Not Worried About CO2

 

Update May 25 below.

We should all know what Alfred E. Neuman knows, namely: Where does all that CO2 come from? Here is the answer from engineer Ronald Voisin.

Excerpts below are from An Engineer’s Take On Major Climate Change

Figure 3 outlines the primary sources of natural CO2 release in decreasing order of quantity of carbon emitted: oceanic release, microbial decay, insect activity, frozen terrestrial release; volcanic release; forest fire and then mammalia exhalations and emissions – summing to a total of ~325-485 petagrams (PgC). Then there is our ~2.0% anthropogenic release at ~8-9 petagrams. (Based on terrestrial sources alone, without oceans, anthropogenic release is ~3-4% of the natural flux. Some argue that the oceans are net absorbers and ignore the oceanic release estimate below. However, according to the hypothesis presented herein the oceans are net emitters as indicated below when warmed by ~0.5C per century).

These natural sources all correlate to global temperature (including, at the least, terrestrial volcanism, as recently verified). When the Earth gets warm, for whatever reason, these natural sources all kick-in together to contribute vast quantities of CO2; and to produce the observed habitual atmospheric CO2 spikes upward. Conversely, when the Earth gets cold, for whatever reason, they all go into remission together; naturally and (generally) coherently to produce a consequential reduction in atmospheric CO2. Each spike or dip in CO2 follows temperature with a lag time averaging 800 years, but proportional to the level and magnitude at which the temperature swings take place.

It is extraordinarily difficult to imagine that these natural sources are not at play during this current period of warming. They most likely are the primary cause of the currently observed CO2 spike. And yes, we humans, as co-inhabitants of this Earth, are emitting CO2. But so are microbes and insects emitting. And each of them is emitting with ~10 times our current anthropogenic emission. In both cases (microbes and insects) there is every reason to believe that their populations are geometrically exploding in this current highly favorable environment to their existence. The recently warming oceans are most likely the largest emitter of all.

Atmospheric CO2 is spiking just now. And we have good reason to believe that it is largely, essentially entirely doing so for all the same reasons it has done so within each and every prior warming period of the past. All natural sources of CO2 emission are currently revved-up and in high gear during this extended interglacial. Approximately 98% of the current spike is natural while we add our anthropogenic 2%.

We also have reason to believe that the current spike would be as large, or larger, than now observed, if we humans were never here at all. Why? Because those organisms that would otherwise be here in our stead would most likely emit much more CO2 than we are. i.e. We humans have chosen to systematically limit the proliferation of micro-organisms and insects in the land we use for cultivation and occupation – which represents about 1/3rd of all land. And in the other 2/3rds of all land, microbes and insects are each estimated to emit ~10 times our anthropogenic emission (insects alone outnumber humans >>10,000,000,000:1 – enough to fill several large dumpsters per person).

The relative contribution from microbe and insect emissions would have gone up significantly if we were never here (by a very rough factor of up to 1.5*). They would have filled our void geometrically; unlike our anthropogenic contribution. When we humans get rich, we uniquely self-limit our proliferation, by deciding to have fewer children. And our human emission pales in comparison to the emission from these astronomically vast numbers of other organisms. So if we were never here, greatly enhanced populations of microbes and insects would be emitting many times our anthropogenic emission from the very land that we systematically exclude them from. This situation most likely characterizes the events within prior interglacials.

Summary

1. Climate science is very complicated and very far from being settled.

2. Earth’s climate is overwhelmingly dominated by negative-feedbacks that are currently poorly represented in our Modeling efforts and not sufficiently part of ongoing investigations.

3. Climate warming drives atmospheric CO2 upward as it stimulates all natural sources of CO2 emission. Climate cooling drives atmospheric CO2 downward.

4. Massive yet delayed thermal modulations to the dissolved CO2 content of the oceans is what ultimately drives and dominates the modulations to atmospheric CO2.

5. The current spike in atmospheric CO2 is largely natural (~98%). i.e. Of the 100ppm increase we have seen recently (going from 280 to 380ppm), the move from 280 to 378ppm is natural while the last bit from 378 to 380ppm is rightfully anthropogenic.

6. The current spike in atmospheric CO2 would most likely be larger than now observed if human beings had never evolved. The additional CO2 contribution from insects and microbes (and mammalia for that matter) would most likely have produced a greater current spike in atmospheric CO2.

7. Atmospheric CO2 has a tertiary to non-existent impact on the instigation and amplification of climate change. CO2 is not pivotal. Modulations to atmospheric CO2 are the effect of climate change and not the cause.

Ronald D Voisin is a retired engineer. He spent 27 years in the Semiconductor Lithography Equipment industry mostly in California’s Silicon Valley. Since retiring, he has made a hobby of studying climate change for the last 7 years. Ron received a BSEE degree from the Univ. of Michigan – Ann Arbor in 1978 and has held various management positions at both established equipment companies and start-ups he helped initiate. Ron has authored/co-authored 55 patent applications, 24 of which have issued.

Footnote:  Voisin’s article was published in 2013, the facts still overlooked and ignored.

Update May 25

Robert Kernodle provided this chart recently in a separate comment thread.

Those patterns indicate that over millennial time scales, atmospheric CO2 appears as a natural negative feedback to planetary warmer periods.  As warming stimulates natural sources, CO2 rises, and after many centuries of delay, temperatures cool down.  Ironically, scientists in the 1950s and 60s who raised concerns about a coming ice age maybe had a truer sense of how CO2 is related to climate.  Of course, even then they exaggerated the effect of humanity’s 2% contribution, overemphasized decadal fluctuations and mistook CO2 as the cause rather than the effect of warming periods.

April Pause in Ocean Cooling

 

Ocean temperature measurements come from a global array of 3,500 Argo floats and other ocean sensors. Credits: Argo Program, Germany/Ifremer

April Sea Surface Temperatures are now available, and we can see a pause in the downward trajectory over the previous 13 months.

HadSST is generally regarded as the best of the global SST data sets, and so the temperature story here comes from that source, the latest version being HadSST3.

The chart below shows the last two years of SST monthly anomalies as reported in HadSST3 including April 2017.

In April 2017, the SH appears to be entering its cooler phase, while both the tropics and NH ticked upward from March, causing the Global anomaly to rise for the fourth month in a row.  The downward momentum has stopped, except now the SH (mostly ocean) has started down from a lower peak than a year ago.  It was the SH that was pulling up the Global average the previous three months.   The Tropics and NH may or may not start a new warming cycle, depending upon the appearance of El Nino.

Note that higher temps in 2015 and 2016 were first of all due to a sharp rise in Tropical SST, beginning in March 2015, peaking in January 2016, and steadily declining back to its beginning level. Secondly, the Northern Hemisphere added two bumps on the shoulders of Tropical warming, with peaks in August of each year. Also, note that the global release of heat was not dramatic, due to the Southern Hemisphere offsetting the Northern one.

Satellite measures of the air over the oceans give a similar result.  The graph below provides UAH vs.6 TLT (lower troposphere temps) over the oceans confirming the impression from SSTs.

Once again it is the Tropical and NH oceans that drove the warming that peaked a year ago.  SH  moderated the Global averages, though the air temps over the oceans are more synchronized than is the case with SSTs. Note how in April all anomalies converged on 0.3C.

We have seen lots of claims about the temperature records for 2016 and 2015 proving dangerous man made warming.  At least one senator stated that in a confirmation hearing.  Yet HadSST3 data for the last two years show how obvious is the ocean’s governing of global average temperatures.

The best context for understanding these two years comes from the world’s sea surface temperatures (SST), for several reasons:

  • The ocean covers 71% of the globe and drives average temperatures;
  • SSTs have a constant water content, (unlike air temperatures), so give a better reading of heat content variations;
  • A major El Nino was the dominant climate feature these years.

Solar energy accumulates massively in the ocean and is variably released during circulation events.

 

Climate Policies Failure

Primum non nocere” means “First, Do No Harm.”

Medical practitioners know this principle, the closest approximation in the Hippocratic corpus coming from Epidemics: “The physician must be able to tell the antecedents, know the present, and foretell the future – must mediate these things, and have two special objects in view with regard to disease, namely, to do good or to do no harm.”

Every intervention has consequences by which its success is measured. Effectiveness regards the quality of outcomes: Good things happened, Nothing happened, or Bad things happened. Of course, it may be a mixed bag in which the net must be weighed.

In addition, efficiency is considered (“evidence-based” in today’s jargon): It was worth it, It was not worth it, or It was worse than doing nothing. Both attainment of intended consequences, and collateral, unintended damages bear on the judgment.

More and more in the nations “leading on climate change” people are starting to question the actions of policymakers. Recently Robert Lyman, Ottawa Energy policy analyst presented on the theme: Can Canada Survive Climate Change Policy? From Friends of Science

It must indeed seem strange that someone would wonder about the effects of the policies now proposed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as though the policies themselves are the threat. And yet they are.

I am not here to address the issue of how much human-related greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to increased concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere nor on the sensitivity of global temperatures and climate to the increases in those concentrations over time. There are others here far more qualified than I to discuss that.

Instead, I want to discuss the policy and program measures that the people of Canada and other countries, especially in the industrialized world, are being urged to adopt and what will be the implications of those policies and programs.

Edmonton one winter night.

Canada is the second largest country in the world, sparsely populated,
with vast transportation needs. We withstand long, cold winters featuring
short days, extremely low temperatures and lots of snow. Our energy and
resource industries would be penalized for providing the 
valuable materials
the rest of the world demands and uses.

The article goes into the history of how we all, including Canada got to this point. Then comes this.

Ladies and gentlemen, these commitments are just the beginning, the mere “foot in the door” for the more radical demands that lie ahead. We are still bound in principle to reduce Canadian GHG emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2050. The U.N still wants us to “show leadership” by reducing emissions by 80% from 2010 levels by 2050. A number of environmental groups in Canada and other countries have recently endorsed the Wind, Water and Sunlight, or WWS, vision. This vision seeks completely to eliminate the use of all fossils fuels – coal, oil, and natural gas – in the world by 2050. The New Democratic Party’s LEAP Manifesto endorses this vision, as does the Green Party and most of Canada’s influential environmental organizations. The government of Ontario also has formally committed the province to this vision. So have a number of large Canadian municipal governments.

In practice, consumers pay twice, once for the (expensive) renewable
generation and then for the capital costs of the backup thermal plants.

How can we even begin to understand the magnitude of the changes being proposed? One way is to look at the sources of energy consumption and related emissions today. In 2005, Canadian emissions were 738 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. In 2014, after six years of the worst recession since the Great Depression, Canadians emitted less, 722 megatonnes. Twenty-six per cent of those emissions were from oil and gas production, 23 per cent were from transportation, and roughly equal portions of around 10 per cent were from electricity generation, buildings, industry and agriculture, with waste and other sources making up a residual 7 per cent. Assuming that emissions do not grow one bit over the next 32 years as a result of increased economic activity or increased population, achieving a 50 per cent emissions reduction from 2005 levels would mean reducing emissions to 369 megatonnes CO2 equivalent. That is comparable to completely eliminating the current emissions from oil and gas production, electricity generation, and all emissions-intensive industries like mining, petrochemicals, auto and parts manufacturing, iron, steel and cement. Gone. Achieving the aspirational goal of 80 per cent reduction recommended by the IPCC would mean reducing emissions to 147 megatonnes CO2 equivalent. That would be comparable to reducing Canada’s per capita emissions and our energy economy to the current levels of Bolivia, Sudan or Iraq. (original bold)

Which benefits would be achieved by incurring such costs?

Despite all the rhetoric about reducing world carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion and gas flaring, according to the U.S. Carbon dioxide information analysis center, they rose steadily from 16.6 Gigatonnes carbon dioxide equivalent in 1973 to 34.1 Gigatonnes in 2014. So, they more than doubled over that timeframe. Importantly, though, the origins of the emissions changed significantly. In 1973, the countries of the organization for economic cooperation and development, or OECD, accounted for two-thirds of global CO2 emissions from fuel combustion; by 2014, the OECD share had declined to just over a third. So all, or almost all, of the emissions growth occurred outside of the OECD.

So, we have two sharply different perspectives of the future, the EIA’s projections of what probably will happen and the aspirations of the U.N. and many environmental groups as to what in their view should happen. Reducing emissions by 50% by 2050 to meet the U.N.’s vision would mean a global total of about 16 Gigatonnes, in contrast to the EIA’s projection of 43 Gigatonnes (Gt). The OECD countries – the United States, Canada, most of Europe, Japan, Australia and others – could eliminate 100% of their projected emissions of 14 Gt, and the world would still be over its target by 13 Gt.

A Tangled Pile of Wasteful Climate Programs

There is not in Canada a comprehensive list of the measures that have been implemented by all orders of government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They have been increasing in number, reach and cost since 1988. I counted 37 different generic types of measures now in use. Large bureaucracies exist to design, implement, and (less frequently) evaluate these measures. They stretch like the tentacles of some vast octopus across every aspect of the Canadian economy and touch everyone’s life. As no one has ever established an inventory of the measures now in place or of those under consideration, no one knows how much these measures already cost Canadians. Two things are certain – they cost billions of dollars annually, and they are not going away soon, regardless of the taxes imposed on carbon. I might add a third certainty, which is that the government will continue to develop and implement more and more programs and regulations as time goes on.

Let me remind you of the conclusions reached by the federal government’s own monitor of program effectiveness, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development.  Starting in 1998, the commissioner began to critique the government’s approach to managing emission reduction measures. In the seven reports that followed, there were five consistent themes.

  • First, the government has not created effective governance structures for managing climate change activities. In fact, there have been weaknesses in horizontal governance across departments, accountability and coordination.
  • Second, there has been, and remains, no overall implementation plan. The government has produced no estimate of the emission reductions expected from each sector. Without an implementation plan, industry, consumers and other levels of government lack a solid basis for knowing how to apply technology or make investment decisions.
  • Third, as a result, Canada cannot determine whether the targets for emissions reduction already announced will be met or how much it will cost to do so.
  • Fourth, there are few mechanisms in place to measure the performance of the emission-reduction measures that have been implemented so far.
  • Fifth, the federal and provincial governments do poorly in coordinating their approaches to emissions reduction.

I agree that we need an honest dialogue about climate change mitigation. It should start with the recognition that governments to date have publicly embraced emission reduction targets that are unachievable with present technology and at acceptable economic costs. We should acknowledge that we as a society have multiple goals of which environmental quality, however important one might think it is, represents only one. If we value our prosperity and unity as a federal, geographically diverse country, we must approach the climate change issue with a respect for all our collective goals.

Much of Canada’s current political elite favours the pursuit of international goals over the steadfast promotion of the Canadian interest, whether on issues of trade, security or the environment. Never before, however, have we faced a situation in which commitment to an international objective may well impose enormous and divisive costs on Canada for no discernable global environmental benefit. Climate change thus offers a clear dichotomy between the Canadian national interest and the global environmental agenda.

Carbon Taxes Pound Canada Economy

 

Canadian Inflation Jumps As Carbon Taxes Come Into Force

Globe and Mail:
Canadian inflation spiked to its highest rate in more than two years in January, as new carbon taxes in Alberta and Ontario fuelled a surge in gasoline prices.

Statistics Canada reported that the consumer price index was up 2.1 per cent year over year in January, the fastest pace since October, 2014, and up sharply from 1.5 per cent in December. It said gasoline prices were up 20.6 per cent from a year earlier, the biggest increase since September, 2011. The increase reflected the introduction of a carbon tax in Alberta and a cap-and-trade carbon pricing system in Ontario, both of which came into effect on Jan. 1, as well as higher crude-oil prices, which lifted fuel costs nationwide.

From StatsCan April Report:

Transportation costs rose 4.2% over the 12-month period ending in April, after increasing 4.6% in March. This deceleration was led by the purchase of passenger vehicles index, which rose less on a year-over-year basis in April than in March. Gasoline prices posted a 15.9% year-over-year increase in April, slightly larger than the 15.2% rise registered in March.

Losses persist in oil and gas

The oil and gas extraction industry reported an operating loss of $2.2 billion in the fourth quarter, down from the $3.3 billion loss in the third quarter. This was the eighth consecutive quarterly loss for the oil and gas extraction industry.

And that is just for starters.

Get ready for Trudeau’s carbon tax on everything

Toronto Sun, May 19, 2017:
The Trudeau Liberals are moving forward with their national carbon tax scheme, or, what Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall calls “one of the largest tax increases in Canadian history.”

In typical governing fashion, the Liberals are trying to downplay the devastating economic consequences of the tax. They’re trying to disguise the very fact that this is a tax hike.

It’s not a carbon tax, it’s a “behaviour-changing measure,” said one government official.

His plan will force the provinces to tax each tonne of carbon emitted, as well as to hike taxes on gasoline by at least 11 cents per litre. Keep in mind that taxes on gasoline already make up 36% of the existing price at the pump.

That isn’t enough for our tax-hungry government, so they want to impose a 25% tax hike on fuel.

The whole scheme is designed to subsidize so-called clean energy.

But compared to the world’s largest sources of carbon emissions, places that coincidentally have the lowest environmental standards – China, Russia, India – Canada’s entire economy would be considered “clean energy.”

Next to the world’s biggest emitters, we’re an environmental marvel.

Despite being an advanced and developed country, and having some of the world’s largest proven oil reserves, Canada only makes up 1.6% of global emissions.

Any reductions in Canadian emissions caused by the Trudeau tax grab will immediately be erased by China’s booming coal industry and its refusal to impose the kind of job-killing carbon tax schemes being sold by the Trudeau Liberals.

There will be no positive impact on the environment, but the effect on our pocketbook will be concrete and measurable.

Figures vary by household and province, but by 2022, it’s estimated the average Canadian family will face a carbon tax bill of about $2,500 per year.

There’s a reason a carbon tax is called ‘a tax on everything.’

Extra Icy Arctic in May

Image from earth:nullschool showing arctic wind patterns. This is the link to the animated display:
https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-17.87,70.69,1132/loc=3.799,67.645

In May Arctic ice continues to be more extensive than recently.  As previously reported, central and Atlantic sea ice is above decadal averages.  The image below shows surprising growth since day 120 (April 30), with a pause the last few days.

Things are different on the Pacific side where Bering in particular has melted ahead of schedule, and now extending in Chukchi sea, inside the actual Arctic basin.

The graph below shows how in recent days 2017 NH ice extents have grown above average, even including the exceptionally low amounts of ice in the Pacific, Bering in particular.

Note that as of day 138, yesterday, 2017 NH ice was 150k km2 above average, 300k above SII estimates, 550k above 2007 and nearly 800k km2 more than last year.

The graph below shows Arctic ice excluding the Pacific seas of Bering and Okhotsk.  This provides an even more dramatic view of this years ice extents.  Mid April Arctic ice was average, and look what has happened since May began on day 121.  There was a drop and a rise, with a current surplus of 450k km2.

The table for day 138 shows the regional extents for 2017 compared to averages and 2007.

Region 2017138 Day 138
Average
2017-Ave. 2007138 2017-2007
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 12765934 12609649 156285 12228251 537683
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1037364 1035052 2313 1063324 -25960
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 855121 935117 -79997 940430 -85309
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1068289 1082898 -14609 1069398 -1109
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897845 871037 26807 789644 108201
 (5) Kara_Sea 931636 883725 47911 892687 38949
 (6) Barents_Sea 526079 378812 147267 335179 190899
 (7) Greenland_Sea 629810 612779 17031 578928 50883
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 1286982 1059735 227247 1002295 284687
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 851190 834484 16706 840548 10642
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1203259 1157573 45687 1132632 70627
 (11) Central_Arctic 3247685 3225767 21917 3231808 15877
 (12) Bering_Sea 86844 339072 -252228 227132 -140288
 (13) Baltic_Sea 7716 4442 3274 4398 3318
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 134303 186523 -52219 117127 17177

The 300k km2 deficit in Bering and Okhotsk is evident.  Also Chukchi is starting to show the effects from early Bering melting.  Other seas are above average, with large surpluses in Baffin and Barents sea.

Some insight into the unusual Arctic ice growth comes from AER Arctic Report and Forecast May 8, 2017

Currently positive pressure/geopotential height anomalies are mostly focused on the North Atlantic side of the Arctic with mostly negative pressure/geopotential height anomalies across the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere (NH). This is resulting in a near record low Arctic Oscillation (AO) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) for May.

It might be the second week of May but an unusually strong block/high pressure exists in the northern North Atlantic including Iceland and Greenland and is more commonly associated with winter. The unusually strong block is contributing to not only below normal temperatures to both sides of the North Atlantic, including Europe and the Eastern US but late season snowfall to Southeastern Canada, the Northeastern US and Russia. The negative geopotential height anomalies that have developed both downstream across western Eurasia including Europe and upstream across the Eastern US are predicted to persist for much of the month of May helping to ensure a relatively cool month of May for both Europe and the Eastern US.

Summary

Do not be mislead by reports of declining sea ice in the Arctic; it is a distraction based on early melting in the Pacific, especially Bering sea.

Meanwhile, on the Atlantic side of the Arctic, we have sightings and reports of ice surges along the coast of Newfoundland, such amounts not seen since the 1980s. Below is a NASA satellite photo of Newfoundland Sea Ice, May 5, 2017 Source: Newsfoundsander

 

The Curious Case of Dr. Miskolczi

Update May 18 below

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button relates the story of a fictional character who is estranged from the rest of humanity because of a unique personal quality. He alone was born an old man, grew younger as he aged, before dying as an infant. Living in contradiction to all others, he existed as an alien whose relations were always temporary and strained.

Recently I had an interchange with a climatist obsessed with radiation and CO2 as the drivers of climate change. For me it occasioned a look back in time to rediscover how I came to some conclusions about how the atmosphere warms the planet. That process brought up an influencial scientist whose name comes up rarely these days in discussions of global warming/climate change. So I thought a tribute post to be timely.

Dr. Ferenc Mark Miskolczi (feh-rent mish-kol-tsi) was not born estranged, but alienation was forced upon him at the peak of his career as a brilliant astrophysicist. Part of his NASA job was to analyze radiosonde data, and his curiosity led him to find a surprising empirical observation. He published it and continues to hold to it, but his findings happen to cause indigestion among the climate establishment, and also to many skeptics. His writings are dense and filled with math, another reason for some to set him aside.

“I was warned that for every equation in the book, the readership would be halved,
hence it includes only a single equation: E = mc2.”
–Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time

The Back Story

In 2004 Dr Ferenc Miskolczi published a paper ’The greenhouse effect and the spectral decomposition of the clear-sky terrestrial radiation’, in the Quarterly Journal of the Hungarian Meteorological Service (Vol. 108, No. 4, October–December 2004, pp. 209–251.).

Various wavelengths of solar EM radiation penetrate Earth’s atmosphere to various depths. Fortunately for us, all of the high energy X-rays and most UV is filtered out long before it reaches the ground. Much of the infrared radiation is also absorbed by our atmosphere far above our heads. Most radio waves do make it to the ground, along with a narrow “window” of IR, UV, and visible light frequencies. Credit: Image courtesy STCI/JHU/NASA.

The co-author of the article was his boss at NASA Langley Research Center (Martin Mlynczak). Mlynczak put his name to the paper but did no work on it. He thought that it was an important paper, but only in a technical way.

When Miskolczi later informed the group at NASA there that he had more important results, they finally understood the whole story, and tried to withhold Miskolczi’s further material from publication. His boss for example, sat at Ferenc’s computer, logged in with Ferenc`s password, and canceled a recently submitted paper from a high-reputation journal as if Ferenc had withdrawn it himself. That was the reason that Ferenc finally resigned from his ($US 90,000 /year) job.

At the bottom of this post will be links to Miskolczi’s papers, including the latest one in 2014. Perhaps the most accessible introduction to his understanding comes from his interview with Kirk Myers published at Climate Truth.

Climate Truth: Has there been global warming?
Dr. Miskolczi: No one is denying that global warming has taken place, but it has nothing to do with the greenhouse effect or the burning of fossil fuels.

Climate Truth: According to the conventional anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory, as human-induced CO2 emissions increase, more surface radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere, with part of it re-radiated to the earth’s surface, resulting in global warming. Is that an accurate description of the prevailing theory?
Dr. Miskolczi: Yes, this is the classic concept of the greenhouse effect.

ClimateTruth: Are man-made CO2 emissions the cause of global warming?
Dr. Miskolczi: Apparently not. According to my research, increases in CO2 levels have not increased the global-average absorbing power of the atmosphere.

ClimateTruth: Where does the traditional greenhouse theory make its fundamental mistake?
Dr. Miskolczi: The conventional greenhouse theory does not consider the newly discovered physical relationships involving infrared radiative fluxes. These relationships pose strong energetic constraints on an equilibrium system.

ClimateTruth: Why has this error escaped notice until now?
Dr. Miskolczi: Nobody thought that a 100-year-old theory could be wrong. The original greenhouse formula, developed by an astrophysicist, applies only to the stars, not to finite, semi-transparent planetary atmospheres. New equations had to be formulated.

ClimateTruth: According your theory, the greenhouse effect is self-regulating and stabilizes itself in response to rising CO2 levels. You identified (perhaps discovered) a “greenhouse constant” that keeps the greenhouse effect in equilibrium. Is that a fair assessment of your theory?
Dr. Miskolczi: Yes. Our atmosphere, with its infinite degree of freedom, is able to maintain its global average infrared absorption at an optimal level. In technical terms, this “greenhouse constant” is the total infrared optical thickness of the atmosphere, and its theoretical value is 1.87. Despite the 30 per cent increase of CO2 in the last 61 years, this value has not changed. The atmosphere is not increasing its absorption power as was predicted by the IPCC.

ClimateTruth: You used empirical data, rather than models, to arrive at your conclusion. How was that done?
Dr. Miskolczi: The computations are relatively simple. I collected a large number of radiosonde observations from around the globe and computed the global average infrared absorption. I performed these computations using observations from two large, publicly available datasets known as the TIGR2 and NOAA. The computations involved the processing of 300 radiosonde observations, using a state-of-the-art, line-by-line radiative transfer code. In both datasets, the global average infrared optical thickness turned out to be 1.87, agreeing with theoretical expectations.

Fig. 15 the actual and expected atmospheric absorption trends are compared for the full time period. No change in the IR absorption is detected.

ClimateTruth: Have your mathematical equations been challenged or disproved?
Dr. Miskolczi: No.

ClimateTruth: If your theory stands up to scientific scrutiny, it would collapse the CO2 global warming doctrine and render meaningless its predictions of climate catastrophe. Given its significance, why has your theory been met with silence and, in some instances, dismissal and derision?
Dr. Miskolczi: I can only guess. First of all, nobody likes to admit mistakes. Second, somebody has to explain to the taxpayers why millions of dollars were spent on AGW research. Third, some people are making a lot of money from the carbon trade and energy taxes.

ClimateTruth: A huge industry has arisen out of the study and prevention of man-made global warming. Has the world been fooled?
Dr. Miskolczi: Thanks to censored science and the complicity of the mainstream media, yes, totally.

The Implications

Others have referred to Miskolczi’s work as finding a saturated greenhouse effect (not his terminology). Most people agree that gases have a logarithmic relation to IR absorption. Thus the effect of adding CO2, or H2O to the atmosphere has diminishing impact, like putting on another coat of paint.


Miskolczi’s analysis shows that at present CO2 concentrations, the radiative warming effect is saturated, because the atmospheric heat engine is always striving to maximize the dissipation of surface heat into space. In the present circumstance, any additional input of heat produces a reaction of additional evaporation or convection to restore the energy balance. Radiative equilibrium is not disturbed, as shown by the stability of the optical depth in the upper troposphere.

This graph shows that the relative humidity has been dropping, especially at higher elevations allowing more heat to escape to space. The curve labelled 300 mb is at about 9 km altitude, which is in the middle of the predicted (but missing) tropical troposphere hot-spot. This is the critical elevation as this is where radiation can start to escape without being recaptured. The average annual relative humidity at this altitude has declined by 21.5% from 1948 to 2007.

If Miskolczi is right, then presently the land-sea surface heats the atmosphere only by evaporation, conduction, and subsequent convection, not by radiation. The layer of air in contact with the surface is in radiative equilibrium, so that warming and cooling of the surface is matched by the immediate air. The land-sea surface does not cool by radiation to the atmosphere, nor is it warmed by “back-radiation.”

Above the surface-air boundary, heat exchanges between layers of air do include radiative activity, and at the TOA it is all radiation into space. The climate system makes regulatory adjustment to compensate for changes in CO2 with changes in humidity and clouds, in order to most efficiently convert short wave incoming solar energy, into long wave outgoing energy. With warming and cooling periods, the proportions of H20 and CO2 at the TOA have fluctuated, but the combined optical depth has been stable over the last 60 years.

Credit: Image courtesy NASA’s ERBE (Earth Radiation Budget Experiment) program.

No wonder so much effort is going into a better understanding of cloud effects on climate.  Note in the above estimated energy budget diagram that convection and latent heat combined are twice the estimated surface radiation absorbed in the air.   Note also that the air absorbs more energy directly from the sun than it absorbs from the surface.

Bear in mind that water vapor does more than 90% of all IR activity by gases.  And note that clouds are composed of water droplets (liquid state), and IR activity by clouds (likely underestimated here) is on top of water’s thermal effect as a gas.

Summary: Dr. Ferenc Miskolczi’s  Strange Journey

Miskolczi’s story reads like a book. Looking at a series of differential equations for the greenhouse effect, he noticed the solution — originally done in 1922 by Arthur Milne, but still used by climate researchers today — ignored boundary conditions by assuming an “infinitely thick” atmosphere. Similar assumptions are common when solving differential equations; they simplify the calculations and often result in a result that still very closely matches reality. But not always.

So Miskolczi re-derived the solution, this time using the proper boundary conditions for an atmosphere that is not infinite. His result included a new term, which acts as a negative feedback to counter the positive forcing. At low levels, the new term means a small difference … but as greenhouse gases rise, the negative feedback predominates, forcing values back down.

NASA refused to release the results. Miskolczi believes their motivation is simple. “Money”, he tells DailyTech. Research that contradicts the view of an impending crisis jeopardizes funding, not only for his own atmosphere-monitoring project, but all climate-change research.

Miskolczi resigned in protest, stating in his October 28, 2005 resignation letter, “Unfortunately my working relationship with my NASA supervisors eroded to a level that I am not able to tolerate. My idea of the freedom of science cannot coexist with the recent NASA practice of handling new climate change related scientific results.”

“More than three years ago, I presented to NASA a new view of greenhouse theory and pointed out serious errors in the classical approach to assessing climate sensitivity to greenhouse gas perturbations. Since then my results were not released for publication. Since my new results have far reaching consequences in the general atmospheric radiative transfer, I wish to have no part in withholding the above scientific information from the wider community of scientists and policymakers.”
More at Cornwall Alliance Peer-Reviewed Research Suggests Very Little Warming from CO2

His theory was eventually published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal in his home country of Hungary.
The greenhouse effect and the spectral decomposition of the clear-sky terrestrial radiation

Miskolczi’s latest paper is The Greenhouse Effect and the Infrared Radiative Structure of the Earth’s Atmosphere 2014

Previously in 2010 he published in Energy & Environment The Stable Stationary Value of the Earth’s Global Average Atmospheric Planck-Weighted Greenhouse-Gas Optical Thickness

Dr. Ferenc Mark Miskolczi

Update May 18

Robin Pittwood has done an analysis confirming that recent global warming has been matched by increasing outgoing longwave radiation, such that the equilibrium point has remained stable.  His money graph is this one:

This finding is consistent with Miskolczi’s finding that the atmospheric heat engine adjusts to changes so that energy balance is maintained.  There is more at KiwiThinker: An Empirical Look at Recent Trends in the Greenhouse Effect

Barents Sea Grows Ice in May

 

 

Something surprising is happening with Arctic ice.  It is May and ice should be melting, but instead it is growing and in the unlikely place of Barents Sea.  The images above show the ice positions since April, and you can see on the left how ice refused to leave Newfoundland, and on the right how Barents is not backing down but increasing.

The graph below shows how in recent days 2017 NH ice extents have grown way above average, even including the exceptionally low amounts of ice in the Pacific, Bering in particular.

Much of the growth is due to Barents adding 85k m2 in the last 5 days to reach 572k km2, an extent last seen two weeks ago.

The graph below shows Arctic ice excluding the Pacific seas of Bering and Okhotsk.  This provides an even more dramatic view of this years ice extents.  Mid April Arctic ice was average, and look what has happened since May began on day 121.


Some insight into the unusual Arctic ice growth comes from AER Arctic Report and Forecast May 8, 2017

Currently positive pressure/geopotential height anomalies are mostly focused on the North Atlantic side of the Arctic with mostly negative pressure/geopotential height anomalies across the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere (NH). This is resulting in a near record low Arctic Oscillation (AO) and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) for May.

It might be the second week of May but an unusually strong block/high pressure exists in the northern North Atlantic including Iceland and Greenland and is more commonly associated with winter. The unusually strong block is contributing to not only below normal temperatures to both sides of the North Atlantic, including Europe and the Eastern US but late season snowfall to Southeastern Canada, the Northeastern US and Russia. The negative geopotential height anomalies that have developed both downstream across western Eurasia including Europe and upstream across the Eastern US are predicted to persist for much of the month of May helping to ensure a relatively cool month of May for both Europe and the Eastern US.

Summary

Do not be mislead by reports of declining sea ice in the Arctic; it is a distraction based on early melting in the Pacific, especially Bering sea.

Meanwhile, on the Atlantic side of the Arctic, we have sightings and reports of ice surges along the coast of Newfoundland, such amounts not seen since the 1980s. Below is a NASA satellite photo of Newfoundland Sea Ice, May 5, 2017 Source: Newsfoundsander

 

EPA Swamp Life: Climategaters

An update on the power struggle inside the EPA is provided by Ronald Bailey’s May. 9, 2017 article EPA Bureaucracy Strikes Back: The Case of the Board of Scientific Counselors  How will the struggle between the permanent bureaucracy and the EPA’s new leadership play out?  Excerpts below.

The efforts of the permanent bureaucracy at the Environmental Protection Agency to hand the the new political leadership a fait accompli regarding the membership of that agency’s Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) brought to mind the antics of Yes, Minister. The civil servants at the EPA had apparently assured the members of the BOSC whose three-year terms were ending that they could stay on for another term just as the Obama administration was winding down in January. Since the terms for more than half of the BOSC’s members ran out in late April, the agency bureaucrats essentially went to the new EPA leadership with the old list of Obama administration appointees at the last minute and said, “Sign this.”

The new team appointed by Trump declined to do so. Scorned bureaucrats then leaked the decision to the media shaping the narrative as a Trumpian anti-science “firing” of brave truth-tellers. The Washington Post and the New York Times duly reported just that story. But is it so? “We’re not going to rubber-stamp the last administration’s appointees. Instead, they should participate in the same open competitive process as the rest of the applicant pool,” EPA spokesperson J.P. Freire told the Post. “This approach is what was always intended for the board, and we’re making a clean break with the last administration’s approach.”

Rifling through the Federal Advisory Committee Act database, I find that the terms of 12 members of the BOSC officially expired on April 27, 2017. Another ended in March. Composed of outside researchers, the 18-member BOSC is supposed to provide objective and independent counsel to the agency’s Office of Research and Development (ORD). The committee aids the ORD on research and development with the aim of identifying, understanding, and solving current and future environmental problems; by reviewing ORD’s technical support to EPA’s program and regional offices; by providing leadership in assisting ORD in identifying emerging environmental issues; and by helping to advance the science and technology of risk assessment and risk management.

BOSC members are must be nationally recognized experts in science or engineering. The board should be balanced in disciplines, diversity, and geographic distribution area and include representatives from academia, government, industry, environmental consulting firms, and environmental associations.

As the Membership Balance Plan notes the list of nominees is reviewed by “different levels of EPA managers” before formal letters of invitation are sent out. The Plan notes that “members are usually appointed for a three-year term. Generally, members may be reappointed for a total of 6 years.”

In this case, the EPA bureaucrats in charge of finding and vetting nominees for the BOSC were evidently satisfied with the members who had been appointed during the Obama administration. Spot checking the BOSC’s history, it does appear that in recent years, committee members have generally served two 3-year terms.

EPA spokesperson J.P. Freire released this statement: “Advisory panels like BOSC play a critical role reviewing the agency’s work. EPA received hundreds of nominations to serve on the board, and we want to ensure fair consideration of all the nominees – including those nominated who may have previously served on the panel – and carry out a competitive nomination process.” The EPA plans solicit nominees through the Federal Register and to select new board members quickly. (I reached out to the agency to clear up which and how many BOSC members are not being re-appointed. I have not heard back yet.)

So which members are not being re-appointed? The news reports say that the appointments of up to 9 members are not being renewed. According to the database these 13 members terms are over.

Viney Aneja – North Carolina State University professor of air quality

Shahid Chaudhry – California Energy Commission mechanical engineer

Susan Cozzens – Georgia Tech Sociologist of science

Courtney Flint – Utah State University Natural Resource Sociologist

Earthea Nance – Texas Southern University Civil & Environmental Engineering

Paula Olsiewski – Sloan Foundation Biochemist

Kenneth Reckhow – Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology at Duke University

Robert Richardson – Michiagan State University Ecological Economist

Sandra Smith – Principal Toxicologist AECOM Consultancy

Gina Solomon – California EPA (Former senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council)

Ponisseril Somasundaran- Columbia University Professor of Mineral Engineering

John Thakaran – Howard University Biochemical engineering

Tammy Taylor – Chief Operating Officer of the National Security Directorate at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

The terms of three other members will expire this summer.

Lisa Dilling – University of Colorado biologist

Diane Pataki – University of Utah ecologist

Joseph Rodricks – Principal Arlington of Environ International Corporation toxicologist

Predictably, activists are outraged. “This is completely part of a multifaceted effort to get science out of the way of a deregulation agenda,” said Ken Kimmell, the president of the Union of Concerned Scientists to the Times. Clearly to Kimmel’s mind, science could never support deregulation or declining to regulate.

Cleaning BOSC is only scratching the surface

In addition to these few entitled scientists, there are a raft of others filling the SAB (Scientific Advisory Board) which of course has numerous committees, including the notorious CASAC (Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee).  A look at the EPA website shows another 47 scientists working on the taxpayers’ dime. Apparently there are briefings where both BOSC and SAB members participate. The article above does not talk about conflicts of interest, but the EPA has been frequently criticized about the activities of SAB and CASAC.

Senator James A. Inhofe, Chair of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee wrote this in a formal letter to the Obama EPA Director last year:

The new CASAC panel further illustrates EPA’s disregard for policies requiring EPA shift membership on CASAC. Specifically, EPA’s Peer Review Handbook advises membership rotation on standing committees, such as CASAC, “to obtain fresh perspectives and reinforce the reality and perception of independence from the Ageney.”I3 However, the chartered CASAC includes four of seven members that have already served on CASAC.14 Among the three who have not served on the chartered CASAC, two have served on CASAC subcommittees15 while the other one has served on EPA’s Advisory Council on Clean Air Compliance Analysis (Council)16 which is also designed to advise the Administrator on the impacts of the Clean Air Act on the public health, economy, and environment of the U.S.I7 Given the number of well-qualified nominees and thousands of scientific experts across the country, it is deeply concerning EPA continues to select the same people. This practice runs counter to EPA policy and unnecessarily blocks other experts from serving as advisors.

The majority of CASAC members have also received considerable financial support from EPA, which calls into question their independence and therefore the integrity of the overall panel. While EPA has taken the position that receipt of grants do not constitute a financial conflict of interest, the NAS and EPA’s own Peer-Review Handbook state that grants can constitute a conflict or lack of impartiality.I8 For the newly appointed panel this conflict is on full display–six of the seven members have received a total of $119,217,008 in EPA research grants.

Much to my dismay, three of the seven members have received in excess of $25 million each. This is not limited to the chartered CASAC as 22 of the 26 newly appointed members to the CASAC subcommittee on particulate matter have received more than $330 million in EPA grants. These vast sums of money certainly constitute a conflict of interest and at a minimum give the appearance of a lack of impartiality.

Another investigative journalist added:

Among the members of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB), CASAC and subcommittees, 60 percent of them have received research grants from the EPA costing taxpayers more than $140 million. Many are involved in research, funded by those grants, while they are serving on their committees in a role advising the EPA on clean air policy.

CASAC’s chairman, Chris Frey, is also a representative on the SAB. While serving on SAB, the EPA extended his $893,439 grant to study the heath effects of air pollution and approved about $2.9 million in grants to North Carolina State University, where he teaches as a professor of environmental engineering.

All eight members on the EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) have extended, been recipients of or are overseeing more than $19 million in agency grants earmarked to the institutions they work for or directly to themselves, procurement records show. Outside science advisers collect EPA grants while guiding agency 


Entitled scientific bureaucrats rise up to defend their nest.

Footnote 1:

In Ottawa, the problem is somewhat different. There we have an infestation of bureaucrabs. The term refers to a creature that appears to be making progress, but on closer inspection is moving sideways.

There is also a rumor that increasingly in Ottawa lawyers are being used for scientific experiments instead of rats.  There appear to be three reasons for this:

  1.  There are more lawyers than rats in Ottawa.
  2. People sometimes get emotionally attached to a rat.
  3. There are some things the rats won’t do.

Footnote 2:

For a scientific analysis of how government works, we have a paper reprinted below:

New chemical Element Discovered

The new element is Governmentium (Gv). It has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312, the heaviest of all. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lefton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons or protons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction normally taking less than a second to take from four days to four years to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of 3-6 years. It does not decay but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons. All of the money is consumed in the exchange, and no other byproducts are produced. It tends to concentrate at certain points such as government agencies, large corporations, and universities. Usually it can be found in the newest, best appointed, and best maintained buildings.

Scientists point out that administratium is known to be toxic at any level of concentration and can easily destroy any productive reaction where it is allowed to accumulate. Attempts are being made to determine how administratium can be controlled to prevent irreversible damage, but results to date are not promising.

Credit: William DeBuvitz, http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/administ.htm

Footnote 3:

The article above mentioned Yes Minister classic British tv series, but readers may not be aware that the last season of the show, Yes Prime Minister ended with an hilarious send up of the global warming scare. BBC blocks the video outside of UK, but the best parts of the transcript are at Climate Alarms LOL

Resilient Arctic Ice in May

The MASIE image shows Arctic Ocean ice is resilient and the numbers below will show how well 2017 compares to the decadal average. The only place where ice is below normal is outside the Arctic Ocean, namely Bering and Okhotsk Seas in the Pacific. Claims of disappearing ice pertain not to the Arctic itself, but to marginal Pacific seas that will melt out anyway by September.

I noticed the pattern this April when it became obvious that including Bering and Okhotsk in the Arctic totals gives a misleading picture. For sure they are part of Northern Hemisphere (NH) total sea ice, but currently the Pacific is going its own way, not indicative of the sea ice in the Central and Atlantic Arctic.

The graph below shows ice extents in the Arctic seas, excluding Bering and Okhotsk in the Pacific. Over the last 25 days 2017 Arctic ice has gone from average to a surplus of 400k km2 and is maintaining that advantage in May.  As of May 8, ice in 2007 was 600k km2 behind and 2016 was lower by 700k km2.

While the Arctic ocean ice is persisting, Bering and Okhotsk extents have retreated ahead of schedule, as the graph below shows.  The gap has persisted at 50% of decadal average over the last 3 weeks, going from 600k km2 on day 109 to 500k km2 on day 120, and presently Bering and Okhotsk combined are down by 400k km2.  Of course, eventually both seas will be ice free by September.

“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”
Kris Kristofferson song (Me and Bobby McGee)

The distinctive Pacific pattern is evident in the images of changing ice extents.  First, see how ice in Bering and Okhotsk seas has retreated the last 3 weeks..

Meanwhile, on the Atlantic side ice has grown steadily.  Note Newfoundland on the upper left has been blocked by ice only now retreating, while Svalbard on the middle right.continues to be encased.

The Chart below shows the traditional view of NH ice extents, which includes the Pacific seas together with the Arctic seas.  2017 started this period 400k km2 below average, then caught up and is now tracking slightly above the decadal average.This is despite a deficit of 400k km2 in Bering and Okhotsk, which obscures the ice surpluses elsewhere.  By comparison 2007 and 2016 are lagging behind by 400k km2..

The table below provides a more detailed description of NH ice by showing extents measured in the various seas on May 8, day 128 of the year.

Region 2017128 Day 128
Average
2017-Ave. 2007128 2017-2007
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 13171174 13149118 22056 12792742 378432
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 1061622 1056204 5418 1042771 18852
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 957567 957220 348 939928 17640
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 1087137 1085117 2020 1081533 5605
 (4) Laptev_Sea 897845 890721 7124 874837 23008
 (5) Kara_Sea 920985 902466 18519 880185 40800
 (6) Barents_Sea 487526 449413 38113 418974 68552
 (7) Greenland_Sea 705745 613061 92684 605824 99921
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 1340708 1139240 201467 1035447 305260
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 850635 842522 8113 834959 15676
 (10) Hudson_Bay 1248694 1205894 42800 1199786 48908
 (11) Central_Arctic 3247448 3220316 27132 3238105 9344
 (12) Bering_Sea 191284 484937 -293653 392119 -200836
 (13) Baltic_Sea 11485 13590 -2105 10416 1070
 (14) Sea_of_Okhotsk 160681 285356 -124675 233588 -72907

Clearly 2017 is above average everywhere, including Barents and Kara seas, with quite large surpluses in Greenland Sea and Baffin Bay.  The deficits in the Pacific are also obvious, with Bering sea down the most.

Summary

The details are important to form a proper perception of any natural process, including dynamics of sea ice waxing and waning. On closer inspection, the appearance of declining Arctic sea ice is actually another after effect of the recent El Nino and Blob phenomena, and quite restricted to the Pacific marginal seas.

Meanwhile, on the Atlantic side of the Arctic, we have sightings and reports of ice surges along the coast of Newfoundland, such amounts not seen since the 1980s. Below is a NASA satellite photo of Newfoundland Sea Ice, May 5, 2017 Source: Newsfoundsander