Climate science

This page is for discussion of climate science in general not covered by other threads.

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209 Thoughts on “Climate science

  1. THREAD on 16/10/2010 at 8:08 pm said:


    • THREAD on 23/10/2010 at 7:12 pm said:

      First carbon victim is the truth – smh

      See “Australia”

      “Cutting through the climate change rhetoric has been Elaine Prior, the senior environment, social and governance analyst at Citigroup.

      Last week, in the wake of a Greenpeace report on lending to the coal industry in Australia (covered previously here), Prior and her colleagues tried to quantify the exposure of our big four banks if a price on carbon were to wipe out the value of their loans to coal-fired power stations.

      This is not far-fetched. The banks are definitely worried – especially in the Latrobe Valley of Victoria, where the first plant shutdowns are expected.

      Bank shareholders are worried too. ”Investors, including super funds, have expressed concern about bank exposures to coal-fired power,” Prior says, ”more than about the banks’ internal carbon footprint.””

    • Richard C (NZ) on 25/10/2010 at 9:58 pm said:

      See “Consultation begins on forest carbon measurement”

      Friday, 15 October 2010, 2:18 pm
      Press Release: Ministry Of Agriculture And Forestry

    • Richard C (NZ) on 30/08/2011 at 2:45 pm said:

      Measuring carbon emissions from land-use change and forestry

      The New Zealand Land-use and Carbon Analysis System

      Bureaucratic nirvana and all at the behest of the UN IPCC. Hopefully some spin-offs of economically and environmentally useful information.

      The “Detecting change” section has this:-

      Once land-use maps are completed for 1990 and 2008, change can be identified. The images to the right show an area north of Taupo, New Zealand where deforestation has occurred. The pre-1990 planted forest area (dark green) has been converted to high-producing grassland (pale yellow). This is likely to be due to conversion to a dairy farming land use.

      And the (rushed) “conversion to a dairy farming land use” was “likely to be due” to the impending enactment of the ETS.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 08/11/2010 at 9:53 am said:

      Carbon Trade Ends on Quiet Death of Chicago Climate Exchange

      Published Nov 7, 2010

      Republican mid-term election joy deals financial uncertainty among green investors as the Chicago Climate Exchange announces the end of U.S. carbon trading.

      The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) announced on October 21, 2010 that it will cease carbon trading this year. However, Steve Milloy reporting on (November 6, 2010) finds this huge story strangely unreported by the mainstream media.

      To some key analysts the collapse of the CCX appears to show that international carbon trading is “dying a quiet death.” Yet Milloy finds that such a major business failure has drawn no interest at all from the mainstream media. Milloy noted that a “Nexis search conducted a week after CCX’s announcement revealed no news articles published about its demise.”

      Not until November 02, 2010 had the story even been picked up briefly and that was by (Crain’s). Reporter, Paul Merrion appeared to find some comfort that while CCX will cease all trading of new emission allowances at the end of the year, “it will continue trading carbon offsets generated by projects that consume greenhouse gases, such as planting trees.”

  2. THREAD on 16/10/2010 at 8:10 pm said:


    • Richard C (NZ) on 21/10/2010 at 10:20 am said:

      Roy Clark, Ph.D.

      Energy transfer at the Earth’s surface is examined from first principles. The effects on surface temperature of small changes in the solar constant caused by the sunspot cycle and small increases in downward long wave infrared (LWIR) flux due to a 100 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration are considered in detail. The changes in the solar constant are sufficient to change ocean temperatures and alter the Earth’s climate. The surface temperature changes produced by an increase in downward LWIR flux are too small to be measured and cannot cause climate change. The assumptions underlying the use of radiative forcing in climate models are shown to be invalid. A null hypothesis for CO2 is proposed that it is impossible to show that changes in CO2 concentration have caused any climate change, at least since the current composition of the atmosphere was set by ocean photosynthesis about one billion years ago.

      Keywords: Carbon Dioxide, Global Warming, Greenhouse Effect, Maunder
      Minimum, Meteorological Surface Air Temperature, Milankovitch Cycles, Ocean Warming, Radiative Forcing, Radiative Transfer, Sunspot Cycle.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 21/10/2010 at 10:30 am said:

      by Roy Clark | September 15, 2010

      The long term trends in monthly minimum temperature from 34 California weather stations have been analyzed. These trends can be explained using a variable linear urban heat island effect superimposed on a baseline trend from the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). The majority of the prevailing California weather systems originate in the N. Pacific Ocean. The average minimum monthly temperature is a measure of the surface air temperature of these weather systems. Changes in minimum surface temperature are an indicator of changes in the temperature of the tropospheric air column, not the ground surface temperature. The PDO provides a baseline minimum temperature trend that defines the California climate variation. This allows urban heat island effects and other possible anomalous temperature measurement effects to be identified and investigated. Some of the rural weather stations showed no urban heat island effects. Stations located in urban areas showed heat island effects ranging from 0.01 to over 0.04 C.yr-1. The analysis of minimum temperature data using the PDO as a reference baseline has been demonstrated as a powerful technique for climate trend evaluation. This technique may be extended to other regions using the appropriate local ocean surface temperature reference. The analysis found no evidence for CO2 induced warming trends in the California data. This confirms prior ‘Null Hypothesis’ work that it is impossible for a 100 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration to cause any climate change.

    • THREAD on 21/10/2010 at 3:07 pm said:

      Limits on CO2 Climate Forcing from Recent Temperature Data of Earth
      David H. Douglass and John R. Christy, 2008

    • THREAD on 22/10/2010 at 9:17 pm said:

      Maximum ‘Residence Time’ of Atmospheric CO2

      Plot illustrating how the IPCC’s view of long-lived CO2 is an oulier

    • Richard C (NZ) on 29/10/2010 at 8:00 pm said:

      Climate Change (A Fundamental Analysis of the Greenhouse Effect)

      By John Nicol 2008

      Over recent years there has been considerable debate concerning the possibility of industrially induced increases in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere giving rise to increased warming across the world.

      Main points:-

      1) Infrared radiation from the surface is absorbed in the first few feet of the atmosphere.

      2) 99% of the absorbed radiation is converted to kinetic energy within milliseconds.

      3) Heat transport in the troposphere is dominated by convection.

      And the back-radiation, on which the CAGW hypothesis rests, is shown to be both fixed and infinitesimal, leaving absolutely no mechanism by which the so-called ‘green house’ effect can warm the surface.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 29/10/2010 at 8:03 pm said:

      The Shattered Greenhouse: How Simple Physics Demolishes the “Greenhouse Effect”.

      Timothy Casey B.Sc. (Hons.)
      Consulting Geologist

      First Uploaded ISO: 2009-Oct-13
      Revision 4 ISO: 2010-June-25

      This article explores the “Greenhouse Effect” in contemporary literature and in the frame of physics, finding a conspicuous lack of clear thermodynamic definition. Arrhenius’ backradiation mechanism is identified as a key aspect of the “Greenhouse Effect” hypothesis. The general idea as expressed in contemporary literature, though seemingly chaotic in its diversity of emphasis, shows little change since its original proposition by Svante Arrhenius in 1896, and subsequent refutation by Robert Wood in 1909. The “Greenhouse Effect” is presented as a radiation trap whereby changes in atmospheric composition resulting in increased absorption lead to increased surface temperatures. However, since the composition of a body, isolated from thermal contact by a vacuum, cannot affect mean body temperature, the “Greenhouse Effect” has, in fact, no material foundation. Compositional variation can change the distribution of heat within a body in accordance with Fourier’s Law, but it cannot change the overall temperature of the body. Arrhenius’ backradiation mechanism did, in fact, duplicate the radiative heat transfer component by adding this component to the conductive heat flow between the earth’s surface and the atmosphere, when thermal conduction includes both kinetic and radiative modes of heat transfer between bodies in thermal contact. Moreover, the temperature of the earth’s surface and the temperature in a greenhouse are adequately explained by elementary physics. Consequently, the dubious explanation presented by the “Greenhouse Effect” hypothesis is an unnecessary complication. Furthermore, this hypothesis has neither direct experimental confirmation nor direct empirical evidence of a material nature. Thus the notion of “Anthropogenic Global Warming”, which rests on the “Greenhouse Effect”, also has no real foundation.

    • THREAD on 02/11/2010 at 9:04 am said:

      Falsi fication Of The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse E ffects Within The Frame Of Physics

      Version 4.0 (January 6, 2009)
      replaces Version 1.0 (July 7, 2007) and later

      Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner

      The atmospheric greenhouse e ect, an idea that many authors trace back to the traditional works of Fourier (1824), Tyndall (1861), and Arrhenius (1896), and which is still supported in global climatology, essentially describes a fictitious mechanism, in which a planetary atmosphere acts as a heat pump driven by an environment that is radiatively interacting with but radiatively equilibrated to the atmospheric system. Ac- cording to the second law of thermodynamics such a planetary machine can never exist. Nevertheless, in almost all texts of global climatology and in a widespread secondary literature it is taken for granted that such mechanism is real and stands on a firm scientifi c foundation. In this paper the popular conjecture is analyzed and the underlying physical principles are clarifi ed. By showing that (a) there are no common physical laws between the warming phenomenon in glass houses and the fictitious atmospheric green-house e ffects, (b) there are no calculations to determine an average surface temperature of a planet, (c) the frequently mentioned di fference of 33 C is a meaningless number calculated wrongly, (d) the formulas of cavity radiation are used inappropriately, (e) the assumption of a radiative balance is unphysical, (f) thermal conductivity and friction must not be set to zero, the atmospheric greenhouse conjecture is falsifi ed.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 02/11/2010 at 9:11 am said:

      Comments on the “Proof of the atmospheric greenhouse effect” by Arthur P. Smith

      Gerhard Kramm1, Ralph Dlugi2, and Michael Zelger2
      1University of Alaska Fairbanks, Geophysical Institute
      903 Koyukuk Drive, P.O. Box 757320, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7320, USA
      2Arbeitsgruppe Atmosphärische Prozesse (AGAP),
      Gernotstraße, D-80804 Munich, Germany

      Abstract: In this paper it is shown that Smith (2008) used inappropriate and inconsistent formulations in averaging various quantities over the entire surface of the Earth considered as a sphere. Using two instances of averaging procedures as customarily applied in studies on turbulence, it is shown that Smith’s formulations are highly awkward. Furthermore, Smith’s discussion of the infrared absorption in the atmosphere is scrutinized and evaluated. It is shown that his attempt to refute the criticism of Gerlich and Tscheuschner (2007, 2009) on the so-called greenhouse effect is rather fruitless.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 02/11/2010 at 9:54 am said:

      “It is shown that his attempt to refute the criticism of Gerlich and Tscheuschner (2007, 2009) on the so-called greenhouse effect is rather fruitless.”

      i.e. This paper by Kramm Et Al supports G&T’s criticism of the greenhouse effect.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 02/11/2010 at 9:29 am said:


      Department of Chemistry, Howard University, Washington, DC
      Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison
      Physics Department, Rochester Institute of Technology
      Quality Management, Deutscher Wetterdienst

      March 2010

      In this journal, Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner claim to have falsified the existence of an atmospheric greenhouse effect.1 Here, we show that their methods, logic, and conclusions are in error. Their most significant errors include trying to apply the Clausius statement of the Second Law of Thermodynamics to only one side of a heat transfer process rather than the entire process, and systematically ignoring most non-radiative heat flows applicable to the Earth’s surface and atmosphere. They claim that radiative heat transfer from a colder atmosphere to a warmer surface is forbidden, ignoring the larger transfer in the other direction which makes the complete process allowed. Further, by ignoring heat capacity and non-radiative heat flows, they claim that radiative balance requires that the surface cool by 100 K or more at night, an obvious absurdity induced by an unphysical assumption. This comment concentrates on these two major points, while also taking note of some of Gerlich and Tscheuschner’s other errors and misunderstandings.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 02/11/2010 at 9:37 am said:


      Institut für Mathematische Physik, Technische Universität Carolo-Wilhelmina
      Dr. Ralf D. Tscheuschner, Dipl.-Phys.

      March 2010


      It is shown that the notorious claim by Halpern et al. recently repeated in their comment that the method, logic, and conclusions of our “Falsification Of The CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within The Frame Of Physics” would be in error has no foundation. Since Halpern et al. communicate our arguments incorrectly, their comment is scientifically vacuous. In particular, it is not true that we are “trying to apply the Clausius statement of the Second Law of Thermodynamics to only one side of a heat transfer process rather than the entire process” and that we are “systematically ignoring most non-radiative heat flows applicable to Earth’s surface and atmosphere”. Rather, our falsification paper discusses the violation of fundamental physical and mathematical principles in 14 examples of common pseudo-derivations of fictitious greenhouse effects that are all based on simplistic pictures of radiative transfer and their obscure relation to thermodynamics, including but not limited to those descriptions (a) that define a “Perpetuum Mobile Of The 2nd Kind”, (b) that rely on incorrectly calculated averages of global temperatures, (c) that refer to incorrectly normalized spectra of electromagnetic radiation. Halpern et al. completely missed an exceptional chance to formulate a scientifically well-founded antithesis. They do not even define a greenhouse effect that they wish to defend. We take the opportunity to clarify some misunderstandings, which are communicated in the current discussion on the non-measurable, i.e., physically non-existing influence of the trace gas CO2 on the climates of the Earth.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 01/11/2011 at 10:06 am said:

      New Satellite Data Contradicts Carbon Dioxide Climate Theory

      John O’Sullivan

      Industrialized nations emit far less carbon dioxide than the Third World, according to latest evidence from Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

      Global warming alarmism is turned on its head and the supposed role of carbon dioxide in climate change may be wrong, if the latest evidence from Japan’s scientists is to be believed.

      Japanese national broadcaster, NHK World, broke the astonishing story on their main Sunday evening news bulletin (October 30, 2011). Television viewers learned that the country’s groundbreaking IBUKU satellite, launched in June 2009, appears to have scorched an indelible hole in conventional global warming theory.

      Standing in front of a telling array of colorful graphs, sober-suited Yasuhiro Sasano, Director of Japan’s National Institute for Environmental Studies told viewers, “The [IBUKU satellite] map is to help us discover how much each region needs to reduce CO2 [carbon dioxide] emissions.”


    • Richard C (NZ) on 03/11/2011 at 7:49 am said:

      Popular Skeptic Writer Fired for Exposing Carbon Climate Fraud

      By John O’Sullivan


      I write to announce my employment with my publishers, Suite101 was terminated today without prior notice or explanation and all my articles published over a two-year period with them are now removed from the Internet. I believe this is in retaliation for my latest article ‘New Satellite Data Contradicts Carbon Dioxide Climate Theory’ revealing the shocking fact that the Japanese ‘IBUKI’ satellite measuring surface carbon dioxide emissions shows that Third World regions are emitting considerably more CO2 than western, industrial nations.


      It appears a self-serving and influential clique of zealots, fearful that the story may go viral, is desperate to kill it. This morning my Suite101 article had already gotten over 400,000 crosslinks a mere two days after publication. This evening a Google search shows that number cut to 297,000; so much for free speech and easy access to information on the Internet.

      But what these ecoloons fail to understand is that they may shoot down one or two bloggers, but there are legions more waiting to step up to the plate. By such egregious censorship they merely draw more attention to their eco fascist attack on our freedoms.

      Along with my skeptic colleagues, I will continue with our work to expose the climate fraud and to defend our freedoms. We will tirelessly fight to expose those global warming gatekeepers who cynically try to control the worldwide web as perniciously as they have the mainstream media.

      The struggle for truth continues!


    • Andy on 03/11/2011 at 9:15 am said:

      It appears that one of the outlets for his articles,, has finally noticed his tenuous connection with reality and removed all his posts. The real pity is that they allowed them on their servers in the first place. I wonder if Treadgold will run that bit of news as well?

      That was a quote from GR at HotTopic

    • Richard C (NZ) on 03/11/2011 at 11:19 am said:

      GR hasn’t got a clue. He thinks Ibuki/GOSAT is “really talking about” reducing estimation error of ground observations and cites H. Takagi et al — “a rather technical read, to be sure, and not at all the thing for bedtime reading” (all of 4 pages counting References). But that paper is just a spin-off from the project titled “On the Benefit of GOSAT Observations to the Estimation of Regional CO2 Fluxes”.

      It’s no different to using satellites for any other metric that is also measured by ground stations e.g. GAT and reducing estimation error (or introducing more – whatever the case may be).

      smartypants may be on to something though “The graphics that Sky Dragon is showing are actually showing levels of uncertainty for CO2 measurement, NOT absolute measurements of emissions”. O’Sullivan has a problem if that is true but but all anyone has to do is look at this Press Release:-

      May 28, 2009 (14:00)
      Initial Analysis of Observation Data (Greenhouse Gas Concentrations) from “IBUKI” Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT)

      “While data is currently in the preliminary stages of being calibrated and validated, an initial analysis of carbon dioxide and methane concentrations was recently obtained for clear-sky scenes over land.”

      Attachment 1:
      Carbon dioxide (column averaged dry air mole fraction) initial analysis (April 20-28 observation data)

      “High concentrations are observed over continental China and Central Africa, which may be caused by measurement interference due to the presence of atmospheric dust. Asian dust (yellow sands) were observed over continental China during the observation period, and the existence of dust storm-like and smoke-like phenomena were observed in the relevant locations in Africa. Future investigation is required to understand these errors.”

      “Data calibration, processing parameter adjustment, and product validation required for quantitative discussion of the analysis results, will be carried out in the future.”

      (Note 2) Southern Hemisphere values were on average approximately 17 ppm lower than the model calculation, while Northern Hemisphere latitude band average values were approximately 7-12 ppm lower.

      [There’s nothing to indicate that developed countries are emitting more than under-developed but everything to indicate that human emissions are of little consequence ]

      Attachment 2:
      Methane (column averaged dry air mole fraction) initial analysis (April 20-28 observation data)

      [Highest concentrations are over China and Africa.]

      In the words of GR “Total fact-checking time? About five minutes. Obviously far beyond the capabilities of [Renowden]”

    • Richard C (NZ) on 03/11/2011 at 11:44 am said:

      Update plots in this October 30, 2009 Press Release:-

      Figure 2: Column averaged dry air mole fraction distribution of carbon dioxide
      for the month of September, 2009, obtained from IBUKI observation data (unvalidated)

      Figure 3: Column averaged dry air mole fraction distribution of methane for the month of September, 2009, obtained from IBUKI observation data (unvalidated)

      The evil emitters seem to be Northern China, Central India and North-Central Africa. Shame on them.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 03/11/2011 at 12:25 pm said:

      JAXA Ibuki/GOSAT

      CO2 jpg plot

      CH4 jpg plot

      The most heinous CO2 emitter on the planet seems to be a secret Australian fossil fuel installation in the Great Victoria Desert on the WA-SA border.

      Where’s James Bond when you need him?

    • It appears that one of the outlets for his articles,, has finally noticed his tenuous connection with reality and removed all his posts. The real pity is that they allowed them on their servers in the first place. I wonder if Treadgold will run that bit of news as well? – GR at Hot Topic

      Ah, Gareth Renowden, our local champion of free speech. But only his own. Not an inspiring hero, is he: “the real pity is that they allowed them on their servers in the first place”? What the hell are you afraid of, Gareth, you jellyfish — someone pointing out the flaws in your climatic fantasies? Someone suggesting (perfectly reasonably) that no ETS in Kiwiland will change the climate anywhere? Someone stating as a fact that closing down the entire NZ economy and requiring each of our 4.4 million people to subsist on what they might find or grow in their own neighbourhood will go spectacularly unnoticed by the global climate? That’s only using the IPCC’s view of things, which is that carbon dioxide is the supreme driver of weather. Or are you afraid of something else? Like not making enough money out of this lovely climate rort? Selling carbon footprint certificates, perhaps? But I digress.

      Why wouldn’t I run that story? It highlights yet another injustice against those whose only crime — listening? Whose ONLY crime — is to be sceptical of alarmist claims made about global warming and to ask for evidence. Which is no crime at all. Sure, I’ll run it, Renowden. Why ever not?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 12/07/2012 at 11:12 am said:

      Carbon dioxide intake soars

      Using data from 1958 and mathematical techniques that haven’t been widely used in the field, scientists took the amount of emissions and subtracted what was retained in the atmosphere and what the oceans took up, leaving the land component for the study.

      They noticed the abrupt shift in 1988, when the intake of 0.3 billion tonnes of carbon per year surged to one billion tonnes.


      Kevin Tate, research associate at Landcare Research, said he was ”intrigued” by the findings.

      ”One thought struck me and that is that perhaps to this point we have underestimated the size of the terrestrial sink, and this work may be correcting that.”

    • Mike Jowsey on 12/07/2012 at 11:22 am said:

      Or another possibility:

      If phytoplankton respond like most plant species do, we may find that the modest increases in CO2 levels we have experienced over the last 50 years may actually create a bounty of micro plant growth in the oceans, which would in turn create the food supply necessary to support an increase in the oceans’ animal population.

      At the same time, it would explain where the excess atmospheric CO2 has been going; much of it converted into additional biological matter, with only a limited existence as raw CO2.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 14/07/2012 at 11:22 am said:
    • Richard C (NZ) on 23/09/2012 at 6:46 pm said:

      How the temperature datasets tell us extra CO2 has little effect by TallBloke

      Since the sun went quiet and cloud cover consequently increased again, not as much sunshine has got into the oceans, and consequently they have started cooling slightly since 2004. This makes the sea surface has cool down, and since land surface temperatures mimic what the sea surface does a few months later, they have cooled too. But the lower troposphere higher up above the ground has warmed, because the excess energy stored in the oceans while the sun was very active and cloud diminished between 1975 and 2004 is now being emitted back out, warming the atmosphere at cloud level, and from there heading out to space.

      But how come this energy being emitted into the atmosphere from the oceans isn’t being trapped by the extra co2 and then re-radiated back down to the surface and warming it up?

      The answer is that it is trying its best, but the effect is much less powerful in relation to the effect of a more active sun in the warming period and a less active sun now, than the warmist theoreticians believed. This is because they didn’t take into account the effect of the active sun causing diminishing cloud cover, and so the sea surface and ground is cooling and the heat is escaping back to space now the sun has become much less active, but is keeping the troposphere at cloud level warm on its way.


      Exemplary presentation.

    • Rob Taylor on 23/09/2012 at 7:06 pm said:


  3. THREAD on 16/10/2010 at 8:13 pm said:


    • Richard C (NZ) on 01/12/2010 at 4:38 pm said:

      The causes of global warming and climate change!

      There are two competing theories for the recent global warming trend.

      * The first is based on a theory which followed the warming trend that occurred between 1975 and 1998.

      * The second theory is based on highly correlated data going back thousands of years.

      Most agree that the temperature has increased about 0.6 – 0.7 Centigrade over the last century and that the level of CO2 or Carbon Dioxide a greenhouse gas has been increased in the atmosphere by 25-30% from pre industrial values.

      * The first theory, which is the generally accepted one, is that the release of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuel and from land use is responsible for the resent temperature increase.

      * The second theory is that the sun’s magnetic field and the solar wind modulate the amount of high energy cosmic radiation that the earth receives. This in turn affects low altitude cloud cover and how much water vapor there is in the atmosphere and thus regulates the climate.

      Cosmic Rays and Climate

      By: Nir J. Shaviv

      In 1959, the late Edward Ney of the U. of Minnesota suggested that any climatic sensitivity to the density of tropospheric ions would immediately link solar activity to climate. This is because the solar wind modulates the flux of high energy particles coming from outside the solar system. These particles, the cosmic rays, are the dominant source of ionization in the troposphere. More specifically, a more active sun accelerates a stronger solar wind, which in turn implies that as cosmic rays diffuse from the outskirts of the solar system to its center, they lose more energy. Consequently, a lower tropospheric ionization rate results. Over the 11-yr solar cycle and the long term variations in solar activity, these variations correspond to typically a 10% change in this ionization rate. It now appears that there is a climatic variable sensitive to the amount of tropospheric ionization Clouds.

      Clouds have been observed from space since the beginning of the 1980’s. By the mid 1990’s, enough cloud data accumulated to provide empirical evidence for a solar/cloud-cover link. Without the satellite data, it hard or probably impossible to get statistically meaningful results because of the large systematic errors plaguing ground based observations. Using the satellite data, Henrik Svensmark of the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen has shown that cloud cover varies in sync with the variable cosmic ray flux reaching the Earth. Over the relevant time scale, the largest variations arise from the 11-yr solar cycle, and indeed, this cloud cover seemed to follow the cycle and a half of cosmic ray flux modulation. Later, Henrik Svensmark and his colleague Nigel Marsh, have shown that the correlation is primarily with low altitude cloud cover. This can be seen in fig. 3.

      The solar-activity cosmic-ray-flux cloud-cover correlation is quite apparent. It was in fact sought for by Henrik Svensmrk, based on theoretical considerations. However, by itself it cannot be used to prove the cosmic ray climate connection. The reason is that we cannot exclude the possibility that solar activity modulates the cosmic ray flux and independently climate, without any casual link between the latter two. There is however separate proof that a casual link exists between cosmic rays and climate, and independently that cosmic rays left a fingerprint in the observed cloud cover variations.


    • THREAD on 20/10/2010 at 4:34 pm said:

      Climate Driver Hypotheses – Google Search

    • Richard C (NZ) on 02/01/2011 at 5:07 pm said:

      See The Primary and Secondary Climate Drivers.

      A compilation of papers and articles evidencing solar, lunar, cosmic ray and celestial influence on climate change.

    • THREAD on 26/10/2010 at 3:00 pm said:

      Wednesday, October 20, 2010

      Physicist: Global Warming 1980-2008 caused by Sun, not Man

      Dr. Horst Borchert, the Director of the Department of Physics of the Johannes-Gutenberg Institute, Mainz, Germany, presented a paper, Using Satellite Measurements to study the Influence of Sun Activity on Terrestrial Weather at the Space Weather Workshop held in Boulder, Colorado earlier this year. Dr. Borchert finds from satellite measurements that global warming between about 1980 to 2008 was “not anthropogenic but caused by natural activities of the Sun’s surface.” He relates changes of the solar magnetic field to cosmic rays and cloud formation (the cosmic ray theory of Svensmark et al) and to effects on the North Atlantic Oscillation, which affects weather phenomena around the globe.

    • THREAD on 26/10/2010 at 3:17 pm said:

      Thursday, October 7, 2010

      Paper: Sun affects Climate much more than thought

      Adding the the recent spate of papers showing that – surprise – the Sun has much, much more to do with climate change than previously thought, the respected German Physics Journal Annalyn der Physik recently published a paper analyzing solar irradiance data from 1905 to 2008 which finds cosmic rays modulated by solar activity cause a large portion of atmospheric aerosols (clouds) with profound effects on climate [see the cosmic ray theory of Svensmark et al]. The paper concludes, “The contribution of the active sun, indirectly via cosmic rays, to global warming appears to be much stronger than the presently accepted [IPCC] upper limit of 1/3.”

    • THREAD on 26/10/2010 at 3:41 pm said:

      Paging IPCC: Much of recent global warming actually caused by Sun

      By Lewis Page • The Register Posted in Environment, 7th October 2010

      New data indicates that changes in the Sun’s output of energy were a major factor in the global temperature increases seen in recent years. The research will be unwelcome among hardcore green activists, as it downplays the influence of human-driven carbon emissions.

      As the Sun has shown decreased levels of activity during the past decade, it had been generally thought that it was warming the Earth less, not more. Thus, scientists considered that temperature rises seen in global databases must mean that human-caused greenhouse gas emissions – in particular of CO2 – must be exerting a powerful warming effect.

      Now, however, boffins working at Imperial College in London (and one in Boulder, Colorado) have analysed detailed sunlight readings taken from 2004 to 2007 by NASA’s Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) satellite. They found that although the Sun was putting out less energy overall than usual, in line with observations showing decreased sunspot activity, it actually emitted more in the key visible-light and near-infrared wavelengths.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 22/05/2011 at 9:04 pm said:

      Duh! Oceans Drive Climate (Not CO2), Says New Nature Study

      By P Gosselin on 20. Mai 2011

      More evidence of the obvious now revealed in a recent Nature article from research conducted by the IFM GEOMAR and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Believe it or not, they are slowly finding out that the oceans play a role in climate.

      Once again climate scientists, who often claim the science is settled, are running into “surprises” and finding out that there is so much they don’t know. Here’s the press release from the IFM GEOMAR (emphasis added):


    • Richard C (NZ) on 22/05/2011 at 9:48 pm said:

      New paper shows significant natural climate change from ocean oscillations

      Friday, May 20, 2011

      A paper published online today in the journal Geophysical Research Letters finds a strong influence of shifts in the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) on changes in snow cover of the distant Tibetan Plateau over the past 200 years. Major shifts occurred in the 1840s, 1880s, 1920s, and 1960s with CO2 levels well below Hansen’s fictitious “safe limit” of 350 ppm. Ocean oscillations such as the AMO are not incorporated in climate models, but nonetheless have large effects upon climate change as demonstrated by this paper and others. Meanwhile, the IPCC claims they can’t explain climate change based on natural forces, allows no competing hypotheses, and thus proclaims man-made CO2 as the default climate control knob, while conveniently ignoring ocean oscillations and other natural influences. Although ocean oscillations are poorly understood and scant research is being done to understand this large natural climate forcing, the IPCC and fellow alarmists cannot rightfully claim that only man-made CO2 explains climate change over the past century.

      The paper also finds not surprisingly that cold phases are associated with more snow and warm phases with less snow, making a mockery of the claims of Jeff Masters, Mark “death spiral” Serreze, Al Gore and others that warming causes more snowfall.
      Decadal variability in snow cover over the Tibetan Plateau during the last two centuries

      Key Points

      * Coherent variability in ice cores can be considered as a proxy for snow cover
      * This proxy for snow cover over the TP exhibits significant decadal variations
      * Its variations are highly associated with AMO

      Caiming Shen
      Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, State University of New York, Albany, New York, USA

      Wei-Chyung Wang
      Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, State University of New York, Albany, New York, USA

      Gang Zeng
      Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, State University of New York, Albany, New York, USA

      Based on the coherency in decadal variability between the ice core data and the observed snow cover over the Tibetan Plateau during recent decades, we used three available ice core data to characterize the snow cover variability of the last 200 years. The analysis suggests that the snow cover exhibits significant decadal variability with major shifts around 1840s, 1880s, 1920s, and 1960s. Its variations are found to be closely correlated with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation: Cool/warm phases coincide with large/small snow cover. A plausible mechanism linking the North Atlantic climate to Asian monsoon is presented.

  4. THREAD on 16/10/2010 at 8:32 pm said:


    • Richard C (NZ) on 25/10/2010 at 9:39 am said:

      Global Warming Science

      by Alan Cheetham

    • Richard C (NZ) on 25/10/2010 at 10:20 am said:

      C3 – INDEX and conditions for use

      CO2-Greenhouse Gas Charts/Graphics

      Climate Model – Charts/Graphs

      Modern Temperatures Charts/Graphs

      Natural Oscillations-Cycles Ocean, Solar & Other Oscillations

      Sea & Ice – Charts/Graphs

      Miscellaneous Charts/Graphs

    • Richard C (NZ) on 25/10/2010 at 10:36 am said:

      Climate Science: Roger Pielke Sr. – INDEX
      Main Conclusions

      Entries Tagged as ‘Climate Change Forcings & Feedbacks’

      Entries Tagged as ‘Climate Models’

      Entries Tagged as ‘Climate Change Metrics’

      Entries Tagged as ‘Climate Change Regulations’

    • Richard C (NZ) on 25/10/2010 at 4:31 pm said:

      Earth Observatory – NASA

      Extreme caution required on entry.

      A highly politicized organisation – prime mission (according to Obama): “Reaching out to the Muslim nations”

      So engage BS detector and pull down propaganda filter.

      A worthwhile resource nonetheless

    • THREAD on 25/10/2010 at 8:04 pm said:

      Dr Roy Spencer’s Blog

      Classic Posts

      Research Articles<

      Simple Climate Model – NON IPCC Natural Forcings only

    • Richard C (NZ) on 04/11/2010 at 9:13 pm said:

      World Climate Research Programme (WCRP)

      Science Highlights – Archive

    • Richard C (NZ) on 04/11/2010 at 9:34 pm said:

      Special Collections in AGU Journals


    • Richard C (NZ) on 24/07/2011 at 10:24 am said:

      AGW Observer has hotlinked postings of new published research with abstracts e.g.:-

      “New research from last week 28/2011”

      Medici Network temperature record from 1654-1670 recovered

      The earliest temperature observations in the world: the Medici Network (1654–1670) – Camuffo & Bertolin (2011)

      Why is northern Tibetan Plateau warming up so rapidly?

      The significant climate warming in the northern Tibetan Plateau and its possible causes – Guo & Wang (2011)

      Determining forcings over the last 2009 years

      Response of Earth’s surface temperature to radiative forcing over A.D. 1–2009 – Friend (2011)

      AMO might be a statistical artifact

      Is the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) a statistical phantom? – Vincze & Jánosi (2011)

      Deep ocean is important for Earth’s radiation balance

      Importance of the deep ocean for estimating decadal changes in Earth’s radiation balance – Palmer et al. (2011)

      Melting of Greenland and Antarctica shows in Earth’s oblateness

      Recent changes in the Earth’s oblateness driven by Greenland and Antarctic ice mass loss – Nerem & Wahr (2011)

      Up to 1/3 of late 20th century warming could have been natural variability

      On the time-varying trend in global-mean surface temperature – Wu et al. (2011)

      Now if we could just be presented with conclusive evidence of the anthropogenic “signature”………

  5. THREAD on 16/10/2010 at 8:34 pm said:


    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/10/2010 at 9:40 am said:

      Please Note;

      The Climate Model thread will NOT be found under Climate Science at Climate Conversations for as long as I am successful in influencing Richard Treadgold’s (the Blog owner’s) discretion in this.

      IPCC-centric GCM’s are NOT climate science “experiments” IMO. Therefore, the Climate Model thread is found under Climate (not the more appropriate Controversies and Scandals – please note) along with de-bunking papers and controversial issues.

      When a natural forced (non-IPCC RF) GSM is found, THEN and ONLY THEN will there be a Climate Model thread under Climate Science. Such models are proving to be very elusive so be patient – I’m still searching.

      Thank you for your attention in this mildly interesting matter.

    • THREAD on 25/10/2010 at 7:48 pm said:

      The Climate Science: Climate Models – NON IPCC and Natural Forcings ONLY

      Thread is now open.

      And what better way to start than with Dr Roy Spencer’s “Simple Climate Model Release, Version 1.0” ?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 26/10/2010 at 12:30 pm said:

      Scafetta on 60 year climate oscillations

      George Taylor, former Oregon State climatologist writes:

      Nicola Scafetta has published the most decisive indictment of GCM’s I’ve ever read in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics. His analysis is purely phenomenological, but he claims that over half of the warming observed since 1975 can be tied to 20 and 60-year climate oscillations driven by the 12 and 30-year orbital periods of Jupiter and Saturn, through their gravitational influence on the Sun, which in turn modulates cosmic radiation.

      If he’s correct, then all GCM’s are massively in error because they fail to show any of the observed oscillations.

      See “Controversy and scandal”

    • THREAD on 26/10/2010 at 1:44 pm said:

      Global Warming’s Corrupt Science

      By Patrick J. Michaels, October 20, 2010

  6. THREAD on 16/10/2010 at 8:35 pm said:


  7. THREAD on 16/10/2010 at 8:36 pm said:


  8. THREAD on 18/10/2010 at 7:45 pm said:

    “The Late 20th Century Warming Resulted From a 1970s Climate Shift (Not CO2)”

  9. THREAD on 19/10/2010 at 12:38 pm said:

    Ocean and Heat

    • THREAD on 19/10/2010 at 12:40 pm said:

      Ocean Heat Content and ARGO Project

    • Richard C (NZ) on 09/05/2011 at 10:01 pm said:

      The GISS divergence problem: Ocean Heat Content

      Posted on May 8, 2011 by Anthony Watts

      Bob Tisdale points out the reality versus projection disparity. It would seem, that we have a GISS miss by a country mile. Where’s the heat? – Anthony

      First-Quarter 2011 Update Of NODC Ocean Heat Content (0-700Meters)


      Figure 1 shows the Global NODC data from the first quarter (Jan-Feb-Mar) of 1955 to the first quarter of 2011. There was a minor uptick in the past three month period.

      Looking at the NODC OHC data during the ARGO era (2003 to present), Figure 2, the uptick was nowhere close to what would be required to bring the Global Ocean Heat Content back into line with GISS projections
      Figure 2 is well worth a look

    • Richard C (NZ) on 26/10/2011 at 9:03 am said:

      Tisdale on the new “hide the decline” version of ocean heat content data

      The undocumented (as of this writing) NODC 0-2000 meter Ocean Heat Content dataset appears as though it was prepared to show that Global Ocean Heat Content continues to rise during the ARGO era, and that it is intended to counter the argument that Global Ocean Heat Content has flattened during the ARGO era as shown in the NODC 0-700 meter dataset.

      Due to the extremely limited number of observations at depths of 1000-5000 meters (shown in Figure 3 and in the animations), the 0-2000 meter Ocean Heat Content dataset should be used with great caution. It appears to me to be an ARGO-era 0-2000 meter Ocean Heat Content dataset spliced onto a long-term 0-700 meter dataset. For this reason, I, personally, would not expend the effort to analyze the long-term (pre-ARGO era) 0-2000 meter NODC OHC data beyond what has been presented in this post.


    • THREAD on 29/10/2010 at 5:42 pm said:

      Bottom Falling Out of Global Ocean Surface Temperatures?

      October 28th, 2010

    • Richard C (NZ) on 03/11/2010 at 11:52 am said:

      Global air and sea temperatures starting to drop rapidly

      Posted on October 29, 2010 by Anthony Watts

      Dr. Roy Spencer has an essay below on sea surface temperatures starting to bottom out, but in addition to that, the UAH daily lower troposphere plot shows a sharp drop also.

      As this graph of UAH TLT from D Kelly O’Day’s site shows, The current global anomaly is 0.044C – or very nearly zero. That’s a big drop from last month when we ended up at 0.60C.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 08/06/2011 at 7:38 pm said:

      The Global Warming Threat Continues Its Retreat: Feeble “Warming” of Oceans Was Not Predicted By IPCC

      Read here. Over the last 15 years, the alarmists and IPCC Climategate scientists have been predicting a significant warming of sea surface temperatures due to the vast increase of human greenhouse (CO2) gases. This was the supposed no-brainer, “consensus” prediction that government and bureaucrat elites swallowed hook, line and sinker.

      Yet, over that time span, the guaranteed “warming” trend has been essentially non-existent, other than extended warming spikes due to strong El Niño phases. The two charts below indicate the lack of a significant warming trend for ocean waters, globally, over the last 15 years.

      The left chart represents the Southern Hemisphere seas, and the right chart, the Northern Hemisphere. Per the IPCC consensus climate science, this feeble level of “warming” (cooling?) was not supposed to happen. (click on images to enlarge)

      Clearly, policymakers and the public have been seriously misled by unproven climate science techniques, non-verifiable climate models, and researchers solely devoted to increased government AGW-research funding.

    • Bob D on 23/10/2010 at 12:17 am said:

      Google maps – Argo project status

    • Richard C (NZ) on 23/10/2010 at 8:56 am said:

      Bob, what app can I use to open :”status.kmz”? – knowledge gap

    • That’s a Google Earth file.

    • Bob D on 23/10/2010 at 12:41 pm said:

      Yup, sorry, I meant Google Earth not Google maps. It’s a free download.

    • THREAD on 24/10/2010 at 1:05 pm said:

      The “Missing Heat”

      More Oddities with the IPCC Numbers

      by Willis Eschenbach

      “A number of people have said Hey, in your previous post, the missing forcing is going into the ocean, so it’s still “in the pipeline”. I had considered that, but it didn’t make sense. I’ve taken a closer look, and it still doesn’t make sense.

      According to the IPCC calculations in that post, about 0.7 W/m2 was missing. Let us assume that it is going into the ocean. Here’s my numbers, please check them. The spreadsheet doing the calculations is here.”

    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/12/2011 at 7:57 pm said:

      Understanding The Missing Heat

      Posted on December 20, 2011 by Steven Goddard

      If the heat is where Spencer says it is and where our radiative transfer models say it is, we lose our funding. More likely a bunch of lower density warm water sank to the bottom of the ocean – undetected by sensors on its way down.

      -Kev T

    • THREAD on 26/10/2010 at 2:17 pm said:

      Monday, October 18, 2010

      The fallacy of the greenhouse effect

      A recommended post from the planetary vision blog, The fallacy of the greenhouse effect, explains in simple terms why the conventional explanation of the “greenhouse effect” violates both the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics:

    • Richard C (NZ) on 11/10/2012 at 7:04 am said:

      Josh Willis under the scope at Jo Nova.
      October 8, 2012 at 2:23 pm

      There are, in fact, a number of engineers working on calibrating, testing, and perfecting the floats — that’s why they work as well as they do.

      Willis, however, used none of this information in deciding which floats to remove from his data set. According to his own testimony [Hotlinked], his sole criteria for rejecting a float’s data was that it conflicted with his colleagues’s models. He reported no attempt to correlate his rejected floats with any other calibration data. He rejected no floats that were reading suspected anomolously high temperatures — only low temperature ones.

      His goal, pure and simple, was to get the ‘right’ answer (coincidentally, I’m sure, also the answer that would most likely get him follow-on grants), whatever he had to do to the data to get there.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 21/10/2010 at 10:44 am said:

      The Moon Effect Called the Greenhouse Effect on Earth
      28 June 2010

      The personal thoughts of Charles R. Anderson are presented here. He is a materials physicist, a benevolent and tolerant Objectivist, a husband and a father, the owner of a materials characterization laboratory, and above all a thinking individualist. The critical battle of our day is the conflict between the individual and the state. We must be ever vigilant and constant defenders of the unalienable and sovereign rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

      “It appears that if any “greenhouse effect” occurs due to CO2 in our atmosphere, that effect is very small compared to the 3-dimensional effects of distributed heat with convection heat transfer. That this is so has long been known by NASA, which nonetheless has played a very major role in the promotion of AGW alarmism on the basis of greenhouse gases!”

    • THREAD on 23/10/2010 at 12:59 pm said:

      “It appears that if any “greenhouse effect” occurs due to CO2 in our atmosphere, that effect is very small compared to the 3-dimensional effects of distributed heat with convection heat transfer. That this is so has long been known by NASA, which nonetheless has played a very major role in the promotion of AGW alarmism on the basis of greenhouse gases!”

    • Richard C (NZ) on 09/12/2010 at 6:01 pm said:

      John L. Daly: The Deep Blue Sea

      Posted: December 6, 2010 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics

      Still as relevant as when it was written, this repost is from John Daly’s website ‘Still Waiting for Greenhouse‘ maintained since John’s death in 2004 by Jerry Brennan.


      John L. Daly

      The Earth is essentially a water planet.

      Over 70% of its surface area is covered by oceans, seas, and lakes, while a further 5% or so is covered by glaciers and ice caps resting on land areas. More than two-thirds of this water area is located in the southern hemisphere, and the ocean masses are typically 4 to 5 kilometres deep. With the Earth being over 75% covered by water in one form or another, it follows that the response of this 75% to any increase in greenhouse gases will be decisive in determining to what extent a warming, if any, will occur.

      The atmosphere cannot warm until the underlying surface warms first. This is because the transparency of the atmosphere to solar radiation, (which is a key element in the greenhouse warming scenario), prevents the lower atmosphere itself being significantly warmed by direct sunlight alone.

      The surface atmosphere therefore gets its warmth from direct contact with the oceans, from infra-red radiation off its surface being absorbed by greenhouse gases, and from the removal of latent heat from the ocean through evaporation. This means, therefore, that the temperature of the lower atmosphere is largely determined by the temperature of the ocean. In other words, it is necessary for the oceans to warm up first before the overlying atmosphere can warm.

      Inland locations are less restrained by the oceans and thus experience a wider temperature range. However, land cannot store heat for very long, which is why hot days in desert regions are quickly followed by cold nights. However, in terms of global averages, the more dominant ocean temperature fixes the air temperature for most of the Earth. There are several reasons for this. –

      1) The oceans transport heat around the globe via massive ocean currents which sweep in grand circulations around the various oceans. The effect is to keep the tropics cooler than they would otherwise be, and to keep high latitudes warmer. The global circulation of heat in the oceans tends to moderate the extremes of hot and cold that would otherwise occur in many parts of the world.

      2) Due to the high density of the oceans, a mere two metres depth of water can contain the entire heat of the atmosphere above. This enonrmous storage capacity enables the oceans to “buffer” any major deviations in temperature, moderating both heat waves and cold waves alike. Land, by contrast, has very little heat storage capacity.

      3) The oceans are evaporating all the time. This is very strong in the tropics, and weakest near the poles. The effect of evaporation is to cool the oceans, and thereby cool the surface atmosphere. The removed heat reappears when clouds condense at high altitude, and above the main greenhouse traps.

      The slight cooling of -0.1 deg at Thursday Island, Queensland, (lat 11 deg S) since the early 1950′s, in spite of steadily rising greenhouse gases is indicative of the ocean’s ability to remain cool through evaporation, in spite of actual or theoretical changes in energy inputs to the oceans, and lends support to Newell & Dopplick’s (1979) calculations that tropical temperatures cannot rise any further.


      A must read

    • Richard C (NZ) on 26/04/2011 at 9:44 pm said:

      Earth’s Missing Geothermal Flux

      Written by Joseph A Olson, PE, guest post | April 25 2011

      I have struggled with the ‘missing geothermal flux’ from Earth’s apparent gigantic fission energy for many years. In a number of articles and in my chapter in the science textbook, “Slaying the Sky Dragon”, I have made the point that Earth’s fission rate changes are the most likely cause of the periodic fluctuation in ocean temperatures. In addition, the Earth’s fission operating between two base states sets the lower Glacial Period and upper Inter-glacial Period temperature limits.

      The huge problem has been where this energy manifests itself, since apparent geothermal energy release seems isolated and of low magnitude. I had reviewed the article “Ocean Heat Content and Earth’s Radiation Imbalance” by Dr David Douglas and Dr Robert Knox [1] when it was issued and had several email exchanges with Dr Knox on the Earth fission paradox. The Douglas-Knox article was sent as an attachment on a recent email and after rereading I was struck again by this quote:

      “The flux into the ocean and trenches averages 101 mW/m2 and into the land and shelves averages 65 mW/m2 (globally averaged 87 mW/m2)

      Douglas-Knox then go on to compare the assumed solar flux of 340 W/m2 to this ridiculously low 0.087 W/m2 for Earth’s fission. There is intuitive evidence that Earth’s fission energy is far greater than this, given the core temperature estimated at least 8,000o F and a uniform temperature world wide of at least 2,500o F just 40 miles below the crust. This is NOT left over heat of origin and can NOT be from solar input. The question is how is the excess heat of Earth’s fission controlled and manifested at the surface?


    • Richard C (NZ) on 11/11/2011 at 8:21 am said:

      Reply to article from Joe Bastardi: Heidi Cullen – Stop pretending it’s not climate change-

      Open question for Heidi Cullen and her ilk by Joe Bastardi:

      Do you even follow what is going on beyond anything that serves your agenda. Have you even looked, or even thought about, the physical implications of the energy loss that the cold PDO creates to the entire climate system?


      How can we cool the central tropical Pacific, and then the atmosphere above, and then come to the conclusion that warmth is occurring and leading to the perceived increase in extremes. If defies all logic of any rational, free thinking person, yet alone scientist.

      You need to explain this, and also need to tell us if you even look at these things. I can not believe you have watched these levels and it not present a major challenge to your thinking on this!

      Stop pretending it’s not climate change


      The fact is: Human-caused climate change has increased the odds of extreme, even unprecedented weather events. Senior scientist Jerry Meehl of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) puts it this way, “Just as steroids make a baseball player stronger, and increase his chances of hitting home runs, greenhouse gases are the steroids of the climate system.” So in the case of climate, the extra juice (greenhouse gases, not performance-enhancing drugs) doesn’t result in more home runs but in the greater likelihood that heat waves and other forms of extreme weather will occur.

  10. THREAD on 19/10/2010 at 1:03 pm said:

    Water Vapour

    • Richard C (NZ) on 24/10/2010 at 6:16 pm said:

      Water vapor mischief

      Climate Etc.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 30/10/2010 at 1:45 pm said:

      Five Reasons Why Water Vapor Feedback Might Not Be Positive

      September 14th, 2010 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 30/10/2010 at 1:48 pm said:

      Congratulations (finally) to Spencer and Braswell on getting their new paper published

      Posted on August 28, 2010 by Anthony Watts

    • Richard C (NZ) on 30/10/2010 at 2:26 pm said:

      Sauna, Sweating and Global Warming

      lördagen den 28:e augusti 2010

      Claes Johnson on Mathematics and Science

      The World Sauna Championship 2010 in Finland ended in tragedy with one finalist dead and another hospitalized after serious burns apparently caused by adding too much water to the stove giving a wet sauna.

      Everybody with some sauna experience knows that it is possible to survive a higher temperature in a dry sauna than in a wet sauna saturated with water vapour. Why?

      Because, in a dry sauna the sweat on your skin can vaporize and thereby consume heat energy. But in a wet sauna the sweat cannot vaporize and thus has no cooling effect. And sweating is
      the main mechanism for keeping your body temperature constant at 37 C: The more you work, the hotter you tend to get, which is balanced by vaporizing sweat.

      Is there a connection to global warming? IPCC climate alarmism claims that the World is turning into sauna: Doubled atmospheric CO2 is supposed to cause a “radiative forcing” of 4 W/m2, which will increase global temperature by 1 C and with additional feedbacks to a climate sensitivity of 2 – 4.5 C = Alarm!

      But is this argument credible? Or is global temperature like our body temperature kept almost constant by vaporization? Yes, the oceans absorb heat energy radiated from the Sun, which is used to vaporize water, which is convected to higher levels of the atmosphere, where it condenses and releases heat energy, which is finally radiated to outer space. The Earth thus can keep surface temperature constant under varying forcing by sweating: Radiative forcing can be balanced by increased sweating under constant temperature. In principle.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 30/10/2010 at 2:48 pm said:

      Water Vapour And Climate Change

      P Gosselin – NoTricksZone

      How is it that a settled science keeps finding things never expected?

      For example, the HIAPER Pole-to-Pole Observations (HIPPO) mission was launched in January 2009 and will make a series of five flights over three years covering more than 24,000 miles to sample the atmosphere in some of the most inaccessible regions of the world. Read HIPPO background here.

      Flight path for atmospheric measurements

      The goal of the mission is the first-ever, global, real-time sampling of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases across a wide range of altitudes in the atmosphere, from pole-to-pole.

      Professor Mark Zondlo of Princeton University has taken measurements of water vapour in the atmosphere, from 14 km high to just above the sea ice, using a vertical cavity surface mini laser hydrometer.

      Watch Zondlo video here.

      Here are some of Professor Zondlo’s observations so far:

      We don’t really know how clouds are formed. Water vapour impacts the climate more than any other gas.

      What we are finding is surprising. Large plumes of water vapour exist in areas we never expected to find them.

      Learning how this fits into the puzzle is crucial for predicting climate and making smart policy decisions.

      What does that mean? It means the climate models used so far were nothing more than junk, thus the same applies for their predictions. They completely neglected the water vapour factor (and who knows what other factors).

      Climate forecasting is best left to real forecasters, and not tainted modelers.

      See – “Atmosphere” “Carbon Dioxide (CO2)”

      National Science Foundation (NSF)

      Press Release 09-001
      Scientists Take off on Historic Mission to Measure Greenhouse Gases That Have an Impact on Climate

      HIAPER, one of the nation’s most advanced research aircraft, is scheduled to embark on an historic mission spanning the globe from the Arctic to the Antarctic.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 03/11/2010 at 12:20 pm said:

      Anastassia Makarieva
      Where do winds come from? A new theory on how water vapor condensation influences atmospheric pressure and dynamics

      Makarieva A.M., Gorshkov V.G., Sheil D., Nobre A.D., Li B.-L.

      now up for public discussion at ACPD:

      According to the Economist , the biotic pump theory stating that natural forests drive winds to sustain the water cycle on land has caused “a stir” in Western academia. Indeed, last time it was in the end of the 17th century (see Halley 1686) that a physical driver of winds was proposed. That time it was differential heating (the statement that the warm air rises being lighter than cold air). It formed the basis of a consensus regarding the causes of atmospheric motion, a consensus that is now over three hundred years old. However, this consensus had formed long before the kinetic theory of gases was formulated. This fundamental theory revealed that gas pressure depends not only on temperature, but also on the number of gas molecules in a unit volume. Phase transitions of water (condensation and evaporation) namely change this number. Thus, spatial gradients of the intensity of condensation/evaporation are to be associated with air pressure gradients that cause the air to move. (By consequence, natural forests known for their high evaporation potential become a major player in atmospheric circulation .)

      Remarkably, the effects of condensation/evaporation on air pressure via removal/addition of vapor molecules have managed to escape wide attention for a very long time. This to such a degree that, as documented in our paper, there is now a confusion among scientists as to whether condensation increases or reduces moist air pressure. In other words, even the sign of the effect remains unclear to many meteorologists, let alone its quantitative magnitude. This is despite the recognition that namely the lack of theoretical concepts to treat moist effects is a major obstacle for the development of the atmospheric circulation theory (Schneider 2006 p. 682).

      In the above paper just made available for public discussion at the Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU), we review the recently available knowledge on the dynamic effects of the phase transitions of water on air circulation and advance the physical foundations of the biotic pump theory in all its integrity. We want the new theory to be scrutinized openly and as widely and deeply as possible, and we are ready to invest efforts to clarify and defend our findings in public in the coming weeks. We hope that the EGU platform will be a guarantee that the discussion, including criticisms, will be constructive and of essence.

      Please, feel free to join the commentators or to encourage to comment those scientists who you believe might be interested in the topic. The discussion is open until 10 December 2010 during which time the authors will be available to share their insights, for what they are worth, into this really exciting question: Where do winds come from?

      Yours sincerely,
      Anastassia Makarieva

    • Richard C (NZ) on 14/11/2010 at 11:48 am said:

      Dessler 2010: How to call vast amounts of data “spurious”

      Posted on November 13th, 2010

      Joanne Nova

      This is part of the big PR game of publishing “papers.”

      In the climate models, the critical hot spot is supposed to occur because (specific) humidity rises in the upper troposphere about 10km above the tropics. The weather balloons clearly show that temperatures are not rising as predicted, so it was not altogether surprising that when Garth Paltridge analyzed weather balloon results for humidity, and found that humidity was not rising as predicted either.

      Indeed, he found specific humidity was falling, which was the opposite of what all the major climate models predicted and posed yet a another problem for the theory that a carbon-caused disaster is coming. He had a great deal of trouble getting published in the first place, but once he finally did get published and skeptics were starting to quote “Paltridge 2009″, clearly, Team AGW needed an answer. “Dessler 2010″ is transparently supposed to be that answer.

      To start by putting things into perspective, lets consider just how “spuriously” small, patchy and insubstantial the radiosonde measurements have been. According to NOAA The integrated Global Radiosonde Archive contains more than 28 million soundings, from roughly 1250 stations.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 02/01/2011 at 5:03 pm said:

      Warming Power of CO2 and H2O: Correlations with Temperature Changes

      Paulo Cesar Soares 2010

      From the conclusions
      The main conclusion one arrives at the analysis is that CO2 has not a causal relation with global warming and it is not powerful enough to cause the historical changes in temperature that were observed. The main argument is the absence of immediate correlation between CO2 changes preceding temperature either for global or local changes. The greenhouse effect of the CO2 is very small compared to the water vapor because the absorbing effect is already realized with its historical values. So, the reduction of the outcoming long wave radiation window is not a consequence of current enrichment or even of a possible double ratio of CO2. The absence of correlation between temperature changes and the immense and variable volume of CO2 waste by fuel burning is explained by the weak power of additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to reduce the outcoming window of long wave radiation. This effect is well performed by atmosphere humidity due to known increase insolation and vapor content in atmosphere.

      The role of vapor is reinforced when it is observed that the regions with a great difference between potential and actual specific humidity are the ones with high temperature increase, like continental areas in mid to high latitudes. The main implication is that temperature increase predictions based on CO2 driving models are not reliable.

      If the warmer power of solar irradiation is the independent driver for decadal and multidecadal cycles, the expected changes in insolation and no increase in green- house power may imply the recurrence of multidecadal cool phase, recalling the years of the third quarter of past century, before a new warming wave. The last decade stable temperature seems to be the turning point.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 07/03/2011 at 8:31 pm said:

      Paper: Water vapor feedback is negative, not positive as assumed by IPCC alarmists

      Sunday, March 6, 2011 – The Hockey Schtick

      A new paper finds that observations of atmospheric water vapor show a decrease with global warming, leading to a negative feedback on global temperature, not positive as assumed by alarmist IPCC computer model projections. The entire basis of global warming alarmism is that a supposed 1.0-1.2C warming due to a doubling of CO2 levels (which will take 234 years at the current rate) is amplified by positive water vapor feedback to 2-5C. This paper finds water vapor feedback is instead negative, resulting in only a 0.3C warming due to doubled CO2 with water vapor feedback.


      William M. Gray and Barry Schwartz

      Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

    • Richard C (NZ) on 09/05/2011 at 10:07 pm said:

      Why is Water Vapour, the Most Important Greenhouse Gas, Ignored?

      by Dr. Tim Ball on May 4, 2011


      Temperature increases projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) depend totally on increased water vapor. It is known as a positive feedback and is at the center of the debate of climate sensitivity. Evidence shows the positive feedback is wrong and climate sensitivity is overestimated.

      Reality Provides the Ugly Fact

      All computer models have the positive feedback mechanism built in, so warming predictions are no surprise. The problem is that the real world is not cooperating. Richard Lindzen demonstrated this clearly at the Third International Conference on Climate Change (June 2009). He presented this diagram that compared model predictions with real world data (top left graph):
      Bottom right plot is NIWA’s UKMO model

    • Richard C (NZ) on 21/05/2011 at 5:41 pm said:

      Water Vapor Trends and Variability from the Global NVAP Dataset

      Thomas H. Vonder Haar, CIRA/Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO; and J. M. Forsythe, J. Luo, D. L. Randel, and S. Woo. 2005

      The NASA Water Vapor Project (NVAP) dataset is a global, daily, multilayer and total column, satellite-derived water vapor dataset that currently covers the time period from 1988 – 2001. This paper will discuss significant interannual variability and noteworthy variations on shorter timescales. Maps of the daily change in layered and precipitable water vapor, both in absolute and relative terms, are presented. They highlight regions where atmospheric moisture is most variable, such as midlatitude storm tracks and adjacent to the ITCZ. Examination of the water vapor record on longer timescales indicates different atmospheric processes such as the monsoons and ENSO. The NVAP dataset does not show a convincing global trend of water vapor. There are however significant regional trends during this time period. Extension of the NVAP dataset beyond 2001 and synergy with other global climate datasets (clouds, precipitation, global temperature) will be discussed.

      Can be accessed by inserting title in Google scholar (WordPress doesn’t like the link).

    • Richard C (NZ) on 21/05/2011 at 5:53 pm said:

      Contributions of Stratospheric Water Vapor to Decadal Changes in the Rate of Global Warming

      1. Susan Solomon1,
      2. Karen H. Rosenlof1,
      3. Robert W. Portmann1,
      4. John S. Daniel1,
      5. Sean M. Davis1,2,
      6. Todd J. Sanford1,2 and
      7. Gian-Kasper Plattner3

      Science 5 March 2010

      + Author Affiliations

      1National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Earth System Research Laboratory, Chemical Sciences Division, Boulder, CO, USA.
      2Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA.
      3Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, 3012 Bern, Switzerland.


      Stratospheric water vapor concentrations decreased by about 10% after the year 2000. Here we show that this acted to slow the rate of increase in global surface temperature over 2000–2009 by about 25% compared to that which would have occurred due only to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. More limited data suggest that stratospheric water vapor probably increased between 1980 and 2000, which would have enhanced the decadal rate of surface warming during the 1990s by about 30% as compared to estimates neglecting this change. These findings show that stratospheric water vapor is an important driver of decadal global surface climate change.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 21/05/2011 at 6:06 pm said:

      Trends in middle- and upper-level tropospheric humidity
      from NCEP reanalysis data

      Garth Paltridge & Albert Arking & Michael Pook

      Received: 21 July 2008 / Accepted: 4 February 2009 / Published online: 26 February 2009

      G. Paltridge (*)
      Environmental Biology Group, RSBS, Australian National
      GPO Box 475, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia

      A. Arking
      Johns Hopkins University,
      Baltimore, MD, USA

      M. Pook
      Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research,
      Hobart, TAS, Australia

      Abstract The National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) reanalysis data on tropospheric humidity are examined for the period 1973 to 2007. It is accepted that radiosonde-derived humidity data must be treated with great caution, particularly at altitudes above the 500 hPa pressure level. With that caveat, the face-value 35-year
      trend in zonal-average annual-average specific humidity q is significantly negative at all altitudes above 850 hPa (roughly the top of the convective boundary layer) in the tropics and southern midlatitudes and at altitudes above 600 hPa in the northern midlatitudes. It is significantly positive below 850 hPa in all three zones, as might be expected in a mixed layer with rising temperatures over a moist surface. The results are qualitatively consistent with trends in NCEP atmospheric temperatures (which must also be treated with great caution) that show an increase in the stability of the convective boundary layer as the global temperature has risen over the period. The upper-level negative trends in q are inconsistent with climate-model calculations and are largely (but not completely) inconsistent with satellite data.

      Water vapor feedback in climate models is positive mainly because of their roughly constant relative humidity (i.e., increasing q) in the mid-to-upper troposphere as the planet warms. Negative trends in q as found in the NCEP data would imply that long-term water vapor feedback is negative—that it would reduce rather than amplify the response of the climate system to external forcing such as that from increasing atmospheric CO2. In this context, it is important to establish what (if any) aspects of the observed trends survive detailed examination of the impact of past changes of radiosonde instrumentation and protocol within the various international networks.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 21/05/2011 at 6:15 pm said:

      Three-dimensional tropospheric water vapor in coupled climate
      models compared with observations from the AIRS satellite system

      David W. Pierce,1 Tim P. Barnett,1 Eric J. Fetzer,2 and Peter J. Gleckler3

      Received 30 May 2006; revised 28 July 2006; accepted 12 September 2006; published 1 November 2006.

      Changes in the distribution of water vapor in response to anthropogenic forcing will be a major factor determining the warming the Earth experiences over the next century, so it is important to validate climate models’ distribution of water vapor. In this work the three-dimensional distribution of specific humidity in state-of-the-art climate models is compared to measurements from the AIRS satellite system. We find the majority of models have a pattern of drier than observed conditions (by 10–25%) in the tropics below 800 hPa, but 25–100% too moist conditions between 300 and 600 hPa, especially in the extra-tropics. Analysis of the accuracy and sampling biases of the AIRS measurements suggests that these differences are due to systematic model errors, which might affect the model-estimated range of climate warming anticipated over the next century.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 21/05/2011 at 6:18 pm said:

      From Cohenite via JoNova

      Of possibly more interest is the fact that in the overlapping spectrum CO2 reduces the emissivity of H2O:

      This is well shown in a graph of H2O and CO2 in the overlapping spectrums:

      This decline in the emissivity of H2O in the presence of CO2 means the dependency of AGW on climate sensitivity from positive feedback from H2O is severely restrained and must be problematic.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 04/02/2012 at 5:58 pm said:

      Precipitation within the Waikato Region of New Zealand

      Dravitzki, S. and McGregor, J. 2011. Extreme precipitation of the Waikato region, New Zealand. International Journal of Climatology 31: 1803-1812.

      The authors write that “Trenberth (1999) proposed that globally, extreme precipitation events would account for a larger proportion of annual precipitation as the globe warmed,” as was additionally suggested by Trenberth et al. (2003). And they state that “this is also supported by the fourth IPCC report (IPCC, 2007),” which “expects the change in the intensity of precipitation events to be proportional to changes in total precipitation.” Thus, they decided to see if any of these projections have occurred over the past century or more in New Zealand’s Waikato region, which is an important farming district that also produces 13% of the country’s electricity by means of hydro-generation.

      What was done
      Working with data from 18 meteorological observation stations located in and about the Waikato region, Dravitzki and McGregor developed daily precipitation time series covering the period 1900-2007, where they averaged the precipitation values, as they describe it, “both spatially and temporally to approximate the total volume of precipitation within the region,” and where they defined heavy precipitation statistically, using 95th and 99th percentile threshold values, in order to be “consistent with the IPCC climate indices of precipitation extremes,” while they also looked for any relationships that might exist between extreme precipitation events and the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO), the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Southern Annular Mode (SAM), which relationships have been suggested by others in the past.

      What was learned
      In the words of the two New Zealand researchers, “since 1900 there have been no significant variations in the total annual precipitation nor in the occurrence or magnitude of extreme precipitation events,” and they say that these events “were also uncorrelated to the large-scale IPO, ENSO and SAM, indicating that the seasonal probability of extreme precipitation is independent of these circulations.”

      What it means
      In discussing their findings for the Waikato region of New Zealand, Dravitzki and McGregor write that “the consistency of the precipitation totals suggests that the current economically important water supply is secure within the region.” And we would add that their finding of no evidence for the projections of Trenberth and the IPCC over a 107-year period — when climate alarmists claim the world warmed at a rate and to a level of warmth that were unprecedented over the past millennium or more – suggests that the projections of Trenberth and the IPCC are not what they are cracked up to be, at least for this important part of New Zealand.
      New paper shows no correlation between CO2 and rainfall

      Another tenet of AGW theory bites the dust in the face of real-world data: AGW theory proposes that increased CO2 levels lead to increased water vapor in the atmosphere (despite empirical data which shows the opposite) and therefore supposedly lead to increased rainfall in most regions. A paper published today in the Nature Climate Change February 2012 edition studied rainfall over the Indian subcontinent 1813-2006 and finds rainfall has decreased since the 1930s as CO2 emissions markedly increased with industrialization. The data instead shows a natural, cyclical variability in mean annual rainfall that peaked in the 1870s and 1930s with absolutely no correlation to levels of CO2.

      [No link available to full paper]
      Email 1614, Oct 1998: Mike Hulme to an EDF researcher who wanted to blame CO2 for Southern Africa drought: “Avoid this one – and indeed avoid pretty much all climate indicators related to precipitation. The large natural variability of precip. makes it very hard for a human-induced climate change trend to be picked up”

      Email 1614

      1. Southern African rainfall. Avoid this one – and indeed avoid pretty much all climate indicators related to precipitation. The large natural variability of precip. makes it very hard for a human-induced climate change trend to be picked up.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 08/02/2012 at 5:50 pm said:

      New paper supports Miskolczi’s theory of saturated greenhouse effect

      A paper published today in the Journal of Climate finds that relative humidity has been decreasing 0.5% per decade across North America during the 62 year period of observations from 1948-2010. Computer models of AGW show positive feedback from water vapor by incorrectly assuming that relative humidity remains constant with warming while specific humidity increases. The Miskolczi theory of a ‘saturated greenhouse effect’ instead predicts relative humidity will decrease to offset an increase in specific humidity, as has just been demonstrated by observations in this paper. The consequence of the Miskolczi theory is that additions of ‘greenhouse gases’ such as CO2 to the atmosphere will not lead to an increase in the ‘greenhouse effect’ or increase in global temperature.

      Journal of Climate 2012

      Surface Water Vapor Pressure and Temperature Trends in North America during 1948-2010

      V. Isaac and W. A. van Wijngaarden

      Over 1/4 billion hourly values of temperature and relative humidity observed at 309 stations located across North America during 1948-2010 were studied. The water vapor pressure was determined and seasonal averages were computed. Data were first examined for inhomogeneities using a statistical test to determine whether the data was fit better to a straight line or a straight line plus an abrupt step which may arise from changes in instruments and/or procedure. Trends were then found for data not having discontinuities. Statistically significant warming trends affecting the Midwestern U.S., Canadian prairies and the western Arctic are evident in winter and to a lesser extent in spring while statistically significant increases in water vapor pressure occur primarily in summer for some stations in the eastern half of the U.S. The temperature (water vapor pressure) trends averaged over all stations were 0.30 (0.07), 0.24 (0.06), 0.13 (0.11), 0.11 (0.07) C/decade (hPa/decade) in the winter, spring, summer and autumn seasons, respectively. The averages of these seasonal trends are 0.20 C/decade and 0.07 hPa/decade which correspond to a specific humidity increase of 0.04 g/kg per decade and a relative humidity reduction of 0.5%/decade.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 03/02/2013 at 10:27 am said:

      Makarieva, A. M., Gorshkov, V. G., Sheil, D., Nobre, A. D., and Li, B.-L.: Where do winds come from? A new theory on how water vapor condensation influences atmospheric pressure and dynamics,


      Phase transitions of atmospheric water play a ubiquitous role in the Earth’s climate system, but their direct impact on atmospheric dynamics has escaped wide attention. Here we examine and advance a theory as to how condensation influences atmospheric pressure through the mass removal of water from the gas phase with a simultaneous account of the latent heat release. Building from fundamental physical principles we show that condensation is associated with a decline in air pressure in the lower atmosphere. This decline occurs up to a certain height, which ranges from 3 to 4 km for surface temperatures from 10 to 30 C. We then estimate the horizontal pressure differences associated with water vapor condensation and find that these are comparable in magnitude with the pressure differences driving observed circulation patterns. The water vapor delivered to the atmosphere via evaporation represents a store of potential energy available to accelerate air and thus drive winds. Our estimates suggest that the global mean power at which this potential energy is released by condensation is around one per cent of the global solar power – this is similar to the known stationary dissipative power of general atmospheric circulation. We conclude that condensation and evaporation merit attention as major, if previously overlooked, factors in driving atmospheric dynamics.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/04/2013 at 2:26 pm said:

      New data falsifies basis of man-made global warming alarm, shows water vapor feedback is negative

      Physicist Clive Best has analyzed the latest NASA satellite and radiosonde data to find that global water vapor has declined despite the consensus belief among climate scientists that it would rise in response to man-made carbon dioxide. Dire predictions of global warming all rely on positive feedback from water vapor. The argument goes that as surface temperatures rise so more water will evaporate from the oceans thereby amplifying temperatures because H2O itself is a strong greenhouse gas. The fact that water vapor has instead declined indicates water vapor feedback is negative, overwhelming alleged warming from CO2, and accounting for the stall in global temperatures over the past 16+ years. As Dr. Best notes, “All climate models (that I am aware of) predict exactly the opposite. Something is clearly amiss with theory. Is it not now time for “consensus” scientists to have a rethink?”

      H2O decreasing while CO2 rises !

      Reblogged from Clive Best by Clive Best


      Fig1: Total precipitative H2O (running 30 day average) compared to Mauna Loa CO2 data in red. The central black curve is a running 365 day average.

      There is indeed some correlation in the data from 1988 until 1998, but thereafter the two trends diverge dramatically. Total atmospheric water content actually falls despite a relentless slow rise in CO2. This fall in atmospheric H2O also coincides with the observed stalling of global temperatures for the last 16 years. All climate models (that I am aware of} predict exactly the opposite. Something is clearly amiss with theory. Is it not now time for “consensus” scientists to have a rethink?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 30/06/2013 at 7:19 pm said:

      ‘Cause of the Southwest Heat Wave: Too Little Water Vapor’

      by Carl Brehmer, PSI.

      […] As of now, the Southwestern United States is threatened with a heat wave and for good reason: there is not enough water vapor present in the air to keep the temperature down. Take a look at this snapshot of the distribution of water vapor over North America taken June 27th.

      As you can see there is a dearth of water vapor in the Southwestern United States at this time and without the presence of water vapor to keep the lower atmosphere refrigerated the temperature predictably goes up, just like what happens when you don’t put water in your swamp cooler. Humidity low = temperature high; Humidity high = temperature low. Thankfully for the people living in Kentucky and Tennessee they have plenty of water vapor present in the air to keep their June temperatures moderate this year. […]

      It is well understood that as the daytime sun heats the ground, which, in turn, heats ground level air that this high-energy air expands, becomes less dense and ascends skyward. This, in turn, draws cooler, more-dense air from aloft down to the ground to replace the ascending air. […]

      Climatology textbooks also explain why. “The most common atmospheric adiabatic phenomena are those involving the change of air temperature due to change of pressure. If an air mass has its pressure decreased, it will expand and do mechanical work on the surrounding air . . . the energy required to do work is taken from the heat energy of the air mass, resulting in a temperature decrease. When pressure is increased, the work done on the air mass appears as heat, causing its temperature to rise. The rates of adiabatic heating and cooling in the atmosphere are described as lapse rates and are expressed as the change of temperature with height. The adiabatic lapse rate for dry air is very nearly 1 °C per 100 m.

      “Large-scale atmospheric motions are approximately adiabatic.”
      —Fairbridge, Rhodes, w., Columbia University, The Encyclopedia of Climatology, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co, New York 1987

      As the air descends in both locations, “the work done on the air mass appears as heat”, but in the more humid climate a portion of that work energy is diverted to keeping the water vaporized, i.e., it turns into “latent heat” and “latent heat” does not raise the air’s temperature.

      Thus standard Climatology explains why heat waves only occur during times of low humidity, as is the current situation in the Southwestern United States. I understand that this runs counter to the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis, which asserts that water vapor “traps” heat in the air and therefore the more humid climate should be the warmer climate, but science is not about what might be a popular belief at any particular point in time, rather it is about what is seen to happen in the real world.

      # # #

      When there’s a flood we are told that it is because the air holds more water vapour in a “warmer world”.

      When there’s a heat wave or a drought we don’t hear about that but only that it is because it’s a “warmer world”.

    • Fascinating. Thanks, Rich.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/07/2013 at 10:39 am said:

      ‘Southwest U.S. Heatwave Cancelled. Reason? Too much Water Vapor’

      by Carl Brehmer

      Good news! The 2013 Southwestern US heat wave has been cancelled because a deluge of water vapor has moved into the region and cooled everything down.


      This, of course, is opposite what the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis predicts. It asserts that water vapor is a “heat trapping gas” that is suppose to cause at least 22 degrees C (40 degrees F) of atmospheric warming. Here are a just a few statements that conflict with the above empirical observation that water vapor actually cools rather than warms surface level air.

      From NASA:

      “Water vapor is known to be Earth’s most abundant greenhouse gas . . . Increasing water vapor leads to warmer temperatures.


      “Warmer air can hold more water vapor, which can trap more heat. This creates a positive feedback loop.”

      From NOAA:

      “As a greenhouse gas, the higher concentration of water vapor is then able to absorb more thermal IR energy radiated from the Earth, thus further warming the atmosphere.”

      From the Union of Concerned Scientists:

      “Water vapor is the most abundant heat-trapping gas.”

      From the EPA:

      “Water vapor is a greenhouse gas, so more water vapor in the atmosphere leads to even more warming.”

      From the University of Michigan:

      “Burning fossil fuels produces water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, known collectively as greenhouse gases, because they trap heat in the lower atmosphere, just as the glass roof of a greenhouse keeps heat from escaping.”

      From Harvard:

      “The greenhouse effect from the added water vapor will exacerbate the warming.”

      From University Corporation for Atmospheric Research:

      “The largest contribution to the greenhouse effect [33 °C of presumed ground level atmospheric warming] is provided by water vapor.”

      More >>>>>>>

    • Richard C (NZ) on 12/09/2013 at 3:16 pm said:

      ‘The influence of water vapor absorption in the 290-350 nm region on solar radiance: Laboratory studies and model simulation’

      Juan Du, Li Huang, Qilong Min, Lei Zhu


      [1] Water vapor is an important greenhouse gas in the earth’s atmosphere. Absorption of the solar radiation by water vapor in the near UV region may partially account for the up to 30% discrepancy between the modeled and the observed solar energy absorbed by the atmosphere. But the magnitude of water vapor absorption in the near UV region at wavelengths shorter than 384 nm is not known. We have determined absorption cross sections of water vapor at 5 nm intervals in the 290-350 nm region, by using cavity ring-down spectroscopy. Water vapor cross section values range from 2.94 × 10-24 to 2.13 × 10-25 cm2/molecule in the wavelength region studied. The effect of the water vapor absorption in the 290-350 nm region on the modeledradiation flux at the ground level has been evaluated using radiative transfer model.


  11. THREAD on 25/10/2010 at 7:38 pm said:

    Climate Models

    NON IPCC and Natural Forcings ONLY

    • THREAD on 25/10/2010 at 7:50 pm said:

      Simple Climate Model Release, Version 1.0

    • THREAD on 30/10/2010 at 9:40 am said:

      Atmospheric & Environmental Research, Inc.’s (AER)
      Radiative Transfer Working Group

      The foundation of our research and model development is the validation of line-by-line radiative transfer calculations with accurate high-resolution measurements.

      LBLRTM Line-by-line Radiative Transfer Model.

      LNFL Creates the blocked binary line parameter files (TAPE3) for use by LBLRTM

      RRTM/RRTMG Longwave and shortwave rapid radiative transfer models.

      MonoRTM Radiative transfer model designed to process a small number of monochromatic frequencies (e.g. microwave region, laser)

      Line Parameter Databases Spectral Line Parameter Database used as input into LNFL.

      Continuum MT_CKD continuum model.

      Solar Source Function Spectral solar source function developed by Kurucz.

      RADSUM Utilizes LBLRTM computuations to compute cooling rates.

      OSS is a fast, accurate, monochromatic radiative transfer model, ideally suited for geophysical parameter retrieval.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 30/10/2010 at 10:05 am said:

      ICRCCM – III

      The InterComparison of Radiation Codes in Climate Models – III

    • Richard C (NZ) on 30/10/2010 at 10:14 am said:


      Continual Intercomparison of Radiation Codes

    • Richard C (NZ) on 09/11/2010 at 9:37 am said:

      Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) to Support NOAA Sci-Tech Weather and Climate Science Research Initiative

      November 08, 2010 11:10 AM Eastern Time

      LEXINGTON, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) announced today that it is a key member of the team led by Riverside Technology, Inc., to deliver wide-ranging scientific and technical (Sci-Tech) services to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Riverside-led team, including AER, was recently awarded a five-year contract to provide Sci-Tech expertise across NOAA.

    • THREAD on 30/10/2010 at 12:42 pm said:

      The ARM Broadband Heating Rate Profile Project

      Results of Measurement-Model Comparisons Performed at ‘Instantaneous’ Scale

    • Richard C (NZ) on 30/10/2010 at 1:01 pm said:


      Radiative Transfer Models:

      Atmospheric Profiles
      Cloud properties
      Aerosol properties
      Shortwave surface albedo values

    • THREAD on 30/10/2010 at 1:11 pm said:

      Cloud Resolving Model – Google Search

    • THREAD on 30/10/2010 at 1:23 pm said:

      Cloud Resolving Model – Google Scholar Search

    • Richard C (NZ) on 30/10/2010 at 1:37 pm said:

      Cloud Resolving Model Superparameterization – Google Scholar Search


    • Richard C (NZ) on 30/10/2010 at 8:55 pm said:

      Climate Models Without a ‘Greenhouse Effect’

      Wednesday, October 27, 2010

      Several posts have demonstrated that the Earth’s climate can be physically described without any need to invent a ‘greenhouse effect’ caused by ‘heat-trapping’ ‘greenhouse gases’ that ‘back-radiate’ from the colder atmosphere to heat the hotter Earth surface in violation of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Five published Earth energy budgets which roughly agree and do not incorporate ‘greenhouse gases’ at all were shown in the post Earth Energy Budgets without Greenhouse Gases, including one from the NASA Langley Research Center. A peer-reviewed paper by Ozawa et al published in Reviews of Geophysics also develops an Earth energy budget and climate model that does not incorporate a ‘greenhouse effect’ from ‘greenhouse gases.’ This is in remarkable contrast to the Earth energy budget of Kevin Trenberth used by the IPCC, which claims that ‘greenhouse gases’ heat the Earth by 324 Wm-2 compared to only 168 Wm-2 directly from the Sun! Thus, we have at least 6 published Earth energy budgets stating the contribution to the Earth surface temperature from ‘greenhouse gases’ is zero, compared to the IPCC/Trenberth budget claiming ‘greenhouse gases’ heat the Earth almost twice as much as direct sunlight and in violation of the 2nd law. Kevin “missing heat” Trenberth’s energy budget is indeed, in his own words, “a travesty.” The reason Trenberth’s budget has “missing heat” is because it never existed in the first place, since ‘greenhouse gases’ cannot provide added energy to warm the Earth; only the Sun and geothermal energy sources can add heat to the Earth’s surface.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 31/10/2010 at 6:27 pm said:

      See – “Climate” Climate Model Papers

      i.e. Climate Model Papers are not Climate Science Papers

    • Richard C (NZ) on 13/09/2011 at 8:04 pm said:

      Accumulation model for the 1950-2011 period

      The model can explain most of the rise in temperature since 1950, and more than 70% of the variance with correct phase shift of the 11-year solar cycle

      On the Dynamics of Global Temperature (Accumulation Theory of Solar Influence)

      David R.B. Stockwell

      A straightforward recurrence matrix representation of the atmosphere/surface/deep ocean system, models temperature changes by (1) the size of a forcing, (2) its duration (due to accumulation of heat), and (3) the depth of forcing in the atmosphere/surface/deep ocean system (due to increasing mixing losses and increasing intrinsic gain with depth)

    • Richard C (NZ) on 13/09/2011 at 8:28 pm said:

      Butler & Johnston pSCL vs temperature correlation model

      Comment 115

      Bruce of Newcastle:
      September 4th, 2011 at 1:54 pm

      Phillip at #102

      I find it interesting that the IPCC GCM’s can match the 20th C (in your link), but certainly there are enough degrees of freedom to match almost anything if you tweak them enough. I’ve done quite a lot of modelling both multivariate statistical and process, so I know the limits of the field.

      The trouble for the IPCC is other modelling approaches can not only model the 20th C but also the full temperature record prior to 1900 AND the last decade, which the IPCC GCM’s have been having so much problem with.

      In fact you can do so with just two primary variables: previous solar cycle length (a proxy for the combined magnetic and total irradiance effects of the Sun) and a low CO2 climate sensitivity number. It works even better when you add in aspects such as the oceans and volcanos, but just those two will do almost all variance since the start of the instrumental temperature record in 1659.

      I did this using Butler & Johnston 1996, which gives the pSCL vs temperature correlation for Armagh in Northern Ireland, and the Central England Temperature, the longest instrumental dataset we have available. If you use the correlation of pSCL vs temperature in Armagh, which is similar to the CET in climate and latitude, you’ll find the residual fits with a 2XCO2 of 0.8 C. This drops slightly as you add in other minor variables (AMO, volcanos, UHIE etc) so that the value comes out almost identical to the directly measured values of Lindzen & Choi and Spencer & Braswell, who use satellite measurement.

      This can all be done on a laptop with a spreadsheet – and since solar cycle length is easy to measure, and obviously independent from temperature measurement (mercury thermometers are not about to be influenced by the Sun or vice versa, except by measuring temperature of course), then it is very hard to ignore the correlation. The IPCC does, so unsuprisingly as soon as they extrapolate from their data fitting period of 1900-2000 the simulation goes wacko. Not so for the pSCL + low 2XCO2 model. The current cooling signal is fuly consistent with the length of the solar cycle which was completed in 2008/9.

      As to why this is the case, look no closer than the recent CERN results for a postulated mechanism. All you have to hypothesis is that solar cycle length is coupled to solar magnetic field strength, which is quite plausible. Indeed Butler and Johnston say:

      In conclusion we may remark that, even though the physical mechanism(s) for solar-activity induced changes in climate are still unresolved, there is mounting evidence that a speeding up of the solar cycle appears to be accompanied by an increase in the efficiency of the solar dynamo that ultimately leads to an increase in the temperature of the Earth’s lower atmosphere.

      In other words, global warming exists but is much weaker than the IPCC would want us to believe. For the rest of the temperature variance look to the Sun, particularly the magnetic effects.
      Just think, NIWA could have saved themselves millions – they could have used their receptionists PC during her lunch hour (I’m sure she wouldn’t have minded).

  12. THREAD on 26/10/2010 at 8:37 am said:

    Computational complexity theory

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    See also the link – bottom of page

    Parameterized complexity

    Parameterized complexity is a branch of computational complexity theory in computer science that focuses on classifying computational problems according to their inherent difficulty with respect to multiple parameters of the input.

    Climate model relevancy.

  13. Andy on 04/01/2011 at 6:08 pm said:

    Interesting comments from Richard North on a recent article in the New Yorker on selection bias in science

  14. Richard C (NZ) on 25/03/2012 at 10:13 pm said:

    Ya gotta love this from NASA:-

    “Carbon dioxide and nitric oxide are natural thermostats,explains James Russell of Hampton University, SABER’s principal investigator. “When the upper atmosphere (or ‘thermosphere’) heats up, these molecules try as hard as they can to shed that heat back into space.”

    For the three day period, March 8th through 10th, the thermosphere absorbed 26 billion kWh of energy. Infrared radiation from CO2 and NO, the two most efficient coolants in the thermosphere, re-radiated 95% of that total back into space.

    From ‘Solar Storm Dumps Gigawatts into Earth’s Upper Atmosphere’

  15. Jim McK on 12/07/2012 at 8:58 pm said:

    The science is beyond me but in the calculation of Global Warming Potential of minor gases “Radiative Efficiency” is one of the parameters. Numbers universally quoted are
    CO2 0.01584
    CH4 0.37
    NO2 3.1

    Any views on the credibility/appropriateness of these parameters?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 13/07/2012 at 11:45 am said:

      Jim, I had a look at RE in the “Methane methane” thread. Remember this:-

      The Astrophysicists compute “radiative efficiency” simply as per the definition I gave up-thread, that was:-

      Radiation efficiency: At a given frequency, the ratio of the power radiated to the total power supplied to the radiator. [energy in : energy out]

      I found myself reading (with an element of disbelief that I was) “DIRECT CALCULATION OF THE RADIATIVE EFFICIENCY OF AN ACCRETION DISK AROUND A BLACK HOLE”

      But the IPCC’s RE is NOT the conventional radiative efficiency ratio used in Astrophysics. Down-thread, I got this far on it:-

      Note the exclamation “Ye gads, this is painful”

      I think I found the provenance of the IPCC’s RE in the next comment here in the paper that Andy dredged up:-

      RE revisions are detailed in Myhre et al 1998 that are determined by.LBL model, NBM model and BBM model.

      Also this caution:-

      We need to be VERY careful with units and state when necessary e.g.

      Radiative efficiency of CO2 from Chap 6, 6.12.2 is 0.01548 Wm−2 ppmv−1.

      Radiative efficiency of CH4 from Chap 6, Table 6.7 is 3.7×10−4 Wm−2 ppb−1

      Note that these two values are NOT directly comparable as they stand in those units.

      But I could be wrong on that – suggest you check this out carefully.

      The Myhre paper can be accessed here:-

    • Richard C (NZ) on 13/07/2012 at 11:59 am said:

      Also, don’t forget the RE of WV:-

      Calculating the global-warming potential

      “A diligent search of sources other than Climate Change 2001 reveals that the radiative efficiency of water vapor is fifty to sixty percent greater than that of CO2.”

    • Jim McK on 13/07/2012 at 3:30 pm said:

      Thanks richard,

      Yes I got the units sorted some time ago. I have just been accepting that the use of RE is appropriate and accepted science and wanted to know whether thinking has moved on at all.

      Will get into those refs over the weekend.

    • Richard C, you know more about this than I do. Jim does, too! Could you comment when you get a minute on the relative merits of Thayer Watkins’s site Saturation, Nonlinearity and Overlap in the Radiative Efficiencies of Greenhouse Gases and Water Vapor Rules the Greenhouse System at

      Also, Geocraft gives water vapour’s relative contribution to the “greenhouse effect” as 95.000% and carbon dioxide’s as 3.618%, which seems to make WV about 26 times more effective than CO2. Which is orders of magnitude away from 60%. What do you think?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 14/07/2012 at 2:08 pm said:

      First the Geocraft question:-

      Geocraft gives water vapour’s relative contribution to the “greenhouse effect” as 95.000% and carbon dioxide’s as 3.618%, which seems to make WV about 26 times more effective than CO2.

      I think this is reasonable given the references for the figures as long as it’s not taken as hard-and-fast (“about” as you say). As numerous experts and laymen (myself) continually point out, this is easily demonstrated using the dry Sahara – humid Singapore example.

      Which is orders of magnitude away from 60%. What do you think?

      Be careful to make like-for-like comparisons here, I think you might be using radiative efficiency (RE) for your 60% figure as in Watkins’ “the radiative efficiency of water vapor is fifty to sixty percent greater than that of CO2” but Geocraft’s Table 3 is “Relative Contribution to the “Greenhouse Effect””.

      Radiative efficiency and relative contribution are two very different concepts. The first is a term in a parameter of the Beer Lambert Law, the second is nominal relative quantities.

    • Ah. The contribution of each gas is weighted by its relative abundance. Naturally. Thanks.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 15/07/2012 at 12:19 am said:

      Now the Thayer Watkins article.

      I can’t identify anything untoward where he works through the saturation, nonlinearity and overlap situations. I can’t recall any dispute elsewhere of what he covers either.

      What he highlights is where the IPCC (IGCC typos in text unless there really is an IGCC I haven’t heard of) constructs get weird and the glaring omissions. That’s in the sections (my numbering):-

      1) The Radiative Efficiencies of the Greenhouse Gases,

      2) Radiative Forcing and Global Warming Potential

      And paragraph at bottom of page,

      3) Cloudiness

      So the merits of those 3 sections as I see them (actually IPCC demerits) are:-

      #1 Omission of H2O (liquid and vapour) from the radiative efficiency table. As Thayer puts it:-

      It is incredible how the scientific works on global warming can leave H2O entirely out of the picture

      #2 GWP is a weird construct that sets CO2 to 1 and all others relative to it. This presupposes that the workings for CO2 are rock solid because if it’s out, so are all the others.

      Andy is bothered with it (GWP) because he has not found how methane gets set to 23 x CO2. That might be in Myhre et al somewhere and we might get around to nailing it down someday.

      Again there’s the omission of water vapour from the GWP table. I can’t improve on what Thayer says:-

      “The questions call for a numerical answer [for water vapour]. Global Warming Potential (GWP) is a technical term widely used in the literature on global warming. The babbling answers suggests that the numerical value is not readily available even to people who are specialists in global warming. This ignoring of the technicalities of the role H2O in the climatology of the Earth is mind boggling”.

      Radiative forcing (RF) methodology is a dodgy IPCC construct too but that’s an issue in itself and another story (calculation discussed previously here). As Jo Nova puts it in her NZ Scientists “stunned”, “shocked” by mere 1% rise in CO2 absorption. What spin! post:-

      “…simply distracts attention from the failure of their predictions that the world would warm quickly from 1990 on due to rising CO2 levels (awkward reminder: 0.30C per decade was the 1990 IPCC estimate)

      #3 Neglect of the role of cloudiness and any anthro effect or as Thayer puts it:-

      “[…] anthropogenic changes in water vapor in the atmosphere are necessarily accompanied by changes in cloudiness”

    • Richard C (NZ) on 15/07/2012 at 2:24 pm said:

      I’ve just read Myhre et al again and it ONLY deals with radiative forcing (RF) revisions. It does NOT deal with radiative efficiency (RE), I had my wires crossed thinking there was something in there about RE.

      Neither does Myhre go into GWP at all.

      Since this puts us back at square one I suggest looking at Climate Change 2001: The Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Table 6.7, p. 388 because that is the source of the GWP for 100 years table in the Thayer Watkins article here:-

      There should be references in TAR p.388 or thereabouts for the workings of the GWP values. Can’t find page 388 but 6. Radiative Forcing of Climate Change 6.12 Global Warming Potentials is a good start:-

      The GWP has been defined as the ratio of the time-integrated radiative forcing from the instantaneous release of 1 kg of a trace substance relative to that of 1 kg of a reference gas (IPCC, l990):

      where TH is the time horizon over which the calculation is considered, ax is the radiative efficiency due to a unit increase in atmospheric abundance of the substance in question (i.e., Wm-2 kg-1), [x(t)] is the time-dependent decay in abundance of the instantaneous release of the substance, and the corresponding quantities for the reference gas are in the denominator. The GWP of any substance therefore expresses the integrated forcing of a pulse (of given small mass) of that substance relative to the integrated forcing of a pulse (of the same mass) of the reference gas over some time horizon. The numerator of Equation 6.2 is the absolute (rather than relative) GWP of a given substance, referred to as the AGWP. The GWPs of various greenhouse gases can then be easily compared to determine which will cause the greatest integrated radiative forcing over the time horizon of interest. The direct relative radiative forcings per ppbv are derived from infrared radiative transfer models based on laboratory measurements of the molecular properties of each substance and considering the molecular weights. Updated information since the SAR is presented for many gases in Section 6.3. Many important changes in these quantities were recently reviewed in WMO (l999) and will be briefly summarised here. In addition, some gases can indirectly affect radiative forcing, mainly through chemical processes. For example, tropospheric O3 provides a significant radiative forcing of the climate system, but its production occurs indirectly, as a result of atmospheric chemistry following emissions of precursors such as NOx, CO, and NMHCs (see Section 6.6 and Chapter 4). Indirect effects will be described below for a number of key gases.

      It is important to distinguish between the integrated relative effect of an emitted kilogram of gas which is represented by a GWP and the actual radiative forcings for specific gas amounts presented, for example, in Section 6.3 and in Figure 6.6. GWPs are intended for use in studying relative rather than absolute impacts of emissions, and pertain to specific time horizons.

      The radiative efficiencies ar and ax are not necessarily constant over time. While the absorption of infrared radiation by many greenhouse gases varies linearly with their abundance, a few important ones display non-linear behaviour for current and likely future abundances (e.g., CO2, CH4, and N2O). For those gases, the relative radiative forcing will depend upon abundance and hence upon the future scenario adopted. These issues were discussed in detail and some sensitivities to chosen scenarios were presented in IPCC (l994).

      A key aspect of GWP calculations is the choice of the reference gas, taken here to be CO2. In IPCC (l994), it was shown, for example, that a particular scenario for future growth of CO2 (S650, see Chapter 3) would change the denominator of Equation 6.2 by as much as 15% compared to a calculation employing constant pre-industrial CO2 mixing ratios.

      The atmospheric response time of CO2 is subject to substantial scientific uncertainties, due to limitations in our knowledge of key processes including its uptake by the biosphere and ocean. When CO2 is used as the reference, the numerical values of the GWPs of all greenhouse gases can change substantially as research improves the understanding of the removal processes of CO2. The removal function for CO2 used for the GWPs presented here is based upon carbon cycle models such as those discussed in Chapter 3. The CO2 radiative efficiency (ar) used in this report has been updated since the SAR, as discussed in Section 6.3 (see below).

      The lifetimes of non-CO2 greenhouse gases are dependent largely on atmospheric photochemistry, which controls photo-lysis and related removal processes as discussed in Chapter 4. When the lifetime of the gas in question is comparable to the response time of CO2 (nominally about 150 years, although it is clear that the removal of CO2 cannot be adequately described by a single, simple exponential lifetime; see IPCC (l994) and the discussion below), the GWP is relatively insensitive to choice of time horizon, i.e., for N2O. When the lifetime of the gas in question differs substantially from the response time of the reference gas, the GWP becomes sensitive to the choice of time horizon, which in turn implies a decision regarding the climate processes and impacts of interest, as noted above. For longer time horizons, those species that decay more rapidly than the reference gas display decreasing GWPs, with the slope of the decay being dependent mainly on the lifetime of the gas in question. Gases with lifetimes much longer than that of the reference gas (e.g., C2F6) display increasing GWPs over long time horizons (i.e., greater than a hundred years). We emphasise that the GWP is an integral from zero to the chosen time horizon; hence the values presented in the table for 25, 100, and 500 years are not additive.

      Note at top of page that “The formulation of GWPs, reasons for the choice of various time horizons, and the effects of clouds, scenarios, and many other factors upon GWP values were discussed in detail in IPCC (1994)“.

      6.12.2 Direct GWPs

      Table 6.7: Direct Global Warming Potentials (mass basis) relative to carbon dioxide (for gases for which the lifetimes have been adequately characterised).

      I don’t see references for the provenance of the Table 6.7 values except this in 6.12.1 Introduction

      As in previous reports, here we present GWPs for 20, 100, and 500 year time horizons. The most recent GWP evaluations are those of WMO (l999) and the SAR, and the results presented here are drawn in large part from those assessments, with updates for those cases where significantly different new laboratory or radiative transfer results have been published. The sources used for input variables for the GWP calculations are indicated in this section and in the headers and footnotes to the tables, where sources of new estimates since the SAR are identified.

      So looks like it’s back to SAR in combination with sources “in this section and in the headers and footnotes to the tables”. Sigh, what a mission.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 15/07/2012 at 2:32 pm said:

      Should be:-

      “….back to SAR [and WMO (l999)] in combination with sources “in this section and in the headers and footnotes to the tables” “

    • Richard C (NZ) on 15/07/2012 at 8:12 pm said:

      “WMO 1999” from the only reference stating the full title I can find (couldn’t even get to it at the WMO website) is:-

      WMO Report No. 44, “Scientific Assessment of Stratospheric Ozone”, WMO Global Ozone Research and Monitoring Project, 1999

      Found here at The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy Worth browsing through this report.

      About the Alliance Focus is HCFCs and HFCs and the Membership List seems to be all the big industry players.

      WMO 1999 is no use for our purposes so can discard and look at SAR.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 15/07/2012 at 11:20 pm said:

      SAR refers to the book: IPCC, 1994: Climate Change 1994. Radiative Forcing of Climate Change and an Evaluation of the IPCC IS92 Emissions Scenarios.

      TAR WGI have copied from page 215 the screed I posted from 6.12 Global Warming Potentials . That begins:-

      “The GWP has been defined as the ratio of the time-integrated radiative forcing from the instantaneous release of 1 kg of a trace substance relative to that of 1 kg of a reference gas (IPCC, l990):”

      “IPCC 1990” is FAR so I should have gone there in the first instance. Chapter 2 of FAR has 2.2.7 A Global Warming Potential Concept for Trace Gases on page 58 text.and pdf.

      This has all the references we need but another day for this, there’s only so much IPCC guff I can take at a time.

  16. Jim McK on 15/07/2012 at 6:14 pm said:

    Hi Richard,

    Attached is the latest version of my replication of the IPCC GWP numbers

  17. Jim McK on 16/07/2012 at 10:31 am said:

    Hi Richard & Andy,

    It is difficult blogging with an excel which is the easiest way to deal with this but here goes

    Andy, this is how I believe IPCC calculate GWP for methane of 23

    Inputs to the calculation are

    • Molecular mass of Methane (16)
    • Molecular mass of CO2 (44)
    • Radiative Efficiency of Methane (0.37) – IPCC
    • Radiative Efficiency of CO2 (0.01584) – IPCC
    • An arbitrary choice of time horizon (100 yrs) – IPCC (IPCC)
    • Lifetime of CO2 in atmosphere 150 yrs – IPCC
    • Half life of Methane (7.25 yrs)
    • Numerous adjustments as per IPCC

    The calculation is (RE CH4/Mass CH4) x Decay function of CH4, divided by the same calc for CO2.
    The Decay functions (in excel form) are calculated as:
    “Decay function = –(lifetime)x(EXP(-horizon/lifetime)-1).”
    This formula was from a teaching model left by mistake on Wikipedia since removed.

    Steady State or Burden Life – Half life of Methane in troposphere 7.25 years

    Pulse Adjustment 1 + 40% (IPCC/TEAC page 140)
    The primary calculations for GWP were performed in the late 1990,s when there had been a decade of rapid increase of methane. A theory was developed around the effect of large pulses and how long they took to work themselves out of the troposphere. The difference between steady state (burden) oxidisation lifetime and pulse oxidisation lifetime was estimated at 40% because of the pulse caused a reduction in the number of OH radicals available. Pulse Half Life of Methane 11.2 years

    Pulse Adjustment 2 + 26% (IPCC/TEAC page 140)
    There are several chemical oxidation pathways available for CH4 and there is a apparently a tendency with a large pulse to go to the pathway with the longest time frame. E-fold, the point of 63.2% depletion is chosen rather than half life (50%)
    Pulse e- fold life of Methane 12.83 years

    Use formula at this point for GWP calculation GWP 11.3

    Pulse Adjustment 3 (indirect effect no 1) +40% (Tar 6 page 365)
    A pulse will cause the background level of OH radicals in the troposphere to reduce causing an indirect effect of 40% of the direct effect. (haven’t they done that already?) GWP 15.8

    Pulse Adjustment 4 (indirect effect no 2) +40% (Tar 6 page 365)
    A pulse of CH4 in the presence of N2O will cause the level of O3 in the troposphere to increase (bad). However where N2O is very low, a pulse of CH4 will cause ozone to be reduced (good). Add 40% just to be sure. GWP 22.1

    Pulse Adjustment 5 (indirect effect no 3) +4% (Tar 6 page 365)
    Some of the pulse of CH4 will leak to the stratosphere and will create water vapour causing a 4% indirect effect. GWP 23.0

    There are clearly a number of issues that arise.

    The appropriateness of comparing two very different gases.
    The concept of Pulse Model is clearly inappropriate now that Methane is nearer Steady State and OH radicals have been found to be very resilient. Without any contrived IPCC adjustments Methane GWP using their dubious methodology is 6.4.

    • Andy on 16/07/2012 at 10:58 am said:

      Thanks Jim. I have bookmarked this and will come back to it when I get time.
      I think your figure of 6.4 for GWP is close to that derived by Wilson Flood who calculated it at 7.3

    • Jim McK on 16/07/2012 at 12:05 pm said:

      Hi Andy,

      Dr Flood’s number of 7.3 came from simply dividing the headline number of 20 by the mass difference of 2.75. It was pointed out to me by a NIWA scientist who looked at my calcs that while we tend to drop the units in GWP calcs, as they cancel out, Radiative Efficiency is apparently calculated in mass terms so it is not correct to remove mass from the calculation. (see above)

    • Richard C (NZ) on 16/07/2012 at 4:00 pm said:

      “Radiative Efficiency is apparently calculated in mass terms so it is not correct to remove mass from the calculation”

      No don’t agree with this, there’s another reason not to drop RE and that is that in TAR equation 6.2 for GWP(x) found in 6.12 Global Warming Potentials 6.12.1 Introduction, ax is the radiative efficiency due to a unit increase in atmospheric abundance of the substance in question (i.e., Wm-2 kg-1) and ar is the reference.

      RE (ax) with units (Wm-2 kg-1) is peculiar to climate science and the reason that IPCC REs can ONLY be used for GWP calculations. The parameter a is the product of two terms. One is the concentration ρ of the absorber and the other is a characteristic of the absorber α, called its radiative efficiency.

      Except that climate science does not calculate a simple energy in to energy out unit-less efficiency ratio as any other discipline would e.g. astrophysics, radio or mechanical engineering, they even use a different symbol for efficiency. For example, Thermal Efficiency: (η) = the simple ratio of Output / Input

      In this paper, Cherubini et al you can see in Equation (0.2) how climate science calculates the radiative efficiency (α) of CO2 as per Forster et al., 2007 (which is a contribution to AR4 WGI) or at least they say it is.

      αCO2 = 5.35 ln { [CO2] / [CO2*] } W m-2 ppb-1

      Where [CO2] is the concentration in the atmosphere after small perturbation and [CO2*] is the initial concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. These are concentration terms, not mass terms.

      Now it gets really weird. The equation for αCO2 is EXACTLY the same as for ΔF CO2.(simplified first-order approximation expression)

      ΔF CO2 = 5.35 ln C / Co

      Where C is the CO2 concentration in parts per million by volume and C0 is the reference concentration. This from Wiki Radiative Forcing

      So the change in forcing (ΔF) of CO2 “as a function of changing concentration” is no different to the radiative efficiency (α) of CO2 as a function of changing concentration, i.e. αCO2 = ΔF CO2.

      It could be though, that Cherubini et al has the wrong calculation for αCO2.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 16/07/2012 at 8:37 pm said:

      Guys, I urge you to read FAR WGI Chapter 2, Radiative Forcing of Climate, page 58, 2.2.7 A Global Warming Potential Concept for Trace Gases

      The term “radiative efficiency” does NOT occur. What is referred to in TAR, Wiki etc as “radiative efficiency” (α) is merely “instantaneous radiative forcing” (a) in FAR. This tallies with my assessment that αCO2 = ΔF CO2. and that (α) has NOTHING to do with the conventional concept of efficiency (η).

      The FAR GWP expression on page 58 is similar to TAR 6.2 except for the description of terms, quoting:-

      “……where a1 is the instantaneous radiative forcing due to a unit
      increase in the concentration of trace gas, 1, c1 is
      concentration of the trace gas, 1, remaining at lime, t, after
      its release and n is the number of years over which the
      calculation is performed The corresponding values for
      carbon dioxide are in the denominator”

      No “radiative efficiency”in there. I think we can forget about the unconventional “radiative efficiency” along with it’s phony symbol (α) being anything more than just the same old “radiative forcing” with a different name.

      We still have to accept the nomenclature for pragmatic reasons but we have the knowledge of what it really is and how obtained. The radiative forcing revisions detailed in Myhre et al 1998 are determined by.LBL model, NBM model and BBM model hence ΔF CO2 = 5.35 ln C / Co. In FAR Chapter 2, Table 2.2, page 52 it was ΔF CO2 = 6.3 ln C / Co

    • Richard C (NZ) on 16/07/2012 at 12:25 pm said:

      Acknowledged too Jim. I’ve only been searching the provenance and development of the methodology so until I’ve read FAR and it’s references linked above that everything leads back to, I can only comment from limited background.

      I’m a bit confused, you add 3 “indirect” effects to the “direct” effect to arrive at the “direct” GWP of 23 as tabled in TAR:-

      6.12.2 Direct GWPs

      Table 6.7: Direct Global Warming Potentials

      I realize that indirect effects are detailed in TAR but why (if I’ve got this right) do the IPCC term GWPs that are indirect effect adjusted as direct GWPs? Seems to me that 23 is Direct + Indirect 1 + Indirect 2 + Indirect 3 i.e. a Cumulative Indirect Effect Adjusted GWP.

    • Jim McK on 16/07/2012 at 3:16 pm said:

      My interpretation is that Table 6.7 as it applies to CH4 and NO2 includes direct and indirect influences and not just direct as shown in the header. If this was not the case IPCC would be screaming from the roof tops

      With inputs of 3.7 x 10-4 and adjusted lifetime of 12.0 years the GWP calculates to about 11 slightly different from above.

    • Jim McK on 16/07/2012 at 4:47 pm said:

      Hi Richard C,

      I am getting a bit lost with the arguement around RE and mass.

      What I have been focusing on is replicating the IPCC calculation as per the formula above as I have not seen this published before and everyone has been bandingly around all sorts of numbers and arguements.

      Once that is accepted there is a separate debate to be had around its reasonableness.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 16/07/2012 at 5:31 pm said:

      I’m a bit lost with the GWP formula.

      Is your formula a simplification, rearrangement or alternative to the GWP(x) 6.2 formula from TAR?

      GWP(x) 6.2 here

      Where TH is the time horizon over which the calculation is considered, ax is the radiative efficiency due to a unit increase in atmospheric abundance of the substance in question (i.e., Wm-2 kg-1), [x(t)] is the time-dependent decay in abundance of the instantaneous release of the substance, and the corresponding quantities for the reference gas are in the denominator.

      No mass and integration 0 – TH. That does not look like anything that can be rearranged to what you have:-

      RE CH4/Mass CH4) x Decay function of CH4, divided by the same calc for CO2

  18. Jim McK on 16/07/2012 at 1:21 pm said:

    Yes the terms direct and indirect are possibly confusing. It is more that the number was developed in stages

    Basically I think the initial group manipulated the time in atmosphere for 7.25 yrs to 12.83 years as above and produced the GWP of 11.3.

    I then think that the formula was essentially locked away. In the form I found it in a US University Chemistry course it was considerably less approachable that the unbundled version above.

    Later ‘Researchers” then took the GWP number and competed in the TAR over hypothesising further corrections they could make to the GWP number without revisting the basic calculation.

    Sounds crazy but there are the numbers.

  19. Jim McK on 16/07/2012 at 6:20 pm said:

    Hi Richard C

    Its a re- arrangement – the Decay Function is my term, defined above – which brings in “decay in abundance” as variuously defined for each gas and chosen TH. Mass is there

  20. Jim McK on 16/07/2012 at 8:37 pm said:

    Richard, think you are testing me.

    The TAR was written by a committee as a summary document and is full of inconsistencies and various views on the adjustments required. I doubt very much that you could replicate a GWP calculation solely from the Tar – indeed that is why no one outside IPCC has done so.

    I agree that the cummulative adjustments to the initial calculation are not science just IPCC politics but the alternative would have been to create an improbably long atmospheric life time for CH4 (27 years).

    Happy to provide the original model from Chemistry Dept Hope University MI I unbundled if you are interested. The calculation above also works fine for NO2 so this is not a co-incidence.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 16/07/2012 at 9:02 pm said:

      That “The calculation above also works fine for NO2 so this is not a co-incidence” is what has got me flummoxed.

      I need a better explanation for the differences between your formula and IPCC TAR Equation 6.2 that I’ve identified here

      I’m not testing you Jim, I’m testing the equations for GWP (yours vs the IPCCs) one against the other and the provenance of both. Although FAR Chapter 2 gives some references to early attempts at defining a concept of GWP, the provenance of the expression the IPCC uses is FAR WGI Chapter 2. The following people came up with it:-

      AJ. Apling; J.P. Blanchet; R.J. Charlson; D. Crommelynck; H. Grassl; N. Husson;
      GJ. Jenkins; I. Karol; M.D. King; V. Ramanathan; H. Rodhe; G-Y. Shi; G. Thomas;
      W-C. Wang; T.M.L. Wigley; T. Yamanouchi

      I cannot determine the provenance of your formula to the same degree even though it seems to come up with the same values – this is really curious.

      Andy if you see this, can you explain why these two different mathematical expressions return the same values.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/07/2012 at 12:18 am said:

      OK I’ve tracked down the provenance of your model Jim and the reason for the two different equations returning the same values becomes clear (see below). Here’s the paper:-

      Greenhouse Warming Potentials from the Infrared Spectroscopy of Atmospheric Gases

      Matthew J. Elrod
      Department of Chemistry, Hope College, Holland, MI 49423
      J. Chem. Educ., 1999, 76 (12), p 1702
      DOI: 10.1021/ed076p1702
      Publication Date (Web): December 1, 1999


      The greenhouse warming potential is a relative measure of the capacity of a specific chemical species to trap infrared radiation as heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, and is a scale that has been used to establish regulatory strategies for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. A model is described that allows a straightforward, spreadsheet-based determination of greenhouse warming potentials from the infrared spectra of atmospheric gases. On the basis of the numerical results of the model, students are able to investigate the molecular properties that are characteristic of greenhouse gases and thus are able to understand the rationale behind the recent agreement by the world’s industrialized nations to reduce certain greenhouse gas emissions.

      The paper is here:-

      Elrod states the IPCC FAR GWP equation (but he’s referenced Seinfeld et al 1998 as the source) as:-

      Equation (3) on page 2.

      Then he makes the following modifications:-

      “Although the actual form of the time decays for the relevant
      chemical species can be complicated (particularly for CO2),
      a simple exponential decay function will be used in the
      following analysis to allow for an easily integrable form of eq 3”


      “Because the radiative forcing function above is derived on a
      per-molecule basis, eq 3 must be modified to place the
      radiative forcing on a per-mass basis”

      “Therefore, the form of the GWP to be used in this analysis is”

      Equation (4) on page 2

      “where MW is the molecular mass in g mol{1 and t is the
      atmospheric lifetime in years for the GHG and CO2, respectively.
      To summarize, the required information needed
      to calculate the GWP includes the path length of the IR cell,
      the partial pressure of the GHG in the cell, the atmospheric
      lifetime of the GHG, the molecular weight of the GHG, and
      the integrated absorption data in 10-cm{1 intervals.”

      So the difference between the equations, IPCC 6.2/Elrod 3 and Elrod 4, is:-

      Equation (3) per-molecule basis as per TAR Equation 6.2

      Equation (4) per-mass basis as per TAR Table 6.7 Direct Global Warming Potentials (mass basis)

      Mystery solved.

      Elrod’s .xls spreadsheet “Greenhouse Warming Potential Model.” can be downloaded from Reference 2 bottom of page here

    • Richard C (NZ) on 18/07/2012 at 6:54 pm said:

      The direct link to Elrod’s model from his paper is

      Excel, Version 7.0

    • Richard C (NZ) on 16/07/2012 at 9:28 pm said:

      Jim this is wrong

      “……the cummulative adjustments to the initial calculation are not science just IPCC politics”

      You are NOT using the IPCC GWP expression. The IPCC GWP expression here does NOT make “cumulative adjustments to the initial calculation”.

      It is your formula that does that Jim, not the IPCC’s.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/07/2012 at 12:24 am said:
  21. Jim McK on 17/07/2012 at 8:42 am said:

    Hi Richard,

    Yes I thought over night I should point out the use of EXP being a standard excel function (exponential) used in my calc.

    So where have we got to. Are you happy with the model above?

    If you set up a working spreadsheet it becomes obvious that there had to be post calculation adjustments.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/07/2012 at 9:59 am said:

      Jim you could have saved me a great amount of time and angst simply by linking to (as I have done):-

      A) Elrod’s paper where everything is explained, and

      B) The spreadsheet model.

      Please don’t lead me on a wild goose chase like this ever again when you could easily have shortened the process considerably by A and B – life is too short.

      Yes I am satisfied with the model because now I can see its basis in Elrod’s paper (mass), it’s provenance (IPCC FAR via Seinfeld et al), the formula and why it was different to TAR 6.2, modifications and simplifications to it by Elrod, and the parameters. The decay adjustments are documented in TAR so that’s where I’ll go for those.

      I’m not set up for Excel at the moment (long story, I’ll get it back one day) but I did load the model into Google Docs spreadsheet to have a look. I couldn’t use it as I would Excel but I could see what it is all about. I’m more interested in the historical development and evolution of GWP to be honest and my discovery that αCO2 = ΔF CO2 (RE = delta RF).

      Andy will probably look at the paper and spreadsheet eventually now that we have access to it.

      I stumbled across a WMO report on their website while researching the provenance of GWP.

      Quoting from page 7:-
      7. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Assessment
      Reports – Dr Jim Salinger

      Working Group I has proposed that a AScenario Evaluation Tool for Policymakers be
      considered that would complement and possibly replace use of Global Warming Potentials for
      comparing emissions of different greenhouse gases. In response to concerns expressed, the
      implications for policymaker use of such a tool will be approached cautiously.
      TAR WGI were considering a tool that would “possibly replace” GWPs.

  22. Jim McK on 17/07/2012 at 10:34 am said:

    Richard C

    “Please don’t lead me on a wild goose chase like this ever again when you could easily have shortened the process considerably by A and B – life is too short.”

    Well I beg your pardon -that was certainly not my intention. I posted the spread sheet model to Google docs which referenced Elrod but you were not able to pick it. I wrongly assumed the excel format I gave would be self explainatory.

    Incidentally I have been trying to get this reviewed for about 2 years so thanks for making the effort and confirming you are happy with the model. I will put the working excel version through to Richard T.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/07/2012 at 11:32 am said:

      Caveats being:-

      The GWP per-mass basis in Elrod’s paper and model.

      Elrod’s GWP equation 3 provenance (IPCC FAR via Seinfeld et al 1998).

      Elrod’s GWP equation 4 per-mass basis and why it was different to TAR 6.2 per-molecule basis (modifications to TAR 6.2/Elrod 3 by Elrod for Elrod 4)

      Simplifications to Elrod 4 by Elrod.for his spreadsheet model.

      The whole caboodle (GWPs) still all hinges on (are relative too) the initial values for CO2 (set at 1) and the accuracy of CO2 forcing (and therefore “efficiency”) determination (note RF revisions and therefore RE revisions in Myhre et al 1998, and 1998b I think).

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/07/2012 at 2:00 pm said:

      More caveats this time from Wikipedia wrt the GWP(x) expression

      The radiative efficiencies ax and ar are not necessarily constant over time. While the absorption of infrared radiation by many greenhouse gases varies linearly with their abundance, a few important ones display non-linear behaviour for current and likely future abundances (e.g., CO2, CH4, and N2O). For those gases, the relative radiative forcing will depend upon abundance and hence upon the future scenario adopted.

      Since all GWP calculations are a comparison to CO2 which is non-linear, all GWP values are affected. Assuming otherwise as is done above will lead to lower GWPs for other gases than a more detailed approach would.

      Possibly why TAR WGI were considering a replacement for GWPs

      Also, where RF “CAPACITY” fits into GWP from the same Wiki article:-

      GWP is based on a number of factors, including the radiative efficiency (infrared-absorbing ability) [actually radiative forcing “capacity” below] of each gas relative to that of carbon dioxide, as well as the decay rate of each gas (the amount removed from the atmosphere over a given number of years) relative to that of carbon dioxide.[3]

      The radiative forcing capacity (RF) is the amount of energy per unit area, per unit time, absorbed by the greenhouse gas, that would otherwise be lost to space. It can be expressed by the formula:

      RF = \sum_{n=1}^{100} Abs_i * F_i / (path length * density)

      where the subscript i represents an interval of 10 inverse centimeters. Absi represents the integrated infrared absorbance of the sample in that interval, and Fi represents the RF for that interval [actually ΔF, see below].

      Here to confuse everyone (well, me anyway) they use the same abbreviated nomenclature (RF) for “radiative forcing”, “radiative forcing capacity” and “change in forcing” in the one equation.

      Then, to add to the confusion (mine), they use three different nomenclatures and two different symbols for the same concept and term in GWP(x) that being a:-

      radiative efficiency = infrared-absorbing ability = radiative forcing capacity = RF = a

      Note that the formula for radiative forcing capacity (I propose RFC) above is quite different to the formula for ΔF as a function of changing concentration which for CO2 is (simplified first-order approximation):-

      ΔF CO2 = 5.35 ln C / Co W.m2

      Where ΔF = RF = change in forcing

      Feel free anyone to correct me on all of this.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/07/2012 at 2:17 pm said:

      “I propose RFC” for radiative forcing capacity.

      Something like IRaa for “infrared absorbing ability” would be a better descriptive perhaps, just as a mental aid and to define what’s being talked about in discussion.

      Anything is better than using RF for everything.

  23. Jim McK on 17/07/2012 at 1:59 pm said:

    Thats good enough for me.

    At least we now have a simple spreadsheet model that can easily produce a number and we can examine the spurious adjustments made to get to the number 23.

    I agree with you whole heartedly that the whole caboodle of GWP’s is flawed but while it is still recognised by governments it needs attention.

  24. McKinlay GWP model

    Jim McKinlay has sent me version 4 of his GWP model spreadsheet and asks me to make it available here. I’m very pleased to do so.

    Anybody interested can download the model here from our Downloads folder.

    Now also available from the sidebar.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 18/07/2012 at 9:17 am said:

      Isn’t it the Elrod model?

      Also I get “Not found” at the link above.and at the sidebar.

    • Jim McK on 18/07/2012 at 10:48 am said:

      I agree, however I am pretty sure that Dr Elrod will not appreciate this rearrangement of his model being used to show up IPCC manipulation. Your call Richard T.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 18/07/2012 at 11:25 am said:

      Just a matter of stating that Jim’s model is an adaption of Matthew J. Elrod’s “Greenhouse Warming Potential Model.” and citing this paper that documents it:-

      Greenhouse Warming Potentials from the Infrared Spectroscopy of Atmospheric Gases

      Matthew J. Elrod
      Department of Chemistry, Hope College, Holland, MI 49423
      J. Chem. Educ., 1999, 76 (12), p 1702
      DOI: 10.1021/ed076p1702
      Publication Date (Web): December 1, 1999

  25. McKinlay GWP model

    Let me try this again.

    Jim McKinlay has sent me version 4 of his GWP model spreadsheet and asks me to make it available here. I’m very pleased to do so. The file is now in the right place, and my apologies for the inconvenient 404 errors.

    Readers can download Jim’s latest model from the sidebar.

    Jim’s model is an adaptation of Matthew J. Elrod’s “Greenhouse Warming Potential Model” from Greenhouse Warming Potentials from the Infrared Spectroscopy of Atmospheric Gases, Matthew J. Elrod, J. Chem. Educ., 1999, 76 (12), p 1702. DOI: 10.1021/ed076p1702. Publication Date (Web): December 1, 1999.

    Thanks for your help and advice with this, Jim and RC. Let me know if the citation needs correcting.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 18/07/2012 at 5:04 pm said:

      Bonza RT. The citation’s from the source so I don’t see how there can be any problem and the download links work fine.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 18/07/2012 at 5:29 pm said:

      I’m looking at GWP-modelling-v-4 via Google Docs Jim, so if there’s another sheet other than “Methane 100 yrs” that Docs hasn’t given me can you let me know please.

      I’ll have to look up the rationale for cumulative adjustments because that’s what cranks up the number, but as of now I haven’t got a clue about it.

      From my background, alarm bells always go off when I see anything cumulative (as in the NZT7).

  26. Jim McK on 18/07/2012 at 7:48 pm said:

    Hi Richard,

    I had models with different time horizons for testing but removed them as they a just confusing and IPCC has adopted 100years.

    In the lower table (adjustments removed) you will find that you need to put a half life of 27 years for methane (rather than 7) to get to a GWP of 23. Hence the need to use post calc adjustments.

    The adjustments described in notes above in some cases are averages of the range of possible numbers quoted as Tar 6 doesn’t exactly say the number adopted.

    The main problem is the contrivances around a pulse of methane throwing out the natural balance of OH radicals and therefore lengthening its life. And the adjustment is made twice- we can see that by the use of 12.0 in table 6.7 as discussed earlier. Now methane is more or less steady state this has to be corrected.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 18/07/2012 at 9:12 pm said:

      OK I’ve got it all then, thanks Jim.

      It will take me some time to catch up with your level of understanding of the adjustments because I keep going off on missions (see below) but you’ve given me a head start for what to look for when I do actually get around to the IPCC process in detail.

      I’ve only just started looking beyond v4 as received but I see the major effects in the 2 calcs:-

      Pulse => GWP => GWP (mass)
      Steady => GWP => GWP (mass) including the need to use half life 27 to get GWP 23.

      I set Radiative Efficiency CO2 to the AR4 value of 0.00001413 (CH4 is unchanged at 0.00037, Elrod used 0.000011 for CO2) and get GWP CH4 25.8 vs 25 AR4.

      There’s been a ton of revisions since Myhre et al and TAR e.g. from AR4:-

      Since the TAR, radiative efficiencies have been reviewed by Montzka et al. (2003) and Velders et al. (2005). Gohar et al. (2004) and Forster et al. (2005) investigated HFC compounds,
      with up to 40% differences from earlier published results. Based on a variety of radiative transfer codes, they found that uncertainties could be reduced to around 12% with well-constrained experiments. The HFCs studied were HFC-23, HFC-32, HFC-134a and HFC-227ea. Hurley et al. (2005) studied the infrared spectrum and RF of perfluoromethane (CΩF4) and derived a 30% higher GWP value than given in the TAR. The RF calculations for the GWPs for CH4, N2O and halogen-containing well-mixed greenhouse gases employ the simplified formulas given in Ramaswamy et al. (2001; see Table 6.2 of the TAR).

      I’ve run into a snag in that I can’t load Elrod’s model from his paper into Google Doc’s to get a workable spreadsheet but I have been able to load the data sheet ITS GWP Data. I’ll have to get Excel back up but my computer is bursting at the seems with apps so I’ll have to blow something away. I was going to wait until I get a new machine but that’s on the back burner for a while (sigh).

    • Richard C (NZ) on 19/07/2012 at 12:53 pm said:

      Received Elrod Model (unbundled).xls by email, thanks guys. It’s in Dropbox here:-

      It loads into Google Docs spreadsheet no problem as did the former (bundled) ITS GWP Data so I’m still in the game.

      However, in Elrods paper, the model link is to GWP.xls so we have:-

      ITS GWP Data.xls => Elrod Model (unbundled).xls

      But there’s also,


      It is GWP.xls that I cannot load into Docs and I will have to re-install Excel for. The internet address for GWP.xls is:- (Excel, Version 7.0).

      Or (Mathcad,Version 6.0+)

      Question is: what is the difference between GWP.xls and ITS GWP Data.xls ?

      Until I get Excel back up I don’t know but if you guys can make a comparison via Excel it would speed up the process.

      ITS GWP Data.xls is in Dropbox here:-

    • Richard C (NZ) on 19/07/2012 at 1:01 pm said:

      For some reason the blog wont hyperlink the full Elrod Model (unbundled).xls Dropbox address but if you append “.xls” in the browser address box you should be able to get to it (I can).

    • Richard C (NZ) on 19/07/2012 at 7:00 pm said:

      For the record and for anyone that stumbles on the preceding comments, the 3 model files are:-

      gwp.xls – this is Matthew Elrod’s “Greenhouse Warming Potential Model”

      Elrod Model (unbundled).xls – this is Jim McKinlay’s enhanced and extended interpretation (see the red box ” replicating cf3ch2f ”) of gwp.xls as per Elrod’s aims in his documenting paper linked up-thread and accessible here:-

      ITS GWP Data.xls – this is a bare-bones version of gwp.xls and particularly useless – ignore it.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 19/07/2012 at 7:37 pm said:

      The 4th GWP model titled “McKinlay GWP model” is:-

      GWP-modelling-v-4.xls – this is Jim McKinlay’s very much more useful multipurpose model compiled in a format that demonstrates the sequence of GWP computation that Elrod’s model does not clearly and simply do.

      There are 2 sections:-



      STEADY STATE MODEL – IPCC adjustments removed

      Both sections demonstrate how an initial GWP is massively boosted by subsequent adjustments.

      As accessed, the model will have TAR values e.g Radiative Efficiency CO2 0.01584 but any user can access the latest IPCC values in the most recent Assessment Report and adjust accordingly.

  27. Jim McK on 19/07/2012 at 4:42 pm said:

    Hi Richard C,

    No don’t seem to be able to but If you can see the red box ” replicating cf3ch2f ” which is the unbundling thats fine. Not sure anyone else would be particularly interested.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 19/07/2012 at 6:43 pm said:

      Did you append “,xls” as per my following comment Jim?

      Anyway, I’ve got Excel back up on my system (even tried getting an old version of Mathcad running but couldn’t) and I see the red box ” replicating cf3ch2f ”

      What you’ve done Jim, is fulfilled Elrod’s objective. In his paper he describes how the model is a learning tool for students to fill in the necessary data and in the process, learn a great deal.

      By your doing so you’re way ahead of the rest of us (well me anyway but I’m learning too).

  28. New paper confirms findings of Lindzen & Spencer of very low climate sensitivity to CO2
    A paper under review for Earth System Dynamics uses a novel technique based on satellite data and surface air temperatures to find that global warming due to increased CO2 is is much less than claimed by the IPCC. According to the author, the findings confirm those of Spencer & Braswell and Lindzen & Choi that a doubling of CO2 levels would only lead to an increase in top of the atmosphere temperature of 0.67°C, or global surface temperature of about 0.18°C, instead of the alleged 3°C claimed by IPCC computer models.

    The observations indicate a climate feedback parameter of 5.5 Wm−2 K−1, which is in very close agreement to that found by Spencer and Braswell (2010) of 6 Wm−2 K−1, as well as that found by Lindzen and Choi (2011). A climate feedback parameter of 5.5 Wm−2 K−1 corresponds to global warming at the surface of only [1 Wm-2]/[5.5 Wm−2 K−1] = 0.18 °C per doubling of CO2 levels [or 3.7/5.5 = 0.67°C at the top of the atmosphere], far less than the 3°C global warming claimed by the IPCC.

  29. Andy on 22/10/2013 at 9:33 am said:

    The Rob Wilson thread on Bishop Hill is interesting

    Rob Wilson is a climate scientist who dared to crticise Mann and is now getting blasted by Mann on Twitter

  30. Richard C (NZ) on 22/10/2013 at 8:39 pm said:

    ‘The ocean is broken’

    Nothing could have prepared Ivan Macfadyen for the devastation all around him as he sailed the Pacific.


    They told us that this was just a small fraction of a day’s by-catch. That they were only interested in tuna and everything else was rubbish. It was all killed, all dumped. They just trawled that reef day and night and stripped it of every living thing.”


    ”After we left Japan it felt as if the ocean itself was dead,” Macfadyen says. ”We saw one whale, sort of rolling helplessly on the surface with what looked like a big tumour on its head. I’ve done a lot of miles on the ocean in my life and I’m used to seeing turtles, dolphins, sharks and big flurries of feeding birds. But this time, for 3000 nautical miles, there was nothing alive to be seen.”

    But garbage was everywhere.

    ”Part of it was the aftermath of the tsunami that hit Japan a couple of years ago. The wave came in over the land, picked up an unbelievable load of stuff and carried it out to sea. And it’s still out there, everywhere you look,” Macfadyen says.

    His brother Glenn, who boarded at Hawaii for the run into the US, marvelled at the ”thousands on thousands” of yellow plastic buoys. The huge tangles of synthetic rope, fishing lines and nets. Pieces of polystyrene foam by the million. And slicks of oil and petrol, everywhere. Countless hundreds of wooden power poles are out there, snapped off by the killer wave and still trailing wires in the middle of the sea.

    On other voyages, when their boat was becalmed, the Macfadyens would just crank the motor and chug off. Not this time.

    ”In a lot of places we couldn’t start our motor for fear of entangling the propeller in the mass of pieces of rope and cable. That’s an unheard of situation out in the ocean,” Ivan Macfadyen recalls. ”If we did motor we couldn’t do it at night, only in the daytime with a lookout on the bow, watching for rubbish. In the waters above Hawaii, you could see right down into the depths. I could see that the debris isn’t just on the surface, it’s all the way down. And it’s all sizes, from a soft-drink bottle to pieces the size of a big car or truck. We saw a factory chimney sticking out of the water. ”We were weaving around these pieces of debris. It was like sailing through a garbage tip.”

    Read more:

  31. A fascinating dialogue is developing amongst knowledgeable scientists regards residence time of C14 CO2,,,, (Be sure to read the comments),

  32. Richard C (NZ) on 18/01/2014 at 9:39 am said:

    Good for a giggle.

    ‘Climate change: The case of the missing heat’

    Sixteen years into the mysterious ‘global-warming hiatus’, scientists are piecing together an explanation.

    * Jeff Tollefson, 15 January 2014, Nature | News Feature

    # # #

    First they allude to an alternative explanation for the IPCC’s 1976 and 1998 anthro warming period”,

    Blowing hot and cold

    “An analysis of historical data buttressed these [NCAR’s} conclusions, showing that the cool phase of the PDO coincided with a few decades of cooler temperatures after the Second World War (see ‘The Pacific’s global reach’), and that the warm phase lined up with the sharp spike seen in global temperatures between 1976 and 1998 (ref. 4).”

    Then it’s back to GHGs again for post 1998.

    Heated debate

    “That opens the door, he [Mark Cane, Columbia Univ.] says, to the possibility that warming from greenhouse gases is driving La Niña-like conditions [post 1998] and could continue to do so in the future, helping to suppress global warming. “If all of that is true, it’s a negative feedback, and if we don’t capture it in our models they will overstate the warming,” he says.”

    Can’t wait to find out what these guys discover in the next sixteen years.

  33. Magoo on 20/03/2014 at 10:03 am said:

    Finally some serious questions being asked by some serious climate scientists at the American Physical Society in an open and public forum. I thoroughly encourage everyone to read this:

    About time these question were asked, and we all know the ramifications the answers will have.

    • Magoo, this is a spectacular development. I’m elevating your comment and link to a post so it’s more visible and hope to have time for more comments on it soon. Thank you!

  34. Richard C (NZ) on 02/05/2016 at 4:40 pm said:

    Hansen et al (2005) have an estimate for planetary oceanic thermal inertia (as do others in the literature).

    Here’s a synopsis for the record. The article, and Hansen et al, make a crazy miss-attribution but the point is the lag time between planetary energy input change and atmospheric temperature response:

    Mostly citing the above-linked Science study by Hansen et al Earth’s thermal climate inertia is often quoted as being ’40 years’ [“10 -100 years” – Trenberth]. The study [Hansen et al 2005 – see link in article] says something quite different though. It offers a confidence range between 25 and 50 years – with 37.5 years as most likely value.

    >”a confidence range between 25 and 50 years – with 37.5 years as most likely value”

    I think this is a very realistic estimate, it is longer than some others e.g. Abdussamatov’s 20 yr ocean-only and 14+/-6 land+ocean, and certainly a lot longer than “time constant” experts from other fields (think Electrical Engineers and David Evans N-D Solar Model series – many heated arguments over the oceanic time constant).

    For example, solar change occurred circa 2005 and is continuing. Using Hansen et al’s lag time estimate, we should start looking for a temperature response in the atmosphere starting around 2030.

    In other words, the acid test for the alternative solar conjecture DOES NOT EVEN BEGIN until 2030 according to Hansen et al (2005), contrary to most IPCC solar specialists and thermodynamic illiterates like John Cook’s Skeptical Science blog who demand an almost instantaneous atmospheric temperature response to solar change.

    For what it’s worth (probably nothing), I’m inclined to start looking for a temperature response to solar change over the 2020s i.e. a lag time stating at 20 yrs gives 2005 + 20 = 2025, a little sooner than Hansen et al imply.

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