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  1. This is quite worrying scientifically and somewhat opportunist on their part and brings to mind the fact that climate science and earth science are fast becomming the most politicised sciences of all time which seems to be influencing some scientists.

    Let us hope that the integrity of science is not itself compromised by some that claim to practise it.

    Comment by Pete best — 4 Oct 2007 @ 3:43 AM

  2. The problem with this analysis is that it doesn’t look at the period prior to
    1950 and as such is pretty irrelevant.

    You need to look at the period before and after you claim AGW.

    If you don’t accept this, then you invalidate your claim to AGW. The period
    post 1945 had increasing CO2, and decreasing temperatures. The claim being that
    something else causes the cooling.

    Apply the same logic to the above, and the research fails for the same reason.

    Comment by Nick — 4 Oct 2007 @ 4:08 AM

  3. My first post to RC, sorry it’s OT!

    That infamous piece of denialist merde du jour:

    The ‘Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide’
    ARTHUR B. ROBINSON , SALLIE L. BALIUNAS , WILLIE SOON , AND ZACHARY W. ROBINSON
    is no longer available from http://www.oism.org, it has been updated, lost two authors and gained a new one! It’s also dropped the reference to the George C. Marshall Institute! [smell that oil]

    The new, but unimproved version is
    ‘Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide’
    ARTHUR B. ROBINSON, NOAH E. ROBINSON, AND WILLIE SOON

    The website http://www.oism.org/pproject/ still proclaims ‘Click here to see this peer reviewed research paper.’

    I haven’t checked thoroughly, but it’s still stating lies like:
    ‘In all seven glacial and interglacial cycles, the reported changes in CO2 and CH4 lagged the temperature changes and could not, therefore, have caused them (66).’
    Reference
    66. Soon, W. (2007) Physical Geography, in press.

    Clearly this one is going to need some examination and debunking!

    Comment by ScaredAmoeba — 4 Oct 2007 @ 4:41 AM

  4. First 3 comments and what do we have?
    1. A claim that climate science is becoming politicized. Is that a joke? It’s been political for a long time; you’d think everyone knew that. Indeed how could it avoid being political?
    2. “it doesn’t look at the period prior to
    1950 and as such is pretty irrelevant.” Did he read it? – It was a rebuttal of the L&F contention that the last 20 years cannot be explained by natural variations. It seems generally accepted now that prior to the last 20 years the theory fits ok. Or does it? Kevin Trenberth makes 1970 the cut-off point from natural effects. L&F say 1985. At any rate few people seems now to argue AGW prior to the 50′s.
    3. lies like.. “in all seven glacial and interglacial cycles, the reported changes in CO2 and CH4 lagged the temperature changes and could not, therefore, have caused them”. This is actually something that everyone agrees on. Whether it is misleading or not is the issue but it is by no means a lie.
    Try and keep up guys! Is this a scientific site or a fan club?

    Comment by JamesG — 4 Oct 2007 @ 6:16 AM

  5. Excuse me? Friis-Christensen still is propagating his GCR hypothesis? Against common sense? This is outragous.

    I did an intensive check of the Lassen-Frijs hypothesis in my blog and what came up was that the scientists placed their claim on a short time series of data and even made some very grave mistakes in the data reduction. These were already debunked:
    Paul Damen and Peter Laut, Pattern of Strange Errors Plagues Solar Activity and Terrestrial Climate Data, EOS, 2004, pp370
    Laut,P. (2003), Solar activity and terrestrial climate: An analysis of some purported correlations, J.Atmos. Solar-Terr.Phys.,65, 801–812.

    It is also quite interessting to note hat one of the main proponents of the GCR hypothesis Kund Lassen released new and corrected old data and actually debunked the GCR hypothesis himself since these data showed that the conclusion “GCR may influence climate was very permature” and could not be proven over longer time scales.

    See: P. Thejll, K. Lassen, Solar forcing of the Northern hemisphere land air temperature: New data. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 62, 1207-1213 (2000).

    [edit - no personal comments please]

    Comment by planeten — 4 Oct 2007 @ 6:36 AM

  6. SacredAmobea 3. Doesnt all this lag issue get covered in Hansens recent Trace Gases paper, where they examine at length the CO2 lag issue?

    Their conclusion is that:
    *…we can only say with certainty that the temperature and gas
    changes are nearly synchronous.*
    http://www.planetwork.net/climate/Hansen2007.pdf End of s2 (a).
    although they do earlier acknowledge that:
    *…The GHGs, because they change almost simultaneously with the climate, are a major ‘cause’ of glacial-to-interglacial climate change, as shown below, even if, as seems likely, they slightly lag the climate change and thus are not the initial instigator of change.*

    So its a near-run thing. Basically it looks like the butterfly flutters, and the GHGs come out to play, and pretty well similtaneously the climate change gets underway.

    I think we are way past the butterfly flutter this time round, already.

    But attempting to return to the topic (as Gavin would hope I do! :) )

    This insisting that we accurately identify the cause is worthy of our attention only because we think that if we can identify the mechanism we can maybe find the magic bullet to put it down, and we have saved the world.

    While admirable when we are a long way back from the edge, to the slightly informed and hence potentially very worried layman this has the appearance of a house-fire…

    Our house is burning. We want to call the brigade and chuck water on the blaze so we have a home to live in (albeit slightly smoke damaged). But the fire chiefs say:

    No! We have to wait until the arsonist is identified, captured, tried and found guilty before we will start to put out the fire.

    Sheesh! Lets start damping it down now, and worry about how or why its happening later from the luxury of our porch overlooking the great inland sea of central Australia (at 80m of sea level rise).
    http://cegis.usgs.gov/sea_level_rise.html
    http://cegis.usgs.gov/video/sealevel_world.avi

    So regarding the Norwegians, while debunking and refuting may be satisfying, would we not be better discussing how best to get the refined truth before the powers-that-be? That way at least we are building the arguement in the right direction. I dont think the anti-AGW group have any steam left in their shovels to undermine the vast structure of reality that is pouring in upon us. So lets concentrate on building on the good science and the good communications, rather than wasting too much time destroying the bad.

    Comment by Nigel Williams — 4 Oct 2007 @ 7:01 AM

  7. Climate science and earth science are definitely far less politicized than any of the social sciences, speaking as someone who made a transition from the social to the natural sciences. Academics often cry “politics” when they feel that their findings are not recognized or are being disputed by established scientific authorities. The persistence of climate scientists in coming to a consensus which supports the effects of greenhouse gases actually demonstrates that political and financial pressure cannot always prevail over sound science.

    Comment by Don Thieme — 4 Oct 2007 @ 7:34 AM

  8. The Soon, W. 2007 paper in Physical Geography:

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Soon07-CO2-TempCORR-Preprint.pdf

    Comment by Miguelito — 4 Oct 2007 @ 7:34 AM

  9. Rasmus, thanks for a thorough and lucid post debunking this tripe. I have been pointing out for years that the main problems with this model are 1)GCR fluxes aren’t changing, 2)the model doesn’t reproduce all of the observed trends, and 3)there really is no physical mechanism for the proposed effects.
    Actually, the first of these issues affects me directly. If we were seeing significant systematic changes in the GCR fluxes, then the rates for single-event upsets (bit flips) in microcircuits flown on orbit would deviate systematically from the predicted rates. They do not, and we have been using essentially the same model for the predictions since the early 1980s.
    The second point is quite important, and Rasmus makes it quite well. The anthropogenic ghg mechanism is the only one that explains all of the trends we are seeing. Nick (#2 above) claims that the above analysis is irrelevant because it looks only at the post-1950 period. I disagree. Most of the CO2 has actually been spewed into the atmosphere during this period (remember, energy consumption increases exponentially). Moreover, the comfounding effects of aerosols were only removed with clean air legislation after the ’70s. The temporal signature of the trends we are seeing is itself pretty strong support of anthropogenic causation.
    Finally, the lack of a physical mechanism is perhaps the most damning of the criticisms. These guys wave their hands so much around this question, it’s amazing they stay on the ground!
    The only reason this one is not quite dead is because Svensmark et al. refuse to recognize a persistent vegetative state and pull the plug.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 4 Oct 2007 @ 7:37 AM

  10. Rasmus – It is Svensmark (not LF2007) who makes the argument: “When the response of the climate system to the solar cycle is apparent in the troposphere and ocean, but not in the global surface temperature, one can only wonder about the quality of the surface temperature record.”

    [Response: Fixed. Thanks. -gavin]

    Comment by Pete DeSanto — 4 Oct 2007 @ 7:40 AM

  11. Re:2

    Do some reading about the role of aerosol cooling in that post-1945 period. I’m not sure whether you’re questioning the lack of pre-1950 cosmic ray counts.

    At any rate, I’m seeing a lot of rehashed old arguments in online debating. CO2 lagging temperature in historical records, water vapor driving temperature, disputes among scientists means we know nothing, etc. etc. These are all red herring arguments, and used in much the same manner creationists argue their case – sow “reasonable doubt” as if this were a court case…

    Comment by Terry Miesle — 4 Oct 2007 @ 7:45 AM

  12. Re: Nick@2

    The ‘problem’ is one for those who propose a solar mechanism. They are the ones who are ignoring a perfectly adequate physical mechanism (GHGs) for the observed warming and suggesting an alternative explanation. If instrumental records for whatever measure of solar activity they are proposing as the dominant forcing don’t exist prior to ~1950 then they need to get cracking on isolating a decent proxy – if their hypothesis is correct then locating such a beast will strengthen their case.

    Meanwhile the rest of us can mutter ‘entia non sunt multiplicanda’ under our breaths and stick with C02 + CH4 + particulates = C20th trends.

    Regards
    Luke

    Comment by Luke Silburn — 4 Oct 2007 @ 7:51 AM

  13. There is no scale on the RHS of the graph – pls add it in for clarity – thanks.

    Comment by Richard — 4 Oct 2007 @ 8:10 AM

  14. Why DNSC? wasn’t it good enough to publish as a reply?
    BTW: http://www.spacecenter.dk/publications/scientific-report-series/Scient_No._3.pdf

    Comment by Magnus W — 4 Oct 2007 @ 8:56 AM

  15. Am I missing something or is this rebuttal fatally flawed?

    Look at their Figure 2. Figure 2A shows a poor correlation between tropospheric temperature and cosmic rays.

    They mash the tropospheric temperature data by removing the effects of El Nino’s (how?), NAO (how?, volcanic aerosols (how?) a linear trend (they call all this “removal of confusions”!) to give something that matches CRF and tropospheric temperature beautifully in figure 2b.

    However the mashed data that correlates with the CRF indicates that since 1957 or so, the Earth’s temperature has decreased by around 0.2 oC. In other words, the contribution from CRF since 1957 has resulted in around a 0.2 oC of cooling.

    And they rationalise this by suggesting that the land surface temperature data must be wrong (they say “When the response of the climate system to the solar cycle is apparent in the troposphere and ocean, but not in the global surface temperature, one can only wonder about the quality of the surface temperature record”.)

    In other words their own analysis indicates that the CRF has made no contribution to warming since the late 50′s (which Dr. Benestad has already pointed out to us in his excellent intro.), and they rationalise this by suggesting that the temperature anomaly data that we’re all familiar with must be wrong..

    Can someone tell me if I’m going mad, or are these guys really trying to sell this odd notion?

    Comment by Chris — 4 Oct 2007 @ 10:48 AM

  16. Do some reading about the role of aerosol cooling in that post-1945 period. I’m not sure whether you’re questioning the lack of pre-1950 cosmic ray counts.

    At any rate, I’m seeing a lot of rehashed old arguments in online debating. CO2 lagging temperature in historical records, water vapor driving temperature, disputes among scientists means we know nothing, etc. etc. These are all red herring arguments, and used in much the same manner creationists argue their case – sow “reasonable doubt” as if this were a court case…

    —————–

    I’m quite aware. Let me spell it out.

    The article says for one factor, for recent times, there is no link between solar and climate.

    OK. We then apply the same standard to CO2. It is one factor.

    For C02 in a one factor model, there is no link between CO2 and climate, 1945-200. For part of the time the link was negative, then it was positive. Overall no statistical evidence.

    Even Gavin will claim that you have to include more factors such as polution to get a match with CO2 and
    climate.

    However, the argument here is that solar and climate aren’t linked, and we’ve use a one factor model to prove it. Not only that, but there is cherry picking of the range in which the comparison is made.

    Accept that, and the skeptic will pick 1945-1980 as the test of C02.

    [edit]

    [Response: You misunderstand the point being made. To do a full attribution you need to have all relevant factors included, I think we agree. But to demonstrate that the sign of the trend that would be induced is contrary to the actual trend is sufficient to rule out any one factor from being causal. This is true for solar over the last fifty years and indeed for CO2 over the 1940-1975 period. Pointing out that solar is not dominant now does not imply anything for the past, and pointing out that other things were involved in the 1940-1975 period (to the extent that that internal climate variability can be taken into account), does not imply the CO2 is not dominant now. The 'skeptic' is confused if he thinks that mainstream climate science is based on a single factor model, it isn't, and so demonstrations that it is not, do not make very persuasive arguments. - gavin]

    Comment by Nick — 4 Oct 2007 @ 12:25 PM

  17. The ‘problem’ is one for those who propose a solar mechanism. They are the ones who are ignoring a perfectly adequate physical mechanism (GHGs) for the observed warming and suggesting an alternative explanation. If instrumental records for whatever measure of solar activity they are proposing as the dominant forcing don’t exist prior to ~1950 then they need to get cracking on isolating a decent proxy – if their hypothesis is correct then locating such a beast will strengthen their case.

    ————————

    Sorry, but you are making the science mistake.

    Just because you have one variable that fits after a few fudges, doesn’t mean that there are other variables that also fit.

    C02 produces a very small change that is then amplified.

    There are plenty of other plausible effects that produce small changes and solar is one of them.

    There is no evidence that the amplification is restricted to the small warming produced by C02.

    [Response: Who said it was? Feedbacks to solar warming or CO2 warming are very similar. - gavin]

    Comment by Nick — 4 Oct 2007 @ 12:27 PM

  18. The second point is quite important, and Rasmus makes it quite well. The anthropogenic ghg mechanism is the only one that explains all of the trends we are seeing. Nick (#2 above) claims that the above analysis is irrelevant because it looks only at the post-1950 period. I disagree. Most of the CO2 has actually been spewed into the atmosphere during this period

    ———————-

    Again, not statistically valid.

    You’ve made an assumption into a fact.

    You need the before and after in order to show something has changed.

    Nick

    Comment by Nick — 4 Oct 2007 @ 12:28 PM

  19. >3 and sorry for digressing
    – it’s ba-a-a-a-ck … as a review. Note the books reviewed in the same issue. Peculiar. http://www.jpands.org/jpands1203.htm

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 4 Oct 2007 @ 12:32 PM

  20. #16: Thanks Hank, I nearly choked when I read the concluding sentence:

    We are living in an increasingly lush environment of plants and animals as a result of this CO2 increase. Our children will therefore enjoy an Earth with far more plant and animal life than that with which we now are blessed.

    Is this for real?

    Comment by Dave Arthurson — 4 Oct 2007 @ 12:52 PM

  21. Nick, (Re: 18), Either you are being deliberately obtuse or you have a very strange understanding of climate science. The period from 1945 to ~1980 is pretty well understood as having been due to the combined forcings of CO2 and aerosols. Once the aerosols go away (due to clean air legislation and the fall of the Eastern Bloc), you have greenhouse warming.
    With respect to GCR forcing, the sign isn’t even right, even after you “massage” (hell, they didn’t massage it, they mugged it!) the data 6 ways to Sunday. In contrast, not only does anthropogenic ghg get the sign right, it reproduces the qualitative features we see in the current warming epoch.
    You keep appealing to statistics, but I have yet to see you use a single statistical test to back up your assertions. If you think we will be intimidated simply by the use of the word statistics, I think you walked into the wrong bar.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 4 Oct 2007 @ 12:57 PM

  22. ‘It is worrying that the director of the Danish space center makes such misleading claims and then receives honours in Norway by NASL.’

    It is worrying Rasmus, but it is also very fortunate there are people like you with a skeptical eye. I don’t understand how people from this website can point to the IPCC and NOAA and say that these organizations are somehow immune to science miscarraiges like those at NASL.

    Comment by Michael — 4 Oct 2007 @ 1:06 PM

  23. I commented on this issue on my own site yesterday so I will be brief here. Doesn’t this just mean that we don’t know enough? All of the cries of politicizing science aside, we need climate science to evolve to the point that most other sciences have achieved. We need more effort by our governments and universities in this area. There are cries for billions of dollars in expenditures for climate change but no one is crying for millions of dollars just to truly understand all of the causality. I speak more about this several times on my site and most recently on the GCR issue http://globalwarming-factorfiction.com/2007/10/03/the-persistent-role-of-the-sun-in-climate-forcing/

    Comment by Sean O — 4 Oct 2007 @ 1:38 PM

  24. Interesting comments by Chris, in #15, although I am not sure I entirely follow the analysis. Can Chris/someone just expand on it a bit for the rest of us? I want to be sure I understand this more clearly.

    On another tack, could one usefully apply a ‘reductio ad absurdum’ here, i.e. take the GCR argument entirely at face value, assume that it does indeed explain everything they say it does, and then see what physically based results – and hence maybe laws of physics – we have to throw out as a consequence? Might be an interesting exercise, or at least a useful test of Ockham’s razor.

    Comment by Nick Odoni — 4 Oct 2007 @ 2:01 PM

  25. Michael, I don’t think that anyone has said NOAA or the IPCC are immune to being misled or in error. But we are not just talking NOAA or the IPCC. We also have the National Academy of Sciences, nearly every professional society of scientists, DOD, NASA… It is very hard to find responsible experts who think we aren’t affecting climate. Even most of the “skeptics” admit we are having some effect. It is the consensus that is important. When you’ve got so many disparate groups in agreement, the chances that you are seriously in error are quite small.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 4 Oct 2007 @ 2:08 PM

  26. In fairness of NASL they also quite clearly say that the reward has nothing at all to do with his global warming theory…

    Re15:
    Yes it seams as if they explain a cooling with the rays ad to that the axis of rays and temps are at different levels in the two diagrams. Don’t know where the dip around 92 comes from, El Nino? And where did the linear trend come from?! And it isn’t small either… and a linear trend give or take 0.4K… and so on… not surprised that they didn’t try to publish this!

    Comment by Magnus W — 4 Oct 2007 @ 2:27 PM

  27. Re Nick (#23)

    There are several serious problems with The Svensmark and Friis-Christensen “rebuttal”, but their Figure 2 seems to trash their own argument (unless I’m completely misreading this which is possible!). Figure 2 seems to support the argument that the Cosmic Ray Flux (CRF) leaves a signal in the temperature record (possible but not very convincing, I think), but doesn’t support the idea that the marked late 20th century warming can have had any significant contribution from the sun (or at least from the CRF that they bang on about). In fact Figure 2 indicates exactly the opposite…that the contribution from the CRF is at best negligible, and is strictly (following S and F-C’s analysis to the letter) a cooling one.

    Look at Figure 2a of S and F-C. Part A shows some raw tropospheric temperature data overlaid with the CRF data. There’s no particular correspondence, we all agree (including S and F-C).

    O.K. so there are other contributions to the tropospheric temperature. Let’s try to eliminate these and dissect out the contribution from the CRF. S and C-F do this in Figure 2b.

    How do they do this? They remove all sorts of contributions to the tropospheric temperature (they don’t say how). They remove the contributions from El Nino’s and the North Atlantic Oscillation and from volcanic aerosols. Fair enough.

    They remove an unspecified “linear trend” of 0.14 +/- 0.4 K per decade (isn’t that the global warming? caused by…ummmm…the greenhouse effect????)

    And are left with a wonderful correlation. The curves match beautifully (the CRF and the mashed and denuded tropspheric temperature march side by side in Figure 2b).

    However the contribution from the CRF now matches a residual tropospheric temperature evolution since 1958 (?) whose overall trend is a cooling one (by about 0.2 oC between 1958ish and now)..

    Have I got this wrong? I think that S and F-C have produced an analysis of the contribution of the CRF to mid-late 20th century temperature evolution that is a mild cooling one. Much as everyone else that studies this stuff properly, concludes. One could argue that their analysis shows a signature from the CRF in the temperature record once other contributions are removed. But in doing this dissection they arrive at a match of the CRF to a mid to late 20th century temperature trend that is a mild cooling one…….

    Comment by Chris — 4 Oct 2007 @ 2:42 PM

  28. Ray,
    I’m not asking if we’re affecting the climate. When I breath I affect the climate or I suffocate. I am asking what the future looks like. Over the last couple of decades if you were to ask individual scientists from NOAA, IPCC, DoD, NAS, NASA what the future looks like, most would say its going to be warmer, but you would get a wide range of answers on how much warmer. I take issue with people saying the science is settled.

    Also, the IPCC is just as capable of error (both at the scientist level and at the scientist community level) for all the obvious reasons: personal views, politics, industry pressure, peer pressure, etc. These organizations should be viewed with a skeptical eye and hammered from every side with counter-theories. I don’t see this or encouragement of this at RC.

    Comment by Michael — 4 Oct 2007 @ 4:04 PM

  29. Michael, here: http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Comments/wg1-commentFrameset.html

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 4 Oct 2007 @ 4:31 PM

  30. Michael, You are misunderstanding the situation. If it were ONLY the IPCC or ONLY NOAA, your position might have merit. It is the aggregate of scientific opinion–by individuals and groups with disparate preferences and instances–that is reliable. What is more, while estimates from individuals might vary, mean estimates are pretty reliable, and have been converging with time. That is not a sign of unsettled science. Nor is the fact that there simply is no credible alternative theory. You can challenge evolution as easily as you can challenge anthropogenic causation of climate change–as indicated by the fact that denialists have to resort to the same tactics as fundies from the Discovery Institute (publish in non-peer-reviewed journals, etc., publish in the press…).
    There simply are no credible counter theories. You seem to persist in the belief that there are two sides to every argument. In settled science, this is not true. There are either many sides (e.g. competint theories) or one.

    Comment by ray ladbury — 4 Oct 2007 @ 4:49 PM

  31. Re 28 Michael: “I’m not asking if we’re affecting the climate. When I breath I affect the climate or I suffocate.”

    I do hope that you are not implying that respiration is contributing to the increase in atmospheric CO2.

    “These organizations should be viewed with a skeptical eye and hammered from every side with counter-theories. I don’t see this or encouragement of this at RC.”

    And what would these counter-theories be, besides the ones that have been shown over and over to be not worth the paper they are printed on? I’m starting to question your sincerity here, Michael.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 4 Oct 2007 @ 4:53 PM

  32. Jim, we have some pretty dismal projections, which call for big decisions to be made. I do not know how many counter-theories are out there, or what thier worth is. I don’t know how open Working Group 1 is to exploring counter-theories. The more a theory stands up to counter-theories, the more useful it is to science. There had better be counter-theories out there, if not something is seriously wrong with modern science.

    I see a lot of value in RC, it is the closest thing out there to a level playing field, but the obsession with snuffing deniers is bordering on madness.

    Comment by Michael — 4 Oct 2007 @ 5:32 PM

  33. Michael, click the link, here: http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Comments/wg1-commentFrameset.html

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 4 Oct 2007 @ 5:45 PM

  34. Re Michael # 32.

    You say “I do not know how many counter-theories are out there, or what thier worth is. I don’t know how open Working Group 1 is to exploring counter-theories. The more a theory stands up to counter-theories, the more useful it is to science. There had better be counter-theories out there, if not something is seriously wrong with modern science.”

    But what counter-theories?? That’s the question. If there are counter theories they will be explored obviously. So where are these counter theories? Well we’re discussing one here aren’t we?

    You say that “the obsession with snuffing deniers is bordering on madness”. But what “snuffing deniers” are you talking about? On this part of the RC board we are discussing the “counter-theory” of Svensmark and Friis-Christensen that global warming is dominated by solar effects, in particular the contribution of the cosmic ray flux to cloud formation via seeding of particulates.

    It turns out Svensmark and Friis-Christensen’s own analysis indicates that their counter-theory is deficient. It apparently doesn’t make any contribution to the most marked warming on record.

    So what other counter theory would you like to bring to our attention? And why should there be counter-theories anyway if the science is settled. I don’t think there is any question that atmospheric CO2 is a greenhouse gas, that increasing its concentration results in warming, and that this has dominated at least mid to late and contemporary global warming. We don’t need a “counter theory” to something that is rather obviously the case.

    Clearly it would be wonderful if we knew exactly how much warming we have in store. So far we know that enhanced CO2 has a relationship with the earth’s temperature response equivalent to between around 1.7 to 4.5 oC at 95% confidence limits. Why not just accept what we know and encourage endeavours to improve our knowledge and predictions.

    And if anyone comes up with viable “counter-theories” these will obviously be explored and tested.

    Comment by Chris — 4 Oct 2007 @ 5:54 PM

  35. Re 32 Michael : “I do not know how many counter-theories are out there, or what thier worth is. I don’t know how open Working Group 1 is to exploring counter-theories. The more a theory stands up to counter-theories, the more useful it is to science. There had better be counter-theories out there, if not something is seriously wrong with modern science.”

    OK, let’s back up a step. Just so we’re all clear, please define “counter-theories.” Theories that counter what, exactly? Theories about what is happening, how it’s happening and why? Theories about what will happen? Theories about what we should do about it?

    “the obsession with snuffing deniers is bordering on madness.”

    Honest skepticism is of course healthy and necessary, but judging from my encounters with out and out “deniers”, it seems like an awful lot of them are well past the border of madness. That wouldn’t be a problem, except that there are very clearly some people deliberately propagating the disinformation that is feeding that madness. It’s really that disinformation that is being challenged and snuffed. As Hank likes to ask, in an equally healthy skeptical spirit, “where are you getting your information?”

    Comment by Jim Eager — 4 Oct 2007 @ 6:04 PM

  36. Michael, I there a counter-theory to evolution? to gravity? how about atomic theory? They all did at one point in their history. However, when a scientific field becomes sufficiently mature and the evidence becomes overwhelming, then there are simply no credible alternative scientific theories. Climate science is over 150 years old. Why wouldn’t it be mature? And it’s not as if there are any controversies over basic issues–the consensus of anthropogenic causation has been strengthening for >20 years. The fact that you don’t like the implications of the science cannot be a basis for rejecting a successful theory

    Comment by ray ladbury — 4 Oct 2007 @ 7:31 PM

  37. Michael, you start chipping away at Golden Calves and you’re in for a heap of trouble. I think Confucius said that… or somebody [;-). Nothing riles a scientist more than questioning his religion. I said that. (with apologizes to Bob Dylan)

    Question: Anybody, what is the physical/astrophysical process that theoretically enhances global warming by decreasing cosmic radiation?

    [Response: Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) are supposed to create particles which become cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). Thus, more GCR the more clouds and vice versa. Less clouds reflect less of the sunlight, and more is absorbed at the surface. Hence, the hypothesis claim that:: less GCR -> less CCN -> less low-level clouds -> more sunlight absorbed by the surface -> higher temperature. -rasmus]

    Comment by Rod B — 4 Oct 2007 @ 8:22 PM

  38. Is DNSC peer reviewed?

    [Response: No, I don't think so. -rasmus]

    Comment by Anna Haynes — 4 Oct 2007 @ 8:29 PM

  39. Re: #20 “I nearly choked when I read the concluding sentence:” Nice pun. BTW maybe he’s talking about phytoplankton and jellyfish? There’s bound to be more of those, right?

    Comment by Fernando Magyar — 4 Oct 2007 @ 8:31 PM

  40. Oh yeah, there are lots of counter theories to atomic theory. You can read all about them on http://www.crank.net. Every idiot who learned algebra thinks that he can throw down reams of scribble proving something or other. Eli was at a meeting last night at a fairly important scientific conference where some clown screwed up a trivial heat of formation problem and said that he had proved that conservation of energy and the uncertainty principle were not compatible. He made several other mistakes.

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 4 Oct 2007 @ 8:43 PM

  41. RE: #37
    This is according to my read of “The Chilling Stars”:
    Increased cosmic radiation of the right type leads to increased cloud condensation nuclei, leading to increased low cloud cover, causing overall cooling. Conversely, fewer cosmic rays of the right type lead to sunnier skies and warmer temperatures.

    Interestingly, this theory would explain how Antarctica doesn’t follow global warming trends. Antarctica has such a high albedo that clouds cause overall warming.

    [Response: The Antarctic connection is bogus (the Arctic has the same features for instance). My take on their book is here - gavin]

    Comment by Maria — 5 Oct 2007 @ 3:00 AM

  42. Hank Roberts Says:
    – it’s ba-a-a-a-ck … as a review. Note the books reviewed in the same issue. Peculiar.
    http://www.jpands.org/jpands1203.htm

    I can’t decide whether you’re talking about the Soon & Baliunas junk or the abortion-breast cancer junk.

    Comment by Tony — 5 Oct 2007 @ 4:39 AM

  43. There does not need to be a trend in solar activity since 1952 to explain the recent warming, if there had been a prior increase in solar activity, and the thermal inertia of the oceans had not yet responded. The mid-century cooling presumably due to other causes (possibly aerosols and lead particulates), would only postpone the response to this plateau of high solar activity, until the recent warming.

    Feedbacks to solar activity and CO2 forcing are very similar in models given their similar treatments, but are perhaps not so similar in reality.

    [Response: If this is true, then we would expect the GCMs to have under-estimated the effect from the increase in CO" as such a long lag would mean that more than we expect still lies in the pipe-line. Furthermore, this would suggest a higher climate sensitivity, and we have no reason to think that the magnitude of the response would be particularly sensitive to whether it is an increased greenhouse effect or changes in the total solar irradiance (TSI). However, I think that the lag time scale is more likely less than 10 years.. -rasmus]

    Comment by Martin Lewitt — 5 Oct 2007 @ 4:53 AM

  44. I don’t see many comments here that address the content of the paper. I can only agree with Gavin’s comment that the cosmic ray theory isn’t dead. In fact it correlates pretty well to fluctuations, when other forcings are accounted for, and interestingly enough, when a small, mysterious, linear upward trend is removed.

    [Response: You cannot possibly know it these fluctuations are due to GCR or other solar factors, as the GCR correlates with the sunspots, 10.7 cm flux and the solar UV. It's still a mystery why you would see stronger correlation in the troposphere than near the surface. I do not yet believe the figure showing the ocean temperatures (it looks suspiciously like one location is being cherry picked, as more 'convetional' sea surface temperatures do not provide such good match). -rasmus]

    Earlier papers which claimed that the solar forcing was overwhelmed by CO2 had such long smoothing as to carry over temp trends long after they had dissipated, or so the new paper claims, and so were flawed.

    I guess that in wishing to be the first to denounce the paper, many here neglected to read it.

    Comment by yorick — 5 Oct 2007 @ 4:54 AM

  45. Rasmus, your 2005 GRL paper seems to refer to global average surface temperature. I think any correlation with solar cycle length and average temperature is in the Northern Hemisphere, as reported by Armagh Observatory, for example:

    http://www.arm.ac.uk/press/200years-on-the-Net.html

    This 2002 GRL paper finds evidence agianst an indirect solar link between cosmic rays and low clouds, but evidence for a direct link via UV:

    http://folk.uio.no/jegill/papers/2002GL015646.pdf

    Comment by Paul Biggs — 5 Oct 2007 @ 5:52 AM

  46. #4 JamesG:

    “3. lies like.. “in all seven glacial and interglacial cycles, the reported changes in CO2 and CH4 lagged the temperature changes and could not, therefore, have caused them”. This is actually something that everyone agrees on. Whether it is misleading or not is the issue but it is by no means a lie.”

    “The” changes in CO2 and CH4 and “the” temperature changes were not isolated events in time as such language implies. Most of the changes overlapped each other so saying one change could not cause the other (at all is implied) is a lie.

    JamesG: “Try and keep up guys!”

    JamesG would make a good start by taking his own advice.

    Comment by Chris O'Neill — 5 Oct 2007 @ 7:15 AM

  47. Rod B., OK, where’s the religion. I see evidence, Rod, not faith. Do you have any evidence to put up against the mountain of evidence in favor of climate change (or evolution, for that matter)? In the absence of any such evidence, I would suggest that your scientific views might be better characterized as faith based.
    Actually, judging scientific evidence is in many ways easier when there are competing alternatives theories. One can then compare the values of the likelihood functions based on the available evidence. When you are down to a single credible theory, all you can say is that the evidence support the theory or not–the degree of support is difficult to quantify without resorting to Bayesian arguments.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 5 Oct 2007 @ 7:26 AM

  48. Re:42
    I’m sure you’ve seen this attempt to paint AGW research and conclusions as religious. The argument works both ways.

    The “skeptics” share argument tactics with creationists. Take one piece of research which on its surface seems to contradict the whole and use it to damn the whole. Throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    Tactic 2 involves papers like the subject of this post. If all else fails, fake it. Like planting human fossils amid dinosaur fossils then claiming coexistence.

    The key is to keep ignoring rebuttals, and referring to the same specious arguments. Of course, the skeptics side will claim the same of science, but science does have a mechanism for self-correction and arguments.

    Comment by Terry Miesle — 5 Oct 2007 @ 8:01 AM

  49. Re 43 and 44. OK, now let me try to get your arguments straight. Yorick, you seem to be saying that the rather alarming warming we’re seeing in the past 25 years or so correlates “pretty well” with some putative change in cosmic rays (which we know isn’t happening by several measures) once we neglect some “mysterious” upward trend, and despite the fact that there is no mechanism beyond hand waving and mumbling about clouds. That about got it?
    And Martin, you seem to be saying that we need to posit some increasing solar term prior to 1952 for which we have zero evidence–and also no mechanism–and that this stayed hidden until ~1980. Right?
    Guys, rather than doing all these mental cartwheels and torturing this poor theory well past death, wouldn’t it be easier to look at the possibility that a mechanism we know is occurring and can explain not just the quantitative but also the qualitative features of the current warming epoch?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 5 Oct 2007 @ 8:26 AM

  50. Svensmark’s and Friis-Christensen’s (S & F-C)”rebuttal” is surely an excellent example that properly done science tends to lead to well-supported conclusions where the systems studied (solar contributions to mid-late 20th century and contemporary warming) are amenable to the methodologies at hand.

    The thing that stands out is that S and F-J come to the same conclusion that Dr. Benestad and Lockwood and Frolich (and many others) have estabilished. That solar contributions to the most recent very large warming has a negligible solar contribution. That’s very clear from S & F-C’s figure 2 where they isolate the solar component (they use the Cosmic ray Flux; CRF) to tropospheric temperature, and demonstrate that this fits to a solar contribution that is a mild cooling one (around 0.2 oC) since 1960.

    That’s what pretty much all the other research in this area has established; i.e. that the sun has been a minor plaer with respect to mid-late 20th century warming.

    It seems to me that S and F-J’s “rebuttal” concerns a misunderstanding or “straw-man”. They say in the first paragraph “These authors [i.e. Lockwood and Frolich] accept that “there is considerable evidence for solar influence on Earth’s pre-industrial climate and the Sun may well have been a factor in post-industrial climate change in the first half of the last century”. But they argue that this historical link between the Sun and climate came to an end about 20 years ago. Here we rebut their argument comprehensively”.

    However Lockwood and Frolich (L & F) say no such thing. L & F analyze the various measured solar parameters and show that each of these is in the wrong direction for warming for the last 20 years or so. But they certainly don’t say that “the historical link between the Sun and climate came to an end about 20 years ago”, nor imply any such thing. We all know that the link between the Sun and the climate is an ever-present. It’s just that it’s contribution at any particular time varies. The Sun may dominate the evolution of the climate or it may be insignificant compared to other factors. We know that the latter pertains for the warming of the last 35 years or so.

    So S & F-C set out to “rebut” a notion of their own construction. They make a great effort to show that there is a residual solar “signature” in the tropospheric temperature. We might be able to agree with this once they’ve shown us exactly how they’ve manipulated the data to “dissect out” the solar (CRF) component.

    But at the end of the day there’s nothing really controversial in S and F-C’s “rebuttal” (apart from some silly statements). Their analysis shows that solar contributions have not been significant to warming since at least 1958, and that the solar cycle might be apparent in the fluctuations in the record once the dominant contributions to tropospheric temperature have been accounted for.

    Comment by Chris — 5 Oct 2007 @ 8:34 AM

  51. If you want opinions of persons in other disaplines, you need to explain more of your letter groups. DNSC? CO2 = carbon dioxide, RC board? NOAA = National Oceanic AA? DoD = Department of Defense, CRF,NASL, GHG = greenhouse gas and vapors, CH4 = methane, NAO, AGW
    Are we counting solar cosmic rays along with galactic cosmic rays, or have we redefined GCR? I suppose reduced solar wind would allow more GCRs to reach Earth’s surface and Earth’s stratosphere. Neil

    [Response: Solar cosmic rays are not strong enough, so everything here is discussing true GCR. (DNSC = Danish National Space Center, NAO = North Atlantic Oscillation, RC=us, CRF=Cosmic Ray Flux, AGW = Anthropogenic global warming). - gavin]

    Comment by Neil Cox — 5 Oct 2007 @ 9:31 AM

  52. This seems to become som kind of nordic battle. The finnish aerosol reseachers are now measuring sub-3 nm clusters, showing that neutral clusters outnumber the ion iduced ones. This means basically that the effect of cosmic rays on CCN number concentration is small

    Comment by Fasiken — 5 Oct 2007 @ 9:51 AM

  53. The most convincing explanation is that there are also many factors (such as aerosols) playing a role, adding to inter-annual and inter-decadal variations.

    Even some of the moderators on this site remain unconvinced about the role of aerosols (despite the insistence of a few notable posters that aerosols can explain mid 20th century cooling). The effect of aerosols are, as Mike Mann has written, “regionally specific”, i.e. the effects should be measurable at the locations of the source of the aerosols. In the post-war period these locations covered …but all the evidence goes against the notion that GCR are the cause of the present global warming

    All ? Really ? Fig 4e in the Lockwood & Frohlich paper shows a consistent decline in the CR flux throughout the 20th century. Consistent, that is, apart from a period in the late 1940s and early 1950s when CRs rose quite sharply. Interesting! Isn’t it Tamino who maintains that the only cooling which occurred took place between 1944-51. If you’re reading this, Tamino, L&F might just have found the reason why.

    Any argument that solar parameters peaked in the 1950s or 1980s or whatever is irrelevant. The point is the amount of the Sun’s energy received by the earth was higher in the late 20th century than it was in the early 20th century (which was higher than in the 19th century). To argue that some ‘discrete’ peak in solar activity was reached in 1958 and that the sun’s warming influence, therefore, ceased at that point is a bit like claiming that turning the gas flame lower under a pot of water will stop the water from continuing to warm.

    Comment by John Finn — 5 Oct 2007 @ 10:04 AM

  54. Chris O’Neill
    “Most of the changes overlapped each other so saying one change could not cause the other (at all is implied) is a lie.”
    What kind of revisionist nonsense is this? Every climate scientist now agrees that CO2 wasn’t the trigger, but was an amplifier. A position that has been affirmed on this blog several times. Accusing someone of lying when they are just restating a truth that you don’t like to accept is a very nasty trait.

    Comment by JamesG — 5 Oct 2007 @ 10:26 AM

  55. Re Yorick #44. You suggest that others are commenting on Svensmark’s and Friis-Christensen’s (S&F-C) “rebuttal” without having read it, but your comments suggest that you haven’t digested it properly.

    Because S&F-C’s analysis (see their figure 2) indicates that solar contributions (specifically the cosmic ray flux or CRF) hasn’t made a significant contribution to warming at least since 1958 (if anything the solar contribution in their analysis is a slight cooling one).

    Now presumably many things can make a contribution to the climate system and why not the CRF? If you dissect away all the other contributions you might well be able to isolate the CRF’s contribution. We don’t know whether S&F-C’s analysis has done this properly since they don’t say how they did it. However we can take their conclusion at face value that the CRF hasn’t contributed a bean to warming since at least 1958. I don’t have a problem with the possibility of a CRF contribution to the Earth’s energy budget..it just seems to be a rather tiny one, as S&F-C themselves show (not, btw, that S&F-C’s correlation of CRF with residual, denuded, tropospheric temperature necesarily has anything to do with the CRF, since the CRF is a very close match to the other variable elements like sunspot numbers, total solar irradiance, etc., and everything that S&F-C claim to see may have nothing to do with the CRF itself).

    But what is this “small, mysterious, linear upward trend” that you speak of whose “removal” yields such a good correlation with the residual, denuded tropospheric temperature trend? It’s surely the global warming, isn’t it? The result of the massive enhancement of the atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. It’s neither “small” nor “mysterious”!

    You seem to be claiming that “earlier papers” that show that solar contributions were overwhelmed by CO2 were flawed. However S&F-C’s own analysis indicates that the solar contribution to mid-late 20th century warming is “overwhelmed” by CO2….unless one tries to maintain the dubious notion that the warming the world has experienced since the early 70′s is somehow “mysterious”!

    Comment by Chris — 5 Oct 2007 @ 10:40 AM

  56. Sorry to go off-topic, but I see no active thread on this topic – the following open-access review papers makes for interesting reading:

    Robinson, A.B., N.E. Robinson, and W. Soon (2007) Environmental effects of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide. Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons 12: 79-90 http://www.jpands.org/jpands1203.htm

    “A review of the literature concerning consequences of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide leads to the conclusion that increases during the 20th and early 21st centuries have produced no deleterious effects upon Earth’s weather and climate…”

    I guess the authors felt the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons would provide a more receptive audience than would the readers of mainstream science journals?

    Comment by Chuck Booth — 5 Oct 2007 @ 10:51 AM

  57. Chuckle. I suspect the “Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons” is going to start rising fast in the Google page rank for questions about climate change, if the frequency at which hot links to them continues. They published the Archibald thing discussed in the topic “My model, used for deception” — I wouldn’t link to them, why encourage them? They’re way, way extreme politically.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Oct 2007 @ 11:09 AM

  58. John Finn, so please, tell me. By what mechanism do you take a tiny change in GCR flux (which is only 5 particles per square cm per second to begin with) and turn it a rapid global temperature rise? And no mumbling about cloud nucleation sites. There’s no evidence that there is any shortage of cloud nucleation sites in any case.
    Second, if there is an increase in GCR flux, they pray, why don’t we see in from satellite measurements, neutron fluxes, etc.? How do you reproduce the increase in night-time temperatures, etc. with a GCR mechanism? I don’t see how this can do the job even if you had a mechanism and a real effect. This just is not credible.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 5 Oct 2007 @ 12:11 PM

  59. If solar played a significant part, there’d be a “wow” in the temp record to match the fluctuations due to sun spots.

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 5 Oct 2007 @ 12:12 PM

  60. Many thanks indeed to Chris (e.g. #23 and later entries) for the additional explanations and details.

    Re. John Finn (#53), I am trying to understand the theory/hypothesis in more detail. If we accept GCR activity and global mean temperature records are in general negatively correlated, and were further to accept that this indeed indicates a direct and persistent relationship between GCR and temperatures during the last two or more centuries, a relationship which has (according to the theory) dominated global climate over this period, could you clarify for us the physical mechanism that underlies the relationship, as you understand it? For example, do you attribute the cooling c. 1945-53, as from higher GCR, to increased cloud cover or to something else? If to cloud, at what altitudes and latitudes, and on what basis? If not to cloud, to what else? And is rainfall also affected?

    Going further, can you tell us the observational data conforming to the hypothesis, for example regarding height and distribution of cloud (if that is the effect causing the warming/cooling), and also precipitation?

    Many thanks,

    Nick

    Comment by Nick O. — 5 Oct 2007 @ 12:59 PM

  61. Re John Finn # 53

    1. You need to make up your mind about the Earth’s temporal temperature response to solar forcings! Lockwood’s and Frolich’s Be data in Figure 4d (not 4e) shows a bump on a decreasing trend around 1945-1961. Fine, let’s say that the Be proxy for Cosmic Ray Flux (CRF) is tightly coupled the Earth’s temperature response (that little bit of cooling between 1945 and 1950).

    Why then does this become uncoupled from the temperature response after 1985 (CRF goes up and temperatures continue to go up)? I suspect that the answer is that there isn’t any correlation between the CRF and temperature at all, but that occasionally two sets of non-correlated data are bound to show some similarities. After all Svensmark and Friis-Christensen see no correlation between the CRF and tropospheric temperature (see their figure 2a).

    So I don’t think you can get away with the inconsistency that the solar contribution tightly couples temporally to temperature (that’s what Svensmark and Friis-Christensen assert continuously too – see their Figures 1 and 2b)…….but yet at the same time propose a massive lag in the Earth’s temperature response..

    2. Your gas flame and pot of water analogy doesn’t work either. Surely the correct scenario is to consider again the gas flame warming a pot of water. The water settles to an equilibrium temperature resulting from the balance of heat input and heat loss. Now turn down the gas. Does the pot of water continue to warm. I think we can all agree that it actually cools towards a new equilibrium temperature. Is the system (earth’s temperature response to solar variation) at or near equilibrium? You need to come to some consistent conclusion about this. Svensmark and F-C think that the relationship is very tight (see their figures 1 and 2b). Do you agree with them??

    Comment by Chris — 5 Oct 2007 @ 1:25 PM

  62. Re # 28 Michael: “These organizations should be viewed with a skeptical eye and hammered from every side with counter-theories.”
    I’m not quite sure what you mean by counter-theories, but more valuable, is critical review of the conclusions put forth in their publications – and, in fact, that is precisely what happens through the peer review process (the process used to develop and revise the IPCC reports strikes me as very transparent), and there is plenty of critical commentary on RC ( by the moderators and readers). But, when RC contributors make critical commentary on what you (apparently) consider to be counter-theories, you dismiss this as an “obsession with snuffing deniers.” You can’t have it both ways, I’m afraid.

    Re # 57 Hank (and others): Sorry for missing the earlier posts on the Robinson et al article, and for providing a gratuitous hot link. I’m afraid the article first came to my attention only this morning.

    Re # 37 Rod B: I don’t think scientists are riled more easily than anyone else when someone questions their religion. But, as Ray pointed out, you seem to be (whether accidentally or intentionally, I won’t speculate) confusing science with religion, a rhetorical trick often used by creationists and intelligent design proponents to attack scientific views about evolution. If you want to take a jab at scientists and their views on scientific matters, surely you can come up with something more plausible, such as Thomas Kuhn’s analysis of scientific revolutions?

    Comment by Chuck Booth — 5 Oct 2007 @ 1:30 PM

  63. Sorry about trying to be subtle with you guys with my “mysterious” remark.

    Ray Ladbury,

    The caption to Figure 2.

    “The solar cycle and the negative correlation of global mean tropospheric temperatures with galactic cosmic rays are apparent in this ESA-ISAC analysis (ref. [2]). The upper panel shows observations of temperatures (blue) and cosmic rays (red). The lower panel shows the match achieved by removing El Nin~o, the North Atlantic Oscillation, volcanic aerosols, and also a linear trend (0.14 § 0.4 K/Decade).”

    I don’t know how he accounts for El Nino and PDO, I ssume that he smooths out 1998, an El Nino year, for one. One thing that is apparent is that Cosmic Rays are not nothing. Pretending that they can be ignored is unhelpful. Presumably the goal is to understand the problem thoroughly and precisely. I guess you can eyeball the graph and confidently assign the difference between prediction from CRF to CO2, I can’t. I guess what you guys mean by properly digesting the paper is to jump to the “correct” conclusions the way you have.

    If anybody has a link for me that explains how CO2 warming trendlines have accounted for PDO, I would be interested in seeing it. In this way, I could take more seriously arguments that absent CO2, cooling should have been the result, or that the authors did not properly account for it, anyway.

    Comment by yorick — 5 Oct 2007 @ 1:37 PM

  64. Re: #53 (John Finn)

    I think you’re referring to figure 4d (not 4e) in Lockwood & Frohlich.

    And it doesn’t show “a consistent decline in the CR flux throughout the 20th century.” The authors say, “The cosmic ray records shown by the thick line in figure 4d are the abundance of the cosmogenic 10Be isotope, [10Be], from the Dye-3 Greenland ice core (Beer et al. 1998, 2006); in addition, a composite of cosmic ray observations (by Forbush, Neher and the Climax neutron monitor) have been scaled by regression to the [10Be] data (Rouillard & Lockwood in press) and are shown by the grey line.”

    The black line is only a proxy, the grey line is direct measurements, and the direct measurements do not show any secular decrease after 1950, only very slight fluctuations superimposed with cyclic changes (in step with the solar cycle). This is even better illustrated in figure 3d, which shows cosmic ray counts since 1975 with the cyclic signal removed; there’s an overall slight decrease until 1987 followed by an increase. Yet as figure 3f shows, temperature has increased throughout this time span.

    Comment by tamino — 5 Oct 2007 @ 2:10 PM

  65. I would not rule GCR in or out as a factor. One of several, if it is.

    Comment by SteveSadlov — 5 Oct 2007 @ 2:18 PM

  66. Sorry, Yorick, what figure 2 shows is correlation with solar cycle–a lot of things correlate with solar cycle because a lot of things change with solar cycle. Correlation without a physical mechanism isn’t science. A recent post here found a significant positive correlation between warming and the number of Republicans in congress–that doesn’t mean it’s physically real.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 5 Oct 2007 @ 2:35 PM

  67. Re #63 Yorick:

    Let’s be honest and straightforward about what we can surmise from the data of Svensmark and Friis-Christensen (please be clear if you consider a point of disagreement):

    1. taking their data at face value (see figure 2b), the solar contribution to the Earth’s temperature response, as indicated by the CRF, has been negligible for many decades. Since 1960 the solar contribution has been a slight cooling one. Agreed? That’s what Svensmark and Friis-Christensen show in their figure 2b.

    2. They show (figure 2b again) that if one removes all sorts of contributions (El Nino’s, linear trends, volcanic aerosols, NAO) that the residual, denuded, tropospheric temperature matches the CRF.

    Can we conclude that this means that the CRF leaves an identifiable signature in the tropospheric temperature trend?

    There are surely two answers to this:

    a. Not really, until Svensmark and Friis-Christensen show us how they dissected out the CRF component.

    b. Absolutely not, since the CRF correlates very closely to other solar parameters measurable within the solar cycle. So even if the correlation exists (see a) we can’t say it’s due to the CRF at all. The CRF influence on climate remains an unsupported hypothesis.

    3. We can’t say (from the data presented) the Cosmic Rays are “for nothing” or “for something” (see (2))

    4. We don’t have the evidence to judge whether the Cosmic Rays can be “ignored” or not (see (2)).

    5. Your point about “eyeballing the graph and confidently assigning the difference between predictions from CRF and CO2″ and the link that supports the dominant CO2 contribution also has two answers:

    a. Svensmark and Friis-Christensen (see their figure 2b) explicitly demonstrate that the CRF has made zero contribution to the very marked warming of the last 30-35 years.

    b. Here’s one of several publications that answers the point that you request (I’ve chosen one you can link directly to):

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2005/2005_Hansen_etal_1.pdf

    6. concerning your statement “In this way, I could take more seriously arguments that absent CO2, cooling should have been the result, or that the authors did not properly account for it, anyway.”…

    it’s not us that are saying that, absent CO2, cooling should have been the result…it’s Svensmark and Friis-Christensen. Look at their figure 2b. They’ve isolated the CRF from all other influences on the Earth’s temperature response since 1958. They conclude that the match of the CRF with the residual tropospheric temperature (after everything but solar contributions have been reomved) is a slight cooling one…

    don’t argue with us…we’re just pointing out what Svensmark and Friis-Christensen are asserting.

    Comment by Chris — 5 Oct 2007 @ 2:56 PM

  68. tamino,

    The paper speaks to 3f.

    Their Fig. 3f (ref. [1]) suggests a remarkable
    0.1 K increase between 1998 and 2002, when the curves
    terminate. In reality, as shown in the unsmoothed pre-
    sentation of monthly data in their own Fig. 1e, global
    surface temperatures have been roughly °at since 1998.
    The apparent pause in global warming is even plainer and
    of longer duration in the tropospheric data, as sampled
    in our Fig. 3.

    The point of the paper was that 3f was flawed. Why are Svensmark and Friis-Christensen wrong on this point?

    BTW, obviously I meant North Atlantic Oscillation, not PDO in comment #63. A preview function wuold be nice.

    Comment by yorick — 5 Oct 2007 @ 2:59 PM

  69. Re #65 SteveSadlov

    “I would not rule GCR in or out as a factor. One of several, if it is.”

    Absolutely. Of course we’d like to know whether it’s contribution is small, medium, large or tiny. According to Svensmark and Friis-Christensen, the most vocal advocates of its influence, the CRF has made a negligible contribution to the Earth’s temperature response since 1958 (in fact it’s a mild cooling one)….

    …as they show in their Figure 2b.

    Comment by Chris — 5 Oct 2007 @ 3:00 PM

  70. Correlation without a physical mechanism isn’t science.

    Ignoring correlations because you don’t understand them and they are inconvenient to your position is not science either. A mechanism has been proposed. It has been experimentally tested and enough was found to warrent further investigation.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061023193345.htm

    Talk about deniers!

    Comment by yorick — 5 Oct 2007 @ 3:04 PM

  71. Re #70 Yorick:

    1. The correlation presented by Svensmark and Friis-Christensen in their figure 2b is:

    a. so far unassessable since we have no idea how S and F-C “teased” out the CRF (there’s no methodology whatsoever in their website report).

    b. unattributable to the CRF, since all they’ve done is use CRF as a proxy for the solar cycle. The whole putative “correlation” might be due to solar irradiance or sunspot numbers or other solar parameters that correlate strongly with the CRF.

    2. A mechanism for the effects of the CRF has indeed been proposed (nucleation of cloud formation). It has been tested under laboratory conditions. The jury is out as to whether this is significant in the real world. The fact remains that we don’t know whether the correlation is real (1a) or has anything at all to do with the CRF (1b).

    And we still cannot escape the fact that Svensmark and Friis-Christensen demonstrate in their own analysis that the very marked warming of the last 35 years has (according to Svensmark and Friis-Christensen) had no contribution from solar variation at least as indicated by the CRF (see their figure 2b).

    Comment by Chris — 5 Oct 2007 @ 3:35 PM

  72. Re #68 Yorick:

    you say “The point of the paper was that 3f was flawed. Why are Svensmark and Friis-Christensen wrong on this point?”

    The answer is, of course, yes, S&C-F are wrong on this point. It’s very easy to show how Svensmark and Friss-Christensen are trying to pull the wool over your eyes, if you consider the following points in relation to the actual temperature anomaly data collated by NASA GISS. Click the folowing for this:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2005/2005cal_fig1.gif

    Lockwood and Frolich show two different things in their figure 3f and figure 1 e. In figure 3f, the temperature anomaly data are shown as a running mean (as the legend to figure 3 indicates). This is equivalent to the red line in the NASA GISS data I’ve linked you to.

    In figure 1e Lockwood and Frolich show the raw temperature data (black dotted line and dots in the NASA GISS data in my link).

    Do you see how Svensmark and Friis-Christensen are trying to fool us now?

    if you can’t see this then do ask for clarification. The clue is that one cannot take the difference between single years (e.g. 1998 and 2002), and make a conclusion from this. Especially so since the temperature anomaly of 1998 was lifted by around 0.2 oC above the trend as a result of the strongest El Nino of the last century.

    Svensmark and Friis-Christensen are being very naughty here. They’re trying to sell a falsehood.

    Comment by Chris — 5 Oct 2007 @ 4:03 PM

  73. Re: #68 (Yorick)

    The statement from S&F-C:

    In reality, as shown in the unsmoothed presentation of monthly data in their own Fig. 1e, global surface temperatures have been roughly flat since 1998.

    is evidence that they’re not just mistaken, they’re being disingenuous.

    They make this claim as though it’s obvious just from looking at the graph. I prefer quantitative analysis: linear regression indicates a trend from 1998 to the present day of 1.9 deg.C/century. That’s not zero or negative, even within its 95% confidence limits, so statistically we reject their hypothesis that surface temperature has been “roughly flat”; it’s “flatly” contradicted by the data. And yes, that’s using the more stringest test assuming the random fluctuations are red rather than white noise.

    This result is a remarkable testament to the reality of warming, since the chosen time interval starts with one of the strongest el Nino events ever observed! S&F-C know this; they went to all the trouble to remove el Nino in other analyses. But they’re perfectly willing to leave it in place in order to give the impression of “roughly flat” by appealing to the worst-case cherry-picking starting point: 1998.

    The truly laughable part is that even choosing the “optimal cherry-picking” start year, they’re still demonstrably wrong.

    Comment by tamino — 5 Oct 2007 @ 4:52 PM

  74. Yorick, until you have a physical mechanism, you don’t even have anything worth denying. Without a physical mechanism, you don’t know whether you are looking at causation, or merely at two parameters that are both correlated to a third.
    Now, perhaps you would care to suggest how a fraction of a particle per square cm per second–even if it were there, which it isn’t–could cause the warming we’ve seen. And if you are going to suggest that the cause is cloud nucleation sites, perhaps you’d care to show that such a tiny flux would make a significant difference.

    Comment by ray ladbury — 5 Oct 2007 @ 5:18 PM

  75. Yorick, On the one hand, you have an explanation of the current warming epoch based on a well established mechanism (greenhouse forcing) driven by a change we know to be occurring (anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions increasing CO2 by 35-40%). It explains the magnitude of the warming very well–particularly when feedbacks (e.g. H2O) and competing effects (e.g. aerosols) are taken into account. It even explains the qualitative aspects–when and where warming are most pronounced pretty well. On the other hand, you have a conjecture (it is not a theory) based on an exotic mechanism that hasn’t been worked out quite and the underlying cause doesn’t even look to be present. Moreover, it can’t explain the qualitative character of the warming–let alone the amount of warming (again, no mechanism to model). Now I ask you, why would anyone of a scientific bent adopt the latter theory over the former?

    Comment by ray ladbury — 5 Oct 2007 @ 5:54 PM

  76. “…flat since 1998’ are dishonest (see figure above ).”

    Worse than flat, actually. Linear regression of the HADCRUv3 dataset between Jan 2002 and Dec.2006 is trending negative, not by much mind you, but still the heretics Svensmark and Fris-C are pretty much correct on that point.

    Regards, BRK

    [Response: You have natural variations of course, which makes it nonsensical to talk about trend for a 4-year interval. -rasmus]

    Comment by Brian Klappstein — 5 Oct 2007 @ 9:37 PM

  77. > between Jan 2002 and Dec.2006

    Brian:

    “… 5 year trends from surface temperature are not very significant and are a bad measure of anything. As everyone should know. But it seems that some people don’t. So in tedious detail……”
    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2007/05/the_significance_of_5_year_tre.php

    Cautionary post. If you don’t understand, ask.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Oct 2007 @ 9:58 PM

  78. Marie, et al: I appreciate the help. But I think I have a handle on the effect a variable GCR has on the atmosphere. I was asking where/how GCRs originate, especially how/why GCR might vary over periods of decades. Supernovas or novas come to mind (for the variances), but coming from the “galatic average” it’s hard to see how we would experience a noticeable, let alone significant, change over a few years. Though maybe… I don’t know. Why I’m asking.

    et al, same song, fourth verse: There is in fact a body of evidence that points to intelligent design; evolution has some serious unexplained holes in its theory. Most of the evidence sides with evolution. Going ballistic when someone says a scientific theory is certifiably less than perfect (evolution, e.g.) is characteristic of religious zeal, not scientific discourse. Even if the fervor is coming from scientists. Also, stating a scientific postulate or theory based on limited evidence is not (necessarily) a religious stance, even if the postulator “believes” it to be true.

    Comment by Rod B — 5 Oct 2007 @ 10:01 PM

  79. There is data that supports the assertion that a significant portion of the 20th century global warming was due to solar changes. (Note the sun can directly effect global cloud cover via electroscavenging in addition to modulation of GCR.)

    Any way, here is a paper that provides data to support the assertion that there is strong correlation of the solar parameter Ak (which is a measure of the solar magnetic field strength and wind speed. The solar mechanism to that is hypothesized to module cloud cover, is more complicated than simply number of sunspots.) and planetary temperature, in the 20th century. There are also papers that show planetary cloud cover inversely tracks the 20th century temperature changes. Such as Enric Palle’s paper that measures the earthshine off of the moon to determine change in planetary albedo.

    [Response: I have not been able to find any convincing documentation on any trend in the low cloudiness (including in the IPCC AR4). -rasmus]

    Paper by Georgieva, Bianchi, & Kirov “Once again about global warming and solar activity”

    http://sait.oat.ts.astro.it/MSAIt760405/PDF/2005MmSAI..76..969G.pdf

    From the above paper: “It has been noted that in the last century the correlation between sunspot number and geomagnetic activity has been steadily decreasing from – 0.76 in the period 1868-1890 to 0.35 in the period 1960-1982, … According to Echer et al (2004), the probable cause seems to be related to the double peak structure of geomagnetic activity. The second peak, related to high speed solar wind from coronal holes (my comment: For example coronal hole 254 that produced the Dec 16, 2006 peak in solar wind, during a sun spot minimum, see attached link to Solar Observation Data), seems to have increased relative to the first one, related to sunspots (CMEs) but, as already mentioned, this type of solar activity is not accounted for by sunspot number. In figure 6 long term varations in global temperature are compared to the long-term variations in geomagnetic activity as expressed by the ak-index (Nevanlinna and Kataga 2003). The correlation between the two quantities is 0.85 with p

    Comment by William Astley — 5 Oct 2007 @ 10:52 PM

  80. Hmmm, Brian, someone with the same name here also was relying on short time span numbers to claim the world is cooling. Any relation?
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070503.wclimate03/CommentStory/ClimateChange#comment890701

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Oct 2007 @ 11:10 PM

  81. #73 Tamino, its more than just mathematical myopia, the planet has warmed significantly since 1998,
    enough to melt millions of cubic meters of glacial and sea ice, enough to turn the fall into summer, with historical maximum temperature records being smashed everywhere. Cake on the contarian icing : Northern Hemisphere temperature anomally standing from January till August: 1998: +.89 C ; 2005 +.99 C; 2007 =1.09 C . Flat warming hey?

    Comment by wayne davidson — 6 Oct 2007 @ 2:02 AM

  82. Small correction
    I’ve calculated
    January to August for 1998 (not yearly average) +0.95 C
    January to August for 2005 (not yearly average) +0.96 C
    January to August for 2007 Monthly anomaly ave. +1.09 C

    2007 will likely exceed +1.09 at year end …..

    Comment by wayne davidson — 6 Oct 2007 @ 2:22 AM

  83. I agree with Pete .. ‘Let us hope that the integrity of science is not itself compromised by some that claim to practise it’
    best regards to everyone

    Comment by Rosenthal — 6 Oct 2007 @ 3:53 AM

  84. Rod B., The GCR flux is indeed generated mainly by supernovae. Since the sources are scattered far and wide in space and time and are by any measure infrequent in any particular time and place, they can be looked on as Poisson processes, and the mean flux doesn’t vary much. We’ve been using essentially the same GCR model to predict upset rates for microelectronics since the 1980s. GCR fluxes do modulate with the Solar Cycle–peaking in Solar Min and dipping at Solar Max.
    Now, as to your other comment. It is not a religious attitude to be irritated when someone distorts the truth repeatedly. Evolution has handled every problem thrown at it–including the very difficult one of social insects. To claim that the theory “has problem” is to distort the truth. Likewise the hypothesis of anthropogenic causation of the current warming epoch has stood up to all of the evidence so far. As evidence I cite the fact the in both cases, the deniers keep bringing up the same discredited ideas to attack the theories. There has been no new attack in at least 5 years. Now, unless you are using the term “religion” in a Gandhian sense as a devotion to truth, I would suggest that you retire that tired, old attack about the “religion” of science. It only shows you don’t understand science.

    Comment by ray ladbury — 6 Oct 2007 @ 6:57 AM

  85. William Astley, showing a correlation between Ak and climate demonstrates nothing, as Ak varies with solar cycle and many, many other parameters do as well. As climate skeptics love to point out: correlation is not causation. Without a physical model that demonstrates how causation occurs, you are not doing science.
    Now I am curious. We have a model that works. It is physically reasonable. It’s mechanism is known and known to be increasing. And the model has been incredibly successful. Why do folks like you insiste on going off into the weeds looking for an effect that may or may not be there, that has no known physical mechanism and that wouldn’t correlate all that well to the evidence in any case.

    Comment by ray ladbury — 6 Oct 2007 @ 7:05 AM

  86. Chris O’Neill: “Most of the changes overlapped each other so saying one change could not cause the other (at all is implied) is a lie.”

    JamesG: “Every climate scientist now agrees that CO2 wasn’t the trigger,”

    Wow, that was quick. “Cause” to “trigger” in one easy switch. Unfortunately, sleight-of-keyboard doesn’t work as well as sleight-of-hand. The relevant words were “the reported changes in CO2 and CH4″, “the temperature changes” and “caused”. The vast majority of the temperature changes occurred after the CO2 and CH4 started to change so the CO2 and CH4 changes could have caused some of the temperature change. So it is a lie to use the word “caused” in statements like “the reported changes in CO2 and CH4″ “could not, therefore, have caused” “the temperature changes”.

    Switching words in an attempt to hide a switch of meaning is a very nasty trait.

    Comment by Chris O\'Neill — 6 Oct 2007 @ 8:17 AM

  87. Re #78 Rod B

    You’ve gone wildly off topic in your generalised anti-science comments, but having brought up the subject could you please point to “the body of evidence that points to intelligent design”, and to the “serious unexplained holes” in the theory of evolution. After all these points either exist or they don’t…so which are they??

    Surely in discussion of science subjects we point specifically to the issues, rather than making vague generalisations.

    For example, getting back to the specific issue of this thread, and looking at the website report under discussion written by Svensmark and Friis-Christensen, would you say that this report provides any evidence for a contribution of CRF to the Earth’s “climate”? And would you say that the website report of Svensmark and Friis-Christensen supports a solar contribution to the very marked warming since the early 70′s that is large, small, insignificant or negative?

    We can answer these questions categorically in the context of Svensmark’s and Friis-Christensen’s without beating around the bush and generalising vaguely. Likewise with the evolution generalisations.

    Let’s try to be specific!

    Comment by Chris — 6 Oct 2007 @ 10:14 AM

  88. It would appear that the GHG theory depends on the simultaneous radiative and thermal equilibrium between a solid (earth) and a gas (CO2). Constraining both equilibria and solving the radiation equation does indeed provide a large spontaneous emission.

    The LTE treatment in Goody and Yung explicitly argues that thermal equilibrium is achieved because collisional relaxation is much faster than spontaneous emission. This argument also serves to demonstrate that the gas is not in radiative equilibrium with the solid. If it were, the collisional relaxation would be unnecessary, as both collision and radiation would be driving towards the same relative population of states.

    Goody and Yung go on to constrain both equilibria, solve the equation, and assign a Planck source function to emission from the gas.

    Given the obvious failure of greenhouse “physics”, it is certainly appropriate to propose additional possibilities.

    Comment by Harmon — 6 Oct 2007 @ 10:14 AM

  89. Ray, thanks. It still seems difficult that the galactic CR variance would be noticeable to affect atmospheric temperatures (via cloud formation and such) one iota. But I don’t know. Also it would seem that a decreasing GCR, which causes the temperature increase (is that right??), would almost be nonexistent. I can understand novas generating more GCR, but I can’t envision what can cause a decrease??!!? (I know I’m asking contrary to my skeptical leanings, but science is science.)

    Speaking of which, the irritation of being challenged does not reflect religiosity as you say. It’s the degree of foaming of the mouth that is the clue. Anytime I merely hint at maybe a few cracks in the science I can expect a slew of immediate vitriolic responses sometimes suggesting I should crawl under the porch and visit my Mother.

    Evolution hasn’t fully explained the “explosion” periods, specie to specie evolution, or why 99+% of evolutionary changes are not for the worse, as probability would have it. (Hey! How ’bout an invisible hand of an intelligent designer? Just a thought.)

    Comment by Rod B — 6 Oct 2007 @ 10:28 AM

  90. Harmon (#87) wrote:

    It would appear that the GHG theory depends on the simultaneous radiative and thermal equilibrium between a solid (earth) and a gas (CO2).

    Not really, there are non-Local Thermodynamic Equilibria regions, for example for carbon dioxide as low as 30 km at 15 μm. Still part of the greenhouse effect. If some of the radiation is downwelling after reemission, then you will have a greenhouse effect. Incidentally, life pretty much depends upon the greenhouse effect. Without it the average temperature of the earth would be about 30 degrees Celsius cooler, well below freezing.

    Harmon (#87) wrote:

    Constraining both equilibria and solving the radiation equation does indeed provide a large spontaneous emission.

    At this point it would appear that you may not be all that familiar with the terms that you are throwing about.

    Harmon (#87) wrote:

    The LTE treatment in Goody and Yung explicitly argues that thermal equilibrium is achieved because collisional relaxation is much faster than spontaneous emission.

    At this point you would appear to have little understanding of the paper which you are refering to – or for that matter what LTE refers to. In any case, you will have a local thermodynamic equilibria when the rate of collision is about a million times higher (or more) than the rate of emission. This is what establishes an equilibria between the Maxwellian temperature associated with translational energy and the Planckian temperature of radiation.

    But now lets zero-in on your central error.

    When a molecule loses its energy due to collisional relaxation, where does that energy go? To other molecules – which like the original one also have the opportunity to emit radiation. And with a Maxwellian distribution of translational kinetic energy, some molecules will always have enough energy to emit radiation. Likewise, since reemission is the decay of a quantum state of higher energy to one of lower energy, it is essentially a random process in which the molecule is “unaware” of how long it has been in a given state, and thus it follows a simple exponential law of decay. As long as there is a certain percentage of molecules in a state where they have sufficient energy to emit radiation in a given part of the spectra, a certain percentage of molecules will emit radiation at a given rate.

    Harmon (#87) wrote:

    This argument also serves to demonstrate that the gas is not in radiative equilibrium with the solid. If it were, the collisional relaxation would be unnecessary, as both collision and radiation would be driving towards the same relative population of states.

    Gobbledigook.

    Collisional relaxation happens. And as long as it happens at a much higher rate than that of emission, a local thermodynamic equilibria will be established. But the greenhouse effect itself does not require a local thermodynamic equilibria. All it requires is that some reemission take place, and that some of that reemission be downwelling (towards the ground) as well as upwelling.

    The direction of reemission is essentially the result of a random process. Thus some of the radiation will be go down, reducing the rate at which energy is lost from the climate system. The climate system must heat up enough to compensate for the reduction in the percentage of radiation which escapes. It will heat up until the energy leaving the climate system equals the amount of energy entering the system. This follows from the conservation of energy.

    Harmon (#87) wrote:

    Goody and Yung go on to constrain both equilibria, solve the equation, and assign a Planck source function to emission from the gas.

    Now you are just being inconsistent. Are you arguing that Goody and Yung’s results where molecules lose energy far more often due to collision is what prevents the greenhouse effect and thus that the atmosphere is incapable of the reemission of the thermal radiation which it absorbs (what is suggested in the earliest part of your post), or are you arguing that there is some fatal flaw in Goody and Yung’s approach and thus that the greenhouse effect can’t take place?

    Harmon (#87) wrote:

    Given the obvious failure of greenhouse “physics”, it is certainly appropriate to propose additional possibilities.

    Greenhouse physics?

    No – its just physics. Quantum mechanics and radiation transfer theory at this point.

    “Additional possibilities” for what?

    For whatever has been causing the trend towards higher temperatures in the twentieth century?

    Sure, go ahead and look for them. Thats part of what science does – it looks for alternate explanations of the same evidence. But at some point, it arrives at certain theories which, at least as a very good approximation, are considered well established. They constitute a form of knowledge. Newton’s gravitational theory would be a good example. General relativity came along, but one key requirement of the theory is its consistency with Newton’s gravitational theory where Newton’s theory is known to perform quite well. This is what is known as the correspondence principle. Same thing applies between special relativity and classical physics, and between quantum mechanics and classical physics. The basic physics behind the greenhouse effect is – roughly in that category – well established knowledge.

    Whether or not greater levels of greenhouse gas is causing the current trends? Well, that’s not basic or fundamental physical principles, but it is pretty well established, too. However, I doubt that any “scientist” who is proposing cosmic rays as the cause of the trend towards higher temperatures is actually denying the physics behind the greenhouse effect. (Well, maybe one or two – but collisional energy can also cause porcelain to break.) As for the problems with the cosmic rays causing the current trend – detailed above.

    And as for the reemission of radiation by the atmosphere, well observed.

    See comment #555 to post Part II: What Angstrom didn’t know. There are links to images from satellites at various levels in the atmosphere — and there are even movies!

    Enjoy.

    Comment by Timothy Chase — 6 Oct 2007 @ 12:26 PM

  91. Re 87 Harmon: “Given the obvious failure of greenhouse “physics”, it is certainly appropriate to propose additional possibilities.”

    Not just propose them, but describe, demonstrate, and provide evidence as to how they can generate the observed effects. Until S & F-C do it’s not even a theory.

    I’ll let others more learned than I address your “failure” of greenhouse physics remark.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 6 Oct 2007 @ 12:29 PM

  92. Re #78: [There is in fact a body of evidence that points to intelligent design; evolution has some serious unexplained holes in its theory.]

    Perhaps that’s a good parallel to the GCR case. Suppose for the sake of argument that evolution or standard AGW theory do have some holes. That doesn’t translate to support for competing conjectures, or fill in their holes. Where’d the intelligent designer come from? How are GCRs supposed to create their effects on climate? All you’re doing is replacing a working but possibly incomplete theory with something you find more emotionally satisfying.

    Comment by James — 6 Oct 2007 @ 12:43 PM

  93. Jim,

    The discrepancy has much to do with the failure to use the factor “epsilon” when applying Stefan’s Law. The right hand side of the equation in Stefan’s Law should include a dimensionless, generally empirical, factor, epsilon, which ranges from 0 to 1, and describes how closely a substance imitates a theoretical blackbody.

    For a blackbody, epsilon is equal to 1, and you have the sigma T^4 equation everyone knows and loves.

    Real substances always have an epsilon value less than 1. For a mixture of lanthanide oxides, epsilon is pretty close to 1. For a low pressure, low T, sample of He gas (if you even really want to apply the model this far from a blackbody), epsilon is pretty close to 0.

    Take two substances with different epsilon values (assuming you’re happy applying Stefan’s Law to CO2 at STP in the first place), earth and CO2.

    Now match the excitance, immediately it is seen that if excitances are equal, and epsilon values are not, then temperatures are also not equal. Conversely, you can match the temperatures, something closer to atmosphere at the same T as ground. It falls out immediately that since the epsilon values are different, so is the radiation emitted from each. They are not in radiative equilibrim, when they are in thermal equilibrium, at STP.

    If you go to very high T, it is possible to make the Boltzmann distribution match radiative equilibrium with the solid. THis will occur when the temperature is high enough that the two states are very close to each other in population. At STP, the states have very different populations, which is why you see a net absorption.

    At low pressure, when not in thermal equilibrium (collisional), the system will move closer to the radiative equilibrium position (more spontaneous emission).

    At conditions found in the troposhere, the radiation is simply not in equilibrium, while the collisions are in equilibrium. You should expect a large absorption, which is seen. You should expect negligible emission, which is generally the starting point for training an IR gas phase spectroscopist.

    Remember that energy is conserved. If the atmosphere is heated by absorption of IR photons, then it necessarily emits less energy than it absorbed.

    If you want to satisfy conditions of both thermal and radiative equilibrium simultaneously at STP, try comparing a solid with another solid, then it works. You need to at least get the epsilon values close to each other.

    Comment by Harmon — 6 Oct 2007 @ 1:19 PM

  94. > This argument also serves to demonstrate …

    There’s your logic problem. Arguments neither serve nor demonstrate.

    Can you show your work, Harmon, if you did the math yourself, or point to your source if you’re relying on someone else’s opinion about what’s in the source you refer to?
    A quote and a page reference, if you’re referring to this:
    http://www.amazon.com/Atmospheric-Radiation-Theoretical-R-Goody/dp/0195102916

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Oct 2007 @ 1:25 PM

  95. Harmon (87) — Visit the AIP Discovery of Global Warming site, linked in the Science section of the sidebar. In particular, I recommend reading the page entitled Carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 6 Oct 2007 @ 1:31 PM

  96. Harmon, There is no assumption of equilibrium. Rather, you have a system (Earth +atmosphere) that starts out in equilibrium, but is perturbed by a change to one of its components. Since the only way it gets rid of energy is via radiation, it must heat up to restore equilibrium. Maybe you should look into the physics before you call it a failure.

    Comment by ray ladbury — 6 Oct 2007 @ 1:46 PM

  97. [[Given the obvious failure of greenhouse “physics”,]]

    What obvious failure is that? Like the obvious failure of relativity, quantum mechanics, or evolution?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 6 Oct 2007 @ 1:56 PM

  98. David,

    I have read it, quite some time ago, unless they’ve changed it. I have another comment awaiting moderation that further explains my position. So far, I continue to stand by my position. Actually, I used to accept your side, but no longer. There is a paper by Barrett, or Barnett, one or the other, from some time back. I read that, thought he had the beginnings of a very good argument, read the responses. The final response said something to the effect of “This is well understood, go read Goody and Yung.”

    I got myself a copy of Goody and Yung. I disagree with them starting with their middle paragraph, page 2. Demonstrating that the bb emission calculated form earth yields a T of 255 K is a long way from convincing me that gas phase CO2 emits like a bb. Clouds, other condensed phases of matter, OK, but not gases. I read further into Goody and Yung, and saw that they ignore epsilon in Stefan’s Law, and do in fact force a simultaneous radiative and collisional equiibrium between the solid and the gas.

    THe argument actually works pretty well – except for the initial absorption from the solid to the gas. That mistake provides a huge, and incredible, emission signature for CO2. Unless I’m reading it incorrectly, I think Gavin assigned a factor of about 0.8 times absorption for the emission from CO2. If climatologist need this kind of emission from gas phase CO2, then they need a new theory.

    [Response: I have not assigned any factor to any real emission. You mistake a a simplified conceptual model with the real line-by-line codes. - gavin]

    Comment by Harmon — 6 Oct 2007 @ 3:16 PM

  99. Harmon, the earlier threads (on the topic you’re raising here) will clarify the assumption you’re making about LTE. Try the inline response here for example:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument-part-ii/#comment-35977

    Note “the emission is the absorption coefficient times the very same Planck function B(nu,T) … it’s not a true thermodynamic equilibrium. A very turgid derivation is given in Goody and Yung.”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Oct 2007 @ 5:49 PM

  100. From the Lockwood and Frohlich paper, could somebody briefly explain or define open solar flux derived from geomagnetic data?

    [Response: It's a physical necessity that all magnetic fields are closed loops, but the sloppy terminology refers to those magnetic field lines which penetrate both the sun and the earth. -rasmus]

    Also, how or why should it vary in relationship to total solar irradiance?

    Thanks

    Comment by Andrew — 6 Oct 2007 @ 6:47 PM

  101. Re # 89 Rod B’s comments about evolution

    Sort of OT, but linked by the importance of mechanisms, perhaps. Rod, Darwin (and Wallace) didn’t come up with a theory of evolution, but rather a theory of evolution through natural selection. Let’s accept that perhaps 99+% of mutations are “for the worse.” Surviving species don’t reflect this trend because natural selection weeds out mutations that don’t lead to increased fitness, i.e., more descendants. BTW, the singular form of “species” is “species.”

    Comment by Rick Brown — 6 Oct 2007 @ 7:58 PM

  102. Chris (87), I didn’t thoroughly read all references (especially the one in Norwegian [;-) but I think it’s safe to deduce that Svensmark and Friis-Christensen do provide evidence for a contribution of CRF to the Earth’s “climate”. I can’t assess the veracity of the evidence, though, and my gut feel is that the GCR-climate connection is very tenuous; that’s why I’m asking my questions. I answered (partially) your “off-topic” queries in a subsequent post.

    Comment by Rod B — 6 Oct 2007 @ 8:06 PM

  103. James (92) said: “…Suppose for the sake of argument that evolution or standard AGW theory do have some holes. That doesn’t translate to support for competing conjectures, or fill in their holes….” Of course not. I never said so. I never said I do not subscribe to evolution theory. I just said it has holes, as do lots of stuff. But it is the frenzied reaction to that last statement that is the interesting/telling part.

    You then ask, “Where’d the intelligent designer come from?” I don’t have a clue. Where did the primordial singularity come from? Maybe everything’s just kinda always been there, ala Fred Hoyle.

    Comment by Rod B — 6 Oct 2007 @ 8:23 PM

  104. Harmon, very helpful post (93). Thanks.

    Comment by Rod B — 6 Oct 2007 @ 8:30 PM

  105. ps to earlier post. I’d better hold off a little on accolades for your post, Harmon. There seems to be a fuss about…..

    Comment by Rod B — 6 Oct 2007 @ 8:35 PM

  106. Rod B. OK, I know I risk going seriously off topic, but when “intelligent design” gets thrown out as a “scientific” theory, it needs to be pointed out that not only is it not scientific, it never can be scientific. The reason is that every development is conditional on the “will” of a designer, so you have a theory with an unlimited number of adjustable parameters. Rod, you need to go here:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/
    Likewise, science is basically conservative. If you have a theory that works (e.g. anthropogenic causation of the current warming epoch), you don’t toss it out for something totally different. If possible, you build on it, add to it. If GCR were to have an effect, first, there would have to be a physical mechanism (so far there is not). Second, they would have to explain not just how the GCR work, but also why CO2 is much less effective than all the evidence to date has indicated.

    Rod, BTW, the mechanism S & F-C are talking about modulates GCR fluxes by changing the heliomagnetic field. We know that GCR fluxes do change significantly with the solar cycle. There’s no evidence of any other systematic trend.

    Comment by ray ladbury — 6 Oct 2007 @ 8:53 PM

  107. Timothy,

    Yes, the energy goes to other molecules, collisionally, which also emit a negligible amount of radiation, just like the original CO2. In fact, since most of them are homonuclear diatomics, N2, O2, they pretty much don’t emit from their vibrational states at all.

    Obviously, you don’t like to talk about lifetimes of excited states. You prefer rates of emission, whoops, that also has a time component, doesn’t it?

    When speaking of emission, do be certain that you are addressing spontaneous emission, which is isotropic, not stimulated emission, which is by far nearly all of the emission from the gas phase in the radiation field of a bb, and is coherent with the exciting radiation. Of course, stimulated emission falls out naturally with observed net absorption. You can ignore spontaneous emission of the gas at STP, it’s pretty much not relevant in vibrational bands.

    Yes, a certain, very small, percentage of molecules will emit at a given rate (there’s that pesky time reference again).

    By the way, Goody and Yung do in fact depend on a simultaneous radiative and collisional equilibrium to substantiate the claim that the source function for CO2 emission is the Planck function. This is done by setting the net absorption to zero, and setting the state populations to the Boltzman distribution. Solve the equation yourself, the spontaneous emission is large. If the radiative equilibrium were real at STP, I would be accepting the GHG theory right now.

    Those who are interested, read the first part of chapter two in Goody and Yung. Hank you have the right book listed.

    I’d provide the calculation, but it is currently in the margin of my first PChem book. That’d be Atkins. There’s only a page or two on this topic in Atkins, and it uses different notation, but you can see the same thing in chapter two of Goody – just with very different conclusions.

    I’ll eventually throw some of this into Excel, and if I get that far, I’d be happy to share it with you. Most of my musings end up as hand written notes all over the pages of textbooks, but lest you think it too disorganized, feel free to take a pencil and go through the equation yourself.

    Comment by Harmon — 6 Oct 2007 @ 9:54 PM

  108. Harmon (#93) writes:

    Take two substances with different epsilon values (assuming you’re happy applying Stefan’s Law to CO2 at STP in the first place), earth and CO2.

    Physics isn’t a schmorgesborg – but the fact that you seem to think so would seem to help explain how you arrive at your conclusions. “Stefan’s law” for blackbody radiation is something that was first discovered in relation to realistic bodies – where the emissivity varies according to the wavelength. Black bodies (where the emissivity is equal to 1 for all wavelengths) and grey bodies (where the emissivity is a constant at all wavelengths but less than 1) are a fiction, albeit each a useful one for grasping the physics involved. And a spectral emissivity is strictly applicable to greenhouse gases – although it tends to be rather quantized – a bit more so than crystals.

    Harmon (#93) writes:

    Now match the excitance, immediately it is seen that if excitances are equal, and epsilon values are not, then temperatures are also not equal. Conversely, you can match the temperatures, something closer to atmosphere at the same T as ground. It falls out immediately that since the epsilon values are different, so is the radiation emitted from each. They are not in radiative equilibrim, when they are in thermal equilibrium, at STP.

    Excitance? Now this is getting exciting! But there is this talk about mix and match. Makes me nervous.

    Numerous problems. Let’s hit just a couple.

    First, you seem to be thinking of emissivity as a single constant. Grey body approach – rather than spectral emissivity. Which might help to explain why you have a problem with Stefan’s law – the way in which Stefan’s law is generalized in physics is with a spectral emissivity where the emissivity differs according to the wavelength – something physicists have been aware of from the start.

    Assuming that emissivity has to be constant, you seem to have “naturally concluded” that the emissivity of gases has to be low. However, assuming that this is what you were thinking, I am still puzzled as to why you think that gases will absorb without emitting. The emissivity and opacity are the same – and the terms are typically used interchangeably.

    This I believe is why you later state:

    If you want to satisfy conditions of both thermal and radiative equilibrium simultaneously at STP, try comparing a solid with another solid, then it works. You need to at least get the epsilon values close to each other.

    But the spectral emissivity will often be quite close to one for certain parts of the spectra for a given greenhouse gas such that the gas will become entirely opaque at given wavelengths. That’s why we will talk about certain wavelengths or bands becoming “saturated,” although there will be neighboring regions, called the “wings,” which are not saturated. The higher the concentration of gas, the broader the band which becomes opaque.

    … and actually this pretty much takes care of your “analysis of emissivity” of greenhouse gases, I think.

    Now what is this about radiative equilibrium? Thermal equilibrium?

    In the study of the physics of the greenhouse effect, we don’t assume radiative equilibrium or thermal equilibrium. Normally we will speak of a local thermodynamic equilibrium – but note the “local.” Local is all that is required for Kirchoff’s law to apply. In a local thermodynamic equilibrium, temperatures can be different at different places.

    Given the nature of the local thermodynamic equilibrium, the emission will typically exceed the absorption, that is, for most of the relevant parts of the spectra. Why? Principally because of moist air convection. The thermal energy which gets emitted by greenhouse gases doesn’t care where it comes from – its kind of like that American ideal. But as such, greenhouse gases will typically have the direct net effect of cooling the atmosphere – but due to their backradiation (“downwelling” radiation which reaches the surface), will warm the surface, resulting in more moist air convection, thus indirectly warming the atmosphere by means of the additional moist air convection.

    Harmon (#93) writes:

    Remember that energy is conserved. If the atmosphere is heated by absorption of IR photons, then it necessarily emits less energy than it absorbed.

    You state, “If the atmosphere is heated by the absorption of IR photons…” Greenhouse gases tend to emit more radiation than they absorb, not less. And the direct effect is to cool the atmosphere – but this warms the surface. See directly above.

    You state, “Remember that energy is conserved.”

    Good point – if you know how to apply it.

    The climate system as a whole (including the surface and the atmosphere) cannot get rid of energy by means of convection or conduction. In fact there is only one way – barring the loss of atmosphere or some big impact – that energy can be lost – and that is by radiation. If you reduce the percentage of thermal radiation which is able to leave the system but hold the rate at which thermal radiation enters the system constant, things have to heat up. Conservation of energy.

    For radiative equilibrium (as it can in fact be applied to the climate system as a whole) to be achieved after rendering the atmosphere more opaque to thermal radiation, the temperature of the climate must rise to the point at which more thermal radiation is being emitted, ultimately to the point at which the rate at which radiation is being emitted equals the rate at which thermal radiation enters the system. Conservation of energy.

    Anyway, I am still quite an amateur in this area myself – philosophy major turned coder – so I would recommend beginning with some genuine resources. Like AIP. Or look at some of the earlier posts here. Real climatologists. Strong backgrounds in physics. I know of a particle physicist who grants them a well-deserved, deep and abiding respect.

    Hope this helps…

    Comment by Timothy Chase — 7 Oct 2007 @ 12:56 AM

  109. [[Evolution hasn’t fully explained . . . why 99+% of evolutionary changes are not for the worse]]

    Natural selection works by saving the changes for the “better” (i.e., more fit to the current environment) and eliminating the rest. By definition, the permanent changes will be those for the “better.”

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 7 Oct 2007 @ 6:20 AM

  110. tamino,
    I understand that you want to stick to the surface temperature, the paper doesn’t

    Their [Lockwood] analysis relies on data on surface air temperature which, they say, “does not respond to the solar cycle”. Yet over the past 20 years the solar cycle remains fully apparent in variations both of tropospheric air temperature and of ocean sub-surface water temperature (Fig. 1).

    So arguing against it through use of the surface temps is somewhat disingenuous.

    More on surface temps:
    In temperature variations other than those in the surface record favored by Lockwood and FrÄohlich, the Sun’s in°uence remains obvious.

    Then there is this:

    When the response of the climate system to the solar
    cycle is apparent in the troposphere and ocean, but not
    in the global surface temperature, one can only wonder
    about the quality of the surface temperature record. For
    whatever reason, it is a poor guide to Sun-driven physical processes that are still plainly persistent in the climate system.

    [Response: There is apparently some solar signal in sea surface temperatures, but I doubt that the analysis that Svensmark and Friis-Christensen showed really gives a correct picture. They are not offerening much detail about their analysis, so I have not been able to repeat it. -rasmus]

    There are plenty of other reasons for wondering about the surface temp measurements, for instance the “divergence problem” is not confined to the surface temp relationships with tropospherice temps, and near surface ocean temps.

    An anomalous reduction in forest growth indices and temperature sensitivity has been detected in tree-ring width and density records from many circumpolar northern latitude sites since around the middle 20th century. This phenomenon, also known as the “divergence problem”, is expressed as an offset between warmer instrumental temperatures and their underestimation in reconstruction models based on tree rings
    http://climatesci.colorado.edu/2007/05/04/a-new-paper-on-the-differences-between-recent-proxy-temperature-and-in-situ-near-surface-air-temperatures/

    But I really don’t want to go down that rathole. My problem with your response is that you retreat to the surface temp record to argue against the paper, when clearly they make the point several times that they are not talking about the surface temp except for one highly qualified observation, having nothing to do with their central argument.

    I will read your link on the futility of high frequecny analysis, but I would think that the proof is in the pudding in terms of this paper. Correlations to the solar cylcle have been found in 19th century British grain prices and even ancient Egyption records kept on flooding of the Nile.

    Comment by yorick — 7 Oct 2007 @ 6:38 AM

  111. Re Rod #89

    On your comment: “Evolution hasn’t fully explained the “explosion” periods, specie to specie evolution, or why 99+% of evolutionary changes are not for the worse, as probability would have it. (Hey! How ’bout an invisible hand of an intelligent designer? Just a thought.)”

    This may appear off-topic, but it isn’t fully. There is a common theme that runs right through much of “denialism” of climate change science, and so-called “intelligent design” (in fact it’s the very fundamental basis of ID), namely the promotion of ignorance as if ignorance was a valid “debating” tool. In other words the pretence that we (science) don’t know what we actually know pretty well. Obviously having pretended that science hasn’t established well-supported explanations for a particular observation, one is free to assert the role of new hypotheses (ID, cosmic ray flux effects on climate) for which there isn’t any particular scientific evidence. Of course (coming back to Cosmic Ray Flux’s!) one doesn’t rule out CRF effects on climate (it remains to be seen), but in asserting a role for it, one should do so in the light of evidence, for which there is little of substance so far (after all in the web report of Svensmark and Friis-Christensen that’s the topic of this “thread”, their own analysis demonstrates that the CRF has made no contribution to the warming of the last 35 years).

    Likewise with your three points. One could pretend that evolutionary theory can’t “explain” species explosion, species evolution, evolutionary change. But why do so, when we know that it can?

    Specifically:

    1. “Explosion” periods – these often occur after massive extinctions and are anyway associated with the opening up of new niches. A very detailed and entertaining account of the Cambrian explosion, for example, from an evolutionary perspective, can be found in S.J. Gould’s “Wonderful Life” (Penguin books 1991), which, if slightly out of date in the details, captures the general themes of this particular “explosion” rather well.

    2. species to species evolution. We understand this pretty well indeed from an evolutionary perspective. New species can arise via reproductive isolation and genetic drift. For example, considering one of the most slowly evolving species (sharks), there was a separation of a single species into two discrete species in the Atlantic and Pacific respectively, upon closing of the isthmus of Panama many millions of years ago. There is a vast multitude of data on this subject.

    More specifically, there are many examples in which the speciation process is known in extraordinary detail in lower organisms through comparative analysis of genomes. An excellent example out of dozens (see reference below) is the speciation of bakers yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) which is known to have occurred via a genome duplication event in the ancestral species, followed by independent mutation of some of the duplicated proteins to yield in time a species having an entire novel metabolic process (the ability to metabolise the sugars that were appearing at that time in the plant world). We know which duplicated ancestral proteins mutated into which specific novel proteins (the duplication event allowed the original functions to be retained in one of each of the duplicated pairs, while the other was “free” to change and eventually acquire new functions), and can follow the mutation events since we know the genome sequences fully….

    M. Kellis, B.W. Birren and E.S. Lander
    “Proof and evolutionary analysis of ancient genome duplication in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae Nature 428, 617-624 (2004)

    3. It depends what you mean by “evolutionary changes”. Considering mutations, most evolutionary changes are not for the worst. Most mutations (e.g. single base mutations whether transpositions or transversions, but not additions or deletions, especially if these don’t occur in groups of three) are neutral, neither worse nor better, although they are part of the process whereby genetic diversity arises within populations that may ultimately leads to speciation. Secondly the vast bulk of phenotypic evolutionary changes (all the one’s that were “for the worse”) have been lost in the depths of time…it’s called “Natural Selection”.

    [Response: Take the ID stuff somewhere else. It is OT on this site. - gavin]

    Comment by Chris — 7 Oct 2007 @ 6:42 AM

  112. This is a beauty
    I doubt that any “scientist” who is proposing cosmic rays as the cause of the trend towards higher temperatures –Timothy Chase

    Scientist in quotes, as in Svensmark and Christensen are not really scientists. We can’t hold the site responsible for all of the posts, and I don’t believe in limiting speech, but forgive me if I find this kind of rhetoric disturbing. This kind of rhetoric creates skeptics, IMHO.

    Comment by yorick — 7 Oct 2007 @ 6:43 AM

  113. Ray Ladbury,
    It is not that brief, but here is a lecture on the subject from Sami K Solanki, Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie, Germany. Sorry if the answer is not simple enough.

    http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/pdf/10.1046/j.1468-4004.2002.43509.x

    Before you fear to read it, I will note that at the end, he agrees with arguments made on this thread, although this was prior to the paper by Svensmkark and Christensen.

    After 1980, however, the Earth’s temperature exhibits a remarkably steep rise, while the Sun’s irradiance displays at the most a weak secular trend. Hence the Sun cannot be the dominant source of this latest temperature increase, with manmade greenhouse gases being the likely dominant alternative.

    I suspect that, like tamino, he is referring to surface temperature measurements.

    Other highlights:

    Assuming that the relationship between solar activity and irradiance found over the solar cycle also acts over longer times, it is then possible to work out that the Sun was between 2 and 4 Wm–2 less bright during the Maunder minimum than today.
    Support for this conclusion is provided by the fact that the magnetic field of the Sun does not disappear at activity minimum when there are no sunspots on the solar surface, but rather that a background of magnetic flux, partly concentrated into the magnetic network, continues to be present.
    There is evidence from multiple sources that this magnetic background changes with time. The strongest such evidence comes from the increase in the geomagnetic AA-index over the last 150 years, which has been used by Lockwood et al. (1999) to reconstruct the interplanetary field, closely related to the Sun’s open magnetic flux.
    Solanki

    Interestingly, despite the robustness of the proxy and relation,
    Support for the important role of the magnetic field at the solar surface is provided by the fact that the irradiance variability can be reproduced quantitatively by a simple three-component model, with the individual components representing the quiet Sun, faculae and sunspots. … This suggests that the basic premise underlying such a model is correct and that it is indeed the manifestations of the magnetic field at the solar surface (i.e. sunspots and faculae) that are responsible for the irradiance variations.

    the IPCC seems to have removed it from their consideration in AR4.
    The reduced radiative forcing estimate comes from a re-evaluation of the long-term change in
    solar irradiance since 1610 (the Maunder Minimum) based upon: a new reconstruction using a model of solar magnetic flux variations that does not invoke geomagnetic, cosmogenic or stellar proxies; improved understanding of recent solar variations and their relationship to physical processes; and re-evaluation of the variations of Sunlike stars.
    AR4 TS 2.4

    I guess I will have to go read the detailed report from AR4 to figure out what work has been done recently which overturns the work or solar and astrophysiscists and apparently invalidates Solankis comments. It should be interesting to read about this revolution in solar physics over a couple short years. I wonder why it never made the papers?

    Comment by yorick — 7 Oct 2007 @ 8:56 AM

  114. Re #98 Oh yes, Barrett. Among other idiocies, Barrett depended on a value of radiative lifetime for vibrationally excited CO2 which was more than 1E6 times too short, and which, had it been correct, would have meant there was no local thermodynamic equilibrium as he was using the lifetime for collisional de-excitation of CO2. You might want to look at the replies and comments in Spect. Acta B. Barrett had not a clue

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 7 Oct 2007 @ 9:48 AM

  115. You should read the AR4, partly to convince yourself by checking their references that the papers were indeed published even if you didn’t see them. It’s an old philosophical conundrum: “If a theory falls in the forest of published papers but I didn’t read about it, did it happen?”

    For another take on it look at the debunking of the ‘Swindle’ movie’s graphics, where they added some lines and cut off others to show what appeared to be a very tight match between temperature and sun — and got caught at it. There’s a whole topic at RC about that movie earlier.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 7 Oct 2007 @ 9:52 AM

  116. Re: #110 (yorick)

    It was Svensmark & Friis-Christensen who made the ridiculous claim that “global surface temperatures have been roughly flat since 1998.” I contradicted this claim using solid statistical analysis. I also pointed out the disingenuous nature of accounting for phenomena like el Nino (although they don’t seem to say how) in order to make their case, then choosing a powerful el Nino as the starting point for their claim about the surface temperature.

    So: they refer to the surface temperature. You quote them on it. I respond by addressing the issue raised by them and referred to by you. Then you accuse me of a “retreat to the surface temperature record.” Very revealing.

    Comment by tamino — 7 Oct 2007 @ 10:31 AM

  117. Yorick, First, I rather doubt that your 3 parameter model comes close. Second, correlation is not causation. A lot of things follow solar cycle, but it is a huge step from that to attributing the cause to GCR and a mind-blowingly huge step from that to attributing the significant temperature rise we have seen in the past 30 years to a putative tiny change in GCR flux, for which there is zero evidence. Why you choose to do this when we have a perfectly adequate explanation is beyond me.
    I do not doubt that Svensmark et al. are scientists. I also do not doubt that individual scientists are subject to their own prejudices. The GCR camp is devoid of actual climate scientist, and moreover, I don’t see much evidence that they understand GCR fluxes either. For instance, consider the facts that:
    1)There is no evidence of any systematic change in neutron fluxes since 1952.
    2)There is no evidence in satellite data of any trend in GCR fluxes except for the solar cycle.
    3)We still use the same GCR model to predict upset rates for electronics on satellites with no evidence of a change in the systematic error the model introduces.
    Add to this the fact that the GCR hypothesis cannot reproduce either the quantitative or qualitative characteristics of the current warming epoch, while anthropogenic ghg do this quite well, and the only conclusion I can come to is that the GCR mechanism is a solution for which there is no problem.

    Comment by ray ladbury — 7 Oct 2007 @ 10:39 AM

  118. Re Yorick #113 and your conclusion:

    “I guess I will have to go read the detailed report from AR4 to figure out what work has been done recently which overturns the work or solar and astrophysiscists and apparently invalidates Solankis comments. It should be interesting to read about this revolution in solar physics over a couple short years. I wonder why it never made the papers?”

    (This in relation to the reduction in the value of the increased “strength” of the radiative forcing since the Maunder Minimum- you quote from Solanki’s 2002 article:

    “…that the Sun was between 2 and 4 Wm–2 less bright during the Maunder minimum than today.”)

    In fact this reduction in the value of the solar increase did “make the papers”. For example here’s a paper by Sami K. Solanki from 2007 in which you can see that he himself has reduced his estimate of the increased solar output since the Maunder Minimum( down from 2 – 4 Wm-2 in 2002 to 1.3 W m-2 now):

    Reconstruction of solar total irradiance since 1700 from the surface magnetic flux
    Krivova NA, Balmaceda L, Solanki SK Astronomy & Astrophysics 467, 335-346, 2007

    Results. Our model successfully reproduces three independent data sets: total solar irradiance measurements available since 1978, total photospheric magnetic flux since 1974 and the open magnetic flux since 1868 empirically reconstructed using the geomagnetic aa-index. The model predicts an increase in the solar total irradiance since the Maunder minimum of 1.3(-0.4)(+0.2) Wm(-2).

    Notice by the way that no one is arguing that changes in solar properties haven’t affected the climate (or earth’s energy balance) since the Maunder Minimum. The point is that there is no evidence of any solar contribution to the very marked warming of the last 30-35 years. Note that Svensmark and Friis-Christensen themselves conclude that solar contributions to overall warming have been negligible, at best, since 1958.

    Re Gavin #111

    Many apologies for pursuing the evolutionary point. I knew it was rather off-topic. However I wanted to establish again in this case that one cannot use ignorance and misrepresentation of a scientific field as an argument that the field is somehow deficient.

    I won’t do it again!

    Comment by Chris — 7 Oct 2007 @ 10:52 AM

  119. Timothy, a clarification (again?): I think you give grey bodies a bad name. There are many instances where things are exceedingly close (5%?) to greybody and even blackbody radiation over the preponderance (98%+?) of wavelength that they are a long ways from “only theoretical”, and for all practical and scientific purposes can be considered pure grey/black bodies. Earth, Sun, most heating elements, cosmic background come to mind. Is this not true? (Doubtful if this alters your thrust, though.)

    Comment by Rod B — 7 Oct 2007 @ 11:59 AM

  120. I’m a global warming moderate, but this sort of counter-skepticism makes climatology resemble the polemics of a belligerent partisan than objective empiricist. Trashing the reputation of other scientists puts everyone’s reputation in a bad light and debases the science.

    Were I just to take the agnostic view on this, solar cycles are just one parameter amongst many: A loss of low-lying clouds would just be one more compounding effect in the observed heating trend. The question needn’t be a yes-or-no matter, but a question of degree, and by what margin. Considering that some aerosols provide particulate support for cloud formation it could be that any solar cycle effect is more than offset by other aerosols. There is no one single driving force in such a complex system, even if the correlation looks compelling. The questions just raise more questions, suggesting more research is needed.

    [Response: I don't think it's appropriate to call one-self as 'moderate' or 'agnostic'. The crux of this issue is whether there is evidence for the interpretation offered by the GCR-guys. I see no empirical support for the notion that GCR are responsible for the recent warming. Do you? -rasmus]

    As for low-lying clouds, there are other factors to consider, such as soot. I haven’t seen any discussion here regarding the new-found question of aerosol soot, just found by the INDOEX team to have a net *HEATING* effect. Prof. Ramanathan & his team have found:

    1. Over the Indian Ocean (Maldives) 50% of the heating heretofore ascribed to CO2 is actually caused by airborne soot originating from the vast Asian Brown Cloud.

    2. Over the vast Pacific (30% of the Earth’s surface), soot’s heating effect accounts for 40% of the heating (again, formerly ascribed to CO2). Most of the sootfall in the Western USA, for instance, is from Asia (China…).

    3. Hansen (2003, Hansen & Nazarenko) found that soot deposition is responsible for *most* (90%) of the Arctic melt-off due to the snow-darkening heat-absorbent effect of soot (lowering ice & snow albedo in the Arctic & sub-Arctic tundra, taiga, etc.). Hansen states that although the Arctic melt-off represents 25 percent (yes, 25%) of all observed global warming, he was most concerned about the other 75 percent (attributed to CO2). Most of the sootfall in the Arctic is from Asia & Siberian oil fields, etc.

    4. Other global sources of airborne soot include diesel emissions elsewhere in the world, slash & burn itinerant agriculture and cook fires. I can only speculate whether these sources might account for yet more global warming, but it’d be consistent with Ramanathan’s findings. Another 5 – 15 percent perhaps?

    5. Ramanathan has also commented that the heating effect of soot seems to inhibit formation of lower altitude clouds, causing yet additional net heating (loss of high cloud-top albedo & surface shading, both). I see others claim there have been no net loss of low-lying cloud cover, but then there are net global averages vs. average regional anomalies, and which is most representative of climate change? Sometimes I have a hard time telling from some of the discussions which is which.

    6. Ramanathan & others have noted that the mid-tropospheric heating of the brown clouds, coupled with the snow-darkening effect of soot, makes brown clouds a very likely culprit in glacial recessions in the Himalayas. The Himalayan glacier fields lie at exactly the same altitude as the brown cloud layers, so directly vulnerable to both the atmospheric heating & soot deposition. It could well be that many tropical and subtropical glaciers are suffering from manifold assaults from human activity. Coupled with deforestation decimating arboreal microclimates then perhaps these very same high-altitude mountaintop glaciers are also suffering from loss of recharge precipitation.

    Were I to tally all the global heating effects of soot, I’m ballparking anywhere between 33 percent (Pacific airborne + Arctic ice loss) to 48 percent (WAG another 15% for other global soot sources). Accounting for only atmospheric effects could soot account for a third of all observed GW (75% atmospheric heating div. by 25% airborne soot)?

    [Response: My initial though is: wouldn't you see much stronger heating in the troposphere if the soot caused a warming? But, then again, I think it's more appropriate to use climate models rather than my brain to compute the effects of the various factors which may be involved. -rasmus]

    This is not to exculpate CO2, but perhaps abating industrial soot would be a good, relatively inexpensive place to start that’ll produce quick, tangible results (Arctic & tundral reclamation, normalized monsoon patterns in S. Asia…). Soot clears from the air quickly, as opposed to excess CO2 which will take nearly a century to self-remediate. CO2 is far-more insidious b/c of it’s long-term accumulation and effect, but the soot will have to be abated, regardless & as a first serious abatement project would serve well to obtain manifold benefits that’ll help societies commit to global progress on CO2 mitigation.

    See my blog: http://www.scientificblogging.com/the_soot_files

    Comment by leebert — 7 Oct 2007 @ 12:17 PM

  121. Timothy, it’s simple: because we have a reasonable, even very plausible, explanation/speculation on how things work, does not mean there are not holes in the theory that may or might not go away or conversely grow to overshadow the theory. A person’s (or even many persons’) firm belief that his theory is correct and complete does not make it so either. So goes evolution… and climate science. Do we none-the-less have to go with the best we have? Yes, while continuing to try to figure it out more completely.

    Gavin’s right — I shouldn’t discuss ID. In my defense, though, it comes up when the smearers call us skeptics deniers and claim we’re just like those dirty crazy ID folks… But, ‘nough of that.

    Comment by Rod B — 7 Oct 2007 @ 12:21 PM

  122. ps, sorry. I meant Chris, not Timothy above.

    Comment by Rod B — 7 Oct 2007 @ 12:24 PM

  123. Harmon (98, 107) — If the AIP explanation isn’t enough for you then you need to obtain and study one or more books on atmospheric physics. The basics of so-called greenhouse gases has been understood for over a century now.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. But first, learn the known physics.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 7 Oct 2007 @ 12:26 PM

  124. WRT to my post (#120) … I want to clarify that Ramanathan’s model suggests 40% warming over the Pacific (30% Earth’s surface). That may then account for roughly 12% of AGW. Tallying the Artic soot-driven effect (~ 22%, since 90% of the Arctic melt-off appears to be soot-driven), and the Pacific aerosol soot-driven warming alone & that tallies to ~ 33%.

    That tally doesn’t include the net soot-driven warming over Asia & the Indian Ocean, or other global seasonal soot-driven anomalies. AFAIK, the research isn’t there, so any number I ballpark is purely a WAG proffered only for thought & discussion.

    IAC, Ramanathan himself states that soot abatement could well offer a way out of the current conundrum, so don’t take it just from me, look to a real expert and leader in the field.

    /lee

    Comment by leebert — 7 Oct 2007 @ 12:41 PM

  125. Timothy Chase, Thank you for your detailed response to Harmon’s points (#108). Although some of it was over my amateur head you said one thing that I have unfortunately failed to grasp in my (embarrassingly extensive) reading here.

    You said: “… Greenhouse gases tend to emit more radiation than they absorb, not less…”

    This was a light bulb moment for me. Many of the pieces of the puzzle fell into place when I read this. I’m sure I must have read this here before but somehow it did not sink in.

    Thank you again. :-)

    Comment by Dan W — 7 Oct 2007 @ 1:57 PM

  126. Leebert, When I was doing science journalism, one of the cardinal rules was: Never go with a single source. Aerosols including soot are among the forcers with the greatest uncertainties attached to them. My objection is that you assume that if they contribute more warming than thought, what would have to give is the contribution of greenhouse gasses–among the best understood and least uncertain of the forcers. That is not how things typically work. Likewise, the case with forcing by GCR–in order for there to be room for such a mechanism, they have to not only come up with a mechanism, they also have to show why some other mechanism contributes less. Even if they had such a mechanism, greenhouse effects would be the least likely place to find give, since they are constrained by multiple, independent lines of evidence.
    This is one of the aspects that raises the ire of responsible climate scientists when outsiders come in and make a hash of science they do not understand. The other aspect that puts them on edge is the disingenuous use of data like that cited by Tamino. Interogators know that torture is an unreliable questioning technique, but it is especially unlikely to yield the truth when applied to data.

    Comment by ray ladbury — 7 Oct 2007 @ 2:38 PM

  127. Harmon (#107) wrote:

    Yes, the energy goes to other molecules, collisionally, which also emit a negligible amount of radiation, just like the original CO2. In fact, since most of them are homonuclear diatomics, N2, O2, they pretty much don’t emit from their vibrational states at all.

    Granted – but nitrogen and oxygen molecules collide with what greenhouse gas molecules that are part of the same atmosphere. And given how often the collisions take place throughout most of the atmosphere, these gases will be at the same temperature. Given the long tail of the Maxwellian distribution, some will have the energy needed to emit at the relevant frequencies.

    Harmon (#107) wrote:

    Obviously, you don’t like to talk about lifetimes of excited states. You prefer rates of emission, whoops, that also has a time component, doesn’t it?

    “Lifetimes”?

    I believe what you are refering to are called “half-lifes.” That has a time component to it as well – and the implication that the subatomic particle, atom or molecule with the half-life has no knowledge of how long it has been in a given state. As long as a certain percentage are in a given state at any given time, a certain percentage will emit over a given unit of time.

    Harmon (#107) wrote:

    When speaking of emission, do be certain that you are addressing spontaneous emission, which is isotropic, not stimulated emission, which is by far nearly all of the emission from the gas phase in the radiation field of a bb, and is coherent with the exciting radiation. Of course, stimulated emission falls out naturally with observed net absorption. You can ignore spontaneous emission of the gas at STP, it’s pretty much not relevant in vibrational bands.

    Conditions for a local thermodynamic equilibrium are typically satisfied are at 20 millibars or above. That is where a given greenhouse gas molecule will experience roughly a million or more collisions per half-life of the relevant states of excitation. Standard atmospheric pressure is approximately 1013 millibars. Somehow I think we can count on a local thermodynamic equilibrium in the troposphere.

    As such, stimulated emission does not become an issue. We aren’t talking about population inversions, lasers or the like. For that sort of thing to take place the collisions would have to be much less frequent so that molecules would have a chance to absorb and emit radiation without collision and the radiation itself would have the ability to overwhelm the order imposed by the Maxwellian distribution due to molecular collisions.

    Harmon (#107) wrote:

    Yes, a certain, very small, percentage of molecules will emit at a given rate (there’s that pesky time reference again).

    They do quite fine at emitting radiation. For example, at a temperature of 240 K, approximately 1.8 percent of CO2 molecules have sufficient energy for their 15 μm vibrational line to be excited. And given that no individual molecule is aware of how long it has been in an excited state, collisions in no way affect the ability of the population to spontaneously emit radiation.

    *

    Harmon (#107) wrote:

    If the radiative equilibrium were real at STP, I would be accepting the GHG theory right now.

    The radiative equilibrium which I am most concerned with is where the radiation entering our climate system is equal to the radiation leaving it. If the rate at which thermal energy leaves the climate system is lower than the rate at which thermal energy enters the climate system, things will tend to heat up. You argue that the thermal radiation which greenhouse gases absorb simply gets converts to molecular kinetic energy – with effectively none of it being reradiated at some later point. As such, you believe that greenhouse gases heat the atmosphere without cooling it by reradiating thermal radiation towards space or towards the ground.

    If this were the case, how would the climate system achieve balance between the thermal energy entering the system and the thermal energy which leaves the system? Can’t be convection or conduction. The atmsophere can’t convect or conduct above where it ends. If the atmosphere becomes more opaque to radiation, the climate system must warm up until it is able to emit thermal radation at a rate that is sufficient to balance the rate at which thermal radiation is entering the system. This holds in the real world where greenhouse gases emit thermal radiation, and I presume it would hold even in your world where greenhouse gases only absorb thermal radiation, but never emit it.

    *

    Harmon (#107) wrote:

    I’ll eventually throw some of this into Excel, and if I get that far, I’d be happy to share it with you. Most of my musings end up as hand written notes all over the pages of textbooks, but lest you think it too disorganized, feel free to take a pencil and go through the equation yourself.

    In #98 you made it clear that you confused a simple conceptual model of the greenhouse effect meant for students with our actual understanding of the phenomena itself. The conceptual model has numerous deficiencies – if taken as a model of the actual processes involved. For example, there is only one infinitely thin layer to the atmosphere. The atmosphere is treated as a grey body absorbing infrared at all wavelengths. There is no convection. There is only one gas.

    In the actual models, climatologists have access to the empirically measured emissivities of over a million spectral lines, all neatly kept in in the HiTran database. They peform calculations for each gas at a resolution of roughly a degree by a degree at forty different levels of the atmosphere, with calculations of air speed, humidity, temperature and pressure being performed for each box in the the 3-D grid at a temporal resolution on the order of minutes, and even with the NEC Earth simulator from a few years back were performing over 32 trillion floating point calculations per second. They are employing atmosphere-ocean coupled calculations and incorporating both atmospheric chemistry and the carbon cycle.

    If you plan on using a single Excel spreadsheet, you won’t have a tenth of the rows needed for just the spectral lines in the HiTran database. Somehow I doubt that your margin notes will stand much of a chance of undermining the basics of our understanding of the greenhouse effect, a large part of the core of twentieth century physics, including quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics and radiation transfer theory, or the wealth of evidence to the effect that we understand the basics of how our climate is changing.

    However, if you are intent upon overturning everything modern science has learned, you might take the suggestions which have been offered to you to the effect that it would help if you learned the basic physics first – and perhaps familiarized yourself with what a climate model is – before making your revolutionary contributions to twenty-first century science.

    Comment by Timothy Chase — 7 Oct 2007 @ 3:21 PM

  128. The problem I have with rejecting non-TSI-mediated solar effects on climate is the effect this has on the fit to the temperature profile over the 20th century. This profile shows a rise in the early decades of the 20th century, a flat-to-downward trend mid-century and then a second rise over the last quarter of the century that persists to this day.

    If we subtract greenhouse-induced warming from the recent warming and from the early 20th century warming we find that the residual warming is greater then than now.

    Aerosols can not explain the difference. Natural aerosols are on average smaller than human-produced ones and do not show any temporal trend that is explains the observations. For the greenhouse-corrected temperature rise to be greater 80 years ago than now would require that aerosols (which exert a net cooling effect) were smaller 80 years ago than now. This is not true.

    I have read that climate scientists have acknowledged a solar contribution to early 20th century warming. Solar activity reconstructions by Lockwood as well as the sunspot record show evidence of an increase in solar activity in the first half of the 20th century. As far as I can tell (see the url linked) the magnitude of the early 20th century rise in multidecade average solar activity is not more than the magnitude of a single solar cycle. We know that the change in TSI over this cycle is only about 1 watt/m^2 which translates to about 0.18 in solar insolation. This is too small of a forcing to explain much of the warming then.

    So it would seem that a second mechanism by which solar activity affects climate would explain the early 20th century warming. Such an effect would be irrelevant to the recent warming since solar activity has been essentially flat for the last half century (and over the entire recent period of rising temperature)

    Comment by Mike Alexander — 7 Oct 2007 @ 3:59 PM

  129. Re Rod #121

    You suggest:

    Chris, it’s simple: because we have a reasonable, even very plausible, explanation/speculation on how things work, does not mean there are not holes in the theory that may or might not go away or conversely grow to overshadow the theory.

    I agree that it is simple Rod. There may very well be holes in a theory that may or may not go away. But we have to be specific. Which holes? We don’t assume that a theory has holes just because it’s a theory. Skepticism must have some specific basis, otherwise it’s something else. And one has to be careful to determine whether the “holes” are in the theory and not in the knowledge or understanding of the skeptic.

    Incidentally I’m not picking on a specific class of “skeptic”. I’m assuming that we’re all skeptics.

    Comment by Chris — 7 Oct 2007 @ 5:04 PM

  130. tamino,
    You cherry pick one comment about the surface temp, where you decide what they meant by “roughly”, and completely ignore the bulk and central point of the paper, then declare the paper “disingenuous”. Cherry picking.

    Chris, thanks for the update on Solanki.

    As for CRF and cloud formation, I guess that we can wait until the CERN experiment to see if there is a mechanism there or not. There is a bit of hand waving going on now, but there is more than a little bit of hand-waving going on in the surface records. Explain to me exactly how proxy temperature teleconnections work, for example.

    This issue is not settled, pretending that it is one way or another is foolish.

    Comment by yorick — 7 Oct 2007 @ 6:41 PM

  131. In re: #126 (ray ladbury): I’m not impressed by an appeal to authority. I cited V. Ramanathan of the Scripps Institute, his reputation in the field is well known. I clearly disclosed my own speculations on the matter. So you can strawman me all you want, I’m discussing the topic, not my authority or anyone else’s in these fora.

    My point is quite clear: A noted authority in the field has cited that his team has discovered a heretofore unexpected, unexamined and unanticipated net heating effect of airborne soot that was formerly ascribed to CO2. This effect spans the Indian Ocean, S. & S.E. Asia, the vast Pacific. Another authority of great renown in the authority presented a research paper that identified soot as causing 9/10ths of the observed warming in the Arctic.

    Those TWO authorities are V. Ramanathan of the Scripps Oceanographic Inst. AND Dr. James Hansen of GISS / NASA.

    I would hope the participants in discussions would at least making a passing attempt of going to my blog and do the reading themselves before they start cast aspersions suggesting that I’m pulling a single-source rabbit out of my hat.

    Comment by leebert — 7 Oct 2007 @ 7:26 PM

  132. re: #120 – my post w/ embedded comments from rasmus:

    Rasums, I’m simply pointing out that some of the posters on this discussions are resorting to polemics. I can’t think of a better way to make one’s own position look worse than to make nakedly acerbic remarks about someone else.
    Also, you wrote:
    [Response: My initial though is: wouldn’t you see much stronger heating in the troposphere if the soot caused a warming? ]

    Had you read the articles on my blog, you would find that soot does in fact cause much stronger heating in the troposphere, more than it causes surface cooling. The net difference is +1 degree C/w2.

    Rasmus wrote:
    [ But, then again, I think it’s more appropriate to use climate models rather than my brain to compute the effects of the various factors which may be involved. -rasmus]

    I’m just passing the information along, you can look into the matter yourselves before the “skeptic blogs” pick it up & make you look unprepared.

    I’m not in the least impressed by the “shoot the messenger” attitude in this forum. Why have an open forum if this is the way you treat guests?

    Comment by leebert — 7 Oct 2007 @ 7:37 PM

  133. Re: #130 (yorick)

    Alas, poor yorick. I’m not the one who chose the 1998 starting point, that was Svensmark & Friis-Christensen. I’m not the one who referred to the surface temperature record, that too would be S&F-C. And I’m not the one who quoted this ridiculous claim in the first place. That would be you.

    But you still want to accuse me of “cherry-picking” and a “retreat” to the surface temperature. You also accuse me of deciding “what they meant by roughly.” The linear-regression trend in GISSTEMP data (that referred to by S&F-C) from 1998 to the present is 1.9 deg.C/century. So despite starting with an el Nino, the trend estimate turns out to be larger than the estimate for the last three decades. That is absolutely not flat. Not even “roughly” — by any definition of the word.

    Either S&F-C know this, in which case they are deliberately misleading the reader, or they don’t, in which case they show considerable naivete making such a claim. And they surely know that 1998 was a big el Nino, and that choosing it as a starting point to claim the absence of a trend is ludicrous. Too bad for them that it backfired. Too bad for you that you can’t just admit that they’re wrong; we’d take you more seriously if you did.

    Comment by tamino — 7 Oct 2007 @ 8:31 PM

  134. Timothy,

    That was a very pleasant post. Thank you. I will read the others in a minute. Busy day.

    With respect to the opacity of CO2, this is a function of pathlength.

    When considering absorption and emission, everything has to be normalized. BB radiation is generally related to surface area. Radiation is an extensive phenomenon. This means quite simply, more surface area, more radiation.

    For gases, you have path length. If you consider:
    absorbance = absorptivity coefficient * path length * concentration

    Concentration will have a cubed length term (or liters, but that can be converted to a cubed length term) in the denominator. Path length is a length term. The product of path length and concentration can be interpreted as “per cm^2″ or something analogous.

    The CO2 is not emitting more energy that it absorbs. At about 700 cm-1 and 300 K, I will maintain that CO2 emits negligible radiation. You will need an experiment to overturn the theory of gas phase infrared spectroscopy to change my mind on that one. Then I’ll buy it.

    Anyway, back to the point about radiation being an extensive characteristic. THis means that regardless of the absorption of CO2, be it very large or very small, if you take a path length long enough, you will see absorption of all of the IR energy in its bands. This cannot be construed as having the same radiation intensity characteristics as the solid. It is similar to comparing the radiation from two solids, one with a huge surface area and one with a small surface area.

    By the way, if you would like to convince me that an important increase in temperature will result from an increase in current CO2 levels, there is something you might try. I really haven’t a clue what the result would be.

    Consider that the atmosphere is quite heterogeneous with respect to phases present, solids, liquids, gases, all available. Now gases at tropospheric temperatures basically don’t emit (it’s really small). However, condensed phases spontaneously emit radiation quite well. In fact, the condensed phases in the atmosphere are continually emitting radiation in all directions. Yes, this is spontaneous emission. Gases at the same temperature aren’t doing it noticeably, but condensed phases are.

    In any event, since CO2 absorbs radiation, and can be considered not to emit it, but rather to pass it along collisionally, think about the time it takes for energy to travel from condensed phase speck to condensed phase speck.

    Without CO2, the energy is moved along by radiation, traveling at the speed of light. With CO2 absorbing and not emitting, the transfer of energy in the atmosphere is slowed to approximately the speed of sound.

    Working this problem will require knowledge of particulate concentrations and surface area (surface area is the key for large emission – remember extensivity, small particles have large surface area taken togther).

    It is quite possible that the average distance between particles is not saturated, therefore more atmospheric CO2 will increase that absorption, decreasing the rate of energy transfer.

    Because the energy in the 15 micron band has been slowed to the speed of sound due to absorption by CO2, the particles at higher altitude receive energy more slowly, and do not get as warm. Therefore the particles emit at less radiation.

    The net effect (if this is realistic) serves your ends well. Less energy is emitted, so warming further down is to be expected. Also, if you consider that the presence of CO2 lowers the temperature of high altitude particles, you can actually consider CO2 as drawing energy from the entire bb spectrum, a result you simply can’t get if you depend on absorption and emission of the gas alone.

    THis sort of a model would also satisfy me, as solids would absorb and emit like solids, and gases would absorb (and pretty much not emit) like gases.

    Anyway, food for thought. I don’t know the answer, but would find such an argument, if it can be proven, to be pretty convincing. The current argument that requires a large amount of direct spontaneous emission from a gas at 400 torr and 255 K is simply not at all convincing.

    Cheers.

    I will look for your reply. Believe it or not, I actually enjoyed your posts.

    Comment by Harmon — 7 Oct 2007 @ 9:21 PM

  135. Its good to see that this site is posting more from both sides of the fence. It enhances credibility and in the end both groups appear to have a commonality in the science of climate. The debate is good and the more skeptical sites should do likewise

    cheers

    Comment by Vincent — 8 Oct 2007 @ 12:34 AM

  136. L & F did confrim the possibility of a big fall in solar activity, with an uncertain impact on climate. They also said that ‘solar radiative forcing variations were amplified by some mechanism that is, as yet, unknown.’

    Comment by Paul Biggs — 8 Oct 2007 @ 3:51 AM

  137. Re #120 leebert

    You have stated:

    “Hansen (2003, Hansen & Nazarenko) [did you mean 2004? - I can't find a Hansen and Nazarenko 2003] found that soot deposition is responsible for *most* (90%) of the Arctic melt-off due to the snow-darkening heat-absorbent effect of soot (lowering ice & snow albedo in the Arctic & sub-Arctic tundra, taiga, etc.). Hansen states that although the Arctic melt-off represents 25 percent (yes, 25%) of all observed global warming, he was most concerned about the other 75 percent (attributed to CO2). Most of the sootfall in the Arctic is from Asia & Siberian oil fields, etc.

    But you really need to point out that Hansen et al. state that this 25% represents all global warming since 1880

    i.e. they say:

    [J. Hansen and L. Nazarenko (2004) Soot climate forcing via snow and ice albedos Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci 101 423-428.]

    Our estimate for the mean soot effect on spectrally integrated albedos in the Arctic (1.5%) and Northern Hemisphere land areas (3%) yields a Northern Hemisphere forcing of 0.3 W/m2 or an effective hemispheric forcing of 0.6 W/m2. The calculated global warming in an 1880–2000 simulation is about one quarter of observed global warming.

    When was most of this black carbon induced warming manifest? This is addressed in a study published last month in Science:

    [J. R. McConnell et al (2007) 20th-Century Industrial Black Carbon Emissions Altered Arctic Climate Forcing. Science 317 1381 - 1384]

    Analysis of Greenland ice core deposits indicates that the dominant 20th century black carbon forcing via albedo efects was in the early to mid part of the 20th century. If you examine their Figure 2 for example, you can see that the black carbon is negligible apart from some spikes (volcanos??) up ’til the start of the 20th century and shot up to peak at around 1915-1920 where it flattened out through the 30′s and 40′s dropping down to a low value again by around 1950. Apart from some spikes, the black carbon levels in the Greenland core have been rather low since then right through to 2002.

    as McConnell et al say: “The median in estimated surface forcing in early summer throughout the Arctic was 0.42 W m–2 before 1850, 1.13 W m–2 during the period from 1850 to 1951, and 0.59 W m–2 after 1951.”

    Note that Hansen and Nazarenko suggest that this total warming contribution (since 1880) may have been around 0.2 oC most of which has already been achieved.

    i.e. “Our estimate for the equilibrium global warming of current soot levels is 0.2°C, most of which is already achieved. If snow albedos were restored to their pristine values, a future cooling tendency of that magnitude would be introduced, partially countering opposing warming forces and thus helping to keep us from reaching the level of DAI. ["DAI" = Dangerous Anthropogenic Interference]

    So at least from the paper that you have brought to our attention and the very recent data of McConnell et al., the effects of black carbon were largely manifest in early to mid 20th century warming. Can use this data at all to suggest that black carbon effects have made much of a contribution to warming since around 1970?? On the other hand there are some exmples desribed by Hansen and Nazarenko where mountain glacier melt has occurred in areas where warming hasn’t been particular strong, and that might be attributed to local albedo effects of black carbon on ice….

    Comment by Chris — 8 Oct 2007 @ 5:09 AM

  138. Dan W (#125) wrote:

    Timothy Chase, Thank you for your detailed response to Harmon’s points (#108). Although some of it was over my amateur head you said one thing that I have unfortunately failed to grasp in my (embarrassingly extensive) reading here.

    You said: “… Greenhouse gases tend to emit more radiation than they absorb, not less…”

    This was a light bulb moment for me. Many of the pieces of the puzzle fell into place when I read this. I’m sure I must have read this here before but somehow it did not sink in.

    Not a problem. I am still pretty new to this, and more detailed responses give me a chance to think through things some more myself.

    The net cooling of the atmosphere by greenhouse gases was a bit of a lightbulb for me a few weeks back, too – something which I had to understand in the context of moist air convection (otherwise how can explain the fact that the troposphere warms?), but which also helped to explain why the stratosphere cools.

    The greenhouse effect actually does result in the net warming of the troposphere, but only indirectly. The backradiation from the greenhouse gas longwave emissions warm the surface, increasing moist air convection which thereby warms the atmosphere. But the direct effect is that of net cooling by emission rather than warming by absorption.

    The fact that the stratosphere cools as the result of an increased greenhouse effect – something which at first seemed paradoxical to me – follows quite naturally once one understands this. The troposphere will warm, but the stratosphere cools. But both cool as the direct effect of an increased greenhouse effect. However, only the troposphere warms as the result of moist air convection. The tropopause which marks the end of the troposphere and the beginning of the stratosphere is essentially the boundary where moist air convection comes to an end.

    *

    Nevertheless there are regions of the spectra and atmosphere where a given greenhouse gas will actually have the net effect of warming the atmosphere. One might regard it as quite negligible by comparison with the cooling that occurs throughout most of the spectra and atmosphere, but it is there nevertheless.

    There is a neat diagram that was produced by a company called “Atmospheric and Environmental Research” which shows this. Computer generated and not directly off of atmospheric measurements, but something which complements them nevertheless.

    Actually, I guess you could say that it is the product of a vast number of laboratory experiments.

    What they have done is calculate the net cooling or in some cases net warming at each wavelength and identified which gas is responsible at a given pressure, or equivilently, altitude. This is based upon the pressure and temperature of the atmosphere at the given altitudes and the emissivities as measured in the labs. Undoubtedly they are going off of the HiTran database which currently has the results of empirical measurements of the emissivities at over a million different lines total.

    Radiation & Climate: Major Projects
    Line-by-line calculation of atmospheric fluxes and cooling rates 2
    http://www.aer.com/scienceResearch/rc/m-proj/abstracts/rc.clrt2.html

    This appeared in:

    Clough, S.A. & M.J. Iacono, Line-by-line calculations of atmospheric fluxes and cooling rates 2: Application to carbon dioxide, ozone, methane, nitrous oxide and the halocarbons, J. Geophys. Res, 100, 16, 519-16, 535, 1995.

    Looking at it you will notice that there is a fairly large “grey oval” near the center associated with ozone. This is where the effects of ozone lead to a net warming of the atmosphere. Fairly minor – in the neighborhood of a thousandth of a degree per wavenumber*day, but there nevertheless. This is due to the absorption of ultraviolet from sunlight even before it reaches the surface. Then there is the small “light grey circle” to the left associated with carbon dioxide. Roughly 200 mb I believe between the wavenumbers of 600-700 cm-1. Not really sure why that is there.

    But the rest of the diagram shows a great deal more cooling of the atmosphere as the direct effect of greenhouse gas longwave emissions. The emissions outweigh the absorptions throughout nearly all parts of the diagram.
    In any case,

    *

    As I have said, that diagram is essentially the condensation of a great deal of laboratory measurements. But if you are looking for actual measurements of infrared emission in the atmosphere, there is a great deal out there. I included links to a fair amount of it in comment #555 to post Part II: What Angstrom didn’t know which I refered Harmon to in #90 but which he appears to have missed. As Ray Ladbury pointed out just earlier today (comment #330 to post Climate Insensitivity), when we take satellite measurements of the longwave emissions of greenhouse gases, what we are seeing is that part of atmosphere which is in the transition from being opaque to the longwave radiation to being transparent to it. Below that level, the radiation is absorbed and emitted numerous times. But when it reaches that level, the radiation is capable of being emitted without being absorbed again.

    Now I understood as much, actually. However, thinking about it some more just a few moments ago, I realized that virtually all of the thermal radiation in those parts of the spectra which the lower atmosphere is opaque to will be absorbed if it is coming from directly from the surface. As such, if the atmosphere didn’t emit radiation, there would quite literally be nothing to image at the various altitudes in the respective wavebands. Nothing to show for 15 μm at 8 km altitude. If at a given altitude or below, the atmosphere is entirely opaque to radiation within a given band, then this implies that whatever radiation we might see in that band from a satellite has to be radiation which is finally being emitted by that atmosphere where it will no longer be absorbed along its path to space.

    In a certain sense, this was also something I knew, but I suppose I just hadn’t thought of in quite the right way. But what it also means is that the images are quite literally images of where the longwave radiation is last radiated (or “emitted”) and finally escapes from the atmosphere, where by “escapes” one means that the photons composing that radiation are no longer absorbed along their path to space. The luminosity in those parts of the spectra is reduced from what it would be in the absence of the greenhouse gases, but for all intents and purposes, all of the luminosity is directly due to reemission by greenhouse gases – since all of the radiation coming directly from the surface is absorbed long before it gets to space.

    Comment by Timothy Chase — 8 Oct 2007 @ 5:13 AM

  139. Harmon posts:

    [[In any event, since CO2 absorbs radiation, and can be considered not to emit it, but rather to pass it along collisionally, think about the time it takes for energy to travel from condensed phase speck to condensed phase speck.]]

    And it also picks up energy collisionally, and the temperature increase applies just as much to the greenhouse gases as to the rest of the atmosphere, and being heated the greenhouse gases radiate more.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 8 Oct 2007 @ 6:33 AM

  140. tamino, [edit] The validity of the paper does not rest on my defense of it, or your bulldog like tenacity in “refuting” one particular line about the surface temps. Your [edit] regression analysis, extrapolated over a century is all but meaningless, which you well know. But here, the paper would have been better without that aside. There, I said it. You know why the paper would have been better? Because removing the aside does not change its meaning one iota.

    I take it that you have nothing to say about the signal in the troposhperic and near surface ocean temps, on which the paper centered?

    Isn’t the warming supposed to originate in the troposhpere and isn’t the troposphere warming supposed to lead any surface warming according to AGW theory? I though this was due to the properties of CO2 and H2O where at low pressures, H2O stops canceling the bulk of the “greenhouse” effect at high altitudes due to “pressure broadening”. One of my biggest objections to the alarmism is the lack of a trend in the troposphere while surface temps are claimed to be on a 1.9C per century tear, per tamino, anway.

    Comment by yorick — 8 Oct 2007 @ 7:09 AM

  141. Belay that last question, I can see that there is an interesting discussion of the troposhpere temps going on right now in this very thread, which at first I took to be off topic.

    Comment by yorick — 8 Oct 2007 @ 9:40 AM

  142. Barton,

    Net absorption for a gas.

    Net Absorption = Stimulated Absorption – Stimulated Emission – Spontaneous emission.

    The coefficients of stimulated emission and absorption are identical. Without spontaneous emission, the population of two states of different energy are driven to equal values by a radiation field.

    Stimulated absorption and emission represent a combined effect on measured absorption, since the stimulated photons are coherent with the incident photons.

    No, we’re not talking about lasers, that requires a population inversion. Light can jump a molecule up to an excited vibrational state, or down to the gound state if it begins in an excited state. It does this equally well in both directions.

    The spontaneous emission component is present because an excited state can also decay to the ground state all on its own. This is the isotropic emission. It is the only emission component that will be useful for a model of a gas radiating in all directions.

    The coefficient of spontaneous emission is related to the coefficient of stimulated emission by a factor that contains the third power of frequency. After excitation by high frequency light, the spontaneous emission from a gas becomes important. At energy differences of lower frequency, specifically in the vibrational and rotational levels, spontaneous emission from a gas is negligible, and is generally ignored.

    For a solid, the spontaneous emission is large.

    I suppose we could go on like this all day. I’ll get back to it if I can find time. If I get to posting again, I’ll try to throw in an explanation of the partitioning of kinetic and potential energies within a substance, and how this can account for the wide disparity in spontaneous emission between solid and gaseous phases.

    By the way, Timothy, supercomputers are all well and good. However, checking the relatively simple models upon which computer codes are based can often be done with a pencil, in the margins of a textbook. Fancy computers and millions of lines of code aren’t capable of fixing a misunderstood physics model.

    Cheers.

    Comment by Harmon — 8 Oct 2007 @ 9:45 AM

  143. Harmon (#134): “The CO2 is not emitting more energy that it absorbs.”

    You are right; CO2 is not emitting more energy than it absorbs. This would defy the laws of physics. Timothy did not say anything that defies the laws of physics

    If I understand Timothy correcctly he said that GHGs (in general) emit more long wave (infrared) radiation than they absorb. The difference (in energy) is made up from the kinetic energy the GHGs absorb from the other atmospheric gasses. Therefore the (IR emitting) effect of GHGs (by themselves) is to cool the atmosphere.

    However several other factors come in to play. Much of the IR energy (from GHGs) is reemitted back towards the earth where it warms the surface (or possibly other GHGs that absorb the same wavelength where the process is repeated).

    Much of that surface warming is transferred back to the atmosphere though both conduction (lowest levels) and convection (upper levels). The high levels of energy required in to vaporize H2O (at low elevations) and released when condensing H2O (at relatively higher) is very significant to consider here.

    See also post #139

    I hope this helps. Let me know if I don’t get it yet.

    Comment by Dan W — 8 Oct 2007 @ 10:07 AM

  144. Robinson, A.B., N.E. Robinson, and W. Soon (2007) Environmental effects of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide. Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons 12: 79-90

    This morning I found a letter from Frederick Seitz in my mailbox asking me to sign a petition claiming to be skeptical on global warming. Enclosed was a print of this article. I have no idea why they targeted me. I’m an engineering professor, not a climatologist. In any case, I tossed the petition in the recycle.

    Comment by blank — 8 Oct 2007 @ 10:09 AM

  145. yorick (#141) wrote:

    Isn’t the warming supposed to originate in the troposhpere and isn’t the troposphere warming supposed to lead any surface warming according to AGW theory? I though this was due to the properties of CO2 and H2O where at low pressures, H2O stops canceling the bulk of the “greenhouse” effect at high altitudes due to “pressure broadening.” One of my biggest objections to the alarmism is the lack of a trend in the troposphere while surface temps are claimed to be on a 1.9C per century tear, per tamino, anway.

    Yorick,

    If you have paid any attention to the issue of satellites and their measurements of both the stratosphere and the troposphere, you well know that first, we haven’t had any satellites prior to 1958, and second, with the early measurements, we didn’t take into account the fact that their sensors wore out with use. Once we did this and tracked the performance of the old with the new, it was pretty much problem solved.

    Since then we have been seeing the nearly the same trends in satellite measurements of the troposphere that we have been seeing at ground. The biggest difference has been greater variability, where during the hot years there is generally a larger spike in the temperatures measured by satellites.

    As for your statement that the trends measured over a century are meaningless, I haven’t a clue what you are talking about. The shorter the period, the less meaningful the trend. Two reasons. The first is simply a matter of pure statistics. Fewer points from which to judge the trend. The second is natural variability. El Ninos and the like.

    Finally, why should the trend towards higher temperatures originate in the troposphere? Do you even understand the theory you are trying to argue against? Heating takes place at the surface itself first. The troposphere warms principally due to moist air convection. The net direct effect of absorption and emission by greenhouse gases (in all but some fairly minor areas) is to cool the atmosphere, not warm it.

    Not that this should make much of a difference in terms of the trends themselves. Pretty much none whatsoever. But it strongly suggests that you lack an understanding of the causation involved.

    Comment by Timothy Chase — 8 Oct 2007 @ 11:00 AM

  146. Blank (#144). Good question.

    See also: http://rabett.blogspot.com/

    (Entries of 10/5/07 and 10/4/07)

    Comment by Dan W — 8 Oct 2007 @ 11:34 AM

  147. re: #144, #146
    Yes; at a local climate-change meeting, yesterday I met a retired USGS geoscientist who was astonished to get this in the mail. Fortunately, he knew enough to recognize BS. I’d suggest anyone else who gets one, go over to Rabett and say something, maybe we’ll get some idea of their targeting this time.

    Comment by John Mashey — 8 Oct 2007 @ 12:01 PM

  148. > some idea of their targeting
    Perhaps asking the person who signed the cover letter what he thinks is going on?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Oct 2007 @ 12:10 PM

  149. Harmon (#142) wrote:

    Stimulated absorption and emission represent a combined effect on measured absorption, since the stimulated photons are coherent with the incident photons.

    No, we’re not talking about lasers, that requires a population inversion. Light can jump a molecule up to an excited vibrational state, or down to the gound state if it begins in an excited state. It does this equally well in both directions.

    The spontaneous emission component is present because an excited state can also decay to the ground state all on its own. This is the isotropic emission. It is the only emission component that will be useful for a model of a gas radiating in all directions.

    From what I understand, stimulated emission is fairly irrelevant in the atmosphere. We have seen it once that I know of in a stellar atmosphere, but that would make it a rare bird indeed – and demonstrates that we could pick it up if it happened in our own atmosphere on any large scale.

    I believe the problem stems from the lack of enough photons. Rarely will the CO2 molecule absorb one photon only to be struck by another. You have to have a lot of photons going through the same bit of matter to do that. A fair percentage of the atoms would have to be in the excited state for this to occur. I believe this is what one might refer to as a population inversion – assuming a large enough percentage of the atoms are stimulated in this fashion. Prior to that the light coming from a laser – as one powers it up – is incoherent. I believe that is the spontaneous decay.

    Setting this aside, it always results in two photons traveling in opposite directions. I am afraid it wouldn’t be much help in getting rid of the backradiation.

    *

    It pays to learn the physics before you attempt to critique it. Defending it without fully understanding it is a little easier.

    Chances are that its right in the first place: division of cognitive labor, many different lines of investigation, and great deal more brain power, the man-hours in a single day are quite significant, and down the centuries? Staggering. The connections you make will be connections that were already made before and form part of a coherent whole. But then again, the individual mind will oftentimes have to make the same connections several times before it becomes thoroughly integrated into various contexts. I will point one out to you in short order.

    Which ever way the intelligence is divided up between us – and I honestly do not know – I’m afraid I still have you at a disadvantage.

    To make a really big contribution you pretty much have to work at the edges. The stuff thats been around for a while and is more basic has been thought through and through, tested again and again.

    *

    Harmon (#142) wrote:

    For a solid, the spontaneous emission is large.

    I suppose we could go on like this all day. I’ll get back to it if I can find time. If I get to posting again, I’ll try to throw in an explanation of the partitioning of kinetic and potential energies within a substance, and how this can account for the wide disparity in spontaneous emission between solid and gaseous phases.

    Given the fact that there is two kilograms of anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the square meter column above your head, I doubt that there is any signficant difference – at least within this context – between the emission of the gaseous phase and the solid. The light passing through my cup of coffee falls off exponentially with the distance it travels. Same thing here – if you think about it. Cross-sectionally the gas might as well be solid given the column height.

    And incidentally, Doug W is right: the extra energy for emission comes from the latent heat of moist air convection. Then there is the fact that the density of the atmosphere falls off exponentially with altitude – so photons that are upwelling have an advantage in making it to space without further collisions.

    *

    Harmon (#142) wrote:

    By the way, Timothy, supercomputers are all well and good. However, checking the relatively simple models upon which computer codes are based can often be done with a pencil, in the margins of a textbook. Fancy computers and millions of lines of code aren’t capable of fixing a misunderstood physics model.

    You have already demonstrated that you are confused with regard to the difference between a simple model meant to teach a single principle and the advanced models used by the climatologists. I pointed this out in 127. Likewise, the principle involving man-hours which I mentioned above most certainly applies – particularly with twentieth century science, a century which has seen more individual minds than all of the previous centuries of human civilization combined.

    Furthermore, there are all of the tests which the basic approach of the models have been put to. Measurements of infrared radiation at various altitudes by satellites and planes. Measurements of upwelling radiation at the surface. The implications in terms of the stratosphere cooling while the troposphere warms. The data, the images…

    Then there is that insight I had in 138. If the greenhouse gas absorbs all of the longwave in a given range of the spectra due to the atmosphere becoming entirely opaque over a given distance (remember that cup of coffee I brought up a few paragraphs before?), then without emission of radiation where the atmosphere turns from the opaque to the transparent, nothing will show up in a satellite image.

    But the satellite images exist. Therefore the radiation is being emitted – somewhere. And given all of the lines of the spectra of greenhouse gases, it has the fingerprint of the gas which emits it. I realized the thing about the radiation coming from the layers where it is finally emitted for the last time – some time ago.

    But I didn’t quite realize how this fit in to the argument with those who deny it emits. A little more integration on my part, apparently.

    Now it is true that you might come up with something else a little while later. But the “greenhouse gases absorb but don’t emit”-gambit ought to be retired. Along with the contradictory approach of “its all stimulated emission so there is no backradiation”-approach you have been attempting more recently. Neither have any life left in them here.

    Comment by Timothy Chase — 8 Oct 2007 @ 1:09 PM

  150. Leebert, I find it interesting that as you protest that you are not appealing to authority, you find it necessary to give me his credentials. But even more interesting: In you haste to defend your wounded pride, you completely ignored the point of my post: that if soot and other aerosols do assume a greater importance, it is very unlikely that they will do so at the expense of greenhouse gasses, the contributions of which are constrained by a variety of lines of evidence. Finding evidence that CO2 contributes less forcing than expected would be much more difficult than finding evidence that soot contributed more.

    Comment by ray ladbury — 8 Oct 2007 @ 1:58 PM

  151. ray ladbury (#150) wrote:

    Leebert, I find it interesting that as you protest that you are not appealing to authority, you find it necessary to give me his credentials. But even more interesting: In you haste to defend your wounded pride, you completely ignored the point of my post: that if soot and other aerosols do assume a greater importance, it is very unlikely that they will do so at the expense of greenhouse gasses, the contributions of which are constrained by a variety of lines of evidence. Finding evidence that CO2 contributes less forcing than expected would be much more difficult than finding evidence that soot contributed more.

    There are the negative forcings as well as the positive. A positive forcing which turns out to be stronger than we thought could be balanced against a negative forcing which is stronger than we thought and leave the other positive forcings unaffected.

    And I believe that there is still a fair amount of uncertainty regarding the sulfate aerosols, the albedo effects of increased cloud formation (a negative feedback), the recently discovered twilight zone which invisibly extends clouds tens of kilometers. These are areas of uncertainty.

    The forcing of the greenhouse gases? Well-established. And virtually something which one can calculate on the basis of the first principles of quantum mechanics.

    Our biggest uncertainty there is due to our lack of exact knowledge of the distribution of the gases in the atmospheric column. We know the distribution fairly well, and the uncertainty which exists doesn’t have that much of an effect.

    Comment by Timothy Chase — 8 Oct 2007 @ 2:42 PM

  152. Re #120 leebert

    Further to my earlier post (#137) it’s worth pointing out that while your statement: “Hansen states that although the Arctic melt-off represents 25 percent (yes, 25%) of all observed global warming, he was most concerned about the other 75 percent (attributed to CO2).”, is correct (although you should say that this refers to all warming since 1880 – see my post #137))…

    ..it should also be noted that more recent work by Hansen (with a gazillion co-authors) indicates that more detailed analysis indicates that the contribution from black carbon effects on ice albedo is only 0.065 oC. In other words the estimate has been downshifted by a factor of 3, and the black carbon effect contributes less than 10% to the total warming since 1880 (in Hensen’s analysis).

    see: J. Hansen et al. (2005) Efficacy of climate forcings. J. Geophysical Res. 100, D18104.

    Also, can you clarify the correct reference for your statement:

    “Hansen (2003, Hansen & Nazarenko) found that soot deposition is responsible for *most* (90%) of the Arctic melt-off due to the snow-darkening heat-absorbent effect of soot (lowering ice & snow albedo in the Arctic & sub-Arctic tundra, taiga, etc.).”

    I can’t find any mention of that (i.e. the 90% statement) in Hansen and Nazarenko (2004) [i.e. J. Hansen and L. Nazarenko (2004) Soot climate forcing via snow and ice albedos Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci 101 423-428], and there doesn’t seem to be a “2003, Hansen and Nazarenko” in the database.

    Comment by Chris — 8 Oct 2007 @ 3:46 PM

  153. Re: yorick #141

    ”The validity of the paper does not rest on my defense of it, or your bulldog like tenacity in “refuting” one particular line about the surface temps.”

    Tamino’s refutation stands. Others have pointed out the same thing on this thread. S&F-C’s point about the surface temperature is not only incorrect but seems to be specious. Their complaint about Lockwood’s and Frolich’s (L&F) use of the temperature data (Figure 3f of Lockwood and Frolich) is also spurious (see my post #72). Don’t badger tamino for pointing out Svensmark and Friis-Christensen’s atrocious non-science in a web-site report.

    “I take it that you have nothing to say about the signal in the troposhperic and near surface ocean temps, on which the paper centered?”

    What do you make of these yorick? They’re decidedly odd wouldn’t you say? Figure 1a and Figure 2a show the same data I think we agree. An overlay in each case of the tropospheric temperature and the CRF. The tropospheric data is identical in Figure 1a and Figure 2a it seems. The CRF data is a bit different, for some reason. Figure 1a seems designed to visually portray a similarity in the tropospheric temperature and CRF. For some reason the similarity in Figure 2a is lost. The data seems slightly phase shifted so that on most of the rising portions (around 1977-ish and 1986-ish) the temperature rise precedes the CRF (inverted) rise.

    So if Figure 2a was used in place of Figure 1a we’d say that the similarity (presented to assert a correlation I think we agree) was spurious. How could the temperature rise (the effect) lead the cause (the solar contribution)?

    Never mind. The point of Figure 2 is to present the possibility that if one does a great deal of unspecified data mangling, a close match of the CRF and tropospheric temperature can result (see Figure 2b).

    What’s the conclusion from Figure 2b? That solar contributions to the earth’s temperature budget since 1958 have been effectively zero (perhaps a bit negative). Do we agree or disagree with that? Taking it at face value it seems perfectly consistent with all the other pukka data (including that of Lockwood and Frolich (L&F) that mid to late 20th century and contemporary warming has become, at least for this period, “uncoupled” from solar contributions due to the predominance of the greenhouse enhancement, and the apparent relative stability of the sun.

    ” One of my biggest objections to the alarmism is the lack of a trend in the troposphere while surface temps are claimed to be on a 1.9C per century tear, per tamino, anway.”

    Which lack of trend yorick? Looking at the data of S&C-F, the tropospheric temperature trend has been a rising one since the 70’s. Eyeballing S&F-C’s Figure 2a, the tropospheric temperature has risen by 0.7-0.8 oC since the early 70’s. You seem to disagree with S&C-F here. Do you think they’ve got this wrong?

    In fact if we play the same trick as S&F-C in their cherrypicking of 1998 and 2002 to attempt to “magic” away recent surface warming (which tamino and other’s have highlighted), and in their clever selection of a piece of the tropospheric temperature trend to attempt to show that the warming trend has stopped in recent years (see their Figure 3), we can pretend that the tropospheric temperature has risen by 1.2 oC since around 1972 (see their Figure 2a), a whopping 0.34 oC per decade (3.4 oC per century in your parlance).

    Your comments just don’t seem to reflect the reality of either what tamino says or of what Svensmark and Friis-Christensen show in their report. Unless one is playing at defending the indefensible I don’t see how Svensmark and Friis-Christensen’s web-site report has got any scientific validity whatsoever. It has no validity as a rebuttal of L&F, since L&F neither said nor implied “.. that this historical link between the Sun and climate came to an end about 20 years ago.” It is no validity as a demonstration of the influence of Cosmic Ray Flux on the earth’s energy budget (no evidence there one way or another). If we take the report at face value we could accept that the solar cycle leaves a signature in the tropospheric temperature (not convinced about the ocean surface temperature), but I don’t think anyone would have a problem with that (L&F certainly don’t claim otherwise). It is a very poor example of science (low scientific validity) since it’s based on a false premise (a misinterpretation of L&F), specious argumentation, and completely undefined data manipulation. It’s an unpublished web report.

    Perhaps we can applaud them for hanging out their dirty washing in public, and they can be pleased that we’ve spent so much effort examining it!

    Comment by Chris — 8 Oct 2007 @ 4:43 PM

  154. I found one link referring to a “2003, Hansen and Nazarenko”story.

    It’s at a page belonging to the American Coal Council:

    Important New Developments in Climate Change Science
    • “Soot Climate Forcing via Snow and Ice. Albedos” by Hansen & Nazarenko, Dec. 2003.
    http://www.americancoalcouncil.org/events/GrahameHg04.pdf

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Oct 2007 @ 5:04 PM

  155. Ah, here are more, found by searching without quoting the string.

    BLACK SOOT AND SNOW: A WARMER COMBINATION …
    December 22, 2003 – (date of web publication)
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2003/1223blacksoot.html

    Soot climate forcing via snow and ice albedos
    2003 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA …. http://www.pnas.org cgi doi 10.1073 pnas.2237157100.
    Hansen and Nazarenko …
    http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/2237157100v1.pdf

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Oct 2007 @ 5:14 PM

  156. re 152
    http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/2237157100v1

    Hansen and Nazarenko (2003) on soot. Not sure about the 90% as I do not have a copy handy.

    Comment by Aaron Lewis — 8 Oct 2007 @ 5:41 PM

  157. At the risk of pointing out the obvious, the recent exchanges highlight the fact that the denialist camp continue to try the same tactics. Indeed these are the same techniques of pretty much all the anti-science movements–right and left–from creationism to homeopathy. Different denialist camps sieze on one particular research result or development they see as a weak point of the theory and concentrate all of their efforts on that one aspect. It never occurs to them that even if they were right about that being a weak point, the theory that replaces the old one will look a whole lot more like the old one (with some tweaking) than it will look like the theory the anti-science camp is pushing. The reason is that any reasonable scientific theory will draw support from multiple lines of evidence. Its basic parameters will be pretty well constrained, leaving room only for tweaking around the edges. This type of inductive reasoning seems to elude denialists of all camps. That is why the posts on this site that tell how forcings are evaluated are so important.

    Comment by ray ladbury — 8 Oct 2007 @ 5:42 PM

  158. Re #155/156 Hank and Aaron

    Thank’s for that. That’s a tiny part of the confusion sorted. Hansen & Nazarenko (2003) is actually J. Hansen and L Nazarenko (2004) Soot climate forcing via snow and ice albedos Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci 101 423-428.

    it was published online on Dec. 29th 2003 (some poor sub-editor working through the XMas holiday!) but has a proper publishing date of 2004.

    It’s still not the right reference for leebert’s statement “Hansen (2003, Hansen & Nazarenko) found that soot deposition is responsible for *most* (90%) of the Arctic melt-off due to the snow-darkening heat-absorbent effect of soot (lowering ice & snow albedo in the Arctic & sub-Arctic tundra, taiga, etc.).”

    I guess leebert will clarify this if he sees it.

    Comment by Chris — 8 Oct 2007 @ 6:21 PM

  159. > Leebert
    Same claim here on his own website:
    scientificblogging.com/leebert/2003_nasa_study_soot_fall_in_arctic_has_22_percent_global_warming_impact
    Source given as a link to here:
    scienceagogo.com/news/20070506202633data_trunc_sys.shtml
    quote there:
    “… in the Journal of Geophysical Research,… UCI scientist Charlie Zender … in the past 200 years, the Earth has warmed by about 0.8 degrees Celsius … up to 20 percent of this rise could be attributed to dirty snow.
    “… in Arctic areas, where Zender believes that more than 90 percent of the warming could be attributed to dirty snow.”

    No cite to JGR given; date of that blog post is 7 June 2007

    Leebert: “found” means actual research was done and published.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Oct 2007 @ 7:07 PM

  160. It’s “et al. and Zender

    Press release:
    … Arctic climate change are particles in the atmosphere, including soot; …
    today.uci.edu/news/release_detail.asp?key=1621

    Paper:
    Present-day climate forcing and response from black carbon in snow
    MG Flanner, CS Zender, JT Randerson, PJ Rasch – J. Geophys. Res, 2007 – http://dust.ess.uci.edu/ppr/ppr_FZR07.pdf

    The “90″ percent figure is a belief, attributed to Zender in a news story, it’s not a number from the published paper.

    Sorry for the digression.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Oct 2007 @ 7:29 PM

  161. #127, Mars does lase on CO2 (high up in very thin atmosphere)

    #134 Most analytical chemists are confused by the fact that the temperature of the glow bar in an IR spectrometer is 5-700 K (look at the peak and use the Wien distribution law). CO2 in the atmosphere has a temperature of 300K, thus the absorption is much higher (16X) than the emission. Moreover, the emission is into 4 pi radians so very little of the emission gets to the detector and what you see in the normal system is the absorption. However, if you set the system up correctly you can see emission from CO2 in the lab. Of course, you have to know what you are doing. See, for example Applied Optics 35 1519 (1996) by Evans and Puckrin.

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 8 Oct 2007 @ 8:06 PM

  162. Chris (129): If you’re referring to evolution theory, I’ve already pointed out some specific holes, to which you said there are too explanations for them, which generated my post 121-2, which brings us full circle on the merry-go-round! [;-). If your referring to AGW, in my skeptic mind I have difficulty with some of the assumptions and presumptions in certain aspects of the physics. This probably does not rise to the level of “holes”, however (which is a somewhat subjective quality). There might be “holes”, but I’m not knowledgeable enough to have detected them yet, if they are even there…

    For the record there are many wonderful folks posting here who have not one milligram of skepticism when it comes to GW and AGW.

    Comment by Rod B — 8 Oct 2007 @ 8:14 PM

  163. Concerning post 157:

    Ray, you seem to be trying to squeeze as much hatred into a single paragraph as possible: “Denialist”, “anti-science”, suggesting all hypotheses that don’t attribute warming to man as being on the same level as “creationism” or “homeopathy”.

    A “Theory” is supported most by attempting and failing to refute it. Those who are confident of the merits of their theories should welcome competing “theories”.

    With regard to the subject of this thread, I personally think solar dynamics are kind of neat, and the Cosmic ray – cloud hypothesis is kind of neat. Why exactly should it “die” as the subject of this thread suggests? It actually seems rather difficult to say at the moment what, if any, merit the hypothesis has. If the hypothesis has merit, it will survive; otherwise, it will not.

    Believe it or not Ray, I do believe the fundamental theory is the same for both camps. Do you think anthropogenic green house gases are responsible for 100% of the current warming? I rather doubt Svensmark and Friis-Christensen believe solar fluctuations and cosmic ray-induced clouds are responsible for 100% of the observed warming. Do you know what the percentage is? Are antropogenic GHG responsible for 90%? 50%? 10%? Have you considered that the same feedback cycles so necessary to support the GHG hypothesis are also at play in the solar hypothesis? Have you considered that other contributing factors may also be involved that just perhaps don’t involve anothropogenic forces?

    I don’t think the IPCC has completely high-jacked all of science just yet. A person can do science that is unrelated to antropogenic GHG. The Sun still exists. Other fields still exist. The Earth still receives all of it’s heat from the Sun.
    It’s rather pompous of you to apply labels like “creationist”, “denier”, and “anti-scientist” to (apparently) anyone who’s opinion differs from your own. The Sun is not “cold fusion” after all … it’s good old ordinary hot fusion – the kind that can be replicated.

    Comment by Rob Huber — 8 Oct 2007 @ 8:54 PM

  164. Eli Rabett (#161) wrote:

    #127, Mars does lase on CO2 (high up in very thin atmosphere)…

    So the main limiting factor in “earth-like” conditions would appear to be our relatively high air pressure. Collisions are too frequent to permit the atom to remain stimulated long enough for a second photon to be absorbed and result in stimulated emission. But as you put it, very high up in the Martian atmosphere – presumably where the atmospheric pressure is quite low and collisions far less common, a second absorption by the same molecule prior to a collision happens.

    Not so much the density of the photons, but the low density of the atmosphere. Anything like this in the uppermost parts of the earth’s atmosphere? If not, would you know why?

    Comment by Timothy Chase — 8 Oct 2007 @ 9:07 PM

  165. Eli Rabett (#161) wrote:

    #134 Most analytical chemists are confused by the fact that the temperature of the glow bar in an IR spectrometer is 5-700 K (look at the peak and use the Wien distribution law). CO2 in the atmosphere has a temperature of 300K, thus the absorption is much higher (16X) than the emission. Moreover, the emission is into 4 pi radians so very little of the emission gets to the detector and what you see in the normal system is the absorption. However, if you set the system up correctly you can see emission from CO2 in the lab. Of course, you have to know what you are doing. See, for example Applied Optics 35 1519 (1996) by Evans and Puckrin.

    Alright, Eli.

    Now you have me confused. And just when I thought I had everything neatly sewn up. Not that I mind as long as everything begins to make sense in the end.

    You state, “CO2 in the atmosphere has a temperature of 300K, thus the absorption is much higher (16X) than the emission.” As I understand it, this would mean that the symmetry between absorption and emission embodied by Kirchoff’s law does not apply. Likewise it would suggest that the atmosphere is actually heated by CO2.

    Setting aside Kirchoff’s law for the moment, I would like to focus on the implication of heating. Now of course I remember that there is a range over which CO2 presumably results in some slight heating of the atmosphere at approximately 200 mb and between 600-700 cm-1, but…

    Earlier Raypierre had stated, “For example, in the troposphere, the net infrared absorption-emission is a cooling effect, which balances convective heating.” (Inline to comment #37 to post Part II: What Angstrom didn’t know.) Then there is the cooling of the stratosphere, which in the earlier part of the process is due to the fact that less longwave radiation is making it up to the stratosphere – while the surface heats up.

    But even after the surface heats up to the point that the same amount of radiation is making it out of the atmosphere as before, the stratosphere is cooler. Now I believe the longrun cooling of the stratosphere as the result of the enhanced greenhouse effect is in part due the expansion of the atmosphere. As the troposphere warms, it expands, and expands the rest of the atmosphere along with it.

    However, this still leaves the issue that for the most part greenhouse gases presumably cool the troposphere (per Raypierre) and the diagrams from line-by-line calculation which show that the domains over which net cooling is the result of greenhouse gases are few and small. (Three, actually: the small region for carbon dioxide I mentioned above, the larger zone for ozone where ultraviolet light is absorbed directly from sunlight, and a weak albeit larger zone for water vapor at high altitudes – in the less than 1 mb non-LTE region of the atmosphere.)

    Here is one of those diagrams:

    Radiation & Climate: Major Projects
    Line-by-line calculation of atmospheric fluxes and cooling rates 2
    http://www.aer.com/scienceResearch/rc/m-proj/abstracts/rc.clrt2.html

    … which appeared in:

    Clough, S.A. & M.J. Iacono, Line-by-line calculations of atmospheric fluxes and cooling rates 2: Application to carbon dioxide, ozone, methane, nitrous oxide and the halocarbons, J. Geophys. Res, 100, 16, 519-16, 535, 1995.

    You will note that in the diagram what little warming occurs as the result of the direct effect of greenhouse gases is actually of a much smaller magnitude than nearly all of the domains over which cooling occurs – both in the troposphere and the stratosphere.

    Given the apparent conflict between what you have stated, how I understand Kirchoff’s law, and the presumably widespread nature of the cooling which is the direct effect of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, what gives?

    Hoping that you (or one of the contributors) can make some sense out of this for me…

    Comment by Timothy Chase — 8 Oct 2007 @ 10:46 PM

  166. Rod B stated:
    “I’ve already pointed out some specific holes, to which you said there are too explanations for them, which generated my post 121-2, which brings us full circle on the merry-go-round! [;-). If your referring to AGW, in my skeptic mind I have difficulty with some of the assumptions and presumptions in certain aspects of the physics.”

    Have you ever considered in your “skeptic” mind, that you may have some basic reluctance to understand science? You seem to be proud that you have identified “holes” in evolution theory, in real life such holes exist only in the minds of creationists. Similarly, there should not be any problems with your reasoning, still you continue to have difficulties to understand basic observations made in climate science on human’s influence on atmosphere.

    Would you like to make any progress in understanding science, identify the pre-formed blocks in your mind, and get rid of them. There are ample of forums in the net to discuss on those blocks.

    Without that exercise you are deemed to repeat the same hackneyed arguments ad infinitum.

    Comment by Petro — 9 Oct 2007 @ 12:35 AM

  167. Rob Huber posts:

    [[With regard to the subject of this thread, I personally think solar dynamics are kind of neat, and the Cosmic ray - cloud hypothesis is kind of neat. ]]

    Yes indeed. Solar effects on climate are certainly real, and cosmic ray effects on climate are probably real. The problem rests with trying to assign a significant share of recent global warming to either. Neither has had a significant change in the level of flux density for the past 50 years or so, so neither can account for a significant amount of the sharp upturn in warming of the past 30 years or so.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 9 Oct 2007 @ 6:49 AM

  168. Ray Ladbury wrote in #9:

    “If we were seeing significant systematic changes in the GCR fluxes, then the rates for single-event upsets (bit flips) in microcircuits flown on orbit would deviate systematically from the predicted rates. They do not, and we have been using essentially the same model for the predictions since the early 1980s.”

    Oh, my dear Ray, now you’ve done it. At this very moment, dozens of people have beetled off to generate claims that (i) there is a Special Type of GCR that can change without causing bit flips; (ii) there is a yet undiscovered anti-bit flip force that prevents bit flips during GCR flux; (iii) bit flips don’t exist; (iv) if they do exist, you don’t know how to recognize and measure them; and/or (v) you’re just generally opposed to the generation of profit from the flipping of bits and the fixing of bit flips.

    That scenario leads to a possibly dumb question: is there a defined academic framework for the process of attacking/denying unwelcome news? We’ve lived through so many similar recurring campaigns attacking the identification of health/environmental threats–lead, tobacco, pesticides, food additives, now AGW–that surely there must be a recognized defined recipe for mounting such campaigns. A ‘Baron von Munch Hosing’s guide to issue fogging’ sort of thing. Maybe it’s not a true vein of social science, but a general guide to public relations. After all, “PR means never having to say you are wrong.”

    Comment by ghost — 9 Oct 2007 @ 9:39 AM

  169. re: #150 (Ray).

    Ray, you wrote:
    “…This is one of the aspects that raises the ire of responsible climate scientists when outsiders come in and make a hash of science they do not understand. The other aspect that puts them on edge is the disingenuous use of data like that cited by Tamino. Interogators know that torture is an unreliable questioning technique, but it is especially unlikely to yield the truth when applied to data…”

    I read this as a rhetorical point, esp. “responsible climate scientists” and “outsiders.” I’m an outsider who had no such nefarious or invidious intentions. By so doing you brought up the question of authority which certainly seemed rhetorical to me. I pointed that out, sorry to be blunt, but I’ve been hassled by right-wing & left-wing polemics on the net & I tire of it. I had no intention of bringing politics into the temple.

    Also in response to you I then pointed out that I based all my points on statements made by Hansen & Ramanathan, well-regarded authorities, not flacks or anti-AGW skeptics or propagandists. Again, to clarify my post against your apparent objections. I assure you I wouldn’t have bothered to post anything if I thought the sources were disreputable and wouldn’t pass muster. If you think I was offended (and no, my “ego” wasn’t “wounded,” again more rhetoric) but you didn’t intend offense, then we’re even. I’m done with explicating my rhetoric vs. yours.

    I see Hansen has since down-graded his estimation of the Arctic’s role in AGW (yes, since 1880′s). EDF & others reported on the 2003 work just this past summer, so I’m not the only one not caught up w/ the most-current studies. Other studies cite that soot deposition in the Arctic is up again – some are citing forest fires, others citing south-westerly air currents from Asia, others citing Russian oil fields in the Arctic.

    Sorry for the confusion about Hansen & the 90% soot-related estimate. I don’t have time to be careful with posting, I’m just trying to point people toward a finding that surprised me.

    I make no assumptions about who here is an expert or not (I’m not, never tried to present myself as such), but I find the rhetoric very annoying & felt compelled to point it out. I’m not here to try to fool anyone, I’m assuming everyone here is as skeptical as I, and when I speculate, I speculate as a layperson. I hope that much was abundantly clear from my initial post “ballparking.”

    I think the most important comments are those of Ramanathan, he sees this as a potential nexus & pivotal. He’s the one that’s saying that WITHIN brown clouds soot is taking up HALF the heating formerly ascribed to CO2. Take it up with Ramanathan, he’s the one that said this might provide an answer to the global conundrum (almost verbatim). Again, I’m not here to exculpate CO2, it’s long-term effects will prove insidious.

    Again I’m a lay man. I bumped into the soot question first from Democratic Underground, where any AGW apostasy is attacked with sadistic glee. I can see it was naive on my part to ballpark & tally total effects with different time frames. I’m interested in what you’ll make of it. FWIW, the right wing bloggers are already making hay of Ramanathan’s brown cloud work.

    And just to be totally up front, I think we should combine nuke & coal to keep oil prices down so that there’ll be less slash & burn agriculture in the tropics. Use some nuke power or photovoltaics to crack CO2 into CO & O2 as an antecedent to FT synthesis & start mitigating, recycling and trapping CO2 incrementally. I don’t see the countries of the world sufficiently replacing their use of fossil fuels (coal, petrol, methane), so maybe humanity will have to engineer the planet instead.

    Consider what numbers I suggested as back-of-the-napkin speculation. But if, say, industrial soot constitutes a quarter all AGW & could be readily abated within 5 – 10 years, wouldn’t that be a good starting point? I gather Ramanathan thinks so, I’m just passing that along.

    Regards,

    /lee

    Comment by leebert — 9 Oct 2007 @ 10:54 AM

  170. PS a Correction to #165

    The following paragraphs…

    Then there is the cooling of the stratosphere, which in the earlier part of the process is due to the fact that less longwave radiation is making it up to the stratosphere – while the surface heats up.

    But even after the surface heats up to the point that the same amount of radiation is making it out of the atmosphere as before, the stratosphere is cooler. Now I believe the longrun cooling of the stratosphere as the result of the enhanced greenhouse effect is in part due the expansion of the atmosphere. As the troposphere warms, it expands, and expands the rest of the atmosphere along with it.

    … are irrelevant to the comment in response to Eli Rabett as they have to do with the dynamic evolution of an enhanced greenhouse effect. The question I have in that post is a problem which is strictly related to a static climate system insofar as it is dealing with the validity of Kirchoff’s Law.

    Sorry about mashing the two contexts together. Flustered.

    Comment by Timothy Chase — 9 Oct 2007 @ 11:07 AM

  171. One other thing … I believe it was James Hansen who stated that soot abatement would greatly aid Arctic ice reclamation. If he’s since recanted that statement I don’t know. Hence my “advocacy” of what looked to me to be a largely overlooked question. AFIAK, a great deal of the evidence about soot’s effect in the Arctic has fallen into the sea & Greenland benefits comparatively from cleaner westerlies borne from Canada.

    Thanks for the links & critique, I’ll revise my “soot” blog accordingly. It serves no purpose if it’s not credible, clear or overly exuberant… :-)

    One last passing comment, I think the regular forum members here would benefit by refraining from rhetoric and polemics. It does nothing for the reputation of the poster to “get political” in the context of factual discussion and it incites frustration and defensiveness in others. Everyone’s reputation suffers from abuse of rhetoric, and I think that’s the last thing anyone here wants.

    Hope that helps,

    /lee

    Comment by leebert — 9 Oct 2007 @ 11:09 AM

  172. Rob Huber, I’d be happy to use a terminology you find less offensive if you can come up with one that is appropriate for those who reject the overwhelming preponderance of evidence. Would you perhaps prefer “faith-based,” since the proponents reject not only empirical evidence but also theoretical understanding?
    Yes, solar dynamics is neat. So is the whole subject of cosmic rays. However, science can be neat and entirely irrelevant to the problem at hand. I would be happy to reassess this judgement about the putative GCR mechanism if you could come up with a real mechanism whereby a putative tiny change in a flux that is only 5 particles per square cm per second could drastically affect climate AND if you could provide even a modicum of evidence that the proposed underlying cause (GCR flux) is actually changing! Absent that empirical evidence and theoretical understanding, I’m afraid we have to consign this mechanism to the imaginary axis.
    Now, there is of course no sin in being irrelevant or in writing fiction about neat science. The sin comes when you manipulate the data by doing things like selectively choosing dates or casting aspersions onto the vast majority of the scientific community (got new for you, it’s not just the IPCC–it’s every relevant professional society or independent gourp of scientists out there). When you start claiming that science has been hijacked (note spelling), you have just joined the lunatic fringe and should start getting to know your fellow lunatics–creationists, homeopaths, etc..

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 9 Oct 2007 @ 11:24 AM

  173. (sigh…), sorry Petro (166). Recognizing holes in a theory is science. Refusing to recognize them is religion. And blasting others for recognizing holes that your religion says is not there is bigotry.

    Which “basic observations” of climate science do you think I have difficulties with??

    Comment by Rod B — 9 Oct 2007 @ 11:31 AM

  174. As the sun appears to moving towards a Maunder minimum, there may be a real life opportunity to determine which portion of global warming was due greenhouse gas, as opposed to solar modulation of planetary cloud cover. Solar cycle 23 is not following past patterns. There have been papers published predicting a Maunder minimum. As I have said before, the sun can directly modulate cloud cover by electroscavenging and Enric Palle’s data supports that it has.

    An alarmist global cooling scenario would seem ludicrious at this point in time, however, a case can be made for rapid cooling, based on the climatic past. To me, the competing hypothesis, seems to be valid/possible and the planetary response to a Maunder like minimum would validate or invalidate the hypothesis. I would hope those who have picked a side in this debate would appropriately help in the response to rapid cooling.

    Comment by William Astley — 9 Oct 2007 @ 1:48 PM

  175. 1. Re #163 Rob Huber

    Much of the discussion on this “thread” circulates peripherally around its subject, namely the web-site report of Svensmark and Friis-Christensen.

    So why don’t we consider some of your questions in relation to S&F-C’s report? I hope my response’s don’t appear flippant – they’re not meant to be – I’m taking S&F-C’s data and answering your questions assuming that what S&F-C show us is correct.

    Here’s your questions:

    Do you think anthropogenic green house gases are responsible for 100% of the current warming?

    According to S&F-C’s data there is zero solar contribution to current warming (see their Figure 2b) since they’ve “dissected out” the solar contribution, and found it to be zero at “best” (since around 1960 the solar contribution fits a mild cooling trend if anything).

    Based on S&F-C’s presentation, therefore warming must arise somewhere else (i.e. non-solar). They suggest it might be due to the effects of water vapour. Is that a reasonable proposition? What do you think?

    I rather doubt Svensmark and Friis-Christensen believe solar fluctuations and cosmic ray-induced clouds are responsible for 100% of the observed warming. Do you know what the percentage is?

    According to what S&F-C show us, they presumably believe that solar fluctuations and cosmic-ray-induced clouds make zero contribution to recent and current warming. After all that’s what their own analysis shows (see their Figure 2b).

    Are antropogenic GHG responsible for 90%? 50%? 10%?

    Why not 110% of the warming? After all S&F-C consider that the solar contribution has been a mild cooling one since 1960 or so (see their Figure 2b). So not only might anthropogenic greenhouse effect enhancement have resulted in all the recent warming, it (or something) has had to counter the slight solar-derived cooling that S&F-C have presented (see their Figure 2b).

    Have you considered that the same feedback cycles so necessary to support the GHG hypothesis are also at play in the solar hypothesis?

    Of course. However S&F-C demonstrate that there hasn’t been any solar contribution to recent and current warming, and therefore there can’t have been any feedbacks resulting from a solar contribution…

    [notice by the way that "the same feedback cycles" are not "necessary to support the GHG hypothesis"...the feedback cycles are an integral part of the "greenhouse" phenomenon!]

    Have you considered that other contributing factors may also be involved that just perhaps don’t involve anothropogenic forces?

    Such as? S&F-C have shown us that these aren’t solar ones. What did you have in mind?

    …etc. etc..

    In other words, why not take Svensmark and Friis-Christensen’s data at face value and see where they lead us?

    Comment by Chris — 9 Oct 2007 @ 2:01 PM

  176. Rod B claims:
    Recognizing holes in a theory is science.”

    It is not just recognizing them, it is seeking explanations. Any fool can ask ten question a minute.

    “Refusing to recognize them is religion. And blasting others for recognizing holes that your religion says is not there is bigotry.”

    Refusing to accept that your so-called problems in theory has been explained scientific manner, is not only religious bigotry but very-rigid minded thinking as well.

    “Which “basic observations” of climate science do you think I have difficulties with??”

    What else are your various dubios you raise in this forum than reluctance to accept significant impact of humanity in global warming?

    Comment by Petro — 9 Oct 2007 @ 4:08 PM

  177. Petro (176)
    Biologists and other scientific scholars are doing just fine trying to better explain the holes in evolution theory. Why do you think they need my help?

    I guess there’s two religions, then: refusing to recognize the evolutionary holes; refusing to not recognize the evolutionary holes.

    I have always suspected that if global warming progresses as currently predicted it will eventually create havoc for many people(s). I do have doubts over what I see as deficiencies (though probably not “holes”) in AGW theory/physics. But then that’s probably just my priest.

    Comment by Rod B — 9 Oct 2007 @ 8:07 PM

  178. Ray re Huber:

    How’s ’bout “skeptic”??? Nice accurate description; misses the histronics and invectives though.

    Comment by Rod B — 9 Oct 2007 @ 8:17 PM

  179. Well leebert some of us are skeptical when we see polemical headlines like “Don’t Blame Kilimanjaro’s Melting on Global Warming” on a blog that contains instructions on how to write a science article. Acme instruction manual?

    Comment by Mark A. York — 9 Oct 2007 @ 9:17 PM

  180. Rod B confessed:
    “But then that’s probably just my priest.”

    Yeah, I think you nailed it.

    Comment by Petro — 10 Oct 2007 @ 4:25 AM

  181. William Astley posts:

    [[As the sun appears to moving towards a Maunder minimum]]

    It doesn’t appear that way at all. Output has been flat for 50 years. Here’s a table and chart:

    http://members.aol.com/bpl1960/LeanTSI.html

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 10 Oct 2007 @ 6:46 AM

  182. Re 178. Rod B. A true skeptic does not take a position that contradicts or denies the overwhelming preponderance of evidence, but rather argues against a position based on the evidence. To group together those firmly in denial with those who, while dissenting, are still playing by the rules of science is to do the latter a disservice.
    In fact, there are a hierarchy of dissidents on climate:
    true skeptics–admit the climate is changing but may dispute how dominant anthropogenic forcers are or how severe will be the consequences. These are few and far between now.
    contrarians–take a position of dissent precisely because it is a minority position and they get more press attention that way (Lindzen comes to mind)
    Denialists–simply take a position due to ideological considerations or because of a mistaken notion that the proof required of a scientific theory should be in proportion to the desirability of its consequences. Few if any of these are actual climate scientists, although the majority of dissidents fall here.
    Enthusiasts–fall in love with a theory, often because it attributes climate change to a cause within their own narrow field of expertise–Svensmark et al. come to mind. Usually the mechanism proposed is weak if one is proposed at all.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 10 Oct 2007 @ 7:57 AM

  183. Ray, there is no overcoming definition as declared by one side of a debate. You simply (and conveniently) define anyone not in accord with what you deem as clear and convincing to be irrelevant. Kinda like the defense not being allowed to present its case in a trial on the basis that it disagrees with what the prosecution has already declared and defined as true. Doubly so if the defendent doesn’t have the academic credentials that the prosecutor has.

    Comment by Rod B — 10 Oct 2007 @ 11:30 AM

  184. Rod, the place to present a scientific argument is in the open, peer-reviewed scientific literature. The judge and jury are the relevant community of scientific experts. Nobody else matters in terms of rendering a scientific verdict based on the evidence. It is not credentials I value but experience. In my own field, many have PhDs, some Masters degrees, some just Bachelors of Science. That does not matter to me. I go by their engineering judgement, and if I perceive that they have an ideological axe to grind, my perception of their argument gets filtered through that lens.
    Climate science is not a simple field–as you no doubt realize through your own praiseworthy efforts to understand it. Given, that, I think it is very unwise to equate the opinion of someone who has studied the issue for decades and published multiple contributions that have earned him the respect of his peers to the opinion of a rank neophyte (e.g. me). Science is not a democracy, but it is a meritocracy. That should not change just because some people and groups find the consensus of the experts unpalatable.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 10 Oct 2007 @ 12:13 PM

  185. > one side of a debate ….

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=857#comment-52757

    “… Lindzen … differentiated “industry stooges” as a separate category, people who were interested in obfuscating the issue towards supporting their own agenda, as opposed to people that are interested in the scientific truth. This is an important distinction, separating the Marshall Institute type reports (many of which are of the stooge nature), vs the more credible scientific scepticism. The challenge is for a bona fide skeptic to steer clear of being associated with stoogedom.”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Oct 2007 @ 2:56 PM

  186. The “skeptic” defense team fails to make a valid case Rod B. This isn’t the same as not being allowed to present evidence. They just don’t have any that flies. Ever see those movies about the first airplanes? Kind like those really.

    Comment by Mark A. York — 10 Oct 2007 @ 3:09 PM

  187. Re: #181

    William Astley posts:

    [[As the sun appears to moving towards a Maunder minimum]]

    It doesn’t appear that way at all. Output has been flat for 50 years. Here’s a table and chart:

    There are indicators (e.g. length of solar cycle) in the current solar cycle that the sun is entering a phase which is more typical of the 19th century rather than more recent 20th century cycles. Whether this will result in a maunder minimum type phase is still in question.

    Comment by John Finn — 11 Oct 2007 @ 5:38 AM

  188. Re #187

    Evidence please John Finn! I don’t think anyone really has a clue what the sun is going to do during the next 20-50 years or beyond. However you seem to think that there’s evidence that “the sun is entering a phase which is more typical of the 19th century rather than more recent 20th century cycles.” No doubt this is based on some careful scientific analysis. Can you point us to the relevant scientific literature?

    It seems to me that this notion must be based on some significant cycles in the long term variation of the sun’s properties (in other words we think that the sun is about to do such-and-such, since that’s where such-and-such a cycle is trending), or is based on the notion that the sun gives a “signal” of some sort of it’s impending behaviour (much as we would like to have, say, for predicting volcanic eruption – e.g. these are non cyclical, but the possibility arises that one might nevertheless predict an eruption via some analysis of events stirring underground – or because animals start acting oddly).

    Which of these (or other) possibilities has science identified as predictable elements of the sun’s future behaviour?

    Comment by Chris — 11 Oct 2007 @ 9:17 AM

  189. I’m a non-scientist who was quite dubious about the idea of global warming when it first began coming to public attention. Like many others, I clearly remembered the 1970s claims of a coming ice age, one of those ideas I found silly at the time (with no scientific justification for so believing of course, just “common sense”!) and which, in the end, was a theory that was discarded within a short time. My reaction to claims of global warming was that it was more of the same. Over time, however, I’ve accepted that the evidence for AGW is highly convincing. Conversely, the arguments against both “generic” global warming and more specifically AGW range mostly from the patently absurd to the easily debunked. Some of them, however, are not so easily dismissed by a layman like me, especially when presented in a sophisticated fashion. That’s one of the reasons that I find Real Climate so helpful in better understanding the issues, the research that is being done (which, unfortunately, is largely unknown by the general public and therefore is deemed non-existent by too many), and the rebuttals to many of the more convincing anti-GW arguments. I wouldn’t say that I’m 100 per cent convinced of AGW–but pretty close, as are, I gather, most climate scientists.

    Recently I read a NYT article entitled “Diet and Fat: A Severe Case of Mistaken Consensus” about Gary Taubes’ “Good Calories, Bad Calories,” a book debunking diet myths. According to writer John Tierney, Taubes’ book examines “what social scientists call a cascade” and its effect on current thinking about diet. Although I haven’t yet read the book, Tierney’s article indicates that Taubes makes a pretty good case. I also read Tierney’s article on Bjorn Lomborg, BTW, so I imagine he’s familiar to many posters here.

    Anyhow, at long last, here is my question: How much of a possibility is there that the current state of consensus on global warming, and more particularly AGW, has been influenced by that pesky “cascade” effect? Taubes may be right or wrong on his conclusions about diets and, as Gina Kolata points out in another NYT article, it helps if you know what Taubes has left out. However, I, like I suspect most of us, have had personal experience of the “cascade” effect in our own lives, and Tierney points to some research that demonstrates that it actually exists. Although the scientific method would, if it worked perfectly, perhaps prevent such an effect, the truth is that scientists are obviously subject to many of the same human tendencies as the rest of us. As Taubes seems to demonstrate and as various scientific issues over the years have shown, consensus is not necessarily indiciative of the truth even in the scientific realm.

    There are a lot of good reasons for proceeding with mitigation efforts IMO whether or not global warming theories ultimately prove to be correct or not, but the fight from dissenters has in many cases gotten vicious. Should it turn out that the current state of consensus is wrong, it seems like science would suffer a devastating public relations blow.

    Comment by Mary C — 11 Oct 2007 @ 12:17 PM

  190. Mary C (189) — There is not a snowball’s chance in hell that the climatology, leading to the conclusion that current global warming is due to humans, is flawed. There are simply too many lines of evidence which all lead to this conclusion.

    There remain for further study some questions about the size or importance of various trace gases in the atmosphere, the role of the ground in stroing carbon dioxide, etc., etc.

    Perhaps the most urgent question is to explain the rapid melting of the Greenland ice sheet. My amateur take on this is that nobody expected so much melting so soon.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 11 Oct 2007 @ 12:40 PM

  191. Becky, read some of the history of industry lobbying over the “food pyramid” since the 1960s.

    One I recall — corn syrup was being pushed hard as a replacement for sugar-caane sugar. That meant lots of corn being subsidized. At the same time corn-oil margarine was being pushed hard as a replacement for butter for example, and then they had to make it solid so it would “spread” like butter so it was hydrogenated (making it a “trans-fat”). Only after a lot of people ate a lot of that did the statistics add up showing it was a bad choice. By that time the industry was finding other reasons to keep selling corn — like ethanol.

    We’ll be wanting to watch for industries that get big enough to distort the science and the informed marketplace in all areas, always.

    The “cascade” shouldn’t be attributed solely to scientists in their ivory towers. Lots of money goes into shaping these social choices.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Oct 2007 @ 12:45 PM

  192. I am a little bit late, but just one remark:
    S and FC relate to the tropospheric temperature and thus try to imply that they have found something new. However, the tropospheric temperature and surface temperature are so closely correlated that you get the same thing when using surface temperature instead of tropospheric temperature. If you account for El Nino (e.g. subtract MEI-Index/10 from global temperature anomaly), volcanic eruptions, and detrend the data, you get quite a nice correlation to cosmic ray flux. However, as mentioned in many comments, you have to detrend the data to get the fit, which says everything. CRF does not explain any positive trend.

    Comment by Urs Neu — 11 Oct 2007 @ 1:03 PM

  193. Urs, would you spell out why this is true or point to a basic explanation: “you have to detrend the data to get the fit, which says everything.”

    Good comment here as well:
    http://lablemminglounge.blogspot.com/2006/11/jan-veizens-cosmic-ray-climatology.html

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Oct 2007 @ 1:16 PM

  194. Re #192 Urs, has this been published anywhere? I’m curious to see what it looks like (the solar cycle in the detrended surface temperature with non-solar contributions removed). In particular what the amplitude is, and whether there is any sort of a discernable lag. Does S&F-C’s version (their figure 2b) provide what you would consider to be a reliable illustration of the solar “signature” in the surface temperature anomaly? (their “peak to trough” amplitude of ~ 0.4 oC seems rather large to me but maybe there’s a good reason for that??)

    Comment by Chris — 11 Oct 2007 @ 2:01 PM

  195. Re #193 This might be a good place to have a straightforward description of what “detrend” actually encompasses, since it comes up quite a lot. I’ve assumed that “detrend” means just that. That one mathematically removes a trend from a series (in climate science normally a time series). It’s easy to see how one can remove a linear trend, and I assume (right or wrong?) that a cyclical trend can be removed by detrending too…and maybe any function???

    But I have no idea if it is as straightforward as that! Can someone explain (or point to an explanation?).

    I imagine that there are lots of questions that arise with respect to detrended data. Like “what is the justification in relation to the evidence for removal of a trend”? And “how was the magnitude etc. of the trend determined”? And maybe “was the trend predetermined independently of any expectation and then removed or was the detrending done according to the optimization of some preconceived outcome?”

    My understanding of Urs’ comment in relation to uncovering the solar-cycle-contribution to the temperature anomaly is that (referring to S&F-C’s data in Figure 2b) the solar-”signature” matches the temperature anomaly only after removal of various non-solar contribution and a linear trend amounting to 0.14 oC +/- 0.4 oC per decade

    Another question I have about that is that I can see how one can remove a linear trend of 0.14 oC per decade. But what does the +/- 0.4 oC refer to? Clearly a linear trend is just a linear trend and it has a discrete slope (0.14 oC per decade). Does the +/- 0.4 oC mean anything other than as an indication of the SD of the slope in the original determination of the trend, or does it contribute to the detrended data in some way (for example by introducing noise equivalent to +/- O.4 oC)?

    Comment by Chris — 11 Oct 2007 @ 4:42 PM

  196. Re: #195 (Chris)

    “Removing” a trend from data (“detrending”) means simply subtracting the values of the trend pattern from the data, to generate new numbers (“residuals”). The residuals are the difference between the original data values, and what they would be if the data followed the trend exactly.

    Cyclic patterns can be removed similarly, but they’re not generally referred to as trends.

    Trends are usually removed only if their presence can be established with statistical significance. The magnitude of the trend removed is generally determined by a least-squares fit of the trend pattern to the data.

    I believe your understanding of Urs’ comment is essentially correct. I would add that the solar signal is present even without removing the other patterns, but until they are removed the solar-cycle pattern is not present with statistical significance. The presence of signal patterns (like trends and cycles) increases the variance in the data, which is the “yardstick” against which we measure the significance of possible patterns. But if we can identify a trend with statistical significance, then we know that at least some of the data variance is due to this trend, and should not be counted as part of the variance which needs to be “explained” in order to call some other signal pattern “significant.” By removing the trend, we remove its contribution to the variance. This “lowers the bar” which the other pattern must clear in order to be called significant.

    The +/- 0.4 deg.C/decade does indeed refer to the uncertainty in the trend rate.

    Comment by tamino — 11 Oct 2007 @ 6:08 PM

  197. The following are some of the observations related to solar cycle 23 which I find troubling. What are the implication for planetary temperature, if the sun enters a sever Maunder minimum?

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2…_longrange.htm

    The following is an excerpt from the above link:

    The sun’s “Great Conveyor Belt”

    “Normally, the conveyor belt moves about 1 meter per second—walking pace,” says Hathaway. “That’s how it has been since the late 19th century.” In recent years, however, the belt has decelerated to 0.75 m/s in the north and 0.35 m/s (has recently slowed down to 0.25 m/s – my comment) in the south. “We’ve never seen speeds so low.”

    The above comment concerning the slowing of the solar conveyor belt was made May, 2006. Hathaway, later in 2007 notes the sun is no longer following the set of cycle rules.

    The following is a 2004 paper that predicts the sun is heading towards a Maunder minimum based on an analysis of the paleo record of solar activity.

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2004ApJ…605L..81B

    “We have examined the long-term trends in the solar variability that can be deduced from some indirect data and from optical records. We analyzed the radiocarbon measurements for the last 4500 years, based on dendrochronology, the Schove series for the last 1700 years, based on auroral records, and the Hoyt-Schatten series of group sunspot numbers. Focusing on periodicities near one and two centuries, which most likely have a solar origin, we conclude that the present epoch is at the onset of an upcoming local minimum in the long-term solar variability. There are some clues that the next minimum will be less deep than the Maunder minimum, but ultimately the relative depth between these two minima will be indicative of the amplitude change of the quasi-two-century solar cycle.”

    The following is a link to a daily solar report. As can be seen the sun is currently spotless and has been oscillating lower and lower as the solar flux (a measure of the solar large scale magnetic field) drops.

    http://www.dxlc.com/solar/

    A prediction based on past solar behaviour that solar cycle 23 should have ended in August, 2006.

    Based on the last 12 cycles, “large cycles usually start early”, Hathaway told New Scientist. He expects the cycle to begin in late 2006 or early 2007: “We’re anxiously awaiting the appearance of those first spots in the new cycle.”

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2006/15aug_backwards.htm

    Comment by William Astley — 11 Oct 2007 @ 7:00 PM

  198. Well, there were “over 45 published and submitted predictions” as of the latest thing I find in Google Scholar, and they take 2-1/2 years _after_ the beginning to settle on a final prediction.

    Anyone know if the current situation is an outlier, anyone have something like the Arctic Sea Ice charts showing variations?

    I’m just Googling. If anyone has their Wisdom button enabled and can say something knowledgeable, please please do so.

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007AAS…210.9206B

    “Between October 2006 and March 2007, the Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel met …the panel considered over 45 published and submitted predictions. The first panel prediction was announced in April, 2007. Here, we present that prediction, along with other recommendations of the panel. This prediction is just the first prediction by this panel and it is expected to be updated annually until a final prediction is issued approximately 30 months after cycle 24 has begun.”

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/doi/10.1007/s11207-007-0475-4
    “… there are indications that solar minimum may occur as late as March 2008.”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Oct 2007 @ 8:41 PM

  199. A recent paper by Camp and Tung in GRL (2007) proposes the solar cycle has a strong and clear footprint in Earth’s climate. They state they are the first to have established a statistically significant coherent solar response at Earth’s surface, basing this on a composite mean difference and using a spectral-based Monte-Carlo technique (MC) to show it is unlikely that this pattern could occur due to chance.

    It is not clear, however, it the MC was done for the raw data with more high-frequency data with more degrees of freedom (d.o.fs; and the pattern is less likely to happen by chance) or using the filtered series with lower frequency and fewer d.o.fs.

    Most of the strong response was seen in the NCEP reanalysis in the Arctic where the observations are missing/sparse and the data suffer from high uncertainties/errors (besides, the Arctic represents a fairly small area of the planet and a very low number of spatial d.o.fs). Furthermore, before the satellite observations (1979), there was little information about the sea-ice extent in that area. The arctic temperature is closely coupled to the sea-ice extent (which are also strongly affected by the surface winds). So, how real is the response in the Arctic then? (I don’t think it can be trusted).

    For the remainder of the globe, the patterns does not look all that coherent with both positive and negative responses. also, I’d like to see a similar analysis done with the ECMWF reanalysis (ERA40).

    Again, this issue is unrelated to the fact that there has been no trend in the solar acticvity since 1952.

    Comment by rasmus — 12 Oct 2007 @ 4:28 AM

  200. Re 193,194,etc.
    No, that has not yet been published. I will see if I can put a graph on the web when I am back in the office. What detrending means has been explained. If you do not detrend the temperature data you will see that temperature shows up and downs more or less coherent to cosmic rays on the time scale of roughly 10 years, but that it is impossible to get a fit between the two data sets because the temperature values at the end of the period (1958-2006) are much higher than at the beginning, while for cosmic rays the values are more or less the same. If there is only a fit when you detrend the temperature data, this means that cosmic rays cannot explain the trend. Of course this statement is only valid for the period you are detrending for. If you detrend for another period you will get other residuals and another fit. We can only draw conclusions about the period we are examining (1958-2006).

    There is no apparent lag of the 10y cycles. In contrary, there are certain lags, but with changing sign as you can see in their Fig. 2. However, if you extend the comparison to before 1958 (using e.g. magnetic index or other solar variables) the correlation is not that good anymore and maxima of temperature sometimes coincide with minima, sometimes with maxima of solar influence.
    Concerning the amplitude, you also can see in their figure 2, that temperature does not coincide with cosmic rays on the short term, except a few rare cases (possibly accidental). To get an idea of the amplidude you have to look at the scale where there is really a correlation, i.e. on the (roughly) 10y cycle. There you get about 0.1K amplitude of global surface temperature for the solar cycle. I haven’t done this analysis for tropospheric temperature yet.

    Comment by Urs Neu — 12 Oct 2007 @ 4:51 AM

  201. To expect clockwork from the Solar Cycle is a bit too much. First, the underlying cycle itself is 22 years, rather than 11. So, to draw any conclusions based on less than 22 years is questionable. Second, although this cycle manifests in 2 roughly 11 year cycles, with nominally 7 active and 4 quiet years, the delta on the active years is +/- 2 and on the inactive years +/- 1. The cycles themselves can range from 9 to 14 years. To talk about a new Maunder minimum at this point is very premature. First, we’ve seen precisely ONE Maunder Minimum–it was a unique event, making it kind of difficult to predict the next. There was a significant dip near the beginning of the 19th century and another around the beginning of the 20th, but these do not compare, really.
    As to how Solar Cycle might affect climate, as I’ve pointed out repeatedly, solar cycle affects a lot of things–including not just solar proton fluxes and GCR flux, but also total solar irradiance, and especially short-wavelength irradiance. Given that GCR flux is only one of several factors that are varying over this cycle, attaching such a large importance to it strikes me as strange. First, the flux averages only about 5 particles per cm^2 per second, and the solar cycle only brings that down to about 3 during solar max. Any trend due to increasing heliomagnetic field would be a tiny fraction of that modulation. And then there’s that pesky fact that there’s no evidence of a systematic trend in GCR flux since at least the 1950s and the fact that the favored mechanism–changes in the number of cloud nucleation sites–has zero empirical evidence and no real theoretical basis.
    Solar scientists love to try and guess what the next Solar Cycle will be like, but this is mainly a game. Our understanding of solar dynamics is far more rudimentary than our understanding of climate. It’s basically like the hurricane guys trying to predict the hurricane numbers every year. I wish it were otherwise, as then I’d be able to make reasonable estimates of how much radiation shielding astronauts will need when they go to the moon. However, predicting the “next Maunder Minimum” is a bit like economists forecasting the next recession–they’ve predicted ten of the last four recessions.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 12 Oct 2007 @ 7:37 AM

  202. Re: #188

    Evidence please John Finn!

    How much detail do you want? I’ve already mentioned the length of solar cycle. The current cycle, i.e. cycle 23 is already well over 11 years long. There’s every chance that it will be another 12 months before SC24 gets under way which means SC 23 will be longer than any cycle since the 19th century. Longer cycles tend to be followed by weaker cycles which tend to coincide with colder periods on earth.

    Let me know if this is sufficient.

    Comment by John Finn — 12 Oct 2007 @ 9:43 AM

  203. In reply to Ray Lambury’s comment:

    “To talk about a new Maunder minimum at this point is very premature. First, we’ve seen precisely ONE Maunder Minimum–it was a unique event, making it kind of difficult to predict the next. There was a significant dip near the beginning of the 19th century and another around the beginning of the 20th, but these do not compare, really.”

    Ray, we appear to be six months away from entering a Maunder minimum. What will or will not happen is still uncertain, however, six months is a fairly short time in the future, so the issue of past predictions is irrelevant.

    As discussed the sun is not following any of the past cycle patterns and the solar electromagnetic cycle is trending lower and lower. You are quite correct in stating solar physics do not know what could causes a sudden interruption of the solar electromagnetic cycle which is believed to be the cause of Maunder minimum, however, based on observations that does appears to be what is happening (see my comment 193)

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/10/cosmic-rays-don%e2%80%99t-die-so-easily/#comment-59024

    A drop in planetary temperature, due to an abrupt change in the sun, would also not be a total surprise. Some researchers have been saying, for example this paper, that there are persistent drops in planetary temperature which appear to correlate with drops in the solar electromagnetic cycle. It appears your comment that the planet has only seen one Maunder minimum is not correct.

    Persistence Solar Influence on Climate in Holocene, By Bond et al.

    http://www.essc.psu.edu/essc_web/seminars/spring2006/Mar1/Bond%20et%20al%202001.pdf

    “A solar forcing mechanism therefore may underlie at least the Holocene segment of the North Atlantic 1500-year cycle. The surface hydrographic changes may have affected production of North Atlantic Deep Water, potentially providing an additional mechanism for amplifying the solar signals and transmitting them globally.”

    “A prominent feature of the North Atlantic’s Holocene climate is a series of shifts in ocean surface hydrography during which drift ice and cooler surface waters in the Nordic and Labrador Seas were repeatedly advected southward and eastward, each time penetrating deep into the warmer strands of the subpolar circulation . The persistence of
    those rather dramatic events within a stable interglacial has been difficult to explain.”

    Comment by William Astley — 12 Oct 2007 @ 2:55 PM

  204. Re: #203 (William Astley)

    You say “we appear to be six months away from entering a Maunder minimum,” and “the sun is not following any of the past cycle patterns.”

    I’ll repeat what Ray said: Evidence, please. So far you’ve only given one reference (Bonev et al. 2004) which suggest this, and to me it seems to be based on extremely flimsy evidence. Meanwhile, NASA’s solar cycle prediction committee has catalogued 45 predictions of cycle 24, none of which suggests a new “Maunder-like” minimum.

    What else have you got?

    Comment by tamino — 12 Oct 2007 @ 3:31 PM

  205. John, which of the many predictions are you referring to? Cite please? If it’s not one already being considered you can urge the author to email it to the group; the email link is on this page:
    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/SC24/Oct_2006.html

    “The panel will consider all new, relevant information submitted to it at any time up until the panel issues a final prediction.”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 12 Oct 2007 @ 3:55 PM

  206. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007AAS…210.9208D

    “Solar Cycle 23 has been a weaker magnetic cycle when compared to Cycles 22 and 21. The lower rate of sunspot emergence and the lack of large spot groups combined with the slower meridional flow observed during most of the cycle resulted in a slower magnetic polar reversal and a longer than average cycle. We are currently observing the slow decline of Cycle 23 towards its minimum phase but comparison to previous cycles suggests that solar minimum is still many months away.”

    Title: The Declining and Minimum Phase of Solar Cycle 23

    Publication: American Astronomical Society Meeting 210, #92.08
    Publication Date: 05/2007

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 12 Oct 2007 @ 3:59 PM

  207. William Astley posts:

    [[Ray, we appear to be six months away from entering a Maunder minimum.]]

    Care to take a bet on whether that will happen or not? Say one hundred dollars ($100.00)? Which you collect if it happens in the next twelve (12) months. I want to give you the benefit of the doubt.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 13 Oct 2007 @ 10:14 AM

  208. Tamino (204), I justify the assertion that a sever Maunder is six months away based on the paleoclimatic record and recent solar observations. There is a pattern in the paleo record of an increase in planetary temperature followed by a sudden and sever drop, in temperature. In the twentieth century the sun was at its highest electromagnetic activity level in 8000 years (see link below.)

    Evolution of the Sun’s Large-Scale Magnetic Field since the Maunder Minimum

    “A part of the Sun’s magnetic field reaches out from the surface into interplanetary space, and it was recently discovered that the average strength of this interplanetary field has doubled in the past 100 years. There has hitherto been no clear explanation for this doubling. Here we present a model describing the long-term evolution of the Sun’s large-scale magnetic field, which reproduces the doubling of the interplanetary field. The model indicates that there is a direct connection between the length of the sunspot cycle and the secular variations.”

    Based on my understanding of the science (i.e. I am extapolating backwards from the paleoclimatic record based on my understanding how the sun has and could affect planetary temperature) The drop in temperature would be caused by an interruption in the solar electromagnetic cycle (no more sun spots, no more solar equatorial coronal holes,a sever drop in the solar large scale magnetic field, and a drop in the solar wind. These changes are consequences of the root causes of the solar change.) and by a drop in the TSI.

    In Reply to BPL (207) you do not understand my motif or my concern.

    Comment by William Astley — 13 Oct 2007 @ 5:13 PM

  209. William Astley, now let me get this straight. You are basing your prediction of doom and gloom on an un-peer-reviewed extrapolation of a model in a single paper by Solanki? And you haven’t even run your conclusions by Solanki to see if he agrees that you understand his model? And you predict all this knowing that solar cycles range in length from less than 9 years to more than 14? And based on all this, you are predicting that we will se another Maunder Minimum–an event that has occurred precisely once that we know of and that long before we had any scientific observations of solar cycle? That about got it? So, if you take Barton’s bet, can I get in on some of that action, too?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 13 Oct 2007 @ 7:36 PM

  210. http://solarphysics.livingreviews.org/Articles/lrsp-2007-2/

    The Sun and the Earth’s Climate
    Joanna D. Haigh

    “…This article reviews some of the evidence for a solar influence on the lower atmosphere and discusses some of the mechanisms whereby the Sun may produce more significant impacts than might be surmised from a consideration only of variations in total solar irradiance.”
    [ Large, extensive, current review article ]\’
    “the apparent success of the tropospheric GCM studies (see Section 6.4) in simulating the observed response to solar variability provides intriguing evidence that changes to the stratosphere, specifically induced by variations in solar UV radiation and resulting changes in ozone, can influence the troposphere. But they do not provide a detailed understanding of the mechanisms whereby these effects take place.

    Recently some effort to advance understanding of the mechanisms of stratosphere-troposphere coupling has been made through the use of simplified general circulation models (Polvani and Kushner, 2002; Kushner and Polvani, 2004; Haigh et al., 2005; Haigh and Blackburn, 2006). These models include a full representation of atmospheric dynamics but only highly-parameterised representations of radiative and cloud processes so that multiple runs can be carried out. These experiments are not intended to simulate solar (or any other specific) forcing factors but to identify and investigate possible mechanisms for stratosphere-troposphere coupling.”

    “… With regard to the climate, further data-mining and analysis are required to firmly establish the magnitude, geographical distribution and seasonality of its response to various forms of solar activity. Understanding the mechanisms involved in the response then becomes the overriding objective. Current ideas suggest three main avenues where further research is needed. Firstly, the means whereby solar radiative heating of the upper and middle atmosphere may influence the lower atmosphere through dynamical coupling needs to be better understood. Secondly, it needs to be established whether or not variations in direct solar heating of the tropical oceans can be of sufficient magnitude to produce apparently observed effects. Thirdly, more work is needed on the microphysical processes involved in ion-induced nucleation, and, probably more importantly, the growth rates of the condensation nuclei produced.”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Oct 2007 @ 6:34 PM

  211. In reply to Ray Ladbury’s comment (209).

    “You are basing your prediction of doom and gloom on an un-peer-reviewed extrapolation of a model in a single paper by Solanki?”

    No, I have looked at fundamental solar research, solar climatic research, as well as the paleoclimatic record. (ie More than one paper. Multiple cross discipline type of research.)

    As I said, the observed change will not be gradual. (i.e. The change will occur over about two years. The earth’s temperature will of course take decades to cool although there would be an initial sharp change that will be observable and news worthy.) We will in a fairly short period of time be able to see if that hypothesis is correct, so there seems to be no point in betting. We can have this conversation again six months from today and see if there is or is not an observable change.

    Svensmark notes that heliosphere stretches out to roughly 5 times the distance from the sun to Neptune. Svensmark states that it takes roughly 2 years for the heliosphere to adjust to a change in the average speed of the solar wind. The typical solar wind is 350 km/hr to 750 km/hr. The solar wind is now around 300 km/hr and gradually dropping, however, high speed winds from cornal holes still continue to mask the change. The cornal holes are gradually starting to disappate. The reduction in the TSI should be fairly quick, say also over a couple of years.

    Solar Research:
    A maunder minimum appears to occur due to an interruption of the magnetic flux generating mechanism that is hypothesized to be located at the boundary between the radiative zone and convection zone of the sun. The current theory for sunspot generation, has the magnetic field for the sun spots generated at the radiative/convection zone interface.

    Paleoclimatic Record
    A slow down does not match the paleoclimatic record. There are a series of semi-periodic warmings and coolings in paleoclimatic record. I have found papers that show the changes in temperature have been planet wide which would support a solar mechanism.

    Recent Research Solar Direct and Indirect Modulation of Clouds
    I have reviewed Palle, Svensmark, Tinsley, and so on work on solar changes and climate. I believe their research supports a solar mechanism that can significantly reduce planetary temperature.

    Comment by William Astley — 14 Oct 2007 @ 9:48 PM

  212. William Astley, You are pretty isolated in predicting a Maunder-like minimum. The only peer-reviewed paper I could find that comes close is that by Clilverd, who predicts a “Dalton-like” minimum. The community is split–quasi normal, or slightly below normal. I would call the evidence for that weak. We’ve got another year to go before we’re even out of the “normal” range for solar cycles. I find it very hard to think of your prediction as science.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Oct 2007 @ 12:03 PM

  213. Hmmmm — if we get a sudden cooling, that’s going to make the ocean acidification change go much faster, isn’t it?

    And plankton actually contribute a good bit to stirring the upper water.

    Maybe Dan O’Neill (“Odd Bodkins” cartoonist) really was right that the aliens are converting Earth to match their preferred living conditions.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 15 Oct 2007 @ 3:47 PM

  214. Kilimanjaro is a volcano. A recent Nova program “Volcano Above the Clouds” mentions that the film crew found Kilimanjaro’s rocks to be “hot to the touch” and saw steam escaping from vents not too far from the glacier. If we are being honest, this rather important “warming fact” needs to be mentioned at the front of the section. If honesty is not the best policy, you may moderate at will. If I’m wrong, I will accept criticism without malice on my part.

    Comment by petefontana — 16 Oct 2007 @ 2:57 AM

  215. petefontana, Kilimanjaro is inactive and no new volcanic activity is expected. The energy input to the volcanos surface is less than that from magma 400 meters below the surface. The activity from the fumaroles is mainly just the venting of steam–it’s localized.
    Having said this, I don’t think there’s necessarily consensus on shy Kilimanjaros glaciers are melting. Anthropogenic climate change may be a contributing factor, there’s research that suggests it’s solar driven. In either case the geologic contribution is negligible.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 16 Oct 2007 @ 8:20 AM

  216. Ray Ladbury, that seems like a reasonable explanation. As a boy, I was often flummoxed by fumaroles and I see that is still the case. Riddle me this then: if the earth witnesses a massive volcanic eruption (plinian?), do things get cooler or warmer on our planet? Are things like that modeled?

    Comment by petefontana — 17 Oct 2007 @ 12:34 AM

  217. Pete,
    > “massive volcanic eruption … cooler or warmer …”?

    The answer is yes; read at least the brief summaries you’ll see here for a mostly good overview:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=volcanic+eruption+warming+cooling+atmosphere

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 17 Oct 2007 @ 9:30 AM

  218. Petefontana,
    The initial effect of a volcanic eruption is always cooling due to dust and aerosols in the air. There is some evidence that massive volcanism of the eemian raised CO2 levels high enough that temperatures were much warmer than at present, but that is an exceptionally large volcanic event. Mt. Pinatubo’s effects were pretty much nailed by GCMs.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 17 Oct 2007 @ 9:50 AM

  219. Hank Roberts and Ray Ladbury, thanks. Hank I did read some of the material you mentioned. (I will probably read more later, because I find the geologic stuff very interesting). And unfortunately, you are quite correct. It is not a question that is easily answered as “always warmer or always cooler”. Ray I also accept that “Mt. Pinatubo’s effects were pretty much nailed by GCMs”. However, that raises a nagging personal problem for me.

    Fitting a model to past events is almost always possible, especially if you add lots of variables, and don’t worry about adjusting your goodness of fit measures (or even if you do adjust). But certainly, this is different than using the models to make projections of future events. Do the models really add a “volcano variable” in making projections? Wouldn’t this add a distressing level of uncertainty? Personally, I would be very tempted to just say “model projections do not include, volcanoes, comets, etc.) But of course volcanoes (real volcanoes, not faux volcanoes) do happen. And will happen.

    Comment by petefontana — 18 Oct 2007 @ 1:16 AM

  220. Petefontana, I agree that fitting a model to past events is no great shakes, but applying a model with no tweaking of parameters and getting results that match is. One of the misconceptions that is common about GCMs is that they have lots of unconstrained parameters. They don’t. The parameters are tuned using datasets on past climate, etc. Where parameters are uncertain, simulations are run over a range of parameters and conservative conclusions are drawn.
    WRT volcanism and other catastrophes, you have to distinguish between their immediate and local effects–which can be severe, but are generally irrelevant on climatic scales–and their long-term effect which can be characterized effectively by an “average” contribution. This is true of most Poisson processes.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 18 Oct 2007 @ 7:35 AM

  221. Petefontana, make sure you’re clear on the distinction between a “model” and a “scenario” — there are quite a few different models out there, those are big computer simulations run by different organizations. Each grinds through a long computation with a set of specific physical known information and possible information. Each does that multiple times.

    A single “scenario” is one result from one run of one model with one set of assumptions.

    I’m _sure_ that’s not right, it’s my approximation of an answer (someone will point to a better one).

    So yes models include volcanic events and effects.

    Now, look at scenarios.

    In fact look at a particular set of three scenarios, these are quite famous ones because they were lied about in public testimony to Congress, the liars were caught at it, and the liars have continued to lie about them with impunity. That’s politics.

    Scenario “B” here includes one volcano. One did happen.

    http://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/200604/viewpoint.cfm

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Oct 2007 @ 9:13 AM

  222. Ray Ladbury and Hank Roberts, once again thanks for your patience. I do have questions about a lot of these things, but these may have all been answered in other places on this blog.
    By the way, I’m not sure I think “global warming/climate change” is the world’s most serious problem. I happen to think Problem #1 is people being jerks to each other. You have both been amiable discussants. Thanks.

    Hank Roberts I found the Hansen article interesting and I find the kind of fraud attributed to Pat Michaels to be reprehensible. There is no excuse for this kind of outright deceit.

    I appreciate the “model” vs “scenario” explanation, that was helpful. I also appreciate the Poisson processes random things get averaged over time argument (You seem much more familiar with this than I am, Ray).

    If Hansen had been that certain of the accuracy of the GISS model predictions in 1988 and felt “B” was the best scenario, and most reasonable scientists agreed, why wasn’t the whole “planet in crisis” argument made then? Isn’t the level of certainty in the accuracy of a model only possible after you’ve made projections and waited to see what happens?

    Nothing is perfect. I’m just not sure how imperfect all this stuff is.

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo.html

    Doesn’t this look linear?

    Comment by petefontana — 20 Oct 2007 @ 4:51 AM

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