A forum for laundering pseudo-science

Remember EG Beck's dodgy CO2 graph?

i-ee24549320f0431f76b817189dfd4164-beckco2.png

You really didn't have to know anything at all about the history and practice of measuring CO2 to deduce that something was wrong with Beck's theory that there were wild fluctuations in CO2 concentration that suddenly ended when the most accurate measurements started. But Energy and Environment published his paper.

Eli Rabett has links to comments from experts Harro Meijer and Ralph Keeling (the son of Charles Keeling), who explain where Beck went wrong. Meijer concludes:

It is shocking that this paper has been able to pass the journal's referee system. "Energy and Environment" apparently has been unable to organise a proper peer review process for this paper, thereby discrediting the journal.

Well, I think E&E was already discredited, but it sure would be interesting to see who they got to review it. Jaworowski, perhaps?

While Keeling asks:

Is it really the intent of E&E to provide a forum for laundering pseudo-science?

Yes. Yes it is.

More like this

Warwick Hughes has a post claiming that there were high CO2 levels in the atmosphere in the 1940s "contrary to IPCC science" pointing to a something by E-G Beck. Here's Beck's graph: Now, a normal person looking at that would conclude that chemical measurement of CO2 concentrations was not…
Over on the history of CO2 thread, that old chestnut of an issue has been raised, namely that there's this one paper in one journal, notorious for publishing anti-science papers on climate (a field well outside its focus), that has shown wild flucuations in CO2 to levels well above today's in times…
The story so far: "Energy and Environment" threatens to sue RealClimate, and RC tells them they are a bunch of bozos. But now the Grauniad picks up the story. Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen attempts to fight back by asserting that Every paper that is submitted to the journal is vetted by a number of…
Was I being unfair to Energy and Environment when I described it as a forum for laundering pseudo-science? I mean, didn't they reject Schulte? According to Boehmer-Christiansen: For your information, I have informed Dr.Schulte that I am happy to publish his own research findings on the effect on…

Now to top that up, they just have to pick 2 data point, ignore everything else, and conclude that oh noez itz globul kooling!!1111!!! (Wait, maybe they did that already. I see an arrow labelled "1857" and another arrow labelled "1957"...)

In related news, "Schulte (2008: in press)" is out. (John Mashey, you there?) I can't access the paper, but the abstract is a hoot:

Fear of anthropogenic "global warming" can adversely affect patients' well-being.

Oh, really. How did Schulte test for this claim in the first place? Maybe he sorted his patients into two groups, and subjected one of the groups to repeated continuous replays of Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. Or something.

Seriously, the only "scientists" who are touting the "global warming alarmist hurts patients, please think of the patients" theory are those from the Steve "I'm full of junk" Milloy camp.

Oh no, even mainstream psychologists are part of the Great Worldwide Satanic Conspiracy! Quick, get L. Ron Hubbard on the horn!

First off, that graph is pure genius, it captures the Frasseldoff background perfectly.

Second, I think that E&E must be part of a liberal conspiracy to make skeptics look bad. Nobody in real life is that dumb, at least nobody I know.

Sorry, I meant that it captures the Frasseldoff quarter waver perfectly. It's already go the Mauna Loa background on there. :p

And yet, ben, those in the denialist camp still cite papers from E&E almost religiously, claiming they're "peer-reviewed" (in name, at least). I actually ran into one about two weeks ago who cited *four* separate studies, insisting all were peer-reviewed, but he was completely unaware all four came from E&E.

A common thread in denialism is to avoid checking your sources. We see it here with Beck's graph, in which he uncritically accepted the methods of earlier measurements instead of doing the reasonable thing and going "no natural concentration fluctuates that greatly; maybe the measurements are suspect". We see it (perhaps?) with E&E's 'peer-review' process (how else could some of this tripe get past peer-review?). We see it with people citing E&E (as shown above -- I'm currently arguing with another guy who insists that Peiser refuted Oreskes, for instance, since Peiser's website says so... despite that website stopping updating around the same time Tim released the abstracts and Peiser was ripped to shreds).

In fairness, though, sometimes we see this with the zealot warmers, especially those who haven't been scientifically trained. However, in my experience, these people do not have the sheer media attention that the denialists get, so their voices reach fewer people -- not to mention that their general position (i.e. "it's a problem and it's our fault") has the support of mainstream science.

Is it too much to ask people to be critical of their sources, even ones they agree with?

And yet, ben, those in the denialist camp still cite papers from E&E almost religiously, claiming they're "peer-reviewed" (in name, at least).

See? It's an entire vast conspiracy to make denialists look bad. First, they make up E&E to make skeptics look dumb, and then they have more "denialists" cite E&E to make the skeptics look extra dumb. Aha! Told ya, it's a conspiracy!

re: #1 Frank
re: Schulte(2008): thanks, I don't often look at E&E so I missed its appearance.

Well, I guess Sonja changed her mind and published it anyway. I'll have to take back what I posted somewhere that maybe there was hope fo E&E yet, if she rejected the article.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 22 Mar 2008 #permalink

Second, I think that E&E must be part of a liberal conspiracy to make skeptics look bad. Nobody in real life is that dumb, at least nobody I know.

nice one ben. we could of course look at all the other papers published by sceptics in peer reviewed magazins. oops, very few remain...

did i get you right, that you claim the Loehle paper should be ignored?

"Told ya, it's a conspiracy!"

"When a true genius appears in the world,
You may know him by this sign, that the dunces
Are all in confederacy against him." -Jonathan Swift

Here's why the sun cannot be responsible for global warming: It does not exist!! Yet, try to get this stunning information published; the AGW skeptic cartel will not permit.

THE MAD REVISIONIST: We do not recruit; we convince. Truth has no need of coercion.

Theo, thank you. That was awesome.

(It's a shame your data doesn't include a massive blip for that "pi is exactly 3" joke a while back....)

"You're all just a bunch of conspiracy deniers. Deny that, I dare you!"
....wait, what?!
*is too busy listening to Goblin to care anyway...*

By Laser Potato (not verified) on 22 Mar 2008 #permalink

On the Climate Skeptic mailing list Sonja B.C. OFFERED a potential E&E author a choice between submitting a peer-reviewed vs. non-peer-reviewed article. I think it was O. "Iron Sun" Manuel.

Shit happens differently over there.

Dude! fix your grammar!

"You really didn't have to know anything at all about the history and practice of measuring CO2 to deduce that ? was something wrong ? Beck's theory that there were wild fluctuations in CO2 concentration that suddenly ended when the most accurate measurements started. But Energy and Environment published his paper."

H "entropy------>0"

More wonders from the latest issue of E&E:

The climate research community believes that published findings on global warming will have an equal probability of raising or lowering forecasts of climate change and its impact. [...] A survey of Science and Nature demonstrates that the likelihood that recent literature is not biased in a positive or negative direction is less than one in 5.2 Ã 10-16.   -- Patrick J. Michaels

This is so full of stupid that I don't even know where to start.

How about the utter confusion between a priori probability and a posteriori probability?

Or the idea that the measurement of any quantity which initially has a large confidence interval absolutely must converge to somewhere near the means in order to count as "unbiased"?

Or the common canard that "climatologists over-estimate global warming in their forecasts, and successive forecasts tend to be more and more conservative"? (Oh right, I just recalled that denialist logic doesn't have to be consistent.)

the costs of producing energy from high-carbon fuels are rising while those of producing energy from low-carbon fuels are declining. The greatest challenge of increasing energy use is the protection of the integrity of the biosphere while improving quality of life. Both are possible with higher energy use.   -- Louis Villaire

Wha...

RE: Carbon Dioxide in Real Air.

The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere as determined by analysis of ambient air at Mauna Loa is reported for "Standard Dry Air" which is air at 273.2 K and 1 atm pressure and is comprised of nitrogen, oxygen and the inert gases. These are the reference conditions always used for reporting the composition of the atmosphere based on analysis of ambient air at a particular site by various methods. The value is only valid for Mauna Loa and bear no relationship to the concentration of CO2 in "real air" at any other site. "Real air" is term for ambient air at the intake ports of air seperation plants and is used in the HVAC industries. GO:http://www.uigi.com/air.html for more info about real air.

In general, the composition and physical properties of real air are quite site specfic, variable and depend primarily on elevation and fluctuating temperature, air pressure, and absolute humidity and to a lessor extent on the seasons and weather, site surface and geophysical features (e.g., ocean, mountains, desert, forests, cropland, urbanization, etc) and on biological and human activities. Clouds and temperature of bodies of water will also effect the concentration of CO2 in the air in their vicinity.

For example, if standard dry air is heated to 30 deg C the mole number declines by about 10% but the relative ratios of the gases in the real air will remain about the same. This is origin of the phase "well-mixed gases in the troposphere."

Standard dry air has 388 ml of pure CO2/cu. meter. At 30 deg C this value drops to 350 ml/cu. meter. If the air were to become saturated with water vapor (ca, 4% by volume), the amount of CO2 declines to about 336 ml/cu. meter

Air pressure declines about 1 psi per 2000 ft increase in elevation. This would lower the density of the air and thus the absolute amount of the gasses per unit volume. However, air temperature drops about 6 deg C per 2000 ft. increase in elevation. This would increase the density of air. Thus the absolute amount of the gases per unit volume of air becomes a complex function of these variables as well as the above mentioned fluctuating temperature, air pressure and absolute humidity.

Since clouds have a high surface area and CO2 is quite soluble in water, the amount of CO2 in the air will be altered and depend the cloud density, i.e, the amount of water per cubic meter. If the clouds move into warmer air and dissipate, the dissolved CO2 will be released to air. If the clouds move into cooler air and rain is formed, the dissovled CO2 will be transported to the surface and its disposition will depend on that surface. Over the oceans the CO2 will mix in the water quickly. Over the land, however, the nature of the surface will effect whether the CO2 is retained in the water (e.g., porous soil) or released back to the air (for example, hot concrete or rocks or plant leaves, etc).

Over water the amount of CO2 in the air will be influenced by the temperature of the upper layers. The solubility of CO2 declines rapidly with increasing water temperature and can be about 60% lower in water at 30 deg C than water at 0 deg C. As warm tropical water moves to the poles, its temperature slowly drops and by the time it reaches the polar region the water temperature can be about 0 deg C, and can hold about 2.5 times as much CO2 as the warm tropical water. How much CO2 is absorbed will depend on air presssure, wind, wave action, salinity and biological activity, etc.

Biological activity will affect the amount of CO2 in the air. In particular, green plants from alga to big trees fix CO2 in the daytime, but all animals and non-photosynthetic microbes respire. At night all plants and animals respire and release CO2.

Human activities will alter local and regional concentration of CO2 in the air. For example, in Southern California, the concentration of CO2 will start to increase at sunrise, continue to rise throughout the workday, and will be the highest near the end of the evening rush hour after which the concentration of CO2 will start to decline. How the CO2 disperses will depend on the weather (e.g., movement of highs and lows into and out of the region) and the direction of the wind(s). Presence of large airports as well as cement plants will certainly alter the local concentration of CO2.

Commercial and military aviation might alter significantly the concentration of CO2 and water vapor in the upper atmosphere around 35,000 ft in a non-uniform manner since most aircraft generally fly in designated fight paths.

What all of the above boils down to is this: There is no uniform spatial and temporal distribution of CO2 in real or ambient air as expessed in an absolute amount per unit volume of air. Climate models would probably give better results if the absolute amount of CO2 per unit volume is used (e.g., milligrams or millimoles/cubic meter) and some method for estimating the above mentioned spatial and temporal distribution(s). However, the fluctuating concentration of CO2 would be most prevalent in the lower troposphere, epecially over land, and might not apply in upper troposphere above ca. 40,000 ft. Over the middle of oceans (e.g., the Pacific), there will be a more uniform distribtion of CO2 since there is little human activity there.

Since standard dry air exists at no site on the surface of the earth, any "computer modeling experiments" using a value of 388 ppmv will give results that error on the high side.

By Harold Pierce Jr (not verified) on 22 Mar 2008 #permalink

Is Harold Pierce arguing that since all CO2 measurements are bogus, therefore Beck's bogus CO2 measurement is not bogus? Great, yet another example of denialist smoke-blowing.

As if that's not enough...

Over the middle of oceans (e.g., the Pacific), there will be a more uniform distribtion of CO2 since there is little human activity there.

The Mauna Loa Observatory is located in the Pacific. (At 11,135-ft level, to be precise.) You didn't know that?

... And Harold, is Naomi Oreskes fat?

I glanced over Beck's paper and didn't find much to criticize, especially the historical review. Most of the CO2 determinations are for local air and not from ambient air at 12,000 ft on mountain in the middle of vast Pacific Ocean or other isolated sites nearby.

The wet chemical methods for CO2 are fairly accurate. The really tricky part of gas analysis is sampling. At any site you have measure air temp, atm. pressure and absolute humidity. You need this info to calculate the mass of air sample taken analysis. You also have to keep checking for leaks in the gas handling equipment and the calibration of guages and metering devices.

Wet chemical methods don't require ref standards as do instrumental methods. For analyses at MLO, a series a master ref gas mixtures in steel cylinders was prepared at SRI, but I haven't founds details of how this was done, what equipement was used and if composition of the mixtures was checked by independent analyses, preferable by a commerical laboratory that specializes in gas analysis.

These instrumental methods are becoming obsolete, because NOAA has statellites that can measure the con. of CO2 over most of the earth and at different heights. Once again I can't find the link to these plots.

By Harold Pierce Jr (not verified) on 23 Mar 2008 #permalink

I glanced over Beck's paper and didn't find much to criticize, especially the historical review.

The "la la la la la la I'm not listening" methodology at work, I see.

Harold, is Naomi Oreskes fat?

The heavy sarcasm of Rabett and Lambert directed at EG Beck is misdirected as theri source Ralph Keeling's comment in Energy & Environment actually - if unwittingly - provides a complete vindication of Beck's main point, just as Harold Pierce jnr also like Meijer puts Beck's data compilation into context.

Keeling's "refutation" cited with such glee by Rabett & Lambert "clinches" with this statement:
"Beck's 11-year averages show large swings, including an increase from 310 to 420 ppm between 1920 and 1945 (Beck's Figure 11). To drive an increase of this magnitude globally requires the release of 233 billion metric tons of C to the atmosphere. The amount is equivalent to more than a third of all the carbon contained in land plants globally".

But Keeling's version of Beck's Fig.11 implies (233/110) that 2.118182 GtC produce an increase in the atmospheric concentration of 1 ppmv. That is almost exactly what is shown in the IPCC's latest Report, AR4, where in Working Group I's chapter 7, Table 7.1, and in the same authors' later paper (Canadell et al., PNAS, October 2007), the average annual net amount of carbon released to the atmosphere in 2000-2006 (4.1 GtC) is associated with an average annual increase of 2.035 ppmv at Mauna Loa, or 2.015 in GtC. Not bad for Dr Beck, for if he is wrong about 1920-1945, then so now are the IPCC and Canadell et al for 2000-2006, not to mention R Keeling.

Keeling's comment that Beck's estimate is equivalent to more than a third of all the carbon contained in land plants globally shows his own carelessness. For given the hoary stylised fact that atmospheric CO2 has increased from 280 ppm in 1750 to 382 ppm now, an increase of 102 ppm, which by Keeling's factor implies "release" of 216 GtC, in line with Keeling's comment that it is about "equivalent to more than a third of all the carbon contained in land plants globally". It would seem from Ralph that papa Charles has by his son's figuring spouted as much rubbish as EG Beck.

Moreover Ralph Keeling's unwitting support for Beck's Fig.11 provides a basis for the known global warming that occurred between 1920 and 1945, followed by a cooler period until 1980.

The truth is that both Beck and Keeling snr have made invaluable contributions, the former with collation of historic data, the latter with his Mauna Loa measurements - but the latter are not the whole story any more than Beck's is, as Harold Pierce jnr has shown so clearly here.

And now for the usual tirades of personal abuse from the majority of the contributors to this site, none of which will try to refute Keeling's support of Beck.

More of the "la la la la la la I'm not listening" denialist methodology.

Ralph Keeling's comment in Energy & Environment actually - if unwittingly - provides a complete vindication of Beck's main point

Oh yeah, Keeling "unwittingly" showed that, despite the words he actually said, deep in his heart he was really supporting Beck's thesis. And he'd have unreservedly expressed his complete, 100% support, if not for unspecified and undetectable threats of reprisal from the Great Worldwide Satanic Conspiracy headed by Al Gore the Antichrist.

Hello Frank!

I didn't say anything about "bogus analyses". I was just explaining what these measurements mean and how various factors in the geosphere effect the conc CO2 in the atmosphere. The IPCC didn't give an explanation to the reader or policy makers of what the conc of CO2 on Figure SPM-1 actually means. As a matter of fact, I doubt that these guys who wrote the SPM know that the values are for standard dry air.

I don't recall Beck doing any CO2 analysis, but I will check this out. Nowaday, you can buy hand instruments that will measure CO2 in ambient air directly and in real time.

The value of MLO CO2 measurements is that the relative change in CO2 in the atmosphere over time can be estimated quite accurately. However, it is not the conc of CO2 in real air. The actual amount of CO2 in the atmosphere of real air is less than that based on the conc of 388 ppmv.

Presumably, the climate modelers use the distribution of CO2 in the atmosphere as determined by NOAA's statellites for their most upto date calculations. Then again, maybe they don't. This probably depends on how much money they want to spend on computer time.

I have decided to exile you to Cassiar, BC where you can work for the mining company that is recovering magnesium from asbestos tailings. After a winter of sub zero temperatures in the -20 to -30 deg range, you might come to think that global warming is not so bad after all! I have read that you can make $100,000 or more per year working in the far North.

By Haeold Pierce Jr (not verified) on 23 Mar 2008 #permalink

Thanks bi for fulfilling my prediction so promptly. No doubt there are more to come from those like bi whose math is challenged to breaking point by Ralph Keeling.

Harold Pierce:

I didn't say anything about "bogus analyses".

The graph is bogus, period. Lambert pointed this out. I pointed this out. Stop dodging and weaving.

I have decided to exile you to Cassiar, BC

Guess we need to add Harold Pierce's pronunciations of "exilement" to ben's "liberal conspiracy" theory.

Tim Curtin:

Thanks bi for fulfilling my prediction so promptly. No doubt there are more to come from those like bi whose math is challenged to breaking point by Ralph Keeling.

Yeah, whatever. Bring up another 400 of your zombie hordes of "skeptics" made up with your own mouth. By the way, do you realize you just unwittingly made a stirring, impassioned, unreserved endorsement of the IPCC report?

I could say that several of your "statistics" are purely made up, but that'll just sow confusion -- which is what you want.

I'll just point out that the slope on Beck's bogus CO2 graph for 1920--1945 is different from the slope for 2000--2006. Yes, the slope is different. Different.

Now try to dispute that with your fancy math.

Hello Frank!

The _absolute_ amount of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere of real air is unknown because there is no network of stations that measures continously the absolute amount of CO2 per unit volume of sampled air in real time at the surface and as a function of altitude. To do this you would need thousands of stations all reporting to one computer which would compute the spatial and temporal the distribution of absolute conc of CO2 over the entire surface of the earth.

Now you show me that the above statement false.

I'll find the link to plot of CO2 in atmosphere as determined by satellite measurements.

By Harold Pierce Jr (not verified) on 23 Mar 2008 #permalink

RE: #28
Hello Tim!

I would be most appreciative if you would forward my above posts to Dr. Vincent Gray, Dr. Bob Carter and your colleagues "Down Under" and have them check these comments for accuracy, especially #30.

How can any prudent government impose carbon taxes and implement the various GHG emission reduction schemes when the absolute amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is not known?

BTW: I have finished my study of the Quatsino temperature records and typing up the results.

By Harold Pierce Jr (not verified) on 23 Mar 2008 #permalink

Harold Pierce Jnr.

The value is only valid for Mauna Loa and bear [sic] no relationship to the concentration of CO2 in "real air" at any other site.

Could you please post your references that definitively demonstrate that Mauna Loa concentrations of CO2 bear no relationship to CO2 concentrations at any other site in the world?

Since standard dry air exists at no site on the surface of the earth, any "computer modeling experiments" using a value of 388 ppmv will give results that error [sic] on the high side.

Are you saying that '[s]ince standard dry air exists at no site on the surface of the earth', the innumerable modern measurements of CO2 that give a concentration of 388ppm (or thereabouts) are incorrect (within standard measurement error, as opposed to the error that you propose) in their values? It appears that this is your claim, as you immediately go on to say 'using a value of 388 ppmv will give results that error [sic] on the high side'. This implies that you have an understanding of what the real values (I am presuming that you are referring to values of 'temperature') are that 'computer modelling experiments' should produce. Could you advise what the actual results of the 'computer modelling experiments' should be, and what your references for such are? And can you advise also of the references that indicate that modern instrumental measurement of CO2 concentrations are inaccurate? And if they are inaccurate, is this a consequence of the scientists and technicians who perform these measurements being incapable of calibrating their instruments, or of collecting their samples appropriately, or of analysing their data correctly, or a combination of theses three? References?

If you are not claiming to have definitive knowledge of what 'computer modelling experiments' results should be, are you suggesting that the overestimated concentrations of modern CO2, that you are critical of, will produce overestimates of temperature via a 'greenhouse' effect?

If so, then your claims elsewhere on Deltoid that global temperatures have not changed over the last century must be predicated on the premise that CO2 concentrations have not changes since the Industrial Revolution began. In this case how can you not find 'much to criticize' in Beck's paper, which claims major fluctuations in global CO2 concentration over 200 years?

I don't recall Beck doing any CO2 analysis, but I will check this out. Nowaday[sic], you can buy hand instruments that will measure CO2 in ambient air directly and in real time.

Do these instruments have the same measurement bias that you claim are (apparently) made by climate researchers? If so, are any CO2 analyses that Beck might have performed likewise of dubious value?

Does the fact that you stated that Cassiar, BC has 'winter[s] of sub zero temperatures in the -20 to -30 deg range' imply that it is undesirable for a place near the poles of the planet to be thus cold? Is your comment that 'you might come to think that global warming is not so bad after all' a tacit acknowledgement that global warming is a valid concept? Or are you simply saying that it doesn't exist, but if it did it would be a good thing? If the latter is the case, upon what audit of global good do you base this premise? References?

And reiterating my last question to you at New CEI Ad: "Al Gore: We call him fat" , 'What magnitude of values for Ï do your analyses produce? What amount of temperature change are you prepared to detect/accept that would imply climate change?'

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 23 Mar 2008 #permalink

Harold darling, there are lots of stations that measure CO2, you can find a lot of them on the CDIAC site and they all are consistent with the Mauna Loa (ML) series with the local seasonal variation being due to latidudinal mixing, which takes a year or so. ML is just the longest one.

What these stations measure is the CO2 concentration in the air after it has been well mixed by winds and such. What Beck's boys measured was local concentrations at ground level. Since most of the places they measured were dominated by local point sources, that is what they measured. Of course, there were cases where they measured the composition of the breath being emitted by the person doing the sampling (at the bottom a wonderful picture of Mr. Roland Ploennige messing up a sample). The total amount of CO2 in the gas phase is what determines the greenhouse IR absorption. Given how fast the horizontal and vertical mixing is, this is well represented by the background level (remember the seas cover 2/3 of the surface)

There were a few cases where the winds were blowing unpolluted air towards the detection sites, so they did measure background levels, which, lord be praised, turned out to agree with the ice core records and join smoothly onto the ML record. Even rural sites were prone to higher measurements by air packets blown from cities as Keeling found out in La Jolla and the Sierra.

In the few cases where there were inter-comparisons between the wet methods yielding higher values and the IR absorption method, it was shown that the wet methods were seriously in error (see the link) which is why they were abandoned. While wet methods CAN be reasonably accurate and precise, they require a significant amount of skill and are, even in the best hands, not as accurate or precise as the IR absorption methods.

There is so much more, but, oh yes, Harold, the INTERNET, allows you to send messages to New Zealand from Outer Space.

And in response to all the fact-free discussion about how the IPCC will exaggerate future warming, I'll just say three words:

Rahmstoorf et al.

Overall, these observational data [MLO, HadCRUT, GISS, altimeter] underscore the concerns about global climate change. Previous projections, as summarized by IPCC, have not exaggerated but may in some respects even have underestimated the change, in particular for sea level.

So the IPCC models (as published in 2001, and independent of post-1990 data) were wrong in a way, but they were wrong in the wrong direction -- it underestimated climate change.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled denialist talking point...

Harold Pierce Jnr.

BTW: I have finished my study of the Quatsino temperature records and typing up [sic] the results.

If some of the regulars here from around the globe, whom you so vehemently disagree with about the existence of global warming, were prepared to offer you temperature data of sites they selected, or if they were willing even to just direct you to some interesting locations (we don't need to worry about selector bias, do we?), would you be prepared to analyse them using your insightful technique?

If your 'studies' produced results that indicated significant increases in temperature at these places, would you provide us with a typed report that reflected this, and what the implications for climate change might be? And because we are clever and well trained analysts, could we agree a priori what changes you would be seeking that would indicate warming?

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 23 Mar 2008 #permalink

Guess we need to add Harold Pierce's pronunciations of "exilement" to ben's "liberal conspiracy" theory.

But it really is a conspiracy theory. Well, more of a conspiracy conjecture, but that doesn't mean it's not true. Now hold on while I get my tinfoil hat out of the oven...

Hi Eli,

"What Beck's boys measured was local concentrations at ground level."

OK, if I make some Pettenkoffer CO2 measurements in my backyard tomorrow (or next month, I first have to learn the method) , and then in some crowded meeting room in my neighborhood one week after (don't forget to call the local newspaper), then publish them in a peer-reviewed journal (E&E might be suitable for that respect), am I bound to become Beck great-grandson's boy in 2070 in an peer-reviewed (in E&E's standard) article showing that 113 years of precise measurements debunked the Keeling curve ?

But the task might be more difficult since the price for entering into such a shortlist could request recruiting some people to make many measurements (Beck claims 90000, of which 64000 at the same location), and convincing one or two Nobel prizes to add their names to the paper...

Best

Yves

Keeling's "refutation" cited with such glee by Rabett & Lambert "clinches" with this statement: "Beck's 11-year averages show large swings, including an increase from 310 to 420 ppm between 1920 and 1945 (Beck's Figure 11). To drive an increase of this magnitude globally requires the release of 233 billion metric tons of C to the atmosphere. The amount is equivalent to more than a third of all the carbon contained in land plants globally".
...
Not bad for Dr Beck, for if he is wrong about 1920-1945, then so now are the IPCC and Canadell et al for 2000-2006, not to mention R Keeling.

what part of LARGE SWINGS don t you understand? if you can t spot the difference in the graph between the 1920-45 and the 2000-2006 period, you should have your eyes examined!

the amount of CO2 released from fossil fuels is rather easysily calculated.

But the task might be more difficult since the price for entering into such a shortlist could request recruiting some people to make many measurements (Beck claims 90000, of which 64000 at the same location), and convincing one or two Nobel prizes to add their names to the paper...

yes, and their results are FANTASTIC. they got CO2 concentration wrong by 200ppm at the worst! (and we don t really know what the real CO2 concentration was at the place they were measuring!

but it s simply slightly more accurate today...

or do you doubt that?!?

Hi sod,

"yes, and their results are FANTASTIC".

One cannot expect less from the CO2 flying circus managers!

"they got CO2 concentration wrong by 200ppm at the worst! (and we don t really know what the real CO2 concentration was at the place they were measuring!"

They, IMO, are mostly Beck and ZJ when making global conclusions from local measurements from primary authors whose first purpose were not always CO2 levels, even local (see for instance Lockhart and Court 1942 available in docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/070/mwr-070-05-0093.pdf, about ... oxygen depletion in Antarctica).

"but it s simply slightly more accurate today..."

In this link
www.af-info.or.jp/eng/honor/bppcl_e/e1993keeling.txt
Keeling makes the history of the CO2 measurements, noticing that in the 1880s a Belgian named Jules Reiset did measurements precise enough to see the seasonal variations on the Belgian coast. But later the interest in global CO2 levels waned, the infamous Pettenkofer method, less precise but easier, became standard and the seasonal variation was no more evidenced, before the measurements by Keeling starting in 1954 in California and later at Mauna Loa.

"or do you doubt that?!?"

I don't doubt the use of quantities as arguments from authority in Beck's stories. This Schulmeister seems indeed to be an excellent storyteller.

Best

Yves

RE: #39
Hello sod!
Here are the dates you requested:

The Sign of the Beast: Sept. 23, 24, and 25, 1926.

The -0.5 deg C entry: March 24, 2002.

Both max and min temp for this date are questionable.

Here is another example of a suspicious number:
Data is for mean monthly min temp for June 1940-49:

9.2 9.8 8.4 7.6 8.7 8.2 9.1 9.6 8.9 4.2?

Mean=8.8 with 4.2 excluded.
Mean=8.4 with 4.2 included.

I just excluded questionable values. Errors, like enemies, accumulate and screw-up the data.

GO: http://www.climate.weatheroffice.ec.gc.ca/climateData/dailydata_e.html.

Enter "Quatsino" in the box for a customized search. When the Quatsino page appears, use the drop down selectors to set the month and year.

If you want to printout a record, set margins for 6.25 mm all round and use legal size paper. Do not use the "Format for Print" option.

.

By Harold Pierce Jr (not verified) on 23 Mar 2008 #permalink

I see Harold continues to blithely ignore all the points made by Tim Lambert, Bernard J., Eli Rabett, and myself. "La la la la la la I'm not listening" -- that's the denialist way!

Harold, is Naomi Oreskes fat?

Bi said with his innate charm: "Yeah, whatever. Bring up another 400 of your zombie hordes of "skeptics" made up with your own mouth. By the way, do you realize you just unwittingly made a stirring, impassioned, unreserved endorsement of the IPCC report? I could say that several of your "statistics" are purely made up, but that'll just sow confusion -- which is what you want".

Which statistics? Ralph Keeling's or those of the IPCC + Canadell et al? BTW I agree about the latter, some of the data I cited from IPCC+ Canadell was indeed made up by them, as that on land use change emissions is contradicted by earlier studies of two of their co-authors (Ciais and R Houghton). Their strictly fraudulent adjustment of the luc data of Ciais & Houghton is the basis of their false claim that the oceanic and terrestrial sinks of CO2 are already "saturated". They recruited the named persons as two of many "co-authors" (of a 5 page paper) to ensure that they were not available for either (a) peer review, or (b) rebuttals on the basis of their own work. The Canadell et al PNAS paper (Oct 2007) was funded by the Howard Australian government but was the basis of a tendentious press release during the election campaign aimed at staking their claim to a bigger flow of largesse from Rudd. People like Canadell and Ciais are shameless. How much did the latter get from the AGO for agreeing to the suppression of all mention of his 2004 paper?

bi added: "I'll just point out that the slope on Beck's bogus CO2 graph for 1920--1945 is different from the slope for 2000--2006. Yes, the slope is different. Different.Now try to dispute that with your fancy math." Flattery will get you everywhere, but all I used was Keeling's arithmetic, which yielded the same ratio between emissions and CO2 concentration for 1920-1945 in Beck as for 2000-2006 in IPCC & co. Slopes are irrelevant, and are not mentioned by bi's lover boy Keeling. Given the primitive measurements that Beck reported were all that were available before Chas Keeling gave us the one spot stats that Harold Pierce has shown abstract from the more nuanced ones reported by Beck, Beck did amazingly well to be vindicated by the IPCC.

Tim Curtin:

Beck did amazingly well to be vindicated by the IPCC.

Go fantasize all you want about Beck and Monckton and Singer and the whole gang being "unwittingly" "vindicated" by the scientific community. It won't make an ounce of difference to the facts.

How much did the latter get from the AGO for agreeing to the suppression of all mention of his 2004 paper?

Why don't you tell me? You can't be bothered to look your facts before casting aspersions left and right?

all I used was Keeling's arithmetic, which yielded the same ratio between emissions and CO2 concentration for 1920-1945 in Beck as for 2000-2006 in IPCC & co. Slopes are irrelevant, and are not mentioned by

Then your arithmetic is borked. Anyone with an eye and a brain can see that the slope -- which is precisely the rate of increase in CO2 -- as shown on Beck's bogus graph is vastly steeper for 1920--1945 than it is for 2000--2006 on the same graph. The slope is different.

bi's lover boy Keeling.

Talk about hurling "personal abuse"...

Quick, call me more names. Call me fat. Is Naomi Oreskes fat too?

bi: 1. Slopes are different from ratios.
2. Climate scientists like Canadell et al are even more available for hire than those stingily paid off by BP etc.
3. In all likelihood both you and Naomi are very fat, and as that is your sole contribution to this debate let's leave it at that.

Harold Pierce Jnr.

At #66 on New CEI Ad: "Al Gore: We call him fat" you stated:

Upon examination of the temperature records from the Quatsino WS, I have that [sic] on several occasion errors in the records. For example, in one record I found -0.6, -0.6, and -0.6. Yikes! The Sign of the Beast! How this got by the data quality checker is a mystery to me. I have found errors such as -0.5 which should have been -5.0.

And at #41 above you said:

RE: #39 Hello sod! Here are the dates you requested:
The Sign of the Beast: Sept. 23, 24, and 25, 1926.
The -0.5 deg C entry: March 24, 2002.
Both max and min temp for this date are questionable.
Here is another example of a suspicious number: Data is for mean monthly min temp for June 1940-49:
9.2 9.8 8.4 7.6 8.7 8.2 9.1 9.6 8.9 4.2?
Mean=8.8 with 4.2 excluded.

I just excluded questionable values. Errors, like enemies, accumulate and screw-up the data.

Surely, surely, surely you did not mean what you said about three consecutive '-0.6' values? I cannot imagine that you did, but for your comment about the data quality checker, and the fact that you repeated the reference to the Sign of the Beast in the second of these two quotes, with dates included. Even if you are only joking, you are severely eroding any (tenuous) credibility you may have ever had.

And I checked your reference to the Quatsino BC -0.5 vs -5.0 'error'. Using your links I see that the mean maximum temperature for March 02 at Quatsino was 7.0ºC, the mean of the daily means was 4.0ºC, and the mean minimum was 1.1ºC. Since your gripe was with a value of -0.5ºC that you think should have been -5.0ºC, I will consider only the minimum daily temperature values (to give you the best advantage possible)...

There is only one value of -0.5ºC, and it occurs on 19 March, not 24 March as you stated. However, I see that there are 22 values greater or equal to -0.5ºC for the month, and 9 values less than -0.5ºC. Given this, and the fact that the mean of the daily minimums is 1.1ºC, with a standard deviation of 3.0ºC, and that the extreme lowest value is -5.5ºC, I can only say that your premise that -0.5ºC "should be" -5.0ºC is so far off the mark that it is out of the galaxy.

And I see no problem with the maximum and minimum values for 24 March 02, other than (at a stretch) that the maximum (13.5ºC) is the maximum for the month. This is especially a stretch given that there were four occurrences of 8.5ºC; one each of 9.0ºC, 9.5ºC, 10.0ºC, 11.0ºC and 12.0ºC; and two of 10.5ºC. If you continue to see a problem here, perhaps you would offer your considered opinion for the following series of temperatures for an arbitrary site during March this year. I will avoid your predilection of 'selecting' an arbitrary historic comparison, and instead offer you the anomaly values with which to work, which is somewhat more appropriate. Frustratingly my efforts at html tags are unsuccessful in tabulating these data.

Date min anomaly max anomaly01/03/08 13.5 -1.6 25.7 -0.502/03/08 13.3 -1.8 31.1 4.903/03/08 15.6 0.5 35.4 9.204/03/08 23.5 8.4 35.7 9.505/03/08 24.4 9.3 37.9 11.706/03/08 19.6 4.5 38.5 12.307/03/08 19.9 4.8 39.0 12.808/03/08 21.1 6.0 39.8 13.609/03/08 25.4 10.3 40.2 14.010/03/08 22.4 7.3 40.0 13.811/03/08 22.0 6.9 38.4 12.212/03/08 22.4 7.3 39.2 13.013/03/08 25.0 9.9 39.7 13.514/03/08 30.2 15.1 38.6 12.415/03/08 23.6 8.5 38.3 12.116/03/08 22.5 7.4 39.9 13.717/03/08 25.9 10.8 40.5 14.318/03/08 21.8 6.7 27.6 1.419/03/08 15.0 -0.1 27.0 0.820/03/08 13.3 -1.8 23.0 -3.221/03/08 11.8 -3.3 22.2 -4.022/03/08 13.2 -1.9 22.7 -3.523/03/08 10.9 -4.2 29.0 3.0
What are your criteria for 'questionable values'. You need to be scrupulous in your a priori definition of such - you cannot just decide on this as you roll along. And I indicated to you in an earlier post that large datasets are usually robustly impervious to the 'errors' that you seem to be so irrationally fixated with. One cannot just blithely remove data because you 'don't like the look' of them, and leaving them intact rarely makes too much of a difference. If they do, then one is probably considering a small dataset, and the likelihood of raw data errors being undetected is low in this event.

Last weekend I attended a community forum on climate change, and one of the principle speakers was the state government officer responsible for policy development and application on climate change. He is an economist by training and by decades of working, and he commenced his talk by acknowledging his employment for many years as a hired gun by big industry to discredit the existence of global warming - he grew rich on this. He also acknowledged that even he and his benefactors privately admitted in the past to the reality of climate change, and that they are no less certain of it today. He gave up a lucrative career to turn to the 'light' because he understood the gravity of the situation, and his most telling comment was that deniers are a minor and an almost irrelevant voice in global policy today - even the most conservative ideologues (outside of the fossil fuel industry) have figured out on which side their bread is buttered.

The only issue these days is that the Deniers, in which camp I firmly place you, obfuscate the understanding of the 'general public' with respect to the urgency of the climate change problem. If you have a valid counter to the >>97% of expert understanding that says that climate change is the major problem that the world faces today, them you will be given genuine consideration - as long as you speak sensibly and with informed understanding. You demonstrate none of this whatsoever, and the only effect that you and those of your bent have is to create a minor delay in changes that will inevitably come. Nevertheless, even such (relatively minor) delaying tactics can still have profound consequences for the planet, and given the gravity of the threat, and the essentially minor adjustments that would avoid the worst of it, it is sheer bloody-mindedness on your part to keep your head in the sands of ignorance, as you do.

Several months ago I offered this piece of advice to another denier. It is something I myself live by, and I suggest that you would benefit from serious consideration of it:

"You must always be students, learning and unlearning till your life's end, and if, gentlemen, you are not prepared to follow your profession in this spirit, I implore you to leave its ranks and betake yourself to some third-class trade."

Lord Joseph Lister (1827-1912)

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 24 Mar 2008 #permalink

Harold Pierce writes:

[[The absolute amount of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere of real air is unknown ]]

No, it's known pretty closely. I'll do the calculation for you.

The present concentration of carbon dioxide in ambient air is about 385 ppmv. The total mass of the atmosphere is about 5.136 x 10^18 kg. CO2 has a molecular weight of 44.0096 while moist air averages 28.92. There are therefore 0.000385 x 5.136e18 x (44.0096/28.92) = 3.01 x 10^15 kilograms of carbon dioxide in the air, on average.

RE: #33
Hello Eli!

Go read #21, the first paragraph. For most all remote sites, the ratios of atmospheric gases is relatively constant and is independent of elevation. As I mentioned the ref state for reporting composition of the atmosphere based upon analysis of ambient air is "Standard Dry Air".

The elevation of Mauna Loa is 11,200 ft and air pressure is about 9.5 psi or 0.65 atm. At STP the density of dry air ia 1.29 kg/cu. meter. The amount of CO2 therein is 388 ml. At 11,200 ft the density of dry air at 0 deg C would be about 0.8 kg/ cu. meter and the absolute amount of CO2 would be about 250 ml but the relative concentraion would still be 388 ppmv.

This is important: you can not use the value of 388 ppmv for computing the absolute amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
The mean global temperature is about 288 K. The ideal gas law is: PV=nRT and rearranged is n/V=P/TR, where n is the mole number and R is the gas constant. For a mixture n is the sum of the mole numbers for the indivdual components.

If we assume a constant world pressure of 1 atm and V is constant, then the absolute amount CO2 in dry air would be about 368 ml /cu meter. In real air with water vapor this value will be less depending on the humidity.

GO: http://www.uigi.com/air.html for interesting info about air.

Any questions?

By Harold Pierce Jr (not verified) on 24 Mar 2008 #permalink

BBL: well done! But your 820 GtC are growing very slowly, at around 0.5% p.a., while anthropogenic emissions are growing at over 3% p.a. How so?

Harold Pierce Jnr.

Despite all of your oogy-boogy cloak, smoke and mirrors rhetoric about how difficult it apparently is to obtain an accurate measurement of the concentration of atmospheric CO2, the Universal Industrial Gasses site that you linked to in #48 noted that "[c]urrently, 385 ppmv +/- 5 ppmv is a reasonable value" (their emphasis). This seems to be a reasonably certain estimate from a site you found worthy to reference.

In the very next sentence they say "[w]orldwide, the average concentration of carbon dioxide is rising at a rate of about 2 ppmv per year" (my emphasis). Given that UIG's margin of error is only +/- 5ppm, an annual increase of 2ppm would seem to be a specific, and an important, rate of increase.

Do you believe that CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing at a reasonable approximate to this rate? Do you support Beck's premise that there were wild fluctuations in atmospheric CO2 concentration that suddenly ended IR spectrometry? After all, you are on record as saying "I glanced over Beck's paper and didn't find much to criticize". If you do agree with Beck, what miracle of modern CO2 measurement brought about a stabilisation in the rate of increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration, and simultaneously made it more difficult to quantify than was possible with the old chemical measurements in which you found little in to criticise?

And I've asked this question previously (amongst many others) but I will do so again - do you understand CO2 to be a greenhouse gas?

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 24 Mar 2008 #permalink

Harold Pierce Jnr.

At #46 above, the 'arbitrary' site is 35º South, and thus the temperature values, in ºC, are for early autumn. If it is not clear in the first line of the data, there are five columns - date, maximum temperature, max temp anomaly (wrt mean for the date), minimum temperature, and min temp anomaly (wrt mean for the date). The records go back for many, many years.

I await your conclusions with keen interest...

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 24 Mar 2008 #permalink

Harold Pierce Jnr.

Much to my chagrin, when I asked:

"Do you support Beck's premise that there were wild fluctuations in atmospheric CO2 concentration that suddenly ended IR spectrometry?"

at #50, I meant of course:

"Do you support Beck's premise that there were wild fluctuations in atmospheric CO2 concentration that suddenly ended with the advent of IR spectrometry?"

Obvious intent aside, sic one for me.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 24 Mar 2008 #permalink

Slopes are irrelevant, and are not mentioned by bi's lover boy Keeling.

this is simply false. Keeling does mention large swings, which implies steep SLOPES!

Surely, surely, surely you did not mean what you said about three consecutive '-0.6' values?

i too was too shocked to reply immediately.

here s what hew is doing:

1. take a dataset that seems to show no warming

2. analyse a tiny part of that data set.

3. drop random data, because he thinks they are false.

simply horrible.

btw, if there realy was an error of 5°C on one day, it will effect the mean of the 6 year data by 0.00228310502. IRRELEVANT.

Dangerous game you play, Tim !

You won't believe the trouble I got for suggesting that some bogus reconstructions published in E&E was "pseudoscience".

http://www.climateaudit.org/?cat=63

But given the impressive E&E's laundering track record, I remain dumbfounded that skeptics would go publish there with any expectation of being taken seriously. Sure, the peer-review system is far from flawless in climate journals, but it seems that E&E does not even know the concept of a review. Is there ONE example of a decent article with relevance to climate science ever published in there ?

Hi Tim,

"BBL: well done! But your 820 GtC are growing very slowly, at around 0.5% p.a., while anthropogenic emissions are growing at over 3% p.a. How so?"

The 0.5%/yr relative growth of overall carbon content of atmosphere is to be compared with the current anthro emissions: 8 GTC/yr corresponding to ca 1%/yr. The difference being due to rapid recycling by biosphere and oceans.
The 3% growth is irrelevant in that respect: even though the emissions were decreasing by 3% the ratio would be the same. The rate of growth of the emissions is relevant to the evolution of dCO2/dt (in other words, would correlate with d2CO2/dt2) but with a huge noise in the short term due to climate/carbon cycle coupling processes: El Nino, La Nina, volcanoes, uptake/outgassing as consequence of variation of sea surface temperature. However, on about 5 to 10 years scale, dCO2/dt is still increasing, as expected.

Best

Yves

Many thanks Yves (#56) for your useful contribution, but I think you are wrong when you say "on about 5 to 10 years scale, dCO2/dt is still increasing, as expected". If you check my website (www.timcurtin.com) for my paper "Garnaut, the Greens, and the browning of the world"(submitted to Garnaut Review)for my Fig.1B, you will see that dCO2/dt at Mauna Loa has been growing but at a steadily decreasing rate since 1958 - the graph plots the annual absolute increments at Mauna Loa (from CDIAC) againt time and the logarithmic trend is flattening.

El Nino (#55): since E&E published Meijer & Keeling, does this answer your question "Is there ONE example of a decent article with relevance to climate science ever published in there?"? And what about McKitrick, Nobel material in due time?

Sod: there was no mention of slopes in my quote from Keeling; mentions elsewhere there are, but I addressed only the quote that vindicates Beck. Both Keeling & Beck may well make other statements that are questionable, but I prefer to take one at a time.

Hi Tim,

Thanks for the reference. Having seen the figure mentioned I noticed the huge fluctuations on a 1 year scale, and doubt that a log fits that better than a linear. Have you succeeded to show that at longer timescales (5 y) and from other sites (South Pole) ?

Best

Yves

Tim Curtin.

A morbid curiosity led me to look at the last several pfds on your website, and... well, let's just leave the rest of this sentence hanging.

I have one question for you - do you stand by your two figures in your effort entitled "An Overdue Letter to President Bush from Albert Einstein"?

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 24 Mar 2008 #permalink

Thanks Yves, I will try and do what you suggest.

Bernard, I trust your morbidity is no terminal. Yes I do stand by those figures, just as much as the IPCC projects wildly into the future ignoring logarithimic effect of CO2 on temperature and depending hugely therefore on a yet to be demonstrated positive feedback from clouds. My "overdue letter from Einstein" was penned before Freeman Dyson's latest book came out (A many-colored Glass); unlike Bernard J, Dyson is a physicist of some renown and his book confirmed the point I was dramatising in my letter, which is that our problem with rising population and therefore food needs is that we shall soon have too little atmospheric CO2, not too much; Dyson states it is already scarce. Now whether reducing emissions will impact or not on the current oceanic and terrestrial uptakes of 5 GtC p.a. is an interesting question. If not, my Einstein letter's figures stand and total atmospheric CO2 will fall back to the 1750 level and its little ice age. But if uptakes fall in line with emission reductions we will be worse off even sooner as shown in Figs. 3 & 4 of my second Garnaut submission (at my website, not his, as he dislikes contention). Current crop yields will decline ever faster the more extreme are the emission reductions pursued by Garnaut, as the resulting declining partial pressure of atmospheric CO2 reduces photosynthetic uptakes pari passu.

Re Eli, if you could name a journal whose editorial board is NOT stacked with IPCC luminaries and would consider a paper along the lines above, do tell. That IPCC AR4 WG1 could manage just 3 page refs in 985 on photosynthesis, and those are by the less than candid Canadell team, I doubt you can.

IMO, Beck's E&E article was interesting both in itself and in the disagreements it provoked.

Sod: there was no mention of slopes in my quote from Keeling; mentions elsewhere there are, but I addressed only the quote that vindicates Beck. Both Keeling & Beck may well make other statements that are questionable, but I prefer to take one at a time.

Tim, if you do NOT understand the connection between "large swings" of a curve and its slopes, then i suppose you take math 101 before trying to write any more "scientific" papers.

------------------

the "Einstein" paper has been discussed on this site before. Tim Curtin does NOT understand that the rate of CO2 uptake (for example by the oceans) is DIRECTLY linked to CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

that CO2 uptake continues to rise, when concentration in the air is sinking (as in his graphs) was completely made up by him and is complete nonsense of course.

the paper makes two more claims, that can only be described as idiotic:

1. Tim thinks that people will continue CO2 reduction if faced with a dramatic reduction of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

2. Tim does believe that the increase in agricultural production is ONLY based on increased CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

Yves: I have done as you suggest,and both 5 and 10 year averages at Mauna Loa show a declining logarithmic trend, likewise for the South Pole data, there are the same positive but declining growth rates.

Sod (aka bi?): set up as many strawmen as you like but none of your claims as to what I say or believe is correct. Trying to take you seriously is a struggle, but if you can be serious please (1)provide your data for the rate of fall of uptakes with respect to decreases in the total atmospheric concentration (2) advise when you expect Ross Garnaut to revise his target for 90% reduction from 1990 by 2050 in order to mainatin yields. Of course I am aware that CO2 is not the only determinant of crop yields, but it is major, with a very high R2 and strongly significant coefficient with FAO agric yields from 1980-2005 (unlike temperature whose coeff. in the same regression is not significant). And without CO2 there would be no production at all of course, in fact growth ceases from about 220 ppm. So it is a necessary if not sufficient condition, hence no wheat in the Antarctic despite abundance of CO2. But as you raise single cause, why not criticise IPCC for its single cause modelling?

More generally, if I said the things about sod that he says about me, I would be disemvowelled.

Hello Bernard!

RE: #32 Somewhere on http://www.cdiac.ornl.gov in the sections on CO2 analysis, I saw: (Values are valid only Mauna Loa and may differ from that of other sites). I can't find it, but I will keep trying.

Real air vs standard dry air: Do you understand what these terms mean? Go read the UIG article and check out the charts that show the effects of elevation, humidity and temperature on the composition and physical properties of real air.

RE: #46
I have the Sept 1926 temperature record in hand, and it shows "-0.6. -0.6 and -0.6" Go check this out.

March 2002 should have been March 2003. Sorry about that!

RE: #50
"Despite all of your oogy-boogy cloak, smoke and mirrors rhetoric about how difficult it apparently is to obtain an accurate measurement of the concentration of atmospheric CO2, the Universal Industrial Gasses site that you linked to in #48 noted that "[c]urrently, 385 ppmv +/- 5 ppmv is a reasonable value" (their emphasis). This seems to be a reasonably certain estimate from a site you found worthy to reference."

FYI I am analytical chemist and I tell you quantitave analysis at the trace levels where the analyte is less than 1% of the sample is very difficult. All you layman see is the final result. The UGI value represents the value for standard dry air which varies slightly from site to site and is in agreement with those values determined by Keeling et al.

RE: Beck's Bump doesn't bother me at all. The 1930'a and '40's were war years. Analyses for CO2 are probably not representive of the "backround level" of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide is a minor trace component(i.e., less than 0.1%) of atmosphere and contributes very little to the green house effect. There is one and only one greenhouse gas: water vapor aka steam. GO:
http:/www.clearlight.com/~mheib/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html. Monte Hieb is mine safety engineer.

"the old chemical measurements" These are OK. Wet chemical methods are still used for many types of analyses, e.g, the various components of blood.

By Harold Pierce Jr (not verified) on 24 Mar 2008 #permalink

i will keep this short, as most things about the Einstein paper have been said before and this is pretty much of topic.

Trying to take you seriously is a struggle,

same feeling over here.

(1)provide your data for the rate of fall of uptakes with respect to decreases in the total atmospheric concentration

this one is simple i and i will refer you to Henry´s law:

the concentration of a solute gas in a solution is directly proportional to the partial pressure of that gas above the solution

http://tinyurl.com/23pgkd

(2) advise when you expect Ross Garnaut to revise his target for 90% reduction from 1990 by 2050 in order to mainatin yields.

i am rather sure that mankind will stop reducing CO2 emmission, when your predicted ice age starts in 2050. (not because of some sun change, volcanos, meteors, but ONLY because of human reduction in CO2 emission...)

Of course I am aware that CO2 is not the only determinant of crop yields, but it is major, with a very high R2 and strongly significant coefficient with FAO agric yields from 1980-2005 (unlike temperature whose coeff. in the same regression is not significant)

i d love to see this graph/data!

More generally, if I said the things about sod that he says about me, I would be disemvowelled.

i stand by what i said about your arguments. i did not call you a pedophile wife beater, as you did when we were discussing this topic the last time:

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2007/10/update_on_the_nine_alleged_err…

ps: i had enormous fun this morning rereading Tim that topic. you definitely shouldn t miss the relationship between CO2 and Einsteins formula E=mc². (#146)

One curiosity arising from his E=MC^2 is that on the one hand if we simply reduce energy in order to reduce emissions, and then plot the implied reduction in M, we get the very large reduction indicated by his equation, recalling that C^2 is the speed of light squared, while on the other hand if we only change the form of E by replacing fossil fuels etc with solar etc., what then happens to M, and what form does it take for equal amounts of joules in each case? Also possibly pertinent is that while conventional energy burning sends up both H2O and CO2 as part of M, while wind etc do not, what then?

RE: #51 Hello Bernard!!!

I like this puzzle! Tim should give the first poster of the solution a prize! I have already made a list of candidates.

By Harold Pierce Jr (not verified) on 25 Mar 2008 #permalink

RE: #65 Hello sod! Here is my responce to the clueless
Warmers and Enviros who believe the use of fossil fuels can be eliminated. I first posted this over at Gavin's Garage.

RE: The Age of Fossil Fuels Will Last Forever!

I have said this many times here and elsewhere, I will say this once again here, and I will say this at RC for the very last time. We will always use increasing amounts of fossils fuels because there are no subsitutes with the requisite chemical and physical properties, and there never ever will be any reduction in the emission of carbon dioxide.

For example, boats, planes, freight trains and trucks, construction, mining and agricultural machines, most cars and light trucks, motorcycles, snowmobiles, ATV's, all military vehicles, go-carts, golf course and sports field grass mowers, etc will require and use liquid fossils fuels becasue these fuels have high energy density and are easily prepared from crude oil by fractional distillation and blending, low energy processes that do not require the breaking of chemical bonds. Even catalytic cracking of heavier distillate fractions is a low energy process.

The "Fuels of Freedom" are chemically inert (except to reaction with oxygen. halogens and several highly reactive chemicals such as singlet oxygen) noncorrosive, highly portable, and can be stored indefinitely in sealed containers (e.g., steel drums) and under an inert atmosphere (e.g., nitrogen) in large tanks.

Fossils fuels will always be required for lime and cement kilns, metal smelters, steel mills, foundries and metal casting plants, metal cutting and braising torches, all factories that make ceramics (e.g., bricks, tiles, china, glass, etc), all food production, processing and distribution, space and water heating, cooking and baking, BBQ's, manufacture of porcelain-coated metals, harvesting of wood and lumber manufacture, isolation of essential oils by steam distillation for prepartion of fragrances and flavors, etc.

The reasons we use thermal plants for generating electricity is that these plants have a small footprint, can be located close to consumers, and produce electricity reliably and at very high energy-densities.

Fossils are the feedstock for the petrochemical
industries (sometimes called the chemical process industries), which manufacture everything from A to Z, such as synthetic fibers. There is not enough suitable land for growing cotton, flax and sheep to meet world demand for fibers.

If you guys have any schemes that will replace fossil fuels for the above applications and uses, I'm quite sure the engineers will glady welcome your suggestions.

We will always have lots of fossil fuels because we can always use coal for manufacture of synthetic hydrocarbons. Germany did this on a massive scale during WW II, and South Africa uses this process, and it supplies about 40% of SA's liquid hydrocarbons which can be manufactured into a wide range of useful materials. Google "SASOL" for more info.

By Harold Pierce Jr (not verified) on 25 Mar 2008 #permalink

Hi Sod (or bi) (#65). You made a contribution, halleluja! Thanks.

But then you quoted me: "Of course I am aware that CO2 is not the only determinant of crop yields, but it is major, with a very high R2 and strongly significant coefficient with FAO agric yields from 1980-2005 (unlike temperature whose coeff. in the same regression is not significant)"

and said "i d love to see this graph/data!" Well, the regressions are there on my first submission to Garnaut (see his Review's website but also on my own website in case he has deleted it by now, www.timcurtin.com). The data are from FAO and CDIAC - Mauna Loa + GISS.

Thanks for the reprint of my Einstein comment. The point I was making, albeit too opaque for most denizens of Deltoid (not to mention the Garnoids), is that whilst burning fossil fuels releases H2O and CO2 that have been buried for billennia, running windmills or solar panels (with their limited mass)seems to give you low cost power (on a running cost basis, so long as you do not factor in the cost of the spinning of thermal power stations for when the wind drops - or the sun stops shining). Solar and wind power do not yield the release of free long stored H2O and CO2 bye-products. Those pesky molecules are included in Eisntein's equation but are largely absent from the formulae for solar and wind power. Strange as it may seem to bi/sod, H2O and CO2 are not pollutants but esential to life. My Garnaut Submission gave the formulae for propane and jet fuel that prove my point here. Dear sod/bi, show me the equivalent formulae for wind/solar and prove their equal yield in terms of FREE water and CO2.

I could spend the rest of my life trying to sell my comments here to the IPCC or all the journals its 2500 authors edit, but have better things to do. E&E might well, but would be derided for doing so.

BTW, I have never called you a pedophile or wife beater (at least not yet!).

Best

Tim

Harold Pierce posted while I was responding to sod/bi - hsi comment is brilliant. Other readers could also usefully refer to Thomas Gold's book for confirmation of Harold's position, The Deep Hot Biosphere: the myth of fossil fuels, strongly endorsed by that other distinguished physicist, Freeman Dyson.

Ironically, while atmospheric CO2 does something to replenish (via photosynthesis) fossil fuels (if they exist)
Einstein's equation also, as I forgot to mention in my last, explains the low yield of solar/wind, because of their low Mass. Remember, E=MCsquared. The Don Henrys et al of Greenpeace etc will never grasp even with a pneumatic drill boring into their thick skulls that a wind farm of 1000 MW does not deliver anything like 365*24*1000 MW hours of power, and a solar does less well, at 365*10*1000 at best, while UK and USA nuclear currently deliver 365*24*.92 per installed MW. Einstein is relevant even if abhorred by the neo-fascists and commies of Greenpeace like sod/bi.

Hi Tim,

Thanks for the homework. Having myself plotted delta(CO2) for 5 years, I made a linear regression and a logarithmic regression. When plotted against t-1957 (years), the log regression gives better correlation coefficients (r²) than the linear, but not in a compelling manner:

delta co2 = 2.9258*ln(t-1957)-2.5514, r²=0.7422 for MLO

delta co2 = 2.9415*ln(t-1957)-2.8157, r²=0.7274 for SPO

compared with

delta co2 = 0.1240*(t-1957)+3.3865, r²=0.6912 for MLO

delta co2 = 0.1177*(t-1957)+3.4066, r²=0.6920 for SPO

and, when comparing the curves with the graphs, the logarithmic regression seems to underestimate the recent trend. Furthermore a log regression requires a further degree of freedom (t0) contrary to the linear.

So, I stand by my interpretation that dCO2/dt is still growing and that the fact that dCO2/dt growth rate decreases is undecided. Maybe, maybe not.

Best

Yves

Harold Pierce, enjoying being a troll, writes:

[[We will always use increasing amounts of fossils fuels because there are no subsitutes with the requisite chemical and physical properties, and there never ever will be any reduction in the emission of carbon dioxide.]]

The same refutation of this drivel that I provided on RC also applies here. Fossil fuels are available in limited amounts and cannot increase without limit. And biomass fuels can substitute for fossil fuels, and electrification can as well. You're just wrong.

Tim Curtin, even more bizarrely than usual, posts:

[[Solar and wind power do not yield the release of free long stored H2O and CO2 bye-products. Those pesky molecules are included in Eisntein's equation but are largely absent from the formulae for solar and wind power.]]

Einstein's relativity equations include NOTHING about any particular molecule. And H2O and CO2 don't have bi-products released by fossil fuel burning; they ARE the bi-products of fossil fuel burning.

Get ahold of some introductory high school science texts, read through them, and do all the problems.

I said (#69) "... burning fossil fuels releases H2O and CO2 that have been buried for billennia",

BBL said at #74: "H2O and CO2 don't have bi-products released by fossil fuel burning; they ARE the bi-products of fossil fuel burning".

BBL, go back to school and learn how to parse.

Tim Lambert: is it not time that cretins like BBL were banned?

By Tim Curtin (not verified) on 25 Mar 2008 #permalink

Tim, you said "Those pesky molecules are included in Eisntein's equation." Your words, verbatim, from post #69 above. You're wrong. There's no equation Einstein ever put down that includes anything about any particular molecule. I can parse just fine. You said something that was blatantly false. I'm not accusing you of lying, just of not understanding basic chemistry and physics. Go study some introductory texts on the subject.

Sod said (@ #65) "this one is simple i and i will refer you to Henry´s law:the concentration of a solute gas in a solution is directly proportional to the partial pressure of that gas above the solution http://tinyurl.com/23pgkd"

Your tinyurl says this: "The value of the Henry's law constant is found to be temperature dependent. The value generally increases with increasing temperature. As a consequence, the solubility of gases generally decreases with increasing temperature".

Thus Henry's Law confirms both Fig 5 in my "Garnaut browns the World" paper (at www.timcurtin.com) and my "Einstein" figures. For evidently, if reducing emissions by 90% below 1990 a la Garnaut has the desired impact on atmospheric CO2 and temperature, then oceanic solubility INCREASES, and REDUCES what is available for terrestrial photosynthesis.

Re Yves:
To prevent useless argutiating I precise my interpretation about delta(CO2) for 5 years:

1) Definition: delta(co2) = co2(t)-co2(t-5 years), in ppm

2) When seeing the curve I can notice the following:

i) the Mauna Loa and South Pole data are remarkably consistent,

ii)there are several successive trends for delta (co2):

- a rapid growth from the beginning to ca 1982

- a slower growth from 1982 to 1992

- a trough from 1992 to 1997

- a resumed growth from 1997 to 2005, slower than between 1957 and 1982 but still sustained.

Considering those successive trends (making armchair/Excel analyses I would tend to correlate the initial rapid growth to the rapid growth in burning fossil fuels in the 1960s, and the 1992-1997 trough to a combined effect of Pinatubo eruption and USSR collapse; but I'm not an expert and I'm sure more serious analyses have been done) I would say that neither the linear trend nor the log trend fits adequately. The linear regression is just a tool for quantifying the overall trend (positive, with a significant correlation), with all its shortcomings. But I think the log regression has the same shortcomings, plus one additional adjustment parameter (initial time). So:

- Tim would be right in noticing that the delta(co2) growth rate is lower in 1997-2004 compared with 1957-1982,

- but an overall and continuing decreasing tendency (of delta co2 growth rate) is not established.

Best

Yves

BBL: you are just a schoolyard bully. Stop armwaving and admit (for no doubt the first time in your life) that you are wrong, in this case to accuse me falsely thus:

I said (#69) "... burning fossil fuels releases H2O and CO2 that have been buried for billennia",

BBL said at #74: "H2O and CO2 don't have bi-products released by fossil fuel burning; they ARE the bi-products of fossil fuel burning".

YES OF COURSE, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I SAID.

Yves: I agree with your assessment, with just one qualification: inserting YET in what you said "an overall and continuing decreasing tendency (of delta co2 growth rate) is not YET established". Wait for this solar cycle to kick in fully! (both Paris and Canberra have been unseasonably cool for the last couple of weeks, I've been in both in that period!).

Best

Tim

Tim, you need to brush up on your reading comprehension.

You said:
""... burning fossil fuels releases H2O and CO2 that have been buried for billennia","

The CO2 and water have not been buried for millenia.

i don t think that anything that i say can discredit Tim Curtin more than his own words/claims.

so i ll keep this short again:

1. you analysis of CO2 vs food (page 20 of the Submission to the Garnaut Review "paper" is horrible).

but let us get back on topic and do the "Curtin-Beck-analysis" of food production during the last centuries BACKWARDS.
according to the unite wisdom of the two of you, food production PEAKED (!!!) in the 1940s and was even higher in 1830!

2. you still do NOT understand Henry's law at all. yes,cooler oceans can take up MORE CO2. but the conclusion you draw from this is completely false and far from scientific. (you know, you need to do some calculations and can t hand wave this, don t you?!?)

3. your remark on the Einstein - CO2 connection was simply false. my best advice is to just admit it.

4. you might want to reread your comment #189. (you probably are ...)

http://tinyurl.com/3ddu7d

5. let me close with this priceless Tim Curtin quote:

Dear sod/bi, show me the equivalent formulae for wind/solar and prove their equal yield in terms of FREE water and CO2.

(world definitely depends on the water produced by burning fossil fuels...)

Tim Curtin said, "both Paris and Canberra have been unseasonably cool for the last couple of weeks". Sigh. The same 'let's confuse weather with climate' chestnut. In this case taken to extreme: short-term and very local conditions. What Tim did not add was that western Europe has had another unseasonably mild winter; in parts of Russia its been one of the warmest on record. March has also been very warm in Australia.

Tim, ya gotta stop pickin' those cherries.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 25 Mar 2008 #permalink

Jeff, the sad thing is that Tim would be the first one insisting that it's simply absurd to seize on a single anomalously hot period (like Adelaide recently) as evidence of global warming.

Or perhaps he feels the need to tell us all that he's been to Paris.

Poor old Tim.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 25 Mar 2008 #permalink

Harold Pierce Jnr.

Surprising as it probably will be to all reading this thread, I am in concurrence with you on one point: I also believe that the energy density and transportability embodied in fossil carboniferous fuels is one of the inescapable fundamentals upon which modern societies are based, and it is an enormously complex challenge to overcome, if it is actually possible to do without substantial reorganisation of said societies.

We part company soon after though with respect to the continuing unfettered availability of oil and even of coal. My observation of the prices at the local fuel station reinforces what I told my laughing friends several years ago, and not a one of them is laughing now... The much derided 'scaremongering' of peak oil is materialising before our eyes (for heaven's sake, even Time Curtin employs this concept in his graphs), and there is much considered expert opinion that vehemently contradicts your premise that we have endless supplies of coal - tear yourself from your SASOL fixation and read a little more widely, and with an open mind, and you might find food for thought.

And on Tim C's infatuation with the geological origin and recharging of carboniferous fuels, if there were even a hint that such existed (isotopic contradictions aside), we'd be seeing replenishment that just hasn't materialised to date.

Perhaps though this is because we are not using the correct instrumentation to measure it. Given Beck's capacity for using instrumentation to alter the input of chemicals into the atmosphere, he might be similarly able to work wonders with arranging the appearance of 'new' carboniferous fuel in the lithosphere...

Harold, there are probably other issues pertaining to humanity's energetic predilection that we would agree upon, but this thread is not the forum in which to gnaw upon that bone. I simply acknowledge this possible common ground so that you understand that I am not merely opposing everything you state simple for the sake of it.

Now...

I certainly understand the difference between "[r]eal air vs standard dry air". You are simply trying to avoid a simple question - is it possible to determine a mean atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide? I will be generous and even allow you to state the standard deviation that you believe is most likely to arise with such a determination.

As to the bee you have in your bonnet about three consecutive days with a minimum temperature of -0.6 ºC, can you explain exactly, for the benefit of all those reading who haven't gone to sleep yet, just what your problem is with this? I note that two of those days had the same maximum (13.3 ºC) as well: do you have an issue with this?

FYI I was an analytical chemist and biochemist for many years (university and hospital), and I have taught both analytical chemistry and biochemistry at tertiary level, aside from teaching at least four other different biological disciplines. I have worked in tumour immunology research (5 years), run a clinical pharmacology trial (four years), and worked on too many other immunology projects to list. I have three degrees to date, and I am finishing a PhD in ecology, a field I have worked in for ten years. I have used many of "the old chemical measurements", and I have used "wet chemical methods" for the full gamut of blood diagnostic and research analyses - I was headhunted by one of the premier institutions in Australia for my expertise in this area. My record for NATA QC tests put me in the top 5% of analysts for the assays I performed.

"All you layman see is the final result"? I do not consider myself a layman in this area, and I am intimately acquainted with every minutia that occurs along the way to a 'result'. And I can tell you that "quantitave [sic] analysis at the trace levels where the analyte is less than 1% of the sample" is not very difficult - if it were there would have been a trail of death, destruction and general havoc in many of the positions I have worked in.

"Beck's Bump" is hardly a bump - it is a camel-train of Bactrians marching up hill and down dale. Do you agree with his 'model' of CO2 concentration fluctuations over the last two centuries? And whilst you're at it, what level of error in his estimations of CO2 concentrations do you speculate exists, and how does this compare with the error in such that you believe occurs with modern measurements?

You say there is only one greenhouse gas - water. That might be news to a few atmospheric physical chemists I know. And yes, I do know several - one is my neighbour, and we have dinner together once a week, as well as working in the same building. Oh, and he measures 'analytes' in air to fractions of ppm. And 'oh' again, he spent two years in Antarctica investigating the upper atmosphere - he knows his stuff... Anyway, can you direct me to the peer-reviewed references that definitely discount the greenhouse capacities of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and CFCs? My next dinner with my friends will inestimably benefit from your wisdom in this matter.

With respect to your comment "I like this puzzle! Tim should give the first poster of the solution a prize! I have already made a list of candidates". I am presuming that you are constructing a list of candidate explanations for the series of anomalies that I presented - the exercise is not intended to be a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey exercise to guess the location of the ' candidate' site used.

I will stop at this point, because the backlog of questions that you are failing to answer will soon become a catalog.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 25 Mar 2008 #permalink

TimC made a typo, a minor, insignificant error, but still worth correcting:

And what about McKitrick, Nobel IgNobel material in due time?

There. That's better.

RE: #72
Hello Barton Paul!

That number (26%) is just computational speculation and conjecture. Did you check out "Global Warming: A Closer Look at the Numbers"?

By Harold Pierce Jr (not verified) on 25 Mar 2008 #permalink

Harold Pierce Jr. said: "FYI I am analytical chemist and I tell you quantitave (sic) analysis at the trace levels where the analyte is less than 1% of the sample is very difficult".

What sort of an "analytical chemist" are you if you have trouble measuring anything under 1.0%?

When you first starting your pseudo-science nonsense on the various blogs you claimed to be a "Ph.D. organic chemist". Now you claim to be an analytical chemist.

It is interesting that there is a "Harold Pierce Jr." who used to be at Simon Fraser Univ in Vancouver. Are you really that person or have you just taken over his identity? I cannot see how anyone who is as ignorant of basic science as you could ever have held a faculty position in a Canadian University Chemistry Department. Do everyone a favour and stop your idiotic ramblings and spreading of junk science. You and Tim Curtin make a fine pair, both completely ignorant of some simple and basic science.

By Ian Forrester (not verified) on 25 Mar 2008 #permalink

Harold Pierce Jnr.

For pity's sake.

What with the endless parade of inane statements and pseudo-analyses that percolate from your direction I struggle and struggle not to be convinced that you have a hollowed-out pumpkin for a head with a rusted wind-up mouse for a brain. I too have to wonder whether you are employing a nom-de-plume, because the Internet is unforgiving in documenting one's follies, and you are leaving a remarkable trail of incriminating idiocy for posterity to ponder upon, as is a certain other troll on this thread.

I have been patient with you only in the hope that the community at Deltoid might educate you on your purported 'analyses' which you perform with what are patently inappropriate techniques and statistics. Basically, I presumed that you were a misinformed lay person trying to take on a large body of trained expertise, and making a complete hash of it. Now I wonder...

I have no time for trolls, and up 'til now I have avoided placing you in this category, but you have failed abysmally to address the manifold issues that you have been called upon to account for, and methinks it's time for into-the-killfile with ye. I have a supervised and colleague/peer-reviewed thesis to complete, and no inclination for now to expend one more iota of time or energy upon the likes of you.

Nevertheless, if you are a fraction of the analyst that you dream you are, you will set about to answer the many questions posed to you that you've left lingering on these pages. I (and I'm sure everyone else reading) will expect you to do so, and I will assume that any refusal to do so is a reflection of your underlying confoundedness with respect to climate analysis (or any other type thereof), and of your woeful lack of either formal or informal qualification to engage in such.

If you really are so firmly convinced of your genius, I suggest that you construct a nice (and Wayback-archivable, for the amusement of posterity) website laying out all of your materials, methods, results and discussions, just as Tim C has, and then mosey on over to Realclimate and challenge the likes of Gavin and raypierre et al who have standing in these matters, for them perhaps to review and thusly to admit their woeful inadequacies as scientists, scholars and gentlemen.

Imagine it... Harold Pierce Jnr, hunkered in his basement with his pencils and t-tests, smites - nay, demolishes - the might of the Evil Dogmatic Scientific Establishment, and frees the world from the myth of global warming. A glorious golden dawn of enlightenment will ensue, with much throwing of rose petals and cherry blossoms by diaphanously-swathed nymphs, and Harold the Almighty will be adored for all time for unshackling humanity from the Horrendous Conspiracy of Climate Scientists.

You might have to jostle with one or two others for the privilege though.

Insulsissimus est homo

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 25 Mar 2008 #permalink

RE: #85
Hello Bernard!

See #87. To date the IPCC and its affiliated "scientists" have produced only computational speculation and conjecture, and the so-called "computer modeling experiments" are theoretical computational exercises and don't mean squat. You must surely know that many of the numerical parameters (e.g., forcings and feedback factors) used in climate modeling are not determined by measurements using instruments. These parameters are computed by using various theoretical equations and stat procedures. There are no instruments with requisite sensitivity and accuracy that can measure these values. For example, what instrument can measure a forcing of 0.01 of watt per square meter for linear contrails?

I should have said, "There is one and only one important greenhouse gas: water vapor aka steam" Real air has one very important property and that is this: Real air always has water vapor. And it doesn't need any help from the molecular slug CO2 to produce and regulate the greenhouse effect.

"Anyway, can you direct me to the peer-reviewed references that definitely discount the greenhouse capacities of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and CFCs? My next dinner with my friends will inestimably benefit from your wisdom in this matter".

See #66. M. Hieb is a professional engineer and what he posted does not need peer review. BTW peer review does not mean anything these days. If it did, there would be none of this climate change claptrap and global warming gobblygook!

Why would you ever get a Ph.D. in ecology? There ain't no money in that field.

By Harold Pierce Jr (not verified) on 25 Mar 2008 #permalink

RE: #88
Hello Ian!

I never held a faculty position at SFU. Google, H. D. Pierce, Jr. I worked in the Chemical Ecology Research Group. We isolated, identified and synthesized insect pheromones. My boss was Prof. John H. Borden. The group no longer exists since everbody has retired.

"What sort of an "analytical chemist" are you if you have trouble measuring anything under 1.0%?"

Quantitative measurment at the trace (PPM) and ultra trace levels (PPB and PPT) is no piece of cake. It very difficult to do. I am organic analytical chemist. Insects usually have nanogram quanities of pheromone(s).

I ain't going away, and I'm going be in your face until all of this global warming nonsense collapses! Aa a matter of fact the Ice Age has cometh.

BTW: The guys at DeSmogBlog are unwitting PR agents of the ultra secret European Illuminati. Anybody interested in this theory?

By Harold Pierce Jr (not verified) on 25 Mar 2008 #permalink

RE: #89
Hello Benard!

Actually I only work now-and-then on the climate stuff. Presently I working on my new theory of poker: The Potential for Action of Poker Games.

Another project involves a new variation of poker code named STUD435.

When I not am doing the above, I'm playing in no-limit Texas Hold'em poker tournaments.

By Harold Pierce Jr (not verified) on 25 Mar 2008 #permalink

HPJ said: "The guys at DeSmogBlog are unwitting PR agents of the ultra secret European Illuminati. Anybody interested in this theory?"

Harold, I have exactly zero interest in any "theory" you propose. The only reason I respond to your posts is to show how dishonest you are. You do not know what you are talking about and only post lies, distortions and obfuscations. You are a disgrace to the chemical profession.

By Ian Forrester (not verified) on 25 Mar 2008 #permalink

Hi all,

Far from this agitation, I made a visit to the old man in a cave

fergusbrown.wordpress.com

who IMHO needs it (some hiccup, and regrets not having commented sooner in his blog) ...

Best

Yves

You people here are really very entertaining to read. Keep up the good work!

"Yes I do stand by those figures, just as much as the IPCC projects wildly into the future ignoring logarithimic effect of CO2 on temperature"

hmmmmm:
"Note that for CO2, RF increases logarithmically with mixing ratio."

is that some sort of clever way of saying you don't stand by those figures, then?

OK, Harold Pierce I've got figured out. There is no shortage of retired scientists wandering charmingly over their heads into a new field in their dotage.

Tim Curtin is more disturbing. Having just wandered over to his web site, I'm not sure of its more alarming to think that he doesn't actually believe that stuff, is making it up, and actually expects that it will convince anyone, or that he DOES believe it himself. This dotage is not charming.

"Solar and wind power do not yield the release of free long stored H2O and CO2 bye-products. Those pesky molecules are included in Eisntein's equation but are largely absent from the formulae for solar and wind power. Strange as it may seem to bi/sod, H2O and CO2 are not pollutants but esential to life. My Garnaut Submission gave the formulae for propane and jet fuel that prove my point here. Dear sod/bi, show me the equivalent formulae for wind/solar and prove their equal yield in terms of FREE water and CO2."

At last! scientific proof debunking the myth that there was life on earth billions of years ago! obviously, there cannot have been any life on earth before adam and eve started burning things!

"I ain't going away, and I'm going be in your face until all of this global warming nonsense collapses! Aa a matter of fact the Ice Age has cometh."

Isn't it amusing how the people how rail about global warming "alarmism" in the face of a mountain of evidence are themselves wildly alarmist about "global cooling" and the economic catastrophe that supposedly awaits us as a result of attempts to reduce GHG emissions.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 25 Mar 2008 #permalink

"There is no shortage of retired scientists wandering charmingly over their heads into a new field in their
dotage"

Hmmm again. I think I've got it; there will always be fossil fuels, if the fossils are of bemused elder statesmen of science.

Seriously, how does our need for an infinite source of fossil fuels without negative side effects thereby prove the inexhaustibility of same? Without an appeal to benevolent deity?

I must say, this topic has certainly lived up to its name; i haven't seen so much psuedo science brought into the light of day since i last looked at the Lyndon Larouche website.

This is new (to me anyway)

"No gasoline-powered car assembled in North America would meet China's current fuel-efficiency standard."
http://www.thestar.com/News/Ideas/article/326294

Particularly interesting in view of the now oft mentioned factoid that Cnina is "opening new coal-fired generating stations at the rate of about one a week."

Tim Curtin says:

[[BBL said at #74: "H2O and CO2 don't have bi-products released by fossil fuel burning; they ARE the bi-products of fossil fuel burning".

YES OF COURSE, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I SAID.]]

No, Tim, what you said in post #69 that I was responding to was:

[[Solar and wind power do not yield the release of free long stored H2O and CO2 bye-products. ]]

Which is why I said:

"And H2O and CO2 don't have bi-products released by fossil fuel burning; they ARE the bi-products of fossil fuel burning."

Do you get it yet?

Harold Pierce Jnr. writes:

[[That number (26%) is just computational speculation and conjecture. Did you check out "Global Warming: A Closer Look at the Numbers"? ]]

It's not either speculation or a conjecture. Didn't you read the article? It's from a radiation budget derived using a radiative-convective model of the Earth's atmosphere.

More Piercingly stupid comments:

[[See #87. To date the IPCC and its affiliated "scientists" have produced only computational speculation and conjecture,]]

Right. Nobody spending months and years in Antarctica carefully measuring glaciers, no one in radiation labs painstakingly measuring parameters of greenhouse gases, no quantum physicists carefully working out emission/absorption lines. You really don't know what you're talking about, do you, Harold? You can't even have read the IPCC reports you're criticizing if you honestly think the scientists the IPCC quotes have only produced "computational speculation and conjecture."

[[ and the so-called "computer modeling experiments" are theoretical computational exercises and don't mean squat.]]

Not to an ignoramus, I suppose, but to scientists they mean a great deal.

[[I should have said, "There is one and only one important greenhouse gas: water vapor aka steam" Real air has one very important property and that is this: Real air always has water vapor. And it doesn't need any help from the molecular slug CO2 to produce and regulate the greenhouse effect. ]]

Considering that water vapor only produces from 36-66% of Earth's greenhouse effect, I'd say it does, actually.

[[peer review does not mean anything these days. If it did, there would be none of this climate change claptrap and global warming gobblygook!]]

Modern science depends on peer review and consensus. You clearly do not understand the first thing about how science is actually done nowadays. That makes your claim to be some kind of chemist very, very unlikely.

I have had other activities, hence the delayed responses to Guthrie. The others have been worthless as always.

Re #81
Relying to Guthrie who said: "Tim, you need to brush up on your reading comprehension.
Tim said: ""... burning fossil fuels releases H2O and CO2 that have been buried for billennia","
The CO2 and water have not been buried for millenia.
Posted by: guthrie | March 25, 2008 9:15 AM

Hi Guthrie, you clearly do not understand the photosynthetic process. Fossil fuels, if that is what they are, have been so to speak underground for billennia.

Tim Curtin.

No, you clearly do not understand the photosynthetic process.

Whilst carboniferous and hydrocarboniferous fossil fuels have been buried underground for millenia, the CO2 and water that derive specifically from their burning have not.

Photosynthesis reduces CO2, and uses water as an electron donor in the process, to produce (remember - photosynthesis) the precursors to fossil fuels, and thus neither the 'feedstock' CO2 nor the water remain to be present in the chemical constituency of said fuels.

Burning fossil fuels releases the carbon that has been stored for millenia, producing CO2 in the case of carboniferous fuels, and producing CO2 and water in the case of hydrocarboniferous fossil fuels.

The distinction, whilst appearing semantic, is extremely important, especially as you are using your twisted view of chemistry and physics to make claims that any competent scientist would dismiss.

Tim, I know that you think oil percolated from the bowels of the crust (you still haven't thought to address the point about isotope signatures), but is coal in your opinion plant-derived?

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 26 Mar 2008 #permalink

Thanks to Bernard J for replying to Tim in my stead.
Meanwhile, I wonder what the word "billenia" means? Any idea?

Tim C said:

I have had other activities, hence the delayed responses to Guthrie. The others have been worthless as always

Read:

I have no answers at all to the others ( ie, challenges to my non-science), so I choose to ignore them and bluff my way through in the hope that the observers in the wings of this thread, who might not know any better, might think that I am actually right.

On the other hand Tim C might actually be right! Let's see... Tim, have you written up your thoughts on Einstein's famous equation, and it's implications for atmospheric gasses, and submitted them to something like PNAS, the Royal Society's Proceedings A, Science or Nature? If you're correct there might even be a Nobel in it for you.

Guthrie, I actually think that Tim C's "billenia" is kinda cute, although it is somewhat reminiscent of a psychological condition!

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 26 Mar 2008 #permalink

Is there any other answer but, yes?
"I'm following my political agenda - a bit anyway. But isn't that the right of the editor?" Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, editor of E&E. As quoted in: Monastersky, R. (2003, September 5). Storm brews over global warming. Chronicle of Higher Education.

By Winnebago (not verified) on 26 Mar 2008 #permalink

I think Tim is too busy writing up his "non-compounding rate of GDP" theory. So presumably he's going for the Economics Nobel first.

Then there's the Fields Medal he's due for his work on the exponential function. But I'm sure he'll get around to the physical sciences in due course.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 26 Mar 2008 #permalink

HERE ARE SOME OVERDUE RESPONSES TO MY CRTICS.

I said (at #69) "Those pesky molecules are included in Einstein's equation." BBL respnded: "Your words, verbatim, from post #69 above. You're wrong. There's no equation Einstein ever put down that includes anything about any particular molecule. I can parse just fine. You said something that was blatantly false. I'm not accusing you of lying, just of not understanding basic chemistry and physics. Go study some introductory texts on the subject".

OK, BBL, tell me why E=MC^2 is wrong

TC: "Bernard, I trust your morbidity is not terminal. Yes I do stand by those figures, just as much as the IPCC projects wildly into the future ignoring logarithimic effect of CO2 on temperature and depending hugely therefore on a yet to be demonstrated positive feedback from clouds. My "overdue letter from Einstein" was penned before Freeman Dyson's latest book came out (A many-colored Glass); unlike Bernard J, Dyson is a physicist of some renown and his book confirmed the point I was dramatising in my letter, which is that our problem with rising population and therefore food needs is that we shall soon have too little atmospheric CO2, not too much; Dyson states it is already scarce. Now whether reducing emissions will impact or not on the current oceanic and terrestrial uptakes of 5 GtC p.a. is an interesting question. If not, my Einstein letter's figures stand and total atmospheric CO2 will fall back to the 1750 level and its little ice age. But if uptakes fall in line with emission reductions we will be worse off even sooner as shown in Figs. 3 & 4 of my second Garnaut submission (at my website, not his, as he dislikes contention). Current crop yields will decline ever faster the more extreme are the emission reductions pursued by Garnaut, as the resulting declining partial pressure of atmospheric CO2 reduces photosynthetic uptakes pari passu.

One curiosity arising from his E=MC^2 is that on the one hand if we simply reduce energy in order to reduce emissions, and then plot the implied reduction in M, we get the very large reduction indicated by his equation, recalling that C^2 is the speed of light squared, while on the other hand if we only change the form of E by replacing fossil fuels etc with solar etc., what then happens to M, and what form does it take for equal amounts of joules in each case? Also possibly pertinent is that while conventional energy burning sends up both H2O and CO2 as part of M, while wind etc do not, what then?

TC.

sod's response: | March 25, 2008 4:13 AM

#74Tim Curtin, even more bizarrely than usual, posts:

[[Solar and wind power do not yield the release of free long stored H2O and CO2 bye-products. Those pesky molecules are included in Einstein's equation but are largely absent from the formulae for solar and wind power.]]

#75 I said (at #69) "... burning fossil fuels releases H2O and CO2 that have been buried for billennia",

BBL said at #74: "H2O and CO2 don't have bi-products released by fossil fuel burning; they ARE the bi-products of fossil fuel burning"...

Posted by: Tim Curtin | March 25, 2008 7:44 AM

#77 sod said (@ #65) "this one is simple i and i will refer you to Henry´s law:the concentration of a solute gas in a solution is directly proportional to the partial pressure of that gas above the solution http://tinyurl.com/23pgkd"

TC: sod's tinyurl says this: "The value of the Henry's law constant is found to be temperature dependent. The value generally increases with increasing temperature. As a consequence, the solubility of gases generally decreases with increasing temperature".

Thus Henry's Law confirms both Fig 5 in my "Garnaut browns the World" paper (at www.timcurtin.com) and my "Einstein" figures. For evidently, if reducing emissions by 90% below 1990 a la Garnaut has the desired impact on atmospheric CO2 and temperature, then oceanic solubility INCREASES, and REDUCES what is available for terrestrial photosynthesis.

Posted by: Tim Curtin | March 25, 2008 8:15 AM

#107Tim Curtin.

Bernard J said: No, you clearly do not understand the photosynthetic process.

Whilst carboniferous and hydrocarboniferous fossil fuels have been buried underground for millenia, the CO2 and water that derive specifically from their burning have not.

[WHY NOT? IT IS THE BURNING THAT RELEASES THE LONG BURIED CO2 AND H2O]

Photosynthesis reduces [ATMOSPHERIC] CO2, and uses water as an electron donor in the process, to produce (remember - photosynthesis) the precursors to fossil fuels, and thus neither the 'feedstock' CO2 nor the water remain to be present in the chemical constituency of said fuels.

Burning fossil fuels releases the carbon that has been stored for millenia, [AND WAS CREATED FROM ABSORPTION OF ATMOSPHERIC CO2] producing CO2 in the case of carboniferous fuels, and producing CO2 and water in the case of hydrocarboniferous fossil fuels.

The distinction, whilst appearing semantic, is extremely important, especially as you are using your twisted view of chemistry and physics to make claims that any competent scientist would dismiss. [YEAH?]

Tim, I know that you think oil percolated from the bowels of the crust (you still haven't thought to address the point about isotope signatures), but is coal in your opinion plant-derived?

BERNARD, i SUGGEST IT IS YOU WHO NEEDS TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL, DO TRY READING THOMAS GOLD'S BOOK - HE WAS JUST A PHYSICS PROF AT CORNELL, WHAT HAVE YOU EVER ACHIEVED?]

Posted by: Bernard J. | March 26, 2008 8:11 AM

Tim Curtin says:

[[BBL said at #74: "H2O and CO2 don't have bi-products released by fossil fuel burning; they ARE the bi-products of fossil fuel burning".

YES OF COURSE, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I SAID.]]

No, Tim, what you said in post #69 that I was responding to was:

[[Solar and wind power do not yield the release of free long stored H2O and CO2 bye-products. ]]

Which is why I said:

"And H2O and CO2 don't have bi-products released by fossil fuel burning; they ARE the bi-products of fossil fuel burning."

Do you get it yet?

Posted by: Barton Paul Levenson | March 26, 2008 4:59 AM

Tim Curtin.

No, you clearly do not understand the photosynthetic process.

Whilst carboniferous and hydrocarboniferous fossil fuels have been buried underground for millenia, the CO2 and water that derive specifically from their burning have not.

Photosynthesis reduces CO2, and uses water as an electron donor in the process, to produce (remember - photosynthesis) the precursors to fossil fuels, and thus neither the 'feedstock' CO2 nor the water remain to be present in the chemical constituency of said fuels.

Burning fossil fuels releases the carbon that has been stored for millenia, producing CO2 in the case of carboniferous fuels, and producing CO2 and water in the case of hydrocarboniferous fossil fuels.

AGREED - TC, 27 MARCH 08

The distinction, whilst appearing semantic, is extremely important, especially as you are using your twisted view of chemistry and physics to make claims that any competent scientist would dismiss.

Tim, I know that you think oil percolated from the bowels of the crust (you still haven't thought to address the point about isotope signatures), but is coal in your opinion plant-derived?

Posted by: Bernard J. | March 26, 2008 8:11 AM

#109Tim C said:

I have had other activities, hence the delayed responses to Guthrie. The others have been worthless as always
Read:

Tim, have you written up your thoughts on Einstein's famous equation, and it's implications for atmospheric gasses, and submitted them to something like PNAS, the Royal Society's Proceedings A, Science or Nature? If you're correct there might even be a Nobel in it for you.

THANKS - I KNOW THE ODDS ARE AGAINST ME, WITH THEH HIGH PRIESTS OF AGW ENSCONED AT THE RS ETC

Guthrie, I actually think that Tim C's "billenia" is kinda cute, although it is somewhat reminiscent of a psychological condition!

Posted by: Bernard J. | March 26, 2008 9:31 AM

#107Tim Curtin.

No, you clearly do not understand the photosynthetic process.

Whilst carboniferous and hydrocarboniferous fossil fuels have been buried underground for millenia, the CO2 and water that derive specifically from their burning have not.
]
OF COURSE THEY HAVE BY DEFINITION

Photosynthesis reduces ATMOSPHERIC CO2, and uses water as an electron donor in the process, to produce (remember - photosynthesis) the precursors to fossil fuels, and thus neither the 'feedstock' CO2 nor the water remain to be present in the chemical constituency of said fuels. NONSENSE

Burning fossil fuels releases the carbon that has been stored for millenia, producing CO2 in the case of carboniferous fuels, and producing CO2 and water in the case of hydrocarboniferous fossil fuels. RIGHT!

The distinction, whilst appearing semantic, is extremely important, especially as you are using your twisted view of chemistry and physics to make claims that any competent scientist would dismiss.

Tim, I know that you think oil percolated from the bowels of the crust (you still haven't thought to address the point about isotope signatures), but is coal in your opinion plant-derived? PARTLY! READ THOMAS GOLD.

Posted by: Bernard J. | March 26, 2008 8:11 AM

Dear sod/bi, show me the equivalent formulae for wind/solar and prove their equal yield in terms of FREE water and CO2.

TC

TimC delays publication of his Galileo-like rubbishing of the climatealarmists' tripe to grace us with his prodigious deepthoughts on the rightness of his envirohate.

Everyone take a moment and thank TimC for spending his valuable time with the likes of us.

Best,

D

Tim Curtin.

I am profoundly aghast at your complete ignorance of chemistry, and I take high umbrage at the fact that you have used this ignorance in an attempt to misrepresent my words.

I said:

Photosynthesis reduces CO2, and uses water as an electron donor in the process, to produce (remember - photosynthesis) the precursors to fossil fuels, and thus neither the 'feedstock' CO2 nor the water remain to be present in the chemical constituency of said fuels.

In that completely shambolic dog's breakfast that you call a response at #112 you quote me as having said:

Photosynthesis reduces [ATMOSPHERIC] CO2, and uses water as an electron donor in the process, to produce (remember - photosynthesis) the precursors to fossil fuels, and thus neither the 'feedstock' CO2 nor the water remain to be present in the chemical constituency of said fuels.

OK where to start...

First, a chemistry lesson for you as you are patently ignorant of even the high school basics.

When an atom or a molecule is oxidised (by an oxidiser, which oxidises) it loses one or more electrons.

When an atom or a molecule is reduced (by a reducer, which reduces) it gains one or more electrons.

I explicitly indicated that the 'feedstock' CO2 is reduced (gains electrons from the reducing agent, or electron donor, water) during the process of photosynthesis.

This is true, pure and simple.

I DID NOT say nor in any other way use the word "atmospheric", and your insertion of it into my quote was obviously explicitly employed to serve your purpose to imply that I was saying that photosynthesis lowers the amount of atmospheric CO2. I did not intend this meaning, and anyone with a week's worth of mid-high school oxidative chemistry under their belt would know this.

I especially did not intend to imply that that photosynthesis lowers the amount of atmospheric CO2, because as a trained biologist I am aware that plants respire a large part of the carbon they fix, (convert to carbohydrate, in case you don't understand) almost immediately that they fix it, and that the remaining bulk of their carbon biomass is respired by micro-organisms on the plant's death. This process is essentially one that is in equilibrium with the atmosphere - unless of course you count humantiy's propensity for tipping extra CO2 into the atmosphere by rasing and burning vegetation.

You might think that you have caught me out and that I have supported your "plants will suck all the CO2 out of the atmosphere" tripe, but you are simply exposing your woeful ignorance of basic science, and also your conniving propensity to twist the words of others.

I think that am owed.

At another point you quoted me thus:

Whilst carboniferous and hydrocarboniferous fossil fuels have been buried underground for millenia, the CO2 and water that derive specifically from their burning have not.

and said:

[WHY NOT? IT IS THE BURNING THAT RELEASES THE LONG BURIED CO2 AND H2O]

How many times must you humiliate yourself by claiming that the CO2 and water were buried? They were not. For the last time, the burning releases buried carbon, and in the case of hydrocarboniferous fuels, buried carbon and hydrogen previously chemically combined as hydrocarbon. The CO2 and water are produced de novo in the atmosphere in the presence of oxygen.

I when I said:

and thus neither the 'feedstock' CO2 nor the water remain to be present in the chemical constituency of said fuels.

You replied elsewhere:

NONSENSE

It is not nonsense. And if you need to be convinced spend some time around an anoxic environment, where hydrocarboniferous materials are oxidised into sulphurous compounds that are neither CO2 nor water

If the water 'remains' in the buried carboniferous fuels or hydrocarboniferous fuels, then so do all of the myriad other molecular combinations represented by the atomic constituents of the fuels, and this is patently absurd. You know, I could take cyanide, break it down into things like CO2, ammonia, urea or any number of other compounds able to be assimilated by plants, but after doing so it doesn't mean that the cyanide is still somehow 'in the plant'.

Of course, you could be Zen about it and say that the 'spirit' of the CO2 and the water remain within the hydrocarboniferous fuels, but this is philosophy and has nothing to do with the chemical 'accounting' that you have deluded yourself into thinking that you are doing. The 'potential' of CO2 and water to come de novo from the oxidation of the hydrocarboniferous fuels is there, but so is the potential for any of thousands of industrial polymers, pharmaceuticals, stock feeds (or whatever) to do so, and no-one in their right mind would dream of saying that any of these substances are also 'buried' underground.

Can you try any harder to make yourself look like a complete prat?

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 27 Mar 2008 #permalink

Tim, i must have missed your answers in that quote-mess you created above.

why wont you simply admit:

1. you got Einstein wrong. the famous energy/matter formula has absolutely ZERO meaning in the context of burning fossile fuels. you know NOTHING about physics!
if you can find a relationship, please enligthen us all by EXPLAINING it!

2. you got the chemical process of burning fossile fuels wrong. you did not understand, that the oxygen used for the process is supplied by the AIR! we don t get "FREE" CO2 and H2O but instead pay with OXYGEN and with all sort of pollutions, starting with sulfur dioxide ( and oxides of nitrogen. you do not understand CHEMISTRY at all!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fossil_fuel_power_plant

you have so far brought up ZERO facts, supporting your claim on CO2 sinks. you misrepresent Henry s law. if you think it supports your case, you need to show this with CALCULATIONS!

Dear sod/bi, show me the equivalent formulae for wind/solar and prove their equal yield in terms of FREE water and CO2.

just because you keep repeating this moronic point:

the vast majority of scientists DISAGREE with you on the claim, taht "FREE" CO2 is a good thing.
the water question is even more easy: producing oil has COST in water. i am rather confident, that a calculation will show that wind power, by not USING water gives more "FREE" water" than burning fossile fuels!!!

http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/powers/2004/1104.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_injection_(oil_production)

I will call myself on this one.

I said:

where hydrocarboniferous materials are oxidised into sulphurous compounds that are neither CO2 nor water

If sulphate is the electron accepter, CO2 certainly can be produced de novo, but instead of water, compounds such as H2S are produced. Nevertheless this particular example still serves to demonstrate that the CO2 and water are not explicitly 'buried in' the hydrocarbon, and there are any number of hydrocarbon oxidation reactions that do not produce either CO2 or water.

One is always well advised not to let another's stupidity bring one's guard down to spawn one's own silliness, no matter the hour of the morning (AEDT), and of this I am guilty.

But Tim Curtin is still well and truly in jail.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 27 Mar 2008 #permalink

Tim Curtin.

One curiosity arising from his E=MC^2 is that on the one hand if we simply reduce energy in order to reduce emissions, and then plot the implied reduction in M, we get the very large reduction indicated by his equation, recalling that C^2 is the speed of light squared, while on the other hand if we only change the form of E by replacing fossil fuels etc with solar etc., what then happens to M, and what form does it take for equal amounts of joules in each case? Also possibly pertinent is that while conventional energy burning sends up both H2O and CO2 as part of M, while wind etc do not, what then?

Please, please, I beg you - take this piece of wisdom into the office of any physicist or physical chemist, with a television crew to witness their despair as you make it patently obvious to those poor academics what the physical sciences have missed that was right under their noses for the last century, and place the resulting humiliation of these ignorant boffins up on Youtube for all to see.

If they fail to understand by reading the above paragraph, show them your Einstien letter. That will surely remove the clouds of befuddlement from their eyes.

THANKS - I KNOW THE ODDS ARE AGAINST ME, WITH THEH HIGH PRIESTS OF AGW ENSCONED AT THE RS ETC

Your thesis is perfect for Energy and Environment, and it is surely a journal of repute that would be your springboard to eventual fame and glory.

Surely.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 27 Mar 2008 #permalink

Bernard J
You are doing noble work, but:

a) If you use Firefox, Greasemonkey+killfile are worth having.

b) If you're unfamiliar with the Dunning-Kruger Effect, you might look it up. It would explain much of this thread.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 27 Mar 2008 #permalink

Incompetent individuals tend to overestimate their own level of skill.

Incompetent individuals fail to recognize genuine skill in others.

Incompetent individuals fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy.

If they can be trained to substantially improve their own skill level, these individuals can recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill.

Hi John (at #118)

I am an avid fan of Firefox and its superior versatility, and although I am philosophically equivocal about Killfiling I have started with a certain other nincompoop on this thread. It is that morbid curiosty that I alluded to several days ago that keeps me kicking at Curtin's carcass, and in particular it is a curiosity to see into which corner he will ultimately paint himself.

The heirarchy at ANU must be wriggling in their seats to have him on their books...

Ah yes, the Dunning-Kruger Effect. When my fellow postgrads and I hit the 'long, dark tea-time of the soul' parts of our PhDs we wondered whether we were actually afflicted with the opposite condition (does this have a name?!), but I have recently discovered that the best cure for this malady is in fact to speak with a DKE sufferer. Between them HPJ and TC have shifted my self-perspective to a much more healthy and positive place!

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 27 Mar 2008 #permalink

Einstein again!

'Miklós Zágoni, formerly one of Hungary's most outspoken supporters of the Kyoto Protocol (as well as being an environmentalist and physicist) says the equations used in global warming computer models are wrong.
After studying work by another Hungarian scientist, Ferenc Miskolczi, an atmospheric physicist with 30 years of experience and a former researcher with NASA's Langley Research Center, Zágoni stopped calling global warming a crisis, and has instead focused on presenting the new theory to other climatologists. The data fit extremely well. "Runaway greenhouse theories contradict energy balance equations," Miskolczi states. Just as the theory of relativity sets an upper limit on velocity, his theory sets an upper limit on the greenhouse effect, a limit that prevents it from warming the Earth more than a certain amount.
How did modern researchers make such a mistake? They relied upon equations derived over 80 years ago, equations which left off one term from the final solution.
Miskolczi's story reads like a book. Looking at a series of differential equations for the greenhouse effect, he noticed the solution -- originally done in 1922 by Arthur Milne, but still used by climate researchers today -- ignored boundary conditions by assuming an "infinitely thick" atmosphere. Similar assumptions are common when solving differential equations; they simplify the calculations and often result in a result that still very closely matches reality. But not always.
So Miskolczi re-derived the solution, this time using the proper boundary conditions for an atmosphere that is not infinite. His result included a new term, which acts as a negative feedback to counter the positive forcing. At low levels, the new term means a small difference ... but as greenhouse gases rise, the negative feedback predominates, forcing values back down.
NASA refused to release the results. Miskolczi believes their motivation is simple. "Money".'

Any comments?
[Thanks to Amer Pundit]

Tim C.

Do you get your science from the frequently dubious and hair-brained "Science News" section of Nexus magazine? Or do you more usually dive into the Twilight Zone section?

How often do you see "runaway greenhouse theories" as theories of primary concern with respect to climate change?

Are you telling us that it is now impossible, with Miskolczi's 'new term', for the climate to warm to temperatures seen in the past? To warm even another degree or two over current average? What to you consider is the 'new' assymptote?

Oh, and I suggest that you discontinue your self-flattery with pretensions to being an Einstein. It doesn't come over as deliberate irony, and you only confirm John's insight about the Dunning-Kruger Effect by doing so.

You really are a sad old emeritus aren't you?

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 27 Mar 2008 #permalink

#122 Bernard J

I read the actual Dunning-Kruger paper a while ago[at Bell Labs, for a few years I put together a group that mixed software engineers and psychologists, so I've retained a weird fondness for this turf; also I have some friends/relatives who are psychology professors].

Their paper also describes how competent individuals often underestimate their performance and goes into the reasons. Although, in the real world, I think there are different reasons for this.

If you are in, say the top 10% of competence in some domain, there's a pretty good chance you know who the top 1% are, and may even work with them. Sometimes, you may even know somebody in the top .001%, and you compare... and get depressed. For instance, long ago, I wasn't too bad a programmer ... but I've worked with people like Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan ... which tends to keep one from having over-inflated ideas of one's programming skill.

Incompetent individuals don't run into the top 10%, 1%, or .0001% so often, especially if they are isolated in some way.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 27 Mar 2008 #permalink

I don't suppose arguing here with Tim Curtin does much good or harm, but looking at his webpage suggests he is not a force for good in Papua New Guinea.

Bernard J (whoever he may be, is it not predicatable that all the most stoopid contributors to this site are always anonymous?) He said: "Do you get your science from the frequently dubious and hair-brained "Science News" section of Nexus magazine?" NO. "Or do you more usually dive into the Twilight Zone section?" NO

"How often do you see "runaway greenhouse theories" as theories of primary concern with respect to climate change?"

In the IPCC, all the time.

Are you telling us that it is now impossible, with Miskolczi's 'new term', for the climate to warm to temperatures seen in the past?

YES, THE DIURNAL RANGE AROUND THE GLOBE EXCEEDS THE IPCC'S WORST "PREDICTIONS" - PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE IPCC EXPLICITLY INSISTS THAT IT MAKES NO PREDICTIONS OR FORECASTS

Oh, and I suggest that you discontinue your self-flattery with pretensions to being an Einstein.

WHY? FREEMAN DYSON HAS TWICE ENDORSED MY WORK. IF HE IS WRONG, FEEL FREE TO TO TELL HIM SO AT PRINCETON, IF YOU ARE UP TO THAT LEVEL OF GOOGLE RESEARCH.

Tim Curtin posts:

[["How often do you see "runaway greenhouse theories" as theories of primary concern with respect to climate change?"

In the IPCC, all the time.]]

You have no idea what a "runaway greenhouse theory" actually is, do you? I recommend doing a google search for "Venus" plus "runaway greenhouse." If you want more explicit treatment, try "Venus" plus "Ingersool" on Google Scholar.

The Earth is in no danger of a runaway greenhouse effect. Not for another billion years or so, anyway. And the IPCC knows it.

Sorry, that should have read "Ingersoll," of course. I was probably thinking of Rasool and de Bergh, who also did a paper on the Venus runaway about 1970 (Ingersoll was 1969).

Wrt to Lini's and Mashey's 'competence' observations (esp 119 & 123).

The good news is that, in the case of avid denialists attempting to widen the circle of their FUD propagation, the denialists show their cards in obvious, predictable ways. Most decision-makers see the denialists' 'tell' and don't push in their chips to the denialist pot. The marginal views of denialists, simply, don't have play with most decision-makers at most levels. Really.

IOW, denialists marginalize themselves and don't get access to the 10%. Their efficacy so far (albeit less so these days) is to make it seem as if there is an overwhelming majority that feels X way or Y way, and these numbers must be heeded by decision-makers.

The task is to point out the denialist's marginalizedness**, not to refute every long-ago refuted point over and over and over and over again and again and again in some perverse whack-a-mole ritual.

Best,

D

** I love the English language...

Tim, I'm curious- since when has Freeman Dyson, the well known physicist, and provocateur, endorsed your work? An actual cite is required.

Dano, Sir

If one really wishes to express one's true admiration for the flexibility of written English then surely one needs to spell it..."marginalisedness", does one not?

Best :o)

FWIW, TimC has mixed up Einstein's E=mc^2 which has nothing to do with what he is talking about with Einstein's derivation of the relationships between the strengths of absorption and emission of light, which does, at least somewhat.

He is busily engaged in tilting at a windmill that is knocking him on the head each time it revolves. Automated rakes.

lol

Guthrie: in two personal emails to me after I sent him my "Einstein" letter and my Submission to the Garnaut Review, Freman Dyson said he agreed with them but made the valid point that Roosevelt in fact of course ignored Einstein's letter of August 1939 until just before Pearl Harbor, thereby lengthening the war and (inadvertently) maximising the holocaust.

Sadly, a similar letter to Rudd warning him off Garnaut would have the same fate, for as the industry-by-industry analysis of the effect of Garnaut's ETS in The Australian today shows, the impact will be as calamitous as that of an atom bomb or two. Eerily, today's Earth Hour portends another Kristallnacht, with vigilantes attacking houses with lights on, soon to be followed by deniers having to wear Yellow Stars and get deported to the unbearable heat of the Antarctic. Just joking of course, but there are discernible fascist tendencies in the Greenies, including some of the above contributors to this thread (eg their calls for censorship etc).

'Miklós Zágoni, formerly one of Hungary's most outspoken supporters of the Kyoto Protocol (as well as being an environmentalist and physicist) ... NASA refused to release the results. Miskolczi believes their motivation is simple. "Money" Any comments?"

Well, firstly, I don't think global warming research adds up to a major source of income for NASA. I imagine their entire climate research budget ($20,000,000 per year) accounts for about the first second of a space shuttle liftoff ($6,000,000,000 per year for shuttles and space station). Furthermore, as folks who have never looked for grant money never seem to understand, if they had a finding like this, it would be grant money for everybody for a year or two. But wait; Miskolczi not only didn't get published, he got fired from NASA! It must be true, I read it on a blog!

Anyway, here's the paper; He doesn't make any direct conclusions referring to anything like degrees per doubling or anything else I can translate, just demonstrates that "thermal runaway" is not in the cards; i don't think anybody really expects thermal runaway, though; just a new equilibrium. Somebody who really knows their stuff will have to explain it to us.

I'll be damned if I know where Miklós Zágoni comes into it, though.

Several people have looked at Miskolczi's paper. If nothing else assumption (g) is bollocks. Another example of GIGO. Arthur commented on Rabett Run, RayP on Real Climate. NASA, as all federal agencies has an internal review process.

Oh that. Well, that just goes to show Dyson went Emeritus a while ago. We, (meaning those of us who actually know some chemistry and suchlike) demonstrated your letter was a mess of unscientific wibblings with no basis in fact. I vaguely recall that you had an embarassing inability to consider the other factors that have caused an increase in crop production around the world. In fact, you would be better off just forgetting about it altogether, as I am sure Freeman Dyson has already done so. Mind you, reading Dysons wikipedia page reminds one to be humble, as one can see how the mighty fall.

Re: # 34

Dear bi,

thank you very much for citing the Science paper of Rahmstorf et al. (2007).

In a letter to the local newspaper I wrote:

"Last year Science published a paper (Rahmstorf et al., 2007, Science 316, p. 709) written by eight authors of the 4th report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in which recent climate observations were compared with climate projections. This paper documents a fundamental scientific misconduct because the first twelve years of the Mauna Loa CO2 observations were neglected because the projections disagree with the observations. In my comment to this paper (http://www.gi.alaska.edu/~kramm/index_files/pdf_files/0801.1870v1-1.pdf) I showed that in 1988 when the IPCC was established and thirty years of Mauna Loa CO2 data were available no correlation between a rise of the CO2 concentration and an increase of the mean near-surface temperature in the northern hemisphere did exist. Meanwhile, I wonder why the IPCC was established."

So much about the paper of Rahmstorf et al. Unfortunately, these guys try to make politics at the cost of the reputation of physical science.

Best regards

Gerhard Kramm

By Gerhard Kramm (not verified) on 29 Mar 2008 #permalink

So much about the paper of Rahmstorf et al. Unfortunately, these guys try to make politics at the cost of the reputation of physical science.

Unlike folks who make claims of scientific misconduct in the press, and who accuse mainstream climate scientists thusly ""By far, most of the IPCC members can be considered, indeed, as members of a Church of Global Warming. They are not qualified enough to understand the physics behind the greenhouse effect...", nothing more than a public ad hom attack on the professionalism of a large number of scientists.

Thanks Guthrie for the Wiki ref on Freeman Dyson, which inter much alia notes that "Dyson regards the term "global warming" as a misnomer, pointing out that warming will not occur uniformly throughout the world, but will instead be subject to regional variations: As a result of the burning of coal and oil, the driving of cars, and other human activities, the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing at a rate of about half a percent per year. ... The physical effects of carbon dioxide are seen in changes of rainfall, cloudiness, wind strength, and temperature, which are customarily lumped together in the misleading phrase "global warming." This phrase is misleading because the warming caused by the greenhouse effect of increased carbon dioxide is not evenly distributed. In humid air, the effect of carbon dioxide on the transport of heat by radiation is less important, because it is outweighed by the much larger greenhouse effect of water vapor. The effect of carbon dioxide is more important where the air is dry, and air is usually dry only where it is cold. The warming mainly occurs where air is cold and dry, mainly in the arctic rather than in the tropics, mainly in winter rather than in summer, and mainly at night rather than in daytime. The warming is real, but it is mostly making cold places warmer rather than making hot places hotter. To represent this local warming by a global average is misleading, because the global average is only a fraction of a degree while the local warming at high latitudes is much larger.[20] "

Regarding political efforts to reduce the causes of climate change, Dyson argues that other global problems should take priority.

" I'm not saying the warming doesn't cause problems, obviously it does. Obviously we should be trying to understand it. I'm saying that the problems are being grossly exaggerated. They take away money and attention from other problems that are much more urgent and important. Poverty, infectious diseases, public education and public health. Not to mention the preservation of living creatures on land and in the oceans.[17]...."

"Well", says Guthrie [who seems not to be known to Wiki other than as a folksinger], "that just goes to show Dyson went Emeritus a while ago. We, (meaning those of us [like Guthrie, long overdue for a Gore singing & dancing Prize] who actually know some chemistry and suchlike [including of course quantum mechanics, a field in which Guthrie is renowned ahead of Dyson, despite Wiki's neglect of this aspect of his song and dance routine] ) demonstrated your letter was a mess of unscientific wibblings with no basis in fact."

Well, dear Guthrie, I am happy to follow ever so faltingly more in Dyson's footsteps as outlined above than in your neo-Nazi ramblings.

Reverting to "Guthrie" and my description of him as a neo-Nazi, my basis for that assertion is his own denigration (at #136, "Oh that. Well, that just goes to show Dyson went Emeritus a while ago") of perhaps our greatest living physicist as senile, when Freeman Dyson has published two books within the last year or so as well as having played a valuable role in the war against Hitler. What have been Guthrie's achievements then or now?

Tim Curtin.

I will refrain from saying too much about Freeman Dyson, who was a very clever physicist in his time, because he is not here to defend himself, and to be frank I am not well acquainted with his professional work - unless one stretches to count his 'out there' ideas of stars surrounded and enclosed by the biospheres of advanced societies, or his dream of a plant engineered to grow on comets. All I would say is that if Freeman was taking flights of fancy such that he seriously considered these to be viable concepts, then he might be forgiven for (allegedly) supporting some of your babble in his autumn years. I will definitely follow guthrie's reference to wikipedia after posting this though to see if it indicates the degree of Dyson's 'going Emeritus'.

There is always a danger in selecting particular Nobel laureates, charismatic personalities and other figureheads as references: you might consider that those in the stratosphere of science (or at least those whom you cherry-pick) can (or perhaps have) fall(en) from their lofty heights. Kary Mullis comes to mind, with his notoriety over the non-HIV origin of AIDS, and his claims that CFCs are not ozone depleting. Ironically, if my memory serves me correctly, he is a climate change sceptic too, but my point is that past kudos in not a privilege to irrefutable reputation, and it is the consensus of the scientific body derived through repeated testing and scrutiny that is the best indicator of the validity of an idea. It doesn't take a Nobel, or a two hundred article CV, to see when the emperor is wearing no clothes. If I recall the story it only took one small child to point out the bleeding obvious...

And Tim Curtin, most of your recent ideas about physics and chemistry fail the Bleedin' Obvious Test abysmally almost the moment you open your mouth.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 29 Mar 2008 #permalink

Thanks Bernard J, yet another hiding his amazing talents in physics and chemistry in anonymity. You are right, appeals to authority are little better than the ad hom attacks in your postings. So just explain where Prof. Dyson is wrong in his views on climate change (available in full in his latest book, A Many-colored Glass, and especially the following:

"The fundamental reason why carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is critically important to biology is that there is so little of it. A field of corn growing in full sunlight in the middle of the day uses up all the carbon dioxide within a meter of the ground in about five minutes".

I came across that after I had penned my 'Einstein' letter making the same point but it is now the basis of my work showing the likely harmful effects of reducing atmospheric CO2 back the levels of 1750. Show us where we are wrong.

Oh, and Tim, guthrie's reference of Dyson 'going Emeritus' has absolutely nothing to do with Freeman's sterling work during the war. Need I draw attention to the fact that you are constructing, with no logical validity, a strawman in order to justify throwing yet another distasteful at a non-deserving participant in these discussions.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 29 Mar 2008 #permalink

Tim Curtin.

Oh dear...

Do you know, I've been waiting for about three days (having read that 'paper' of yours), for you to toss this paragraph into your mix:

[t]he fundamental reason why carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is critically important to biology is that there is so little of it. A field of corn growing in full sunlight in the middle of the day uses up all the carbon dioxide within a meter of the ground in about five minutes.

No qualifications, nuthin'.

Do you really mean this, as it literally stands?

Leave aside that the phytosphere has managed for eons without the 'assistance' of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, if a field of corn really could exhaust all of the CO2 within a metre of the ground within five minutes, I rather suspect that there'd be textbooks on gaseous diffusion being rewritten all over the world.

Have you ever opened a flask of chlorine in an enclosed room? For pity's sake, even a bottle of bleach would prove the point! I once worked in a lab 30m x 20m x 3m in which someone dropped a flask containing 50mL of 2-mercaptoethanol - the whole lab was cleared out by the smell in seconds, and that was with a tiny fraction of that 50mL evaporating. Yes, even very small amounts of gas (much lower than the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere) can diffuse at large laboratory/field scales in seconds. Throw in any sort of air movement via wind or convection, and it would be clear that your characterisation of Dyson's statement is a little off the mark...

Do you know what the velocity of a gaseous molecule through the atmosphere is? Do you really understand what CO2 (or other gas mixed throughout the whole atmosphere) sequestering process would be needed to remove all of that particular gas from a localised region such as a field, such that one established a concentration gradient to zero for 1 metre above the ground? Do you understand how high (altitude-wise) such a gradient would need to be to maintain a zero CO2 concentration at ground level? And what area around a central point would need to be established?

Of course you do. I hope. Dyson (and you, presumably) were tilting at the idea that a field of corn can, in about 5 minutes at maximum photosynthesis, use as much CO2 as is contained in the air above the ground of that field for one metre - if the field and the air above it were an isolated system. But they are not isolated, and saying that the corn "uses up all the carbon dioxide" creates the impression that CO2 is somehow hard for the corn to 'get a hold of'. The fact is that the corn does NOT exhaust the CO2 in the atmosphere above its field, and the fact is that there is no imminent threat of CO2 dropping to zero without being 'sustained' by human emissions.

Before the Industrial Revolution, before humanity's appearance on the planet, the biosphere had already done a pretty good job of sequestering an equilibrium mass of carbon as 'biomass'. It is almost the definition of the purpose of life - to fill in every available niche, and it has always done so without driving the equilibrium such that there is a 'precipitous' drop in CO2 concentration. Quite simply, plants have evolved to photosynthesise with carbon dioxide at concentrations of the order of magnitude of ~300ppm. And a field of corn will not drop the concentration of atmospheric of CO2 to zero.

And further, do you really imagine that 6 billion humans, or even 9 billion, represent such a vast increase in actual biomass as to suck all of the CO2 from the atmosphere? For a start there is the loss of a considerable part of the body of respiring animal life to account for, whose biomass is displaced into the atmosphere with respect to historic CO2 levels, in addition to the huge amount of plant life that we have burned or otherwise consigned to the gaseous state. And you seem to forget that the phytosphere itself exists only because it respires much of its CO2 back into the atmosphere when garnering the energy captured by photosynthesis.

You know, I could go on and on, and on and on (ad nauseum), but I rather think that I have said enough to (hopefully) plant a seed, and I am probably wise to heed Dano's advice about continuing to whack moles...

Oh, and my 'attacks' are directed at the quality of your scientific (?!) statements, and not at whether you are a coward, a wife-basher, a paedophile, a neonazi, or all of these.

Pull your head in Tim Curtin.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 29 Mar 2008 #permalink

Kramm:

This paper documents a fundamental scientific misconduct because the first twelve years of the Mauna Loa CO2 observations were neglected because the projections disagree with the observations.

"Projections" for the "first twelve years"? I think you've been smoking too much stuff from the tobacco lobby or something.

The same "reasoning" telling us that Al Gore became filthy rich by cashing in on carbon credits -- even before carbon cap-and-trade exists. The Vast Satanic Worldwide Conspiracy is so Satanic that it has Satanic time-travel technology. Maybe the IPCC accidentally travelled to the future so that it had to make projections about past measurements.

At #143, I meant 'distasteful ad hom' - I'd left out an 'i' and a 'greater than' sign...

Polergees for any confusion.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 30 Mar 2008 #permalink

As Gerhard Kramm once more demonstrates, the dangerous thing is not what you don't know, but what you think you know that is wrong. Worse, when you shout your ignorance from the roof tops. We only have to look at something as unsophisticated at the 1988 Hansen GCM projections to see that they do an excellent job consistent with the 1958 (and earlier) CO2 measurements. The other GCMs do the same

Kramm, of course, is certain, certainly wrong.

Dear Bernard J (does the J stand for Jerk? - for you are transparently incapable of distinguishing between my quotes from Freeman Dyson and my own statements.

So let us begin with your claim that it was I who said that

"[t]he fundamental reason why carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is critically important to biology is that there is so little of it. A field of corn growing in full sunlight in the middle of the day uses up all the carbon dioxide within a meter of the ground in about five minutes.

No qualifications, nuthin'."

Actually, those were Freeman Dyson's words.

Bernard Jerk then adds: "Leave aside that the phytosphere has managed for eons without the 'assistance' of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, if a field of corn really could exhaust all of the CO2 within a metre of the ground within five minutes, I rather suspect that there'd be textbooks on gaseous diffusion being rewritten all over the world."

Actually just check out any scientific journal eg Global Change Biology for dozens of papers about the fertilizing effect of CO2.

Jerk again: "Have you ever opened a flask of chlorine in an enclosed room... Throw in any sort of air movement via wind or convection, and it would be clear that your characterisation of Dyson's statement is a little off the mark..."

Jerk, please tell that to Dyson, not me. You are the typical schoolyard bully, taking on me, rather than the head prefect.

Jerk again: "Do you know what the velocity of a gaseous molecule through the atmosphere is? ... "

Well, no, but I do know from the identity I published in my "Einstein" letter that if in any given year the increase in atmospheric CO2 was 4.1 GtC while the anthropogenic emissions were 9.1 Gtc, then uptakes by the photosynthesis you deride have to have been 5 GtC.

Jerk kindly added: "Of course you do. I hope. Dyson (and you, presumably) were tilting at the idea that a field of corn can, in about 5 minutes at maximum photosynthesis, use as much CO2 as is contained in the air above the ground of that field for one metre - if the field and the air above it were an isolated system. But they are not isolated, and saying that the corn "uses up all the carbon dioxide" creates the impression that CO2 is somehow hard for the corn to 'get a hold of'. The fact is that the corn does NOT exhaust the CO2 in the atmosphere above its field, [at any height?] and the fact is that there is no imminent threat of CO2 dropping to zero without being 'sustained' by human emissions [not even with the Garnaut 90% reductions from the 1990 level?} Before the Industrial Revolution, before humanity's appearance on the planet, [I thought my own forefathers were around before 1750, in fact I have their baptismal records to prove it] the biosphere had already done a pretty good job of sequestering an equilibrium mass of carbon as 'biomass'. [That is why there was no economic growth before 1750] It is almost the definition of the purpose of life - to fill in every available niche, and it has always done so without driving the equilibrium such that there is a 'precipitous' drop in CO2 concentration [until IPCC, Stern & Garnaut]. Quite simply, plants have evolved to photosynthesise with carbon dioxide at concentrations of the order of magnitude of ~300ppm [why not 1000 ppm as in Dutch greenhouses?] And a field of corn will not drop the concentration of atmospheric of CO2 to zero." What, never, at any time of day? Records from greenhouse managers show how CO2 levels fluctuate widely over 24 hours, a concept too far for jerks like Bernard.

Jerk again: "And further, do you really imagine that 6 billion humans, or even 9 billion, represent such a vast increase in actual biomass as to suck all of the CO2 from the atmosphere? " Well done again, you are almost getting there, just have some chats with your fellow jerks, Al Gore, Nick Stern and Ross Garnaut, to explain to them that eliminating anthropogenic GHG is not really very smart.

Bernard J. again: "You know, I could go on and on, and on and on (ad nauseum), but I rather think that I have said enough to (hopefully) plant a seed, and I am probably wise to heed Dano's advice about continuing to whack moles...|"

Sadly, Bernard J's Latin is no better than his math, physics, and chemistry, so much so that it is he who is most likely the "coward, wife-basher, a paedophile, a neonazi, or all of these" (using ipsissima verba).
depp=true
notiz=[no vowels for you unless you behave yourself]

Well, given that Tim Curtin is a negative oracle -- whatever he says, he really means the exact opposite -- it's clear that he has just given a rousing, impassioned, and unreserved vindication of all of Bernard J.'s points.

For example:

Not sadly, Bernard J.'s Latin is better than his math, physics, and chemistry. Which has nothing to do with the fact that he's unlikely to be the "coward, wife-basher, paedophile, neonazi, or all of these". Res ipsa loquitur.

I couldn't agree more, Tim Curtin!

Dear Bernard J (the J clearly doesn't stand for "jerk"). Yes, I've mindlessly quoted Freeman Dyson's words. Because all of Dyson's words are also my own words. Except, of course, they're my own until you start trying to poke holes in them. Then I'll hide behind Dyson's apron.

Thank you, Tim Curtin, for the unreserved confession.

Oops, I unwittingly vindicated Al Gore's position. But that was my intent all along!

Bravo, Curtin!

Tim Curtin.

I know that the quote was originally Dyson's, and if you read my post carefully you will notice that I said that you'd throw it into the mix, and I did so without ascribing it to you as your composition. And if you'd read my post really carefully you would have noticed that several paragraphs later I specifically referred to the quote as "Dyson's statement".

Does this make you the jerk?

And Tim, I know all about the 'fertilising effect' of CO2. Although you need to be cautious about calling it a fertiliser, as traditionally these are plant nutrients added to the soil to enhance growth.

There are many plants that will grow more rapidly with enhanced CO2 concentrations. There are also others that show little response to increased CO2, and many that exhibit lowered nutritional value where they do.

There is also very strong evidence to show that if atmospheric CO2 was increased to the concentration that you advocate, the pH of the oceans would decrease to the point where many calciferous-based lifeforms would struggle to survive, and whole ecosystems would be severely damaged or even collapse.

There are many reasons why a willy-nilly increase of atmospheric CO2 is not a Good Idea.

I said:

Before the Industrial Revolution, before humanity's appearance on the planet...

You know full well that I was referring to two benchmark periods, at very different scales of time. And yet you reply with:

I thought my own forefathers were around before 1750, in fact I have their baptismal records to prove it

as if I didn't know that humanity was around before the Industrial Revolution. Come on Tim, this is such a petty attempt at denigration that even you should do better than this. Is this really the only level at which you are able to work?

Dutch greenhouses, huh? You keep doing it - I was born in the Netherlands. And whether in the Netherlands or elsewhere in the world, where crops are grown in greenhouses there is great care to ensure that, in cases where CO2 supplementation is used, the greenhouses are well-sealed - that pesky diffusion thing that I mentioned before rapidly results in the expensively bottled CO2 diffusing its way out into that lifeless thing called an atmosphere.

So what you have is an isolated system, and of course there will be very noticable fluctations in CO2 in this instance, as the mass of photosynthesising plant matter compared to the mass of (isolated) CO2 is much, much higher than if the greenhouse plants where growing in the open.

Oh, and another reason for those fluctuations - if there is not 24hr illumination, those pesky crops will respire at night, inconveniently (for you) blowing quite a lot of CO2 back into the atmosphere as they address their own internal energy requirements. In some closed systems such as aquaria this can occur to the extent that animals may be suffocated.

Tim old man, you only open your mouth to change feet, don't you?

You can throw all the personal ad homs at me that you care to; it worries me not. I rather think that anyone with half a brain, testing both your claims and mine, would find much less supported material on your side, and personal insults won't change that. Of course, you're probably stung my my unkind words with respect to the ludicrous things that you say, but ultimately that is your responsibility, not mine - you say them.

As much as I try to be polite to people in my normal life, I can't find a pressing reason to be so in your context, and many pressing reasons not to. However even in this case I only reflect upon your actions and your poor science, and for this I do not apologise.

I am sorry if my approach in this offends you...

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 30 Mar 2008 #permalink

Oh, and Tim:

"coward, wife-basher, a paedophile, a neonazi, or all of these"

are your insults to others, not mine. I have accused no one of any of these vile things, not even you, but you do like to throw around the implication of these things.

If by saying "using ipsissima verba" you are implying that these are my words, not yours, you are being despicable.

Yet again.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 30 Mar 2008 #permalink

Re # 147

Eli Rabett,

I showed that Rahmstorf et al. (2007) neglected the first portion of the Mauna Loa CO2 observations. This is a fact. And this is an example of foolish statistics. Unfortunately, James Hansen and Richard Somerville, well respected colleagues, served as co-authors. Anybody with internet access has the possibility to check it because the Mauna Loa CO2 data and the temperature of the MetOffice's Hadley Centre are available on the internet.

I also showed that, certainly, in 1988, when the IPCC was established, no correlation between the available Mauna Loa CO2 data (1958-1988) and the mean near-surface temperature of the northern hemisphere did exist, neither on a monthly scale nor on a annual scale. This is a fact, too.

Your statement that (let me quote it) "Kramm, of course, is certain, certainly wrong" gives evidence that you are not able to check my results even though it is only based on simple statistics.

I am working in the field of theoretical meteorology for nearly three decades. Believe it or not, I am well familiar with the theoretical basis of General Circulation Models (GCMs) and I know their limitations. This is the reason why I did not use such models. To use such GCMs for climate predictions is irresponsible.

Please read "Global Climate Models Violate Scaling of the Observed Atmospheric Variability" of Govindan et al. (2002, Phys. Rev. Lett. 89 (2). One of the co-authors is Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, the Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the boss of Rahmstorf. The abstract of this paper reads:

We test the scaling performance of seven leading global climate models by using detrended ï¬uctuation analysis. We analyze temperature records of six representative sites around the globe simulated by the models, for two different scenarios: (i) with greenhouse gas forcing only and (ii) with greenhouse gas plus aerosol forcing. We ï¬nd that the simulated records for both scenarios fail to reproduce the universal scaling behavior of the observed records and display wide performance differences. The deviations from the scaling behavior are more pronounced in the ï¬rst scenario, where also the trends are clearly overestimated.

Current studies have confirmed these results. It is not surprizing to me that this paper and similar others were not cited in the chapter 8 of the 4th report of the WGI of the IPCC. My question is why not.

Gerhard Kramm

By Gerhard Kramm (not verified) on 30 Mar 2008 #permalink

Tim Curtin will presumably have heard of Linus Pauling, who after a fruitful career died believing that megadoses of Vitamin C could treat cancer and other illnesses. Not to mention the sad case of J A DAvison, a biology professor who did some good work before retirement, but now can be seen babbling to himself in a corner:
http://john.a.davison.free.fr/

In the case of Dyson, we have someone who has done some great work, but has a tendency to make outrageous statements, I suspect because he enjoys the response.

Dyson also says in Many Colored Glass: Reflections on the Place of Life in the Universe

A year later, I met Crick again. The war was over and he was much more cheerful. He said he was thinking of giving up physics and making a completely fresh start as a biologist. He said the most exciting science for the next twenty years would be in biology and not in physics. I was then twenty-two years old and very sure of myself. I said, "No, you're wrong. In the long run biology will be more exciting, but not yet. The next twenty years will still belong to physics. If you switch to biology now, you will be too old to do the exciting stuff when biology finally takes off". Fortunately, he didn't listen to me. He went to Cambridge and began thinking about DNA. It took him only seven years to prove me wrong. The moral of this story is clear. Even a smart twenty-two-year-old is not a reliable guide to the future of science. And the twenty-two-year-old has become even less reliable now that he is eighty-two.

Re: # 145

hi bi,

ignoring available data to fit any agenda is, clearly, a scientific misconduct. The first twelve years of the Mauna Loa CO2 observations were ignored by Rahmstorf et al. (2007) to send a political message because during that period there was a decrease in the mean near-surface temperature of the northern hemisphere. However, this has nothing to do with common scientific standards. You and Eli Rabett may accept such political behavior in science. I do not.

If you are familiar with the German language, please feel free to read this article of the Spiegel-online on Stefan Rahmstorf. Der Spiegel is a well known German news magazine.

For your information: I never started to smoke. Only babies need dummies.

Best regards

yours

Gerhard Kramm

By Gerhard Kramm (not verified) on 30 Mar 2008 #permalink

The problem, dear Gerhard, is that the "decrease" you are babbling about was, if anything well within the noise and quite consistent with the forcing for the global anomaly. Everyone is invited to look at this version produced by noaa of the global temperature anomalies .

Since we have experience with the sort of agitprop you are trying on, we note that you carefully said NORTHERN Hemisphere. Why would that be. Perhaps because in the 1960s the north cooled a bit while the south warmed, so on average the global was flat within natural variability? You wouldn't be trying to sell us a dummy would you?

When you put all the known forcings into the GCMs you get an excellent fit to the observed global temperature anomaly record. What has happened in the last three or four decades is that greenhouse gas forcing has dominated.

Trust Eli, using yet again his alias to conceal his conflict of interest as a hired hack at NASA/GISS, the same gang led by Jim Hansen that shamelessly suppresses weather stations showing cooling, and has ruthlessly presided overrelocation of hundreds of genuine rural weather stations across the Americas to car parks and other spots beautifully located under the outlets of air conditioners (bacause GISS can't afford to pay for cabling from electronic stations in fields to the offices of Hansen's fat lackeys). This is the same Hansen, BTW, who today wrote to Kevin Rudd and all his fellow travelling state premiers demanding immediate closure of all coal mines and coal fired power generators in Australia. Steve McIntyre's www.climateaudit.org documents Hansen's frauds, matched in his today's post by the UK's Hadley CRU. From personal information I happen to know that the German Met Bureau also deliberately "smoothes" actual temperatures upwards (just like Hadley).

Meantime here is a link to some physics + chemistry
http://www.middlebury.net/op-ed/global-warming-01.html
which underpins the author's conclusions as below. I bet that neither guthrie nor Bernard jerk will be able to refute ANY of the arguments therein, all of which confirm my own positions.

Summary - Exactly what have we learned here?

1. The "Greenhouse Effect" is a natural and valuable phenomenon, without which, the planet would be uninhabitable.
2. Global Warming, at least in recent times, is real.

3. CO2 is not a significant greenhouse gas; 95% of the contribution is due to Water Vapor.

4. Man's contribution to Greenhouse Gasses is relatively insignificant. We didn't cause the recent Global Warming and we cannot stop it.

5. Solar Activity appears to be the principal driver for Climate Change.

6. CO2 is a useful trace gas in the atmosphere, and the planet would actually benefit by having more, not less of it, because it is not a driver for Global Warming and would enrich our vegetation, yielding better crops to feed the expanding population.

7. CO2 is not causing global warming, in fact, CO2 is lagging temperature change in all reliable datasets. The cart is not pulling the donkey.

8. Nothing happening in the climate today is particularly unusual, and in fact has happened many times in the past and will likely happen again in the future.

Tim, I have an alternative conclusion I want you to disprove:

Time Curtin knows nothing about science, and is prepared to fight to the death to preserve this lack of knowledge.

The stuff on the middlebury url contains no evidence, merely the usual denialist lies and misdirections. It is not even worth responding to, given that everything it says has been refuted time after time.

It is always kind of schadenfreude to have one's worst fears fulfilled, and guthrie (the folksinger) just did that in spades. He cannot offer a single refutation, thereby confirming that the AGW hypothesis is disintegrating faster than the Wilkins shelf, along with the exposures of the frauds in the GISS/Hadley-CRU data.

Bernard J posts:

[[There is also very strong evidence to show that if atmospheric CO2 was increased to the concentration that you advocate, the pH of the oceans would decrease to the point where many calciferous-based lifeforms would struggle to survive, and whole ecosystems would be severely damaged or even collapse.]]

I presume you mean "decreased." And no, there isn't.

Tim Curtin posts:

[[The "Greenhouse Effect" is a natural and valuable phenomenon, without which, the planet would be uninhabitable. ]]

True.

[[Global Warming, at least in recent times, is real.]]

True again.

[[CO2 is not a significant greenhouse gas; 95% of the contribution is due to Water Vapor.]]

False. CO2 contributes 26% of the clear-sky greenhouse effect:

http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/KiehlTrenbBAMS97…

[[Man's contribution to Greenhouse Gasses is relatively insignificant.]]

27% of the present atmospheric complement of CO2 is artificial. The preindustrial level was about 280 parts per million by volume; the present level is 385 ppmv.

[[ We didn't cause the recent Global Warming and we cannot stop it.]]

Wrong on both counts. See above.

[[Solar Activity appears to be the principal driver for Climate Change.]]

Yes, generally, but not the present global warming, since solar activity has been flat for 50 years. We've been measuring it from satellites like Nimbus-6 and -7 and the Solar Maximum Mission.

[[CO2 is a useful trace gas in the atmosphere,]]

True.

[[ and the planet would actually benefit by having more, not less of it,]]

False.

[ because it is not a driver for Global Warming]]

Yes it is.

[[ and would enrich our vegetation, yielding better crops to feed the expanding population. ]]

No it wouldn't. That would be true only if CO2 were the main nutrient lacking in world crop growth.

[[CO2 is not causing global warming, in fact, CO2 is lagging temperature change in all reliable datasets. The cart is not pulling the donkey.]]

False. Temperature leads CO2 in a natural deglaciation, but for the last 200 years CO2 has led temperature. Let me know if you want the figures.

[[Nothing happening in the climate today is particularly unusual, and in fact has happened many times in the past and will likely happen again in the future.]]

False. The pace of the present warming is unprecedentedly fast. And there has never been climate change of this magnitude while a world industrial civilization existed which had its agriculture and economy adjusted to a stable climate.

]]

Hi Barton.

You had me scratching my head for a moment there, but no worries!

Afterward, in fact, it prompted me to have a quick peak at our favourite lazy-man's source of references in case our resident bozo, the one who seems to display the intellectual equivalent of Anton-Babinski syndrome, decided to play cute with that post and try to use it to support his claims about increasing CO2. At the end of the piece there are some useful links for anyone who might feel like chasing this point up further.

Tim Curtin, you especially would benefit from looking at some of this - it is a sobering counter to your wild idea that the more CO2 the better. Try the Royal Society paper here, or the Nature paper here .

Oh, and Barton seems to have said first, in answer to your six 'points', all the things that I would have said myself. Nice trick though, Tim - to say that if I don't 'refute' things that I happen to agree with (ie points 1 & 2), then you are somehow vindicated.

What a shame that it is not so.

Oh, and like that other shameless troll from a couple of weeks ago, you have left more than a few questions unanswered. I will ask again:

How often do you see "runaway greenhouse theories" as theories of primary concern with respect to climate change?

Are you telling us that it is now impossible, with the advent of Miskolczi's 'new term', for the climate to warm to temperatures seen in the past? To warm even another degree or two over current average? What to you consider is the 'new' asymptote in a greenhouse gas warming scenario?

I am curious.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 31 Mar 2008 #permalink

Just in case anyone cares, I did some Sims tests (for Granger causality) on NASA GISS temperature anomaly and CO2 time series for 1880-2007. Starting all regressions from 1890, lags of from 1-10 years indicated 1 and 4 years were the optimal lags for anomaly (Akaike and Schwarz information criteria, respectively), and 1 and 8 years for CO2. Here's what I got with those lags:

CO2 => Anom lag = 1 F = 35.39 p < 0.001
CO2 => Anom lag = 4 F = 5.413 p < 0.054
Anom => CO2 lag = 1 F = 8.155 p < 0.001
Anom => CO2 lag = 8 F = 2.452 p < 0.086

So there apparently is some feedback -- temperature Granger-causes CO2 as well as CO2 Granger-causing temperature -- but CO2 causing temperature is a heck of a lot stronger. (Of course a lot of statisticians don't take Granger-causality very seriously these days, but I couldn't resist...)

Damn, that didn't come out very well. Forgot to add the HTML break tags. Let me try again:

CO2 => Anom lag = 1 F = 35.39 p < 0.001
CO2 => Anom lag = 4 F = 5.413 p < 0.054
Anom => CO2 lag = 1 F = 8.155 p < 0.001
Anom => CO2 lag = 8 F = 2.452 p < 0.086

Re: # 157

Hi Tim,

Eli Rabett is nothing more than a sniper. He needs a pseudonym , otherwise it would be well known for everybody how great his "expertise" is.

Nevertheless, I do not believe that James Hansen has something to do with him. Even I disagree with him in many aspects regarding climate, I think that James Hansen is very smart. He does not need the support of such a carrot muncher.

Best regards

yours

Gerhard Kramm

By Gerhard Kramm (not verified) on 31 Mar 2008 #permalink

Tim Curtin.

Being pedantic I have actually bothered (unlike you obviously ever did) to tracked down an original work predicting and testing the concentration of CO2 above a corn field growing at maximum rate in the mid-day sun. It wasn't difficult.

Lemon et al (Science 174:4007 pp371-378, 1971), in a paper entitled "The sun's work in a corn field", both predicted and measured CO2 in the atmosphere from the ground to 600cm above the ground, from 11.45am to 12.15pm.

At the ground itself ambient CO2 increased by about 2ppm, and the greatest decrease occured at approximately 100-120cm above the ground - this decrease was a whole - wait for it - 5ppm!

I have the paper right here in my hands.

You are flat-out wrong, your friend Dyson is wrong (or was misquoted), and there is simply nothing you can do to contradict the evidence of experiment. But I am sure that you will try!

I wonder what else you might be wrong in...

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 31 Mar 2008 #permalink

If you are familiar with the German language, please feel free to read this article of the Spiegel-online on Stefan Rahmstorf. Der Spiegel is a well known German news magazine.

hm, just wrote along answer, don t know if it got posted or is lost.

so just in short: i have the feeling that Gerhard Kramm is trying to mislead those who can t read german with his link to the article.

the article actually AGREES with Rahmsdorf, but argues that he is using too strong terms, actually providing an extra forum for sceptics (whom the authors think to be wrong)

most important paragraphs: (excuse my translation, it s late)

Dass Menschen für den Klimawandel entscheidend mitverantwortlich sind, bezweifelt fast niemand mehr.

nearly nobody doubts, that man is responsible for climate change.

2. Teil: Forscher gegen Skeptiker: Wie Rahmstorf einer marktschreierischen Minderheit ermöglicht, sich als verfolgte Speerspitze des kritischen Journalismus darzustellen

scientists vs sceptics: how rahmsdorf allows an attention seeking minority to present themselfs as pursued spearhead of critical journalism

i don t know, what Kramm thinks the article is saying, or what he wants you to think that it says, but i m rather sure that he is wrong on it.

Models have CO2 26% on its own and 9% when removed, and ocean surface pH falling from 1751-1994 by .075 and expect another .3 to .4 by 2100, which would put them at 7.7 to 7.8

"CO2 is not causing global warming, in fact, CO2 is lagging temperature change in all reliable datasets. "

See also my forthcoming paper: "Chickens do not lay eggs, because they have been observed to hatch from them".

" A field of corn growing in full sunlight in the middle of the day uses up all the carbon dioxide within a meter of the ground in about five minutes."

You mean all these years, agribiz has been foolishly using fossil fuel to make high nitrogen fertilizer to raise crop yields tenfold, when they could have just burned it near the plants? D'oh!

"Nothing happening in the climate today is particularly unusual, and in fact has happened many times in the past and will likely happen again in the future"

Possibly; not on earth during the discrnible historical record, of course. But possibly on Mars, or Venus.

Hmm. If hot and carbon dioxidey are so good for plants, then Venus should be a veritabole greenhouse (haha). And if just carbon dioxide will do it, then Mars should be full of plants. We just need to find them.

Note for new readers: Tim Curtin is not a parody.

I disagree TimL.

There are still many Hollywood comedy writers not working full time. I say they are on The Internets, keeping their chops sharp.

Best,

D

Ignoring the gibbon monkeys and their strawmen (nobody said CO2 is a sufficient condition for life and growth, but it is necessary and valuable at concentrations much higher than the present. For example, in one of at least a dozen papers showing this last year in Global Change and Biology, Davis et al (2007) 13, 2308-2316, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2007.01444.x state in their Abstract: "The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that eCO2 will increase the establishment success of oak seedlings in an old field environment.The study was conducted with CO2 levels
controlled by free air CO2 enrichment (FACE)....The results
showed that under hot and dry conditions, eCO2 can act like a nurse plant for tree
seedlings growing in bare and unshaded areas, increasing seedling survival and growth,
and thereby expanding the establishment window for trees encroaching into a grassland
environment."

Meantime the Kiehl & Trenberth paper helpfully linked by BBL at #163 - thanks BBL - does in fact show that the radiative effect of water is more than double that of CO2; K&T do not mention secondary feedbacks, Houghton 2004 p.91 & IPCC AR4 WG1 p. 116 emphasize water as "the most important", doubling the CO2 effect again, for total ratio of 3:1. I agree that as it stands Peden's comment is incorrect, presumably he meant to refer to relative proportions by volume.

BTW, further to my paper that shows the logarithmic decline in the CO2 growth rate since 1958, I see that the IPCC's linear extrapolation in 1990 used a 0.61% growth rate to project the 2000 level to 375 ppm from 353 in 1990, while the actual was 369.64, and the linear growth rate (at Mauna Loa) from 1958 to 2006 is now down to 0.4%, despite ever faster growth of emissions. I don't suppose uptakes of CO2 by photosynthesis could have anything to do with this?

"You are flat-out wrong, your friend Dyson is wrong (or was misquoted), and there is simply nothing you can do to contradict the evidence of experiment. But I am sure that you will try!"

Don't be silly, Tim C will just ignroe your comments and dismiss you as one of the "gibbon monekys".

Tim c. is not a parody. He is a sad reminder of the need for the older among us to get regular neurological tests and seek medical treatment at the first sign that our faculties are starting to go.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 31 Mar 2008 #permalink

I'm waiting for the first denialsit to use the negative temperature gradient for US temperature over the period July 2007 to December 2007 as proof of global cooling.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 31 Mar 2008 #permalink

Here is my tidied up offering from above as I would like to respond to Bernard J's comments.

Let us begin with his comment on Freeman Dyson's statement

"[t]he fundamental reason why carbon dioxide in the atomsphere is critically important to biology is that there is so little of it. A field of corn growing in full sunlight in the middle of the day uses up all the carbon dioxide within a meter of the ground in about five minutes."

BJ then said Do you really mean this, as it literally stands? I replied that these are Freeman Dyson's words, not my own.

BJ: "Leave aside that the phytosphere has managed for eons without the 'assistance' of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, if a field of corn really could exhaust all of the CO2 within a metre of the ground within five minutes, I rather suspect that there'd be textbooks on gaseous diffusion being rewritten all over the world."

Well, there are dozens of textbooks and journal articles that all descrive how quickly either in greenhouses or in the open the ambient plant-level CO2 can be absorbed. Shell is busy earning ETS credits in Holland by piping CO2 into local horticulturalists' greenhouses.

JB: "Have you ever opened a flask of chlorine in an enclosed room? ete etc" No, I have not. Throw in any sort of air movement via wind or convection, and it would be clear that your (sic) characterisation of Dyson's statement is a little off the mark..." Yet again, BJ, please write Dyson, not me, I am just the messenger, they are his words not mine.

BJ: "Do you really understand what CO2 (or other gas mixed throughout the whole atmosphere) sequestering process would be needed to remove all of that particular gas from a localised region such as a field, such that one established a concentration gradient to zero for 1 metre above the ground?....Do you understand how high (altitude-wise) such a gradient would need to be to maintain a zero CO2 concentration at ground level? And what area around a central point would need to be established?"

BJ, just check the FACE experiments (I have cited here articles in Global Change Biolgy and elsewhere that explain what you seem to have difficulty in grasping, that the ambient level of CO2 at ground level is not very rich, and certainly far from optimal, for otherwise the FACE trials would not achieve their spectaculuar increases in yield in field, not greenhouse, conditions.

BJ (shorter version): "Dyson (and you, presumably) were tilting at the idea that a field of corn can, in about 5 minutes at maximum photosynthesis, use as much CO2 as is contained in the air above the ground of that field for one metre - if the field and the air above it were an isolated system." Read up on the FACE trials.
BJ: "... and saying that the corn "uses up all the carbon dioxide" creates the impression that CO2 is somehow hard for the corn to 'get a hold of'. The fact is that the corn does NOT exhaust the CO2 in the atmosphere"

Dyson did not say the total atmosphere, only that within a meter of the groundabove its field.

BJ: "the fact is that there is no imminent threat of CO2 dropping to zero without being 'sustained' by human emissions" .

Well, I have published reasons why reducing emissions to zero will reduce the present uptakes of 5GtC p.a. thereby reducing crop and fishery yields. I look forward to your published paper explaining why I am wrong.

BJ: "Before the Industrial Revolution, before humanity's appearance on the planet, the biosphere had already done a pretty good job of sequestering an equilibrium mass of carbon as 'biomass'."

What was the volume of food crop and farm animal production in 1750?

BJ: "It is almost the definition of the purpose of life - to fill in every available niche, and it has always done so without driving the equilibrium such that there is a 'precipitous' drop in CO2 concentration".

Exactly, that is why we had that Malthusian equilibrium until 1750 or so.

BJ: "...plants have evolved to photosynthesise with carbon dioxide at concentrations of the order of magnitude of ~300ppm." What was the tonnage of production at that level, and what was the world's population in 1750?

Anyway, enough is enough, I finally have grasped that my contributions are unwelcome to Tim Lambert, who would clearly like Deltoid to consist exclusively of the self congratulating witticisms of D, Z, Eli, Gould, et al et ad infinitum. If you would like to continue debating with me privately, you and BBL and Kramm are welcome and know where to find me.

Tim, unless there is somewhere else you have published, getting a letter into an economcis journal which appears not to have peer reviweed it in any way, shape or form (Yes, a climatology paper requires looking at by climatologists, chemists, physicists), to require someone else to publish a paper to refute your patently wrong stuff is silly.

a simple look at what Dsyon actually wrote, shows us immediately (we knew already) that Tim was trying to mislead us my quoting out of context:

The fundamental reason why carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is critically important to biology is that there is so little of it. A field of corn growing in full sunlight in the middle of the day uses up all the carbon dioxide within a meter of the ground in about five minutes. If the air were not constantly stirred by convection currents and winds, the corn would stop growing.

as most of knew already, it s an experiment of mind.

http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/dysonf07/dysonf07_index.html

ATTN: Barton Paul!

Have you figured out why Tim can't get your initials right?

By Harold Pierce Jr (not verified) on 01 Apr 2008 #permalink

RE: #152
Hello Gerhard!

Has anybody tried to do climate models wherein the only ghg forcing is from water vapor?

BTW Go read #21. The actual amount of CO2 in real air is much less than 388 ppmv.

By Harold Pierce Jr (not verified) on 01 Apr 2008 #permalink

"Has anybody tried to do climate models wherein the only ghg forcing is from water vapor?"

Yes. (clue: water vapor isn't a forcing, it is a self-limiting feedback.)

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=142

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 01 Apr 2008 #permalink

Re # 169

Hi sod,

this report of the Spiegel-online does not criticized Rahmstorf's opinion on climate change, but his behavior in attacking anybody who disagrees with him.

Best regards

Gerhard Kramm

By Gerhard Kramm (not verified) on 01 Apr 2008 #permalink

Re #183

Dear Harold,

that is a good question. Obviously, a lot of global warming activists do not consider water vapor as a radiative forcing. However, what is radiative forcing? An excerpt from the Chapter 2 of the 4th report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Working Group I, "Climate Change 2007 - The Physical Science Basis" [Forster et al., 2007] reads

> The deï¬nition of RF from the TAR and earlier IPCC assessment reports is retained. Ramaswamy et al. (2001) deï¬ne it as 'the change in net (down minus up) irradiance (solar plus longwave; in W m- 2) at the tropopause after allowing for stratospheric temperatures to readjust to radiative equilibrium, but with surface and tropospheric temperatures and state held ï¬xed at the unperturbed values'.... Radiative forcing can be related through a linear relationship to the global mean equilibrium temperature change at the surface (ÎTs): ÎTs = λ* RF, where λ* is the climate sensitivity parameter (e.g., Ramaswamy et al., 2001). <

Obviously, it is stated that the tropopause region can warm the nearly 65 K warmer Earth's surface. This is nothing more than physical nonsense.

When I was looking for a Global Warming Potential of water vapor in various IPCC-reports, I did not find any value. By the way, this Global Warming Potential (GWP) is an interesting quantity. In the NRC-report "Radiative Forcing of Climate Change" (2005) it is explained as follows:

> An index describing the radiative characteristics of well-mixed greenhouse gases that represents the combined effect of the different times these gases remain in the atmosphere and their relative effectiveness in outgoing infrared radiation. This index approximates the time-integrated warming effect of a unit mass of a given greenhouse gas in today's atmosphere, relative to that of carbon dioxide. <

Unfortunately, the GWP does not occur in relevant physical equations, neither in the radiative transfer equation nor in the balance equation of internal energy (or enthalpy). The radiative transfer equation, of course, is not a conservation equation because it is dealing with intensities for which no conservation equation exists. And the time explicitly occurs only in the balance equation for internal energy (or enthalpy).

Finally, let me quote an e-mail I sent to Ron Fournier of The Associated Press several months ago:

> As one can find in the IPCC 2007 release "Climate Change: The Physical Science Basis - Summary for Policy Makers" the IPCC Working Group I, however, stated "Carbon dioxide is the most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas". This statement documents the use of words as one can find, for instance, in George Orwell's novel "1984" because this working group did not mention (a) that water vapor is, by far, the most important greenhouse gas, and (b) that the largest portion of the atmospheric CO2 concentration has natural origin (at the beginning of the industrial revolution the atmospheric CO2 concentration was of about 280 ppmV; today we have of about 380 ppmV). Water vapor is also release in combustion processes, but only uneducated people would denote it as an anthropogenic greenhouse gas. <

Best regards

Gerhard Kramm

By Gerhard Kramm (not verified) on 01 Apr 2008 #permalink

Gerhard,

The spontaneous emission of bogons from your last comment over-loaded my bogonometer.

I guess I'll have to estimate from empirical bogosity field measurements the old fashioned way.

Result: Bogosity^2 = 0.997

Best regards

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 01 Apr 2008 #permalink

Gerhard, I appreciate that english may not be your first language, but the simple fact is that you have completely and utterly misunderstood the statement:

""Carbon dioxide is the most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas""

I'll take it apart for you one or two words at a time.
Carbon dioxide - CO2, we all know what that is, right?
is the most - well, my grammar is too poor to explain them properly, but you do get the idea, don't you? Most means largest, greatest, biggest.
important - biggest, largest, most relevant.
anthropogenic - meaning human caused. I.e. produced by humanities activities.
greenhouse gas- meaning a gas which is involved in "the greenhouse effect" by slowing the loss of heat from the atmosphere.

To take your point A- water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas, but that is irrelevant, unless you wish to demonstrate that human produced water vapour is the most important human produced greenhoue gas, b) the CO2 we are interested in is that extra 100ppm produced by humans, you know, the anthropogenic component, of the current Co2 levels.

Can any of the other readers recall this phrase that Gerhard uses:
"Obviously, it is stated that the tropopause region can warm the nearly 65 K warmer Earth's surface. This is nothing more than physical nonsense."

I'm sure I've seen that before somewhere.

Hi sod, this report of the Spiegel-online does not criticized Rahmstorf's opinion on climate change, but his behavior in attacking anybody who disagrees with him. Best regards Gerhard Kramm

sorry, but you are still misleading people who don t speak german.

the article does NOT simply criticize him for attacking people who disagree with him. BUT it does accuse him of the WAY of doing that. the article says, that by using terms like "blacklist of journalists" (who give unreasonable room for "sceptic" positrions outside the climate mainstream) he is givine UNINTENDED support tto this UNREASONABLE sceptic positions, by allowing them to PRETEND to be "critical scienctist" struglling against censorship.

the article is crystal clear: it SUPPORTS the Rahmsdorf position. it SUPPORTS rahmsdorf attacks on "sceptics". it does DISAGREE with the terms and words used, in those attacks.

Kramm is still trying to shove Gerlich and Tscheuschner up the hill. It comes from them, but, of course, like Kramm's nonsense it is a strawman of many colors. What the greenhouse gases can do (whether they are colder than the surface or not) is slow down the rate at which the surface cools. They do this by absorbing part of the radiation from the surface and then re-radiating it back, e.g. a positive feedback.
If you want the math rich version about why G&T are wrong take a look at Arthur Smith's comment on Arxiv

A recently advanced argument against the atmospheric greenhouse effect is refuted. A planet without an infrared absorbing atmosphere is mathematically constrained to have an average temperature less than or equal to the effective radiating temperature. Observed parameters for Earth prove that without infrared absorption by the atmosphere, the average temperature of Earth's surface would be at least 33 K lower than what is observed.

A less mathematical, but longer version can be found at Rabett Run, which, as long as it is is but a fraction of the original on dot.earth.

[klaxon sounds]

[Turns off klaxon]

Hey! How come my bullsh*t meter keeps going off?!?

Oh, wait: Kramm is here. Never mind.

Best,

D

Re #190

Hi carrot muncher,

I already read Arthur Smith's article, even though it is not "peer-reviewed". First, Arthur Smith confirmed the result of G & T for the globally averaged temperature in the example of their section 3.7.4. Smith also derived a solution for a rotating globe. Obviously, this result also shows that the uniform temperature derived from the planetary radiation balance has nothing to do with a globally averaged temperature. Consequently, the criticism of G & T on this radiation balance is quite justified. This is one of their merits. Of course, Arthur Smith's conclusions differ from those of G & T, but this is not a problem for responsible scientists because this group of scientists will learn from each other.

Gerhard Kramm

By Gerhard Kramm (not verified) on 01 Apr 2008 #permalink

Re # 188,

Hi guthrie,

based on the observations we must assume that the largest portion of the current atmospheric CO2 concentration has natural origin.

Water vapor is emitted by any combustion process. The clouds over smoke stacks mainly consist of droplets formed by water vapor condensation. Is water vapor an anthropogenic or a natural greenhouse gas?

Remember the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) was not written for physical scientists. This means that the authors of this SPM formulated their statements to highlight the importance of CO2. They did it in the sense of George Orwell. He was well familiar with propaganda because during the WW II he was a part of the propaganda machine.

By the way, the table of the sea level rise in the SPM contains some mistakes. In the chapter 5 of the 4th report of the IPCC's WGI these mistakes are corrected. However, I did not find a footnote about this correction. Why not? Scientists are usually able to check such data. Have policy makers the same competence in checking scientific results?

Best regards

Gerhard

By Gerhard Kramm (not verified) on 01 Apr 2008 #permalink

Dr Kramm says

Water vapor is emitted by any combustion process.

And, quite simply, he is wrong.

re P. Lewis: why? all equations I know of show that burning hydrocarbons (funny name that, I wonder what it means?) yields both water (aka H2O) and carbon dioxide (aka CO2). How so?

By Tony Wall (not verified) on 02 Apr 2008 #permalink

Parse Dr Kramm's actual statement.

P.Lewis; This what Dr Kramm said: "Water vapor is emitted by any combustion process. The clouds over smoke stacks mainly consist of droplets formed by water vapor condensation. Is water vapor an anthropogenic or a natural greenhouse gas?"

I await your own parsing with interest, but given the sort of stuff we get from Tim Lambert, I suppose you will come back with a statement that water vapor causes the combustion process.

By Tony Wall (not verified) on 02 Apr 2008 #permalink

given the sort of stuff we get from Tim Lambert, I suppose you will come back with a statement that water vapor causes the combustion process.

Then you'd be supposing wrongly, Tony.

For the slow of comprehension, how much water vapor is produced by the oxidation of iron?

How about when you combust magnesium in a pure carbon dioxide atmosphere?

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 02 Apr 2008 #permalink

Oh! Ian!! Spoilsport.

I freely admit to tweaking Tim Curtin's nose to see how he responds. His inability to comprehend what I wrote is not actually surprising. The simple fact that people can do good work when young and espouse nutty ideas when old and effectively retired, is one that he tries to avoid. I would assume because it describes himself, although I have no idea if he did any useful work when he was young.

As for Gerhard Kramm, his missing the point will require some time to explain, so I'll do it later.

I freely admit to the above being, shall I say, a tad frivolous in wanting to make a point to and about but Dr Kramm. I make no apologies for that.

He does seem to like to pick up on inconsequentialities and perceived inexactitudes (hence my frivolity); and he seemingly distorts context when it suits his purpose; to whit the following example:

I already read Arthur Smith's article, even though it is not "peer-reviewed". First, Arthur Smith confirmed the result of G & T for the globally averaged temperature in the example of their section 3.7.4.

First, neither is G&T's 'travesty' peer reviewed. Second, Arthur Smith's 'confirmation' of G&T's reference to Hölder's inequality and its consequences for average temperature Tave(t) always being less than or equal to the effective thermal radiation temperature Teff(t) is hardly worth mentioning (Dr Kramm's reference to G&T's 3.7.4), because it's just setting the scene for where they become horribly misguided when they begin to apply this "well-known" result.

But back to his statement

Water vapor is emitted by any combustion process.

Inconsequentially, I could easily intimate his context was combustion of hydrocarbons in air/oxygen, and so water vapour would be produced in that context. No argument. But because of Dr Kramm's recent statements hereabouts (otherwise I'd not have entertained frivolity), I thought I'd pick up on the inexactitude.

Now, Ian has provided you with examples of combustion in which oxygen is at least present. But you do not even need oxygen to initiate or sustain combustion (which is essentially just a chemical/oxidation reaction marked by the production of heat and light). Consequently, you won't get water vapour in such a combustion reaction. In short, there are many combustion reactions that do not involve hydrocarbons and/or oxygen, so the statement

Water vapor is emitted by any combustion process.

is scientifically inexact at best; and scientists, even in blogs, IMHO should strive to be exact in their meaning. And they should strive to act like scientists rather than advocates (and advocacy is basically what Dr Kramm's comment about Arthur Smith's arxiv paper amounts to) -- which I suppose is one of my real points, if anyone hadn't divined yet.

BTW: examples of combustion reactions not involving hydrocarbons or oxygen include the rather explosive formation of HCl from a hydrogen and chlorine mixture in the presence of light, the formation of PCl5, other chlorine or fluorine reactions with some metals/non-metals, and (IIRC) a schoolboy example with copper and sulphur in a hermetically sealed tube. There are lots more.

Tim Curtin, giving a classic example of the fallacy of equivocation, writes:

[[BJ: "Before the Industrial Revolution, before humanity's appearance on the planet, the biosphere had already done a pretty good job of sequestering an equilibrium mass of carbon as 'biomass'."

What was the volume of food crop and farm animal production in 1750? ]]

Plainly he intends to argue that crop production is way up since 1750 and therefore it was the rise in CO2 that did it.

Attention, Tim. "The biosphere" does not equate to "food crop and farm animal production." The latter is a subset of the former. There is no reason to believe the total mass of the biosphere has changed appreciably since 1750. More and more of it has consisted of man and man's domestic organisms, but that doesn't mean there's more animal and vegetable mass on the planet.

Herr Kramm,

The forcings estimated for the anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the IPCC reports include the effect of water vapor feedback. There's no point in listing a separate forcing for water vapor, because in the model used, it hasn't got one.

The physical basis for this is that water vapor has a very short residence time in the atmosphere. The average molecule of water vapor stays in the air nine (9) days. There is a very active cycle of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation on Earth which keeps cycling water between the ocean/land and the air.

CO2, on the other hand, resides in the atmosphere for an average of 200 years. So that's what we have to be concerned about. We could artificially double water vapor tomorrow, and in a month most of the excess would be gone. Not so for CO2.

Why Gerhard, how nice of you. Now, if you practice your reading skills, it might occur to you that Arthur showed quite clearly that G&T were indulging in an April fools prank.

What Arthur demonstrated is that to maintain radiative balance (sun energy in equaling the IR radiation out) for a rotating planet, the average temperature must always be higher than that for a planet with an assumed uniform temperature. He also showed that having greenhouse gases in the atmosphere produces a significant warming at the surface no matter what you assume the temperature distribution across the globe.

In other words, G&T have played you and a whole lot of other denialists for fools. Of course this is difficult to admit, so you are reduced to silly hand-waving and obfustication. Stick around, you might learn something.

It seems that one only needs to disappear for a day and the world changes. If I am to believe him, Tim Curtin has given up the ghost - although I am dubious about the permanence of his resolve!

A hat-tip to Barton, at #204, for excellently making a point that would have myself if I hadn't been so slow. I wonder whether Tim C will read and ponder? There are many other points of rebuttal that I would like to address, and to which I feel compelled to address, but Endnote and several hundred references are calling more strongly...

It's a shame that Tim disappeared, because I was going to admit to some fallibility on my part. In the Lemon et al paper (I wonder if it left a sour taste in his mouth?) I took the decrease in ambient atmospheric CO2 from a graph (fig. 3). As it was dawn when I checked it I was a bit rough and ready in my scanning, and I interpreted the maximum decrease to be 5ppm.

On closer inspection of the graph, I have to concede that the decrease in CO2 is close to 6ppm - I was out be a grievous 20%! Still, a 6ppm decrease represents only 1.8% of the atmospheric CO2 concentration in 1971, and it gives an effective crop CO2 level at 1m that is a little more than the zero value Tim C was trying to stir up with his 'we need more CO2' antics. In fact, going by this work, there is still 98.2% (to a redundant decimal point) of CO2 remaining in the area of a corn crop photosynthesising in the mid-day sun.

I have another link somewhere that guesses that the figure 'may' decrease by 'up to' 10%, but I can't find the url at the moment. I will try to locate it for completeness.

Nevertheless, even with a 10% decrease, one could not justify Tim C's comment about CO2 being used up in five minutes in the vicinity of a corn crop. Tim was playing very loose with the facts.

Oh, and there is so much more, but so little time to spare when I have a supervisor breathing down my neck!

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 02 Apr 2008 #permalink

HAHAHAHAHAHA
I'm a relatively new subscriber of Scienceblogs, and yet it hasn't taken me long to realise what a lying idiot Tim Curtin is.

For instance at #69 he says to Sod "BTW, I have never called you a pedophile or wife beater (at least not yet!)."
Meanwhile I happen to read the comment where [he DOES exactly that](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2007/10/updateontheninealleged_err.php#comment-621439)

"Sod: I am (hopefully for the last time) breaking my self-denying ordinance not to respond to pseudonymous twerps like you, on the grounds that people like you and Dano and Jody et al are probably one or all of the following: (1) cowards; (2) wife beaters, (3) pedophiles, and (4) all of the above, so likely to lose their jobs if your employers knew you were using company time to post garbage on sites like this, as has evidently become your fulltime occupation."

Sure this has already been said above, but Tim doesn't seem to have acknowledged this and I think we should all remind him of this any time he makes a typically denialist comment!

By Alex Deam (not verified) on 05 Apr 2008 #permalink

Dear all,

I stated that "water vapor is emitted by any combustion process. The clouds over smoke stacks mainly consist of droplets formed by water vapor condensation." This clearly means that I did not talk about explosives. Only idiots use explosives in a fire chamber.

Here is a reduced chemical scheme (principal reaction paths, methane illustration) that can be found, for instance, in Cox (1995), Combustion Fundamentals of Fire, Academic Press, p. 264:

(i) Fuel break-up

CH4 + OH --> CH3 + H2O

(ii) Formaldehyde formation

CH3 + O --> CH2O + H

(iii) Carbon monoxide formation

CH2O + OH --> CHO + H2O

CHO + H --> CO + H2

(iv) Carbon monoxide oxidation

CO + OH <==> CO2 + H

(v) Hydrogen-oxygen chain branching and propagation

H + O2 <==> OH + O

OH + OH <==> H2O + O

(vi) Three-body chain-breaking and radical termination

H + O2 + M --> HO2 + M

H + OH + M --> H2O + M

I think that H2O is still water vapor. Please read also the chapter 7 of this book. This chapter is dealing with fire chemistry.

I was engaged for a while in theoretical and experimental studies of the fire spread in large industrial buildings. Believe it or not, I am familiar with the physical and chemical processes of combustion.

Sincerely yours

Gerhard Kramm

By Gerhard Kramm (not verified) on 25 Apr 2008 #permalink

To # 189

Sod,

you stated: The article is crystal clear: it SUPPORTS the Rahmsdorf position. it SUPPORTS rahmsdorf attacks on "sceptics". it does DISAGREE with the terms and words used, in those attacks.

This article of the Spiegel-Online (http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/natur/0,1518,505095,00.html) does not SUPPORT Rahmstorf's attacks. It is a report, nothing more.

Gerhard Kramm

By Gerhard Kramm (not verified) on 25 Apr 2008 #permalink

Here are some excerpts from the papers of Neftel et al. (1982) and Neftel et al. (1985):

(i) Neftel et al. (1982, Nature 295, 220-223)

"The originally recovered Camp Century and Boyd Station cores are generally of poor quality between the 400 and 1,200 m depths and the ice is heavily fractured. In these depth intervals the measured CO2 values exhibit large scattering. This might be due to contamination by drilling fluid, a mixture of diesel fuel (88%) and trychlorethylene (12%), penetrating through small cracks into the ice. In these fractured ice zones, we measured several samples at each sample depth. Its small size meant that the sample was probably uncontaminated and we conclude that the lowest CO2 values best represent the CO2 concentrations of the originally trapped air of these depth intervals. In the larger samples (300 g) contamination is almost inevitable and the measured CO2 concentrations tend to be higher than the air originally occluded in the ice. This is one reason for the high CO2 values obtained during the climate optimum given by Berner et al. for the Camp Century core."

(ii) Neftel et al. (1985, Nature 315, 45-47):

"Based on porosity measurements, the time lag between the mean age of the gas and the age of the ice was determined to be 95 yr and the duration of the close-off process to be 22 yr (ref. 4). Theses values are, of course, evaluated for one particular core representing the present situation (1983), assuming a homogeneous enclosure process and do not taking into account the sealing effect of observed impermeable layers."

and

"The measurements using the needle crusher, published previously [there are three references, one of them is Neftel et al., 1982 mentioned before], were performed using a slightly modified procedure and exhibited generally lower CO2 concentrations by 15 p.p.m.v. ..... In 1982 an intercalibration study with the Grenoble laboratory [it follows one of the three references mentioned before] was performed using the small crusher with the older measuring procedure. Based on our new results, the agreement of the intercalibration must be viewed as a discrepancy, which we will try to resolve in the near future with a new intercalibration series."

Obviously, there were various problems with all these ice core analyses. Hitherto, I served as a reviewer for 15 different scientific journals; and all editors did follow my suggestion. As a reviewer I would never recommend manuscripts of such a poor scientific quality for publication.

In the 4th report of the Working Group I of the IPCC, "Historical Overview of Climate Change Science" (chapter 1) both papers of Neftel et al. discussed before are referenced. Let me quote it:

"To place the increase in CO2 abundance since the late 1950s in perspective, and to compare the magnitude of the anthropogenic increase with natural cycles in the past, a longer-term record of CO2 and other natural greenhouse gases is needed. These data came from analysis of the composition of air enclosed in bubbles in ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica. The initial measurements demonstrated that CO2 abundances were signiï¬cantly lower during the last ice age than over the last 10 kyr of the Holocene (Delmas et al., 1980; Berner et al., 1980; Neftel et al., 1982). From 10 kyr before present up to the year 1750, CO2 abundances stayed within the range 280 ± 20 ppm (Indermühle et al., 1999). During the industrial era, CO2 abundance rose roughly exponentially to 367 ppm in 1999 (Neftel et al., 1985; Etheridge et al., 1996; IPCC, 2001a) and to 379 ppm in 2005 (Section 2.3.1; see also Section 6.4)."

Obviously, the highly doubtful results of Neftel et al (1982, 1985) plaid a prominent role in the assessment by the Working Group I of the IPCC. It is the great merit of Ernst-Georg Beck to gather much more reliable results than those of the various ice core analyses. All lead authors and contributing authors of the Working Group I of the IPCC were not able to do this job.

Sincerely yours

Gerhard Kramm

By Gerhard Kramm (not verified) on 25 Apr 2008 #permalink

I stated that "water vapor is emitted by any combustion process.

I wasn't aware that all fuels contain hydrogen. Thank you Dr. Kramm. You are so informative.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 25 Apr 2008 #permalink

Beck makes sense if you are silly enough to think that measuring CO2 in the middle of Paris tells you something about the background level more than the coal fire in the house nearby. Obviously someone is.

To #213

Hi carrot muncher,

I am familiar with the problems of local measurements and the use of their results in larger scale inventories because I am engaged in the flux aggregation procedures indispensable for regional and global scale models. These problems are not restricted to concentration measurements, but also to the observation of meteorological quantities like wind speed, temperature, solar and terrestrial radiation.

To put the CO2 measurements gathered by Beck in a broader picture, we need an improved spatial-time frame. This is indispensable and some people working on that. On the other hand, the criticisms of Meijer and Ralph Keeling are, at least, as inappropriate as than some of Beck's conclusions. Let me described an example:

One of the flux aggregation method is based on the so-called blending height concept. This height is defined as the hight at which the influence of the heterogeneity in the properties of the earth's surface can be neglected. Crude estimates lead to 100 meters or so (see. e.g., Martin Claussen's papers in the Journal of Hydrology 166, 1995).

In the case of gaseous emission sources heterogeneously distributed, a comparable height might be still higher that the blending height. Perhaps, it might be more comparable with the top of the planetary boundary layer. In chemical modeling, concentration values observed in the free troposphere are customarily used as background concentrations.

We know that often a larger difference between the near-surface concentrations and those of the free troposphere exist. Thus, what we have to do is to estimate how large such differences can be under various conditions.

In his comment Meijer was chatting about temperature inversions and their role to prevent the exchange of air below and above the inversions. I know from my own observations of inversions over the city of Cologne, Germany, using SODAR techniques, ground based measurements and a tethered sonde system concurrently, that strong inversions do not continuously prevail. When the vertical wind shear becomes too strong, such inversions can break up and air from above and below the inversions may be mixed. After a while new inversions are formed.

By the way, I already compared the Barrow data with those of Mauna Loa for various months. Hitherto, I did not find difference larger than 7 ppmV.

Finally, I am not willing to accept that results of such a poor quality like those of Neftel et al. (1982, 1985) are compared with those which satisfy Charles Keeling's standard. I wonder whether his son Ralph does accept such a comparison.

Sincerely yours

Gerhard Kramm

By Gerhard Kramm (not verified) on 27 Apr 2008 #permalink

#184 luminous beauty said: "water vapor isn't a forcing, it is a self-limiting feedback."

Yes, water and how it acts at various temperatures and altitudes (and phases) is basically a dynamic negative feedback loop in the climate system.