What are the main sources of heat that account for the incremental rise in temperature on Earth?

by Judith Curry

Suggestions for the climate ‘red team’ response.

This post is motivated by a twitter thread from Andrew Dessler that responds to a recent ruling in the Northern California versus the oil companies lawsuit (discussed previously here)

The judge posed 8 science questions for each side to respond to. Dessler provided his answer to all 8 questions. My post focuses on question #8:

What are the main sources of heat that account for the incremental rise in temperature on Earth?

Dessler responded to the question in the following way:


JC’s response

There are many factors that contribute to changes in the Earth’s global average surface temperature.

Here is the global mean surface temperature anomalies since 1850. You see a substantial temperature rise from 1910 to 1940, a decline from 1940 to 1975, then a large increase from 1975 to 1998, a small increase from 1998 to 2014, then a recent spike in 2015/2016 associated with the super El Nino.

The IPCC AR5 (2013) concluded that:

It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by [humans]. The best estimate of the human induced contribution is similar to the observed warming over this period.

Note: the analyses from climate models and ‘fingerprinting’ analysis point to ~100% attribution to human caused warming since 1951.

The IPCC AR5 examined the radiative forcing from the period 1750 to 2010 (see Figure 6.3 above posted by Dessler).

Most of the radiative forcing is from CO2 over this period. However, fossil fuel emissions did not start increasing substantially until after 1950:

The observed warming prior to 1940, the slight decline of temperatures from 1940-1975, and the slowdown in warming from 1998-2014 obviously are not explained by fossil fuel emissions.

The period 1998-2014 was associated with a particularly steep increase in fossil fuel emissions. The IPCC AR5 makes these statements:

[T]he rate of warming over the past 15 years (1998–2012; 0.05 [–0.05 to +0.15] °C per decade), which begins with a strong El Niño, is smaller than the rate calculated since 1951 (1951–2012; 0.12 [0.08 to 0.14] °C per decade).” [IPCC AR5 SPM, p 5]

The observed reduction in surface warming trend over the period 1998 to 2012 as compared to the period 1951 to 2012, is due in roughly equal measure to a reduced trend in radiative forcing and a cooling contribution from natural internal variability, which includes a possible redistribution of heat within the ocean (medium confidence). The reduced trend in radiative forcing is primarily due to volcanic eruptions and the timing of the downward phase of the 11-year solar cycle. However, there is low confidence in quantifying the role of changes in radiative forcing in causing the reduced warming trend. There is medium confidence that natural internal decadal variability causes to a substantial degree the difference between observations and the simulations; the latter are not expected to reproduce the timing of natural internal variability. There may also be a contribution from forcing inadequacies and, in some models, an overestimate of the response to increasing greenhouse gas and other anthropogenic forcing (dominated by the effects of aerosols).

Nevertheless, several studies claim a role for internal variability associated with the AMO [Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation] in driving enhanced warming in the 1980s and 1990s as well as the recent slow down in warming” (Box 9.2)

The early century warming and mid century cooling was particularly pronounced in the high northern latitudes:

Over Greenland, temperature has risen significantly since the early 1990s, reaching values similar to those in the 1930s (Box et al., 2009).” [IPCC AR5 ch 10 p 353]

The AR5 does not specifically address the so-called ‘grand hiatus’ in warming from 1940-1976. The AR4 makes this statement:

Differences between simulations including greenhouse gas forcing only and those that also include the cooling effects of sulphate aerosols indicate that the cooling effects of sulphate aerosols may account for some of the lack of observational warming between 1950 and 1970, despite increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. The mid-century cooling that the model simulates in some regions is also observed, and is caused in the model by regional negative surface forcing from organic and black carbon associated with biomass burning. Variations in the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation could account for some of the evolution of global and hemispheric mean temperatures during the instrumental period; Knight et al. (2005) estimate that variations in the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) could account for up to 0.2°C peak-to-trough variability in NH mean decadal temperatures.” [Section]

With regards to the early 20th century warming, the IPCC AR4 states:

Modelling studies are also in moderately good agreement with observations during the first half of the 20th century when both anthropogenic and natural forcings are considered, although assessments of which forcings are important differ, with some studies finding that solar forcing is more important while other studies find that volcanic forcing or internal variability could be more important.” [Section]

The IPCC AR5 makes these statements:

The AR4 concluded that ‘the early 20th century warming is very likely in part due to external forcing’, and that it is likely that anthropogenic forcing contributed to this warming. This assessment was based on studies including Shiogama et al. (2006) who find a contribution from solar and volcanic forcing to observed warming to 1949, and Min and Hense (2006), who find strong evidence for a forced (either natural or combined natural and anthropogenic) contribution to global warming from 1900 to 1949. Ring et al. (2012) estimate that part of the early 20th century warming was due to GHG increases, but find a dominant contribution by internal variability. CMIP5 model simulations of the historical period show forced warming over the early 20th century, consistent with earlier detection and attribution analyses highlighted in the AR4 and TAR.” [Section 10.3.1]

The pattern of warming and residual differences between models and observations indicate a role for circulation changes as a contributor to early 20th century warming, and the contribution of internal variability to the early 20th century warming has been analysed in several publications since the AR4. Crook and Forster (2011) find that the observed 1918–1940 warming was significantly greater than that simulated by most of the CMIP3 models. A distinguishing feature of the early 20th century warming is its pattern which shows the most pronounced warming in the Arctic during the cold season, followed by North America during the warm season, the North Atlantic Ocean and the tropics. Such a pronounced pattern points to a role for circulation change as a contributing factor to the regional anomalies contributing to this warming. Some studies have suggested that the warming is a response to the AMO, or a large but random expression of internal variability. Knight et al. (2009) diagnose a shift from the negative to the positive phase of the AMO from 1910 to 1940, a mode of circulation that is estimated to contribute approximately 0.1°C, trough to peak, to GMST. Nonetheless, these studies do not challenge the AR4 assessment that external forcing very likely made a contribution to the warming over this period. In conclusion, the early 20th century warming is very unlikely to be due to internal variability alone. It remains difficult to quantify the contribution to this warming from internal variability, natural forcing and anthropogenic forcing, due to forcing and response uncertainties and incomplete observational coverage.” [Section 10.3.1]

The cloud conundrum

How does internal variability modify global temperatures? Changes in ocean circulations redistribute heat in the ocean and cause changes to atmospheric circulation that change cloudiness. Figure 2.11 shows the Earth’s energy balance:

Clouds have a major influence on the Earth’s energy balance:

By enhancing the planetary albedo, cloudy conditions exert a global and annual shortwave cloud radiative effect of approximately –50 W m–2 and, by contributing to the greenhouse effect, exert a mean longwave effect of approximately +30 W m–2, with a range of 10% or less between published satellite estimates.” [WG1 AR5 Section]

There are strong regional and seasonal variations in the cloud radiative effect, as shown in Figure 7.6 of WG1 AR5 Chapter 7.

Clouds have a major influence on the planetary energy balance. Relative to the magnitudes of changes in radiative forcing shown in Figure 6.3, of magnitude of 1-2 W/m2, the impact of changes in cloudiness can easily exceed this magnitude.

The challenges of understanding the role of clouds in climate change is highlighted by the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Grand Challenge on Clouds, Circulation and Climate Sensitivity:

Limited understanding of clouds is the major source of uncertainty in Climate Sensitivity, but also contributes substantially to persistent biases in modelled circulation systems: how do clouds couple to circulations in the present climate, how will clouds respond to global warming or other forcings, and how will they feed back on it through their influence on Earth’s radiation budget?


With regards to the IPCC AR5 conclusion:

It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by [humans]. The best estimate of the human induced contribution is similar to the observed warming over this period.”

I agree that it is extremely likely that fossil fuel emissions have contributed to the warming observed since 1951.

I am not at all convinced by arguments that the human induced contribution is similar to the observed warming (essentially 100%) since 1951.

I find it possible that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by fossil fuel emissions, although I regard a ‘as likely as not’ confidence level to be more appropriate than ‘extremely likely.

Why is there disagreement on this issue?

The IPCC focuses its attribution analysis on the period since 1950 (which is the period when emissions became large, and for which the observational data is the best); however consideration of the early 20th century warming and mid century cooling raises some serious questions about the role of natural variability that the IPCC does not adequately address. Further, the IPCC relies primarily on climate model simulations and a fingerprint detection scheme; these simulations do not include the correct phasing of the natural internal variability and are arguably not fit for the purpose of attribution since the models have been tuned (implicitly and explicitly) using 20th century observations.

This statement from the IPCC AR5 sums it up perfectly:

It remains difficult to quantify the contribution to this warming from internal variability, natural forcing and anthropogenic forcing, due to forcing and response uncertainties and incomplete observational coverage.” [Section 10.3.1]

JC reflections

In an interview on this development in the San Francisco trial, Steve Koonin made the following statement:

“I don’t know of any judge who has asked for a tutorial like this,” said Steven E. Koonin, a physicist and former Energy Department undersecretary known for his contrarian views on global warming research. “I think it is a great idea. Anybody having to make a decision about climate science needs to understand the full spectrum of what we know and what we don’t know.”

Also in the article:

Koonin, who worked for two years in the Obama administration and now teaches at New York University, has long called for a public debate on climate change science. While he agrees that human-caused carbon dioxide has warmed the atmosphere, he takes issue with some computer models about future impacts, and disagrees with calls for drastic changes in energy use.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal last year, Koonin called for a “Red Team/Blue Team” process to debate and test assumptions and conclusions about climate change. 

Looks the Red Team will have an easy job of it; all they need to do is read the fine print of the IPCC assessment reports. No need for additional skeptical arguments (although there are a number of them that would arguably be useful in such an assessment).



227 responses to “What are the main sources of heat that account for the incremental rise in temperature on Earth?

  1. I like Alex Epstein’s comment; “Our gasoline engines, we’re the ones emitting the stuff, and yet we can somehow blame it on Exxon and General Motors; it is complete abdication of moral responsibility.” ~ Interview with Aaron Harber on Youtube.

  2. Pingback: What are the main sources of heat that account for the incremental rise in temperature on Earth? — Climate Etc. – NZ Conservative Coalition

  3. We are in serious trouble when a judge thinks his decisions need to be informed by scientific speculation about the causes of climate change. Law and science are a toxic mixture.
    On the other hand, I never saw a judge who didn’t think he or she was competent to rule on whatever was brought into court. Pretenders, one and all. And they do a heck of a lot of damage, much like politicians.

    • The correct answer to the question posed is the Sun ( and to a barely significant degree radioactivity in the Earth’s core ).

      The judge asked what was the SOURCE of the heat, he did not ask what was the CAUSE of the warming.

      • My inclination in a judicial context is the answer the question asked as closely as possible, not to try to rewrite it to what we thought the question should have been.

        Either the judge has done no reading about this clearly significant case before it came before him, or he is trying to make a point by asking a simple, clear and precise question: what is the SOURCE of the heat.

        Maybe he thinks or wants to know whether heat produced by burning fossil fuels remains in the climate system and is the source of the warming.

        I think the use of “incremental warming” is encouraging. He is clearly not listening to Al Gore movies.

      • Do the 3D flux integral around a volume or air or CO2 and the result is zero. It is not a source of heat.

        If that volume of air warms incrementally, it is a net sink of heat, not a source of heat.

      • The source of the heat is radiation from the sun, geothermal heat from the earth, heat released when we burn fossil fuels, and heat released by uranium fission in nuclear plants. :-)

      • This is a great question, because implicit in the question is the true/ultimate cause of any global warming that is taking place: the sun.

        The earth has been warming for the last 10,000 years or so; it is definitely not a recent phenomenon. The earth has also been much hotter than it is now before, and life thrived; it did not wither.

        Arguments about the hastening RATE of warming are based on the way the measurements are being performed: For historical rates of warming over very long periods they are using things like ice cores, which can reveal how much warming has taken place over long periods of time. For recent calculations, they are using shorter time frames based on direct measurements, and then extrapolating that to assume the rate will be the same over a very long time frame, such as hundreds or even thousands of years. This is the “rub”.

        The error (actually a very deliberate error) is in extrapolating the measurements that are taken over short time frames and then assuming they can validly compare them to rates of warming seen over very long time periods.

        Climate scientists are also dealing with mathematically chaotic systems, which – although deterministic and therefore predictable in principle – are not predictable very far in the future, because there are so many interdependent variables.

  4. I would gladly give the red team the AMO. With that boat anchor they would stand zero chance.

  5. Clouds are a feedback, not a forcing (as you wrote). As RP Sr says, ocean warming is by far the best metric by which to measure the planets energy imbalance. Since about 1970, the oceans heat content has been increasing dramatically, and accelerating. The essential question is, why is this rapid ocean warming happening? What other causes are present that would account for this except for the increasing greenhouse effect?

    • What is the specific OHC increase 0-700m since 1970? Link and chart, please.

      • Doesn’t matter.

      • JCH: why doesn’t it matter?

      • Is a comparison of Argo to the graph above a bit of a puzzle.


        Recent warming in the tropics is a little bit solar.


        And more the result of cloud cover change associated with a warm Pacific surface.


        But let’s not sweat the detail.

      • afonzarelli

        Dr Leif Svalgaard says that as long as SSTs aren’t warming the ocean on the whole isn’t warming. Like a thermometer the ocean equilibrates quickly, thus there is no long term ocean warming. Sounds crazy (yes!), but why should it take decades/centuries to warm? (doesn’t kinetic energy move faster than that?)

      • JCH or David

        Can either of you convert those numbers into Degrees C. I have seen oceans have warmed .1C since 1960. I think that was in an IPCC report. Are those graphs and reports consistent with the IPCC report?

      • cerescokid: Sure, it’s easy to convert the heat change numbers to temperature change, via delta(Q) = m*c*delta(T).

        The numbers aren’t that high, because the ocean is so huge. To change the entire ocean by a temperature delta(T) takes about 1000 times that to change the atmosphere by the same amount.

      • afonzarelli

        Ceresco, here’s what Dr Spencer has to say about it:

        RWS 1/25/2015 3:04pm
        The oceans have warmed, depending on the depth, by hundredths of a degree over the ~50 years they have been monitored, that’s all. It’s questionable whether the deep ocean warming is even real because it is so small, and the error bars on the measurement are large. The surface warming is larger than deep ocean warming, and likely real…

      • Like a thermometer the ocean equilibrates quickly, thus there is no long term ocean warming. Sounds crazy (yes!), but why should it take decades/centuries to warm? (doesn’t kinetic energy move faster than that?)

        In water, no. Thermal diffusivity in water is pretty low, and most of the transport of thermal energy from the top few meters happens via the actual movement and mixing of the waters. (E.g., convection, not conduction).

        At some depth, the water is generally pretty stratified (this dividing line is called the “thermocline”). But still, even below there, heat conduction is still too slow to get down to the bottom of the ocean in relevant timescales, so you’re just basically asking how long it takes to overturn the entire oceans. Centuries to millennia.

        The depth of the thermocline varies from about 200m to 1000m, so that’s still a helluva lot of water that can be heated up in the next century or two, and which will slow down surface heating during that time. (For comparison, the average depth of the entire ocean is about 4000m).

        So, nah, the ocean equilibrates really slowly.

      • There is actually a reason why Roger Pielke thinks the heat content of the earth system is what is most important: jewels, jewels, and even more jewels.

        The only place degrees C is useful is SST:


      • One of these threads that get too long to useful.

        TSI is given as an absolute – with +/- 5W/m2 precision. Outgoing flux is given in anomalies. They can tell you why power flux at toa is changing but not how much the mooted imbalance is.

      • Windchaser, thanks for the reply (i only wish that svalgaard were here to answer to you)…

      • To summarize:

        IPCC said OHC rose.1C from 1961 to 2003. Bereiter et al 2018 said .1C in last 50 years. JMA found OHC Increased .024C per decade.

        None of the charts depicted here show temperatures of OHC pre 1950

        There is no evidence that OHC 0-700 m pre 1950 was not increasing at the same rate as shown in these charts.

        Chiefs’s ARGO chart for Circum Antarctic from 2004 shows nearly flat temperatures from 2004

        With Global OHC increasing by only ~.2 C per century, and for the waters surrounding West Antarctica nearly 0 increase this century, how is it that supposedly “warmer waters” are responsible for the thinning of the West Antarctica ice shelves and marine terminating glaciers? There is no evidence that the waters have not been thinning that ice for the Holocene. Are we to believe that a minuscule increase in water temperatures (.2C per century, ~0 C this century)are solely responsible for the unstable ice in the Antarctic?

      • 0 meters

        0.05 C per decade warming

        500 meters

        0.02 C per decade warming

        2000 meters

        4000 meters (Rough average depth of the oceans.)


        “Below the sea surface, historical measurements of temperature are far sparser, and the warming is more gradual, about 0.01°C per decade at 1,000 meters.”


        0 meters

        1000 meters 0.01 C per decade warming

        Higher SSTs sit on top of a large thermal mass. They do not signal joules leaving the ocean but being retained. Yet they are proof the rising GMST. The oceans are warming, which is proof they are warming. To the extent they warm, joules are sequestered long term. Our trick is, we warmed the oceans, which is our salvation. Our CO2 warmed the ocean. For that to be alarming, CO2 needs to stop warming the oceans. For alarming, the oceans need to not draw joules and be of low thermal mass. The oceans will draw and increase doing so the greater the atmospheric/oceans difference. Increasing CO2 levels increase the draw.

      • Bereiter et al 2018 said .1C in last 50 years.

        This is not what they meant. It was corrected by a coauthor Jeff Severinghaus

      • https://scripps.ucsd.edu/news/new-study-identifies-thermometer-past-global-ocean

        Severinghaus is the one who quoted the number. But that doesn’t negate the IPCC and JMA findings.

        It also doesn’t address the central point of my comment. With minimal warming of the Antarctic waters and the flat trend since 2004 , how can the “warmer” water be guilty of thinning the Antarctic ice shelves/Marine terminating Glaciers.

        Here is the correct answer. All water has been the culprit. And not just the last 60 years. West Antarctic is inherently unstable. A term used innumerable times in the literature. And that doesn’t even reference geothermal activity which is going to be the next frontier in research for this region. The most recent numbers are higher than was known 30 years ago. Who knows what else they will find.

        It might even be some college kid who makes the discoveries.

      • cerescokid:

        There is no evidence that OHC 0-700 m pre 1950 was not increasing at the same rate as shown in these charts.

        We don’t have measurements, sure. But there is still evidence.

        Rising surface temperatures will drive the oceans to warm. But the ocean heat content lags the atmosphere temperatures by a good amount — it takes a while to heat them up. So, if the surface heats up a little (as it had done prior to 1950), the oceans will be heating up to equilibrate. If the surface keeps warming and warming quickly (as it has done since then), then the oceans will be accruing more “lag”; they have further to catch up. And the further they have to catch up, typically the faster they’ll be heating.

        So, if the atmosphere is heating up faster than the oceans can equilibrate, and continues to do so, then the ocean warming will accelerate. That’s what you’d expect from theory, at least.

        With minimal warming of the Antarctic waters and the flat trend since 2004 , how can the “warmer” water be guilty of thinning the Antarctic ice shelves/Marine terminating Glaciers.

        The waters around Antarctica will continue to be pretty close to 32F until the ice they’re touching is melted. That doesn’t mean they aren’t heating up, though. It takes thermal energy to melt ice.

        A glass of ice water sitting on your table will stay at 32F, too, even while it’s warming. Heat is being added, but the temperature remains the same.

    • “The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.” https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10712-012-9175-1

      One might wonder what the changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation are that produce such large variations in TOA power flux – sadly they never do.


      • Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate

        CERES data has solar in, IR out and albedo out. There is no measured and plotted imbalance chart. That only comes from flawed climate models.

    • DA,

      Clouds are definitely a forcing and very likely a feedback.

      “So, if the atmosphere is heating up faster than the oceans can equilibrate, and continues to do so, then the ocean warming will accelerate. That’s what you’d expect from theory”

      But remember, that’s sort of like saying “the thimble will heat the anvil” — the hydrosphere is 300x more massive than the atmosphere. Given that the total temperature has not measurably changed since 1950, it’s much more accurate to say the hydrosphere should increasingly cool a warming atmosphere on time scales of interest (i.e. it will probably take thousands of years for total ocean equilibration to even measurably begin), and the cooling effect should be more and more pronounced the farther out of equilibrium they are.

      In the absence of robust historical OHC data, it’s not clear even whether the near-surface trends are outside of Holocene natural variation (i.e., are anthropogenic).

      And how does overall ocean temperature relate to clouds? As JC points out, doubtful anyone has a strong handle on the answer to that one yet either…

  6. I am left with a great unpleasant feeling that courts of law are ill-suited to the improvement in scientific understanding of phenomenon of the observed world. Experience in tort law, as in malpractice complaints has demonstrated to me that only perceptions matter and that the best theatrical performance of plaintiff or defense wins the day. During a class I took on malpractice litigation, the teacher, a well-known litigator said as much and provided case support. The silicone breast implant lawsuit and settlement demonstrated that “junk” science is admissible to the courts irregardless of its hearsay origins. So science, and any topic that has a political ring to it impacted by science has a difficult row-to-hoe in a court of law. The Exxon-Mobile story is a political issue only, with resolution not being attainable equitably, rather a media fight between the designated “good” guys and “bad” guys. And then, the suits drag on until one side or the other runs out of money, which, in this case, is the point of the lawsuit. But of course, it is really hard to prove: intent.

    • irregardless ? Is that a technical, legal term meaning the opposite of regardless ?

      • ” Is that a technical, legal term meaning the opposite of regardless”

        Would you prefer: irrespective?

      • I’ve always favored undisirregardless

      • regardless or irrespective would be fine.

        irregardless is a grammatical chimera.

      • Actually, “irregardless” is a perfectly valid term, which means the same as “regardless”. It originated as an emphatic version of “regardless”. Does it make sense that they have the same meaning? Absolutely not … but then English often doesn’t make sense, and only grammar Nazis insist that it must make sense.

        For example, untangle means the opposite of tangle … but unravel means exactly the same thing as ravel. Crazy, huh? But no use insisting it should be logical, because it isn’t.

        Best to all,


      • Steven Mosher

        Cleave is the best example.

      • Merriam-Webster: “Irregardless was popularized in dialectal American speech in the early 20th century. Its increasingly widespread spoken use called it to the attention of usage commentators as early as 1927. The most frequently repeated remark about it is that “there is no such word.” There is such a word, however. It is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead..”

      • It was used a lot more a few decades ago. The chastisers are winning.

    • Sounds fne to me. I assume you are from Indiana



      • “I assume you are from Indiana”

        You have cast me amongst the deplorables of the fly-over-states.

        My mind is befuddled by self-contradicting language.

        I am betwixt reason and madness.

        Self-help lessons are of no avail.

        And, BTW, the courts offer no solutions.

      • All I know is W was the irregardinator.

    • The history of criminal court cases that are decided based on expert witnesses is a dismal one. People were convicted, based on the consensus science of the day, and later proved not guilty based on different understanding of the science, years later.

  7. In an analysis of global warming cloud feedbacks, Dessler (2010) used short term variations in surface temperature and CERES data to determine that cloud cover was negatively correlated with temperature. Dessler also plotted ENSO against surface temperature leaving no doubt that ENSO was the primary cause of the short term temperature variations. Leaving aside anthropogenic global warming – the finding of a positive feedback here is in the first instance an ENSO feedback. As was reported, ‘the climate variations being analysed here are primarily driven by ENSO;.


    The globally dominant source of cloud variability is in the eastern Pacific.


    The only question remaining is whether the Pacific state is white noise or shows long term persistent Hurst effects. It is not white noise. And while there is very limited data on associated changes in Earth albedo – physics don’t change and the state of the Pacific modulates the global energy budget.

    • while there is very limited data on associated changes in Earth albedo

      There is a lot of data on changes in Earth albedo.
      Solar in is equal to IR out plus Albedo out. At the top of the atmosphere, that is all there is.

      Historic temperatures have been obtained from ice cores and other proxies, and correlated with history records. IR out can be calculated from temperature. Albedo is equal to Solar in minus IR out. The albedo records are as good as the Solar in and temperature records.

      • Cloud free IR out might be calculated temperature – might. But isn’t cloud a big factor in albedo?

      • The calculation does not care how much albedo is from cloud or ice or whatever.
        The highest albedo is during the coldest times when oceans are low and cold and more frozen and should have trouble providing enough moisture for clouds.
        The lowest albedo is during the warmest times when oceans are high and warm and thawed and should have no trouble providing enough moisture for clouds.

      • Clouds are a big factor in IR out, the highest IR out is from the tops of the fiercest storms, even snowstorms. The heat from the high IR out comes from the release of energy when water vapor changes state into water and ice. You can get this from the IR maps that track the storms.

      • Ocean water evaporates, cooling the ocean and warming the atmosphere. The warm moist air is moved by convection, past the so called heat trapping greenhouse gases, to the tops of clouds where the water vapor changes to water and ice, releasing energy that is radiated to space. The cooler water and colder ice travels back down cooling whatever is below, to complete this fantastic process that cools warm oceans as much as necessary and more and less as needed.

      • Cloud changes IR emissions not just SW.

      • There is no imbalance here, this process operates more when oceans are warmer and need more cooling, this process operates less when oceans are colder and need less cooling. This process is shut down to minimum levels when oceans freeze and cut off the water from evaporation. Sublimation still works at a fraction of evaporation rates.

        You never read about this in peer reviewed climate reports.
        Climate scientists don’t seem to know much about this, or they ignore it. I sometimes think they don’t even suspect.

      • Cloud reduces IR emissions and increase SW reflectance. With low cloud the SW effect dominates.

      • IR emissions don’t pass up through clouds, IR emissions out to space come from the high parts of the clouds where the energy from the conversion of water vapor is released.

      • This is not physics and data – it is narrative. I don’t know where to start with this.

      • Robert, you wrote: Cloud reduces IR emissions
        IR photos from space show highest IR in the tops of storms. That IR did not come up through the clouds as IR, it came up through the clouds as water vapor and the IR was released as it changes to water and ice at the tops of the clouds. You can see the colors in the photos, this is huge compared to IR that starts out low and trys to get out.
        This is not accounted for in consensus theory or models and not accounted for in most skeptic theory.

      • This is not physics and data – it is narrative.

        Consensus Climate theory is not physics and data, it is narrative and model output.

        Actually the IR out at the tops of storms is physics and data. Cooling from storms is physics and data. Climate people don’t use this but the weather forecasting people use this every day.

        The fierce snowstorms that have been hitting Europe and North America were forecast by some. Ocean effect snowfall comes from warm, thawed, oceans. The thawed Arctic is especially important for rebuilding ice on land in the NH during warm times so that cold times will follow.

      • Your problem – among many – is the IR trapped below the cloud.

      • “The albedo records are as good as the Solar in and temperature records.”

        Don’t think so… there’s a recent paper where the authors find out that the locally made albedo measurements, on ice shelves, are off by a big margin with respect to the albedo measured from satellites. Problem is, the former are used to calibrate the latter, and the mis-match propagates to global measurements including the bigger effect of clouds.

  8. The sun’s changing magnetic field is wholly responsible for weather and climate change. The ocean warms or cools at decadal scales depending on the amount of TSI energy received, at the sun’s magnetic activity level expressed via solar indices: 94 v2 SSN, 120 sfu F10.7cm flux, and at SORCE TSI of 1361.25 W/m^2, indices which are controlled by the sun’s magnetic field evolution.

    CO2 beyond human emissions is a by product of TSI ocean warming and cooling, and accumulates in the atmosphere as heat accumulates in the ocean, and is a negligible contributor to our solar warmed earth. CO2 emissions are not a real climate issue. It’s phony. Call me a ‘denier’ – do I give a rip – I’ll call you a solar denier!

    The sun and only the sun caused the 20th century warming!

    You’d think real scientists would be wondering out loud about now as to how we went in two years, as CO2 has gone up, from 2016 record warmth to now smashing long-standing cold/snow records. Where’s the CO2 warming?

    The ocean responds to solar activity in real-time and lagged, driving the atmosphere. The tail does not wag the dog, and clouds are a response to the solar warmed ocean.

    What I’m seeing in people is the aversion to being shown the truth, so no one has to lose face, status, position, power, or esteem. The truth is staring everyone in the face during this solar minimum.

    I’m busy this week putting together an outline of how the sun does it, and after I present my work at the 2018 Sun-Climate Symposium I’ll be back near the end of the month to report on both, so no responses today.

    It’ll be a very interesting time seeing who holds on to the failed past…

    Bob Weber

    • I’m interested in the magnetic field issue, would appreciate it if you can send me a copy of your talk

      • Remember me? I asked a similar question last year. How much ocean warming can be attributed to geomagnetic induction heating in the oceans? Long periods of high levels of geomagnetic disturbances caused by changes in the solar wind (CMEs, coronal holes, solar flares, etc.) can add up over time, directly heating the oceans by some unknown amount. We have been experiencing a grand maximum in solar activity since at least the 1970s. No single event is large enough to heat the oceans a perceptable amount, but sum this effect over decades, and real, perceptable heating may be possible.

        I am a geophysicist that has to be concerned about geomagnetic storming during certain types of field measurements. Geomagnetic induction in the earth is a real effect (magnetotellurics and related effects). Utility, and trans-oceanic cable managers are always concerned with geomagnetic induction and its effects. There is a tremendous amount of energy associated with it that can cause equipment damage and outages over large areas.

        My question remains unanswered. Is there a correlation between geomagnetic induction effects and climate?

        I propose that it is possible to quantify this effect, through modeling, coupled with in ocean and satellite measurements. A very focused and well funded effort would be needed. The measurements in the oceans would be complex, and require that many noise terms be accounted for and subtracted out. These noise terms include Sq, ocean circulations, waves, ocean oscillations, lightning, cultural noise, and more. Satellite based solar observations, and solar wind measurements will be needed for event correlation and magnitude assessment. A buoy based system that measures the full telluric field (full magnetic and voltage), salinity, and temperature at various depths in the oceans would be one way to collect some of the needed data. Start small, and build up to a system scale that makes sense.

        I suspect that most of the proposed ocean heating occurs in the high latitudes where the earth’s magnetic field has a higher angle of incidence and changes in magnetic flux induce changes in ocean electrical currents. Unfortunately, we are entering a period of lesser solar activity, but this would still be an interesting program.

        Your thoughts are welcome.

      • Your thoughts are welcome.

        I’d start with a back-of-the-envelope calculation. How much energy is being carried by these magnetic fields, so how much could energy could they potentially transfer to the oceans via geomagnetic induction? (and then, how much would this heat the oceans?)

        If a reasonable estimate is too small to potentially be relevant, no big study would be needed. Start there as a proof-of-concept.

        (Always start with a proof of concept.)

      • Judith,

        I looked a little bit into the magnetic effects on climate bibliography, that is rather succinct, and I came out empty handed. The most clear evidence that I found was the Laschamp event. It had a huge effect on ¹⁰Be production well recorded in ice cores, but did not produce any appreciable effect on climate.

        Muscheler, R., Beer, J., Kubik, P. W., & Synal, H. A. (2005). Geomagnetic field intensity during the last 60,000 years based on 10Be and 36Cl from the Summit ice cores and 14C. Quaternary Science Reviews, 24(16-17), 1849-1860.

        Nowaczyk, N. R., Arz, H. W., Frank, U., Kind, J., & Plessen, B. (2012). Dynamics of the Laschamp geomagnetic excursion from Black Sea sediments. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 351, 54-69.

        To me this is the one of the most damaging evidences against Svesmark’s cosmic ray hypothesis. For over a thousand years the planet received its largest amount of cosmic rays in the past million years, and yet we can’t identify any obvious climatic effect.

      • Javier,

        Wow, you are way off course here. That event has nothing whatsoever to do with my post. Just because you cannot find relevant research into electric currents in the oceans does not mean that it’s not a question that needs attention. Your empty bag is not real. Induction heating of the oceans does occur. The physics is real. The question is the magnitude of the heating and whether it is an important factor in climate.

        What amount of anomoulous induced heat into the oceans would be important in climate? Is it kW/km3, MW/km3, or GW/km3 that matters to climate change? What does this additional heat do to ocean heat transfer to the atmosphere? What type of paleo traces or footprints do you expect this phenomenon to leave behind?

        I repeat here that no single geomagnetic event will leave a climate trace. I find your investigation to be incomplete at best, dismissive without physical explanation, and fundamentally irrelevant. Show me the physics of why this should be ignored and then I will believe you.

    • Harry Twinotter

      “The sun’s changing magnetic field is wholly responsible for weather and climate change.”

      No it isn’t. No correlation, no mechanism.

    • Harry Twinotter

      “now smashing long-standing cold/snow records.”

      That’s wrong too. Warm records are outnumbering cold records. Go look at the data.

  9. I believe it is helpful to make 3 clear points. Maybe 5.

    1. For scale.: The temperature rise of 0.8 degrees we observe since 1880 is tiny compared to the range through the natural ice age cycles, which may be 10 deghrees and 100 metre lower ocean levels, and small within the current interglacial range, and well within the natural spread of the last 4 ice ages.

    2. The amount of any human modelled contributoion at 1.6W/m^2 is c.0.5% of the natural 340W/m^2 back radiation, mostly caused by water vapour in the upper atmosphere, not CO2, the so called greenhouse effect that clearly is nothing to do with how a greenhouse works is mostly water vapour, that self regulates using clouds..

    3. Solar radiation variation is far better correleted with global temperature variation, wnereas CO2 has strong negataive correlation for extended periods throughout the record.
    4. Tipping point: A myth. More evaporation brings clouds that act as a control on solar direct surface heating. The effect of any CO2 rolls of logartithmically by the band satuartion effect, more is less. Not in the models.

    5. Plants are burgeoning to in response to CO2. Not in the models.

    6. Models are statistical correlation, they prove no science. They equate to economics or bookmaking, and the modeller’s assumptions pick winners or scapegoats by discounting effects such as 4 and 5 above, and hence attribute more change in a complex system to their chosen variable than it can actually cause in pursuit of their grant terms, as per the UN IPCC grant funding criteria, rather than apply a sceptical open minded system approach as to the cause(s), as required by true scientific method.

    Anything wrong with this? In particular the facts of it?

    • More evaporation brings clouds that act as a control on solar direct surface heating. The effect of any CO2 rolls of logartithmically by the band satuartion effect, more is less. Not in the models.

      I think you’ve got two wrong claims here: that more evaporation brings more clouds, and that the models don’t show a logarithmic relationship of CO2 and temperature.

      Clouds aren’t made up of water vapor, but of liquid or solid water in suspension. If you kept the absolute humidity the same, rising temperatures would mean fewer clouds, not more — the warmer air can hold more water vapor before it precipitates out into clouds.

      • The clioud effect is not to do with the greenhouse effect. It increases albedo, a well established effect, so preducing the solar radiation reaching the ground, the main heat source for the atmosphere. 2. Where do the models show the loagarithmic roll off of CO2’s effect by the band satuartion effect? AsI Far as I am aware, the IPCC already admited this was a mistake in the assumptions used in the models. I wouldn’t make such statements without reading the literature first, I don’t make them up like believers. Perhaps you have some referenceable evidence to the contrary, in which case I may be wrong in this?

      • 1 — I can’t see what this has to do with whether there will be more clouds as it warms. Can you show that there will be more clouds if evaporation increases?

        2 — You made the claim that the models don’t show a logarithmic connection, so you should back it up. (I thought I’d asked for a citation, but in my editing, I guess I accidentally deleted that. Anyways: citation, please?)

    • “Anything wrong with this? In particular the facts of it?”
      Yes. You have no idea how the models work. They are physical models of flow and heat transpost. They are not statistical models. And they don’t model plant physiology. And their radiative models do work out to be logarithmic response to CO2.

      Correlation with solar radiation is very poor. Solar has been going down for at least two cycles; CO2 and temperature just keep going up.

      A rise of 0.8° in a few decades is indeed small relative to glaciation. But glaciation would have a ruinous effect on our civilisation, and so that is no argument that the effect of warming is trivial. And we’ve only burnt maybe a tenth of he carbon we could burn.

      • Correlation with solar radiation is very poor. Solar has been going down for at least two cycles


        Straw man argument, Nick…
        High solar activity correlates with warming, low solar activity correlates with cooling. (solar activity has been high)…

      • (what’s up with that creepy link?)

      • Fonz,
        Looks like another faked up graph (from the notrickszone factory?). That graph is not in H Wanner et al, 2008. Someone has fabricated it from Fig 16, which ran from 900-2000AD. Annotations have been added, and whole other curves. Fortunately the result can’t do any harm, as it is totally incomprehensible.

        Wanner’s plot is also not brilliantly clear, but here it is (bottom panel of Fig 16):


      • Looks like another faked up graph

        I made it, and it is not faked up. The background is Wenner et al., 2008 figure blown up for the sunspot period 1600-present. Overlaid for comparison is the sunspot group number and its 35-year running average with its scale at the right hand. It shows the surprisingly good match between long-term solar activity and temperature that so many people try to say doesn’t exist.

      • Nick: Sheesh…

        Javier: i guess that’s what i get for failing to perfunctorily attribute the graph to its rightful author. (it’s easy to forget) Thanx so much for making it. i’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of it thus far and plenty more to come…

      • afonzarelly, don’t worry attributing it to me. I don’t like to take credit for adding sunspots to a figure made by someone else. That’s why I made sure the real attribution is in the figure. That’s the one that matters. Like most of the figures I made, my only interest is for them to be used and discussed, so it is actually me who thanks you for reposting it.

      • There isn’t much relation between 10-year averages of sunspots and temperature, especially since 1950 when 75% of the extra CO2 has been injected into the system.

      • Javier | March 10, 2018 at 6:45 am |
        “It shows the surprisingly good match between long-term solar activity and temperature that so many people try to say doesn’t exist.”

        It shows nothing of the sort, as the caption clearly states. There’s no “temperature” in that graph anywhere, only “SIMULATED temperature”. You’re in modelworld pretending it’s the real world.


      • Fonz,
        “attribute the graph to its rightful author”
        My objection is to claiming the authority of Wanner et al for a graph that isn’t in their paper.

      • There’s no “temperature” in that graph anywhere

        It is actually a lot more nuanced than that and the data corresponds to temperature-model intercomparisons. For example the first one (red dashed), GSZ2003 is González‐Rouco, F., Von Storch, H., & Zorita, E. (2003). Deep soil temperature as proxy for surface air‐temperature in a coupled model simulation of the last thousand years. Geophysical Research Letters, 30(21).

        They reconstruct actual deep-soil temperatures for the past 1000 years from boreholes and model them. As their figures show, their model is an accurate representation of their reconstruction. That curve represents the 20-year average of Northern Hemisphere extratropical land summer temperature as reconstructed from boreholes.

        So there’s plenty of temperature reconstructions in that figure from several different proxies. Not the modelworld that you pretend to hand waive it away.

      • I do know how numerical mathematical forecasting models used by climate scientists to guess how circulation models might predict the future work. In particular they have no proven physicical models of the overall system relationships between specific provable physical effects, so they forecast the way they will combine by assigning weightings to the multiple terms which they GUESS, after deemphasising the ones they label as insignificant. And, unsurprisingly they forecast incorrectly, a matter of record. Why? Because their guesses are wrong, and statistical forecasting of non linear systems by extrapolation is dangerously unreliable. The models disprove themselves and are in fact disproven science. Same science as economics and bookmaking. The elements may be provable, but the system model is a statistical forecast, far too complex to measure or to model but easy to pretend it’s real science – for a grant reward.

      • It’s 0.8 degress in the 138 years since 1880, not a few decades.

      • CO2 goes up while temperature goes dow over decades. How is this correlation? Graphs available for several time series but this useless WordPress system can’t handle them.

      • As far as the dimishing sensitivity to CO2 you can take a course on it remotely at Uni of Chicago, recommended. Still only a model, of course. No runaway effect here, though. Negative feedback/rolloff with increasing concentration.


        Intro on YouTube, here’s a clip.


      • My response to the statement re O.8 degrees was inadequate. It is lacking any point or credibility, as well as a poor understanding or a distortion of what decades implies. You may as well have said as the planet will fry at red giant time, any increase is bad. In fact the ice age cycle is natural, not catastrophic, and tiny in centuries time scales, even interglacial rises are 100 metres in 10K years, so maybe 10mm pa or 1metre in a 100 years. Current changes are nowhere near this and well with natural range of interglacial events. No need to support that, all except Piltdown Mann’s historical warm period denying adjusted data concur on the interglacial temperature record. So, again, modells are prefreed to what actualy happened and was recoirded by observers at the time, and corroborated by ice cores and other geological proxies.

      • And another thing, no obvious correlation for CO2 with global temp, much stronger with solar. Your assertion regarding this is either partial or wrong, on the historic data. Go compare:



    • brianrlcatt, Nick,

      Plants are burgeoning to in response to CO2. Not in the models.

      A subset of CMIP5 models actually did model plant physiology. And contrary to this statement, those models did predict “greening” (increased Leaf Area Index). Did you check anything at all before making this claim?

      • @paulski
        “A subset of CMIP5 models actually did model plant physiology. And contrary to this statement, those models did predict “greening” (increased Leaf Area Index). Did you check anything at all before making this claim?”

        You don’t seem to have read it either:

        “Modeled LAI typically increases with modeled warming in the high latitudes, but often decreases with increasing local warming in the tropics”

      • This is not proven science, and not from IPCC. IPCC don’t underte stand the effect, as below. LAI is not the only parameter, rate of absorption per unit area is also enhanced by higher CO2 levels is another. The simplistic IPCC assumption that plant response would not be able to cope with the rate of change human contribution was simply wrong. More pseudo science guesses, not proven science, disproven science.


        sic: “Increased CO2 concentrations can also ‘fertilize’ plants by stimulating photosynthesis, which models suggest has contributed to increased vegetation cover and leaf area over the 20th century (Cramer et al., 2001). Increases in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, a remote sensing product indicative of leaf area, biomass and potential photosynthesis, have been observed (Zhou et al., 2001), although other causes including climate change itself are also likely to have contributed. Increased vegetation cover and leaf area would decrease surface albedo, which would act to oppose the increase in albedo due to deforestation. The RF due to this process has not been evaluated and there is a very low scientific understanding of these effects.”. But that’s just what the IPCC say.

  10. The good news is that we continue to go through a time of explosive growth in science. The caveat is that the game is not over. We must recognize just how much science is needed to address the very complex climate problem.
    Still, two key questions:
    1) are there forcing alternatives to greenhouse gases? The evidence has grown against solar changes and Svensmark’s cosmic ray hypothesis since AR5; and
    2) while our knowledge about several forces inducing natural variability (eg ENSO, AMO, and even clouds – think the CERN CLOUD chamber results) have grown – how much have they reduced the “natural variability” source of uncertainty?
    My own take – yes, that percentage we’d attribute to AGW continues to increase and grow, but I’d espouse a window of 75% to 90%.

  11. Ulric Lyons

    The AMO isn’t internal variability, it acts as an amplified negative feedback to solar variability. There is a remarkably good fit between stronger solar wind conditions and AMO cooling in the early to mid 1970’s, the mid 1980’s, and the early 1990’s, and weaker solar wind with AMO warming from the mid 1990’s.

  12. Judith, thanks for this interesting, concise post.

  13. David Wojick

    This analysis is predicated on accepting the surface temperature statistical models as accurate. The satellites tell a very different story.

  14. All the warming of recent years has nothing to do with CO2 emissions.

    The climate of today is well within the bounds of natural variability both in degree of warmth and rate of warmth.

  15. The deeply troubling aspect of various responses to the question of global warming attribution is that they are predicated upon uncritical acceptance of highly dubious constructions of “average global temperature” in an analytic framework that provides no scientifically adequate discriminant between various potential driving factors.

    Furthermore, when GHGs, which produce no energy on their own, are treated as independent “forcings” rather than as variable heat capacitors, and non-radiative mechanisms of heat transfer are given short shrift, even attempts to analyze the workings of the climate system empirically as a “black box” are stymied. This leaves most responses, earnest or otherwise, in the realm of agenda-driven speculation rather than the domain of dispassionate science.

  16. Regarding:
    “Further, the IPCC relies primarily on climate model simulations and a fingerprint detection scheme; these simulations do not include the correct phasing of the natural internal variability and are arguably not fit for the purpose of attribution since the models have been tuned (implicitly and explicitly) using 20th century observations.”

    The IPCC estimates of atmospheric temperature response to increasing levels of CO2 emerge from models. In physics, temperatures change in the atmosphere is a response energy fluxes.

    It is interesting to see the enormous range in energy fluxes in the CMIP5 models (CMIP5 =Climate Model Intercomparison Project) that IPCC relied on.
    The energy balance over land and oceans: an assessment based on direct observations and CMIP5 climate models – Wild et al 2014

    Here are some examples of the range of energy fluxes that is spanned out by the models (See Table 2: Simulated energy balance components averaged over land, oceans and the entire globe from 43 CMIP5/IPCC AR5 models at the TOA, atmosphere, and surface)

    Surface (All units: W/m2):

    Solar down: 18.6
    Solar up: 10.5
    Solar net: 17.2
    Thermal down: 18.5
    Thermal up: 11.8
    Thermal net: 15.7
    Net radiation: 17.2
    Latent heat: 13.9
    Sensible heat: 13.1
    (Averages are taken over the period 2000–2004)

    Taking into account that the current energy accumulation on earth is estimated from observation of ocean warming to be around 0.6 W/m2 (Ref.: “considering a global heat storage of 0.6 W m–2» ref.: IPCC;AR5;WGI;page 181; 2.3.1 Global Mean Radiation Budget). The range of energy fluxes is 10 fold larger than the measured energy accumulation in the oceans.

    It is therefore clear that models would have been all over the place if not adjusted to fit observations. In logic and law that makes models an unreliable and thereby a false argument.

    Models have not been proven their reliability by repeatedly predicting what is later is observed. The argument of the validity of models is based on how well they can be fitted to observations – not how well they can predict observations. It is well established within science that with only a few adjustable parameters, a model can be fitted to time series without having predictive capabilities. That realization was made famous by John von Neumann «With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.»


    It is therefore clear that the models are not valid proof of the quantitative effects of increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    • We would like more dispassionate science, in theory. However, people are involved in science, and passions are routinely introduced into most scientific endeavors. Unfortunately, without passion, science would stagnate. In the climate debate, passion is most often misdirected into politics and the related negative influences.

      • I think that both imagination, passion and objective rigorousness is required to arrive at reliable concepts. Passion, however, should be directed towards the abstraction and documentation of concepts that are true and independently verifiable (objective) – not towards convincing others about things that are not necessarily true and independently verifiable (subjective).

  17. The answer is much simpler: solar irradiance. When climate models accurately represent the parameters that govern this and the sun’s effect on the magnetosphere we may begin to see models that actually work.

  18. “Figure 2.11 shows the Earth’s energy balance”

    Actually, figure 2.11 illustrates how the author of that figure imagine what the energy balances are – not traceable measurements of what all the numbers in that figure actually are. Some of those figures are measured, but not all. It is an illustration.

  19. What are the main sources of heat that account for the incremental rise in temperature on Earth?

    The answer is known, but it is not acceptable in the current political and social paradigm, so it will be ignored.

    Kobashi, T., Box, J. E., Vinther, B. M., Goto‐Azuma, K., Blunier, T., White, J. W. C., … & Andresen, C. S. (2015). Modern solar maximum forced late twentieth century Greenland cooling. Geophysical Research Letters, 42(14), 5992-5999.


    If Modern Solar Maximum forced late twentieth century Greenland cooling, it also forced late twentieth century global warming. That much is clear.


    “The regression models capture the multidecadal Greenland temperature variations (r=0.58, P=0.07 and r = 0.5, P = 0.02 after linear detrending; Figure 3d; individual results range from r = 0.65 to 0.46) with 10 to 40 year lags for the solar signals (Table S1). Consistent with our earlier studies over the past 4000 years [Kobashi et al., 2013a, 2013b] that include periods of warmer climate than present, the solar variability is associated with robust antiphase temperature anomalies in Greenland, such that when solar activity increased (decreased), Greenland became colder (warmer) (Figures 3b and 3c). Because the antiphase solar signals in Greenland temperatures persisted over the past 4000years [Kobashi et al., 2013a], the possibility of the influences by volcanic forcing for the antiphase responses can be rejected. The regression analyses suggest that an increase in solar activity from the Maunder Minimum to the Modern Maximum forced Greenland to cool by 1.3±0.1°C (a difference between two periods of 1698–1717 and 1975–1995), cancelling a large part of the hemispheric-wide warming (1.8 ± 0.2°C) with a polar amplification factor of 3.5 ± 0.7 (Figure 3e and Table S1).”

    This answers to the common objection that solar activity has been decreasing while temperature has been increasing. There is a long delay. We are experiencing now the decrease in solar activity that took place in the 1990s.


    “Indeed, decadal solar signals [Ball et al., 2012; Krivova et al., 2010] with a 34 year lag are significantly correlated (r = 0.75, P = 0.02 after linear detrending) with the first principal component (PC1) of the wind stress curl in the North Atlantic (Figure 5d), which is an important parameter for the ocean-atmosphere coupling and closely associated with the NAO and Greenland blocking [Häkkinen et al., 2011].”

    Internal variability can only move heat around. CO₂ can warm the world some, but the only one that can account for most of the warming, the one that has always done it, the one behind Milankovitch forcing, is the Sun. That’s the answer we won’t accept, because there is no money to be made if the Sun is responsible for climate change.

    • thanks for this ref

    • Interesting, but what is the actual mechanicm that causes it?

      • It is the same mechanism that is causing this winter to be colder than average in the Northern Hemisphere, while Arctic temperatures are higher. Low solar activity increases the chances of a weak polar vortex, causing cold masses of Arctic air to displace southward, being substituted by warmer more humid air. The conditions, associated to negative Arctic Oscillation and North Atlantic Oscillation, also cause an intensification of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, that drives more warm water to higher latitudes. This causes more snow precipitation in Greenland and Scandinavia, and glacier growth. The intensification of the poleward heat transport causes the planet to lose more heat and cool. If lower than average solar activity persists for a long period of time, the effect intensifies due to the multidecadal lags in the response, and due to the addition of other solar variability effects in the Pacific (bottom-up mechanisms).

        It is exactly what is happening. Check NH and Greenland temperatures, and Greenland snow precipitation over the past 2-3 years.

        This effects are well known, abundantly written about in the scientific literature, observed, modeled, and reproduced in reanalysis. But as they don’t fit with the current paradigm they are ignored.

        The same thing happened with Dansgaard-Oeschger events. Everybody ignored them when Dansgaard described them in the 70’s. Only when Oeschger discovered they were associated to CO₂ did other scientists pay attention. Then it turned out the CO₂ changes were not real, but a contamination, but Oeschger got his name associated with the events nevertheless.

      • But you are describing the effects, not the physical cause. What aspect of a weak solar activity period causes these effects? Just stating it is caused by the sun is insufficient to describe the physics. Whst is the physics?

      • Whst is the physics?

        The physics is very complex, as it appears to involve the effect of planetary waves and Rossby waves, and the effect of UV changes on the ozone and on sea surface. The physics are being worked out, as the effects are starting to be reproduced in models, but if you want more specifics you will have to go to the articles. As you would understand if this was a simple matter it would have been solved a long time ago.

    • “If Modern Solar Maximum forced late twentieth century Greenland cooling, it also forced late twentieth century global warming. That much is clear.”
      How on earth do you get that? The conclusion about Greenland is bizarre. It says that not only does the Greenland temperature respond to the TSI of forty years ago (by juggling lags and curve fitting) but it responds negatively – ie more sun=cooler. They dream up some special mechanism for this. Well, OK, but why should the global temp respond at all with that lag? And why, O why, in the opposite direction?

      • How on earth do you get that?

        The authors do. Kobashi is the foremost expert in Greenland climate and has numerous articles on this. Greenland (and high latitude) has an opposite response to solar forcing than lower latitude. It has to do with changes in barometric pressures and exchange of masses of air, and changes in AMOC and the amount of heat transported poleward. If the heat goes to the pole, it leaves the planet, that cools. The mechanisms affected, like predominant winds and oceanic currents are slow changing and thus the lag, but that also causes an intensification of the effect when the period of lower than average solar activity is long. It is the basis for the Maunder minimum effects that have been reproduced in models.

        The delay means that as the extended solar minimum progresses, not only are we unlikely to see further warming, but might see some cooling. I suppose that’ll make you somewhat happy if it happens.

      • “If the heat goes to the pole, it leaves the planet, ”

        No. You neglect the effects of WV, on a hemispheric scale

        When warm/moist air is advected north the WV condenses into cloud and thereby a consequent increase in the GHE (until precipitated out).
        Meanwhile colder/drier air moves south, and as it is drier (less cloud), more SW solar is absorbed (until moistened by evap over ocean), thereby negating (if there were) any extra cooling to space over Arctic areas.

        And besides the -AO necessary for greater meridional flow is only manifested in winter and there needs to be other drivers in place as well. It is not a given just because Solar is low.

        I find it amazing how you and others trot out the mantra that warm air moved to the poles causes greater cooling for the planet as a whole, and that low solar will directly cause it.

        But there you go, please don’t let meteorology interfere with your delusions.
        And BTW I’m not following you down the rabbit-hole.

      • Tony, you don’t realize how inconsistent is what you say. When warmer air moves to the Arctic its WV condensates and its latent heat is released high in the troposphere, ready to be emitted outward, and when colder air from the Arctic moves South and meets warmer more humid air, it creates great fronts that produce intense clouds that snow or rain a great amount of water. That’s what we are having over Europe this late winter. If you compare the situation with a year ago, the result is that it is cooler this year, and 2018 is poised to be cooler than 2017.

        And it is not what I believe what matters, it is what Labitzke, Kobashi, Gray and many others have uncovered and are finding that matters. The effect of solar variability on climate is not properly accounted for in the current paradigm, and it is only going to increase at the expense of CO₂, as more good science is being made.

      • “Tony, you don’t realize how inconsistent is what you say. When warmer air moves to the Arctic its WV condensates and its latent heat is released high in the troposphere…”

        Javier, sorry but it’s me that is the ex-professional meteorologist, not you.
        I am not inconsistent with my meteorology thank you, and you are certainly not the one to say so if I were.
        It is you that does not not appreciate the meteorology involved and has so much invested in your “it’s the Sun” theories, seemingly twisting it to comply.

        Warm moving over cold makes the air-mass stable. NOT unstable and so no air is rising, unless due to baroclinic up-gliding and given under -AO conditions Arctic air will be sinking. The condensation will occur at low levels, and form low cloud. LH is not transferred to the UA via rising air/cloud.

        ” colder air from the Arctic moves South and meets warmer more humid air, it creates great fronts that produce intense clouds that snow or rain a great amount of water.”

        Yes, but it takes some time. Cold advection generates Anticyclonicity in the left entrance to the jet moving away. The jet needs time for the Rossby wave to pass by and the Cyclonicity of the left exit of the renewed jet behind the disrupting block.

        You make just the same errors as a result as does micro with his ‘it’s all controlled by WV at the surface’ bollocks.

        “If you compare the situation with a year ago, the result is that it is cooler this year, and 2018 is poised to be cooler than 2017.”

        Yes, in europe but not hemispherically …. and latterly because of a record-breaking SSW event, in part resulting from a warm Arctic and majorly from wave-breaking from both the Pacific ( result of large amplitude MJO phase 7,with added E’ly QBO), and the Atlantic side. It is the movement of air and not a disruption of absorbed vs emitted energy.

        Look at Nick’s website to see that Feb temps are not colder globally ….


    • “This answers to the common objection that solar activity has been decreasing while temperature has been increasing. There is a long delay.”

      No there is not. The AMO along with Greenland the Arctic region have warmed since 1995, a direct response to the decline in solar wind strength since then.

      • You should read the article (the link has been provided), and other Kobashi articles. There are different solar mechanisms. They identify two with different lags.

        “A second mechanism linking solar activity with temperature changes involves stratospheric ozone feedback with solar UV variation [Gray et al., 2010; Kidston et al., 2015; Shindell et al., 2001]. During stronger (weaker) solar activity, stratospheric temperatures increase (decrease) via ozone absorptions of UV sunlight, which increases the temperature gradient between stratospheric high and low latitudes. The change in the meridional temperature gradient leads to strengthened (weakened) westerlies in the midlatitudes, inducing positive (negative) NAO-like conditions in the troposphere. The NAO-like atmospheric response lags the 11 year solar cycle by approximately 3 years, likely owing to the ocean-atmosphere coupling [Kidston et al., 2015; Scaife et al., 2013].

        The observed multidecadal lag with the basin-wide cooling signal suggests that the first mechanism, involving a large-ocean heat reservoir, played a major role in setting the centennial to multidecadal solar signals on surface temperature variability in the subpolar North Atlantic.”

      • The AO/NAO respond to solar wind changes at weekly scales with very little lag. The oceanic response, unlike AO/NAO anomalies, is constrained by hysteresis, which would appear as lag. In some solar cycles the fastest solar wind period is roughly 2 years past sunspot maximum (e.g. SC’s 23&24), which is maybe what Hood et al perceive as a lagged response to the sunspot cycle. Yet in other solar cycles the slowest and weakest solar wind period is at sunspot maximum, as in around 1969 and 1979/80, with all teleconnections responding rapidly to the weaker solar wind in preference to the higher UV; an increase in negative AO/NAO, AMO warming, and El Nino conditions.

    • What are the main sources of heat that account for the incremental rise in temperature on Earth?

      The answer is known, but it is not acceptable in the current political and social paradigm, so it will be ignored.

      While the current paradigm indeed keeps certain key aspects of the operation of the climate system beyond the pale of acceptance, the reliance upon mere regressional models of the system in seeking answers to the stated question is symptomatic of junk science. At the very least, the problem should be posed in the well-established framework of linearized causal system theory.

      But that still would provide only a phenomenological description of the climate system, rather than a genuinely physical specification that supplies a dynamical basis for the phenomenology. Alas, in a field dominated by the practitioners of the soft, descriptive sciences and arm-waving conjectures, the woeful lack of solid scientific attribution remains largely unrecognized

  20. “The United States burned five billion tons of fossil fuel CO2 last year. A carbon fee of $55 per ton yields $275 billion, or $1,000 for each adult, $3,000 to a family with two or more children, if children get half a share, for up to two per family. This market-based approach provides incentives for the public and businesses, rapidly phasing down fossil fuel use and modernizing infrastructure. The United States would quickly make the carbon fee near-global by imposing a border duty on products from countries that did not have an equivalent carbon fee or tax. Most countries would prefer to have their own fee, rather than let us collect the money at the border.” James and Sophie

    Is this the remedy sought? It is wildly impractical and potentially a catastrophe for global development, peace and security. The right questions are not scientific – they are technological and aspirational. Economies will grow – and the US may go under if you wish but it will not sway the world from the evolutionary path agreed to in Paris in 2015. Energy and resource use will exponentially grow. This is the humane, practical and ethical approach – and the right question is how this can be pragmatically facilitated.

    Progress on many fronts and in multiple sectors of production and consumption requires evolutionary improvement in technologies – including in energy sources – that is progressing rapidly and has for decades. In tandem – much progress is being made in managing multiple greenhouse gases, reducing black carbon and co-emitted aerosols and in reversing the 25% of emissions that come from the land use sector – mostly for reasons that have nothing to do with AGW. As much as 100 billion tonnes of carbon can be sequestered in soils and in grasslands and forests – with immense social, economic and environmental benefit. That too was adopted in Paris as a global goal.


    The very basic physics that the judge is inquiring about are by no means the questions he should be asking. The right question is how to build prosperous and resilient communities in vibrant landscapes this century.

  21. Regarding clouds:
    “We are uncomfortable having the freedom to engineer climate sensitivity to this degree.” – Clouds are hard

    “The problem is that, while it may be possible to find some properties of the climate simulation that look better in one of these models than the others, the biases in other parts of the model affecting the same metric can make it hard to make a convincing case that you have constrained cloud feedback. At this point, we are not convinced that we have emergent constraints that clearly favor one version of this proto-AM4 model over the others. We are uncomfortable having the freedom to engineer climate sensitivity to this degree. You can always try to use the magnitude of the warming over the past century itself to constrain cloud feedback, but this gets convolved with estimates of aerosol forcing and internal variability.”

  22. “The climate system has jumped from one mode of operation to another in the past. We are trying to understand how the earth’s climate system is engineered, so we can understand what it takes to trigger mode switches. Until we do, we cannot make good predictions about future climate change… Over the last several hundred thousand years, climate change has come mainly in discrete jumps that appear to be related to changes in the mode of thermohaline circulation.” Wally Broecker

    “Climate models predict that under the influence of anthropogenic warming, the AMOC will decline during this century at a rate between 0 and 0.9 Sv per decade (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2013) (1 Sv = 106 m3 s−1), and more extreme scenarios have been proposed (Hansen et al., 2016; Liu et al., 2017). Thus, understanding the rate of change of the AMOC in the real ocean is a matter of major importance (Rahmstorf et al., 2015).” http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017GL076350/full

    We should perhaps wonder about the potential for abrupt and extreme change.

  23. This is the wait and see year.

    All arguments for, against solar ,and for,against co2, I think have been made.

    There is nothing left to add or say other then to now wait and see where the climate goes from here if anywhere.

    The one thing I want to point out is yes I have been saying global cooling for the past 10 years and it has yet to occur but solar until late 2017 was above my criteria.

    Now this is changing and solar did hit my criteria 10 years ago but the duration of overall sub solar activity in general then was just 3 years in contrast to this time which will be 13+ years which should be sufficient if the very low solar conditions we have now continue.

    This time the climate should respond through a slight increase in albedo and overall lower sea surface temperatures.

    If it does not my confidence will be much less.

    I do not want to play the game by saying maybe 5 years ,50 years from now. That is so meaningless. I say now and if it does not happen given very low solar following 10+years of sub solar activity in general I will have to question my thinking.

    I have no excuses to come up with if it does not happen this time around. I do not want to say not enough time has elapsed because I think as this year progresses if solar stays in the TANK, the time requirement is in.

    We shall see. I have put myself on the line but I can afford to do so unlike many professionals in this business that always have to leave themselves with an out or excuse which is all we ever hear.

    They do not have the guts to make a climate prediction and sink or swim with it. Al they do is talk generalities.


    Gordon Robertson says:

    March 4, 2018 at 10:46 PM

  24. As far as I understand, these are the current principles that are valid in United States legislation:
    “Daubert set forth a non-exclusive checklist for trial courts to use in assessing the reliability of scientific expert testimony. The specific factors explicated by the Daubert Court are
    (1) whether the expert’s technique or theory can be or has been tested—that is, whether the expert’s theory can be challenged in some objective sense, or whether it is instead simply a subjective, conclusory approach that cannot reasonably be assessed for reliability;
    (2) whether the technique or theory has been subject to peer review and publication;
    (3) the known or potential rate of error of the technique or theory when applied;
    (4) the existence and maintenance of standards and controls; and
    (5) whether the technique or theory has been generally accepted in the scientific community.”

    Regarding (1)
    A model that has been fitted to observations is not a test.

    Regarding (3)
    Whithout comparing repeatable predictions of the model with observations the potential rate of error, the uncertainty, cannot be quantified without relying on subjective judgement.
    Evaluation of measurement data – Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement 4.3.1 For an estimate .. that has not been obtained from repeated observations [comparing predictions with traceable measurements], the associated estimated … uncertainty .. is evaluated by scientific judgement.

    For climate – that will take a long time – 30 years – 50 years – 100 years? who knows – to verify predictions with observations. Furhter, as the models are continuously adjusted to observations, it will be pretty hard.

    Regarding (4)
    Standards and controls are all but non-existent within climate science.

    Beyond current legislation, I would suggest a more robust set of principles to evaluate objectivity than is currently identified and summarized anywhere, as far as I know:
    These are the kind of principles that are applied to make things that actually works where I come from. :)

  25. Low solar equates to overall lower sea surface temperature due to less UV light which can be off up to 10% in extreme solar minimums.

    Low solar equates to a slightly higher albedo due to an increase in galactic cosmic rays if the earth’s magnetic field is weakening which it is. This could result in greater cloud coverage which will cause an increase in albedo. In addition low solar is associated with an increase in MAJOR volcanic activity when the earth’s magnetic field is weakening, which is another way the albedo of the earth can be increased.

    Low solar due to less EUV light can cause a more meridional atmospheric circulation which could increase the albedo due to promoting greater cloud/.snow coverage.
    Lower sea surface temperatures and a slightly higher albedo is what will govern the climate not CO2.


  26. I am curious about what happens to all the waste heat generated from all of our processes, including renewable energy generation. Has anyone ever calculated an equivalent W/m^2 for this.

  27. This quote from the IPCC
    “It remains difficult to quantify the contribution to this warming from internal variability, natural forcing and anthropogenic forcing, due to forcing and response uncertainties and incomplete observational coverage.”
    Just to be clear, it refers only to the early 20th century warming. When you take the net over longer periods ending now, you get their statement of extremely likely most and most likely all. How can they be so certain? It’s the remaining imbalance that means despite all this warming we still lag the equilibrium temperature. The lag is because the ocean can’t keep up, and the land does better at responding to the rapidly changing forcing by warming at twice the ocean’s rate since 1980. There is no way to explain such a differential warming rate between land and ocean than via an external forcing. It’s a lag problem to quantify, not a warming problem, specifically an ocean lag in recent decades.

  28. What are the main sources of heat that account for the incremental rise in temperature on Earth?.
    1. Heat source the sun, any small cumulative increase in it’s temperature or distance closer to the earth.
    2. Factors that modify the influence of the sun.
    a. water vapour and clouds
    b. increases in other GHG
    c. albedo decrease changes, more soot, less polar icecaps, algal blooms, reforestation etc.
    3. Possible slow turnover of deeper warmer currents on a 60-100 year timescale, like El Nino but longer.
    Problem is implies less heat went out when currents went under and not really a sustainable cause of incremental heat rise.
    Sub sea volcanoes could add to this.
    4. Increase in activity of earth’s core causing more heat diffusal out.Problem is this is very small in the scheme of things.
    5. Going through bigger meteorite clouds for years?
    Scraping the bottom of the barrel here.

    Mr Dessler seems fixated on small amounts of minor GHG to the exclusion of a lot of the more important things. Does he have an agenda in mind?

  29. Last chance for a breakout in the Arctic upwards this year with the recent lower cold spell freezing some of the outlying areas and all the winter snow about.
    The large Polyanna in the Arctic circle is a worry and will probably stay and enlarge all summer- a new theme.
    Will have to happen in the next 2 weeks or not at all??

  30. I’ve put up a post on this question here, comments welcome.


  31. I don’t see a reference to Nir Shaviv, who correlates beautifully solar activity with temperature records over millennia. https://youtu.be/6t5R5Bp_RXE

  32. The physics of greenhouse gases can’t be dismissed.


    And it does show up in planetary scale observations.


    I don’t know what the effect is relative to natural variability – mostly natural in the 20th century I suspect. But we are changing the atmosphere, hydrology and ecosystems of the planet without having an inkling of the ramifications. They are all dynamical systems – so we may trigger shifts in critical systems.

    The blasé dismissal of fundamental physics – and of the attendant risk – is an argument form deep ignorance. And there is a lot of that around.

  33. What are the main sources of heat that account for the incremental rise in temperature on Earth?

    There is only one main heat source – the sun. The evidence for this is in the daily temperature changes. For example, the maximum and minimum temperature in a day can be over 10 C in London. The global average temperature rise of 0.8 C in over 100 years is insignificant by comparison. It is a noise in the statistics of local temperature that we imagine to be a signal and attribute it to humans.

    • Dr Strangelove

      It has got generally sunnier over the years in a place like London and more generally in much of the country. This is partly because of the clean air act although other measures were taken prior to this to reduce sun blocking emissions from homes, industry and power stations.

      Here is the Met office historic data that gives sun hours amongst other data. Sun hours remain highly variable month by month and year by year and the impact of this variability needs to be taken into account (click on a dot to reveal data)


      Certainly in summer more sun equals higher temperatures. More sun equals more warming of oceans (see post below)


    • Harry Twinotter

      “There is only one main heat source – the sun. The evidence for this is in the daily temperature changes.”

      No. The sun does not change in that time. When it is setting in one location, it is rising in another. You cannot just extrapolate daily temperature changes in one location over the entire globe.

      • Don Monfort

        Very odd comment, two otters. What extrapolation? He is talking about the fact that when the sun ain’t shining on a location… You know, night time.

  34. Judith

    The ocean is the greatest store of heat and what happens there has a fundamental impactr on temperatures geneally.. What causes that body of water to heat up, apart from the obvious answer, the sun?

    As can be seen, in temperate climates such as here in the UK, a long period of sun in the summer will raise ocean temperatures to around 18 or 19 degreesC if we are lucky (higher locally) but a cloudy summer may see the temperature at more like 15 or 16C. So to me variable levels of sun will be a very big impact.

    We have observed here also that soot, in effect, ‘warms up’ ice.

    There are several possible sources of heat for the oceans.

    In another place Willis mentions this:

    “Regarding the climate system, every year there is more and more oil that goes into the ocean. This oil floats on the surface in a monomolecular layer, and it reduces both conduction and evaporation. As a result, the oceans end up slightly warmer than they would be without the oil … where is Dr. Judith’s mysterious “source of heat” supposedly driving that change?”

    This set my mind to thinking about the plastic that is an all too obvioius component of the beach and ocean near my house.

    Two separate reports caught my eye

    “Scientists have reported widespread global contamination of sea sand and sea water with the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA) and said that the BPA probably originated from a surprising source: Hard plastic trash discarded in the oceans and the epoxy plastic paint used to seal the hulls of ships. The team analyzed sand and seawater from more than 200 sites in 20 countries, mainly in Southeast Asia and North America. All contained what Saido described as a “significant” amount of BPA, ranging from 0.01 parts per million (ppm) to 50 ppm. They concluded that polycarbonates and epoxy resin coatings and paints were the main source.

    One of the notable findings in this study is that in the ocean environment, “unbreakable” polycarbonate plastic… breaks down. And when the stuff breaks down, it releases a nasty set of toxins, including BPA. Meanwhile, every ship in the world contributes to the process simply by the act of steaming about the ocean while the BPA in its exterior paints and epoxy resins leach into the water. Even worse, the scientists measured BPA concentrations at levels known to affect mollusks, crustaceans and other sea life.”

    So, this serves to reference not only toxins but the plastic that causes them. This from a differet source;

    “It is really hard to quantify just how much plastic is in the ocean, but the latest figures estimate there are up to 51 trillion particles or 236,000 tonnes.

    That may sound like a lot, but in fact it is nowhere near the estimated 8 billion tonnes that went into the oceans in 2010 alone.

    Precisely what happens to the “missing” plastic is a puzzle for researchers like Dr Wilcox.

    “That says around 40 times the plastic that’s in the ocean is going in every year. So there’s a whole bunch that has to be going somewhere else.”

    Plastic is widespread in the open ocean, but is particularly concentrated in the five major ocean gyres — rotating currents of water — in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

    The largest and best known of these is the Great Garbage Patch in the north Pacific — a concentrated soup of microplastics, or tiny fragments less than 5 millimetres across.”

    —- —- —

    So, bearing in mind that especially at the relatively shallow depths we measure temperatures, in which there are notable amounts of plastic, it is reasonable to ask if this change in the composition of the water itself has any impact on warming it?

    This either through a direct chemical effect, changes in the composition of the water retaining heat, or through the plastics magnifying the warmth or the impact of the sun.

    I don’t claim to have any special knowledge of this effect but if increased co2 can be claimed to impact on the shells of sea creatures it is reasonable to imagine that plastics may have an impact in one form or another on temperatures of the oceans


  35. My pick for the Red Team:

    Richard Lindzen
    John Christy
    Roy Spencer

    Carl Wunsch
    Judith Curry
    Roger Pielke Sr.

    Patrick Michaels
    Sherwood Idso
    Patrick Moore

    Freeman Dyson
    Ivar Giaever
    William Happer

    Ian Clark
    Don Easterbrook
    Harrison Schmitt

  36. https://www.iceagenow.info/a-magnetic-reversal-is-one-of-the-most-serious-issues-facing-us-today/

    When the geo/solar magnetic fields are in phase they enhance each other.

    Currently they are in phase both the solar/geo magnetic fields are weakening.

    Should lead to cooler global temperatures as we move forward.

  37. Please do not forget: There has been to date NO empirical study which concluded that increased atmospheric temperature was CAUSED by an increased atmospheric CO2 concentration. It is just speculation at this point. If I am wrong, please direct me to the empirical study. A computer program is not sufficiently empirical.
    Therefore, I am looking for the Red/Blue Team shootout.

  38. http://www.biocab.org/Geological_Timescale.jpg

    There is NO correlation with CO2 and temperature.

  39. Pingback: Global Heat Account – Not without Shipping etc | Oceans Govern Climate

  40. This is not even a scientific issue or it wouldn’t be a Left vs. right issue. Can we at least agree that too many guns didn’t cause global warming? And, if we allow real and not government-funded, politically-motivated science to creep in to the analysis, the cause is clear.

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

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

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

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

    • I agree I think albedo is the key to the climate . If it changes so do

      Will low solar equate to slightly higher albedo values ? I think it may due to low solar combined with a weak geo magnetic field promoting more clouds, more major volcanic eruptions and a greater snow coverage.

  41. Reinforcement of Climate Hiatus by Decadal Modulation of Daily Cloud Cycle

    Based on observations and climate model results, it has been suggested that the recent slowdown of global warming trends (climate hiatus), which took place in the early 2000s, might be due to enhanced ocean heat uptake1–8. Here we suggest an alternative hypothesis which, at least in part, would relate such slowdown to unaccounted energy reflected or reemitted by clouds. We show that the daily cloud cycle is strongly linked to pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) and that its decadal variations during the climate hiatus have an overall cooling effect. Such an effect may have partially, and temporarily, counteracted the greenhouse warming trends.

    110% will be lucky.

  42. Thank you Salvatore. To get back to the question: What are the main sources of heat that account for the incremental rise in temperature on earth?
    I am not a scientist, but I practice Engineering quite well. So, I can only guess.

    Obviously, THE main source of heat would be the sun. After that, the next main source of heat would be natural earthly core activity, like volcanoes. Third would be nuclear activity. Everything else pales by comparison.

    Therefore, if we were to try to affect temperature, I would think we should interfere with these three. Perhaps a large “cloud” would block the sun and reduce its warming. Toying with atmospheric CO2 would be extremely expensive and yield vanishing small results.

  43. What are the main sources of heat that account for the incremental rise in temperature on Earth?

    The source of heat is every atom on and around the planet whose temperature is above absolute zero. Plus the sun’s radiation. It’s kind of an irrelevant question.

    Movement of heat is what matters. Movement. By “climate” we mean the movement of heat in the atmosphere and oceans.

    The climate is a dissipative open system (heat engine) moving heat from equator to poles. It is complex and characterised by numerous both negative (friction) and positive (excitable) feedbacks.

    As such it is chaotic and subject to nonlinear pattern formation – the emergence of dissipative structures whose function is the export of entropy. Thus the only certainty about the climate system is that it will always be changing. Primarily by it’s internal dynamics, with or without external periodic astrophysical forcing.

    Alternate configurations, called attractors, exist with very different temperatures at a given location but no difference in the global heat budget. Such as glacial and interglacial. Or MWP and LIA, etc.

    • Ptolemy2, any source of heat to any system requires that its temperature is greater than the receiving system. In your case, the sun is the hot sink and the earth (with all of its atoms) is the cold sink. Heat flows in only one direction – from hot to cold. And, because the equator is hotter than the poles, heat is transferred only in that direction. The reason why the equator is hotter is that it receives more energy from the sun than do the poles. When one talks about “Global Warming” it includes the average of all locations on earth.

      Regardless, my excitement is: what can man do about it if the average is increasing more than desired? It is foolhardy to spend anything on a supposed solution which does not solve the alleged problem. Thus, we need to understand the condition prior to solving it. The system is so complex and interrelated it seems to me that “blaming” the condition on one, single culprit is too simplistic. And, without the empirical evidence, I do not see how limiting CO2 all by itself can possibly solve such a complex problem.

      We need more research.

      • Net energy flows from the sun to the Earth – and the same in equator to pole in the turbulent complexity of the Earth’s flow field. No further research is necessary – just pragmatic policy.

        “This pragmatic strategy centers on efforts to accelerate energy innovation, build resilience to extreme weather, and pursue no regrets pollution reduction measures — three efforts that each have their own diverse justifications independent of their benefits for climate mitigation and adaptation. As such, Climate Pragmatism offers a framework for renewed American leadership on climate change that’s effectiveness, paradoxically, does not depend on any agreement about climate science or the risks posed by uncontrolled greenhouse gases.” https://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_pragmatism_innovation

  44. The sun is the source of the vast majority of heat on the surface of the planet. The atmosphere is mostly transparent to incoming SW and the surface is warmed. Warm surfaces emit IR photons. At specific IR frequencies greenhouse gases resonate with outgoing photons resulting in vibrations, rotations, translations and electron orbit excitations. All with the quantum photon energy of the Planck constant times the frequency. The kinetic energy of molecules – heat – is transferred to other molecules in the atmosphere heating the atmosphere. Ultimately photons will be re-emitted in random directions as electron orbits jump to a lower quantum state of excitation – bouncing around the atmosphere – with more greenhouse gases micro seconds longer than they otherwise would. It is this mechanism that maintains the habitability of the planet – and more greenhouse gases result in incremental warming.


    Small changes is solar activity – or orbits – are insufficient to explain much of the warming or cooling of the 20th century. But there is apparent an internal variability that has added to and countered AGW – and the proximate cause of this is variability of cold and nutrient rich upwelling in the eastern Pacific. ENSO and the PDO have a common origin. PDO positive (negative) states in the north eastern Pacific have exactly the same periodicity as regimes of enhanced frequency and intensity of El Niño (La Niña) in the equatorial Pacific.


    Changes in trajectories of global surface temperature occur at the same times as shifts in Pacific climate state. This study from which the figure above is taken (Swanson et al, 2009, Has the climate recently shifted?) used network math across a number of climate indices to confirm that synchronous chaos is at the core of the global climate system. Climate is a globally coupled spatio/temporal chaotic system. The rules of chaos include regimes and abrupt shifts that feature in climate data over all scales. More or less upwelling in the eastern Pacific is linked to changes in wind and gyre circulation – in both hemispheres – driven by changes in surface pressure in the polar annular modes. This in turn has been linked to solar UV/ozone chemistry translated through atmospheric pathways to polar surface pressure. Solar UV is a Lorenzian trigger for upwelling that then resonates in the dynamic Pacific response in a complex interplay of wind, cloud, currents and geopotential.

    Changes in global cloud cover are dominated by changes in Pacific cloud over the eastern upwelling regions. Clement et al (2009) regressed cloud amounts against sea surface temperature.


    It is caused in part by Rayleigh–Bénard convection in a fluid – the atmosphere – heated from below. Closed cloud cells tend to form over cool, upwelling zones increasing global albedo. Open cloud cells form over warmer surfaces – decreasing planetary albedo.

    The combination of AGW and internal variation produced an incremental rate of warming in the 20th century of 0.1K/decade. Not in itself an existential threat. And one that may diminish this century with a 7% reduction in solar UV possible. This would translate into more negative polar annular modes, more north/south blocking patterns and substantial NH cooling – this NH winter may be a taste of things to come – and enhanced upwelling in the eastern Pacific. But chaos introduces an intractable uncertainty that preclude any simple prognostication. The place to look for uncertainty is in the deepwater formation zones of the north Atlantic that are implicated in abrupt and catastrophic (in the sense of Rene Thom) change over the last 800,000 years.

    Emissions are being addressed pragmatically across a plurality of gases and sectors with a plethora of technologies and systems – underpinned by economic growth and development. Uncertainty creates the impetus to focus on pragmatic emission reductions regardless of short term variability.

  45. Beta Blocker

    Will we be able to evaluate Judge Alsup’s probable understanding of each side’s tutorial presentation by seeing how much time passes before his eyes glaze over?

  46. Analysis of satellite lower troposphere temperature and atmospheric CO2 data from stations around the globe clearly shows that there is no statistically significant correlation between the two time series. However comparing the temperature time series with the annual rate of change of CO2 concentration provides definite evidence that there is a positive correlation between the two time series.
    This is confirmed by the practically identical autocorrelation function for the two time series. They have a prominent maximum at a period of 42 months for monthly time series except in the polar regions as the Sun does not irradiate those areas for part of the year.
    This, in turn, is confirmed by the Fourier Transform amplitude of both time series. Once again they are practically identical showing that temperature controls the rate of change of CO2 concentration – the reverse is illogical as a time rate of change cannot determine a level. Furthermore the amplitude spectra have a prominent maximum at about 42 months. This period is not a reported function of human activity.
    A more specific measure of the period is shown by using the 52 week Mauna Loa rate of change of CO2 concentration as a proxy for temperature. The most prominent maximum is at 1303 days, that is, 3.57 years. Geli Wang et al, Nature 07 April 2017, reported a 3.36 year cycle from wavelet analysis of the Central England temperature series and attributed it to the El Nino Southern Oscillation cycle.
    The 52 week Mauna Loa rate of change of CO2 concentration Fourier amplitude spectrum even displays maxima for the 27.2 days draconic period of the Moon plus the 29.5 day synodic period of the Moon. That is, the Moon alters the Earth temperature as it passes between the Sun and the Earth, an obvious but totally ignored observation. Other maxima relate to the synodic period of individual planets and combinations of planets as they align with the Sun and the Earth.
    To conclude: CO2 concentration change does not cause measurable atmospheric temperature change but the temperature controls the rate of change of CO2 concentration.
    Further the temperature, ‘climate change’, is mainly controlled by the motion of the Moon and planets with respect to the relative positions of the Sun and the Earth. Atmospheric CO2 has nothing whatsoever to do with the Earth’s climate at the current and historic concentration levels.

  47. I have to come down on the side of the Judge on this one.

    Answer #8 points to a serious problem. GH gases are not a source of heat. They are conveyors, store and forward devices. For anyone to list each GH gas as a source of heat is … well I don’t know what that is. To a judge none the less.

    Sources are Solar, friction (work), decay, ignition (fire, burning) and geothermal. Geothermal being the decay of radio active material around or in the Earth’s core (as the primary engine of geo heat).

    Tectonic plates cause friction – how much heat? We know they create “UFO” fire-balls.

    If climate scientists claim to understand the effects of ENSO and yet don’t know what cause such a large amount of saltwater to increase some 4C then how can the claim be made of why the Earth is warming incrementally?

    Do the tectonics slip (friction heat) and or release huge amounts of geothermal heat (under our feet) and continues over differing periods of timed events and intervals or what (not a question).

    It’s obvious that everything that is known about global thermodynamics is not enough to answer this Judge’s most obvious question. And that question really needs answered and not just state ” (that) all sources are pretty well known” and proceed to list all the GH gases as sources of heat.

    We really need to learn more about what we don’t know and what we don’t know we don’t know – and answer this Judge’s question.

    And when I say “we”, I mean all of you.

  48. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #307 | Watts Up With That?

  49. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #307 |

  50. Cutting of CO2 emissions a wrong decision!

    Judith Curry:

    ”I agree that it is extremely likely that fossil fuel emissions have contributed to the warming observed since 1951.
    I am not at all convinced by arguments that the human induced contribution is similar to the observed warming (essentially 100%) since 1951.”

    I agree with Judith Curry, as she regards the climate sensitivity (i.e. increase of climate temperature as CO2 in atmosphere is doubling) adopted by IPCC as uncertain and exaggerated. The IPCC assessment reports claim only hypotheses without any evidence in reality. As far as I am aware, there is no evidence in reality, according to which anthropogenic CO2 emissions could dominate climate warming.

    Judith Curry has earlier stated ”how much warming is caused by humans is THE key issue of debate”. Although carbon dioxide is a so called greenhouse gas, its influence on climate warming is so light, that its role on the recent climate warming can not have been verified in reality. Even already the present, small human share of about 5 % in the recent total emissions of carbondioxide to atmosphere makes the cuttings of carbondioxide emissions according to the Paris agreement be questionable.

    The Paris agreement to cut anthropogenic CO2 emissions is based on results of climate sensitivity based on investigations of climate models, which are still regarded as hypothetical, without any evidence in reality. That was already preceded by cuttings of CO2 emissions according to the Kyoto protocol, which seemed to cause only disarters. Cutting of CO2 emissions according to the Kyoto protocol was a consequence of the Rio conference 1992, as there as a precautionary principle, without any evidense in reality, cutting of CO2 emissions was regarded as necessary: ”Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”

    I believe, that all of us, including even politicians as decisionmakers, will be made sufficiently understand, that human emissions of carbon dioxide are not any threat of climate warming. Then it is clear, that the Paris agreement must be cancelled. There are lot of issues, which – even anyone alone – are able to prove that any cutting of humancaused CO2 emissions is not any solution to prevent climate warming; for instance:

    A. Increase of carbon dioxide in atmophere is caused together by CO2-emissions from sources to atmosphere and by CO2-absorptions from atmosphere to sinks, as they are striving for dynamic balance. Carbon dioxide in atmosphere is increasing, as the CO2-emissions are more than the CO2-absorptions. As for instance recently the share of human caused CO2 emissions in the total CO2-emissions to atmosphere has been only about 5 %, according to natural laws, the anthropogenic share in the total increase of CO2 content in atmosphere has been only about 5 % , too. Even though the total increase of CO2 content in atmosphere would control the recent climate warming, the anthropogenic share of 5 % in the total increase of CO2 content in atmosphere would be so minimal, that it could not be regarded as any threat of climate warming.

    B. Geological observations concerning the latest 100 million years prove, that as periodes of ten million years the trends of atmospheric CO2 content have followed the trends of climate temperature. In addition, concerning the glacials and interglacials during the latest 800 000 years the correlation found between climate temperature and CO2 content in atmosphere have been explained to be consequence of climate temperatures, as CO2 content in atmosphere has been proved to follow climate temperature and not vice versa. Further, the recent hiatus of climate warming proves, that the increasing CO2 content in atmosphere does not cause any threatening climate warming. As I have stated in my link https://judithcurry.com/2011/08/04/carbon-cycle-questions/#comment-198992 , warming of ocean surface waters dominates increase of CO2 content in atmosphere. As the recent CO2 content in atmosphere has increased with delay after climate warming, it is explained by the delayed warming of sea surface water on the sea surface areas, where the sea surface sinks are. In addition, e.g. Joanne Nova has written http://joannenova.com.au/2009/12/carbon-rises-800-years-after-temperatures :
    1. Ice cores don’t prove what caused past warming or cooling. The simplest explanation is that when temperatures rise, more carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere (because as oceans warm they release more CO2).
    2. Something else is causing the warming. ”

    C. The Paris agreement is politically based on the climate sensitivity adopted by IPCC, even though there is not any evidence available in reality. As the climate sensitivity adopted by IPCC is now the order of 3 C, the targit of Paris agreement is less than 2 C, and there is being strived for about 1.5 C. I appreciate the results of Judith Curry etc.,who – on the basis of scrutinizing – claim that the climate sensitivity adopted by IPCC is uncertain and exaggerated. In addition, there are lot of experts, who regard the climate sensitivity as so low, that it can not be distinguished from zero. The recent hiatus of climate warming is one evidence for that, and further satelite measurements since 1979 prove the same, as for instance David Wojick has stated.

    ”The key issue is: do carbon dioxide emissions cause dire warming of the atmosphere? SEPP’s answer is no, and CO2 emissions are beneficial to humanity and the environment”; https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/03/12/weekly-climate-and-energy-news-roundup-307. As the recent climate warming seems to be controlled by natural laws, the only way, what we as human beings can do, is to learn to adapt ourselves to natural climate changes and to extreme events of weather.

    • A. The source of CO2 is not the oceans or dying plants. Then what it is it?

      B. Something can both follow and lead given different situations. Trees can follow temperatures and then set up many local climates, to then have a leading role. Think of it as non-linear where changes are not described by a too simple formula.

  51. The local weatherman can not even get the weekend forecast accurate within 2deg C! So telling us that they predict ANYTHING with accuracy 100yrs into the future is a very weak fortune cookie guess! I have an idea, rather than committing to a ctrl-alt-del of the World’s established energy infrastructure, let’s base Policy on 5 year increments of Reality! Reality is not mapping to the 100yr prediction already!

    In fact, CO2 is GREENING the Earth, increasing food production and it can be said that the only negative to a 1part per MILLION fluctuation in Global Average CO2, is the HUGE DECREASE in the IQ of Climate Scientists and the Leftist Liberal Democrats (BTW what is the Level of Accuracy on measuring 1part per MILLION?).

    The Climate is doing NOTHING out of the Ordinary! The Climate has been Warmer, it has been Cooler, it has been Wetter, it has bee Drier, there is no increase in storms, in fact the number of Category 5 Hurricanes has decreased, so perhaps the CO2 reduces Hurricane intensity? We must remember the Earth has gone Warmer (Warming Periods) and Cooler (Ice Ages) with or without Man or Man Made CO2! The Climate of the Earth fluctuates, trends up, trends down, because we are a living and breathing, ALIVE Planet! The year that the Earth’s Climate Stops Changing, will mean the Earth is Dead! Thank God for Climate Change!

    Yes it is true, AGW has now been redefined to stand for Al Gore’s Wrong!!!

  52. We will never get to Capabilities of the Jetson, by restricting our progress to the Energies of the Flintstones!

  53. What are the main sources for the incremental rise…

    CO2 is not a source it only captures heat

    As others have said:
    Sources are the Sun and geothermal

    But …for the incremental rise in temperature

    Then JC is right

  54. David Wojick

    Here is my answer. The only warming over the last 40 years is due to the giant El Nino cycle 1998-2001. Pretty simple really.

    See my http://www.cfact.org/2018/01/02/no-co2-warming-for-the-last-40-years/

    For a fuller account see my http://www.cfact.org/2018/03/05/systematically-refuting-climate-alarmism/

    First step is to throw out the surface temperature statistical models. Then look at the satellites. But this is far too simple for a $2.6 billion a year climate change research program to accept.

  55. I thought that the debate was resolved after my findings that the sun is the major climate driver. This is not just hypothesis, it is proven hardcore science on even explaining the solar wind phenomenon. A volume of research. http://dimispoulos.wixsite.com/dimis

  56. So now lawyers are going to settle climate science. Magnificent. But let’s be broad minded and balanced, and let dentists have a go to, ok? And toss in a few football pundits too shall we ?

  57. Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  58. The 396 W/m^2 upwelling and net 333 W/m^2 GHG energy loop as shown on the K-T power flux balance diagram (Figure 10 Trenberth et al 2011jcli24) is calculated using the S-B equation with an assumed emissivity of 1.0 and an average surface temperature of 16 C, 289 K. Because of the conductive/convective/advective/latent heat participating processes of the atmospheric molecules the actual and correct radiative emissivity is about 0.16, i.e. 63/396.

    This GHG energy loop is an inappropriate calculation with zero physical reality.

    Without this energy loop the radiative greenhouse effect theory fails.

    Without RGHE man-caused climate change does not exist.

    It’s called “science.”

    Don’t be frightened, spit out the Kool-Aid and give it a try.

    • Right, it should be no mistery that real surface emissivity is ~0.92. That means 360W/m2 rather than 396. Also this drops the “GHE” to about 125W/m2.
      With clouds cooling Earth at a rate of 110W/m2 (as the NOAA chart indicates below – 23% and 9% of 342W/m2), the big question is how much they heat it on the other side. Anything close to 110W/m2 will eat up most of the GHE of 125W/m2.


      “By enhancing the planetary albedo, cloudy conditions exert a global and annual shortwave cloud radiative effect of approximately –50 W m–2 and, by contributing to the greenhouse effect, exert a mean longwave effect of approximately +30 W m–2, with a range of 10% or less between published satellite estimates.”

      That quote from the AR5 only demonstrates the problem climatologists have with this. They know that the positive CF is part of the GHE and thus eats into the share of other GHGs, which is why they have to minimize this part. So first they drop the 110W/m2 upward forcing by 60W/m2 to only 50W/m2, than they insinuate a negative net forcing of 20/Wm2, and so they end up with only 30W/m2 as a positive forcing. Finally we still have the 36W/m2 in exagerated surface emissivity.

      None of that is true however, which means 60+30+36 = 126W/m2 of the GHE are purely constructed in a model that is both contradicting itself as reality.

  59. Harry Twinotter

    “Looks the Red Team will have an easy job of it; all they need to do is read the fine print of the IPCC assessment reports.”

    Really? I don’t think there is any “fine print”. The IPCC “extremely likely” is clearly stated as applying to the period 1951-2010. You can talk about the first half of the 20th century I guess, but until a forcing can be identified it would be an argument from ignorance to apply that to the period 1951-2010.

    I can’t say for sure, but you seem to putting a lot into global emissions while ignoring global accumulation – maybe I am misintepreting the chart.