RealClimate logo


2008 Year in review

Filed under: — group @ 31 December 2008

Way back at the end of 2006, we did a review of the year’s climate science discussion. It’s that time of year again and so we’ve decided to give it another go. Feel free to suggest your own categories and winners…

Most clueless US politician talking about climate change (with the exception of Senator Inhofe who’d always win):
Sarah Palin:

Well, we’re the only Arctic state, of course, Alaska. So we feel the impacts more than any other state, up there with the changes in climates. And certainly, it is apparent. We have erosion issues. And we have melting sea ice, of course. [….] You know there are – there are man’s activities that can be contributed to the issues that we’re dealing with now, these impacts. I’m not going to solely blame all of man’s activities on changes in climate.

Most puzzling finding from 2006 that has yet to be convincingly replicated:
Methane from plants

Most reckless extrapolation of short term trends:
Michael “All global warming has been erased” Asher (Daily Tech)

This year’s most (unsurprisingly) abused study:
Keenlyside et al. initialised climate forecasts (and no, they didn’t take our bet).

Climate scientist with biggest disconnect between his peer-reviewed papers and his online discussions:
Roy Spencer

Most worn out contrarian cliche:
The “Gore Effect”. This combines the irrelevant confusion of climate with weather and the slightly manic obsession with Al Gore over the actual science. Do please grow up.

Most bizarre new contrarian claim:
Global warming is caused by undersea volcanoes (and pirates!).

The S. Fred Singer award for the most dizzying turn-around of a climate pseudo-skeptic:
Dennis Avery: “Global warming is likely to continue” (2006) , to global warming is “unstoppable” (2006), to “Say Good-Bye To Global Warming And Hello To Global Cooling!” (2008).

Pottiest peer on the contrarian comedy circuit:
Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

Least unexpected observations:
(Joint winners) 2008 near-record minima in Arctic sea ice extent, last decade of record warmth, long term increases in ocean heat content, record increases in CO2 emissions.

Most consistently wrong media outlet:
The Australian (runner-up the UK Daily Telegraph). Both comfortably beating out the perennial favorite, the Wall Street Journal – maybe things have really changed there?

Best actual good news:
The grown-ups being back in charge starting January 20 (compare with this).

Most inaccurate attempted insinuation about RealClimate:
‘The Soros-funded Realclimate.org’ Chris Horner

Most revealing insight into some US coal companies and year’s best self parody:
Frosty the Coalman (video available here)

Most disturbing trend for science journalism:
The axing of dedicated science units at CNN, the Weather Channel and elsewhere. Can Climate Central and blogging journalists take up the slack?

Happy New Year to all of our readers!


297 Responses to “2008 Year in review”

  1. 201
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Isotopious, Oh Dear! That’s so vague that it could mean a broad variety of things–none of them correct, unfortunately. You know, Pauli had a term for statements like that. One time he was refereeing a paper and said, “This is terrible. It’s so bad it’s not even wrong!”
    See, something that’s wrong can be corrected, while something that’s vaguely worded and ill conceived cannot. So, let’s try to see which specific denialist memes you are peddling.
    1)Is it your serious contention that CO2 does not provide a forcing or that increasing CO2 will not increase that forcing?
    2)Is it your contention that the CO2 is a result of the warming, and not the cause of it?
    3)What the hell does orbital forcing have to do with the current warming epoch?
    4)Do you understand the importance of the well mixed nature and long lifetime of CO2 in the climate system?
    5)You ascribe a role to the deep oceans. Are you contending that the energy for the current warming is coming from there? If not, what do the deep oceans have to do with current warming.

    This will at least allow us to pinpoint where you are wrong. The decision to learn or not is up to you. Until you do, though, you are covered by a troll alert.

  2. 202

    Rod B @ 182:

    I was referring to the physical discovery and/or development to increase the oil supply, which I think is more likely than not. Your point that the supply might stagnate if the economics deriving from alternative fuels is such that the demand for oil will decrease and hence the producers won’t feel justified in investing oodles of money to get that new supply (whew!) has merit.

    There have been too fewer discoveries to support the belief that there are going to be new discoveries that will increase the supply. The Canadian tar sands are very substantial, but they don’t free-flow oil the way the Saudi fields (for example) did. Russia peaked, there’s good evidence Saudi has peaked. Kuwait admitted they over-estimated, as did Royal Dutch Shell.

    What evidence makes you believe more is going to be found, and in sufficient quantity to continue supply growth?

    (reCaptcha sez: “Irvington counting” and so is Hubbert)

  3. 203
    Jim Eager says:

    Re isotopious @199, Yes, CO2 feed-back amplifies the orbital cycle-initiated warming, we all know that.

    So what, exactly, do you suppose would be the result of adding more CO2 directly to the atmosphere in the absence of an orbital cycle forcing?

    The atmosphere doesn’t care where the extra CO2 comes from or how it gets their, it just warms in response to there being more of it.

    It’s not that hard to understand. Really.

  4. 204
    Dan says:

    re: Biofuels.
    Continental Airlines flight powered by biofuels
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090107/ap_on_bi_ge/continental_biofuel

  5. 205
    Dave Rado says:

    re. Dan, #204, I think we need to start producing biofuels in a sustainable way before getting excited about increasing their use. Most of the biofuels produced in the US comes from corn, which both grossly distorts world grain prices for food; and uses so much fertilizer that their use produces almost as much GHG as it saves. Biofuels in Europe come mainly from oil palms, which is leading to mass deforestation and destruction of endangered species’ habitats in places like Indonesia. Some people have post links here to information about allegedly sustainable biofuel sources but they are not being used on a large scale yet, it is controversial whether they really are sustainable, and promoting the increased use of biofuels before the existing production has at least started to move to sustainable methods is putting the cart before the horse IMO.

  6. 206
    isotopious says:

    #201

    Is there evidence that shows a difference in the rate of warming, comparing the start of a 5000 year warming phase to any time after the first 800 years, using the Vostok data.

    In other words, once there is an increase in CO2, released from the ocean, does the rate of warming increase, compared to the intial rate of warming, during the first 800yrs?

  7. 207
    Dan says:

    re: 205. Oh yes, I agree. The article notes that the general manager of renewable energy and chemicals at UOP said one of the big obstacles facing the industry is finding enough affordable feedstock to produce the large quantities of biofuel needed. She predicts “biofuel could amount to 3 percent to 5 percent of the fuel used by big airlines by 2012.” By 2020, the level could grow to as much as 20 percent, she said. I recently read (may have been at enn.com) of alternative biofuel sources other than corn. Supposedly that would lessen the impact on grain prices for food.

  8. 208
    isotopious says:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/co2-in-ice-cores/
    “….The reason has to do with the fact that the warmings take about 5000 years to be complete. The lag is only 800 years. All that the lag shows is that CO2 did not cause the first 800 years of warming, out of the 5000 year trend. The other 4200 years of warming could in fact have been caused by CO2, as far as we can tell from this ice core data….”

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/04/the-lag-between-temp-and-co2/
    “Thus it is not logical to argue that, because CO2 does not cause the first thousand years or so of warming, nor the first thousand years of cooling, it cannot have caused part of the many thousands of years of warming in between.”

    Jeff Severinghaus
    Professor of Geosciences
    Scripps Institution of Oceanography
    University of California, San Diego.

    isotopious:
    These statements are incorrect, CO2 must have contributed to warming during the first 800 years (at lowest value atmosphere has around 180 p.p.m.v.).

    But by how much? (re: #206)

  9. 209
    Alan Neale says:

    Re #204, that is all very well and good and I read the article over at sciam.com. However the number game is what always trips up Biofuels from crops or algae at the present time. Yields of crops may increase and cullulosic or genetically engineered bugs might be used to assist in the breakdown of this planty material and increase the algaes ability to produce oils. This however is not going to happen in a time frame compatiable with the needs of AGW. It might happen along the lines of peak oil needs, as oil becomes more expensive blend it with biofuels to offset the economic issues of oil depletion.

    Put simply and within a time frame suitable for mitigating AGW and our love of transport Biofuels will not be the solution. It may be part of it but flying alone uses 240 million gallons of fuel a day and biofuels will take a long time to supplement that level of usage and it is increasing. It maybe possible to make planes more effcient in the future but once again that would just mean cheaper prices and more flights.

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=air-algae-us-biofuel-flight-on-weeds-and-pond-scum

    it is a good article and worth reading to people interested in replacing fossil fuels but the issues are of such a large scale especially considering the world is using 85 Mbpd of oil and each barrels contains 42 US gallons. In order for Biofuels to approach that level of transport ability would require a significant efficiency program of transport and a significant breakthrough so as to not put pressure on the price of food.

  10. 210
    Anne van der Bom says:

    #208, isotopius

    Why are these statements incorrect?

    If CO2 level doesn’t go up during the first 800 years, how can it contribute to the warming?

  11. 211
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Isotopious: Warming implies change. CO2 is always a greenhouse. It always keeps the troposphere warmer than it would be if it were not there. However, it cannot contribute to WARMING (that is, increasing temperature) until its concentration starts to rise, nor to cooling temperature until it starts to fall. Current best estimates are that CO2 contributes about 7 degrees of the 33 degrees of greenhouse warming that keep Earth from being a snowball.

  12. 212

    With regard to 205 and 207:

    The US and Europe aren’t the only–or even the best–places to look at in order to assess the state of the art and future possibilities of biofuels; the Brazilian experience with ethanol is much deeper historically. Here is a story to start with. Read to the end to get some of the “downside” information.

  13. 213
    JCH says:

    It is just astonishingly simplistic to say that last years food riots (food shortages and high food prices) were caused by biofuels. When compared with the negative effects of droughts and floods on last years food production, I think that biofuels were a relatively small contributor to the problems. Add to droughts and floods the difficulties some poorer countries have in procuring adequate fertilizer and other agriculture chemicals, and you will have your culprit pretty much nailed down.

    Without the presence of biofuels in the global market, fossil-fuel prices might be even higher, and that would present its own set of problems for food production.

    This years wheat forecast is for a bumper crop. Food prices are likely to be lower as grain is likely to be abundant. Australian production, much of which is exported, is the rub. Net importers of food feel the Australian results immediately.

  14. 214
    Rod B says:

    Alan (209), interesting reference. I was hoping for a substantiation of the large land area required for producing jet biofuel — most of the equivalent of western Europe for Jatropha, e.g. (less for algae) for the current 240 million gallons. Can you validate this?

  15. 215
    HF says:

    Ray Ladbury,9,1,8:12AM

    “Current best estimates are that CO2 contributes about 7 degrees of the 33 degrees of greenhouse warming that keep Earth from being a snowball.”

    Hi, Ray,

    I’ve noticed this “best estimate contribution” in several of your posts, and I recall a past response by Gavin indicating a similar 20% contribution to CO2. I’m aware of a range from “CO2: Feedback or Forcing?”, on this site, but I haven’t noticed a reference for the narrower estimate. I’m hesitant to repeat the 20% without a reference or rationale, so if you can provide one,I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

    [Response: 20% of the current GHE what you get if you do a sensible allocation of the overlaps between water vapour/clouds and CO2. The ‘7 deg C’ is the equivalent no-feedback allocation – it is not how much it would cool if you removed all CO2 (that would be much greater, but somewhat uncertain). – gavin]

  16. 216

    Isotopious —

    In a natural deglaciation, warming precedes CO2 rise by about 800 years on average. The CO2 then amplifies the warming. Direct calculations (I’ll run through them if you like) show that the slight changes to Earth’s surface sunlight distribution caused by the Milankovic cycles that govern ice ages are not enough to produce the observed temperature changes — you need CO2 as an amplifier.

    When warming increases CO2, it’s because warmer water holds less CO2 in solution and the gas is bubbling out of the ocean. That is not what is happening now. The oceans are presently a net sink for CO2, giving off about 90 gigatons of carbon a year and taking in 92.

    The present increase in CO2 is coming about mainly from burning fossil fuels. This can be shown from an analysis of isotope ratios (e.g. CO2 from fossil fuels is deficient in carbon-14 because 14C only has a halflife of about 5500 years and fossil fuels date from ~300 million years ago).

  17. 217
    Jim Eager says:

    Barton (@216), but as has been pointed out before, the 14C level was altered by atmospheric nuclear testing, no? Which is why it’s the 13C:12C ratio that is used to demonstrate that the CO2 increase is of fossil fuel origin.

  18. 218
    Jim Eager says:

    Re Gavin in-line @215, wouldn’t the negative change be far greater if all CO2 were removed since there would be almost no independent greenhouse warming to allow significant water vapour to remain in the atmosphere?

    [Response: Yes. – gavin]

  19. 219
    Mike Donald says:

    Happy New Year 2u2 realclimate. Great website.

    btw #53 volcanic eruptions wrt the arctic.
    [Response: Do the math. .. – gavin]

    That was one of my things-to-do last year but not proud me wouldn’t mind a suggested approach to the maths.

    [edit]

    [Response: Find the heat released by the biggest volcanic eruption that anyone has measured. Then spread it out over the Arctic and over depth (or any more restricted domain) and calculate the resulting temperature increase. Then do the same but for ice melt. You will find yourself orders of magnitude out. – gavin]

  20. 220
    Alan Neale says:

    Re #214, I looked up the yields of biofuels presently (first generation) and what might happen with second generation and potentila yields of algae at around 10,000 gallons per acre on wikipedia. Present corn yields are poor with regard to what lands needs to be used. Sugar cane is better but sugar cane needs certain conditions to thrive. Other grasses and genetic engineering capability might increase yields further but as to what yields per acre is required all boills down to what requirements humans have. No strategy so long as oil exists in reasonable amounts.

    There is always the hydrogen future as well but electrolysis to make it requires lots of renewable sources of and efficient conversion techniques and technologies which also do as yet not exist.

  21. 221
    isotopious says:

    #211

    “…However, it cannot contribute to WARMING (that is, increasing temperature) until its concentration starts to rise…”

    Ray, I would have thought CO2 contribution to WARMING, would be dependent on solar insolation.

    The amount released from the ocean would certainly sustain the feedback mechanism…..

    You imply the feedback mechanism must include CO2 ocean release inorder to work at all. I’m not sure about that, after all there is 180 p.p.m.v. ready to begin warming earth (just because it’s there doesn’t mean it must contribute, remember it’s dependent on the radiation).

  22. 222
    Jim Eager says:

    That 180 ppm has always added warming because there always has been solar insolation so the surface has always radiated. More insolation meant more radiation and more CO2, which meant even more warming.

  23. 223
    Hank Roberts says:

    > would have thought

    This is the useful thing about science if you do it, it gets you past what you would have thought, to considering actual numbers.

    Take a slow trickle of water into a bucket, with a small hole in the bottom of the bucket, so the water level stays with the bucket about half full.

    Which makes more difference — doubling the amount of the trickle coming in, or doubling the size of the hole in the bucket?

    How much change in the brightness of the sun would make the same change as a doubling of CO2?

    Does thinking get you an answer? If not, try Dr. Weart’s book, first link under Science, right hand side of the page.

  24. 224
    Mark says:

    Don’t be deliberately obtuse.

    CO2 cannot contribute to warming unless it’s concentration rises.

    If it remains constant, there is no contribution to warming from CO2.

    What other things are doing so is irrelevant to the section you quoted.

    What 180ppmv are you talking about? It isn’t waiting. Inanimate molecules can’t wait.

  25. 225
    Hank Roberts says:

    Mark, iso is just saying that if you’re sleeping out under a light blanket on a cool cloudy night, then the clouds blow away and you’re under clear night sky, you’ll feel colder, but if you stay there til sunrise, you’ll feel warmer — all under the same blanket.

    But iso fails to understand that equilibrium is at the top of the atmosphere, not down here on the ground — confusing weather with climate, basically.

    Yes, doubling CO2 or putting on another blanket warms you up.
    So would doubling the brightness of the sun — but not by the same amount — at the top of the atmosphere — which is what iso is misunderstanding, I think.

    This is one of those exchanges that easily become, er, abstruse:
    http://abstrusegoose.com/strips/computer_programming_101.JPG

  26. 226

    Re 221 et seq, once again people are talking past each other by using “warming” in slightly different ways–or so it seems to me.

    isotopius says that CO2 contributes to warming either before or after CO2 levels change, which is correct assuming that he means that the CO2 is always contributing to the greenhouse “warming” preventing snowball Earth, and which is normal to the system even at equilibrium (we could call this “static warming,” if we need a name for it.)

    mark says it doesn’t, which is correct assuming that he means “warming” in the sense of a temperature trend (we could call this “dynamic warming.”)

    This would be an example of why some prefer numbers to language. The latter requires such care in its use!

  27. 227
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Isotopious says, “Ray, I would have thought CO2 contribution to WARMING, would be dependent on solar insolation.”

    And you’d be wrong. It depends on the amount of CO2 and the temperature of Earth. It doesn’t matter where the energy to sustain that temperature comes from–solar, greenhouse, Martian laser, beams–all the same to blackbody (or greybody) radiators. CO2 does contribute ENERGY, not WARMING, which implies a change in temperature.

  28. 228
    isotopious says:

    #222

    “That 180 ppm has always added warming because there always has been solar insolation so the surface has always radiated. More insolation meant more radiation and more CO2, which meant even more warming.”

    #224

    “If it remains constant, there is no contribution to warming from
    CO2.”

    Why is there little difference between the rate of warming, before and after CO2 release from ocean (# 206)?

    Looking at this data……..

    Petit, J. R. et al. Climate and atmospheric history of the past 420,000 years from the Vostok ice core,
    Antarctica. Nature 399, 429–436 (1999).

    There is a very rapid rise in temperature during the first 800 years of deglaciation. The feedback mechanism is at work. CO2 is a component.

  29. 229
    Ray Ladbury says:

    William, I know of no problem with the energy balance of the core–be it inner or outer. The combination of radioactive decay and latent heat as the outer core crystallizes onto the solid inner core is sufficient as an energy source in most of the models I know of–e.g. Glatzmaier et al.

    Do you have a reference?

  30. 230
    isotopious says:

    #227

    “And you’d be wrong. It depends on the amount of CO2 and the temperature of Earth.”

    I stand corrected, however, you state CO2 contribution is dependent on “temperature of earth”.

    #221

    “….However, it cannot contribute to WARMING (that is, increasing temperature) until its concentration starts to rise, nor to cooling temperature until it starts to fall….”

    Indirectly it can contribute to warming without change in concentration, due to temperature change of earth.

  31. 231
    Jim Eager says:

    “There is a very rapid rise in temperature during the first 800 years of deglaciation. The feedback mechanism is at work. CO2 is a component.”

    You’re circling back. That was established almost 30 posts ago.

    And as for apparent disconnect between me @222 and Mark @224, see Kevin @266.

  32. 232
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Isotopious says “Indirectly it can contribute to warming without change in concentration, due to temperature change of earth.”

    Uh, sorry. You lost me. Unless you mean that if Earth radiates more, CO2 will trap more, etc.

  33. 233
    isotopious says:

    Atmospheric CO2 starts to rise after 800 years of rapid warming, does this mean any further increases in temperature are only possible with extra CO2? No.

    The point in time when CO2 starts to rise does not automatically mean more CO2 is required before further warming can take place.

    It would appear plausible that the rate of warming should increase once more CO2 is released into the atmosphere, but looking at the vostok data, there is no obvious “boost”.

  34. 234
    Mark says:

    230 you’re still being deliberately obtuse.

    The earth warms up when CO2 rises and NOTHING ELSE CHANGES. If CO2 falls and nothing else changes, the earth cools.

    And please explain how you know the inanimate CO2 is “waiting” like when you wait for the doctor to see you. Or is there a reason you won’t answer that question?

  35. 235
    Hank Roberts says:

    iso, you’re copypasting stuff well worked over; it’s from the ignorance list.

    Look up forcing/feedback; look up the sometime/not time lag and accuracy of ice core numbers.

    You can find the basics explained here — try the Start Here link and the first link under science in the sidebar.

    When you just copypaste old fragments (and without citation) people can’t help you read your sources.

    This leads to red herrings and recreational typing.

    That’s attention, if you like attention, but not from those best able to help you learn from real science sources.

    Try looking things up and saying where you’re getting your opinions.

  36. 236
    isotopious says:

    To Real Climate,

    Sorry for all my other time wasting posts.

    Question:
    When there is an increase in CO2, released from the ocean, does the rate of warming increase, compared to the initial rate of warming, during the first 800yrs?

  37. 237
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Isotopious, it depends on whether all the other factors remain the same. If the orbit changes so there’s less insolation, you might just have temperatures stabilize. If everything stays the same, you’d expect an increase.

  38. 238
    Jim Eager says:

    I’m not qualified to answer that question, but I will hazard that the proxi record may or may not have the resolution to show it if the change is small or gradual enough, which it would be as CO2 slowly accumulated and overcame the thermal inertia of the oceans, especially if that ramp up overlapped a slowing rate of change in the orbital forcing. It would also overlap with rising water vapour and methane, and lowering albedo. Could each one’s effect on the temperature record be sorted out?

    I’m sure I’ll soon be set straight it that is wrong.

    Captcha identifies part of the problem: ad Motorists

  39. 239
    Hank Roberts says:

    > Question …

    Not a good enough question. Are you talking about some specific event? If so which one? A look at the paleo archive might help but you need to know the limits of accuracy of the data, you may be asking for more precision than is available.

    If you’re asking a hypothetical, you’d need a scratch planet to experiment on. Without that, you need more information. Examples:
    How could you test this? How do you propose you get excess CO2 out of the ocean? Something else changes? Remember there’s a natural cycle as your base level, and you say there’s already some initial rate of warming — what’s causing that, how much is it, and does it have anything to do with more CO2 “from” the ocean? And what “from” do you mean — a change in solubility of the gas? Or is the photosynthetic plankton using less CO2? Or is the plankton dying off and releasing some CO2?

  40. 240
    Mark says:

    236. What?
    Best I can make out of your post is the question when CO2 is released from the ocean does the warming increase.

    Yes. It does.

    Rate of warming isn’t part of it. So I dropped that. And the 800 years is irrelevant since we haven’t had significant anthropological change 800 years ago.

    If you’re talking about the past record where CO2 lagged because its release was a feedback mechanism then take a look at the past record and plot the rate of increase yourself to answer the question.

  41. 241
  42. 242
    Mark says:

    Rearding the comments on my 224 post, I see Iso talking about warming as warming rate (as he does later on, so I dropped it) And and atmosphere in equilibrium has no warming rate. If you then change solely CO2, there will be more warming. That is the warming CO2 causes. But that can cause a CO2 effusion and increase CO2 (which is a feedback), increase water vapor (which is a feedback) and increase cloud cover (which is positive and negative feedback) and so on, which are all increases due to that feedback.

    Ta.

  43. 243

    In re #220:

    No strategy so long as oil exists in reasonable amounts.

    There is always the hydrogen future as well but electrolysis to make it requires lots of renewable sources of and efficient conversion techniques and technologies which also do as yet not exist.

    Biofuels won’t be produced until there is demand — why produce something that no one needs to buy? That’s why production is low at present — marginal cost still favors oil.

    It used to be that OPEC destroyed biofuels’ potential by increasing supply to drive down price. That made biofuels more expensive relatively and capital was taken away from further development. Now that they can’t arbitrarily increase supply to destroy development of biofuels, they are stuck reducing supply to siphon off capital. That’s a losing proposition as it will produce a supply of capital on biofuels development, at which point OPEC is going to be forced to compete for price and that’s a losing proposition as production costs rise.

    (Bad HTML caused the above post to drop my response — please delete that post.)

  44. 244
    Hank Roberts says:

    http://icesjms.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/65/3/279
    In hot water: zooplankton and climate change

    found via:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1112418
    Science 8 July 2005:
    Vol. 309. no. 5732, pp. 284 – 287
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1112418
    Penetration of Human-Induced Warming into the World’s Oceans

  45. 245
    isotopious says:

    #237

    Thanks for the response.

    #239

    Yes, your right, it may well be a silly question.
    I’m talking about the 800 year lag, any inter-glacial from the past 650+ kyrs would do.

    #241

    Yes I had a look, the rapid nature of the initial 800 years of warming is unlikely due to albedo. The ice lag is even greater than CO2!

    I’m aware scientists have demonstrated the effect of infrared and CO2.
    Using the laws of physics to determine CO2 contribution makes perfect scientific sense.

    But wouldn’t it be great if we could determine cause and effect from the vostok data.

  46. 246
    isotopious says:

    #234
    “And please explain how you know the inanimate CO2 is “waiting” like when you wait for the doctor to see you. Or is there a reason you won’t answer that question?”

    Re #221
    When I said “.. after all there is 180 p.p.m.v. ready to begin warming earth ..”

    Ray answers your question #237

    That’s how the inanimate CO2 is “waiting”. Temperature change.

    This is why I disagree with these statements by Jeff Severinghaus

    “All that the lag shows is that CO2 did not cause the first 800 years of warming”

    This statement should be re written (isotopious opines):

    “All that the lag shows is that the addition CO2 released from the ocean (after first 800 years of deglaciation) did not participate in the first 800 years of warming. However, the initial CO2 concentration (about 180 p.p.m.v) present at the begin of deglaciation, is integral to temperature rise during the first 800 years.”

    My version doesn’t make the assumption that CO2 can’t contribute until after 800 years. When insolation changes via orbital forces then the molecules work harder (rather than just sitting around being lazy).

    [Response: This is completely wrong. If CO2 doesn’t change, it can’t add to a changing temperature. No cause, no effect. – gavin]

  47. 247
    Alan Neale says:

    Re #243, you are obviosuly not educated enough on the subject of oil. The IEA has for a long time stated that th worlds need for it will grow by 50% come 2030, from 80 mpbd to 120 mpbd but that is a pipe dream according to a lot of learned oil guys and according to some oil companies who have stated that 90-100 mpbd is all that will happen. Due to OPEC’s hidden reserves not being known with an accuracy after 1980 their alleged reserves are a political tool to be able to pump as much as they need to and not an actual statement of real reserves. Tar sands are a joke as they require a lot of gas to become crude.

    Therefore in BAU terms your statement is safe for around 10 years for we consume 300 billion barrels every decade and growth is 2% per annum so its peak time and if it is peak time then oils price is going to rocket and potentially wreck large parts of the economies of the world. You will need an alternative, it simply is not an option to not have one, biofuels or hydrogen, neither of which presently can do much.

  48. 248
    J.S. McIntyre says:

    re 245

    iso: “I’m aware scientists have demonstrated the effect of infrared and CO2.
    Using the laws of physics to determine CO2 contribution makes perfect scientific sense.”

    Wow…

  49. 249
    Hank Roberts says:

    iso: > the molecules work harder

    Perhaps, iso, you’re trying to restate the notion of ‘saturation’ (if so read Dr. Weart’s book; see Callendar). If you haven’t got the math to accomplish making that mistake (by doing that calculation the way it was done before Callendar corrected it), you may want to rely on Weart.

  50. 250
    Hank Roberts says:

    A perspective view from 2008, suitable for the year in review:

    http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/image/0901/newrings_cassini_big.jpg

    (In this picture, you are on the faint blue dot just above the left side of the brighter rings.)


Switch to our mobile site