Hansen and Schmidt: Predicting the Past?

I meant to write about this particular smoking gun some time ago, but I didn’t want to take away attention from Steve’s travails with the NAS Panel and with Geophysical Research Letters. Willis Eschenbach did the actual replication so really it’s his story.

If you cast your minds back to last year, a modelling study[1] by James Hansen and Gavin Schmidt was touted as yet another "smoking gun" proving that the dire warnings of future warming were justified as they could now model the past – or at least a few years of it.

The BBC was at the forefront of the publicity for this new result.

The Earth is absorbing more energy from the Sun than it is giving back into space, according to a new study by climate scientists in the US.

They base their findings on computer models of climate, and on measurements of temperature in the oceans.

The group describes its results as "the smoking gun that we were looking for", removing any doubt that human activities are warming the planet.

I always find it disturbing that in an experimental setup involving many variables which are as poorly understood as the climate system, the bold scientists should be looking for a particular result and being exultant at finding what they were looking for.

If it was me, and I’d thought I’d got the right answer, I’d know that I’d be asking for a monster custard pie in the face to announce it in such categoric terms if no-one had first checked my work and replicated it. But this is climate science, where replication is not the done thing.

Let’s see what Hanson and Schmidt managed to produce:

Now I try to get excited about this close replication but I’m sure that Dave Stockwell could come up with much better correspondence with his red noise simulations if he wanted to.

However, if you’re going to show that your simulations are robust, then what finer way of doing so than to backtest against someone else’s data, in this case Levitus et al[2].

Hansen didn’t show that he did this even though he quoted Levitus in his references, but Willis Eschenbach has stepped up and done it for him.

Here’s the backtest:

Hum.

References:

1. "Earth’s Energy Imbalance: Confirmation and Implications"
James Hansen, Larissa Nazarenko, Reto Ruedy, Makiko Sato, Josh Willis, Anthony Del Genio, Dorothy Koch, Andrew Lacis, Ken Lo, Surabi Menon, Tica Novakov, Judith Perlwitz, Gary Russell, Gavin A. Schmidt, Nicholas Tausnev
http://www.sciencexpress.org / 28 April 2004 / Page 6/ 10.1126/science.1110252

2. "Warming of the World Ocean"
Sydney Levitus, John I. Antonov, Timothy P. Boyer, Cathy Stephens
24 MARCH 2000 VOL 2228 287 SCIENCE

3. Hansen data used in simulation: http://www.climateaudit.org/wp-content/hansen graph data.xls


407 Comments

  1. Posted Apr 9, 2006 at 4:51 PM | Permalink

    I was intending to look at the heat content changes of the oceans and the corresponding changes in radiation budget, but Willis has done that job already (btw, can that be expanded to 2003?), thanks for that!

    Most of the extra increase of ocean heat content is from changes in cloud cover in the tropics. This has led to an increase of 2-3 W/m2 more insolation in the period (1983-2001) which is covered by satellites, see the works of Wielicki ea. and Chen ea. (2002), recently confirmed by Pinker ea.

    This is an order of magnitude larger than the primary contribution of GHGs in the same period. And indeed is visible in the heat content of the tropical oceans, where the highest increase is measured in the subtropics. See Fig. 2 in Levitus ea.

    There is a direct connection between (low) cloud cover and incoming solar energy (see Fig.1 in Christjansson ea.), maybe the observed radiation budget changes are related to solar changes…

  2. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 9, 2006 at 4:51 PM | Permalink

    You’ll note too that the Levitus data is a fair (first order) representation of global mean temperture over the 20th century as well.

  3. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Apr 9, 2006 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

    Also the thermal radiation from greenhouse gases can only penetrate perhaps 15 microns into water before being fully absorbed. This thin layer will heat, but the bulk of the water won’t. For example, shining a high powered 10.6 micron CO2 laser on water will cause the surface the boil, but water just below it will remain unchanged in temperature. To get the surface to boil, you need a power hundreads of thousands of times greater power per unit area than the perturbation due to greenhouse gases (See http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/lasercc2.htm, for example).

  4. John A
    Posted Apr 9, 2006 at 6:19 PM | Permalink

    Re #3

    This is what bothers me about the greenhouse gas theory – it’s being used to claim that ocean currents are being perturbed by changes in a trace gas in the atmosphere. Has anyone tried to calculate the energy needed to do that?

    More to the point, why dpes nobody point out that changes in radiative forcing are miniscule compared to the convective energy of the world’s oceans?

  5. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Apr 9, 2006 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

    #3. Doing a little more research, it seems 10.6 micron lasers have narrower beams than I thought and typical irradiances are 16 to 20 million W/m2. Beam widths are typically 0.015 cm for a 25 watt laser and 0.05 cm for a 100 watt laser.

    See http://www.stepc.gr/artt/english/ARTT-S-15-25C_e.html and http://www.stepc.gr/artt/english/LIC-S-50-100C_e.html.

    For a doubled carbon dioxide, you will get 0.5 to 1.0 W/m2 extra irradiance at the ocean surface.

  6. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 9, 2006 at 6:29 PM | Permalink

    More importantly how would a warmer atmosphere increase Tropical storms, since tropical storms are the means by wich the oceanse move heat into the atmosphere. If the atmosphere were warming this should reduce the amount of storms and intensity.

    Assuming the minor changes we’ve seen would have any effect at all, as John points out the warming we’ve seen is small compared to the energy of ocean currents.

  7. Jon
    Posted Apr 9, 2006 at 8:51 PM | Permalink

    If storm frequency/intensity is increasing (as purported due to GW), then we can assume that the ocean energy content is increasing faster than the atmosphere. Would it then follow that the oceans, with much higher mass and energy than the atmosphere, are likely to be at least partially driving increasing atmospheric temps, rather than the other way around?

    If these statements are true, then prevalent GW theories appear somewhat incompatible. Or perhaps two AGW camps appear in unison with the same conclusions, but with conflicting underlying theories meaning at least one must be wrong. Am I missing something?

  8. Posted Apr 9, 2006 at 9:02 PM | Permalink

    Did you actually read their paper? In particular, page 1432?

  9. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 9, 2006 at 10:32 PM | Permalink

    Tim, thanks for posting. I got their paper off of ScienceExpress, and their pages are numbered 1 through 6 plus figures. Which page 1432 are you referring to?

    Thanks,

    w.

    PS – Yes, I did read their paper … if you were referring to me. If not … who were you referring to?

  10. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 9, 2006 at 10:55 PM | Permalink

    Re 7, Jon, thanks for posting. What u might be missing is, every study I have read shows no change in storm frequency. Do you have a citation for the purported increase?

    Thanks,

    w.

  11. Doug L
    Posted Apr 9, 2006 at 11:12 PM | Permalink

    The real smoking gun is the warmer air over Antarctica. Funny, they say more study is needed to link that to CO2. The phrase “shell game” comes to mind.

  12. Pat Frank
    Posted Apr 9, 2006 at 11:26 PM | Permalink

    Willis, did you model the oceanic heat content in a manner equivalent to that of Hansen, et al? In the tiny overlap region (1992-1995) the respective modelling results don’t look the same. Also, did you carry out multiple runs?

    Looking at Hansen’s output, by the way, and keeping in mind the high sensitivity of GCM outputs to initial conditions as shown by Michael Collins ((2002) Climate Dynamics 19, 671–692), I’m surprised the five runs produced such similar trends. Hansen, et al., say this about initial conditions: “An ensemble of five simulations was obtained by using initial conditions at intervals of 25 years of the climate model control run, thus revealing the model’s inherent unforced variability.”

    Thinking about it, I don’t know what that means. Is it that the initial conditions for each run of the 5-run ensemble were taken from a single control run, but at points separated by 25 years? If so, that doesn’t seem to be a good way to judge inherent variability.

    I also note the several instances of “subjective” applied to error estimates. It’s hard not to judge plots with subjective error limits as quantitatively meaningless. If the objective errors turned out to be twice what was subjectively judged, the model outputs would not be statistically different from zero.

  13. Michael Mayson
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 12:43 AM | Permalink

    Re #9 Willis, you can download a copy of the article with as published page numbers here
    http://portals.conservation.org/downloads/storedfile/Document/earths%20energy%20imbalance.pdf

  14. Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 1:20 AM | Permalink

    Willis, did you write this post, or did John A?

    Here’s what it says on page 1432, my emphasis:

    Ocean heat storage. Confirmation of the planetary energy imbalance can be obtained by measuring the heat content of the ocean, which must be the principal reservoir for excess energy (3, 15). Levitus et al. (15) compiled ocean temperature data that yielded increased ocean heat content of about 10 W year/m2, averaged over the Earth’s surface, during 1955 to 1998 [1 W year/m2 over the full Earth ~ 1.61x10^22 J; see table S1 for conversion factors of land, air, water, and ice temperature changes and melting to global energy units]. Total ocean heat storage in that period is consistent with climate model simulations (16–19), but the models do not reproduce reported decadal fluctuations. The fluctuations may be a result of variability ofocean dynamics (17) or, at least in part, an artifact of incomplete sampling of a dynamically variable ocean (18, 19).

    I think you confirmed what they wrote.

  15. Paul Gosling
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 3:58 AM | Permalink

    Re 3#

    Mixing!

  16. John A
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 4:22 AM | Permalink

    Doug Hoyt:

    One of the assumptions of the Hansen paper was

    Solar irradiance is taken as increasing
    by 0.22 W/m2 between 1880 and 2003, with
    an estimated uncertainty of a factor of 2

    Comments?

  17. Knut Knutsen
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 4:43 AM | Permalink

    If one looks at the first panel of this confused insert, you will notice there is a curve labelled “observations”. What is this? It is the very Levitus data that John A claims Hansen did not test against, i.e. the heat content of the upper ocean as observed by measurments. One more thing: Some people on this blog seems to think the ocean does not move. The reason for the damping role of the ocean to the radiation change lies in the effective mixing of the surface layer by winds and currents. Thus the heat anomaly propagates into the deeper levels. Talking about heating only the skin is to treat the ocean as a tiny lab flask. Reading the Levitus paper should be helpful.

  18. Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 5:13 AM | Permalink

    Err, Knut, I don’t think you understand what’s being said here.

    It’s not that the model run doesn’t track overservations over the (small) period in the first figure. It’s that it does, but does not track overservations if run over an earlier, longer period.

    Is it a symptom of the model being tweaked so that it follows observations over the 1993-2003 period? Or is it just that its assumptions happen to fit that period OK but not the earlier period.

    Either way, a model which doesn’t reliably predict observations over a number of different periods does not seem very reliable to me. Clearly there’s something going on in the 1955-1995 period that the model doesn’t take into account.

  19. Knut Knutsen
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 5:38 AM | Permalink

    Re 17, I think you need to read the Hansen et al paper. Look at Fig. 1B which shows simulations against observations since 1880. 5 simulations with the same forcing (GHG, aerosols, volcanics solar), and a remarkable good fit with observations over more than 100 years IMO. Other models have similar results. The short time span of the ocean heat content has more to do with the short time span of good global ocean data sets to compare with.

  20. John Lish
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 5:57 AM | Permalink

    Yet based on ten years study, Schmidt states:

    What we are doing now is we are changing that imbalance at a rate which appears to be unprecedented over at least a thousand years

    Hmmm…

  21. Paul Linsay
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 6:44 AM | Permalink

    #8, 17: Hansen, et al, shoot themselves in the foot with this paper. The 1A data on forcings that they need to get 1B to come out right would have been unavailable to someone in 1880 trying to make a hundred year prediction of the surface temperature. Some of them, like the stratospheric aerosols due to volcanoes, are in principle unknowable ahead of time.

    During the 1930s there was the Dust Bowl in the US, huge dust storms in the Midwest that blacked out the sky over several states for days on end. Anyone know if that should show up in 1A as an aerosol forcing? Of course, as Lindzen has pointed out in his House of Lords testimony, there are no measurements of any atmospheric aerosols prior to 1967.

    It would be interesting to see the regional temperature predictions that come out of these runs. After all, the global average temperature is like a fat woman’s tent dress, it hides a lot that shouldn’t be seen in public.

    #11, didn’t you mean “colder air”? Or did I miss the sarcasm?

  22. John A
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 7:35 AM | Permalink

    Re #20

    I remarked in my earlier post on this that Schmidt would appear to be helping an old friend out with this remark. If Hansen and Schmidt can’t demonstrate robustness over decades, then what validity has that remark? (A: None)

    The other thing is that the model runs that are supposed to be so incredibly accurate over a whole ten years are supposed to be indicative of human-induced global warming. How exactly? Where is the proof of those statements made in the first paragraph?

  23. John Lish
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 8:09 AM | Permalink

    #22 Its just an extraordinary claim for Schmidt to make.

  24. Knut Knutsen
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

    re 22. “The other thing is that the model runs that are supposed to be so incredibly accurate over a whole ten years are supposed to be indicative of human-induced global warming. How exactly? Where is the proof of those statements made in the first paragraph?”
    The proof is in the paper. The models are run with both natural and anthropogenic forcing and get results which very much in line with observations, showing that there is an imbalance in the radiative budget due mainly to the GHGs and that excess heat from this imbalance is stored in the ocean. Hard to understand how tou could miss this, which is the main data and conclusion in the paper.

  25. John A
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 9:08 AM | Permalink

    Re #24

    We wait in vain for Lambert to produce a “Schmidt strains all credulity with 1000 year claim”.

    The real question is why journalists allow such unqualified statements to be made without proof. Is it awe?

  26. Hans Erren
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 9:25 AM | Permalink

    re 24:

    the increased heating as ferdinand pointed out is directly due to decreased clouds.
    Cloud decrease is either a solar feedback (Christjanson) or a GHG feedback (Hansen).

    The GHG feedback is a priori put into the GISS model.

  27. Doug L
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    Re #21

    I said “warming” in #11 and I meant it.

    From a story about tropospheric warming in Antarctica:

    “But no one knows whether the heat-trapping effects of human atmospheric pollution are at fault or nature’s own cycles of change. ”

    In this case one reason for not shouting “smoking gun” from the roof tops, is because otherwise they have to explain how the heat over Antarctica gets into the ocean. One would surmise that heat melts ice and adds cold water to the ocean and cools it.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/03/31/MNG14I15R61.DTL

  28. jae
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    A model built to exhibit a certain curve will show that curve. It’s that simple. The fact that it can’t show the past is clear evidence that something is missing, and not CO2, LOL. I don’t see how anyone can say with a straight face that these models are sufficiently robust to be basing public policy on them.

  29. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

    re: #13

    Thanks for the link. I’ve now read the paper and have some general comments… Well, there are also some detail comments which affect the general comments.

    First we skeptics need to look at the important take-away lessons which the warmers, including the authors themselves, naturally ignore. First they gut the arguments by other modelers who claim a gigantic possible temperature gain from a doubling of CO2. Hansen, et. al. (2005) [H5 hereafter] link the forcing to actual physical measurements, particularly the ocean heat imbalance and show that this implies a temperature rise of a couple of degrees C. And they show that this will only occur over a period of several decades. Second they show that by and large there’s no way to avoid most of the remaining built-in temperature increase to come. To understand why this is true, you have to know that given the base CO2 level as that of 1880, and that the forcings are a logarithmic function of the CO2 concentration (i.e. each doubling only produces a linear increase in forcing) so the fact that we’ve added about 40% to the initial CO2 concentration means we’ve added about 50% of the total temperature increase from doubling CO2 concentration. Further, given that countries like China and India aren’t interested in controlling their CO2 emissions yet anyway means that much of the rest of a doubling can’t be avoided either.

    Now in addition to this there are some problems with H5 which aren’t totally obvious. First it’s hard to tell just what assumptions were made in the models. The text indicates that the models are documented, but the papers which show this (8,9) are both “in preparation.” Perhaps they’re now available but if so can somebody give me a link to them, or a .pdf?

    Second, at several points there are references in the passive voice, “It has been shown…” which are to other Hansen papers. I admit this is typical of many scientific papers, but it has a tendency to make people think that you’re using other’s work to confirm your own when that’s not the case. And those who frequent this board know the Hockey Team is fond of “independent verification” which turns out to be simply results using the same materials and assumptions from a different subset of the team.

    Third, look at figure 2 in H5, for instance. Much is made of the “fact” that the runs agree so much with the measurements, but actually what we have is that the linear trend is similar but the details are not really close at all. How much ability does it take for a model to agree with a straight line? Sure you can say “but they do it so intricately!” but so what? I’m sure we’ve all seen these “magic tricks” where you’re supposed to think about your age and after having you do many calculations you end up with the year of your birth. Of course you can get the same thing in one step by taking the year you turned your present age and subtracting your age, but it’s more impressive the way the magician does it. A similar point could be made about H5 figure 1b & 1c which look impressive until you realize that the aerosol forcing and GHG concentrations have to have been fed into the model in one manner or another and that once the sum of them are subtracted from the model results you basically have random noise left. If this is the case, how can we expect past or future situations, where we don’t have the data to feed in, are going to be accurate?

    Well, that’s enough for one message.

  30. Jeff Norman
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 10:54 AM | Permalink

    Re #15. “Mixing!”

    and

    #17 “The reason for the damping role of the ocean to the radiation change lies in the effective mixing of the surface layer by winds and currents. Thus the heat anomaly propagates into the deeper levels.”

    I have difficulty understanding how mixing at the surface by winds and currents propagates heat energy into deeper layers of the oceans.

    Could someone explain this to me without using words like “go read the paper”. How does the heat energy move down in the ocean? It should be fundamentally easy to understand but I’m just not getting it.

    Thank you.

    BTW: This particular thread has been quite interesting so far. No/few ad homs and the usual sniping .

    Thanks for that too.

  31. Jeff Norman
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    What time is the clock that assigns times to this forum set to, mid-Atlantic?

  32. Greg F
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

    RE:24

    The proof is in the paper. The models are run with both natural and anthropogenic forcing and get results which very much in line with observations, …

    Fundamentally there are 2 variables, natural and anthropogenic.

    … showing that there is an imbalance in the radiative budget due mainly to the GHGs and that excess heat from this imbalance is stored in the ocean.

    Ummmm … no.

    A caveat accompanying our analysis concerns the uncertainty in climate forcings. A good fit of observed and modeled temperatures (Fig. 1) also could be attained with smaller forcing and larger climate sensitivity, or with the converse.

    IOW, the model is not a model, it is a simple curve fit.

  33. John A
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 12:32 PM | Permalink

    Re #32

    What I want to know is, how did they calibrate the model in the first place?

  34. jae
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

    I don’t think “calibrate” is quite the right word. I think “tinker” is a better word. They enter all these forcing functions and adjust them so that the “right” curve comes out. If they omitted the CO2-related functions, they would just add a little solar feedback or ocean feedback, or cloud feedback, or….

    Incidently, I wonder if anyone has looked into the role of volcanism (under water) in altering the temperature of the oceans. After all, the molten center of the earth has one hell of a lot of heat, which is being released constantly by one means or another. I understand a new Hawaiian Island is being formed this way.

  35. Phil B.
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 12:50 PM | Permalink

    Can anyone explain why the Global Ocean Heat Content Change is in W-yr/m^2 instead of W-yr/m^3??

  36. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

    Would only make sense of they were talking about the surface, whcih kind of puts it in perspective, the area to the colume is a much different thing.

  37. Paul Linsay
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 1:00 PM | Permalink

    #30. Sunlight heats water at depth. Look at the last figure in this link about light absorption in H2O. In the near UV at 400 nm one absorption length is 300m. The solar spectrum (see the second figure) has a lot of energy in the near UV. This is going to deposit lots of energy into the ocean. Decreasing cloud cover correlates well with increases in ocean heating.

    Thermal conduction by a warm atmosphere is not going to do much in the way of heating because of the extremely long times scales for heat to diffuse downwards to these depths, time scales on the order of a hundred years.

    I don’t know about mixing by wind and waves but would doubt that it goes very deep. Even when there are large Atlantic storms with 20 ft waves around here, Boston, you don’t see much in the way of bait fish, crabs, and other small sea creatures thrown up on the shore.

  38. John A
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

    My point is jae, is that Hansen appears to attach phenomenal results to the period in which his model was calibrated. Does that seem circular to you?

  39. jae
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 1:12 PM | Permalink

    re: 38. Yes, it is circular; that’s my whole point.

  40. jae
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 1:20 PM | Permalink

    With all the physical problems of trying to describe turbulent flow mechanisms, I don’t see how these models can have very accurate equations for describing the effects of all the variables on temperature (hell, they don’t even know what all the variables are). Thus, the only way to get a model to spit out something that even roughly agrees with reality is to keep “adjusting” the constants in the equations and the underlying assumptions. They have been at it for so long, they know how to make the “right” assumptions. But it’s just like tree ring studies; it’s all cherry picking. Ohmygod, I hope I don’t get sued by the modelers.

  41. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

    Re 18: Fig. 1b shows the results of five model runs compared to the mean global surface air temperature.

    The problem is not with the backcast fit to the surface air temperature. The models are carefully tuned to replicate that.

    The problem is with the backcast sea surface temperature (SST). The model does extremely poorly in that regard, despite the paper’s claims to the contrary.

    w.

  42. Andre Bijkerk
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

    Re #3 and #5,

    Douglas, if IR only penetrates microns before absorption, wouldn’t the agited molecules on higher speeds at the water surface tend to evaporize right away, leaving the slower (is cooler) molecules behind? So it appears then that variation in IR means variation in evaporation and not in temperature.

    So if variation in oceanic energy is to be explained in terms of radiation, it must have been visible light.

  43. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    #42

    The top few microns or skin is cooler than the water beneath it. It is probably cooler because water is a very efficient emitter of radiation, almost as good as a blackbody. Part of the coolness may also be due to evaporation, but I would think surface tension would damp that. In any case, if this cooler skin layer is mixed with the water below it, how does that lead to a warming ocean?

  44. Jeff Norman
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 2:33 PM | Permalink

    Re #37 Paul,

    Thank you the reply, but I guess I wasn’t clear in my question.

    As I understand it, incremental CO2 in the atmosphere should in theory be heating the atmosphere at a certain rate. Observations of the atmosphere show that it is not responding as theory suggests so perhaps the heat is going somewhere else, hence the suggestion that the “missing” incremental heat is being absorbed by the ocean. How does this heat propagate to lower levels if as others suggest the particular wavelengths cannot penetrate the surface?

    Sure, “sunlight” at selected wavelengths will penetrate deeply into the ocean. For this to cause the oceans to become warmer than some selected time in the past you would have to have more sunlight. You would expect any incremental sunlight warming the ocean to warm the land surfaces as well.

  45. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

    re:44

    I think the major components of an explanation are present here. The IR is absorbed by the surface layer and some of this heat is reemitted and some increases evaporation and the rest mixes within a few seconds with the rest of the upper surface layer. This layer is then mixed with an hour or so with the total surface layer via convection cells. The thermocline does move up and down over a longer period of time and this mixes some of the surface water with the intermediate layers of water which then vary gradually mix with deeper water. If we’re near ocean currents then the deep mixing can be reasonably fast but most of the intermediate waters hardly mix at all. Of course the currents would tend to wobble back and forth so most ocean water eventually gets mixed.

    So the question is just how the various ways (long-wave IR absorbed by the ocean skin is dissipated), divides up. If lots gets mixed with the deeper layers it would produce much the same results as visible light. IF it “reflects” from the surface by quick emission a lot will escape to space and some will warm the atmosphere. If it results in a lot of evaporation it will cool the surface and add latent heat to the atmosphere which will eventually be carried to high in the atmosphere and then rain out.

    I’m sure a lot of the answer depends on wind speed and wave action. Models, obviously, can’t mimic this activity on a small scale so it has to be entered into the model as parameterized data and how well that’s done I can’t say. I wouldn’t count on it being more accurate than the data used to calculate the parameters, however, so agreement of the models to the pattern of the instrumental measurements isn’t significant. The question is whether there’s any value added via the modelling?

  46. Paul Linsay
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 3:09 PM | Permalink

    #27. Thanks for the article. It’s strange that the satellite data show no such rise in the temperature. In fact it shows a net cooling over Antarctica for the same period of time.

    Even if there is a rise of 3.6 F, the coastline of Antarctica has a mean annual temperature of -30C and it drops much further as you go into the interior. A change of 2 C is not going to melt anything.

  47. Paul Linsay
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    #44 & 45: The point is that the IR can only penetrate a few microns into the water where it is thermalized and immediately re-radiated to the atmosphere (a perfect absorber is a perfect emitter) with a thermal “blackbody” spectrum of about 290 K. A good fraction of that, about 32%, escapes via the 8 – 13 micron IR window in the atmosphere. It can’t heat the water at all. On the other hand, the visible and UV sunlight penetrates to great depths where it is absorbed and warms the water. The heat can’t get out to the atmosphere easily because it has to leave via conduction, which is a very slow process, or some sort of mixing.

    The sunlight does heat the land, but not to any great depth. Temperatures 10 feet below ground barely change from summer to winter.

  48. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 3:35 PM | Permalink

    but the models do not reproduce reported decadal fluctuations. The fluctuations may be a result of variability of ocean dynamics (17) or, at least in part, an artifact of incomplete sampling of a dynamically variable ocean (18, 19).

    Or the models could just basically be junk.

  49. Doug L
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    In case anyone doesn’t know, RealClimate covered this research nearly a year ago. There is no discussion about how the extra heat gets into the ocean that I saw. Perhaps what happens to it initially has little to do with how it gets into the ocean.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/05/planetary-energy-imbalance/

    Re #46

    (off thread about Antarctica)
    My point was just one of speculation about why they might not want to play up the CO2 angle more strongly. Perhaps it’s more to do with diverting attention from the idea that the CO2 warming might only be noticeable where it’s unusually dry, or only when it’s dark for months at a time.

    Curiosity about the role of humidity may lead one to surmise that extra CO2 only has significant impact where it’s unusually dry.

    (back on thread):

    On the other hand, perhaps the Hansen study gets the “smoking gun” handle because it probably cost a lot more money. It does say “Continuation of the ocean temperature and altimetry measurements is needed to confirm that the energy imbalance is not a fluctuation…”

    Translation: please, please give us more money! :-)

  50. John G. Bell
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

    Re #34: jae,
    I’ve often wondered about the CO2 released into the seas by rifts in the sea floor. It would be a great deal more than what is belched directly into the air by volcanoes.

  51. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 4:38 PM | Permalink

    Re 14: Tim, thanks for posting and for the clarification.

    You are correct that the study says

    Ocean heat storage. Confirmation of the planetary energy imbalance can be obtained by measuring the heat content of the ocean, which must be the principal reservoir for excess energy (3, 15). Levitus et al. (15) compiled ocean temperature data that yielded increased ocean heat content of about 10 W year/m2, averaged over the Earth’s surface, during 1955 to 1998 [1 W year/m2 over the full Earth ~ 1.61àƒÆ’''‚¬"10^22 J; see table S1 for conversion factors of land, air, water, and ice temperature changes and melting to global energy units]. Total ocean heat storage in that period is consistent with climate model simulations (16–19), but the models do not reproduce reported decadal fluctuations. The fluctuations may be a result of variability of ocean dynamics (17) or, at least in part, an artifact of incomplete sampling of a dynamically variable ocean (18, 19).

    However, saying that the “models do not reproduce reported decadal fluctuations” papers over the very real, multi-decadal differences between the models and the oceans. The models were wildly wrong, not for a decade, but for the thirty year period 1955-1985, were briefly right in the late ’80s, and then went off of the rails again.

    To describe this huge error by saying that the “models do not reproduce reported decadal fluctuations” is a bitter joke … these models do not reproduce reality in any form. They were right at the beginning of the study and near the end, and in between they were very, very wrong. To say that their results are “consistent” with total heat storage is a … well, let me just call it a highly optimistic description and leave it at that. The R^2 between their results and the real ocean is only 0.21. This is far worse than a straight linear trend line (R^2 = 0.78), and indicates a total lack of predictive skill for the models.

    I note also that when the models and the reality disagree, the authors describe the problem as either being a) internal variability, or b) incomplete sampling … well, yes, but you’d also have to say that c) inaccurate models is a very real possibility as well …

    Their practice of showing a ten year period of good results, while not showing the immediately previous forty year period of horrible results, is cherry picking of the worst order. Tim, I’m surprised that you would defend this practice.

    w.

  52. Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 9:27 PM | Permalink

    Willis, I guess I’m not surprised to see you defending John A’s misrepresentations of the Hansen article. Fact is, contrary to John A’s claim, Hansen did compare his model with Levitus and reported the results. You, of course, want to puff up any disagreement and describe Levitus measurements as “reality”. They’re not, they are measurements which are incomplete and not as good as the more recent ones.

    Their results are indeed consistent with the total heat storage. Both curves end up in the same place. What on earth do you think total heat storage means?

  53. Terry
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 10:54 PM | Permalink

    Tim said:

    Their results are indeed consistent with the total heat storage. Both curves end up in the same place. What on earth do you think total heat storage means?

    I’m confused. How does the fact that the curves are coincident at one point in time prove anything? If we cut off the graph earlier, they they would not “end up in the same place” and so, presumably by your logic, they would be wrong. How can the choice of when we choose to cut off the graph make them right or wrong? If we extend the graph, then they will probably not “end up in the same place.” Would they then be wrong again?

  54. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 10:56 PM | Permalink

    Re:#52

    Both curves end up in the same place.

    As a number of posts have pointed out, it would seem to be rather more important to have the curves themselves decently correlated rather than just ending in the same place. After all, fitting a curve to just two points isn’t much of a challenge, is it?

  55. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 11:13 PM | Permalink

    “After all, fitting a curve to just two points isn’t much of a challenge, is it”

    Actually overlaying the graphs and having them not meet at, at least two points would be even more difficult.

  56. MrPete
    Posted Apr 10, 2006 at 11:31 PM | Permalink

    Tim, “Both curves end up in the same place.” is:

    a) only true for the graph limits shown. Stop at another year and the endpoint values do not match

    b) AFAIK, the “curves” are arbitrary lines to make the information easily digested. The graph is of annual change. I.e., to compare the models, one must integrate the area under the curve. Doing so shows, even for the few years displayed in Fig 2, some pretty extreme mismatches.

    Equivalent example: do you like the following investment performance model? Here’s four years of quarterly data, compared to actual measurement…

    Investment performance by Quarter
    (+/-, millions of US$)
    Period Model Measure

    Y1Q1 0.1 0.1
    Y1Q2 -0.1 0.2
    Y1Q3 -0.3 0.4
    Y1Q4 0.0 0.5
    Y2Q1 0.1 0.8
    Y2Q2 -0.1 1.2
    Y2Q3 0.5 1.6
    Y2Q4 1.0 2.0
    Y3Q1 0.9 2.1
    Y3Q2 2.4 2.4
    Y3Q3 3.5 2.7
    Y3Q4 4.0 4.0

    The model looks quite similar at beginning, matches the observation in the middle, and ends in the same place.

    So, you’d be happy to follow this model for your investments, correct? It fits your stated requirements.

    Even though the modeled total income (not change) is too low by a full 50 percent after three years, and off by several hundred percent after years one and two.

  57. John A
    Posted Apr 11, 2006 at 1:09 AM | Permalink

    Re: #52

    Once again Tim Lambert does not fail to disappoint:

    Willis, I guess I’m not surprised to see you defending John A’s misrepresentations of the Hansen article. Fact is, contrary to John A’s claim, Hansen did compare his model with Levitus and reported the results.

    Hansen showed an apparent correlation between his model and a small part of Levitus which were then concatenated to new measurements taken between 2000 and 2004. He admitted his model failed on a decadal scale but did not show this.

    Now we know why. He cherrypicked his start date so as to show the model in the best light.

    You, of course, want to puff up any disagreement and describe Levitus measurements as “reality”. They’re not, they are measurements which are incomplete and not as good as the more recent ones.

    So in "Lambert-World" when the model and the observations disagree, its the observations that are at fault.

    "Denialism"? Yes of course. That’s exactly what it is.

    How exactly this failure to report adverse results and cherry-picking gets translated into a “smoking gun of human-caused climate change” and can be said to be “unprecedented in 1000 years” is one of those “Great Mysteries of Climate Science”.

  58. Paul Gosling
    Posted Apr 11, 2006 at 2:25 AM | Permalink

    With regards to ocean mixing

    See
    http://www.hpl.umces.edu/ocean/sml_main.htm

    That should answer your questions

  59. John Lish
    Posted Apr 11, 2006 at 5:09 AM | Permalink

    #52 – the issue for me is that the model and the observations don’t correlate in the period between 1958 and 1986. The thought occurs to me is that the period when they do reconcile is a coincidential convergence from the model’s apparently large error bars (Willis Eschenbach’s simulation shows a maximum difference of +/-6 W-yr/m2).

    Of course, you can argue that there are weaknesses with the observational data but there is an inherent problem with that argument as the observational data is used by Hanson to validate the model. Without the ability to corroborate, how valid is the model?

  60. John A
    Posted Apr 11, 2006 at 6:03 AM | Permalink

    The thought occurs to me is that the period when they do reconcile is a coincidential convergence from the model’s apparently large error bars (Willis Eschenbach’s simulation shows a maximum difference of +/-6 W-yr/m2).

    Of course if you did that, then the reported imbalance of 0.85 W/m^2 is completely without significance. But then, that was what William Kininmonth has already said some time ago.

  61. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Apr 11, 2006 at 6:47 AM | Permalink

    re:37, Paul Lindsay,

    Water and gases are heated mostly by longer wave lengths (IR) not shorter wavelengths (UV). There is no question that UV penetrates further into the surface of the oceans than does IR, but the heating occurs very close to the surface where IR wavelengths penetrate.

    The link you provided described, among other things, why the ocean is slightly blue. I did not find anything there which indicated that IR penetrated very deeply into the ocean depths.

  62. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Apr 11, 2006 at 7:04 AM | Permalink

    Re #43 and #57

    The reference cited in #57 doesn’t really help. If you look at http://www.nova.edu/ocean/gasex/micro.html, they say “As turbulence is damped close to the surface molecular transport processes take over the transfer of momentum, heat and mass from the upper ocean to the sea surface.” Presumably that also applies from the sea surface to the deeper ocean as well.

    Turbulence or mixing doesn’t interact directly with the skin surface where thermal radiation is absorbed. Molecular transport processes are very inefficient ways of transferring heat, especially compared to radiative emission. Heat will escape from the skin layer by the most efficient means possible and that means via radiation.

    So we have two questions: 1) How can a cool skin layer warm the ocean or how can you move heat from a cool surface skin layer to a warmer regions below the skin surface?
    2) What percentage of the thermal radiation at 15 microns (due to increased carbon dioxide) do the climate models claim is heating the ocean? They seem to be claiming 100%, but all the micro-physics would suggest just a few percent at best due to the inefficiencies of molecular transport.

  63. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 11, 2006 at 12:52 PM | Permalink

    In addition to the outstanding reference in 57, thanks to Paul, regarding ocean mixing, I do a lot of both surfing and scuba diving on the outer reefs here in Fiji, and as a result I am personally acquainted with the thermal mixing and stratification of the upper 60 metres or so of the tropical ocean. Here are some observations from the field …

    On a calm sunny day, in the morning a layer of heated water typically forms which is fairly thin at the surface. Sometimes the layer is so thin that, as I paddle my board across the surface, I can feel each hand dipping into colder water below. More commonly, in the presence of say 10-15 knots of wind, this warm layer is maybe 1 – 3 m deep, with a distinct thermocline and colder water underneath. Because the warm water at the surface is lighter than the cold water below, the layer tends to persist. It is, however, deepened by wind.

    On a clear calm night, by shortly after dark, the reverse is true at the surface — there is a cooler layer at the surface, which has been cooled by a combination of radiation and evaporation. Because this cooler layer is denser than the warmer water below, the night-time ocean is unstable. Water is constantly cooling at the surface, and then sinking until it reaches thermal equilibrium. This thermally driven vertical mixing brings the warmest water to the surface, where it can radiate and evaporate the most efficiently. This lovely mixing machine generally leaves the tropical ocean, by the morning, without much vertical temperature change below the surface, and often without a perceptible shallow thermocline.

    In understanding this system, it is helpful to remember that, by and large, whatever energy is added to the ocean during the day is lost during the night … if not, the sucker would be boiling by now. We think of the ocean heating up a lot in the day, that’s easy to understand, we can see the sun. We forget that it cools about the same amount each night, through thermally driven mixing which supports increased evaporation and radiation.

    On cloudy calm nights, of course, the clouds act like a blanket, so there is less cooling at the surface than without the clouds.

    On cloudy calm days, the clouds cool the surface, so there is less heating at the surface. Some days no warm surface layer forms.

    Rain immediatly puts a very thin cold layer on the top of the ocean. It also drives some mixing mechanically, as the raindrops punch into the surface. Because it is fresh water, despite being colder than the ocean water, it does not mix deeply. This freshwater layer fairly quickly (an hour) takes up the temperature of the underlying ocean.

    Finally, the wind. The effect of the wind on the temperature and thermal structure of the ocean is complex, as it acts in several ways.

    One is that it increases vertical mixing in the ocean surface. Again, this effect alone is complex. At low wind speeds, it does this through the creation of eddies with a vertical component. At higher wind speeds, the mechanical effects of breaking waves become more important, culminating in large over-falling waves driving down through the surface layers and mixing them deeply.

    An invisible but important effect of the wind is that wind controls evaporation. Mathematically, evaporation varies linearly with wind speed. Double the wind speed, double the evaporation, double the cooling … this, of course, has an extremely strong influence on the ocean surface temperature. The lack of evaporative cooling is what creates the very warm, very thin surface ocean layer when the wind is calm. Much more of the heat is warming the very surface, rather than evaporating water.

    Another invisible effect of the wind is that it directly affects cloud formation. Over the ocean (which, since the ocean is 70% of the planet, means most of the time), clouds form around nuclei of sea salt. Sea salt is lifted into the air by wind driven spray. When the spray droplets evaporate in midair, the salt is left behind in microscopic crystals. These salt crystals are the commonest cloud nucleus over the ocean. The higher the wind, the more waves, the more spray, the more cloud nuclei, the more clouds. Wind directly affects cloud formation.

    Finally, wind is created by evaporation, conduction, and convection wrapped up in the form of a thunderstorm. Water vapor is lighter than air, so over the tropical ocean, warm moist air spirals up daily into thunderstorms. These storms create their own winds, which intensify the evaporation, conduction, and convection of energy, and make the process self-sustaining — an independent heat engine moving energy vertically. These storm winds convect heat (both latent and sensible) from the surface to the upper atmosphere. Then they return dry air vertically to strike the surface, pick up heat and moisture, and repeat the process.

    And by way of all of those processes, the wind affects the mixing of the upper layers of the ocean.

    It is worth noting that the net effect of the wind, by means of each of the various processes listed above, is to cool the surface. This is in accord with our daily experience of things like a cool breeze, a cold wind. Yes, I know there are hot winds — but when it’s hot, we wish the wind would blow, hot or not, because we know it will cool us down.

    What makes this worth noting is that wind is created by temperature differences … which means, other things being equal, that the higher the temperature, the higher the wind, and thus the more cooling effect produced. But this, of course, is a negative feedback, anathema to AGW proponents.

    Wind is only one of many meteorological negative feedback processes that cool the earth. Clouds, storms, rain, snow, wind, hail, the effect of all of these phenomena is to cool the surface.

    Which is why the climate sensitivity to a change in forcing is so much lower than the theoretical predictions … for example, when a pasture starts to heat up in the sun, the air temperature rises, and then the air rises above the pasture, which makes a thermally driven breeze spring up, cooling the pasture down. Generally, in the real world, the temperature will rise less than a given change in forcing would theoretically indicate.

    How much less? Depends on the pasture …

    Can we bottle all of this, and put it into a computer?

    Not with our present knowledge and present computers …

    w.

  64. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Apr 11, 2006 at 5:17 PM | Permalink

    Willis, what an excellent white paper. Negative feedbacks are unmistakeable and underrepresented in the “models.”

  65. Paul Linsay
    Posted Apr 11, 2006 at 7:10 PM | Permalink

    #60, Brooks Hurd. If you look at the bottom graph in the link you’ll see that it’s a plot of absorption coefficient versus incident wavelength for water. Radiation with a wavelength greater than 3 um incident on water can’t penetrate even the top millimeter because it’s absorbed so readily. Kirchoff’s radiation law can be paraphrased as “a good absorber is a good emitter.” The result is that the incident long wavelength energy is quickly re-radiated and does little to heat the water. Look at Douglas Hoyt’s posts at #3 and #5. A 10.6 um laser beam with 20 million W/m^2 only heats — actually boils– a very thin layer of water leaving the rest of the water below it cold. It’s the short wavelength radiation in the visible and the UV which penetrates and heats the water.

  66. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 11, 2006 at 11:38 PM | Permalink

    re 60, Paul, thanks for an interesting and thought provoking post.

    While your premises are excellent, I would respectfully disagree with your conclusion that “It’s the short wavelength radiation in the visible and the UV which penetrates and heats the water.” As you point out in your example, the laser can heat the water enough to boil it, so clearly water can heat up from absorbed IR.

    This is because no matter where in the water radiation is absorbed (say 1 metre deep vs. 1 cm deep vs 1 mm vs 0.1 mm deep), it is, in fact, absorbed.

    When this energy is absorbed, it adds energy to the water. Some will be radiated away, some will cause immediate evaporation and not heat the water at all, and some will be lost through conduction/convection to the atmosphere. Whatever’s left over at the end determines whether the water warms or cools.

    All of these mechanisms, including radiation, are increased by wind speed. The wind increases radiation (as well as conduction) by maintaining a constant turnover of the surface layer, bringing new water to the surface to radiate, evaporate, and conduct its heat away.

    So while you are correct that the absorption is in a very thin layer, it is not a stable or isolated layer. Instead, it is a constantly overturning layer, always exposing new water to absorb (and radiate) its quota of IR radiation.

    This would imply that for a given wind speed, nighttime absorption, evaporation, convection, and radiation would be more efficient than daytime, because of the naturally overturning nature of the nighttime ocean surface — as the surface water cools, it sinks, exposing new water.

    During the day, the sea warms, and the lighter warm water floats stably on top, without natural overturning. During the day, wind is driving the overturning.

    Writing this has been interesting, because I hadn’t really thought much about the role of the wind in the heat loss of the ocean … there are so many distinct effects. I mean, think about the cooling effect of the airborne evaporation of wind-blown spray, on a global basis. Global air conditioning, wind driven …

    w.

  67. Jeff Norman
    Posted Apr 12, 2006 at 12:33 AM | Permalink

    Re #58

    Paul,

    Thank you for the link, but according to Figure 4, the Langmuir and shear turbulence do not propagate much below 40 m.

    So the question remains, how does heat “propagate” (clue) to lower levels?

    The schematic in link suggests “Internal wave radiation”. Interestingly the schematic does not show heat rising in the ocean (clue).

  68. Paul Gosling
    Posted Apr 12, 2006 at 2:15 AM | Permalink

    Re #67

    The examples are model runs, depth of mixing will depend on things such as wind speed, fetch etc. So the mixing layer is shallow in small enclosed seas like the Baltic, but deep in the middle of oceans such as the Atlantic. The original question was how the oceans could store heat when only the surface

  69. John A
    Posted Apr 12, 2006 at 4:08 AM | Permalink

    So the mixing layer is shallow in small enclosed seas like the Baltic, but deep in the middle of oceans such as the Atlantic.

    This statement contains no proof.

  70. Knut Knutsen
    Posted Apr 12, 2006 at 4:35 AM | Permalink

    re 69. go read any text-book in physical oceanography. If there is one thing that is well understood and observed through millions of measurements in ocean physics it is the surface mixed layer, its depth and dependence on vertical density stratification and wind drag.

  71. Paul Gosling
    Posted Apr 12, 2006 at 5:20 AM | Permalink

    Re #69

    Leaving aside the fact that absense of proof has never stopped you making statements

    The Baltic has only a shallow mixing layer

    http://www.helcom.fi/environment2/nature/en_GB/nature/

    While ocean mixing layers can extend down to 200m or more

    http://www.esr.org/outreach/glossary/mixed_layer.html

  72. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 12, 2006 at 6:56 AM | Permalink

    But getting back to the question; there is no major way for heat to be transferred below the bottom of the mixed layer, except via ocean currents. I noticed the “internal wave radiation” too, but don’t know what it really means. Water doesn’t emit visible radiation just because it’s warm and I’d think, given the ease with which long-wave IR is absorbed by the surface of the ocean, that the “speed of light” for such frequencies in water would be quite slow. But maybe that doesn’t matter if it’s still faster than the heat diffusion rate. Still, the net energy movement via such slow radiation would have to be proportional to the temperature difference which isn’t large to begin with.

  73. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 12, 2006 at 7:20 AM | Permalink

    As a mere geologist might I add one or two comments?

    1. The mass of the earth, compared to its atmosphere, dictates that its internal thermal fluctuations dominate. Those, however, seem to be unmeasurable in terms of existing technology.

    2. Thus any atmospheric temperature trends, or fluctuations, see 1 above.

  74. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 12, 2006 at 8:03 AM | Permalink

    Now, Louis, as you should know, the thermal conductivity of rock is quite small. Therefore the amount of heat which can moved from the interior of the earth compared to the amount which arrives every day from the sun is miniscule. And while it’s true that the amount of the earth’s body (including oceans) which is heated by the sun is much more massive than the atmosphere, it also absorbs and releases heat much more slowly than the atmosphere. Thus short-term temperatures of the upper couple of meters (land) or couple of hundred meters(ocean) are affected by atmospheric conditions. Also the atmosphere, via the greenhouse effect (including whatever enhanced greenhouse effect added CO2 produces), modulates just how much solar energy is ultimately absorbed by the earth’s surface.

  75. Bruce
    Posted Apr 12, 2006 at 8:13 AM | Permalink

    Re #74: Dave, “the thermal conductivity of rock is quite small. Therefore the amount of heat which can [be] moved from the interior of the earth compared to the amount which arrives every day from the sun is miniscule.” That would of course be true if the earth’s crust were a homogeneous mass.

    However, the reality is that there are numerous deep fissures that allow heat to escape from within the earth to the surface, sometimes quite quickly! Ask the citizens of Pompeii or the area around Mt St Helens! Also, we know that there are fissures in the ocean floor that are releasing hot fluids continuously. So, not a simple issue, and the real answer is probably that we don’t really know how much heat comes from within the earth, and what effect that might have on the atmosphere. Certainly interesting questions though.

  76. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Apr 12, 2006 at 8:55 AM | Permalink

    Re #73, humm, you can’t think that if the sun vanished the temperature of the atmosphere would stay the same. So, perhaps you think it’s the Earth that causes temperature variations not the sun/ghgs/albedo/land use changes/life? Whatever, sounds like an extremely far fetched idea to me, so I’m with Dave on this.

  77. Posted Apr 12, 2006 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

    About the ability of current models to reproduce the heating of the oceans:

    - As already said by others, the GISS model only compared to ocean heat content for the period 1993-2003, when heat was building up in the oceans. The previous period 1980-1990 shows a decrease in ocean heat content, while GHGs were increasing and the main cooling (according to all climate models) from sulfate aerosols was already steady-state since 1975 (a huge decrease in Europe/North America, a huge increase in SE Asia, near balancing each other). This shows a negative correlation between model and measurements.
    - Also said by others, the GISS model doesn’t reflect any internal variability of the oceans, neither do other models, see Fig. S1 of the on-line supporting material of Barnett ea.. This shows that any cycle between 10-100 years is significantly not captured by different models. That includes 11-22 year and beyond solar and internal ocean cycles (AMO, NAO, AO,…). The conclusion of Barnett, that the increase 1955-2000 of ocean heat content is by GHGs seems a little premature…
    - The recent change in cloud cover is not captured by models. This is already observed by Wielicki (Fig. 3 and 4): models don’t reflect the measured radiation balance (caused by cloud cover changes) in the tropics. This is confirmed by a more detailed test run of the Hadcm3 model, which cannot reproduce the observed change in cloud radiative effect for the full 60N-60S latitude band. See also some more background information at the NASA pages.

    As the observed change in radiation balance gives 2-3 W/m2 more insolation in the tropics, as much as the proposed change caused by all GHGs since the start of the industrial revolution, this points to natural variation, either internal oscillations and/or solar variations…

  78. jae
    Posted Apr 12, 2006 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

    Knut Knutsen, were you ever in Colorado?

  79. Posted Apr 12, 2006 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    About the absorption of CO2 reemitted IR and/or more sunlight, some simple experiments may give more conclusive results: an isolated vessel internally painted to reflect/absorb enough light to mimic the (IR)/vis/UV albedo of the oceans, filled with (salt) water and equiped with several temperature measuring devices at different heights is needed. Further some light bulb and a CO2 laser beam of the same strength and heat detection for what eventually is reflected/emitted. Eventually added, some humidity measurement of what is going off the surface (but one can weight the total equipment for evaporated water too).
    With four experiments: both energy sources each with/without increased airflow over the surface.

    Is somebody who has the necessary laboratory equipment present here?

  80. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 12, 2006 at 11:43 AM | Permalink

    re:#75 Well Bruce,

    This is an easy one for a non specialist to figure. Just go google sea-floor spreading and/or volcanism and find out the average volume of magma emitted by volcanoes and some estimate of the temperatures of the magma as erupted. Then calculate the heat content (vs Earth’s surface) of this material and then divide it by the area of the earth’s surface. You’ll still get a very small figure compared to insolation. This was done either here or somewhere else I frequent not that long ago and while I don’t remember the figures I do remember the net result; internal heat release can be ignored as far as climate variation goes. Of course CO2 released by volcanoes may have some climate effect and particulates as well.

  81. Jeff Norman
    Posted Apr 12, 2006 at 8:28 PM | Permalink

    Re #71.

    Paul,

    Again thank you, I truly appreciate the way you are engaging on this subject. You said; “While ocean mixing layers can extend down to 200m or more” and provided a link. The link says:

    A typical unstable configuration is when water is denser (“heavier”) at the surface than below. The mixing that ensues, for example with some impulse from waves or turbulence, renders the density more uniform and deepens the mixed-layer. In certain conditions occurring only in a few areas of the high-latitude seas (e.g. Labrador Sea in North Atlantic, Weddell Sea in the Antarctic waters), instability is so strong that denser surface water literally sinks and mixes over large depths reaching more than 1000m.

    1000 m down is more like what I had in mind when I was asking about heat propagating down to deeper level. The problem with this particular example is that the water is denser because it is extremely cold and contains less heat energy. So while this is an example of deep mixing the net effect would be to push heat energy upwards in the ocean not propagate the heat downwards.

  82. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 12, 2006 at 9:09 PM | Permalink

    Excepting of vourse for the fact that most of the Ocean currents are driven by the roatation of the Earth, in addition to solar (and other) heating.

    Most of the mixing takes place because of this, not because of heat rising, and this mechanical action is more than enough to overcome the thermal effects. Think of a fan mixing air in a room.

  83. Jeff Norman
    Posted Apr 12, 2006 at 9:39 PM | Permalink

    I have been pondering the original posting by JohnA where he says, “Let’s see what Hanson and Schmidt managed to produce:” and presents a graph entitled “Global Ocean Heat Content Change”.

    Is this graph a direct copy from the original paper? Is it taken out of some context that is not revealled by JohnA’s musings?

    For one thing the y-axis is labelled “Heat Content (W yr/m²)”. I think the units, which should be a heat flux, do not match the name Heat Content. I think someone already mentioned this.

    The timing of the data labelled “Observations” seems somewhat out of synch. I estimated the following data points from the graph:
    1997.00 = 0.8 W yr/m²
    1997.25 = 1.0
    1997.50 = 1.2
    1997.75 = 1.5
    1998.00 = 1.8
    1998.25 = 2.6
    1998.50 = 3.2
    1998.75 = 3.2
    1999.00 = 3.1
    1999.25 = 2.6
    1999.50 = 2.6
    1999.75 = 3.5

    The ocean’s heat content/flux is highest in the second half of 1998 and the end of 1999.

    If you go to http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.C.txt it shows the monthly global temperature anomaly data for “Stations” and “Land+Ocean” presented at the GISS. Assuming the “Stations” are the same as the “Land” and the “Oceans” represent 70% of the Earth’s surface, you can estimate monthly “Ocean” temperature anomalies and average them to correlate with the content/flux data presented above.

    1997.00 = 0.32°C
    1997.25 = 0.34
    1997.50 = 0.39
    1997.75 = 0.53
    1998.00 = 0.60
    1998.25 = 0.50
    1998.50 = 0.51
    1998.75 = 0.38
    1999.00 = 0.41
    1999.25 = 0.21
    1999.50 = 0.17
    1999.75 = 0.30

    From this it looks like the Ocean temperature peaks three to six months prior to the heat content/flux. I would have thought it would be the other way around.

    (The preview shows the 1999.75 data points in each list in a smaller font and separated from the rest of the list. Let’s see how it turns out)

  84. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 12, 2006 at 9:57 PM | Permalink

    re 83, jeff, that graph is from the Hansen paper.

    Watts per square metre is a measure of flux.

    Watt-years, like watt-hours, are a measure of heat content. So is watt-yrs/m2.

    w.

  85. McCall
    Posted Apr 12, 2006 at 11:08 PM | Permalink

    re: 82
    And the salt concentration part of the thermohaline mechanism.

  86. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 12, 2006 at 11:49 PM | Permalink

    Oui Which also has a stronger mechanical effect.

  87. Jeff Norman
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 12:15 AM | Permalink

    Re #84

    Willis, I’m not getting it.

    1 Watt-yr
    = 8.76 kW-hr
    = 31.5 MJoules
    = energy

    You can have heat energy measured in Joules and you can have a certain number of Joules in a given mass or volume giving you a heat content.

    Energy per unit area is a flux.

  88. John A
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 1:57 AM | Permalink

    Re: #83

    Jeff, if you send me your e-mail I’ll send you the Hansen paper. I’m not representing something that Hansen et al did not produce.

    Here’s another little puzzler:

    The Pacific Ocean is becoming more acid (or more correctly, very slightly less basic)

    but

    The warming of the oceans removes carbon dioxide from solution and returns it to the atmosphere

    which means

    The acidity of the oceans should be reduced because of a net loss of carbon dioxide in solution

    which begs the question

    If carbon dioxide is not responsible for the reduction in pH then where is the acidity coming from?

    (I have a theory on this, but no proof)

  89. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 3:27 AM | Permalink

    Re #87, Jeff, you say:

    Willis, I’m not getting it.

    1 Watt-yr
    = 8.76 kW-hr
    = 31.5 MJoules
    = energy

    You can have heat energy measured in Joules and you can have a certain number of Joules in a given mass or volume giving you a heat content.

    Energy per unit area is a flux.

    Power flowing through a unit area (watts/m2) is a flux.

    Energy per unit area of ocean surface, on the other hand, is the same as energy per unit mass of water or per unit volume of water. It is a heat content. Knowing the average depth of the ocean (4 km from memory), we can convert watt-yrs/m2 to either energy per unit mass or per unit volume, if you prefer.

    Hope this helps,

    w.

  90. Knut Knutsen
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 4:45 AM | Permalink

    re # 88. You have it wrong (again). Although warming makes CO2 evade the surface ocean, in theory, the net CO2-flux is the opposite because the increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration creates an increasing over-pressure in the atmosphere compared to the ocean surface layer with a resultant flux into the ocean. Thus measurements over the past decades have shown that the ocean is a sink of atmopheric CO2 (absorbing about 30% of the emissions). Without this sink, atmospehric concentrations would have been much higer. Check papers of e.g. Taro Takahashi of Columbia Univ. There are now major studies observing this part of the carbon cycle.

  91. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 5:14 AM | Permalink

    Re #74

    Dave,

    The earth’s mass is some 6E24 Kg while the atmosphere is about 5.1E18 Kg.

    Assuming air has a specific heat capacity of 1 then the energy needed to raise air’s temperature by 1 Kelvin is E1=5.1E18 x 1 x 1. (Mass times temperature times specific heat capacity – physics 101).

    If we assume the earth also has a specific heat capacity of 1, then it’s temperature will rise by an unmeasureable amount, essentially 5.1E18/6E24 Kelvin, if E1 is the energy input. (These are order of magnitude calculations based on the assumption that the specific heat capacities of air and the earth are unity; clearly they are not, but real world values might change the earth temperature rise by, what, a decimal point in 8.5E-7? Still a totally unmeasureable change in earthly temperature.)

    So the earth might, from internal processes, wax thermally and radiate enough energy to raise the temperature of air by 1 Kelvin, but we would never notice it since we cannot measure a temperature rise of 8.5E-7K. All we notice is surface temperature’s apparently rising and since the only measurable thermal source is sunlight, we assume that the sun is the only factor in the earth’s thermal state. (The earth is not in thermodynamic equilibrium, so the expected arguments based on that assumption have to be ignored).

    I find it quite amazing that a thermally active object as the earth is believed not to have an effect on the climate. The very fact that volcanoes erupt means that the earth is receiving an enormous amount of energy to cause partial melting under the lithosphere to produce volcanoes.

    This energy has to affect the thermal balance of the earth’s surface, but where is that energy coming from? Well, for those of us involved in plasma physics and cosmology, blindingly obvious. Interested readers here should study Tony Peratt’s work on the Plasma Universe, which follows on from Alfven’s and Birkeland’s work.

    As for seafloor spreading and plate tectonics, a theory many geoscientists are quite devoted to, remains that, a theory, not fact. (Anyone who says that plate tectonics is fact must be ignorant of the scientific literature). I side with heretics in the New Concepts in Global Tectonics Group that there are better alternatives than plate tectonics to explain our geological observations, but that is another matter and should not be discussed here.

    I should add that ALL magnetic fields are produced by electric currents, so the earth’s magnetic field HAS to be due to internal electrical currents. And electrical currents passing through resistive loads such as rocks, or what we think exists in the mantle and core (I am specialist diamond geologist so upper mantle processes are part of my scientific armory), must also generate heat which causes volcanism and if not, as thermal fluxes through the air we live in.

    This source of energy is irrelevant? We humans are living on the surface of a massive, thermally active planet and variations in its internal thermal state from processes we little understand have no effect on climate?

    As MASH personality Col. Potter would have concluded, “HORSEHOCKS”.

    However, I am but a mere geologist, so what would I know about the physical properties of the earth.

  92. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 5:33 AM | Permalink

    Knut and John A,

    Although the saturation level of CO2 increases as water temperature decreases, the situation is more complex in salt water. Increasing salinity decreases CO2 solubility in water. Solubility of CO2 in water As in other liquid/gas systems, the solubility of CO2 will be effected by the presence of other gases (O2, N2, etc) in the air and the boundary layer at the ocean’s surface.

    The mechanism of gas solution in the ocean is not simple. You have spray with a high surface area to volume ratio. This enhances solution. The temperature and the gas concentrations of the boundary layer at the ocean’s surface is a limiting factor for the solution of all gases in sea water. There are many other factors which effect the solution of CO2 in the oceans.

  93. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 6:02 AM | Permalink

    Brooks,

    To further muddy the waters introduce the idea of gas fugacity – given constant P and T, greenschist assemblages can be amphibolite simply by increasing O2 fugacity. Simple Metamorphics.
    :-)

  94. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 6:07 AM | Permalink

    Louis,

    Thanks

  95. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 6:09 AM | Permalink

    No Problemo :-)

  96. John A
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 6:16 AM | Permalink

    Although warming makes CO2 evade the surface ocean, in theory, the net CO2-flux is the opposite because the increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration creates an increasing over-pressure in the atmosphere compared to the ocean surface layer with a resultant flux into the ocean.

    Now you’ve lost me. The solubility of carbon dioxide is a temperature sensitive dynamic equilibrium with the atmosphere. If the carbon dioxide gas is being reduced from the oceans (thus reducing the weak carbonic acid in the surface) and the oceans are becoming less basic, then what is acidifying the oceans?

    Overpressure be damned (overpressure from a trace gas, which planet is he on?)

  97. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 6:18 AM | Permalink

    re # 96

    John,

    “In Theory” not In Fact :-)

  98. Knut Knutsen
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 6:42 AM | Permalink

    re 96. Sorry to have lost you. BUT: The measurments say that there is a net flux from the atmosphere to the ocean, not the opposite. See e.g.: Takahashi, T., Sutherland, S. C., Sweeney, C., Poisson, A., Metzl, N., Tillbrook, B., Bates, N., Wanninkhof, R., Feely, R. A., Sabine, C., Olafsson, J. and Nojiri, Y. (2002). Global sea-air CO2 flux based on climatological surface ocean pCO2, and seasonal biological and temperature effects, Deep-Sea Res. II, 49, 1601-1622.

    Thus the ocean becomes more acidic. Ken Caldeira has published key papers on this acidification. Check those. Your argument loses the fact that the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere is going up, thus moving CO2 into the ocean due to the increasing pressure gradient. This is the well known CO2 sink. You will also find this explained in the IPCC reports. The size of this sink is one of the key unknowns in terms of future CO2 levels, as continued warming might decrease it, unless ocean productivity (photosynthesis) or changes in ocean circulation works in the opposite direction (not likely). Hence, the ocean is becoming more acidic, and the sink might decrease in the future – thus the ocean might loose some of its capacity to abate CO2 emissions.

  99. John Lish
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 6:56 AM | Permalink

    Try these links here and here – some different results in a PDF

  100. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 7:02 AM | Permalink

    Knut,

    In geology we have an interesting problem – dolomite, essentiallially a Ca-Mg carbonate.

    It is a sediment.

    In light of your opinions above, have you any others whch might shed light on this unusual carbonate ?

  101. John Lish
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 7:02 AM | Permalink

    This also raises doubts

  102. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 7:16 AM | Permalink

    Doubts?

    Gawd almighty, the first sentence of your quote!

    Truly a Lambertarian Homily!

  103. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 7:42 AM | Permalink

    Re:#91 Louis,

    While your argument might have some weight from an equilibrium position, it doesn’t work from a practical POV. Heat doesn’t just move from the center of the earth to the surface. It has to work itself to the surface very slowly. That’s why I mentioned the flow rate of heat. Simple example: You have a fire in a fireplace. The stone next to the fire may become several hundred degrees warmer than the air, but even after many hours of such a fire you can hardly feel the change in temperature a few feet away. Example 2 Lava tubes. when lava starts flowing from a volcano it will often cool on the surface producing tubes through which molten lava flows away, but an investigator can walk on the surface safely. And we’re talking just a few feet here while generally hot rock is many miles beneath the surface of the earth. You probably also know from experience that far beneath the surface the temperature is extremely uniform from season to season. This is precisely because heat flows so slowly through rock.

    Indeed, your previous point was precisely that we didn’t have to just allow for the slow diffusion of heat through rock but also had to consider the bulk movement of lava via volcanoes and mid-ocean rifts. So your message 91 is essentially an evasion of the task I set you of determining how much heat actually was available to heat the atmosphere from rocks vs the amount coming from the sun. Anyway I’ll help you out by copying over a table of the thermal conductivity (& heat capacity of rocks) from the 63rd edition of the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics:

    Thermal Conductivity of Rocks

    Rock Temperature Conductivity Heat Capacity
    deg C kcal m-1 hr-1 deg -1 cal g-1 deg -1

    Granite 0 3.02 0.192
    50 2.81
    100 2.59
    200 2.34 0.228
    300 2.12
    400 0.258

    Marble 118 1.44 0.21
    196 1.29 0.24
    245 1.19
    360 0.95 0.271

    Dolomite 130 1.41
    Limestone 181 1.37
    268 1.29
    377 1.15

    Shale 0 1.65 0.17
    100 1.51
    120 1.33
    188 1.41 0.24
    304 1.26 0.245

    Sandstone 0 4.9
    (Quartzitic) 100 3.82 0.26
    200 3.24

    BTW, the conversion factor to convert the kcal m-1 hr-1 deg -1 to W m-1 K-1 is 1.162

    Now all you need is the heat capacity of air and the amount of lava and its temperature which arrives at the earth’s surface each year.

    Note: I haven’t gone to the trouble of looking up the equation for calculating heat flow based on the conductivity measurements above, but I don’t think it’s linear. If I remember wrong and it is linear, then a pool of lava at 10 km depth and 1000 deg K above the surface temperature would be supplying about .2 watt of forcing (through granite), which is pretty low compared to the raw figures for solar radiance, but not totally ignorable when compared to the couple of watts forcing imputed for CO2 doubling. In cases, of course, where there’s not a pocket of lava close to the surface, the heat flow would be much less.

    BTW, I hope you can figure out the table which is badly mangled being xfered from Word to this message box. Hint: some of the lines don’t have values for heat capacity.

  104. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    Re # 103

    Dave,

    Thanks for that, a number of issues which I had not considered.

    I’ll reply to them in due course……

    Louis

  105. Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 8:56 AM | Permalink

    social comment:

    I have just waded through all these posts and the ones over at realclimate (Lindzen WSJ op-ed), and the difference in levels of thoughtful discourse – to say nothing of civility – is astounding. If one were to delete every post at realclimate that was an ad hom attack or some version of leftist conspiracy theory, little would be left.

    Regards,
    Bob

  106. Jack
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 9:16 AM | Permalink

    Re: #90 and #98

    Science, 16 July 2004, has three excellent articles; the first by Takahashi is a Perspective on the two research articles: Feely et al., “Impact of Anthropogenic CO2 on the CaCO3 system in the oceans”, and Sabine et al., “The Oceanic Sink for Anthropogenic CO2″. Anyone who wants the current state-of-the-science should get this issue and articles.

  107. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

    Re #105, how many of the posts there describe people as w*nker*? Or, perhaps describing people as wa*ke*s isn’t exceedingly offensive where you come from? http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=627#comments post #18. However, I suspect it is a case of he who is without…

    Btw, you seem to not have noticed that this whole blog was set up to expose a supposed conspiracy. A supposed conspiracy by climate acientist to mislead the world. So, again, it’s back to stone casting.

  108. Mark
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

    No it was not set up to expose a conspiracy, it was set up to defend a body of work critical of bad science. Reall, Peter, how can you honestly be so regularly so far off the mark?

    Mark

  109. Mark
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

    Oh, and btw, one person cannot constitute a conspiracy, by definition. Really…
    Mark

  110. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

    “a supposed conspiracy”

    It was? Funny, no one else thinks so.

  111. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

    re:#110

    The cover-up, OTOH….

  112. John A
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    how many of the posts there describe people as w*nker*? Or, perhaps describing people as wa*ke*s isn’t exceedingly offensive where you come from? http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=627#comments post #18. However, I suspect it is a case of he who is without…

    How many posts over here compare global warming skeptics to Holocaust Deniers? Or come to think of it, Senator Joe McCarthy? (only one person is low enough to try that one once) Perhaps you don’t find lies about Steve McIntyre written by Paul Thacker particularly reprehensible since they have the same moral weight as you have applied on this blog.

    This blog was set up to show in detail how a shockingly bad piece of statistics by a self-confessed non-statistician came to the world’s attention. You have used the word conspiracy but you won’t find either Steve or myself use such a word, since conspiracy implies organizational competence.

    Don’t try to distort history with your rhetoric. The truth is that without Steve McIntyre, RealClimate would not have existed. It’s primary purpose is politics and propaganda and trying to get Michael Mann out of the deep ethical hole he’s dug himself into.

  113. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

    Re #112, I haven’t the time atm to check if you have used the word conspiracy, but you happily used the word fraud elsewhere.

    Again, let he who is without..

  114. Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

    107.
    Like fish rising to bait.

    107. You are correct, I did not notice, but thanks for the strawman. The distance between raising questions about results and confecting a theory of world-wide conspiracy is further than most can reach. Further, you might wish to read more closely. I made a personal comparison of levels, not absolutes. Still, I suggest you do your own content analysis on the differences between expressed disagreements with Hansen here, and those with Lindzen there.

    109.
    In another less publicized criticism of Mann’s work published in the April 7, 2004 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, a group of geophysicists found a “misleading analysis made by Mann and Schmidt[2003] [where there was] inappropriate use of end-points in reaching a numerical conclusion.” These geophysicists from the University of Utah concluded that the result by Mann and Schmidt is simply “based on using end points in computing changes in an oscillating series and is just bad science.”

    The conspiracy widens.

    Bob

  115. Greg F
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    Btw, you seem to not have noticed that this whole blog was set up to expose a supposed conspiracy.

    Peter,
    You want to make accusations then you have 2 choices. Either put up proof (linked quotes) or apologize to Steve.

  116. John A
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

    Re #112, I haven’t the time atm to check if you have used the word conspiracy, but you happily used the word fraud elsewhere.

    Actually I have used the phrase “scientific fraud” elswhere, but not the use of the singular word “fraud”. Since you like to cherrypick your responses to insult with the fewest number of words, you immediately stood in your moral highchair about me using the word “fraud”.

    You were told about it then, and you repeat the canard here. Is there no end to your mendacity?

    A favorite of alarmists is to state that skeptics believe there is a “conspiracy” against them, but never ever bother to justify that statement with reference to any skeptic actually using that expression. It’s called the “Big Lie”, so it gains currency by repeating it no matter how many times its been shown to be false.

  117. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    re my #103

    I was just rereading this thread, after Bob’s remark in #105 and was indeed taken by how much actual science discussion there is in this thread. But I also notice I combined what Louis said and what Bruce said in my mind in composing 103. It was Bruce I’d challenged before but when Louis responded, I forgot and assumed it was Louis I’d challenged. So Louis, you’re off the hook for evading my challenge. Hope neither of you minded too much.

  118. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 11:07 AM | Permalink

    Or, at least there was a lot of science until some people here started to respond to Peter H. Come on guys! I though we were boycotting responding to Peter because he’s a frau… er I mean a troll. You’re just encouraging him.

  119. Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

    Steve, my apologies for this getting off base. My intent was to compliment those posting here for their relatively admirable conduct while discussing a highly disagreeable subject area with considerable societal outcomes in play.

    Also, I used the word “political” to color “conspiracy” because some realclimate posters drip anti-Bush and anti-capitalist venom — to say nothing of their harshness toward “skeptics” — in place of rational discourse on science. This is more than a little off-putting to any but the AGW hard orthodox. Unless I am mistaken, such politcal substitution is decidely lacking here. That was my point, obviously not too clearly put.

    In many ways, realclimate generally appears, to me at least, rather reactionary…and desperately so.

    Again, thanks for what I consider a remarkable and valuable thing you and Ross have done.

    Regards,
    Bob

  120. Pat Frank
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 11:29 AM | Permalink

    #88,90 – John isn’t wrong, but he’s got only half of the equation. The description in 90 is incoherent, however. The higher partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere will increase the concentration of dissolved CO2 in the oceans. Warming of the oceans will indeed lower the solubility of CO2. These are opposing processes. The question concerns which of the two processes dominate. If the partial pressure of atmospheric CO2 is increased enough, then the concentration of dissolved CO2 will increase even in a warmer ocean. In general, the 20th century ~30% increase in CO2 partial pressure will be more than enough to offset the slightly lower intrinsic solubility of CO2 in a slightly warmer ocean.

  121. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 11:29 AM | Permalink

    Bob,

    You don’t have anything to apologize for. It’s the people like Peter who can’t stand to have skeptics have more scientific discussions than the hockey-teamers and thereby try to muddy the waters, who need to apologize.

  122. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

    re:#120

    And, of course, the question of oceanic acidification depends on how fast calcium can be mobilized from sediments or via erosion to offset the loss of buffering capacity in the open ocean.

    One thing which usually isn’t pointed out is that actually the water which up-wells from the ocean depths is richer in carbonate than that which it replaces. This is at least partly because decaying organisms fall to lower depths and enrich those waters in carbon. Meanwhile, near the surface, organisms use carbonate to photosynthetize with. higher CO2 concentrations in the water will increase this primary production and offset some of the loss of buffering capacity

    Also, over land, a higher CO2 pressure will produce a more acid rain which will erode more calcium carbonate rock to bicarbonate which will be added to the ocean and increase its buffering capacity.

    The articles you see warning of shellfish not being able to produce shells tend not the be very balanced, and also fail to point out that where things have been measured the extra photosynthesis more than offsets the extra energy needed to pull enough calcium from the ocean as its concentration declines.

  123. jae
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 12:25 PM | Permalink

    It is obvious that the Earth has enormous buffering capacity for changes in CO2, heat, cold, pollution, volcanoes, etc., etc., etc. Otherwise, one or more changes would have caused a run-away chain reaction many times in the past, and life would not have been possible. Based on this observation, it simply seems petty to me to be worrying about the relatively small changes in CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Of course, I realize that this simple little argument doesn’t count much to the learned experts arguing the various positions. But then, the interactions (feedbacks) and relationships are so complicated that even the experts don’t understand much of what is going on (some say they do, but I would disagree). It seems prudent to me to just wait and see, since we cannot really change things much, anyway.

  124. Knut Knutsen
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 12:33 PM | Permalink

    re# 120. I agree, and as said 90, increased ocean temperature reduces solubility of CO2 – BUT this effect has been shown by measurements, published over the past decade to be much too small to change the sign of the CO2 flux which goes from atmosphere into the ocean dure to the atmospheric build-up of higher CO2 partial pressure. Thus Johna A´s conclusion was wrong – since his argument was one-sided and did not take the important aspect of CO2 increase into the equation. His question, where does the acidification come from ? can easily be answered. From the anthropogenic CO2-emissions!

  125. Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    Re #88,90,120,…

    The equation is even more complicated by biological processes: part of the CO2->bicarbonate->carbonate in the water is used by shell forming plankton, which settles in (more or less) shallow waters when it dies. Even with (far) higher levels of CO2 (and thus less alkaline oceans), this process was accellerated (probably by higher temperatures) and the Cretaceous was named so, because a lot of calcite was disposed by plankton in that period (like the “White Cliffs of Dover”).
    This moves the equilibrium to more CO2 sequestering in not too deep ocean floors while CO2 is removed from the upper ocean levels.

    But to make things simple: we have some overall (relative linear) estimate of what happens with CO2 if the temperature changes: the ice ages/interglacials of the past 420,000 years in the Vostok ice core give a nice correlation between CO2 levels and temperature. In that period, temperature was the driving force for CO2 levels (CO2 always lags temperature changes), the opposite is not directly deductable in overlapping periods, and absent in the onset of the last ice age. From these data, an increase of 1 degree C gives some 10 ppmv more CO2 (that includes all types of feedbacks).
    Thus if the same relation still holds, of the increase by some 90 ppmv CO2 since the beginning of the industrial revolution, less than 10 ppmv may be the result of the increased (ocean) temperatures, the rest is from human emissions, of which about halve the amount is absorbed by the oceans as result of the increased partial pressure. Thus with current CO2 levels, CO2 absorption by the oceans by far overrules CO2 degassing due to increased temperatures.

    Despite that, strong variations in ocean surface temperature can be measured as superimposed over increasing CO2 levels. An El Nino condition is visible in an accellerated CO2 increase, some 6 months after the start and opposite after return to normal.

    Btw, it seems that the CO2 absorbing capacity of the oceans is rather underestimated, see the work of Barnes and Lough

  126. Jack
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

    And, of course, the question of oceanic acidification depends on how fast calcium can be mobilized from sediments or via erosion to offset the loss of buffering capacity in the open ocean.

    Not fast enough to do anything significant over the next 200 years!

    One thing which usually isn’t pointed out is that actually the water which up-wells from the ocean depths is richer in carbonate than that which it replaces.

    Organic matter remineralization and CaCO3 dissolution at depth (they both happen at the same time, of course) shifts the carbonate system toward undersaturation with respect to CaCO3. There’s more bicarbonate and less carbonate at depth. Upwelled waters are richer in bicarbonate ion.

    This is at least partly because decaying organisms fall to lower depths and enrich those waters in carbon.

    Yes, that’s right.

    Meanwhile, near the surface, organisms use carbonate to photosynthetize with.

    No, that’s wrong, they use dissolved CO2. A big phytoplankton bloom will actually (measurably) draw down the pCO2 in the atmosphere just above the surface because the reduction in dissolved CO2 increases the air-to-sea CO2 flux gradient.

    higher CO2 concentrations in the water will increase this primary production and offset some of the loss of buffering capacity

    Primary production in the oceans is totally nutrient-driven (usually nitrate-limited; in some areas iron-limited; rarely, silicate-limited). Changing CO2 will not affect oceanic primary productivity except under extraordinary conditions, like the mid-Cretaceous superplume. On the other hand, changing primary productivity can, does, and did affect atmospheric CO2 locally, regionally, now and in the past.

  127. Pat Frank
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 1:02 PM | Permalink

    #122 — pretty much agree. Bottom-buried organic carbon probably doesn’t become CO2 very quickly, though. The muds are pretty anoxic. On the other hand, higher CO2 acid rain will also mobilize more terrestrial calcium silicates, which will likely increase the oceanic carbonate sedimentation rates as well. You also raise an interesting point about buffering. More dissolved CO2 will actually increase the buffer capacity of the oceans because carbonic is a weak acid. This means that as more CO2 dissolves, the acidification per unit concentration increase will continually decrement.

    #124, you’re being too facile. The only way to actually know that anthropogenic CO2 is acidifying the oceans is to monitor the 14C/12C ratio of dissolved CO2. If the ratio is decreasing in step with acidity increases, then fossil fuels are a likely culprit (in the absence of other large inputs of ancient carbon).

  128. Jack
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

    The articles you see warning of shellfish not being able to produce shells tend not the be very balanced, and also fail to point out that where things have been measured the extra photosynthesis more than offsets the extra energy needed to pull enough calcium from the ocean as its concentration declines.

    Based on the previous response, it should be clear that this is also incorrect. As CaCO3 undersaturation increases, CaCO3 shell-formers have to work against an increasingly strong gradient opposing the shell-forming process. Experiments with live organisms have shown that acidification reaches a point where they can’t maintain their shells — and this point is well within the trends of oceanic CO2 concentrations achievable by 2100. There is no “extra photosynthesis” to give them more energy to counter the chemical reality in which they would be immersed.

  129. Jack
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 1:26 PM | Permalink

    It is obvious that the Earth has enormous buffering capacity for changes in CO2, heat, cold, pollution, volcanoes, etc., etc., etc. Otherwise, one or more changes would have caused a run-away chain reaction many times in the past, and life would not have been possible. Based on this observation, it simply seems petty to me to be worrying about the relatively small changes in CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

    Overall and in general, perhaps you’re right. But it’s also clear that organisms and ecosystems will be altered in response to changes in critical variables defining their existence, and sensitive organisms and ecosystems may be unable to adapt to major, rapid changes. “Unable to adapt” means — they’re dead, man. And that’s one of the main reasons for extinctions — ecosystem change.

  130. Hans Erren
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 1:39 PM | Permalink

    re 126:
    el nino temperature and co2 increase:
    http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/co2lt_en.gif

  131. Hans Erren
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

    re 129:
    The great barrier reef in australia was land during the last ice age, coral larvae can swim, and corals survived PETM.

  132. Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

    Re #128,

    The coccoliths link in my previous message, worked in far higher CO2 levels (some 4-10 times pre-industial) and were very active by accumulating chalk layers many hundreds of meters thick. If they not have lost the ability to coop with lower pH levels, there is no problem for coccoliths at all. And as these have quite short life cycles (up to 2.8 doublings per day during blooms!), there are many generations which can redevelope the ability at some time in the near future, if necessary…

    Btw, the biochemistry page is quite interesting, as coccoliths also influence the ocean’s albedo. And the building of the shell seems to be from bicarbonate, not from carbonate as I supposed.

  133. Jack
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    More dissolved CO2 will actually increase the buffer capacity of the oceans because carbonic is a weak acid. This means that as more CO2 dissolves, the acidification per unit concentration increase will continually decrement.

    No, because the oceans are basic. (ph 7.8 to 8.4 or so). Acidifying a base (or a basic buffer) reduces its buffer capacity.

    The only way to actually know that anthropogenic CO2 is acidifying the oceans is to monitor the 14C/12C ratio of dissolved CO2.

    Determining penetration of anthropogenic CO2 in the water column is accomplished with a number of tracers, including 14C and CFCs.

  134. Pat Frank
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    #133 “No, because the oceans are basic. (ph 7.8 to 8.4 or so). Acidifying a base (or a basic buffer) reduces its buffer capacity.”

    Not in this case, however, because CO2 is the acid form of the weak acid buffer itself. Dilute carbonic acid at ~pH 8 is mostly bicarbonate. Additional CO2 will lower the pH but increase the total concentration of the carbonic/bicarbonate buffer. Buffering capacity goes up with concentration.

    I don’t see how monitoring CFCs tells you about whether dissolved CO2 is anthropogenic.

  135. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 2:48 PM | Permalink

    Re #115. Greg, I said ‘this whole blog’ and I mean ‘this whole blog’. Not Steve, ‘this whole blog’ OK?

    Re #118. I responded to the criticism of RC in post #105 with some examples from this place of exceedingly offensive posts. Again, let he who is without…

    Dave D., if you look in post #76 you’ll see I made a substantive coment agreeing with you…

  136. Jack
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 2:56 PM | Permalink

    The coccoliths link in my previous message, worked in far higher CO2 levels (some 4-10 times pre-industial) and were very active by accumulating chalk layers many hundreds of meters thick.

    You can’t just base it on atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Ocean chemistry and circulation were markedly different as well, largely due to tectonics. There’s a whole school of oceanography devoted to paleo-ocean modeling.

  137. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 3:11 PM | Permalink

    re 128, Jack, you say:

    The articles you see warning of shellfish not being able to produce shells tend not the be very balanced, and also fail to point out that where things have been measured the extra photosynthesis more than offsets the extra energy needed to pull enough calcium from the ocean as its concentration declines.

    Based on the previous response, it should be clear that this is also incorrect. As CaCO3 undersaturation increases, CaCO3 shell-formers have to work against an increasingly strong gradient opposing the shell-forming process. Experiments with live organisms have shown that acidification reaches a point where they can’t maintain their shells “¢’‚¬? and this point is well within the trends of oceanic CO2 concentrations achievable by 2100. There is no “extra photosynthesis” to give them more energy to counter the chemical reality in which they would be immersed.

    The problem with this claim is threefold:

    1. Coral reefs, which are the major CaCO3 shell formers, produce CO2. This daily production often drives the pCO2 in the local ocean around the reefs to levels three times the world average … without harming the reef. Go figure.

    Me, I focus on real world evidence, not what “could” or “might” come to pass based what’s happening in somebody’s aquarium “experiments with live organisms”. Here’s some evidence:

    Bessat, F. and Buigues, D. 2001. Two centuries of variation in coral growth in a massive Porites colony from Moorea (French Polynesia): a response of ocean-atmosphere variability from south central Pacific. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 175: 381-392

    So did the “could” and “might” happen in the real world? Well … um … er … no, not at all. Bessat and Buigues found that in the real world,

    “instead of a 6-14% decline in calcification over the past 100 years [as] computed by the Kleypas group, the calcification has increased, in accordance with [what] Australian scientists Lough and Barnes [found].”

    When we look at what happens in the real ocean, coral growth rates have not declined in the last 150 years, despite a large rise in CO2. It’s not clear why. Ugly, I know, but that’s the observation of the real world, and that observation, not the aquarium results, is what our theories have to fit. Here’s some further studies:

    Diurnal changes in the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in coral reef water
    Kayanne, H; Suzuki, A; Saito, H
    Science (Washington) [SCIENCE (WASH.)]. Vol. 269, no. 5221, pp. 214-216. 1995.

    Coral reefs are considered to be a source of atmosphere carbon dioxide because of their high calcium carbonate production and low net primary production. This was tested by direct measurement of diurnal changes in the partial pressure of carbon dioxide (P sub(CO2)) in reef waters during two 3-day periods, one in March 1993 and one in March 1994, on Shiraho reef of the Ryukyu Islands, Japan. Although the P sub(CO2) values in reef waters exhibited large diurnal changes ranging from 160 to 520 microatmospheres, they indicate that the reef flat area is a net sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide. This suggests that the net organic production rate of the reef community exceeded its calcium carbonate production rate during the observation periods.

    Note that the pCO2 (amount of CO2 in the water) varies wildly in the water around the reef, reaching very high values … and somehow the coral keeps growing. This study is particularly interesting in that it shows that global atmospheric CO2 levels are not related to the CO2 levels on any given reef. Global pCO2 is on the order of 300-350 µatm, so this means the local concentration around the reef varies from half of that to nearly double that, and that this high CO2 level is created by the reef itself. I don’t think increasing atmospheric CO2 will affect at least this reef too much … here’s more on the subject.

    Carbon fluxes in coral reefs. I. Lagrangian measurement of community metabolism and resulting air-sea CO2 disequilibrium

    Gattuso JP, Pichon M, Delesalle B, Canon C, Frankignoulle M
    Community metabolism was investigated using a Lagrangian flow respirometry technique on 2 reef flats at Moorea (French Polynesia) during austral winter and Yonge Reef (Great Barrier Reef) during austral summer. The data were used to estimate related air-sea CO2 disequilibrium. A sine function did not satisfactorily model the diel light curves and overestimated the metabolic parameters. The ranges of community gross primary production and respiration (Pg and R; 9 to 15 g C m-2 d-1) were within the range previously reported for reef flats, and community net calcification (G; 19 to 25 g CaCO3 m-2 d-1) was higher than the ‘standard’ range. The molar ratio of organic to inorganic carbon uptake was 6:1 for both sites. The reef flat at Moorea displayed a higher rate of organic production and a lower rate of calcification compared to previous measurements carried out during austral summer. The approximate uncertainty of the daily metabolic parameters was estimated using a procedure based on a Monte Carlo simulation. The standard errors of Pg,R and Pg/R expressed as a percentage of the mean are lower than 3% but are comparatively larger for E, the excess production (6 to 78%). The daily air-sea CO2 flux (FCO2) was positive throughout the field experiments, indicating that the reef flats at Moorea and Yonge Reef released CO2 to the atmosphere at the time of measurement. FCO2 decreased as a function of increasing daily irradiance.

    Once again, the finding that the coral reefs are a source of CO2 … since they are a source of CO2, the idea that CO2 will keep them from growing seems doubtful. Of note in this one is that calcification rates are higher when the water is warmer. I note also that the air-sea flux over the reef was positive, meaning that the around the reef, there is more CO2 in the water than in the air.

    Here’s another. Diel means diurnal, although why they don’t just say “diurnal” I don’t know … dang scientists trying to confuse us …:

    Diel variation of TCO2 in the upper layer of oceanic waters reflects microbial composition, variation and possibly methane cycling
    K. M. Johnson1, P. G. Davis1 and J. McN. Sieburth1

    (1) Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island-Bay Campus, 02882-1197 Narragansett, Rhode Island, USA
    Accepted: 10 August 1983

    Communicated by S. K. Pierce, College Park
    Abstract Six diel TCO2 cycles determined by infrared (IR) photometry from five drift stations occupied between 24 February and 16 March 1979 in the mixed layer of the northwestern Caribbean Sea are examined. Comparison of TCO2 variation with coincident salinity and O2 variation demonstrated that TCO2 often co-varied with these independently measured variables. During five diel cycles TCO2 variation was characterized by nocturnal production and diurnal consumption. The inverse, diurnal production of CO2, occurred downstream from Misteriosa Bank, whose corals apparently contributed to a water mass having a twofold increase of POC and a sixfold larger population of heterotrophic nanoplankters. For the five diel studies carried out in waters with balanced or nearly blanced heterotrophic and phototrophic components of the nanoplankton, CO2 consumption at constant salinity always occurred between 06.00 and 09.00 hrs. Net uptake often continued through 15.00 hrs, but not always in the absence of significant salinity changes. At constant salinity net O2 evolution never exceeded 0.5 mol l-1 h-1 while net CO2 uptake consistently averaged 3 mol l-1 h-1 for an apparent net production of 36 mg C m-3 h-1, which greatly exceeds the O2 changes and open ocean 14C estimates from the literature. Diurnal consumption was apparently balanced by nocturnal production of CO2 so that no significant net daily change in TCO2 was observed. Departures from theoretical PQ and RQ and the possibility of nocturnal variations in formaldehyde and carbonate alkalinity imply that chemotrophs, both methane producers and methane oxidizers, play a significant role in CO2 cycling. This could be through the metabolism of the nonconservative gases CH4, CO, and H2, and a link between chemotrophy and phototrophy through these gases is hypothesized. These open system measurements were subject to diffusion and documentable patchiness, but temporal TCO2 changes appear to indicate the net direction of microbiological activity and join a growing body of literature showing dynamic variation in CO2 and O2 that exceeds estimates by 14C bottle assays of carbon fixation.

    The study shows that CO2 in the ocean goes up and down because of a host of biological, microbiological, and other processes that include coral reefs. These are among the reasons that aquarium studies don’t cut it for studying these questions.

    It’s also the reason, Jack, that assertions such as yours about the effects of CO2 on the ocean simply don’t hold water. The ocean is not ruled by chemistry … it is ruled by biology.

    2. There well may be extra photosynthesis, if the warming is due to increased solar activity.

    3. No one, including yourself, has any idea what level of CO2 will be reached by the year 2100. Our understanding of the system is nowhere near good enough (too many feedbacks, too many unknown forcings) to know that number with any degree of certainty.

    w.

  138. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 3:28 PM | Permalink

    re: #126

    Meanwhile, near the surface, organisms use carbonate to photosynthetize with.

    No, that’s wrong, they use dissolved CO2.

    That’s a distinction without a difference. CO3=, HCO3- and H2CO2 can all readily interconvert and the CO2.H20 H2CO3 interconversion isn’t difficult either. And not only will they do this naturally, I’m sure there are enzymes in photosynthetic ocean organisms to speed up the process if necessary. And anyway it’s moot as chloroplasts regulate their internal pH so that whatever the sea water pH the proper pH will be maintained internally. Finally, the actual process of photosynthesis doesn’t necessarily require CO2 at all, though fixing CO2 is the usual end result.

    BTW, what’s your background? You seem to have a curious mixture of ideas / expertise.

  139. Jack
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 3:35 PM | Permalink

    Not in this case, however, because CO2 is the acid form of the weak acid buffer itself. Dilute carbonic acid at ~pH 8 is mostly bicarbonate. Additional CO2 will lower the pH but increase the total concentration of the carbonic/bicarbonate buffer. Buffering capacity goes up with concentration.

    I had to do some real digging. And found this:


    Carbonate Equilibria in Natural Waters

    This stirred some memories. See if you agree with this: Addition of CO2 to the water increases H+ (acidification) because carbonic acid is a weak acid. I.e., H2CO3 concentration is always low. Because of the alkalinity in seawater, adding CO2 therefore increases H+ but doesn’t increase total alkalinity, because the system compensates by converting bicarbonate to carbonate ion. I think of buffer capacity as total alkanity, which doesn’t change with addition of CO2, even though total CO2 does.

    Good?

    I don’t see how monitoring CFCs tells you about whether dissolved CO2 is anthropogenic.

    CFCs act as a tracer. Because production history is well-known, the time-dependent penetration can be determined.

  140. Greg F
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 3:40 PM | Permalink

    RE:135

    Greg, I said “this whole blog’ and I mean “this whole blog’. Not Steve, “this whole blog’ OK?

    No Peter, not okay. You have no proof so now you attempt to weasel out of it by quoting yourself out of context. Peter, your a liar. Here is what you said:

    Btw, you seem to not have noticed that this whole blog was set up to expose a supposed conspiracy.

    Steve set up the blog, it is his blog. Nobody else set it up. You insulted Steve and Ross and don’t even have the common decency to apologize. I would say you have the ethics of a politician, but that would be an insult to politicians.

  141. Jack
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

    Sigh. Dave, I’m an oceanographer. And you’re wrong, it is a distinction that means something. Phytoplankton are plants. They use CO2 for photosynthesis, and they have to use CO2, and they don’t use bicarbonate or carbonate ion. Does the plant sitting on your desk use bicarbonate or carbonate ion for photosynthesis?

    Willis, do some reading on how ocean acidification works and how it will affect biogenic calcification. Don’t quote papers that seem to support your position when they are actually irrelevant to what is being discussed. Sorry to be blunt.

  142. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    Ok, Peter, one quick exception. I was correcting a skeptic. If I’d been correcting, say John Hunter, would you have been willing to support me? Can you show an example where you’ve taken the skeptic side of a warmer-skeptic scientific disagreement? Your ‘support’ of me was in the category of “let’s you and him fight!”

  143. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 4:13 PM | Permalink

    Sigh, Jack. My training is as a chemist and biochemist and while I haven’t actually used my degrees, I still remember a lot of the info. Now I don’t know just what sorts of mechanisms ocean creatures use, but I do know there are alternatives to using gaseous CO2 during photosynthesis. There’s “photorespiration” which uses O2 and is wasteful but still used under some circumstances. And there’s the C4 photosynthesis process where the carbon fixing step doesn’t occur directly in the chloroplasts. Here’s a quick quote from an old Molecular Biology of The Cell (2nd Ed) Bruce Alberts, et. al. “The CO2 pump is a reaction cycle that begins with a CO2-fixation step catylzed in the cytosol of the mesophyll cells by an enzyme that binds carbon dioxide (as bicarbonate) with high affinity.” Please note the “as bicarbonate”. As I admitted, I don’t know what various sorts of ocean dwelling creatures do biochemically, and perhaps none of them are as creative as the “higher” plants on land but I suspect there are lots of variations.

  144. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 4:47 PM | Permalink

    The Left are essentially the new Nazis.

    Of course, waxing a bit philosophical here, with a heavy dose of Edmund Burke in hand, it could also be argued that the Nazis were themselves Leftists.

  145. Paul Linsay
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

    #144: Yes they were, they were socialists, that’s what Nazi means, National Socialism. In the 1930′s they were recognized as leftists by such people as von Hayek. In fact, if you were a communist and decided to switch they took you instantly. Mussolini, the original fascist, was a socialist, a Marxist, and a friend of Lenin.

    That said, you are way off topic. Please stick to climate and science on this blog. It’s bad enough when people get into spitting matches with Peter Hearnden, Bloom, and Lambert. We don’t need real politics intruding here.

  146. TCO
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

    It’s a very silly distinction to make between carbonate and CO2 in aqueous solution.

  147. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 6:08 PM | Permalink

    re:141, Jack, thaks for posting. You say:

    Willis, do some reading on how ocean acidification works and how it will affect biogenic calcification. Don’t quote papers that seem to support your position when they are actually irrelevant to what is being discussed. Sorry to be blunt.

    Jack, I don’t mind blunt, blunt is fine by me. Actually, I’m often accused of being too blunt.

    But you are not being blunt. All you are doing is cleverly avoiding answering my points. If you feel that the citations are not relevant, TELL US WHY. Your unsubstatiated assertion that they are irrelevant is … well, it’s irrelevant. This is a scientific blog. If you want to achieve any credibility here, claiming that scientific studies I cited are “irrelevant” without giving a single reason, or listing a single citation, or disproving a single one of my statements, is not the way to go about it.

    I have indeed “read extensively about how ocean acidification works and how it will affect biogenic calcification”. I can discuss the lysocline, and the effect of weak acids on buffered solutions, and a host of other issues that bear on the subject at hand. Obviously, I came to different conclusions from my reading than you came to, which is fine, that’s science.

    Your instruction to me to read up on the question, however, merely reveals your paternalistic assumption that you know all about the subject, and your assumption that others are way behind your understanding of the subject, and your thought that the science is settled. None of those are true. Where do you think I got the references I cited, if not from my reading?

    So I invite you to tell us all, Jack why is it “irrelevant” that coral reefs live happily in a pCO2 concentration that is twice the world average, and that they vary the CO2 levels around them by a factor of four?

    How is it “irrelevant” that the CO2 levels in the ocean are determined by a multiplicity of factors, both chemical and biological, not just the atmospheric CO2 levels? And what does that mean about your claims of future oceanic CO2 levels? Reveal that to us as well.

    And what is “irrelevant” about a study showing increasing levels of coral reef calcification over the last 150 years, during the time when CO2 has been rising? According to you, calcification would have to be falling because of rising CO2 … but it’s not. Why not? And why is the question “irrelevant”?

    You may be 100% right, and I may be totally wrong … but merely dissing the scientific papers as “irrelevant” doesn’t clarify the question, it just makes you look like a fool. I don’t think you are a fool … but it sure makes you look like one. Me, I suspect you are depending too much on aquarium studies, which can never replicate the real oceanic conditions … when’s the last time you saw a lysocline in an aquarium? And if the aquarium doesn’t have one, how can it tell us anything about the oceanic conditions?

    Sorry to be blunt,

    w.

    PS – Going “Sigh. Dave, I’m an oceanographer” doesn’t buy you anything here either. Everyone on this site has seen highly trained professionals making stupid, unsupportable, evasive, unscientific, highly debateable, and/or 100% wrong statements regarding their own specialty … and we have no reason yet to assume you are any different.

    This type of logical error is called “appeal to authority”. OK, so you’re an oceanographer, your mother must be proud … now can we discuss the science?

  148. Pat Frank
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 6:22 PM | Permalink

    #139, Adding CO2 to a carbonate/bicarbonate buffer won’t reduce total alkalinity because of the reaction H2CO3 + CO3– –> 2 HCO3-; i.e., the number of equivalents of titratable base remains constant. When carbonate is used up by that reaction, then the buffer system becomes carbonic acid/bicarbonate. Adding still more CO2 also won’t reduce total titratable alkalinity, but the solution pH will decrease because the ratio of H2CO3/HCO3- increases.

    I see why CFCs can trace gas diffusion into the ocean, but the uptake of CO2 by the ocean is not solubility-limited as the discussion in this thread has shown. Willis Eschenbach’s point about reef calcification proceeding in the presence of high local dissolved CO2 is very telling.

    Thank-you for the article you linked. It looks very useful and I’ve saved it. One very relevant piece of information it gives is that the equilibrium ratio of CO2/H2CO3 in water is 650. That means almost all of the increased CO2 concentration in the oceans will be present as neutral CO2 rather than as acidic H2CO3, and so shouldn’t very much increase the acidity. The only way to markedly increase the acidity would be if the CO2H2CO3 equilibrium were driven to the right by the precipitation of calcium carbonate from a neutral salt, such as CaCl2. I don’t think calcium silicate would work because silicic acid is not very acidic at all. On a hunch I looked and found that corals have surface mucus layers, within which symbiotic bacteria live.* I’d suspect these mucus layers may moderate exposure of coralline CaCO3 to small changes in external pH. Having been exposed to the ubiquitous systems-regulation of biology, I’d be surprised if any marine organism allowed direct bathing of its skeletal carbonate by surrounding waters.

    *H. W. Ducklow and R. Mitchell (1979) “Bacterial populations and adaptation of the mucus layers on living corals” Limnol. Oceanogr. 24, 715-725.

  149. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 13, 2006 at 6:36 PM | Permalink

    Re 141: Also, Jack, when you reply, please consider the following findings, (emphasis mine), from

    Proxy Records Of Coral Calcification And Rising Atmospheric CO2

    D.J. Barnes and J.M. Lough
    Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB 3, Mail Centre, Townsville Qld 4810
    http://www.aims.gov.au/pages/auscore/auscore-abstracts-2001-01.html#03

    We used annual skeletal density variations to determine calcification rates over the past 200 years in 10 large colonies of the major reef-building coral, Porites. These colonies came from sites along and across the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Calcification rates for the latest 50-year period, 1930-1979, were significantly higher than in the previous three 50-year periods. Calcification rates in the previous periods were not significantly different. This increase in calcification can be ascribed to increase in seawater temperature on the GBR.

    At least 3 factors may be involved in this difference between predicted and measured coral calcification. (1) Seawater pH is not wholly controlled by the concentration of dissolved CO2. (2) Coral calcification may not depend upon the concentration of carbonate ions. (3) Solution of shallow water carbonates may return seawater pH towards its original value while increasing the concentration of carbonate ions.

    As an experimental test of the third factor, we raised concentrations of CO2 in seawater to levels approaching the doubling level now predicted to occur in 2065. We then added various forms of powdered carbonate. We followed pH throughout. Addition of calcite and aragonite did not affect the pH of the acidified seawater. However, addition of high magnesian calcite and magnesium carbonate returned pH to values approaching or higher than initial values. Dilution of seawater showed that carbonate supersaturation values were considerably lower than the theoretical values. It is these theoretical values that have been used to indicate that solution of shallow marine carbonates will not occur as atmospheric CO2 rises.

    Under this scenario calcification in reef organisms may be increased by increased atmospheric CO2 because possible effects of slightly deceased pH on calcification are likely to be offset by an increase in calcification due to increase in carbonate ion concentration, and in total dissolved inorganic carbon.

    These results also affect predictions of atmospheric CO2 levels. All models used to make such predictions assume no solution of shallow marine carbonates. Under such an assumption, the capacity of the surface ocean to remove and store CO2 from the atmosphere becomes more and more limited as atmospheric CO2 rises. The capacity of solution of the oceans to store CO2 is greatly enhanced if there is solution of shallow marine carbonates.

    Surely this citation is not “irrelevant” … and clearly, the science is not as settled as you are blithely claiming …

    w.

  150. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Apr 14, 2006 at 1:40 AM | Permalink

    Re #140. Nope, John A is the chap who does the tech stuff here, Steve AND John A run this place, indeed John A contributes topics at times. So, don’t try and wriggle and ad hom ME by calling ME a liar. Oh, and if it’s Steve’s blog why bring Ross into it???

    Imo, no one here is lying, not you, not me, NO ONE. We have opinions, I DON’T lie, but I do have opinions – OK? Caling me a liar just refects upon you, it’s pretty low, especially for you.

    Steve: I don’t want to use bandwidth for this type of stuff. Peter, it’s fine to express opinions, but then you should withdraw them if they don’t stand up. For example, in the case, here, I can assure you that I did not set up this blog to “expose a conspiracy” as I’ve never thought that there was such a thing or used this terminology. I don’t believe that the Hockey Team studies are “independent” or jointly or severally valid, but those are different issues. Also it’s my blog; it’s not a joint blog.

  151. John A
    Posted Apr 14, 2006 at 1:42 AM | Permalink

    Re: #120

    If the partial pressure of atmospheric CO2 is increased enough, then the concentration of dissolved CO2 will increase even in a warmer ocean. In general, the 20th century ~30% increase in CO2 partial pressure will be more than enough to offset the slightly lower intrinsic solubility of CO2 in a slightly warmer ocean.

    But carbonic acid is a very weak acid. How much carbon dioxide would have to dissolve into the worlds oceans in order to reduce the pH by the measured amount?

  152. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Apr 14, 2006 at 1:45 AM | Permalink

    Re #142. Dave, I say what I think is right. If I think a sceptic right I’ll say it. I don’t often think they/your are. What would you have me do, lie?

    I do remember agreeing with people like Hans (who’s hardly a warmer) on several occasions. I’d guess (this place isn’t easily searchable is it?) I’ve agreed with you before. But, again, would you have me lie so I can ‘agree’ with sceptics?

  153. Jack
    Posted Apr 14, 2006 at 8:25 AM | Permalink

    Re: #146

    It’s a very silly distinction to make between carbonate and CO2 in aqueous solution.

    Not for organisms that make shells out of CaCO3, it isn’t.

  154. Jack
    Posted Apr 14, 2006 at 8:52 AM | Permalink

    So I invite you to tell us all, Jack why is it “irrelevant” that coral reefs live happily in a pCO2 concentration that is twice the world average, and that they vary the CO2 levels around them by a factor of four?

    Because, Willis, pCO2 is not what determines an organism’s capacity to calcify. CO3(2-)aq is the critical variable, and due to the essential stability of ocean waters, it does not vary nearly as much when pCO2 is varying diurnally. That’s why I pretty much ignored those references. They are not relevant to the chemistry that IS relevant.

    This is a quote from Feely et al. 2004 (Science). I don’t wish to argue about the likelihood of the high CO2 atmospheric concentration. The relevant part is the indicated trends that happen to ocean chemistry as more and more CO2 is absorbed by surface ocean waters.

    … “suggest that by the end of the century CO2 levels could be over 800 ppm. Corresponding models for the oceans indicate that surface water dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) could probably increase by more than 12%, and the carbonate ion concentration would decrease by almost 60% (ref to Brewer 1997). The corresponding pH drop would be about 0.4 pH units in surface waters.”

    Diurnal pCO2 variations occurring on a coral reef do not cause such a shift in the carbonate chemistry of ocean waters. So the reference you cited (which is intriguing) indicates that if you have “solution” (I prefer dissolution) of shallow marine high-Mg carbonates, you can partially offset the alteration of chemistry due to surface water CO2 absorption. The enhanced dissolution of high-Mg calcites would only occur on reefs and banks, so I don’t know if it would be a full-ocean “fix”. Furthermore, because studies have shown that living calcifiers show shell damage in highly undersaturated environments, I would suspect that undersaturated waters on the banks would affect living benthic forams and coralline algae. Not exactly a “win-win” situation.

    Another quote from Feely et al., that Engelbeen might want to note:

    “The calcification rates of two bloom-forming coccolithophores, Emiliania huxleyi and Gephyrocapsa oceanica, decreased by 25 and 45%, respectively, when grown at pCO2 concentrations that were three times the preindustrial value.”

    So, there you go. I hope that you have Feely et al. 2004 on your reference shelves.

  155. Jack
    Posted Apr 14, 2006 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

    Re: #148

    Your first paragraph summed it up quite nicely. Higher CO2 shifts the equilibrium toward bicarbonate ion, at the expense of carbonate ion. The shift toward HCO3- also results in reduced pH.

    Corals might be somewhat more resistant to closer-to-saturation or undersaturation waters than pteropods or foraminifera. But even if the waters aren’t undersaturated, the reduced carbonate ion concentrations inhibit calcification (i.e., the calcification rate slows down).

  156. Mark
    Posted Apr 14, 2006 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

    re 135:

    Re #118. I responded to the criticism of RC in post #105 with some examples from this place of exceedingly offensive posts. Again, let he who is without…

    Certainly there are those that cross bounds, Peter, nobody denies that. The OP was more concerned with a general tone, which is not prevalent here (nor do scads of critical arguments get cut simply because the argument is unfavorable towards Steve’s work).

    Mark

  157. David Archibald
    Posted Apr 14, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink

    The Ordovician had C02 levels 10 times higher than the current level, and there are plenty of carbonate shells left, whole carbonate banks in fact, from that period. That means that they weren’t dissolved by a highly acidic, or even slightly acidic, ocean. There was no runaway greenhouse either. In general terms, current CO2 levels are the lowest that ocean creatures have experienced in the earth’s history. So sea creatures can stand, and possibly thrive in, much higher CO2 levels than they are currently getting. The Ordovician was about 450 million years ago. The mass of the oceans relative to the atmosphere is such that the oceans will continue to absorb CO2 even if temperatures get back to the MWP.

  158. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 14, 2006 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

    Jack,

    by the end of the century CO2 levels could be over 800 ppm

    Yes, if nothing changes in fossil fuel usage and no CO2 sequestration plans bear fruit we’d see atmospheric levels of 800 ppm CO2. A couple of years ago I actually set up a table of the atmospheric CO2 levels from Hawaii and calculated the yearly ratios, calculated the deviations from a linear trend, added the deviation to each year and extended the thing to 2100 and voila, it came out to 815 ppm. But most everyone agrees that by mid-century the usage of fossil fuels will start to wane. It’s therefore unlikely that the true level will ever go much above 600 ppm.

    If it does, it’s true that this will cause the ratios of calcifiers to change but it won’t destroy the over-all ability of sea life to calcify.

  159. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 14, 2006 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    re:#158

    Since I had my spreadsheet pulled up, I went to the Keeling & Whorf site and updated it for the last couple of years data. That dropped my 2100 value to 738.4 ppm. Just goes to show how sensitive the final value is to relatively small changes. Is the 2005 data available, BTW. It isn’t there with the other data but perhaps it’s available through the grapevine or something?

  160. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Apr 14, 2006 at 11:38 AM | Permalink

    May I reply to Steve’s reply in #150?

    "I don’t believe that the Hockey Team studies are “independent” or jointly or severally valid, but those are different issues."

    OK, I said ‘supposed conspiracy’, you say not ‘independent’. Both involve some kind of implied wrong doing, right? Since I’d guess those you critice for not being independent (when they’d, I’m sure, know they are) would feel pretty much how you feel wrt my comment when you know you’re not trying to expose a conspiracy?

    OK, Let me say I could have put it differently :). I’ll also say I doubt you’ll stop claiming the other proxy studies aren’t independent. Would that be right?

    Re the blog. Well, I don’t know, John A adds articles, he does the techie stuff. Sound like he has input to me.

    Steve: “both involve some kind of wrongdoing, right?” Wrong. The lack of independence of the studies is not a matter of “wrongdoing” or “implied” wrongdoing”. It’s simply an observation on interlocking authorships and overlapping proxies. Why should I “stop claiming” that the other proxy studies aren’t independent? They aren’t.

  161. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Apr 14, 2006 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

    Re #156 "nor do scads of critical arguments get cut simply because the argument is unfavorable towards Steve’s work" tell me, how do you know? Either re this blog or ‘another place’? I’ve had loads of posts blocked here one time or another. OK, Karma blocks a lot of stuff, but, we simply don’t know which posts to wherever get blocked. However, we do know not all posts get through to either site.

    That said, I’d guess (and it is a guess) that the intention is to let most things through here, but elsewhere (in another place) the policy isn’t so much to block discussion but more to discourage the kind of spats you can get when people of deeply held views debate and the kind of repitition of points you can get with a specific topic within a topic like CA disusses.

    Steve: Peter, I’m getting tired of your attempt to compare spam policies here with realclimate censorship. realclimate not only censored substantive comments, but substantive comments by me on posts where I was being criticized. I cannot remember you making a scientific comment or “critical argument” here. Basically you just throw spitballs. My inclination is to let them through and put up with the spats, but it gets pretty tiresome. Rob Wilson sent in a critical argument and I’ve not only let it through but highlighted them. That’s the opposite of realclimate.

  162. John A
    Posted Apr 14, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    Re: #161

    whenever you’ve attempted to poison the well of discussion with attempts to provoke people with deliberate misquotation, I’ve hit the spam button.

    I will continue to do so just so long as you pursue this path of causing maximum disruption by making personal attacks and then complaining about other personal attacks about you that were responses to personal attacks from you. Then a flame war develops and you climb on your moral highchair and say how terrible it all is, and how RealClimate doesn’t have these sorts of personal attacks.

    So let me make it clear: you stick to the topics and stay away from characterizing the personalities or trying to poison the well and you can continue to contribute, BUT if you continue this line of innuendo, I’ll hit the spam button until Spam Karma recognises what you are doing automatically.

  163. Jack
    Posted Apr 14, 2006 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

    There was no runaway greenhouse either. In general terms, current CO2 levels are the lowest that ocean creatures have experienced in the earth’s history. So sea creatures can stand, and possibly thrive in, much higher CO2 levels than they are currently getting. The Ordovician was about 450 million years ago. The mass of the oceans relative to the atmosphere is such that the oceans will continue to absorb CO2 even if temperatures get back to the MWP.

    We have no way of determining how the organisms of the Ordovician were suited to the prevailing marine chemistry of that period. The issue is a relatively rapid change in ocean chemistry that would affect the existence parameters for organisms living in the ocean now. Over millions of years, things can change rather slowly and organisms can adapt or evolve.

  164. Pat Frank
    Posted Apr 14, 2006 at 1:49 PM | Permalink

    #151 – “But carbonic acid is a very weak acid. How much carbon dioxide would have to dissolve into the worlds oceans in order to reduce the pH by the measured amount?”

    Following a scan of the chapter that Jack linked, and finding that the ratio of CO2/H2CO3 in water is 560, I’d guesstimate that none of any measureable increase in acidity can be due to a 30% increase in atmospheric CO2 (in the ppmv range) as such.

    On the other hand, the chemistry of the oceans is not that of pure water. If the higher dissolved CO2 concentration is precipitating a corresponding excess of dissolved calcium so as to release acid then some measureable acidity increase is possible. The reaction would be this:

    CO2 + H2O –> H2CO3; H2CO3 + Ca (2+) –> CaCO3 + 2 H+; (CaCO3 then precipitates out of the system.)

    This reaction predicts that as acidity increased in the ocean the concentration of free dissolved calcium should proportionately decrease. If that inverse relation held globally, then the increased acidity could be due to atmospheric CO2. The process would continue until all the dissolved, carbonate-precipitatable, mineral ions were used up.

    So, look for a measured decrease in oceanic dissolved calcium, John. If there is none, then any increasing acidity can’t be due to increased dissolved CO2.

  165. Thomas Bolger
    Posted Apr 14, 2006 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

    But Pat
    The calcium is continuously being replaced.Rainwater dissolves calcium carbonate in the form of the bicarbonate and this finishes up in the ocean.
    Thus it is doubtful that the sea will increase it’s acidity

  166. Jack
    Posted Apr 14, 2006 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    Following a scan of the chapter that Jack linked, and finding that the ratio of CO2/H2CO3 in water is 560, I’d guesstimate that none of any measureable increase in acidity can be due to a 30% increase in atmospheric CO2 (in the ppmv range) as such.

    I can provide more details next week. Measurable decreases in pH have been recorded in the water column due to “injection” of atmospheric CO2. Seawater pH can now be measured reliably to .0001 pH unit, so the pH decrease due to increased TCO2 is definitely measurable and has been observed.

    As an aside, calcium ion is the one major cation that isn’t always found in exact conservative ratios in open ocean seawater (different from Na, Mg, and K). That’s because big coccolithophore blooms can deplete it enough to measure. This shouldn’t be confused with evaporite basins or deep-sea vent waters.

  167. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 14, 2006 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

    re 154, Jack, thanks for posting.

    You don’t seem to be following the story. You said that your theory is that increasing CO2 will decrease calcification.

    I listed and cited two studies (Barnes and Lough, along with Bessat and Buiges) which clearly show that, in the real ocean, calcification has increased in the ocean in the last 50 years, despite increasing CO2. This directly contradicts your theory.

    At this point, it is useless to continue pounding the table about how your theory is correct. What you need to do now is either:

    1) Show how these two studies are flawed in some fundamental fashion, or

    2) Show that somehow these two studies don’t apply to your theory.

    Just claiming that you are right, that your theory has lots of theoretical support, or that other people agree with your theory, means absolutely nothing at this point. A theory is very valuable, because it is falsifiable. Yours has been falsified by the two studies. Until you deal with that, none of your further claims about your theory have any meaning.

    w.

  168. Pat Frank
    Posted Apr 14, 2006 at 3:10 PM | Permalink

    #165 – It’s complicated business, isn’t it. :-) You’re right, the CO2 in rainwater dissoves CaCO3 as the bis-bicarbonate. If this process is in play, we should look for an increased concentration of calcium in present-day runoff as compared to, say, 1930. I seem to remember one such report steming from a river in Alaska.

    The problem is in mass-balance — whether any increase in calcium run-off will balance the increased precipitation of CaCO3 from the oceans. It may be that runoff calcium will be enough to buffer the acidity produced by enhanced precipitation, making no net change, but I’m not expert in that field and don’t know the numbers. Maybe Jack knows.

    The fact that oceans are not in solute equilibrium complicates the picture further. The concentration of newly run-off calcium will be greatest near shore. It may take years for the gradient to find its way out to deep ocean. So even if the run-off/precipitation mass-balance is formally equal, there may be regions of acidification, e.g., in the central Pacific, before mixing eventually brings the replacement calcium. If that’s all true, the calcium concentration gradient between near-shore and central ocean should have steepened during the 20th century. I’m just doing chemically informed speculation here. Someone may already have this all worked out.

  169. Hans Erren
    Posted Apr 14, 2006 at 3:17 PM | Permalink

    And then there is of course the adequate-sampling-of-the-ocean-to-calculate-the-average problem challenge.

  170. David Archibald
    Posted Apr 15, 2006 at 5:37 AM | Permalink

    It is all coming back to me. In the Late Jurassic, about 180 million years ago, CO2 levels were about 2,500 ppm – which is about 7 times what CO2 is at the moment. The CO2 content in the atmosphere has been falling linearly ever since, and started bouncing around the bottom in the current ice age. We are in a little interglacial that could go on for 40 million years. You have an enquiring mind, so you are immediately wondering why CO2 levels have fallen for so long. It is because the Indian plate ran into the Asian plate and pushed up the Himalayas. All the calcsilicates that were eroded as a consequence ended up putting a lot of Ca ions in the oceans. This in turn sucked CO2 out of the atmosphere and a lot of calcite has been deposited, producing big wedges of limestone around the continents. Would we be having the current ice age if all that CO2 had remained in the atmoshpere? The late Ordovician had an ice age despite CO2 levels of 4,000 ppm, which is over ten times the current level. So the warming effect of CO2 can’t be all that significant.

    Those who worship Gaia can still have a Gaia-based climate theory, and this is it. Evolution does not occur in stable environments, it occurs in stressed environments. All those glaciations in the last few hundred thousand years speeded up human evolution so that humans could dig up the buried carbon and return it to the atmosphere and thus cause an increase in the Earth’s biomass, which has happened – about a 10% increase in the last 20 years. Gaia saw all the CO2 being sucked out of the atmosphere and all the suffering that caused to the earth’s creatures in terms of reduced biomass, caused the glaciations to accelerate human evolution, and humans duely dug up carbon to return it to the atmosphere. It is all part of Gaia’s plan. It is therefore the duty of each and every one of us to burn as much carbon as we can. Hold competitions with your friends to see who can burn the most. Fly around the planet for no good reason. No cheating, because Gaia would know. We have to make a real effort.

  171. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Apr 15, 2006 at 6:19 AM | Permalink

    Re: 160, Peter,

    OK, I said ‘supposed conspiracy’, you say not “independent’. Both involve some kind of implied wrong doing, right?

    To say that these proxy recons are “right” or “wrong” neccessitates a value judgement. It is not a question of right or wrong. No one is accusing anyone of conspiracy. This is an example of groupthink. The point is that when several authors who share similar opinions perform similar studies with substantially the same data, using the same methodologies it can hardly be said that they are independently verifying the original studies.

    It is also not a conspiracy when these same authors refuse to divulge either their data or their methodologies to others who are not members of their same thinking group. There is a problem with this sort of behavoir.

    I unfortunately have personal experience with a mentally ill sibling who has single handedly created a debacle of our parents’ health and finances. Just like the Hockey Team, he refuses to share his data or methodologies with me so that I might independently verify what has happened. His motivation for this refusal is that he realizes that he has botched things up and wants to hide his mistakes. Sadly, and most likely based on my personal experience, I attribute similar motivations to the Hockey Team based on their refusals to provide data and methodologies.

  172. John M
    Posted Apr 15, 2006 at 8:43 AM | Permalink

    With regard to #166 and reliable pH measurements to 0.0001 pH unit, I’d love to see a reference for that. This link gives pretty good accuracy and precision, but not 0.0001. Also, it’s interesting to see the factors that need to be controlled or accounted for in order to make accurate seawater pH measurements. What sort of statistical rigour has been applied to these techniques?

    http://aslo.org/lomethods/free/2004/0126.pdf

  173. Pat Frank
    Posted Apr 15, 2006 at 12:21 PM | Permalink

    #172 Thanks for that paper, John, it goes right to the heart of ocean pH. Two things struck me on browsing the paper, which require further investigation, apart from your point that the reported accuracy is closer to 0.005 (+/- 0.001-0.0003) unit, not 0.0001 unit.

    The first part I don’t understand is the authors say that a 30% increase in CO2 has decreased surface ocean pH by 0.1 unit, which is equivalent to a 26% increase in acidity. This is a huge amount, and can’t be due to just a higher dissolved CO2 concentration. There must be some other process, such as enhanced carbonate sedimentation driving such a huge acid increase.

    The second part that escapes me is that they discuss surface acidity in terms of bisulfate, HSO4- ion. But ocean surface pH is about 8, and the pKa of bisulfate is 1.92, meaning that the bisulfate concentration in ocean waters is effectively zero. I don’t see how sulfate would enter the acidity equation at all, in surface waters pH-controlled by a carbonate/bicarbonate buffer. They also include HF, with a pKa of 3.45, and I don’t understand the why of including that, either.

    Guess I’ll have to look into this a little. Thanks again for the link.

  174. John M
    Posted Apr 15, 2006 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

    Glad you found it useful.

    Yes, the 0.1 number seems odd. Maybe they just sort of pulled it out of the air for their intro (note that they didn’t provide a reference). I sort of have to confess that I can see how that can happen (not that I’m admitting to anything specific myself now). I found the report of high quality and suitably cautious otherwise.

    I think I’ve seen something very recently that puts it at a 0.02 pH increase, which is why I’m so interested in the accuracy of the measurement.

  175. Terry
    Posted Apr 15, 2006 at 8:05 PM | Permalink

    Louis and Dave:

    Another way to get some intuition on the issure of how much heat the earth puts into the atmosphere is to think about the amount of time that it has taken the earth to cool since its formation. For five billion years, the earth has been cooling and it is still quite hot below the surface. Therefore, the rate of heat dissipation must be rather small (intuitively speaking).

    In fact, you could probably get an estimate of the heat flux today by estimating how much heat energy the earthe had at inception, how much it has now, and what dissipation rate is implied by the difference between the two.

  176. Terry
    Posted Apr 15, 2006 at 8:35 PM | Permalink

    Oh … groan … another Peter post.

    Everytime he posts, I have to scroll past a dozen boring responses and counter responses.

    What a bore.

  177. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 15, 2006 at 8:59 PM | Permalink

    # 175

    Terry,

    Unfortunately the assumption that the earth started cooling 5 billion years ago is based on various assumptions and beliefs which need not be discussed here. Instead the earth should be viewed as an active geophysical and geodynamic physical object, not a slowly cooling, near dead object.

    The point I make as the earth has a pretty dynamic geomagnetic field which can only be formed by electric currents, and this field is tightly coupled with the Sun, then fluctuations in the field, which means fluctuation in the electric current (where inside the earth is not important right now) means a fluctuating current in resistive loads which must generate heat. And this heat does not stay in side the earth.

    Simple calculations indicate that it’s chnage in heat flux mught be undetectable instrumentally, but may well occur as weather changes etc.

    The issue is that the only energy source is that of the Sun by direct radiation and nothing else.

    As I posted earlier, include the recent work in plasma physics and cosmology, and accept the fact that earth is actually an electrically charged and coupled object in space plasma, then we have enormous sources of energy as inputs to the geophysical dynamics of the earth, which must have a significant effect on weather and hence climate.

    These inputs are totally ignored in climate science.

  178. TCO
    Posted Apr 15, 2006 at 9:11 PM | Permalink

    Sounds silly. Do you have a phys rev paper that quantifies the inductive heating effect by the sneaky space plasma?

  179. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 15, 2006 at 9:16 PM | Permalink

    Re #178

    TCO

    try Tony Peratt’s site here http://public.lanl.gov/alp/plasma/universe.html

    IEEE journals might be a source, but first get a handle on the fundamentals, then the rest follows.

    Remember electrical forces are 10E39 larger in magnitude than gravity.

  180. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 15, 2006 at 9:26 PM | Permalink

    List of various papers here http://public.lanl.gov/alp/plasma/universe.html and note the Z pinch instabilities and petroglyphs recorded in antiquity papers at the end of the list.

    And it’s not space plasma which does it, it seems fluctuations in the sun’s total output, an radiative electromagnetic phenomenon, which causes changes in the earth’s field which might affect its internal geophysical state – space plasma is simply the medium in which these bodies are able to interact with each other.

    This is cutting edge science and not mainstream stuff which is still in Victorian gaslight era science based on mechanics and non electrical sources of energy.

  181. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 15, 2006 at 9:28 PM | Permalink

    Whoops, error in last post with the link – just goe to Peratt’s page and click on the plasma papers link.

    Apologies for the error.

  182. TCO
    Posted Apr 15, 2006 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    I can handle the E&M fine. Give me a journal reference for your wild claim. Don’t need to discuss it with you. Give me the ref. .

  183. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 15, 2006 at 9:40 PM | Permalink

    Re #182

    TCO it is a wild claim because it was only recently “thought” of by me and I suspect a few others if the history of science is any indication.

    I don’t think anyone has actually published on this – Ah Bruce Leybourne has, just remembered.

    http://www.geostreamconsulting.com/papers/Leybourne_Oceans_Fin.pdf

    others here http://www.geostreamconsulting.com/bruce_pubs.html

  184. TCO
    Posted Apr 15, 2006 at 9:49 PM | Permalink

    That paper has nothing about the space plasma E/M transfer from outside the earth. The other list is just a list of papers (and none of them have titles making it likely that they will talk about heating by induction from space). You’re looking rather DanO right now, mate.

  185. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 15, 2006 at 10:50 PM | Permalink

    Well, Louis, I tend to be rather more on TCOs side here than yours. I’d need to see the actual theory and make it jump through hoops before I’d accept it. It is true that you could make the historical point that before Einstein there was a problem with solar energy since the gravational energy available to a sun-massed body shrinking to sun-size from earth’s orbit would have run down long before the age the earth quite evidently had, based on the fossil record. But I don’t think the physics is there to transfer much energy from the sun to the interior of the earth. But there is the case of Io and Jupiter’s magnetic field, so I could be convinced, however unlikely it seems to me at present.

  186. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 16, 2006 at 2:56 AM | Permalink

    Re # 184/185

    Dave/TCO,

    Heating by induction from space? Er, no, not really.

    We know that solar flares affect the earth’s diurnal rotation but we are limited in explaining it because we are trained as mechanics trying to figure out how a Hall-effect motor works. How could a solar flare affect a inertially stable body as the earth? Mechanically impossible – but electrically trivial.

    Since the earth’s geomagnetic field is more or less constant, and produced by internal electric currents (all magnetic fields are produced by electric currents) and as these currents are passing through resitive loads (and thus creating heat and thus losing energy) then there has to be an external source to maintain those currents to existing levels. (unless one prefers perpetual motion).

    Same with the earth – as it rotates it does work, electromagnetically, and must be losing energy unless that energy supply is being continually topped up. Where is that energy coming from? We know it sometimes speeds up and slows. Apparently now it is in a steady rotation, or has been for the last 5 years. This means that the existing mechanical explanations are of not much use.

    Current models have the earth as a physically isolated and closed system. Hence geologists have only radiometric decay to supply the thermal energy for episodic volcanism.

    Stop thinking in terms of Newtonian billiard balls in vacuo and think instead of electrically charged conductive bodies interacting in plasma where electrical forces are in play. Gravity then becomes irrelvant. And it isn’t so much EM as plasma, birkeland currents etc.

    Maybe these ideas need to lie dormant for a few more years……

  187. Ed Snack
    Posted Apr 16, 2006 at 3:03 AM | Permalink

    Not wishing to comment on the actual effect of heat from inside the earth affecting the atmosphere, but I believe that it would be incorrect to try to work out the energy flows by taking a starting temperature alone (ref #175). Energy from the fission of radioactive material would possibly significantly alter the calculation. However this does not help because the actual amount of radioactive material is probably not known with sufficient accuracy to make other than reasonable estimates of the effect.

    Louis, your theory is indeed of interest, but surely requires a good deal more research before it can be of any use in this debate. It does not, on the face of it, seem excessively fantastical, however I have no feel for the magnitude of any effect which could be negligible. Bringing it into the mix at this early stage is, IMHO, premature, and does rather seem of little value. Much better to stick with more established effects now, and bring this sort of thing in when it is better characterized and there is a need to find alternative explanations.

  188. TCO
    Posted Apr 16, 2006 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

    Maybe these ideas need to lie dormant for a few more years……

    1. Dude, you sound like a head case.
    2. I’ll take it seriously after it comes from peer review, not from a brainstorm of yours on a BBS.
    3. Why bring something completely new and unproven into the discussion like that (see one above).

    ***

    IOW, what ES said.

  189. TCO
    Posted Apr 16, 2006 at 6:31 PM | Permalink

    I was a little tough on you. Happy Easter.

  190. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 16, 2006 at 6:45 PM | Permalink

    TCO,

    That is ok, I have been here long enough to know you not to take it the wrong way :-) Happy easter too!

  191. Jack
    Posted Apr 17, 2006 at 8:25 AM | Permalink

    Re: #172

    Thanks for the peer-review. I meant .001, based on spectrophotometric techniques. Sorry for the confusion of an extra decimal place.

    As for statistical rigor, you can research the standards and protocols of the JGOFS program. They are/were pretty darned tough.

  192. Jack
    Posted Apr 17, 2006 at 8:34 AM | Permalink

    Re: #167

    Willis, here’s my answer:

    Marubini, F., H. Barnett, C. Langdon, and M.J. Atkinson, Dependence of calcification on light and carbonate ion concentration for the hermatypic coral Porites compressa, Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 220, 153-162.

    Langdon, C., T. Takahashi, C. Sweeney, D. Chipman, J. Goddard, F. Marubini, H. Aceves, H. Barnett, and M.J. Atkinson, Effect of calcium carbonate saturation state on the calcification rate of an experimental coral reef, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 14, 639-654.

    Marubini, F. and Thake, B. (1999). Bicarbonate addition promotes coral growth. Limnology and Oceanography, 44(3): 716 – 720.

    Orr, J. C., V. J. Fabry, O. Aumont, L. Bopp, S. C. Doney, R. A. Feely, A. Gnanadesikan, N. Gruber, A. Ishida, F. Joos, R. M. Key, K. Lindsay, E. Maier-Reimer, R. Matear, P. Monfray, A. Mouchet, R. G. Najjar, G.-K. Plattner, K. B. Rodgers, C. L. Sabine, J. L. Sarmiento, R. Schlitzer, R. D. Slater, I. J. Totterdell, M.-F. Weirig, Y. Yamanaka, and A. Yool. 2005. Anthropogenic ocean acidification over the twenty-first century and its impact on calcifying organisms. Nature. 437: 681-686.

    And of course Feely et al. 2004.

    Feel free to review and comment. I (and the theory) are certainly not falsified.

  193. Posted Apr 17, 2006 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

    Re #154:

    Jack, I am aware that fast changes in pH and/or ratio Ca++/Mg++ to CO2/HCO3-/CO3- – can give different responses than slow changes. That is also the main problem with laboratory experiments. These are done in a few months/years, and of course the coccoliths have problems to coop with these fast changes. In real life, even if the change in geological times is extremely fast, there are many generations of coccoliths within a year (2.8 generations per day during Ehux blooms, or let’s say 300 per year, including winter) or some 3000 generations of Ehux, before CO2 in air doubles (if that is ever reached). And coccoliths use bicarbonate (not carbonate) to make their shells (see the biogeochemistry page of Ehux.

    Similar experiments in Biosphere II with increased CO2 injection in the “reef community” showed a reduction of calcification, while real life calcification ratios of reefs increased in the past 50 years with increasing CO2 levels.

    This reminds me of laboratory experiments with increased UV (because of fear for the “ozone hole”) on plankton, which showed reduced growth. It turned out that there was no real world problem, as the amount of UV reaching the surface increases a factor five between the polar circle(s) and the equator, without problems for plankton (or terrestrial plants).

    It is possible that there will be problems for coccoliths, if the ratio between Ca/Mg and CO2 derivatives is getting too low. That may be the case in the near/medium future, if Ca/Mg dissolving from land and/or shallow waters can’t follow the (relative) rapid increase of CO2. The work of the Southampton Oceanography Centre assumes that calcification rates are directly related to Ca++/CO3- – concentration ratio’s, rather than CO3- – concentration alone. In this work, some reference is made to the Cretaceous, where a 65% reduction of sediment production was linked to a 2-3 times (volcanic) CO2 increase and a 90% reduction was linked to a 3-6 times CO2 increase. But the (model derived) “low” CO2 levels in this case were around 900 ppmv and the “high” levels up to 4500 ppmv, according to the Cretaceous Climat-Ocean workshop (page 24-25). Not directly comparable to present-day conditions…

  194. Jack
    Posted Apr 17, 2006 at 12:13 PM | Permalink

    Similar experiments in Biosphere II with increased CO2 injection in the “reef community” showed a reduction of calcification, while real life calcification ratios of reefs increased in the past 50 years with increasing CO2 levels.

    I’m going to have to see if this relates to Willis Eschenbach’s concerns: it may be that increasing pCO2 will initially increase calcification, BUT only until the effects on CaCO3 saturation state become significant.

    Since pteropods have already shown calcification impairment in undersaturated conditions, coccolithophores (despite their mineralogical “superiority”) will eventually be affected, too.

  195. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 17, 2006 at 3:03 PM | Permalink

    Re 193, Jack, many thanks for your reply. However, as I said, more theory and aquarium experiments will not rescue your theory. I have shown that in the real world, calcification rates have increased despite your theoretical prediction that they should decrease.

    Now you have cited some references, viz:

    Willis, here’s my answer:

    Marubini, F., H. Barnett, C. Langdon, and M.J. Atkinson, Dependence of calcification on light and carbonate ion concentration for the hermatypic coral Porites compressa, Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 220, 153-162.

    Langdon, C., T. Takahashi, C. Sweeney, D. Chipman, J. Goddard, F. Marubini, H. Aceves, H. Barnett, and M.J. Atkinson, Effect of calcium carbonate saturation state on the calcification rate of an experimental coral reef, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 14, 639-654.

    Marubini, F. and Thake, B. (1999). Bicarbonate addition promotes coral growth. Limnology and Oceanography, 44(3): 716 – 720.

    Orr, J. C., V. J. Fabry, O. Aumont, L. Bopp, S. C. Doney, R. A. Feely, A. Gnanadesikan, N. Gruber, A. Ishida, F. Joos, R. M. Key, K. Lindsay, E. Maier-Reimer, R. Matear, P. Monfray, A. Mouchet, R. G. Najjar, G.-K. Plattner, K. B. Rodgers, C. L. Sabine, J. L. Sarmiento, R. Schlitzer, R. D. Slater, I. J. Totterdell, M.-F. Weirig, Y. Yamanaka, and A. Yool. 2005. Anthropogenic ocean acidification over the twenty-first century and its impact on calcifying organisms. Nature. 437: 681-686.

    And of course Feely et al. 2004.

    Feel free to review and comment. I (and the theory) are certainly not falsified.

    Feely et. al. is full of aquarium studies and models that show that the ocean will become less basic. Like Feely, the Orr et. al. paper says that models show the ocean will become less basic, and theorizes that this will reduce calcification … but so what? These are just a re-statement of your theory, and as I said, restating your theory doesn’t help.

    The Langdon study is done in an aquarium. As I said before, when you have an aquarium which has a lysocline, then the results might be applicable to the real world. Might be.

    The Marubini studies are both done in an aquarium.

    Jack, you seem to be missing the point here. You have provided a theory that says that in the real ocean, calcification rates will decrease as CO2 increases.

    I have shown that in the real ocean, this is not happening.

    You respond with studies in models and in aquariums … I’m sorry, but as the song says, that don’t impress me much. You have claimed that your theory applies to the real ocean. Consequently, to support your theory, it doesn’t matter what happens in aquariums. Your theory cannot be supported by what the models say. All that counts is what happens in the ocean. As CO2 has been rising, the calcification rate has not fallen as your theory states.

    You have produced no real-world data to date to support your theory, so yes, at present, it is still falsified. Don’t bother sending a hundred more aquarium studies. Don’t bother telling us that the models predict this or that. REAL WORLD DATA is the only thing that can support or falsify your (or any) theory.

    I await your citations, and thank you for your continued efforts.

    w.

  196. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 12:07 AM | Permalink

    Re (belatedly) 12: Pat, thanks for responding. You ask:

    Willis, did you model the oceanic heat content in a manner equivalent to that of Hansen, et al? In the tiny overlap region (1992-1995) the respective modelling results don’t look the same. Also, did you carry out multiple runs?

    1) I did not model anything. I compared Hansens figures for oceanic heat content with the actual real world measurements of Levitus et. al.

    2) If you look carefully, you will see that Hansen’s figure shows that observations run dead level from 1992-1995, the period of overlap. This is shown in my graph as well. Also, the model runs are increasing from 1993-95, as is shown in both figures as well. The only difference is that he has set 1993 as the zero point, where I have set the beginning of the Levitus data in 1955 (which they used as a starting point for their model) as the zero point.

    3) I did no runs at all. I just compared the Hansen GISS model results to the Levitus ocean temperature measurements, and found that they were worlds apart. Claiming a smoking gun for 10 years of good results, and failing to disclose 40 years years of unreported bad results, is a tragic commentary on the state of climate science.

    w.

  197. Pat Frank
    Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 12:48 AM | Permalink

    #197 – Thanks, Willis, I see that now you’ve pointed it out. Different scale, different scaling. Just to complain completely, :-), it would have been easier to see if your reproduction had gone all the way to 2003.

    That said, it becomes apparent that Hansen’s model tracks through the data only after about 1997 — for the last 6 years. As the calculation covers about 48 years, only the last 1/8th of the data are tracked. Not very reassuring, as you say, and not particularly kosher scientifically to have avoided mentioning it.

  198. John A
    Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 2:41 AM | Permalink

    As the calculation covers about 48 years, only the last 1/8th of the data are tracked. Not very reassuring, as you say, and not particularly kosher scientifically to have avoided mentioning it.

    Well, actually Hansen did mention it in a single sentence, but then forgot about it when hyping it to the media together with Gavin “unprecedented in a thousand years” Schmidt.

    There may be other people who have more subtle nuances to describe this, but I’d characterize the behavior of Hansen and Schmidt as flagrently dishonest amd wilfully misleading in representing the scientific worth of this study to the media.

    If I could (and if it would make a difference), I’d report Hansen and Schmidt to the scientific ethics body within NASA.

    Hansen appears to have been doing this for years, since at least 1988 when he started the global warming scare.

  199. Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 5:26 AM | Permalink

    Willis, why did you claim that they did not disclose these allegedly bad results when they did? Note that I already quoted you the passage. What’s your excuse this time?

  200. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 6:21 AM | Permalink

    # 200

    Tim,

    Any chance of some references in this thread, or elsewhere, so we can independently check whether Willis is actually guilty of that which you accuse him?

    I scrolled upwards for a while then gave up; Sometimes I am impatient with specious trivialities.

    Most of us preface our comments with #XX relating to the particular comment in the thread that is relevant.

  201. Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 6:46 AM | Permalink

    Louis, it’s here.

  202. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 6:54 AM | Permalink

    # 202

    Tim,

    Thank you.

    Post #14 and we are at post 203.

  203. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 6:58 AM | Permalink

    Re 200/201, Tim and Louis, thanks for replying.

    Tim, I answered your question (your #14) in a previous post (my #51), but I’ll go over it again since you asked. Interested readers are referred to my previous answer.

    Tim is referring to Hansen saying

    Total ocean heat storage in that period is consistent with climate model simulations (16–19), but the models do not reproduce reported decadal fluctuations.”

    Tim seems to consider that passage to be full disclosure of the abysmal fit of the model to the 1955-1995 data. Me, I don’t think that passage even begins to describe how little skill the model has in reproducing the variation of oceanic temperature over that period. A straight trendline on the ocean data has an R^2 of 0.80. The model does far worse than a straight trendline, with an R^2 of only 0.52.

    I don’t call that a good fit at all. I call it worse than a straight line. I call it a reason to get another model. Your mileage may vary.

    w.

    PS – If, as they say, their model simulations “do not reproduce decadal fluctuations”, Tim, then what business do they have claiming a good fit during the 1993-2003 period is a “smoking gun”? That’s a decade last time I looked, and they’ve already told us that we can’t trust their model on a decadal time scale …

  204. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 7:06 AM | Permalink

    #204

    Willis,

    R2 is ok with primary measurements, not quibbling here at all.

    R2 applied to computer simulations is another issue – those are not measurements but what….

    Not statistical predictions as I understand it, since those are made on the basis of physical measurements.

    Computer generated data have no errors – by definition – so applying statistics to such data……

    I am off to the Kimberley tomorrow, so leave this in your capable hands. :-)

  205. Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    Willis, as was pointed out in the paper the most recent measurements are more accurate. We don’t know whether the disagreement with the earlier measurements is a problem with the measurements or the model.

    And they did report the disagreement. If you were an honest man, you would be asking John A to correct the post and apologize to Hansen and Schmidt.

  206. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

    Hey here’s an idea Timmy.

    How about John changes it right after you finally publish your “Mann screws up again” article.

  207. fFreddy
    Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 9:44 AM | Permalink

    Re #206, Lambert

    Willis, as was pointed out in the paper the most recent measurements are more accurate. We don’t know whether the disagreement with the earlier measurements is a problem with the measurements or the model.

    To what extent are the older measurements less accurate than the newer measurements ?
    Is the lesser accuracy sufficient to explain the divergence between the model and the observed data ?

  208. TCO
    Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 9:47 AM | Permalink

    Tim, I get the impression when you pursue a detail, it is not for the purpose of clarifying things, but of crowing about an error (usually an error in syntax or something that is a segue from the issue in debate). You never seem to connect it back to the larger issues or to even engage on them. All that said, if you do find an error, fine, it should be fixed (regardless of your failure to do likewise…I beleive in unilateral candor.)

    I’m all for nailing down the small points. But you are bizarre about it. And often your point is not even something related to the science debate but is “who was banned from a BBS” argument.

  209. TCO
    Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 9:49 AM | Permalink

    Oh…and JohnA is a wuss for not engaging/admitting thermo issues or even thermo lack of knowledge. And several wamers have said that. but other than that, he’s a trooper.

  210. Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

    Nonsense TCO, the alleged failure to disclose was the entire point of the post.

    And I get the impression that you post stuff just to get people to pay attention to you. (Good job this time, BTW.)

  211. John A
    Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

    Willis, as was pointed out in the paper the most recent measurements are more accurate. We don’t know whether the disagreement with the earlier measurements is a problem with the measurements or the model.

    What’s the betting that the measurements are wrong and the model is correct and how do you know that, Tim?

    If the measurements are wrong, then the model is also wrong. If the measurements are right then the model is wrong. It’s a bit of a dilemma isn’t it?

    And they did report the disagreement. If you were an honest man, you would be asking John A to correct the post and apologize to Hansen and Schmidt.

    Yes, they reported it thus:

    Total ocean heat storage in that period is consistent with climate model simulations (15–18), but the models do not
    reproduce reported decadal fluctuations.

    That statement buried in the middle of discussions about Levitus et al is as close as is possible to get to false representation. The model did not reproduce most of the data, so Hansen and Schmidt reported the outlier where the data did match (sort of) using a common zero of 1993.

    But even random numbers with a suitable amount of persistence could have done a much better job. Schmidt went one better by making a claim that this result proved that the Earth’s radiative imbalance was "unprecedented in the last 1000 years" when Schmidt did not have a scientific result to base that upon, and he knew it.

    I have no intention of apologizing to Hansen or Schmidt, because in my opinion, what they have done with trash like this is bring climate science into disrepute.

    Other people may be surprised that Tim Lambert is supporting the unsupportable claims of Hansen et al, but then they haven’t seen then when Tim screws up, bluster, rhetoric and complete alienation with reality are his true scientific colors.

  212. TCO
    Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 10:54 AM | Permalink

    Tim,

    Even if I’m a son of a bitch, that doesn’t change whether my assessment of you is right or wrong. Do you understand that?

    P.s. I do not JUST post to get people to pay attention to me. That’s only part of why I post. Sometimes, I post to learn or instruct.

  213. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

    I haven’t followed this thread, but I looked briefly at Hansen’s press release http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20050428/ states:

    Ten years of observations show that Earth’s oceans absorbed an average of 6.02 excess watt-years of energy per square meter (a watt-year is the total amount of energy supplied by 1 watt of power for a year.) Model simulations are in close agreement: an average of five “runs” of the GISS climate model to simulate evolution of the climate since 1880 predicts that by 2003, the imbalance would be about 5.98 watt-years per square meter.

    There’s no mention of the decadal failure prior to that. Nor are they mentioned in Hansen’s FAQ.

    In mining promotions, you would not be entitled to rely on fine print in a prospectus as an excuse for excessive promotion in press release and other materials intended for public distribution. So if you consider Hansen’s disclosure from a mining promotion point of view, I think that both the graphic in Science showing good 10 year performance without also showing the poor 40 year performance and the selective reporting of model results in materials intended for public distribution only during the period of their “best” performance are promotional given the seemingly admitted poor performance of the model prior to 1990.

  214. Doug L
    Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

    [rant mode on]

    I’m even more convinced that the smoking gun language has far more to do with the cost or hoped for importance of Hansen’s research than it has to do with the actual robustness of the science.

    It looks like some climate scientists are actually ruining whatever good models could do. Suppose they actually produced a decent model. How would anyone know? Take the word of scientists who bury things in fine print?

    Perhaps in the future they will say that their new model is improved and no longer suffers from a defect in previous models. They could say that model “B” is so much more robust than model “A”, wow! They could say “we are even more sure that the temp will rise between 2 and 11 degrees! LOL

    Perhaps they should come up with some standards for these models. Without standards, I rate them as “toys” on a scale with one note. What else can I do?

    It’s taken Steve a lot of work to show up the reconstructions. I have to wonder if it’s even possible to do the same on models, if they had similar problems. Can statistics even apply to these make believe worlds?

    [end rant]

  215. Dave B
    Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 5:16 PM | Permalink

    #214 from hansen’s press release:

    The “lag time” between when the oceans absorb excess energy and when that excess produces observable changes in global temperature can be a two-edged sword. In their introduction to their research paper, published today in the scientific journal Science, the authors wrote,

    This delay provides an opportunity to reduce the magnitude of anthropogenic climate change before it is fully realized, if appropriate action is taken. On the other hand, if we wait for more overwhelming empirical evidence of climate change, the inertia implies that still greater climate change will be in store, which may be difficult or impossible to avoid.”

    overwhelming empirical evidence? perhaps a new dictionary definition of “empirical” is needed.

  216. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

    I don’t know if “empircal” is badly used in that context.

    I disagree with the sentiment, but empirical works there. Doesn’t prove that there is AGW, but I think this a large amount of empirical evidence of 20th century warming.

  217. John M
    Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 6:40 PM | Permalink

    #192

    Jack, could your provide more specifics with regard to JGOFS protocol? Left to my own devices, I keep turning up things like this:

    ***http://www.jodc.go.jp/info/ioc_doc/Experts/120608eo.pdf#8*** (You’ll have to cut and paste, spam filter doesn’t seem to like direct link.)

    I presume the state of the art has progressed since 1999? For those interested, there’s a pretty frank discussion about all the uncertainties surrounding pH and the carbonate/CO2 equilbrium system in Section 5.

    Also, the article I originally linked to does talk about +/-0.001 pH units, but the “long-term precision” is quoted as +/-0.0032 pH units, which I believe is based on one sigma. One sigma may be OK, depending on how the data are to be used and what other uncertainties are in the analysis and conclusions, but some might like a little more statistical significance.

  218. Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 9:03 PM | Permalink

    Here’s the next paragraph of the paper, which Willis and John A “forgot” to mention:

    Improved definition of Earth’s energy balance is possible for the past decade. First, the predicted energy imbalance due to increasing GHGs has grown to 0.85 +/- 0.15 W/m2, and the past decade has been uninterrupted by any large volcanic eruption (Fig. 1). Second, more complete ocean temperature data are available, including more profiling floats and precise satellite altimetry that permits improved estimates in data-sparse regions (20).

    I expect we will see Steve M criticize Willis and John A for their failure to disclose this information. Not.

  219. fFreddy
    Posted Apr 18, 2006 at 11:28 PM | Permalink

    Lambert, are you going to answer my question in #208 ?

    To what extent are the older measurements less accurate than the newer measurements ?
    Is the lesser accuracy sufficient to explain the divergence between the model and the observed data ?

  220. Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 12:00 AM | Permalink

    fFreddy: Here’s reference 20 in their paper. I imagine it will tell you more:

    20. J. K. Willis, D. Roemmich, B. Cornuelle, J. Geophys. Res. 109, C12036 (2004).

  221. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 12:46 AM | Permalink

    re #16, John A, I almost slipped straight past your very important question, viz:

    Doug Hoyt:

    One of the assumptions of the Hansen paper was

    Solar irradiance is taken as increasing
    by 0.22 W/m2 between 1880 and 2003, with
    an estimated uncertainty of a factor of 2

    Comment?

    I had not picked up on that at all. It is repeated twice in the paper, once in the table and once in the text. All the studies I’ve seen give numbers at least double that.

    Scafetta et. al. give a figure for the increase in TSI of 2 to 2.25 W/m2 between 1900 and 2000.

    Solanki et. al. give a figure of 2.75 – 3 W/m2 between 1880 and 2000.

    Lean et. al. give a figure of 2.75 W/m2 between 1880 and 2000.

    This general range is supported by other authors, including Hoyt and Schatten (1993, data updated by
    the authors to 1999), and Lockwood and Stamper (1999). In addition, THESE ARE THE FIGURES QUOTED BY THE IPCC TAR. See Figure 6.5 of Section 6.11.1.2, “Reconstructions of past variations of total solar irradiance.”

    Now. How do these relate to Hansen’s figure of 0.2 W/m2? I suspect that what Hansen is reporting is not the change in TSI, but the change in TSI/4, which is the effective TSI distributed evenly over the surface of the planet.

    But even so, his number is way too small. TSI/4, according to the references above, is about 0.7 W/m2, more than three times as large as his 0.2 W/m2.

    Pinche cabron, I got to wondering where Hansen was getting his figures for the change in TSI, and guess what? … it was from that well-known study, “J. Hansen, et al., J. Geophys. Res., in review (2005).” Gotta admire the man for chutzpah, I’ll say that, citing his very own unpublished paper in the face of the IPCC as well as a raft of studies that give very different numbers. But I digress …

    The total change in forcing for the period (1880-2003) is reported by Hansen as being ~ 1.9 W/m2, with solar contributing about 11% of that total change. Using the correct figures, the solar contribution goes up to a quarter of the total. In addition, the total change in forcing increases from ~ 1.9 to about 2.4 W/m2.

    This tripling of the amount of solar forcing is a very large and significant error, one that (presumably) would make the model give entirely different results … thus invalidating the entire study …

    Now we can wonder if they’ll acknowledge the error … and if I can ever get this Fiji phone line to clear up so I can log on, I’ll see if Hansen’s other paper got published …

    OK, more news from the front. The Hansen study in question did get published, it seems to be:

    Hansen et al. 2005

    Hansen, J., Mki. Sato, R. Ruedy, L. Nazarenko, A. Lacis, G.A. Schmidt, G. Russell, I. Aleinov, M. Bauer, S. Bauer, N. Bell, B. Cairns, V. Canuto, M. Chandler, Y. Cheng, A. Del Genio, G. Faluvegi, E. Fleming, A. Friend, T. Hall, C. Jackman, M. Kelley, N. Kiang, D. Koch, J. Lean, J. Lerner, K. Lo, S. Menon, R.L. Miller, P. Minnis, T. Novakov, V. Oinas, Ja. Perlwitz, Ju. Perlwitz, D. Rind, A. Romanou, D. Shindell, P. Stone, S. Sun, N. Tausnev, D. Thresher, B. Wielicki, T. Wong, M. Yao, and S. Zhang 2005. Efficacy of climate forcings. J. Geophys. Res. 110, D18104, doi:10.1029/2005JD005776.

    We use a global climate model to compare the effectiveness of many climate forcing agents for producing climate change. We find a substantial range in the “efficacy” of different forcings, where the efficacy is the global temperature response per unit forcing relative to the response to CO2 forcing. Anthropogenic CH4 has efficacy ~110%, which increases to ~145% when its indirect effects on stratospheric H2O and tropospheric O3 are included, yielding an effective climate forcing of ~0.8 W/m2 for the period 1750-2000 and making CH4 the largest anthropogenic climate forcing other than CO2. Black carbon (BC) aerosols from biomass burning have a calculated efficacy ~58%, while fossil fuel BC has an efficacy ~78%. Accounting for forcing efficacies and for indirect effects via snow albedo and cloud changes, we find that fossil fuel soot, defined as BC + OC (organic carbon), has a net positive forcing while biomass burning BC + OC has a negative forcing.

    45 authors … come on … The whole thing is 20 megs, too big for Fiji speed download, but the pattern is clear. Since their TSI data is from that paper, they must be saying that the “efficacy” of solar forcing is only 0.22/0.7 = ~ 30% that of CO2 …

    If so, that’s a real puzzle … why would an extra watt/m2 from the sun have only 30% of the effect of a watt/m2 from CO2?

    The mystery deepens …

    In any case, I love the circularity of the argument. They use their models to determine something they call the “efficacy” of various types of forcings. For example, a one-watt/m2 change in ozone forcing is said to only have 75% of the effect of a one-watt/m2 change in CO2 forcing.

    This means that in their model, when they change the ozone forcing by one watt, it does not have the same effect as when they change the CO2 forcing by one watt. I suppose they must think this means something about the real world … I think it means something about the model.

    In any case, having adjusted the forcings to match their model, then they use the adjusted forcings to feed their model … I suppose they think this means something as well, but the circularity of the logic is curious …

    I give up. If this be science, then I ken it nought … tomorrow I’ll see if I can download the actual document, more to come.

    w.

  222. fFreddy
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 12:47 AM | Permalink

    Re #221, Lambert

    Here’s reference 20 in their paper. I imagine it will tell you more:

    You imagine ? So you don’t know ? So you came in here to make snotty comments at Steve/John/Willis ( #206, #219 ) without knowing if there is anything to back up your assertions ?
    I really don’t understand why you keep doing this. Are you ever going to have the intellectual integrity to admit that there is something deeply flawed in current climatology ?

  223. Ed snack
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 2:23 AM | Permalink

    fFreddy, re #221, about as likely that Mr Tim will publish is “Mann Screws it up Again and Again and Again” article. That is approximately (within 3 SDs assuming IID), 0.

  224. John A
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 3:02 AM | Permalink

    Re: #222

    Willis:

    I had not picked up on that at all. It is repeated twice in the paper, once in the table and once in the text. All the studies I’ve seen give numbers at least double that.

    Scafetta et. al. give a figure for the increase in TSI of 2 to 2.25 W/m2 between 1900 and 2000.

    Solanki et. al. give a figure of 2.75 – 3 W/m2 between 1880 and 2000.

    Lean et. al. give a figure of 2.75 W/m2 between 1880 and 2000.

    This general range is supported by other authors, including Hoyt and Schatten (1993, data updated by the authors to 1999), and Lockwood and Stamper (1999). In addition, THESE ARE THE FIGURES QUOTED BY THE IPCC TAR. See Figure 6.5 of Section 6.11.1.2, “Reconstructions of past variations of total solar irradiance.”

    Then Hansen’s figure of 0.22W/m^2 is out by an order of magnitude not just 100% isn’t it? Which means all of the other sensitivities (including CO2) must be ….?

  225. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 3:30 AM | Permalink

    Further reflections on forcings …

    Due to the “greenhouse effect”, other things being equal, 1 W/m2 of change in incoming solar forcing (sun – albedo) will result in about 1.6 W/m2 change in surface temperature (0.3°C). This amplification of the incoming energy, after all, is what gives us the warm temperature of our planet.

    The situation is different for a change in CO2 forcing. One W/m2 additional forcing from CO2, originating in the atmosphere, will result in only 1 W/m2 change in surface temperature (0.18°C).

    One way to understand this difference between solar and CO2 is that on the one hand, the sun heats both the atmosphere and the surface. On the other hand, a watt/m2 of additional CO2 radiative forcing, originating in the atmosphere, merely moves energy from the atmosphere to the surface, so the atmosphere loses energy while the surface warms. Thus there is no net gain, as there is when the sun warms both atmosphere and surface.

    A one watt change in solar forcing has a larger effect than a one watt change in CO2 forcing, by a factor of 1.6. Seems to me that the “efficacy” of solar forcing, then, as defined above by Hansen et. al. (post # 222), is 1.6. This means we need to again recalculate the total change in forcing given in Table 1 of Hansen and Nazorenko, which uses efficacy adjusted figures.

    The TSI/4 forcing change 1880-2003 I calculated above as 0.7 W/m2. However, this change is amplified by the greenhouse effect. The efficacy adjusted solar contribution to the forcing, then, is 0.7 X 1.6 = 1.12 W/m2.

    In that case, the total change in forcing goes up to 2.8 W/m2, and solar is now responsible for 40% of the net forcing …

    I find all this quite curious, perhaps it will be clearer tomorrow.

    w.

  226. Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 3:40 AM | Permalink

    fFreddy, I pointed out what the paper said and what Steve and John and Willis have been carefully ignoring. Feel free to check out the references Hansen et al provide and if they have misrepresented them then you guys will have a case. Unlike the present situation where Willis and John A have dishonestly attacked the paper for not disclosing something it did in fact disclose.

    Steve: I did not make or edit this post and the opinions in it are not mine. I commented along with other commenters, in my case merely on the issue of disclosure in Hansen’s press releases and FAQ as that was something that I could quickly look at. I don’t have any plans at present to analyze the topic personally as I am otherwise engaged at present.

  227. John Lish
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 3:45 AM | Permalink

    #225 – Willis makes the assumption that:

    How do these relate to Hansen’s figure of 0.2 W/m2? I suspect that what Hansen is reporting is not the change in TSI, but the change in TSI/4, which is the effective TSI distributed evenly over the surface of the planet.

    But even so, his number is way too small. TSI/4, according to the references above, is about 0.7 W/m2, more than three times as large as his 0.2 W/m2.

    While this is still 200%+ larger than Hansen’s figure, its more in range with Hansen than the TSI figures you quoted above. Yes, its still problematic and outside the range quoted by Willis. But lets try and clarify what precisely Hansen meant before condemning him.

  228. John A
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 3:47 AM | Permalink

    Unlike the present situation where Willis and John A have dishonestly attacked the paper for not disclosing something it did in fact disclose.

    I quoted the exact and only sentence that Hansen et al mentioned about the failure of the model to reproduce first 40 years of the data. They waffled about not reproducing the "decadal oscillation" while forgetting to mention that their model failed basic verification statistics. Sound familiar?

    For Gavin Schmidt to then stretch the limited results presented to the past one thousand years is thoroughly dishonest and an abuse of scientific authority.

    The only dishonesty is that Tim Lambert will not acknowledge this. The only surprise is that anyone expects him to.

  229. Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 3:53 AM | Permalink

    Willis says:

    Lean et. al. give a figure of 2.75 W/m2 between 1880 and 2000.

    This general range is supported by other authors, including Hoyt and Schatten (1993, data updated by
    the authors to 1999), and Lockwood and Stamper (1999). In addition, THESE ARE THE FIGURES QUOTED BY THE IPCC TAR. See Figure 6.5 of Section 6.11.1.2, “Reconstructions of past variations of total solar irradiance.”

    TSI is not the same as solar radiative forcing. If you had bothered to read all of section 6.11.1.2 you might have noticed this:

    The estimate for solar radiative forcing since 1750 of 0.3 Wm-2, shown in Figure 6.6, is based on the values in Figure 6.5 (taking the 11-year cycle minimum values in 1744 and 1996). Clearly the starting date of 1750 (chosen for the date of the pre-industrial atmosphere in Figure 6.6) is crucial here: a choice of 1700 would give values about twice as large; a choice of 1776 would give smaller values (particularly using the Hoyt and Schatten series). The range of 0.1 to 0.5 Wm-2 given in Figure 6.6 is based on the variability of the series, the differences between the reconstructions and uncertainties concerning stratospheric adjustment (see Section 6.11.2.1).

  230. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 3:56 AM | Permalink

    re 225, John A., you say

    Then Hansen’s figure of 0.22W/m^2 is out by an order of magnitude not just 100% isn’t it? Which means all of the other sensitivities (including CO2) must be ….?

    It’s not out by an order of magnitude inherently, John, because (presumably) Hansen is giving TSI/4, not TSI. The actual change in TSI/4 was therefore about 2.75-3 W/m2 change in TSI, divided by 4, or ~ 0.7 W/m2 1880-2003, vs. Hansens’s 0.22 W/m2.

    However, as I showed in #226, when you include the efficacy calculation in order to replicate Hansen’s procedure, the 1880-2003 TSI forcing change goes up to 0.7 X 1.6 = 1.12 W/m2, and at that point we’re getting close to an order of magnitude for the error.

    The main difference is that it shows solar is a much larger player than Hansen calculated. (40% vs a claimed 11% of net forcing change 1880-2003)

    Presumably, it also would throw the models way off, as the other forcings would have to be “adjusted”, “tuned” by almost 1 W/m2 to fix the error. This means if the model got the right answers, then it was for the wrong reasons …

    In this case, we don’t have to worry about that, though, because the model got the wrong answers in any case …

    This problem of incorrect solar data is totally separate from, and equally significant as, the problem of the mismatch between the results and the real world data. Either one of them independently invalidates the conclusions.

    w.

  231. Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 4:05 AM | Permalink

    Anyone can check John A’s post and find that he DID NOT quote “the exact and only sentence that Hansen et al mentioned about the failure of the model to reproduce first 40 years of the data.”

    In fact John A claimed that they did not mention it:

    However, if you’re going to show that your simulations are robust, then what finer way of doing so than to backtest against someone else’s data, in this case Levitus et al[2].

    Hansen didn’t show that he did this even though he quoted Levitus in his references, but Willis Eschenbach has stepped up and done it for him.

    And John A is very confused about what Schmidt was saying in the BBC interview:

    Significant radiative imbalances of ~1 W/m2 cannot persist for long periods of time without substantial climate change and they only occur when radiative forcings are changing much faster than the planet can respond. There is no evidence from either millenial forcing or temperature reconstructions that such imbalances have existed in the relatively recent past. It is hardly ‘miraculous’ that conclusions can be drawn from that…

  232. John A
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 4:39 AM | Permalink

    re #232

    So Tim ignores the substance and hammers away at the irrelevant.

    The model failed statistical significance? In LambertWorld this is irrelevant.

    The modellers mentioned that the model failed to reproduce “decadal oscillations” but claimed that the last ten years were extraordinarily well modelled? In LambertWorld this is the justification.

    You quote Gavin Schmidt waving his arms. Why not invite him over and we’ll see if real solar scientists and oceanographers are impressed?

    There’s no confusion about what Schmidt said, only his implication that ten years worth of not-very-good replication following forty years of non-replication for observation that do not include the polar regions, can be miraculously stretched to a thousand years without the use of mind-altering substances. He doesn’t mention which thousand year reconstructions of climate he’s referring to – perhaps he can tell us which ones he’s thinking of?

  233. TCO
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 6:06 AM | Permalink

    Tim, leaving aside the issue of the small buried caveat, what do you think about the quality of the work? If it only matches for 10 years, is that useful? Doesn’t that indicate a problem?

  234. Jack
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

    Dear Willis,

    The invasion of pCO2 into the world’s oceans has not YET produced the change in saturation state that would affect calcification rate substantially, particularly on reefs and banks. There are, however, already published concerns for cold water reefs.

    Your argument that “real world” data shows increased calcification under higher pCO2 conditions — and only “real world” data matters — is specious, because you are ignoring trends that are actually occurring in the water column. Those “aquarium” studies that you denigrate are simulations of what will occur as water column chemistry is altered by the invasion of CO2 and as it affects the carbonate equilibria in seawater.

    Your argument is like saying that a particular stand of forest will still be here in 20 years because enhanced CO2 increases plant growth rates — while at the same time there is a clear-cut logging operation slated to start cutting in five years. Your response would probably be “you can’t prove that they’re going to cut down the trees until they do”. Well, that’s true — but I certainly wouldn’t lay odds on your position.

    Likewise, I would not lay odds on your argument about the effects of CO2 on marine calcification over the next century. Those “aquarium studies” are simulations of likely future conditions — and you can’t simulate a similar change in the real world. For the theory to be wrong, you have to show that those projected conditions are unlikely to happen. Go ahead and bleat all you want about the current “real world” — I know that I won’t be able to convince you that you’re wrong, but I will always have a very strong realization that you are.

    Back to references, shall we?

    One of the things you apparently passed over in your dismissal of Feely et al. 2004 is Figure 3, particulary 3b. This is actual, observational measurement data that shows a shoaling of the calcite and aragonite saturation horizons in the North Pacific. Figure 3c shows similar observations for aragonite in the Indian Ocean. DID YOU HAPPEN TO MISS THAT? Surely not!! (The relevant discussion of Figure 3 is on page 363 of Feely et al. 2004). It isn’t just “aquarium studies and models”. It’s happening in real-time — and I know the real-time context personally,

    BTW, to demonstrate your full understanding of the subject, would you care to explain to the audience why the calcite and aragonite saturation horizons are so close to the surface in the North Pacific, and therefore why this region is one of the best places to demonstrate the effects of atmospheric CO2 invasion on the chemistry of the water column?

    And I sincerely hope that this data is “REAL WORLD” enough for you. I think that I mentioned Feely et al. 2004 before, didn’t I?

  235. Jack
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 9:40 AM | Permalink

    For John M.

    You can start here:


    http://hahana.soest.hawaii.edu/hot/protocols/protocols.html

    but this is outdated, as they are now using colorimetric/spectrophotometric pH measurements.

    The following is the 1994 protocols. I’m attempting to find a more up-to-date version (see below), but this demonstrates the rigor of the program when it was getting started.


    http://www.pangaea.de/Projects/JGOFS/Methods/preface.html

    The following is a review of protocols; even then they were considering adding spectrophotometric pH:


    http://www1.whoi.edu/mzweb/tsorep.htm

    You might also check out this reference (sorry, could only find the abstract online)


    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/pubs/95/clayton.html

    My last first-hand exposure to what was happening in this little corner of oceanography was in 2003. At that time, I learned that reporting the fourth decimal place in a seawater pH measurement had value, i.e., if a pH of 7.9182 was reported, the uncertainty was for the last decimal place (the “2″). That would imply that the “8″ was not uncertain, i.e., the maximum uncertainty would be .0005 pH unit, so the range of possible values for the measurement would be 7.91751 to 7.91849.

    It may be that we are discussing the difference between the accuracy of a single measurement compared to the precision in an ensemble of measurements.

  236. beng
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    The potential storage of heat in the ocean is very complicated. Even if ocean water below the “mixing zone” gets warmer, it’s still trapped below warmer water. The only way the atmosphere can “see” this added warmth is in upwelling areas, which are quite limited spatially.

    It seems the ocean in its current state has actually stored the “cold” from the recent glacial periods, filling the ocean underneath the surface w/colder to even near-freezing water. I’ve seen studies suggesting that the present, near-freezing water temps at the ocean bottom hasn’t always been the case, that there has been periods where the bottom-water wasn’t nearly as cold as present.

    Just assuming that temp increases in ocean water at depth will ALL show up as later heating can’t be right. As a worst-case scenario, suppose a great amount of heat was magically added to all oceans to cause a much smaller temp decrease from surface to bottom, say, only a couple degrees instead of from 80F to 32F like in the tropic oceans. That would be orders of magnitude more heat than the atmosphere itself could store. What would be the effect? Surprisingly little, I think — most of that added warmth is still “trapped” underneath the warm surface waters. The only immediate effects would be areas of ocean upwelling, like the west coasts of the Americas and Africa & other limited areas.

    El Nino already periodically weakens or even shuts down the upwelling along the western American coasts (perhaps the largest upwelling area in the world), so we already naturally experience the added warmth from warmed upwelling areas, whether from warmer waters at depth (in our hypothetical case) or from cyclic reductions or even halting of the upwelling during powerful El Ninos.

  237. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

    Beng,

    I think the major point is that temperatures in the ocean surface vary daily and seasonably. And the degree to which the surface cools at night is affected by the temperature in the mixing zone, from a few to a couple hundred meters. In the deeper part of this zone the temperature of the intermediate water will have some effect. If the intermediate water got warmer then it’d be easier for the water to mix during the day since it wouldn’t run into cooler, denser water quite as high. This would allow more of the solar energy to mix deeper. At night, OTOH, as surface water cooled it would go deeper, perhaps much deeper. And the water which replaced it would be relatively warmer since it would have stored more solar heat in the day. This would imply both that the surface wouldn’t get as cold at night and that much more heat would be released as IR at night.

    What’s the net result? Beats me! But I suppose I ought to go look up the answer, assuming it’s available.

  238. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 2:08 PM | Permalink

    Re #230, Tim, thanks for replying. You say:

    “Willis says:”

    Lean et. al. give a figure of 2.75 W/m2 between 1880 and 2000.

    This general range is supported by other authors, including Hoyt and Schatten (1993, data updated by
    the authors to 1999), and Lockwood and Stamper (1999). In addition, THESE ARE THE FIGURES QUOTED BY THE IPCC TAR. See Figure 6.5 of Section 6.11.1.2, “Reconstructions of past variations of total solar irradiance.”

    “TSI is not the same as solar radiative forcing. If you had bothered to read all of section 6.11.1.2 you might have noticed this:”

    The estimate for solar radiative forcing since 1750 of 0.3 Wm-2, shown in Figure 6.6, is based on the values in Figure 6.5 (taking the 11-year cycle minimum values in 1744 and 1996). Clearly the starting date of 1750 (chosen for the date of the pre-industrial atmosphere in Figure 6.6) is crucial here: a choice of 1700 would give values about twice as large; a choice of 1776 would give smaller values (particularly using the Hoyt and Schatten series). The range of 0.1 to 0.5 Wm-2 given in Figure 6.6 is based on the variability of the series, the differences between the reconstructions and uncertainties concerning stratospheric adjustment (see Section 6.11.2.1).

    Tim, I did read the section you refer to, and I know that TSI is not the same as the forcing, which is TSI/4. I’ve mentioned this several times, but you might not have noticed.

    Also, please re-examine the figure 6.5 I referenced. You’ll see that according to the IPCC, there was less change in TSI from 1750 to 2000 than there was from 1880-2000. Despite that, the IPCC says the change 1750-2000 was 0.3 W/m2, whereas Hansen says the change 1880-2000 was 0.22 w/m2 … go figure.

    Also, Tim, could you cut down on the insults? I don’t think they’re necessary for the discussion, and they make you look foolish, like a petulant child …

    w.

  239. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    Willis, Tim is here to poison the well, not to engage in discussion. Asking him not to be insulting is like Bambi asking the hunter to put down his gun. It just isn’t in the nature of the beast.

  240. fFreddy
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    Re #240, Dave
    Not quite the image I would have chosen. How about :
    “Asking him not to be insulting is like asking a Pekinese to stop yapping and peeing on the carpet.”

  241. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 4:29 PM | Permalink

    Well, I figured out how Hansen et. al. end up with the figure of 0.22 W/m2 for the forcing 1880 – 2003. I downloaded their paper called “Efficacy of Climate Forcings”, which reveals all the curious twists and turns in the story.

    First, rather than take the average of the estimates of the TSI change, they take the smallest of the possible values for the change in TSI, that of Lean et. al. (2000). Lean is by far the outlier in the group of estimates, with every other analysis of the TSI change showing larger values. In addition, the Lean data ends in 2000, so the claim by Hansen that the forcing 1880-2003 is based on the Lean (2000) data is … well, let me just call it highly improbable and let it go at that.

    In any case, he seems to have taken the Lean TSI change from 1880 to 2003 as 1 W/m2, then taken a quarter of that, to give a value of .25 W/m2 for the TSI/4 value. Finally, he makes the remarkable claim that the “efficacy” of solar forcing is less than that of CO2. He says the solar efficacy is 0.92, so he multiplies the 0.25 value by this efficacy, to give the 0.22 value claimed in the Hansen Nazarenko paper.

    What’s wrong with this analysis? Well, several things.

    First, the Lean et al figures do not show a 1 W/m2 change from 1880 to 2003, since they stop in 2000 … having said that, the Lean data shows a trend from 1880-2000 inclusive of 0.0158 W/m2 per year. Multiplying this by 123 years gives a total change over the 1880-2002 period of 1.94 W/m2. As I mentioned, this figure is smaller than any other analysis of the question … but that’s OK, we’ll use it anyhow. Note, however, that LEAN’S ANALYSIS SHOWS ALMOST TWICE THE CHANGE THAT HANSEN CLAIMS HER ANALYSIS SHOWS …

    This gives a change in TSI/4 of 1.94/4 = 0.49 W/m2.

    This then gets us to the crux of the matter, the “efficacy” of solar forcing. A change in solar forcing must have a larger effect than a change in CO2 forcing. Yes, I know Hansen’s GISS computer model says it is smaller ,,, but common sense says it has to be larger.

    This is because of the “greenhouse effect”. This effect, as is well known, amplifies the incoming solar forcing (but not CO2 forcing) to give us a warmer world. The increase is about 60%, that is to say, a change in solar forcing of 1 watt/m2 increases the surface temperature by about 1.6 watts/m2. This increase does not occur with CO2 forcing, however.

    This is because the sun warms both the surface and the atmosphere, whereas GHG radiation from the atmosphere warms the surface but cools the atmosphere, so there is no subsequent amplification by the greenhouse effect.

    Even if we were to use Hansen’s incorrect “efficacy” of 0.92, we’d still end up with 0.92 X 0.49 = 0.45 W/m2, which is twice the figure Hansen used. Using a more accurate efficacy estimate of 1.6, we get 1.6 X 0.49 = 0.78 W/m2, more than three times the figure used by Hansen et. al.

    So, I’d say that Hansen has underestimated the solar impact on the planet by a factor of more than three. This may be why his results for the 1955-1995 period are so bad, or it may be totally unconnected to that error.

    w.

    PS – In fact, the efficacy of solar is likely higher than 1.6. This is because the 1.6 figure for the effect of 1 w/m2 solar already includes the thermal and evapotranspiration losses. Once we apply the same losses to the CO2 forcing, it reduces the effect of the CO2 forcing.

    How much does it reduce it? Well, the losses are about 22 w/m2 for thermal and 76 w/m2 for evapotranspiration, for a total of 98 w/m2. Since the total of all radiation and thermal from the planet is 490 w/m2, this means that for an incoming watt of forcing, 98/490 will be lost to thermal or evapotranspiration. This means that the heating effect of the 1 watt of CO2 forcing is only about 0.8.

    And this, in turn, means that the solar forcing is about twice as efficient at warming the surface as CO2 is, so the “efficacy” of solar is really on the order of 1.6/0.8 = ~ 2.

    My best to everyone,

    w.

  242. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

    Re #240, Dave, thanks for posting. You say:

    Willis, Tim is here to poison the well, not to engage in discussion. Asking him not to be insulting is like Bambi asking the hunter to put down his gun. It just isn’t in the nature of the beast

    While this may well be the case, I still tend to assume the best about everyone. In part, this is in response to having many people incorrectly assume the worst about me. This immediate assumption that your opponent is an evil person prompted by the basest of motives, while tempting and even possibly accurate in some cases, is generally not conducive to further discussion. When people do it to me, I get defensive and tend to behave badly …

    But since I am pushing for a level of scientific discussion regardless of what Tim’s motives may be, requesting civility in the midst of our disagreements on scientific questions seems like a no-brainer. He may well not take me up on my request … but it is incumbent on me to make the request.

    In Tim’s defense, unlike say Peter Hearnden, the questions Tim has asked and the issues he has raised have been scientific questions and issues, and deserve answers even if he has made them in an unpleasant manner. Thus, I have answered his questions, and asked for more civility in the process.

    w.

    … yikes … I’m defending Tim Lambert … science does indeed make for strange bedfellows …

  243. jae
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

    It appears to me that Tim alternates between poisoning the well and engaging in constructive (somewhat, anyway) conversations.

  244. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 6:40 PM | Permalink

    #242. Willis, Hegerl et al today attached SI information on their forcing series http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v440/n7087/suppinfo/nature04679.html

  245. Paul Linsay
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

    #242, Willis, could you please explain

    a change in solar forcing of 1 watt/m2 increases the surface temperature by about 1.6 watts/m2

    Where’s the temperature here? Using a solar flux of 1360 W/m2, earth temperature of 288 K, and albedo of 0.3, I get a simple minded climate sensitivity of 0.14 K/W/m2 which in turn would give a temperture change of 0.14 K.

  246. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 8:54 PM | Permalink

    Re 242, Paul, thanks for your question. This is calculated as a 1-watt anomaly in incoming solar radiation, at the earth’s surface temperature.

    Incoming solar radiation (after albedo) is the total energy entering the system. The rest is reflected away without entering, and does not affect the system. The average value of this incoming insolation is about 237 w/m2.

    Because of the “greenhouse effect”, this 237 watts/m2 is able to maintain the earth’s surface temperature at about 390 w/m2. This means that for each watt of solar forcing, we end up with 390/237 = ~ 1.6 watts of surface temperature.

    To express this in the form of a climate sensitivity, as you point out, it is only necessary to note that the greenhouse warming of 390 w/m2 – 237 w/m2 = ~34°C. This 34 degree warming is created by the 237 watts of solar forcing, so the average sensitivity over that range is indeed ~ 0.14°C/(W/m2).

    It’s a little more complex than that, though, because temperature in degrees is not linear with temperature in w/m2. Also, it is unlikely that sensitivity is constant in time or space.

    The important point, though, is that CO2 forcing does not undergo a 1.6X increase like solar forcing does. Solar forcing adds energy from outside the system to the system. CO2 forcing does not. Because of this, LW (IR) radiation from the atmosphere warms the earth, but it also cools the atmosphere, negating the greenhouse gain. Solar forcing, on the other hand, warms both.

    As modellers, Hansen et. al. should know this, as even the simplest models show the difference between incremental changes the two types of forcing.

    w.

  247. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 9:59 PM | Permalink

    Solar forcing adds energy from outside the system to the system. CO2 forcing does not. Because of this, LW (IR) radiation from the atmosphere warms the earth, but it also cools the atmosphere, negating the greenhouse gain. Solar forcing, on the other hand, warms both.

    You’ve mentioned this a couple of times, Willis, but I’m not sure I get it. Or at least I’m not sure I agree with it. Temperature isn’t the same as energy flux, as I’m sure you’ll agree. Therefore, the temperature of a system isn’t directly related to the amount of radiant energy it receives and sends. In the simpliest case, a block of clear glass can transmit huge amounts of radiant energy without heating at all. But a very thin sheet of a metal foil might absorb huge amounts of energy and melt. The warming of the atmosphere by greenhouse gases occurs primarily because said gases absorb energy from IR but then collide with other gas molecules before they have time to re-emit the energy. I don’t see how this gibes with your claim that CO2 cools the atmosphere.

  248. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 10:52 PM | Permalink

    What he said (which harkens back to another long ago discussion) is that CO2 does not add any energy, it is not a source of energy. Increasing CO2 can retain more energy into the system, but it cannot add energy.

    Yes CO2 absorbs energy (IR but I think others at a lower efficiency as well), and transmit it to others as they collide, but there is no additional energy (Thanks to the second law of thermodynamics) if it transmits energy via collision, it then has to loose energy.

    The cooling is in reference to if the upper atmosphere is warming the surface, it then has to loose energy, cooling.

    The sun however is free to heat us up as much as it wants by turning up the thermostat. If more solar energy comes in, both the atmosphere and the surface will warm. How much is based on the symbiosis of the two, but the Sun can ADD energy to the system, while CO2 cannot, it can only retain more of the Sun’s energy, and then transfer it, loosing energy in the process.

  249. Paul Linsay
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 11:05 PM | Permalink

    #249, Dave

    Temperature isn’t the same as energy flux, as I’m sure you’ll agree. Therefore, the temperature of a system isn’t directly related to the amount of radiant energy it receives and sends.

    Sorry, this is just wrong. For a body to maintain a temperature T, it has to be supplied with an energy source, otherwise it just radiates the energy away and cools down. In the simplest case of a blackbody the relation is the Stephan-Boltzmann relation, Flux = a T^4, where a = 5.67E-8 W/m^2/K^4 and T is measured in Kelvin. To maintain temperature T the correct energy flux has to be supplied, or if a body is at T it’s radiating a particular radiant flux. So, yes, radiant energy flux and temperature are equivalent.

    The gas collisions will warm the atmosphere to something approximately like a blackbody with temperature of 288 K ( = 390 W/m^2) but it then re-radiates that energy as a blackbody, which has a broad spectrum. At 288 K the spectrum peaks at about 10 um, which is right in the middle of the 8-13um hole in the atmosphere. As a result about 30% of the energy goes right back out into space immediately. Is this the cooling you’re talking about Willis?

  250. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 19, 2006 at 11:46 PM | Permalink

    INSTRUCTIONS FOR BUILDING A STEEL GREENHOUSE

    To see why changes in solar forcing have more effect than changes in CO2 forcing, it is very instructive to build a steel greenhouse. It’s not all that hard.

    First, find a planet in outer space with no nearby star and no atmosphere, and heated solely by internal radioactive decay to a temperature of say minus 19°C (237 w/m2). The planet loses energy, of course, purely by radiation to space.

    Now just build a thin steel shell that completely surrounds that planet. Make the shell say 1 km above the surface everywhere, with no connection to the planetary surface.

    What will be the eventual equilibrium temperature of the planet and the steel shell?

    Well, the planetary radiation will continue to heat up the steel shell until the shell is radiating outward at the same rate as the planet, 237 w/m2. At that point, the shell is radiating outward every watt/m2 of the energy it is receiving from the planet inside, so it is in stable equilibrium. The temperature of the shell at equilibrium, of course, would be the same as the starting temperature of the planet, -19°C (237 w/m2).

    But what about the temperature of the planet? To calculate the planetary temperature, we need to remember that the steel shell has an inside as well as an outside, so the shell must also be radiating 237 w/m2 inwards, towards the planet.

    The planet, then, is receiving 237 w/m2 from the radioactivity, and 237 w/m2 from the steel shell. Thus, the planet’s new equilibrium temperature is 29.2°C (474 w/m2).

    It is a curious and little known fact that the reason the “greenhouse effect” works is simply because a shell has 2 sides, an outside and an inside. Inherently, the “greenhouse effect” has nothing to do with CO2, or atmospheric concentrations, or greenhouses, for that matter. You don’t need glass or an atmosphere, steel works just fine.

    OK, now we’ve built our steel greenhouse, lets see what happens when we change some variables.

    First, what happens if the radioactivity heats up by 1 w/m2, so the planet is putting out 238 w/m2?

    Well, before, the surface temperature was 2 X 237 = 474 w/m2. Now, it’s 238 w/m2 from the planet, plus 238 w/m2 from the shell = 476 w/m2. Thus, in a perfect single shell greenhouse, a 1 watt change in the driving (radioactive) forcing leads to a 2 watt change in both the surface and the shell temperature.

    Now let’s see what a 1 watt change in the shell forcing leads to. We can do this by punching a tiny hole in the steel shell, a hole just big enough to let 1 w/m2 of radiation escape. Now the new shell temperature must be 236 w/m2, because 1 watt is escaping, and the total outward radiation must stay at 237 w/m2 at equilibrium. So the shell cools by 1 w/m2, and the shell forcing decreases by 1 w/m2.

    And what of the surface temperature? Well, now it’s receiving 237 w/m2 from the external forcing, but only 236 w/m2 from the shell, for a total of 473 w/m2. So a 1 watt change in shell forcing causes a 1 watt change in both the shell and surface temperatures.
    Thus, in a perfect single shell greenhouse,:

    1) A one watt change in driving (radioactive in this case) forcing leads to a greater than two watt change in surface (and shell) temperature.

    2) A one watt change in the shell forcing only leads to a one watt change in the surface (and shell) temperature.

    Q. E. D.

    DISCUSSION

    The application of this to the actual earth is clear. In a “greenhouse” system, changes in the driving forcing (radioactive or solar) result in larger, enhanced changes in the surface temperature. Changes in shell forcing (radiation from steel or CO2), on the other hand, are “one for one”, that is to say there is no enhancement.

    Of course, the greenhouse coefficient of 2.0 occurs only in a perfect single shell greenhouse. What happens in the steel greenhouse if we make holes in the shell to allow say a 40% loss to space?

    Well, the shell temperature would drop to 237 * 0.6 = 143 w/m2 (-49°C). The planetary surface would then be at 237 + 143 = 390 w/m2 (15°C), the same as the earth. In this system, each one watt change of driving forcing would result in 1.6 watts of surface temperature change. Let me call this 1.6 figure the “greenhouse coefficient”.

    Now, Hansen defines “efficacy” (above) as

    the global temperature response per unit forcing relative to the response to CO2 forcing.

    This determination of efficacy makes sense, as the eventual changes in surface temperature depend on where in the system the change is occurring.

    Hansen, though, says that the practical efficacy of solar forcing is 0.92 … which seems very doubtful to me. It seems particularly doubtful because solar forcing has a 1.6 to 1 advantage to start with.

    And in fact, the real difference is larger than 1.6:1. Thermal losses have only been accounted for in the 1.6 watts/m2 temperature change from 1 w/m2 solar forcing change. Thermal losses have not been accounted for in the CO2 figure of 1 watt/watt. About 98/490 = 20% of the incoming energy, whether solar or CO2, is lost to various thermal losses.

    Correcting for thermal losses thus means that the actual greenhouse coefficient for CO2 is on the order of 0.8 watts per watt, rather than 1 as in a perfect system.

    To convert back to Hansen’s method, we must divide through by the greenhouse coefficient of CO2. Doing this makes the solar efficacy 1.6 / 0.8 = 2.0, instead of 1.6. It also means that for Hansen’s solar efficacy value (0.92) to be correct, an unknow mechanism has to more than double the inherent effect of the CO2 …

    This means that one watt solar forcing is equal to 2 watts CO2 forcing …

    (Curiously, other things being equal, this 2 to 1 ratio of the solar/CO2 efficacy is inherent in the single shell greenhouse … I leave the derivation as an exercise …)

    I said above that Hansen’s 0.92 solar efficacy value was very doubtful. This is because, to be correct, either the CO2 forcing effect would have to more than double, or the solar effect would have to have to be half as much.

    For the solar to have less effect, you’d have to invoke thermal losses to explain it … which seems very logical at first. But then you realize that all possible thermal losses, known and unknown, have already been taken into account to get the 1.6 figure for the efficacy, so that’s not possible.

    This leaves the only possibility that the effect of the CO2 will somehow increase to 2/.92 = 2.2, a very doubtful claim at best. Remember that they can’t invoke water vapour feedback, because it would affect both the solar and CO2 forcings, and thus would not change their ratio. They have to postulate some mechanism that makes CO2 forcing much more efficient, while leaving solar forcing untouched … I don’t see it.

    Anyhow, that’s how to build a steel greenhouse. I’m going to dinner. My best to everyone

    w.

  251. Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 1:22 AM | Permalink

    Willis, CA is a poisonous place, but don’t blame me for this. If you have read the IPCC summary on solar forcing, I’m baffled that you could write the things that you have.

    1. You say "Lean et. al. give a figure of 2.75 W/m2 between 1880 and 2000." Reading the red line off figure 6.5 I get 1.5 W/m2 for Lean 1995.

    2. TSI/4 only accounts for the geometry of the earth you also have to allow for its albedo by multiplying by 0.69. 0.69*(1.5)/4 = 0.26. We’re already close to Hansen’s 0.22. He used the more recent Lean 2000 figure for TSI which is slightly smaller and applied the 0.92 efficiacy factor to get to 0.22.

    3. Your steel greenhouse example is mistaken. 1 W arriving at the surface from the greenhouse behaves exactly the same as 1W from any other source.

  252. Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 1:47 AM | Permalink

    To be added to the efficacy of solar, is its influence on (low) clouds. This is measured over two solar cycles (see Kristjansson, Fig.1). No matter what the mechanism behind the correlation is, a change of ~1.5 W/m2 TOA in solar radiation during a sun cycle is directly related to an opposite change in cloud cover of ~2%. As low clouds in general have a cooling effect, a decrease in low cloud cover enhances the effect of an increase in TOA solar radiation…

  253. John Lish
    Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 3:29 AM | Permalink

    #253 Tim, can you clarify the following:

    In your point 1, you quote from Lean 1995. This is a different study from which Willis is quoting. What is the relevence of the earlier study and your quoted figure to Willis’s calculations?

    In your point 2, you use the smaller 1995 Lean figure to calculate TSI/4 as 0.69*(1.5)/4 = 0.26. Using the same methodology with Willis’s calculation, I find the same result as what Willis states in #242 “This gives a change in TSI/4 of 1.94/4 = 0.49 W/m2″. As I have pointed out above, you need to show how Willis’s calculations are wrong for Lean 2000.

    Re your point 3, I don’t see any claim by Willis that 1W arriving at the surface behaves differently. Can you give the quotation and provide analysis for it? Your claim in itself doesn’t explain your position.

    I find the atmosphere on CA to be robust Tim more than anything else. Sometimes arguments occur which are about dancing on the heads of pins which I take with a healthy pinch of salt. This article by Roger A. Pielke Jr. might help.

  254. Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 4:20 AM | Permalink

    John Lish,

    1. Willis quoted results from both Lean 1995 and Lean 2000. The numbers he got from both of them were too high. He claimed that Lean 2000 was an outlier. It isn’t

    2. Lean 1995 gives a larger figure. Willis’ calculation 1.94/4 uses the wrong formula because he ignores albedo and he also uses an incorrect figure from Lean 2000 for TSI change. From Lean 2000 I get an increase in TSI of 1.45. 0.69*(1.45)/4 = 0.25

    3. From his steel greenhouse post:

    1) A one watt change in driving (radioactive in this case) forcing leads to a greater than two watt change in surface (and shell) temperature.

    2) A one watt change in the shell forcing only leads to a one watt change in the surface (and shell) temperature.

    (He’s also confusing forcings with temperature changes.)

  255. Jim Erlandson
    Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 7:20 AM | Permalink

    #252 Willis: Your steel shell has two surfaces, one inside and one outside so its total area is roughly twice that of the planet it surrounds. It cannot receive 237 w/m^2 over its inner surface and then radiate 237 w/m^2 from both its inner and outer surfaces. If this were possible and I could figure out how to patent and package it …

    You have built not a greenhouse but a thermos bottle. The vacuum between the planet and the shell prevents heat flow by conduction/convection just like the thermos. But a thermos bottle has a reflective (silvered) coating on the inside to resist heat flow by radiation. What happens to your calculations if the inside of your shell is silvered? If it is painted flat black?

  256. Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 7:41 AM | Permalink

    Willis got a bit mixed up during his description. At one point he correctly pointed out that half the radiation would be re-radiated to the inside and the other half to the outside (238/2 = 119 in and 119 out). Then he got mixed up and started making calculations as if it radiated twice as much energy as it received, which as Jim pointed out is impossible.

    However, if you fix the mistakes, I think that what he described makes sense. The energy the planet radiates away from itself has to go somewhere. In his model, all of it must hit the steel shell. The shell must then re-radiate all of it somewhere. He’s described it as the inside and outside surfaces are the same colour etc. (and almost the same area, if it’s thin enough), thus half in each direction. Thus the shell traps roughly 50% of the heat which would otherwise be lost to space.

    Jim is right that if you changed the properties of the inner surface or the outer surface (say by painting it black) then you would change the proportions, but unless you could get it to emit 100% of its radiation on the outside (which is, I think impossible) it would always raise the temperature of the planet it surrounded at least a little bit.

  257. Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 7:45 AM | Permalink

    Oops, actually, I was reading the wrong section.

    Willis, I think you made some mistakes. I don’t believe it ruins the point you’re making but you should probably edit it and re-post it.

    The radioactive decay/other heating effects in the core of your theoretical planet are probably not affected by the surface temperature. Therefore the energy radiated is not likely to change in your experiment. The total radiated outwards and inwards can’t exceed the rate at which energy reaches the surface of the planet from the core. Therefore the shell can’t radiate 238W/m^2 outwards AND inwards at the same time. It must be somewhere near half that, so that the total is 238W/m^2, correct?

    I look forward to an edited re-posting of your example for better understanding :)

  258. Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 7:58 AM | Permalink

    OK, oops again. Sorry for three posts, I’m an idiot. Willis was right in the first place.

    The radiation emitted by the steel shell, in total, does not have to match the energy input from the radioactive decay in the core of the planet. Only the radiation emitted out to space, i.e. lost from the system, has to match that at equilibrium.

    Therefore he is right that radiation emitted out to space is the 238W/m^2. And since the inside and outside surfaces are identical, that must also be what is being emitted on the inner side too. The extra 238W/m^2 is simply being bounced around between the planet’s surface and the shell’s inner surface, it’s not magically being pulled out of thin air.

    So, this is a nice example, it really makes me think. I bet if I spent some time meditating on it I’d understand the whole “greenhouse” thing. Only I’m a bit busy right now.

    Anyway sorry for distracting!

  259. Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 8:20 AM | Permalink

    Let the steel shell be positioned 1 mm above the planet, to avoid the increase in surface if it were 1km above. Its temperature would be -19°C and for the black body law it radiates 237 w/m2 outwards. For the same reason 237 w/m2 would be radiated also inwards.
    If the outwards radiation were half of that amount then the temperature of the shell would not be -19°C

  260. John A
    Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 8:54 AM | Permalink

    What happens to your calculations if the inside of your shell is silvered? If it is painted flat black?

    If the whole caboodle is in thermodynamic equilibrium on the inside then it doesn’t matter.

  261. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 9:03 AM | Permalink

    It will only effect how long it takes to reach equilibrium

    A thermos doesn’t keep soup hot for eternity.

  262. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink

    From Willis we have:

    But what about the temperature of the planet? To calculate the planetary temperature, we need to remember that the steel shell has an inside as well as an outside, so the shell must also be radiating 237 w/m2 inwards, towards the planet.

    The planet, then, is receiving 237 w/m2 from the radioactivity, and 237 w/m2 from the steel shell. Thus, the planet’s new equilibrium temperature is 29.2°C (474 w/m2).

    From Tim we have:

    3. From his steel greenhouse post:

    1) A one watt change in driving (radioactive in this case) forcing leads to a greater than two watt change in surface (and shell) temperature.

    2) A one watt change in the shell forcing only leads to a one watt change in the surface (and shell) temperature.

    (He’s also confusing forcings with temperature changes.)

    Obviously Tim has read something imaginary in assuming that Willis didn’t do things right. Tim’s final remark is also misleading. What Willis was saying is that to provide 474 w/m2 to the shell, it must be emitted by the surface. To do that its temperature must be 29.2 deg C. (I haven’t checked the math but I assume he did it correctly). Now we have 237 outward from the shell, 237 inward from the shell; 474 outward from the surface (237 from the shell and 237 from decay) and finally 237 outward from the interior of the planet. Everything balances.

    As for confusing temperature changes with forcings, that’s simply sematics. Tim may (or may not be) correct in claiming that Willis misused the term forcing, but what physical difference does it make? If Tim can make that clear in his own words, rather than trying to make a link, I’ll agree that he’s not here simply to poison the well.

    BTW, I think Willis is wrong on at least one point but that’s another message.

  263. Jim Erlandson
    Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

    262:

    If the whole caboodle is in thermodynamic equilibrium on the inside then it doesn’t matter.

    Unless you’re trying to live there.
    Do the calculations based on 95% reflectivity (on the inside surface of the shell). How hot does the surface of the planet have to be before it manages to force 237 watts through each square meter of the shell? What happens if the shell is five cm thick and made of a ceramic that resists heat flow like shuttle tiles?

  264. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

    re 264: Dave, thanks for posting, and for posing the question to Tim.

    You say

    BTW, I think Willis is wrong on at least one point but that’s another message.

    This, of course, makes me wonder which point I’m wrong on … not that it’s a surprise, I’ve been wrong before … but I’m curious about which point.

    w.

  265. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

    Willis,

    I keep sitting here and alternately getting myself confused and then thinking I have it right, but I’m still not sure. The question is what happens if you suddenly interpose a second shell between the surface and the outer shell? What temperature will it be at? As I make it out, it would have to absorb both the 237 from the outer shell and the 574 from the surface thus having a temperature corresponding to 711. But since we’re assuming a thin shell, it should be emitting the same outward as inward, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. It’s only going to emit 237 toward the surface but 574 to the outer shell and that can’t be right. I think we may be running into a quantum quandry here and trying to solve it with classical methods just doesn’t work. Assuming both that both sides of the shell are at the same temperature and that the energy is actually absorbed, thus raising the temperature of the shell, may not be possible in a quantum world. Tunneling will occur and eliminate the paradox.

    Or maybe I’m just confused.

  266. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 4:04 PM | Permalink

    It’s turtles all the way down.

    Why would it be any different regardless of the amount of shells (because the obvious next question is what if there are three shells).

    With two shells you would just look at the outer shell vrs the inner shell and planet as a single system. Since the issue is how much is being radiated out of the system (the exterior of the outermost shell) Everything inside the outremost shell is enclosed.

    Look at it this way. the planet is just a series of shells in contact with each other, the same issues apply. The only thing that we are looking at is the barrier to energy lost of the system into space.

    Alls Willis is doing is constraining one system with a secondary system to give exapmples of equilibruim and how it effected by certain … I guess scenarios is the best word.

  267. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 6:07 PM | Permalink

    ET,

    Sorry, (or thank you for responding as Willis would say), but you don’t get my point. The entire extra CO2 ‘scenario’ depends on what happens in the intermediate layers. I was hoping to use Willis’ shells to show what happens when a second shell is interposed, but the system just doesn’t work in the context required. It looks like quantum mechanics intervenes and does something entirely different than what happens in the actual atmosphere. Indeed I’d suspect that the same thing would happen even with Willis’ one shell. If you made it thin enough to have the same temperature on both sides, some of the radiation would tunnel through. In the single shell situation it wouldn’t matter much, but with two shells you can’t even get incorrect physics to make the books balance. If I’m overlooking something go ahead and let me know what it is. But you’d better be prepared to give a temperature for the middle shell and defend your choice.

  268. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 7:02 PM | Permalink

    RE 261: Paulo, thanks for posting. You say:

    Let the steel shell be positioned 1 mm above the planet, to avoid the increase in surface if it were 1km above.

    Actually, even with the shell 1 km above the surface, the difference is negligible, and can be safely ignored. For the earth, we have:

    Radius: 6378 km
    Area: 4 Pi r^2 = 511,185,933 sq km.

    Shell Radius: 6379 km
    Area: 4 Pi r^2 = 511,346,242 sq. km.

    Difference in Area = 0.03% … three hundredths of one percent, not enough to worry about.

    RE 265, Jim, thanks for your contribution. I was assuming that the shell and surface were black bodies, the normal assumption for first order calculations of the planetary energy budget, as the actual emissivity/absorptivity are generally not far from unity.

    However, assuming that the inside and outside of the shell have the same absorptivity/emissivity, for the radiation temperature calculations it doesn’t matter if they are silvered or black. It only changes the temperatures of the planet and shell, and not the radiation temperatures.

    RE 256, Tim, good to hear from you again. You say:

    Willis’ calculation 1.94/4 uses the wrong formula because he ignores albedo and he also uses an incorrect figure from Lean 2000 for TSI change. From Lean 2000 I get an increase in TSI of 1.45. 0.69*(1.45)/4 = 0.25

    I explained before how (post #242) I got the figure of 1.94 from Lean 2000, but I can explain again … I took a trend line through the Lean data for the period 1880-2000. This gave me a trend of 0.0158 w/m2 per year. I multiplied that increment by 123 years (1880-2003), which gave me 1.94 w/m2 for the difference over the period. The Lean data is available at ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/climate_forcing/solar_variability/lean2000_irradiance.txt so you can repeat my procedure. This gives us about 0.5 w/m2 for the TSI/4 change.

    I did not adjust the TSI for the albedo as you suggest. I’d like to see some kind of citation for your claim that TSI after albedo is used as a forcing in the climate models, as my understanding is that the albedo is a calculated result of the model calculations. Thus, the forcing itself must be the TSI before the albedo is subtracted. This is supported by the fact that, although snow albedo is incuded by Hansen as a forcing, cloud albedo is not. Thus, the cloud albedo change must be calculated by the models, and the forcing in question must be the raw TSI change.

    Unfortunately, the Hansen paper doesn’t help much in this regard, as they don’t say whether it is with or without albedo. They cite Hansen et. al., “The Efficacy of Climate Forcings”, 2005, as their source for the 0.22 w/m2 “effective forcing” figure … but that number (0.22) doesn’t appear at all in the Efficacy paper. Instead, they say that the effective forcing (Fe) for solar is 0.247 (“Efficacy”, Table 3. Climate Forcings, Responses, and Efficacies for Miscellaneous Forcings Tested in GISS Model III) … I hate this nonsense, where they play fast and loose with the numbers like that.

    It might interest you, Tim, to note that the Efficacy paper says that the instantaneous forcing (Fi) from the Lean (2000) data is 0.288. This is different from your figures as well as from my figures, and from the Hansen/Nazarenko paper … so their cited data source doesn’t agree with anyone …

    It is clear from the Efficacy paper, however, that cloud albedo is a result of the climate runs (they show albedo results for different runs), rather than a forcing, and thus that the solar forcing cannot include the reduction due to albedo as you claim.

    w.

    PS – In their “Efficacy” study, Hansen et. al. make a curious admission. They say:

    Solar irradiance change has a strong spectral
    dependence [Lean, 2000], and resulting climate changes
    may include indirect effects of induced ozone change
    [RFCR; Haigh, 1999; Shindell et al., 1999a] and conceivably
    even cosmic ray effects on clouds [Dickinson, 1975].
    Furthermore, it has been suggested that an important mechanism
    for solar influence on climate is via dynamical effects
    on the Arctic Oscillation [Shindell et al., 2001, 2003b]. Our
    understanding of these phenomena and our ability to model
    them are primitive, which argues against using solar forcing
    as a standard for comparing simulated climate effects.

    In other words, they can’t model solar with any accuracy, no surprise except for the admission. This, of course, means that their solar efficacy figures, which are based on climate models, can’t be very accurate … it also means, of course, that the models themselves can’t be very accurate either …

  269. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 7:17 PM | Permalink

    RE 267, Dave, thanks for asking an interesting question about a steel greenhouse with two shells.

    The key to the puzzle is to realize that, to maintain equilibrium, the middle shell has to have the same temperature that the planet previously had at equilbrium, that is to say, 474 w/m2.

    The final temperature of the planet (with two shells), then, is 237 watts from the external (radioactive) forcing, plus 474 watts from the middle shell, for a total of 711 watts.

    If we use W as the external (radioactive) forcing, the steel greenhouse relationships are

    SINGLE SHELL
    Planet 2W
    Shell W

    TWO SHELL

    Planet 3W
    Inner Shell 2W
    Outer Shell W

    Note that, as is required by the physics of the situation, the temperature of the middle shell is the average of the outer shell and planet temperatures.

    w.

  270. Pat Frank
    Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 7:48 PM | Permalink

    271, You know, Willis, all that’s really done in putting a steel shell around a planet is to convert the surface into a region of the interior.

    The diffusion of heat through the dense rock of the interior is much slower than radiation from the surface, which is why the interior is always, and progressively so with depth, hotter than the surface.

    In putting a shell around the surface, one just restricts energy flow in a manner ultimately analogous to extending the rock radius of the planet by a small amount. There is no magical production of energy going on if the erstwhile surface then becomes hotter. It’s hotter due to the new overburden of insulator. It’s just necessary to realize for your model that the rock surface is no longer the surface but the interior. Your conclusions follow naturally from that. One could model heat flow in a planet as traversing a series of concentric spheres of rock, which model would be entirely consistent with your steel sphere model.

    Any number of concentric external steel shells won’t change that general picture.

  271. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 8:31 PM | Permalink

    Dave what they said (Willis in 271 and pat in 272) Same thing just different wording. Mine prosaic, there’s convoluted (in the best possible sense of the term, not to say they aren’t saying it better than me, just more… something, ,more exact probably).

    Anytime you have any system like this. the inside is going to reach an equilibrium (not that there won’t be different temperatures in different places, say the core of the planet, but in that case we are getting an energy input via gravity compression, static elements whether they be CO2 or steel shells do not add energy to the equation, or should I say, not enough to matter.

    In Willis’ examples (and please correct me if I’m wrong Willis) the inside will reach an equilibrium in the absence of heat being added (hence his use of a planet not around a sun). So what we are concerning ourselves with is non heat added situation, with an outside layer radiating into space. Regardless of the amount of layers, the inside will reach equilibrium, while the outside will radiate into space.

    The rate at which the inside reaches equilibrium is based upon the physical properties of the materials, but in all cases they will eventually reach equilibrium. For glass ceramic insulators it will take longer as they will retain the heat, for copper it will happen quicker. But he is not talking about equilibrium rates but about what happens when the system has equalized.

    Of course the entire system (the universe) will eventually reach equilibrium when the entire Universe radiates all energy equally throughout. No need to get into the different universal theories, obviously I refer to a steady state Universe, energy flux of the Universe as a whole being so long as to be outside of the context of the discussion.

  272. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 10:07 PM | Permalink

    RE 272, Dave, thanks for positing an interesting analogy. You say putting the shell round the planet is the same as simply putting a layer of insulating rock around the planet.

    In fact, this is not the case, which is why we have Dewar flasks, AKA thermos bottles, rather than just putting a layer of foam insulation around what we want to be kept cold.

    Thermos bottles are used because they insulate better than any known foam. They do this because they restrict the passage of energy to radiation alone. No conduction. No convection. Just radiation. In addition, the geometry insures that for every two watts absorbed by the shell, the inner vessel gets one watt back. This returning of energy, from a colder surface to a warmer surface, is a feature of radiative energy transfer, but does not occur in conductive transfer.

    Any scheme of the type you propose, of just an additional layer of rock on the planet, loses heat by conduction. It also doesn’t gain heat by radiation.

    Finally, the shell and planet system has a fixed limit to the temperature achievable. For a single shell steel greenhouse, this is 2 times the planetary starting temperature. Your analogy, of additional insulation, has no such fixed limit.

    So they are very different, not analagous as you say.

    All the best,

    w.

  273. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 20, 2006 at 10:18 PM | Permalink

    re #271-3

    What you’re giving is more or less what I’d developed on Climate Debate, but now I don’t like it. If the surface is now at 711 vs the 474 in the single shell model, then it will be radiating more to the intermediate shell. This means the intermediate shell will get 711 from the surface and 237 from the outer shell. So it’s going to be hotter than the surface by 237. In general the intermediate shell always gets heated from both the outer shell and the surface and therefore is hotter than either. And the intermediate shell has always got to radiate the same amount outward as inward, doesn’t it?

    Tim, in case you’re still looking on, please note that we’re talking about temperature = w/m2 because we’re assuming equilibration, not because they’re the same thing. Watch for the changes and… try to keep up.

  274. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 21, 2006 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

    re:#274 Willis,

    I note you address your remarks to “Dave” but the message responded to was actually by Pat. In this case I agree with you rather than Pat.

  275. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 21, 2006 at 7:31 AM | Permalink

    Re 275, Dave, you are right, the surface is radiating more to the middle shell. The middle shell receives 711 w/m2 on one side, and 237 on the other. Thus, it takes up an average temperature of the two, or 474. It radiates this amount both outwards and inwards. It receives a total of 711 + 237 = 948 w/m2 from the shell and the planet. It radiates 474 + 474 = 948 w/m2 to the shell and the planet. Thus, it stays at equilibrium.

    It is not warmer than the surface, though, as it is at 474 w/m2, and the surface is at 711.

    Relating all of this back to our original question regarding the efficacy of solar forcing, whether there is one shell or many, the steel greenhouse makes it clear. A one watt change in any shell makes a 1 watt change at the surface. A 1 watt change in the driving forcing, on the other hand, creates a 2 watt change in a single shell system, or a 3 watt change in a two shell system.

    Thus, the efficacy of solar forcing is larger than that of CO2 forcing, and because it is greater, the efficacy must be greater than 1. Hansen’s figure of 0.92, obtained (how else) through climate models, is too low.

    w.

  276. Posted Apr 21, 2006 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

    RE 270: sorry, Willis, my comment was not intented as a criticism to your example. I don’t know why, but in my mind your planet was as big as a ball. If I had put my feet on the Earth, as it is actually, I should never have done that comment.

    Paolo

  277. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 21, 2006 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    Ok Willis,

    Now it makes sense. But I’m going to have to go through the ‘holey’ shells a bit before I can agree with the other part. The trouble with the solid shells is that they are 100% absorbers and we’re actually trying to mimic an atmosphere, which only absorbs part of the IR and what happens when more of the IR is absorbed. You may have it clear in your mind what happens then, but it’s not so clear to me.

  278. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 21, 2006 at 10:26 PM | Permalink

    MODEL INTERCOMPARISONS

    Anyone who still seriously believes that Hansen et. al. could use a computer model to determine the energy imbalance of the world (the amount of excess energy which they say is being absorbed by the ocean) as being “0.85 ± 0.15 W/m2″ should take a look at the results of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 2 (CMIP2). This project is examining how well the models perform at hindcasting the historical changes in world climate.

    Results of the various models calculations of the energy going into and out of the ocean are shown at http://www-pcmdi.llnl.gov/publications/pdf/report66/Lambert/cmip2.atlas.FigL04.pdf, and results for the long wave radiative flux are shown at http://www-pcmdi.llnl.gov/publications/pdf/report66/Lambert/cmip2.atlas.FigL06.pdf

    The surprising thing to me was how very poorly the models did on calculating the oceanic heat flux and the LW flux. The model errors are typically on the order of twenty to forty watts/m2, with errors as high as 80 W/m2. The GISS model, for example, consistently showed a long wave flux that was 10-20 W/m2 low in every latitude band.

    In addition, the models did poorly at hindcasting the ocean temperature at 1000m (results at http://www-pcmdi.llnl.gov/publications/pdf/report66/Lambert/cmip2.atlas.FigL14B.pdf). The GISS model showed temperatures that were out by up to 10 w/m2, and that overall were consistently up to five wW/m2 higher than actual ocean temperatures throughout the critical tropcal region.

    Given these huge errors in the calculation of the underlying variables, the idea that Hansen could call his study a “smoking gun”, or could claim that his results are accurate to 0.15 w/m2, is simply laughable.

  279. Pat Frank
    Posted Apr 21, 2006 at 11:28 PM | Permalink

    Willis, please look at the model outputs in the later appraisal at the same site here. I’d like your opinion; especially Figures 4.5, 4.6, and 4.9-4.11. Thanks.

  280. Posted Apr 22, 2006 at 7:46 AM | Permalink

    Willis, asks “I’d like to see some kind of citation for your claim that TSI after albedo is used as a forcing in the climate models,”

    IPCC TAR 6.11.1 I thought you said you read this?

    Calculating the slope of the trend line is wrong. You should just measure the actual increase. I did from trough to trough and peak to peak and averaged the results.

    As for your steel greenhouse. A watt is a watt. Energy from one source doesn’t behave differently from energy from another source.

  281. TCO
    Posted Apr 22, 2006 at 8:06 AM | Permalink

    Boring mutha(JohnAcensoravopiding)schtupping thread.

  282. John M
    Posted Apr 22, 2006 at 11:07 AM | Permalink

    At the risk of further boring TCO, I’d like to wrap up (I hope) the seawater pH/CO2 discussion.

    Re#236: Jack,

    Thanks for the tutorial on significant figures and the links (yes, they are dated).

    Since your original post on pH measurements (#166) referred to “reliably” measuring pH in the context of monitoring climate change, the important number is the long-term precision. So it seems the link to my original post (#172) appears to represent the state-of-the-art (+/- 0.0032 pH units).

    For Willis E and others, here’s another Lough paper, which I didn’t see specifically cited in this thread, although I admit I’m a little late to the party: “Preindustrial to Modern Interdecadel Variability in Coral Reef pH”, Science, Vol 309, 2204-2206, 30 Sept. 2005. This paper also gives an indication of where the stated 0.1 pH decrease in seawater comes from (see Pat Frank, #173). It’s derived based on assumptions/calculations relative to estimated atmospheric CO2 concentrations for the 1700s and subsequent increases in CO2 levels.

    A shamelessly cherry-picked quote: “…our results suggest that corals in Flinders Reef have experienced a relatively wide range in pH (~0.3 pH units) over the past ~300 years. As a result, these corals have also experienced equivalent changes in aragonite saturation state, one of the main physicochemical controllers of coral clarification.”

    The situation is indeed complex and far from “settled”.

    Since my original interest was precision and accuracy of seawater pH measurements, I think I’ve found my answer.

  283. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 22, 2006 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

    Re: 282, TCO, why on earth would you think that whether a thread is boring to you is of the slightest interest to anyone?

    Every thread on this blog is boring to someone … so what? So this thread is boring to you … so what?

    w.

  284. John A
    Posted Apr 22, 2006 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

    Willis,

    It looks like Tim’s grasp of physics is as tenuous as ever.

  285. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 22, 2006 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

    Tim, thanks for your reply. You say:

    Willis, asks “I’d like to see some kind of citation for your claim that TSI after albedo is used as a forcing in the climate models,”

    IPCC TAR 6.11.1 I thought you said you read this?

    Calculating the slope of the trend line is wrong. You should just measure the actual increase. I did from trough to trough and peak to peak and averaged the results.

    As for your steel greenhouse. A watt is a watt. Energy from one source doesn’t behave differently from energy from another source.

    1) The IPCC TAR 6.11.1 does not contain the words TSI or albedo. It merely defines a forcing as:

    The term “radiative forcing” has been employed in the IPCC
    Assessments to denote an externally imposed perturbation in the
    radiative energy budget of the Earth’s climate system. Such a
    perturbation can be brought about by secular changes in the
    concentrations of radiatively active species (e.g., CO2, aerosols),
    changes in the solar irradiance incident upon the planet, or other
    changes that affect the radiative energy absorbed by the surface
    (e.g., changes in surface reflection properties).

    Note that what is called a forcing is “solar irradiance incident upon the planet”, that is to say TSI. Cloud properties (including albedo), on the other hand, are a calculated output of the models, not a forcing. Thus TSI less albedo is not a forcing, but is calculated on the basis of the results of the model, and is a feedback. Albedo is described in the next section of the TAR (6.2.1) as a feedback, not a forcing, viz:

    While the total climate feedback for the spatially homogeneous
    and the considered inhomogeneous forcings does not
    differ significantly, leading to a near-invariant climate sensitivity,
    the individual feedback mechanisms (water vapour, ice albedo,
    lapse rate, clouds) can have different strengths (Chen and
    Ramaswamy, 1996a,b).

    Your gratuitous insult (“I thought you said you read this”) is particularly inappropriate and insulting, because we both read it, and you seem to have misinterpreted it. Once again, if you are concerned about how you are portraying youself, lose the insults, they make you look childish.

    2) It is rarely appropriate to just take the starting and ending points, as you suggest. It totally obscures the changes during the period, which may be significantly different from the start/end. It also makes the analysis very vulnerable to a single very high or very low value at the start or end.

    It also is not what the document said. It didn’t say “go from the lowest point to the lowest point that’s kinda near the start and end”, or anything like that. It said the net change. This is done by taking the trend line.

    More to the point, when I calculate it your way, it still doesn’t agree with Hansen. I originally got 0.49 for TSI/4 change over the period. Peak to peak gives 0.48, and trough to trough gives 0.37, for an average of 0.42. SINCE THIS IS STILL WAY DIFFERENT FROM HANSEN’s 0.25, WHY MAKE THIS ARGUMENT? Hansen is wrong, by your figures as well as mine. Could you focus on that for a moment?

    3) A watt is most definitely not a watt when we are discussing greenhouse systems. Hansen et. al. define (and use in the paper in question) a quantity called the “efficacy” of a watt, which measures how much effect different 1-watt forcings have depending on where they originate in the system. To quote from Hansen’s paper on efficacy:

    number of forcing agents … for which the climate response is atypical, unique to the forcing agent, and a function of its spatial distribution.

    In other words, a watt is not a watt …

    Finally, denial (“a watt is not a watt”, “calculating a trend line is wrong”) without explanation of the denial is so weak as to be meaningless. Makes you sound like a kid saying “is not, is not” … if you think my steel greenhouse calculations are wrong, let us know chapter and verse, tell us where the error is. I have clearly demonstrated the difference between changes in the driving forcing of a greenhouse, and changes in the absorption/radiation in the shell. If you think I’m wrong, it’s not enough just to say “a watt is a watt”, you need to say exactly what I’ve done wrong and where.

    w.

  286. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 23, 2006 at 6:14 AM | Permalink

    Willis, the relative “efficacy” of solar and GHG forcing is an interesting issue. I haven’t tried to think through your shell analogies, although intuitively, it seems likely to me that solar forcing would be more “efficacious”.

    I realize that Hansen et al have just published a big article on relative efficacy using their GCM. Do you know of references to a discussion of the issue by the Hansen-side in terms of physical models as opposed to GCM outputs?

  287. Posted Apr 23, 2006 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

    Willis, from IPCC TAR 6.11.1.1

    2. Geometric factors affect the conversion from change in TSI to radiative forcing. It is necessary to divide by a factor of 4, representing the ratio of the area of the Earth’s disc projected towards the Sun to the total surface area of the Earth, and to multiply by a factor of 0.69, to take account of the Earth’s albedo of 31%. Thus a variation of 0.5 Wm-2 in TSI represents a variation in global average instantaneous (i.e. neglecting stratospheric adjustment) radiative forcing of about 0.09 Wm-2

    The trend line is wrong. Consider what happens if the value is 0 for the first 50 years and then increases linearly to 1 and compare with increases linearly to 1 in 50 years and then stays constant. You get a different slope on the trend even though the total increase is the same.

    Your steel greenhouse is uniform on space and time so an extra watt from radioactivity works the same as an extra watt from enhanced greenhouse. This energy produces more warming than it would absent greenhouse. You’re comparing the amount of input energy (for radioactivity) with the amount of warming (for enhanced greenhouse).

  288. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 23, 2006 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

    Tim,

    “The trend line” doesn’t mean much absent a statement of what sort of trend we’re looking for. Obviously your technique of looking at the highs and the lows and averaging is one thing and eyeballing through the data is another. Mathematically, minimizing the sum of the deviations from the line is attractive as is just minimizing the sum of the squares of the deviations. And of course comparing the deviations from a different curve than just a straight line is often useful. I suppose I should go back and see just what started this, but with 288 messages in the thread, it’s not very attractive at this point.

    You are right that the solid shells don’t allow for variations over time, but that’s what his ‘holey shells’ were for. Mimicing a true greenhouse effect with the shells is a bit tricky, however. this is since IR which leaves the earth’s surface with a frequency in one of the holes is going to go through both the intermediate shell and the outer shell, while IR which is absorbed by the intermediate shell and re-emitted will partly go through the hole in the outer shell and partly be absorbed by it. But it’s still a straight-forward calculation. What’s really hard, I think, is determining what happens when the size of the holes in the shells change vs the initial surface forcing changing. Willis’ claim is that increasing the initial forcing at the surface 1 w/m2 will have more affect on the final surface temperature than changing the intermediate and outer shells so that they absorb 1w/m2 more. I think there’s some terminology which has to be worked through before we can be certain there’s even an agreement as to what that claim means. And this is quite apart from questions of albedo and H20 feedbacks.

  289. Posted Apr 23, 2006 at 8:44 AM | Permalink

    Dave is right, but what strikes me is this:

    The trend line is wrong. Consider what happens if the value is 0 for the first 50 years and then increases linearly to 1 and compare with increases linearly to 1 in 50 years and then stays constant. You get a different slope on the trend even though the total increase is the same.

    OK, so you have a flat line for 50 years which then increases linearly, presumably ending in 2006 while still increasing. Would we expect that growth would continue?

    Then you have a linear increase which then flattens out a while ago and stays flat up to the present. Would we expect that it would remain flat in the future too?

    If you were to assume that the latest long-term trends were to continue, i.e. the increasing value continues to increase, and the flat line stays flat, then despite the fact that both these cases have the same net change to date, in my opinion you can argue that they should have different trends, given that we might project them differently into the future.

    Since that seems to be in effect the type of situation that’s being discussed (i.e. estimating radiation forcing deltas from the past to the present and then projecting radiation forcing trends into the future) then I don’t see why an approach which gave different trend lines in those two different situations would necessarily be invalid.

    I don’t see how the phrasing “changes” should be taken to explicitly imply “net changes between two points in time”. Is there something more explicit where they talk about changes in terms of the difference between the values at two points?

    Regardless of whether the trend approach is valid, as Willis said, it seems irrelevant. None of those methods give a value anywhere close to that used in the study.

  290. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 23, 2006 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

    Re 287, Steve, I haven’t been able to find any general studies about “efficacy” except Hansens. Still looking, if anyone knows of one, please let me know.

    w.

  291. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 23, 2006 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    Re 290, Dave, thanks for your comments. You say:

    Willis’ claim is that increasing the initial forcing at the surface 1 w/m2 will have more affect on the final surface temperature than changing the intermediate and outer shells so that they absorb 1w/m2 more. I think there’s some terminology which has to be worked through before we can be certain there’s even an agreement as to what that claim means. And this is quite apart from questions of albedo and H20 feedbacks.

    I think what I have said is clear, but perhaps it is not. Here is what I said.

    A 1 watt change in the driving forcing of the steel greenhouse yields a 2 watt temperature change.

    A 1 watt change in the downward radiation from the shell of the steel greenhouse to the planet, on the other hand, only leads to a 1 watt temperature change.

    What terminology needs working through before you can either agree or disagree with that?

    w.

    PS – albedo and h20 feedbacks, when we get around to considering them, generally will be a wash. This is because they are generally related to temperature rise – as the temperature rises, we get more h20 in the air, and less sea ice, and the like.

    But since these effects are temperature related, they will occur whether the temperature rise is caused by changes in solar forcing or co2 forcing. Thus, their effects will generally be a wash.

  292. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 23, 2006 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

    I was greatly amused by Hansen et. al’s description of the GISS model used in the Hansen “Efficacy” paper:

    Principal model shortcomings include 25%
    regional deficiency of summer stratus cloud cover off the
    west coast of the continents with resulting excessive absorption
    of solar radiation by as much as 50 W/m2,
    deficiency in absorbed solar radiation and net radiation over
    other tropical regions by typically 20 W/m2, sea level
    pressure too high by 4–8 hPa in the winter in the Arctic
    and 2–4 hPa too low in all seasons in the tropics, deficiency
    of rainfall over the Amazon basin by about 20%, deficiency
    in summer cloud cover in the western United States and
    central Asia by 25% with a corresponding 5°C excessive
    summer warmth in these regions.

    OK, “absorbed solar radiation” and “net radiation” are not just in error, but are systematically low, by “typically 20 W/m2″ over the all important tropics … not an impressive start …

    And that’s just the atmospheric model. Regarding the ocean model, they say:

    Ocean C at this coarse resolution has realistic
    overturning rates and inter-ocean transports, but it does not
    yield El Nino-like variability. Thus, to the extent that the El
    Nino dynamics play a role in the climate response to
    radiative forcings [Mann et al., 2005], we would not expect
    the version of ocean C employed here to capture that effect.
    Also the deep-water production in the North Atlantic Ocean
    does not go deep enough in ocean C and the Southern
    Ocean is too well-mixed near Antarctica [Liu et al., 2003].
    Global sea ice cover is realistic, but this is achieved with too
    much sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere and too little in
    the Southern Hemisphere.

    I particularly liked the quote saying that the global sea ice cover is “realistic”, but there’s too much ice up north and too little ice down south … what’s “realistic” about that?

    OK, Hansen et. al. say their own model has much as 50 W/m2 errors over the west coast of all of the continents, average 20 W/m2 errors in the tropics, too much sea ice in the arctic, deep-water production that doesn’t go deep enough … given all of those problems that Hansen et. al. see with their own model, not even mentioning the problems that others have found with GISS and all the rest of the models, consider their claim:

    Our climate model, driven mainly by increasing humanmade
    greenhouse gases and aerosols among other
    forcings, calculates that Earth is now absorbing 0.85 ±
    0.15 W/m2 more energy from the Sun than it is emitting to
    space.

    They say their model can measure an imbalance less than one watt/m2, with an error of +/- 0.15 w/m2?

    I say bullsh*t … oops, scratch that, too direct … I say … I say that given their acknowledged errors of 20-50 W/m2, claiming that they can measure the energy balance to less than a watt, with a claimed error of 0.15 W/m2, is an incredibly optimistic assessment of the capabilities of their model.

    w.

  293. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 23, 2006 at 4:26 PM | Permalink

    Re 288, Tim, not sure about your math. You say:

    The trend line is wrong. Consider what happens if the value is 0 for the first 50 years and then increases linearly to 1 and compare with increases linearly to 1 in 50 years and then stays constant. You get a different slope on the trend even though the total increase is the same.

    Maybe your copy of Excel works differently than mine, but I do not get a different slope on the trend line. I get the same slope, which is 0.0101 per step.

    w.

    PS – Remember, this is a side issue. Neither your method, nor mine, has managed to come up with the 0.22 figure Hansen gives for the Lean et. al. change in forcing since 1880.

    PPS – here’s the values I used to test your erroneous theory:

    Step# V1 V2

    1 0 0
    2 0 0.02
    3 0 0.04
    4 0 0.06
    5 0 0.08
    6 0 0.10
    7 0 0.12
    8 0 0.14
    9 0 0.16
    10 0 0.18
    11 0 0.20
    12 0 0.22
    13 0 0.24
    14 0 0.27
    15 0 0.29
    16 0 0.31
    17 0 0.33
    18 0 0.35
    19 0 0.37
    20 0 0.39
    21 0 0.41
    22 0 0.43
    23 0 0.45
    24 0 0.47
    25 0 0.49
    26 0 0.51
    27 0 0.53
    28 0 0.55
    29 0 0.57
    30 0 0.59
    31 0 0.61
    32 0 0.63
    33 0 0.65
    34 0 0.67
    35 0 0.69
    36 0 0.71
    37 0 0.73
    38 0 0.76
    39 0 0.78
    40 0 0.80
    41 0 0.82
    42 0 0.84
    43 0 0.86
    44 0 0.88
    45 0 0.90
    46 0 0.92
    47 0 0.94
    48 0 0.96
    49 0 0.98
    50 0 1.00
    51 0.00 1
    52 0.02 1
    53 0.04 1
    54 0.06 1
    55 0.08 1
    56 0.10 1
    57 0.12 1
    58 0.14 1
    59 0.16 1
    60 0.18 1
    61 0.20 1
    62 0.22 1
    63 0.24 1
    64 0.27 1
    65 0.29 1
    66 0.31 1
    67 0.33 1
    68 0.35 1
    69 0.37 1
    70 0.39 1
    71 0.41 1
    72 0.43 1
    73 0.45 1
    74 0.47 1
    75 0.49 1
    76 0.51 1
    77 0.53 1
    78 0.55 1
    79 0.57 1
    80 0.59 1
    81 0.61 1
    82 0.63 1
    83 0.65 1
    84 0.67 1
    85 0.69 1
    86 0.71 1
    87 0.73 1
    88 0.76 1
    89 0.78 1
    90 0.80 1
    91 0.82 1
    92 0.84 1
    93 0.86 1
    94 0.88 1
    95 0.90 1
    96 0.92 1
    97 0.94 1
    98 0.96 1
    99 0.98 1
    100 1.00 1

  294. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 23, 2006 at 5:03 PM | Permalink

    TCO/Dave and anyone interested:

    Somewhere above in this thread I introduced the idea that the earth’s internal thermal behaviour might be linked to external solar and plasma factors. Latest paper in NCGT news issue 38. discusses this:

    “In this number we have a very interesting article by Leybourne, Gregori and Hoop. Applying Gregori’s
    “electrical hot-spot hypothesis”, they tried to explain the El Nino climate and wildfire teleconnections with endogenous electrical energy which is interacting with the solar energy. This paper involves very wide aspects of geology and physics of the Earth and Sun. We would like to see further development of this type of research.”

    No further comments here please but if anyone wants a copy of the paper or the NCGT news, contact me by email, not here, and I’ll forward a copy.

    I will be flat out juggling 3 clients for the next 2 months, so I will have diddly squat time to do anything other than do real work.

  295. TCO
    Posted Apr 23, 2006 at 5:21 PM | Permalink

    Do some work on it, then come back, Louis. To imagine that these thoughts of yours which are not even developed into fully formed concepts are something that the warmers need to anticipate/respond to is silly.

  296. Hans Erren
    Posted Apr 23, 2006 at 5:22 PM | Permalink

    sure Louis but terrestial heat flow is insignificant, please do the sums.

  297. Terry
    Posted Apr 23, 2006 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

    Tim:

    You caught some flak for saying:

    Their results are indeed consistent with the total heat storage. Both curves end up in the same place. What on earth do you think total heat storage means?

    and you never responded to the critiques. Do you have a response?

  298. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 23, 2006 at 6:13 PM | Permalink

    And what does NCGT stand for? You may have mentioned it before or it may be well known by some regulars here, but it doesn’t ring a bell for me.

  299. Pat Frank
    Posted Apr 23, 2006 at 9:01 PM | Permalink

    #293 “They say their model can measure an imbalance less than one watt/m2, with an error of +/- 0.15 w/m2?

    “I say bullsh*t …”

    Likely that’s just a model output esd range, resting on the assumption that all the model inputs are exactly correct. That error is then not a statement of physical accuracy, but of numerical precision.

  300. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 23, 2006 at 9:30 PM | Permalink

    RE 300, Pat, thanks for writing. You are likely correct in your surmise that the error ignores everything outside the model. However, it does not rest merely on the assumption that the inputs to the model are correct, but also on the assumption that everything about the model is correct.

    However, I was not as concerned by that as by the idea that a model with known 20 – 50 w/m2 errors could possibly discern a 0.85 w/m2 imbalance, no matter what the statistical error is … I invite you to comment on the odds of that, rather than focus on whether the error is just numerical precision or is physical accuracy.

    w.

  301. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 24, 2006 at 7:45 AM | Permalink

    #299

    New Concepts in Global Tectonics.

    ?

    Behind the eight ball guys, catch up.

  302. Hans Erren
    Posted Apr 24, 2006 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

    Louis have you done the sums yet?
    http://www.geo.lsa.umich.edu/IHFC/

  303. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 24, 2006 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    re:#302 Louis,

    I went searching on Google and got about 380 hits for “New Concepts in Global Tectonics.” The interesting thing is that I couldn’t find any rebuttals of NCGT. This might be comforting to you, but I think it more reflects ordinary Global Tectonics people not finding it worth their time to respond.

    I know this would be futile if you were a warmer, but could you point me to a site which has argued against the ideas you’re supporting? I think a good test of intellectual honesty is a willingness to point people to the best arguments of your “enemies”. That’s one reason why I have so little respect for the Hockey Team.

  304. Hans Erren
    Posted Apr 24, 2006 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    This is from a paper by Cloetingh and Wortel (who taught me geophysics)
    http://perso-sdt.univ-brest.fr/~deasdt/Seminaires_DEA/gs1c_00_01/images/c1.jpg
    Note that ridge push and trench pull causes a stress pattern in the indo-australian plate (notice also where the huge tsunami earthquake is located).

    So we have a predictive mechanism, also they explained origin and evolution of the nazca plate
    http://www-odp.tamu.edu/publications/170_SR/chap_07/thumb.htm

    Sorry Louis, too much evidence.

  305. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 24, 2006 at 5:15 PM | Permalink

    Hans and Dave, this thread is about Hansen’s paper … perhaps you could take the plate tectonics discussion offline?

    Thanks,

    w.

  306. Hans Erren
    Posted Apr 24, 2006 at 6:05 PM | Permalink

    sorry willis, just doing some contrarian bashing
    (how’s climatesceptics?)

  307. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 24, 2006 at 6:13 PM | Permalink

    I was just trying to be polite to Louis, Willis. Anyway, a thread 300+ messages ought to be put to bed anyway. Talk to Steve about a new thread.

  308. Pat Frank
    Posted Apr 24, 2006 at 7:43 PM | Permalink

    #301 “but also on the assumption that everything about the model is correct”

    I stand corrected, Willis. You’re right. You’re also correct that it’s ludicrous to report a (0.85+/-0.15) Wm^-2 result from physical models that produce observed errors of 20-40 Wm^-2. The fact this sort of thing gets past reviewers and editors, and into journals, would be beyond belief if it were not also true that dendroclimo people get claims of physically significant PC1′s and tendentiously cherry-picked data into journals past reviewers and editors.

    These reports fail the test of scientific methodology, which is that data take their meaning within unambiguously falsifiable theories. A physical theory good to within 20-40 Wm^-2 cannot be falsified by a directly contextual prediction that is 24 to 48 times smaller than the limits of resolution. Such a result is scientifically meaningless. Likewise a dendroclimo proxy reconstruction is meaningless in the entire absence of any falsifiable dendroproxy theory at all.

    So here’s what I think, Willis. I think you and Steve M. are in a perfect position to co-author a hard-hitting two-section article for Skeptic magazine (or maybe Atlantic Monthly) on global warming as pathological science. It fits Langmuir’s bill perfectly. You write the section on climate models and Steve M. writes the section on proxy reconstructions. That article needs to be written, and soon. The integrity of science demands it, not to mention the collective sanity of our civilization. Seriously. No joke explicit or implied here.

  309. Hans Erren
    Posted Apr 24, 2006 at 11:57 PM | Permalink

    Be conservative about the concepts of statistical significance and margin of error, especially when analyzing phenomena on the threshold between signal and noise.

    Reproduce, reproduce, reproduce.

    Discuss surprising findings openly with peers (through both formal and informal channels, inside and outside one’s own specialty), and make constructive use of the critiques that arise.

  310. John A
    Posted Apr 25, 2006 at 3:34 AM | Permalink

    So here’s what I think, Willis. I think you and Steve M. are in a perfect position to co-author a hard-hitting two-section article for Skeptic magazine (or maybe Atlantic Monthly) on global warming as pathological science.

    Unfortunately I don’t think Skeptic magazine would publish it. One of their editors has just decamped to Planet Eco-Apocalypse.

  311. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 25, 2006 at 3:43 AM | Permalink

    re #311

    John A

    John, could you code some way for, eg me, here, to click some link on the page here back to Steve’s homepage? Or am I missing something. And it’s not urgent, since to June 30 2006 I have other things I have to concentrate on (how Tim Lambert and his clones find time becomes interesting).

    In anycase get me on email directly for further clarification.

    Best

  312. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 25, 2006 at 3:58 AM | Permalink

    #309

    Pat,

    Who would publish it?

  313. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 25, 2006 at 4:19 AM | Permalink

    #304

    Dave

    Just caught your comment – no NCGT isn’t on the web, but I have the latest issues to hand.

    Bear in mind I am flat out with other things, so best to contact me at fgserv7747 at fastmail.com.au for the data.

    Sorry I can’t reply, now, to your valid questions – AIG have a 25th Year conference on in a few days time and hon. editor (me) is maxed out, and also till 30 June 2006, so my apologies if I missed comments above etc etc.

    Best

  314. John A
    Posted Apr 25, 2006 at 5:50 AM | Permalink

    John, could you code some way for, eg me, here, to click some link on the page here back to Steve’s homepage? Or am I missing something. And it’s not urgent, since to June 30 2006 I have other things I have to concentrate on (how Tim Lambert and his clones find time becomes interesting).

    Click on the blog title at the top of the page.

  315. Pat Frank
    Posted Apr 25, 2006 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

    #311, 313 – I think Skeptic would publish it. They’re officially committed to criticism no matter where it leads, and I don’t doubt for a second that an article by Willis and Steve M. would be unassailable as regards science and content. A well-written article might find its way elsewhere, too.

  316. Jack
    Posted Apr 25, 2006 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

    I don’t doubt for a second that an article by Willis and Steve M. would be unassailable as regards science and content.

    I’ll have some doubts, for as long as Willis manages to ignore established scientific results.

    And a P.S. to Willis E.: I did a Google review of the occurrences of Lough + Barnes. Interesting use of their results. I also took a paper off my desk. Have you read Andersson, Mackenzie and Ver 2003? Amazingly enough, this reference does not appear on the many sites that repeatedly cite Barnes and Lough!

  317. John M
    Posted Apr 25, 2006 at 5:33 PM | Permalink

    #317

    Maybe because nobody knows what journal it’s in? :-)

    I presume it’s the one in Geology?

    Can’t get to that one right now because it’s pay per view. I see it cited in some others I do have though. I’ll give a look.

  318. Pat Frank
    Posted Apr 25, 2006 at 6:50 PM | Permalink

    #317 “as long as Willis manages to ignore established scientific results.”

    He didn’t ignore the disparity between the LLNL PCMDI tests of GCM models that showed 20-40 Wm^-2 errors and Hansen’s claim of (0.85+/-0.15) Wm^-2 precision, however. The former level of error by itself is sufficient to establish the point that GCMs are not capable of sustaining the “A” part of GW. It’s worth noting that Willie Soon et al. pointed out the error levels in GCMs some time ago, in their 2001 Climate Research paper — the one that caused all sorts of political fall-out but no refutation.

  319. TCO
    Posted Apr 25, 2006 at 9:57 PM | Permalink

    Steve impresses me more than Willie. Plus why should they link the two different critiques. Why not make them independantly given that they cover different topics.

  320. Pat Frank
    Posted Apr 25, 2006 at 10:22 PM | Permalink

    #320 “why should they link the two different critiques. Why not make them independantly given that they cover different topics.”

    They should be linked because the AGW scare has two main pillars. One is the “realistic” predictions of models complete with very nice and very compelling computer graphics. The other is the so-called “smoking gun” of millennially unprecedented 20th century warming.

    The first claim, from GCMs, is nominally scientific because AGW is a purported prediction from theory. As it turns out, AGW can’t be supported by current GCMs. People need to know that. Willis’ arguments are more than adequate to properly discredit GCMs. Plus I like his name. It wold look good on an author list. :-)

    The second claim, the proxies derived from Mann’s work and following, is an inductive claim which would have no scientific merit even if the reconstruction methodology was perfectly correct. However, that subtlety will be lost on most people. Nevertheless, the proxy claim casts a very large political shadow and is badly in need of a very public and very thorough refutation. Steve’s work does that in spades. In fact, not only has Steve’s work upended the Mannian methodology, but his careful audit has brought all of modern dendroclimatology into serious question. He deserves a huge vote of thanks for that service, and primarily from serious dendroclimatologists.

    If both legs are kicked out from under AGW, and deservedly so, then no credit will accrue to AGW claims, all the moralizing shouts about modern technology notwithstanding.

  321. TCO
    Posted Apr 25, 2006 at 10:39 PM | Permalink

    Steve hasn’t signed up to that sledge.

  322. John Lish
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 3:09 AM | Permalink

    #320-322, Have to agree with TCO, IMO part of Steve credibility comes from not making extrapolations from details. I also agree with TCO that Steve needs to start submitting papers to academic journals which develop each part of his criticism. There’s no such thing as a KO blow here Pat, rather a need to accumulate detailed criticisms through multiple papers that have been through peer-review. Keep it bite size and allow each criticism to stand on its own merits will mean that replies to the respective papers will be difficult to fudge.

  323. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 3:43 AM | Permalink

    Re #321, actually the ‘pillars’ are these:

    The earth is getting warmer (0.6 +/- 0.2 oC in the past century; 0.1 0.17 oC/decade over the last 30 years). There is a clear link between atmospheric CO2 conc and temperature. People are causing the present rise in CO2 conc (and other ghg’s) this risng trend is likely to continue and will probably accelerate (at least in the medium term). If GHG emissions continue as described, the warming due to anthro ghg’s is likely to increase.

    I haven’t mentioned models or milennia – they’re just extra evidence.

  324. John A
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 4:13 AM | Permalink

    The earth is getting warmer (0.6 +/- 0.2 oC in the past century; 0.1 0.17 oC/decade over the last 30 years).

    Agreed.

    There is a clear link between atmospheric CO2 conc and temperature. People are causing the present rise in CO2 conc (and other ghg’s) this risng trend is likely to continue and will probably accelerate (at least in the medium term).

    There is a clear link, but it is the other way, that rising temperatures cause (precede) rises in traces gases like carbon dioxide and methane. The temperatures rise some 800-1000 years before carbon dioxide and methane begin to rise, putting the current rise in the context of the Medieval Warm Period. All of the high resolution ice cores show this.

    The “post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy of matching the current rise in temperature with the rise in carbon dioxide ignores the fact that temperatures fell during the period of greatest CO2 growth from 1940-1977. The greatest rise in temperatures happened in 1880-1940 when carbon dioxide levels hardly moved at all.

    If GHG emissions continue as described, the warming due to anthro ghg’s is likely to increase.

    Except that methane, a more powerful greehouse gas than CO2, peaked in 2000 and is now declining, despite the anthropogenic contribution. Undoubtedly CO2 traps a little heat but whether its a driver of anything cannot be seen from any paleoclimatic record.

  325. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 4:17 AM | Permalink

    The NCGT newsletter no 38 is downloadble from <a href="http://fgserv7747.fastmail.com.au/ncgt38(mar06).pdf">here</a> is 2.3 Mb in size.

  326. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 4:45 AM | Permalink

    Re #325

    There is a clear link, but it is the other way, that rising temperatures cause (precede) rises in traces gases like carbon dioxide and methane. The temperatures rise some 800-1000 years before carbon dioxide and methane begin to rise, putting the current rise in the context of the Medieval Warm Period.

    It seems to me you’re saying the present rise in CO2 is a natural feedback. Is that what you are saying?

    In the past CO2 has been a feedback warming. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t cause warming, nor that, atm, the rise in conc is a feedback effect. Indeed, it’s clear it isn’t a feedback effect, the evidence the present CO2 rise is anthropogenic in origin is absolutely solid and compelling.

  327. John A
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 5:05 AM | Permalink

    I am not qualified to say whether NCGT is a crank theory or not, but I will say that the essay on peer review by Frank Tipler was very interesting, and I would encourage everyone to read it.

  328. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 6:55 AM | Permalink

    Peter,

    Indeed, it’s clear it isn’t a feedback effect, the evidence the present CO2 rise is anthropogenic in origin is absolutely solid and compelling.

    Some CO2 is anthropogenic, some is not.

    How do you explain the fact that CO2 levels were far higher than they are today today millions of years before the apperance of the first primate?

    The paleoclimate record seems to indicate that CO2 levels increase after a temperature rise. Therefore, CO2 increase appears to be a consequence of temperature increases, not their cause.

  329. Jack
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 8:31 AM | Permalink

    The paleoclimate record seems to indicate that CO2 levels increase after a temperature rise. Therefore, CO2 increase appears to be a consequence of temperature increases, not their cause.

    This observation is applicable to the transitions between periods with continental glaciations and periods when the continental glaciers retreated. It is not analogous to the current climate state, where a CO2 increase is occurring in the middle of a warm interval.

  330. Paul Linsay
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 9:02 AM | Permalink

    #330, Jack

    This observation is applicable to the transitions between periods with continental glaciations and periods when the continental glaciers retreated.

    But we are coming out of a Little Ice Age that ended in the mid 1600s, and continental glaciers are known to be retreating, so isn’t the increase in CO2 we are seeing now consistent with lag measured from ice cores? Why isn’t this exactly the transition that you describe?

  331. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

    Re #329/331

    The evidence that the present CO2 increase is due to the burning of fossil fuels is solid. Whichever way you come at it (either by working out how much CO2 results from buring what we have and allowing for sequestration or from the change in the isotopic signature of atmospheric CO2) the conclusion is clear – it’s our doing.

    Comparing CO2 concs in the geological past with now is an apples and oragnes obfuscation. SO many things were different then (continents, ocean current, the sun) it makes no sense to compare then with now (especially given the above).

  332. jae
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 9:54 AM | Permalink

    Comparing CO2 concs in the geological past with now is an apples and oragnes obfuscation. SO many things were different then (continents, ocean current, the sun) it makes no sense to compare then with now (especially given the above).

    LOL. I don’t usually respond to Peter, but this one is too funny to ignore. If you can’t compare then with now, how do we know anything is happening? It’s all relative to SOMETHING, Peter!

  333. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

    Hey Peter.

    Can you give us a target GMT and expeain the reasoning for whichever number you come up.

    Please include allowable fluctaution as climate is not stable.

  334. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 9:57 AM | Permalink

    re:#332 So Peter, since you’re at least arguing science for a change, I’ll answer. The problem is that the amount of CO2 released by humans into the atmosphere each year is only a few percent of the total released into the atmosphere. Yes, it’s at least supposed that the amounts were in balance before humans came along, but why should the equilibrium value for atmospheric CO2 concentration in this epoch be so low? I suggest the reason is that it’s limited on the down side by how much plants are limited in their ability to use CO2 for photosynthesis. I.e. if there’s less that a certain amount of CO2 the amount of primary photosynthesis goes down to match. But that also means that there’s a ‘buffer’ of photosynthetic capability which isn’t being used because the CO2 level is as low as it is.

    Now CO2 rise has been measured for some decades now and has been pretty steady. So we’d have to believe that the buffer for increased CO2 usage was quite small for the increase in CO2 to be strictly from human additions. It’s more likely that a combination of increased human CO2 releases, other human activity like land clearing, residual temperature rebound from the LIA, direct warming from CO2 green house effect, increased solar influence, etc. all push the net CO2 concentration up.

    I suspect that most plants, even if they are at their optimal temperature at present, will still produce more as temperatures go up. This may seem paradoxical, but in fact, warmer temperatures in most areas of the earth will result in increased diversity and thus increased total production as many species increase their domain. True there will be a few cold-loving species which will have their areas reduced, but in fact, species diversity is lowest in cold climates anyway, so the species which replace them will be both more numerous and more productive.

    The net result is that it’s quite likely that sometime in the near future the temperature rise (which is probably overstated anyway) will greatly decrease and this will feed-back into greatly reduced increases in CO2.

  335. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    Sid, I’m not interested in temperature target (I don’t want to control the weather), I am interested in keep man’s influence on said to a minumum (because I don’t want to effect the weather). We have quite enough influence as it is (I don’t want to control the weather), I’d try to keep Co2 form rocketing up – that’s all (again, I don’t want to control the weather just emissions of anthro ghg’s. get it?). But, hey, look, I don’t know why you reply, you must know NOTHING is going to be done about ghg emissions? They’re BOUND to rip for at least a decade, probably longer. 400ppm here we go. SO why the fuss about someone (me) who want something that isn’t going to happen to happen?????

    Dave, really, don’t give me this else Hans will be at you as well :). I know your you’re too intelligent to run with the idea the rise in CO2 conc isn’t our doing, it is – EOS. There is no need to argue this, you sceptics have better.

    Jae, you compare now with a time more like now (anytime in the recent past). Millions of years ago things WERE differnet. Do some geology, check out ocean current changes, the positions of the continets, the output of the sun. Millions of years ago was SO different to now you can make as direct or valid comparison.

  336. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

    And Peter your statements are somewhat at a loss trying to correlate them together. Yes things were different then, why? Because nature changes, always had always will. As a result minor changes now are not something get overly upset with, watch, monitor, study, sure we should do that if for no other reason than to learn.

    But your first paragraph in reply to me is at odds with your past statements, and the statements of your peers currently. It’s not, “it’s going to happen so –shrug- whatever” It’s a “WE HAVE DO SOMETHING NOW OR WE ARE ALL DOOMED” and implementing a variety of policies on the governmental levels and spending lots of money on questionable project to mitigate the situation.

    I’ve said before, not often but I have. Reducing CO2 emissions is a perfectly laudable thing to do regardless of the consequences we do not need to scare people to push this agenda. This has been done for decades, and continues to happen. Possibly not at a fast enough pace to satisfy you, but engineering isn’t done by wishing, and it isn’t done by the pushing of people that don’t understand the process. Ask anyone in engineering, efficiency is the number one target. It’s a moving target for sure, and varies depending on application. You don’t care about MPG on a dragster, but on a road car you can charge a premium for a more fuel efficient vehicle, so engineers are always striving to make more fuel efficient vehicles, within the design specs of the particular vehicle. A luxury car is going to put less of an emphasis on fuel economy than typical coupe. You want to change the world. Convince people to buy more normal 4 door, or two door coupes, instead of heavy luxury vehicles, the auto manufacturers will see this (as they did in the late 70′s) and design vehicles accordingly.

    For industrial process it is unnecessary to push them, because higher efficiency = less fuel costs = more profit. They already have all the incentive they need. Those that implement them make more money and are successful, those that don’t will eventually fail. Evolution at work.

    If you truly believed in what you said in your first paragraph, and acted accordingly, as well as your peers. Then this wouldn’t be a big issue. The fuss is because you and your peers aren’t just accepting that it is going to happen and getting on with it, you are pushing for more and more controls within our societies. If this wasn’t an issue in the media and in government on a daily basis, us skeptics could care less and would get on with our lives and not bother to fuss over people like yourself.

    And we would all live in a greener, prettier world, since all the CO2 helps the plants grow, even the plants on your farm Peter.

  337. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    Re #335, Dave, wrt Co2 this is from ’96 but it’s still good – http://www.radix.net/~bobg/faqs/scq.CO2rise.html

    Sid, you misunderstand, I’m of the resigned side not the (your shouting btw) WE HAVE DO SOMETHING NOW OR WE ARE ALL DOOMED. I’ll shout too: WE (HUMANITY) AREN’T GOING TO DO ANYTHING – get it? You’ve ‘won’ it’s likely what will happen will happen.

  338. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

    Fine then can everybody (not just you) shut up about and get on with our lives. And take the politics out fo the science so people like Steve can get the recognation for their good work like they deserve.

    And I’m not shouting. THe ones who are alarmist are shouting, I was playing the part (I’m not an alarmist, but I play one in post 337). If you found the shouting annoying, think how the rest of us feel to hear the shouting day in and day out from the alarmist camp.

  339. jae
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

    What is hillarious about the alarmist camp is that they continually try to outdo each other, so that the claims become more and more extreme, to the point of absurdity. All species gone in 100 years, etc., etc., etc. The net result of all this is that the public is rapidly losing faith in these guys. It’s happened many times before. The environmental movement is dying because of this crap.

  340. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 11:36 AM | Permalink

    I know your you’re too intelligent to run with the idea the rise in CO2 conc isn’t our doing, it is – EOS.

    Ok, back to the woodshed with you. I thought maybe you were ready to do something beside ad homs. Or perhaps it’s a reverse ad hom: “You’re so smart I don’t need to actually answer you.” Still it implies a claim that I’m morally deficient.

  341. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    re:#338 Peter,

    Normally I ignore messages which make citations without using them but I’ll make an exception in this case as a test.

    Indeed, atmospheric 14C, measured on tree rings, dropped by 2 to 2.5 % from about 1850 to 1954

    Why did C14 levels in tree rings only drop 2-2.5% in a hundred years and what does that imply about what we were discussing?

    The test is whether Peter Hearnden actually understands anything that he reads. (BTW, show your work).

  342. Spence_UK
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

    Comparing CO2 concs in the geological past with now is an apples and oragnes obfuscation. SO many things were different then (continents, ocean current, the sun) it makes no sense to compare then with now (especially given the above).

    If you believe the “forcing” paradigm, then the different sun, oceans, continents give a different “level” for the climate, but changes in CO2 should result in a forcing, and therefore an appropriate shift in temperature.

    Another way of asking the question, “when is a forcing not a forcing?” – answer, when it doesn’t suit your current argument.

    On a more serious note, I’d wonder if anyone has tested the output of a GCM for old geological settings, and see if it agrees with Peter’s hypothesis that earlier climate was immune to CO2 changes. Just punch in the old continental layout and a lower sun output, and 2 different CO2 levels, see what happens. I suspect we would still find the GCM predicts a remarkable sensitivity to CO2 levels.

  343. Lee
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

    ET:

    “Convince people to buy more normal 4 door, or two door coupes, instead of heavy luxury vehicles, the auto manufacturers will see this (as they did in the late 70′s) and design vehicles accordingly.”

    Removing the externality “subsidy” from the fuel-guzzling vehicles isn’t an appropriate thing to do?

    That’s really the heart of the argument; what are the external costs of those kind of decisions, who bears those external costs, and what can or should we do to properly internalize those costs. This is straying from the topic (the deviation is already on the table), but I think its worth offering that IMO, forcing internalization of excessive or disparately allocated external costs is a necessary function of government, precisely because markets cant deal with this well. I know thelibertarian ideal strongly disputes this; I’ll continue to work for the (values-driven, as all political beliefs are) political model I believe in. Vive le difference.

  344. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

    I’m not quite sure what your saying Lee, can’t follow the sentence structure.

    But the Gas Guzzler tax on less fuel efficient vehicles should support your political model, not work against it.

    As does the Subsidy for fuel efficient/hybrid/electric vehicles.

    In otherwords I have no idea what you mean when you say “Removing the externality “subsidy” from the fuel-guzzling vehicles…”

  345. jae
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 1:03 PM | Permalink

    Er, shouldn’t we have a demonstrated AGW problem before we start taxing and subdizing fuel-burning equipment? I sure don’t see proof of a problem, yet. The more I see, the less certain I am that there is a problem. The “scientists” who are trying to demonstrate the problem will not even archive their data. That, alone, shows that something is really rotten, relative to AGW. Can’t even get the data to show that the instrumental records mean anything!

  346. John A
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

    I’ll have to deal with these all at once:

    It seems to me you’re saying the present rise in CO2 is a natural feedback. Is that what you are saying?

    In the past CO2 has been a feedback warming. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t cause warming, nor that, atm, the rise in conc is a feedback effect. Indeed, it’s clear it isn’t a feedback effect, the evidence the present CO2 rise is anthropogenic in origin is absolutely solid and compelling.

    CO2 has never had any measureable feedback warming. Temperatures have fallen and then centuries later CO2 and methane declined.

    The evidence is that about 3% of the atmospheric CO2 comes from anthropogenic sources. What isn’t clear is that it makes any >difference to temperatures.

    Trying to control carbon dioxide (a futile exercise, but still…) is an attempt to modify future weather. CO2 is not “rocketing up”, it rising because of lots of factors of which man-made sources are but a small part.

    Roll on 400ppm. The more carbon dioxide, the more plant life and plant diversity, the more food will grow especially in marginal areas like semi-desert.

    Dave, really, don’t give me this else Hans will be at you as well :) . I know your you’re too intelligent to run with the idea the rise in CO2 conc isn’t our doing, it is – EOS. There is no need to argue this, you sceptics have better.

    Bill Connelley produced a troll article on Wikipedia where he claims that the rhetoric “the science is settled” is used by skeptics. Funnily enough, the only people I’ve seen use this phrase have been alarmists, never skeptics.

    Mathematicians have a term for this: “Proof by vehement assertion”

    Jae, you compare now with a time more like now (anytime in the recent past). Millions of years ago things WERE differnet. Do some geology, check out ocean current changes, the positions of the continets, the output of the sun. Millions of years ago was SO different to now you can make as direct or valid comparison.

    So of course were the laws of physics. They were radically different. In fact they appear to have been radically different just before the middle of the 20th Century. Apparently. Somehow the Earth does not appear to have noticed these changes.

    What of the Holocene Optimum 6000 years ago? It was warmer (3-4C warmer) and wetter, and what is now the Sahara was covered in marshes and rivers with hippos and crocodiles. Who wants to go back to that? But then of course, the laws of physics were different, so it doesn’t count.

  347. Mark
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    Apparently, John, future warming will work out to be drought, actually. At least, everyone in CO seems to blame the latest round of droughts (in the Springs) on GW. That we had record snow in the south last year and in the north this year is of no consequence.

    Mark

  348. Lee
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 2:01 PM | Permalink

    Sure, a tax based on fuel efficiency is one of the things that would work in that direction.

    My point is simply that to the extent that there are large external costs due to energy consumption, that we need to be moving in the direction of internalizing those costs.

    and jae, yes, the core of the issue is, what ARE those costs. This is compounded by the dificulty of determing net present value of uncertain future costs, or of making moral/values judgements of acceptable future uncertain risks and costs to pass on to our heirs, regardless of net present value. Yea, I’m probably being a bit pedantic; chalk it up to the fog of sleep deprivation.

    Just to clarify my position, at least in outline, since it seems I’m going to try to be around here for at least a while: I’m reasonably convinced on a number of grounds independent of the tree proxy record that AGW is happening and will be significant, I suspect that in time scales of the next few generations that its going to hurt a lot, I suspect that we wont do anything significant about it (either to prevent or to respond) until after it bites us (or our children, which IMO is the greater real threat and moral issue) in the butt, and I believe that even though it looks like a lost cause the issue is serious enough to be worth engaging.

    In outline form (and without taking the time to adress them; as soon as the call I’m waiting for comes in, I’m going home and going to sleep), my reasons for believing that AGW is happening / going to happen include: basic physics of greenhouse gasses as embodied among other things in the fact that we are currently a liveably warm planet;
    implications of the existence of amplifying feedback mechanisms as derived from the insolation-glaciation link and the fact that the changes in insolation alone are not sufficient for delta temps;
    implications from the ice core record that CO2 is a key player in amplifying feedback, derivations of 2xco2 sensitivities from past glacial-interglacial dynamics;
    the models (which are far from perfect or complete, but do embody best understanding of the system itself) and the fact that the boundaries they project are consistent with sensitivities derived from other methods and not consistent with observationsin the absense of anthropogenic inputs;
    that warming is happening from levels at or near observed maxima in previous records (either glacial proxy temps, or more recent proxy temps or descriptions) and not yet at equilibrium with a near certainty from observed heat fluxes of more warming to come;
    etc.

    None of these on their own is sufficient; taken together, with other such lines of evidence, they make a strong argument.

    My phone call is done; later, y’all, after some sleep.

  349. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    “that we need to be moving in the direction of internalizing those costs.”

    I don’t know where you live. Is Gas free there, or do you have a similar system to us in the US and where I am now (Canada) the more you use, the more you pay.

    That would be internalizing the costs.

    As to the rest

    “This is compounded by the dificulty of determing net present value of uncertain future costs, or of making moral/values judgements of acceptable future uncertain risks and costs to pass on to our heirs, regardless of net present value. ”

    This is the nub of the issue. You are convinced that it will be detrimental, and act accordingly. It could just as well be net beneficial.

    I don’t know whether it will be a net benefit, or a net loss, and I act accordingly. I think we should prepare to a degree and be adaptable (as humans naturally are) and look into the issue. But spending Billions, with a capital B to Trillions with a capital T on something that we just don’t know is irrational. Regardless of alarmist scenarios Humans will adapt, we will thrive, and we will grow, as will the plants and animals of our world. If the past has told us anything it is that warmer is better for life.

    It is easy to dismiss such alarmist scenarios like “in a hundred years only Antarctica will be habitable” Because this is plainly as ludicrous a statement as “I will flap my wings and fly to Australia”, or “Mann will release his data and methods willingly”

  350. jae
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    Lee: one question: How did the MWP occur (I hope you are not in denial of this FACT)?

  351. Lee
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    ET:

    If the cost per gallon does not adequately reflect the external cost, then the cost per 10 gallons, while 10 times as high, also imposes 10 times as much external cost is imposed.

    The actual amount paid is important, not just the fact that you pay linearly more if you buy more.

    jae:
    What caused the mideival temp bump? I don’t know, any more than I know what caused the cooling that followed it. A lot of things besides anthropogenic inputs drive ongoing variation in temperatures. WE know that ther eis noise in the system. We also are pretty damn sure that there have been consistent bounds on the excurions of the system, going back hundreds of thousands of years.

    What I do know is that temps now are comparable to then, possibly higher, and climbing. And that tems now are comparable to those in the interglacial plateaus/peaks observed in the ice cores, and climbing. Especially if you make an attempt to estimate equilibrium temps from the “heat intertia” in the system, I am convinced for the reasons outlined above that we ARE climbing above observed variation, whether or not we are there yet.

    BTW, the Holocene optimum (mentioned by JohnA above) was probably a result of peak insolation due to the Milankovich cycles (likely a continuation of the same trend that ended the last glacial), and due also to where the increased insolation impinged most greatly on the planet, also as a result of the cycles. From everything Ive read the evidence is that the planet was not uniformly warmer, that it certainly was warmer in some places, perhaps cooler in others, and overall, comparable to somewhat warmer than now. Note that there werent massive human economic and population centers aggregated along low-lying ocean coasts during that warming, either.

    Also, likely (almost certainly for the transition from glacial to interglacial) in part because the insolation effects were amplified by some mode of amplifying feedback; the delta-insolations alone arent enough to cause to observed temp differences in glacial-interglacials. AND the observed differences in local climates in the Holocene are not simply attributable to overall average warmer temps; the latitudinal destribution of the warming also moves with the cycles, and latitudinal shifts in warming is likely to shift weather patterns as well.

    Arguing from the Holocene Optimum that warmer is **necessarily** wetter and better only works if one discards as unimportant the other effects of the milankovich cycles on patterns of warming, as well as the absolute warming observed.

    And now, I *am* going to sleep.

  352. jae
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 3:44 PM | Permalink

    Lee: Hope you had a good rest. Now, how do you know that temperatures now are as high or higher than those in the MWP? First of all, how do you know what the temperatures are now, given that noone seems to be able to audit (reproduce) the SAT, because the “scientists” will not allow it? Second, just how accurate do you think the ice core data is, and what does it show?We still see evidence of glaciers retreating from areas that were settled durig the MWP. BTW, I sure hope the ice core data is more dependable than the tree ring data! Regarding ice core data and CO2, the studies I’m aware of show CO2 LAGGING temperature increases, e.g. http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/articles/V2/N8/C3.jsp

  353. Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

    so john A, are we debating the 97-3 natural vs antropogenic fallacy again??

    Antropogenic emission is accumulative because it’s a one way stream.
    Most natural CO2 emissions are fast metabolical cycles, the natural co2 flux value is based on biomass estimates in the first place.
    The annual amplitude has been fairly constant over the last 50 years, the antropogenic emissions did not:

    http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/vegetation.gif

  354. Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    Lee you cannot use glacial-interglacial apparent climate sensitivity in the current configuration, as the two significant remaining icecaps (greenland and antarctica) are waterbound and within the arctic circles and will be sitting there at least until the end of this century.

  355. Jack
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

    Paul Linsay asked me:
    But we are coming out of a Little Ice Age that ended in the mid 1600s, and continental glaciers are known to be retreating, so isn’t the increase in CO2 we are seeing now consistent with lag measured from ice cores? Why isn’t this exactly the transition that you describe?

    “Continental glaciation” refers to the glacial sheets that covered North America down to the latitude of present-day Chicago (or further, for some lobes, I believe). Totally different than the slight cooling of the LIA. The lag (which occurs for both cooling into a glacial epoch and for warming out of one) is probably — paleoclimate modelers aren’t certain — due to the release of CO2 by warming oceans and absorption by colder oceans. There are complicating factors, particularly the way that the biota respond, higher iron deposition because glacial epochs are colder, drier and dustier. There is a big PDF on the Internet somewheres — Google yields
    What Caused the Glacial / Interglacial Atmospheric CO2 Cycles?
    — that goes in depth into the attempt to model the full cyclical range of CO2 in the glacial/interglacial cycle. The problem that I remember that was of concern was that even though the models essentially capture the cycling, about the most amplitude they could generate in the CO2 atmospheric concentrations was 2/3 of the observed amplitude in the ice core data. I’d have to read it again to pin down where I derived that interpretation of the problem.

    Probably more info than you needed, but there you go.

  356. John Lish
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    #355 Hans my understanding is that although CO2 levels have risen, this isn’t cumulative in that if emissions were cut then you would see a fairly instantantious response in terms of the atmospheric concentration. So while the trend may be cumulative, the effect isn’t.

  357. jae
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 4:36 PM | Permalink

    Hans: Am I misunderstanding your graphs, or are the sinks keeping up with emissions?

  358. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

    Re 354, Hans, thanks for the posting and the link.

    However, when I follow a link to one of your graphs on your site, I usually end up saying bad words because your graphs contain far too little information.

    For the case in point, your graph at http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/vegetation.gif, what is “annual vegetation amplitude”? Amplitude of what? What units is the amplitude being measured in? How does it relate to “emissions”? What is the source of the data?

    These questions and more …

    w.

  359. TCO
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 9:08 PM | Permalink

    How well do we understand the Milankovich cycles and what causes ice ages and the lot? The RC guys get all faux innued when asked about this. Do we really have it all down? Is there any possibility that it’s just a chaotic system with some strange attractors that occasionally wanders to other areas of temperary behaviour?

  360. Lee
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 9:20 PM | Permalink

    re 360,
    I couldnt find my graphs quickly, but from memory, there is a pretty good correspondence in periodicity between Milankovich cycles and glaciations, but with some wierd phase relationships.

    My impression is that a causal relationship is widely accepted, perhaps largely because no one can think of a better mechanism, but pretty much no one is entirely willing to commit to it. The periodicity does argue against a random walk. And if one accepts the delta insolation as causal to glacial dynamics, one is driven to amplifying feedback. Come to think of it, even if one doesnt, one is driven to amplifying feedbacks, to turn whatever initial perturbatin happens into a larger change.

    And yes, that was handwaving, but with at least a bit of information contained in the shape of the broader sweeps of the forearms…

  361. Lee
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 9:44 PM | Permalink

    re 355: “you cannot use glacial-interglacial apparent climate sensitivity in the current configuration…”

    Good thing, too. If one naively atributes all the change to CO2 forcing, one arrives at a sensitivy somewhere around 11C per 2xCO2, if I’m remembering correctly. Something absurdly big, anyway.

    I’m rushed, but several things fall out of the glacial analysis. First, the importance of amplifying feedbacks (plural). BTW, even though albedo feedbacks from diminishing ice/snow in general can clearly not be anywhere near as important as at the end of a glacial, it is not absent; the arctic sea and arctic permafrosts are still connected to the climate.

    It also points to the necessity of a coupler between northern and southern hemisphere climates, and so far as I am aware, no one has been able to explain that without invoking CO2 forcing.

    And (I’m still looking into this) my understanding is that it creates a retrospective source of data for the models, to allow one to try to estimate sensitivity from them. My understanding is that when one applies our current best quantitative treatments of those processes to the glaciations and the various feebacks, one finds that one can’t be generally consistent with them in the absense of CO2 feedbacks. And that the amplitude of the CO2 forcing one finds is consistent with those arrrived from forcing the models to be generally consistent with 20th century data.

    Oh, and can someone point out to jae why a lag between temp and CO2 is NOT fatal to the idea of a CO2-mediated amplifying feedback? I dont have the energy or time for it.

  362. TCO
    Posted Apr 26, 2006 at 10:32 PM | Permalink

    Lee:

    It’s not worth it. Stick to guys like Steve. Engaging with jae will tire you out and not push any truth. It would be like me trying to bang a clue into Lynn at RC’s head.

  363. Tom Brogle
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 1:06 AM | Permalink

    Lee
    “It also points to the necessity of a coupler between northern and southern hemisphere climates, and so far as I am aware, no one has been able to explain that without invoking CO2 forcing”
    But the Antarctic is COOOLING.

  364. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 1:32 AM | Permalink

    Re #343

    I’d wonder if anyone has tested the output of a GCM for old geological settings, and see if it agrees with Peter’s hypothesis that earlier climate was immune to CO2 changes.

    A nice example of someone putting words into someone elses mouth. I did not say that.

  365. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 1:43 AM | Permalink

    Re #347, John there a so many faults in your I really don’t have the time to deal with them. Read what Hans says for a start – he’s right! Next try the FAQ I linked to and then (I’ve lost count of thenumber of times you do this) stop misrepresenting me. I didn’t say anything about the physics being different in the past – you put those words into my mouth. I DID say the world was different then – for a start do a bit of background reading on the effects of changes of ocean currents in the geological past.

    Finally, John, asserting things doesn’t make you right either.

  366. John A
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 2:12 AM | Permalink

    John there a so many faults in your I really don’t have the time to deal with them. Read what Hans says for a start – he’s right! Next try the FAQ I linked to and then (I’ve lost count of thenumber of times you do this) stop misrepresenting me. I didn’t say anything about the physics being different in the past – you put those words into my mouth.

    Actually I was being sarcastic about the laws of physics. The fact is that alarmists such as yourself will deny the whole of geological history on planet Earth in order to make the case that because a small fraction of carbon dioxide emissions are of man-made origin, therefore the climate we have is unprecedented.

    When pushed you say that climate is warmer than it has been – except it isn’t. Then the climate is supposed to be warming at an unprecedented rate – except it isn’t. Then we’ll have stuff about inter-annual variability, and species extinction and when you’ve finally exhausted all the possibilities, you’ll accuse me of being blind to the reality that only you can see. Maybe you’ll break into ALL CAPS FOR EMPHASIS and tell me to read the Internet in its entirety.

    The fallacy of Dr Erren is to assume that carbon dioxide from man-made sources is chemically different from the (much larger) natural flux and its somehow more persistent. How exactly? Are the molecules marked with a special code that says “man-made – not for use by plants”?

    There is undoubtedly a small component of carbon dioxide enrichment of the atmosphere from man-made sources. The question is – does it matter? As far as climate is concerned, no-one can tell that climate is any different from natural variation. As far as the biosphere is concerned, more carbon dioxide is unquestionably a good thing. What we do have are the projections of climate models that cannot replicate the past and cannot project even the near future without some really large error bars.

  367. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 3:20 AM | Permalink

    John A, the extra atmospheric CO2 can be shown by two strong lines of evidence to be anthropogenic. 1, by calculating how much CO2 there should be from how much fossil fuel has been burnt (there should be more, a lot must have been sequestratred) AND 2, by the changing isotopic signature of atmospheric CO2 (it is ‘different’). I really think this is a point not worth arguing. The extra CO2 (the rise from 280ppm to 380 odd) is anthropogenic. As far as I’m concerned it’s eos.

    As to 97/3 – this is the answer http://www.grida.no/climate/vital/13.htm . Note the vast but balanced (well, not quite, the human emission sequestration going on tips it a little) two way natural exchanges, but the one way human peturbation. The sinks can’t cope. About 3% of all emissions but the vast proportion of the increase.

  368. Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 4:13 AM | Permalink

    RE #360 & #361
    L. G. Bell published three papers in which he postulated that “…it was the amount of cloud cover and the thermal inertia of the ocean that controlled the Earth’s temperature. The control system went into oscillation 37 myr BP when Antartica started moving into its present position…”
    He also stated in his conclusion that ” precession and nutation cycles do have an effect on glaciation but they do not determine the period of glacial/interglacial cycles.”
    Here are the references:

    1) Theor. Appl. Climatol.: World ocean temperature lag time: an analysis based on glaciation data the last two million years. 73, 243-247 (2002).

    2) Theor. Appl. Climatol.: Ice Age mystery: a proposed theory for the cause of long term climate change. 74, 235-244 (2003).

    3) Theor. Appl. Climatol.: A 30,000 yr precession-related cycle affecting climate. 74, 245-253 (2003).

  369. John Lish
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 4:21 AM | Permalink

    #368 – Peter, lets not overclaim things here. First you can say the major proportion of the CO2 rise is anthropogenic. Second, as I pointed out in #357, CO2 isn’t cumulative as Hans Erren stated. If you reduced CO2 emissions, you would see a reduction in the atmospheric concentrations. Its a dynamic system Peter.

  370. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 4:51 AM | Permalink

    Re #370, john, why imply I would deny that? Why do you think I’d like to see emission cut? If emissions stopped completely tomorrow (lets not overclaim things, lets just say ‘which isn’t going to happen short of a catastrophy’) CO2 conc would start to fall at some point.

    The debate, as I understand it, is over how long this (erm, here I’m moving towards the ‘once the fossil fuel age is over/emissions cut how soon will CO2 concs ‘decline to previous levels’ question) would take. I don’t think CO2 would return to pre industrial concs overnight, it seems the times scales are decades/centuries perhaps longer. A lot depends, again as I understand it, upon how high concs get, how much change to the carbon cycle there is, that kind of thing.

  371. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 5:21 AM | Permalink

    Er,

    May I interrupt here?

    Emission of CO2 could be considered as a sign of life.

    Earth’s mammalian population (humans inclueded), as carbon based life forms, produce CO2.

    Given a closed system, increased mammalians will produce more heat – simple observable fact.

    Hence global warming is but the signal that more mammals are on the earth.

    And the vegetable kingdom reacts in kind.

    Is not life wonderful?

    And Peter Hearndon wants to cull it.

  372. John A
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 5:40 AM | Permalink

    John A, the extra atmospheric CO2 can be shown by two strong lines of evidence to be anthropogenic. 1, by calculating how much CO2 there should be from how much fossil fuel has been burnt (there should be more, a lot must have been sequestratred) AND 2, by the changing isotopic signature of atmospheric CO2 (it is “different’).

    So what? There is some change in the isotopic concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere because of fossil fuel burning.

    I really think this is a point not worth arguing. The extra CO2 (the rise from 280ppm to 380 odd) is anthropogenic. As far as I’m concerned it’s eos.

    No there’s where your problem is – you jump straight from changing isotopic concentration to the total rise of 100ppm being anthropogenic – that part is simply false.

    As to 97/3 – this is the answer http://www.grida.no/climate/vital/13.htm . Note the vast but balanced (well, not quite, the human emission sequestration going on tips it a little) two way natural exchanges, but the one way human peturbation. The sinks can’t cope. About 3% of all emissions but the vast proportion of the increase.

    Again you commit the fallacy that human emissions make any difference to the total (they are a small faction even on that picture.

    But the bigger problem is believing in the nice pretty picture in the first place. None of those numbers up and down to the atmosphere are fixed. Both natural sources and sinks fluctuate.

    And the even stronger question. So what if carbon dioxide is rising? Is it, on balance, a bad thing? Even if it was, what could we menaingfully do about it?

  373. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 5:45 AM | Permalink

    #372, “Is not life wonderful? And Peter Hearndon wants to cull it.”

    Louis, for heavens sake :( . I want nothing of the sort, I’ve not stated anything of the sort here please desist from such an unpleasant and baseless allegation of me.

    The rise of atmospheric CO2 con from pre industrial levels to present levels isn’t cause by mammals respiring. It’s caused by buring fossil fuels – eos. Animals are part of the carbon cycle, basically we don’t add or take away when we respire.

  374. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 5:53 AM | Permalink

    Ok, show us where the graphic is wrong, lets see your interpretation, numbers, timescales. Tell us how much of the rise in CO2 from 280ppm to 380ppm odd you think is due to us.

  375. John A
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 6:00 AM | Permalink

    The rise of atmospheric CO2 con from pre industrial levels to present levels isn’t cause by mammals respiring. It’s caused by buring fossil fuels – eos. Animals are part of the carbon cycle, basically we don’t add or take away when we respire.

    Only if you ignore all other sources of carbon dioxide and ignore the lessons of the ice cores regarding the true relationship between temperature and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

  376. Jeff Norman
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

    Re #362 wherein Lee said:

    It also points to the necessity of a coupler between northern and southern hemisphere climates, and so far as I am aware, no one has been able to explain that without invoking CO2 forcing.

    How about the Sun?

  377. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 10:14 AM | Permalink

    “If the cost per gallon does not adequately reflect the external cost,”

    Sure thing and you (or someone) will be able to precisely quantify that when?

    I don’t mean what YOU think the external costs, because that’s a philisohpical discusion, I mean they need to be accurately determined in a precise way that standard accounting rules can be applied. BEcause you see, your philisophical costs can never be met, we increase the price of gas by 18.25 USD to cover your philisophical externalities, thewn you just raise the bar, because paying off a bill in a ledger is not your desire.

    MOre importantly how do we apply these costs to your ephemeral externalities? Show me direct damage I have done and I’ll pay the bill. Trace the CO2 molecules from my car, to some proposed sequence events that finalizes in a direct harm to someone or something.

  378. Jack
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    For John A.:

    In the figure below, initially ignore the anthropogenic arrows at the side. Add up the sources to the atmosphere (the up arrows). What do you get? Then add the sinks from the atmosphere (the down arrows). What do you get?

    Surprised? Search Google images with the phrase “CO2 cycle”, and you will find other such labeled images. Add up their numbers. See if you can find a significant difference from this one.

    Bottom line: the reason atmospheric CO2 concentrations are rising is human activities.

  379. Jack
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 10:54 AM | Permalink

    For John A.

    Sorry, the preview shows the image, but not the posting. Here’s the URL:

    http://oceanography.geol.ucsb.edu/~gs4/W2005/Lectures/Climate/Carbon%20Cycle/co2.cycle.p.jpg


    Carbon cycle image

  380. Mark
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    And we know, of course, that all possible variables are considered…
    Mark

  381. Lee
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

    re. 378

    ET; I never said (or I think implied) that the externalities can be perfectly quantified. Hell, I’m engaged in a debate here on the science behind whether there are externalities and what they are likely to be. It is precisely because of the uncertainties that this becomes a policy issue rahte than a straightforward technological assessment. Lets not forget that if you are wrong, the people who are going to be most negatively and immediately impacted, the people bearing the risk, are to a substantial extent not the same as the people contributing most of the carbon. Those distributions of potential serious costs, and the uncertainties, are part of the policy issue. Your policy prescription seems to be: “do nothing unless we are 100% certain.” Fair enough. I disagree, on both the proper consideration of those policy inputs and on some of the science.

    Insurers deal with the present cost of uncertain future events all the time, and the insurance industry is starting to weigh in on this issue. I suspect that will start to bring some market-derived information to the table and lead to some emerging policy clarity over the next decade or so.

    BTW, my “desire” is to reduce the risks that our actions in building a comfortable and successful technological society, and in trying to bring others into it (both laudable) might come at the cost of dispossing tens or hundreds of millions of inhabitants of low-lying lands. IMO, this is a real but not certain ris), and if it happens, would certainly cause the deaths of a substantial percentage of them (think of the impacts on refugees on that scale, even spread over a couple centuries). I admit that isnt certain, and the uncertaintly makes the policy discussions very difficult and attaches risk to the decisions. But it is a serious risk, and uncertainty and risk-benefit analysis is part of almost all policy.

    I don’t want to cut the legs out from under out technological society and its tremendous benefits, and that means we can’t impose huge externality taxes, or force externality costs into the markets through insurance requirements or some other such mecahnisms, in any kind of short term. I *do* want us to be doing the relatively easy things now, and be looking at how to move toward a society that can maintain the benefits whiel also adequately addressing the risks.

    Your implication that I have some covert goal is simply not worth response.

    And finally: As a young child I lived in a housing tract that used septic tanks and leach fields for each home. Goundwater in the area was starting to show come contamination, and on occasion there was starting to be surface seapage, includign at the playground of the local school, which was also attended by kids from the other side who already had a sewer system.

    Could any of that be attributed to any single septic system? Any single system, or even a number of them below the number that was there, would not ahve been a problem. In fact, even with the massing, it was difficuot to assess particular problem sto aprticular sources; the grounwater and surfacee ffects depedned on quirks oflocal geography. So no indiviudal could be said to be at fualt. Nonetheless, there was a serious public health problem causesd by the massed effect, and it made perfect moral and policy sense to put in a sewer system with required cost contributions from every homeowner in that tract. Because we all WERE contributing to the problem, even if it could not be attributed to the effluent running out any particular outlet pipe.

    This is “philosophical” and off topic for the science, but I that that the argument that diffuse effects don’t properly attach to policy responsibilities is wrong, and needs to be responded to.

  382. Lee
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 11:29 AM | Permalink

    re 377:

    “How about the Sun? ”

    Problem is, from what I’ve read, assuming that the Milankovich cycles are the ultimate drivers, we find in many cases a net slight increase in global insolation, an increase in the northern hemisphere, and a DECREASE in southern hemisphere insolation.

    So why would the southern hemisphere warm in concert with the northern? There must be some coupling mechanism between northern and southern hemispheres.

    Heat transport is an obvious possibility, but my understanding is that no one has managed to come up with a mechanism to transfer sufficient heat to maintain that coupling, and in fact that no one has been able to come up with any mechanism that works without invoking CO2 effects.

  383. Lee
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

    I John A an official representative of this site? I know that he does tech work for the site, but is his voice considered part of Steve’s blog’s position, or is he just another participant? It seems to be true that he edits Steve’s posts. I saw him saying he had done, just a couple days ago.

  384. Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    re 367:

    The fallacy of Dr Erren is to assume that carbon dioxide from man-made sources is chemically different from the (much larger) natural flux and its somehow more persistent. How exactly? Are the molecules marked with a special code that says “man-made – not for use by plants”?

    Hey John, suddenly no more “Hans” but “Dr Erren” ? You know I only hold an MSc (however in Geophysics).
    Your argument is a straw man because I never agued that carbon dioxide from man made sources in chemically different. The beauty of diffusion is that co2 is all put in the atmosperic reservoir some is put back in the sinks. So the plant use CO2 from the atmosphere but not everything is used. You can see the bookkeeping in this graph:
    http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/sink2002.gif
    Every year there is put more in the atmosphere by man than is taken out.
    The total length of the column is what is put in by man using fossil fuel, the blue part is what is found as addition in the atmosphere and the green part is the sink bit.

    Now you may argue, “but there is a lot of breathing from animals and plants that is also adding CO2 to the atmosphere”, I agree but the carbon that is used for that is coming from plants that use photosynthesis to extract carbon out of the air, so that is sustained carbon.

    My favourite analogy is the wave pool, here a huge pump moves the water round, but apart for some waves the pool level doesn’t change, if I open a tap on the side to add a trickle of water the level will rise and the water in the pump will be a mix op tapwater and original pool water, if I add a little leak to the pool, the leakwater flux will be proportional to the water level, exactly what is observed with CO2, the sinks are increasing.
    http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/co2fick.xls

    Now you may argue, “but I’ve seen ice age graphs where co2 follows temperature”, yes correct that is the equilibruim level which is 10ppm per degree, which would increase the CO2 level by 6 ppm since 1860, not sufficient for the observed increase of 80 ppm.

    You also may argue, “but i’ve seen graphs where CO2 follows recent temperature”, you mean perhaps this one: http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/co2lt_en.gif
    That is a mechanism which essentially is only demonstrating that the sink speed is a function of temperature, low sink speed with high temperature, fast sink speed with low temperature.

  385. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 2:55 PM | Permalink

    if I open a tap on the side to add a trickle of water the level will rise and the water in the pump will be a mix op tapwater and original pool water, if I add a little leak to the pool, the leakwater flux will be proportional to the water level, exactly what is observed with CO2, the sinks are increasing.

    The trouble is, Hans, that there is also the possibility that the pool has overflow drains (like in bathtubs) or low water switches which kick in when the level gets too high or too low.

    That’s what those who talk about humans affecting climate generally want to pretend doesn’t exist. All you have to do is look at the huge size of the sinks to have doubts that the pre-human equilibrium was so fragile that it can’t hand 1% or smaller changes. Yes, there probably has to be a couple of degrees warming before some of them kick in strongly, but they’re there, never doubt. The pool isn’t going to overflow and it isn’t going to dry up.

  386. Lee
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

    Here’s a better analogy, Hans,

    Take your pool, with inputs and drains, and then dump in hose that is producing water with a bit of food coloring.

    Observe that the pool level increases.

    Measure the amount of water coming from the hose, and then observe that the amount of extra water in the pool is LESS than the total amount of water that came from the hose.

    Deduce that in the state with the hose running, the drain is removing more water than non-hose inputs,a dn therefore some of the extra water we are putting in along with all the “natural” water, and that what is left over is what is filling the pool. This is a simple subtraction problem, and does not require knowledge of the non-hose inputs and outputs. The answer demonstrates that every bit of the extra water in the pool, plus some, is attributable to the volume being added by the hose above and beyodn “natural” filling.

    Then measure the amount of food coloring of the pool, and observe that the color of the pool is what one would expect based on the amount of water added to the pool, minus the amount being lost to net draining. This is further confirmation of the source of the water that is causing the pool to fill.

    And even better, measure the local concentrations of the food coloring, and note that it is greater on the side of the pool where the hose is, and lower on the other side, and that the gradient matches what we know about diffusion and mixing in the pool.

    And then (apparently) argue with a straight face that the hose isn’t in fact causing the filling of the pool.

  387. Lee
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

    re 386:

    DAve, fo course its nto going to drain of “overflow”

    What it is going to do is reach a new equilibrium, higher than where it was before. Where that new equilibrium will be, of course, is precisely what the discussion is about.

    There is a lot that can be said about the duration and possible or probable limiting factors on the CO2 rise, on its possible or probable effects, on amplifying and limiting feedback mechanisms, and so on. But to argue, as some here are still doing, that the substantial increase we observe in CO2 is not due to the hose we humans have turned on, in the face of the available evidence, seems to me to be disingeneous at best.

  388. Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 3:17 PM | Permalink

    re 387:

    That’s my annual bookkeeping graph
    http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/sink2002.gif

    hose water: column height
    pool increase: blue
    pool sink: green

  389. Mark
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

    Uh, I’m sorry, but I’ve never heard of any chemical process that allows humans and animals to “create” CO2 from breathing. If I’m not mistaken, the CO2 that we breathe out was already in the air. All the process of respiration does is to take out oxygen, so the result is less oxygen, not more CO2. In other words, respiration is a net zero contribution to atmospheric CO2. Unless there is something else going on in them thar lungs we all have?

    Mark

  390. Lee
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

    is that g’tonnes of fossil carbon?

    Looks to me like its saying that sinks are increasing enough to deal with part, but far from all, of the increasing emissions. That’s what I said. If I’m interpreting your unlabled graph correctly, it shows a net contribution to atmospheric CO2 by anthropogenic sources.

  391. John Lish
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 3:44 PM | Permalink

    #391 – true otherwise atmospheric CO2 concentration would be increasing faster than they currently are. I don’t understand why this is a point of argument.

  392. Lee
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 3:46 PM | Permalink

    re 390:

    Oxidative respiration is, roughly speaking:
    CH (in various configurations) + O2 becomes CO2 + H2O. So yes, respiration does produce CO2.

    Breathing allows us to take in the O2 and get rid of the CO2. So yes, we ‘create” CO2 from carbohydrates and oxygen, and breathe it out.

    Waht is true is taht this carbon is cycling in biological time. The Plants fix carbon into carbohydrates by gettign the carbon from CO2, We eat teh carbohydrates,adn retun the CO2. So, this is a net wash over moderate time periods. However, the rates of fixation and respiration (or combustion, which does the same thing) can matter because they can affect how much carbon is tied up in biomass at any one time.

  393. Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 3:57 PM | Permalink

    re 391:

    indeed but IPCC carboncycle software calculates absolute decreasing sinks (saturating sinks) for the 21th century, which is contrary to present observations.

    So given the (unrealistic) SRES _emission_ scenarios, the resulting atmospheric _concentration_ is even more unrealistic. So the wre stabilisation scenarios are unrealistic.
    http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/124.htm

  394. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 4:30 PM | Permalink

    re:#388 Well, so far we agree, there will be a new equilibrium (or rather a moving equilibrium which will never be actually reached.) But will it be limited by movement into the deep ocean or will a large part of the movement toward equilibrium be from increased biomass and bicarbonate runoff? And will the deep-ocean movement be stifled by ocean current changes or will the CO2 movement increase (it has so far.)

    And more importantly, how will the CO2 levels interact with temperature. I believe that if temperatures increase very much, they will will cause large changes in cloud cover which will stop the temperature rise, leaving a greatly improved situation for humans and wildlife alike.

  395. Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 4:44 PM | Permalink

    given the CO2 ratio ocean/air of 38000/730 you need a huge increase in the ocean to move the equilibrium significantly (IMHO). So my equilibrium value is 290ppm + (temperature_increase_ since_pre_industrial_times)x10ppm

    http://www.bom.gov.au/info/climate/change/gallery/images/9.jpg

  396. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 27, 2006 at 5:37 PM | Permalink

    What are you talking about Hans? The ratio you give has noting to do with it. The deep ocean could take up many times the present atmospheric concentration without batting an eyelid, so to speak. But it mixes slowly. And the mixing happens as a bulk flow, some currents moving down and others moving up. So the only question is the relative ratios of CO2 in the two streams. Currently more CO2 rises than falls in these streams (though there is a net sink in the oceans because of dead matter and shells falling directly to the deeps.) But if the atmospheric CO2 concentration continues to rise, thus increasing the concentration of CO2 in the surface waters, this will change and the ocean will be a net sink of CO2 by current transport.

  397. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 28, 2006 at 8:25 AM | Permalink

    “I never said (or I think implied) that the externalities can be perfectly quantified.”

    Yet you want to starting passing the costs now.

    THat was my point. You (or someone) quantifies the externalities, then we can charge for them as a “tax” in gasoline or something.

    Until then if we don’t know then we shouldn’t be paying for it.

    Hey, it could even be a net benefit, which means I should get a rebate.

    But this is the problem Lee, the “externalities” as you call them are all from perspective. There is no way to quantify them, hence no way to pay for them, hence no way to calculate the economic impact.

  398. TCO
    Posted Apr 28, 2006 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

    That’s stupid, ET.

  399. Steve Bloom
    Posted Apr 28, 2006 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

    Re #395: Dave, two words for you regarding the Iris Effect: Completely discredited. Lindzen has been multiply nailed on both theory and observations (wet upper troposphere). But just out of curiosity, if there’s a mechanism establishing an upper limit on temps regardless of forcings, how do you explain the numerous instances of past temps considerably in excess of the current range? Recall that glacial periods such as the one we’re in the midst of now are actually rather rare and tend to be brief (as these things go), and that the planet has been ice-free more often than not in the last couple hundred million years.

  400. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Apr 28, 2006 at 12:28 PM | Permalink

    Here is what Lindzen has to say about the Iris Effect in 2005:

    “First, one can attempt to observe how clouds behave under varying temperatures. Given present data, this is by no means easy to do with any confidence. However, in a paper with some colleagues at NASA, we attempted it and discovered what we referred to as the Iris Effect wherein the upper level cirrus clouds associated with a cumulus tower contracted with increased temperature, providing a very strong negative climate feedback sufficient to drive the response to a doubling of CO2 well below 1C (Lindzen, Chou and Hou, 200013). There were a flurry of hastily prepared papers14 that appeared almost immediately claiming (incorrectly in our view15) errors in our study, and in the environmental literature, our work was quickly associated with the word, discredited (See for example Hansen, 200316). (The word, discredited, has come to mean in the environmental literature that the reader should avoid considering such a possibility; it does not seem to mean that there is anything demonstrably wrong with the discredited result.) Our paper implied that satellite measurements in the 1990′s should show anomalously high infrared cooling relative to the 1980′s compared to what large models predicted. This was confirmed in several papers, but each of these papers attempted (incorrectly again in our view) to show that there must have been some other reason for this17. None of this should have been surprising in retrospect. When, in 2003, the draft of the US National Climate Plan urged high priority for improving our knowledge of climate sensitivity, it appears that an NRC review panel was critical of this priortization, urging prioritization instead for broader support for numerous groups to study the impacts of the putative warming. One is tempted to suggest that the NRC panel was more interested in spreading the wealth than in finding an answer.”

    13 R.S. Lindzen, M.-D. Chou, and A.Y. Hou (2001) Does the Earth have an adaptive infrared iris? Bull. Amer. Met. Soc. 82, 417-432.
    14 Hartmann, D. L., and M. L. Michelsen, 2002: No evidence for iris. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 83, 249–254.
    Del Genio, A.D., and W. Kovari, 2002 Climatic properties of tropical precipitating convection under varying environmental conditions. J. Climate, 15, 2597-2615.
    Fu, Q., Baker, M., and Hartman, D. L.: Tropical cirrus and water vapor: an effective Earth infrared iris feedback? Atmos. Chem. Phys., 2, 31–37, 2002.
    Lin, B., B. Wielicki, L. Chambers, Y. Hu, and K.-M. Xu, 2002: The iris hypothesis: A negative or positive cloud feedback? J. Climate, 15, 3–7.
    Lin, B., T. Wong, B. Wielicki, and Y. Hu, 2004: Examination of the decadal tropical mean ERBS nonscanner radiation data for the iris hypothesis. J. Climate, 17, 1239-1246.
    15 Lindzen, R.S., M.-D. Chou, and A.Y. Hou (2002) Comments on “No evidence for iris.” Bull. Amer. Met. Soc., 83, 1345–1348
    Chou, M.-D., R.S. Lindzen, and A.Y. Hou (2002a) Impact of Albedo Contrast between Cirrus and Boundary-Layer Clouds on Climate Sensitivity. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 2, 99-101.
    Chou, M.-D., R.S. Lindzen, and A.Y. Hou (2002b) Comments on “The Iris hypothesis: A negative or positive cloud feedback?” J. Climate, 15, 2713-2715.
    Chou, M.-D., and R.S. Lindzen, 2004: Comments on “Examination of the decadal tropical mean ERBS nonscanner radiation data for the iris hypothesis.” J. Climate, 18, 2123-2127.
    16 Hansen, J. 2003. Can we defuse the global warming time bomb? Natural Science, posted Aug. 1, 2003. This is the text of a presentation Hansen made to the Federal Council on Environmental Quality on June 12, 2003. A shorter version was published in Scientific American. Hansen, J. 2004. Defusing the global warming time bomb. Sci. Amer. 290, no. 3, 68-77. However, this last did not refer to “discredited’ work.
    17 Chen, J., B.E. Carlson, and A.D. Del Genio, 2002: Evidence for strengthening of the tropical general circulation in the 1990s. Science, 295, 838-841.
    Wielicki, B.A., T. Wong, et al, 2002: Evidence for large decadal variability in the tropical mean radiative energy budget. Science, 295, 841-844.

    From UNDERSTANDING COMMON CLIMATE CLAIMS
    (THIS IS A DRAFT COPY OF A PAPER THAT WILL APPEAR IN THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE 2005 ERICE MEETING OF THE WORLD FEDERATION OF SCIENTISTS ON GLOBAL EMERGENCIES)
    RICHARD S. LINDZEN
    Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  401. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 28, 2006 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

    re:#400 Notwithstanding Doug’s defence of Lindzen in #401, I said nothing about the “Iris Effect” and wasn’t even thinking about it when writing that post. The “Iris Effect” is/was one possible example of how increased temperatures could affect cloud cover, but certainly not the only one, and if it has been refuted, which I’m not certain it has been, would have been refuted, not for general problems with High Temps => Higher humidity => more clouds, but for particular problems with Lindzen’s formulation / theory.

  402. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Apr 28, 2006 at 7:29 PM | Permalink

    Re 395, Steve, you’ve been posting on this site long enough to know that saying something like

    Dave, two words for you regarding the Iris Effect: Completely discredited. Lindzen has been multiply nailed on both theory and observations (wet upper troposphere).

    without a citation of any kind to back up your claim is just going to get you laughed at again.

    If you have citations to back up your claim that Lindzen is “completely discredited”, by all means, let us know. Otherwise … don’t bother posting. You know this, and should not have to be reminded.

    w.

  403. Pat Frank
    Posted Apr 28, 2006 at 8:37 PM | Permalink

    #403, Lindzen has complained about being shut out by editors, who for months delayed his responses to critics, thus allowing an uncountered perception that his work had been “discredited.” You can view his lecture here , and he also described what amounts to persecution in an April 2006 WSJ opinion article.

    Lindzen’s comments about the punishment of scientists who question climate alarmism are especially revealing and damning, lending serious substance to the equation of climate alarmism to Lysenkoism.

    Here’s what he wrote:

    So how is it that we don’t have more scientists speaking up about this junk science? It’s my belief that many scientists have been cowed not merely by money but by fear. An example: Earlier this year, Texas Rep. Joe Barton issued letters to paleoclimatologist Michael Mann and some of his co-authors seeking the details behind a taxpayer-funded analysis that claimed the 1990s were likely the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year in the last millennium. Mr. Barton’s concern was based on the fact that the IPCC had singled out Mr. Mann’s work as a means to encourage policy makers to take action. And they did so before his work could be replicated and tested–a task made difficult because Mr. Mann, a key IPCC author, had refused to release the details for analysis. The scientific community’s defense of Mr. Mann was, nonetheless, immediate and harsh. The president of the National Academy of Sciences–as well as the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union–formally protested, saying that Rep. Barton’s singling out of a scientist’s work smacked of intimidation.

    All of which starkly contrasts to the silence of the scientific community when anti-alarmists were in the crosshairs of then-Sen. Al Gore. In 1992, he ran two congressional hearings during which he tried to bully dissenting scientists, including myself, into changing our views and supporting his climate alarmism. Nor did the scientific community complain when Mr. Gore, as vice president, tried to enlist Ted Koppel in a witch hunt to discredit anti-alarmist scientists–a request that Mr. Koppel deemed publicly inappropriate. And they were mum when subsequent articles and books by Ross Gelbspan libelously labeled scientists who differed with Mr. Gore as stooges of the fossil-fuel industry.

    Sadly, this is only the tip of a non-melting iceberg. In Europe, Henk Tennekes was dismissed as research director of the Royal Dutch Meteorological Society after questioning the scientific underpinnings of global warming. Aksel Winn-Nielsen, former director of the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization, was tarred by Bert Bolin, first head of the IPCC, as a tool of the coal industry for questioning climate alarmism. Respected Italian professors Alfonso Sutera and Antonio Speranza disappeared from the debate in 1991, apparently losing climate-research funding for raising questions.

  404. Terry
    Posted Apr 28, 2006 at 9:16 PM | Permalink

    Are we trying to set a record for the longest thread?

    Can I help?

  405. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 28, 2006 at 11:13 PM | Permalink

    re:#405 I certainly pity the person who comes into this thread from the top and decides to read it all. I tried to talk Willis into begging Steve for a new thread, but it doesn’t seemed to have happened yet. If we could just talk Steve in to posting 5 new threads a day….

  406. John A
    Posted Apr 29, 2006 at 1:01 AM | Permalink

    To be honest, I haven’t locked the thread because it has so much interesting science in it. If there’s a scientific consensus to lock it, then I’ll do so.

  407. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 29, 2006 at 4:54 AM | Permalink

    I think that locking and continuing is a good idea – go here to continue with back-reference there. Now locked.

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