Sunday, 19 February 2017

Social "cost" of carbon dioxide, or benefit.


Ken Gregory | February 10, 2017 at 7:52 pm

When the FUND integrated assessment model (IAM) is run using the Lewis and Curry analysis of climate sensitivity adjusted for the millennium warming cycle and the urban heat island effect, TCR = 0.85 C, warming 1916 to 2100 = 0.57 C, the model gives a best estimate of the social cost (benefit) of carbon dioxide of US$ -16.7/tCO2, with a likely range of US$ -19 to -12/tCO2, assuming a 3% discount rate. That is, warming on a global basis, CO2 emissions are very beneficial when a realistic transient climate response is used.

Other IAMs PAGE and DICE fail to include the benefits of warming and CO2 fertilization and should not be used to estimate the SCC for policy making.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

El Niño cured my worries about global warming / climate change.

Once upon a time I was worried about the climate. Genuinely concerned. Now I'm not. The recent El Niño is a big part of this. Beginning in late 2015, peaking in early 2016, it has now dissipated. El Niño is an ocean current effect, poorly understood. We don't ultimately know what causes such ocean currents to behave as they do. The effect on atmosphere is to concentrate ocean heat in a particular Pacific ocean area. This heat is given up to the atmosphere. If can effectively increase the average surface temperature of the atmosphere by 0.6°C. What it did in 2015/2016. That's where the global warming spikes (1998, 2016) come from:

Beginning from a low at about [temp anomaly = +0.22°C ] in late 2015, the temperature of surface air peaked in Feb 2016 [temp anomaly = +0.84°C ]. By Dec 2016 it was down to +0.23°C. Jan 2017 sees the anomaly at +0.3°C. Within a few months (February to December) all the heat gained was lost. The average temperature at the earth's surface dropped by 0.61°C. This showed that earth's atmosphere does not hold heat well, even with its GHG effect. That puts a nail in the coffin of catastrophic global warming. It indicates the greenhouse effect of CO2 is unlikely to count for much. If the greenhouse blanket can't hold 0.6°C for less than one year, it has no chance of regularly accumulating heat as the climate models tell us it should. It may seem to you, dear reader than doubling CO2 from pre-industrial times (~ 280 ppm in 1750 to 560 ppm sometime later this century) adds a lot more greenhouse gas (GHG). Not really. Because each addition of GHG causes less 'warming' (there no actual warming - there is a blanket effect) than the previous one. W.r.t. CO2, the first 20ppm (20 parts per million) in the atmosphere is responsible for over half the CO2 GHG effect. After that the GHG effect tails off logarithmically. By the time it gets to 400ppm (where it is now) another CO2 doubling will contribute only 6% more to the CO2 GHG blanket. The GHG (water and CO2 combined) warms the surface air to about 33°C above what it would otherwise be. No GHG = -18°C. With GHG (water + CO2) = 15°C.

CO2 is responsible for between 25% and 40% of the GHG effect (The so-called 'settled science' can't even decide upon that). A doubling (CO2 from 280ppm to 560ppm) will only add 0.15°C to the GHG blanket effect of CO2 in theory.

Where did that El Niño heat go?

Simple answer: it was radiated out to space. That's the only place it can go. Heat from the atmosphere cannot warm the earth by any measurable amount. There is just no mechanism for that to happen. In the climate: the sun warms the earth and oceans. The oceans warm the air by evaporative cooling and radiative warming. The warm air cools as it dissipates heat to outer space (as infra red emission). We just saw that warm air cooling, in 2016, by a whole 0.6°C in less than a year.

This indicates:

  1. that the atmosphere has little capacity to store heat.
  2. that when the atmosphere gets warmer it quickly loses the heat to outer space by radiative emission of IR.
  3. that future additions of CO2, GHG will have a minimal effect upon the GHG blanket effect.
First I believed what I was told : that, for doubling of CO2, global warming would be 3°C. Next I thought : about 1.5°C (1°C from the CO2 plus an amplification of 0.5°C due to more moisture in the air. Now I believe it will be about 0.2°C. Negligible.

CO2 is not 'pollution'

Meanwhile all that CO2 added to the atmosphere is accelerating world-wide plant growth and helping to make arid areas greener. Because CO2 is plant food. Because higher CO2 concentrations mean plants keep stomata open for less time, so respire less, and lose less water to the air. So more CO2 means plants can grow with slightly less water. Making plants grow better in arid areas.

More CO2 is a boon to nature. If you love nature, you should love CO2. All animals, including humans should love nature; it's in our nature to.

CO2 is not pollution. It is an essential compound upon which the tree of life on earth rests

What's been causing global warming?

(1) Surely I don't 'deny' global warming?

Of course not. I accept what the thermometers tell us.

This is a badly sited temperature monitoring station in Oregon:

Note: The preference by NOAA for land-based temperature monitoring. Their refusal to accept the satellite evidence which is the only comprehensive atmospheric surface temperature record. Land-based stations are subject to a number of error sources. Typical errors include the 'urban heat island effect'. This means the temperature monitoring stations are located close to where scientists work. Scientists live near other people. People living in towns, cities and even villages tend to warm our houses, and use heat. When we measure temperature close to us it will be warmer than more isolated locations. But more isolated locations are the norm. 95% of earth's surface is populated by only 5% of the population. 5% of the earth's surface is populated by 95% of the population. NOAA need to stop collecting data from badly sited weather stations. They need to stop interpolating data where there are no weather stations. That is also known as making data up.

Here (below) is a temperature record for the last hundred years.

(2) So what's causing the warming?

WTF, why should I know, or care what's causing the warming? What caused the global warming from 1909 to 1944? Scientists, climate or not, can't tell us. They do not agree. If climatologists can't tell us what caused the warming from 1909 to 1944, why should they expect me to believe them about 1976 to 1998? I know, for a fact, that the 1998 spike was El Niño. I know it quickly dissipated. I know the heat for El Niño comes from the ocean. That's all I'm willing to say about 1976-1998. I have no idea what caused global cooling from the mid-1940's to mid-1970's either.

I recall about 10 years ago the president of the UK Royal Meteorological Society said something like

"It must be carbon dioxide because I can’t think what else it could be"
That is not actually a scientific statement. It's not something any scientist should have any truck with. Sadly I can no longer find this quote on the web. It looks like it's been cleaned. So obsessed are our global warming friends with cleansing the historical record.

Another issue I have with climate 'scientists'

Most scientists are happy to explain their work to the public. Climate scientists seem eager to keep the public dumbed down. By not debating their critics. By not explaining the science. CO2 is supposed to cause global warming by a blanket effect.

The earth radiates infrared heat into space. Atmospheric CO2 molecules intercept the outbound IR and re-emit. Reemission happens in any direction. The CO2 molecule has the sky above, ground below and sky at its sides. So instead on ONLY heading off into space the IR bounces about in the atmosphere a bit before finally leaving earth. This absorption and re-emission of IR is supposed to, one day, cause the temperature of the atmosphere (at ground surface) to increase by 3°C or, as previously some climate scientists claimed, by up to 10°C !).
Yet the recent El Niño showed the atmosphere radiating so much extra heat to outer space that the surface air cooled by 0.6°C in 10 months. So now we have some idea of just how long IR will bounce about to blanket the earth before heading off into space. No where near enough time to raise the temperature of the atmosphere by 10°C or even 3°C. It currently can't even raise the temperature 0.6C for any length of time. Additional CO2 contributes only marginally to a warmer blanket due to the logarithmic falloff in the effectiveness of CO2 GHG.

I still don't know how long, on average, a CO2 molecule can hold extra energy before it re-emits the IR. This seems like top secret stuff. Fit for only climate scientists to discuss. I have low trust for people who are contemptuous of me. I trust climate scientists about as much as drug dealers, used car salesmen or financial advisors. Not very much at all. Now we see global warming and climate change hysteria for what it is: a busted flush, as deal offered by a conman.

Perhaps El Niño heat dissipated into the rest of the atmosphere?

The problem with this notion is that the rest of the atmosphere is cooler than the surface. If the El Niño heat gets to the rest of the atmosphere (above the surface) it's on its way out to space anyhow, but faster as there tends to be little water vapour above the troposphere since it precipitates out due to the cold.

Anyhow: this is changing the subject. Alarmists promised us 3°C per doubling of CO2. That was never on. All this based on modeling. Models never properly validated against reality. Because climate models are complex and one can only easily validate simple models against reality. Models where you change one variable and know what to expect as a result.


Monday, 13 February 2017

There is no important greenhouse gas effect?

Most climate scientists, even "skeptics", like Roy Spencer and Judith Curry agree with the greenhouse effect by which water, carbon dioxide and some other gases trap heat in the atmosphere for longer than it would otherwise be kept so keep the earth's atmosphere warmish. I.e. the GHG effect slows down the loss of heat to space. Most of the disagreement with regards to warming relate to:

  1. whether or not more water vapour (an theoretical extra 7% per doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial times) will amplify the CO2 GHG effect. Whether it will be neutral, or even negative, and whether there will be any extra water in the atmosphere at all.
  2. whether scientists should lie and torture the data to galvanize the public into action on climate change - to scare the living wits out of us.

Some do not agree with the GHG effect, but explain, by a different mechanism, how the atmosphere is, in practice, warmer than basic theory tells us it should be. I don't necessarily agree with what's written below but...

  • I've not seen this before. Which is strange. It's all: GHG is will make earth's atmosphere intolerably hot, etc.
  • Given how little experimental work climate scientists do in support of the massive changes they propose to make to our lifestyles - where are the experimental studies showing the GHG effect? - I think in the interest of balance, the other side of the story should be told.

willhaas February 8, 2017 at 3:09 am

This paper makes a good point of discussing that there is no real evidence particularly in the palaeoclimate record that CO2 has any effect on climate. At least a few more points need to be made.

The AGW conjecture is based on the existence of a radiant greenhouse effect caused by the LWIR absorption properties of so called greenhouse gases. But so far such a radiant greenhouse effect has not been observed, in a real greenhouse, in the Earth’s atmosphere, or on any planet in the solar system with a thick atmosphere. Without the existence of a radiant greenhouse effect the AGW conjecture is just science fiction. From first principals, one can derive that gravity, the depth of the atmosphere, and the heat capacity of the atmosphere will act to keep the surface of the Earth on average 33 degrees C warmer than it would be without an atmosphere. 33 degrees C is calculated from first principals and 33 degrees C is what has been observed. There is no additional radiant greenhouse effect.

A researcher has pointed out the original calculations of the Planck effect (disregarding feedbacks) climate sensitivity of CO2 were too great by a factor of more than 20 because what was neglected is that a doubling of CO2 will cause a small but very significant decrease in the dry lapse rate in the troposphere which is a cooling effect. So instead of 1.2 degrees C the Planck effect climate sensitivity of CO2 should be more like .06 degrees C, a trivial amount.

To make the warming effect of CO2 to appear significant, the AGW conjecture assumes that the H2O feedback is positive but the fact that the wet lapse rate is significantly less that the dry lapse rate indicates that more H2O has a cooling effect and hence must provide a negative feedback effect. The negative feedback effect must also have had to be there for the Earth’s climate to have been as stable as it has been for life to evolve because we are here.

The AGW conjecture would have one believe that LWIR absorption band radiation where the dominant means of heat transport in the troposphere but in the pressure regime of the troposphere, conduction and convection dominate. The climate system does not work the way that the AGW conjecture assumes that it does.

After more than 20 years of effort the IPCC has been able to refine the range of their guesses as to the climate sensitivity of CO2 one iota. The have not been able to measure it and a very plausible reason for that is there is nothing there to measure.

willhaas February 8, 2017 at 2:15 pm

The idea that CO2 causes warming is so oversold that most people feel they must at least pay homage to it. It does sound plausible because CO2 does have LWIR absorption bands however a good absorber is also a good radiator and at tropospheric pressures heat energy transfer by conduction and convection dominates over heat energy transfer by LWIR absorption band radiation. The claim is that greenhouse gases trap heat but that is really not so because they are LWIR radiators and radiate energy to space that the non-greenhouse gases do not radiate.

But then I kept asking myself is there any truth to the AGW conjecture at all. It has always been a part of my education that higher pressures in a planetary atmosphere goes hand in hand with higher temperatures. The lapse rate is really a measure of the insulating effects of the atmosphere. The higher the lapse rate the greater the insulation effect. CO2 is not a source of energy so to cause warming it can only do so by acting as a thermal insulator. I would expect that if CO2 really caused warming that there would have been a measurable increase in the dry lapse rate over the past 30 years but apparently that has not occurred. If CO2 were really this supper insulating gas then there would exist some practical applications of it but I do not know of any. The more I looked into AGW the more I realized that it is based on only a partial understanding of science and rather than being a theory is only a very flawed conjecture.

commieBob February 8, 2017 at 4:59 am

Quoted: "To make the warming effect of CO2 to appear significant, the AGW conjecture assumes that the H2O feedback is positive"

Presumably H2O heat absorption is, like CO2 heat absorption, logarithmic. Each gram of atmospheric moisture absorbs less heat than the previous gram. On the other hand, evaporating the water from the ocean into the atmosphere takes the same energy for each and every gram. The heat is given back when the moisture condenses back to water in the upper atmosphere where the heat radiates to space. It seems reasonable to postulate that increased humidity leads to greater heat loss and is, indeed, a negative feedback.

willhaas February 8, 2017 at 1:43 pm

According to some energy balance models, more heat energy is moved by H2O via the heat of vaporization from the surface of the Earth to where clouds form then by both conduction plus convection and LWIR absorption band radiation combined. The equivalent average altitude for the atmosphere radiating to space is 17K feet but because of low emissivity the actual radiation comes from much lower. We re talking about the level of cloud decks which are much higher emissivity radiators then clear air. Adding H2O to the air lowers the lapse rate which allows more heat energy to rise which constitutes a cooling effect. The cooling effects of H2O outweighs any so called greenhouse gas warming effect that it could possible have. Then there is the effect of clouds which not only reflect incoming solar radiation but also radiate to space not only during the day but at night as well. Increasing the Earth’s albedo is certainly a cooling effect.

willhaas February 8, 2017 at 1:29 pm

No it is true. There is evidence that warmer temperatures have caused more CO2 to enter the atmosphere. It is well known the warmer water cannot hold as much CO2 as cooler water so as volumes of water warm, the water releases more CO2 to the atmosphere. There are other sources of CO2 as well but no real evidence that the increase in CO2 adds to any warming. It is all conjecture. If greenhouse gases really caused warming then the real culprit would be H2O. CO2 levels in the atmosphere increase as volumes of water increase but H2O levels in the atmosphere increase as just the air and the surface of bodies of water including damp earth warm. But H2O is really a net coolant.


  • CO2: Carbon dioxide.
  • GHG: Greenhouse gas = a gas which absorbs and emits infrared radiation due to its electron bonding. E.g. Water, CO2, methane, N2O, ozone ... Absorption of IR energy promotes an electron to a higher energy band, and release of IR energy demotes an already promoted electron back. The wavelength of the IR is characteristic for a type of absorption for each molecule. Of all common GHG, water is by far the most prolific, having the most degrees of freedom by which its electrons can temporarily absorb extra energy.
  • LWIR: Long wave infrared - the type of radiation associated with the GHG effect
  • AGW: Anthropogenic global warming = man-made global warming.
  • 33 degrees C: In theory, without the GHG effect, the temperature at earth's surface should average: -18ºC. It averages about +15ºC in practice. The difference is 33ºC. 33ºC is the extra warming due to the GHG effect.
  • climate sensitivity of CO2: Expected temperature increase at the earth's surface due to doubling of the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. E.g. climate sensitivity = 1, says the temperature at earth's surface should rise by 1ºC on doubling of CO2.
  • Lapse rate: The lapse rate is the rate at which atmospheric temperature decreases with an increase in altitude.
  • Troposphere: Is the lowest portion of Earth's atmosphere, and is also where all weather takes place.
  • IPCC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - Established by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to assess evidence for man-made global warming and promote action by governments to stop, or slow, such warming.
  • Planck effect: .

Evaporative cooling

Is a major pathway for transferring heat from the earth into the atmosphere.

  1. On earth (land and sea), liquid water is converted to water vapour by absorbing latent heat of vapourization (LHoV). LHoV does not increase the water's temperature. It is a specific amount of energy required to change the state of water from liquid to gas. [There is also analogous latent heat of crystallization (required to melt ice), but no more on that right now.]
  2. The surface is warmer than the atmosphere, and water vapour (H2O, M.Wt = 18) is lighter than air. So air rises.
  3. On reaching a certain height, this water vapour is much warmer than surrounding atmosphere. So the atmosphere steals its LHoV. The water vapour changes back to liquid. It turns to cloud. The energy in LHoV has moved to the atmosphere.
  4. PS: Water vapour can also give off heat by infra red emission. In which case the atmosphere is cooled by loss of radiative heat to space.
  5. Moisture in clouds fall to earth as rain. LHoV is left in the atmosphere.

The net effect is transfer of heat into atmosphere.

This is how latent heat transfer, "24", in the diagram above works.