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Water, Water, Water (2): Water Vapor Feedback

By: Dr. Ricky Rood, 1:36 AM GMT on February 05, 2008

Water, Water, Water(2): Water Vapor Feedback

This follows from the previous water blog, links below.

Water is a greenhouse gas. In fact, in the Earth’s radiative balance, water is the most important greenhouse gas. Its influence on the radiative budget is larger than the influence of carbon dioxide. Water is, however, different from carbon dioxide in several important ways. First, water exists in all of its phases in the normal range of temperatures observed on Earth. When the phase changes, energy is consumed or released. As water vapor is carried around in the atmosphere and its phase changes, energy is transported. When water turns to ice, its normal path in clouds, and then into water, it falls out of the atmosphere. Hence, the second major difference compared with carbon dioxide, it cycles quickly. Any particular water molecule spends a much shorter time in the atmosphere than a molecule of carbon dioxide.

There is also the ocean. From the point of view of the atmosphere, the ocean is a nearly infinite supply of water vapor. The atmosphere is constantly replenished with water after in falls out. Since the air can hold more water if it gets warmer, one consequence of warming at the Earth’s surface is more water in the atmosphere. If water gets deposited as snow and ice on the surface, then it can stay there for a while. (This is the big difference when compared with Mars, on Mars a large portion of the atmosphere is deposited in the polar caps. Very different balance!)

This blog will focus on water in the atmosphere.

Because of this fast cycling of water with this large reservoir, we don’t think of water in the same way as we think of carbon dioxide. The atmosphere, more or less, holds the amount of water it can hold at any given the temperature. Yes, we emit water from industry and in cooling towers. But it immediately becomes integrated into the water cycle; it does not accumulate like carbon dioxide.

The cycling of water is closely related to vertical motion in the atmosphere. When warm wet surface air rises, the air cools. This will not change with climate change, warm air will rise and it will cool and water will condense and it will rain --- and snow. Again, in clouds water vapor is normally converted to ice and then turns into water or snow as it falls through the warmer air below.

When water vapor turns into ice or liquid, its role in the radiative balance of the Earth changes. As ice or liquid, water is a cloud and then becomes a reflector of solar radiation; hence, it has a cooling effect. Water in the atmosphere – it’s a greenhouse gas, it contributes to energy transport, it’s a reflective particle.

Imagine that the climate of the Earth is a balance of some type. Then when we add a long lived greenhouse gas like carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, then it is reasonable to ask the question how will the balance change? To first approximation the surface will warm from the additional carbon dioxide. Then, the atmosphere and ocean will respond. The responses in the atmosphere and ocean might amplify the warming by carbon dioxide; they might reduce the warming by carbon dioxide; they might do nothing. Because we are in this temperature range where water changes phases so readily, water is at the center of this response. The response to a change in a balance is called a feedback. A positive feedback amplifies the change, and a negative feedback reduces the change. The feedback called the water vapor feedback is one of the most important and most easily analyzed atmospheric responses. It is a positive feedback. Basically as the atmosphere warms it holds more water, which acts as a greenhouse gas, and warms the atmosphere some more.

Figure 1: Water Vapor Feedback in a Warming Atmosphere

If you wanted to think about this in the same way as carbon dioxide, as something we are adding to the atmosphere, then adding carbon dioxide leads to us adding water as well. This is due to temperature increases. In an earlier blog I mentioned a paper that I thought was especially important. It was a paper about what is changing in the radiative balance of the Arctic sea ice, and what was measured was an increase in surface warming due to an increase in water vapor due to an increase in air temperature. Here’s that reference again. (Sea Ice Arctic

There is a lot of chatter about all of the ice and snow we have seen this winter. In the U.S. you might also think of it as ice and snow followed by fog because of rapid melting. (Yes, there is fog at the Chicago airport today.) In an earlier blog, I talked about the fact that increased water vapor would likely build up the Greenland and East Antarctic ice sheets because they are at high elevation. It’s cold up there; it stills snows; there is more water to snow. This is true in the Sierra Nevada as well. It can still snow a lot, but it is likely to melt a lot as well.

Let’s think about cold a little more. In the winter, at the pole, it is dark. It still gets cold at the pole. With climate change, it will still get dark at the pole, and it will be cold. It might not be as cold, as long, but it is still cold. (Have you read To Build a Fire? – “It was cold.”) And the atmosphere still has to get cold air away from the pole and warm air to the pole. That is the job of the atmosphere. When that cold air gets wrapped up with warm wet air, it still freezes and it still snows. That the globe gets warm on average does not mean it will not snow. It might not even mean in a cumulative way, it will snow less. What are the other attributes of snow, and snow cover, and melting, and fog, and water storage that might be a better measure of whether or not there is warming?


Previous Blogs on Water and Feedbacks

Water Water Water (1)
Warm Snow
Clouds Cool and Warm
Cooling Aerosols

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

New blog, guys...
Ricky, what do you think about Dr. Roy Spencer's work on water vapor and cirus clouds. He says it could be a major negative feedback and the models would have to be adjusted for that. He says it could reduce the models predictions by 75%.

Also, something I read about water vapor and rain. That also being a negative feed back.
If adding co2 to the atmosphere causes increase in heat, which causes additional co2 from the increased heat, what stops it? Do we have runaway temperatures in an ever upward spiraling wave of increased temperatures and co2? What is the braking mechanism? Because if there is none, then how come every time we have had an extended warm period, the climate has not just run away?

The Arctic and Antarctic will always get cold in their winters because of lack of sunlight. But additional moisture in the atmosphere will cause more snow than in a cooler climate? The snow will not stay around as long because of warmer temperatures overall, so as the temperatures increase the volume of water vapor will increase causing more and more snow, does it ever reach an equilibrium? Or the warmer it gets the more it snows?
Two quickies: I think that cirrus clouds are important, and while there are some mechanistic studies they are not well represented in climate models. In fact, they are not represented in any self-consistent way. It is an active area of research. Also sub visible cirrus.

So there are a couple of strong positive feedbacks. And clouds/aerosols seem to be a pretty definitive negative feedback. There is some resistance in the system, but it is beginning to look like a mostly positive feedback system.

Wish me luck. I'm late in Denver trying to get back to Detroit.
Re #2: A science question!?!?!? Knock me over with a feather.

Spencer's a bit of a sad case. Lindzen's "iris" idea failed years ago because a) it couldn't be detected, b) the tropical upper troposphere was determined to be getting wetter, not drier as would be required for a cooling effect due to reduced cirrus, and c) it couldn't account for known sharp swings in paleo tropical temps.

#3: The basic braking mechanism on the warming end is low cloud formation. All else being equal, warming will result in more snow until air temps get high enough to turn it into rain. At the poles, the amount of additional snow due to warming is less than the direct melting effect, thus the present mass loss in both ice sheets.
but it is beginning to look like a mostly positive feedback system

'splain that one better when you have time

Good luck! be careful driving home!
5. SteveBloom 3:00 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
Re #2: A science question!?!?!? Knock me over with a feather.

Pretty good for someone who could not care less what you think about them.

It's a good litmus test on the internet that when the personal attacks start, that means that the person making them is feeling threatened, and they feel it's their only recourse.

Well, on the floor a while longer. The water vapor feedback is positive and definitive. The ice albedo feedback is positive just in the presence of warming. Would require something like orbital variation to make a negative ice-albedo effect.

There is something that is sometimes called the temperature feedback, that is basically the hotter something is relative to its environment the faster its cooling, but that one doesn't really feel like a feedback to me.

So on the time scale of a few years we have more clouds and pollution that can cool. If you look at the IPCC radiative forcings which will be in a near-future blog, the aerosol effects are cooling, and becoming better and better defined.

Most of the stuff that might come out of the ocean and tundra warm more.

Also an interesting paper in Science recently Roe and Baker on feedbacks. Don't feel I should post it because of copyright.
As I understand it, the hypothesis for the cooler temperatures between the 40's and mid 70's, was increased aerosols from industrial pollution which masked higher co2 concentrations. However these pollutants in the atmosphere are short lived compared to co2 in the atmosphere, so co2 levels which remain longer in the atmosphere are now overriding the affect of pollutant aerosols, is that correct anyone?
Re #2:

"He says it could reduce the models predictions by 75%."

No wonder you think that scientists just "guess" about parameters! While it is true that once we better model cloud dynamics within the models, it will alter them significantly, but I've never seen a number on the order of 75% as a predicted change. Could you link to a paper of Spencer's that derives this magical number? Note: PAPER, not op-ed or other opinion piece. I want to see the MATHS!!!
10. counters 12:15 PM GMT on February 05, 2008

No wonder you think that scientists just "guess" about parameters!

I don't know why you guys are so reading challenged.

It has nothing to do with parameters.

Hypotheses, theories, assumptions have only one thing in common
they are all guesses

Cirrus disappearance: Warming might thin heat-trapping clouds (8/9/2007)


"In August, 2007, Spencer published an article in Geophysical Research Letters calling into question a key component of global warming theory which may change the way climate models are programmed to run. [2] Global warming theory predicts a number of positive feedbacks which will accelerate the warming. One of the proposed feedbacks is an increase in high-level, heat trapping clouds. Spencer's observations in the tropics actually found a strong negative feedback. This observation was unexpected and gives support to Richard Lindzen's “infrared iris” hypothesis of climate stabilization. "To give an idea of how strong this enhanced cooling mechanism is, if it was operating on global warming, it would reduce estimates of future warming by over 75 percent," Spencer said. "The big question that no one can answer right now is whether this enhanced cooling mechanism applies to global warming."

You'll have to find the paper and read it.

Water vapor does accumulate in the atmospyhere.

Changing the evaporation/precipitation ratio vapor can accumulate as it has in the past 50 yrs by 4%

The overall effect of clouds is cooling (negative feedback). An increase of 15% in low cloud cover will cancel out the warming forcing of 2x CO2.


You should tone down the arrogance and pretention. Milankovich cycles are long term variations that drove most of the cooling and warming in the ten's of thousand years span. Despite, to date, there is no conclusive answer to what caused the cooling/warming events on the geological record.

The resolution of the ice core data is 2000 yrs and got better at the end with 800 yrs. Therefore variations of 50yr span are not detected, thus we can not guarantee that the earth has not been warmer than todays in the last 600,000 yrs. Example 8,000 yrs ago the earth was warmer than today for hundred of yrs

Since stormtracker did not collected numbers from his literature review he could not run a statistical analysis of his findings to get a statistical level of confidence. so his confidence level is his own opinion.

Re #13:

Crucilandia, I'm well aware of what Milankovitch cycles are; if one studies meteorology in a University, in his or her first class they'll be introduced to the concept. No one is suggestive that the astronomical hypothesis as to the cause of the global/cooling trends on the geological records is the absolute truth; however, when one simplifies the model of the atmosphere and then uses astronomy to re-calculate the planet's energy budget, one can reasonably approximate the cyclical trends.

As for the temporal resolution of ice cores, your point is duly noted. But it isn't a fundamental blow to the AGW hypothesis; it merely introduces more uncertainty, or a wider margin of error.

Re #11

I don't subscribe to that journal so I'll have to check it out from my library, but on a cursory reading of the link you provided, I think you should slow down a bit; Spencer isn't coming right out and refuting the AGW hypothesis. His work has merely proposed an alternate hypothesis explaining the upper-level cloud feedback loop. Should further investigation verify his findings, then his data should be incorporated into climate models and see how they're affected. Seeing as he illustrated an intra-seasonal cycle, however, I doubt that it will play a large role in the overall climate predictions.
Global low level clouds has dropped by 3% since 1996 which matches the sharp increase in global surface temperature that started in 1996 (look at the hockey stick graph).


do you think is the most accurate plot of the global temperature change since 1850 Mann's hockey stick graph or McIntire's version ?

It is all mathematics.
14. counters 5:28 PM GMT on February 05, 2008
" I think you should slow down a bit; Spencer isn't coming right out and refuting the AGW hypothesis."

counters, you really are seriously reading challenged.

I have not said anything about that.

" I doubt that it will play a large role in the overall climate predictions."

Dr. Spencer did the work on it, and he says
"it would reduce estimates of future warming by over 75 percent,"

variation on cloud type and global coverage has an impressive effect on global forcings.

Since the water cycle controls the temperature on earth (95% of planet's temperature is due to water vapor), small variations on clouds and water vapor will have an imense impact on temperature compared to variations on a small player such as CO2.
You would think that would be obvious,
but since water vapor, clouds, weather
is so poorly understood

It is either left out of the models, or stands a very good chance of being
mis-represented in the models computer programs

the models do a very poor job representing the effects of clouds on climate, thus the forecast from these models are far from reality.
Latitude, you insist that things are "poorly understood." Yet, there have been volumes of work laying the foundation for a complete understanding of most of things that you lament. It's not that these things are poorly understood; for the most part it's that incorporating them into the models is either extremely difficult (remember, we only have limited processing power).

Of your list:
1) Water vapor is well understood. The problem is its short residence time in the atmosphere as well as the extremely fine detail we find in the real world when examine humidity in the atmosphere. It's not that we don't understand how H2O(g) performs, it's that we don't have the data to accurately analyze all the subtle variations.

2) I'm not sure what you mean by "weather." For most intents and purposes, "weather" is just an attempt by the system to balance itself. We see large scale heating variations, so ultimately Rossby waves are formed which can lead to mid-latitude cyclones in the like, all in an attempt to evenly distribute the heating across the globe. Besides, climate is a field of means or expected levels; I don't want to use the word "average," but essentially, climate would be the sum total of all the observed weather, emphasizing long term patterns as well as degrees of variance.

3) Clouds most definitely do pose a problem, but it's not that they're so poorly understood that they compromise the entire hypothesis. More work must be done and is being done, but the hypothesis isn't invalidated. Besides, clouds will ultimately lead to nothing but another feedback within the system; the magnitude of this feedback would have to balance the sum total of all the other feedbacks enhancing global warming to equilibrate the system, and although I'm not a cloud physicist, I don't think that's likely to happen.

It's mostly climate change skeptics who play up the importance of clouds; most papers I read on climate models add in the cloud feedback as an area of uncertanity, but don't anticipate it setting the science upside down.
4. RickyRood 2:53 AM GMT on February 05, 2008
Wish me luck. I'm late in Denver trying to get back to Detroit.

Thanks for the new blog info, Ricky! Really interesting! Best of luck getting back to the "Motor City!" :)
Crucilandia, you're going to need to cite sources for your statistics. Please reference a textbook or paper which corroborates your assertions that CO2 is a small player and the water cycle "controls" the temperature. "Regulate" and "control" mean different things.

You ask a loaded question as to which graph I believe is "more accurate." I believe neither of them are as accurate as they could be, and we should be doing temperature-history reconstructions on a nearly constant basis. I do, however, believe that a great deal of McIntyre's criticism is nothing more than a disagreement as towards the use of statistics and the statistical significance of the final reconstruction.

Anyone working on refuting the hockey stick graph should be attempting new temperature-history constructions at this point.
Ricky, hiya, a question. Note: This is not a challenge; I'm nowhere close to your understanding of atmospheric systems, just a question.

You said: When the phase changes, energy is consumed or released... do you think it'd be a little more precise to say the energies are translated? I ask this because I'm wondering if water ever subliminates, as CO2 does. I realize that the temperatures with solid CO2 are much colder, but I also wonder if this factor could skew the models that predict water "behavior" in a mixed matrix of various gasses.

Oh crap, that probably didn't make a lick of sense. I'll think it over and re-ask the question. Thanks for your blog.
20. counters 8:20 PM GMT on February 05, 2008

"1) Water vapor is well understood.
it's that we don't have the data to accurately analyze all the subtle variations"

Those are major variations that make any command you give a computer program


"2) but essentially, climate would be the sum total of all the observed weather, emphasizing long term patterns as well as degrees of variance."

that would make commands put into a a computer climate program


"3) Clouds most definitely do pose a problem, but it's not that they're so poorly understood that they compromise the entire hypothesis."

Of course clouds do. No one knows to what extent they have an effect.
Making anything fed into a computer climate program


and we have not even touched on the main water

the oceans

No one has a clue how over 75% of the surface of this planet - the oceans - will or will not react.

it's A GUESS


A new definition of weather-Climate Change

I believe you have a semantics problem. Weather is an attempt.,.. as if the planet can control its physics and say: I will send heat to the poles. etc.

The reason for Rosby waves is the Earth's rotation as it is for the reason oceanic currents rotatating clockwise in the NHem and by that (not because the ocean wants to) water from the equatorial reagion moves polewards and heat gets transferred.

If MacIntire is right, our idea of global warming will have to change. McIntire graph puts warm temperatures in the beginning of the 20th century, which can not be explained by CO2. Thus going against the biased attempt to simplify the system and blame everything on CO2.

It is a mathematical/statistics problem, if math rules, why is it so difficult to find the answer for it?
Report on the
Hockey Stick’ Global Climate Reconstruction

Testimony of Edward J. Wegman

The MBH98/99 work has been sufficiently politicized that this community can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility. Overall, our committee believes that the MBH99 assessment that the decade of the 1990s was the likely the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was likely the hottest year of the millennium cannot be supported by their analysis.

Sounds pretty definitive to me, he's pretty good with that math stuff I hear.
Re #24: lat, I am reminded of the aphorism that a sufficiently advanced technology will be indistinguishable from magic. As you have not gone to the trouble to inform yourself about any of the details of climate science, of course it looks like a bunch of guesses to you.

Re #29: McIntyre says he hasn't done a reconstruction. Re the early 20th century warming, there was indeed some in the Nirth Atlantic region and the cause is well-known. Remember a couple of posts ago when Ricky was asking you guys for specifics on this and you couldn't provide him with anything? Links, please. (And BTW, if you want to give up and ask me what the cause is, I'll tell you.)

Re #31: Wegman also said that CO2 wasn't well-mixed. An understanding of statistics in the absence of an understanding of climate science isn't too helpful. Shorter Wegman: "Hire more statisticians." Well, of course.
32. SteveBloom 12:11 AM GMT on February 06, 2008
Re #24: lat, I am reminded of the aphorism that a sufficiently advanced technology will be indistinguishable from magic. As you have not gone to the trouble to inform yourself about any of the details of climate science, of course it looks like a bunch of guesses to you.

You have no problem making yourself look bad
do you?

You have reduced your posts to just the personal attacks.

23 Hurricanecrab ... fine question. There is sublimation between ice and air, for example in the very dry, very cold Antarctic. The latent heat of sublimation is considered in the thermodynamics.

Translation ... So if I were to write an energy equation I would look to write an energy production and an energy loss term. This is a concept of something that happens locally, at a point. This excess or deficient of "energy" is then transported around. I don't like the word translation as much. Something like exchange or transfer works better for me. But as long as you were careful and context, it's fine.


I did not make it back last night. Diverted away from Detroit because of squall line and fog together. I want you to look at the radar around Detroit last night and right now. Wild stuff.
Then you are saying to ignore the NAS and go with the hockey stick? There really was no MWP or little ice age? Is that your belief? Just curious as to what you actually believe about the hockey stick, is it an accurate record of temperatures or not? Do you have an opinion?

stormtracker: keep your answer about 1930 to yorself. And please read Mcintire's paper before you comment on the issue. Your answer makes no sense at all.
Why is the warm period with temperatures 2.5K higher than today's that happend between 8kyr and 5kyr (3,000 y span) ago always ignored in arguments?

Why this period is ignored (lost on the resolution) on the Hockey stick graphy?

Why do we want CO2 to be the most important culprit for the warming since 1850?
Jer - Are you referring to the 2006 National Academy of Sciences report that prompted the Nature article titled "Academy affirms hockey-stick graph"? This is the same report that concluded:

"The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1,000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence that includes both additional large-scale surface temperature reconstructions and pronounced changes in a variety of local proxy indicators, such as melting on ice caps and the retreat of glaciers around the world, which in many cases appear to be unprecedented during at least the last 2,000 years."

All you want to know about the 1930 warm period and was afraaid to ask

OLA M. JOHANNESSEN Tellus A Volume 56 Issue 4 Page 328-341, August 2004
Of course the academy supports Mann's model. Reputations and carreers would be ruined.
Re #40:

One stands to gain much more than they lose by definitively disproving an established belief. Maybe, just maybe, the Academy supports the Mann's re-construction because it feels there is sound science behind it?

also, for anyone experienced here: a bunch of posts default to hidden for me; is there a way I can automatically show all of them?
Re: latitude (in general)

You're just being cynical at this point by watering down the scientific method to "guesses." By your logic, gravity is just a "guess" since we haven't observed a 'graviton' yet. The Bergeron-Findeison process is just a "guess" because we don't have instrumentation to observe cloud droplets on the macro-molecular level. Evolution is just a "guess" because we can't fast-forward time and observe large-scale evolutionary changes. The Giant Impact theory (about the formation of the moon) is just a "guess" because we didn't have cameras recording the event.

Am I illustrating my point well enough?

If scientists felt that "guesses" simply weren't solid enough of a foundation to work on, then we'd still be living in caves without fire. If one can propose, at the very least, a logically derived mechanism to describe a natural phenomenon, then further investigation into that mechanism is warranted. This is the unwritten axiom that drives discovery.

So far, you've been speaking very generally about what is "known" about certain phenomena. Let's pick the case of CO2 molecules and their behavior. Please elaborate on exactly what about the behavior of CO2 is a guess. Is it the molecules absorption spectra? Is it its residency time in the atmosphere? Is it the sources and sinks of CO2? Please state what you claim is a guess, and I'll do my best to explain how that behavior is derived.
The American Geophysical Union's Official Position on Global Warming
- complete article.

Volume 11, Number 6: 6 February 2008
The American Geophysical Union (AGU) document entitled Human Impacts on Climate begins with the statement that "the earth's climate is now clearly out of balance and is warming." It sounds ominous, doesn't it? But if mere warming or cooling is a sign of being out of balance, one could truthfully say that earth's climate is almost always "out of balance," which suggests that its current condition is actually normal.

The second declaration of the document says that many components of the climate system "are now changing at rates and in patterns that are not natural." And unnatural climate change sounds even more ominous. But is this really the case?...

...The AGU Council next describes some of the climatic projections that are used to scare people into believing we must act decisively and soon if we are to prevent the mother-of-all-catastrophes. To their credit, however, they note that "with such projections, there are many sources of scientific uncertainty." But to their discredit, they add that "none are known that could make the impact of climate change inconsequential," implying there is nothing that can significantly change the model-based projections. In reality, however, there could well be several factors -- all largely unknown to them -- that may in fact be able to do what the Council essentially infers is impossible. When faced with the amazing complexity of nature, therefore, humility is much to be preferred over hubris.

In much the same vein, the AGU document states "there can be surprises that may cause more dramatic disruptions than anticipated from the most probable model projections." Again, this is true; but it is equally true that there can be surprises that may cause less dramatic disruptions than anticipated from the most probable model projections. In fact, there can be surprises that may actually change the projections from something hurtful to something helpful. Indeed, that is the essence of surprises: they are things that are totally unexpected. And as everyone knows, surprises happen!

In light of these several observations, the leadership of the American Geophysical Union would do well to restrict themselves to purely scientific matters and not delve into policy prescriptions, as they do in the final paragraph of their official statement. If the science of the subject ever becomes clear, the people of the world will know what to do about it; they are not dumb. Therefore, to try to tell them how to act now, when the science is not clear, is actually an admission of that fact, i.e., the fact that the science is not clear, just as it is also an indication of the possibility that something other than science alone may have prompted the Council's recent reaffirmation of their "position" on this scientific matter.

-- great critique! Good job, CO2 Science! Thanks!

counters, click on "member settings" near the top of the left bar.
Thanks, Steve.

Re: #46

Let's look at this article paragraph by paragraph, starting with the first one:

Paragraph 1) The article gets off to a running start by misrepresenting the words of the AGU. The AGU never associates the phrase "mere warming" as evidence of the climate being out of balance. More egregious, however, is the claim made by CO2Science (C2S from here on) that being "out of balance" is natural. What is "balance" and what is "out of balance?" You can't make these qualitative claims without defining what each one means. The first paragraph is nothing but a semantic argument.

Paragraph 2) More or less a thesis paragraph. The discussion of "unnatural climate change" as more "ominous" is completely irrelevant; why would the other bother wasting space with this comment?

Paragraph 3) This paragraph begins laying out the argument to clarify the thesis ("Is this really the case?"). Issues arise quickly. The clear reference to the Urban Heat Island effect is really unwarranted; it's not the same type of "human activity" that AGU is talking about. We'll see as this analysis continues that C2S is intent on misrepresenting what AGU means by "human activity" - more on that later. Anyway, it seems as if that UHI reference is a diversion to distract the reader from what AGU actually stated; try reading the paragraph while omitting the second sentence, and you'll see what I mean. It's disingenious to even mention the local scale while the source article is clearly talking about large scale activities. Furthermore, it's disingenious to claim something is "murky" without citing sources of uncertainity, alternate plausible hypotheses, or other explanations; "murky" must be qualified, or else there isn't even an argument being made. In the final sentence, C2S once again obfuscates "human activty" by redefining it is "anthropogenic warming" versus natural activity, or "natural warming." This leads to a digression:

Many, MANY comments on this blog assert that we can't possibly know the difference between what pressures on the atmospheric system are human caused and naturally occuring. This just simply isn't the case, and I know that explaining once more is futile, but I'll waste my time doing so regardless: IN THE GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE THEORY, THE MAJORITY OF AVERAGE TEMPERATURE CHANGE IN THE ATMOSPHERE IS ATTRIBUTED TO GREENHOUSE GAESS. -- I know certain posters will disagree with the basic premise that such a thing as a "greenhouse gas" even exists, and if they are going to insist on being that ignorant of basic chemistry and physics, then they're not even worth arguing with anymore. -- Anyways, the "anthropogenic" comes in when we examine the SOURCE of greenhouse gases; there seems to be a strong correlation between the advent of human industrialization, and a rise in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Of course, correlation does not imply causation, but other factors corroborate the relationship - the composition of gasses emitted as wastes from factories, for one thing, as well as the byproducts of burning fossil fuels are two simple lines of evidence that lead towards the conclusion that the majority of surplus CO2 seems to be a byproduct of human activity. Moreso, the relative normalcy of the geologic system and other factors that are a potential source of surplus CO2 help strongly illustrate that the CO2 is likely the cause of human activity.

The aforementioned statement is where "human activity" ends - humans seem to have addd carbon dioxide to the atmosphere (and a lot of it). Everything that follows after the CO2 enters the atmosphere is the "warming." You all have heard the details numerous times, but to summarize very rapidly, the increased CO2 represents a forcing which causes certain tendencies in the system as it attempts to re-equilibrate itself. In other words, all that humans do is upset the balance of the system. Thereafter, any warming or cooling or other change in the behavior is a result of natural processes.

Humans are not the direct cause of global climate change. The introduction of large amounts of greenhouse gasses (mostly CO2) to the atmosphere - a byproduct of human activity - is the direct cause of global climate change. Diagram this previous sentence to clearly see the subject, verb, predicate, and any appositives before deciding to argue semantics here.

Back to the analysis:

Paragraph 4) After my diatribe, it should be pretty clear that even the first sentence of this paragraph is obfuscating the issue. Is it really so hard to be direct, and state "when human industrialization" was non-existent, rather than "the use of fossil fuels?" It's simply poor writing to hide the true subject of a paragraph. After this, we are taken on a tour de force of misrepresentational data relating to "stable climate." Stable climate does NOT mean constant temperature; stable climate means the natural evolution of the climate due to natural influenced change on the variables that affect the status of the climate. Climate is NOT a three dimensional system; you have to look at it while including the fourth dimension of time as well. Thus, this quaint information about the mid-Holocene and MWP is really irrelevant. The successive argument helps establish why; once again, C2S misrepresents the issue, which is one of RATE of change as opposed to magnitude of change (at this time). That they can name two time periods in the past climate that experienced a warmth is irrelevant - that they throw in the CO2 concentration is simply stupid. They commit another faux pas by stating "current temperature;" were we not just talking about climate CHANGE? Someone give these guys a lesson in calculus I!

The issue at hand is one of correlations and rates. It doesn't matter if it was warm in the past. What matters is HOW FAST IT WARMED. Nowhere in the paleoclimatic record can you find such a short period of time where the CO2 concentration increased so dramatically. It's common sense that the magnitude of an effect is correlated to the magnitude of its forcing, but look at it this way: If we put water in a teapot, and put it on an already very hot stove, it wll warm up a LOT faster than if we put it on an idle burner and slowly turned up the heat. THIS IS THE CRUX OF THE ISSUE - the RATE of CO2 increase and subsequent climate change -, something climate skeptics seem to ignore at every oppurtunity.

Finally, from the final sentence, all that the MWP's lower concentration of CO2 means is that GHG forcings aren't the only thing that can cause the climate to warm. DUH!!!! Has anyone actually denied that there are other forcings? If they were smart, C2S would play up the Maunder Minimum correlation here and blame things on increased sun output. However, they seem intent on disproving CO2's role, something which, if you've been following my analysis thus far, seems unlikely that they will accomplish.

Paragraph 5) The first sentence starts off strong, but then loses focus very quickly. The AGU is describing climate predictions that ILLUSTRATE A CHANGE IN THE CLIMATE; what others choose to interpret from those projections and then sell to the public is irrelevant. The rest of the argument, in C2S's presented form, is just a strawman; YOU CAN'T STATE THAT THERE ARE OTHER EXPLANATIONS WITHOUT IDENTIFYING ONE OF THE OTHER EXPLANATIONS. Not only is it poor debate form, it's brutally dishonest! However, let's give C2S the benefit of the doubt and play under there terms. It's not enough that other explanations exist - those explanations have to be plausible based on the current conditions. So, then not only must C2S provide another explanation, they must explain why it is plausible. But it doesn't stop there! Then, they have to explain why their alternative is more plausible, should it violate parsimony - Ockham's Razor - particularly if they make any assumptions that weren't necessary by the previous explanation. So, in summary: C2S states that there exist factors which could cancel out the magnitude of the climate change (again, an irrelevant issue - the issue is RATE of climate change), but they don't want to name any particular ones, or explain why that particular one is plausible, or explain why it's 'better.'

Paragraph 6) I actually don't have any major issues with this paragraph! Just a tiny thing I want to point out: the projection is "hurtful" or "helpful." The projection is for a warmer climate, a cooler climate, or a climate which doesn't deviate too much from the naturally cycling one. Some things about climate change would be very helpful for some people, while others would be hurtful, but it's not the projections that have these tags.

Paragraph 7) The AGU is entitled to do whatever they want. However, you don't have to listen to them. They're not a policy making body, so any policy suggestions by them are inconsequential by default. The rest of the paragraph is just more blustering and word-making. Sorry guys; the general consensus is that although there's much to learn, the science is pretty clear. Just because it doesn't jive with your worldview, it isn't automatically wrong. C2S makes no scientific statement in this article and is not an inherently scientific body (they're not a major lab or consortium of scientists, just commenters - some of which happen to be scientists), so let's use their own argument from the first sentence against them: "In light of these several observations, the leadership of CO2Science.org would do well to restrict themselves to purely EDITORIAL matters and not delve into SCIENTIFIC ANALYSIS, as they do in THE ENTIRE ARTICLE." Finally, they top it all off with a stab at the motives and intentions of the AGU. Really guys, do I have to reciprocate? I wonder what's prompting CO2Science's "position" on this scientific matter?
your have a lot of time in your hands.

1. If CO2 increse is due to human activity, why the isotopic signature of the atmosphere does not support it?

2. CO2 is not the cause of warming. so you start with a wrong/usubstantiated assumption

3. Regarding humans activity and climate: land use and changes in cover due to humans greatly also affect climate, so we cannot rule out humans as a factor.

4. rate of warming. we are measuring rate within 100 yrs with 1 yr resolution, which cannot be used to compare to the geological record w/ 2000y resolution. that is maybe why we do not see rates that we see today

4. Please study aliasing in data
Re #51:

Time well spent, bud. The Calculus grade will suffer a bit, but w/e.

1) How about you provide a paper (from a peer-reviewed journal) supporting this statement? I can't respond to this claim without seeing how it was made.

2) Then what, pray tell, is the cause of the warming? What part of the CO2-caused warming mechanism do you disagree with? My claim is substantiated throughout the scientific literature. As the challenger to the established consensus, it's dishonest for you to frame the debate in any other way.

3) For once, good point. However, vegetation as a carbon sink is not a significant value (the carbon reservoir in terrestrial fauna is a mere drop in the bucket compared to the reserves in sediments a.k.a. fossil fuels). Or, are you suggesting land use and changes in cover as an albedo altering feedback? Regardless, you can't brandy these claims without pointing to credible research and data supporting your hypothesis.

4) Math is power. There are more than enough statistical techniques for analyzing the data.

4)2) Please study any of the myriad of techniques and algorithms developed over the years to address aliasing and artifacts.

1. You can find one easily if you want to.

2. Only if you show me a peer reviewed paper that has proven CO2 as the causative factor.
What are the other factor confouded with the CO2 forcing?

3. Vegetation and soils are significant active sinks of Carbon. I am referring to albedo and local weather changes due to change of land cover that contribute to the warming.
You are comparing oranges to apples. Carbonate rocks is the largest reservoir.

4.2) These techniques were not applied to geological data from ice and marine sediment cores. Hundreds of spikes in temperature must have happened that are not seen in the samples
CO2 rose sharply in January, and the 12 month increase in January 2008 over January 2007 increased to 2.50 ppm, up sharply from an increase of 2.09 ppm in December 2007 over December 2006. The reading at Mauna Loa was 385.44 ppm in January 2008. Not good! Link
The reading at Mauna Loa was 385.44 ppm in January 2008. Not good!

On the other hand, Jan, 2008 coldest January globally in 15 years. So where do we go with that?
At some point the correlation between rising CO2 and temperatures has to be proven. If the fact that this is a La Nina year is being used to justify lower than projected temperatures, then 1998's El Nino has to be recognized for that years higher temperatures. People can't have it both ways, the higher the CO2 levels go without a corresponding rise in temperatures must be explained or the entire AGW theory falls apart.

Based upon the AGW theory, the higher the CO2 levels go, the greater the corresponding feedback would have to be to compensate for the affects of the CO2 increase. I guess because a volcano erupted this week it will give the alarmist another few years of cover, lol.

Re #56:

The net effect of a forcing lags behind the actual forcing. If you put a teapot on the stove, the water doesn't boil instantaneously.
biofuels may release more CO2

now...can someone tell me with a degree of cetainty why the push has been on these type of crops which "nay sayers" have been saying all along won't provide CO2 relief?...there's alternative non-traditional crops out there without a human food capacity that could work but they've been ignored....makes you say hmmmmmmmmmm

The net effect of a forcing lags behind the actual forcing. If you put a teapot on the stove, the water doesn't boil instantaneously.

OK, totally agree, but according to Jim Hansen the critical point occurred at 350 ppm. Which happened around 1988 We are now way past that yet a La Nina can cause 50-100 year temperature lows. It certainly is fodder for the AGW crowd to point to record highs to trumpet global warming, what about recognizing historic lows as well? The fact is that according to AGW theory the only way temperatures can go is up. As co2 levels rise the period of time in which you can have down turns in temperatures diminishes. The AGW theory puts it's supporters in a box, the higher the co2 concentration becomes the bigger the excuse will have to be to justify downward fluctuations in temps.

Only time will tell, but the fact is that based on the global response to the alarm, CO2 will continue to rise and we will have the proof in about 10-20 years one way or another. I for one am not the least bit scared of the consequences .

Y'know, Tim Allen had a long-running sitcom based on the premise that when you add more energy POWER! to a complex system, wacky unintended consequences ensue. Apparently, some folks didn't watch the show. Or didn't get that.

I don't see extreme, transient weather occurrences - even historic low temperatures and snow events, deeper and more persistent La Ninas and El Ninos, longer and wider swings in various oscillations (like the NAO) - as being in any way incompatible with or "disproving" the long term effects of adding more energy to the complex climate system. Wackiness is bound to ensue. Only, in this case, it probably won't be all that funny.
I have to go to work but

deeper and more persistent La Ninas and El Ninos

Please provide facts on this statement. since it is relatively new development in science that these even exist or affect temperatures, I'd like to see some literature substantiating this comment. I mean this with all sincerity, I have never heard this as being put forth as fact before so I'd like to study it

Well I have thought for a long time that biofuels, especially corn ethanol, were just a mirage as far as reducing CO2 emissions.
Well I have thought for a long time that biofuels, especially corn ethanol, were just a mirage as far as reducing CO2 emissions.

Agree 100% St.S, they really need to focus on solar in my opinion. It rally is the only limitless and least harmful source of energy on earth. Investment in this rather than co2 reduction nonsense is the long term answer, IMO.

Save the sea-ice!!

I am going on my Antarctic cruise in 10 days! OHNO!
I am going on my Antarctic cruise in 10 days! OHNO!

Watch out for icebergs, lol
Re #61
even historic low temperatures and snow events, deeper and more persistent La Ninas and El Ninos, longer and wider swings in various oscillations (like the NAO)

It would take a pretty good hard sell to convince people that historic low temperatures were the result of global warming, but what the heck. they've sold co2 as a doomsday molecule.

Below is the Enso index. The 1998 el nino, I guess is rather deep though not nearly very persistent relative to historic precedents. The current la nina has a long way to go to be considered either deep or persistent.

I guess based on the chart below that the case could be made that we have had more and stronger el nino events in the past thirty years, compared to prior. However the PDO switched from negative to positive at that time so I guess most reasonable people would associate the increase in el nino events to that.

Now here is the History on the NAO thru march 2005

So what does all this tell us about how co2 affects anything? Please tell me, because it does not seem to mean much at all. I guess it must be on a climate model run somewhere because nothing here even remotely looks like the famous hockey stick. :)


Feb 08, 2008
The Sun Also Sets

Not every scientist is part of Al Gore’s mythical “consensus.” Scientists worried about a new ice age seek funding to better observe something bigger than your SUV - the sun. Back in 1991, before Al Gore first shouted that the Earth was in the balance, the Danish Meteorological Institute released a study using data that went back centuries that showed that global temperatures closely tracked solar cycles. To many, those data were convincing. Now, Canadian scientists are seeking additional funding for more and better “eyes” with which to observe our sun, which has a bigger impact on Earth’s climate than all the tailpipes and smokestacks on our planet combined.

And they’re worried about global cooling, not warming. Kenneth Tapping, a solar researcher and project director for Canada’s National Research Council, is among those looking at the sun for evidence of an increase in sunspot activity. Solar activity fluctuates in an 11-year cycle. But so far in this cycle, the sun has been disturbingly quiet. The lack of increased activity could signal the beginning of what is known as a Maunder Minimum, an event which occurs every couple of centuries and can last as long as a century. Such an event occurred in the 17th century. The observation of sunspots showed extraordinarily low levels of magnetism on the sun, with little or no 11-year cycle. This solar hibernation corresponded with a period of bitter cold that began around 1650 and lasted, with intermittent spikes of warming, until 1715. Frigid winters and cold summers during that period led to massive crop failures, famine and death in Northern Europe.

Tapping reports no change in the sun’s magnetic field so far this cycle and warns that if the sun remains quiet for another year or two, it may indicate a repeat of that period of drastic cooling of the Earth, bringing massive snowfall and severe weather to the Northern Hemisphere. Read more here.

(Investor’s Business Daily)

-- And, why the AGW advocates continue to ignore this is unbelievable.
Feb 09, 2008
January 2008 Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover: Largest Anomaly Since 1966

By Anthony Watts, Watts Up With That

There have been a number of indications that January 2008 has been an exceptional month for winter weather in not only North America, but the entire Northern Hemisphere.

We’ve had anecdotal evidence of odd weather in the form of wire reports from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and China where record setting cold and snow has been felt with intensity not seen for 30-100 years, depending on the region. From our remote sensing groups, we have reports of significant negative anomalies in both the RSS and UAH global satellite data for the lower troposphere. Then there's NOAA's announcement that January 2008, was below 20th century averages, plus news that Arctic sea ice has quickly recovered from the record low extent of Summer 2007.

Now to add to this, we have images and reports from NOAA and Rutgers University of large anomalies of snow cover extent for the northern hemisphere in January 2008. Rutgers Global Snow Lab has an anomaly graph and it shows January 2008 had the largest areal Northern Hemisphere snow cover for the period of 1966-2008, just slightly larger than the previous largest anomaly of January, 1984. Finally, there's the massive La Nina said to be the driver of all this but may be a harbinger of a more permanent phase shift according to veteran forecaster Joe Bastardi. Icecap Note: and discusssed in detail in the blog post below.

January 2008 had the largest areal Northern Hemisphere snow cover for the period of 1966-2008, just slightly larger than the previous largest anomaly of January, 1984.

Yes, we live in interesting times. Read more here.

NOAA’s Snow and Ice chart for January 31st, 2008

Here is how the map above breaks down by area:

Northern Hemisphere: 50.13 million sq. km
Eurasia: 32.30 million sq. km
North America: 17.83 million sq. km
Total: 100.26 million sq. km

Here is how the map above breaks down by area:

Northern Hemisphere: 50.13 million sq. km
Eurasia: 32.30 million sq. km
North America: 17.83 million sq. km
Total: 100.26 million sq. km



Whoever you got this from doesn't know how to add...or something...lol

They added the northern hemisphere twice to get their 'total'

Once adding Eurasia and North America together (which equals the northern hemisphere) they added the northern hemisphere again.

So that total shouldn't be there. The total is the northern hemisphere.
You are correct Sully, MLC got that off of Watts up with that web site. Which was taken from Rutgers Snow Lab He obviously just added all the figures on the page together. Which does not change the fact that Jan 08 was the second largest snow cover since 1966 which this chart shows.

Row Year Month N. Hemisphere Eurasia N. America N. America
(no Greenland)
1 1978 2 51.35 32.35 19.00 16.85
2 2008 1 50.13 32.30 17.83 15.67
3 1985 1 50.09 31.27 18.83 16.67
4 1979 1 49.98 31.38 18.61 16.46
5 1978 1 49.69 31.34 18.35 16.20
6 1977 1 48.84 31.24 17.61 15.46
7 1972 2 48.83 31.98 16.85 14.71
8 1985 2 48.56 30.29 18.27 16.12
9 2003 2 48.50 30.91 17.59 15.43
10 1967 1 48.49 30.70 17.79 15.63

Guess he hadn't had his morning coffee when he posted, lol. Although the Rutger's site is a bit misleading.

Re #71: Posting another fraud, mlc? Imagine that. See here.
-- Sully, thanks for the correction, or Jer for pointing out its source!

-- Steve, nice find. Obviously, dishonest journalism runs very rampant these days,
not the least of which include warming scare tactics, etc! lol
Feb 09, 2008
Madisin, Wisconsin to Shatter its All-Time Seasonal Snow Record Early This Week

A light to moderate snow event early in the week is likely to propel Madison to a new seasonal snowfall record. As of February 8, 2008, the total of 75.6" was just 0.6 inches shy of the record set in the harsh winter of 1978/79.

Below is a list of the top 10 winter season snowfall amounts for Madison, Wisconsin


See official NWS statement here.
Re #70:

It would take a pretty good hard sell to convince people that historic low temperatures were the result of global warming, but what the heck. they've sold co2 as a doomsday molecule.

Once again, "global warming" is sort of a misnomer. The global climate is multi-dimensional system which experiences fluctuations. When we talk about global climate change (which is the better name for AGW as it more accurately reflects what will happen), we talk about deviations from what we understand to be the 'normal' (i.e., ceteris paribus fluctuations including periodicity and magnitude of cycles) climate.

As for your diagram, it tells us a lot. Take the magnitude of all those fluctuations, and there is a very clear positive trend. Thanks for confirming a prediction of global climate change theory for us!
An interesting story Link

you should refrain from using words that you don't know the meaning to sound smart.

81. crucilandia 1:47 PM PST on February 11, 2008
you should refrain from using words that you don't know the meaning to sound smart.

Oh, now that's funny coming from you cruc.

ceteris paribus
It's clear counters is referring to climate variability in the absence of rising CO2.
Thanks LowerCal; I thought I phrased myself awkwardly, but it seems my message got across.

Anyways, Crucilandia, we best not hear any more about ad hominems after that last post of yours.
Entertainingly enough, January 2008 was also 0.27 %uFFFDC colder than June 1988 when Hansen gave his infamous testimony before the U.S. Congress, predicting a dangerous warming in the following 20 years.

Found that an interesting comment from here. I guess it has not gotten all that much warmer in twenty years, lol. Before anyone embarrasses themselves, that's global temperatures, so you can compare June to January although the most accurate I guess will be June 1988 and Feb 2008. any wagers on the temperature difference will be based on GISS own figures? How about over under .5 degC. Will twenty years to the month of Jim Hansen's prediction of a dangerous warming trend over the next 2 decades net an increase of .5 degC based upon the anomaly figures that he himself uses to show global warming? That would still be pretty large 2.5 degC increase per century if it holds, that could be pretty serious, I guess. I'm sure that would fall in the high end of the IPCC's ever changing predictions.

Of course to do that the reading on the GISS chart for Feb 2008 will have to be 89, which has never been recorded in Feb since 1880. As a matter of fact the highest reading for Feb. is 70 in 2002, which would net a .30 degC increase since 1988 or about a 1.5 degC increase per century. Still warming but not exactly the end of the world.

But what if that reading at the end of FEB is let's say 41 which it was in 2001, that would net a .02 C increase in two decades which would be .1 degC increase per century. A tenth of degC per century we all could live with that I reckon.

Well anyone want to place a gentleman's bet on how much twenty years of global warming will net at the end of the month? I know it's only 19 1/2 years, but what's six months when your talking dangerous warming? Besides I can't wait, we can check it again in June, I'm sure we won't freeze by then :)

38. ouzel said:

"such as melting on ice caps and the retreat of glaciers around the world, which in many cases appear to be unprecedented during at least the last 2,000 years."

And the finding of plants under that retreating glacier was also unprecedented...

From Crucilandia post #51
2. CO2 is not the cause of warming. so you start with a wrong/usubstantiated assumption

From Spencer Weart's web site:

The early experiments that sent radiation through gases in a tube, measuring bands of the spectrum at sea-level pressure and temperature, had been misleading. The bands seen at sea level were actually made up of overlapping spectral lines, which in the primitive early instruments had been smeared out into broad bands. Improved physics theory and precise laboratory measurements in the 1940s and after encouraged a new way of looking at the absorption. Scientists were especially struck to find that at low pressure and temperature, each band resolved into a cluster of sharply defined lines, like a picket fence, with gaps between the lines where radiation would get through.(24) The most important CO2 absorption lines did not lie exactly on top of water vapor lines. Instead of two overlapping bands, there were two sets of narrow lines with spaces for radiation to slip through. So even if water vapor in the lower layers of the atmosphere did entirely block any radiation that could have been absorbed by CO2, that would not keep the gas from making a difference in the rarified and frigid upper layers. Those layers held very little water vapor anyway. And scientists were coming to see that you couldn't just calculate absorption for radiation passing through the atmosphere as a whole, you had to understand what happened in each layer — which was far harder to calculate.

<=External input
Digital computers were now at hand for such calculations. The theoretical physicist Lewis D. Kaplan decided it was worth taking some time away from what seemed like more important matters to grind through extensive numerical computations. In 1952, he showed that in the upper atmosphere, adding more CO2 must change the balance of radiation significantly.(25)

Lit cited:
Martin, P.E., and E.F. Baker (1932). "The Infrared Absorption Spectrum of Carbon Dioxide." Physical Review 41: 291-303.

Smith, R.N., et al. (1968). Detection and Measurement of Infra-Red Radiation. Oxford: Clarendon.

Kaplan, Lewis D. (1952). "On the Pressure Dependence of Radiative Heat Transfer in the Atmosphere." J. Meteorology 9: 1-12.

Möller, Fritz (1951). "Long-Wave Radiation." In Compendium of Meteorology, edited by Thomas F. Malone, pp. 34-49. Boston, MA: American Meteorological Society.


This old news Cruc. Co2 infrared absorption is old news.
Thanks atmoexp

Do you have recent papers that support your claim?

If you are correct, the upper atmosphere would be warming, but it is instead cooling significantly.

Those bands of radiation that h20 misses that are caught by CO2 have done all the warming it can, adding more CO2 will not cause more trapping in those bands.

How can you use ceteris paribus for this claim? CO2 was never stable and we are not controlling the other parameters neither they were the same through time.
85. hcubed said:

And the finding of plants under that retreating glacier was also unprecedented...

How does this relate to the conclusions of Mann et al. (1998, 1999)?
God I hate censorship! lol

Below is the number of stations that the GISS has used to determine temperatures globally and in the US. I see a correlation here, the more Jim Hansen talks, the less stations he uses to justify what he says. :)
9,000 news stories in one year? lol

That's like 25 news stories per day!
Well here we go again, do they even realize how stupid this makes them sound!

Cold wave in India attributed to global warming
Tuesday, 12 February , 2008, 21:58
Mumbai: The recent cold wave sweeping across Mumbai and other parts of India could be attributed to global warming, experts said on Tuesday here at an environmental conference.

Addressing the %u2018Combat Global Warming%u2019 conference at the Indian Merchants Chamber (IMC) here, former Union minister for power and environment Suresh Prabhu said global warming was primarily a problem created and induced by human beings.

He said the increase in emission of green house gases like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and methane had resulted in the situation, which could prove catastrophic if unchecked.

Prabhu said the cold wave that swept Maharashtra and other parts of India recently could be attributed to the phenomenon of global warming.

He said global warming had already affected agriculture and water availability in various parts of the country. "A recent study revealed that 70 percent of India's water bodies are polluted," Prabhu said.

The former minister said India was one of the world's top five polluters, which also include the US, European nations and Japan.

IMC president Niraj Bajaj said the fluctuating climatic conditions due to global warming posed a threat to the very survival of the planet.

To drive home his point, he quoted Mahatma Gandhi: "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

Environmental scientist Emmanuel D'Silva said Mumbai and Kolkata were among the ten worst cities in the world with regard to environmental pollution and sanitation.

"It is estimated by the year 2050, another seven million persons are expected to take refuge in Mumbai after global warming leads to either a drought or deluge in their village or city elsewhere in the country," D'Silva said.

If it's hot it's global warming, if it's cold it's global warming, if there's drought it's global warming, if there's deluge, it's global warming, IF THERE IS A SHORTAGE OF WATER DUE TO POLLUTION-IT'S GLOBAL WARMING!

Please keep these stories coming lol.
Stories like these do nothing to further the global warming cause.

It simply makes those making the claim that a cold snap is due to global warming sound silly.

It's called weather...

This attribution of every weather event to global warming is ridiculous.

I guess some feel as though we should only experience benign weather patterns with sun for 2 days than a quarter inch of precipitation every third day for ever and ever until the end of time.
Sounds good to me Sully, where do I go for that, San Diego? lol

RE #87:

If you are correct, the upper atmosphere would be warming, but it is instead cooling significantly.

Do you have any recent papers that support your claim? Be careful before you fulfill this request; warming in the upper atmosphere is necessary for the increased solar forcing hypothesis, so you don't want to refute an alternative to the CO2 forcing theory here. Further more, the fact that the upper climate is cooling would verify an important claim made by GW theory about the atmospheric radiation balance.

RE #92:

How many times do we have to repeat ourselves? Global warming is a poor catch-phrase for a phenomenon best identified as global climate change. Regional climate shifts will not necessarily be warmer, although the grand average of the planetary climate will be warmer.

You lose credibility when you play the semantics card in a scientific argument. Just because some people interchange the words "global warming" with "climate change" doesn't mean that magically GW hypothesis is refuted.

At Jim Hansen's now famous congressional testimony given in the hot summer of 1988, he showed GISS model projections of continued global warming assuming further increases in human produced greenhouse gases. This was one of the earliest transient climate model experiments and so rightly gets a fair bit of attention when the reliability of model projections are discussed. There have however been an awful lot of mis-statements over the years - some based on pure dishonesty, some based on simple confusion. Hansen himself (and, for full disclosure, my boss), revisited those simulations in a paper last year, where he showed a rather impressive match between the recently observed data and the model projections. But how impressive is this really? and what can be concluded from the subsequent years of observations?

Real Climate
"Our papers related to global warming can be obtained from pubs.giss.nasa.gov"

From Jim Hansen's web site

do a search yourself and verify that the upper atmosphere is cooling and why. there are several papers on it
solar forcing is minimal (0.3w/m2) and we are in a low solar activity period.
You lose credibility when you play the semantics card in a scientific argument. Just because some people interchange the words "global warming" with "climate change" doesn't mean that magically GW hypothesis is refuted.

So what are we experiencing, climate change or global warming?

Is there no global warming as the result of increased co2? Is that what you are saying? Or is the increased warming caused by co2 causing cold temperatures, please explain, scientifically.

Or maybe you mean increased co2 causes cooling in some places at some times, but warming in other places at other times, which is climate change?

Or perhaps the hotter the globe gets, the more likely for extreme cold events in certain cases or on every third Tuesday of a leap year.

You got all the bases covered don't you? No matter what happens it's global warming, excuse me climate change. What has been going on for the past millions of years, climate neutral? Silly
very good Sebastian!
Relative to the 1951-1980 base line used by GISS (Jim Hansen)for computing anomalies to show global warming, or climate change or whatever you all are calling this magical mystery tour theory today. The temperature for

Jan. 1988 was 58.43 degC
Jan. 2008 was 58.04 degC

Now I fully realize between those two points temperatures have gone up and down, I guess that is climate change(?) But the fact is this January is colder than that January based on the figures you boys use to sell your theory. So I reckon that's what we would call negative global warming?

BTW I ain't to good on that cypher stuff but I believe that is twenty years of global somethun.
I know it's not global but-

CRU Central England Temperatures for January going back a bit

CRU Data
Re #100:
Just because you're cynical doesn't mean you're right. I thought this was a climate change blog, not a semantics blog?

Since you must've slept through the lecture from Intro to Meteorology, let me re-cap the basics: one studies meteorology on several different scales. When we talk about "global warming," we're generalizing the effects of increased CO2 on the planetary climate. It should be logical that this entails means, and often times when one takes means, outlying data can be "smoothed" out of the picture.

The reason that on a planetary scale CO2 will cause 'global warming' is because we make the assumption (an assumption SUPPORTED by a great deal of evidence - look it up; if Crucilandia isn't going to take time to reference academic papers, then I sure as hell am not going to waste my time either) that CO2 is more or less evenly distributed throughout the globe, as are other greenhouse gases.

However, on snyoptic or smaller scales, a bit of warming can have a great range of effects. For the most part, meteorology is just a study of energy balances; weather is driven by the unequal heating of the surface of the Earth. Things can get pretty complex (which is why the snow forecast for tonight has changed hourly) and difficult to deal with, but general trends are easy to pick out; for instance, in the lack of strong general circulation, valley-mountain effects dominate the weather of upstate New York. Every small-scale (regional) weather/topography system is unique, and each one will respond to overall global warming in its own unique way.

Here's a good example: There has been much investigation into the aerosols being emitted in industrialized portions of China over the past few years. Interestingly, the aerosols contain a "black carbon" aerosol with unique GHG properties. Areas where the aerosol concentration is highest experience very different weather events than the areas surrounding them with less of a concentration. In turn, these altered weather patterns initiate a feedback mechanism whereas regions downwind of them also experience altered weather (in the case of China, I believe it was intense droughts, but I may be wrong). An entire region's climate begins to deviate from normal because of the industrial output of one region.

Now, this is basic meteorology. I don't mind discussing it because I think it's important htat everyone know enough meteorology to make educated decisions based on the weather. However, I strongly suggest that some of the skeptics here pick up an introductory level college atmospheric science textbook so that at least our discussions can be on a level playing field.
Re #104:

From the same site:

What was your point? That their is an increase in average temperature albeit not a statistically significant one in a region that has an extremely regulated climate?
''''When we talk about "global warming," we're generalizing the effects of increased CO2 on the planetary climate.'''

This an erroneous, one-sided and presumptuous statment.

What about the other factors that affect planetary climate. Why just the effects of CO2 alone?

Global warming is what it is, planetary warming (increase in temperature) based on a predefined teperature reference.
how can you say it is not statistically significant without at least presenting the data with the 95%CI error bars in the graph.

that graph shows a 1C increase in the first 4mo which is a 20% increase in average temp and a10% in the summer months. pretty significant. I don't see how that place has regulated climate.

An analysis of satellite and surface measurements of aerosol optical depth suggests that global average of aerosol optical depth has been recently decreasing at the rate of around 0.0014/a. This decrease is nonuniform with the fastest decrease observed over the United States and Europe. The observed rate of decreasing aerosol optical depth produces the top of the atmosphere radiative forcing that is comparable to forcing due to the current rate of increasing atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Consequently, both increasing atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases and decreasing loading of atmospheric aerosols are major contributors to the top-of-atmosphere radiative forcing. We find that the climate sensitivity is reduced by at least a factor of 2 when direct and indirect effects of decreasing aerosols are included, compared to the case where the radiative forcing is ascribed only to increases in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide. We find the empirical climate sensitivity to be between 0.29 and 0.48 K/Wm−2 when aerosol direct and indirect radiative forcing is included.

Received 2 April 2007; accepted 10 August 2007; published 13 December 2007.

The equilibrium sensitivity of Earth's climate is determined as the quotient of the relaxation
time constant of the system and the pertinent global heat capacity. The heat capacity of the global ocean, obtained from regression of ocean heat content vs. global mean surface temperature, GMST, is 14 ± 6 W yr m-2 K-1, equivalent to 110 m of ocean water; other sinks raise the effective planetary heat capacity to 17 ± 7 W yr m-2 K-1 (all uncertainties are 1-sigma estimates). The time constant pertinent to changes in GMST is determined from autocorrelation of that quantity over 1880-2004 to be 5 ± 1 yr. The resultant equilibrium climate sensitivity, 0.30 ± 0.14 K/(W m-2), corresponds to an equilibrium temperature increase for doubled CO2 of 1.1 ± 0.5 K. The short time constant implies that GMST is in near equilibrium with applied forcings and hence that net climate forcing over the twentieth century can be obtained from the
observed temperature increase over this period, 0.57 ± 0.08 K, as 1.9 ± 0.9 W m-2. For this forcing considered the sum of radiative forcing by incremental greenhouse gases, 2.2 ± 0.3 W m-2, and other forcings, other forcing agents, mainly incremental tropospheric aerosols, are inferred to have exerted only a slight forcing over the twentieth century of -0.3 ± 1.0 W m-2.

Re #112/3: Any thoughts as to why both of those those papers are wrong, jer?
RE 114
I don't know why don't you send me your cv counter and I'll evaluate your ability to say so
Actually I should not be so snide, I do know why they are wrong, they counter your theory, but I'm sure you'll throw some RC stuff at them, that's fine.

BTW what's the temp supposed to be at 383 ppm based upon IPCC 1990 projection?
Re #116: Er, any thoughts whatsoever, jer?
Feb 11, 2008
How Much Estimation is Too Much Estimation?

By By John Goetz, on Climate Audit

Back in September when I was busy trying to figure out how Hansen combined station data, I was bothered by the fact that he used annual averages as the basis for combining scribal records (via the %u201Cbias method") rather than monthly averages, which are readily available in the records that he uses. In my thinking, the use of monthly averages would provide twelve times the number of data points to use for combining records.

Recently, I began wondering just how much estimation is going on. On February 7 I downloaded the raw GHCN data (v2.mean.Z) from the NOAA FTP site to see if I could get a handle on how much estimation Hansen does by examining the frequency of missing monthly data. Hansen does not use every single record from this dataset, but he does use almost all of them. Thus, an analysis of the GHCN data should provide a close approximation of how much estimation Hansen does.

The yellow section represents the percentage of station records with fewer than twelve months of valid data, but enough data for Hansen%u2019s algorithm to calculate an estimated average. The red section represents the percentage of station records missing enough data to preclude even an estimation of the annual average temperature.

To compound the problem, the last thirty years have seen a significant station record die-off. Most are familiar with the graphic on the GISS website showing the number of stations used in Hansen%u2019s analysis. I always found it interesting that this graphic ends with the year 2000, and seems to have a rather precipitous drop in stations during that year. Thus, I decided to count the number of GHCN records on an annual basis, and the results tracked rather well with the GISS graphic. Note that my count is of records, whereas Hansen counts stations. Prior to 1992 multiple records might consolidate to a single station, which explains why my absolute numbers are higher than Hansen's. This chart shows the number of records on an annual basis since 1880:

The above graphic shows that, while GISS says 2007 was the hottest year on record and GHCN indicates it had the second highest level of temperature estimation, GHCN also indicates that the number of data points for 2007 were the fewest since before 1900.

To summarize what I am seeing from the GHCN data: (1) the number of stations / records has been dropping dramatically in recent years and (2) with that drop the quality of the record-keeping has also dropped dramatically because we are seeing a corresponding rise in estimated annual temperatures and/or insufficient data to calculate an annual temperature. Using this data, GISS is showing that the temperature anomaly in recent years is the highest recorded in the historical record. Read full assessment here.

-- Jer, I'm with you. There's no way the IPCC can honestly claim serious conclusive data, when the data itself simply isn't there!


As the GISS data continues to grow further and further away from other sources, the problems or corruption at GISS will become ever more apparent. You can not have a man whose whole reputation and credibility is defined by a particular theory,running the agency that monitors the accuracy of his own theory. I guess that is what our AGW advocates consider peer review, LOL

An interesting story Link
And another interesting story Link
Hey, Simon. Yeah, several of us have been citing that scenario for some time. Some global warming could be a really good thing. Not only for saving lives from cold weather, but helping with better and more agriculture, less energy use, etc.

btw...when's your cruise? Isn't it close now? Dress warm, dude!
Good Articles Saint

Kind of hope it goes that way, beginning to think the other way though. I'm beginning to think them Ruskies been in the know, gonna start getting colder soon, heck it's colder now, lol

What's ironic was the story at the bottom of the article about the 'coldest winter in living memory' in Afghanistan.

Just like China.
Just like Pakistan.
Just like Iran...
Well, pretty much the entire Middle East...

I wonder when the last time the northern third of the Caspian Sea froze over?

Strange times...
Cruise departs Buenos Aires on Feb 19th :)
Re #111:

Ever wonder why Southern France, at such a high latitude, experiences tropical weather? That's a regulated climate. Once again, textbook stuff.

I've already stated that I'm a student of meteorology at a university. Although I have a short CV based on some some projects that took me to ISEF, they're not in the field of meteo or climate. Why don't you share with me your cv?
student of meteorology! man...
what is regulating S-france climate?