A Cool Look at Global Warming, ten years later PART II

If you missed the first part of this long essay, it is here. I am looking at what has happened in the last ten years with respect to the central assumptions of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) scare, about which I wrote a decade ago. You can read the original essay here. Assumptions #1 and #2 have already been dealt with.

3. Is the warming caused by our burning fossil fuels, clearing the forests and other activities?

There is no doubt that CO2 accumulations in the atmosphere are increasing, and since we are burning a lot of fossil fuels, which release CO2 when they are burned, our activities are part of the cause of that rise. But does that rise lead to global warming? Theoretically, it does: more carbon dioxide leads, at least in the laboratory, to the trapping of more heat in the atmosphere, and thus to a higher temperature. But theoretically, also, each rise of a given amount of CO2 has a logarithmic effect, such that further increases have less effect. It is conventionally assumed that CO2 levels as the Industrial Revolution began (mid 18th century) were at about 280 parts per million. In theory again, and ignoring ‘climate sensitivity’, a doubling of CO2 would produce an increase in global temperature of about 1 degree C. Now to gain that one degree increase CO2 levels would need to be at about 560 pp. They are presently (ignoring seasonal changes) at a little over 400 ppm. When I wrote the original essay CO2 was at 385 ppm. In ten years there has been a rise of a little over 15 ppm. If we assume that each decade will produce an increase of 15 ppm, then it will be about a hundred years from now when we reach the doubling. The next doubling (from 580 to 1160 ppm) would, using the same metric, occur three or four centuries later.

This simple arithmetic suggests that there is no need to worry about an increase in CO2, and indeed that would be the case were it not for ‘climate sensitivity’, a notion introduced by climate scientists to get their models to run properly (ie. show a lot of warming). The premise is that more heat retained means more clouds and more heat and therefore more rain, and so on until (in some examples) we get runaway warming, the boiling of the seas and other catastrophes. The IPCC has stuck to this view over the last twenty years and more, and offers a range of estimates for ‘climate sensitivity’ of 1.5 to 4.5 — meaning that a doubling of CO2 might lead to an increase in global temperature of 4.5 degrees C. It has maintained that range over that time, saying that it is too hard to pick up a specific number.

A lot of attention has been paid to ‘climate sensitivity’ in the past decade, and for good reason. Indeed, I’ve written about it about a dozen times (e.g. here).Without a good deal of climate sensitivity, there is no real AGW scare. The following diagram, courtesy of Jo Nova, lists the published papers on the subject, showing their estimate, and the publication date. The blue line deals with what is called ‘transient climate response’, or what will happen in the next couple of decades. The red line deals with ‘equilibrium climate response’ — what happens when everything settles down, perhaps a century from now. You will see that both lines converge towards unity, because the more recent publications present much lower estimates. Unity, of course, means that a doubling of CO2 leads to a one degree C increase in global temperature.

I should add that an equally plausible view of it all says that more heat means more clouds, which mean greater reflectivity from the greater cloud mass, which means a reduction in temperature reaching the earth, and therefore a negative feedback, akin to the work of a thermostat. Since the temperature of the earth, as measured by palaeontological proxies, suggests that for the most part temperature remains within a fairly narrow range, there is obviously something to the negative feedback hypothesis. On the face of it, human contribution to global warming seems to be slight, though real.

4. Is the global warming likely to lead to a dangerous increase in sea levels?

I have been writing about sea levels a lot in the past year or two (in fact a dozen times in six years, most recently here), and have yet to be convinced that there is anything to be worried about with respect to our country in the slow rise in sea levels that has been occurring for the past few thousand years. Tide gauges are the best indication of what is happening locally, and they present no real cause for alarm in most parts of the world, on average about 1.7 mm per annum over the last century or so. Sea-level changes can be misleading, because land can also rise and fall. But southeastern Australia is geologically stable, so the tide gauges there are decently reliable. Yes, satellite altimeters show an increase in sea level of around 3mm per annum on average, and even such an increase, if it were real and everywhere, would allow ample time for ordinary defences against the sea. But calibrating tide gauges and the satellite readings cannot yet be done without heroic assumptions. Judith Curry’s long series on sea levels at Climate etc (perhaps start with this one, which discusses satellite altimetry) is compulsory reading if you want to get into this subject. Her last essay concentrates on the US, and her conclusion is that sea-level rise is real, and that communities likely to be affected should prepare for it. But in her view CO2 is not the real problem, while land use, population movements and vertical land movement are much more important.

The sea level rises for two principal reasons. As the oceans get warmer their volume increases, and melting land ice from glaciers, Greenland and Antarctica plays a part too. The difficulty is that anyone developing a ‘budget’ for sea levels is faced with the need to make other heroic assumptions. Some glaciers are retreating and others are advancing (there are about a quarter of a million of them) while Greenland and Antarctica are difficult field sites. Sea ice is irrelevant.

Sea level does not seem an immediate problem for much of Australia. And there is some evidence that the oceans are cooling.

 5. The use of computer modeling to predict future climates

Ten years ago claims were made that improved computer power and improved modeling would solve all the problems of prediction. We don’t hear such claims so often now, and in fact, while there have been some advances, the fundamental problems remain. There are three of them. The first is that wherever we live we really need to know about our own particular climate, our own precipitation, our own floods, droughts and fires. But that is hard to do, because the global circulation models can’t easily be broken down into regional models (though attempts do exist). The second is that the chaotic element in weather and climate has not been dealt with. The third is that even the IPCC admits that our knowledge of clouds and their consequences is ‘low’. It is perhaps for these reasons that IPCC ‘projections’ of global temperature increases in AR4 and AR5 proved to be much too warm.

6. The reluctance to admit uncertainty

It should be clear now that everything we think we know about climate is surrounded by uncertainty. Some of that uncertainty is acknowledged (rarely), but on the whole those who push the AGW scare hardly ever refer to error bars, sampling error, measurement errors, empty cells, and so on. That was true in 2008. Sadly, it remains true today.

7. So, finally, what should we do about it all?

Our present Government is trying to do the impossible: somehow organise electricity supply so that it is cheap and reliable, while remaining ‘true’ to the Renewable Energy Target (RET). It simply cannot be done. Coal has become demonised, though it is the core of our electricity system. While we have a putatively ‘conservative’ government, its leading members, including the Prime Minister, are quite unwilling to educate the Australian community about the realities of ‘climate change’. Perhaps they don’t even understand them. There seems to be no real threat from ‘climate change’ to anyone in our country. There hasn’t been any evidence of harm since the late 1980s, when James Hansen told the world that doom was coming. In fact, quite the contrary. Agricultural productivity has benefited from the extra carbon dioxide available, while the planet, according to satellite imagery, is noticeably greener than it was. Extra CO2 allows plants greater vigour without the need for extra water. Supposed links from examples of ‘extreme weather’ to ‘climate change’ have no foundation in evidence, and are bogus.

Carbon taxes are not much talked about any more, but the RET is the kind of government commitment that has the effect of a tax, on everyone and on every productive enterprise. It is, quite simply, a kind of madness. It doesn’t matter what Australia does. A week’s activity in China will obviate any reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that Australia makes. If we were true to these CAGW beliefs we would not sell coal at all to anyone. That wouldn’t stop Chinese emissions: China would simply buy the coal it needed from elsewhere, but it would at least show that someone actually took it all seriously. What we have, at the government level, is out-and-out hypocrisy.

That we continue to export coal, while retaining an RET, is fatuous. Its only rationale is the fear of losing votes. And there’s the rub. The Labor Party has announced that if elected it will be even sillier, if that is possible, than the Coalition. To repeat: on the evidence, ‘global warming’ is not harmful to people, the planet or to eco-systems now, and for an extraordinarily long time, if then. ‘Climate change’ is not, on the face of it, due to human activity, at least to any noticeable degree. The two terms make up a semi-religious belief, as one can see by reading any Greens material on the issue.

That we have endured it for so long is almost incredible. Worse, I don’t see any sign of a quick back-track.

LATER: Frequent commentator David (and others from time to time) find it hard to understand about the rise and rise of CO2 over the last half-century, along with the rise and then relative stasis of ‘average global temperature’ Though I have provided this diagram before, perhaps it’s time to show it again:

Yes, there has been a rise since 2016 (and then a more recent fall). It’s not too difficult to understand, and just a casual glance might make a reader wonder about the imagined CO2 control knob.

Join the discussion 102 Comments

  • Nev says:

    Don Aitkin, a fossilized fool who writes nonsense about fossil fuels.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Nga,

      If you want to comment here, it would be more straightforward, and vastly more honest, to use your own ID.

  • Neville says:

    Don Aitkin, a fossilized old fool who writes nonsense about fossil fuels.

  • michael reed says:

    Yep then I am a fossilised fool too.Then the other side must wind and solar dopes.Both of these revered technologies are old ,highly inefficient and save
    no more in their carbon foot prints due to the need for fossil fuels in their manufacture.However for the true believers in CAGW this new age brings
    a return to the dark ages.Look at all of the fuel “poverty” that has been created with options like -don’t eat and keep warm or don’t warm and eat or
    maybe neither -just die.
    This hand wringing over a half a degree or so celsius ( while we are now seeing real suffering in our communities) makes me both very angry
    and sad.Over the last thirty years I had not suffered from any of the so called dire effects of climate change.At what point should we just stand back
    and say “hey we are destroying our economy and comfortable way of life (and creating untold hardship for many) for some unproven theory”
    Meanwhile real ecological disasters are occurring in the Solar Uyuni in Bolivia because of the mining of Lithium for the batteries that go in smart phones
    and electric vehicles.Oh and what about that other environmental and pollution disaster that’s occurring right now in inner Mongolia all for the need
    of rare earth metals(this place really looks like a black hell on earth with all its real pollution acrid smoke stakes and liquid acid tailing lakes) like Neodmeium which is used in the nacelles of the “clean energy “windmills. All of this for what? I know the answer I have been told it’s to save the
    planet from carbon pollution.Oh golly gee but what happened to the due diligence /cost benefit analysis in all of these clean wind and solar technologies ,quite apart from the unintended consequences of slicing up and frying many species of birds and bats.Oh please answer and explain
    to me how these real ecological and polluting disasters are “saving the planet.Then I will continue to hang my head in shame as a real fossil fool like
    Don apparently is.

  • Neville says:

    Don, the above is not my comment. Must be another Neville and Don should be able to check the email link to verify this fact.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      You are right. Not yours but one by Nga, who went off in a hissy fit some years ago saying she would never return. Well she did, stealing your ID for the purpose. It looks as though the ID problem is back. Are any other commenters seeing another name and email address in the boxes when they want to write something?

  • Brian Austen says:

    On your final paragraph, what I don’t get is the contradiction between human caused global warming pretty much accepted now by government, on the one hand, and on the other a policy of relentless population increase as well as ever increasing economic expansion with more of everything.

    The two positions are surely mutually exclusive.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      But, doncha know, the Government has commissioned a Report that says (surprise, surprise) that immigration is an unqualified good, and that we would all be poorer without it remaining at present levels. Some of these guys should get out of the house once in a while.

      • michael says:

        it is probable this is all academic. We know that we can produce fusion power and know it can be done. We just need the engineers to build the machine. Who is to clean up the wind turbines, as far as I know and unlike miners, they have paid no bond to remove the ghastly contraptions. Farmers and landholders cannot afford to remove both the metal and the concrete. perhaps we should insist on a bond be paid for all the turbines, $250,000 each. Seems fair as miners have to pay, quite rightly, to return the land they wreck, to as near original condition prior to mining.

        • Mike says:

          The Greens would never tolerate Cold Fusion because electricity would be too cheap. The whole point of Climate Alarm is to make energy expensive. Imagine a bulldozer powered by cold fusion

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Good point. Yes, they are in contradiction. But some of government policy is like that: two departments pursuing contradictory goals, apparently unaware of each other.

      • Brian Austen says:

        But the theory is that cabinet government should prevent or rectify such contradictions.

        But it’s one thing for government to run contradictory policies. It seems that no one ever notices. The advocates for producing and selling more and more stuff travel more, support nighttime sporting events powered by coal fired power stations, etc. etc.

        No one ever notices such contradictions, or perhaps turn a blind eye.

        It basically means that very few of the advocating warmists really believe their propaganda.

        • bryan roberts says:

          Despite any and all arguments to the contrary, Albert Bartlett demonstrated years ago (in relation to his own city of Boulder, Colorado) that our dear leader’s mantra of jobs and growth is ridiculous. The people know it – ninety percent of comments about immigration, in any forum, are negative. Point to any country in which a flood of immigrants has made the people richer, or their living conditions better. Not even Australia. Only the political class are blind, and wilfully so.

  • Neville says:

    Let’s be honest and just say that every govt on the planet is dishonest and are totally hypocritical about the use of and export of fossil fuels.
    And their attempts at so called mitigation via Kyoto and now Paris COP 21 are just BS and fra-d. If this isn’t true then we must conclude that not one govt on the planet understands very simple first grade maths and science.
    The IEA makes it very easy to understand with their pie graphs, but I find it so hard to get anyone interested enough to show the graphs to the public. It’s a wonder Lomborg has any hair left on his head after decades trying to get this very simple data to the public. Even the Bolter isn’t interested.
    What is their problem explaining this stupidity to the public? Don or anyone have an explanation for this? Sure beats me.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Now here’s something not generally considered:

    Jamal Munshi

    Sonoma State University

    Date Written: March 21, 2018

    Abstract

    It is proposed that visitation by extraterrestrial spacecraft (UFO) alters the electromagnetic properties of the earth, its atmosphere, and its oceans and that these changes can cause global warming leading to climate change and thence to the catastrophic consequences of floods, droughts, severe storms, and sea level rise. An empirical test of this theory is presented with data for UFO sightings and surface temperature reconstructions for the study period 1910-2015. The results show strong evidence of proportionality between surface temperature and cumulative UFO sightings. We conclude that the observed warming since the Industrial Revolution are due to an electromagnetic perturbation of the climate system by UFO extraterrestrial spacecraft.

    Keywords: Global Warming, Climate Change, Climate Action, UFO, Extraterrestrial, Parody, Correlation, Proportionality, Cumulative Values

  • Don Aitkin says:

    A Canadian reader wonders why I don’t use the Christy/McNider paper of 2017 that showed a TCR response of 1.1 ± 0.26 C for a doubling of CO2, and indeed it doesn’t appear in the graph. My guess is that the graph predates the publication of the paper.

    He goes on to point out that 80 to 85 per cent of Canada is still covered in snow, well past the middle of April. I was aware of the long lingering winter there, but have to say that at the moment all we can say is that Canada has had a spectacularly long-lasting winter.

  • Ian MacCulloch says:

    As a geologist with marine geology experience having drilled offshore strandlines along the East Australian coast line nearly 50 years ago I have to say that both Judith Curry and yourself have a long way to go. At issue is the state of the ice distribution at 12,000 years BP as mapped by the USGS. Compared to the present distribution the volume exchange between the date then and now cannot be explained by the difference between the two ages of mapping. Deep ice core drilling shows no gaps in the ice fossil record – if fact the oddest aspect about Greenland and Antarctica cores is the remarkably constant rate of accumulation regardless of what was going on around them over time. It is clear that these ‘core’ ice sheets are ice accumulators and remain unaffected by climate change. In fact, the deep cores act as excellent repositories of climate, fine particle, gases of all types and so on. It is the rate of change both advance and retreat of the shorelines reported in Professor Curry’s blog is replica of a similar graph produced by Australian geologist many years earlier by RW Fairbridge in 1960. These advances and retreats gave rise to the fossil strandlines that I drilled successfully in the early 1970s. The rates of change, as Professor Curry pointed out were extremely rapid. Ice movements as represented by terminal moraines sites in North America and Europe cannot account for such volumetric changes in ice. I think you have to look at the possibility of the contracting and expanding earth theory first raised to me a oil and gas conference by a Dr Wilson about 2001 held at the University of Illinois. He had some interesting evidence on his poster to support his theory especially using geomorphology in the Gulf of Mexico to support his claims.
    If this theory ever gains acceptance it will destroy the barely measurable micro atmospheric events that the alarmists rely upon to spread their tale of woe.
    Finally, the sea level did peak about 2 metres above its current level some 8,000 years ago. I have mapped heavy mineral sand layers well above sea level at Bremer Bay, WA that correlated perfectly with the now mined out high level heavy mineral deposits mined out in the 1960’s on the Gold Coast (not to be confused with the elevated seams on Stradbroke). There were no golden sands before the miners cleaned the place up.

  • Mike says:

    Climate change alarm scratches a lot of backs and too many people have hitched their wagons to the Global Warming Star for rationalism to be be heard. Nature is indifferent to politics and maybe a mini ice age will bring it undone

    • Ian MacCulloch says:

      A brilliant geologist at the time – all this done without access to global information that we can access today. Most astute conclusions.

      • Doug Lavers says:

        For the past 600 million years, atmospheric CO2 concentrations were generally far above today’s values . From a graph I copied from Scotese and Berner, the values ranged from about 7000 ppm to about 300 ppm.

        The Ordovician Glaciation occurred when the figure was of the order of 4000 ppm.

        In two decades, my view is that the idea that CO2 controls climate will seem bizarre.

  • Neville says:

    Here’s a link to the Christy, McNider study showing a TCR response of just 1.1 C for a doubling of Co2. This was published in Sept 2017 and is closer to the older Lindzen study etc .
    How long before the IPCC starts to wake up and why are we paying so much more for clueless S&W energy? Certainly we should be following the NON OECD example and building new reliable Coal fired plants here in OZ.

    https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/2017_christy_mcnider-1.pdf

  • Chris Warren says:

    The risk to the world’s climate depends on climate sensitivity and each decade will not produce an increase of 15 ppm.

    The rate of increase of CO2 is discussed here:

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2112153-a-pause-in-growth-rate-of-atmospheric-co2-is-over-heres-why/

    Population increase and industrial and agricultural increases are the obvious causes.

    Als climate sensitivity has to include the second effect that a initial warming will produce its own “outgassing” of CO2 plus an artificial increase in water vapour. It is possible to find a CO2 spurt that follows temperature pulses on top of the more general rise of CO2.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      That’s not really an analysis, Chris, and it doesn’t explain why there was a pause. It is in fact a patronising little piece of no consequence.

      I agree with you that climate sensitivity is the key. So where do you think it is at, and why?

    • Neville says:

      Do you really believe that Chris? If so, can you please tell us how to mitigate your so called CAGW problem?
      I can always show you the IEA data again to prove the futility of wasting endless trillions $ until 2100.

    • spangled drongo says:

      But just think, blith, if the “outgassing” from the warming ocean reduces its “acidity”, it might reduce plant and soil acidity likewise.

      And increase Global Worming.

    • Brian Austen says:

      If indeed population increase is the cause, closing down coal mines and power stations do not seem to me to be the answer. What about closing down immigration instead?

    • Chris Warren says:

      Don

      The article says:

      “The annual increase in CO2 levels varies a lot, but in the 1950s it averaged less than 1 part per million (ppm) a year. It increased to around 2 ppm in the early 2000s as CO2 emissions soared. Then between 2002 and 2014 the annual rise remained fairly constant, at just over 2 parts per million.”

      This indicates that CO2 will not increase at 15 ppm per decade.

      This is corroborated by NOAA which shows an increasing CO2 growth rate,

      https://esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/gr.html

      In fact increases of 3pp pa are now possible.

      http://www.noaa.gov/news/carbon-dioxide-levels-rose-at-record-pace-for-2nd-straight-year

      • Don Aitkin says:

        Chris, you know no more about the future than I do, but nonetheless you state that ‘CO2 will not increase at 15 ppm per decade’. You mean, perhaps, that if things go on as they are, then CO2 will increase at something more than 15mm. In any case, my 15 ppm was an ‘if’ proposition, not a prediction. And it will take a long time for the 560 ppm level to be reached, and most of the warmth has already occurred!

        (And you still haven’t dealt with the reason for the pause, which means that you can’t ignore the possibility of further pauses later.)

        • Chris Warren says:

          Don

          There was no pause in CO2 – there was mundane variation in rate of growth of CO2.

          When the next growth rate is determined for the decade 2010-2020 it will be higher than the 2000-2010 decade as shown here:

          https://esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/gr.html

          You will note a pause in growth for the decade 1990-2000 but the CO2 levels in the atmosphere continued to increase as seen here:

          https://esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/full.html

          although there was a very minor change in slope during the 1990’s. If this is the total impact of the pause in the 1990’s I do not think there will be a noticable impact today from a smaller pause in growth rate.

  • spangled drongo says:

    The Barrier Reef Bed-Wetters Assoc. is out in force again today to claim the reef will “never be the same” since the bleaching from el Nino.

    As nothing is ever “the same” they can justify a sci-paper on it and justify their own superficial existence.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-19/marine-heatwave-so-bad-it-cooked-parts-of-great-barrier-reef/9667518

    Scroll down and see pictures of recovery.

    At the time you may remember the chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Dr Russell Reichelt, said the authority had withdrawn from a joint ­announcement on coral bleaching with Professor Hughes this week “because we didn’t think it told the whole story”.

    Well more of the story is now becoming more apparent.

    But don’t expect these “experts” to rationalise about it.

  • spangled drongo says:

    In spite of all that “warm weather” in the Arctic recently, sea ice volume surges 3,000 cubic kilometers since early March:

    http://notrickszone.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Arctic-ice-volume-2018-april-15.png

  • JimboR says:

    “In any case, my 15 ppm was an ‘if’ proposition, not a prediction. ”

    But none the less, a pretty silly proposition. Just eye-balling your own graph above you can see it’s not linear, and you offer nothing as to why you’d expect it to be linear. It may well have been a completely hypothetical ‘if’ proposition in one paragraph, but then you boldly clear the decks and start the next paragraph with:

    “This simple arithmetic suggests that there is no need to worry about an increase in CO2”

    Perhaps the problem is your arithmetic is too simple? Stacey and Hodgkinson did a simple best-fit of the 12-month running means of the Mauna Loa data and found it to be quartic. If you’re correct then we have:

    “it will be about a hundred years from now when we reach the doubling. ”

    If they’re correct, then it hits 560 in about 47 years for now. It’s a big difference. Their estimate is based on the data, yours is based on your usual eye-balling, picking two datapoints, declaring it a linear relationship with no justification as to why it might be, and then boldly jumping to…

    “This simple arithmetic suggests that there is no need to worry about an increase in CO2”

    Perhaps that’s an example of what David would call “misdirection”.

    • don aitkin says:

      Jimbo, middle: it might be a big difference if there was any more warming to come. If warming occurs in a logarithmic fashion, then most of it has occurred anyway, from 280 ppm to say 320. There’s not much left.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Don

    Your graph is incorrect.

    The left hand scale is not scaled so that it occupies the same vertical space as the right hand scale.

    If you place two series on the same graph, they HAVE to be scaled appropriately.

    • JimboR says:

      Indeed, a standard ploy used by those trying to “misdirect”. They dynamic range of the blue temperature plot occupies about 33% of the left axis’s dynamic range, while the dynamic range of the black CO2 plot occupies about 78% of its axis.

      Don, why not take the left hand axis from -1C to 10C, then even more people would believe you!

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      “If you place two series on the same graph, they HAVE to be scaled appropriately”

      True, but the scales (the y axes) do not have to be the same.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Instead of arguments between angels and pinheads, if the pinheads ever choose to live in the real world, this is the CO2/temp graph they should be looking at.

      The correlation is oh so obvious…er…isn’t it?

      https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/tbrown_figure3.png

    • don aitkin says:

      Chris, There are many variants of these graphs, and they all start with the same data. The difference is one of presentation. Your ‘scaled’ graph does not have the two axes starting from the same point (nor did mine).

      What do you think your graph shows? I agree that you can arrange data to show almost anything, if that is your purpose. But it is really difficult to show that CO2 has any kind of direct link to global temperature (always assuming that concept means anything). And unless you disagree that warming through CO2 accumulation occurs in a logarithmic fashion, what is it that worries you? For you and Jimbo, it seems that you believe that doom awaits us. I disagree, and show why. Your arguments and data somehow miss the mark, and yet you are worried. It puzzles me.

      But you plug away…

    • Chris Warren says:

      Don

      However you present it the data shows:

      around 1960 CO2 was 317ppm and temp was 0.6C cooler than around 2011.

      Over this long period, when natural variations have played out, the net effect is a temp rise of 0.6C for around 70ppm CO2.

      So if we increase CO2 at 3ppm per year, we will heat the climate another 0.5C by a much shorter period.

      So says science.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        Chris, ‘science’ might say this if all your assumptions and measurements were accurate. But they’re not. We don’t really know what the temperature was in 1960. You haven’t referred to logarithmic increase at all, so your figure for an increase in Av Gl Temp is almost certainly wrong. And to another matter: the UK Met Office and many other ‘authoritative’ sources do refer to a pause or hiatus in temperature — it’s not just me. We don’t know why it occurred, although there are 70+ proposed explanations for it. The graphed data suggest cyclic influences. Yes, you can say that av. gl temp has been going up, but then (if you trust GISS or HadCRUT) it’s been going up for 150 years or more.

        Why is it so important for you to hang on to the possibility that AGW is really catastrophic?

      • Chris Warren says:

        Don we do know what the temperature was in 1960 and earlier;

        http://www.ysbl.york.ac.uk/~cowtan/applets/trend/trend.html

        My figure cannot possibly be wrong if the data is correct.

        The latest increase in CO2 is over 3ppm per year.

    • JimboR says:

      DA: “Your ‘scaled’ graph does not have the two axes starting from the same point (nor did mine).”

      It’s not the starting point that’s the major problem with your graph, it’s the two y-scales you used. If you compare the range of the data Vs the range of the axes, your graph comes in at about 33% for Temp and 78% for CO2. Chris’s at about 83% and 72%.

      Why did you do that? If you didn’t create the graph, then ask whoever did. There’s only one reason I can think of, and it does your reputation no good. Regardless of whether you created the graph, or copied it from elsewhere, you attached it to your essay and that speaks volumes of the integrity you bring to this discussion.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        Jimbo, this is another of your shifts from arguing about data and argument to denouncing the writer. I know that you retreat to saying that this isn’t your field, and that you trust the experts (whoever you think they are). But these little pernickety interventions don’t add much to the discussion

  • spangled drongo says:

    The news today is that a Queensland farmer has been fined $113,000 for feeding his cattle on rolled Mulga, a practice that has been going on in the area since settlement as it is the reason farmers value this country [for its Mulga drought-proofing] and the Mulga regrows rapidly, ready for the next drought. It is country where it often doesn’t rain for years at a time but it is always drought-proof because of the marvellous Mulga scrub.

    Now the Qld Labor govt want to end this practice to “control” emissions and cool the world yet these same foolish CAGW alarmists are more than happy to do and support the following:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/04/18/green-shock-entire-forests-being-murdered-to-produce-wood-pellet-biomass/

    But I am sure that Australian Universities will now be getting their PhD students to come up with theses to show how equally sustainable Mulga-rolling is [koff].

  • Neville says:

    Dr Roy Spencer looks at the benefits of more co2 on agriculture around the globe.
    He uses data and compares it to the modelling carried out by the media alarmists. Rainfall is increasing and increased tonnages have been experienced plus the extra co2 has helped as well.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2018/04/the-100th-meridian-agricultural-scare-another-example-of-media-hype-exceeding-reality/

  • BoyfromTottenham says:

    Hi Don,

    Excellent article.
    Regarding your comment ‘Our present Government is trying to do the impossible: somehow organise electricity supply so that it is cheap and reliable, while remaining ‘true’ to the Renewable Energy Target (RET). It simply cannot be done.’, I would add that the public really needs to understand the pernicious effects of the (L)RET on the viability of our essential baseload generators, which are the linchpin of our previously stable, reliable, low cost electricity generation system.
    Firstly the LRET scheme forces baseload generators to reduce their output in favour of ‘renewables’ – which reduces both the market share and profitability of our essential, but apparently sacrificial baseload generators.
    Secondly, as the output of ‘renewables’ generators is and will continue to be subsidised by around $85/MWH, these generators are ‘profitable’ almost regardless of the wholesale price they sell into. The existence of the LRET in anything like its current form IMO is inimical to the survival of our essential baseload generators.
    On the other hand, the huge subsidy to inefficient, unreliable and intermittent ‘renewables’ generation provided by the LRET ensures that more and more ‘renewables’ capacity will be built and continue to take market share off baseload generators, further reducing their viability. Therefore any attempt by the federal government to ‘fix’ our broken electricity generation market which retain the LRET (or augment / replace it with the NEG) are doomed to fail. Why cannot our federal government understand this?

    • Neville says:

      Yes Boy from Tot you are correct, RET is a disaster for our energy system. Today clueless S&W make up just 0.8% of the world’s total primary energy and the IEA projection is that it could be 3.6% by 2040.
      IOW it is a total fra-d and con trick and costs the taxpayers of the world 1 to 2 trillion $ a year according to Lomborg.
      This can make no measurable difference to temp by 2040 or by 2100 and we’ll still need coal, gas or nuclear into the future for at least 75% of our energy needs. Of course if fusion become the new energy source then all bets are off.
      But why isn’t any of this explained to the long suffering taxpayer?
      Here’s the Lomborg link to the latest IEA report.

      https://climatechangedispatch.com/where-do-we-get-most-of-our-energy-hint-not-renewables/

  • JimboR says:

    DA: “If warming occurs in a logarithmic fashion,…”

    Don, warming occurs in a logarithmic fashion relative to CO2 levels, hence the often quoted “x° rise per doubling of CO2”.

    DA: “then most of it has occurred anyway, from 280 ppm to say 320. There’s not much left.”

    That conclusion is only valid if you believe CO2 rise is linear relative to time. If, by way of hypothetical example, CO2 rise is exponential relative to time, and warming is logarithmic relative to CO2 levels, then warming becomes linear relative to time.

    I think you’re in a circular argument here. Let’s recap:

    1. you assert CO2 rise is linear Vs time and conclude “there is no need to worry about an increase in CO2”.
    2. when pressed you concede your assertion was a hypothetical ‘if’ not a prediction, but somehow your conclusion remains valid
    3. when further pressed you assert your conclusion remains valid because “warming occurs in a logarithmic fashion”

    Warming does indeed occur in a logarithmic fashion, relative to CO2 levels, but that only supports your original conclusion if CO2 rise is linear. You cannot ignore the shape of the CO2 level graph, it’s critical to all of this.

    • Neville says:

      Jimbo tell us what you would do about it and then tell us what difference it would make?
      IOW what energy source would you choose to replace fossil fuels or nuclear, and what difference would it make by 2040 or 2100?

    • Don Aitkin says:

      For heaven’s sake Jimbo, what evidence can you point to for the proposition that the rise in CO2 is exponential relative to time?

    • JimboR says:

      I think you might be verballing me there Don, so I’ll use the same defence you used to defend your data-defying claim that it’s linear: “my 15 ppm was an ‘if’ proposition, not a prediction”. Unlike you, I even gave a clue by prefixing mine with: “If, by way of hypothetical example…”, but perhaps you missed it in your haste?

      Now I did quote Stacey and Hodgkinson’s finding that the best fit was quartic, so if you want to test your bold claim that “there is no need to worry about an increase in CO2” you might start there. At this stage just about anything would be better than your semi-retracted claim that it’s linear.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        No verbalising on my part. No data on yours either. A link to the authors you quoted would be a help. I’m happy to read material.

      • JimboR says:

        Don, I’m trying to explain to you the flaw in your maths argument, you don’t need data for that. Think abstractly occasionally.

        ISBN 978-9814508322 p206 and p268

        As far as I know, all these datasets are publicly available, and you keep telling us you’re a numbers man from way back. Download the Mauna Loa data and do you own analysis. That text was published in 2013 so their data-fit is probably due for an update. Show us why you think it’s linear. If you don’t think it’s linear, then tell us what you think it is.

        One thing is for sure, you need to have done some analysis of the shape of that curve before you can make bold claims like: “there is no need to worry about an increase in CO2”. You made that claim I didn’t. You offered no data or analysis to support that claim. You’re the one with outstanding homework to do. Let us know what you find.

        • Don Aitkin says:

          Jimbo, the link you provided didn’t come with money! I don’t go behind paywalls. If there is a page or two you can scan, fine. If not, I’ll leave the issue.

          My suggestion that there is no need to worry comes from the shape of the curve (yes, slightly dished from the 1950s, but pretty straight for the last thirty years, plus the logarithmic effect, plus the clear evidence that increasing CO2 so far has been a great boon to humanity and virtually all life forms. I see no clear sign that the boon will not continue for a century at least, probably two or three. And the catastrophic scare stuff is not based on much more than assumptions and suppositions.

        • JimboR says:

          Don, you can easily and freely replicate what they did without access to their text.

          Approach 1: Download the CO2 data, find the best fitting function you can to mimic it, add the usual provisos about uncertainty in past performance being a good indication of future performance (they list quite a few) and then do your logarithm maths on that function to see what expected temperature rises you’ll get, using your own sensitivity settings.

          Approach 2: Look at a graph of CO2 data, declare it “slightly dished” and “pretty straight” over various time periods (I just looked, it’s not), wave your hands about logarithms and declare it’ll all be fine.

          One of those approaches is science, the other is faith. I can’t understand why a “numbers man” wouldn’t want to use the numbers?

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Jimbo, like David, you want me to do some more work. I have enough to do, and have just returned from two weeks away. So, with respect, why don’t you do the work, offer the argument, present the results, add in the uncertainties, and let the readers decide for themselves?

          • JimboR says:

            Don, I don’t need to do any work, because I’m not drawing any conclusions from the data (despite your earlier verballing that I’m claiming it’s exponential…. I’m not, and I never did).

            I’m simply comparing and contrasting the two approaches taken, one by a geophysicist and geologist, the other by a political scientist. Both start from the same data, and draw very different conclusions. I believe the methodology taken by each explains why.

          • JimboR says:

            “you want me to do some more work. I have enough to do”

            Don, far be it from me to tell you how to divie up your time, but have you considered spending less time writing, and more time researching? It may change how you view a lot of this stuff.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Jimbo, for someone who claims no expertise, and does no work to improve what he has, you are extraordinarily patronising.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            Jimbo, this is one of your sillier series of comments. Let’s just say that Don did these analyses. What would you say if he came up with a result of which you didn’t approve? Remembering that there are hardly two people who spend their lives doing just these analyses, who actually agree with each other.

          • JimboR says:

            Don, the one thing your musings on this topic have convinced me of, is that political scientists are 99% political and 1% scientist, and I think I’m being mighty generous with the 1%.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            All I can say, after these futile exchanges, is that there may well be something in what you say.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            Jimbo, what you don’t understand is that fewer than 1% of real scientists have any interest at all in politics.

          • JimboR says:

            Don, if you had half the curiosity you claim to have on this subject, you’d do your own research and I suspect would come to an entirely different conclusion. A while back I pondered what your great great grandchildren would make of all this as they read it in the inter-webby archives. You posited “I hope that they will say that he kept thinking about things”. An equally likely outcome in my view is that they’ll say “He kept thinking about things right up until he got to the things that would have led him to the truth”.

            I wouldn’t harp on except that it is a recurring pattern. Over the few years I’ve been following this blog, every once and a while people who seem to have genuine expertise in the subject turn up in the comments section. Invariably that ends up with you in a position that defies some combination of the data, maths or physics. Your time constraints elsewhere (understandably) result in you retreating with little more than a polite and grateful I-don’t-have-time-for-this-now acknowledgement. Then a few months later, it’s as if none of it ever happened and you continue churning out the same debunked stuff.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Instead of pontificating and waffling [i.e. blithering] jimb, how about giving us just one example of that “same debunked stuff” that Don “churns out”.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Jimbo, to repeat, ‘there may well be something in what you say’.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            Hold on, sonny Jim. Jimbo is not actually saying anything.
            “I’m simply comparing and contrasting the two approaches taken”. If he wants to take a position, he should say what it is. Otherwise he’s just a race caller.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Don’s chart shows a temperature rise from around -0.5C [1980] to +0.5C [2017] for a rise in CO2 of 65ppm.

    This means there will be another rise, around a full degree, when CO2 increases another 65ppm or thereabouts.

    This will occur in less than 50 years particularly if the yearly growth averages over 2ppm per year.

    If the increase in CO2 is maintained at 3ppm per year, then all this will hit us in just 22 years.

    Maybe there is some other nexus between CO2 rise and temperature – may be a logarithmic aspect, This is canceled if the growth in CO2 is exponential through being driven by global economic growth.

    • Mike Burston says:

      Chris, it’s curious how the first 20ppm of CO2 atmospheric concentration is so influential whereas the effect of increasing concentrations diminish pro rata. Starting from today’s levels to achieve an additional degree of warming attributable to CO2 alone virtually all fossil fuel ever known would have to be burnt. Exponential economic growth wouldn’t suffice

      • Chris Warren says:

        Effects may appear to diminish but only after looking at relatively short run trends. If you start at 1998 you can show a period in which temps fell as CO2 rose.

        If you probe the data carefully you can even find periods where the was little change in temps while CO2 rose.

        However if you look at all of the scientific data, the net effect is a rise of around 1C for 65 ppm or thereabouts in the long run.

  • Neville says:

    Yet more evidence that Greenland temps haven’t changed much since 1880. This just supports the 2005 Vinther et al study that came to a similar finding about Greenland temp trends.
    Greenland seems to be responding to the AMO cycles and natural variability.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2018/04/greenland-same-temperature-now-as-1880/#more-58425

  • Chris Warren says:

    Don

    It is very easy to show CO2 is exponential over time.

    The trend (12 monthly averaged) is concave so clearly is not linear.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/every:12

    Further if you take the derivative – it is obviously increasing.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/every:12/derivative

    This means exponential trends are obvious and clear – beyond skepticism.

    You can corroborate this from NOAA charts I indicated earlier.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Don

    The northern hemisphere link between rising CO2 and temp rise is quite strong from 1960 or so.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/every:12/from:1959/to:2018.333/plot/hadcrut3nh/from:1959/to:2018.333/mean:132/scale:90/offset:337

  • Chris Warren says:

    Don

    You can run the same exercise using Roy Spencer’s data, and there is a clear increasing temp trend as atmospheric CO2 rises.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/every:12/from:1979/to:2018.333/offset:-22/plot/uah6/from:1979/to:2018.333/mean:12/scale:90/offset:350

    • spangled drongo says:

      Did you check this trend too, blith:?

      ABSTRACT: Homicides in England and Wales 1898-2003 are studied against the atmospheric carbon dioxide data for the same period. The Charney Equilibrium Sensitivity of homicides is found to be ?=1.7 thousands of additional annual homicides for each doubling of atmospheric CO2. The sensitivity estimate is supported by a strong correlation of ?=0.95 and detrended correlation of ?=0.86. The analysis illustrates that spurious proportionalities in time series data in conjunction with inadequate statistical rigor in the interpretation of empirical Charney climate sensitivity estimates impedes the orderly accumulation of knowledge in this line of research.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Correlation does not imply causation.

  • Mike Burston says:

    Clive James made this observation about the red herrings used to deflect climate common sense of which this thread is a classic
    “Alarmists have always profited from their insistence that climate change is such a complex issue that no “science denier” can have an opinion about it worth hearing. For most areas of science such an insistence would be true. But this particular area has a knack of raising questions that get more and more complicated in the absence of an answer to the elementary ones. One of those elementary questions is about how man-made carbon dioxide can be a driver of climate change if the global temperature has not gone up by much over the past 20 years but the amount of man-made carbon dioxide has. If we go on to ask a supplementary question — say, how could carbon dioxide raise temperature when the evidence of the ice cores indicates that temperature has always raised carbon dioxide — we will be given complicated answers, but we still haven’t had an answer to the first question, except for the suggestion that the temperature, despite the observations, really has gone up, but that the extra heat is hiding in the ocean.”

  • Neville says:

    There’s been plenty of NH snow this winter and Japan now has a tourist attraction of a 56 feet high snow roadway that is a drawcard for tourists. Incredible photos at the link.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/04/22/its-been-a-bad-winter-all-over-snow-in-japan-56-feet-high/

  • Tim Walshaw says:

    Hi Don,

    Arguments about CO2 can go on forever. As far as I am concerned this entire question of global warming was resolved by a book written years ago by Professor William F. Ruddiman “Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum”. I recommend, strongly recommend, that you read it. It will resolve all this nonsense.
    Anyway what he said was that there has been a downward trend in the Earth’s temperature since a peak at 8000 BC towards an ice age in about 2000 years time. This is caused by perturbations in the Earth’s orbit, that you can look up on the internet, called the Milankovitch cycle.
    Now why aren’t we entering an ice age now? As Ruddiman clearly explains, the maintenance of the Earth’s temperature (more or less) is caused by the release of METHANE due to human activity. The major source of this is rice irrigation in China and the Far East. He has carefully enumerated the influence.
    So the reason why we have not entered an ice age is due to METHANE released by rice cultivation.
    However Ruddiman did not go into the short term cycles. There are also short term Milankovitch cycles. (There was a downturn in 1866 that froze the Thames). There was a recent upturn between 1970 and 2000, that kicked off the global warming furor – false correlation. Now there is a downturn for the next 30 years. So I can make a very certain prediction. The coming winter will be cold and dry. Next summer will be cold. And so on, colder and colder, for the next 30 years. Yes the seas will get colder. The arctic, antarctic, will get colder. and the number of polar bears will increase.
    CO2 has little effect on the climate.

  • Neville says:

    The solar industry in Germany has become a total train wreck. This country was the poster child for so called renewables but it has failed dismally and the number of jobs have fallen off a cliff as well.
    Oh and Germany has not seen recent falls in their co2 emissions even though they were a world leader in S&W energy. Like Japan Germany has now started to build new Coal fired plants to service their future energy needs.
    Surely OZ needs to wake up and ditch the clueless RET lunacy and start building new Coal plants here as well?

    http://www.thegwpf.com/green-mega-flop-german-solar-industry-crashes-and-burns/

  • Neville says:

    Prof Ole Humlum will join the UK’s GWPF. He has authored scores of scientific studies on the climate and is sure to bring a breadth of knowledge and experience to his new job.

    http://notrickszone.com/2018/04/06/top-climate-scientist-co2-model-assumptions-invalid-natural-climatic-variations-dominate/#sthash.R5bu0shG.G5dz2jZz.dpbs

  • Neville says:

    WUWT has a post on the 20th anniversary of Mann’s ridiculous HS study. Willis Eshenbach doesn’t seem to be very impressed with “upside down Mann”. Others underwhelmed by Mann’s HS are Steve McIntyre, Muller etc and many more scientists who were quoted in Mark Steyn’s book. But Mann’s nonsense was paraded by the IPCC etc until they woke up. Here’s his comment.
    Willis Eschenbach says:
    April 23, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    “Michael Mann is a lying liar who spends his spare time lying. Among the biggest is a lie of omission. He was found to have committed a grievous mathematical error in the original Hockeystick calculations (failure to center the data before the principle components analysis).

    He also neglects to mention that he used post hoc proxy selection. And he doesn’t think it’s worth noting that his method will “mine” hockeysticks out of red-noise data.

    He is as far from a scientist as a man could possibly be—opaque, dishonest, and completely without principles … in fact, I’d say he specializes in unprincipled component analysis.

    For more of his slimy double-dealing, see here … and for the true story of the hockeystick, see ClimateAudit.”

    w.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/04/23/flashback-twenty-years-ago-today-the-infamous-hockey-stick-was-published-in-nature/

  • MACK says:

    Extensive reading of the scientific literature and various books published on this topic leads to the conclusion that the science is totally uncertain and pathetically weak. From an intellectual point of view, the really interesting issue is the uncanny parallel with religious cults. There is lots of stuff published on this and here for example are excerpts from one list on the web:
    1) Believers pretend to possess indisputable truths about the past, present, and future.
    2) They refuse to debate its dogma, calling it “settled science” and attacking critics. They try to prohibit scientific research that contradicts this dogma. They call for criminal persecution of those who publicly disagree with the dogma.
    3) The alarmist movement has a formal doctrine-setting body — the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They quote these holy texts and use them to justify their decisions.
    4) The alarmist movement has its own priest class of climate scientists. They believe that only members of the priest class are capable of understanding and seriously discussing “climate science.”
    5) The climate change cult appears to worship the computer models that its members built with their own hands — literally man-made idols. Much of the content of IPCC’s texts comes from these computer models.
    6) The alarmists deny, ignore, or distort elementary scientific facts, some of which should be known even to kids eg – Sunspots and the effect of solar activity changes.
    7) The alarmists appeal to medieval beliefs that nature has existed forever in some unchanged state. They deny natural climate change, higher CO2 levels in the geological past; natural sea level increases in the current interglacial period; tectonic movement; and the complex trajectory of the Earth’s motion around the Sun.
    8) The climate change cult has its own eschatology—calamities, catastrophes, and the end of the world caused by global warming. To avoid this horrible end, we have to repent (i.e., accept the climate change cult dogma), stop sinning (releasing CO2), and generously pay whomever the IPCC or UNFCC will tell us to pay.
    9) The climate change cult seeks and actually exerts control over governments. Even worse, it provokes international conflicts over hot air (country quotas to release carbon dioxide).

  • spangled drongo says:

    There’s really only one answer to air pollution, more government:

    https://hotair.com/archives/2018/04/19/lung-assn-pollution-condemns-california/

  • Neville says:

    The latest 2018 Lewis and Curry study finds similar low sensitivity for a doubling of Co2.
    When will the IPCC wake up and take notice of these latest studies ?

    https://judithcurry.com/2018/04/24/impact-of-recent-forcing-and-ocean-heat-uptake-data-on-estimates-of-climate-sensitivity/#more-24068

Leave a Reply