Yes, Geoff. The conservative IPCC vies is something that I have sistematically shown in my blog (sorry it’s in Portuguese). However, it is hard to expect much more. I think that scientists and others that recognize those limitations and understand why have to bring those issues to the general public and decision-makers/policy-makers everywhere.
The key to this information (about correcting misinformation) is making it accessible to the general public. Just because your science is based on facts does not make it available for general discussion. My wish for you is that a non-political or non-science writer weaves these GCR facts into a hip-hop song, a super-hero movie or a zombie video game. Stranger things have happened. The youth of our beleaguered planet must carry these facts forward.
Re #9: They’ll be OK since the whole crew can just decamp to the Claus summer estate in the scenic Gamburtsevs, notwithstanding that the elves may be in for some serious shoveling preparatory to getting the place aired out.
Eli has been thinking about what is the rate limiting step in CCN formation. While it is clear that SO2 availability is the rate limiting step over land, DMS should be available enough over oceans that it is not rate limiting, and if cosmic rays are not, what is?
Re: ” . . the recent excitements from the leaked IPCC drafts, a point in case).”
The expression is ‘‘case in point’‘:
‘case n. . . Phrases
P1. With prepositions.
. . f(c) Apposite, appropriate, or pertinent. Now chiefly in ‘case in point’: an apposite instance, an example that illustrates the point.
. . 1875 W. S. Jevons Money iv. 24 The wampumpeag of the North American Indians is a case in point, as it certainly served as jewellery.
. . 1996 Sci. Amer. Jan. 84/3 Much of the ecological evidence about sex is open to sharply differing interpretations. A case in point concerns the ‘haplodipoid’ sex-determining system of ants, bees and wasps.’ [OED]
Thanks for a most useful blog: I wish you a Happy and Productive New Year.
Comment by Christopher Squire — 27 Dec 2012 @ 12:25 PM
> what is the rate limiting step in CCN formation
I really miss the headinacloud blog.
Where else might this question be addressed?
(I’d guess there are many answers, as various kinds of stuff that could act as a condensation nucleus for clouds moves, gets altered over time, runs into different temperature/humidity/dewpoint conditions — but why guess?)
Structures of dimethylsulfoniopropionate-dependent demethylase from the marine organism Pelagabacter ubique
Volume 21, Issue 2, pages 289–298, February 2012
Hmmm, is the common precursor to available CCNs something as simple as how much of one particular enzyme is active in bacteria in the surface layer, and which way the wind blows? And what if MonDieuPonsanto’s next
“Dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) is a ubiquitous algal metabolite …. DMSP is a precursor for the climatically active gas dimethylsulfide that is readily oxidized to … products that act as cloud condensation nuclei…. the enzyme responsible for DMSP demethylation by marine bacterioplankton … has only recently been identified and biochemically characterized….”
Hey, eventually we’ll get a natural experiment, when some persistent organic chemical from MonDuPonsanto turns out to block that enzyme. What’s the worst that could happen?
When you shut off your oven does it go to zero immediately? When the sun goes does in a desert does it get cold quickly? When the sun goes down, during the summer, in a forested area, does it stay warm at night? When you heat up something of mass, perhaps a large rock or boulder in a fire pit or fire place, will it hold heat for awhile, perhaps longer than something of less mass? When you have less ice in a cooler, will things get warmer as the ice melts and the water is warmer? If you put more ice in it, will they get colder immediately? Would it take more or less ice to change the temperature in the cooler if the melted ice is cool or if it is lukewarm or warmer than lukewarm? Would the temperature change quicker or slower according to the amount of ice put into the cooler with warm, melted ice in it? Would it matter if the cooler was hot, lukewarm or somewhat cool prior to putting in the ice?
The sun warmed the earth for the past fifty to sixty years. Now there is less sun active. Cloud cover isn’t permanent but is more frequent due to less GCR. Temperatures are not rising as much anymore but instead are moving sideways and/or cooling.
Could nature have provided some cover for itself by melting the glacier ice to warm the waters to prepare for a possible cooling period? Would that be a good way to do so? If it is preparing for a pretty long cold period, would it be better to put more warm water into the oceans or less? Would it be better to remove more ice and deposit more warm water to keep its temperature within a certain range so that the life it supports can survive?
We are busy looking behind and looking ahead at only the man made possibilities. Perhaps we need to put the past natural responses together and look forward as what nature might be up to also.
WTF? I’m sorry but it was hard to see through all the misunderstandings and false premises to your central point. Why not go to the Start Here tab, learn what the science actually says and then come back and try again?
#22–“Could nature have provided some cover for itself by melting the glacier ice to warm the waters to prepare for a possible cooling period? Would that be a good way to do so? If it is preparing for a pretty long cold period, would it be better to put more warm water into the oceans or less? Would it be better to remove more ice and deposit more warm water to keep its temperature within a certain range so that the life it supports can survive?”
This seems to be the anthropomorphic fallacy writ large. If you really think that Nature predicts the future and looks out for our welfare, then I’d say you have developed a certain kind of faith–that is, a belief formed in the absence of any evidence whatever.
Ditto, if you really think you’re the only one who knows about so-called ‘thermal inertia.’
re 22/24: More to the point, if we’re going to attribute intention to nature, wouldn’t it be more likely what “she” is up to is trying to rid herself of this scourge of terra-forming critters that are defacing her artwork?
When the first two volumes of his Principia were published, Isaac Newton found himself dealing with the type of confusion exhibited by Don Ciesielski. Newton saw it as death by a thousand hypotheses. To deal with this he began his third volume with his rules for (scientific) reasoning. They are all worth reading, but here I will only quote Newton’s 4th rule and his comment:
“In experimental philosophy we are to look upon propositions collected by general induction from phaenomena as accurately or very nearly true, notwithstanding contrary hypotheses that may be imagined, till such time as as other phaenomena occur, by which they may either be made more accurate, or liable to exceptions.
This rule we must follow, that the argument of induction may not be evaded by hypotheses.”
Applied to the present case we have a simple argument by induction:
1. The level of CO2 in the atmosphere has been increasing since ~ 1750, and is now increasing rapidly (about 2 ppmv/year)
2. The increase in CO2 correlates very closely with estimated emmisions since 1750 (the CDIAC webpage gives estimates by Marland and Rotty, and Houghton and Hackler – but you have to convert cumulative emitted Carbon to ppmv ). About 41% of the emitted CO2 stays in the atmosphere, most of the rest produces ocean acidification).
3. CO2 is a greenhouse gas so it raises the earth’s average surface temperature. This increases the average water vapor level which also tends to warm things up.
4. The rise in yearly average temperature since 1880 correlates fairly well with the rise in the CO2 level. The correlation is very good if you use 10 year floating averages to remove high frequency noise.
5. The correlation of temperature and CO2 level is compatible with the temperature rises predicted by the big models.
The argument of induction says “Global warming is caused by increasing CO2 which is caused by human activity such as burning fossil fuels”
So why do you need more hypotheses? Taking, for example, the behavior of solar radiation. There is no evidence that it has increased appreciably since 1880. Also, the experts are watching this. For example, the global cooling of ~ .3 deg. K that occurred during the Maunder minimum was explained by Shindell et Al (SCIENCE VOL 294 7 DECEMBER 2001) on the basis of a reduction in solar radiative forcing of ~-.3 watt/m.sq. The 30% increase of atmospheric CO2 since 1750 is equivalent to a 1.4 watt/m.sq. forcing. So, using a crude linear estimate, this should cause a temperature rise ~ 1.4 deg C, whereas the actual is a little smaller, ~ .9 deg.K (from 1880). But here we ignored niceties such as transient vs steady state temperatures (yes, when you turn off your oven it does not immediately cool). Anyway, the main point is: no need for hypotheses, standard climate theory works very well.
This being said, I think that a lot of confusion could be dispelled if the information mentioned in 1,2 and 4 was readily available in graphical form (on this site?). Then perhaps we would be spared the really weird hypotheses such as “Are the rising atmospheric CO2-levels a result of oceans warming up?”
While you could argue that the effect of this increase would be less than that from CO2, claiming that there has not been an increase would be erroneous.
Less of a concern is the correlation between temperature and CO2 rise. While the CO2 rise has been fairly consistent, the temperature rise has not. Clearly, other influences have been at work also. This does not negate the role of CO2. However, to so readily dismiss other variables is foolhearty.
Dan H. “Less of a concern is the correlation between temperature and CO2 rise. While the CO2 rise has been fairly consistent, the temperature rise has not. Clearly, other influences have been at work also.”
It’s called weather. Google it. Fascinating stuff.
Dave Griffiths, you asked for a collection of graphics to illustrate the basics.
You should follow Tamino’s site, which does far more than collect other people’s images (as you saw from Dan H.’s pointer, there are lots of bad sites with outdated graphics).
Tamino cites the data sources, generates the graphics, and goes through the analysis. (There are others doing the similar work, who get mentioned there.) He’s also very good at nailing the deniers and befuddlers who try to fool people.
Using 11-year averages to remove most of the fluctuations due to the sun spot cycles, the TSI levels were 1360.62 watt/m.sq. in 1880, and 1361.17 watt/m.sq. in 2006. The net forcing (using the usual definition) is the difference in TSI divided by 4 and multiplied by .7 (albedo effect), i.e. 0.097 watt/m.sq. This is to be compared to the forcing due to a 30% increase of CO2, 1.4 watt/m.sq.
So the CO2 forcing is an order of magnitude greater than the solar forcing, and the solar forcing can be ignored (to a first approximation).
There are clearly other factors, Mt. Pinatubo for instance, but CO2 is the main factor. When I run a correlation of yearly temperature anomaly vs. ln(CO2/CO2ref) I get Rsq=0.86, and if I use 10 year floating averages to get rid of that pesky El-Nino etc the Rsq goes to .93. The results agree with the big models in that they are equivalent to a transient response of 2 deg. K to CO2 doubling.
What would be really foolhardy would be to ignore the obvious. I’ve spent time in China and I can easily believe they are building two coal fired plants a week. They are pouring incredible amounts of concrete. The economy doubles in less than 10 years. The CO2 from the Alberta Tar Sands is a drop in the ocean compared to China’s increasing output. Fortunately the Chinese are very smart and I don’t suppose it will be long before they are selling us the technology needed to deal with the problem.
I thought Ray Pierrehumbert had a good comment back in 2007 regarding the chances that solar irradiance was the cause of recent warming: “That’s a coffin with so many nails in it already that the hard part is finding a place to hammer in a new one.” (But several new nails have been hammered in since then.)
Weather is a term used to describe short-term events like this year’s U.S. summer heat wave or the European winter cold snap. It is not typically used to describe decadal-long temperature trends, which may be less fascinating, but nevertheless, noteworthy.
[Response: ‘Weather’ has impacts on all time scales – including interdecadal. – gavin]
These are two different methods for calculating the solar input. Regardless of the method and final numbers, the trend is similar. A similar trend can be seen in the sunspot data, which some have maintained is a greater influence.
“So the CO2 forcing is an order of magnitude greater than the solar forcing, and the solar forcing can be ignored (to a first approximation).”
A statement of such clarity and simplicity it is hard to understand how it can be misconstrued. Never mind that recently the solar input is going in the opposite direction.
Heidi Cullen makes a useful synthesis: climate is weather over time and space. I add that time is several decades at the least, and space being the whole globe, perhaps to some extent split by the equator. Fake skeptics are fond of isolating pieces of the picture, but real scientists always take in as much as they can, though they may focus on parts to work on them.
For coriolis forces in action, this is fascinating and beautiful, if a bit too fast. More local ones can be found by clicking around, and of course many other agencies provide similar materials. The evolution of this over the few years I’ve been watching it is startling, but one could not draw conclusions from it day to day, except to enhance one’s understanding of current weather patterns (for example, there was a triple spiral in the Pacific that ended up with several east coast storms. http://synoptic.envsci.rutgers.edu/site/sat/sat.php?sat=nhem&url=../imgs/wv_nhem_anim.gif