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Can a blanket violate the second law of thermodynamics?

Filed under: — stefan @ 20 September 2016

One of the silliest arguments of climate deniers goes like this: the atmosphere with its greenhouse gases cannot warm the Earth’s surface, because it is colder than the surface. But heat always flows from warm to cold and never vice versa, as stated in the second law of thermodynamics.

The freshly baked Australian Senator Malcolm Roberts has recently phrased it thus in his maiden speech:

It is basic. The sun warms the earth’s surface. The surface, by contact, warms the moving, circulating atmosphere. That means the atmosphere cools the surface. How then can the atmosphere warm it? It cannot. That is why their computer models are wrong.

This is of course not only questions the increasing human-caused greenhouse effect, but in general our understanding of temperatures on all planets, which goes back to Joseph Fourier, who in 1824 was the first to understand the importance of the greenhouse effect.

The atmosphere acts like a blanket which inhibits heat loss. In fact according to Roberts’ logic, a blanket could also not have a warming effect:

It’s simple. The body warms the blanket. This means that the blanket cools the body. So how can the blanket warm it? It cannot!

The answer is simple. The warm body loses heat to the cold air. The blanket inhibits and slows this heat loss. Therefore you stay warmer under a blanket.

The Earth loses heat to the cold universe. The atmosphere inhibits this heat loss. Therefore, the surface remains warmer than it would be without the atmosphere.

It is true that the surface loses heat to the atmosphere – but less than it would otherwise lose directly to space. Just as I lose less heat to the blanket than I would otherwise lose to the air, without blanket.

Of course, in neither case is the second law of thermodynamics violated. The heat always flows from warm to cold – just more or less effectively. The processes of heat transfer are quite different – for the blanket it is mainly heat conduction, for the greenhouse effect it is thermal radiation. The climate deniers claim that the colder atmosphere cannot radiate thermal radiation towards the warmer surface. This is of course nonsense. The cool Earth also sends thermal radiation towards the hot sun – how would thermal radiation leaving Earth know how warm the surface is that it’s going to hit? It’s just that the sun sends more radiation back to us  – the net flow is from hot to cold. More is not implied by the second law of thermodynamics.

Thanks to two Germans (Gerlich and Tscheuschner of the TU Braunscheig – deeply embarrassing for this university), the absurd claim that the greenhouse effect violates the second law of thermodynamics even made it into an obscure physics journal – obviously there was no peer review to speak of. The bizarre article was promptly demolished by some US physicists. Just recently I read the claim again in an article of coal lobbyist Lars Schernikau – with such fairy-tale beliefs of its representatives, one is not surprised by the decline of the coal industry.

The thermal radiation from the atmosphere toward the ground, which allegedly cannot exist, is of course routinely measured, including its increase (see e.g. Philipona et al. 2004, 2012).

And you can even feel it. Those who sometimes sit outside in the garden after dark know this. Under a dense, low cloud layer you do not nearly get cold as fast as on a clear starry night. This is due to the thermal radiation coming from the clouds. They are colder than our body, but warmer than the night sky in clear air.

Roberts said: “Like Socrates, I love asking questions to get to the truth.”  Perhaps he will ponder my answer next time he sits in his garden at night, or slips under a blanket.

P.S.

Here is the energy balance diagram for our Earth, explained in IPCC FAQ 1.1. The “Back Radiation” makes the greenhouse effect. It is larger than the solar radiation reaching the ground, and measured by a global radiation measurement network.

faq-1-1-figure-1

References

R. Philipona, “Radiative forcing – measured at Earth’s surface – corroborate the increasing greenhouse effect”, Geophys. Res. Lett., vol. 31, 2004. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2003GL018765

R. Philipona, A. Kräuchi, and E. Brocard, “Solar and thermal radiation profiles and radiative forcing measured through the atmosphere”, Geophys. Res. Lett., vol. 39, pp. n/a-n/a, 2012. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2012GL052087

229 Responses to “Can a blanket violate the second law of thermodynamics?”

  1. 151
    Jim Eager says:

    Titus @145 wrote Empirical science does not observe the “Tropical Hot Spot” which is a critical signature pattern to the effect of so called “greenhouse gases”

    If I understand correctly, the critical signature pattern unique to enhanced greenhouse warming is not the tropical hot spot, but rather the cooling of the stratosphere and increased emissions in non-CO2 wavelengths, which has indeed been observed.

  2. 152
    Mack says:

    There seems to be much amusement and delight, at the revelation of my error on the internet, about the phases of the moon and eclipses…by one of your ilk..namely MikeR. He takes great pleasure in revealing this at every opportunity he can. Maybe it’s the greatest moment of his life. Here he goes (I think this was the first occasion) at Roy Spencer’s place..
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2016/01/on-that-2015-record-warmest-claim/#comment-207852
    If the readers here can pull their heads away from their innane chatter…they may be interested in my answers to MikeR,.. and if reading my into my link…may even get enlightened…
    Nah..probably not…you lot could be waterboarded in the fount of knowledge, but you still wouldn’t drink.

  3. 153

    Jim Eager, #151–“If I understand correctly, the critical signature pattern unique to enhanced greenhouse warming is not the tropical hot spot…”

    Pretty sure you do remember correctly. As I recall the 2007 RC post on this (I linked it, above), the ‘hot spot’ should occur with any type of warming, not just GHG-initiated.

  4. 154
    Hank Roberts says:

    Oh, Titus, when will you learn to check what you read at the denial sites against subsequent citations?

    http://phys.org/news/2015-05-climate-scientists-elusive-tropospheric-hot.html

    The inability to detect this hotspot previously has been used by those who doubt man-made global warming to suggest climate change is not occurring as a result of increasing carbon dioxide emissions.

    “Using more recent data and better analysis methods we have been able to re-examine the global weather balloon network, known as radiosondes, and have found clear indications of warming in the upper troposphere,” said lead author ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science Chief Investigator Prof Steve Sherwood.

    “We were able to do this by producing a publicly available temperature and wind data set of the upper troposphere extending from 1958-2012, so it is there for anyone to see.”

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-05-climate-scientists-elusive-tropospheric-hot.html

    In other news from the past, Darwin has no known plausible mechanism he can point to that would explain “evolution” …

  5. 155
    Hank Roberts says:

    Oh, Mack, Mack

    The Moons measured mean surface temperature is only -77degree C . This extremely low average of temps. is a result of having a large planet called the Earth, interposed between it and the Sun a lot of the time. Also rotational characteristics of the Moon give it regions where the sun hardly gets to it at all ….

  6. 156
    Bernard J. says:

    Further to the observations @ 122-132 that Mack doesn’t comprehend the phases of the moon, Randall Munroe has launched a discussion that might help the benighted science denier:

    https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1738

  7. 157
    Bernard J. says:

    145 Titus says:
    2 Oct 2016 at 4:43 PM

    @142 Thomas says: “empirical evidence of climate change tells us global warming is real”

    Empirical science does not observe the “Tropical Hot Spot” which is a critical signature pattern to the effect of so called “greenhouse gases”.

    As others have already pointed out there are indications of a TTH, but going back to an even more basic point, a TTH is not a “signature pattern [sic] to [sic] the effect of so called [sic] “greenhouse gases””, is is a more-generally expected property of atmospheric warming resulting from many types of forcing – not just ‘greenhouse gas’ forcing.

    If you can’t correctly establish this fundamental point, you can’t progress in any argument based on your premise.

    And to reiterate another point above, the empirical data irrefutably indicate that the planet is warming. If there was no observable TTH (see RC link above) the only logical conclusion is that it’s the detection of the TTH that is the problem, or that the fundamental physics of the TTH needs refinement, and not that the planet is not warming.

    This stuff is years old Titus. If you’re that far behind the times it’s only a reflection on the profound level of your ignorance.

    Unfortunately it’s also an atrocious indictment on our society that all it takes to stymie any progress on climate change mitigation is the ad nauseum repetition for decades of the type of simplistic fallacious scientific thinking and understanding that would embarrass even an intelligent 5th grader.

  8. 158
    Thomas says:

    152 Mack, from the link he provided goes onto say regarding lower avg temps on the Moon: “Also rotational characteristics of the Moon give it regions where the sun hardly gets to it at all.”

    Really? You mean it’s much like earth? – it rotates. And there’s hardly any sun at the poles for months on end.

    Could it be Mack that Earth has an atmosphere that includes greenhouse gases like CO2 and water vapour which is precisely why the Earth is ‘warmer’ than the Moon despite getting an almost equivalent amount of sunlight?

    Mack believe some other “may even get enlightened…?”

    And who is MikeR? I’ve not heard of him in these parts.

  9. 159
    Titus says:

    @147, 148, 149,150, 151, 153, 154, 157. Re. “Tropical Hot Spot”

    Whoops, looks like I disturbed a hornets nest with this one. Ouch!!

    It is a recent paper I picked up on a week or so ago. Also a number of uni prof types from related disciplines and associated with the likes of EPA, IPCC, NASA etc. agreed with the conclusions (see page 2).

    Hmm. Who am I to disagree. Looks like a healthy scientific method in full swing so I’ll leave you good folks to your business. Warms my heart to see.

  10. 160
    MA Rodger says:

    If you have the time, a read of the analysis presented into this thread by Titus @145 is quite amusing. This analysis by Wallace the Third, Christy & D’Aleo is entitled “On the Existence of a “Tropical Hot Spot“ & The Validity of EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding: Abridged Research Report” and runs to sixty-eight pages. So the unabridged version must be a truly mighty work.
    One serious question this analysis raises. Why would an allegedly serious scientist like UAH’s Dr. John R. Christy waste his time on this nonsense? If it was in any way a proper analysis, surely he has the ability, perhaps even the duty, to publish it properly. If (as it proves to be) it is utter twaddle, surely any serious scientist would have nothing to do with it.

    The analysis begins by saying that global temperature can be modelled with two equations.

    Global Temperature = f(CO2, solar, volcano, ENSO) … … … (1)
    and

    …………….. … ΔCO2 = f(Global Temp, Emissions, Other factors) … (2)

    but bemoans this situation as being too difficult for ‘proper’ analysis. “The econometric theory ramifications of ignoring this simultaneity issue are very serious,” apparently. It then laboriously argues that CO2 has been rising through the decades and that if the effect of ENSO can be extracted from Global Temperature and there is no rise in Global Temperature, then the impact of CO2 on temperature has to be insignificant.
    This rather ignores a whole herd of ‘bull’ elephants. For instance, temperature isn’t rising through the decades so if Global Temperature were significant in determining ΔCO2, why is CO2 rising through the decades without a hint of an accumulative GlobTemp signal?
    Thus says the Preface to the analysis.

    Given this Preface, I cannot fathom why the analysis then, without any reasoning, kicks off Section 1 by piling into a search for the tropical Hot Spot, again without any regard for herds of elephants. The Hot Spot as presented here by IPCC AR4 is not of itself a result of GHG warming but the result of surface warming, as described here by SKS. The evidence for its existence is not absent but rather it is less than straightforward.
    (Or more correctly, it was less than straightforward. Today, a simple regression through GISTEMP tropical temperatures 1979-2015 yields a rate of +0.122ºC/decade. And the rather helpful utility at RSS yields TTT tropical temperatures 1979-2015 rising at +0.19ºC/decade. The TLTv3.3 data yields +0.118ºC/decade but we perhaps should await the v4.0 update.)
    The nonsense provided by Wallace the Third, Christy & D’Aleo uses the value of accumulative MEI as ΣENSO to perform some serious silliness. This measure of ΣENSO is a bit bendy. It drops from zero to -9 in 1950-76, rises back to +3 in 1976-98 and then remains roughly level(ish) to 2015. (The graph in their analysis is similar but in detail seriously wrong given it uses the same numbers that I have used.) In using this ΣENSO, they fail to check that these trends in ΣENSO do conform with the temperature record, that for instance a sequence of negative or positive ENSO do result in a ramping down of global temperature, a lowering which then persists until Kingdom Come. They sort of ignore this elephantine assumption by simply declaring that ‘ENSO clearly matters’. Science by edict. Brilliant!!!
    They then declare that ΣTSI is so similar to ΣENSO that they must be the same phenomenon. It is at this point that the herd of elephants begins to fill the room with excrement. A magic mechanism modelled as Σ(1977 Shift) is introduced to improve the TSI-ENSO fit. (They say of this 1977 Shift “This shift shows up as a Step change in the MEI variable in 1977. If this step is removed from the reported MEI data, the 1977 Shift Adjusted MEI has a flat trend as does its Cumulative. “ I feel this statement requires somebody entirely fluent in gobshite to be properly translated.)
    This preparatory work complete, the search for the tropical Hot Spot then begins by first adjusting all data for ΣENSO complete with Σ(1977 Shift) and magically they find there is no CO2 effect, the world isn’t warming and the sun isn’t shining. But if you question why it is suddenly so warm, this is because by this point in the analysis the room has become entirely filled with steaming elephant shit.
    And that accounts for the first third of the “abridged” report. I didn’t get any further. Comedy does become quite tiring in such large quantities.

  11. 161
    Hank Roberts says:

    Well, it’s not just Mack (to my surprise, don’t they teach orbital mechanics in grade school nowadays?
    Alas, the 1960s were another time and another country.

    We were all going to go the Moon, “ask me how” — sigh.
    How old were you when you understood a Hohmann transfer orbital maneuver?
    I was eight years old, I remember reading about it.

    9: Wouldn’t the earth block the light from the sun to the moon?

    Answer: Many people grow up with the idea that the phases of the moon are caused by the shadow of the earth. The earth does cast a shadow (as does any object in sunlight), but the moon usually passes above or below it….

    https://planetarium.madison.k12.wi.us/mooncal/moonfaq.htm#9

    … two to four times each year, the Moon passes through some portion of the Earth’s penumbral or umbral shadows

    http://www.mreclipse.com/Special/LEprimer.html

  12. 162
    Armando says:

    Could you address the lack of global-mean lower stratospheric T trends since 1995?

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015JD024039/full

  13. 163

    #160, MAR–“Why would an allegedly serious scientist like UAH’s Dr. John R. Christy waste his time on this nonsense?”

    Yes, I wondered about Christy’s authorship, too–that paper, which clearly has not been anywhere near anything like peer-review (if by ‘peers’ we mean ‘folks who know something about the topic’) is not just bad, it’s egregiously, shockingly bad. Yet Christy is not incapable.

    But the thing does say that the auctorial process was on a ‘left hand doesn’t know what the right hand doth’ model, where the 3 principals each had their own tasks to do, for which they were solely responsible. I’m guessing that Christy’s brief was providing the relevant time series data, and that one of the others was responsible for the ‘analysis.’

    Ah yes–the others:

    Joseph D’Aleo:

    Certified Consultant Meteorologist, American Meteorological Society Fellow M.S., Meteorology, University of Wisconsin B.S., Meteorology (cum laude), University of Wisconsin

    (Also, of course, one of the denialati ‘usual suspects’.)

    James P. Wallace III:

    Jim Wallace & Associates, LLC Ph.D., Economics, Minor in Engineering, Brown University M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Brown University B.S., Aeronautical Engineering, Brown University

    https://chemtrailsplanet.net/2014/05/20/fifteen-scientists-publish-scathing-rebuttal-to-2014-national-climate-assessment/

    (Yes, “scathing” is definitely the word, all right… though just who got ‘scathed’ may be a matter of perception.)

    Nary a climate credential to be seen. Though Wallace’s doctorate does explain why the analysis repeatedly refers to the problem as one of “econometrics”.

  14. 164
    Silk says:

    #152 – Mack, you have certainly proved you are a fount of /something/. I wouldn’t drink it though.

  15. 165
    Chris O'Neill says:

    #159:

    Who am I to disagree.

    When your statement is a non-sequitur then you’re not disagreeing.

  16. 166
    Chris O'Neill says:

    #152:

    much amusement at the revelation of my error

    Ridiculousness is always amusing. Are you being intentionally or unintentionally ridiculous?

  17. 167
    Jim Eager says:

    Buried in the thread that Mack directs us to @152 is his admission after the light finally dawned on him that he stuffed it up that “I’m an anonymous layman, not a scientist, so really don’t give a toss.

    True, that.

    Good thing getting it right is not his goal at all.

  18. 168
    Matthew R Marler says:

    4, Stefan in line: Roberts denies that adding greenhouse gases can cause global warming, that is the core of his claims, and it is simply wrong. -stefan

    Thank you for your lead essay, which I expect will have to be repeated in coming years. It is embarrassing how many people do not grasp the basic mechanisms.

  19. 169
    Mal Adapted says:

    MA Rodger:

    One serious question this analysis raises. Why would an allegedly serious scientist like UAH’s Dr. John R. Christy waste his time on this nonsense? If it was in any way a proper analysis, surely he has the ability, perhaps even the duty, to publish it properly. If (as it proves to be) it is utter twaddle, surely any serious scientist would have nothing to do with it.

    You’re probably asking that rhetorically, but for those who may not be familiar with Christy, one hypothesis is that he’s cognitively motivated by the same factors Roy Spencer is. The Cornwall Alliance proudly claims Christy’s support, although he did not sign the Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming as Spencer did. A reprint of a 2007 Wall Street Journal op-ed by Christy on the Cornwall Alliance’s website carried the following Editor’s note:

    Quite likely the one Southern Baptist who best combines Biblical and theological training with scientific expertise in climatology and global warming studies, Dr. John Christy, an ordained minister former Baptist missionary as well as senior research scientist at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, is an expert reviewer for the UN International Panel on Climate Change and a leading critic of global warming alarmism. As an expert reviewer for the IPCC, he ironically shares the Nobel Peace Prize awarded chief alarmist Al Gore.

    See also: Christy’s entry at SkepticalScience.

  20. 170
    Alfred Jones says:

    Titus:I believe we could get agreement if you stated clearly that this analogy only fits the IR flow and effect.

    AJ: I thought I did when I said “wide open exhausts”. In any case, thanks for translating my words into something that others might follow. I’m painfully aware that 99.9% of folks simply don’t (not can’t) understand anything I say.
    ____

    BPL: The critical signature is increased back-radiation in the absorption lines of greenhouse gases, which we damn well do observe.

    AJ: Yep. As usual, when it comes to basic science, you’re spot on.

  21. 171
    Titus says:

    @165 Chris O’Neill says:”When your statement is a non-sequitur then you’re not disagreeing”

    Okay, I’ll partially concede that. I do see the EPA as a political body now. It’s undoubted usefulness is long past its sell by date.

    On the question of science I’ll leave that to the scientists. Reading through some of your posts I’m thinking you should get in touch with these guys and raise the issues. By the sound of it you move in the same circles. Perhaps Gavin Schmidt can help out.

  22. 172

    T 171: I do see the EPA as a political body now. It’s undoubted usefulness is long past its sell by date.

    BPL: Right, let’s do without it and just let companies dump effluents into the streams and rivers, toxins into the air, and poison into the soil. Who cares? Not you, apparently.

  23. 173
    Chris O'Neill says:

    #171:

    I do see the EPA as a political body now.

    I see you’re sticking with the non-sequitur theme (as far as what I was talking about).

    On the question of science I’ll leave that to the scientists.

    Pity you didn’t do that back at #145. But inconsistency is one type of non-sequitur after all so at least you stick to that over-riding theme.

  24. 174
    Hank Roberts says:

    https://cfpub.epa.gov/si/si_public_record_Report.cfm?dirEntryId=328374
    Emergy baseline for the Earth: A historical review of the science and a new calculation

    National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory — email: NHEERLScience@epa.gov

    Campbell, Daniel E. Emergy baseline for the Earth: A historical review of the science and a new calculation. ECOLOGICAL MODELLING. Elsevier Science BV, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 339:96-125, (2016).

    This paper may be highly significant for the global community of scientists performing emergy research, if its recommendations are vetted and accepted as the basis for future emergy calculations. In this paper, major conceptual and numerical errors are corrected that were a part of earlier calculations. Calculations are made to check the numbers proposed in this paper and arguments are given to demonstrate the plausibility of these results within the context of the predictions of Energy Systems Theory principles. The stated goal of this paper is, “to provide the community of scientists with a more accurate estimate for the planetary emergy baseline of the Earth. In the process we will demonstrate that the planetary emergy baseline of the Earth is not arbitrary and that the choice of a baseline is a matter that ultimately reflects on the scientific integrity of eergy research, if not the practical outcomes of emergy evaluations. The objectives of this paper are first to demonstrate the need for a new calculation of the planetary baseline for the Earth and second, to carry out that calculation, estimating the value of the baseline from 555,000,000 years BP to the present time…” Thus, the potential impact and significance of this work is high.

    URLs/Downloads:
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304380015005785

    Yes, that’s not a typo:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergy

  25. 175
    Hank Roberts says:

    uh, and “eergy” above is a typo, mine, sloppy cut and paste.

  26. 176
    Jim Lovejoy says:

    171 posts in and no one has referenced Betteridge’s law of headlines?

  27. 177
    Hank Roberts says:

    > EPA as a political body

    Donald Trump has picked Myron Ebell, head of the Center for Energy and Environment at the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute, to lead his EPA transition team. Ebell is one of America’s most prominent climate change deniers, and his think tank is part of the Koch Brothers’ funded State Policy Network, according to research by the Center for Media and Democracy, a progressive watchdog group.

    — Bill Moyers

  28. 178
    ScottM says:

    Scott (who is not the other Scott, and who isn’t me either) wrote: “BTW, Fourier’s model predicted the “ice ball Earth”. A poor example. Do you folks even bother studying climate science? At all?”

    A physical system can have more than one stable solution. It’s called hysteresis (it’s how the bits in a computer’s memory work, for example). Snowball Earth happened (we think) long ago when the atmosphere had radically different composition than today. It ended when greenhouse gases from volcanoes raised the temperature to the point where the “snowball” could no longer be maintained. At first, those gases could not be absorbed by the frozen surface, but after the big melt, liquid water was able to absorb much of them. But by that time, there was enough water vapor in the atmosphere to keep the temperature up as the CO2 and methane content went down. A new stable point was reached. We might see excursions around that point, but it would take a very strong external cooling forcing to overcome the hysteresis and return Earth to the snowball state.

  29. 179
    Jim Eager says:

    It wasn’t just atmospheric content that was different. Solar energy output was also much lower during Snowball Earth excursions than it is today, meaning greenhouse gas levels had to rise quite high (double more times) to bring earth out of the snowball state, leaving behind the signature cap carbonate formations that punctuate snowball episodes.

  30. 180
    James says:

    The climate is all ours to preserve

  31. 181
  32. 182
    Hank Roberts says:

    Paleoclimate modeling presents some unique challenges not posed by climate studies of the near future, such as a reduced luminosity of the Sun….
    … Solar Luminosity: The energy output of the Sun was about 4% less 600 million years ago than it is now.

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/sohl_01/

  33. 183
    Thomas says:

    UPDATE – HE’S STILL AT IT (of course)

    One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts asks chief scientist for proof humans cause climate change [ with Video from the Senate ]

    One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts is yet to be convinced that climate change is real and is caused by humans.

    He has asked chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel to spell out his logic in asserting that human-induced carbon emissions have been rising since the start of the Industrial Age, that this causes global warming and that warming produces climate change.

    Senator Roberts requested the chief scientist to provide him with a summary of the logic and evidence at each stage.

    “It doesn’t have to be long. I just want to check the logic and the data,” he said.

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/global-warming/one-nations-malcolm-roberts-asks-chief-scientist-for-proof-humans-cause-climate-change-20161020-gs7d5f.html

  34. 184
    Digby Scorgie says:

    Perhaps Dr Finkel should just throw a copy of the IPCC AR5 at Roberts, although I doubt it would knock the sawdust out of the guy’s skull.

  35. 185
    Titus says:

    183 Thomas says: UPDATE – HE’S STILL AT IT (of course)

    A very good question from Malcom Roberts: “Chief scientist to provide him with a summary of the logic and evidence”. Many folks asking the same.

    So Thomas, what’s the answer?

  36. 186

    T 185: A very good question from Malcom Roberts: “Chief scientist to provide him with a summary of the logic and evidence”. Many folks asking the same. . . . So Thomas, what’s the answer?

    BPL: Let me try. The logic is as follows:

    1. CO2 is a greenhouse gas (Tyndall 1858, 1859, 1860, 1863).
    2. CO2 is rising (Keeling et al. 1960, 1965, etc.).
    3. Therefore (1,2) temperatures should be rising.
    4. Temperatures are rising, closely correlated with CO2 (Hadley CRUTEM, NASA GISS, NOAA, Japan Meteorol. Agency, balloon radiosondes, satellites, boreholes, etc., etc., etc.).
    5. The new CO2 is anthropogenic (Suess 1955, Revelle and Suess 1957).
    6. Analysis of variance shows the major influences on temperature for more than a century have been, in order: CO2, volcanoes, air-ocean cycles, sunlight. Of these, only CO2 shows a trend over that time.

    Conclusion: The globe is warming, the warming is anthropogenic.

    Evidence: As cited above. Also, losing ice mass from Greenland and Antarctica (the GRACE satellites), tree lines moving toward the poles and up mountains, hatching dates of birds/frogs/reptiles/insects coming earlier, tropical diseases and pests moving into temperate zones (e.g. we now have kudzu in Ontario, dengue fever in Texas, and Zika in Florida), the blooming date of flowers and flowering trees coming earlier (the monks in Kyoto have noted the date the cherry blossoms bloomed since the 11th century), etc., etc., etc.

    Which of these do you deny, Titus?

  37. 187

    185 Titus says: “A very good question… Many folks asking the same.”

    Are you kidding me? That question has been asked and answered so many times, the odds are pretty high that anyone asking it AGAIN is just being deliberately obtuse and obstructionist.

  38. 188

    #185–The trouble is this:

    “”It doesn’t have to be long. I just want to check the logic and the data,” he said.”

    You can write a relatively succinct summary–but a summary does not let you ‘check’ the logic or the data, because you have to leave out too many nuts and bolts. That is particularly true for those, like Roberts, who don’t have a scientific background.

    Still more true for those who are determined to misunderstand what they do know, or think they know:

    Roberts’ major interest and activity since ending his [coal] mining career is the denial of climate change. The catalyst was the 2006 film, An Inconvenient Truth.

    Since 2006, Roberts has been a fulltime political activist, speaking at rallies against the Labor Government’s carbon tax, working for the climate change denying Galileo Movement, and sending hundreds of emails to political, scientific and media figures on the topic. He also met politicians, had universities launch academic inquiries into climate scientists and sent legal letters demanding the resignation of government ministers.[4]

    Roberts then authored a 300,000-word polemic called CSIROh! (a play on the acronym CSIRO) that claimed global warming is UN-inspired hoax to introduce an “antihuman” socialist New World Order, aided by bankers and politicians. The essay was described as “conspiracist rubbish” by climate scientist David Karoly and “utterly stupid” by climate sceptic Andrew Bolt.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_Roberts_(politician)

  39. 189
    Thomas says:

    185 Titus So Thomas, what’s the answer?

    You can a horse to water but you cannot him drink and you can also lead a man to knowledge and wisdom but you cannot make him think.

    Proof of the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect ver 1 of thousands
    https://arxiv.org/pdf/0802.4324v1.pdf

    Climate Change Scepticism ver 1 of thousands
    http://www.barrettbellamyclimate.com/page48.htm

    http://www.psychologyforasafeclimate.org/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnEO2ysnO6Q&feature=youtu.be&t=15m50s

    Highly recommended doco with Noam Chomsky for the clear thinking, sane, well informed reader – and even better for those still living inside “fantasy land”. http://requiemfortheamericandream.com aka why we are where are right now.

  40. 190
    Titus says:

    Barton Paul Levenson @186 asks:

    1. CO2 is a greenhouse gas (Tyndall 1858, 1859, 1860, 1863):
    YES – Never been an issue as far as I know

    2. CO2 is rising (Keeling et al. 1960, 1965, etc.):
    YES – Never been an issue as far as I know.

    3. Therefore (1,2) temperatures should be rising:
    ‘Should’? – Climate sensitivity is not agreed. Big disagreements are obvious.

    4. Temperatures are rising, closely correlated with CO2 (Hadley CRUTEM, NASA GISS, NOAA, Japan Meteorol. Agency, balloon radiosondes, satellites, boreholes, etc., etc., etc.):
    YES – Have been steadily for 150 years or so. Even slowed down a bit recently when CO2 was rising.

    5. The new CO2 is anthropogenic (Suess 1955, Revelle and Suess 1957):

    Is this good, bad or indifferent is arguable. The earth is greening perhaps as a result. Could be very good as in historical past. Also does very well in controlled growing environments (doubling of current levels would be perfect)

    6. Analysis of variance shows the major influences on temperature for more than a century have been, in order: CO2, volcanoes, air-ocean cycles, sunlight. Of these, only CO2 shows a trend over that time:
    Is this good, bad or indifferent is arguable. Catastrophic climate predictions have not happened. Models have failed because computer technology is acknowledged as being unreliable and arguably incapable.

    So, as a member of Joe public, how did I do?
    It still leaves me asking for “a simple explanation of the logic and evidence”

  41. 191
    Thomas says:

    190 Titus says: “Catastrophic climate predictions have not happened.”

    Please LIST those “predictions” you are specifically thinking of Titus.

    ONLY Quote those “predictions” from either the IPCC reports or directly from peer-reviewed climate science papers and NOT from unreliable/distorted newspapers or hyperbolic political/environmental activists. eg quoting Al Gore is not acceptable.

    DO NOT quote “outlier” scientists either, eg Peter Wadhams nor on-off speculative papers that were not agreed to by the overwhelming scientific consensus.

    Off you go … you will not find anything .. that is not also later “corrected” within a a cpl of years by much better science as a result of much better evidence and accumulated data.

    That you cannot find any failed “Catastrophic climate predictions” since 1992 will not change your beliefs of a giant conspiracy that does not exist.

    What you are looking for are failed “Catastrophic climate predictions” up to 2015/2016.

    The core prerequisite in doing this LIST accurately is that you and others you will possibly quote/reference actually understand fully what it was that the scientist’s papers and IPCC summaries were actually saying Versus the FALSE INTERPRETATIONS OF INCOMPETENTS AND LIARS.

  42. 192
    Thomas says:

    Titus, one of the things I a fairly up to speed on historically is the arctic – sea ice and temperatures.

    It would bring great joyful laughs to me if you were to attempt to show that the so called “predictions” have failed catastrophically made in 1992 through 2012 of the state of the sea ice and temperatures vs the reality there in 2015-2016

    Some data here: http://nsidc.org/soac

    Facing the Arctic Sea Ice Psychological Reality here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blkqV6ahXSs&feature=youtu.be&t=15m18s

    You won’t find any because the reality is far far worse than any prior expectations in the IPCC and science papers of the past.

    Titus here’s something you may like to seriously consider – if you were running around opening your mouth endlessly claiming that xyz brain surgeons were using the wrong operating procedures how long do you think it would take before your family and friends were suggesting that you should obtain an appointment with a Psychiatrist?

    What you are doing regards climate scientists and science is the exact same thing.

    A psychologist explains climate science associated mental illnesses
    https://youtu.be/blkqV6ahXSs?t=1h9m50s

    Make that booking!

  43. 193

    Titus, #190:

    “Climate sensitivity is not agreed. Big disagreements are obvious.”

    But nobody has a climate sensitivity of zero, and pretty much nobody has anything less than 1 C. Best estimate is 3 C; worst case, 4.5 C or more. All of these would be bad; even the best estimate could easily be catastrophic.

    As the man asked, “Do you feel lucky?”

    “Temperatures are rising… Have been steadily for 150 years or so. Even slowed down a bit recently when CO2 was rising.”

    No, not steadily. Other forcings–notably aerosols–have affected the record. But don’t you think that that ca. 150 rising trend is a bit, er, suspicious, given that the Industrial Revolution ended its first phase sometime between 195 and 175 years ago?

    “Is this good, bad or indifferent is arguable.”

    The fact that the ‘new CO2 is anthropogenic’ is not, in itself, good or bad. Your question applies not to this proposition that it’s anthropogenic, but to the question of rising CO2 itself. I’ll deal with it in connection with the next point.

    “Is this good, bad or indifferent is arguable.”

    Misleading. There is no question that if warming is allowed to continue unchecked it will become very, very bad. The fact that it isn’t *that* bad yet is irrelevant. (Disasters connected with climate change so far this millennium have cost in excess of a hundred thousand premature deaths and a hundred billion dollars in economic losses, but that’s pretty small potatoes in a world with 7 billion humans and an annual global domestic product that’s threatening the $100 trillion mark.)

    “Catastrophic climate predictions have not happened.”

    You mean that they haven’t been borne out by events–clearly, the predictions themselves did happen. But many predictions (‘projections’ would be a better term) have not yet reached the period by which demonstrable change is expected (for instance, hurricane trends, which have usually been specified on century time scales.) Other impacts are in fact exceeding predictions–a notable example is the cryosphere, where ice loss has stunned researchers with its speed and extent.

    “Models have failed because computer technology is acknowledged as being unreliable and arguably incapable.”

    No, models haven’t ‘failed.’ They are not perfect–and no-one ever expected them to be–but they have done a good job of projecting the observed temperature rise, as well as many other aspects of climate change. Their imperfections are also not due to computer technology that is ‘unreliable.’ In fact, that tech is damn reliable, and getting better all the time. (We often fail to appreciate what a marvel it really is that people all over the world can connect to the Net any time, on all manner of different devices, and not just enjoy climate kvetching or cat videos, but run actual businesses with a reasonable degree of security and reliability.)

    Yes, we’d still like more power for numerical modeling of climate and weather. It would be pretty awesome if we could learn, for example, to do accurate numerical simulations of tornadoes. Maybe we’d find out whether there is any connection between tornado incidence and climate. AFAIK, that’s still completely open (Though that hasn’t stopped the Breitbarts of the world from claiming that that is somehow yet another one of these supposed ‘failed predictions.’)

    “So, as a member of Joe public, how did I do?”

    Not real well, but that’s sadly not unusual. As a (semi-?)regular reader here, though, you should be embarrassed; you’ve had ample opportunity to learn some of the answers I gave above (and others no doubt will also give.)

    “It still leaves me asking for “a simple explanation of the logic and evidence.”

    Well, there’s no guarantee from the Universe that understanding will always be accessible under some regime reasonably termed “simple.” Some things are harder than others. But you make it more difficult for yourself when you argue every point debate-style, as if someone were judging our commentary here on some kind of rubric, rather than actually considering the evidence.

  44. 194
    Titus says:

    @191 Thomas says: “eg quoting Al Gore is not acceptable”

    Are we talking about the same Al Gore ‘Nobel Prize’ winner for his work on the subject and block buster science filled feature film ‘Inconvenient Truth’?

    Well Thomas, I think you’ve put your finger on one of the big issues because that’s the kind of stuff us Joe’s get routinely fed with and those with half a brain cell see straight through and question what’s going on.

    Watch your back from now on, the thought police will be after you:)

  45. 195
    Titus says:

    @193 Kevin McKinney.

    Thanks for taking the time to do a comprehensive reply. I come to this site to challenge my thoughts and you’ve provided food for thought.
    One thing for sure there’s a lot we don’t know and a lot more to do and the current political/activist/agenda driven environment is not helpful.
    Cheers…

  46. 196
    Mal Adapted says:

    Titus:

    @193 Kevin McKinney.

    Thanks for taking the time to do a comprehensive reply. I come to this site to challenge my thoughts and you’ve provided food for thought.
    One thing for sure there’s a lot we don’t know and a lot more to do and the current political/activist/agenda driven environment is not helpful.
    Cheers…

    Titus has provided ample evidence that he came to this site not to challenge his own thoughts, but to challenge the scientific consensus for anthropogenic global warming. His “challenges” have all been popular pseudo-skeptical memes, kept in circulation by “political/activist/agenda driven” AGW-deniers long after they’ve been decisively refuted by working climate scientists. Now that he’s been asked to cite his scientific sources for “the kind of stuff us Joes get routinely fed with”, rather than what he’s seen on AGW-denier blogs or television “news” programs, he falls back on the last refuge of the committed pseudo-skeptic, conspiracism (“watch your back”). With his half a brain cell, he sees straight through the scientific evidence for AGW, because he knows it’s really a nefarious plot hatched by archfiend “Al Gore” to make him pay more for gasoline.

    Titus makes his own agenda abundantly clear: all his life, he’s gotten away with externalizing the climate-change cost of the fossil energy he consumes, and anyone who suggests he ought to internalize even a fraction of it is an enemy of all that’s good and right. IOW, he’s a typical AGW-denier.

  47. 197
    Keith Woollard says:

    The one thing about attribution that BPL and RealClimate and Chapter 10 of AR5 fail dismally on is history. This was brought home to me most by Obama’s visit to the Exit glacier. This is the photo:
    http://livetorv.com/blog/exit-glacier
    that really convinced me that CO2 is not to blame.
    Come up with an explanation for these retreat rates:-
    https://www.nps.gov/kefj/learn/nature/upload/The%20Retreat%20of%20Exit%20Glacier.pdf
    and maybe I could be convinced. Explain to me why the rates where the same in the 19th century as they were in 2014

    The current attribution logic is:
    We think it should be getting hotter and we have a model that suggests that, therefore we are right

  48. 198
    Titus says:

    @196 Mal Adapted says: “With his half a brain cell, he sees straight through the scientific evidence for AGW”.

    Well Mal, looks like you totally misinterpreted my point. If you read again: “the current political/activist/agenda driven environment is not helpful” you will see that my response is all to do with seeing through that. NOT the scientific stuff which I strive to understand and come here for food for my thoughts.

    You are not helping your cause by taking your approach. Only reinforcing already skeptical folks to increase their skepticism.

  49. 199
    Mack says:

    As “a typical AGW-denier”, I wouln’t go so far as to call Al Gore an “archfiend”, Mal Adapted,….more like a fat-assed charismatic crank, with a D in science.

  50. 200
    Nick Gotts says:

    Are we talking about the same Al Gore ‘Nobel Prize’ winner for his work on the subject and block buster science filled feature film ‘Inconvenient Truth’? – Titus@194

    Yes, the same Al Gore who is not a scientist, and therefore cannot acceptably be quoted when scientific sources are specifically requested. It’s extremely telling that you find it necessary to distort what someone else has said, particularly when anyone can readily check, and see that you have indeed grossly misrepresented what Thomas@191 said.