Like Mann’s hockey stick, some climate fairy tales keep insisting they are real. The CO2-fingerprint tale is another example.
Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt comment here on a new paper that completely discredits the atmospheric CO2-fingerprint theory, long ballyhooed by Mojib Latif and Bart Verheggen, for example.
Bad news for Mojib Latif: New study in the Journal of Geophysical Research questions stratospheric CO2 fingerprint
By Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt
(Translated/edited by P Gosselin)
Mojib Latif is a well-known friend of the climate catastrophe. He travels across the country, from one media appearance to another, hawking his climate theories, and especially his new book. One of his main assertions is the so-called CO2 “fingerprint” that we supposedly find in the atmosphere. According to Latif, the CO2-fingerprint confirms the enormous power of CO2 as a greenhouse gas. Tens of thousands of meters over our heads, the middle atmosphere has cooled and that can only be explained by CO2 trapping the heat below in the troposphere.
However, in the meantime, atmospheric science has progressed and it now shows a very different story, casting great doubt on Latif’s fingerprint theory. Already back in March of this year we reported on a new modelling study from the Leibniz Institute for Atmospheric Physics in Germany. The study showed that temperature fluctuations at middle altitudes are due mostly to ozone concentrations (see our blog article here). And even though we brought up this new science time and again in various newspaper and blog articles, Latif continued to keep his head in the sand and failed to acknowledge his error.
In June, 2012, his colleague Bart Verheggen jumped to his aid. In a piece, which Verheggen recycled a number of times (e.g. here or here or here), he tried to salvage whatever he could of the CO2 fingerprint theory. He wrote that we should not confuse short-term and long-term trends. Moreover, he claimed that the Kühlungsborner study involved the mesosphere while the “fingerprint” was limited to the stratosphere, and sat back thinking the issue was settled.
Now it appears that the air has finally gotten really thin for Latif’s and Verheggen’s fingerprint tale. Earlier this month a new study has appeared in the Journal of Geophysical Research written by Lorenzo Polvani of Columbia University and Susan Solomon of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The study closely examined the temperature development of the lower stratosphere, precisely the layer where CO2 is alleged to be causing cooling. The results of the study speak for themselves. Here’s the abstract (emphasis added):
The effect of ozone depletion on temperature trends in the tropical lower stratosphere is explored with an atmospheric general circulation model, and directly contrasted to the effect of increased greenhouse gases and warmer sea surface temperatures. Confirming and extending earlier studies we find that, over the second half of the 20th Century, the model’s lower-stratospheric cooling caused by ozone depletion is several times larger than that induced by increasing greenhouse gases. Moreover, our model suggests that the response to different forcings is highly additive. Finally we demonstrate that when ozone depletion alone is prescribed in the model, the seasonal cycle of the resultant cooling trends in the lower stratosphere is quite similar to that recently reported in satellite and radiosonde observations: this constitutes strong, new evidence for the key role of ozone depletion on tropical lower-stratospheric temperature trends.”
See original abstract here: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2012JD017719.shtml.
Some years ago, Latif also claimed that winters and snowfall would disappear from Europe because of CO2. That too turned out to be a fairy tale. Prof. Latif is digging a deep hole.
9 responses to “Mojib Latif / Bart Verheggen CO2-Fingerprint Tale Suffers Hefty Setback – From New Susan Solomon Paper”
The German NOZ daily yesterday had an interview with Latif, asking him why he refuses to debate Vahrenholt. Latif claims he doesn’t debate people who aren’t climate scientists. With Latif, who knows what you can believe.
Perhaps it’s more the other way around: maybe Vahrenholt has little interest debating climate scientists who can’t get their science right.
If you have to “fingerprint” some patterns in the noise to save your theory, better get a better theory…
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Dear Madam /Sir,
the paper discussed here can be downloaded at
404 Error – do you have another link
From the long quote of text:
1. “Confirming and extending earlier studies we find . . . ”
I’m not familiar with the earlier studies nor the literature in general, and it seems, neither is Mojib Latif!
2. Then there is this: “The effect of ozone depletion on temperature trends . . . ”
Again, I am not familiar with the literature and findings but I am aware that Ozone seems to come and go in the atmosphere like migrating Monarch Butterflies in my weedy pasture (no intent here to equate timing or cause and effect). [Well, okay: Butterflies cause Ozone depletion in the lower stratosphere. Send big grant, please.] However, carbon dioxide appears to have a rather straightforward increase using, say, a 3-year running mean. Did I miss the part where it says Ozone concentration only goes down? Or temperature in the tropical lower stratosphere only goes down? I see this in the quote: “the seasonal cycle of the resultant cooling trends . . .” — meaning, I think, that temperature and Ozone rise and fall. So this appears to negate a theory that CO2 is of importance in the processes being studied.
The got the Ozone from Cionni et.al. 2011 they say. Looks like these are slides from that publication:
Look at slide 24, the BLACK lines, those are observations, the colored lines are only models.
“WMO (2011) Chapter 4
(Forster et al., 2011)
Stratospheric O3 RFs from
“How The Sun Could Control Earth’s Temperature”
“The most likely solution to the observation that the stratosphere as a whole
shows net cooling naturally when the sun is more active is to propose that the
cooling effect in the upper atmosphere of the increased number of solar
protons when the sun is more active is greater than the warming effect of
more UV in the stratosphere below.”
Since writing that article back in November 2010 I have amended it slightly in subsequent comments by attributing a cooling stratosphere (when the sun is active) all or mostly to UV variability above 45 km where it appears the sun has an opposite effect on ozone quantities to that previously thought.
This paper firms up the general proposition put forward in my article.