Potsdam Institute For Climate Impact Research

Awhile back I did a story on Anders Levermann of the über-alarmist Potsdam Institute For Climate Impact Research (PIK), and reader Arnd B brought my attention to an article called: Our systems are especially vulnerable, which appeared in the online Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) in late December.

    Hieronymous Bosch paints a scene of a Renaissance mountebank fleecing incredulous gamblers.
    Hieronymous Bosch paints a scene of a Renaissance mountebank fleecing incredulous gamblers.

Levermann makes a number of interesting comments that provide insight on how the PIK views climate. Unfortunately, all his predictions are based on models, and ignore real-life observations.

Global warming could enhance cold weather

Levermann starts off saying the bitter cold and snow in Germany last month is a sure sign of “how out-of-whack the climate system is.” Levermann serves up the “science” that supports it:

The current cold weather in Europe is everything but evidence against climate change, rather it could even be enhanced by global warming. Colleagues have discovered the mechanism for this: Through the ice melt in the Kara Sea, high pressure zones can form, which then divert the Eurasian winds and lead to cold temperatures in Europe.”

It takes a real climate scientist to make such a profound discovery, and that with no data to back it up. Not only that, Levermann adds:

The more and faster we emit greenhouse gases, the more our climate gets knocked out of whack.”

At this point, I have to ask myself: “Just how gullible must the average FAZ reader be to take this seriously?

Extreme weather events prove manmade climate change

And as usual Levermann goes down the laundry list of last year’s weather events…floods in Pakistan, heat wave in Russia, mudslides in Brazil, etc., etc. and claims this is evidence supporting the man-made global warming link, and that it had all been predicted by models. Yet, Levermann forgets to mention that the accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) was near a record low last year, and that temperatures have not risen over the last decade – something his models have missed. Still he insists:

It’s now practically sure that in a rapidly warming world we have to expect more and stronger extreme events.”

PIK models can now see to the year 2200

Keep in mind that Anders Levermann is a lead author for the next IPCC Report on the subject of sea levels. The next report will deliver the latest “projections” based on various CO2 output scenarios. So where does Levermann say the globe is headed?

What we can already say, based on our latest studies, is: We currently find ourselves on the warmest possible future trajectory […] The temperature projection shows a warming of more than eight degrees Celsius in the year 2200.”

Unfortunately for Levermann, there hasn’t been any warming in a decade, as the following HadCrut chart shows:

HadCrut shows cooling over the last decade. (WoodFor Trees)

Remember that he is a lead author on sea ice for the upcoming IPCC 5th assessment report. What kind of sea level projection do you think he’ll concoct with 8°C of warming? Expect the 5th assessment report to be worse in scientific quality than the 4th report of 2007. Sci-fi sequels tend to get worse and worse as they are taken over by B-rated directors.

Anders Levermann (Photo: PIK)

Ignoring real world observation and data, Levermann stares deeper into his crystal ball and sees only horrors. He wonders if man will be able to adapt to these rapidly changing climate conditions (the ones in his crystal ball). What are the limits of human adaptability, he asks? 4°C? 6°C?

Warming 50 times faster than the warming that ended the ice age

Claiming that his crystal ball sees 8°C of warming over the next 190 years, he says that this 4°C rise per century will be unprecedented. Levermann says the difference between an optimum and an ice age is about 5°C, and that it took 5000 years for the earth to make the 5°C climb out of the last ice age:

The transition from ice age to warm period lasted a good five thousand years. When man continues to emit greenhouse gases unabated, then we will reach the same warming 50 times faster than in the past.”

That’s assuming his models are correct. Looking at the above HadCrut chart, there has been no warming. And Levermann doesn’t mention that most of the temperature rise ending the last ice age took place in about 1000 years, and the temperature difference was more than 5°C. It was closer to 8°C. So he’s fudging there quite a bit.

He also ignores the huge temperature swings of up to 6°C which occurred in just a matter of a few decades during the Younger Dryas – all naturally.

Of course, Levermann doesn’t forget to play emotion-card Africa, and predicts dire scenarios for the poor continent.

It is probable that in such a situation, countries like Bangladesh and parts of Africa will have become uninhabitable. Whether the drinking water supply collapses because of drought, or sea water claiming the land, or because agriculture becoming impossible. Even without the extreme events, the United Nations estimates that the number of climate refugees will reach 90 million if the sea level rises 1 meter.

Here he ignores studies that show the African Sahara is shrinking and getting more desperately needed rainfall during this modern warm period. And he ignores that sea levels have decelerated over the last 5 years. And even if the sea level did rise 1 meter, something that only the most fanatic among us predict, it would not happen overnight. Most humans just don’t have the habit of standing still for 100 years and watching the water rise around them.

Finally, Levermann ends by saying:

The wall that we are racing towards is hidden in fog, but it is there!

At PIK it’s: If you can’t see it, then it’s proof it’s there. Just believe us.

114 responses to “Potsdam Institute For Climate Impact Research”

  1. klem

    “Colleauges have discovered the mechanism for this: ….”

    I think the word ‘discovered’ is a bit misleading, it implys they found something real in nature which can also be found by other researchers. I think more accurate words should have been “Colleauges have made up the mechanism for this: ..”

  2. Dana

    See this is why we can’t take “skeptics” seriously. You quote a climate scientists making a bunch of correct statements. You, being unfamiliar with the scientific literature, think he’s making incorrect statements (because you don’t want to believe what he’s saying). You then attempt to refute him by making a bunch of false statements like “temperatures have not risen over the last decade” (twice). That’s bad enough, but you don’t stop there, you then proceed to insult the correct scientist several times, calling him and his colleagues “charlatans”, “über-alarmists”, etc.

    This sort of behavior isn’t conducive to an intelligent discussion. If you had just said “here’s what Levermann said and here’s why I think he’s wrong”, then we could have a serious discussion, and I’d say “well no, here’s why he’s right”. But when you resort to these incessant personal insults, it makes me think there’s no point in trying to have an intelligent discussion here.

    1. ArndB

      Hi Dana,
      My comment the the Levermann FAZ article on 17. Januar 2011 at 23:36 | Permalink | Reply reads:
      “Hardly ever read something more shocking as Anders Levermann in FAZ 30 Dec. 2010 : “Climate scientists predict up to the year 2200 an increase in temperature by eight degrees.””

      He said further:
      “It will not come to the warming of eight degrees, because there is another limit – the limit of the ability of our society to adapt. With it, we reach the limit of our economic system.”
      Is he an expert in this field? Does anyone knows? It is just twaddle!

      1. Dana

        I don’t know what areas Levermann is an expert in, or even which field you’re asking about.

        There’s really no question whatsoever that an 8°C warming of global surface temperatures would have absolutely catastrophic results. Just consider that the difference between a warm period and an ice age is only 5°C.

        As for predicting temperatures in the year 2200, that really depends on how our GHG emissions evolve over the next 190 years. But if you make a certain assumption, like continuing in a business-as-usual scenario, then you can make reasonable projections that far into the future.

        1. Bernd Felsche

          “I don’t know what areas Levermann is an expert in”

          Well there’s a thing called the Internet that lets you find out.

          Levermann is an expert in GRANTSMANSHIP: http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~anders/media.html

          He has no qualifications outside of theoretical physics. That doesn’t disqualify him (or anybody else) from gaining an understanding in other fields such as politics and economics.

          Yet he doesn’t appear to be able to read a thermometer.

  3. DirkH

    Here’s another quote from the article:
    “Es sind also im Grunde gar nicht die vorhersagbaren Folgen der Erderwärmung, wie der wahrscheinliche Verlust des „ewigen Eises“ am Nordpol, die uns Sorgen machen sollten. Es sind tatsächlich die Ereignisse, die wir nicht vorhersagen können, die unsere Grenzen bestimmen.”

    translation: “So, it is not the predictable consequences of Global Warming, like the probable loss of the arctic icecap, that should worry us. Rather, events that we can’t forecast define our limits.”

    This is so way post-normal in multiple ways that i just want to let it stand as is in all its bizarre glory. Dana, go, defend it, make my day.

  4. DirkH

    This guy will write the sea level rise chapter of the next IPCC novel – eh, working report. So we can enjoy more of his science fiction soon. He’s a talent. Dang, they should have let him write the “instructions for policy makers”, what a missed opportunity.

  5. Pointman

    “all his predictions are based on models”. Aren’t these people wonderful? Because it’s a model and run on a computer, it somehow aquires even more authority.

    “The essential seductiveness of models is that the feeling grows in those working on them that by adding enough refinements to it, it will be 100% accurate. This can never happen.”



    1. Dana

      All predictions are based on models, period. By predicting who will win the Super Bowl, you’re creating a model based on what you know about the participating teams and other factors involved. When Don Easterbrook predicts (wrongly) that the planet will cool, he’s creating a model as well.

      The only difference is that general circulation models are extremely complex and advanced models.

      1. DirkH

        Well, a lot of people busy themselves maintaining them, but they still can’t get a thing right, so i deduce that they all participate in a futile exercise. Complex, advanced, and dead wrong.

    2. Charles Zeller

      “The essential seductiveness of models is that the feeling grows in those working on them that by adding enough refinements to it, it will be 100% accurate. This can never happen.” Undeniably true wrt turbulent flow within the atmosphere and oceans. However, one can plan on wearing summer clothes in Boston on a July 23 afternoon without waiting to see the exact weather. You can set the bar so high that you’ll never accept climate science as valid science. (Good photo.)

    3. Rob Honeycutt

      Pointman… Your entire day is based on models. How you get out of bed, get dressed, get yourself to work, and so on… it’s all based on a model of how your day works.

      Same thing with climate models.

      1. Bernd Felsche

        Yet I manage to be able to look out of the window and see what the weather is doing before I decide for which *reasonable* eventualities to prepare.

        PIK doesn’t appear to have any windows. PIK ignores history that reveals cycles in climate (aka “climate change”) not just over a decade but hundreds and thousands of years.

        Instead, PIK extrapolate linearly from short segments (sampling period) of an oscillating wave; extrapolating way beyond the period of the wave.

        Here are two points of a climate cycle from which one may extraopolate:


      2. Pointman

        What an amazingly facile comment. I can go about my day to day life without needing to use computer models of climate, which is what we were discussing but perhaps you can’t get by without them …


  6. Green Sand

    “Through the ice melt in the Kara Sea,”

    Kara sea ice has been “normal” or zero anomaly since the end of November last year


    1. DirkH

      That’s probably the ice melt that has the Russian icebreakers and the fishing vessel trapped. 😉

    2. Juraj V.

      Why destroying such a lovely theory with some hard facts?

    3. Rob Honeycutt

      Greensand… Winter sea ice is of very little importance. Since it’s dark nearly 24 hours there the albedo effect is zilch. The issue is summer ice where darker open waters absorb more sunlight and drive a positive feedback.

      1. DirkH

        “Winter sea ice is of very little importance.”

        Heresy alert! You just contradicted the Honorable Warmist From The PIK, Mr. Petroukhov. I think that buys you one week re-education camp at least when they find you out. 😉

        1. Rob Honeycutt

          Dirk… Do you have a point?

          1. DirkH

            It so happened that the Honorable Researchers At The PIK have just recently found out through application of Climate Models that certain ice-free conditions in the Arctic happen to produce exactly the kind of cold, snowy conditions we just experienced in Europe. So it could be true; and it is CO2-induced Climate Change that could make the winter in Europe cold and snowy.

            And i think his name was Petoukhov.

            “Winter sea ice is of very little importance.” You better stop saying that…

      2. Green Sand

        “The researchers created a computer model simulating the impact on weather patterns of a gradual reduction of winter ice cover in the Barents-Kara Sea, north of Scandinavia.”


        “The researchers base their assumptions on simulations with an elaborate computer model of general circulation, ECHAM5, focusing on the Barents-Kara Sea north of Norway and Russia where a drastic reduction of ice was observed in the cold European winter of 2005-06.”


        1. Rob Honeycutt

          GreenSand… Your first article has almost no bearing on what you’re talking about and actually reinforces what I’ve said about summer ice and albedo.

          On the second I would suggest you actually read the paper they are referring to before you come to any conclusions.

          1. Green Sand

            I have not come to or drawn any conclusions, I have not tried to spin it. I have simply repeated verbatim what is in the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research’s statement.

            Therefore if you have an issue with their statement, I respectfully suggest that you take it up with them.

          2. Rob Honeycutt

            My suggestion here is that I don’t believe you understand what they are talking about. There is nothing I can see there that I take issue with.

            What I think is going on is you’re not understanding the meaning of the chart. The charts that show the full annual cycle of ice extent or mass over only a couple of years tend to be highly misleading.

            Try the NSIDC site instead…


  7. Juraj V.

    “Sci-fi sequels tend to get worse and worse as they are taken over by B-rated directors.” Excellent.

    @Dana, as Jan Werich wrote, “you are either doing it for others money, or from your own stupidity”.

  8. Charles Zeller

    Chill. People don’t work to get Ph.D.’s in science for big bucks – or to shape government policy.

    “The philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds.” — Richard P. Feynman

    1. DirkH

      Are you sure?
      “Eight Nobel Laureates, renowned scientific experts, leaders from politics and business, and representatives of major NGOs have been invited to share their thoughts on global sustainability. The essays included in the book cover a broad range of topics, ranging from a general analysis of the climate change and sustainability crisis to specific proposals on technologies and policies, which could be part of the solution.”

      The evidence contradicts you.

      The Global Change Instruction Program by K. Trenberth et.al.

      I could go on…

      1. Charles Zeller

        Would you prefer leaders to suddenly start ignoring science in the 21st Century?

      2. Rob Honeycutt

        Informing government policy is not the same as shaping government policy.

        1. Charles Zeller

          And….. Having studied science with then future scientists who were working on their Ph.D.’s, I assure Dirk that their ego driven goal was recognition for finding the next piece of the scientific puzzle. Those with visions of political grandeur would be the exception to the rule

          That said, if I had any incrementally useful policy perspective, and were asked for advice, I’d put on a suit and offer it. But here I am, wearing a UT Basketball t-shirt debating Dirk and Pointman.

  9. Pointman

    I suspect poor Dana is a stage 1er – he’s in denial but he’ll soon get angry.



    1. Charles Zeller

      Pointman, The 5 stages are applicable to any true believer. There’s no risk of such tragic consequences if one unemotionally improves their understanding of how the physical world works, rather than caring how it works.

      1. Pointman

        “improving” their understanding simply can’t be done – it’s a belief. I’d be impressed if Dana’s understanding could be improved. Perhaps he can be your test case?


    2. Dana

      [-snip. Time to chill out -PG]

      1. Pointman

        From that comment, I’d say you’re moving into stage 2; anger. Is that why you’re visiting here, a need to vent?


      2. Dana

        Nice double-standard as usual, Pierre. Your minions are allowed to attack me, but I’m censored for pointing out the irony of a [-snip – you have to get above the habit of calling everyone a denier]

        You’re a lost cause.
        PG: And that coming from you is a compliment – thanks.

  10. Edwin Adlerman

    What’s the point of plotting only 10 years of HadCrut temperatures? Wanted to cut out the trend? I could also cherrypick a ten year period in the same data and show either warming, cooling, or no trend. That graph says nothing in terms of ” “climate”.

    1. Bernd Felsche

      What makes you think that a 30-year picture of “climate” is more realistic?

      30 years for “climate” is ARBITRARY. It’s not based on being able to represent climate cycles even within human experience (60 to 70 years).

      If anything, the 30-year of “climate” has been established to encourage alarmism.

      1. Rob Honeycutt

        Nope. Sorry but 30 years is not arbitrary. Look up the definition of statistical significance.

        1. Bernd Felsche

          Well Rob, show me the reference that describes the basis for defining “climate” that is not an arbitrary choice.

          I assume that you understand the meaning of “arbitrary”.

          1. Rob Honeycutt

            Bernd… Did you look up the definition of statistical significance?

          2. Bernd Felsche

            You only have to do the *one* thing, Rob:
            Show us where the “30 years” is derived without arbitrary assumptions or decisions.

          3. Rob Honeycutt

            Bernd… You only have to do one thing. Look up statistical significance. Here. There’s even a wiki page for it.


            Also, you’re putting up a straw man because no one says that exactly 30 years defines climate. Climate is defined as weather averaged out over longer time periods.

          4. Bernd Felsche


            Nobody being “WMO”
            “What is Climate?

            Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the “average weather,” or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years. The classical period is 30 years, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). These quantities are most often surface variables such as temperature, precipitation, and wind. Climate in a wider sense is the state, including a statistical description, of the climate system. ”

            It has nothing to do with statistical significance; which I grok.

      2. Charles Zeller

        Bernd, You’ve developed a rough draft. Polish it up, submit it to your peers, and await your Nobel.

  11. Edwin Adlerman

    Who said anything about “30 years”? My point was that a decade is meaningless in isolation. Anyway, this is relevant to my point:

  12. Asim

    Quick read through of all the posts, here’s my 2 cents & a quick disclaimer, its my point of view and done on my bb device! 😉

    I’m surprised at the number of Sage (irrelevant) posts being used in this thread. I’d expect this on YT comments but hardly a set of individuals stating along the lines of:

    “It makes me think there’s no point in trying to have an intelligent discussion here.”

    Well, Dana, I suppose the intelligent person would choose to start a post by saying “with respect, I disagree with your views and here’s my evidence…etc” I’ve used that line plenty of times through university and no one takes offence.

    This is a terribly polite site, similar to other skeptical blogs I’ve read and of course pro AGW sites too. I’m surprised you take “attacks” to heart then white-knight the topic by suggesting its below you to post a rebuttal, if I acted like yourself on every internet forum, thread, comment box, reviews which has something I found offensive (10:10 video? If that was a skeptics video against AGW supporters children you might have just quit the internet) I’d be weakening my point of view.

    If every time I read an article I disagreed with then made a post suggesting why I won’t rebuke the evidence because the article is below my intellect I’d look like a bit of a tool. Its primarily why I prefer to observe climate change debates rather than throwing victimisation posts everywhere.

    It does not matter if anyone that reads notrickszone takes your information (or anyone else’s) as accurate or not, let the individuals decide for themselves, Pierre has showed his take on the information he has looked at, no one has to agree and/or disagree with everything Pierre has to say! How about if we stop acting like victims, posting an incredibly reactive response & instead be proactive and post evidence, research and thoughts instead. Surely that’s a lot more fitting to debate?

    [Rant done]


    So in regards to Pierre’s post, it reminds me of the met office and its £30 million system which predicted milder winters, advised the govt and got it oh so wrong! Taxpayers paid the price.

    We then have new evidence emerging of the accuracy of these models, ipcc predictions and temperature checks being put under scrutiny:



    Below is an interesting paper, because the AGW twitter bot spammed a link showing cosmic rays as irrelevant to past trends:


    We then have these charlatans being discussed by none other than a founder of greenpeace:

    “Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout” author Patrick Moore argues there is no scientific proof humans caused global warming.


    Also in the awful tragic events of australias flood –


    Basically someone commented “Drought in WA caused by CO2 but floods in SEQ not caused by CO2. What? CO2 molecules are on holidays over in the west are they?”



    A study warning that the planet would warm by 2.4C by 2020, creating deadly consequences for the global food supply, is being debunked as false and impossible. But it still gets quoted in the msm.

  13. ArndB

    Dana you said (24. Januar 2011)
    “There’s really no question whatsoever that an 8°C warming of global surface temperatures would have absolutely catastrophic results.”
    SORRY, already 4° would already extreme uncomfortable, minus 4° catastrophic and possible within a very short time. The average temperature of the ocean is only plus 4 degree.

    And (25. Januar 2011 at 06:43)
    “…….we’re not talking about natural change here, we’re talking about rapid human-forced change.” That is my point I am talking about since long, that man’s impact on the ocean is the most severe threat, explained along the two World Wars: http://climate-ocean.com/ , http://www.arctic-heats-up.com/ , http://www.arctic-warming.com/

  14. Viv Evans

    Regarding models in climate science, see here:
    “(i) I take real exception to having simulation runs described as experiments (without at least the qualification of “computer” experiments). It does a disservice to centuries of real experimentation and allows simulations output to be considered as real data. This last is a very serious matter, as it can lead to the idea that real “real data” might be wrong simply because it disagrees with the models! That is turning centuries of science on its head.”
    Link (with info as to who said it and why):
    (H/T a blogger here: http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/1/25/it-must-be-serious.html#comments)

    Now that we’re clear on this fundamental difference between proper scientists and climate science computer modellers, may I encourage you to read the report linked below on how nature (or Gaia, if you wish) provided those with eyes to see with a proper little experiment in regard to the warming influence of CO2:


    Read it carefully – I won’t spoil your fun with quotes …

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      I’m a little bit shocked at how often WUWT is referenced here as if it’s some kind of peer reviewed journal.

      1. Bernd Felsche

        WUWT is peer-review.

        Or don’t you consider yourself worth?

        1. Rob Honeycutt

          WUWT is peer review? //facepalm//

          Any respect that I might have developed for you over time just crumbled to dust.

    2. Rob Honeycutt

      Viv… Just read that WUWT article. I’m sorry, but I have to say that is probably the most non-scientific piece of absurdist conjecture that I think I’ve ever read.

      Toss a bunch of unrelated charts up, come up with a whacky theory and proclaim that 150 years of physics is wrong. No experimentation. No references. No relevant data. It’s on par with a drunk uncle at the pub with a pen and bar napkins explaining how he’s going to build a space ship and fly to Mars.

      Stuff only Salvador Dali could appreciate.

      1. Viv Evans

        I suspect it might have escaped your attention that this article was not about physics, but described an actual weather event where except for CO2 all other variables such as clouds, wind, insolation were absent.

        In a properly conducted scientific experiment one tries to exclude all variables to show that the one under investigation actually does something.
        That was precisely what happened, and the relevant data were shown.

        So I do not understand why you think this was in any way strange – unless you are assuming that real-world data can’t be right because they somehow can’t be found in the computer models? Which was precisely the point Prof. Kelly was making in the notes in the first link …

    3. Charles Zeller

      “CO2 is completely swamped by ANY of [ convection, wind, water vapor, clouds / water drops ] and when seen acting on its own can do nothing to prevent record lows from IR radiation from the surface. …. CO2 is a wimp, and can be ignored. Water kicks sand in its face and clouds pee in its beer while the wind gives it a wedgie.”

      The writer does have a good sense of irony, and what he so colorfully says is basically true. However, if an additional 1.6 watts per square meter noticeably influenced immediate surface temperatures, we wouldn’t be debating the emissions experiment.

      1. DirkH

        The problem for the AGW theory is that there is no storage for the heat. The only possible storage would be the oceans; and ARGO shows no buildup of OHC. LWIR doesn’t penetrate water, and the atmosphere has no way of heating up the oceans.

        In lack of a storage, no accumulation of energy is possible. E.M. Smith doesn’t dispute the radiative effects of CO2 (Rob sounds so outraged he probably wasn’t able to comprehend E.M. Smith’s argument); but he points out that it is a momentary effect – re-radiation happens in minutes, not in 30 years.

        As my first witness, i call The Honorable And Righteous Climatologist Jevin Trenberth… Dr. Trenberth, have you found the missing heat yet?… 😉

        1. Rob Honeycutt


          1) The ARGO buoy network is very new and very challenged in it’s ability to measure OHC. Don’t forget, it took over a decade of wrong data coming out of UAH before errors were corrected.

          2) If you take the broader science related to OHC you do find warming.

          3) Smith’s article is crap because he’s basically saying there is no greenhouse effect, dismissing 150 years of physics.

          1. DirkH

            1) I don’t see how UAH relates to ARGO, please inform me.
            2) I was referring to ARGO.
            3) No, read it again. You didn’t comprehend it.

          2. DirkH

            My answer to 3) is not very helpful, i try better.
            The Greenhouse effect describes the reflection, or better, absorption and re-emission of LWIR radiation by what the press usually calls “heat-trapping gases”, IOW greenhouse gases like water vapor and CO2.
            The absorption and re-emission AND the thermalization and de-thermalization of LWIR happens according to Kirchhoff’s law in a local thermal equilibrium.

            E.M. Smith doesn’t dispute any of these well-known facts; thus he doesn’t dispute the greenhouse effect; i hope this satisfies you.

          3. Rob Honeycutt

            Dirk… I think you need to take a little more time reading about the ARGO buoy network. My point about UAH is that, if you’ll look back, Spencer and Christy spent a full decade ranting about how the satellite data showed cooling until someone finally uncovered their computational error regarding orbital decay. You need to give the coming out of the ARGO network a little time to mature lest you put yourself right into Spencer and Christy’s shoes.

            Smith is claiming that has a minuscule effect on temperature thereby making the claim that CO2 has almost no impact on global temperature. He states, “… there is not a thing of importance being done by CO2.”

            THAT is fundamentally rejecting 150 years of physics.

          4. Rob Honeycutt

            “…that CO2 has…”

          5. DirkH

            Rob, there was already one correction to the ARGO data series, so i’m confident they have that ironed out now.

            Again, you’re being too blunt against E.M.Smith. What he uses as an example is a very cold night and ponders what the radiation does in that night. He concludes that it vanishes into space; and that is entire logical and not at all rejecting the various improvements on the flawed physics of Arrhenius (please spare me your 150 years, would you.). Because your usual textbook explanation of the greenhouse effect does not explain the Stefan-Boltzmann law, the temperature dependant power spectrum of blackbody radiation and simply glosses it over with an average consideration. This is not how the planet works.

            Remember, the blackbody radiative flux varies with the 4th power of the absolute temperature; and half of LWIR goes up, leaving the atmosphere, half goes down again, so it is entirely logical that in the specific situation E.M. Smith looks at it will simply be gone into space pretty quickly; as the re-radiation process is a fast process.

          6. DirkH

            Maybe it helps to look at E.M.Smith’s scenario as one of the everyday situations that constantly happen on the planet in various places; and all of the possible situations and behavious that can arise together in the end define the climate sensitivity of CO2; which is still only known in the form of an estimate; with the IPCC using a high estimate and the skeptics proposing a lower one.

          7. Rob Honeycutt

            Yes, Dirk… And here was the result after the error was corrected for.


          8. DirkH
          9. Rob Honeycutt

            I’ll say it again… Smith is clearly saying that CO2 has no effect. The radiation just disappears into space. If he were actually serious about the concept he would devise an actual measurable, repeatable experiment to prove it. Write a paper. Get it published and receive the Nobel prize for overturning a century and a half of physics.

            But he somehow comes to this conclusion based on one cold night in the winter and expects everyone to accept it as if he were doing real science. Give me a break.

          10. Rob Honeycutt

            Here’s a little challenge for you, Dirk. Do a little research on the International Journal of Geosciences that published Knox, Douglas 2010. See if you can tell me if it’s peer reviewed.

        2. Charles Zeller


          Dirk, Are you saying:

          1) There’s no conduction at the air / water boundary?

          2) The ocean surface reflects all infrared radiation? The longer IR wavelengths (300 micro meter) don’t penetrate deeply, but the energy is absorbed in “the skin”.


          1. DirkH

            1.) negligible. Go and warm your bathwater with a hairdryer.
            2.) increases evaporation. Does not warm an ocean with an average depth of, say 3000m, to any measurable extent.

          2. DirkH

            Now, maybe you would ask next, but what can drive up the ocean OHC if CO2 can’t do it? (After all, i do admit there has been a natural warming cycle from 195 to 1998, very similar to the one in the beginning of the 20th century)

            It’s the highly variable UV radiation in my opinion, together with varying levels of cloudiness, that could have this modulating influence, as UV penetrates deeply and can warm up deeper ocean layers.

            But LWIR can’t.

          3. Rob Honeycutt

            Pierre… I tend to be very hesitant to post on both Watts’ site and JoNova’s site. I have been quite viciously attacked (verbally of course) on both sites when I felt I was being quite polite and stating the science as I understand it. On both sites I have literally been threatened. On Nova’s site one person even threatened my children.

            I do post on WUWT on occasion but with great trepidation.

          4. Bernd Felsche


            You claim that you were vicously attacked on JoNova’s blog. When? What article? Jo doesn’t condone ad hominem or personal attacks. (Nor does Anthony Watts.)

            Now, if you put up arguments, theories, speculation and hypotheses that are full of holes, then they deserve to be attacked. Not you.

            The advances in science have only been possible through separation between a person and their ideas. One must be able accept one’s ideas being wrong. In fact, the modern philosophy of science requires one to prove one’s ideas wrong.

            This concept is “fairly new” to society so language hasn’t fully developed to recognize the separation and obviously nobody wants to be wrong. Informal on blogs tend not to represent ideas that’ve been fully thought through. Their immediacy encourages passionate responses.

            Ye olde rules of Usenet include “Don’t post if you’re upset.” which recognized the permancy of the nature of the medium and the inevitable regret as well as the professional repercussions.

      2. DirkH

        “However, if an additional 1.6 watts per square meter noticeably influenced immediate surface temperatures, we wouldn’t be debating the emissions experiment.”

        We debate the “emissions experiment” because a) scientists have mistaken a normal warming period since 1975 for a CO2 induced waming b) politicians have latched on this mistake as a welcome excuse for countermeasures against a repeat of the 1972 oil crisis.

        1. Charles Zeller

          Dirk, Thanks for clarifying the cool ocean skin / natural UV cycle hypothesis. Signing off this thread to dig into it for a few days. Charles

        2. Charles Zeller

          The energy deposited by cosmic rays is only a few parts per billion compared with the incident solar energy. Direct heating of the ocean by cosmic rays isn’t plausible. The hypothesis being tested at CERN about cosmic rays cycles having an indirect forcing effect by altering the low cloud coverage percentage as a function of solar cycles is a valid area to investigate. However, this cycle would be independent of the well understood quantification of greenhouse forcing.

          Regarding the ocean skin temperature. This is informative.

          By the way, evaporation transfers heat into the troposphere, not into space. When condensation releases the heat, it must still be radiated – through the upper atmosphere.

  15. Charles Zeller

    Pierre, There’s not much to debate, other than E.M. Smith’s attempt to divert attention from the 800 lb. gorilla. He does a good job of explaining one reason why 1/3 of the record daily temperatures are record lows.

  16. Edwin Adlerman

    >WUWT is peer-review.

    Now that’s hilarious!

  17. Jimbo

    It is probable that in such a situation, countries like Bangladesh and parts of Africa will have become uninhabitable.

    It is probable that Bangladesh will continue to gain land mass as it has done for the past 30 years. ;O)

    “Development of the Ganges-Brahmaputra River delta began ca. 11000 yr B.P., when rising sea level flooded the Bengal basin, thereby trapping most of the river’s discharge on the inner margin.”

    “In particular, the large monsoon-controlled sediment supply has been historically sufficient to offset sea-level rise and subsidence, even during periods of rapid sea-level rise”
    [page 12]

  18. Jimbo
  19. jana

    I pity Bernd Felsche. Who are you to speak so authoritatively about the work in PIK? By the way are you the one who looks thermometer for Anders Levermann? If you are so talented then go to PIK and give us results (very accurate ones) from your own simulations. Else sit and blame scientists and emit your share of greenhouse gases and make the life of your descendants a hell.

    1. DirkH

      So you are arguing that because nobody has a climate model with predictive skill we should trust PIK? That makes no sense, Jana. PIK are clueless about the future just like anyone else.

      “make the life of your descendants a hell.” – how so? Do you fear small changes in the global average temperature? How big a temperature change do YOU survive every day? 20 deg C? 40 deg C? Is that “Hell” for you, Jana?

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