim in the 2016 paper that there is no CO2 greenhouse effect over Greenland. Their primary result is that cloud-induced greenhouse effects are significant which is not at all the same thing.

      • Maybe if you understood the “greenhouse effect” better…

      • AK,

        Your comment is spurious. If you feel there is something I have misunderstood I invite you to explain it.

      • I have no idea whether you’ve misunderstood, or do understand the underlying theory and are just doing an execrable job of translating it into English. Take these statements:

        The strength of the greenhouse effect of CO2 depends crucially on the presence of H2O and vice versa. […] Antarctica has extremely low humidity and can therefore be expected to have a weaker CO2 greenhouse effect.

        I can’t figure out any way that could match up with how it really works.

        Antarctica has very low insolation, meaning there is relatively weak IR emission from the surface for the atmosphere to absorb.

        That might make sense if you’re talking about net insolation, after subtracting reflected SW. But the real reason “there is relatively weak IR emission from the surface for the atmosphere to absorb” is the very low surface temperature. (If, for instance, the surface temperature were raised by factors other than insolation, there would be more “IR emission from the surface for the atmosphere to absorb” despite “very low insolation”.)

        It’s hard enough to even approach rigor using English to describe something that really needs differential equations, this lack of rigor just makes it worse.

        OTOH, I wonder whether there’s any point in such technical critique of an article (at NoTricksZone) that appears to be adding apples, oranges, bananas, and watermelons, and getting garbage. GIGO.

        As far as I can tell without wasting more time on it than it (IMO) deserves, the writer(s?) appears not to understand the difference between local effects, and heating due to “planetary” effects. While I’m highly skeptical of the notion that “the globe is getting warmer due to more GHG’s”, I’m even more skeptical of any assumption that the “cause” of warming at the poles has to be the “greenhouse effect” at the poles.

        The planet has huge energy transport mechanisms, and it seems ludicrous to me that somebody would assume that a greater “greenhouse effect” in the tropics couldn’t result in extra warming at the poles. AFAIK no practicing climate scientist would sign up for such a notion.

  29. Dr. Curry. I love it when you talk science :)

    You mentioned rain as a proxy for clouds, but many times there are clouds for long periods with no rain. Plus, the rain/precipitation proxies are mostly (all?) indirect like tree rings and ice cores.

    Do you know of any “cloud cover” proxies?

  30. Pingback: Climate Change Scam Smoking Gun – The Cloud Conundrum – Climate Viewer News

  31. As to scientists changing their thinking, Lord Kelvin wrote in one of early books –

    “… The conversion of heat (or caloric) into mechanical effect is probably impossible, certainly undiscovered”

    Experiments carried out by Baron Rumford and Joule eventually caused him to abandon caloric theory.

    In like manner, true scientists may initially believe that the greenhouse effect not only raises surface temperatures, but also maintains an elevated temperature through nights and seasonal changes, resulting in increased average surface temperatures year on year, for example.

    As the impact of this sinks in, and as experimental support fails to eventuate, it is likely that estimates of the supposed effect will steadily decrease. Slowly, slowly, the supposed quantitative calculated result will reduce. When it is generally accepted that the CO2 warming effect cannot be distinguished from zero, the matter can be quietly abandoned and forgotten.

    This is not a prediction of course, just a possible scenario.

    It would remove the need to try to find historical and scientific cloud data, so that present poorly performing climate models can be tweaked to reflect history. Any other presently unused weather parameters, which may also prove to be important when factored into a chaotic non linear interaction, can also be ignored.

    Clouds? In the tropics, standing in the shade of a cloud when the sun is blazing results in cooling. At night, clouds slow the rate at which surface radiation flees to space. Combined with high humidity, makes you wish for the cloud free dry season nights.

    Good luck with incorporating their effects into a useful numerical weather model.

    Cheers.

    • a) Without any thermal inertia from the atmosphere the Earth would have a climate like the moon. It does not – hence the thermal inertia of the atmosphere is critical to habitability.

      b) Accounting for thermal inertia but neglecting radiative transfer effects (or greenhouse effects) would leave the Earth permanently in a snowball state. We observe the Earth to not be in a snowball state therefore there must exist some radiative positive feedback that warms the atmosphere and surface. This warming can be directly observed to be supplied by greenhouse gases (by examining IR spectra at the top of the atmosphere).

      c) The suggestion that “real scientists” might abandon the “greenhouse effect” is as likely as scientists abandoning the first law of thermodynamics.

      d) The insertion of IR-absorbing material into the atmosphere changes what is called the “optical depth” of the atmosphere. Venus is an extreme example of this effect. Like Earth, Venus radiates as much energy as it receives from the sun. But the radiated energy comes only from the very top of the atmosphere, the atmosphere is too optically thick for the temperature at the surface to have any effect on outgoing radiation. As the atmosphere gets thicker, the radiating layer gets higher and higher. The temperature of the radiating layer is roughly constant, raising it changes the distribution of heat within the atmosphere, producing significant warming at the surface for most atmospheres.

      • Yes, it is the density of the atmosphere that matters and not radiative capability.

        Density is a function of the strength of the gravitational field and the amount of mass in the atmosphere.

        Non radiative atmospheric mass acquires energy from the surface via conduction and convection and so is just as capable of warming the surface through those mechanisms.

      • Stephen Wilde,

        You are quite simply incorrect. Thermal inertia is a function of density, yes, but as I observed above, if thermal inertia were the only factor involved then the Earth would be in a snowball state. Incoming solar radiation on its own is not enough to raise mean temperature much above 250 K.

        “Non radiative atmospheric mass acquires energy from the surface via conduction and convection and so is just as capable of warming the surface through those mechanisms.”

        If the atmosphere is acquiring energy from the surface then it cannot warm the surface. What you describe is a thermodynamic impossibility. Heat flows from the hotter body to the cooler, you can’t heat the atmosphere to be hotter than the surface through surface-driven heating.

      • Anthiny Purcell,

        a) The atmosphere prevents around 30% of the Sun’s energy from reaching the surface. It is impossible to achieve temperatures in excess of 95 C using the unconcentrated rays of the Sun, unlike the Moon, where temperatures routinely exceed 100 C for the same exposure time and reflectivity, inclination etc.

        b) No snowball state is possible at present. The Earth is a big blob of molten rock, surrounded by a very thin crust of cooler rock. The Sun’s radiation, combined with the present surface temperature of the of the molten blob on which we live, makes your snowball theory impossible. At the Equator, at sea level, given the amount of insolation large deep bodies of water cannot freeze to the crust. The temperature gradient within the crust is in excess of 20 K/km. Water at a depth of 5 km is surrounded by rock at something like 100 C. The water cannot lose heat fast enough to freeze.

        c) Real scientists, such as Lord Kelvin, John Tyndall, and others changed their minds, based on observed fact and experiment. Your misinterpretation of the first law of dynamics is one one widely shared by climatologists. Anybody silly enough to believe that an Earth which has cooled for four and a half billion years, (bathed in continuous sunlight), has lost precisely as much energy as it has received, is probably a Warmist. Or somewhat deluded.

        At the moment, the Earth’s internally generated heat is quite small small compared with the past. It is probably around the equivalent of 20 tonnes of matter converted to energy per annum according to geophysicists. That’s an awful lot of Hiroshimas! Less than one gram of matter converted to energy at Hiroshima. There’s a lot of grams in twenty tonnes or so!

        And yet, the Earth continues to cool, in line with laws of physics as we know them.

        d) ERL, TOA, Venus – Warmist Weasel Words – the usual fatuous nonsense.

        No greenhouse effect. Never has been, never will be. Just as with Uri Geller bending spoons – cannot be demonstrated in the presence of unbelievers. Not happening. At the very least, never been demonstrated by any repeatable scientific experiment. Cargo Cult science at its finest!

        If you want to disagree, would you mind quoting me directly? Shrieking abuse at me won’t help me to find any mistakes I may have inadvertently made.

        Cheers.

      • Michael Flynn,

        a) Yes, the subsolar point on the moon gets hotter than Earth. Then, when it gets dark, the moon gets substantially colder than Earth. The average equatorial temperature of the moon is 220 K which is much colder than the mean equatorial temperature of Earth (300 K).

        b1) At the ocean floor water temperature is directly observable and varies across the deep ocean between 0 and -1.9 degrees celsius. Your assertion that oceanic lithosphere has a surface temperature of 100 degrees C is demonstrably untrue.

        b2) For the oceans to freeze over requires only a cold surface temperature since ice floats.

        b3) The geothermal temperature gradient in K/km is completely irrelevant. What matters is the rate at which temperature can move through and out of the rock. Rock is a very effective thermal insulator and the flow of heat out of the Earth’s interior is negligibly small. Fourier was able to demonstrate in 1827 that heat flux from the Earth’s interior was entirely negligible compared to atmospheric heat content. This result still stands.

        b4) The reason we are not in a snowball state is due entirely to the greenhouse effect. Dr Curry will tell you the exact same thing. If you do not believe her why are you here?

        c) We can directly observe the rate at which energy comes out of the crust: For continental crust that is about 71 milli-Watts per square metre. For oceanic lithosphere the rate is about 105 milli-watts per square metre. By way of comparison the Earth’s surface receives an average of 169.3 Watts per square metre of solar radiation. This is at least two orders of magnitude larger. We can tell by direct observation that loss of heat through the Earth’s surface is minuscule when compared to insolation.

        d) The blanket denial that there is a greenhouse effect is simply incorrect. Again, Fourier worked out what Earth’s surface temperature would be if the atmosphere did not regulate temperature. Tyndall identified which atmospheric components absorb Infra-Red. These basic mechanisms are confirmed by laboratory experiments and satellite observations of outgoing radiation at the top of atmosphere.

      • Mike Flynn

        Anthony Purcell,

        a) You agree with me, apparently. Rushing into a Wobbly Warmist Whirligig, and flying off into the worn out average temperature orbit doesn’t work – being irrelevant and misleading.

        One to me.

        b) I didn’t mention a lithosphere surface temperature, did I? Another one to me.

        As to your attempts to disregard the Earth’s heat loss, all I can say is that heat loss shows cooling. Small, but measurable. No heating. As to Fourier, I don’t believe you have actually read what he said. My rough translation of one part is “at night the Earth gives all the heat it received through the day, back to space, and additionally a part of its own heat.’

        I happen to agree. Clever fellow, Fourier. Rock is not a terribly good insulator, actually. Look up published R values. That’s why the Earth is cooling – no perfect insulator to be found.

        As to believing Dr Curry, is this another Warmist attempt to deny, divert, and confuse? Dr Curry’s stated beliefs seem to have changed over the years. She seemed to have been cast down as a heretic by the leaders of the Warmist Church of Latter Day Scientism. I’m here because I’m here, I suppose.

        For b), I award one to me.

        c) Unfortunately for you, as Fourier pointed out, at night there is no insolation. Four and a half billion years of insolation has been unable to prevent the Earth from cooling, by the look of things.

        Another one to me.

        d) You are correct about some of Tyndall’s work. Unfortunately, you haven’t read Tyndall’s conclusions. Anything that can be heated, also cools. Tyndall demonstrated this, and also explained why heat absorbing gases transmit less heat to the surface than they absorb. Of course, no Warmist has ever managed to perform a repeatable scientific experiment showing the wondrous CO2 greenhouse effect. Ever. Cargo Cult sciency stuff, not real science, verifiable by experiment.

        None for you, another one for me.

        Gee, the Earth seems to be keeping on with four and a half billion years of cooling. I win.

        Cheers.

      • Michael Flynn,

        What warms must cool. But if there is an ongoing flux of energy into the system there is a limit to how cool it can get.

        There is no insolation at night which is why the dark side of the moon drops to 150 K. Why does the same not happen on Earth? It doesn’t happen because heat can’t get out of the atmosphere quickly enough because of the effect of IR absorption on radiative flux.

        You cling to the frankly mystifying belief that somehow heat transfer out of the Earth has some significant influence on global climate. It does not. It cannot. It is orders of magnitude order smaller than the other drivers.

        Dr Curry published a paper last year in which she determined climate sensitivity to CO2. The number she derived was somewhat smaller than the consensus but it was NOT zero – which is the value you require.

        This is the last exchange we will have.

  32. Judith,

    A “fun” job for a graduate student with the patience of Job might be to go through the hourly data recorded at most airports.

    This data includes the ceiling, precipitation, visibility and what is obscuring visibility: fog, mist, rain, sleet, snow, hail and smoke, yes smoke.

    Maybe some sort of cloud trend could be derived for these locations.

    The data for Toronto has numerous days where visibility is limited by smoke. Interestingly, the number of smoke days peters out to zero during the 1970’s.

  33. Pingback: CERN Debunks Climate Change Models – The Cloud Conundrum – Climate Viewer News

  34. The spectral properties of ice and liquid water are fairly similar and differ considerably from vapor.

    From the surface perspective masses of liquid water (and ice) absorption coefficients indicate inefficient capture of incident solar energy.

    Vapor, which must be abundant wherever clouds form, is a surprisingly efficient absorber of solar near IR. These bands can be seen as the “shark bites” out of the left side of the solar irradiance curve above.

    While individual molecules in their respective phases account for the spectral quanta, it seems likely that liquid water in the atmosphere (clouds etc.), surrounded by the vapor phase, is a different animal than the oceans. Likewise, ice clouds in the stratosphere seem a far cry from glaciers.

    • Yes, clouds are different from oceans or glaciers. This is well known.

      A word of warning about absorption spectra. The absorption characteristics of any material vary with pressure and temperature in intricate ways. They also vary depending on what other molecules are available for collision. These effects actually have a significant impact on both CO2 and H2O in Earth’s atmosphere.

      • Anthony, “A word of warning about absorption spectra. The absorption characteristics of any material vary with pressure and temperature in intricate ways. They also vary depending on what other molecules are available for collision. These effects actually have a significant impact on both CO2 and H2O in Earth’s atmosphere.”

        So true. It is odd though that when a “skeptic” mentions temperature and pressure dependence most believers revert to the simplistic linear models. The situation in the Antarctic was more of a surprise for believers than skeptics.

        Orientation is also an issue with absorption. Clouds topped with super cooled liquid water would be a negative feedback to warming but most models only consider a simplistic “standard” liquid bottom orientation.

        Since you mentioned the PETM, what impact would you consider the 50 + thousand year geomagentic field reversal might have had on climate and life in general?

      • Of course. In addition to pressure/temperature “broadening” towards the surface there are isotopologues, rotational sublines, etc; but surely the laboratory derived coefficients are a decent outline of the behavior.

        In fact, the most significant effect (far more than concentration) on CO2 and H2O in the earth’s atmosphere is synoptic pressure. The “greenhouse” effects of these molecules is amplified under a synoptic ridge and reduced under a trough far more than any human concentration increase can achieve.

      • That would fit the contention I’ve been putting forward for near 10 years now.
        The distribution of troughs and ridges is the negative system response that prevents any overall surface temperature change from radiative capability within an atmosphere.

      • captdallas2 – You are incorrect to suggest that the Antarctic situation is more of a surprise to “believers”.

        Pressure dependence is reasonably well represented by relatively simple scaling, temperature dependence varies significantly from line to line and is modelled as such in professional radiative transfer code.

        Cloud structure is something that is difficult to take into account in global scale models. Even so, there is very little evidence to support the claim that global-scale patterns of cloud formation have changed in any sort of systematic fashion.

        There is no evidence that geomagnetic reversals have an adverse impact on life. The last such event was 800,000 years ago, and there were three others between 0.8 and 1.2 million years ago with any noticeable impact.

      • Stephen Wilde & Gymnosperm,

        The suggestion that synoptic pressure has a significant impact on global patterns of CO2 and H2O absorption is really quite mystifying.

        If this is your explanation for the recently observed warming trend then what is causing the change in synoptic behaviour? Generally synoptic patterns respond to temperature changes, which would quickly makes for a circular argument.

        If your argument is that this shows that CO2 greenhouse effect is negligible you are demonstrably incorrect, the temporal and spatial change in CO2 absorption can be monitored by satellite and has been for the past 40 years. The observed patterns of pressure broadening are exactly in accord with the results expected from laboratory experiment and observations of the change in CO2 concentration.

        To give some idea why horizontal pressure gradients tend to be second order at best it should be noted that pressure drops from 10000 Pa to 2650 Pa (about 73.5%) over 10 km if you move vertically. A 2000 Pa (or 20%) pressure change over length scales of many hundreds of kilometres is vastly less significant.

        Further, synoptic effects are restricted to a relatively small portion of the atmosphere.

      • Anthony,

        Seems like a lot of effort and a lot of hype for something that obviously shouldn’t exist :) I guess their aren’t believers.

        Mid-level liquid layer topped stratiform and thin mid-level mixed phase clouds in the tropics seem to have been forgotten. There are even issues with the meridional tilt of tropical clouds even though a few thousand meters is of course negligible for up/down radiant modelers.

      • For a moment there I forgot I was dealing with a “skeptic”.

        The magnitude and sign of the CO2 greenhouse effect can be determined by observing surface temperature (which can be used to infer the rate of IR emission) and top of atmosphere IR spectra by satellite. When we do so we see that the CO2 emission is leading to atmospheric cooling.

        Does this mean that Antarctica is getting cooler?

        By no means. This would only be the case if there were no lateral heat transport mechanisms operating around the Antarctic. Unfortunately there are such mechanisms and they transport quite significant amounts of heat which are making Antarctica warmer.

        If you cannot work that out on your own this conversation is going to quickly become very tiresome.

      • Anthony, “Unfortunately there are such mechanisms and they transport quite significant amounts of heat which are making Antarctica warmer.”

      • Anthony Purcell,

        C’mon. By any metric you choose, daytime high, night time low; temperatures under a synoptic ridge are several degrees higher. The putative human warming is less than a degree.

        The lapse rate is not the issue. The higher you go in the troposphere the less the warming. Pretty much zero at the tropopause. Negative in the stratosphere.

        The warming is all taking place near the surface. The warm air rises, but gets chewed up by the lapse rate.

      • Anthony Purcell | June 5, 2016 at 10:33 pm |

        Does this mean that Antarctica is getting cooler?

        By no means. This would only be the case if there were no lateral heat transport mechanisms operating around the Antarctic.


        http://web.archive.org/web/20041014223623/http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abstracts/2004/ShindellSchmidt1.html

        According to UCAR and NASA the Antarctic is cooling.

        This would mean you are wrong. Yes the Antarctic is getting cooler.

      • Thank you for your decade old reference.

        There is no statistically significant positive trend in Eastern Antarctica, but there is no negative trend either. There is however a very large positive trend over Western Antarctica. I cite:

        Long‑term persistence enhances uncertainty about anthropogenic
        warming of Antarctica
        Ludescher et al.
        Clim Dyn (2016) 46:263–271
        DOI 10.1007/s00382-015-2582-5

        I can easily find half a dozen other such studies if you wish.

        My suggestion is that you actually keep up with the literature.

      • anthony, “Long‑term persistence enhances uncertainty about anthropogenic warming of Antarctica”

        What a shock, I’ll have to remember that

      • Hard to make the case it is warming since 2000. Perhaps you would like to post measured temperatures instead of a philosophy of temperature measurement study.

        The Antarctic Peninsula has relatively little ice. It is warming. Not clear if it is warming due to volcanoes or just not enough ice on top to keep it cool. With so little ice it isn’t clear we really care if it melts. The main pack is gaining ice and that is good enough.

        Further, I am alarmed by the reasoning skills of the “Antarctic Warmers”. The Arctic is losing sea ice because it is warmer. The Antarctic is gaining sea ice … because it is warmer??? The effect of temperature on ice in Antarctica doesn’t work different just because it is upside down.

      • It is extremely clear that the Antarctic Peninsula is not melting due to volcanism. Were this the case there would be structural changes over the volcanoes rather than at the ocean-ice interface. I defy you to find a peer-reviewed paper asserting that volcanism is the driving cause.

        There is very clear evidence of atmospheric temperature rise over the Antarctic peninsula, the existence of one sloppy graphic does not suggest otherwise.

  35. From the article:

    Models fail to reproduce the observed annual cycle in all components of the albedo with any realism, although they broadly capture the correct proportions of surface and atmospheric contributions to the TOA albedo. A high model bias of albedo has also persisted since the time of CMIP3, mostly during the boreal summer season. Perhaps more importantly, models fail to produce the same degree of interannual constraint on the albedo variability nor do they reproduce the same degree of hemispheric symmetry. The significance of these shortcomings is not yet fully known, but model studies of hypothetical slab-ocean worlds suggest that interhemispheric changes in albedo can grossly affect the climate states of those worlds, shifting the ITCZ [Voigt et al., 2013, 2014; Frierson and Hwang, 2012] and altering the amount of heat moved poleward [e.g., Enterton and Marshall, 2010].

    http://webster.eas.gatech.edu/Papers/albedo2015.pdf

  36. David Springer

    Steven Mosher | June 4, 2016 at 11:40 am |

    “I never claimed to be a scientist”

    Bald faced lie.

    • David Springer

      Ground breaking. Put himself as the first named author ahead of senior PhD climate scientists. Needless to say he isn’t actually the first named author this is just part of his pretending to be important.

    • @David Springer…

      He was quoting me. Of course, if he made more of an effort to distinguish quotes from answers, there would be less confusion.

      OTOH, if you made more of an effort to understand what he was saying, rather than chopping something completely out of context, there would also be less confusion.

      Oh, BTW, you don’t need a degree or anything else to be a “Data Scientist”. You just need the title. Lots of businesses offer that title. OTOH, I would rate an failure to use proper English even more unfortunate in a “Data Scientist”.

      • David Springer

        I’m repeatedly offended by LinkIn when asked if I know “Steven Mosher, Scientist at Berkeley Earth”. I know Mosher, and I know scientists, but I don’t any scientists named Mosher. I hate poseurs. There’s nothing out of context I took from his LinkedIn profile.

      • I’m trying this on:

        Bad Andrew, Scientist at Climate Etc.

        Hey, it’s climate science. What’s not to like?

        Andrew

      • There’s nothing out of context I took from his LinkedIn profile.

        I don’t care about how you feel about his LinkedIn profile.

        What I care about is where you quoted him saying:

        “I never claimed to be a scientist”

        … That was me. He was quoting me. As you’d (probably, assuming you have the intelligence you seem to think you have) have noticed if you hadn’t been looking for something to grab out of context.

  37. “I am impressed with Steven Mosher’s level of knowledge”

    No wonder this joke has gone on as long as it has.

    Andrew

    • David Springer

      Steven Mosher | June 4, 2016 at 11:33 am |

      “Here is what I know: a long while ago Eric Steig challenged skeptics ( jeff id) to do his own science! And Jeff took up the challenge. With great results. So I’m telling you guys.. please please.. do your own science.”

      You must be sh*tting me. There are NO great results in climate science you deluded fool. After 50 years ECS estimates are still stuck at 1.5C – 4.5C.

      Fifty f*cking years with no progress. Not only are there no great results there are no significant results, no notable results, no nothing. Climate science is the very definition of moribund. It’s pure entertainment for me because everything is arguable and it touches on all my favorite subjects; science, religion, and politics. It’s great fun but ultimately a monumental waste of time and money as far as anything practical coming out of it.

  38. Dr Curry

    I bring your attention to the PETM and associated extinction event. This was a 5 degree warming of the global oceans over 20-30 ka. The associated carbon isotope excursion suggests that this event was driven by volcanic CO2 emissions – most probably associated with the formation of the Deccan Traps (perhaps with the aid of clathrate emissions oxidised in the water column to release CO2).

    This event was two orders of magnitude slower than the warming we are observing and was not impacting already stressed and isolated habitats and ecosystems made vulnerable by human activity. The more rapid warming in the modern event and the unusual vulnerability of the modern environment suggests that the current warming will have a vastly more dramatic impact.

    The existence of the PETM suggests that (a) there’s a very hard limit on the efficiency of trees as climate dampers (b) Gaia may be fine, but species above the extinction threshold of 3 kg should perhaps be less sanguine.

    I will also point out that satellite data allows us to directly monitor the albedo and greenhouse effects of clouds through time which gives us a reasonable idea of how variable that effect might be.

    • If you’re attributing the K-Pg mass extinction to the PETM, your explanation is highly speculative and not in line with the current scientific consensus (Chicxulub impact event).

      I also think you are overly optimistic in suggesting that current satellite data is adequate for quantifying cloud effects.

      • You are incorrect, the K-Pg and PETM extinction events are different things. There are two extinction events, not one.

        I suggest also that the argument for volcanic emissions playing a part in the K-Pg extinction event is stronger than you give credit for.

        Obviously you are right, we should proceed with our modelling on the basis of no data rather than the data we have.

      • From the USGS –

        “The Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau to the north have risen very rapidly. In just 50 million years, peaks such as Mt. Everest have risen to heights of more than 9 km. The impinging of the two landmasses has yet to end. The Himalayas continue to rise more than 1 cm a year — a growth rate of 10 km in a million years! If that is so, why aren’t the Himalayas even higher? Scientists believe that the Eurasian Plate may now be stretching out rather than thrusting up, and such stretching would result in some subsidence due to gravity.”

        Gee. I wonder if sea levels changed? Where did the mass consumed by the raising the Himalayas come from? I suppose a computer model could just create mass from nothing. There, problem solved!

        Or you might wonder about the scientific rigour backing up the following statement in Wiki re the supposed Eocene Thermal Maximum –

        “Somehow the carbon input was coupled to an increase in Earth surface temperature and a greater seasonality in precipitation, which explains the excess terrestrial sediment discharge along continental margins.”

        This is akin to saying “At this point, magic occurs!”

        Somehow, something unknown explains something else! If you are particularly gullible that is.

        All perfectly reasonable to believers.

        Cheers.

      • Ok, I suggest you look up the Deccan Traps. This was a significant and protracted volcanic event that released a significant quantity of isotopically heavy CO2.

        This is not magic.

      • Mike Flynn

        Anthony Purcell,

        Your Warmist attempt to deny, divert, and confuse fails yet again.

        If you read what I quoted, you will note –

        Somehow the carbon input was coupled to an increase in Earth surface temperature . . .

        The Deccan Traps don’t appear to relate to “somehow”. The coupling of carbon input to temperature increase occurred “somehow”.

        One could replace the word “somehow” with the word “magically”, and preserve the meaning. Maybe “somehow” is considered more sciency than “magically”.

        Maybe you could define the “somehow” in some scientific manner? Or was the author really hoping that nobody would notice his invocation of magic to support his baseless assertions?

        More Warmist Waffling, I suspect.

        Cheers,

      • Mike Flynn,

        Actually, I do not consider myself obligated to explain or defend writings or utterances that are not mine. Most especially those taken from a wiki. I suggest that you read a text book if you wish to have things explained in detail. My personal favourite is Ray Pierrehumbert’s “Principles of Planetary Climate”.

        You talk about “mass consumed” in creating the Himalayas. What on Earth are you talking about?

      • The issue under consideration was whether tectonic effects could change global mean temperature on the time scales of thousands. The answer is: no they can’t.

        Interpreting my post as a suggestion that global circulation patterns are irrelevant to mean temperature is, again, a cheap shot.

      • Mike Flynn

        Anthony Purcell,

        Raymond Pierrehumbert? Surely you jest!

        As to mass consumed in creating the Himalayas, I am not surprised at your lack of knowledge. It is shared by Warmists who do not realise that uplift of the crust must necessarily be balanced by an equivalent redistribution of mass elsewhere, resulting in an equivalent subsidence.

        The effect of the uplift and subsidence may be to drastically alter sea levels in an unpredictable way, as the physics involve mass transport within the Earth, probably involving fluid dynamics at least within the core, likely within the mantle, and apparently within the crust, albeit very slowly.

        For example, Mt Everest is currently rising by around 5cm per annum, but this rate changes unpredictably. Is the compensating subsidence required by conservation of mass occurring under an ocean somewhere?

        Nobody knows the results of such mass transport within the Earth. Certainly, Warmists appear to have even less clue than specialists in the field.

        With your new found understanding of the Earth’s conservation of mass, maybe you can tell me where the increasing mass above the geoid is compensated for by a reduction below. As the shape of the geoid is constantly changing, in line with mass transport and redistribution, I don’t believe you or any other Warmist can. Rather, you just ignore inconvenient facts, and stick with bizarre computer generated fantasies.

        That’s how it seems to me, anyway.

        Cheers.

      • Mike Flynn,

        I am a professional geophysicist, I model sea level change for a living. Your understanding of the physical processes involved is, unsurprisingly, grotesquely inaccurate and confused. There is no mass “consumed” in any tectonic motion or glacio-isostatic adjustment.

      • catweazle666

        Anthony Purcell: “I am a professional geophysicist, I model sea level change for a living.”

        Key word being “model”, of course.

        Pardon me for being unimpressed.

      • Anthony Purcell,

        You may be a geophysicist, but so is Michael Mann. Have you also claimed to have shared in a Nobel Prize, or divined the future from examining tree rings? I apologise for my quasi-humorous assessment of Michael Mann. He certainly doesn’t need my assistance to impersonate a blundering balding bearded buffoon!

        But back to geophysics. You say you model sea levels. Do your models reflect reality? Maybe they are about as useful as climatological models, which is to say, not at all.

        My question to you was –

        ” . . . maybe you can tell me where the increasing mass above the geoid is compensated for by a reduction below.”

        If I have a poor understanding of the physics involved, I would appreciate your advice, in detail. My understanding of the Himalayan orogenesis is that it is due in large part to plate movements. This might result in the deepening of an associated ocean floor trench in the subduction zone.

        In the absence of confounding factors, this would necessarily lead to a decrease in sea levels, due to the effective mass displacement from below sea level to above sea level.

        Pardon my lay use of terms, but unlike you, I am not a geophysicist.

        So, what yearly mass displacement do you plug into your computer to reflect vertical and lateral movements of the Himalayan range? Or are you just kidding me, and playing with useless amateur toy models, at someone else’s expense? Really – I wouldn’t mind knowing more.

        If I’m wrong, just let me know. A cogent explanation, stating why, would suit me better than the usual pointless torrent of Warmist abuse. Trying to be gratuitously offensive might be a waste of your no doubt valuable time (working on your sea level models, of course). I usually decline to take offense. Facts will shut me up more or less instantly, of course. For example, I accept tectonic plate movement as a fact, and I accept the fact that the atom is not indivisible.

        Lay it on me, bro!

        Cheers.

      • Over the past ten million years there is no evidence to suggest that there has been a significant change in the total volume of the ocean basins or the mass of water on the Earth’s surface.

        The Earth is not expanding, which means that wherever there is uplift it must be matched somewhere else by a corresponding subsidence. For example, there is uplift at mid ocean ridges and sub-oceanic volcanos, but this is compensated for by subduction at the plate boundaries. It is therefore unsurprising that ocean volume is not impacted by tectonic effects.

        On time-scales smaller than ten million years tectonic effects on global mean sea level are negligible, though they may be very important when analysing tectonically active sites. The most striking example of tectonic effects on local sea level is Huon Peninsula in Papua New Guinea.

        The Himalayan uplift is compensated for by thickening of the underlying continental lithosphere which is significantly less dense than mantle material. The mass column is preserved by displacing the denser mantle material with lighter continental lithosphere. This produces a localised surface gravity anomaly but has negligible impact on sea surface elevation because the Himalayas are a long way from the ocean.

      • Mike Flynn

        Anthony Purcell,

        You can find the rest of this easily. It tickled me as it came from curry.eas.gatech . . .

        “Estimates of sea level change from changing ocean shape remain quite uncertain. Magnitudes and timing of stretching associated with continental breakup, estimates of shortening during continental assembly, volumes of large igneous provinces, and volumes of mid-ocean ridges improve as data are gathered. However, the exact configuration of past continents and oceans can only be a mystery due to the recycling character of plate tectonics.”

        As to your comment about tectonic movements of less than 10,000,000 years being negligible in terms of sea level, may I point out that even at a constan 5cm per year, over 10,000,000 years, the displacement is of course 50,000,000 centimetres. Quite a lot, even in kilometres. It’s all well and good to claim that volumes vertically displaced in opposite directions will balance exactly resulting in precisely no change to sea level. However, the ocean floors themselves are a hotbed (pardon the pun) of tectonic activity. The Mid Atlantic ridge may be spreading at 5cm per year, which impacts basin volume and resultant sea levels.

        Although it’s not easy to track vertical displacements of sea floors, many instances of research demonstrating recent movements are available in peer reviewed papers.

        Your last paragraph begs a couple of questions –

        If the Himalayan uplift is continuing, what geological principles cause the thickening of the underlying continental lithosphere? If the mass column is to be preserved, how come the Himalayas are still rising? You mention elsewhere that there is a corresponding subsidence elsewhere. To preserve the mass column there, you would have to have an increase in lithosphere density. But you have said that the continental lithosphere is less dense than the underlying mantle. Oh well, must be post normal Warmist physics involved!

        May I point out that if Himalayan uplift is caused by the movement of the Indian plate, the opposite end of the plate is actually in the ocean. If you say that there has been no effect on sea levels from tectonic movements for the last ten million years, I’ll prefer to believe other geophysicists who say that there have been.

        Still no explanation of why the CO2 greenhouse effect failed to stop the Earth cooling. Maybe because it doesn’t exist?

        Cheers.

      • The collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates results in the lithosphere of both plates crumpling together at the point of collision. Some of the lithosphere goes up (mountains) more of it goes down. The mantle material is displaced, it is not destroyed or compressed. It flows away.

        The indian plate is in the water but tectonic plates are thousands of kilometres long and only tens of kilometres thick, they do not transfer stress like rigid bodies over large distances.

        You suggest there exist geophysicists who claim that ocean volume has changed significantly as a result of tectonic activity over the last ten million years. Who? In which publication?

        What you are doing is reading what people write and then assuming, falsely, that you have the technical skill and intellectual understanding to extrapolate. You are wrong on both counts.

        Your constant prattle about cooling is getting annoying. the vast majority of the Earth’s cooling, between the formation of the moon and the formation of the solid crust, occurred before there was a significant atmosphere and was therefore unaffected by greenhouse processes. Which you can go and look up.

      • Mike Flynn

        Anthony Purcell,

        You wrote –

        “The collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates results in the lithosphere of both plates crumpling together at the point of collision. Some of the lithosphere goes up (mountains) more of it goes down. The mantle material is displaced, it is not destroyed or compressed. It flows away.”

        So some goes up, but more goes down? But none is destroyed, obviously. Maybe you made a mistake. Did you mean to say some goes up, some goes down? If more goes down than up, where does the displaced mantle go? If the Himalayas are rising, but, as you say, a greater volume of mantle is being displaced by downward lithospheric movement, (it goes somewhere, I suppose), it seems you’re creating volume from nothing, due to more volume being displaced downward than upward. You said it, not me.

        As to providing references to papers relating to ocean basin changes due to tectonic activity within the last ten million years, I’ll leave that to you. if you claim none exist, a small wager may be in order.

        Finally (I hope), you appear to be allowing yourself to be annoyed, by my continued iteration of the fact that the Earth has cooled since its creation, continues to cool, and will presumably cool in the future.

        Warmist attempts to deny, divert, and confuse, when faced with inconvenient facts, don’t change a thing. Pointing out the obvious, that radiative cooling was fastest when the temperature was highest, is not helpful to your cause.

        There is no CO2 heating effect. Strident cries of “Hottest year EVAH!” are meaningless. It has obviously been hotter in the past, wouldn’t you agree?

        You’re a geophysicist. Nip down to the lab. Demonstrate the CO2 heating effect. Can’t be bothered? Neither can any other Warmist!

        I’ll leave you to your fantasy.

        Cheers.

      • Obviously, the possibility of lateral mantle displacement is something I should have pointed out. Sideways is such a complicated concept.

        There have been ample laboratory experiments demonstrating the effects of CO2 IR absorption on radiative flux and temperature profiles.

        The HITRAN2012 molecular spectroscopic database
        Rothman et al.
        doi:10.1016/j.jqsrt.2013.07.002

        There have been observational analyses of radiative transfer effects in the atmosphere:

        Observational determination of surface radiative forcing by CO2 from 2000 to 2010
        Feldmann et al. 2015
        doi:10.1038/nature14240

        Your continued insistence that these studies do not exist is simply delusional.

      • Mike Flynn

        Anthony Purcell,

        You wrote –

        “Your continued insistence that these studies do not exist is simply delusional.”

        Your bizarre unsubstantiated accusation is possibly the product of an addled Warmist brain. You never asked me if these studies existed, so I could hardly have insisted they didn’t exist could I?

        Are you perhaps confusing me with a product of your own fevered imagination? No need to apologise, Warmists lose touch with reality on a regular basis. I can only assume you are trying to annoy or upset me, for some obscure purpose. A waste of time, I can assure you.

        However, just for fun, I read the last reference you provided. Obviously, I agree with the following –

        “However, despite widespread scientific discussion and modelling of the climate impacts of well-mixed greenhouse gases, there is little direct observational evidence of the radiative impact of increasing atmospheric CO2.”

        Indeed. Hardly surprising, even in 2015.

        As to the rest of the paper, you might care to reexamine it, paying particular attention to the publications listed as references. Bearing in mind the words of Fourier, with which I believe you are familiar, you may well discover that all is not what it appears to be. No CO2 heating in evidence.

        If you had bothered to ask me, I could have told you as much.

        As to your other attempts at misdirection, of course CO2 can be heated. It also cools when the heat source is withdrawn. What this is supposed to have to do with CO2 increasing the amount of energy which passes through it, is beyond me. Tyndall’s experiments show what happens. Ignore his results at your peril. You will only wind up appearing foolish and gullible.

        As a geophysicist, you’d probably make a good climatologist! Or should it be the other way round? Maybe you’re trying to emulate that almost Nobel Prize winner, Michael Mann.

        Cheers.

      • I missed the part where you demonstrate that the observations, analysis, or conclusions of either paper are incorrect.

      • Mike Flynn

        Anthony Purcell,

        You wrote –

        “I missed the part where you demonstrate that the observations, analysis, or conclusions of either paper are incorrect.”

        I wasn’t aware you had asked me to do so. I didn’t even see a stupid Warmist demand that I leap to do your bidding.

        In fact you previously wrote –

        Your continued insistence that these studies do not exist is simply delusional.

        It’s rather difficult to read your mind, and ascertain where your logic is hiding. Maybe that’s because it’s permanently closed, or less than effulgent.

        So first you complain I’m deluded for insisting that I denied the existence of documents that actually do exist, when I made no such denial. A figment of your overheated imagination, perhaps.

        Then you complain that I haven’t demonstrated that any of the papers that I hadn’t actually looked at were incorrect. So first you claim I deny they exist, then you berate me for not wasting my time arguing about the conclusions of those papers, which you have decided that are invisible to me, as you have determined that I deny their existence!

        Berate away. I could care less, but not much!

        Madness. Standard Warmist fare. Deny, divert, confuse. I repeat! there has been no greenhouse effect ever demonstrated by repeatable experiment. Just lots of blather, wishful thinking, stupid useless models, and so on.

        Feel free to be as annoyed as you like, if it makes you feel better.

        After four and a half billion years, no heating of the Earth, just cooling. Unless you are claiming no H2O or CO2 in the atmosphere prior to a nominal time – say 1750 – then the observed cooling of the Earth took place in spite of the greenhouse effect.

        Think it through. The surface, and that which rest upon it, heats up in sunlight. And cools at night. When the Earth is further from the Sun, it cools. When a particular point on the Earth receives less insolation due to the operation of the Earth’s obliquity to the plane of the ecliptic, it cools. After four and a half billion years, it’s cooled rather a lot.

        James Hansen is an astrophysicist, I believe. He is also a devout, coal hating Warmist. I’m sure he can explain why Warmists portray the Earth as a flat surface, perpetually illuminated by an average light source which never varies, falling on a uniformly grey surface. This surface increases in temperature when CO2 is interposed between the Warmist Sun and the Warmist Earth.

        Really? That’s religious, coal hating fervour for you! We’re all doomed! Or maybe not.

        Cheers.

      • Mike Flynn,

        You are asserting there is no greenhouse effect. You have repeatedly claimed there is no demonstration that the greenhouse effect exists. I presented two papers, one considering laboratory experiments, one of atmospheric observations, both analysing the radiative transfer impact of CO2 and both demonstrating and quantifying the resulting greenhouse effect.

        Your claim that there is no greenhouse effect is therefore demonstrably false, unless you can somehow demonstrate flaws in these analyses.

        I note also the Dr Curry has written today to suggest that climate sensitivity to CO2 concentration is non-zero.

        I was annoyed, until I worked out that you’re ill.

    • All this PETM stuff is fine and good.

      But the Fram Strait is getting wider and deeper, the Antarctic core is cooling, and the Himalayas are growing 5 mm/Y.

      Roughly 30% of the land mass is covered in ice now vs basically 0 in the PETM.

      More CO2 is spurring plant growth so the whole “climate damper” limit is out the window. In the PETM the CO2 increase wouldn’t have had much effect on plant growth.

      Further sediment studies suggest the temperature increased 5k years before the CO2. Perhaps the temperature knew the CO2 was coming?

      • PA,

        Of what relevance is tectonic uplift or subsidence? What are you referring to when you use the term “Antarctic core” and where does your data come from?

        Why does the proportion of ice coverage matter?

        The light carbon isotope excursion lags the temperature increase, yes. Which suggests that at that point there was a massive release of isotopically light clathrates that provided positive feedback. Obviously the initial warming came from somewhere else.

        More specifically, it came from the volcanic release of isotopically heavy carbon by the Deccan Traps.

      • Your problem is this. You are taking a tectonic configuration different than the present and trying to draw parallels. I’m not sure you can even draw perpendiculars.

        Climate dynamics had to be wildly different, that gets ignored. The Fram Strait was a shallow channel.

        http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/10/071024-tectonics.html
        Major geological changes occurred at the same time. The Izanagi Ridge was destroyed.

        I’m not sure what happened in the PETM. But the claim that CO2 had anything but an additive effect seems pretty speculative.

        Further there is no evidence that “all things being equal” CO2 warming assumption is valid at the current time.

        Can’t prove you’re wrong. But you are ahead of the data.

        You spin a nice fairy tale. It might have some applicability to the real world, then again it might not.

      • Okay, several points here:

        a) Changes in surface topography and ocean geometry can change heat redistribution mechanisms but they have a very hard time changing the total energy flux. Which is to say that changing average global temperature is not easily achieved by topography changes.

        b) Surface ice cover can affect albedo but the lack of ice cover in the PETM only makes it harder to warm. Reducing albedo produces warming. If there’s no change in albedo more work has to be done by other mechanisms.

        c) The IR absorption characteristics of CO2 and H2O can be confirmed by laboratory experiment and satellite observation. You are, quite simply, denying a physically observed reality.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Changing the energy distribution can make dramatic changes to the energy budget, at least according to the majority of those who study such things. I’m not sure where the fairy tale came from that all it does is redistribute heat.

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/91JD00009/abstract

        http://water.columbia.edu/files/2011/11/Seager2005OceanHeat.pdf

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014JD022659/abstract

      • Mike Flynn

        Anthony Purcell,

        Reducing albedo may or may not have the effect you imagine. A good absorber is a good emitter, and cools faster at night. Remember Fourier and Tyndall.

        You may not like it, but two objects of different albedos will stabilise at exactly the same temperature as the surrounding environment, at which time they will be at exactly the same temperature as each other. Thermodynamics laws don’t discriminate.

        As an example, at absolute zero, the albedo of an object is irrelevant.

        CO2, H2O, Ar, or a lump of lead or anything else, at the same temperatures, cannot be distinguished from each other, based on temperature alone. No anomalous heating to be seen.

        Still no greenhouse effect, is there? Matter can be heated. Left alone, matter cools. Withdraw energy sources, it cools to absolute zero. Or do you believe CO2 and H2O have additional magical properties?

        Cheers.

      • Steve,

        In the Eocene there was no ice coverage so the albedo changes that these models rely on will not occur. Further, the point at issue is whether or not the greenhouse effect exists. It seems reasonably obvious to me that models that suggest that a change in atmospheric humidity will increase global mean temperature through a greenhouse effect cannot be used to argue against the existence greenhouse effect.

        If you are not arguing against the greenhouse effect then you are on my side in this discussion and I look forward to your apology.

      • Mike Flynn,

        Using properties at absolute zero to make a point about observed reality is silly. We do not observe absolute zero in reality.

        Albedo has an important effect on whether an object absorbs or reflects incoming radiation. The Earth has incoming radiation. The proportion of that radiation that is reflected cannot affect the energy flux into the atmosphere and albedo therefore has an important impact on atmospheric temperature. A higher albedo leads to lower insolation and lower temperatures.

        If we lived on a planet that was absolute zero and had no incoming radiation your comments may have some vague relevance. Observed reality, however, is very different.

        Again, we have satellite observations of the IR at the the top of atmosphere, we can also observe upgoing IR at the bottom of the atmosphere. Taking the difference between the two as a function of wavelength and examining the time series gives us a good indication of how IR absorption of the atmosphere is changing. Interestingly, it is changing in very strong agreement with the change in greenhouse gas concentration. This is not entirely surprising, since greenhouse gases are distinguished precisely by their laboratory-observed IR absorption characteristics.

        When you plug the observed change in IR flux into radiative transfer models you get temperature changes that agree extremely well with the observed temperature changes. There is currently no known alternative mechanism to explain the observed temperature increases.

        Until such a mechanism is identified the greenhouse effect is real, observable, and quantifiable.

      • stevenreincarnated

        If you take a closer look at the newer models you will note they show a dynamic change in water vapor above and beyond that expected from increasing temperature and that is one of the ways that changing ocean heat transport can cause warming. The albedo changes certainly include ice but they are not limited to changes in ice. Cloud albedo would be a major factor here. Models show that by increasing poleward heat transport you reduce albedo at the equator. That isn’t from reducing ice, obviously. I’m not sure why I would owe you an apology but if you can make it a little clearer I am certainly not above making an apology. If you believe that changing heat transport can’t change global average temperature you will have to make a better case though.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Anthony, that is your argument with Mike. I don’t pay much attention to him. I don’t doubt there is a GHG effect. What it amounts to after feedbacks is subject to debate.

      • Steve,

        The issue under consideration was whether tectonic effects could change global mean temperature on the time scales of thousands. The answer is: no they can’t.

        Interpreting my post as a suggestion that global circulation patterns are irrelevant to mean temperature is, again, a cheap shot.

      • stevenreincarnated

        I certainly don’t mean to make cheap shots. If I don’t understand your point a that I put in my comment below, then explaining it to me will likely get you your apology. The way I read it is the way I was responding to it,

      • Steve, captdallas,

        In order for the YD to be a global event it must, by definition affect the globe.

        Australian temperature records:

        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379112005409
        http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.01.001

        NZ glacier records:

        doi:10.1038/nature09313

        Antarctic ice core records:

        doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.02.019
        doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2009.11.010
        DOI: 10.1126/science.1226368

        South-East Asia

        doi:10.1038/ncomms9061

        bipolar seesaw:

        http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/38/4/383.short

        The Younger Dryas was simply not global and no amount of “foot-stomping” will make it so. Notice also that in the Phillipines, which does show cooling, it is a substantially slower process than in Greenland, again confirming that the change was not an abrupt spike in global mean temperature.

    • Steve,

      You allow Mike to prattle uncontested and then wade into the middle of that conversation to take issue with me. To be honest, that seems like a cheap shot.

      Let’s cut to the chase then.

      Do you concede that there has been a long term increase in global mean temperature over the past 150 years?

      Do you concede there has been a significant increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the same time period?

      Do you concede this increase in anthropogenic?

      Do you concede CO2 is a greenhouse gas?

      If the answer to all of the above questions is yes, what is it about the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis that you reject?

      • stevenreincarnated

        Actually you were discussing the PETM with PA and it was this comment of yours ” a) Changes in surface topography and ocean geometry can change heat redistribution mechanisms but they have a very hard time changing the total energy flux. Which is to say that changing average global temperature is not easily achieved by topography changes.” that I was showing was likely inaccurate.

        I would have an issue with your assumption that the increase in temperatures is anthropogenic. Some of it must be but if you take reconstructions of poleward heat transport and compare to at least some of the models you can also explain all the warming using nothing but ocean heat transport. It makes it rather difficult to get an attribution when you have models that can claim all the warming from different sources.

      • Steve,

        You are comparing apples and oranges. Changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulation due to different heat inputs are a very different beast from suggesting that tectonic effects will have a similar impact on the time-scales of thousands of years.

        The increase in CO2 is demonstrably anthropogenic. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, putting more greenhouse gas into the atmosphere changes net radiative flux in the atmosphere in such a way as to raise temperatures in the lower atmosphere and at the surface.

        The currently observed warming trend is many times faster than any similar change in global temperature we can find in the paleo-climatic record (it’s a hundred times faster than the PETM warming for instance). Which suggests that appealing to “natural variability” is insufficient. If this were natural, it would have happened at some point previously.

        The suggestion that we have an abrupt CO2 increase and an abrupt synchronous temperature increase both many times faster than any previously observed event but completely unrelated to one another seems, to me, to fly in the face of the scientific method.

        You can argue that the paleo-climatic record is proxy-reliant and not unambiguous. But it is the only data available and we get broadly consistent results between different proxies. You can’t just throw the data away because you don’t like what it says.

        It seems a bit like seeing a previously healthy-seeming person get shot and then assuming their physiological distress is caused by something else you’re not sure what.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Some model studies are forced and some are just tests of the effects of ocean heat transport without changing the forcing. In the links I provided you will find the Rose paper that shows by adjusting ocean heat transport he can take today’s forcings and create everything from snowball earth to an ice free earth. So anything that could change ocean circulation could also change the energy budget. If it takes thousands of years or just one large earthquake I don’t see that being relevant other than comparing what was thought to have happened with the believed rate of change.

        I don’t really bite into this being the fastest rate of temperature change in this interglacial much less for millions of years. You have the Younger Dryas which you would think would put that argument to rest both in the initial cooling and again in the following return to warm conditions. Even without unusual conditions the argument that today’s warming is unusual is pretty tenuous.

        The warming actually started about 1750. Amazingly enough this is about the same time that the Lund reconstruction of the Gulf Stream shows it accelerating. Who am I to say that it isn’t that which is the obvious correlation instead of something that began hundreds of years later?

      • Steve,

        The Younger Dryas was not a warming event and it was not a global event, it was a high latitude northern hemisphere event and it took place at a point where rapid changes in ice coverage and ocean salinity and temperature could have a very serious impact on atmospheric and oceanic heat transports. There is no analogous large-scale circulation mechanism available at present.

        If you maintain that the warming trend is due to a single circulation effect then that circulation effect must be operating in the same sense for the duration of the warming. This is demonstrably not true of AMOC which has experienced significant weakening and meandering, most especially in recent times.

        The pre-industrial CO2 concentration was about 280 ppmv. In the interglacial periods most similar to the current one (in terms of Milankovic forcing terms) the CO2 concentration was 240 ppmv and the interglacial lasted only 10,000 years. Which is to say, the slightly elevated pre-industrial CO2 level prevented re-glaciation. Your assertion that CO2 has only had an effect in the very recent past is invalid.

        Further, there are natural climate cycles that are not driven by CO2 that may cause small deviations in mean temperature. Your argument that all variations must have a single causative mechanism is flawed.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Anthony, it warmed after it cooled. If you don’t want to associate the subsequent warming with the prior cooling than by all means do as you wish, but I would contend it shouldn’t have warmed that much if it hadn’t cooled first.

        It doesn’t have to be as dramatic as the Younger Dryas to match today’s changes and you didn’t mention any exceptions to your comment.

        You can post your favorite paper that claims it was only NH at high altitudes and we can discuss that if you wish.

        There are reconstructions that show increased poleward ocean heat transport.

        http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v3/n6/fig_tab/ncomms1901_F5.html

        I’m aware of what the AMOC has done recently and I’m watching to see what effects it might have. That doesn’t change the fact that most of the modern warming period could have been from a change in ocean heat transport. All the warming during the period you are talking about, the last decade or so, has been from changes in Arctic ice cover. You then have to make an argument as to how long it would take the Arctic ice to come to equilibrium with the increased ocean heat transport from earlier. If I’m not mistaken Hansen would argue millennium. You could also make the argument that the transport has been reduced enough to where it is now below that equilibrium point. I’m not sure how you could make strong arguments in either of these cases.

        I’m actually not arguing that there must be a single cause for anything but I won’t ask for an apology. I will state I am only responsible for what I say, not for what you wished I said.

        The CO2 concentrations are taken from ice cores. I believe I read that there is a period of time before the ice becomes dense enough to prevent CO2 from diffusing through the ice. That means you aren’t capturing maximums or minimums.

        I think I covered all your points. My point would be that in order to make the claims you wish to make, you have to first eliminate legitimate alternative explanations and as of now the possibility that a change in ocean heat transport caused most of the warming of the modern era is still alive and well as to being that possibility.

      • And yet, the Earth cooled for four and a half billion years. I suppose there might be a good physical explanation.

        Quick! Is there a geophysicist in the house, who could explain such a thing? A reverse greenhouse effect, perhaps? I’d be happy to look through Schubert’s Treatise on Geophysics (2015), but I can’t afford to pay several thousand dollars for a set.

        Any explanations of how the greenhouse effect cooled the Earth?

        Cheers.

      • Analysis of Antarctic ice cores shows warming during the Younger Dryas. Analysis of NZ glaciers shows uninterrupted warming and glacier retreat during the YD.

        For Australia we have:

        Climatic records over the past 30 ka from temperate Australia – a synthesis from the Oz-INTIMATE workgroup

        which shows warming throughout the 18-12 ka period.

        I repeat, the YD is NOT a global event.

        Yes, there was warming after the YD. Are you suggesting it was as abrupt as the cooling event? Are you suggesting it was as abrupt as the currently observed warming? Neither of those claims is substantiated.

        You suggest that the current warming trend is driven by changes in circulation, you cite a change in AMOC but then when it is pointed out that AMOC is weakening you suddenly switch to AMOC not being the sole driver. So apparently it’s a convenient melange of circulation patterns that are indistinguishable from background noise.

        If you make me read between the lines of what you’re saying you have no right to get snippy about the interpretation. You’re being deliberately evasive about providing any testable hypotheses.

        The current warming trend in the lower troposphere is accompanied by stratospheric cooling. This is exactly the behaviour expected from an increase in greenhouse gas concentrations. We observe an increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.

        When we apply the same radiative theory we use on Earth to Venus we get very good agreement with the observed atmospheric temperature profiles.

        Venus does not have a surface ocean, nor does it have significant water vapour so changes in circulation patterns cannot produce the albedo or humidity affects you think may be responsible for Earth’s recent warming.

        When we apply our radiative transfer theory to past climate change on Earth we get exceptionally good agreement.

        Our theory provides a good fit where there are no circulation patterns and it provides a good fit where there are circulation patterns. Which suggests that we understand the distinction between circulation effects and radiative transfer effects. If you wish to refute the theory you must demonstrate that it is in some way inconsistent with the observations or that an alternative hypothesis provides a better fit. What you are doing instead is suggesting there may be a better theory somewhere. Quite, and when you find it let us know.

      • stevenreincarnated

        3 proxies. The one from Greenland Shows dramatic cooling and dramatic warming. Both the Antarctic proxies show a small dip and a flatlining for a considerable amount of time.

        You can’t even show the current warming is unusual over the normal course of events and stomping your foot while saying that it is, isn’t changing my mind that you can.

        Actually I addressed the weakening of the AMOC over the last decade. Perhaps you should go back and read again what I wrote. I can hardly be expecting you to read between the lines if you aren’t reading the lines. I flat out stated that adding GHGs must cause some warming but the feedbacks were open to debate and did so fairly early in our exchange. I don’t see how I could have made that comment and give you the impression I was arguing for a single cause. You can argue I am arguing for a primary cause that is different than yours.

        Here are papers that claim the majority of the warming are cause by oceans warming land

        http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/people/gilbert.p.compo/CompoSardeshmukh2007a.pdf

        http://users.monash.edu.au/~dietmard/papers/dommenget.land-ocean.jcl2009.pdf

        Perhaps you can explain why a well mixed GHG would require a middle man?

        Stratospheric cooling pretty much stopped once the large volcanic eruptions did. Of course that is also about the time that SSTs stopped changing. There are papers claiming both as the primary cause of the stratospheric cooling along with a couple of other hypotheses I believe. The bottom line is since about 1995 or so the stratosphere hasn’t been doing anything obvious other than following the solar output. Don’t you think it is about time for you to reevaluate your evidence?

        I haven’t bothered looking at Venus. My view is we are still arguing over what causes the AMO here on Earth so pretending to know what happened on Venus is fairly ludicrous.

      • steven, “I haven’t bothered looking at Venus. My view is we are still arguing over what causes the AMO here on Earth so pretending to know what happened on Venus is fairly ludicrous.”

        Venus appears to be another “what surface” problem. If you were able to build a perfect insulating shell around the Earth that blocked all solar energy, the temperature inside that shell would approach the core temperature of the Earth. The tricky thing about thermodynamics is the luxury of selecting a frame of reference (surface).

      • Steven,

        You are descending into the ludicrous.

        If the oceans warm, they heat the land. This effect is larger than the direct radiative effect of GHGs over land. The papers you cite EXPLICITLY point out that the heating mechanism for the ocean is a separate issue that they do not address.

        Okay, so what is heating the oceans?

        Changes in circulation?

        Changes in circulation can be caused by one of two things:

        1) Changes in the geometry of ocean basins – which does not occur to any significant extent on time-scales smaller than tens of millions years. The effects of Earthquakes and volcanoes are demonstrably trivial. We can dismiss ocean geometry out of hand.

        2) Changes in heat flux.

        So you are requiring a change in heat flux to explain a change in heat flux.

        This argument is circular.

        From direct observation we can determine that the oceans are heating from their upper surface at a rate of 0.04 K per year. If that heat were put into the atmosphere it would heat the entire atmosphere by 40K. 10^40 J has entered the oceans over the past 100 years. That is equivalent to three Hiroshima atomic bombs a second.

        Where is that energy coming from? In what possible world does a sub-ocean land-slide have a comparable impact?

        Your figure has no units on either the x-axis or the y, nor does it have any attribution. It is a collection of coloured lines signifying nothing.

      • captdallas,

        No. the temperature at the base of an optically thick atmosphere does not approach planetary core temperature. Heat flow out of planetary surfaces is in no sense “quick”, it amounts to less than 0.1% of solar flux from the sun. While only 2 or 3% of solar flux makes it to the surface of Venus that is still much larger than surface heat flux.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Anthony, so changes in heat flux cause the AMO. Why don’t you identify the change in heat flux for us? I’m sure a lot of people that have been trying to figure that out would love for you to save them all some time and effort.

        The chart is in O18 isotope levels. Here is the Greenland one in temperature. Note the rapid warming you said wasn’t there and from a source I suspect you trust.

        http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/alley2000/alley2000.html

        Just about everyone that thinks GHGs are the primary cause of the modern warm period are arguing that the land should warm faster than the oceans and the oceans should be stalling the warming. In other words exactly the opposite of what you are saying. I guess I have met the exception. You think GHGs should warm the oceans first and then the oceans should warm the land. Interesting, I’d love to hear a more detailed explanation some time but aren’t you getting a little tired of being wrong yet?

      • anthony, “No. the temperature at the base of an optically thick atmosphere does not approach planetary core temperature. Heat flow out of planetary surfaces is in no sense “quick”, it amounts to less than 0.1% of solar flux from the sun.”

        I didn’t say optically thick, I said a perfect insulator and what does a planet have if not time?

      • Steve,

        The oceans are heating at 0.04 K every year. This is not an opinion, this is observed. If the oceans were not absorbing this energy and it instead went into the atmosphere the atmosphere would heat at 40 K per year. So I would say that the oceans ARE damping the heating over land.

        Your assertion that “land should be heating more quickly than oceans” is true provided you actually mean “low tropospheric air temperature over land increases more rapidly than low tropospheric air temperature over the ocean”. Air temperature and water temperature are different things.

        From memory Greenland is in the northern hemisphere. Showing me a Greenland ice core in no way demonstrates southern hemisphere warming during the YD. The EPICA ice sore shows warming, NZ glacier retreat shows warming, Australian climate proxies show warming.

        I did not say heat flux changes started AMOC. It is large-scale heat and salinity gradients that initiated AMOC. I said that changes in heat flux change AMOC – which is demonstrably accurate.

      • stevenreincarnated

        “Showing me a Greenland ice core in no way demonstrates southern hemisphere warming during the YD. ”

        It demonstrates the rapid warming you said didn’t exist.

        ” I said that changes in heat flux change AMOC – which is demonstrably accurate.”

        Yes, almost certainly but that isn’t what you said. Something about the word only comes to mind.

        Now if you want to post your favorite YD paper that shows it was NH only we can discuss it taking into account all the uncertainties. My question to those that support the bipolar theory is why, when circulation started back up in the NH didn’t we get a sudden cooling in the SH? It is much more logical both from consistency of argument standpoints and energy budget standpoints that the cooling occurred at near the same time. Don’t forget you also said high latitude NH and even if you support the bipolar theory you still have a tough time arguing that Cariaco in Venezuela is high latitude.

      • stevenreincarnated

        “Your assertion that “land should be heating more quickly than oceans” is true”

        You should have just stopped there. I go back to the point of my posting those papers. A change in ocean circulation would explain why the oceans are warming the land and do so easily. A warming from well mixed GHGs requires a lot more thought to get to the same place. I haven’t seen an argument that incorporates the two together in a coherent manner. Perhaps you know of one or perhaps you would just like to inform me that the heat capacity of water is greater than that of air again

      • You still have no proposed mechanism to explain the directly observed increase in ocean water temperature.

        I did not stop at the point you suggested because to have done so would have presented an incomplete picture. if you want things presented in pithy easy to understand terms with no qualifications or detail then you do not want science.

      • Steve,

        The Greenland ice core shows rapid warming in Greenland. It does not show a rapid change in global mean temperature.

        I refer you to analysis of the EPICA ice core to demonstrate that Antarctica warmed during the YD, I have referenced the work of the OZ-intimate group who have prepared detailed analyses of late-glacial climate across Australasia. I suggest you track down their publications.

        what I said was:

        “Changes in circulation can be caused by one of two things:

        1) Changes in the geometry of ocean basins …

        2) Changes in heat flux.”

        Your assertion that I said something different is patently false. You are becoming mendacious.

        Yes, Venezuela is not high latitude, neither does one low latitude point accurately characterise all low latitude points.

        The existence of bipolar feedback obviously cannot apply to changes in mean global temperature. This is a simple false dichotomy. Some climate effects have bipolar mechanisms. Some climate effects have warming/cooling at low latitudes in both hemispheres and the opposite at high latitudes (such as the Medieval climate anomaly). Others are global. Some are stochastic in time and space. Still others are pseudo-oscillatory over variable but largely consistent regions (like ENSO or PDO)

      • “Constraints on southern hemisphere tropical climate change during the Little Ice Age and Younger Dryas based on glacier modeling of the Quelccaya Ice Cap, Peru”

        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379115300676

      • stevenreincarnated

        You said one of two things and then you excluded one of them. That leaves you with an only.

        Here, why don’t you read this so at least you aren’t going off on odd tangents. Note that they call it a bipolar see-saw. We should at least start out speaking the same language.

        https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/abrupt/data4.html

      • Steve, captdallas,

        In order for the YD to be a global event it must, by definition affect the globe.

        Australian temperature records:

        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379112005409
        http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2013.01.001

        NZ glacier records:

        doi:10.1038/nature09313

        Antarctic ice core records:

        doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.02.019
        doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2009.11.010
        DOI: 10.1126/science.1226368

        South-East Asia

        doi:10.1038/ncomms9061

        bipolar seesaw:

        http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/38/4/383.short

        The Younger Dryas was simply not global and no amount of “foot-stomping” will make it so. Notice also that in the Phillipines, which does show cooling, it is a substantially slower process than in Greenland, again confirming that the change was not an abrupt spike in global mean temperature.

      • Yes, undoubtedly many parts of the northern hemisphere experienced cooling. As your link suggests, Antarctica and other parts of the southern hemisphere experienced warming throughout the YD – just like I have been saying for the past two days, and just like you have been trying to deny.

        At the end of the termination there was a sudden warming event in Greenland. This is by no means global. One of the references above shows that the termination over the Philipines is much much slower. You cannot argue that an event that was not global in character and that was not uniform where it did occur is analogous to a sudden increase in global mean temperature.

        You’re getting as bad as Mr Flynn.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Anthony, now you have some proxies and a theory. The best proxies from 12,000 years ago are still accurate to what? 200 years? So you take your proxies and you line them up according to your theory. In this case that would be the bipolar see-saw theory. I don’t happen to be a firm supporter of the bipolar see-saw theory so I wouldn’t have lined up the proxies in the same manner. I would have lined them up as shown in the initial graph I posted. Then I would ask supporters of the bipolar see-saw theory to explain the lack of cooling in the SH when the NH started warming again.

        I’m not responsible for what you say so stop getting angry with me if you don’t like hearing yourself. If you say it wasn’t global and it wasn’t warming that sounds like 2 separate points. You could have just said it wasn’t global. That would have excluded global cooling also. Instead you specified warming. It’s sort of like your first comment to me demanding an apology. I said I was responding to your point a. in your comment and you never got back to me on how I was misinterpreting it. You aren’t just one of those people that can never admit being wrong are you?

        I just noticed that earlier you had asked what my proposed mechanism was for the increase in ocean heat content. I’ve been saying right along that it was primarily a change in poleward ocean heat transport. I haven’t changed my mind.

      • stevenreincarnated

        “Yes, undoubtedly many parts of the northern hemisphere experienced cooling. As your link suggests, Antarctica and other parts of the southern hemisphere experienced warming throughout the YD – just like I have been saying for the past two days,”

        Yes, I gave you a link so you would understand your argument better.

        ” and just like you have been trying to deny.”

        I’m interested in arguing about it. I didn’t deny the existence of the bipolar se-saw theory, I pointed it out. I am just skeptical of the accuracy you seem to take for granted.

      • anthony, “The Younger Dryas was simply not global and no amount of “foot-stomping” will make it so. Notice also that in the Phillipines, which does show cooling, it is a substantially slower process than in Greenland, again confirming that the change was not an abrupt spike in global mean temperature.”

        Semantics. About a third of the Earth surface temperature stations show cooling so global warming doesn’t exist.

      • Your argument is that more efficient poleward transport of heat has caused higher humidity at high latitudes, increased greenhouse effects and made the earth warmer.

        Ok, what caused the change in the rate of poleward heat transport?

        You have three options

        1) a change in the configuration of the ocean basins
        2) a change in the heat content of the ocean
        3) changes in ocean salinity

        Let’s consider option 3. Since the amount of salt in the oceans is constant on short time-scales salinity can only be changed by some form of mass exchange between the oceans and ice sheets. In order for this mechanism to initiate your poleward transport requires an initiatory large-scale change in ocean water volume. Multiple classes of direct observation suggest that on the contrary global mean sea level has been very stable over the past 4000 years until a sudden increase beginning about 150 years ago, after the observed upward trend in temperature commences. We can rule out salinity as the initiatory mechanism.

        Let’s consider option 2. Using an increase in ocean heat content to drive a change in circulation to explain a change in global mean temperature is a clearly circular argument. You have simply turned the problem into heating the ocean.

        Let’s consider option 1. There are three large-scale processes that can affect ocean geometry. Sediment transport is in equilibrium with subduction entrainment and is entirely negligible on time-scales of less than hundreds of millions of years. On the continental scale, tectonic effects are only significant on time-scales of tens of millions of years. Glacio-isostatic adjustment works on time-scales of thousands of years. On the time-scales of centuries or decades these effects are insignificant on the length-scales associated with ocean circulation. If you believe otherwise I suggest you talk to a seismologist or a geophysicist. I happen to be a geophysicist but obviously I can’t be trusted, so find one in the yellow pages.

        Option 3 is inconsistent with the data. Option 1 is inconsistent with the data. Option 2 is not an explanatory mechanism since it requires heating of the oceans in order to explain heating of the oceans.

        You claim to have a better understanding of the uncertainty errors associated with climate proxies than professional geochemists and geochronologists. On what basis?

        The reason I’m so certain about this is that I’m actually part of the OZ-intimate consortium and co-author on one of the Australian climate history papers for which I supplied paleo-topographic and paleo-sea-level reconstructions.

        Your implicit assertion that your opinions on scientific data carry more weight than those of the authors and reviewers of the papers in question is in fact unsupported and seems to be largely driven by what you would prefer to be the case rather than formal error propagation analysis.

      • captdallas,

        The proxy evidence does not support the contention that the Younger Dryas or its termination represent a significant or abrupt change in global mean temperature. The interpretation of the termination as particularly abrupt is based on data from Greenland ice cores. It is not global in character.

        The corresponding proxy data (and direct observation) for the past 150 years emphatically support the contention that we are experiencing a significant and sudden increase in global mean temperature.

        There exist points on the Earth that have warmed very rapidly in the past. This in no way implies that the Earth warmed that rapidly.

      • anthony, “1) a change in the configuration of the ocean basins. ”

        The current configuration of ocean basins allows for a long settling time following any perturbation. J. R. Toggweiler was one of the pioneers of more complex ocean models at GFDL and noted that just a shift in the westerlies would have a significant impact on GMST. As it is, there is considerable differences in salinity and sea level in the basins that can have impacts on the thermohaline circulation. The northern oceans are close to 3 C warmer than the southern oceans and current climate models seem to miss a good bit of that difference. A recent paper noted that the Ekman currents in the southern oceans would explain a 300 year or so lag between hemispheres for the “projected” SH warming and those Ekman currents would be related to the location of the westerlies. Expecting something like the little ice age to end circa 1900 when there is evidence of 300 year lags might be problematic.

        Do note that most paleo reconstructions tend to have much lower resolution and much higher uncertainty than instrumental, some noticing that apples are “unprecedented” wtr oranges isn’t particularly “robust”.

      • stevenreincarnated

        “The reason I’m so certain about this is that I’m actually part of the OZ-intimate consortium and co-author on one of the Australian climate history papers for which I supplied paleo-topographic and paleo-sea-level reconstructions.”

        That’s interesting. What method did you use to date the ice and what were your error bars?

        “you have three options

        1) a change in the configuration of the ocean basins
        2) a change in the heat content of the ocean
        3) changes in ocean salinity”

        I’m not sure where you get 3 options. Which of those options cause the AMO? Which of those options cause a centennial oscillation in climate models that don’t have their forcing changed? There are also sub options such as does SW and LW radiation have different effects on ocean currents.

        http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~jsmerdon/papers/2012_jclim_karnauskasetal.pdf

        http://www.tellusa.net/index.php/tellusa/article/view/25313

        http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00343-015-3343-3

      • anthony, “Expecting something like the little ice age to end circa 1900 when there is evidence of 300 year lags might be problematic.”

        Rosenthal et al. 2015 is a pretty interesting paper if you are interested long term ocean heat uptake aka recovery. Prior to their paper I borrowed one of their indopacific warm pool reconstructions and the available ocean heat content data to produce this.

        I might be a larger fan of Rosenthal et al. 2015 than most because I toyed with their idea before they published. OHC increase rate works out to about 300 years.

      • You clearly haven’t looked at the paper. The paper takes published climate proxy data and coalesces them into a regional climate record. As such there is no analysis of ice cores performed in this paper.

        Getting back to AMOC

        Decadal scale perturbations are affected by highly chaotic system drivers like ENSO or PDO. Once slowly accumulated spatial temperature gradients reach a critical threshold to overcome the inertia of the system it redistributes in order to reset the system. These mechanisms are pseudo-oscillatory and cannot drive a long term gradient. They maintain long-term equilibrium.

        On these longer time scales, cycles in solar activity also become significant but they are demonstrably not responsible for the recently observed warming. If they were, the warming would affect the stratosphere which instead is observed to be cooling.

        Long-term changes in vegetation cover change surface albedo and atmospheric moisture profiles which has an impact on atmospheric currents and heat transport to and across the equator. Anthropogenic land use effects do have an impact on mean temperature but it is relatively small compared with the observed warming gradient.

        Your question about what “started” the AMOC is ill-posed. AMOC is an inevitable physical consequence of the Atlantic ocean’s geometry, salinity and temperature profiles falling inside a certain range.

        If you would care to suggest another physical mechanism that might affect global scale circulation we can discuss it. At the moment you suggest that something – you know not what – is making things change. You cannot meaningfully suggest that this is a scientific hypothesis.

      • captdallas,

        I cannot find Rosenthal et al. 2015. Is this Yair Rosenthal? His researchgate page does not list any 2015 papers with him as primary author.

        As with YD, the “LIA” was not a global cooling event. It refers to a series of asynchronous cool events at high latitudes in both hemispheres compensated for by warming at low latitudes. It does not represent a significant change in global mean temperature.

        There is a component of modern climate change that is an ongoing reversal of LIA phenomena, warming high latitudes and cooling low latitudes. The anthropogenic greenhouse signal is superimposed on top of it. The existence of the first component in no way weakens the evidence for the latter component.

        People often like to suggest that CO2 must be responsible for everything or that if something is not due to CO2 forcing then CO2 forcing does nothing. This is an attempt at false dichotomy. No-one is claiming that every aspect of the climate system is forced by CO2, there are other large, long-term cycles at play.

        In response to the LIA we expect cooling at low latitudes. That we see warming is therefore alarming. That we see larger warming at the poles is similarly alarming, but also a natural consequence of the LIA recovery process. Without anthropogenic forcing the poles would naturally be warming. That they have warmed enough to start significantly impacting global mean sea level is, however, particularly alarming. That hasn’t happened for at least 4,000 years (see Lambeck et al. 2014 in PNAS – another study on which I am co-author).

        The recent rise in sea level again suggests that what is currently occurring is not a normal part of the climate system.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Anthony, the AMO isn’t the AMOC although most people seem to believe it is a change in the acceleration of the AMOC. I was wondering where you got the idea I was asking what started the AMOC. Is this it? The first time I just assumed you had read something wrong.

        You mention chaos and then you dismiss it as a cause. Because you know it can only last for decades like the AMO and the PDO? How do you know that? The climate model paper that I linked seems to disagree.

        I think ocean currents are to a considerable degree solar driven. That’s why I linked the papers on solar penetration affecting ocean currents.

      • stevenreincarnated

        The stratosphere should be cooling faster now than ever with natural cooling offsetting CO2 warming and both causing the stratosphere to cool. It isn’t. So pick what part of those assumptions you would like to disagree with and explain.

      • stevenreincarnated

        No, I haven’t read your paper. As soon as I saw it was paywalled I ignored it since I would have been interested in methodology and sources of uncertainty. If you want to link where there is a free copy I’d look at it.

      • anthony, Here is a link for Rosenthal et al. 2015.

        http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~blinsley/Dr._B._K_Linsley/Indonesia_&_Pacific_Intermediate_Water_files/Rosenthal.Linsley.Oppo%202013%20Pac.Ocean.Heat.pdf

        As for the LIA not being a global event I believe that consensus has changed much like global warming emphasis shifted to ocean heat up take and “climate change”. An “abrupt change” in high latitude land temperatures and an “abrupt change” in bulk ocean temperatures are a bit different. In any case, 30S-30N is a small majority of the global surface area and a large majority of the global heat content.

      • and it is Rosenthal et al. 2013. I have no idea why I keep thinking 2015

      • anthony, as to the little ice age not being “global” McGregor et al 2015 seem to disagree.

        http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v8/n9/abs/ngeo2510.html

        However, if you would rather not have a major “global” LIA you could go with Tierney et al. 2015

        https://www.researchgate.net/publication/272423862_Tropical_sea-surface_temperatures_for_the_past_four_centuries_reconstructed_from_coral_archives

        Both though indicate pre-industrial cooling consistent with a “global” LIA.

  39. Anthony Purcell,

    You wrote –

    “The magnitude and sign of the CO2 greenhouse effect can be determined by observing surface temperature (which can be used to infer the rate of IR emission) and top of atmosphere IR spectra by satellite. When we do so we see that the CO2 emission is leading to atmospheric cooling.”

    Complete nonsense. Climatological delusion if you will.

    The Earth has been radiating internally generated heat, plus energy received from the Sun, meteor impacts, tidal movements within the seas, frictional heat within the core, and all the rest for four and a half billion years.

    And it has cooled regardless. No energy balance. More out than in. Cooling. If you have energy absorbed equal to energy emitted, the temperature will not change, will it?

    Infrared light covers a small part of the EMR – (light) – spectrum. Calling that part of the spectrum “infrared” imparts no magical properties. I know climatologists might claim otherwise, but many of them don’t seem to understand basic physics. That might explain why they have collectively achieved precisely nothing of use to date.

    Nothing new. Just the same old worn-out Warmist tactics of deny, divert, and confuse.

    Steven Mosher might say “too funny”. I find it all a bit sad. Much enthusiasm being pointlessly wasted.

    Cheers.

    • Thermal outflow from the Earth’s interior is more than two orders of magnitude smaller than solar insolation. Tidal effects are even smaller and impact events smaller still.

      Your comment about the infra-red makes no sense.

      • Mike Flynn

        Anthony Purcell,

        But thermal outflow it is. Thermal outflow is called cooling. It explains why the Earth is now cooler (both in terms of energy content and surface temperature) than it was four and a half billion years ago.

        Maybe you don’t believe it. Maybe you believe the Earth is cold and hollow, or maybe created at absolute zero, and heated up since. Certainly this seems to be the opinion of climatologists who claim the surface should be 33 K colder than it is. This seems to result from a calculation assuming a body with an initial temperature of 0 K, exposed to average sunlight impinging on a flat surface of fixed absorptivity. Silly, wouldn’t you say? More fantasy than fact. Pointless.

        What is the surface temperature at a particular location on a giant blob of molten rock? A scientist might suggest measuring it with some sort of thermometer, don’t you think? It might be 50 C plus in a desert, or -90 C in the Antarctic, or even more than 1200 C where magma is exposed.

        It is what it is. No more, no less.

        Cheers.

      • The magnitude of the thermal outflow is vastly too small to have any impact on atmospheric temperature. You can ask any geophysicist or climatologist you like.

      • Mike Flynn

        Anthony Purcell,

        You may have overlooked the fact that you are agreeing that the Earth is cooling.

        Attempting to deny, divert, and confuse by implying that the temperature of the atmosphere has nothing to do with the temperature of the surface (if that is indeed what you are implying), is just silly.

        How in blue blazes does the cooling Earth (as you acknowledge) support your mad supposed CO2 greenhouse heating effect? The Earth has cooled for four and a half billion years. Did the greenhouse effect magically spring into existence as a result of a motley crew of self proclaimed climatologists clamouring for attention?

        Maybe you worship Hansen, whose main claim to fame is a bizarre fear and hatred of organic coal. Or Schmidt, a mathematician with a less than secure grip of statistics, I believe. How about Mann – predicts the future by reading the entrails of trees! And you implicitly believe Woeful Wandering Wayward Warmists like these? Really?

        Maybe you could consider a different outlet for your passion. Something faith-based, perhaps. Religion, like climatology, is based on faith rather than fact. At least, it doesn’t pretend to be scientific.

        If you find some relevant facts to toss into the discussion, feel free to produce them. Until then –

        Cheers.

      • Humans emit heat and and are cooling. Does this mean that they can’t have rising body temperature?

      • Mike Flynn

        A rather silly rhetorical question, but you appear confused, and seeking knowledge, so I will provide an answer, albeit somewhat simplified.

        If a human body is a living one, it will oxidise carbon and hydrogen to CO2 and water, creating heat along the way. The Krebs cycle will provide a more complete description of the energy generating cycle, if you are interested. The body attempts to maintain an internal temperature through a complicated series of heat transfer mechanisms, including sweating if too hot, to shivering if too cold, as well as many others more complicated. If the body cannot rid itself of excess internal heat rapidly enough, heat stroke may result, leading to coma and death, in the extreme.

        So your statement that humans emit heat and are cooling is not really correct. Humans can generate more heat than necessary, generally, and bleed off the excess in order that the organism does not heat up unduly. Obviously, in the event that the body cannot maintain a temperature of around 37 C, due to excessive energy loss, and measures taken to conserve sufficient energy fail, the body will die.

        After this occurrence, the body will commence to cool, as it is still losing energy, with no internally generated replacement. Wrapping the corpse with blankets, putting an overcoat on it, or surrounding it with CO2 will not raise its temperature. Slow down the rate of cooling, but no heating.

        As with the Earth. It’s cooling. All energy sources available, both internal and external, are insufficient to halt this process, based on the last four and a half billion years at least.

        Please excuse me if I have glossed over too much. I’m not sure whether you are really interested, or just trolling. No problem.

        Cheers.

      • You manage to take a lot of words to say nothing. So let me ask you some explicit questions.

        In what way does the thermal output of the Earth (which accounts for less than 0.1% of the energy input into the atmosphere) suggest that there is no greenhouse effect?

        In what way does it suggest that there is no long term radiative balance?

        How do you account for atmospheric temperature profiles on Venus that agree very well with radiative transfer models?

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  41. Anthony Purcell,
    You are correct that there is significant opinion that the Deccan Traps were an important part of the KPg extinction even as the Siberian Traps were important in the PTr. But “traps” (meaning stairs) do not produce heavy Carbon. They produce the normal volcanic 13C per mil. A lot of it dumped into the atmosphere will skew foram shells heavy, but only because we are used to seeing biologically selected 12C in their shells.

    Here is Shackleton’s classic work. You can see a thin line of unusually light Carbon that defines the KPg extinction horizon. Dead critters released their 12C. There is no corresponding line at the PETM because it was a small extinction. You can see that the 13C buildup was prior to the KPg and there was no continuation the subsequent 15 million years to the PETM.

    Jim (Jones) Hansen will tell you that the cooling since the PETM resulted from weathering of the Himalayas, but this just continues a long alarmist tradition of picking whatever geological process fits the knob meme and ignoring the other half of the equation; in this case the (continuing) driving force pushing India.

    • Your information is significantly out of date (which is indicated by your use of the word “classic”). Zachos et al. 2006 demonstrate that the PETM is marked by a significant light isotope excursion indicating an abrupt shift in carbon input into the atmosphere. Volcanic carbon is not light in C13 and I used the term “heavy” to draw a distinction between the two reservoirs.

      • Anthony Purcell, Since your comments suggest that you are a supporter of the AGW hypothesis… where does that leave God, with you? Job had a big problem with weathermen, telling him which way the wind blows.

      • My understanding of the physics of climate system does not require the existence of a God. This will remain the case until such time as the data requires such a component.

        If your argument is that God will prevent things from getting too bad, I would like to know what evidence that claim is based on.

      • Thank you Anthony, from your response it makes you a standout in the AGW crowd and even suggests that you may one day become a disbeliever. My understanding is when the elements are finally burned in a fervent heat (2 Peter 3:10)…AGW will have been proved to be a minor thing after all. My belief in the things God has said is personal but based upon a long history of promises kept and prophecy fulfilled. We could have of course for told how One Day, Israel would be revived as a nation but God has already done that now. And there we are.

      • A light Carbon excursion happens whenever there is an extinction because biologically selected 12C is released back into the system. The forams (whose shells we gauge) will use all the 12C first and the survivors show us nothing but 12C in the sediments during periods of 12C abundance.

        There is no question there was a modest extinction around the PETM.

        13C is truly heavier as it has an extra neutron and no “distinction” need be made.

        Volcanoes produce an isotopic spectrum that is not biologically filtered and has more 13C than the Pee Dee standard (biologically filtered limestone). It is heavier.

        You can see the spectrum skews heavy before the K/Pg event but the positive excursion at the PETM is weak or non existent.

  42. The basic mechanics of AGW science:

    1. Block / Earth
    2. Heads / Mantle
    3. Radiator / Ocean
    4. Fan / Wind
    5. Ignition System / Sun
    6. Oil Sump / Core

    They just are not able to get the timing light. May be one of these days.

  43. Mike Flynn

    Anthony Purcell,

    I apologise for usurping the threading, but this proposition is often put forward by Warmists as fact, when it is demonstrably not. I will endeavour to support my argument, a step at a time.

    You wrote –

    “There is currently no known alternative mechanism to explain the observed temperature increases.”

    Are you absolutely sure? Can you think of no other reasons why a thermometer might show an increase in its temperature over time, other than CO2 induced heating?

    If you think the question needs clarification, or increased specificity, I will expand.

    If you wish to avoid a direct response, I will not pursue the matter further. I will assume that you may have reconsidered your stated position, and possibly seen the light.

    I await your response.

    Cheers.

  44. Easterly Wave cloud mass remains the singular event which produces the equatorial Atlantic ocean warming gradient that conforms to the data associated with global warming. This was highlighted in ‘The accidental geoengineering of the ITCZ’ paper which had been proffed to yourself and the leaders of the G20. Organic CCNs play a big part in this but are sidled by the evapotransportation from the East Mediterranean and Nile Delta. Revisit the paper – the UK govt may already be acting on it, given their lack of consern about CO2 etc.

  45. Anthony Purcell,

    Here’s a couple of things you might accept as fact –

    1. The Earths surface was once molten. A link from the oz-INTIMATE workgroup says this –

    “Sometime during the first 800 million or so years of its history, the surface of the Earth changed from liquid to solid.”

    Liquid rock has a minimum temperature of 1000 C. Therefore, at some time, the minimum temperature on the face of the Earth was 1000 C.

    2. At a later time, from another oz-INTIMATE link –

    “The atmosphere and hydrosphere are believed to have formed, and the earliest rocks that have been preserved formed”

    For a hydrosphere to have formed, liquid water existed – minimum surface temperature 100 C.

    3. The minimum recorded surface temperature was around -90 C in 2010.

    Global cooling, obviously. Any supposed global average temperatures cannot be established beyond doubt. The first two global minima are physical certainties. The last is a measurement which I presume is reasonably accurate.

    Theories of the free energy content of the Earth increasing and decreasing due to changes in atmospheric composition are not borne out by realistic physics. They remain a matter of belief, or faith.

    Michael “Tree Whisperer” Mann is another geophysicist who shares your Warmist fantasies. Maybe you could form a consensus with him, supplanting fact with assertion and bluster.

    Cheers.

    • You’re suggesting that the minimum temperature for a hydrosphere to form is 100 C? Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

    • Anthony Purcell,

      I take the hydrosphere to imply liquid water. Maybe you don’t. It doesn’t matter. H2O at molten rock temperature is not a liquid. Currently, the oceans seem to be full of water below the temperature of molten rock. Check your toy computer program, if you don’t believe me.

      My intellect may not be dazzling. It doesn’t need to be, by the look of things. Warmists may believe temperature can drop from above the condensation point of water, to below it in a magical jump, which skips the temperatures in between, but I don’t.

      Maybe my intellect is dazzling, on reflection. Compared with Warmists, of course!

      Anyway, I will accede to your effulgent intellect. You tell me what the minimum temperature required for liquid water to form on the surface of the Earth, as it cooled from the molten state.

      You seem to claim a lot of knowledge of temperature, both local and global. I think you’re guessing at best.

      Whatever figure you calculate, it will be greater than -90 C, I suspect.

      How about abandoning deny, divert and confuse, and sharing some factual knowledge?

      Cheers.

      • The hydrosphere’s mass is about 200 times the mass of the current atmosphere. (I am unsure what it was four billion years ago). If the current hydrosphere were completely gaseous, it would be part of the atmosphere and atmospheric pressure at ground level would be about 200 atm. What is the boiling point of water at 200 atm?

      • Pierre Normand

        You wrote –

        “What is the boiling point of water at 200 atm?”

        I presume you are not seeking knowledge, merely trying to be gratuitously offensive. You should know by now I refuse to take offense.

        I’ll bite. What is the boiling point of water at 200 atm? I assume it’s between -90C, and the temperature of molten rock. I went a bit further, and assumed at STP the condensation point was a minimum of 100 C. Bear in mind as the Earth cooled, the first water appeared as the gas condensed.

        You obviously think I’m pretty foolish, assuming that water couldn’t remain totally as vapour below 100 C at STP. I don’t know why you believe that 200 atm would be required to allow liquid water to form from its gas phase. 1 atm is more than enough.

        So what’s your point? At some point, the first water appeared in liquid form. At STP, liquid water doesn’t seem to form from water vapour below 100 C.

        Maybe you were thinking of magical Warmist Water. That’s the one that stays liquid even even at temperatures which melt rock. Ah, the Wonder of Warmism!

        Cheers.

      • I don’t know why you believe that 200 atm would be required to allow liquid water to form from its gas phase. 1 atm is more than enough.

        That’s roughly what the surface pressure would be if all the water that’s currently liquid was present as vapor instead.

        I know, I know: don’t feed the troll(s). But I couldn’t resist.

      • AK,

        I don’t know what the water condensation temperature at 200 atm is, and it’s irrelevant in the context. Warmists tend to deny, divert, and confuse at any and every opportunity.

        I was talking about the minimum temperature at which water vapour would condense from an atmosphere which possessed no liquid water, as the atmosphere cooled from the presumably +100 C temperature, after it first formed.

        Sorry to be lengthy, but Warmists seem unable to comprehend the question at times. This is obvious from the completely irrelevant and misleading comments they make.

        But not to worry. I suggested a minimum, not maximum, temperature of 100 C at STP would be necessary for the first liquid water to appear. Obviously, if the pressure was higher, the condensation temperature would be higher. Of course, this is a Warmist diversion, being quite irrelevant to the minimum temperature required.

        Warmists are fixated on maximum temperatures, and cannot accept the concept of a demonstrable global minimum. I merely used the temperature at which rock ceases to be molten, followed by the minimum temperature at which water could first form, and the documented minimum temperature currently on Earth, to demonstrate that the Earth cooled.

        And it did. All you can do is thrash around in a perfect paroxysm of denial and avoidance. Bring a relevant fact to the table, if you wish.

        Cheers.

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