RMS and Sulphate Emissions

I had nothing to do with the Swindle presentation, and by and large the issues presented in Swindle are ones that I have not discussed here. I’m discussing these issues merely because it’s in the news.

A few days ago, I discussed the accusation by RMS and the 37 profs that Swindle had not used Hansen global data and that the 1940-mid 1960s decline in Swindle was greater than in Hansen data. As shown here, these claims were incorrect; given the demand by RMS and the 37 profs for due diligence, I expressed surprise that they would have made an allegation which could be shown to be invalid with minimal investigation.

A similar situation is discussed here in their claims about the course of sulphate emission, where the claim as articulated in the RMS letter is readily shown to be inconsistent with the discussion in the recent IPCC AR4 Second Draft, which was available at the time.

In their complaint about Swindle’s discussion of the mid-20th century temperature decline, RMS and the 37 profs objected that Swindle failed to discuss the theory that increased sulphate aerosol emissions over-rode the impact of CO2 in the period of decline, and that clean-up of sulphate emissions in the 1980s eliminated this offset.

The OFCOM code requires that there be no misrepresentation of “facts or views”. RMS said that the failure to mention the sulphate theory was a misrepresentation of the “scientific evidence”. There’s an interesting legal issue in the change of wording here – the regulation refers to “facts and views”, while the complaint refers to “scientific evidence”.

Is there a difference? Lawyers pay attention to such details and are governed both by the letter of the law and the letter of the complaint. While this sort of distinction is not relevant to scientific discussion, it may well prove relevant to any hearings that are ultimately held on this complaint.

In terms of scientific disclosure, as I’ve noted before, I firmly believe that scientists are obliged to disclose adverse results and, for example, would welcome initiative by RMS and the 37 profs to investigate the withholding of adverse verification r2 statistics, censored bristlecone results and things like that in a study that continues to be cited in the U.K. insurance industry, as John A recently observed in connection with Lloyds of London.

But let’s turn instead to the RMS letter. In a legal complaint about inaccuracies in Swindle, one would expect meticulous accuracy, but once again in their statements about sulphates, RMS and the 37 profs make claims in their complaint that are inaccurate according to the recent IPCC AR4 [Second Draft which was available at the time].

They say:

“It has been well-established in the scientific literature that the period of cooling that was most evident over North America and Europe between about 1940 and 1976 was largely due to increased concentrations of aerosols (particularly sulphates) released into the atmosphere by industrial processes, such as the combustion of coal. These aerosols lowered the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface, for instance by scattering sunlight. The concentrations of these aerosols have been shown to be highest in the Northern Hemisphere, close to their industrial sources. A paper by David Stern, published in the journal Chemosphere’ in 2005, showed that sulphurous emissions around the world increased sharply between 1945 and about 1989, since when they have declined markedly. Sulphurous emissions peaked in North America and Europe during the 1970s.

However the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report Second Draft chapter 2, page 30, says:

However, over the same period SO2 emissions have been increasing significantly from Asia which is estimated to currently emit 17TgSyr-1 (Streets et al., 2003) and from developing countries (e.g., Boucher and Pham, 2002). The net result of these combined regional reductions and increases leads to uncertainty in whether the global SO2 has increased or decreased since the 1980s (Lefohn et al., 1999; Van Aardenne et al., 2001; Boucher and Pham, 2002),

Why would RMS allege so categorically that sulphate emissions “declined markedly” after 1989, when the contemporary AR4 draft says that no one can say whether there has been an increase or decrease. This is the sort of over-reaching that discredits their complaint.

Update- The IPCC AR4 Final Version changes this section in an interesting way. The mention of uncertainty as to whether sulphate emissions went up or down is removed. Be that as it may, obviously leading specialists in April 2006 said that they were uncertain. It would be interesting to know what evidence was brought to their attention between April 2006 and April 2007 to change their minds. Ian Castles in comments below points out inconsistencies between chapter 2 and later chapters.

However, over the same period SO2 emissions have been increasing significantly from Asia, which is estimated to currently emit 17 TgS yr—1 (Streets et al., 2003), and from developing countries in other regions (e.g., Lefohn et al., 1999; Van Aardenne et al., 2001; Boucher and Pham, 2002). The most recent study (Stern, 2005) suggests a decrease in global anthropogenic emissions from approximately 73 to 54 TgS yr—1 over the period 1980 to 2000, with NH emission falling from 64 to 43 TgS yr—1 and SH emissions increasing from 9 to 11 TgS yr—1. Smith et al. (2004) suggested a more modest decrease in global emissions, by some 10 TgS yr—1 over the same period. The regional shift in the emissions of SO2 from the USA, Europe, Russia, Northern Atlantic Ocean and parts of Africa to Southeast Asia and the Indian and Pacific Ocean areas will lead to subsequent shifts in the pattern of the RF (e.g., Boucher and Pham, 2002; Smith et al., 2004; Pham et al., 2005).

End Update May 7.

The reference to increased sulphate emissions in China poses another interesting question. We’ve spent some time looking at Chinese station data. During the period from 1954-1983 (the period of the Jones et al 1990 urban heat island effect study), there was negligible increase in Chinese temperatures. There was also negligible economic growth. In the 1990s, there has been explosive economic growth in Chinese, tremendous increases in aerosol and sulphate emissions – which presumably should cause local cooling – and a sharp increase in Chinese gridcell temperatures in HadCRU. While Phil Jones has thus far refused to disclose the station data used in HadCRU3 despite several FOI requests, my guess is that the stations with post-1990 information in HadCRU3 will prove to be predominantly from places like Beijing, Shanghai, Lanzhou etc. A recent article [cite…] has attributed the majority of the Chinese temperature increase to UHI.

I haven’t gone through the aerosol literature which has rapidly become vast. I’ve examined the statistics in two studies involving aerosols, both of which had major problems and both of which are widely cited in climate literature.

Previously I discussed Mann and Emanuel 2006, which purported to prove that aerosols caused the fact that the variance in SSTs in the eastern tropical Atlantic (the “main development region” for Atlantic hurricanes) was less than global variance. An alternative and much more plausible explanation is that variance in tropical oceans is less than variance in extratropical oceans (as seen for example in the ECHO-G GCM) all by itself. So aerosols were invoked here to explain a phenomenon that actually needed no such explanation. It does illustrate (one more time) that spurious results can result from regressions between co-trending series.

A second example is the discussion of MBH98 Figure 7, here here and here. This article purported to establish claims about the respective contributions of solar and CO2 forcing. In the earlier posts, we established that the article contained untrue statements – which to this date have not been corrected. However, for the purposes of the discussion of Swindle’s failure to discuss aerosols, let us merely observe that MBH98 likewise failed to include aerosols in their calculations. According to the RMS letter, the aerosol theory was “well-established” at the time that MBH98 was published. Did RMS or any of the 37 profs complain at the time about this failure? Why not? IPCC cited the results from MBH98 Figure 7, again without adversely commenting on its failure to include or discuss aerosols.

Now I haven’t studied the issues related to aerosols in any detail. I am not here venturing any opinion on the truth or falsity of the aerosol theory for the mid-century temperature, (which does however seem a little, shall we say, “convenient”). My main point here is that the RMS letter, publicly endorsed by the 37 profs, all supposedly experts in climate science, contains a statement about the course of sulphate emissions that is trivially seen to be inconsistent with the recent IPCC AR4 Second Draft view on the matter.

Update: I’ve collated Stern’s SO2 emission data in a tab-separaed ASCII file http://data.climateaudit.org/data/stern/so2.dat . Here is a plot of Chinese and Indian data to 2000 – this is not a cumulative graphic – each is separate. Chinese emissions in the early 2000s were said to be lower than 1988. I have no opinion on whether this makes sense or not, but it seems like it would be worth someone cross-checking.

stern19.gif
Stern SO2 emissions for China (grey) and India (pink). These are not cumulative.

209 Comments

  1. Don Keiller
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

    Many thanks to Steve for pointing out a rare piece of truth that escaped the IPCC filters. “The net result of these combined regional reductions and increases leads to uncertainty in whether the global SO2 has increased or decreased since the 1980s”.
    So if aerosals haven’t decreased, yet, according to research, “Global Dimming” has abated, there is only one possible conclusion- Solar output must have risen. Neatly accounting for the observed global temperature increase since the 1970’s.

  2. John A
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

    Shouldn’t we complain that the RMS complaint to OFCOM contains “major misrepresentations of the scientific evidence and interpretations of it by researchers”?

  3. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 10:54 AM | Permalink

    #2. John A, who would you complain to and on what basis? RMS didn’t broadcast a program subject to OFCOM regulations. If they made false representations that interfered with WagTV’s business, then Durkin would theoretically have a cause of tort action, but the cause of action would not be yours.

    I think that simply placing a little sunshine on the RMS complaint is all that’s appropriate. In the mean time, if anyone googles “risk management solutions climate”, the first entry is to climateaudit.

  4. John A
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    We can only hope that OfCOM rules in favor of the RMS complaint because then the fun would begin…I just thought it would be amusing if RMS were caught in a legal context making statements at clear variance with scientific evidence.

  5. Armand MacMurray
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 12:20 PM | Permalink

    Steve,
    A modest nitpick: to be fair, I don’t see anything in the complaint indicating that the aerosol theory was well-established 10 years ago (the time when MBH98 was published), thus presumably letting RMS and the 37 profs off the hook for their silence on that.

  6. Posted May 6, 2007 at 3:40 PM | Permalink

    There’s some confusion on the internet, especially a website called fourth-letter-of-Greek-alphabet-oid.

    The final draft at

    http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Ch02.pdf

    says that Asia SO2 and Southern Hermisphere grew, otherwise the world dropped so that the world has dropped by 10 or 20 TgS per year – from about 70 TgS per year. The error margin is such that the decrease could still be an increase.

    Search for the word “Stern” in the document above.

    But even if they said clearly that it’s an increase – which they don’t (they only use the word “suggest” for the decrease), it doesn’t influence anything about Steve’s argument because the final IPCC manuscript wasn’t yet out when the Swindle was created, which is why Durkin couldn’t have used it. Instead, he used the papers from around 2002 or, equivalently, the Second Draft of AR4, that make the answer open, and there’s no way how the documentary can be criticized for this data. In fact, the sign is mostly open even today, in the final draft.

  7. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

    There is an interesting change in language between the Second Draft and AR4 here. As noted above, in the Second Draft, they said that they were uncertain whether global SO2 had increased or decreased, referring to Lefohn et al., 1999; Van Aardenne et al., 2001; Boucher and Pham, 2002. So someone relying on the same information as available to the author of the Second Draft could reasonably draw the same conclusion as they did:

    However, over the same period SO2 emissions have been increasing significantly from Asia which is estimated to currently emit 17TgSyr-1 (Streets et al., 2003) and from developing countries (e.g., Boucher and Pham, 2002). The net result of these combined regional reductions and increases leads to uncertainty in whether the global SO2 has increased or decreased since the 1980s (Lefohn et al., 1999; Van Aardenne et al., 2001; Boucher and Pham, 2002),

    In the Final AR4, they remove this mention of uncertainty and cite the decline in sulphate emissions reported in Stern 2005. I haven’t read the supporting references, but I wonder whether they really eliminate the uncertainty that specialist authors had as long as ago as April 2006 (when the Second Draft was being commented on).

    However, over the same period SO2 emissions have been increasing significantly from Asia, which is estimated to currently emit 17 TgS yr’€”1 (Streets et al., 2003), and from developing countries in other regions (e.g., Lefohn et al., 1999; Van Aardenne et al., 2001; Boucher and Pham, 2002). The most recent study (Stern, 2005) suggests a decrease in global anthropogenic emissions from approximately 73 to 54 TgS yr’€”1 over the period 1980 to 2000, with NH emission falling from 64 to 43 TgS yr’€”1 and SH emissions increasing from 9 to 11 TgS yr’€”1. Smith et al. (2004) suggested a more modest decrease in global emissions, by some 10 TgS yr’€”1 over the same period. The regional shift in the emissions of SO2 from the USA, Europe, Russia, Northern Atlantic Ocean and parts of Africa to Southeast Asia and the Indian and Pacific Ocean areas will lead to subsequent shifts in the pattern of the RF (e.g., Boucher and Pham, 2002; Smith et al., 2004; Pham et al., 2005).

  8. Ian Castles
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

    Steve, I think that the story is even more interesting than indicated in your #6.

    The statement in the Second Order Draft Chapter 2 that “over the same period SO2 emissions have been INCREASING SIGNIFICANTLY FROM ASIA” is inconsistent with statements in the Second Order Draft Chapter 10:

    “Recent trends in emissions are generally consistent with the range encompassed by the marker SRES scenarios (van Vuuren and O’Neill, 2006) … Perhaps the largest discrepancies between the SRES scenarios and recent data are related to the decline in SO2 emissions. The decline of 3% predicted by SRES is considerably smaller in magnitude THAN THE 20% DECLINE THAT ACTUALLY OCCURRED… Evidence from recent economic activity suggests that emissions of … SO2 FROM ASIA DECREASED from 1996 (the peak year) to 2000 (Streets et al., 2001). SO2 is one of the primary chemical precursors of anthropogenic sulphate (SO4) aerosol… DECREASES OF 32% in BC emissions AND 21% IN SO2 from 1996 through 2000 have been qualitatively confirmed by aerosol measurements in the Asian outflow from Midway Island (Prospero et al., 2003).

    Van Vuuren and O’Neill (2006) cite three estimates of global sulphur emissions, all of which show decreases of about 20% between 1990 and 2000. The most comprehensive estimates are those by David Stern which are cited in the complaint from RMS.

    In the final version of Chapter 10, all references to declining sulphur emissions seem to have disappeared, and the reduction estimated by Stern and others has been expunged from the history (see the trend in SO2 emissions between 1990 and 2000 in Figure 26).

    Myles Allen, one of the signatories to the letter of complaint, was a Review Editor of Chapter 10. Piers Foster, another of the signatories was a Coordinating Lead Author of Chapter 2. It is interesting that they now both support the complaint from RMS which uses the David Stern estimates that the final WGI report implicitly rejects.

  9. fFreddy
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 5:33 PM | Permalink

    The concentrations of these aerosols have been shown to be highest in the Northern Hemisphere, close to their industrial sources.

    Why do these aerosols have a regional distribution when CO2, we are frequently assured, is ‘well-mixed’ globally ?

  10. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 6:24 PM | Permalink

    fFreddy, you say:

    Why do these aerosols have a regional distribution when CO2, we are frequently assured, is well-mixed’ globally ?

    Two reasons. One is that CO2 is a natural part of the atmosphere, produced all over the planet, while aerosols (in general) are not.

    The other is residence time. The residence time for aerosols is generally on the order of a week or two, so they are not found far from the source. They tend to get rained out of the atmosphere.

    w.

  11. bernie
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 6:32 PM | Permalink

    My readingof Stern’s paper was that his estimate of sufur emissions from China was dramatically lower than other estimates for the same time period – by a magnitude of 35%. This at a minimum would require a careful assessment of how he arrived at his estimates and why they should be taken as the datum.

  12. Kristen Byrnes
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 7:21 PM | Permalink

    These guys have it off by 13 years. According to Stern, the aerosols increased until 1989, but the cooling ended in 1976 with a global temperature rise of about .3 degrees celcius. Here we go again.

  13. Jim Clarke
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 7:29 PM | Permalink

    Re #8

    Can we really get a handle on emissions from all of Asia by air measurements at Midway Island? In light of the development in India and China through the late 90s, such a sweeping conclusion does not appear legitimate!

  14. Ian Castles
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 8:43 PM | Permalink

    Re 13. The estimates quoted by van Vuuren and O’Neill, which were referred to in the Second Order Draft of Chapter 10 but were unaccountably dropped from the final version, do NOT rely on air measurements at Midway Island to get a handle on emissions from all of Asia. They take full account of the development of China and India in the late-1990s. Within the limits of the available data, Stern has produced annual estimates for all major countries from 1850 to 2000, and for several countries (including China) the estimates have been extended to 2003. Stern’s papers reporting these estimates have been published in “Chemosphere” (as noted in the RMS complaint) and in “Global Environmental Change.” Stern also publishes annual estimates of forcing from greenhouse gases and sulphate aerosols on his website. According to these estimates, the INCREASE between 1990 and 2000 in forcing from the DECREASE in sulphate aerosols in the Northern Hemisphere (a negative of a negative is a positive!) was substantially greater than the forcing from the increased concentrations of all of the major Kyoto greenhouse gases put together.

    It’s extraordinary that the RMS complaint can cite Stern’s estimates of the increase in sulphur emissions in support of the “well-established in the scientific literature” contention about the cause of the cooling in the early post-World War II decades, and can even adopt Stern’s estimate that global sulphorous emissions have “declined markedly” since 1989, and yet conclude that:

    “By failing to even mention the effects of man-made aerosols, the programme misrepresented the scientific evidence on the causes of changes in global average temperature during the 20th century.”

    If one accepts the Stern estimates, as the RMS complaint does, it is the IPCC that has misrepresented the scientific evidence. The increase in forcing from the decline in sulphur emissions is more than enough to account for the whole of the increase in global temperatures that has occurred since 1990. Yet the WGI SPM claims that the observed increase of 0.2 deg. per decade between 1990 and 2005, which is in line with projections “since IPCC’s first report in 1990″ STRENGTHENS confidence in the Panel’s near-term projections. The IPCC first projections assumed that global sulphur emissions would RISE after 1990. The available evidence now suggests that these emissions FELL steeply, yet the Panel is still claiming credit because its temperature projections have been in line with observations! This should weaken confidence in the models, not strengthen it.

  15. Posted May 6, 2007 at 8:48 PM | Permalink

    Over at Deltoid, Tim Lambert is giving Steve (unreasonable) flack . Near as I can tell, Tim’s argument is that whatever the IPCC later came up with as a final estimate, it was unreasonable for the producers of Swindle not to have guessed in advance what it would be and taken it into account. :-)

  16. samoore
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 9:04 PM | Permalink

    RE #10:
    “The residence time for aerosols is generally on the order of a week or two, so they are not found far from the source. They tend to get rained out of the atmosphere.”

    Please excuse this. I realize this is (more than a bit) off-topic, but the above makes me jump in.

    Isn’t CO2 “rained out of the atmosphere” as well?
    Perhaps I’ve been looking in all the wrong places, but all I can find are estimates of absorption/emission from the ocean-atmosphere interface. CO2 is readily soluble, which explains why the pH of rain is around 5.5 (making the term “Acid Rain” a redundancy), so I assume there has been some study of this as a removal mechanism.
    In a warmer world, with more precipitation, there should be more “scrubbing” taking place.
    Am I being a bit too simplistic? Or is this another area in which GCM’s fail?

  17. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 9:42 PM | Permalink

    #5. Armand,

    Charlson et al (including Hansen and downloadable at Hansen’s webpage) is a seminal article on aerosols, cited hundreds of times – it dates from 1992; and Hansen had written on the topic earlier.

  18. Ian Castles
    Posted May 6, 2007 at 10:47 PM | Permalink

    Re #5, it’s also relevant that in 2001 the IPCC said that the greater temperature increase projected in the TAR (1.4-5.8 degrees C) compared with the SAR (1.0-3.5 degrees C) is due ‘primarily to the lower projected sulphur dioxide emission in the SRES scenarios relative to the IS92 scenarios’ (WG I Summary for Policymakers, p. 13). According to all of the models the reduction in SO2 emissions assumed in the A1T emissions scenario led to a greater projected increase in temperature up to 2030 than in scenarios with higher greenhouse emissions and concentrations such as the A1FI and A1B scenarios (see Figure 9.15).

    If the David Stern estimates of global SO2 emissions are correct, these emissions had ALREADY decreased to the level projected for 2030 in the A1T scenario before the TAR was published in 2001. For purposes of AR4, the IPCC should have rerun the SRES scenarios using the best available estimates of SO2 in 2000, rather than the (much higher) projections for 2000 that had been produced in the late 1990s.

    It is the trend in the harmonised SRES PROJECTION of emissions between 1990 and 2000, and not the trend in ACTUAL emissions, which is plotted in Figure 10.26 on p. 803. Yet the heading above the column says “History”. This is highly misleading. Having signed a letter saying that “we believe that it is in the public interest for adequate public quality control to be exercised over information that is disseminated to the public to ensure that it does not include major misrepresentations of the scientific evidence”, Myles Allen should be the first to agree that a projection that has not been realised should not have been presented as “history” in Chapter 10 of the WGI Report, of which he was Review Editor.

  19. Larry Huldén
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 12:02 AM | Permalink

    Comment on #16 by Samoore: “Isn’t CO2 “rained out of the atmosphere” as well?”

    Only in part. If I have understood correctly the CO2 dynamics, the uptake of CO2 in the oceans will decline with increasing CO2 levels in sea water. Independently of the rain CO2 will accumulate in the atmosphere more than SO2 because SO2 goes more easily in solution with water.

  20. Posted May 7, 2007 at 1:38 AM | Permalink

    Re #16,

    Samoore, CO2 is continuously exchanged between the ocean surface and the atmosphere. Over the years, there is a dynamic equilibrium between them, where temperature is the main driver: with higher seawater temperatures (tropics), CO2 is desorbed from the oceans surface, with lower temperatures it is absorbed (near the Arctic, mainly at the THC downwelling regions). Thus CO2 is raining out at one place, but is replenished by degassing at another place. Global temperatures shift that equilibrium to more CO2 in the atmosphere (about 10 ppmv/°C).

    This is only a short explanation, as CO2 use by growing vegetation and CO2 emissions by decaying vegetation give large seasonal variations of CO2 levels especially in the NH, where most vegetation exists.

    SO2 emissions are mainly from human emissions. There are seasonal emissions from marine algue and intermittent outbursts from volcanoes, but these are smaller than the yearly emissions from fossil fuel (mainly coal) burning. The half-life time of SO2 in air is about 4 days in average, depending on rain patterns. That means that the deposit is within a relative short distance of the main sources, as could be noticed in Scandinavia, where most of the SO2 from the English industry was raining out.

    The interesting point is that, while CO2 is more or less evenly distributed over the globe, aerosols have their highest effect at only 10% of the earth’s surface, and for 90% in the NH. As there is a huge shift in emissions, with a firm reduction in Europe and North America and a firm increase in SE Asia, this should be visible in the difference of regional temperature trends between less and more contaminated areas. More about that in another message…

  21. Martin à…
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 3:28 AM | Permalink

    What strikes me as funny is that the aerosol argument seems to be OK when trying to explain lack of correlation between CO2 and temperature, but not when trying to explain lack of correlation between cosmic rays and temperature (At least at RC).

    If one really argue that aerosols went down in recent decades and that is why the temperature went up, this should also be valid without CO2 forcing. It is just a matter of magnitude which in the aerosol case seems to be virtually unknown.

  22. fFreddy
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 3:36 AM | Permalink

    Re #10, Willis, thank you

  23. fFreddy
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 3:37 AM | Permalink

    Re #20, Ferdinand
    Oh, dear. Does that mean that Chinese SO2 is going to rain out on California ?

  24. MarkW
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 4:45 AM | Permalink

    The RMS letter has one purpose. That is to give the media the cover they need to ignore Swindle, and any other “denialists”.

    When asked about Swindle, all the alarmists need to do now, is point to this letter and declare that Swindle has been thoroughly discredited.
    No further discussion needed.

  25. DocMartyn
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 5:29 AM | Permalink

    The solubility of CO2 in water increases as the temperature approaches the freezing point, so when water vapor undergoes the gas to liquid phase transition, it sucks CO2 out of the atmosphere. The difference in solubility of CO2 at ground and freezing is about a third (2200ppm at 14 degrees and 3300 ppm at zero).
    If the rain lands in the ocean, and the ocean is warmer than the rain, it warms and the oceans surface will be supersaturated with CO2. The some of the CO2 will then reenter the atmosphere and some will migrate to the lower depths of the ocean, where the water is colder.
    The majority of CO2 exchange that occures between the seas and oceans and the atmosphere is likely to be due to rain fall, and not the release and uptake of gasseous CO2 by the oceans surface. 85% of the water vapor comes from the oceans surface, containing little CO2, and 80% of rain falls on the oceans, containing over 3000 ppm of CO2.

    Should the rain fall on ice, then the CO2 saturated raindrops will freeze, and be trapped in the ice sheet. So the ice sheets should act as CO2 traps. As the ice sheets melt, the CO2 rich water at zero degrees, enters the oceans and drops beneath the oceans surface and sinks to the depths.

  26. Posted May 7, 2007 at 6:29 AM | Permalink

    Re #16,

    Forgot to add that SO2 is rapidely oxydised to SO3, which reacts with water to H2SO4 (sulphuric acid) this is quite hygroscopic and forms growing drops which easily drop out (even as “dry” deposit). Sulphuric acid is not volatile, so doesn’t reenter the atmosphere.

    Re #23,

    On dry days it can, but most will rain out before reaching California. But it happens that fine sand from the East Asian deserts is disposing off in Arizona…

  27. Jeff Norman
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 8:56 AM | Permalink

    Re: #26

    And an aerosol is a very small partical subject to physical capture in a larger droplet while c CO2 molecule is only subject to chemical capture.

  28. hswiseman
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 9:02 AM | Permalink

    2006 was also pretty spiffy for the Prop/Casualty Insurers. Loved the part about RMS changing methodology in midstream. ‘Nuff said.

    (FROM LA TIMES)

    Insurers Saw Record Gains in Year of Catastrophic Loss
    They say the profits are a fluke, but the industry has worked to shift risk to clients and the public.
    By Peter G. Gosselin, Times Staff Writer
    April 5, 2006

    The companies that provide Americans with their homeowners and auto insurance made a record $44.8-billion profit last year even after accounting for the claims of policyholders wiped out by Hurricane Katrina and the other big storms of 2005, according to the firms’ filings with state regulators…….

    Among insurers, the consensus is that the industry is in the best shape it has been in years. Some argue against tampering with success.

    “We’ve been through some of the worst natural disasters and man-made catastrophes in our history, and had some of the best earnings in the last 20 or 30 years,” said Frank W. Nutter, president of the Reinsurance Assn. of America, a Washington trade group.

    Nutter accused companies that are calling for major changes in coverage and creation of public backstop programs of engaging in “a risk-shift strategy of moving risks off their books onto government and policyholders.” Members of Nutter’s group stand to make big profits from major insurers stocking up on reinsurance to guard against fresh catastrophes. Reinsurers are said to have raised premiums by 100% or more since last year’s storms.

    Other industry executives insist they are simply trying to protect their companies and the public.

    Hartwig, the industry economist, and Cripe, the Allstate vice president, said that insurers’ greatest concern is that the number and intensity of big storms hitting the U.S. coast have risen and are likely to stay high for years to come. They said that although the industry easily handled the costs of the last two years of hurricanes, a similar pummeling during the next few years would deplete its finances.

    As evidence of the change, the pair noted that seven of the 10 most costly hurricanes in U.S. history occurred during the last two years. And they cited the recent announcement by a leading disaster modeling firm, Risk Management Solutions Inc. of Newark, Calif., that chances of devastating storms making landfall are dramatically higher than it previously predicted.

    RMS executive vice president Paul VanderMarck said in an interview that the firm’s decision to switch from using 100-year averages to looking at just the last five years in forecasting storms, and the resulting jump in its prediction of big storm losses along the East and Gulf coasts, was based solely on new scientific knowledge, for example on rising ocean temperatures, and the views of an expert panel.

    But critics said that the change was the product of pressure from insurers seeking to justify rate hikes and that, in any case, it represented an unfair changing of the rules by the industry.

    “The companies came in after the early 1990s disasters and told us, ‘We’re going to start using these long-term models that are going to have periods of intense activity and periods of no activity,” said J. Robert Hunter, who was Texas insurance commissioner at the time and is now insurance director at the Consumer Federation of America. “They wanted us set the rates so that it would even things out across the highs and lows, and we agreed,” Hunter said.

    “Now they’re coming back,” he continued, “and saying ‘Oops! We got it wrong; we’re going to change the model.’ That reneges on the deal.”

  29. Dave Dardinger
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    re: #25,

    You’re overlooking a major factor. While the potential solubility of CO2 in cold water may be high, the actual concentration will depend on the partial pressure of CO2 in the surrounding atmosphere. Since that’s about a tenth the figure you quote, the actual concentration of CO2 will be correspondingly lower.

  30. Sam
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

    I know it’s easy and fashionable to bash insurance companies, but those who wish to engage in this line of foolishness should get their research from places other than the LA Times! In just two years 2004/2005 the largest homeowner insurer (State Farm) lost more money than it had made in profit in the previous 4 decades.

    If insurers are gouging the public with their premiums for windstorm coverage, why are they running away from the east coast as quickly as they can and refusing to write policies at any pricing? Why are they all deserting Florida leaving Citizens, the state pool of assigned risk insurance, as just about the only insurer in the state. The people of Florida are going to get creamed if they encounter another season like ’04 and ’05 as the taxpayers are actually now the underwriters for their own insurance and unknowingly are self-insuring themselves.

  31. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

    I had specifically referred to the IPCC Second Draft in all but one instance above. In one instance I left off the qualified Second Draft. This was used to criticize this posting at another blog. To clarify the point, I’ve added the qualifier [Second Draft] in square brackets for this one usage. The IPCC Second Draft has been online since the SPM was released and I’ve added hyperlinks.

    As noted, the final AR4 language (April 2007) differs from the Second Draft (April 2006). The uncertainty over whether sulphate emissions have gone up or down seems to have been resolved in favor of a view that they’ve gone down. I wonder whether this is “likely” or “very likely”. I don’t know what has happened since April 2006 to change the authors’ minds.

    Let us recall that Swindle didn’t mention sulphate and this is what they are being criticized for. So if scientists didn’t know in 2006 whether emissions were going up or down, I can’t see that a complaint based on omitting a discussion of this issue will have great legal weight. If Durkin wanted to, I’m sure that he could have mentioned the sulphate theory in passing, then quoted Tim Ball or Lindzen or someone else as saying that no one knows whether sulphate emissions have been going up or down recently – and obviously at least some IPCC scientists thought this in 2006 – and proceeded on with the program.

  32. Jeff Norman
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

    Re: #31

    IMO, Durkin was keeping it simple to keep his audience engaged. While he might have bent the truth to achieve this simplicity he did not fundamentally misrepresent the fact that during the 20th century increasing CO2 concentrations were not always correlated with increasing temperatures.

    You can nit pick the Swindle show and/or SteveM’s arguments against the Ward et al complaint all you want but it does not change the data.

    It is telling that those critical of the Swindle will not address this issue.

  33. bernie
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

    Steve:
    I was surprised at the variation in estimates for China in the Stern paper, so I went looking for some additional information. I then came across another paper by Gerard Adams et al which included a footnote:

    fn2 The discrepancy between Chinese growth and energy consumption has caused a number of scholars to
    raise questions about Chinese national accounts statistics, (Adams and Chen, 1996, Rawski, 2001). In this
    connection one of the authors can report an illuminating episode. In the early 1990s, presenting a lecture to
    students in Tianjin, Adams mentioned the elasticity linking demand for energy and GDP. A hand quickly
    shot up. The student explained that, ”Of course, the energy elasticity in China is 0.5, just like in the United
    States!”

    If the above is true then these numbers are likely to be a squirrelly as climate data!! Given that there is a strong correlation between energy generation and both CO2 and sulfur emissions, the potential discrepancy could be pretty significant. Perhaps there is someone out there with a better data source. Stern’s estimates might be spot on, but there are certainly enough internal inconsistencies to warrant a closer look.

  34. Sam
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

    #31

    I believe that despite some of its excesses, Swindle was very effective in debunking the conventional wisdom of AGW driven by CO2. This apparent lack of correlation between increasing CO2 and temperature during this period is recognized by alarmists as one of the greatest vulnerabilities to their theory and they are desparate to explain it away or otherwise discredit the notion. The demonstrated lag of CO2 behind temperature, and the overwhelming control and regulation of CO2 volumes in the atmosphere by the ocean were devastating to the alarmist cause. Programs of this sort are very dangerous so they must be kept from the public’s attention except when they are successfully cast in a negative light.

  35. Posted May 7, 2007 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

    More in-depth analyses of the impact of aerosols:

    The Hadcm3 model has calculated the influence of the reduction of aerosols in the period 1990-1999, on regional temperatures (courtesy William Connolley).

    The largest influence, according to the model is somewhere at the Finnish-Russian border (other models show different regions of highest influence). As the influence of aerosols is quite high (offsetting about 50% of the current warming worldwide, this should give a difference of several °C in the areas of interest, but that is not the case.

    The stations were as far as possible rural one’s in three groups: East is in the modeled zone in Europe (near the Finnish-Russian border) where the largest influence (4-6 ⹃) should be seen in the period 1975-1990, when the anthropogenic SO2 emissions more than halved (-56%) . Middle is the zone with a medium influence (2-4 ⹃ at South Scandinavia/North Germany), and West is Ireland/South England (0-2 ⹃).

    For the stations and more details, see here

    There is a sudden increase in temperature for all three areas, probably due to a shift to a stronger NAO, in 1990. But the difference in trends is small, and can be a result of the different reactions of near sea/inland based stations to the NAO…

    More about the influence of aerosols on ocean heat content in another message…

  36. Jeff Norman
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 11:29 AM | Permalink

    Where did the aerosols south of 60°S come from?!

  37. bernie
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

    Ferdinand #35
    So the theory indicates that there should be a geography based divergence and the data does not show it. Does this raise additional questions about the temperature compilations?

  38. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

    RE: #13 – The Jet Stream is typically far to the north of Midway, due to the semi persistent Pacific High. Midway is a poor place to make such measurements, the Aleutians would be way better.

  39. Posted May 7, 2007 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

    #36,
    Jeff, the computer run was with the influence of aerosols and ozone depletion, it is the latter which influences the southern parts, although I don’t see why that should give cooling à¡nd warming regions…

    #37,
    Bernie, one of the main problems in the former Soviet Union is that a lot of rural stations disappeared, with only a few left in the northern part of Russia. The remaining stations mostly big, expanding towns (Moskow, St. Petersburg). But the rural stations left which I used don’t show more warming trend than the one’s upwind of the main industrial areas, except for a sudden shift around 1990. Thus despite the huge reduction in sulphate emissions in Europe, this is not visible in the temperature record…

  40. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 3:03 PM | Permalink

    #39. Ferdinand, we hear that the stations “disappeared” – I think that it’s more accurate to say that GHCN has not collated rural stations for nearly 20 years, leaving the station collections increasingly dependent on data from large urban centers. Spot checks of a number of stations discontinued in GHCN shows evidence that they still exist.

  41. Posted May 7, 2007 at 3:10 PM | Permalink

    As aerosols are emitted mostly over the NH, the impact should be largest in the NH. As the NH has more land than the SH, the impact may be masked, due to the fact that land warms faster than oceans, thus air temperatures may not give the right answer. The influence of aerosols on the warming of the oceans should be a better indication, as a difference of ~2 W/m2 in average more cooling for the NH vs. SH (for 1 W/m2 globally) must be visible in a difference in trends between the two hemispheres.

    According to the figures and data published by Levitus about the ocean’s heat content, the trends for the NH and SH oceans are quite similar. Which is already unexpected. Be it that one need to correct somewhat for the fact that the equatorial waters in the NH are more dominant than for the SH, thus the NH receives more W/m2 in average than the SH.

    But more important is that the whole ocean area in the NH is smaller, that means that with an equal increase in heat content, the NH oceans are warming faster (some 50% faster than the SH oceans). Which contradicts the aerosol cooling…

    Of course, there are a lot of other influences which can explain (part of) the difference, like ocean currents (warm at the surface S to N in the Atlantic, the opposite in the pacific) or cloud behaviour (different over SH than over NH oceans?). But if these are overwhelm a 2 W/m2 difference in insolation between NH and SH, what is the real influence of GHGs then?

  42. fFreddy
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 5:31 PM | Permalink

    Re #39, Ferdinand Engelbeen
    Is there any sign of a negative UHI in the urban stations in the early 1990s ?

  43. Edward
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 5:39 PM | Permalink

    I was thinking of a reply but I can across the folowing that I like:

    The surface temperatures diverge from temperatures derived from tree rings.

    The surface temperatures diverge from the lower tropospshere balloon observations.

    The surface temperatures diverge from the UAH MSU observations.

    The surface temperatures diverge from the solar cycle length estimation of solar forcing.

    In all cases, the surface temperatures diverge in giving a greater warming trend.

    Perhaps it would be logical to suspect the surface temperature record. Of course, if the surface record is in error on the high side, then the argument for large GHG warming goes away, so I don’t expect any critical examination of the surface temperature record.

    Comment by Douglas Hoyt ‘€” May 4, 2007 @

  44. mzed
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 7:36 PM | Permalink

    So, why shouldn’t I assume, for example, that the increase in so2 emissions is in some way related with the recently stabilized average world temperatures?

    I mean, am I really supposed to think that global temperature has stabilized for no apparent reason, and that sulfates have increased recently, and yet that sulfates have no effect on temperature?

    Do you see how puzzling an argument this is? If an argument about the relationship of sulfates to temperature is being made…then I just can’t see what argument is being made. So what is the argument that’s being made here?

  45. mzed
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 8:03 PM | Permalink

    (BTW, I would like to clarify something I suggested in an earlier Unthreaded post: the phenomenon of “global dimming”, alluded to in comment #1, is not in fact necessarily related to aerosol–sulfate or otherwise–forcing of temperatures in the upper troposphere. There may be a relationship, but it seems unclear at present, even though it makes sense that aerosols might be behind both effects–but perhaps in different ways. This is certainly an area where our scientific understanding could improve significantly.)

  46. David Smith
    Posted May 7, 2007 at 8:11 PM | Permalink

    Re #44

    The Northern Hemisphere shows stabilization.

    The Southern Hemisphere also shows stabilization, or perhaps cooling.

    It seems like a recent sulfate (cooling) effect should be greatest in the North, closer to the sources, yet the hemispheric plots suggest otherwise.

  47. MarkW
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 5:21 AM | Permalink

    41,

    Since the sun shines equally on all parts of the ocean, what matters is not how many square miles of ocean you are dealing with, but how deep they are.

    Complicated by such things as currents, upwelling, etc.

  48. hswiseman
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 7:43 AM | Permalink

    Ok Sam (#30) nevermind the LATIMES, here is AP reporting on last year’s industry profit.
    You will be heartened to hear that poor ‘lil State Farm is clawing their way back from their near death experience.
    As a fellow free-marketer (currently writing from aerosol laden S. Korea), I am sure you share my outrage at the interference by the State of Florida in the free market for insurance coverage. The actuarial flight you bemoan is actually the industry’s reaction to a Kremlin style central price control mechanism instituted by the FHCF and the publicly indemnified reinsurance offered as a make good. Meanwhile, firing from AGW cover, RSM cooks the books by moving from a 100 year capital recovery model to a 5 year cleansing inflicted on the premium paying public. Its true that 2004-2005 hurricane seasons wiped out decades of premiums in afflicted states. That’s what catastrophes do, that’s why it is called INSURANCE, where risk is subordinated on to the party with the lowest cost of risk mitigation. When this risk sponsor intentionally increases the cost of risk redirection by misrepresenting the appropriate risk premium, the resulting economic inefficiency is simply a tax to subsidize a transfer payment to that most worthy safety net recipient, our long-suffering insurance industry. (I’m looking really hard, but can’t find a good guy anywhere in the whole deal). Last but not least, if the federal government does its job (come on kids, stop snickering….I am ranting here!), the levee holds and Katrina marks out as a marginal Cat 3 Mississippi landfall with a tough carryover surge from its better days. When the unhappy history of AGW gets written up in 50 years, the unholy alliance of the warmanistas and the insurance industry will highlight one of the first paragraphs.

    “The headline numbers were eye-popping: Allstate reported a record $5 billion profit for 2006. State Farm Insurance’s profit climbed 65 percent for the year. St. Paul Travelers’ earnings rose sixfold in the fourth quarter, American International Group’s grew eightfold. * * *
    Rating agency A.M. Best estimates that the property-casualty industry earned $68 billion in 2006, up from $49 billion in 2005, and that profits could total $62.2 billion this year if the storm season is relatively benign.

    As a result, the policyholder surplus — essentially reserves to cover future claims — grew to a record of nearly $500 billion in 2006, A.M. Best estimates.

    Robert Hartwig, president and chief economist with the New York-based Insurance Information Institute, points out that the industry has so far “paid $41 billion on 1.74 million claims for Katrina alone — and for the combined 2004-2005 hurricane season, we paid about $81 billion in insured hurricane-related losses.”

    Greg Heidrich, senior vice president for policy development and research with the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America trade group in Des Plaines, Ill., said it was unfair to look at the payout ratio for a single year or a short period of time.

    He said that property insurers in Louisiana in 2005 paid out $20 billion in claims, or the equivalent of 20 years worth of premiums collected in the state.

    After that, Heidrich said, “you want those companies to build back their capital base so they’re in a position to pay claims that could be at extraordinary levels in other years.”

  49. hswiseman
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 8:16 AM | Permalink

    Just one more point here. If the risk premium calculation errs in favor of the insured, the subsidy moves in the other direction. All of which is more compelling argument that the State of Florida has no business interfering with insurance premiums. The free market will undoubtedly provide the most accurate valuation of the appropriate risk premium. Watching it happen won’t be as pretty as a figure skater on ice, but the sight of Florida’s self-inflicted shotgun to the wallet will bring on severe flinching, ducking and cries of “Mommy, please make it stop.”

  50. mzed
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 8:24 AM | Permalink

    #46: Ok, then are you seriously claiming that sulfate aerosols have no effect on temperature?

    For that matter, are you seriously proposing that there could only be one cause for global temperature variation?

  51. David Smith
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

    Re #50 Hi, mzed. I don’t quite follow your thinking but I’ll try to answer the two questions you pose.

    I think there are various factors that affect global temperatures, including sulfate aerosols, solar changes, greenhouse gases, volcanoes and the little-respected ocean oscillations. I’ve probably missed some in this list, including ones which we simply don’t yet recognize.

    Some are forcings while others are oscillations which look like forcings. It’s a spaghetti.

    Untwisting all of those, and figuring out how much is attributable to each, is something that is beyond our current ability in my opinion.

  52. Posted May 8, 2007 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

    Re #47,

    Mark, i was looking around for latitude-depth data for the oceans, but found none. Most oceans have an average 4,000 m depth, but the increase in heat content is mostly in the upper 300 m, extending to the upper 700 m. The deeper ocean layers are not (yet) affected. Thus surface may be used as surrogate for volume. The main problem is the difference in latitudonal width of the oceans, as sunlight is going perpendicular into the oceans near the equator, but under a certain degree at higher latitudes, which gives a reduction of W/m2 towards the poles. That should not give problems for a NH/SH comparison, if the ocean width for the same latitudes was equal for the NH and the SH. But that is not the case, although the Atlantic has a reasonable S-shape, more or less as wide in N and S (except the high N and low S).

    In the Atlantic, the main surface ocean current is S to N, warming up near the equator, in the Pacific, upwelling of the cold THC is in the North, flowing S via the equator. Despite that differece, both the Atlantic and the Pacific are warming faster in the NH than in the SH.

  53. Sam
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 11:13 AM | Permalink

    #48
    HS
    While I don’t disagree substantively with your post, I still diverge in some areas. First, I don’t consider AP as any more of a reliable source than the LA Times. I believe “AP” stands for American Pravda and assign credibility to them in the same fashion.

    The actuarial flight as you called it is happening all along the eastern seaboard and gulf states, not just in Florida. Although some companies, primarily the reinsurers, are playing the threatened climate change catastrophe song to leverage price increases, my point is that ultimately actual loss experience comes into play when determining premiums. While the industry is ripe with surplus at the current time that is a very untypical situation over the past couple of decades. From the mid-80s until the early 2000s the P&C industry was consistently in a very soft market with incredible price competition. Profits were only gained from the investment side of the business while the actual underwriting operations lost money. We are re-entering that kind of market and the surpluses on hand will quickly erode away as companies are forced to reduce pricing or risk losing marketshare. As you mention, they have to have that surplus on hand in order to meet current and future obligations. Pricing moves too much in either direction cause distortions in the market which ultimately benefit no one.

    My company, to remain un-named, doesn’t buy into global warming but is concerned that we have entered an active period in the tropical storm cycle and is very leery of the risk presented in coastal areas – a concern I believe is well-founded if you listen to experts like William Gray.

  54. Posted May 8, 2007 at 11:40 AM | Permalink

    Re #42,

    fFreddy, I suppose you mean a positive UHI effect? I don’t think that there was much change in urbanisation. I was last year passing Valentia (Ireland), where the meteorological site was at the edge of a very small village. Except if they changed something at the station itself, I don’t think there is any influence. The only objection I have is against Oslo Gardermo, marked as “rural” in the GISS database, which is the Oslo airport, at the edge of the city, but in a valley (fjord) where all flanks are urbanised…

    But the main point is that all stations show a jump in 1989, which points to a common cause. That seems to be the NAO:

  55. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

    RE: #41 – How do these Heat Content figures compare with the ones highlighted over the past year at Climate Science (e.g. Pielke Sr’s site)?

  56. fFreddy
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

    Re #54, Ferdinand, my apologies for being gratuitously cryptic. I was specifically wondering about big Russian cities, like Moscow.
    Under the Soviets, they used to have this system where a whole region of the city would be served by a single giant central heating plant (what you might call really central heating, I suppose). In the older buildings, none of the radiators would have any sort of controls on them – heating for whole buildings would go on in Autumn and off in Spring, with no variation in between.
    As a result – it was too damn hot. And the only means of regulating the temperature, in the middle of a Russian winter, was to leave the windows open.
    This was in the early 90s. I assume that, since then, they’ve sorted out thermostats, so there are fewer open windows belching out waste heat.
    I was wondering if this effect could be big enough that it would show up as declining average temperatures in big Russian cities over the last 10 – 15 years ?

  57. DeWitt Payne
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

    Re: #41

    I see a drop in ocean heat content that is more or less coincidental with the eruption of El Chichon in 1982. However, I don’t see a corresponding drop for the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1992 which injected as much or more sulphate into the stratosphere. I find this somewhat surprising.

  58. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

    RE: #41 – I only had time to scan. Based on that, it’s not clear to me how they measured “heat content.” Was it only a paper exercise of some type, not actual field measurements of temperature depth profiles?

  59. ks
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

    A paper by David Stern, published in the journal Chemosphere’ in 2005, showed that sulphurous emissions around the world increased sharply between 1945 and about 1989, since when they have declined markedly.

    Did the paper cited not show that sulphurous emissions around the world increased until 1989 then declined?

    I find it hypocritical that you use vintage data
    (circa 1988) in lieu of the most up to date data (from 2006) to claim inaccuracy in regards to claims about the Durkin graph, and then critique RMS for using a 2005 paper in lieu of the 2007 report. I suggest you have some consistency, Mr. McIntyre.

  60. Dave B
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

    ks…(que es?)…

    for you to find hypocrisy in steve m, while not recognizing same in the self-named hockey team, speaks volumes regarding your personal bias. more blowing smoke, obfuscation, and allegations of poor methods while not recognizing your own shortcomings. you may as well “move on”…

  61. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 3:51 PM | Permalink

    Jeez, ks, you have a hard time following an argument. I don’t personally use 1988 data anywhere. I merely observed that the Swindle graphic derives from an old Hansen version. I didn’t use it. Once again, I only use this as a counter-example to allegations that they used non-Hansen data.

    I’ll review this post in light of the various comments.

    What surprises me is that there’s such inconsistency between IPCC drafts on whether sulphate emissions are going up or down. I realize that the Second Draft is just a draft, but it’s the Second Draft (I’ll look at the first draft as well) and written by responsible scientists who seem to have arrived at a different position than the Final Draft.) The language of the Final Draft was not itself sent out for review by independent scientists in the same way as the Second Draft. In another case, where I have detailed knowledge – see the von Storch post – the Final Draft appears to me to have inserted an unjustified claim not present in the Second Draft and directly opposed by two knowledgeable commenters.

  62. bernie
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 4:47 PM | Permalink

    ks #59
    I am honestly not sure what Stern’s paper shows since his estimates are so much at variance with those of others, particularly with respect to China. Stern’s 1990 estimate for Sulfur emissions for China are 9523 Gg S versus ALS’s estimate of 14214 Gg S.
    Moreover, the latest China data indicates that Sulfur (SO2) emissions are growing at 4.5% per year (2003-2004), where as Stern’s latest growth figure for China (2000-2003) was 2.7%. Given the size of China’s contribution to overall emissions this is a non-trivial difference.
    The bottom line is that the use of aerosols as an explanatory variable appears to be under-analyzed and its use as such, either pro or con AGW, inappropriate pending the emergence of more dependable estimates of emissions.

    Note: Other commentators have called into question China’s data, though these are the numbers Stern uses.

    If anyone is an expert on Kyoto metrics and the conversion factors from Gg S to tons of SO2, I would appreciate a coherent reference since everyone seems to delight in using different measures.

  63. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 6:00 PM | Permalink

    I’ve collated Stern’s SO2 emission data in a tab-separated ASCII file http://data.climateaudit.org/data/stern/so2.dat . I’ve added a plot of Chinese and Indian data to 2000 – this is not a cumulative graphic – each is separate. Chinese emissions in the early 2000s were said to be lower than 1988. I have no opinion on whether this makes sense or not, but it seems like it would be worth someone cross-checking.

  64. ks
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

    Jeez, ks, you have a hard time following an argument. I don’t personally use 1988 data anywhere. I merely observed that the Swindle graphic derives from an old Hansen version. I didn’t use it. Once again, I only use this as a counter-example to allegations that they used non-Hansen data.

    Steve, speaking of having a hard time following an argument. We established that the claim of not using NASA data applied only to the 120 year Durkin graph, not the 110 year Durkin graph. That was (I believe) why you changed your post. The allegations regarding the 110 year graph are that it more closely resembles current graphs of NH temps than global temps as seen on 2006 NASA data.

    As for the item at hand, as far as I can tell (from the title) it was about the accuracy of the RMS complaint. All I could see in the RMS complaint was quoting the conclusions of a paper. The conclusion stated global aerosols went down. While you demonstrate two countries aerosols went up, I haven’t seen an argument of a net global increase after 1989. Based on that, the RMS allegations you highlighted with bold text look to be correct.

    According to the RMS letter, the aerosol theory was “well-established” at the time that MBH98 was published.

    Steve, not sure what part of the RMS letter gave you this idea (feel free to highlight which part it was). They did say it was “well-established” but I don’t find any mention that it was the case in 1998 or any year prior. Looks like another misrepresentation/misquote of the RMS letter. I do hope you correct this for the sake of accuracy.

    Dave B, have I commented one way or the other on any reconstruction of the last 1000 years’ global temp to this discussion? What’s the relevance?

    Bernie, the RMS letter cites the Stern paper as concluding global aerosols went down. That Chinese aerosols went up does not change the conclusion regarding global aerosols. It looks like the RMS letter accurately reflects the conclusion of the Stern 2005 paper.

  65. David Smith
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 7:57 PM | Permalink

    Re #52 A nice website for Atlantic surface currents is here . Ocean currents may sound like dull reading but it’s worth a perusal.

  66. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 9:37 PM | Permalink

    Here’s something that I don’t get with Stern’s calculations. Stern doesn’t categorize sulphur emissions by origin, but pre-http://www.asl-associates.com/sulfur1.htm data indicates that over 90% of sulphate emissions in 1990 came from fuel and less than 10% from “mining” – actually smelting.

    So the post-1989 decline reported by Stern has to come primarily from decreased sulphur emissions from burning fossil fuels. Most of the reduction in Stern between 1988 and 2000 came in Eastern Europe – presumably from decreased coal consumption.

    But if the world is burning more fossil fuels overall as evidence by increased CO2 emissions, unless there’s been some huge change to lower-sulphur coal that I’m unaware of, then surely sulphur emissions should be tracking CO2 emissions. It seems much too obvious a point to have eluded Stern, so I presume that I’m missing something obvious: any thoughts? Also wouldn’t increased Chinese coal consumption lead to increased SO2 emission in China?

  67. DeWitt Payne
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 9:49 PM | Permalink

    Re: #66

    Sulfur emissions in the US declined in large part because SO2 scrubbers were added to coal burning plants. I don’t know whether China is using scrubbing technology or not.

  68. bernie
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 10:04 PM | Permalink

    Data for 2005 and 2006 from CHina are not good for those arguing a sharp continuing decrease in SO2 emissions. Official statements indicate that the current level is 25.94 million tons compared to 22.55 in 2004. This represents a growth of nearly 15% from 2004!! Granted they are now talking about dramatic reductions but that is hardly the point for the aerosol arguments. Since Stern uses Gg S, these numbers need to be reworked to provide an estimate of how far off Stern’s estimates were. The year over year growth rates suggest that the decline is somewhat of a mirage. Non-aerosol arguments for the 70s cooling may need to be re-examined.

  69. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 6:40 AM | Permalink

    One of the problems with Stern’s paper is that he doesn’t discuss things like scrubbers. Little academic papers such as his article are singularly inappropriate for this type of analysis. Analysts work full time on things like copper markets; so it’s crazy that world sulphur dioxide emissions rely on part-time work by an academic economist, no matter who competent. An annoying aspect of Stern’s article is that there is no reconciliation of SO2 output to energy output – showing what is due to scrubbers and what is due to consumption. Any business market analysis would have done this.

    Some statistics on energy consumption, including coal, are here.
    See also here.

    Chinese coal consumption more than doubled from 1988 to 2005, while world coal consumption increased by over 30% despite declines in the former Soviet Union and Europe. Chinese coal consumption increased much faster than Stern’s Chinese SO2 emissions. Maybe they’ve put in a lot of scrubbers or improved their coal washing methods, but anything that I’ve seen on the news suggests otherwise.

    BTW Stern only goes up to 2000. The BP energy estimates go to 2005 and I’m sure that 2006 estimates can be located somewhere. Any business organization interested in this topic would be able to estimate SO2 emissions to 2006. To turn the RMS complaint on its head, why is IPCC using SO2 data that only goes to 2000? Shouldn’t someone within the billions of climate research dollars be keeping score of this supposedly relevant forcing?

  70. beng
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

    Wow, this thread moved fast..

    RE 8: Ian Castles:

    Without researching the numbers, if China is currently an equal CO2 emitter to the US, where has the large recent increase come from? It’s got to be mostly coal-for-electricity as their transportation-sector (mostly autos/trucks using oil) share cannot be as large as the US’ at present. Then the questions are what %sulfur coal is used on avg & how extensive are the sulfur-controls? I’d have to see it to believe their sulfur controls are as extensive as US/European/Japanese etc, especially if they’re coming on line so quickly.

    IMO, Chinese sulfur emissions right now should be at least of the order of the US ~1970s or more. Add adjacent, growing India & Indonesia to that (again, the coal questions).

    The gatekeepers’ ‘consensus’ on sulfate aerosols makes no sense unless those regions are cooling down, indeed, the whole globe, since that’s what they propose for the 1940s-70s.

  71. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 8:16 AM | Permalink

    A story here says:

    As of 2005, only 14 percent of the thermal generating facilities in the country had installed desulphurization equipment, and 40% of the completed desulphurization projects are idle because of technical problems and lack of oversight.

    You see picture of people in Chinese cities wearing face masks. There must be a reason. It wouldn’t be because of rising CO2 emission but it might be because of SO@ and particulate emission.

    China is presumably worried about publicity for the Beijing Games. Is is possible that Chinese SO2 emissions have been going up commensurate with coal consumption and that the official statistics are understated? Just asking.

  72. bernie
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

    The Beijing Games could certainly explain the unrealistic goals the Chinese announced for SO2 emission reductions over the next two years.. Undocumented and unauditable adjustments to data are a widespread phenomena!!

  73. mzed
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

    #51: You are assuming that all other things are equal’€”but not all other things are equal.

    For example, gg warming is also greater in the North’€”so even if aerosol cooling is greater in the North, it shouldn’t be too surprising if the effects of both combined produce a similarly flat trend. Let’s say as an over-simplified toy model that we have +.1C/decade for gg warming and -.1C/decade for aerosol cooling in the North, then +.04C for gg warming and -.05C for aerosol cooling in the South…that would give us exactly what you describe: a flat trend in the North, and a very slight cooling trend in the South.

    Now, of course this is as over-simplistic a model as the one you used in post #44 (but did not use in post #50…) Nor am I saying that aerosols have actually been counteracting gg warming recently. (maybe they have and maybe they haven’t’€”I have no idea.) My point is just the point you made in post #50’€”there are numerous complicated forces at work, and a single time-series of temperatures is not enough to prove or disprove the existence of any single trend. Instead, it can only speak to the entire system working together, and must be seen in light of numerous other measurements of numerous other variables. Confirmation of hypotheses (i.e. reading the numbers) can only be made within the context of an understanding of the larger system. You say this is beyond us right now. Maybe so, maybe not’€”but 1) note that “it’s beyond us” is not the same thing as “it’s not ggs” and 2) the models are not half-bad at describing the past, based on the constraints of the data we have. Probably they will never start to get really good at either describing the past or predicting the future until the cloud data is collected and released a couple of years from now. (And they will always be at least a little off due to a lack of understanding of solar cycles that will not get better for a long time to come). But they are improving, which suggests that our ability to understand climate may be better than you think.

  74. bernie
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

    Mzed:
    I am not sure I get your point – unless you are saying climate systems are really complex. I think everyone here will agree and then assert that therefore predictions should be made with extreme care until we better understand the complexity. Nobody here is for the production of toxic or noxious substances. On the other hand nobody should be willing to reduce their SOL by a measurable degree just because others believe we are screwing up the planet.
    My view is that if you can’t define the dependent and independent variables in your model with precision then explaining deviations from predictions by incorporating yet another imprecisely defined variable (SO2 emissions)then you shouldn’t be (a) making strong predictions and (b) pretending that the models have more validity than the actual data they purport to replicate. The issue with sulfates is that they are called upon to explain poor alignment of predicted with actual temperatures records which in any case are in need of significant scrutiny because of undocumented and unauditable adjustments. All the AGW theories may be correct – it is just that the quality of current data leaves plenty of room for non-AGW theories. Proceeding with imprecise and incomplete data would be fine if climate scientists were doing research and adding to our general understanding. Unfortunately the stakes have been prematurely raised and by trying to direct global economic and social policies the demands for precision and completeness are far, far higher than has been the case to date. What makes me deeply skeptical is the “fudging” of hard data (temperature adjustments, incorporating bristle-cone pines, no MWP or LIA, the hyping of coincidences (Katrina, too much or too little rain), the coopting of naturally occurring phenomena (glacial earthquakes, local declines in Emperor Penguins), the ignoring of simpler alternative explanations (solar driven warming) and the demonizing of those who ask for clarification and the application of well understood criteria for scientific research and discourse.

  75. John F. Pittman
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 4:29 PM | Permalink

    http://www.cslforum.org/china.htm

    Overall Production and Consumption
    China is the third-greatest energy producer in the world (behind the United States and Russia), accounting for about 10.6% of the world’s annual total energy production. China is also the second greatest energy consumer (behind the United States), accounting for about 10.8% of the world’s total annual energy consumption. China’s energy demand has been greatly increasing and is expected to grow at about 5% per year through the year 2020. One result of this large growth in energy demand is that during the 1990s, China became a net energy importer. An historical summary of China’s Total Primary Energy Production (TPEP) and Consumption (TPEC) is shown in Table 1.

    Table 1: China’s TPEP and TPEC, 1993-2003
    (in Quads)
    1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
    TPEP 31.84 34.06 35.46 36.01 37.59 36.33 35.38 36.67 39.97 41.51 44.10
    TPEC 31.30 34.02 35.15 35.94 37.60 37.05 36.97 38.83 40.91 42.08 45.48
    note: 1 Quad = 1 quadrillion Btu
    Source: DOE/EIA

    China has proven, recoverable coal reserves estimated (as of January 2005) at about 125 billion short tons, and potential reserves of as much as 4 trillion short tons. More than half of this is bituminous and anthracite, and most of the reserves, including almost all of the highest-quality coal, is located in the northeastern part of the country.

    China is presently the world’s greatest coal producer and accounts for about 30% of the world’s total annual coal production. China is also the world’s greatest coal consumer, accounting for more than 28% of the world’s total annual coal consumption. China’s consumption is sufficiently less than its production that China is now a major coal exporter. Domestically, coal currently accounts for about two-thirds of China’s total energy usage and is responsible for fueling 70-80% of power generation, 75% of energy used in industry, and even 80% of household energy. While coal’s share of China’s energy consumption will decline in the coming years, the demand for coal is expected to increase by 20 million short tons annually over the next five years, and China plans to increase coal production by about 17% within five years. Much of this coal will be used for generation of electricity. An historical summary of coal production and consumption in China is shown in Table 4.

    Table 4: Coal Production and Consumption in China, 1993-2003
    (in millions of short tons)
    1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
    Consumption 1,276 1,390 1,495 1,509 1,450 1,392 1,343 1,282 1,357 1,413 1,531
    n/a – not applicable
    note: components may not add to total due to rounding
    Source: DOE/EIA

    Here is some data for recent times.

    Table 7: Fossil Fuel-related CO2 Emissions in China, 1993-2003
    (in millions of metric tons of CO2)
    Component 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
    CO2 from coal 2,132 2,322 2,359 2,386 2,460 2,363 2,287 2,339 2,472 2,518 2,731
    CO2 from natural gas 33 35 36 41 45 47 51 57 64 69 72
    CO2 from petroleum 422 439 470 476 534 531 566 636 653 686 737
    Total CO2 from
    all fossil fuels 2,587 2,796 2,865 2,903 3,038 2,940 2,905 3,033 3,190 3,273 3,541

    I will have to get the AP-42 emission facotrs to translate to lbs-SOx for uncontrolled emissions. However, if someone can get me about 1970 to 1992 I can plot an estimate of SOx for China for the entire period.

  76. Posted May 9, 2007 at 5:00 PM | Permalink

    Re #75

    I found some figures for Chinese SO2 emissions 1997-2003 here

  77. rrs
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 8:09 PM | Permalink

    we will soon be hearing that the flattening of temperature increases due to AGW is due to increasing aerosols from China’s burning coal – same explaination as for the 40’s to 70’s cooling. be afraid, very very afraid once China begins to install scrubbers.

  78. bernie
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 5:24 AM | Permalink

    Ferdinand:
    I believe these are the same official figures from China that are used by Stern. These figures are in dispute.
    What is interesting is the nature of the model and, I guess this type of modelling in general. It is one reason why many years ago I chose not to pursue this type of work. Fundamentally, the model assumes mechanisms that will change the nature of decisions without really providing any evidence as to the viability of the mechanism. Why will Chinese policies to curb SO2 emissions work over the next few years when the same mechanisms have been ostensibly in place for the preceding 5 years and have not apparently worked? As with all centrally controlled enterprises it will be easier to change the data than it will be to change the reality. I would find the setting of such objectives and the functioning of the models more convincing if there was evidence that existing proven technology for reducing SO2 emissions was being implemented on a widespread basis. Has anyone seen such evidence?

  79. John F. Pittman
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 9:49 AM | Permalink

    Bernie #78

    That is why I want to get the coal and fossil fuel consumptions. I can use AP-42 to get the uncontrolled emissions. Then if any want to add some pollution control, they can, if they can justify it. Otherwise, let’s do like the EPA and consider their potential to emit is equal to uncontrolled unless proven otherwise.

  80. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

    RE: #67 – In most cases, no, the Chinese do not scrub. Most stacks there are belching the fiendish black smoke and acrid SO2, unadulterated.

  81. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

    RE: #70 – In addition to generation plants, the Chinese also use coal extensively for things like stand alone generation at heavy industry sites (ala Henry Ford’s Rouge complex), firing kilns (there are huge outputs of both brick and ceramics), making steel and home heating. The coal I’ve seen there is similar in appearance to high sulfur softer types that we have in the US in PA, WV, KY etc and unlike the hard anthracite here out West. I don’t know the S percent but reckon it to be relatively high versus most of the world’s coal.

  82. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

    RE: #78 – I have personally seen no evidence of any overarching efforts to add scrubbers. There have been some efforts (money driven) to optimize burn environments with whatever knock on effect that has. There are no real air pollution laws as we would know them – most things there are largely by fiat of local Communist Party officials (not the national ones) who are on the take from operators. The only real priorities at present in terms of environmental mitigation, are, in roughly descending order – reduction/elimination of outright toxic (for example, lead) emissions which are killing/sickening people living near affected plants, installation of primary and secondary water effluent treatment, management of pesticides, slowing degradation of urban street level air quality, elimination of litter in areas frequented by Westerners (pure PR value). That’s about it. Anything lower priority than those is getting almost no attention at present.

  83. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 11:26 AM | Permalink

    RE: #79 – Good approach. That way, you’d roughly cancel out the contrasting effects of the off-the-books emissions (which are rife) against the few cases where firms (typicall foreign ones) have added scrubbers. Net, they’d probably zero out. So you’d be left with the on-the-books raw output, which is likely the real deal.

  84. DeWitt Payne
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

    Re: #80

    What’s “ring around the collar” in Chinese? Sounds like a golden marketing opportunity for Wisk.

  85. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 11:57 AM | Permalink

    RE: #85 – No doubt. On a somewhat more disgusting level, a good opportunity for Kleenex as well ;)

  86. bernie
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 4:09 PM | Permalink

    Steve Sadlov:
    I assume, therefore, there is general agreement on the basic point illustrated by the China data: Assertions about aerosols impacting global temperatures are pure conjecture because of the absence of reliable data on the actual volume and trends in the generation of these aerosols. The claim that aerosols peaked in the 80s and have since then been declining does not seem to be supported by the available data. Therefore the dip in global temperatures during the 70s has not really been explained.
    Is that where we are?

  87. John F. Pittman
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

    #86
    We need to consider that there are several developing areas in the world, South America, India-Indonesia-China-Vietnam, etc., and perhaps South Africa. They will tend to use cheap fuel sources (read high sulfur). This is because since the CAAA and Title V, only low sufur can be burned in US. My understanding is that EU is similar, but do not know of the regulation about acid rain in EU. Anyway, the demand for low sulfur and Natural Gas has meant a glut in the world market for high sulfur fuels. As someone who replaced an old high sulfur boiler, I found out that if the tubes had not been so bad, it would have been sold to the Chinese according to the demolition engineer. WE need to include these areas as well. I suspect that the aerosol argument will not stand scrutiny unless it is said that the temperatures would have been even higher.

  88. woodentop
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 5:23 PM | Permalink

    #87 John – it’s pretty clear (as has been stated elsewhere*) that the attempt to explain away the slight dip in ‘average’ global temperature from 1945-1975 (approx.) is a post-hoc rationalisation… ANYTHING which threatens the ‘consensus’ is treated similarly.

    * for one blog response:

    http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/moveabletype/mt-comments.cgi?entry_id=1143

    Look at the ‘Posted by Jim Clarke at March 22, 2007 06:44 PM’ entry…

  89. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    RE: #86 – Yes, that is where we are indeed.

    RE: #87 – Add to those, Eastern Europe. They are just now confronting EU air pollution control standards.

  90. John F. Pittman
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 7:04 PM | Permalink

    Thanks woodentop #88.

    I read some of the posts. I guess the post that explains my interest was one who explained that this Prometheus thread was to come up with useful policy. Their argument is that since politicians are going to do something, we need to steer them in the direction that will be benficial. I agree with this. The problem is that seldom, if ever, can a good policy come from bad data. The reason is simple, to get the law through, it will have to reflect the current understanding of the problem by the politician and the voters. Posted by Jim Clarke at March 24, 2007 07:54 AM. Mr. Clark must not know how laws and regulations are made. The two most important things to remember is 1.) the law must address some “concern”, and 2.) that once done, it takes some extra-ordinary event to change or stop it, not just being “right”. The politicians don’t want to change because they would have to admit it was wrong and re-visit something that they may have been “burned” on already. The regulators can’t because they only promulgate regs to meet the law. The regulated community can’t and get asked why didn’t they object before the law was enacted, even when the record is rife with their objections. So bad law can hang around for decades costing jobs, money, productivity, whatever.

    So I understand Jim’s post. It is so unfortunate for all of us if bad law happens.

    Prometheus has been portrayed as offering a middle ground’ perspective. I strongly disagree! Prometheus is not advocating something that is half-way between doing nothing and the total regulation of CO2. Prometheus is advocating the best policy choices for dealing with real problems that could get worse in the future. Prometheus is about generating good policy; not about compromising between two bad policies!

    I don’t think Jim understands that because of 1.) above, not only will the “best” policies be unlikely to be implemented, even good ones will have a difficult time. The only recourse is to force the issue and make sure that bad science is not used as a basis for law and regulations. The minimum is supposed to be transparency and the ability to repeat the science. So, if someone wants to use SOx emissions fine, they have to support what they claim. If they can’t, it should be used to cast doubt on the work. I do know that just because someone is wrong about one aspect does not mean they are wrong about all, but it is a good place to start. After all, science is about proving a concept is right, not the ability to avoid critical reveiw.

    I think the SOx and SD of temperature measurements even taken today are a great way to shed some light on the subject.

    So, Steve, you were in mining correct? Aren’t there usually organiztions that would have coal and fossil fuel data. It maybe that all that is necessary to debunk the SOx is with known world wide estimates and the AGW CO2 numbers and show a huge discrepancy. After all it was not until 1990 that large fractions of old high sulfur emitters started getting replaced by low sulfur. The EPA started taking old high sulfur emitters to court in 1996, won recently, that were allegded to be emitting more, in some cases an estiamted 33% more. These were mainly 1960 vintage coal burners. Maybe the claim of aerosols going down at all is bogus.

  91. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 10, 2007 at 9:10 PM | Permalink

    #79,90. I posted links to BP’s estimate of coal consumption in #61. According to a quick estimate, Stern’s estimate of 2003 SO2 emissions implies an non-believable decrease in S content of Chinese coal from 1989 to 2003. I used Stern’s total S emissions to 2003. I estimated emissions from coal using the proportion in the most recent ASL figure 71.5%). BP coal consumption is reported in million MT oil equiv. If this is converted to tonnes coal by 14000 BTU/b coal and 19000 BTU /lb oil , then the implied 1989 S content is an unrealistically low 0.95%, declining to an impossible 0.66% in 2004. Place more significance on the change in S content than the absolute value since the various sources are not reconciled.

    I see no basis for assuming that the S output per ton coal consumed would decrease by 28% or so. Recent reports say that there is minimal scrubbing and much of that is idle and that there is minimal washing of thermal coal.

    It sure looks like there’s something screwy in the Chinese sulphur/coal ratios.

    If Ward is advocating the use of up-to-date data, this Chinese stuff is going to be a stumbling block for im, since Stern uses obsolete data (only up to 2000). I compared Stern’s ASian data to another source and it was identical in all countries except China.

  92. Bob Ward
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 1:50 AM | Permalink

    Just briefly let me clarify a couple of points. This particular aspect of my complaint relates to the programme’s claim that the slight cooling from about 1940 indicates that greenhouse gas concentrations can’t be driving changes in global average temperature, and that the programme did not mention the effect of aerosols. I contend that this misrepresents the state of knowledge.

    In other interviews, the programme-maker has sought to justify the programme’s claim by observing that aerosol concentrations must be even higher now and so if they are having an impact we would be freezing now. There are a number of flaws in that argument, of which one is the fact that the published literature shows that global emissions of sulphate aerosols have declined. I cited the paper by Stern in my complaint because it was the most up-to-date paper on the subject that I could find. I did not use any leaked drafts of AR4 because I did not see them – although clearly the programme-maker has access to the Second Order Draft as he quoted exactly the same passage to me during a recent exchange of e-mails which are now posted on the website of ‘The Scotsman’ newspaper.

    I don’t know why there are differences between the final published draft and the leaked Second Order Draft. It seems to me that the Second Order draft might have been based on the First Order Draft, which I think may have been prepared before the Stern paper was published. But that is just a speculation. I note that the final published draft of AR4 refers to another paper that also shows a decline in sulphate emissions.

  93. Andrey Levin
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 3:13 AM | Permalink

    Re:92

    Dear Bob Ward:

    Lyrics aside, and before somebody will come forward on this blog with elaborate estimations of SOx emissions, allow me to present this back-of-the envelope estimation.

    According to data presented by Steve M. in #69 ‘€” world fossil fuel consumption from BP, world consumption of coal increased about steadily from 1485 Mtoe in 1965 to 2930 Mtoe in 2005. From this 2930 Mtoe in 2005 1169 Mtoe was consumed by OECD countries. Assuming 70% reduction in SOx emissions from OECD countries due to scrubbing, and no scrubbing for the rest of the world, amount of SOx emitted in 2005 is equivalent to 2112 Mtoe coal combustion without any scrubbing. It is about 42% increase from year 1965. I do not take into account SOx emission from ever increasing sour crude, where sulfur is mostly ending up in bunker fuel for power generation and two-stroke marine diesels.

    In the same time, CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere increased from 320 to 380 ppm, or 19%.

    Care to explain how 19% increase of CO2 in atmosphere overpowered 42+% increase in SOx emissions?

  94. Jeff Norman
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 5:39 AM | Permalink

    Re: #91 SteveM,

    I see no basis for assuming that the S output per ton coal consumed would decrease by 28% or so. Recent reports say that there is minimal scrubbing and much of that is idle and that there is minimal washing of thermal coal.

    Be careful here. If coal consumption has radically increased in China as we all believe, then it is possible that they have started burning lower quality coals wherein “the S output per ton coal consumed” could have actually decreased even by as much as 28%. A better measure of the change in sulphur would be kg/kJ.

    In most of North America and Europe, coal fired stations have some sort of fly ash collection systems with removal efficiencies ranging from ~98% for electrostatic precipitators to over 99% for baghouse precipitators. I believe that most Chinese power stations do not have fly ash collection systems and this is a large contributor to the dust clouds drifting across the Pacific Ocean.

  95. Jeff Norman
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 6:01 AM | Permalink

    Re: #92 Wherein Mr. Ward says:

    This particular aspect of my complaint relates to the programme’s claim that the slight cooling from about 1940 indicates that greenhouse gas concentrations can’t be driving changes in global average temperature, and that the programme did not mention the effect of aerosols. I contend that this misrepresents the state of knowledge.

    I believe this misrepresents what was shown on the Swindle. IIRC they stated that increasing CO2 does not correlate well with increasing temperature and use the post 1940 cooling period as an exemplar of this lack of correlation. Does anyone else have this perception? I’ll have to watch the Swindle again to test my perception, probably an outcome Mr. Ward was not desiring.

    Whether you demonstrate this with NASA’s (GISS) 1988 temperature trend or NASA’s (GISS) 2007 temperature trend it remains true that northern and southern temperatures started decreasing after 1940, long before aerosols could have had an effect.

    I also seem to recall that the IPCC refers to anthropogenic global warming in the last fifty years which according to the most recent NASA (GISS) trend did not start until some time in the 1970s.

    IMO this particular thesis of the Swindle has not been undermined by the Ward et al complaint .

    I find it passing strange that Mr. Ward sometimes calls that a complaint and sometimes calls it an appeal.

  96. bernie
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 10:13 AM | Permalink

    Bob (#92):
    This thread suggests that the estimates on sulfur emissions are too full of questions to be seriously relied upon, including Stern’s paper. Any argument based on aerosols, pro or con AGW, are therefore questionable on their face. My reading is that Durkin questioned the convenience of
    the SO2 impact on ’50s to ’70s temperatures. Are you arguing that the estimates and trends of SO2 emissions are indeed accurate? Have you actually read Stern’s papers e.g. May 2005 Working Paper and looked at Table 3. Have you seen the latest Chinese official estimates?

  97. bernie
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 10:17 AM | Permalink

    For some reason this comment seemed to trigger a concern: My apologies if this is making life difficult for reviewers.

    Bob (#92):
    This thread suggests that the estimates on sulfur emissions are too full of questions to be seriously relied upon, including Stern’s paper. Any argument based on aerosols, pro or con AGW, are therefore questionable on their face. My reading is that Durkin questioned the convenience of
    the SO2 impact on ’50s to ’70s temperatures. Are you arguing that the estimates and trends of SO2 emissions are indeed accurate? Have you actually read Stern’s papers e.g. May 2005 Working Paper and looked at Table 3. Have you seen the latest Chinese official estimates?

  98. Ken Fritsch
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

    Re: #91

    If Ward is advocating the use of up-to-date data, this Chinese stuff is going to be a stumbling block for im, since Stern uses obsolete data (only up to 2000). I compared Stern’s ASian data to another source and it was identical in all countries except China.

    Cannot one play this game by doing an IPCC and cherry picking published references (without a lot of critical concerns with possible conflicting information) and then authoritatively referring to published literature or better yet peer reviewed published literature. This process precludes further researching of the literature and critiquing what is currently available and can effectively allow one to ignore countervailing results.

    So far all of what Ward has found wanting in “Swindle” appears on further analysis to point emphatically to the uncertainty of what most of climate science appears to use without the warranted caveats.

  99. Mark T.
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

    Yes, publication bias is a very real problem for the “current state of science,” particularly as viewed by the IPCC. In fact, some have even pondered that said “current state of science” isn’t apparent even in the biased selection, i.e. the selective publication list doesn’t necessarily uphold the conclusions drawn from them.

    Mark

  100. Posted May 11, 2007 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

    Some interesting (draft) study from China was recently made by Streets ea., where figure 6 is of interest: Streets ea (2000) follows an increasing line of SO2 emissions in the period 1995-1997, but the Chinese EPA (SEPA) shows a decrease in the same years! Streets ea. (2003) follows this for the emissions of 2000. But even the SEPA sees an increase in SO2 emissions 1999-2005 from 18 to 25 Mt/yr, after a drop from 23 to 18 Mt/yr 1995-1999.

    There are several discrepancies here:
    – Stern’s data do not follow the trends of Streets or SEPA and, if the scales are similar, shows only halve the amounts (1 Tg = 1 Mt = 1 million metric tons)
    – The SEPA SO2 data don’t follow the coal/oil consumption rates as provided by John Pittman, or they should have installed and used new scrubbing equipment (which is highly unlikely).

    Seems that one needs an independent audit in China…

    Further, the story of Streets ea (2007) too has several discrepancies:

    With regard to cloud cover, Kaiser (1998, 2000) found that observational data for the
    period 1951-1994 showed a decreasing trend over much of China and concluded that the
    increasing temperature trend could not be explained by increasing cloud cover.

    If this is not in error, it contradicts the secondary effect of aerosols: according to the theory, increased aerosols (especially SO2), forms more and finer droplets in clouds, which increase albedo and lifetime. But there are less clouds! Which of course would increase temperatures.

    Something similar can be seen in the cloud trends of the Northern Indian Ocean (see: Norris, 2001), where cloud cover changes are similar in the heavily polluted NH as in the far less polluted SH.

    The change in direct/indirect solar radiation (global dimming) has little to do with aerosols, as the timing is not right for Europe: aerosols decreased since 1975, while brightening started 1985. The same for other places, where dimming/brightening don’t match aerosol trends (see Wild ea, 2005 in Science). Even Australia and the South Pole, far less to near zero polluted by aerosols show dimming until 1990 and a recovery thereafter. Some stations at the South Pole see an increase of over 10 W/m2, not attributable to aerosols or GHGs. My impression is that either water vapor and/or cloud cover are involved:

    Bermuda shows no change in direct sunlight on clear days, but a change of 5 W/m2 on non-clear days. This points to a reduction in cloud cover, which is also measured by satellites for the 30N-30S band.

    Phillipona and Durr found an increase in downwelling IR radiation with increased water vapor over Europe, far higher than expected from GHGs feedback (probably NAO related). This also may explain dimming of direct sunlight (absorption in the near IR?)…

    Still a lot of work to do for the climate researchers…

  101. bernie
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 2:43 PM | Permalink

    Ferdinad:
    Stern’s tables are for Sulfur/Sulphur not SO2. 2 Gg SO2 = approx 1 Gg S — that is one reason for the discrepancy between Stern and official Chinese stats.

  102. John F. Pittman
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

    Steve, raw SOx increases based on unit increases expressed as percentage increase for China

    28.0956848 coal
    118.1818182 NG
    74.64454976 Petro
    percent increase
    from 1993 to 2003

    Assuming little if any scrubbing. However this is probably low for SOx emissions since I know from my brother’s work, who helped disassemble American plants, and my own expierence with an obsolete boiler, the Chinese were buying boilers and powerplants that could not meet or had difficulty meeting any emission rates except for uncontrolled. The raw data indicates that from just the period from 1993 to 2003, the Chinese had significant increases in SOx from coal and petro. Also keep in mind that the 118% in NG use is NOT LIKELY (IPCC eat your heart out) for energy except speciality items like political/military uses. It is funding their market entrance and expected dominance of plastics. NG is great, Petro very expensive, coal worthless for plastics synthesis without lots of expensive Western technology.

    #92 I have only seen a supportable case for saying EU and North America (giving Mexico credit for trying to keep from gas housing their citizens). All other engineering estimations or conversations that I have seen or heard, is that the Asian Tiger (you can exclude Japan) is fueled by high sulfur fuels since EU, Japan, and NA are sucking the low sulfur wells dry. As posted above about the EU and the old Eastern Bloc, my company is EU, is investing in old Eastern Bloc (this was a political issue explained to me by corporate persons from EU) since their regs, standard of living, and high sulfur fuel use were favourable. EU citizens were complaining as US citizens complain about Mexico. Bob, I am trying to get world wide consumption of high sulfur fuels because I can’t support your following statement:

    There are a number of flaws in that argument, of which one is the fact that the published literature shows that global emissions of sulphate aerosols have declined.

    The raw data from China do not agree. See post #75. And they are only one of many expanding economies. Could I have the raw data and assumptions from this published literature?

    #94 The EPA uses lbs-emitted per million BTU’s based on the fuel burnt. Typically lower quality has been defined by NA and EU requirements of low sulfur. Thus the low cost & low quality fuel is high sulfur not low. Actually I read somewhere that it was particulate matter (PM) that was causing a decrease in temperature rather than aerosols. Perhaps it is both. But with just China as an example as indicated above, we would have to say “thank God for these polluters or we would be frying to death already.” Because the raw data indicate they are producing since 1993 an ever increasing amount of SOx and PM.

    #98 Although there is some claim of scrubbers on new installation, I have not seen indication of scrubbers on existing units or that they were retrofitting scrubbers on their purchases of outdated (environmentally) USA equipment. The best estimate under this scenario is a more modest increase in SOx than indicated in this post, not a decrease. There is little reason to assume, in fact the opposite, that China is using low sulfur fuels. Note depending on the type of SOx technology, PM may not be addressed effectively unless measured.

    #99 Bernie That is why I want raw consumption and translate it into tons emitted. The AP-42 is a powerful estimater. You can get BTUs (tons or equivalent and BTUs/equivalent), emissions lbs per million BTUs, grab a reasonable energy efficiency, and compute a good estimate of emissions.

  103. bernie
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 6:17 PM | Permalink

    John:
    I am with you on this. The oddity is how easy it is to make unverified assertions that have significant consequences for the rest of
    us. This is why what Steve M and Ross have done is so important in putting other on notice.

  104. John F. Pittman
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 7:05 PM | Permalink

    re bernie #103

    I hope Bob #92 gives us some insight to the actual data IPCC or whomever uses. This is why I started entering in these discussions. I want the raw data, the assumptions, the methodology. I just happen to need it.

  105. Posted May 12, 2007 at 1:43 AM | Permalink

    Re #102/92

    The main problem with the alleged cooling effect of aerosols is that we don’t even know the sign of its effect. Coal burning emits SO2 (which may induce cooling), but also PM, which is brown/black inorganics and coal rests. That is absorbing sunlight, thus increases temperatures of the air layer (up to some 3 km over India), but reduces insolation at ground level. The net effect of all influences may be cooling, warming or neutral. Nobody knows for real.

    This is a very important item, as a high influence of (cooling) aerosols implies a high influence of GHGs, or the reverse. The following graph (with thanks to RC) makes that clear:

    Near all investigations I have read until know, point to an overestimation of the direct (and a fortiori the indirect effect) of aerosols on temperature. Even optical density measurements may induce an overestimation of anthro aerosols, as it is quite difficult to know the difference between natural fine aerosols and human induced. One example is over East Asia, where Heald ea. found that most of the SOA (secondary organic aerosols) in the free troposphere were from natural organics (VOC, mostly terpenes from pine trees). This gives already 10% of the aerosol optical depth. Including similar reactions in the lower troposphere (the haze of the “blue mountains”) would increase this figure substantially. This is not included in aerosol formation/transport models.

  106. John F. Pittman
    Posted May 12, 2007 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

    #105

    were from natural organics (VOC, mostly terpenes from pine trees}

    Yes, very familiar with this. I live near the Appalachian Blue Ridge Mountains. It was an issue when CAAA came about with its regulations about ozone and VOC’s.

    One of the many nice things about AP-42 is that one can get PM estimates as well. Need to seperate the petro into gasoline, diesel, and bunker oil though. I have read that the Chinese use a lot of #6 (bunker oil) which has high sulfur content and high PM emissions. Will look for some data so we can split data in #102. May need to for the reason that if the Chinese use a lot of bunker oil, an average petro factor would grossly underestimate their PM and SOx emissions. I note that aerosols would include PM, correct, in the above graph?

  107. John F. Pittman
    Posted May 12, 2007 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

    In addition, our deficient understanding of aerosol forcing also hinders our ability to use the modern temperature record to constrain the “climate sensitivity” ‘€” the operative parameter in determining exactly how much warming will result from a given increase in CO2 concentration.

    from RC. Just wondering how you can state definetly that the post WW2 era was influenced to such a degree that you can justify an attack on someone else’s 11 year smoothed graph? (If memory serves me.)

  108. Posted May 12, 2007 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

    Re #106:

    I note that aerosols would include PM, correct, in the above graph?

    John,

    No, the graph is only for cooling anthropogenic aerosols, with as main component sulfate aerosols, and according to the IPCC 2001 graph also by VOC’s from coal burning. The latter mostly from incomplete burning. These should be more reflecting than absorbing. But as far as I have seen on pictures above India, the aerosol haze up to 3 km there is brown, not white… I suppose that much depends on how is burned. The same for biomass burning: (induced) forest fires give a lot of black smoke, more restricted agricultural fires may give a less dark smoke.

    In the beginning, climate modelers used sulfate aerosols and they forgot about PM and other brown/black aerosols. Nowadays they try to match the temperature record with a mix of reflecting and absorbing aerosols, but “of course” with in sum a cooling effect (or it would be problematic to match the 1945-1975 dip).
    In the 2007 SPM they lumped it all together again, and only give an estimate for the total effects (direct on insolation/reflectance and secondary on cloud cover: reflectance/lifetime).

    Only for snow cover by black carbon (BC), they estimate a warming effect (under albedo changes). I wonder, if black carbon is only a part of total aerosol emissions, why other solid white/grey aerosols (especially burned out fly ash) should not overwhelm the BC effect? Liquid aerosols (VOC, SOA, SO2) don’t have effect as deposit, as most of them are soluble in water or get oxydised to water soluble molecules.

    Thus all together, not easy to know the effect of PM, which depends on its color (thus burning conditions). In the case of SE Asia, I should count most as brown/black… with a warming effect.

    Further, no climate program takes into account changes in natural background aerosols, from Sahara sand to terpenes from trees, which are wind (and temperature/seasonal) dependent.

  109. John F. Pittman
    Posted May 12, 2007 at 7:24 PM | Permalink

    A paper by David Stern, published in the journal Chemosphere’ in 2005, showed that sulphurous emissions around the world increased sharply between 1945 and about 1989, since when they have declined markedly. Sulphurous emissions peaked in North America and Europe during the 1970s.

    In his paper, Stern acknowlegded that in the 1990’s China became the major source. He indicates a 25% decrease in worldwide emissions for 1990 to 2000,

    It is stated that in 1995 China was not meeting its own pollution standards and it estimated that the value of premature deaths by World Bank was nearly 5% of GDP listed in “The Health Benefits of Controlling Carbon Emissions in China” Garbaccio, et al.

    In San Diego Earth times Aug 2000 it states that Transpacific air pollution is worse than expected. It credits rising industrialization in Asia. Stern indicates that China’s emissions peaked in 1995.

    From Wikipedia quoting UPI NewsTrack, As of 2006, China is the world’s largest sulfur dioxide polluter, with 2005 emissions estimated to be 25.49 million tons. This amount represents a 27% increase since 2000, and is roughly comparable with U.S. emissions in 1980.

    Conversely world sulfur estimates by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for US Dept of Energy show a 16% worldwide decrease from 1980 to 2000.

    Husar indicates a leveling off from about 1980 to 1990…The data clearly show that while North American and in some cases, European, emissions have been leveling off, rapid increases are occurring in China,” Husar says.

  110. John F. Pittman
    Posted May 12, 2007 at 7:30 PM | Permalink

    #108 Thanks.

    PM from wood, coal, and #6 fuel oil (bunker) is black carbon. The yellow/brown is usually from peat. Some of the largest known peat masses are in SE Asia and India. Chinese have used peat as the major fuel source for cooking and home heating. Has been used in Indochina area for same purpose as well. Not sure of India.

  111. Follow the Money
    Posted May 13, 2007 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

    Alexander Cockburn’s take on sulfates:

    Link: Who are the Merchants of Fear?

    When measured reality doesn’t cooperate with the lurid model predictions, new compensating “factors” are concocted, such as the briefly popular sulfate aerosols of the 1990os, recruited to cool off the obviously excessive heat predicted by the models. Or the existing, inconvenient data are water-boarded into submission as happened with the ice-core samples that fail to confirm the modellers’ need for record temperatures today as opposed to half a million years ago. As Richard Kerr, Science magazine’s man on global warming remarked, “Climate modelers have been ‘cheating’ for so long it’s become almost respectable.”

  112. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 10:32 PM | Permalink

    Here’s the longest continuous record I can find of solar optical transmission. Unfortunately, it ends in 1996. I’ll try to find some more recent data.

    I don’t see anything in this data that indicates that the 1945-1975 cooling was aerosol induced …

    From the same source, here’s another look at the inverse of the same data, that is, the optical depth from four different observatories: Mauna Loa (MLO), Barrow Alaska (BRW), Samoa (SMO), and the South Pole (SPO).

    Although this data is more modern, again I see no sign of the increase and then decrease of aerosols that is reputed to explain the changes in temperature.

    w.

  113. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 10:56 PM | Permalink

    #112,

    Willis, someone once tried to explain to me that the cooling during the “aerosol” period was actually caused by above ground nuclear testing. But I don’t know if they meant that the above ground testing created aerosols or if it was in place of the “aerosol” effect altogether. Not sure I buy it either way, but wondered if you had any insights into that argument.

  114. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Sep 28, 2007 at 3:38 AM | Permalink

    MORE THOUGHTS ON SULFATES

    I got to thinking about the theory that sulfate aerosols are the cause of the decrease in global temperatures from ~1945 – 1975. How can this theory be tested?

    The only way to test a theory is to create a falsifiable claim based on the theory. I first thought that the difference between the Northern Hemisphere (NH) and Southern Hemisphere (SH) temperatures might be a test. But the problem with this is that the ocean is the main determinant of global temperature, and the effects of sulfate aerosols are created on land and don’t drift too far before they are rained out. Thus the ocean signal would overwhelm the land signal.

    Then I though about using just the land signal … but the problem is that the two hemispheres naturally heat and cool at different rates, so the effects might not be due to aerosols.

    So then I thought about ways to remove the ocean and the hemispheric differences from the equation. I figured that the difference between the land and ocean in both the NH and SH should reveal the effect (if any) of the sulphates. If the sulfate is affecting the temperatures according to the theory, it should cool the land more than the ocean. And since the sulfate emission is overwhelmingly in the NH, the NH (land – ocean) should cool more than the SH (land – ocean).

    This method removes the confounding effect of the ocean, as well as the differential heating and cooling of the hemispheres.

    To test this, I used the CRUTEM3 land temperature, the HadSST2 ocean temperature, and the Fischer Greenland ice core sulfate record from Core B21 (as shown in the IPCC TAR). I looked at NH (land – ocean) minus SH (land – ocean). We would expect this temperature curve to drop during the time of the maximum airborne sulfate, when the NH land is cooled in respect to the ocean, and the SH is not. Here are the results:

    While at first glance these appear to be related, in fact the relationship is extremely poor. The R^2 of the smoothed temperature curve vs. the sulfate levels is only 0.02. In part this is because the temperature curve starts rising very sharply about 1967, well before the peak of the atmospheric sulfate levels, and continues to rise.

    As you can see, temperature differentials were about the same in 1940 as in 1972 … but the 1972 sulfate level was almost double the 1942 level. This should have depressed the NH land temperature (vs. NH ocean) much more than the corresponding SH level, but clearly it did not.

    In short, I find the theory that the sulfate concentrations did not have the predicted effect on the NH land temperatures, and the theory is falsified.

    w.

  115. SteveSadlov
    Posted Sep 28, 2007 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

    Bump.

  116. Chris Harrison
    Posted Sep 28, 2007 at 3:25 PM | Permalink

    Willis,

    Very interesting graph.

    The ratio of land to ocean is very different between the two hemispheres but since what you are plotting is a good approximation (in kelvin) to

    NL / NO * SO /SL

    this probably isn’t a problem.

  117. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Sep 28, 2007 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

    Thanks, Chris, for your post.

    I was actually quite proud when I thought of this method of testing the aerosol hypothesis. Among other things, it reduces the problem with the sea surface temperatures due to Parker’s questionable postulated change in SST measurement methods previously discussed on this blog. Since the adjustments are roughly equal for both hemispheres, they should mostly cancel out.

    I am going to look next at how the graph appears if we use the SSTs without the Parker adjustment … more to come.

    I thought about the difference between the land/ocean ratio in the two hemispheres and what effect it might have on the graph that I showed, without reaching any conclusion. I can form a reasonable argument for each of the options, that it might raise, lower, or not change the ratio graphed above.

    w.

  118. Pat Frank
    Posted Sep 28, 2007 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

    #114 — Willis, why not try calculating (NH total avg temp minus NH SST)? That should give you total average NH land temp. Likewise the analogous Southern Hemisphere subtraction should give you total average SH land temp.

    Then you can compare average land T to average SST, and again test the theory. I.e., if NH land has the aerosols, NH land T’s should decrease while NH SSTs do their own thing. You can also compare NH land to SH land to see if NH land uniquely shows an aerosol-predicted T decrease.

    Or did I miss the point?

  119. D. Patterson
    Posted Sep 28, 2007 at 6:52 PM | Permalink

    Re: #117

    Consider factoring in the changes in cryosphere balance, and keep an eye open for transfers of cryosphere mass between the North Pole and South Pole during multiple cycles. Aerosols and sulfates affect precipitation rates and modulate transport and mass balance of water, snow, and ice between the hydrosphere, cryosphere, and atmosphere in the varying pattern of worldwide distribution of the water cycle events. It would be interesting to learn how much of the reportedly disappearing Arctic cryosphere is simply enroute for deposition into the increasing ice mass in the Antarctic.

  120. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Sep 28, 2007 at 10:15 PM | Permalink

    Pat Frank, you say:

    #114 — Willis, why not try calculating (NH total avg temp minus NH SST)? That should give you total average NH land temp. Likewise the analogous Southern Hemisphere subtraction should give you total average SH land temp.

    Then you can compare average land T to average SST, and again test the theory. I.e., if NH land has the aerosols, NH land T’s should decrease while NH SSTs do their own thing. You can also compare NH land to SH land to see if NH land uniquely shows an aerosol-predicted T decrease.

    Or did I miss the point?

    The NH and SH average land temp is actually what I have used, which is from the CRUTEM3 dataset. There’s no need to calculate it indirectly.

    I did not compare NH land to SH land, since the temperatures of the two hemispheres move independently, and I wanted to remove the full-hemisphere effects and focus on land-only effects.

    All the best,

    w.

  121. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Sep 28, 2007 at 10:30 PM | Permalink

    D. Patterson, you raise an interesting issue when you say:

    Consider factoring in the changes in cryosphere balance, and keep an eye open for transfers of cryosphere mass between the North Pole and South Pole during multiple cycles. Aerosols and sulfates affect precipitation rates and modulate transport and mass balance of water, snow, and ice between the hydrosphere, cryosphere, and atmosphere in the varying pattern of worldwide distribution of the water cycle events. It would be interesting to learn how much of the reportedly disappearing Arctic cryosphere is simply enroute for deposition into the increasing ice mass in the Antarctic.

    I’d love to be able to do that, but unfortunately the records on the ice are 1) far too short and 2) area-based rather than volume based.

    We only have passable ice records since about 1980, when satellites began to give us worldwide coverage. Even these records are not unambiguous, as there are several datasets derived from the same satellite data that vary considerably.

    And the area of the sea ice doesn’t tell us a whole lot, because we don’t know the thickness. If we have 10% less sea ice (a fairly large jump in area) but it’s 10% thicker, the net change is very small. It would appear large, though, since we only have area estimates of the ice.

    Finally, we don’t have accurate time-series records of the thicknesses of the main global ice repositories, the Greenland ice cap and the Antarctic ice cap. It is not widely recognized how small the sea ice volume actually is in the global scheme of things:

    The sum of the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice packs is only about one thousandth of the global ice volume …

    For these reasons, while I’d like to include the cryosphere in my calculations, I simply can’t.

    w.

  122. D. Patterson
    Posted Sep 29, 2007 at 12:31 AM | Permalink

    Re: #121

    The many peer reviewed papers regarding Snowball Earth events feature sulfates, aerosols, carbonates, the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and the cryosphere as prominent factors in their calculated models. Would some of these provide any help or insight with respect to qualification of factors and quantification of potential range boundaries?

  123. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Sep 29, 2007 at 4:31 AM | Permalink

    D. Patterson, another interesting question:

    The many peer reviewed papers regarding Snowball Earth events feature sulfates, aerosols, carbonates, the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and the cryosphere as prominent factors in their calculated models. Would some of these provide any help or insight with respect to qualification of factors and quantification of potential range boundaries?

    Hmmm. I don’t think so. The problems are that a) we really don’t understand the Snowball Earth; b) we’re not sure in exactly what form a “Snowball Earth” existed; c) we have very little data about that period so long ago; and d) our models are very crude. There’s an overview of the hypothesis, along with a host of problems, alternate explanations, and questions involved, on Wikipedia.

    However, I’ll take a look … OK, here’s a typical abstract:

    The Snowball Earth hypothesis explains the development of glaciation at low latitudes in the Neoproterozoic, as well as the associated iron formations and cap carbonates, in terms of a runaway ice-albedo feedback leading to a global glaciation followed by an extreme greenhouse climate. The initiation of a snowball glaciation is linked to a variety of unusual perturbations of the carbon cycle operating over different timescales, as evidenced by unusual patterns in the carbon isotopic composition of marine carbonate. Thus a theory for why multiple glaciations happened at this time, and not in the Phanerozoic nor earlier in the Proterozoic, requires a reexamination of the carbon cycle and the controls on climate stability.

    We propose that the concentration of continental area in the tropics was a critical boundary condition necessary for the onset of glaciation, both because the existence of substantial continental area at high latitudes may prevent atmospheric carbon dioxide from getting too low and because a tropical concentration of continental area may lead to more efficient burial of organic carbon through increased tropical river discharge. Efficient organic carbon burial sustained over tens of millions of years, required by the high carbon isotopic compositions of preglacial carbonate, may lead to the buildup of enormous quantities of methane, presumably in hydrate reservoirs.

    We examine how the slow release of this methane may explain the drop in ?13C values immediately before the glaciation. Moreover, the accumulation of methane in the atmosphere coupled with the response of silicate weathering to the additional greenhouse forcing can lead to a climate with methane as the major greenhouse gas. This situation is unstable because methane is not buffered by a large ocean reservoir like carbon dioxide, and so the collapse of the methane source may provide a trigger for the onset of a runaway ice-albedo feedback. A simple model of the carbon cycle is used to explore the boundary conditions that would allow this to occur.

    Not sure how that would help the current question about the effect of aerosols. The rude truth is that we don’t even know for sure whether aerosols cause cooling or warming or are neutral. IPCC says cooling, but a recent paper on the “brown cloud” over Asia says warming … go figure. The effects of aerosols are horrendously complex — they affect cloud formation, and cloud duration, and sunlight absorption, and ULR absorption, and atmospheric chemistry, and likely a host of other things. The size of the effects given in e.g. the IPCC report are based purely on climate models, calculated by the usual bass-ackwards process. To wit, the value for the aerosol effect is adjusted until the model fits some chosen historical parameter, usually the global temperature timeline. Then the range of answers from a number of models are given as the uncertainty.

    Riiiight … I guess if you didn’t know what “science” is, that could kind of look like science …

    w.

  124. fFreddy
    Posted Sep 29, 2007 at 6:53 AM | Permalink

    Re #121, Willis Eschenbach
    Willis, that chart is an absolute knock-out – I wish I knew how to hack it into the BBC site wailing about the North-West Passage being open for the first time since (ahem, satellite) records began.
    Could I ask, what is the source for your data ?

  125. D. Patterson
    Posted Sep 29, 2007 at 7:20 AM | Permalink

    Re: #114, #123

    What happens if the precipitation rates are substantially variable and non-comparable due to differences in the hemispheric and latitudinal locations of lithosphere, hydrosphere, and temporal sequences of the water cycle events? If and when sulfates and aerosols are removed at different rates by substantial differences in geographic and temporal precipitaiton patterns, their differing rates of removal would also make their effect upon ambient temperatures variable as well. Of course, the IPCC and Gavin Schmidt among others are relying upon isotopic fractionation analyses to guage the number of giga-tons for certain compounds are being transported between environments. Any method looking for hemispheric differences will encounter those arguments and the differential transports of oxygen, carbon dioxide, carbonates, sulfates, and so forth.

  126. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Sep 29, 2007 at 10:11 PM | Permalink

    I got to thinking about possible errors in my analysis. I thought to check that 1) the other sources of sulfate records from Greenland agreed with the record I showed, and 2) that the main sources were local to the Northern Hemisphere. Here’s the IPCC data:

    As you can see, the three Greenland ice cores are in close agreement, and the Europe + US emissions match the general change of the sulfate levels.

    w.

  127. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Sep 29, 2007 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

    fFreddy, thanks for the question. You say:

    Willis, that chart is an absolute knock-out – I wish I knew how to hack it into the BBC site wailing about the North-West Passage being open for the first time since (ahem, satellite) records began.
    Could I ask, what is the source for your data ?

    The sea temperature is HadSST2, and the land temperature is CRUTEM3, both available here. The sulfate levels are digitized from the IPCC TAR Figure 5.4.

    All the best,

    w.

  128. fFreddy
    Posted Sep 29, 2007 at 11:31 PM | Permalink

    Willis, thank you, but I actually meant the ice chart in #121. (It strikes me as having significant communication possibilities.)

  129. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Sep 29, 2007 at 11:52 PM | Permalink

    D. Patterson, once again good questions. You say:

    What happens if the precipitation rates are substantially variable and non-comparable due to differences in the hemispheric and latitudinal locations of lithosphere, hydrosphere, and temporal sequences of the water cycle events? If and when sulfates and aerosols are removed at different rates by substantial differences in geographic and temporal precipitaiton patterns, their differing rates of removal would also make their effect upon ambient temperatures variable as well. Of course, the IPCC and Gavin Schmidt among others are relying upon isotopic fractionation analyses to guage the number of giga-tons for certain compounds are being transported between environments. Any method looking for hemispheric differences will encounter those arguments and the differential transports of oxygen, carbon dioxide, carbonates, sulfates, and so forth.

    While the precipitation rates may be different, sulfates don’t travel very far, and very little of it goes from hemisphere to hemisphere. Thus, regardless of differences in rates, the levels in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres are very different. Getting information on historical SH sulfate levels is difficult, since the ice cores there don’t record recent events. However, there is general agreement that the levels are quite different.

    The increased sulfate levels are from the burning of coal and oil, and the overwhelming majority of this happens in the Northern Hemisphere. Thus, there should be a discernable signal in the first graph I showed above.

    Anyone with information on historical sulfate levels in the SH, please let me know.

    Thanks,

    w.

  130. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Sep 29, 2007 at 11:54 PM | Permalink

    fFreddy, sorry for the misunderstanding. The ice volumes are from here.

    w.

  131. fFreddy
    Posted Sep 30, 2007 at 5:08 AM | Permalink

    Thanks Willis

  132. John F. Pittman
    Posted Sep 30, 2007 at 6:20 AM | Permalink

    Willis,http://www.american.edu/TED/japanair.htm Could you use Japan as a verification? They presently have an acid rain problem much of which is coming from China. It would have the assumption that PM particulate matter would be less likely to get to Japan (molecule versus 1 – 10 micron). China industrialized later than Japan, you could use Far East and Japan/China specific consumption data. I have looked at an economic estimate that was on CA; don’t use it. It had too many assumptions. Apparently China’s impact on itself and Japan has been an issue.

    http://www.library.utoronto.ca/pcs/state/chinaeco/pollut.htm

    Acid rain pollution in China has grown steadily worse since the 1980s. The area of China affected by acid rain is expanding from the southwest in a northeasterly direction. According to the Experts’ Report on Acid Rain in China, in 1993, the area of China receiving precipitation with a pH value of less than 5.6 had increased to about 2.8 million km2 from about 1.75 million km2 in 1985. 1

    1. Guo Yongwen and Yu Guozheng, “Analysis on Economic Return of Environmental Protection and Assessment on Pollution Hazard,” On Environment Economics –Colloquia of the National Symposium on Environment Economics (1981) (Nanjing: Jiangsu Science and Technology Publishing House, 1983), pp. 130-143.

  133. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Sep 30, 2007 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

    John Pittman, thanks for the citations. I’m not sure how I can use the information, as the citations have words, but not numbers.

    One oddity of the sulfate theory is that the areas with the highest sulfate aerosol levels (US, Europe, and more recently, China) should be the areas that have cooled the most. This, however, has not been the case. My research continues, however, and I have hopes that I may be able to make a paper out of this issue.

    w.

  134. Larry
    Posted Sep 30, 2007 at 6:01 PM | Permalink

    133, and the cooling in China should be continuing. Or at the very least, it should be masking any warming. Think about it. The Team has committed to two incompatible ideas; that China is warming, and that aerosols cause cooling.

    In fact, you should, if their claim that aerosols cause cooling in the 1940-1975 period is valid, see regional variations in the effect. In the US (where we have tons and tons of surface data), coal usage was very uneven. It was concentrated in the Northeast and Great Lakes areas. If the sulfates are scrubbed out by precipitation, it should be a rather local phenomenon.

  135. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Sep 30, 2007 at 10:45 PM | Permalink

    Larry, you bring up an interesting issue with the regional nature of the aerosols. Here’s what the SO2 emissions look like, as of 1990:

    However, it’s difficult to extract a signal from that … I’m giving some thought about how to do it.

    w.

  136. Larry
    Posted Oct 1, 2007 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

    Willis, That’s emissions, but with the prevailing wind moving from west to east, that should also represent actual concentration; i.e. you really wouldn’t expect any significant aerosol cooling effect west of the Mississippi. It would seem like an easy slam-dunk to compare the surface temperature records from the stations west of the Mississippi to those east. If the western stations also show the same 1900-1940 rise, followed by the mid-century cooling, followed by 1975-2000 warming that the eastern stations do, that’s a falsification of the “aerosols mask greenhouse” theory, at least as far as sulfates go.

    Particulates may be a different story, but I’m sure they’re been quantified, and again, because the prevailing wind is from west to east, you have good reason to expect that the western half would be pristine.

  137. John F. Pittman
    Posted Oct 1, 2007 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

    #133, #135 I think that the problem is that there are two signals. One is SOx, and the other is paticulate matter expressed usually as PM10. Hansen in an article, it is somewhere in CA talks about how he thinks (finds) coal to be more responsible for global warming. I found 4 graphs that I think you would need the data if they are as good as a cursory look indicated. They are fuel consumption by kind (wood, coal, etc) for world (1) and the lower 48 US (estimates for about pre 1880 & previous years to present), world estimated temperature anomolies (3) (1880 to 1990, Hansen, I think) and estimated temperature anomolies lower 48 US (4) (1880-1990, Hansen, I think). I couldn’t figure a way to get the fuel data. I will try to find these and post when I get a chance. The coal use looked like it explained global warming in the 1890 to 1970 data for US and world

    The SOx from volcanoes is easily found. The PM10 is about changing albedo especially at places like Greenland and the North Pole. I think this was indicated in the Hansen article. Coal is worst, followed by peat moss, and then wood. Someone listed an article in CA where the authors found warming in India and southeast Asia from aerosols. But what I I concluded from Hansen is that SOx is just part of it. That is why when you read general articles they list aerosols from negative to positive forcings. I remember seeing this somewhere in IPCC. I believe it was the WG that did the aerosol part.

  138. Posted Oct 1, 2007 at 2:47 PM | Permalink

    Willis,

    Re #112:
    I missed that one, as old topics are hidden in the bulk database somewhere, and only pop up in the sidebar when there is a new message… Very interesting reading and little variation besides the volcanoes. One confounding factor: as far as I have read in the link (and previous page), I have the impression that the transmission/OD measurements include water vapour absorption (probably of the NIR part of incoming sunlight). In how far is that all coupled with the “global dimming” scare (probably also water vapour/clouds)?

    More recent data may be found at the Swiss Technical University of Zurich (ETZH), follow the link at the left for “Data Retrieval”, you have to fill in an application form, after which you receive an access code and password for the ftp database. Description of the datafile format can be found here, but is quite difficult to understand. Even the example is not easy to follow. As far as I understand, in all cases the aerosol data are only part of the data file…

    Some more background information about the aerosol measurements can be found in the workshop report, especially in Annex IV.

    Re #126:
    I should expect that the Greenland ice core only correlates to North America sources (indeed highly concentrated around the Great Lakes and the East Coast), as the lifetime of SO2 in average is only 4 days… The Hadcm3 map in my response #35 shows the areas of interest. The IPCC TAR gives several maps with areas of interest for different types of aerosols. To be taken with more than a grain of salt, especially for items like primary indirect effect of aerosols, of which very little is known…

  139. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Oct 1, 2007 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

    What I find astonishing (well, not really astonishing, but it seems the appropriate word….) is that sulphates et al are “masking” the warming from GHG et al. What makes it warming if it’s not happening? Why not phrase it as suphates et al cooling is not as bad as it could be if it wasn’t being offset by GHG et al? It’s the same thing as the blind guys feeling the elephant, or is that describing a curved wall depending on what side of it you’re on?

    Harumph.

  140. Larry
    Posted Oct 1, 2007 at 4:50 PM | Permalink

    Sam, because there’s no way to fit the horse shoe on the elephant if you don’t propose a convoluted and almost impossibly unlikely combination of postulates like that.

  141. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Oct 1, 2007 at 4:58 PM | Permalink

    Is that like driving 80 but having the brake on offsetting 20 MPH of your speed and you’re going 60, and the cops pull you over for going 80?

    I can see the movie title now about the story of sulphates etc: “The warming that wasn’t.” Or is that “The warming that didn’t happen but was warming anyway”? :)

  142. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Oct 2, 2007 at 3:10 AM | Permalink

    Larry, you propose an interesting test:

    Willis, That’s emissions, but with the prevailing wind moving from west to east, that should also represent actual concentration; i.e. you really wouldn’t expect any significant aerosol cooling effect west of the Mississippi. It would seem like an easy slam-dunk to compare the surface temperature records from the stations west of the Mississippi to those east. If the western stations also show the same 1900-1940 rise, followed by the mid-century cooling, followed by 1975-2000 warming that the eastern stations do, that’s a falsification of the “aerosols mask greenhouse” theory, at least as far as sulfates go.

    We’re nothing if not a full service blog here. I picked the US area in bright red (high sulfate emissions) in the map above, which is 35°-45°N, 75°-90°W, the northeastern US. I compared it to the same sized block immediately to the west of that block, which is in the central US, 35°-45°N, 90°-105°W, which is bright green (low sulfate emissions) in the map above. I used 1910-1939 as the base period, as it early in the sulfate rise period shown above.

    Now, we’d expect the drop in temperature in the Eastern US, where the origin of the sulfates is located, to be increasing over the whole period until 1980, and then decreasing as the sulfate emissions dropped post 1980. However, we don’t find that to be the case:

    US_regional_temp_sulfate.jpg

    Note that the two areas, one with and one without high sulfate emissions, have very similar temperature patterns.

    A closer look at the difference between the two temperature records is illuminating as well. This is the Eastern temperature minus the Mid-western temperature:

    US_regional_temp_sulfate_diff.jpg

    Again, we should see an increasing difference between the two (line going further and further below zero) until 1980, and then post 1980 the line should rise again towards zero. As you can see, this is not the case. The largest difference between the two is in the most recent record, which is increasing right up to the present despite decreasing sulfate emissions.

    Finally, looking at the map above, I am reminded of Hansen’s statement that the changes in the US temperatures don’t affect the globe all that much, since it is only 2% of the global surface. That being the case, I looked at the red areas in the map above … they cover in total about 1% of the earth’s surface …

    w.

  143. Posted Oct 2, 2007 at 3:37 AM | Permalink

    Re #142,

    Willis,

    In addition to that, the cooling aerosols should give a global cooling of about 1 W/m2 (according to the IPCC). As that is concentrated in 1% of the earth’s surface, the affected area should cool with 100 W/m2. If the emissions halve (which is the case for the US and more for W-Europe), that would be a difference of 50 W/m2. Not seen at all in the trends…

    The Hadcm3 model predicted a difference of 6 °C at the point of highest influence (near the Finnish-Russian border) for a decline of 40% SO2 in Western Europe in 10 years (1990-1999). Not seen at all.

  144. Posted Oct 2, 2007 at 5:21 AM | Permalink

    We can look at the influence of human made aerosols from another side: the effect of the Pinatubo on temperatures.

    A back-of-the-envelope calculation: The largest cooling effect is supposed to be from sulphate aerosols. The Pinatubo, ejected 20 Mt SO2 directly into the stratosphere. That lasted 2-3 years, until growing sulphate/water drops fell out. In contrast, humans emit some 80 Mt SO2/yr in the lower troposphere, lasting average only 4 days. The Pinatubo caused a global temperature drop (including water vapour feedback) of maximum 0.6 K. There is virtually no difference in direct effect for stratospheric and tropospheric aerosols, only a difference in growth time (much less water vapour in the stratosphere). The net primary effect of human SO2 emissions is not more than 0.025 K for a 4 days accumulation. But stratospheric changes may have a larger impact than tropospheric (like changes in the jet stream position). At the other side, the human SO2 emissions are rather permanent and the longer term cooling effect on the oceans (about 30 years) needs to be included. The latter is not visible in the ocean heat content data of Levitus, as the NH oceans (where 90% of the SO2 emissions over land originate) are heating up faster than the SH oceans, if corrected for area/volume.

    It seems to me that climate models largely overestimate the impact of cooling aerosols. The net effect of aerosols is not known to any accuracy, even the sign (cooling, neutral, warming) is not sure. This has consequences for the effect of CO2 on temperature too, see the graph in #105.

  145. D. Patterson
    Posted Oct 2, 2007 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

    #129, #135

    Willis, I apologize in advance for not being more prompt and complete in my responses and comments, but my work and travel are going to make participation this month very sporadic. Nonetheless, I want to call your attention to some factors and sources which I suspect are not being recognized.

    My earlier comments about variable precipitation patterns and their effects upon the issue of Sulfur dioxide, sulfates, particulates, and other aerosols in the atmosphere were prompted by a number of research studies which note differences in atmospheric residence due to entrainment beyond the PBL and into the stratosphere. These studies confirm that the natural and anthropogenic emissions which remain within the PBL tend to be removed from the atmosphere in a matter of hours or a couple of days, so the distance they are transported tends to be local and regional at most. However, there is evidence that substantial quantities of the emissions in the northern and southern hemispheres are transported far above the PBL as they are entrained by a number of processes into the mid-troposphere, upper troposphere, lower stratosphere, and upper stratosphere. These substantial emissions are observed being transported transcontinental and intercontinental distances within one day or so This is being observed in particular with the transport of the emissions from South America to Africa and from Africa to South America. There is another example in the emissions from equatorial Indonesia being transported to India and the Himalayan glaciers.

    Another important factor to be watchful about is the use of emissions reports which may not obviously disclose that the emissions being reported include only the industrial emissions and exclude or make no effort to report or accurately report non-industrial anthropogenic emissions. For example, the chart used in #135 is labeled to report emissions, but it does not appear to report the substantial non-industrial biomass emissions coming from the burning of the tropical forests in Brazil or the cooking fires in Africa. See the report:

    Saulo R. Freitas **; Karla M. Longo, Center for Weather Prediction and Climate Studies – CPTEC/INPE; Maria A. F. Silva Dias; Pedro L. Silva Dias, University of São Paulo; Robert Chatfield – NASA Ames Research Center; Elaine Prins – NOAA/NESDIS/ORA, Madison, WI; Paulo Artaxo
    Fernando S. Recuero, University of São Paulo. Monitoring the Transport of Biomass Burning Emissions in South America
    [….]
    On a regional and global scale, the persistent and heavy smoke layer over an extensive tropical region may alter the radiation balance and the hydrological cycling. Modeling efforts of Jacobson [10] and Sato et al. [11] have suggested that the blackcarbon radiative forcing could balance the cooling effects of the global anthropogenic sulfate emissions. The direct global radiative forcing of the black-carbon is estimated to be 0.55 Wm-2, corresponding to 1/3 of the CO2 forcing. This would elevate the blackcarbon to one of the most important elements in the global warming, in terms of direct radiative forcing, second only to CO2 (Andreae, [11]).

    The presence of biomass burning particles in the atmosphere may also modify the solar radiative balance by changing the cloud microphysics. These particles act as cloud condensation and ice nuclei, promoting changes in the cloud drops spectrum and, consequently, altering the cloud albedo and precipitation (Cotton and Pielke, [13]; Rosenfeld, [14]). This suggests that biomass burning effects may extrapolate from the local scale and be determinant in the pattern of planetary redistribution of energy from the tropics to medium and high latitudes via convective transport processes.

    http://geo.arc.nasa.gov/sgg/chatfield/FREITAS_ET_AL_ENV_FL_MECH_R.PDF

    With respect to the previous discussions of the conditions in China, note how Freitas et al have noted:

    blackcarbon radiative forcing could balance the cooling effects of the global anthropogenic sulfate emissions[….]

    The short-lived effects of diesel engined ships affecting the air quality in the PBL confirm your observation about lack of persistence in the PBL, and this is illustrated in:

    Modeling Sulfur Oxides (SOx) Emissions Transport from Ships at Sea. Assessment and Standards Division Office of Transportation and Air Quality U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    Prepared for EPA by Atmospheric & Environmental Research, Inc. EPA Contract No. GS-10F-0615P.

    http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/nonroad/marine/ci/420r07009.pdf

    Nonetheless, the emissions entrained into the atmosphere above and beyonf the PBL are observed being transported between continents. Their persistence is also sharply different between dry deposition and wet deposition circumstances.

    Given the near dearth of empirical observations, measurements, and actual knowledge about the effects of carbon aerosols and cloud formations upon convective, advective, and radiative heat transport mechanisms in the atmosphere, how can any claims or conclusions about the effects of emissions be reasonably supportable as a true application of science?

    Are there any of these emissions reports and studies comprehensive enough and accurate enough individually or collectively to effectively support any scientific conclusions about their effects upon climactic trends in air temperatures? If so, how?

  146. WillisE
    Posted Oct 2, 2007 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

    REPOST FROM ABOVE INCLUDING GRAPHICS

    Larry, you propose an interesting test:

    Willis, That’s emissions, but with the prevailing wind moving from west to east, that should also represent actual concentration; i.e. you really wouldn’t expect any significant aerosol cooling effect west of the Mississippi. It would seem like an easy slam-dunk to compare the surface temperature records from the stations west of the Mississippi to those east. If the western stations also show the same 1900-1940 rise, followed by the mid-century cooling, followed by 1975-2000 warming that the eastern stations do, that’s a falsification of the “aerosols mask greenhouse” theory, at least as far as sulfates go.

    We’re nothing if not a full service blog here. I picked the US area in bright red (high sulfate emissions) in the map above, which is 35°-45°N, 75°-90°W, the northeastern US. I compared it to the same sized block immediately to the west of that block, which is in the central US, 35°-45°N, 90°-105°W, which is bright green (low sulfate emissions) in the map above. I used 1910-1939 as the base period, as it early in the sulfate rise period shown above.

    Now, we’d expect the drop in temperature in the Eastern US, where the origin of the sulfates is located, to be increasing over the whole period until 1980, and then decreasing as the sulfate emissions dropped post 1980. However, we don’t find that to be the case:

    Note that the two areas, one with and one without high sulfate emissions, have very similar temperature patterns.

    A closer look at the difference between the two temperature records is illuminating as well. This is the Eastern temperature minus the Mid-western temperature:

    Again, we should see an increasing difference between the two (line going further and further below zero) until 1980, and then post 1980 the line should rise again towards zero. As you can see, this is not the case. The largest difference between the two is in the most recent record, which is increasing right up to the present despite decreasing sulfate emissions.

    Finally, looking at the map above, I am reminded of Hansen’s statement that the changes in the US temperatures don’t affect the globe all that much, since it is only 2% of the global surface. That being the case, I looked at the red areas in the map above … they cover in total about 1% of the earth’s surface …

    w.

  147. Larry
    Posted Oct 2, 2007 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

    Maybe we should ask the question the other way around. Has Hansen actually published a peer-reviewed paper showing how he arrived at that conclusion (that aerosols mask greenhouse warming in the middle of the 20th century), or was that just his shooting from the hip at RC? I don’t know where that came from myself. If there’s a paper, I suspect it’s ripe for an audit.

    The particulates are a little harder to get your hands around, but whether it’s even necessary has to do with what he’s actually claimed. If he said sulfates did it, he’s out to lunch.

  148. John F. Pittman
    Posted Oct 2, 2007 at 5:22 PM | Permalink

    Historical Emissions of Black and Organic Carbon

    Aerosol from Energy-Related Combustion, 1850-2000

    Tami C. Bond, Ekta Bhardwaj, Rong Dong, Rahil Jogani, Soonkyu Jung, Christoph Roden, David G. Streets, Nina M. Trautmann

    Submitted to Global Biogeochemical Cycles, September 2006

    http://cee.uiuc.edu/research/bondresearch/Historical.html

  149. D. Patterson
    Posted Oct 2, 2007 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

    Re: #136, #142, #146

    Larry says:

    October 1st, 2007 at 8:39 am
    Willis, That’s emissions, but with the prevailing wind moving from west to east, that should also represent actual concentration; i.e. you really wouldn’t expect any significant aerosol cooling effect west of the Mississippi. It would seem like an easy slam-dunk to compare the surface temperature records from the stations west of the Mississippi to those east.

    Assumptions that “the prevailing wind moving from west to east, that should also represent actual concentration” are totally incorrect and false. Emissions from Eastern North America and Mexico are frequently circulated and concentrated into bands across Western North America. Likewise, emissions from the Great Lakes can be found crossing the Atlantic Ocean and covering Iberia. Consequently, any analyses which assume Western North America should not be influenced by emisison sources in Eastern North America, Europe, Central America, Korea, China, or Russia are fundamentally wrong.

  150. Larry
    Posted Oct 2, 2007 at 6:56 PM | Permalink

    148, frequently and predominantly are two different things. Yes, it does happen that material occasionally moves from the east to the west, but the predominant direction is from west to east. You certainly wouldn’t expect suflate concentrations to be uniform throughout the western US, or at the same levels as in the east. And given the number of surface stations in the US, and thus the spacial resolution, you would certainly expect to see some sort of differential effect, if the eastern sulfates were causing a significant effect.

    Asian effects are another issue entirely, but the time distribution of sulfate aerosols should be completely different from eastern US; in fact through the ’80s and ’90s, the eastern US emissions should have gone down while Asian emissions went up. You would get a completely different and opposite fingerprint.

    You wouldn’t see an identical effect in the different areas. You might see some effect bleeding over, but it wouldn’t be identical. It wouldn’t be homogeneous.

  151. WillisE
    Posted Oct 2, 2007 at 7:55 PM | Permalink

    D. Patterson, thanks for your comment. You say:

    Assumptions that “the prevailing wind moving from west to east, that should also represent actual concentration” are totally incorrect and false. Emissions from Eastern North America and Mexico are frequently circulated and concentrated into bands across Western North America. Likewise, emissions from the Great Lakes can be found crossing the Atlantic Ocean and covering Iberia. Consequently, any analyses which assume Western North America should not be influenced by emisison sources in Eastern North America, Europe, Central America, Korea, China, or Russia are fundamentally wrong.

    I make no such assumption. What I do assume is that the concentration will be highest near to the source.

    w.

  152. Posted Oct 3, 2007 at 8:20 AM | Permalink

    D. Patterson,

    Seems that one need to resolve the question how much SO2 (or particulates or other polutants) go farther than a few thousand km from the origin. SO2 has an average lifetime of only 4 days in the lower troposphere and is very low in the free troposphere. 90% there is SOA, secondary organic aerosols, from e.g. terpenes, see Heald ea. The amount of SO2 reduces with height: from about 4 microg S/m3 at 500 m to less than 1 microg at 3.5 km and higher over Asia.

    SO2 deposits quite readily (even as dry deposit), see Crutzen. And SO2/sulfate had its highest influence as “acid rain” within a few hundred to a few thousand km from the origin in Europe: Black Forest (Germany) from France and Scandinavia from the English industry.

    On the other side, fine sand dust from the Mongolian desert may deposit even in Arizona and Sahara sand can be found on our cars (Belgium) on some days. And black soot deposits are found on polar ice.

    Do you have some more information how much of SO2/sulfate (PM,…) is deposited in average at what distance from the source?

  153. D. Patterson
    Posted Oct 3, 2007 at 8:32 AM | Permalink

    Re: #152

    Yes, but the post responding to #151 and referencing a paper from a laboratory which illustrates the distribution patterns has been deleted.

  154. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Oct 4, 2007 at 2:15 AM | Permalink

    Well, as promised, here’s another look at the sulfate question. I took the 1990 and 2000 SO2 emissions data from the EDGAR database. This dataset is of emissions, gridded on a 1° grid.

    Then, I mapped them onto the HadCRUT3 5° gridded temperature data. Of course, not all 1° gridcells have sulfate data, and not all 5° gridcells have temperature data. Also, not all gridcells in the 2000 EDGAR dataset are in the 1990 dataset, which has less spatial coverage. For 5° gridcells which have both SO2 emissions and temperature data, I compared the 1990 – 2000 change in temperature vs the 1990 – 2000 change in total SO2 emissions for each gridcell. Here are the results for the 553 gridcells which have data for both SO2 and temperature:

    Some points of note about both the EDGAR datasets and the graph:

    1) For 1° gridboxes which have data in both the 1990 and 2000 EDGAR dataset, the SO2 emissions have almost doubled over the period. US and European emissions have fallen, but China and India have taken up all of the slack and then a bunch more.

    2) The correlation between SO2 and temperature is positive, but is ridiculously small (R^2 = 0.01).

    3) I do not see any evidence that in the areas with high SO2 emissions there is any decrease in the temperature.

    Best to all,

    w,

  155. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Oct 4, 2007 at 3:36 AM | Permalink

    THOUGHTS ON FORCINGS

    Well, while wandering around on the web looking for forcing data, I came across the forcings used in the GISS climate model. Here they are:

    I got to thinking about these, and I thought I’d look at reconstructing the historical HadCRUT3 temperatures using multiple linear regression on the forcings. Since all of these forcings should have equivalent weights in the linear regression (because they are all top of atmosphere (TOA) global averaged forcings), I first looked at the weights in the linear regression. If these all do in fact represent actual equivalent forcings, they should all have the same weight in the multiple regression. In fact, however, they are wildly different:

    Hmmm … kinda odd. Some of them (e/g/ land use, snow albedo, black carbon) are actually negative … what’s up with that? This indicates to me that the values ascribed to the various forcings are not correct.

    So, I thought I’d see how well the regression matched the temperature record. It actually matched quite well, which I suppose is not too surprising. Then, I thought I’d check the claim that the temperature record can’t be reconstructed without using the greenhouse gas (GHG, mostly CO2) data. This is one of the “tests” referred to in the literature that claim to show that GHGs are necessary to explain the historical temperature. Here are the reconstructions, both with and without the GHG data.

    In fact, the reconstruction with and without the GHG data is about the same … go figure. The weights, of course, change when the GHGs are omitted, with black carbon having a much greater weight. This is in line with the work on black carbon done by Mark Jacobson.

    I’ll look at this some more, this is preliminary results.

    w.

  156. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Oct 4, 2007 at 4:21 AM | Permalink

    Ahhh … my bad. I inverted the values for the weights. I have corrected the middle graphic above. The comment above about which ones are negative is incorrect … however, the same number of them are still negative. For example, the GISS claim (first graphic above) is that the forcing from land use changes is negative … this makes no sense, cutting down forests and paving land warms the planet.

    Here are the best fit curves for the listed forcings:

    These are the forcings shown above, multiplied by the weights. With these forcings, the weights on all of them are equal in the multiple linear regression.

    Note that instead of the GHGs being the only large positive forcing, there are now four positive forcings of about the same size – GHGs, black carbon, ozone, and land use. This is more along the lines of what I would expect, that there are a number of significant forcings rather than just one.

    Also, now that some of the curves are spread out and more visible, the approximate nature of the forcing values can be seen clearly. Note that reflective aerosols and black carbon are listed as having the exact same value since 1990. Also, the ozone levels are made up of three straight lines … like that’s real data.

    Of course, all of this depends on the exact values for the forcings chosen. In addition, some forcings (biomass changes, natural aerosols, cosmic rays) are not included at all. Including them, of course, would change the relative weights.

    However, I suspect that the adjusted weights, with a number of factors contributing to the warming, is more reflective of the actual situation.

    12:30 in the morning here … my best to all.

    w.

  157. Reference
    Posted Oct 4, 2007 at 4:25 AM | Permalink

    #155
    Extraordinary match between those results! If this model is correct it’s equally strong evidence supporting the claim that CO2 forcing is not needed to explain the temperature history.

    For clarification, is the modeled temperature without CO2 regression calculated using regression weights derived from the GISS model forcing graphs? If so, is it possible to independently confirm that these are the actual weights used in the GISS model?

  158. Posted Oct 4, 2007 at 4:36 AM | Permalink

    Willis,

    Indeed, the match of the GCM’s with the past temperature record is a necessary, but insufficient condition for weighting the different “efficacies” of the forcings. Current models are said to give (near) equal weight to all forcings (see Hansen ea.), within a 10% margin. But that depends of the internal structure and the assumptions of the GCM involved. I am curious why the difference between Hansen en your (real) weight of efficacies of the different forcings…

    Anyway, from the RC graph in #105 it is clear that the influence of aerosols is crucial for the real effect of CO2 on temperature. The Hadcm3 model probably underestimates the role of the sun with a factor 2 (see Stott ea.), again within the constraints of the model (like a fixed minimum of -1.5 W/m2 for cooling aerosols).

    I followed a one-day course about climate models at Oxford, where they used a simple EBM (energy balance model), where the sensitivities for different forcings could be tuned. By halving the sensitivity for CO2 and reducing the sensitivity for (cooling) tropospheric aerosols to 1/4th, both the correlation and R2 against the temperture record of the past century increased, see here.

  159. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Oct 4, 2007 at 6:08 AM | Permalink

    Reference, you say:

    For clarification, is the modeled temperature without CO2 regression calculated using regression weights derived from the GISS model forcing graphs? If so, is it possible to independently confirm that these are the actual weights used in the GISS model?

    The modeled temperature is done using the forcings listed in the citation above, which are the forcings used in the GISS model. I used the forcings as the independent variables in a multiple linear regression with HadCRUT3 temperature as the dependent variable, both with and without the GHG forcing.

    w.

  160. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Oct 4, 2007 at 6:24 AM | Permalink

    Ferdinand, you raise interesting issues:

    Indeed, the match of the GCM’s with the past temperature record is a necessary, but insufficient condition for weighting the different “efficacies” of the forcings. Current models are said to give (near) equal weight to all forcings (see Hansen ea.), within a 10% margin. But that depends of the internal structure and the assumptions of the GCM involved. I am curious why the difference between Hansen en your (real) weight of efficacies of the different forcings…

    Anyway, from the RC graph in #105 it is clear that the influence of aerosols is crucial for the real effect of CO2 on temperature. The Hadcm3 model probably underestimates the role of the sun with a factor 2 (see Stott ea.), again within the constraints of the model (like a fixed minimum of -1.5 W/m2 for cooling aerosols).

    I followed a one-day course about climate models at Oxford, where they used a simple EBM (energy balance model), where the sensitivities for different forcings could be tuned. By halving the sensitivity for CO2 and reducing the sensitivity for (cooling) tropospheric aerosols to 1/4th, both the correlation and R2 against the temperture record of the past century increased, see here.

    First, the aerosols are not necessary to replicate the historical record. Here is a multiple regression without the aerosols or the black carbon (without Stratospheric Aerosols, Black Carbon, Reflective Aerosols, or Aerosol Indirect Effect)

    Note that the regression is not much different with or without the aerosols. As I mentioned above, the various weightings change, but the reconstruction is quite possible with or without a variety of forcings.

    I am also curious about why the forcings given by Hansen don’t have equal weights … that’s what I expected to find when I did the analysis, only to be surprised by the results.

    Finally, you are 100% correct that replicating the past is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the forecasting of climate.

    Always more mysteries,

    w.

  161. Chris Harrison
    Posted Oct 4, 2007 at 7:21 AM | Permalink

    Willis,
    It is interesting to see how the weightings turn out in this analysis but we can’t read too much into how well the curve fits: with eight parameters you should be able to fit two elephants and make both of their tails wag!

    Several of the forcings have levelled off since the 90s which matches well with satellite temperatures. I suspect that these values are artificial but it would be interesting to know how well they match actual measurements.

  162. Reference
    Posted Oct 4, 2007 at 7:23 AM | Permalink

    #158
    Ferdinand the temperature profile of your two graphs appears almost identical with only a small uniform shift in the absolute values. It’s notable that the model is so insensitive to such big changes in the forcing parameters. It would be interesting to see the effect of null CO2 forcing. It should also be possible to determine the optimum set of forcing parameters needed to match the “observed” temperature history and to estimate the sensitivity of that set to variations in the temperature history.

  163. Larry
    Posted Oct 4, 2007 at 9:05 AM | Permalink

    161, that’s what I was thinking. I think if you rolled dice and came up with weighting numbers randomly, you’d get more-or-less similar results.

  164. Posted Oct 4, 2007 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

    Re #162:

    Reference, the Oxford EBM program has less variables than Willis': GHGs, SO2, volcanic and solar. And no ocean heat accumulation for longer-term. I tried to zero out CO2, but then the curve gets too flat, or too steep in the first part (if solar is enhanced). With 1°C for 2xCO2 and “positive” values for SO2 (in real life: warming brown/black aerosols outweigh cooling sulfate aerosols), the graph again gives a reasonable match with the temperature trend…

    Of course, as Willis has more freedom, thanks to a lot of variables, his match is much better. Anyway it proves that the GCM’s have a too limited range in sensitivity for several variables, while other combinations (especially the GHG/aerosol tandem) may give a much better match. But that implies that the value of sensitivity for 2xCO2 is much lower than currently implemented (3°C for 2xCO2 including feedbacks).

    Willis’ results are from full range multivariate analyses, without any constraints. In reality, there are constraints, as CO2 really absorbs energy at some wavelengths (which gives some 0.85°C for 2xCO2, without feedbacks), and aerosols really reflect/absorb some energy. Thus much depends of the real effect of aerosols, and the difference in real effect of solar (short wave) energy on the stratosphere (and clouds and -sea- surface heating) vs. the effect of long wave energy from greenhouse gases in the troposphere on -sea- surface heating for the same quantity of forcing. I am pretty sure that the (near) equal effect for all forcings currently implemented in GCM’s is wrong.

  165. Larry
    Posted Oct 4, 2007 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

    (which gives some 0.85°C for 2xCO2, without feedbacks),

    Where did you get that?

  166. Posted Oct 4, 2007 at 4:28 PM | Permalink

    Larry, you can use the Modtran calculation for that: http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~archer/cgimodels/radiation.html. Modtran is a program, which calculates what happens with the radiation spectra (downward or upward) if the concentration of certain greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4) increases/decreases. This is based on real spectral lines measured to sufficient accuracy in laboratories.

    Hans Erren has more on that:
    http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/howmuch.htm

  167. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Oct 4, 2007 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

    Ferdinand, you say:

    Willis’ results are from full range multivariate analyses, without any constraints. In reality, there are constraints, as CO2 really absorbs energy at some wavelengths (which gives some 0.85°C for 2xCO2, without feedbacks), and aerosols really reflect/absorb some energy. Thus much depends of the real effect of aerosols, and the difference in real effect of solar (short wave) energy on the stratosphere (and clouds and -sea- surface heating) vs. the effect of long wave energy from greenhouse gases in the troposphere on -sea- surface heating for the same quantity of forcing. I am pretty sure that the (near) equal effect for all forcings currently implemented in GCM’s is wrong.

    For what it’s worth, Hansen and the GISS folks claim that the forcings I have used are the “Global Mean Effective Forcings”, or Fe. These are supposed to be the forcings adjusted to reflect their actual, real-world effect.

    w.

  168. Posted Oct 5, 2007 at 1:59 AM | Permalink

    Re #167:

    Willis, indeed, but they calculated that from their own GISS climate model, assuming equal feedbacks for all forcings. Thus the Fe is the adjusted forcing to obtain that equal feedback in their model. E.g. in the case of CH4 (methane), this has an initial forcing on its own (with an adjusted efficacy of 1.1 compared to CO2), but is transformed to CO2 and water in the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere, which makes that the real efficacy for CH4 is 1.45, compared to 1 for CO2 (again, according to their model). The direct forcing of methane (0.55 W/m2) then is adjusted with the efficacy factor to obtain the effective forcing (0.8 W/m2). Always assuming that the model’s assumptions and constraints are right and all forcings have exactly the same feedback.

    The multiple regression program simply searches for the best fit, in fact applying different feedbacks for every single forcing. In itself completely right, as the assumption that all forcings have exactly the same feedback is clearly wrong. One example: there is a clear, empirical inverse correlation between solar strength and low cloud cover (whatever the underlying mechanism) and rain patterns worldwide, and thus temperature. No such correlation is found between GHGs and cloud cover or rain patterns.

    There are only two objections against the multiple regression approach: you need to start with the uncorrected focings, not the adjusted (these are adjusted according to the GISS results) and there are real physical constraints to some of the feedbacks… I suppose that forcings in the lower troposphere (like CO2 and tropospheric aerosols) have similar feedbacks and forcings in the stratosphere (solar UV, volcanic) have similar feedbacks too, but quite different (and more effective) than tropospheric.

  169. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Oct 5, 2007 at 7:13 AM | Permalink

    Three quick comments a bit OT but please can you help as I’m in the presence of masters.

    1. The SO2 emitted from Chinese coal burning has to be increasing rapidly by year. They mine 8 times the tonnes of low grade coal that Australia exports each year as low sulphur, some to China, but their demand is rising very fast. Australia is about the world’s largest coal exporter. The Chinese even truck dirty coal in blue 5 ton trucks 1000 km from central Vietnam. I’ve seen the continuous procession.

    2. The CO2 concentration in air at Mauna Loa shows annual oscillations. People say this reflects vegetative seasonal changes in the NH. But surely these would be averaged and smoothed by the time they got to Hawaii? Has anyone studied the carbon isotopes in the air at Mauna Loa and written up an interpretation?

    3. Pardon my ignorance, but I think this simple question has a complex answer. Why is there a reversal of the temperature gradient at the tropopause? Maths explanation preferred to arm-waving. Is temperature measured in a very dilute, high atmosphere comparable in meaning to that measured say at ground level, given that the temperature measurement device usually interacts with the air? What is the temperature in space, apart from the 3 deg Absolute microwave?

  170. Larry
    Posted Oct 5, 2007 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    The reason why I asked that is over on unthreaded #21, Steve has posed the question of whether or not there is a peer-reviewed paper that derives the 2.5C climate sensitivity (including feedback) that’s been bantied around. This would indicate that the pre-feedback number is 0.85 (and I’ve seen other people come up with 1.1), but I don’t know if that’s someone’s WAG, or if that’s something that can be defended as built up from the ground. If the basic radiative forcing is 0.85, it takes a lot of feedback to get to 2.5. If there’s a peer-reviewed derivation that puts radiative forcing at 0.85, that would help the discussion on unthreaded.

  171. Larry
    Posted Oct 5, 2007 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

    168, if the feedback is a temperature response to a change in temperature, why wouldn’t the feedbacks all be the same for the different forcings?

  172. Posted Oct 5, 2007 at 11:13 AM | Permalink

    Re #169:

    About point 2: seasonal CO2 variations in Mauna Loa indeed are smoothed, as two opposite seasonal exchanges take place: more CO2 release from the oceans (warmer) and more CO2 uptake by vegetation (growth) in spring/summer and the opposite in fall/winter. This is visible in the Mauna Loa data, as the tropospheric mixing is counted in days, far shorter than the seasonal variations. Similar seasonal variation can be seen in more stations of the NH (the data and graphs can be found at CDIAC, look at the monthly averages. Higher variations are found at stations nearer to vegetation (e.g. Schauinsland). Far less variation is observed in the SH stations (less vegetation, more oceans) and near zero at the South Pole.

    The seasonal variation is visible because the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is about 800 GtC, while the seasonal exchange is about 90 GtC/yr between oceans and atmosphere and about 60 GtC/yr between vegetation and atmosphere. Large enough to show up in the data. See Battle ea.

    The same database also has 13C/12C ratio’s at different stations. Besides the trend (caused by fossil fuel burning), there too is a seasonal variation visible: vegetation growth preferentially uses 12C in the photosynthesis, thus the atmosphere is enriched in 13C during growth season. In fall/winter the opposite happens: vegetation decay (leaves, stems,…) releases CO2 which is poorer in 13C, thus 13C in the atmosphere decreases.

    But in fact that is your homework that we are doing now…

  173. Posted Oct 5, 2007 at 11:36 AM | Permalink

    Ferdinand #172:
    doesn’t most of photosynthesis occur in the ocean?
    If it is so, has photosynthesis in the ocean a remarkable seasonal cycle?

    Thanks

  174. Posted Oct 5, 2007 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

    Re #170/171

    The 0.85°C is quite basic, in that way that it is based on real spectral analyses. I don’t know if it was peer reviewed, but is agreed upon in large circles. 1.1°C (or 1.2°C) is based on the same spectra, but include water vapour feedback (which is also rather basic, as higher air temperatures include more water vapour). As Hans Erren remarked: “all the rest [of the positive feedbacks] is models and hype”.

    Why different feedbacks for different forcings:
    – SW solar has a high effect in the stratosphere, due to a 10% change in UV and thus on ozone formation during the solar cycle. This includes a 1°C variation in temperature of the lower stratosphere, a higher equator-polar temperature gradient, and a shift of the jet stream position (and wind/rain patterns) towards the poles. A long-term trend in solar strength (as between the LIA-current period) probably has a similar influence.
    – total solar energy has a reverse influence on cloud cover.
    – SW solar penetrates the ocean surface, depending of wavelength and clearness tens of meters.
    – Stratospheric aerosols (from volcanoes) in general have the opposite effect, as they reflect sunlight (but heat up the stratosphere too).

    – the effects of GHGs are mainly in the lower troposphere. Secondary reactions (like CH4 to CO2/water) occur at different heights, thus have a different influence on warming (that is what Hansen’s efficacies tried to solve).
    – the reaction of GHGs/warmer troposphere/more water vapour on cloud formation is not known to any accuracy (probably more clouds – thus more cooling and thus a lower sensitivity).
    – more LW radiation from GHGs doesn’t penetrate the ocean surface (the upper fraction of a mm), and may be reflected and/or increase evaporation, the influence on ocean heating is a big question.
    – aerosols have different effects, depending of type and fate, besides direct effects like absorption and/or reflection. The indirect effects on clouds are not known to any accuracy (and probably differ with type).

    As you see, there are a lot of reasons to assume different feedbacks for different forcings, where the tropospheric forcings vs. the stratospheric forcings, as good as the SW vs. LW forcings may pose the largest differences…

  175. John F. Pittman
    Posted Oct 5, 2007 at 3:43 PM | Permalink

    #156 It is strange that reflective aerosols look to cancel out black carbon. It is also strange to see them http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/4351152a flat since 2000 since that does not agree with literature about air problems in China and the Sea of Japan. http://www.nrdc.org/air/energy/chinadocs/tdh.pdf

    China is building a new coal-fired power station every ten days.”
    Things are going to get a great deal worse before they get much better. China is building a new coal-fired power station every ten days. In 2005 alone, it added about 65,000 megawatts of new power generation – roughly equivalent to the entire power capacity of the UK today. It is already the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and is one of the most inefficient energy users in the world – emissions per unit of GDP are ten times that of the average for developed countries.

    http://www.mnp.nl/en/dossiers/Climatechange/moreinfo/Chinanowno1inCO2emissionsUSAinsecondposition.html

  176. Posted Oct 5, 2007 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

    Re #173:

    Paolo,

    Yes, the seasonal cycle is visible in the oceans too. See e.g. Fig. 1 in Gruber ea. (Science) for the North Atlantic and Brix ea. for the Pacific.

    During growth season, the amount of DIC(dissolved inorganic carbon) in the surface waters reduces while at the same time the 13C/12C ratio increases. In winter, it is the opposite.

  177. Posted Oct 5, 2007 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    #175

    John, I agree. According to the IPCC (and current climate models), reflective aerosols outweigh black/brown aerosols in effect. This is highly speculative both for the direct and indirect effects. But it let the models fit(/fix) the 1945-1975 cooling period…

    It looks more and more that the sum of all aerosol effects is (slightly) positive, not negative. Which has interesting consequences for the models…
    See e.g. Ramanathan in Nature.

  178. SteveSadlov
    Posted Oct 5, 2007 at 6:44 PM | Permalink

    RE: #169 – Remember, there is semi persistent High Pressure over much of the Pacific between about 25 and 37 N. As a result, when the Polar Jet dips into China, it typically will then go from there up toward the Aleutians. Hawaii is most affected by the Trades. You’d be more likely to be measuring impacts of things in Mexico than China, in Hawaii.

  179. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Oct 5, 2007 at 8:44 PM | Permalink

    I think the graph in http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1536#comment-144856 is very indicative of the complexity of this issue and should not be ignored.

    I remember that putting salt on ice makes it melt better than sunlight does alone.

    Think there might be some sort of chemical correlation between the two, ice melting or not?

    I’m pretty sure taking the cubes out of the freezer and throwing them into a blast furnace makes somewhat of a difference also, but I’m not quite sure.

    I sure do miss boris though.

  180. Ian Castles
    Posted Oct 5, 2007 at 9:16 PM | Permalink

    Re #175. John F. Pittman (or anyone): Can you please provide me with an exact reference for the statement that “emissions per unit of GDP [in China] are ten times that of the average for developed countries”? I can’t find this quote using any of the links cited above – perhaps I missed it.

    The statement as quoted is a common but dangerous fallacy. As many economists and index number experts have repeatedly pointed out over many years, it is illegitimate to convert the GDPs of different countries into a common unit using “market” exchange rates. The conversion MUST be done using purchasing power parities, which leads to a much higher level of GDP in China relative to developed countries (and a correspondingly lower level of emissions per unit of GDP).

  181. Posted Oct 6, 2007 at 3:42 AM | Permalink

    Re #179,

    Willis’ graph should be taken with some caution, as it gives the best fit without any constraint. In reality, there are constraints: e.g. the sulfate emissions and black particulate emissions (and CO2 emissions) from coal are tightly connected (and depends of burning conditions, the type of coal and the -lack of- individual cleaning equipment) and probably is positive in added forcing. Snow albedo is in itself a negative forcing, but goes from stronger negative to less negative in time, due to ice melting and black carbon deposits, etc…

    Salt spraying on ice melting is a physical reaction, as the melting/freezing point of ice/water reduces in ratio with the amounts of any soluble molecule (sugar, salt,…). Thus spraying salt melts ice simply by reducing the melting point. The temperature at the same time lowers, due to the energy needed to melt the ice. Just add a lot of salt to a bucket of ice, and you can make ice cream at -12°C and lower…

  182. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Oct 6, 2007 at 3:59 AM | Permalink

    Ian, this chart I just made is based on data from

    World Resources Institute
    CAIT v. 1.5
    Climate Analysis Indicators Tool

    As usual, things are never as simple as press releases make them out to be. This data is as of 2000.

    w.

  183. Ian Castles
    Posted Oct 6, 2007 at 5:29 AM | Permalink

    Willis, These ratios from CAIT are invalid, for the reason that I explained. According to the internationally-recognised System of National Accounts which was welcomed and unanimously approved by the Statistical Commission of the United Nations at its 1993 session, “Exchange rate converted data must NOT … be interpreted as measures of the relative volume of goods and services concerned” (para. 1.38, EMPHASIS added). The System was recommended for use by both national and international statistical agencies in a manual with a Foreword personally signed by the heads of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the OECD and the Commission of the European Communities. In its resolution1993/5 of 12 July 1993, the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) recommended that international organizations endeavour to achieve consistency with the 1993 SNA. By persisting with the discredited exchange rate-based comparisons, the IPCC is acting in breach of this UN resolution.

    According to the IMF “World Economic Outlook” database for April 2007, the IPCC’s OECD90 region (the EU 15, US, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland) produced 54 per cent of the world/s GDP (PPP basis) in 2000 and China produced 11 per cent.. According to the Netherlands MNP data from the source cited above, CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use in 2000 amounted to just 13 billion tons in 2000, while the corresponding level of emissions from China was 3 billion tons. Putting these numbers together, Chinese emissions per unit of GDP appear to be about 10 per cent greater than those of the the OECD90 countries. There is a margin of error in this comparison arising from both the emissions and GDP figures, but it is nonsense to suggest that Chinese emissions per unit GDP were 10 times greater than developed country emissions. I’ve written extensively on this matter, and in 2001 a group of experts appointed by the UN Statistical Commission upheld my criticisms and found that the UNDP’s Human Development Report had made a ‘material error’ in using exchange rate-based comparisons. The UNDP accepted the experts’ findings and now provides valid comparisons in the annual HDR. Regrettably, the IPCC continues to defy the Statistical Commission.

  184. John F. Pittman
    Posted Oct 6, 2007 at 6:20 AM | Permalink

    Ian sorry I did not link it. But it contained no data. It was one of those sights with listed quotes on “China emissions”. However, the approximate ending date for the work was 2005. http://www.greenfutures.org.uk/supplements/chinaworld_page2718.aspx
    http://www.mitenergyinchina.org/blog2.asp?id=2

    The author : Jonathon Porritt is founder director of Forum for the Future and chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission , an independent watchdog to advise how environmentally friendly development should be put at the heart of government policy. From 19-21 September, Porritt is visiting China to describe his experience in Britain and learn from “our fellow world citizens” in China. Porritt will be talking on China’s global role in Sustainable Development at DFID China’s office, in Beijing at 4pm on Wednesday 20th September. Anyone interested in attending should contact: Deng Yongzheng, Programme Officer, UK-China Sustainable Development Dialogue, DFID China, tel: 86 (0)10 8529 6882 ext 2048, email: YZ-Deng [at] dfid.gov.uk

    I would not doubt that Porritt used CAIT. However, I would point out that a study in 2000 would miss the exponential growth that China saw from 2000 to 2005 (and to 2007, as well). I do not doubt that the 10 times rest of world is becuase of accounting exchanges. However, as someone who has to deal with boilers and emissions, I can tell you that for GHG’s listed in the graph, except CO2, that unregulated sources as China has been installing emitt 6 times SOx, 2 times NOx, 3 to 6 times particulates (PM10). Also the units themselves are not as effiecient. China purchased many old boilers, plus they have been buying coal boilers. These units emit more due to condition/kind/fuel of boiler; and that China has been buying (mining) the cheap fuels that can no longer be burned without extensive pollution control in Western countries. The net effect, as a reasonable estimate (1 sig figure), would be that China is emitting 10X to UK, USA, EU, and others. Considering the size of China and it’s lack of openess, a one sig figure is not inappropraite.

  185. John F. Pittman
    Posted Oct 6, 2007 at 6:52 AM | Permalink

    Ian, Willis:
    What I see as the greatest challenge may not have been considered. These are energy producing units that burn fuel. Whereas, a poorly running/maintained unit will produce only a small increase in CO2, NOx, SOx, it can produce an exponential amout of black carbon, PM(10), partially reduced carbons, CO, and other pollutants, when compared to modern pollution controlled units. So for the time period before the 1980’s, as one goes back, not only their inherrent potential to emitt has to be accounted, the practicle emissions (since there were no effective air pollution regulations) have to be estimated. One would have different emission rates for China, but could use, if found, 1940/1950 emission factors from US/UK, etc. Just using raw data and not taking this into effect could cause errors.

    Wish I had thought/remembered this before Willis started looking at the falsification of sulphates.

  186. Ian Castles
    Posted Oct 6, 2007 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

    John, Thank you for the link and the comments. I only used 2000 data in my comparison because that was the year of the CAIT data that Willis had plotted in his chart above. Estimates of CO2 emissions from fuel combustion are available up to 2006 from the Dutch MNP dossier cited at the end of #175 above. These do not significantly change the conclusion that Chinese emissions from this source, per unit of output, are only marginally greater than the average of the industrial countries: China’s emissions almost doubled between 2000 and 2006 – but so did its real GDP.

    I think that our discussion is at cross purposes. I’m talking about the relative ratios (China v. developed countries) of current emissions of CO2 from fuel combustion per unit of output (properly measured). You are discussing various aspects of emissions of pollutants. There is a good deal of useful discussion of this in the 2002 paper that you cited. I agree that this matter and the issues raised in the Ramanathan paper are important. I’m not criticising CAIT: they provide GDP data converted at “market” exchange rates only because it is demanded by those who don’t understand that this is not a valid measure of output, but they give GDP (PPP) data as well.

    The statement you quoted from Porritt was not about pollution: the claim was that “China is among the most inefficient ENERGYusers in the world – emissions per unit of GDP are ten times that of the average for developed countries” (EMPHASIS added). That could only be true if all of the standard sources of statistics vastly understate China’s use of energy – i.e., the International Energy Agency, the US Energy Information Administration, the United Nations and the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. I’m sure that Jonathan Porritt doesn’t believe this – he’s been misled by using a faulty measure of GDP.

  187. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Oct 7, 2007 at 12:45 AM | Permalink

    Ooogh … bit by the MER data. Sloppy. However, unlike the IPCC, I actually notice when I’m corrected. Here’s the 2000 PPP figures, from the same source:

    Thanks, Ian.

    w.

  188. Reference
    Posted Oct 7, 2007 at 2:09 AM | Permalink

    Want to get extra credit by incorporating carbon sinks too and show us what Carbon Net Emissions per GDP – PPP looks like?

    Land use changes, such as deforestation have a big impact.

    Some data here

  189. Ian Castles
    Posted Oct 7, 2007 at 2:17 AM | Permalink

    Willis, Many thanks for posting the CAIT data on emissions/GDP on the correct PPP basis. The calculation is quite easily done, so it’s fascinating that the IPCC has such a reluctance to do it.

    A potentially interesting situation is about to arise in relation to the PPP/MER argument, in that India is hosting a meeting of the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Trade (currently labelled AP-6, but presumably now to become AP-7 because the original six members – US, China, India, Japan, Korea and Australia – are to be joined by Canada) on 15 October. At the meeting of 150 countries on climate change in New York on 24 September, India’s Finance Minister, Palaniappan Chidambaran, said that “Developing countries bear an inordinate share of the burden of climate change, though this is due to the high level of emissions of developed countries.” The same Mr. Chidambaran said at a meeting of the IMF Monetary and Financial Committee in Washington, DC on 17 September 2006 that the reformed formula for Fund quotas “should have GDP on purchasing power parity (PPP) basis as the dominant variable” – and the Governor of the Central Bank of India said in his statement at the most recent meeting of the IMF Monetary and Financial Committee (14 April 2007) that “We find that these twin outcomes can only be met if, in the hypothetical new formula, GDP is computed entirely on purchasing power parity (PPP) basis. No halfway house of blending GDP at market exchange rates with GDP on PPP would meet these twin objectives.”

    The IPCC, chaired by Dr. Rajendra Pachauri of India, claimed in their press statement of 8 December 2003 attacking David Henderson and me that “the economy does not change by using a different metrics (PPP or MEX), in the same way that the temperature does not change if you switch from degrees Celsius to Fahrenheit”; and, earlier that year, 15 authors of the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios had claimed that David Henderson and I had “focused (at tedious length) on a ‘problem’ that does not exist”.

    Well, India’s energy/GDP and emissions/GDP ratios relative to developed countries are several times greater if GDP is measured at MER than if it is measured at PPPs, as the System of National Accounts requires. So it will be interesting to see whether India agrees that the way that the economy is measured is as irrelevant as the IPCC and its network claims.

  190. Ian Castles
    Posted Oct 7, 2007 at 4:08 AM | Permalink

    Re 189. Of course it’s the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and CLIMATE, not Clean Development and Trade.

  191. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Oct 7, 2007 at 5:24 AM | Permalink

    Reference, you ask if carbon sinks can be included for extra credit. If we actually had any idea how large the carbon sinks in each country actually are, it might be possible … but we don’t really have much of a clue about that.

    However, for extra credit, since Ian has pointed out that the AP-6 (soon to be AP-7) are going to be meeting soon, I thought I’d just add the AP-7 countries to the mix, and show the difference that PPP makes.

    It is interesting to see how the PPP vs MER numbers play out for the seven different countries. For some, like the US, Korea, Canada, and Australia, it makes very little difference. For others, like India and China, it makes a huge difference. And for Japan, it also makes a significant difference, but in the opposite direction from all the other countries and areas shown.

    Ian, or anyone else, please feel free to use this in any way you wish.

    All the best,

    w.

  192. Reference
    Posted Oct 7, 2007 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

    Willis, yes it is a very complex picture as can be seen from this attempt to account for all sources and sinks:

    See Tabel ES-2 for a detailed inventory of US carbon emissions and sinks (PDF 1MB)

    According to this reckoning net US emissions (CO2 equivalent) in 2000 were about 6.4 Gigatons. Using the 2000 GDP in current dollars of $10.1 trillion (US Department of commerce) gives about 630 kg per $1000 GDP (6.4*10^12 kg / 10.1*10^9) compared with your figure of about 160 kg per $1000 GDP. BTW US figures should be identical for GDP and GDP-PPP.

  193. Ian Castles
    Posted Oct 7, 2007 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

    Willis, Thanks for plotting these interesting comparisons for CAIT. The issues in this field are complex enough without adding the needless complexity of introducing “market” exchange rates. As David Henderson and I demonstrate in “International comparisons of GDP: Issues of Theory and Practice” (World Economics, vol. 7, no. 1, Jan.-Mar. 2005:55-84), exchange rate-based cross-country comparisons of GDP are analogous to current-price inter-temporal comparisons of GDP for a single economy: neither type of comparison yields a valid measure of relative real GDP. So it’s the IPCC and its network, not Castles and Henderson, that have introduced a ‘problem’ that doesn’t exist.

    “Reference” is correct that, in principle, US figures for any given year should be identical for GDP-MER and GDP-PPP. For technical reasons there is a fractional difference between the two in the CAIT figures. This correspondence arises by construction. Of course if the $US is used as the numeraire currency, it APPEARS that it is the economies of China and India that are mismeasured if exchange rate converters are used. But one could express the whole comparison in Indian rupiahs, in which case it would be India that would be shown as being much the same size whatever measure is used, and the US whose relative size appears to depend critically on the measure used.

    At the release of the preliminary results of the Asia region of the 2005 round of the ICP in Manila on 31 July, the Chief Economist of the Asian Development Bank, Ifzal Ali, pointed out that Japan’s GNP per capita in exchange raate-converted terms was 64% of that of the US in 1985, 152% of the US in 1995 and back again to 90% in 2004. These huge changes were almost entirely attributable to the appreciation of the yen against the $US in the first period and the depreciation of the yen vis-a-vis the $US in the second period of comparison. Such changes are completely irrelevant to the measurement of the relative size of the US and Japanese economies. But of course their relative emissions intensities would look completely different in a chart such as that shown above, depending on which year was chosen for the comparison.

  194. Ian Castles
    Posted Oct 7, 2007 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

    It’s also worth noting that the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (Chapter 3 of the Working Group III contribution) does not even mention most of the relevant literature that explains why MER-based comparisons of output are invalid, let alone attempt to answer these serious criticisms of the Panel’s procedures. They don’t cite the Castles and Henderson paper on “International Comparisons of GDP” in “World Economics” referenced above; or the rebuttal of the SRES team responses by the eminent Canadian economic statistician Jacob Ryten in “Energy & Environment” (“MERs, PPPs and IPCC: Illusions and Reality”, vol. 15, no. 3, 2004: 363-367); or the powerful paper by the leading US economist William Nordhaus which was originally presented as the keynote speech at an IPCC Expert Meeting and has now been published in “Energy Economics” (“Alternative Measures of Output in Global Envirironmental-Economic Models: Purchasing Power Parities or Current Exchange Rates”); or the submission to the Stern Review on this subject by the leading Canadian index number theorist Erwin Diewert, Professor of Economics at the University of British Columbia. With the exception of Professor Diewert’s paper, all of these papers are cited in the report of the UK House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs on its inquiry into “The Economics of Climate Change”. On this subject, the House of Lords Report (which is also ignored by the IPCC authors) is much more comprehensive than the IPCC Report.

  195. Ian Castles
    Posted Oct 7, 2007 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

    Further to my #194, I omitted to mention David Henderson’s paper “SRES, IPCC and the Treatment of Economic Issues: What Has Emerged?” (Energy & Environment, 2005, 16 3&4: 578), which reviews and extends the criticisms of the IPCC’s treatment of economic issues in earlier papers by Professor Henderson and me. And since the publication of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, “World Economics” has published yet another powerful paper by David Henderson (“Governments and Climate Change Issues”, World Economics, vol. 8, no. 2, Apr.-Jun. 2007: 183-228).

  196. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Oct 7, 2007 at 7:50 PM | Permalink

    Re # 10 Willis and similar
    plus my # 169

    I’m used to working with radioisotopes, where residence time or half life is more precisely defined than for atmospheric gases.

    The annual oscillations of CO2 at Mauna Loa do not seem to indicate a CO2 residence time of 5 years or 100 years or whatever value people have picked from their minds. A long residence time + increase would produce an ever-upward step fuction, or a smooth rising one. The ability of CO2 concentration to drop so far in 6 months indicates a residence time more of the order of months. My maths are too rusty to “model” it, but is not the underlying assertion qualitatively correct?

  197. Larry
    Posted Oct 7, 2007 at 8:00 PM | Permalink

    196, There are probably more than one sink involved, and the different sinks operate at different time constants. The theory of NH plants being responsible for the annual oscillation would seem to make sense with a very short time constant, but then again the cycling of temperature in the SH oceans would also give a similar pattern. Neither theory negates other sinks operating at longer time constants.

  198. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Oct 7, 2007 at 11:58 PM | Permalink

    Geoff, you raise a good question:

    The annual oscillations of CO2 at Mauna Loa do not seem to indicate a CO2 residence time of 5 years or 100 years or whatever value people have picked from their minds. A long residence time + increase would produce an ever-upward step fuction, or a smooth rising one. The ability of CO2 concentration to drop so far in 6 months indicates a residence time more of the order of months. My maths are too rusty to “model” it, but is not the underlying assertion qualitatively correct?

    The missing link is that we are looking at two processes here. One is the slow exponential decay of an added pulse of CO2 back down to some kind of quasi-equilibrium. The other is the seasonal change in CO2 sources and sinks, in particular, the biosphere. When plants are growing in the spring and summer, they take up an increased amount of CO2 compared to the fall and winter. This superimposes a seasonal signal on what would otherwise, as you indicate, be a very smooth line.

    w.

  199. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Oct 8, 2007 at 12:26 AM | Permalink

    Re # 198 Willis,

    Thank you – but how does a molecule of CO2 know which class of behaviour it is expected (preordained?) to inhabit? My point is that ALL CO2 must have a very short residence time or there would be no oscillatory signal at Mauna Loa. Look at RLC theory of damping in electrical A.C. circuits for analagous maths.

    If, for some hypothetical reason, the trees of the NH did not start to take up CO2 as they resumed seasonal photosynthesis, then the CO2 graph would plummet down in a year or so, I think. This means low residence time.

  200. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Oct 8, 2007 at 12:49 AM | Permalink

    Re #189 Ian Castles

    You have expressed your points most lucidly. Thank you.

    On a related problem, you are more aware than I about the politics of carbon emissions trading worldwide. Australia is particularly affected because of the huge value of fossil fuel exports from here. Hypothetical: If I was a major carbon exporter and I wanted to trade, would there be enough offsets in the world to allow a scheme to work? Are we now in a world where major producers try to muscle their ways in to trade a rapidly-diminishing supply of candidates (nuclear power being an obvious exception)?

    Or have clear heads delayed this rush in case the AGW theory is illusory?

    There are already shonky schemes afoot. Some trade forest products. Overall, the CO2 sequestration of vegetation is proportional dominantly to the mass per unit area of growing vegetation. Long term sequestration only happens when currently barren or low-vegetation areas are replaced by (say) large trees, but that is a one-off effect once the land has been taken up. In looking further for land, one can foresee useful agriculture being displaced.

    The tangled web has been woven. Now to recover from it.

  201. Posted Oct 8, 2007 at 1:48 AM | Permalink

    Re #196/199:

    Geoff,

    One need to make a separation in thinking about what happens with an individual CO2 molecule and what happens with total quantities of CO2 masses in the different compartiments.

    Due to the huge seasonal flows from oceans to air and back (about 90 GtC) and from vegetation to atmosphere and back (about 60 GtC), about 25% of the air mass is renewed each year, which leads to a decay rate of about 5.2 years for small one-time pulses of individual molecules (like the 14C CO2 introduced by atmospheric nuclear bomb testing in the 1950-1960’s).
    The introduction of extra CO2 by fossil fuel burning is a disturbance of a different type: higher total CO2 levels lead to increase of pCO2 in the atmosphere, where the difference between pCO2 of water and atmosphere will be less positive at places of high pCO2 in the oceans (the warm tropics) and more negative at the sink places (the cold high latitudes), which leads to less degassing at one side and more absorption of CO2 in the oceans at the other side. This is responsible for a large part of the difference between what is emitted and the measured increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. But that is only 3 +/- 2 GtC/year, far less than the seasonal exchange.
    If for any reason the emissions should stop, in the first subsequent year the atmospheric pCO2 would be the same as in the previous year, leading to a drop of CO2 in the atmosphere (of about 3 GtC), because there is no addition anymore. The next years, the difference between ocean and atmospheric pCO2 will decrease, thus the absorption of the extra CO2 (30% or 250 GtC since the start of the industrial revolution) will slow down, in this case with a halve life time of 30-40 years.

    Other, slower decay rates come into play too: the decay of longer-term CO2 storage in wood roots/trunks if CO2 levels drop, the exchange between ocean surface CO2 (responsible for most of the above decay rate of 30-40 years) and deepsea CO2, etc…

    Thus all together: individual molecules have a short residence time, total CO2 mass above the pre-industrial equilibrium has a much longer residence time…

  202. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Oct 8, 2007 at 1:39 PM | Permalink

    While Phil Jones has thus far refused to disclose the station data used in HadCRU3 despite several FOI requests, my guess is that the stations with post-1990 information in HadCRU3 will prove to be predominantly from places like Beijing, Shanghai, Lanzhou etc.

    Anything yet on this?

    ——

    (FYI, PPP is purchasing power parity and MER is market exchange rates)

    ——

    Ferdinand, I was joking…. But good explanation of lowering the melting point of ice… :)

  203. Larry
    Posted Oct 8, 2007 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    201, correct. I think what Geoff is missing is that there are a lot of sources and sinks, and the net effect is the balance between them. So if you could imagine if all there was was the biosphere, the plants respire more than the animals collectively during the summer (causing CO2 to drop), and the animals respire more than the plants in the winter (causing CO2 to rise). But over the annual cycle, they approximately balance. That’s got nothing to do with the longer-term processes, and tells us nothing about them.

  204. John F. Pittman
    Posted Oct 8, 2007 at 5:12 PM | Permalink

    #201, #203

    #203 states and #201 assumes that there is a balance. But I think this is somewhat out of thread. We were considering sulphate emissions and carbon black. I think Steve would appreciate not discussing CO2 sinks and balances. So, I guess my question is “are there relevant factors in this carbon cycle, other than timing of the response that are relevant?” In paricular, on a small time span, can’t Ax+b be used and ignore the lesser or long-term effects of different or assumed carbon response rates relative to sulphate and black carbon emissions?

  205. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Oct 8, 2007 at 7:54 PM | Permalink

    Re #203 Larry,

    I’m sneaking up on SO2, to be On Thread, via a CO2 path. I understand that the rate of release of CO2 from different souces can be fast or slow and we can imagine short-term pulses. I’m more worried about removal than production. Just because a source produces CO2 fast, that does not mean it has to vamoose slow – or fast. Mental model – hand-pump up a bicycle tire that has a hole in it. No matter how fast you pulse, the decay will be determined by the size of the hole. I equate the rate of decay of Mauna Loa ripples each year with the size of the hole. What other mechanism do you propose to make the concentration fall so fast, especially if you feel that mixing would be fairly complete all that way to isolated Hawaii?

    First we have to understand the dynamics of CO2 before we look at SO2, which is much more reactive with other substances.

  206. Posted Oct 9, 2007 at 2:37 AM | Permalink

    Re #204/205

    Geoff, again in short: the Mauna Loa data are mixed NH data, the mixing of CO2 in the NH atmosphere is very fast (a matter of days). Seasonal changes are relative fast changes, as well as for seawater surface temperature as for vegetation. Sea surface temperatures (and pH and plant life and CO2 levels/DIC) govern the local CO2 pressure (pCO2) in seawater. If the pCO2(water) is higher than pCO2(air), then we have a CO2 flow from water to air and reverse. This is a fast process and induces large continuous (warm to cold) and seasonal CO2 exchanges (about +90 GtC summer, -90 GtC winter), but the net change after one year is only about +/- 2 GtC (about 1 ppmv) change, due to year-to-year temperature differences. Without internal or external disturbances, the long-term trend is zero and the average yearly difference in pCO2 between seawater and atmosphere is zero too.
    One-time pulses like volcanic eruptions and/or continuous emissions give extra CO2, which increases the pCO2 of the atmosphere in all seasons, which leads to an extra sink of about 4 GtC nowadays, about halve the emissions. The removal rate of that extra CO2 only depends on the average yearly difference in pCO2 between air and oceans (about 7 mbar nowadays), that doesn’t change the seasonal exchange that much (e.g. +88 GtC summer, -92 GtC winter), but the net effect is always a slow removal, no matter the source of the extra CO2.

    I agree with John that the CO2 cycle is not of much interest here. There was and is a lot of discussion on the cycle/trend in the sceptics world (see e.g. http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=820 responses 41, 112, 120, 138,…), but that has no effect on the fate of SO2 (which is in average only 4 days). I am working on a comprehensive web page to give a detailed answer to the many questions which arise about the CO2 cycle.

    The only link between CO2 and SO2/BC is the use of sulfur containing fossil fuels, mainly coal and oil. China data are of interest here and what is published is probably highly underestimated: use of any coal type (cheap, high sulfur), heavy oil (2-5% S!), scrubbers, even if installed, in many cases are bypassed,…

  207. John F. Pittman
    Posted Oct 9, 2007 at 4:16 PM | Permalink

    If you and Steve don’t mind, post the web page when you can.

  208. Hans Erren
    Posted Jan 28, 2008 at 7:05 AM | Permalink

    One intrigueing fact is that, if the cooling in the 70’s in the us were due to aerosol sulphates, then the subsequent warming is entirely due to the cleaning of the smokestacks. (EPA sulphate data plotted upside down for easy comparison.)

  209. Posted Nov 26, 2008 at 12:13 AM | Permalink

    There were two comments attributing the error to M&M, which is ambiguous and could be misleading. The issue was clarified by later commenters, but I have also added an editorial note to both of these comments.

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