CO2 is Cool!

Ed Caryl has submitted another essay, which indicates that CO2 is not as strong a driver as many would like to have us believe.

CO2 is Cool!

By Ed Caryl

The global warming amount if CO2 doubles has been a bone of contention for the last 30 years. The IPCC has settled on figures in the range from 1.5 to 4.5 degrees, with a most probable rise of 3°C. One of the figures widely quoted is based on CO2 rising from 295 ppm in 1900, to 365 ppm in 2000, while temperature rose 0.57 degrees. (For those readers allergic to math formulas, apologies are offered, but keep reading, the result is what is important, and the math is done for you.) Because the CO2 affect is agreed by most to be logarithmic, the formula for the temperature rise if CO2 doubles, when based on CO2 concentration and temperature rise over time, is:

ln2/(ln(CO2 at end of period/CO2 at beginning of period))/(the change in temperature). (ln is the
natural logarithm). Substituting the numbers from above, we get:

 ln2/(ln(365/295)/0.57) = 1.85°C

 This formula was used to calculate the CO2 doubling-temperature (the temperature rise if CO2 in the atmosphere doubles) over a slightly longer period, from 1880 to 2010, using the Law Dome (Antarctic ice samples) and Mauna Loa Hawaii CO2 levels spliced together, and the GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) global surface temperature figures.

The Law Dome and Mauna Loa CO2 data overlap from 1960 to 1978, and agree quite closely over those years, so splicing them seems quite valid. First, here (from the sources above) is the temperature and the CO2 plotted together:

Figure 1. Plot of GISS global temperature anomaly and atmospheric CO2.

The result of CO2 doubling using the above formula with the beginning and end numbers in Figure 1 is:

 ln2/(ln(389.78/290.7)/0.91 = 2.15°C. This is higher, but still less than the IPCC estimate of 3°C.

But what if we take different time periods for the calculation? A shorter period 50-year calculation results in a noisy chart because there is great variation in temperature from year to year, with negative as well as positive temperature changes, and in the years before 1970, the CO2 rise was very slow so the ratios are small numbers. Here is the plot of the CO2-doubling temperature rise using the above formula with a sliding 50-year window beginning with the period from 1880 to 1930 and ending with 1960 to 2010:

Figure 2. CO2 sensitivity over time using a 50-year window applied to the data in Figure 1. The red trace is a 10-year moving average on the calculated sensitivity. The black line is the linear trend.

The calculation results in large positive and occasionally negative numbers when a shorter period is used. Non-CO2 influences are visible, the warming in the late 30s and 40s, and the later cooling and warming again in the 50s 60s and 70s. These are visible in Figure 1, above. The Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO), the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), and others, cause these temperature cycles. These 60 to 70-year ocean temperature cycles will increase a sensitivity figure based on a 100-year window.

Volcanoes, La Niña, and El Niño events and above described ocean cycles, as well as the solar cycle, affect the plot because they perturb the system away from equilibrium. Anything that adds or subtracts from the temperature is indistinguishable from the affects of CO2. CO2 is not the only thing affecting temperature. Many people have forgotten this simple fact. The plot in Figure 2 is really the total climate sensitivity, not just from CO2.

The figure widely used for CO2 doubling is only stable if the window used is long. It is only accurate if other factors are not pushing the numbers up. If shorter periods are taken, wildly different numbers result, both positive and negative. In recent years, the numbers settle to just over 1.0°C because the CO2 differences over the 50-year windows are getting larger. What is the real Climate Sensitivity? It appears to be less than 1.0°C for CO2 doubling.

Keep in mind that these plots were generated using GISS global surface temperature data. This data has been criticized for including too many sites influenced by urban warming and for being adjusted upward in recent years, and downward for earlier years. This seems to be the case, as any upward bias would tilt the above plot in the upward direction, as is seen at the end of the plot.

In an effort to check for this, the same formula was used on UHA satellite temperature data for the last 31 years. If the window is the 30 years from 1979 to 2009, the result is 1.75°C, if from 1980 to 2010, the answer is 2.05°C. Again, a short window gives a noisy answer. If 2011 is cooler than 2009, the calculation will be less than 1.75°C. Caution must be used when selecting data for these calculations. As an example, a calculation using the window from 1980 to 2008 results in a negative –0.2°C sensitivity.

Here are the temperature and CO2 plots:

Figure 3. Satellite temperature and Mauna Loa CO2 plots.

The sensitivity was plotted using a sliding 20-year window on the 31 years of satellite data available. Here is that result:

Figure 4. CO2 sensitivity using satellite temperature data and a 20-year sliding window.

The plot is very noisy with two points going negative. We will really need 20 or 30 more years of satellite temperature data to see a valid result, but the 30-year window suggests that the sensitivity as measured by the satellite data will still be less than 2°. Keep in mind that many of the ocean cycles, such as the AMO and PDO, are on the order of 60 years in length, and recently have been in their positive phases. The satellite data is only half this long.

In summary, all these plots show that CO2 sensitivity is probably 1°C or less for a doubling of CO2. We will need a few more years of good temperature data to pin that down.

Meanwhile, all the people claiming sensitivities of 3° or more need to calm down. The above plots and calculations rule that out.

A CO2 climate sensitivity of 1°C for CO2 doubling is not very important. Also remember that this figure includes all the supposed positive feedbacks, because if they exist, they have had an influence on the temperature already. Keep in mind that CO2 will probably never double in the atmosphere for the simple reason that we will run out of easily available fossil carbon long before then. But this is fodder for the next article.

78 responses to “CO2 is Cool!”

  1. M White

    And of course that 280ppm is valid, isn’t it?

  2. Ed Caryl

    I have no reason to doubt it. Do you?

  3. R. de Haan

    Great piece Ed Caryl.

    I think the even a 1 degree Celsius of global temps with a doubling CO2 is to high. CO2 is not evenly mixed into the atmosphere.

    In tropical forests concentrations of over 700 ppm have been measured
    with no effect on the measured temperatures.

    Other effects like wind. air pressure and water vapor eradicate any measurable effect of CO2.

    CO2 is an innocent trace gas from which humanity has nothing to fear but fear it’s self.

    An interesting read about CO2, the personal observation of Chiefio

    CO2 is a storm in a glass of water.

  4. DirkH

    Very good, Ed, you give an explanation for splicing the CO2 data, and you run UAH as a control to GISS.

    It is very interesting that the era before 1970, when CO2 growth was far slower than now, results in ludicrously high CO2 sensitivity numbers. AGW math can lead to confusing side effects. Funny science.

  5. Rob Honeycutt

    Ed… I would suggest that all you are measuring here is the internal variability of the broader climate system. And you’re all leaving out any heat energy in the pipeline. You need to add about 0.6C to your 0.57C.

    While I respect that you’ve got a background in physics the analysis you’re putting together here seems far from thorough or robust. It suffers from setting up a conclusion you desire and fitting a formula to explain it.

    1. DirkH

      What pipeline?

      1. Rob Honeycutt

        Dirk… I suppose you believe that all heat energy coming in is immediately realized in the atmosphere.

        1. DirkH

          What pipeline, Rob? Do you mean the oceans? If you mean the oceans, why don’t you say “the oceans” but use a mumbo-jumbo term from the warmist church?

          1. Rob Honeycutt

            Dirk… No need to get testy or derogatory. “The pipeline” is a very clear phrase. Heat energy that has not yet been expressed in terms of atmospheric temperature. “The pipeline” is just a little easier to say each time.

            This is exactly why OHC is such an important topic. It’s also devilishly hard to measure. It’s not like satellite data where we can clearly measure temperature. Each ARGO buoy is attempting to measure some 400,000 cubic km of water, a challenge even if the entire volume of water were static.

            Once (if) we can get a handle on OHC then we will better understand exactly what is in the pipeline.

          2. DirkH

            1.) “Heat energy that has not yet been expressed as atmospheric temperature” – you evade the question where this heat energy is.
            2.) “Pipeline is easier to say” (to evade the question where the heat is) – now, reminds me of blackwhite. See wikipedia for a definition of blackwhite.

            I looked into the IPCC AR4 for “pipeline” and i found mention of CO2 pipelines, useful for sequestration projects… so i repeat: It’s a cultist mumbo-jumbo term intended to gloss over the lack of knowledge where the missing heat is.

            I will continue to rub salt into the wounds of the dying beast AGW, Rob; be assured. It’s fun.

          3. Rob Honeycutt

            Dirk… Well, here is one thing I will promise you. When I win the warming bet I’m NOT going to rub salt in the wound.

    2. Ed Caryl

      Your first sentence is absolutely correct. Because CO2 has very little to do with temperature. The formula comes from the literature. I didn’t invent it. The pipeline is only about 5 years long and the window I used is 50 years. There’s no heat disappearing into the oceans for the simple reason that there is no heat.

      1. Rob Honeycutt

        Every time you guys make this argument of “CO2 has little to do with temperature” you lose all mechanisms for producing glacial-interglacial swings. You’re painting a picture where climate is almost perfectly stable, and we all know that’s not the case. This is also the problem with Lindzen. Every time he states climate sensitivity is 0.5C he has to argue that there is some other unknown mechanism that causes climate changes seen in the paleo records.

        1. DirkH

          The Chilling Stars: A Cosmic View of Climate Change
          Henrik Svensmark (Author), Nigel Calder (Author)


        2. DirkH

          Oh, and another one. I’m still reading it, but it looks like
          “Modern satellite observations have demonstrated that although the total solar irradiance (TSI) at the top of the Earth’s atmosphere (TOA) varies little (only about 0.1%), the Sun is a highly variable star with a substantial variation of TOA spectral solar irradiance (SSI) (Harder et al., 2010). Because solar radiation is the primary driving force for all the activities within the Earth’s climate system and radiation at different wavelengths reaches and warms different atmospheric layers, this finding raises some important questions critical to studying the Earth’s climate system: What is the consequence of the changing TOA SSI to the Earth’s climate system? Could this finding change our view of greenhouse-gas induced global climate change?”

          They say that non-blackbody solar entropy flux is 4 times bigger than expected, with 0.31 W/(m^2 * K), and highly variable; that would be a rather massive game changer.

          1. DirkH

            An earlier work by Wu and Liu

            Basically, what they’re doing is examining how insolation and reflection by the Earth deviate from the blackbody spectrum as given by Planck’s spectral expression; and they find a deviation of up to 30%.

          2. DirkH

            Wu, Liu
            “A new one-dimensional radiative equilibrium
            model for investigating atmospheric
            radiation entropy flux”


            Their results look somewhat similar to Miskolczi’s theory; like him, they say their model solves the boundary condition problem at the surface; what they don’t do – different from Miskolczi – is propose a natural regulation mechanism that keeps the atmosphere’s optical density constant, leaving this question open.

            This paper is a must read.

      2. Rob Honeycutt

        Ed… I have this sense that you have the capacity to grasp the science. I just wonder why you’re avoiding it. You know that a good scientist is one that is going to try to prove himself wrong. What I see you doing here is pulling together a very superficial argument and stopping where it confirms what you want to believe. You’re not pushing past that to into territory that might prove you wrong.

        To bring up Dessler again, when I read Dessler 2010 that was the sense I got from him. There was a sense that Lindzen wasn’t painting a full picture and there is a great deal unknown about cloud effects. I get the sense that he was trying his best to test cloud effects as best he could regardless of where the data lead him. And the conclusions do not paint a detailed picture of cloud effects other than to say the data they gathered suggested a very broad range of potential sensitivity but that it is more likely positive and less likely negative. If the results had been the opposite he would have been perfectly willing to publish exactly that.

        1. DirkH

          As i said, some of Dessler’s words awakened the impression in me that he could be sane. But then again, he destroys this impression with silly op-eds.

          1. Rob Honeycutt

            As opposed to Lindzen’s silly op-eds?

        2. Ed Caryl

          Read that again with the first word changed to “Rob”.

          I wrote last week on the reason for glacials and interglacials.

          That is well understood, and there is no reason to invoke CO2.

          1. Rob Honeycutt

            Ed… I think you’re probably capable of applying radiative forcing to Milankovitch cycles. It’s my understanding that Milankovitch cycles can account for about 1C of the 5-8C swings we see in glacial-interglacial cycles. So, yes, you actually do need CO2 to explain the further amplification.

          2. Rob Honeycutt
  6. DirkH

    BTW, Rob mentioned Dessler a thread ago. Dessler appeared to be a rather reasonable warmist from what i found in McIntyre’s postings, but as of 2010, he seems to be a full-blown alarmist:
    (from March 6, 2010)

    He and his co-authors go so far as to say
    “Heat-trapping gases are very likely responsible for most of the warming observed over the past half century”

    I have a hard time believing a scientist uses the phrase “Heat-trapping gases”, but there it is. Several times. Even worse, the text comes from 6 researchers, so they all agreed on using this childish phrase.

    Just for the record. Gerald North is part of the bunch as well.

    1. DirkH

      Robert Bradley also describes Dessler as a full-blown alarmist.

      1. Rob Honeycutt

        Or maybe Dessler is correct.

  7. Mindert Eiting

    Dear Ed,
    In some comments on Lubos Motl’s site I have already shown that the regression of temperatures on CO2 levels shrinks to almost zero if we take longer stations records. But I still think that physics has the best answer. The specific heat capacity of CO2 is less than that of normal air. If our atmosphere consisted entirely of CO2, it would cool more rapidly than it does now. You need a little correction for pressure but the effect is still negative. Also argued by Gerlich and Tscheuchner. Moreover, back radiation is at odds with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. So CO2 is a cooling gas. Temperature increases of the past period, which are evident, cannot be explained by CO2 levels. Even a physics moron like me can understand this. Thanks anyhow for your contribution.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      And why is it Lubos isn’t publishing any of this?

      1. Mindert Eiting

        Dear Rob,
        That is a good question you should ask him. My impression is that he agrees with a small CO2 forcing, that can be ignored in practice. He does not discuss thermodynamics like Claes Johnson does. Observational data are a mix of many causative factors. After analysing historical data, I have shown that if we give CO2 all the benifits of the doubt we will have in the year 2100 no more warming than 1.5 degrees Celsius. If we take longer historical records, 0.5 a degree seems more reasonable. This shrink is ominous as the CO2 signal disappears with a larger time window. On a very large time scale it seems that temperature changes cause CO2 changes. However, I think that physics should tell us why the effect is zero (or not).

        1. Rob Honeycutt

          Mindert… Well, I just have to say, there is a mountain of science to dispute that. The actual research tells us that climate sensitivity of less that 1.5C for 2xCO2 is very unlikely. Very recent study published in Science showed that the last time CO2 levels were 1000ppm the global temperature was about 16C warmer than today.

          That’s not to suggest that when we hit 1000 ppm the global temperature will be +16C. But it pretty much kills the idea that climate sensitivity is low.

        2. Rob Honeycutt
  8. DirkH

    Ed, you are computing climate sensitivity as a function of time. This piece by Chip Knappenberger computes the temperature trend as a function of time (to aid in cherrypicking). And it shows an interesting meta-trend, just like your analysis.

    Lucia has broadened Chip’s analysis; checked for autocorrelation, and included model forecasts – even more interesting:

    1. Ed Caryl

      It only looks like computing sensitivity as a function of time. Actually, what I was trying to do was find a time window where all the other climate cycles would cancel or hit a minimum and let me see the real CO2 forcing, if there was any. I tried several window widths, and 50 years worked best. Rob will accuse me of cherry picking the best answer, but I was trying to determine the CO2 signal. In some of the results I could clearly see the 11 year solar cycle. In all of them the AMO-PDO cycle could be seen, but the minimum sensitivity was always around 1 degree. If the CO2 sensitivity is really 3 degrees, one should never get an answer less than that.

      1. Rob Honeycutt

        You are reading only the atmospheric signature, though, Ed. That does not preclude there being heat energy built up in the oceans where we are not yet able to adequately track it.

        I’m not accusing you of cherry picking either. I’m claiming there is a confirmation bias in your analysis. I don’t think you’re putting the effort into this to push past your comfort zone. That’s one of the reasons I really like that Science of Doom blog I pointed you to before. He makes similar analyses but pushes much further than you have here.

  9. Edwin Adlerman

    > Also remember that this figure includes all the supposed positive feedbacks, because if they exist, they have had an influence on the temperature already

    The near-surface ocean operates on time-scales of decades, and the deep ocean on time scales of 100+ years. There is already evidence of warming in the deep ocean (and below the range of ARGO) e.g.:

    1. Ed Caryl

      Those numbers are very small, and the error bars are as large as the numbers. Plenty of room there for confirmation bias. And, the measurements are over a really limited time period, and in most cases consist of two measurements at each location. Those measurements could be tiny fragments of natural cycles, echoes of ENSO, PDO, etc. Until they have measurements over 50 or 60 years they know nothing.

  10. R. de Haan

    Rob Honeycutt
    31. Januar 2011 at 01:11 | Permalink | Reply
    Every time you guys make this argument of “CO2 has little to do with temperature” you lose all mechanisms for producing glacial-interglacial swings. You’re painting a picture where climate is almost perfectly stable, and we all know that’s not the case. This is also the problem with Lindzen. Every time he states climate sensitivity is 0.5C he has to argue that there is some other unknown mechanism that causes climate changes seen in the paleo records.

    You’re switching the argument.
    It’s the warmist view that a constant level of CO2 provides a constant climate. Don’t try to stick this label on our backs.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Not switching the topic. I’m merely pointing out that you can’t just pull out one piece of the puzzle. If you say that one piece is wrong then you have to also explain everything else, how the puzzle fits together to form a different picture. That’s science.

      You say, “It’s the warmist view that a constant level of CO2 provides a constant climate.” What does that even mean? No one says that! The only thing we say is that CO2 is the biggest control knob out of a very large number of control knobs affecting climate. If you were to leave CO2 at the exact same level for 5000 years you’re not going to get a perfectly stable climate. You’re just going to get less fluctuation as all the other smaller forcings and feedbacks operate.

      This is exactly what I’ve been trying to point out. If you make the claim that CO2 has little to no effect on global temperature (something that even Lindzen and Spencer do not claim) then you have no mechanism to explain the paleo record.

  11. Peter Whale

    Hi Rob you are wrong. Co2 is innocent and you are confused. Climate has had its way for billions of years, then around 1940 we humans add a 3% value to the annual global co2 emissions, which is a trace gas, and then that annual 3% is supposed to be the main trigger for unprecedented global warming.
    When looking back at the historical record there is not a scrap of evidence where
    an increase in CO2 has had any but a minimal affect. At its most concentrated times the temperature falls.
    The main players in climate are the sun, the heat content of the oceans and the land mass. The variable influence of clouds and ice cover with their albedo and other effects. Then you have the Earth’s orbit, the moon and other cosmic influences. Weather is caused by the chaotic effect of ocean movements and variable covers of vegetation and seismic movements. If you think that manmade CO2 can influence the above you must look at your motive for that kind of thinking.
    The internet is wonderful for people who still wonder.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Peter… You have absolutely no science to back you up on any of what you just stated. Not only that, you would have to completely dismiss nearly all of the science done on this issue for the past 150 years to come to such a conclusion.

      1. grayman

        Rob, maybe you can look at Ed work and confirm his math and the two of you can work it out together and come up with a guest post for Pierre that can show Eds work being wrong, right or half right. Talk to Pierre and see if he will allow you to do this, as you seem to be a scientist, as i am not, but let us see what you can come up with. Maybe a kooky idea but i would like to see your interpetation of Eds work, who knows maybe you might find something that he has not or find some agreement with his work. IMO this would possibly make a good paper because of the fact it is made by a warmist and a realist. You ED and Pierre talk about it.

      2. DirkH

        No; a lot of the science of the past 150 years has already been corrected/refuted; for instance, Arrhenius’ results. This process of corrections will go on; we are only just finding out about the variability of the sun and the climate modelers will have to follow suit, correcting their models over and over again.

        If IPCC climate models had predicted the development of global temperatures correctly, and if the IPCC were right with its predictions about glaciers and so on and so on, we skeptics would have no leg to stand on, and in fact no reason to doubt the climate model results. But this is not the case. When even Kevin Trenberth searches the missing heat in vain, and warmist dendropalaeoclimatologists like Briffa and Mann have to resort to dirty tricks like YAD061, and the models constantly overestimate warming, see the abysmal track record of the Met Office long range forecasts, then something with the entire field of warmist climatology is wrong.

        It is in fact a science in its infancy, and that is not a bad thing in itself; but it is being used to form global energy policy, and that is an extremely dumb thing to do. And warmist scientists should refrain from interfering with policies – but they love it much too much to feel important. So it is us who must show them their limitations.

      3. Peter Whale

        Hi Rob just history.

        1. Rob Honeycutt

          Peter… We need to see something a little more qualitative than just you saying “history.”

  12. Rob Honeycutt

    Dirk said… “for instance, Arrhenius’ results.”
    Come on Dirk. You can’t be serious. You’re going to side with Angstrom when the US military clearly proved those results wrong back in the 1950’s?

    Dirk, if you listen to Angstrom heat seeking missiles don’t work.

    1. DirkH

      They depend on the Greenhouse effect? No, seriously, what kind of warmist legend do you want to sell me? That infrared seeking missiles depend on “heat-trapping gases [Dessler 2010]”?

      1. Rob Honeycutt

        Dirk… Please try to do a little research. Angstrom suffered from an over zealous lab assistant regarding his research into the radiative properties of CO2. The military did extensive research on atmospheric radiation in order to make heat seeking missiles operate correctly. That meant detailed research into the radiative properties of all components of the atmosphere. They turned up the errors in Angstrom’s work.

  13. R. de Haan

    A new report is out from the Dutch scientist Noor van Andel

    Climate Changes are not caused by greenhouse gases.

    Also read:

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Based on a paper published….. oh. Nowhere.

    2. Rob Honeycutt

      And who the heck is Noor van Andel? Ah! Here it is: Dr. Noor van Andel, former head of research at Akzo Nobel. So what is Akzo Nobel?

      AkzoNobel, is a Dutch multinational, active in the fields of decorative paints, performance coatings and specialty chemicals.

      Okay. So, we have an unpublished paper by a decorative paint chemist? And suddenly this is all over the blogs.

      Really? Is this the best you guys can pull together? Do you not see why I doubt so much of the stuff I reading coming from the skeptic side of the AGW argument?

  14. Edwin Adlerman

    > Those measurements could be tiny fragments of natural cycles, echoes of ENSO, PDO, etc. Until they have measurements over 50 or 60 years they know nothing.

    OK, but you’ve ignored the fact that your claim that the above calculations “includes all the supposed positive feedbacks” cannot be entirely true given our understanding of abyssal water circulations.

  15. Edwin Adlerman

    Also, my point was that there is evidence that warming is occurring outside of that measured by the typical 0-700m or 0-2000m ranges, i.e. the ‘missing’ heat. E.g., see

  16. Dana

    Sorry Ed, Rob is right. Climate sensitivity is an equilibrium value. The planet is not in equilibrium, and ignoring that fact will lead to an underestimate of the equilibrium sensitivity. You’re making the same mistake as Lindzen. I discussed this at Skeptical Science recently, picked up by The Guardian.

    I’m doing a similar calculation including the heat being absorbed by the oceans. Sensitivity comes out to about 2.7 C.

  17. grayman

    This planet has not and never will be in EQUILIBRIUM, remember that this planet is always changing and evolving, that includes the climate. And again i ask that ED has put up a theory, showed his work. Now the question to Rob and now Dana is what is exactly wrong with his work. That is if you can, with out pal-reviewed mumbo jumbo, sorry peer, what is wrong with the numbers he has shown, and please show your work that refutes it. This goes back to where i asked you Rob about seeing if Pierre would let you do a guest post.

    1. Dana

      I told you what was wrong and you called it “mumbo jumbo” and basically admitted you will reject any peer-reviewed science you don’t want to believe. So why would I waste any more time?

  18. grayman

    Sorry if i sounded condesending was not trying to. Everybody here can keep throwing papers back and forth that do nothing but refute each other. Sounds to me we need to start back at square one and work toward a common goal of figuring this out.

  19. Edwin Adlerman

    >That is if you can, with out pal-reviewed mumbo jumbo, sorry peer, what is wrong with the numbers he has shown, and please show your work that refutes it.

    Grow up dude. Peer-review is the way science is done. If you think it’s based upon favoritism or other implied nonsense, then you’ve obviously never gone through the process, but still feel free to denigrate based upon your baseless misperceptions.
    Face it, nothing on this entire blog or in the entire climate denial universe means anything or changes any of the well-established science if it isn’t published via peer-review. So either submit the paper and reference your work, or be content to just be another person blowing hot-air on a blog.

    1. Dana

      Denigrating peer-review is a transparent excuse for “skeptics” to reject the scientific evidence they don’t want to believe. It allows them to believe some random guy doing flawed calculations on some random “skeptic” blog has figured something out that the world’s climate scientists haven’t.

      1. Inna

        I agree with Dana. It’s not only arrogant to think that someone with a pocket calculator can overturn decades of peer-reviewed science conducted by experts who spent upward of 10 years in rigorous scientific training but also irresponsible – a typical “ostrich-in-the-sand” attitude when one only believes what is convenient to believe, no matter what’s the hard data. It’s like those folks who believe that lice are born of dirt and that vaccines cause autism.

  20. Peter Whale

    Dana is it true you work for a company who promotes green energy?

    1. Dana

      No, not particularly. Please, try to stay on topic, Peter.

  21. grayman

    Still have not answered the question, what is wrong with EDs work? And as i said this so called peer-review has been outed as PAL-REVIEW, of climate science, and as i said again they continue to refute each other so WHAT can you much less anybody else believe of them. Yes DUDE, i am grown up and peer-review does not exactly mean that it is TRUE much less SCIENCE! So IMO thier is not much transparent about climate science. So agian what is wrong with EDs work as he posted? That will be on topic!

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Greyman… I would actually love to see Ed try to publish these results and see how far he gets. He doesn’t need me. The broader scientific community is better equipped.

    2. Dana

      How many times do I have to say it? He ignored thermal inertia. He’s comparing an equlibrium value to a system which is currently way out of equilibrium.

      If Ed wanted to get this published, he could probably go for Energy&Environment. That’s where Lindzen got his similarly-flawed calculation published (he ignored both thermal inertia and aerosols). At least Lindzen mentioned thermal inertia though – one step further than Ed went.

    3. Dana

      Here, since you won’t listen to me, maybe you’ll listen to Lindzen. E&E isn’t peer-review, and it’s one journal that you probably could accurately call “pal-review”. But since they’re your pals, perhaps you’ll be more receptive.

      “In these transient runs, it takes time for the surface to respond to the forcing
      because the ocean takes time to respond, and the atmospheric transport tends to tie the land and ocean areas together. The ocean delay is proportional to both the climate sensitivity and the assumed thermal diffusivity of the oceans…”

      Page 9:

    4. Inna

      I agree with Rob. In terms of pal-reviewed as opposed to peer-reviewed – try it once and see. The peer-review is anonymous and the reviewers are looking for any weaknesses to take your work apart. It is extremely difficult to publish in a peer-reviewed journal, especially one with high impact factor and reputation such as Science and Nature. Even for the well done science, it usually takes 2-3 rounds of revision until all errors are ironed out.

  22. grayman

    Thank you Dana, you only have to say it once, thermal inertia is the anwser that Ed had wrong. So why did not not say that the first time instead of qouting peer-reviewed papers. As i said do not point out papers just say what you thought he had wrong. So why not ask him why? O/T have not heard from you thru e-mail, i am not asking for deaththreats, not from you, as i do not believe in that form you or me just to talk and learn from each other as these debates on blogs do get heated and people fill like they are ganged up by other commentors. Just want to get to know you, as everybody can always use a new friend even if they do not always agree. Hope you would feel the same, and no i am not gay (just in case that is your thought).

    1. Dana

      I don’t know what you’re reading grayman. I didn’t quote any peer-reviewed papers. I thought I was quite clear from the get-go.

      “The planet is not in equilibrium, and ignoring that fact will lead to an underestimate of the equilibrium sensitivity.”

      You haven’t heard from me because Pierre never provided me with your email address (or if he did, perhaps it got caught in my spam folder).

      1. grayman

        I will reread your posts, not seeing how thermal inertia equals equilibriium? My understanding of it is nothing is ever in equilibrium, but always willing to learn. Thermal enertia is just that, movement, as in the jet stream. But getting to know you a little better, thanks again for you anwser. my adress; I do look forward to your post and Robs as they do give me other things to think about.

        1. Dana

          The planet can be close to equilibrium. Look at the temperature changes over the past 6,000 years or so – relatively quite small.

          But anyway, the point is that the climate sensitivity value is calculated for the scenario that that planet reaches an energy equilibrium. If CO2 doubles and it reaches equilibrium, the planet will warm about 3°C as a result. Right now there is still “warming in the pipeline” from the CO2 we’ve already emitted due to the thermal inertia of the oceans.

  23. grayman

    Rob thanks for the reply and my handle is grAyman not grEyman, just wish to clear up a clerical error.

    1. Rob Honeycutt

      Grayman… Sorry for the error. Won’t happen again.

  24. Dana

    Here’s my article doing a similar calculation to Ed, but taking thermal inertia and all radiative forcings (not just CO2) into account. When taking everything into account, the conclusion is quite different, as I’ve been saying.

  25. Marc77

    If there was thermal inertia, the sensitivity would look small at the beginning, and then it would raise to it’s real value.

    In this situation, the sensitivity goes down with time. I see 2 possibilities:

    1- There is no warming in the pipeline, it is cooling in the pipeline: a negative feedback is building up.

    2- The warming in the pipeline is so long to show up, we can mostly ignore it.

    In conclusion, if the climate is out of equilibrium, it should add a pressure to increase the perceived sensitivity and the opposite is happening.

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