We are Ignored, then Dissed, then Debated, then We Win.

Global Warming Debate Soho Forum May 8, 2019

The post title is a reference to a quote from Mahatma Gandhi who said, when facing overwhelming odds opposed by an entrenched establishment in India:

Watch: Skeptical scientist wins rare New York City climate debate against warmist scientist – Audience flips from warmist views to skeptical after debate (H/T John Ray at his blog Greenie Watch)Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The Soho Forum, Published on May 6, 2019

Resolution: There is little or no rigorous evidence that rising concentrations of carbon dioxide are causing dangerous global warming and threatening life on the planet.

For the affirmative:

Craig Idso is the founder, former president, and currently chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. The Center was founded in 1998 as a non-profit public charity dedicated to discovering and disseminating scientific information pertaining to the effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide enrichment on climate and the biosphere.

Dr. Idso’s research has appeared many times in peer-reviewed journals, and is the author or coauthor of several books, including The Many Benefits of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment (Vales Lake Publishing, LLC, 2011), CO2, Global Warming and Coral Reefs (Vales Lake Publishing, LLC, 2009).

Dr. Idso also serves as an adjunct scholar for the Cato Institute and as a policy advisor for the CO2Coalition, the Heartland Institute and the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow.

For the negative:

Jeffrey Bennett is an astrophysicist and educator. He has focused his career on math and science literacy. He is the lead author of bestselling college textbooks in astronomy, astrobiology, mathematics, and statistics, and of critically acclaimed books for the general public on topics including Einstein’s theory of relativity, the search for extraterrestrial life, and the importance of math to our everyday lives.

Other career highlights include serving two years as a Visiting Senior Scientist at NASA Headquarters, proposing and helping to develop the Voyage Scale Model Solar System that resides on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and creating the freeTotality app that has helped tens of thousands of people learn how to view a total solar eclipse.

His book A Global Warming Primeris posted freely online at http://www.globalwarmingprimer.com.

Moderator: “We have the final vote. The yes vote on the resolution that there is no evidence that’s causing dangerous global warming: It began at 24% (of the skeptical yes vote supporting that position) and it went up to 46% (after the debate). So [skeptical argument] gained 22% points. That’s the number to beat (46%).

The no resolution (warmist position) started at 29%. It went up to 41% or up 11 points.” The winner of the debate is skeptical scientist Dr. Craig Idso with his resolution asserting that “There is little or no rigorous evidence that rising concentrations of carbon dioxide are causing dangerous global warming and threatening life on the planet.”

Flashback 2007: Scientific Smackdown: Skeptics Voted The Clear Winners Against Global Warming Believers in Heated NYC Debate – RealClimate.org’s Gavin Schmidt appeared so demoralized that he mused that debates equally split between believers of a climate ‘crisis’ and scientific skeptics are probably not “worthwhile” to ever agree to again.

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Upside Down CO2 Dogma

Yoga experts taking the IPCC position attributing rising CO2 to humans.

In the field of climatology, we see repeatedly that alarmists/activists turn things upside down to justify a narrative.  Causes and effects are reversed in order to foster alarm about the burning of fossil fuels.  This distorted way of thinking is described in more detail in essays linked at the end.  This post is concerned with one particular reversal of reality, namely the assertion by IPCC adherents that atmospheric CO2 is rising entirely because of emissions from fossil fuels.  They have it upside down:  Rising temperatures are the main reason CO2 is rising, not the other way around.

The latest heads up treatise on this issue is published this week at Earth Sciences Journal What Humans Contribute to Atmospheric CO2: Comparison of Carbon Cycle Models with Observations by Hermann Harde, Experimental Physics and Materials Science, Helmut-Schmidt-University, Hamburg, Germany.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Harde (2019) Conclusion

The increase of CO2 over recent years can well be explained by a single balance equation, the Conservation Law (23) which considers the total atmospheric CO2 cycle, consisting of temperature and thus time dependent natural emissions, the human activities and a temperature dependent uptake process, which scales proportional with the actual concentration. This uptake is characterized by a single time scale, the residence time of about 3 yr, which over the Industrial Era slightly increases with temperature.

Only this concept is in complete conformity with all observations and natural causalities. It confirms previous investigations (Salby [7, 10]; Harde [6]) and shows the key deficits of some widespread but largely ad hoc carbon cycle models used to describe atmospheric CO2, failures which are responsible for the fatal conclusion that the increase in atmospheric CO2 over the past 270 years is principally anthropogenic.

For a conservative assessment we find from Figure 8 that the anthropogenic contribution to the observed CO2 increase over the Industrial Era is significantly less than the natural influence. At equilibrium this contribution is given by the fraction of human to native impacts. As an average over the period 2007-2016 the anthropogenic emissions (FFE&LUC together) donated not more than 4.3% to the total concentration of 393 ppm, and their fraction to the atmospheric increase since 1750 of 113 ppm is not more than 17 ppm or 15%. With other evaluations of absorption, the contribution from anthropogenic emission is even smaller.
[Note:  FFE is Fossil Fuel Emissions, LUC is Land Use Change]

Thus, not really anthropogenic emissions but mainly natural processes, in particular the temperature, have to be considered as the dominating impacts for the observed CO2 increase over the last 270 yr and also over paleoclimate periods.

[Read the entire paper for discussion of the error-prone CO2 models employed by IPCC]

Background from Previous Post:  Who to Blame for Rising CO2?

Source :NOAA

Blaming global warming on humans comes down to two assertions:

Rising CO2 in the atmosphere causes earth’s surface temperature to rise.

Humans burning fossil fuels cause rising atmospheric CO2.

For this post I will not address the first premise, instead refer the reader to a previous article regarding efforts to measure temperature effects from CO2. Greenhouse gas theory presumes surface warming arises because heat is forced to escape at a higher, colder altitude. However, at least four separate studies of the available datasets were not able to detect any shift in the atmospheric temperature profile coincidental with rising CO2 in recent decades.  The discussion of the GHG warming theory and its lack of evidence in the real world is summarized in the post No GHG Warming Fingerprints in the Sky

The focus in this piece is the claim that fossil fuel emissions drive observed rising CO2 concentrations. IPCC consensus scientists and supporters note that human emissions are about twice the measured rise and presume that natural sinks absorb half, leaving the other half to accumulate in the atmosphere. Thus they conclude all of the increase in atmospheric CO2 is from fossil fuels.

This simple-minded conclusion takes the only two things we measure in the carbon cycle: CO2 in the atmosphere, and fossil fuel emissions. And then asserts that one causes the other. But several elephants are in the room, namely the several carbon reservoirs that dwarf human activity in their size and activity, and can not be measured because of their complexity.

The consensus notion is based on a familiar environmental paradigm: The Garden of Eden. This is the modern belief that nature, and indeed the climate is in balance, except for humans disrupting it by their activities. In the current carbon cycle context, it is the supposition that all natural sources and sinks are in balance, thus any additional CO2 is because of humans.

Now, a curious person might wonder: How is it that for decades as the rate of fossil fuel emissions increased, the absorption by natural sinks has also increased at exactly the same rate, so that 50% is always removed and 50% remains? It can only be that nature is also dynamic and its flows change over time!

That alternative paradigm is elaborated in several papers that are currently under vigorous attack from climatists. As one antagonist put it: Any paper concluding that humans don’t cause rising CO2 is obviously wrong. One objectionable study was published by Hermann Harde, another by Ole Humlum, and a third by Ed Berry is delayed in pre-publication review.

The methods and analyses are different, but the three skeptical papers argue that the levels and flows of various carbon reservoirs fluctuate over time with temperature itself as a causal variable. Some sinks are stimulated by higher temperatures to release more CO2 while others respond by capturing more CO2. And these reactions occur on a range of timescales. Once these dynamics are factored in, the human contribution to rising atmospheric CO2 is neglible, much to the ire of alarmists.

Ed Berry finds IPCC carbon cycle metrics illogical.

Dr. Ed Berry provides a preprint of his submitted paper at a blog post entitled Why human CO2 does not change climate. He welcomes comments and uses the discussion to revise and improve the text. Excerpts with my bolds.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims human emissions raised the carbon dioxide level from 280 ppm to 410 ppm, or 130 ppm. Physics proves this claim is impossible.

The IPCC agrees today’s annual human carbon dioxide emissions are 4.5 ppm per year and nature’s carbon dioxide emissions are 98 ppm per year. Yet, the IPCC claims human emissions have caused all the increase in carbon dioxide since 1750, which is 30 percent of today’s total.

How can human carbon dioxide, which is only 5 percent of natural carbon dioxide, add 30 percent to the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide? It can’t.

This paper derives a Model that shows how human and natural carbon dioxide emissions independently change the equilibrium level of atmospheric carbon dioxide. This Model should replace the IPCC’s invalid Bern model.

The Model shows the ratio of human to natural carbon dioxide in the atmosphere equals the ratio of their inflows, independent of residence time.

Fig. 5. The sum of nature’s inflow is 20 times larger than the sum of human emissions. Nature balances inflow with or without human emissions.

The model shows, contrary to IPCC claims, that human emissions do not continually add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, but rather cause a flow of carbon dioxide through the atmosphere. The flow adds a constant equilibrium level, not a continuing increasing level, of carbon dioxide.

Fig. 2. Balance proceeds as follows: (1) Inflow sets the balance level. (2) Level sets the outflow. (3) Level moves toward balance level until outflow equals inflow.

Ole Humlum proves that CO2 follows temperature also for interannual/decadal periods.

Humlum et al. looks the modern record of fluctuating temperatures and atmospheric CO2 and concludes that CO2 changes follow temperature changes over these timescales. The paper is The phase relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature OleHumlum, KjellStordahl, Jan-ErikSolheim.  Excerpts with my bolds.

From the Abstract:
Using data series on atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperatures we investigate the phase relation (leads/lags) between these for the period January 1980 to December 2011. Ice cores show atmospheric CO2 variations to lag behind atmospheric temperature changes on a century to millennium scale, but modern temperature is expected to lag changes in atmospheric CO2, as the atmospheric temperature increase since about 1975 generally is assumed to be caused by the modern increase in CO2.

In our analysis we used eight well-known datasets. . . We find a high degree of co-variation between all data series except 7) and 8), but with changes in CO2 always lagging changes in temperature.
Highlights

► Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 11–12 months behind changes in global sea surface temperature. ► Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 9.5–10 months behind changes in global air surface temperature. ► Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging about 9 months behind changes in global lower troposphere temperature. ► Changes in ocean temperatures explain a substantial part of the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 since January 1980. ► Changes in atmospheric CO2 are not tracking changes in human emissions.

Summary

Summing up, monthly data since January 1980 on atmospheric CO2 and sea and air temperatures unambiguously demonstrate the overall global temperature change sequence of events to be 1) ocean surface, 2) surface air, 3) lower troposphere, and with changes in atmospheric CO2 always lagging behind changes in any of these different temperature records.9

A main control on atmospheric CO2 appears to be the ocean surface temperature, and it remains a possibility that a significant part of the overall increase of atmospheric CO2 since at least 1958 (start of Mauna Loa observations) simply reflects the gradual warming of the oceans, as a result of the prolonged period of high solar activity since 1920 (Solanki et al., 2004).

Based on the GISP2 ice core proxy record from Greenland it has previously been pointed out that the present period of warming since 1850 to a high degree may be explained by a natural c. 1100 yr periodic temperature variation (Humlum et al., 2011).

Hermann Harde sets realistic proportions for the carbon cycle.

Hermann Harde applies a comparable perspective to consider the carbon cycle dynamics. His paper is Scrutinizing the carbon cycle and CO2 residence time in the atmosphere. Excerpts with my bolds.

From the Abstract:

Climate scientists presume that the carbon cycle has come out of balance due to the increasing anthropogenic emissions from fossil fuel combustion and land use change. This is made responsible for the rapidly increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations over recent years, and it is estimated that the removal of the additional emissions from the atmosphere will take a few hundred thousand years. Since this goes along with an increasing greenhouse effect and a further global warming, a better understanding of the carbon cycle is of great importance for all future climate change predictions. We have critically scrutinized this cycle and present an alternative concept, for which the uptake of CO2 by natural sinks scales proportional with the CO2 concentration. In addition, we consider temperature dependent natural emission and absorption rates, by which the paleoclimatic CO2 variations and the actual CO2 growth rate can well be explained. The anthropogenic contribution to the actual CO2 concentration is found to be 4.3%, its fraction to the CO2 increase over the Industrial Era is 15% and the average residence time 4 years.
Fig. 1. Simplified schematic of the global carbon cycle. Black numbers and arrows indicate reservoir mass in PgC and exchange fluxes in PgC/yr before the Industrial Era. Red arrows and numbers show annual  anthropogenic’ flux changes averaged over the 2000–2009 time period. Graphic from AR5-Chap.6-Fig.6.1. 

Conclusions

Climate scientists assume that a disturbed carbon cycle, which has come out of balance by the increasing anthropogenic emissions from fossil fuel combustion and land use change, is responsible for the rapidly increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations over recent years. While over the whole Holocene up to the entrance of the Industrial Era (1750) natural emissions by heterotrophic processes and fire were supposed to be in equilibrium with the uptake by photosynthesis and the net ocean-atmosphere gas exchange, with the onset of the Industrial Era the IPCC estimates that about 15–40% of the additional emissions cannot further be absorbed by the natural sinks and are accumulating in the atmosphere. The IPCC further argues that CO2 emitted until 2100 will remain in the atmosphere longer than 1000 years, and in the same context it is even mentioned that the removal of human-emitted CO2 from the atmosphere by natural processes will take a few hundred thousand years (high confidence) (see AR5-Chap.6ExecutiveSummary). Since the rising CO2 concentrations go along with an increasing greenhouse effect and, thus, a further global warming, a better understanding of the carbon cycle is a necessary prerequisite for all future climate change predictions.

In their accounting schemes and models of the carbon cycle the IPCC uses many new and detailed data which are primarily focussing on fossil fuel emission, cement fabrication or net land use change (see AR5-WG1- Chap.6.3.2), but it largely neglects any changes of the natural emissions, which contribute to more than 95 % to the total emissions and by far cannot be assumed to be constant over longer periods (see, e.g.: variations over the last 800,000 years (Jouzel et al., 2007); the last glacial termination (Monnin et al., 2001); or the younger Holocene (Monnin et al., 2004; Wagner et al., 2004)).

Since our own estimates of the average CO2 residence time in the atmosphere differ by several orders of magnitude from the announced IPCC values, and on the other hand actual investigations of Humlum et al. (2013) or Salby (2013, 2016) show a strong relation between the natural CO2 emission rate and the surface temperature, this was motivation enough to scrutinize the IPCC accounting scheme in more detail and to contrast this to our own calculations.

Different to the IPCC we start with a rate equation for the emission and absorption processes, where the uptake is not assumed to be saturated but scales proportional with the actual CO2 concentration in the atmosphere (see also Essenhigh, 2009; Salby, 2016). This is justified by the observation of an exponential decay of 14C. A fractional saturation, as assumed by the IPCC, can directly be expressed by a larger residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere and makes a distinction between a turnover time and adjustment time needless.

Based on this approach and as solution of the rate equation we derive a concentration at steady state, which is only determined by the product of the total emission rate and the residence time. Under present conditions the natural emissions contribute 373 ppm and anthropogenic emissions 17 ppm to the total concentration of 390 ppm (2012). For the average residence time we only find 4 years.

The stronger increase of the concentration over the Industrial Era up to present times can be explained by introducing a temperature dependent natural emission rate as well as a temperature affected residence time. With this approach not only the exponential increase with the onset of the Industrial Era but also the concentrations at glacial and cooler interglacial times can well be reproduced in full agreement with all observations.

So, different to the IPCC’s interpretation the steep increase of the concentration since 1850 finds its natural explanation in the self accelerating processes on the one hand by stronger degassing of the oceans as well as a faster plant growth and decomposition, on the other hand by an increasing residence time at reduced solubility of CO2 in oceans. Together this results in a dominating temperature controlled natural gain, which contributes about 85% to the 110 ppm CO2 increase over the Industrial Era, whereas the actual anthropogenic emissions of 4.3% only donate 15%. These results indicate that almost all of the observed change of CO2 during the Industrial Era followed, not from anthropogenic emission, but from changes of natural emission. The results are consistent with the observed lag of CO2 changes behind temperature changes (Humlum et al., 2013; Salby, 2013), a signature of cause and effect. Our analysis of the carbon cycle, which exclusively uses data for the CO2 concentrations and fluxes as published in AR5, shows that also a completely different interpretation of these data is possible, this in complete conformity with all observations and natural causalities.

On Myopic, Lop-sided Climatism

Fearless Physics from Dr. Salby

Climate Reductionism

More on CO2

CO2 Fluxes, Sources and Sinks

Obsessed with Human CO2

Not Worried About CO2

CO2 Exonerated

 

Vijay Jayaraj makes the case for carbon emissions in relation to the question: Will My Carbon Footprint Benefit or Harm the Environment? May 28, 2019 at Cornwall Alliance. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images. (Follow the title link to the article for many supporting reference links)

My cousin in California is excited about buying a Tesla. “It is environmentally friendly” he says. Maybe you agree. My friends in India, too, are excited about buying electric cars. They think doing so will help them prevent global warming.

But the evidence suggests otherwise.

Almost every environmental policy now makes reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the only way to “go green.” Advocates have even persuaded school children to strike against fossil fuels.

But as a climate scientist, I’ve researched the pros and cons of CO2. What have I found? That our CO2 emissions will actually benefit the planet, not harm it.

Why? Here are four reasons.

Realism Not Denialism

To begin, climate change is real. The current warming trend began in the 18th century, after the Little Ice Age.

But forecasts of future warming based on faulty computer models aren’t credible. In addition, current global temperature is not unprecedented. It poses no imminent danger to ecosystems.

CO2 does contribute to warming. But the theory that it is the dominant cause is mistaken.

The scientific community is divided on how strongly CO2 can influence global temperature. But the sun and oceans play major roles. They probably far outweigh CO2.

So, call me a “climate realist,” not a “climate denier.” That is a misleading term, used to discredit those who question their hypothesis.

2.  No Damage So Far, and None Coming

CO2 emissions from human activity were almost nonexistent before the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century. If CO2 is the primary driver of warming, there should have been no comparable warming before then. But numerous warming events did occur.

Two happened in the past 2000 years—the Roman Warm Period (around the 1st century A.D.) and the Medieval Warm Period (around the 10th century). Neither significantly damaged human civilization. The only global-scale climate-related damage came from the Little Ice Age of the 17th century.

So we have no reason to believe rising temperatures will cause severe global-scale problems in the future.

3.  CO2 Emissions Have Benefited Us, Not Harmed Us

CO2 emissions haven’t caused global harm. Instead, they have benefited us, directly and indirectly.

The direct but smaller benefit is increased agricultural productivity. Plants grow better with more CO2. Hundreds of scientific studies demonstrate this. Greenhouse operators capitalize on it. They pump CO2 into greenhouses to make their plants grow faster and larger.

If anything, the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration levels has helped our planet grow greener. Rising temperatures lengthen growing seasons. They enable plants to grow in places where previously it was too cold. Improved photosynthesis enables them to resist diseases and pests better and bear more fruit to feed animals and people.

The indirect but larger benefit of CO2 emissions came from the use of fossil fuels to raise billions of people out of abject poverty. CO2 emissions are the unavoidable byproduct of the combustion of fossil fuels, not pollution.

So think twice before you equate CO2 emission reduction with going green. That is the opposite of the truth.

4.  While CO2 Can’t Cause Dangerous Warming, It Might Help Save Us from Cooling

Even if you contest the benefits of CO2 emissions, they cannot cause dramatic global warming. Even climate alarmists admit this. Why? Because, despite exponential increase in atmospheric CO2, no significant increase in global temperature occurred in the past 19 years. If rapid warming occurs, it is unlikely to be from CO2 emissions.

In fact, we face a possible cooling because of low solar activity. If that kicks in, whatever warming effect CO2 emissions do have will reduce the risk of a repeat of the devastation the Little Ice Age triggered.

For plant growth today and in the future, I give a green “thumbs up” to CO2 emissions. They are the real way to “go green.” Moreover, fossil fuels have immense potential to reduce poverty in developing countries. That will be more beneficial than any reduction of global warming that might come from reduced CO2 emissions.

See also CO2 Unbound

CO2 Unbound

On May 28, 2019 the US Department of Energy announced that CO2 has been unleashed to bring Freedom to the World.

Department of Energy Authorizes Additional LNG Exports from Freeport LNG

Advances commitment to U.S. jobs, economic growth, clean energy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) advanced its commitment to promoting clean energy, job creation, and economic growth by approving additional exports of domestically produced natural gas from the Freeport LNG Terminal located on Quintana Island, Texas. The announcement was made at the Tenth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM10) in Vancouver, Canada where DOE is highlighting its efforts to advance clean energy. The expansion of the Freeport LNG facility is estimated to support up to 3,000 engineering and construction jobs and hundreds of indirect jobs associated with the project.

“Increasing export capacity from the Freeport LNG project is critical to spreading freedom gas throughout the world by giving America’s allies a diverse and affordable source of clean energy. Further, more exports of U.S. LNG to the world means more U.S. jobs and more domestic economic growth and cleaner air here at home and around the globe,” said U.S. Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes, who highlighted the approval at the Clean Energy Ministerial in Vancouver, Canada. “There’s no doubt today’s announcement furthers this Administration’s commitment to promoting energy security and diversity worldwide.”

“Approval of additional LNG exports from Freeport LNG furthers this Administration’s commitment to promoting American energy, American jobs, and the American economy. Further, increased supplies of U.S. natural gas on the world market are critical to advancing clean energy and the energy security of our allies around the globe. With the U.S. in another year of record-setting natural gas production, I am pleased that the Department of Energy is doing what it can to promote an efficient regulatory system that allows for molecules of U.S. freedom to be exported to the world,” said Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg, who signed the export order and was also in attendance at the Clean Energy Ministerial.

Update May 31, 2019 Shale Gas Chemistry (Response to Genghis question)

Shale gas is natural gas trapped within tiny pore spaces in shale formations. It is a hydrocarbon gas mixture. It consists mainly of methane. Other hydrocarbons are natural gas liquids (NGLs) like ethane, propane, and butane, and it also contains carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and hydrogen sulfide.

Shale gas composition in the USA

What is done with Shale Gas?

Warmists obsessed with GHG theory are concerned a little about the bit of CO2 escaping during fracking, but much more about the methane (CH4) lost in the process.  Industry is continually reducing such losses with a high economic incentive for efficiency.  Of course, the atmosphere is a methane sink which soon converts any escaping CH4 to CO2 and H20, two life-giving gases.

In sum, the Freedom to emit CO2 covers both pathways.

See Also CO2 Exonerated

Footnote:  This is not a joke!  (OK, I did invent the CO2 superhero image.)

P.S. Anti-fossil fuel activists are not amused.

 

Straight Talk on CO2

The video above gives you in 20 minutes the viewpoint of William Happer, a key scientific advisor to the Trump Administration.  H/T Elephant’s Child and Tallbloke.

LEARNING A BIT ABOUT CO² AND MASS HYSTERIA by The Elephant’s Child March 25, 2019,

William Happer is one of our most renowned and esteemed physicists, a professor emeritus from Princeton University. He decidedly does not agree with the current panic about the horrors of “climate change.”He says, and explains why CO², carbon dioxide, doesn’t have much of anything to do with warming, and we really need more of it — not less. CO² is food for plants. The slight increase we have had is greening the earth. You can see it from space.

This conversation with Dr. Happer is completely fascinating and worth your time. Share it with your kids and friends and family.

You have surely heard the current crop of Democrat candidates hoping to run for the presidency against Donald Trump, speaking out on the notion that they will work to save us from the horrors of climate change and only disagreeing on how long we have left before it is all over. Green New Deal, they all signed right on.

Yes, I know that Nancy Pelosi wants sixteen year-olds to vote, but one would expect better from grownups who think they should be president. Yes, in the heat of a campaign and trying to raise money, they should have some responsibility for saying stupid things.

For those who are sure that 400 ppm represents the upper limits of what we can tolerate in the atmosphere, greenhouses pump in extra CO² to reach about 1,000 ppm to help their seedlings grow. The floors of greenhouses are not littered with the corpses of nurserymen.

We are in a CO² famine. We don’t have enough.

Cold Waves and CO2

To put this year’s winter cold into perspective, there is an informative article by Jon Erdman at weather.com America’s Coldest Outbreaks January 17 2018 Excerpts with my bolds and showing CO2 concentrations at the referenced dates. Note  that temperatures are in degrees Fahrenheit.

The Clear Number 1  February 1899: Atmospheric CO2 295 ppm.
The cold wave during the first two weeks of February 1899 is by far and away the gold standard for cold outbreaks in U.S. history.

What made this outbreak worthy of its lofty status was the magnitude, areal coverage and longevity of the cold.

For the first and only time on record, every state in the Union (recall, there were only 45 states at the time) dipped below zero. Subzero cold invaded parts of south-central Texas, the Gulf Coast beaches and northwest Florida.

Tallahassee, Florida, dipped to -2 degrees on Feb. 13, 1899, the only subzero low in the city’s history. This remains the all-time record low for the Sunshine State.

All-time record lows were set in a dozen states, from the Plains to the Ohio Valley, Southeast and District of Columbia. In addition to Florida, state record lows in Louisiana (-16 in Minden), Nebraska (-47 in Camp Clarke) and Ohio (-39 in Milligan) still stand today.

Dozens of cities still hold onto their all-time record low from this cold wave, including Atlanta (-9), Grand Rapids, Michigan (-24), and Wichita, Kansas (-22). Temperatures as frigid as -61 degrees (Montana), -59 degrees (Minnesota) and -50 degrees (Wisconsin) were recorded.

The Mississippi River froze solid north of Cairo, Illinois, and ice not only clogged the river in New Orleans, but also flowed into the Gulf of Mexico a few days after the heart of the cold outbreak.

Ice jams triggered floods along parts of the Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland and James Rivers. Ice skating was the activity of choice as the San Antonio River froze.

Lacking snow cover, the ground froze to a depth of 5 feet in Chicago, damaging water, gas and other pipes.

New York City engineers found trusses on the Brooklyn Bridge had contracted 14 feet due to the cold, according to Extreme American Weather, by Tim Vasquez. Due to frozen aqueducts from Catskills reservoirs, the city of Newark was forced to draw water from other rivers and bays.

Adding insult to injury, a massive snowstorm punctuated the cold outbreak from the Gulf Coast to New England Feb. 11-14.

Cape May, New Jersey, picked up 34 inches of snow, the nation’s capital was buried by 21 inches and 15.5 inches fell in New York City, overwhelming city crews and isolating suburbs.

In Florida, snow fell in Fort Myers, Tampa saw measurable snow for one of only two times in its history, and Jacksonville picked up 1.9 inches of snow. New Orleans was blanketed by 3 inches of snow.

Here are some other notable cold outbreaks since the massive 1899 outbreak.

Winter 2013-2014 Atmospheric CO2 399 ppm

Ice builds up along Lake Michigan as temperatures dipped well below zero on January 6, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago hit a record low of -16 degree Fahrenheit as an arctic air mass brought the coldest temperatures in about two decades into the city.
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

– December 2013 – February 2014 was among the top 10 coldest such periods on record in seven Midwest states.

– An early January 2014 outbreak brought the coldest temperatures of the 21st century, to date, for some cities.

– The winter was among the top five snowiest on record in at least 10 major cities.

Late January-Early February 1996 Atmospheric CO2 363 ppm

– Minnesota state record: -60 degrees near Tower on Feb. 2, 1996. WCCO radio’s Mike Lynch broadcasted live from Tower that morning, during which he blew soap bubbles which then froze on the ground as a crowd watched.

– All Minnesota public schools shut down.

– Fears of natural gas shortage in northern Illinois prompted requests to reduce consumption.

Mid-Late January 1994 Atmospheric CO2 359 ppm
– 14 cities set all-time record lows, including Indianapolis (-27), Cleveland (-20) and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (-22). Pittsburgh (-22) beat its previous all-time record set during the February 1899 outbreak.

– Both Pittsburgh (52 hours) and Cleveland (56 hours) set their record stretch of subzero cold.

– Indiana state record low set: -36 degrees at New Whiteland on Jan. 19

– 35 counties in Ohio plunged to -30 degrees or colder on Jan. 19.

– Worcester, Massachusetts, had seven straight days with subzero lows, a record stretch.

– Crown Point, New York, dipped to -48 degrees on Jan. 27.

– Coldest month on record in Caribou, Maine, with an average temperature of -0.7 degrees.

December 1990 Atmospheric CO2 356 ppm
– Most destructive freeze in California since 1949. Fifty percent of California’s citrus crop damaged.

– Record 18-day freeze streak in Salt Lake City

– 2,000 children stranded in Seattle schools due to heavy snow on Dec. 18

– Randolph, Utah, bottomed out at -45 degrees on Dec. 22.

December 1989 Atmospheric CO2 354 ppm
– All-time record lows in Kansas City (-23), Topeka, Kansas (-26), Lake Charles, Louisiana (-4), and Wilmington, North Carolina (0).

– First Christmas Day snow (trace) on record in Tallahassee. Miami had a rare freeze while Key West dipped to 44 degrees.

– 14 inches of snow fall at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Christmas Eve.

– At the time, it was the fourth coldest December on record for the entire U.S.

President Reagan Inauguration – Jan. 1985 Atmospheric CO2 346 ppm
Due to the cold, President Ronald Reagan takes the oath of office for his second term as President in the Capitol Rotunda on Jan. 21, 1985.

– 13.2 inches of snow in San Antonio, Texas (Jan. 12), crushed the previous 24-hour snow record, there. Austin and Houston (3 inches each) also were blanketed by this snowstorm.

– All-time record lows were set in Chicago (-27), Jacksonville, Florida (7), and Macon, Georgia (-6)

– State record lows were set in Virginia (-30 at Mountain Lake) and North Carolina (-34 atop Mt. Mitchell).

– $1.2 billion in damage to Florida’s citrus crop

– Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration was the coldest Inauguration Day on record (7 degrees). The ceremony was moved indoors and parade cancelled.

Late December 1983 Atmospheric CO2 343 ppm
– $2 billion damage to agriculture, mainly due to freezing temperatures in central and northern Florida.

– As measured using the old formula, wind chills reached 100 degrees below zero over much of North Dakota on Dec. 22.

– Williston, North Dakota tied its all-time record low (-50) on Dec. 23. (Check out the hourly observations from that day.)

– Sioux Falls, South Dakota, remained below zero from the morning of Dec. 16 until Christmas Day afternoon.

– Over 125 daily low-temperature records were broken on Christmas Day. Tampa’s Christmas Day high was only 38 degrees.

Remembering the “Freezer Bowl AFC Championship game in Cincinnati, Ohio on Jan. 10, 1982.

January 1982 Atmospheric CO2 341 ppm
– 85 deaths were attributed to the cold wave, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

– Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports set all-time record lows (-26).

– Milwaukee, Wisconsin, plunged to -26 degrees on Jan. 17, their coldest temperature in 111 years.

– Montgomery, Alabama (-2), Jackson, Mississippi (-5), and Atlanta (-5) each plunged below zero.

– Snow at rush hour on Jan. 11 slickened streets, stranding motorists in Atlanta.

– Natural gas lines froze, and up to 7 million experienced brownouts, according to Tim Vasquez.

– The second coldest game in National Football League history, the “Freezer Bowl”, was played in Cincinnati, where a kickoff temperature of -9 degrees greeted the warm-weather San Diego Chargers.

– Hundreds of cases of frostbite were treated at the stadium, including Bengals quarterback Kenny Anderson’s frosbitten ear.

Tonawanda, New York – Post Blizzard of 1977
Photo of a house almost completely buried in snow in the aftermath of the “Blizzard of ’77” in Tonawanda, New York.  (Jeff Wurstner/Wikipedia)

January 1977 Atmospheric CO2 334 ppm
– 69 first-order weather stations shivered through their record coldest month, according to Weather Underground’s Christopher Burt.

– South Carolina state record set: -20 degrees near Long Creek

– Temperatures did not rise above freezing the entire month in a swath from eastern Iowa to western Pennsylvania northward, according to Burt.

– Snow fell as far south as Miami and Homestead, Florida, the farthest south occurrence of snow in the U.S. Two inches of snow fell in Winter Haven, Florida.

– 35 percent of Florida’s citrus crop was damaged; rolling blackouts were needed in Florida due to heavy power demand.

– President Jimmy Carter walked 1.5 miles in the Inauguration Parade with temperatures just below freezing on Jan. 20.

– The “Buffalo Blizzard of ’77” added a foot of snow to the 33 inches of snow on the ground, accompanied by wind gusts to 75 mph, producing snow drifts up to 30 feet high, paralyzing the city.

January 1949 Atmospheric CO2 311 ppm
Coldest month on record in Boise, Idaho, and Spokane, Washington.

– Coldest winter at virtually every weather station in California, Nevada, Idaho and Oregon, according to Burt.

– A series of blizzards in the Great Basin and Plains claimed 150,000 sheep and cattle, isolating ranches from Wyoming to South Dakota.

– The Army airlifted supplies to snowbound ranchers.

– Snow fell in San Diego. One of only three measurable snowfalls on record in Downtown Los Angeles, as well.

– All-time record low set in San Antonio, Texas (0 degrees).

Winter of 1935-1936 Atmospheric CO2 310 ppm
– Coldest Plains winter of record.

– Low temperatures dropped below -50 degrees on four separate days in Malta, Montana.

– Parshall, North Dakota, plunged to -60 degrees on Feb. 15, still the state record low today.

– Langdon, North Dakota, remained below zero for an incredible 41 straight days, the longest stretch on record in the Lower 48 states, according to Burt.

Winter of 2019 Atmospheric CO2 409 ppm


Ice builds up along the shore of Lake Michigan as temperatures dipped to lows around -20 degrees on January 31st, 2019, in Chicago, Illinois. Businesses and schools closed, Amtrak suspended service into the city, more than a thousand flights were canceled, and mail delivery was suspended as the city coped with record-setting low temperatures.  (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)


A cyclist rides through the falling snow in the Financial District, January 30th, 2019, in New York City
(Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


Frost forms on the back of Galloway cows on February 1st, 2019, in Crainlarich in Scotland. Temperatures plummeted to -15 degrees Celsius on the coldest night of the year. (Photo: Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)

Summary

Clearly CO2 neither causes nor prevents outbreaks of arctic cold invading North America. Concerning ourselves with GHGs is no substitute for ensuring reliable, affordable energy and robust infrastructure.

Jonathan Erdman is a senior meteorologist at weather.com and has been an incurable weather geek since a tornado narrowly missed his childhood home in Wisconsin at age 7.

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Who to Blame for Rising CO2?

Source :NOAA

Blaming global warming on humans comes down to two assertions:

Rising CO2 in the atmosphere causes earth’s surface temperature to rise.

Humans burning fossil fuels cause rising atmospheric CO2.

For this post I will not address the first premise, instead refer the reader to a previous article referencing Fred Singer. He noted that greenhouse gas theory presumes surface warming arises because heat is forced to escape at a higher, colder altitude. In fact, temperatures in the tropopause do not change with altitude (“pause”), and in the stratosphere temperatures increase with altitude. That post also includes the “meat” of the brief submitted to Judge Alsup’s court by Happer, Koonin and Lindzen, which questions CO2 driving global warming in the face of other more powerful factors. See Courtroom Climate Science

The focus in this piece is the claim that fossil fuel emissions drive observed rising CO2 concentrations. IPCC consensus scientists and supporters note that human emissions are about twice the measured rise and presume that natural sinks absorb half, leaving the other half to accumulate in the atmosphere. Thus they conclude all of the increase in atmospheric CO2 is from fossil fuels.

This simple-minded conclusion takes the only two things we measure in the carbon cycle: CO2 in the atmosphere, and fossil fuel emissions. And then asserts that one causes the other. But several elephants are in the room, namely the several carbon reservoirs that dwarf human activity in their size and activity, and can not be measured because of their complexity.

The consensus notion is based on a familiar environmental paradigm: The Garden of Eden. This is the modern belief that nature, and indeed the climate is in balance, except for humans disrupting it by their activities. In the current carbon cycle context, it is the supposition that all natural sources and sinks are in balance, thus any additional CO2 is because of humans.

Now, a curious person might wonder: How is it that for decades as the rate of fossil fuel emissions increased, the absorption by natural sinks has also increased at exactly the same rate, so that 50% is always removed and 50% remains? It can only be that nature is also dynamic and its flows change over time!

That alternative paradigm is elaborated in several papers that are currently under vigorous attack from climatists. As one antagonist put it: Any paper concluding that humans don’t cause rising CO2 is obviously wrong. One objectionable study was published by Hermann Harde, another by Ole Humlum, and a third by Ed Berry is delayed in pre-publication review.

The methods and analyses are different, but the three skeptical papers argue that the levels and flows of various carbon reservoirs fluctuate over time with temperature itself as a causal variable. Some sinks are stimulated by higher temperatures to release more CO2 while others respond by capturing more CO2. And these reactions occur on a range of timescales. Once these dynamics are factored in, the human contribution to rising atmospheric CO2 is neglible, much to the ire of alarmists.

Ed Berry finds IPCC carbon cycle metrics illogical.

Dr. Ed Berry provides a preprint of his submitted paper at a blog post entitled Why human CO2 does not change climate. He welcomes comments and uses the discussion to revise and improve the text. Excerpts with my bolds.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims human emissions raised the carbon dioxide level from 280 ppm to 410 ppm, or 130 ppm. Physics proves this claim is impossible.

The IPCC agrees today’s annual human carbon dioxide emissions are 4.5 ppm per year and nature’s carbon dioxide emissions are 98 ppm per year. Yet, the IPCC claims human emissions have caused all the increase in carbon dioxide since 1750, which is 30 percent of today’s total.

How can human carbon dioxide, which is only 5 percent of natural carbon dioxide, add 30 percent to the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide? It can’t.

This paper derives a Model that shows how human and natural carbon dioxide emissions independently change the equilibrium level of atmospheric carbon dioxide. This Model should replace the IPCC’s invalid Bern model.

The Model shows the ratio of human to natural carbon dioxide in the atmosphere equals the ratio of their inflows, independent of residence time.

Fig. 5. The sum of nature’s inflow is 20 times larger than the sum of human emissions. Nature balances inflow with or without human emissions.

The model shows, contrary to IPCC claims, that human emissions do not continually add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, but rather cause a flow of carbon dioxide through the atmosphere. The flow adds a constant equilibrium level, not a continuing increasing level, of carbon dioxide.

Fig. 2. Balance proceeds as follows: (1) Inflow sets the balance level. (2) Level sets the outflow. (3) Level moves toward balance level until outflow equals inflow.

Ole Humlum proves that CO2 follows temperature also for interannual/decadal periods.

Humlum et al. looks the modern record of fluctuating temperatures and atmospheric CO2 and concludes that CO2 changes follow temperature changes over these timescales. The paper is The phase relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature OleHumlum, KjellStordahl, Jan-ErikSolheim.  Excerpts with my bolds.

From the Abstract:
Using data series on atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperatures we investigate the phase relation (leads/lags) between these for the period January 1980 to December 2011. Ice cores show atmospheric CO2 variations to lag behind atmospheric temperature changes on a century to millennium scale, but modern temperature is expected to lag changes in atmospheric CO2, as the atmospheric temperature increase since about 1975 generally is assumed to be caused by the modern increase in CO2.

In our analysis we used eight well-known datasets. . . We find a high degree of co-variation between all data series except 7) and 8), but with changes in CO2 always lagging changes in temperature.
Highlights

► Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 11–12 months behind changes in global sea surface temperature. ► Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 9.5–10 months behind changes in global air surface temperature. ► Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging about 9 months behind changes in global lower troposphere temperature. ► Changes in ocean temperatures explain a substantial part of the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 since January 1980. ► Changes in atmospheric CO2 are not tracking changes in human emissions.

Summary

Summing up, monthly data since January 1980 on atmospheric CO2 and sea and air temperatures unambiguously demonstrate the overall global temperature change sequence of events to be 1) ocean surface, 2) surface air, 3) lower troposphere, and with changes in atmospheric CO2 always lagging behind changes in any of these different temperature records.9

A main control on atmospheric CO2 appears to be the ocean surface temperature, and it remains a possibility that a significant part of the overall increase of atmospheric CO2 since at least 1958 (start of Mauna Loa observations) simply reflects the gradual warming of the oceans, as a result of the prolonged period of high solar activity since 1920 (Solanki et al., 2004).

Based on the GISP2 ice core proxy record from Greenland it has previously been pointed out that the present period of warming since 1850 to a high degree may be explained by a natural c. 1100 yr periodic temperature variation (Humlum et al., 2011).

Hermann Harde sets realistic proportions for the carbon cycle.

Hermann Harde applies a comparable perspective to consider the carbon cycle dynamics. His paper is Scrutinizing the carbon cycle and CO2 residence time in the atmosphere. Excerpts with my bolds.

From the Abstract:

Climate scientists presume that the carbon cycle has come out of balance due to the increasing anthropogenic emissions from fossil fuel combustion and land use change. This is made responsible for the rapidly increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations over recent years, and it is estimated that the removal of the additional emissions from the atmosphere will take a few hundred thousand years. Since this goes along with an increasing greenhouse effect and a further global warming, a better understanding of the carbon cycle is of great importance for all future climate change predictions. We have critically scrutinized this cycle and present an alternative concept, for which the uptake of CO2 by natural sinks scales proportional with the CO2 concentration. In addition, we consider temperature dependent natural emission and absorption rates, by which the paleoclimatic CO2 variations and the actual CO2 growth rate can well be explained. The anthropogenic contribution to the actual CO2 concentration is found to be 4.3%, its fraction to the CO2 increase over the Industrial Era is 15% and the average residence time 4 years.
Fig. 1. Simplified schematic of the global carbon cycle. Black numbers and arrows indicate reservoir mass in PgC and exchange fluxes in PgC/yr before the Industrial Era. Red arrows and numbers show annual  anthropogenic’ flux changes averaged over the 2000–2009 time period. Graphic from AR5-Chap.6-Fig.6.1. 

Conclusions

Climate scientists assume that a disturbed carbon cycle, which has come out of balance by the increasing anthropogenic emissions from fossil fuel combustion and land use change, is responsible for the rapidly increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations over recent years. While over the whole Holocene up to the entrance of the Industrial Era (1750) natural emissions by heterotrophic processes and fire were supposed to be in equilibrium with the uptake by photosynthesis and the net ocean-atmosphere gas exchange, with the onset of the Industrial Era the IPCC estimates that about 15–40% of the additional emissions cannot further be absorbed by the natural sinks and are accumulating in the atmosphere. The IPCC further argues that CO2 emitted until 2100 will remain in the atmosphere longer than 1000 years, and in the same context it is even mentioned that the removal of human-emitted CO2 from the atmosphere by natural processes will take a few hundred thousand years (high confidence) (see AR5-Chap.6ExecutiveSummary). Since the rising CO2 concentrations go along with an increasing greenhouse effect and, thus, a further global warming, a better understanding of the carbon cycle is a necessary prerequisite for all future climate change predictions.

In their accounting schemes and models of the carbon cycle the IPCC uses many new and detailed data which are primarily focussing on fossil fuel emission, cement fabrication or net land use change (see AR5-WG1- Chap.6.3.2), but it largely neglects any changes of the natural emissions, which contribute to more than 95 % to the total emissions and by far cannot be assumed to be constant over longer periods (see, e.g.: variations over the last 800,000 years (Jouzel et al., 2007); the last glacial termination (Monnin et al., 2001); or the younger Holocene (Monnin et al., 2004; Wagner et al., 2004)).

Since our own estimates of the average CO2 residence time in the atmosphere differ by several orders of magnitude from the announced IPCC values, and on the other hand actual investigations of Humlum et al. (2013) or Salby (2013, 2016) show a strong relation between the natural CO2 emission rate and the surface temperature, this was motivation enough to scrutinize the IPCC accounting scheme in more detail and to contrast this to our own calculations.

Different to the IPCC we start with a rate equation for the emission and absorption processes, where the uptake is not assumed to be saturated but scales proportional with the actual CO2 concentration in the atmosphere (see also Essenhigh, 2009; Salby, 2016). This is justified by the observation of an exponential decay of 14C. A fractional saturation, as assumed by the IPCC, can directly be expressed by a larger residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere and makes a distinction between a turnover time and adjustment time needless.

Based on this approach and as solution of the rate equation we derive a concentration at steady state, which is only determined by the product of the total emission rate and the residence time. Under present conditions the natural emissions contribute 373 ppm and anthropogenic emissions 17 ppm to the total concentration of 390 ppm (2012). For the average residence time we only find 4 years.

The stronger increase of the concentration over the Industrial Era up to present times can be explained by introducing a temperature dependent natural emission rate as well as a temperature affected residence time. With this approach not only the exponential increase with the onset of the Industrial Era but also the concentrations at glacial and cooler interglacial times can well be reproduced in full agreement with all observations.

So, different to the IPCC’s interpretation the steep increase of the concentration since 1850 finds its natural explanation in the self accelerating processes on the one hand by stronger degassing of the oceans as well as a faster plant growth and decomposition, on the other hand by an increasing residence time at reduced solubility of CO2 in oceans. Together this results in a dominating temperature controlled natural gain, which contributes about 85% to the 110 ppm CO2 increase over the Industrial Era, whereas the actual anthropogenic emissions of 4.3% only donate 15%. These results indicate that almost all of the observed change of CO2 during the Industrial Era followed, not from anthropogenic emission, but from changes of natural emission. The results are consistent with the observed lag of CO2 changes behind temperature changes (Humlum et al., 2013; Salby, 2013), a signature of cause and effect. Our analysis of the carbon cycle, which exclusively uses data for the CO2 concentrations and fluxes as published in AR5, shows that also a completely different interpretation of these data is possible, this in complete conformity with all observations and natural causalities.

Background

CO2 Fluxes, Sources and Sinks

Obsessed with Human CO2

Not Worried About CO2

 

CO2 Not Dangerous


Figure 1 depicts EPA’s endangerment chain of reasoning.

Scientists are putting forward the case against CO2 endangerment by making submissions to inform EPA’s reconsideration of that erroneous finding some years ago. As noted previously, the Supreme Court had ruled that EPA has authority to regulate CO2, but left it to the agency to study and decide the endangerment. H/T to GWPF and WUWT for providing links to the documents submitted to EPA on this topic. This post provides a synopsis with some of the key exhibits (my bolds)

The first supplement (here) addressed the first part of the scientific case, namely that fossil fuel emissions cause warming in earth’s atmosphere. The rebuttal consists of three points:

First, Research Reports failed to find that the steadily rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations have had a statistically significant impact on any of the 14 temperature data sets that were analyzed. The tropospheric and surface temperature data measurements that were analyzed were taken by many different entities using balloons, satellites, buoys and various land based techniques.

Second, new information is submitted regarding the logically invalid use of climate models in the attribution of warming to human greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Third, new information is submitted relevant to the invalidation of the “Tropical Hot Spot” and the resulting implications for the three lines of evidence, a subject that was also discussed in our original Petition.

Now we have a Fifth Supplement (here) which rebuts in detail the “lines of evidence” which claim to prove man-made global warming is causing observable changes in nature.

Claim #1: Heat Waves are increasing at an alarming rate and heat kills

Summary of Rebuttal There has been no detectable long-term increase in heat waves in the United States or elsewhere in the world. Most all-time record highs here in the U.S. happened many years ago, long before mankind was using much fossil fuel. Thirty-eight states set their all-time record highs before 1960 (23 in the 1930s!). Here in the United States, the number of 100F, 95F and 90F days per year has been steadily declining since the 1930s. The Environmental Protection Agency Heat Wave Index confirms the 1930s as the hottest decade.

Claim #2: Global warming is causing more hurricanes and stronger hurricanes

Summary of RebuttalThere has been no detectable long-term trend in the number and intensity of hurricane activity globally. The activity does vary year to year and over multidecadal periods as ocean cycles including El Nino/La Nina,multidecadal cycles in the Pacific (PDO) and Atlantic (AMO) favor some basins over others.  The trend in landfalling storms in the United States has been flat to down since the 1850s. Before the active hurricane season in the United States in 2017, there had been a lull of 4324 days (almost 12 years) in major hurricane landfalls, the longest lull since the 1860s.

Claim #3: Global warming is causing more and stronger tornadoes

Summary of Rebuttal Tornadoes are failing to follow “global warming” predictions. Big tornadoes have seen a decline in frequency since the 1950s. The years 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 all saw below average to near record low tornado counts in the U.S. since records began in 1954. 2017 to date has rebounded only to the long-term mean. This lull followed a very active and deadly strong La Nina of 2010/11, which like the strong La Nina of 1973/74 produced record setting and very deadly outbreaks of tornadoes. Population growth and expansion outside urban areas have exposed more people to the tornadoes that once roamed through open fields.

Claim #4: Global warming is increasing the magnitude and frequency of droughts and floods.

Summary of Rebuttal Our use of fossil fuels to power our civilization is not causing droughts or floods. NOAA found there is no evidence that floods and droughts are increasing because of climate change. The number, extend or severity of these events does increase dramatically for a brief period of years at some locations from time to time but then conditions return to more normal. This is simply the long-established constant variation of weather resulting from a confluence of natural factors.

Claim #5: Global Warming has increased U.S. Wildfires

Summary of Rebuttal  Wildfires are in the news almost every late summer and fall. The National Interagency Fire Center has recorded the number of fires and acreage affected since 1985. This data show the number of fires trending down slightly, though the acreage burned had increased before leveling off over the last 20 years. The NWS tracks the number of days where conditions are conducive to wildfires when they issue red-flag warnings. It is little changed.

Claim #6: Global warming is causing snow to disappear

Summary of Rebuttal This is one claim that has been repeated for decades even as nature showed very much the opposite trend with unprecedented snows even to the big coastal cities. Every time they repeated the claim, it seems nature upped the ante more. Alarmists have eventually evolved to crediting warming with producing greater snowfall, because of increased moisture but the snow events in recent years have usually occurred in colder winters with high snow water equivalent ratios in frigid arctic air.

Claim #7: Global warming is resulting in rising sea levels as seen in both tide gauge and satellite technology.

Summary of Rebuttal This claim is demonstrably false. It really hinges on this statement: “Tide gauges and satellites agree with the model projections.” The models project a rapid acceleration of sea level rise over the next 30 to 70 years. However, while the models may project acceleration, the tide gauges clearly do not.  All data from tide gauges in areas where land is not rising or sinking show instead a steady linear and unchanging sea level rate of rise from 4 up to 6 inches/century, with variations due to gravitational factors.

Figure 1. Modelled and observed sea-level changes, 1840-2010. The curve marked “Models” represents the IPCC’s combination of selected tide-gauge records and corrected satellite altimetry data. The curve marked “Observations” represents the observed eustatic sea level changes in the field up to 1960 according to Mörner (1973) and (in this paper) thereafter. After 1965, the two curves start to diverge, presenting two totally different views, separated by the area with the question mark. Which of these views is tenable?

Claim #8: Arctic, Antarctic and Greenland ice loss is accelerating due to global warming

Summary of Rebuttal Satellite and surface temperature records and sea surface temperatures show that both the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet are cooling, not warming and glacial ice is increasing, not melting. Satellite and surface temperature measurements of the southern polar area show no warming over the past 37 years. Growth of the Antarctic ice sheets means sea level rise is not being caused by melting of polar ice and, in fact, is slightly lowering the rate of rise. Satellite Antarctic temperature records show 0.02C/decade cooling since 1979. The Southern Ocean around Antarctica has been getting sharply colder since 2006. Antarctic sea ice is increasing, reaching all-time highs. Surface temperatures at 13 stations show the Antarctic Peninsula has been sharply cooling since 2000.
Claim #9: Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are causing ocean acidification, which is catastrophically harming marine life

Summary of Rebuttal As the air’s CO2 content rises in response to ever-increasing anthropogenic CO2 emissions, more and more carbon dioxide is expected to dissolve into the surface waters of the world’s oceans, which dissolution is projected to cause a 0.3 to 0.7 pH unit decline in the planet’s oceanic waters by the year 2300.

The ocean chemistry aspect of the ocean acidification hypothesis is rather straightforward, but it is not as solid as it is often claimed to be. For one thing, the work of a number of respected scientists suggests that the drop in oceanic pH will not be nearly as great as the IPCC and others predict. And, as with all phenomena involving living organisms, the introduction of life into the analysis greatly complicates things. When a number of interrelated biological phenomena are considered, it becomes much more difficult, if not impossible, to draw such sweeping negative conclusions about the reaction of marine organisms to ocean acidification. Quite to the contrary, when life is considered, ocean acidification is often found to be a non-problem, or even a benefit. And in this regard, numerous scientific studies have demonstrated the robustness of multiple marine plant and animal species to ocean acidification—when they are properly performed under realistic experimental conditions.

Graph showing a typical oceanic situation. Over a 60 day period, pH fluxes are far greater than claims of global shifts toward 7 (neutral) or lower (acidity).

Claim #10: Carbon pollution is a health hazard

Summary of Rebuttal The term “carbon pollution” is a deliberate, ambiguous, disingenuous term, designed to mislead people into thinking carbon dioxide is pollution. It is used by the environmentalists to confuse the environmental impacts of CO2 emissions with the impact of the emissions of unwanted waste products of combustion. The burning of carbon-based fuels (fossil fuels – coal, oil, natural gas – and biofuels and biomass) converts the carbon in the fuels to carbon dioxide (CO2), which is an odorless invisible gas that is plant food and it is essential to life on the planet.

VOC refers to “volatile organic compounds” meaning any compound of carbon produced from burning fuels, excluding carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.

The linked documents above provide more details on EPA’s “secret science”, as well as posts on this blog addressing many of these topics.

 

 

 

 

CO2 Fluxes, Sources and Sinks

A recent post Obsessed with Human CO2 pointed out how small is the amount of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels compared to natural sources. Human emissions fall within the error ranges around the estimates from land, oceans and biosphere. This post looks deeper into the issue and our current state of knowledge about attributing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.

Note the size of the human emissions next to the red arrow. (Units are in GT)

Alarming Claims by IPCC Followers

From Chapter 6 Working Group 1 AR5 with my bolds.

With a very high level of confidence, the increase in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning and those arising from land use change are the dominant cause of the observed increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration. About half of the emissions remained in the atmosphere (240 ± 10 PgC) since 1750. The rest was removed from the atmosphere by sinks and stored in the natural carbon cycle reservoirs. The ocean reservoir stored 155 ± 30 PgC. Vegetation biomass and soils not affected by land use change stored 160 ± 90 PgC. {6.1, 6.3, 6.3.2.3, Table 6.1, Figure 6.8}

Since the beginning of the Industrial Era (1750), the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by 40%, from 278 ± 5 ppm to 390.5 ± 0.1 ppm in 2011 (Figure 6.11; updated from Ballantyne et al. (2012), corresponding to an increase in CO2 of 240 ± 10 PgC in the atmosphere. Atmospheric CO2 grew at a rate of 3.4 ± 0.2 PgC yr–1 in the 1980s, 3.1 ± 0.2 PgC yr–1 in the 1990s and 4.0 ± 0.2 PgC yr–1 in the 2000s (Conway and Tans, 2011) (Table 6.1).

Coupled carbon-cycle climate models indicate that less carbon is taken up by the ocean and land as the climate warms constituting a positive climate feedback. Many different factors contribute to this effect: warmer seawater, for instance, has a lower CO2 solubility, so altered chemical carbon reactions result in less oceanic uptake of excess atmospheric CO2. On land, higher temperatures foster longer seasonal growth periods in temperate and higher latitudes, but also faster respiration of soil carbon.

The removal of human-emitted CO2 from the atmosphere by natural processes will take a few hundred thousand years (high confidence). Depending on the RCP scenario considered, about 15 to 40% of emitted CO2 will remain in the atmosphere longer than 1,000 years. This very long time required by sinks to remove anthropogenic CO2 makes climate change caused by elevated CO2 irreversible on human time scale. {Box 6.1}

Alarmist Summary: All of the rise in atmospheric CO2 is caused by humans, is increasing and will last for 1000 years.

Sobering Facts from Scientific Observations

Fact 1. The Carbon Cycle System is estimated with uncertainties greater than human emissions.

Carbon fluxes describe the rate of exchange of carbon between the various carbon sinks / reservoirs.

There are four main carbon sinks – lithosphere (earth crust), hydrosphere (oceans), atmosphere (air), biosphere (organisms).

The rate at which carbon is exchanged between these reservoirs depends on the conversion processes involved:

Photosynthesis – removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and fixes it in producers as organic compounds
Respiration – releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when organic compounds are digested in living organisms
Decomposition – releases carbon products into the air or sediment when organic matter is recycled after death of an organism
Gaseous dissolution – the exchange of carbon gases between the ocean and atmosphere
Lithification – the compaction of carbon-containing sediments into fossils and rocks within the Earth’s crust (e.g. limestone)
Combustion – releases carbon gases when organic hydrocarbons (coal, oil and gas) are burned as a fuel source

It is not possible to directly measure the size of the carbon sinks or the fluxes between them – instead estimates are made.

Global carbon fluxes are very large and are therefore measured in gigatonnes (1 gigatonne of carbon = 1 billion metric tonnes).

Because carbon fluxes are large and based on measurements from many different sources, estimates have large uncertainties.

A good summary description of carbon fluxes and reservoirs is at University of New Hampshire (here). This figure from IPCC AR4 shows how estimates have been developed. Explanation below with my bolds.

IPCC AR4WG1 Figure 7.3. The global carbon cycle for the 1990s, showing the main annual fluxes in GtC yr–1: pre-industrial ‘natural’ fluxes in black and ‘anthropogenic’ fluxes in red (modified from Sarmiento and Gruber, 2006, with changes in pool sizes from Sabine et al., 2004). The net terrestrial loss of –39 GtC is inferred from cumulative fossil fuel emissions minus atmospheric increase minus ocean storage. The loss of –140 GtC from the ‘vegetation, soil and detritus’ compartment represents the cumulative emissions from land use change (Houghton, 2003), and requires a terrestrial biosphere sink of 101 GtC (in Sabine et al., given only as ranges of –140 to –80 GtC and 61 to 141 GtC, respectively; other uncertainties given in their Table 1). Net anthropogenic exchanges with the atmosphere are from Column 5 ‘AR4’ in Table 7.1. Gross fluxes generally have uncertainties of more than ±20% but fractional amounts have been retained to achieve overall balance when including estimates in fractions of GtC yr–1 for riverine transport, weathering, deep ocean burial, etc. ‘GPP’ is annual gross (terrestrial) primary production. Atmospheric carbon content and all cumulative fluxes since 1750 are as of end 1994.

The diagram shows that anthropogenic emissions of CO2 from burning of fossil fuels cannot be the reason for the increase in atmospheric CO2.

Fact 2. Land-based Carbon Pools Behave Diversely, Defying Global Averaging.

It should be clear from the observational data that Earth’s biosphere is exerting a powerful brake on the rate of rise of the air’s CO2 content, such that the large increases in anthropogenic CO2 emissions of the past two decades have not resulted in any increase in the rate of CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere. The IPCC has yet to acknowledge the existence and sign of this negative feedback, choosing to rely on projections from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) models. Those models “consistently estimate a positive carbon cycle feedback, i.e. reduced natural sinks or increased natural CO2 sources in response to future climate change.” The models further find “in particular, carbon sinks in tropical land ecosystems are vulnerable to climate change” (p. 21 of the Technical Summary, Second Order Draft of AR5, dated October 5, 2012).

Fluxnet Observation Sites around the world.

Soils are the largest carbon reservoir of the terrestrial carbon cycle. Worldwide they contain three or four times more organic carbon (1500 Gt to 1 m depth, 2500 Gt to 2 m) than vegetation (610 Gt) and twice or three times as much carbon as the atmosphere (750 Gt, see Figure 1) [71]. Carbon storage in soils is the balance between the input of dead plant material (leaf, root litter, and decaying wood) and losses from decomposition and mineralization of organic matter (‘heterotrophic respiration’). Under aerobic conditions, most of the carbon entering the soil returns to the atmosphere by autotrophic root respiration and heterotrophic respiration (together called ‘soil respiration’ or ‘soil CO2 efflux’). The mineralization rate is a function of temperature and moisture levels and chemical environment with factors such as pH, Eh, nitrogen level and the cation exchange capacity of the minerals in the soil affecting the mineralization rate of soil organic carbon (SOC) [72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78]. Under anaerobic conditions, resulting from constantly high water levels, part of the carbon entering the soil is not fully mineralized and accumulates as peat.

Today, eddy covariance measurements of carbon dioxide and water vapor exchange are being made routinely on all continents.  The flux measurement sites are linked across a confederation of regional networks in North, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia, in a global network, called FLUXNET.  This global network includes more than eight hundred active and historic flux measurement sites, dispersed across most of the world’s climate space and representative biomes (Figure 1, 2). Fluxnet portal is here Excerpts with my bolds.

The flux network has also been pivotal in refining the functional response of net and gross carbon dioxide exchange with climatic drivers. One notable observation relates to the sensitivity of ecosystem respiration to temperature. That is, respiration is constant across climate and ecological space and increases by a factor of 1.4 with a ten degree increase in temperature. Another emergent property is the plasticity of the timing of the initiation of the growing season, and how it is triggered by when soil temperature matches mean annual air temperature.

Lessons learned from FLUXNET

One of the first and overarching things we have learned is “what is the net and gross annual carbon fluxes, at sites across the globe?” A collation of data has enabled the community to produce a probability distribution of net carbon exchange that is occurring across the network. We see that the central tendency of net carbon exchange is: −157±285 g C m−2 y−1 (Figure 1), representing a sink of carbon to the terrestrial biosphere from the atmosphere. We are also able to document the range of carbon uptake by terrestrial ecosystems. We find that the most negative tail of the histogram is about -1000 g C m−2 y−1. The most positive tail of the histogram, representing sites acting as carbon sources can be as large as +1000 g C m−2 y−1. Of course these values do not consider net biome exchange that would release pulses of carbon from fires or anthropogenic combustion of fossil fuels.

Fact 3. Fluxes are Dynamic and Difficult to Estimate Reliably.

This summary comes from Helge Hellevanga and Per Aagaard in Making Constraints on natural global atmospheric CO2 fluxes from 1860 to 2010 using a simplified explicit forward model (2015) Excerpt with my bolds.

The relative contribution of the emissions and the efficiency of the biosphere and the ocean to mitigate the increase in atmospheric CO2-concentrations, remain highly uncertain. This is demonstrated in chapter six of the latest IPCC report5, where we can read that the net land-atmosphere carbon flux in the 1980s was estimated to −0.1 ± 0.8 Gt C/a (negative numbers denote net uptake). These numbers were partly based on estimates of net CO2 releases caused by land use changes (+1.4 ± 0.8 Gt C/a), and a residual terrestrial sink estimated to −1.5 ± 1.1 Gt C/a.

There are globally much data supporting increased uptake of carbon by the ocean mixed layer (shallow surface water), but the global gross ocean-atmosphere fluxes, partly influenced by annual and inter-annual processes, such as El Niño/La Niña events, are nevertheless not easy to estimate. Obtaining global values of the carbon fluxes are further complicated by large local and regional variations in carbon releases and uptake by the terrestrial biosphere.

Because of the close coupling between oxygen and carbon fluxes during photosynthesis and respiration, the tracer APO (Atmospheric Potential Oxygen), in combination with atmospheric CO2 data, is used to obtain the net amount of CO2 being taken up by the oceanic sink. The net amount of carbon being taken up by the terrestrial biosphere can then be found from the residual (difference between carbon accumulated in the atmosphere and amount taken up by the global oceans).

APO values are however not straightforward to estimate, and a recent study suggests that the strength of the terrestrial sink may be significantly lower than found earlier. Moreover, current measurements of the atmospheric O2/N2 ratio and CO2 concentrations may suggest that the amount of oxygen is dropping at a faster rate than calculated from the APO tracer values.

Fact 4. The Carbon Cycle is driven by Temperature more than Human Emissions.

Global warming, human-induced carbon emissions,and their uncertainties
FANG JingYun, ZHU JiangLing, WANG ShaoPeng, YUE Chao & SHEN HaiHua. Excerpts with my bolds.

However, the current global carbon balance is disturbed by two factors: one is anthropogenic carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion and land use change, which are 9–10 Pg C per year [74], i.e. equal to 1/22–1/26 of the natural emissions from terrestrial and oceanic biospheres; and the other is that increasing temperature can result in a positive feedback of carbon emissions caused from a greater soil heterotrophic respiration and from oceanic ecosystems [77, 78]. This increased emission will be reserved in atmosphere and contribute to the increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration if it cannot be absorbed by ecosystems. In this sense, in addition to the anthropogenic carbon emissions, the positive feedback of terrestrial and marine ecosystems to global warming may be another important source of the increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration. The estimation of global carbon budget indicates that a total of the natural and anthropogenic emissions are 250 Pg C per year, whereas the total of absorption by the natural ecosystems and the atmosphere is estimated as 230 Pg C per year (Table 2). This generates a gap of 20 Pg C between the global emissions and absorptions, which is twice the current total anthropogenic emissions (9–10 Pg C/yr). Therefore, there is a great uncertainty in the sources of the increased atmospheric CO2, and we may not reach to the conclusion that elevating atmospheric CO2 concentration is mainly from human activities.

Fact 5. CO2 Residence Times are Far Shorter than IPCC Imagines.

Tom Segalstad describes how alarmist dogma evolved in order to explain away contradictory facts. His paper is Carbon cycle modelling and the residence time of natural and anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 : on the construction of the “Greenhouse Effect Global Warming” dogma. Excerpts with my bolds.

Both radioactive and stable carbon isotopes show that the real atmospheric CO2 residence time (lifetime) is only about 5 years, and that the amount of fossil-fuel CO 2 in the atmosphere is maximum 4%. Any CO level rise beyond this can only come from a much larger, but natural, carbon reservoir with much higher 13-C/12-C isotope ratio than that of the fossil fuel pool, namely from the ocean, and/or the lithosphere, and/or the Earth’s interior.

The apparent annual atmospheric CO level increase, postulated to be anthropogenic, would constitute only some 0.2% of the total annual amount of CO exchanged naturally between the atmosphere and the ocean plus other natural sources and sinks. It is more probable that such a small ripple in the annual natural flow of CO would be caused by natural fluctuations of geophysical processes.

13-C/12-C isotope mass balance calculations show that IPCC’s atmospheric CO2 residence time of 50-200 years make the atmosphere too light (50% of its current CO2 mass) to fit its measured 13-C/12-C isotope ratio. This proves why IPCC’s wrong model creates its artificial 50% “missing sink”. IPCC’s 50% inexplicable “missing sink” of about 3 giga-tonnes carbon annually should have led all governments to reject IPCC’s model.

Tom V. Segalstad has conducted university research, publishing, and teaching in geochemistry, mineralogy, petrology, volcanology, structural geology, ore geology, and geophysics at the University of Oslo, Norway, and the Pennsylvania State University, USA.  Some images here are from Tom Segalstad’s presentation Carbon isotope mass balance modelling of atmospheric vs. oceanic CO2

Segalstad was a reviewer for IPCC assessment reports in the early days before observational facts were set aside in favor of the agenda and climate models tuned to suit the narrative. His whimsical comment on the experience:

Footnote:

For more on CO2 interchange between ocean and air, see Fear Not CO2: The Real Chemistry

For more on atmospheric CO2 processes, see Fearless Physics from Dr. Salby

For more on temperature impacting terrestrial CO2 sources, see Not Worried About CO2

 

Obsessed with Human CO2

A previous post described how alarmists make their case by radically reducing the climate reality down to a false simplicity, as shown in this diagram:
The full discussion of this all too common reductionism is reprinted later on.  This post focuses on the final step at the triangle bottom where all of the increase in atmospheric CO2 is attributed to us humans.

In the news last week were reports of climate scientists surprised that CO2 rose faster in 2015 and 2016 despite flat human emissions.  That should have been a wake-up call regarding their mistaken paradigm of the carbon cycle.  Fortunately there is an excellent resource to correct any such misconceptions.

Recently I was pointed to a great website and the analytical work by Dr. Edwin Berry.  (H/T NZ Climate Science Coalition) Dr. Ed has written a thorough, yet very readable explanation on the issue of human emissions vs. CO2 fluxes from natural sources and sinks.  He has a paper currently in review Why human CO2 does not change climate and I am respecting his request not to repost from it until it is published.  The link does allow you to read his convincing analysis and conclusions, supported by basic principles and math.

Dr. Berry has been working on this for some time, and I will provide excerpts from another post showing his train of thought.  The fork in the road of the climate change debate is his most recent essay aiming for a general audience.

Neither nature’s emissions nor human emissions stay in the atmosphere. They merely flow through the atmosphere. The atmosphere is like a lake where a river flows in and lake water flows out over a dam. The lake’s water level will rise or fall until the outflow over the dam equals the inflow from the river.

If the inflow increases, the level will rise until the outflow equals the inflow and the level becomes constant. Conversely, if inflow decreases, the level will decrease until, once again, outflow equals inflow. The faster the inflow, the higher the level to balance the inflow. Fig. 1 illustrates the simple physics model for both the lake and the atmosphere.

Fig. 1. The Model shows the rate of change of the level equals the difference between Inflow and Outflow. This model applies to both the lake model and the atmosphere model.

The ratio of natural to human carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the ratio of their inflows. Nature produces more than 95 percent of the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and human emissions produce less than 5 percent.

In terms of the often-quoted ppm (or parts per million), these percentages show that human emissions cause an 18-ppm rise, and nature’s emissions cause a 392-ppm rise, in atmospheric carbon dioxide. The total of each inflow is today’s carbon dioxide level of 410 ppm.

The IPCC reports are clear. While the IPCC correctly assumes nature’s emissions of about 100 ppm per year balance outflow to inflow, the IPCC incorrectly assumes human emissions do not balance. The IPCC assumes 1.5 ppm per year of human emissions gets stuck in the atmosphere and stays there. That 1.5 ppm is coincidently just enough to support their claim that human emissions have caused all the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide since 1750.

The Paris Climate Agreement proposed to reduce worldwide human emissions by 28 percent. Twenty-eight percent of 18 ppm is 5 ppm. The Paris Agreement would have reduced atmospheric carbon dioxide by only 5 ppm, which is insignificant. Even 18 ppm is insignificant. The alarmists have no case.

Thank you Dr. Berry for taking IPCC data and showing the correct analysis and conclusion to draw.  A more technical description of his paradigm is A Model for Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide: Abstract

Note the size of the human emissions next to the red arrow. (Units are in GT)

 

Background:  Climate Reductionism

 

Reductionists are those who take one theory or phenomenon to be reducible to some other theory or phenomenon. For example, a reductionist regarding mathematics might take any given mathematical theory to be reducible to logic or set theory. Or, a reductionist about biological entities like cells might take such entities to be reducible to collections of physico-chemical entities like atoms and molecules.
Definition from The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Some of you may have seen this recent article: Divided Colorado: A Sister And Brother Disagree On Climate Change

The reporter describes a familiar story to many of us.  A single skeptic (the brother) is holding out against his sister and rest of the family who accept global warming/climate change. And of course, after putting some of their interchanges into the text, the reporter then sides against the brother by taking the word of a climate expert. From the article:

“CO2 absorbs infrared heat in certain wavelengths and those measurements were made first time — published — when Abraham Lincoln was president of the United States,” says Scott Denning, a professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University. “Since that time, those measurements have been repeated by better and better instruments around the world.”

CO2, or carbon dioxide, has increased over time, scientists say, because of human activity. It’s a greenhouse gas that’s contributing to global warming.

“We know precisely how the molecule wiggles and waggles, and what the quantum interactions between the electrons are that cause everyone one of these little absorption lines,” he says. “And there’s just no wiggle room around it — CO2 absorbs heat, heat warms things up, so adding CO2 to the atmosphere will warm the climate.”

Denning says that most of the CO2 we see added to the atmosphere comes from humans — mostly through burning coal, oil and gas, which, as he puts it, is “indirectly caused by us.”

When looking at the scientific community, Denning says it’s united, as far as he knows.

A Case Study of Climate Reductionism

Denning’s comments, supported by several presentations at his website demonstrate how some scientists (all those known to Denning) engage in a classic form of reductionism.

The full complexity of earth’s climate includes many processes, some poorly understood, but known to have effects orders of magnitude greater than the potential of CO2 warming. The case for global warming alarm rests on simplifying away everything but the predetermined notion that humans are warming the planet. It goes like this:

Our Complex Climate

Earth’s climate is probably the most complicated natural phenomenon ever studied. Not only are there many processes, but they also interact and influence each other over various timescales, causing lagged effects and multiple cycling. This diagram illustrates some of the climate elements and interactions between them.

Flows and Feedbacks for Climate Models

The Many Climate Dimensions

Further, measuring changes in the climate goes far beyond temperature as a metric. Global climate indices, like the European dataset include 12 climate dimensions with 74 tracking measures. The set of climate dimensions include:

  • Sunshine
  • Pressure
  • Humidity
  • Cloudiness
  • Wind
  • Rain
  • Snow
  • Drought
  • Temperature
  • Heat
  • Cold

And in addition there are compound measures combining temperature and precipitation. While temperature is important, climate is much more than that.  With this reduction, all other dimensions are swept aside, and climate change is simplified down to global warming as seen in temperature measurements.

Climate Thermodynamics: Weather is the Climate System at work.

Another distortion is the notion that weather is bad or good, depending on humans finding it favorable. In fact, all that we call weather are the ocean and atmosphere acting to resolve differences in temperatures, humidities and pressures. It is the natural result of a rotating, irregular planetary surface mostly covered with water and illuminated mostly at its equator.

The sun warms the surface, but the heat escapes very quickly by convection so the build-up of heat near the surface is limited. In an incompressible atmosphere, it would *all* escape, and you’d get no surface warming. But because air is compressible, and because gases warm up when they’re compressed and cool down when allowed to expand, air circulating vertically by convection will warm and cool at a certain rate due to the changing atmospheric pressure.

Climate science has been obsessed with only a part of the system, namely the atmosphere and radiation, in order to focus attention on the non-condensing IR active gases. The climate is framed as a 3D atmosphere above a 2D surface. That narrow scope leaves out the powerful non-radiative heat transfer mechanisms that dominate the lower troposphere, and the vast reservoir of thermal energy deep in the oceans.

As Dr. Robert E Stevenson writes, it could have been different:

“As an oceanographer, I’d been around the world, once or twice, and I was rather convinced that I knew the factors that influenced the Earth’s climate. The oceans, by virtue of their enormous density and heat-storage capacity, are the dominant influence on our climate. It is the heat budget and the energy that flows into and out of the oceans that basically determines the mean temperature of the global atmosphere. These interactions, plus evaporation, are quite capable of canceling the slight effect of man-produced CO2.”

The troposphere is dominated by powerful heat transfer mechanisms: conduction, convection and evaporation, as well as physical kinetic movements.  All this is ignored in order to focus on radiative heat transfer, a bit player except at the top of the atmosphere.

There’s More than the Atmosphere

Once the world of climate is greatly reduced down to radiation of infrared frequencies, yet another set of blinders is applied. The most important source of radiation is of course the sun. Solar radiation in the short wave (SW) range is what we see and what heats up the earth’s surface, particularly the oceans. In addition solar radiation includes infrared, some absorbed in the atmosphere and some at the surface. The ocean is also a major source of heat into the atmosphere since its thermal capacity is 1000 times what the air can hold. The heat transfer from ocean to air is both by way of evaporation (latent heat) and also by direct contact at the sea surface (conduction).

Yet conventional climate science dismisses the sun as a climate factor saying that its climate input is unvarying. That ignores significant fluctuations in parts of the light range, for example ultraviolet, and also solar effects such as magnetic fields and cosmic rays. Also disregarded is solar energy varying due to cloud fluctuations. The ocean is also dismissed as a source of climate change despite obvious ocean warming and cooling cycles ranging from weeks to centuries. The problem is such oscillations are not well understood or predictable, so can not be easily modeled.

With the sun and the earth’s surface and ocean dismissed, the only consideration left is the atmosphere.

The Gorilla Greenhouse Gas

Thus climate has been reduced down to heat radiation passing through the atmosphere comprised of gases. One of the biggest reductions then comes from focusing on CO2 rather than H20. Of all the gases that are IR-active, water is the most prevalent and covers more of the spectrum.

The diagram below gives you the sense of proportion.

The Role of CO2

We come now to the role of CO2 in “trapping heat” and making the world warmer. The theory is that CO2 acts like a blanket by absorbing and re-radiating heat that would otherwise escape into space. By delaying the cooling while solar energy comes in constantly, CO2 is presumed to cause a buildup of heat resulting in warmer temperatures.

How the Atmosphere Processes Heat

There are 3 ways that heat (Infrared or IR radiation) passes from the surface to space.

1) A small amount of the radiation leaves directly, because all gases in our air are transparent to IR of 10-14 microns (sometimes called the “atmospheric window.” This pathway moves at the speed of light, so no delay of cooling occurs.

2) Some radiation is absorbed and re-emitted by IR active gases up to the tropopause. Calculations of the free mean path for CO2 show that energy passes from surface to tropopause in less than 5 milliseconds. This is almost speed of light, so delay is negligible. H2O is so variable across the globe that its total effects are not measurable. In arid places, like deserts, we see that CO2 by itself does not prevent the loss of the day’s heat after sundown.

3) The bulk gases of the atmosphere, O2 and N2, are warmed by conduction and convection from the surface. They also gain energy by collisions with IR active gases, some of that IR coming from the surface, and some absorbed directly from the sun. Latent heat from water is also added to the bulk gases. O2 and N2 are slow to shed this heat, and indeed must pass it back to IR active gases at the top of the troposphere for radiation into space.

In a parcel of air each molecule of CO2 is surrounded by 2500 other molecules, mostly O2 and N2. In the lower atmosphere, the air is dense and CO2 molecules energized by IR lose it to surrounding gases, slightly warming the entire parcel. Higher in the atmosphere, the air is thinner, and CO2 molecules can emit IR into space. Surrounding gases resupply CO2 with the energy it lost, which leads to further heat loss into space.

This third pathway has a significant delay of cooling, and is the reason for our mild surface temperature, averaging about 15C. Yes, earth’s atmosphere produces a buildup of heat at the surface. The bulk gases, O2 and N2, trap heat near the surface, while IR active gases, mainly H20 and CO2, provide the radiative cooling at the top of the atmosphere. Near the top of the atmosphere you will find the -18C temperature.

Sources of CO2

Note the size of the human emissions next to the red arrow.

A final reduction comes down to how much of the CO2 in the atmosphere is there because of us. Alarmists/activists say any increase in CO2 is 100% man-made, and would be more were it not for natural CO2 sinks, namely the ocean and biosphere. The claim overlooks the fact that those sinks are also sources of CO2 and the flux from the land and sea is an order of magnitude higher than estimates of human emissions. In fact, our few Gigatons of carbon are lost within the error range of estimating natural emissions. Insects produce far more CO2 than humans do by all our activity, including domestic animals.

Why Climate Reductionism is Dangerous

Reducing the climate in this fashion reaches its logical conclusion in the Activist notion of the “450 Scenario.”  Since Cancun, IPCC is asserting that global warming is capped at 2C by keeping CO2 concentration below 450 ppm. From Summary for Policymakers (SPM) AR5

Emissions scenarios leading to CO2-equivalent concentrations in 2100 of about 450 ppm or lower are likely to maintain warming below 2°C over the 21st century relative to pre-industrial levels. These scenarios are characterized by 40 to 70% global anthropogenic GHG emissions reductions by 2050 compared to 2010, and emissions levels near zero or below in 2100.

Thus is born the “450 Scenario” by which governments can be focused upon reducing human emissions without any reference to temperature measurements, which are troublesome and inconvenient. Almost everything in the climate world has been erased, and “Fighting Climate Change” is now code to mean accounting for fossil fuel emissions.

Conclusion

All propagandists begin with a kernel of truth, in this case the fact everything acting in the world has an effect on everything else. Edward Lorenz brought this insight to bear on the climate system in a ground breaking paper he presented in 1972 entitled: “Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas?”  Everything does matter and has an effect. Obviously humans impact on the climate in places where we build cities and dams, clear forests and operate farms. And obviously we add some CO2 when we burn fossil fuels.

But it is wrong to ignore the major dominant climate realities in order to exaggerate a small peripheral factor for the sake of an agenda. It is wrong to claim that IR active gases somehow “trap” heat in the air when they immediately emit any energy absorbed, if not already lost colliding with another molecule. No, it is the bulk gases, N2 and O2, making up the mass of the atmosphere, together with the ocean delaying the cooling and giving us the mild and remarkably stable temperatures that we enjoy. And CO2 does its job by radiating the heat into space.

Since we do little to cause it, we can’t fix it by changing what we do. The climate will not stop changing because we put a price on carbon. And the sun will rise despite the cock going on strike to protest global warming.

Footnote: For a deeper understanding of the atmospheric physics relating to CO2 and climate, I have done a guide and synopsis of Murry Salby’s latest textbook on the subject:  Fearless Physics from Dr. Salby