Scientists Find CO2 Levels Must TRIPLE To Have An 1800% Smaller Climate Impact Than Clouds Do

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Oceans cover 71% of the Earth’s surface. An analysis of CO2’s radiative effect on ocean temperatures finds CO2 forcing is negligible even after reaching a concentration of 1,071 ppm.

In the tropical oceans, 500 to 1,000 W/m² of solar radiation uniformly heats the first 2 meters of the ocean surface by 2 Kelvin in a span of just 12 hours.

Image Source: Minnett and Kaiser-Weiss (2012) and Fairall et al. (1996)

The solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface has increased by about 3 W/m² since 1980 (Delgado-Bonal et al, 2020) due to the cloud cover variations that are of “the utmost importance for current climate change” because they “ultimately determine the SW [shortwave] radiation.” This solar radiation increase can explain the recent warming trend.

Image Source: Delgado-Bonal et al, 2020

Oceanographers Wong and Minnett (2018) point out that total CO2 forcing can radiatively exert an impact on only the top 0.01 mm of the ocean’s thermal skin layer. Compare this to 0.09 mm for clouds and 10s of meters for direct solar radiation.

But here is the rub. CO2 must rise to 1,071 ppm (3 x 356.9 ppm) to have a radiative impact that “only gives ~500 mW m−²  sr−¹” at the surface. That 500 milliwatts, or 0.5 W/m² sr−¹, is the total impact CO2 can have on the the first 0.01 mm of the global ocean’s thermal skin layer after surpassing 1,000 ppm.

Image Source: Wong and Minnett, 2018

The authors even point out that the greenhouse effect of cloud forcing is 18 times larger (9 W/m² sr−¹) than the forcing associated with a 1,071 ppm CO2 concentration (0.5 W/m² sr−¹) at the ocean surface. So even if CO2 rises by the 1,000s of ppm, the CO2 impact would still not be capable of exceeding the influence of clouds.

Therefore, CO2 cannot be the driver of ocean temperature changes.




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19 responses to “Scientists Find CO2 Levels Must TRIPLE To Have An 180019 Smaller Climate Impact Than Clouds Do”

  1. tom0mason

    “Therefore, CO2 cannot be the driver of ocean temperature changes.”
    Exactly!

    It is known that there are two very different mechanisms that drive dynamics of CO2 exchange between air-water and air-biomass, therefore there is no such thing as global levels of CO2. Levels of CO2 above the water mass, covering 70% of
    the Earth surface is controlled by solubility of CO2 in water which is solely driven by temperature; while levels of CO2 above the biomass that covers most of the land surfaces is solely driven and controlled by photosynthesis (sun, water & CO2).

    It is as the local surface ocean/atmosphere temperatures vary then the pCO2 changes and the oceans will sink or source CO2 to maintain the ocean and atmospheric CO2 levels to a balance. This of course has timing lags due mostly to chemical reaction and oceanic circulations.
    Thus it is more probable that the oceans majorly regulate the atmospheric CO2 levels, and is dependent on the ocean/air temperature and pCO2 pressure prevailing at the moment. And not as the IPCC believe the other way about!

    The IPCC ordained model get all of this very wrong because, well, it’s politically expedient to make a mess of this.

  2. TL Winslow

    Duh, atmospheric CO2 only absorbs/emits radiation at a 15 micron wavelength, i.e., wave number 666, which has a Planck radiation temperature of -80C, which can’t melt an ice cube. So the intensity is irrelevant and there is no way carbon dioxide can cause any global warming. The cloudy-clear AERI graph goes to 8.3-7.7 microns, which is 76-103C, and can cause warming, but only because of the water vapor. When will this CO2 warming hoax finally die? https://www.quora.com/What-specific-chemical-properties-of-carbon-dioxide-causes-the-greenhouse-effect-Why-chemically-is-carbon-more-reflective-than-other-gases/answer/TL-Winslow

  3. John F Hultquist

    About 1,000 ppm is used in “greenhouses” to get the best response from plants. Earth will look like a Chia Pet if the atmosphere reaches 1,000.

  4. David A

    Excellent post. “In the tropical oceans, 500 to 1,000 W/m² of solar radiation uniformly heats the first 2 meters of the ocean surface by 2 Kelvin in a span of just 12 hours”

    Solar radiation penetrates the ocean up to 800′ deep. Although TSI changes only a little over disparate solar cycles, the WL can change considerably. Thus has a definitive but unquantified influence on how much energy enters the oceans over the residence time of said solar flux. Nobody has researched how disparate solar cycles affect how much energy enters the oceans, or the residence time of that flux within the oceans. As such we do not know the multi decadal flux of energy into our oceans due to solar cycle changes.

    1. David Appell

      No no no — 500-1000 W/m2 of solar radiation certainly does not irradiate the tropical ocean, anywhere, at anytime.

      Check your physics.

  5. Reb

    The paper says 0.5 W/m^2/sr, NOT 0.5 W/m^2. Why did you change it?

    1. Reb

      To be clear, dropping the sr^-1 unit makes the number totally incorrect.

  6. David Appell

    I knew Pierre wouldn’t have the simple decency to approve a comment that went against his ideology.

    He’s now no different than Marx, than Hitler, than Stalin or Pol Pot. Only one idea can be presented, and Pierre will decide what that idea is!
    [Sheesh! Stop acting like a big baby. I don’t sit all day here waiting for your comments to arrive. More insults like that and you will be out permanently – PG]

    1. tom0mason

      Well said PG!!
      The little man has no response except insults when nobody will play his worthless game.

      Cue next tantrum …

  7. The Globe’s Total Greenhouse Effect Forcing Has Been On A Declining Trend For Decades

    […] It is now widely accepted that changes in clouds, naturally driven by changes in atmospheric circulation, “may be the most important parameter controlling the radiation budget, and, hence, the Earth climate” (Sfîcă et al., 2021). Indeed, in recent decades, the post-1980 +3 W/m² increase in absorbed solar radiation due to the reduction in cloud albedo (Delgado-Bonal et al, 2020) can explain the warming in recent decades. […]

  8. The Globe’s Total Greenhouse Effect Forcing Has Been On A Declining Trend For Decades – Climate- Science.press

    […] It is now widely accepted that changes in clouds, naturally driven by changes in atmospheric circulation, “may be the most important parameter controlling the radiation budget, and, hence, the Earth climate” (Sfîcă et al., 2021). Indeed, in recent decades, the post-1980 +3 W/m² increase in absorbed solar radiation due to the reduction in cloud albedo (Delgado-Bonal et al, 2020) can explain the warming in recent decades. […]

  9. Rene Verstraeten

    I am amazed ,how little is known about the carbon emission- sea water and land absorption cycle of the atmosphere. Just a small imbalance can cause a huge extra availability of carbon in the atmosphere, as there is at least 30+ times more carbon dioxide in ocean water and a little average warming of the seas makes water to release that carbon. I have the hypothesis that “cold rain” , as it has a much larger absorption surface than the sea itself could play a role in the absorption of that trace gas to store it in cold water at colder regions of our planet. Are there direct measurements of CO2 of raindrops or is its contend they just calculated from the pCO2? The carbon cycle of CO2 is magnitude of order more complex that the heat emission and heat-forcing dispute of CO2 . It is why there is so little hard stuff about this problem to be found on the internet and in scientific papers. So when outgassing of sea water and land CO2 sources under influence of a higher average global temperature is the cause of part the extra CO2 in the atmosphere , nobody is able to quantify that. The “carbon sink” is just estimated and a small deviation of accepted values can cause a huge difference in CO2 amount in the atmosphere. No scientist takes this problem serious. It led to the over importance of the radiative aspects of CO2 as cause of “global warming” and not to the counter hypothesis that global warming from astronomic origin like Milanchovic cycle, causes more CO2. It was indicated from proxy values from icecores that first temperature rises and just 600 year later from the beginning years of our interglacial period. It indicated that temperature drives CO2 and not vice versa. Spend some money in direct measurements of CO2 contend in rain dependent on place on the earth, coupled with vertical temperature data and droplet temperature. Look at the removal of CO2 in rain as a reactor model, droplets getting more CO2 in cold rain clouds and releasing it while getting warmer in the lower atmosphere. Al couplings with chemical and biological processes in the soil and in water, over-saturation in water and so on , make it even more complex for what remains in earth or sea by immediate release.. But at least we should have a model or an idea of what is important for that. At the moment there is nothing that can give an indication. How was the “carbon sink” flux magnitude” in sea water calculated in the first place?
    These questions need an answer.

    1. tom0mason

      Yes and thank you, Rene Verstraeten, for voicing what I consider to be very real objections to the current ‘group-think’ of many so called climate scientists and modelers.
      Natural variations happen over many time scales, and have huge variations in amplitude. Thus the so called ‘energy balance’ of the Earth is NOT a static number but waxes and wanes enormously as the energy from the sun varies and profoundly modifies the naturally use (sequestered away or released energy) by life on this planet — from cold events (like the LIA) to warmer times as we’ve have recently experienced. Nothing to date has be ‘unprecedented’, nature has operated quite normally within the current envelope of variations. Only over paid and blind dolts seek to have us all believe otherwise.

      1. The Indomitable Snowman, Ph.D.

        Don’t forget that solar insolation and the “energy balance” could be exactly stable over time… and there would still be plenty of natural variations. Any system that is driven, dissipative, and stochastic will exhibit plentiful statistical noise; there’s no signal under there, just the human hard-wiring (that becomes a weakness in this situation) to see patterns… even though in fact no patterns exist.

        This behavior is grossly underappreciated with respect to things like temperature variations and similar. If you look at the temperature data that we have that goes back to c. 1880, all variability is readily-explained by statistical noise exhibited by what is inherently an underlying stable system. The funny thing about this is that if this is the case, not only is no other explanation necessary – no other explanation is even possible.

        Think about all that…

  10. Rene Verstraeten

    Editor: some words have fallen away: …and just 600 year later ===CO2 starts to rise, ==== somewhere in the middle of the text

  11. The Globe’s Total Greenhouse Effect Forcing Has Been On A Declining Trend For Decades | What Causes Global Warming

    […] It is now widely accepted that changes in clouds, naturally driven by changes in atmospheric circulation, “may be the most important parameter controlling the radiation budget, and, hence, the Earth climate” (Sfîc? et al., 2021). Indeed, in recent decades, the post-1980 +3 W/m² increase in absorbed solar radiation due to the reduction in cloud albedo (Delgado-Bonal et al, 2020) can explain the warming in recent decades. […]

  12. Jl

    David Appell-“he’s no different than Marx, Hitler or Pol Pot…only one idea can be presented, and Pierre will decide what that idea is!” David, get a clue-criticizing that has to be the ultimate in lack of self-awareness. Let me re-word that for you. “Google, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are no different than Marx, Hitler or Pol Pot…only one idea can be presented and those media companies will decide what that idea is!”

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