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The Carbon Flame War
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Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Re: The Carbon Flame War on 06/01/2011 18:07:43 MDT Print View

OK, here the sea surface temperature graph for the southern hemisphere again but with the linear regression for 2000 to 2010 as requested by Jerry.


Still negative. Hmmmm.

But Jerry is right, The trend went up for several centuries from the end of the little ice age in around 1700.

Edited by tallbloke on 06/01/2011 18:12:49 MDT.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: The Carbon Flame War - hurricane season begins today in east usa on 06/01/2011 18:12:46 MDT Print View

The weakening la nina has what affect on hurricane season for Atlantic?

Does this mean late summer, august, winds diminish and then the hurricanes come roaring in to land?

Last few years there were forecasts for bad seasons, but nothing really brutal occurred.

Will be interesting to watch this year's unfold.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: The Carbon Flame War on 06/01/2011 18:43:17 MDT Print View

Things are way more complicated than we understand

It bugs me that global warming proponents claim that if we don't stop CO2 at 350 PPB (or whatever) then we're all doomed. Then if we pass that value and nothing bad happens people will discount global warming warnings

What's undeniable is that CO2 levels are higher than they used to be and it's because of all the coal and oil we've burned. And other greenhouse gasses.

Now we are in a grand science experiment. It may take 100s of years to play out. Maybe the changes will be easy for us to work around. Maybe we're doomed.

It seems like we should at least be doing the easy things like efficiency, subsidizing alternate energy to see if that will be cost effective,... And quit subsidizing coal and oil.

David T
(DaveT) - F
nah. on 06/01/2011 18:49:17 MDT Print View

> Now we are in a grand science experiment. It may take 100s of years to play out. Maybe the changes will be easy for us to work around. Maybe we're doomed. It seems like we should at least be doing the easy things like efficiency, subsidizing alternate energy to see if that will be cost effective. And quit subsidizing coal and oil.

Now you are just being reasonable, and there is no place for reason in this thread.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: nah. on 06/01/2011 18:58:01 MDT Print View


Rog, could you re-do the regression for 2008 to 2010?

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

The ENSO effect on 06/02/2011 01:50:23 MDT Print View

Hi Jerry, a two year regression? Sure I can do it, but what does it say beyond the fact that the 2008 La Nina was colder than the 2009-2010 El Nino? I appreciate you are just making the point that it is possible to 'cherry pick' start and end points on linear regressions to suit your own pet theory, but consider this:

We've already seen that the decadal regression from the trough of the La Nina following the 1998 super El Nino to the peak of the 2010 El nino is negative. Eyballing the data, you thought that would be a positive warming slope. It isn't. I'm sure you'll agree that this tells us something about the underlying trend since the start of the C21st.

This is in contrast to the effect of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) during the warming period from the mid '70's to the turn of the millenium, when El Nino was stronger than La Nina, and the released oceanic heat was resulting in upward step changes in global temperature.

I believe there is an underlying reason for that, and it has less to do with co2 than with the solar contribution to climate change. In a nutshell (heh!), here's my hypothesis. I hope you find the time to plough through it:

1) Downwelling longwave radiation from greenhouse gases (mostly water vapour, plus co2) can't penetrate the ocean surface beyond it's own wavelength. This is well known physics. But the assumption has been that the warming of the surface by this longwave 'back radiation' is 'mixed down' into the ocean. This is incorrect. When pushed, the physics people supporting the idea of co2 driven warming say that rather then 'back radiation' warming the ocean, the effect of additional co2 is to raise the altitude at which the bulk of radiation to space takes place at. This will have the effect of 'thickening the blanket' and hence causing the ocean to cool at a slower rate than the rate energy from the sun enters it, causing warming. However, I've done the calcs, and the extra height comes to about 150-200m. This isn't going to make a big enough difference to account for the amount that the ocean warmed from 1980 to 2003.

2) According to data gathered from weather satellites, and measurements of how much of the sunlight hitting Earth gets reflected onto the moon, cloud cover, particularly in the tropics, reduced from 1980 to 1998, and then started increasing again. This allowed more sunlight to get to the ocean (and land) surfaces. Unlike 'back radiation' from greenhouse gases, the radiative energies in sunshine penetrate deep into the ocean (up to 150m) and transfer their energy into the seawater. At those depths, wave action, internal currents and tidal flows mix the energy well down into the briny, creating a relatively linear dropoff in temperature from the near surface waters down to the thermocline, between 35m in the tropics, down to 1000m in the higher latitudes. it is this increase in ocean temperature which has caused around half the sea level rise since 1980, due to thermal expansion. The surface temperature of the ocean (70% of Earth's surface) has risen in proportion to the increased ocean heat content (OHC) in the upper 700m, maybe deeper.

3) The surface of the ocean is on average several degrees warmer than the near surface atmosphere. On average, about 65 Watts of energy per square meter is being transferred from the ocean to the atmosphere. The sea surface temperature (SST) thus drives the atmospheric temperature, notwithstanding the relatively small amount of solar radiation absorbed directly by the water vapour and co2. The dominance of the ocean is easily demonstrated by comparing time series of SST and near surface air temperature. The changes in air temperature lag behind changes in SST by several months globally. The ocean contains as much energy in the top two meters as the entire atmosphere above it. This is because the specific heat capacity of water is much, MUCH higher than air. The ocean drives the atmosphere, the tail does not wag the dog.

4) The big uncertainty in climate science is the overall feedback from clouds. High cloud holds heat in at night and makes things warmer. Low cloud blocks sunlight out and makes things colder during the day. Proponents of the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis (AGW) are convinced the overall cloud feedback is positive, and that warmer temperatures mean more evaporation and clouds, trapping heat in - a positive feedback. This is the only way they can get the co2 driven model to work. Co2 on its own isn't enough, there has to be a positive feedback from water vapour and clouds. That's one of the reasons I posted the article about the Murray Darling basin above. Empirical work done by renegade climate scientists such as Dr Roy Spencer and Professor Dick Lindzen empirically find the opposite from satellite data - that cloud feedback is negative, and predominantly cools the Earth down by reflecting sunlight out. Logically, if cloud and water vapour feedback was strongly positive, the Earth's climate system would be inherently unstable, and the oceans would have boiled 550 million years ago when co2 levels were twenty times higher than now.

5) The AGW proponents say the Sun can't be responsible for late C20th global warming because the amplitude of the solar cycles has been diminishing since the late 1950's. There are several problems with this view. Firstly, although the peaks of the solar cycles have been getting lower, the cycles were shorter than average (around 10 years rather than the 11 year average) and the upramps and downramps were steep, and the minima between them brief. This means the average sunspot number over the period about 70 was well above the longterm average of around 40. What I have discovered, is that by making empirical comparisons between SST and the sunspot number (SSN), we find that there is a consistent relationship between the sunspot number and ocean surface temperature. This means two things: Firstly, there is a relationship between solar activity levels and cloud cover, since small changes in cloud cover make a much bigger difference to the amount of sunlight hitting the ocean than solar variation does. Secondly, there must be a level of solar activity, as indicated by the sunspot number, at which the ocean neither cools nor warms. I have empirically determined this to be around the same value as the long term average sunspot number, about 40SSN. Another problem with the 'solar cycles diminishing since the '50's argument is that Dr Leif Svalgaard (NASA) has used solar magnetic records (derived from geomagnetic records) to determine that Waldmeier, who was in charge of counting the sunspots from 1945 until the mid '80's was overcounting by around 20%. Correcting this flattens the alleged drop in solar activity a lot.

6) Recently, some experiments have been done at Aarhus in Denmark, and at CERN in Switzerland, which support Henrik Svensmark's hypothesis that solar activity levels affects the number of cosmic rays getting into Earth's lower atmosphere and seeding clouds. More active sun, stronger solar wind, less cosmic rays reaching Earth. I have discovered that there is a close correlation between solar activity levels and the specific humidity level up near the tropopause. This will have a bigger effect on the altitude at which radiation of heat to space from Earth occurs at than changes of the atmospheric concentration of co2 from 0.027% to 0.039% will. High altitude specific humidity has been falling since the late 50's in proportion to the drop in the peak amplitude of the solar cycles. Hungarian physicist Ferenc Miscolzci has determined that the overall optical depth of the atmosphere has stayed pretty much constant, and so the reduction in specific humidity at higher altitude has been matched by an increase at lower altitudes - more lower cloud now the sun has gone quiet. All this means that the solar signal is amplified by terrestrial mechanisms, and indeed this has been shown empirically by Professor Nir Shaviv, who used the oceans as a calorimeter to determine the size of this amplification.
However, this amplification is masked in the surface temperature record because of the phasing of ENSO, el nino's build during solar cycles and release their energy into the atmosphere when the sun is at minimum, La Nina's often occur near solar maximum. There has been a big El Nino following solar minimum for the last 5 cycles at least. This has helped lead to the facile (and incorrect) conclusion that the Sun's variation doesn't affect climate much.

7) All the foregoing leads me to two principal conclusions:

c1)Late C20th Global warming was caused by the Sun, not human emitted co2.

c2) It's going to get colder, since the sun entered a long minimum in 2005 and shows no signs of getting lively again yet. However, the oceans will continue to kick out heat into the atmosphere for quite a while yet, because a lot of additional heat was stored in them while the sun was more active than average in the latter half of the C20th. This will happen in the form of El Nino's such as the one we had last year, but rather than the El Nino's causing an upward step change in global temperature which remains after the El Nino's have finished, as happened in the 1975-2003 period while the sun was more active than average, they will be followed by La Nina's which take the global temperature lower, as ocean heat content diminishes.

To test my hypothesis, I'll make the following prediction:

The current small recovery in temperature following La Nina will be short lived, and global surface temperature will fall again, dropping to below January 2008 levels sometime in the next 6-10 months. This is risky, because ocean dynamics are poorly understood, and no-one knows how much or how fast the accumulated heat in them will be released. So, we will see. If the prediction fails, it isn't a fatal blow to my hypothesis, but a rethink on temperature stratification in the deep will be in order.

George: Cold years are windier years, batten down the hatches.

Dave T: Naff off, you haven't made a useful contribution to this thread yet, and it doesn't look like you are about to start.


Edited by tallbloke on 06/02/2011 03:16:35 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: The ENSO effect on 06/02/2011 07:48:54 MDT Print View

Rog - actually my point was to support Dave's idea that we're not reasonable : )

and that 2008 was colder than 2009, like you said.

any changes in weather due to CO2 are exceeded by a bunch of effects we don't understand, as in your 6 points above, which are quite interesting by the way

like, I don't think there's any agreed upon cause of ice ages

however, in the next hundred years or so there may be huge effects of the increased CO2. and there may be a long delay from when the CO2 is increased to when the climate changes, and if we stopped emitting CO2 there may be a long delay before the climate recovers.

Let's say in a hundred years catastophic changes start happening. People will say how selfish we were in the early 2000s not to do something when it would have made a difference.

Or maybe we will adapt okay here in the U.S. but a bunch of poor countries will become buried in water and there will be huge famines. Is it fair that we tool around in our large cars, doing all sorts of unnecesary trips, building large houses, unaware of how we could put windows on the South side to save energy, burning huge amounts of coal to preserve a bunch of companies that are making money rather than switching to alternate energy that isn't totally practical now but would be if we prioritized its development,....

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Re: The ENSO effect on 06/02/2011 10:06:54 MDT Print View

Hi Jerry,

I lead a frugal lifestyle myself and try to lead by example in ways to use appropriate technology and utilise local resources, grow food etc. My motivation in trying to get people to see that the co2 driven climate theory is wrong is not that I want to justify profligate use of dirty energy, but simply that I want to defend science from the onslaught of illogic, data manipulation and PR hype.

There is no 'heat in the pipeline' from co2. Where can it hide? The top of atmosphere energy balance went into negative territory a few years ago. The ocean heat content data shows the global ocean is cooling. Kevin Trenberth gnashes his teeth over the 'missing heat' in his numerical models and calls it a 'travesty' that we can't find it.

Its a chimaera. 'Missing heat' is the residual consequence of a failed theory.

Regarding ice ages: Give this paper a try, it's very readable.

In Defense of Milankovitch
Gerard Roe
GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 33, L24703, doi:10.1029/2006GL027817, 200
Received 9 August 2006; accepted 3 November 2006; published 21 December 2006

Edited by tallbloke on 06/02/2011 10:18:04 MDT.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: The ENSO effect on 06/02/2011 11:02:30 MDT Print View

Rog, Thanks for taking the time and effort to lay out your hypothesis and prediction.
You provide a excellent alternative view for us. Whether readers agree or not, we need to look beyond the 'concensus'. IMO the current situation smacks of scientific history repeating itself yet again. I encourage you to keep up your good work and keep on fighting!

Weather, Hurricanes, and Light Backpacking

Back in 2004 I began my journey to lighten my backpack. On my first multiday attempt with my new gear: GoLite Breeze, Equinox tarp, mini Trangia 28, Thermarest prolite 3 short, Lafuma warm n light 600(laugh, but keep in mind that was 7 years ago). My plan was to hike the AT through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The trek started great. Moving fast and feeling good. But hurricane Frances swung easterly and intersected with my path. Frances won and I hightailed it out of there.

Since then I've always been attentive to the hurricane season especially as it relates to backpacking in the eastern USA.

Was interesting to learn that 2004 brought three storms throught the Smokies.

The trio actually cleared the air there. Amazing to see Mother Nature reset the air to how it should be. Of course, that didn't last long. But She has plenty of ammo I believe.

For 2011...

Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the six-month season, which begins June 1, NOAA is predicting the following ranges this year:

12 to 18 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which:

6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including:

3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher)

Each of these ranges has a 70 percent likelihood, and indicate that activity will exceed the seasonal average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

“The United States was fortunate last year. Winds steered most of the season’s tropical storms and all hurricanes away from our coastlines,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “However we can’t count on luck to get us through this season. We need to be prepared, especially with this above-normal outlook.”

Climate factors considered for this outlook are:

The continuing high activity era. Since 1995, the tropical multi-decadal signal has brought ocean and atmospheric conditions conducive for development in sync, leading to more active Atlantic hurricane seasons.

Warm Atlantic Ocean water. Sea surface temperatures where storms often develop and move across the Atlantic are up to two degrees Fahrenheit warmer-than-average.

La Niña, which continues to weaken in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, is expected to dissipate later this month or in June, but its impacts such as reduced wind shear are expected to continue into the hurricane season.

“In addition to multiple climate factors, seasonal climate models also indicate an above-normal season is likely, and even suggest we could see activity comparable to some of the active seasons since 1995,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: The ENSO effect on 06/02/2011 11:59:52 MDT Print View


It's not that there's heat in the pipeline, but that it takes a long time for the CO2 to go back to normal levels.

And while there's a high level of CO2, the climate may be slowly changing

Do you ackhowledge that CO2 is at a higher level than in the last 1000s of years?

And it's due to us burning coal and oil?

And we don't know what the effect of this will be?

But it's possible the changes could be major?

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Ayn Rand,Silicon Valley, Rise of Machines, Financial Crisis, Monica on 06/02/2011 13:52:17 MDT Print View

this has gotta have the answers to all of our questions...

All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace
by Alex Tabarrok on June 2, 2011 at 7:31 am in Books, Education, Film

All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace, is a hallucinatory BBC documentary that hyperwarps across continents and through time to draw shadowy connections between Ayn Rand, Silicon Valley, the “rise of the machines”, anarchism, the financial crisis and the Monica Lewinsky scandal. (Need, I add and much more!?) Incongruous images and a surreal soundtrack give it a Lynchian feel. Not your usual documentary. Evaluated as a whole, it’s madness but delicious madness.

David T
(DaveT) - F
thyself. on 06/02/2011 14:03:03 MDT Print View

> Dave T: Naff off, you haven't made a useful contribution to this thread yet, and it doesn't look like you are about to start.

Physician, heal thyself!

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Re: The ENSO effect on 06/02/2011 14:42:49 MDT Print View

Hi Jerry. The problem is, no-one knows what a 'normal' level for co2 is. The way co2 levels are determined from ice cores is fraught with experimental and calibration problems, and the gas diffusion which takes place within the firn as the ice forms means multi-decadal variations get 'smoothed' out. Before this was recognised, climate scientists thought the pre-historic climate was a stable thing. Nothing could be further from the truth. Big ups and downs of 5C or more in the space of decades were common, much bigger than the slow and mild 1.5C warming in 300 years we have seen.

I humbly suggest to you that 390ppm isn't a big deal, since we had levels as high as 8000ppm 550m years ago while life boomed in the permian era. Co2 is actually at a historically low level, compared to most of the history of the planet since aerobic lifeforms ousted the sulfur breathers a couple of billion years ago.

Given the length of time it takes for co2 to cycle through the oceans, it's even possible that a large part of the modern atmospheric increase is due to the medieval warm period ~1000 years ago, coupled with the modern human sources.

That said, I chose to lead an energy frugal lifestyle, so that if my theory turned out to be wrong, I could still feel good that I did the right thing in practice. As time passes, I'm increasingly sure that I'm correct, and new science is confirming my own studies all the time now.

So, to your questions:

Do you ackhowledge that CO2 is at a higher level than in the last 1000s of years?

No, may have been higher in the medieval warm period and holocene optimum. No-one knows.

And it's due to us burning coal and oil?

Partly. Could be a longterm natural cycle coinciding with modern emissions.

And we don't know what the effect of this will be?

Higher co2 levels are beneficial to plants (less water needed, rapid growth) and harmless to animals. What other allegedly possible affects are you concerned about?

But it's possible the changes could be major?

What changes do you have in mind?

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Ayn Rand,Silicon Valley, Rise of Machines, Financial Crisis, Monica on 06/02/2011 14:54:22 MDT Print View

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: The ENSO effect on 06/02/2011 15:45:01 MDT Print View

I think that ignoring ice core CO2 level estimates is wrong

It doesn't matter if there is multi-decadal smoothing, long term trends are what's important

I think you just acknowledged that it's at least possible that CO2 levels are higher now than in the last 10,000s of years and it's due to burning oil and coal.

As CO2 levels continue to rise and don't go back to "normal levels" at what point will you acknowledge this is real???

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: The ENSO effect on 06/02/2011 16:14:09 MDT Print View

> As CO2 levels continue to rise and don't go back to "normal levels"

But is there such a thing as a 'normal' level? Given that the geological record shows huge swings all the time, I have to wonder.

Perhaps part of the problem may be that many people have simply looked at the last few hundred years and assumed they represent 'normal' for the planet. But in the context of the last few million years of planetary evolution, that has to be seen as unrealistic.

Frankly, I would be far more worried about the looming water crises in India and China (and the W coast of America too).


Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Re: Re: Ayn Rand,Silicon Valley, Rise of Machines, Financial Crisis, Monica on 06/02/2011 16:23:51 MDT Print View

Thanks George, I've just watched the first 5 mins. I'll see the rest tomorrow. I have no TV here, so I'd missed this.

Jerry: Fair's fair. You need to answer my questions too.

Edited by tallbloke on 06/02/2011 16:29:19 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The ENSO effect on 06/02/2011 16:29:36 MDT Print View

" (and the W coast of America too). "

In the short term, we are up to our knees in water right now, and the snowpack in the mountains has only begun to melt.


jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The ENSO effect on 06/02/2011 16:34:10 MDT Print View

For example, Scientific American August 2007 has a plot for the last 10,000 years

CO2 level less than 280 PPM

Then the last few decades it's gone up to 380 PPM (as of 2005)

I don't know how worried we should be

There are examples of cultures that were successful but then collapsed because of environmental changes - like in Iraq the soil became saturated with salt, or in South America something happened to make the soil infertile I forget the story. We have only glimpses of these collapses.

It just seems like we shouldn't ignore this until catastrophy start to happen.

I agree, water is another problem, we have to be able to rub our stomach and pat our head at the same time, while chewing bubble gum and hopping on one foot...

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
re on 06/02/2011 16:34:54 MDT Print View

just doing my best to push this to 100