Category Archives: global warming

Dissonance

Two quotes from the ‘Dallas Weather Examiner‘:

First of all, the warming has taken a vacation for about the past five or six years, which doesn’t make sense as CO2 increases every year.

and this:

Furthermore, 30 years is a darned short time span in which to draw any conclusion (from ice trends) on either cooling or warming!

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Mauno Loa is a volcano, so what?

Anthony Watts, (in a comment to a post where I remarked that Watts implies that the CO2 measurements made at Mauno Loa might not be reliable), said:

If you can point me to a source that demonstrates clearly that no Co2 outgassing from the Mauna Loa volcano reaches the instrumentation, I’ll gladly revise my post.

Well, there is no such source, because of course the CO2 reaches the instrumentation when the wind is coming from a particular direction. However, scientists are of course aware of that, and take that into account. There is even an FAQ at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography:

Isn’t the Mauna Loa record influenced by CO2 emitted by the volcano?

If one looks at the minute-by-minute data from Mauna Loa, one finds rare occasions when the CO2 is elevated from emissions from fumaroles upwind on the mountain. The fumaroles are emitting constantly, so the timing of the events depends on wind direction and not changes in volcanic activity. These events impact only a tiny faction of the data and are easily distinguished from rest of the record. The reported version of the Mauna Loa record has been “filtered” to remove these events, as well as other certain other local effects, as described in the early publications (see Keeling 1960 Tellus paper).

Keeling himself writes (1960):

At Mauno Loa Observatory, Hawaii, a less prominent variability has been found in approximately half of the records. This is attributed to release of carbon dioxide by nearby volcanic vents; combustion on the island associated with agricultural, industrial and domestic activities; and lower concentration of carbon dioxide transported to the station by upslope winds. The values reported here are averages of downslope winds or strong lateral winds when the concentration remained nearly constant for several hours or more.

In that paper Keeling also shows CO2 measurements from other locations, all in good agreements, and points to problems these measurements have, and how he accounted for them.

Global CO2 data are available here.

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Three facts, three lies

In the image to the left you see that even if the global temperatures are corrected for the ENSO effects, the temperatures have risen significantly since the 70’s.

In the image below from the National Snow and Ice Data Center you will see that the northern sea ice extent has been decreasing since at least 1980.

You also may want to click on the images to learn more if needed.

Now go to this excellent post byTim Lambert, or this little factoid on stratospheric cooling, and learn about the fingerprints that show the greenhouse signature, thus confirming the models. Take your time if necessary.

Groked it all?

Good. Then go to this tripe and detect 3 lies.

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Watt’s wrong

This picture from JPL shows that CO2 is pretty well mixed in the atmosphere. The mixing ratio is between 373 and 380 ppm in most places, it exceeds it at a few spots and it is lower at Antarctica. The colors exaggerate small differences which are certainly interesting, but do not seem to be very important for the greenhouse effect. Anthony Watts (Watts Up With That?) shows this image to show that supposedly CO2 is not well mixed. But overall, compared with the preindustrial level of 280 ppm, it is relatively uniformly distributed. Watts complains:

My question is: how does this global variance translate into the phrase “well-mixed” when used to describe global CO2 distribution? It would seem that if it were truly “well-mixed”, we’d see only minor variances on the order of a couple of PPM. Yet clearly we have significant regional and hemispheric variance.

And yet, “minor variances on the order of a couple of PPM” is exactly what we see.

Watts also repeats the old canard implies that since CO2 were made on Mount Loa, which is a volcano, they could not be reliable, but actually measurements are made globally – and the graphic above, that Watts shows in the same blog entry,  shows that the measurements agree with the satellite data. Also, observe the remarkable absence of higher mixing ratios at locations with volcanic activity, for example Iceland or Hawaii.

So, Watt’s wrong?

Update: See also Mauno Loa is a volcano, so what?

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Al Gore totally disproves global warming

The logic of deniers works something like this:

  1. Al Gore does something, like using a lot of electricity
  2. … bzzzz ….
  3. therefore, anthropogenic global warming is false. QED.

They (the deniers) also lie a lot. Or they cannot calculate percentages. Maybe both. Like, they say Al Gore used 10% more electricity in 2007 than in 2006. Although it was 213,210 kWh in 2007, and 221,000 kWh in 2006. Which is 3.6% less, as Tim Lambert noted.

They (the deniers) also make strange comparisons. Like, comparing the yearly consumption of Al Gore with the average monthly consumption. That just sounds better.

Deniers also deny a lot. Like, not telling that Al Gore’s house had been renovated until November, that he installed solar panels or that he offsets his carbon emissions. Well, maybe because they don’t understand how that works.

Disclaimer: I use a few hundred times more electricity per year than the average US citizen per day. Or so.

See also the Christian Science Monitor.

Update:

I found a few articles from last year (and because this will pop up next year again, I’ll bookmark them here):

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John Coleman

No idea how that guy can be taken seriously. Shorter version: CO2 is not a greenhouse gas because he says so.

I tried to distill the few, um, scientific, arguments in between the spam:

Well, it is simply not happening. Worldwide there was a significant natural warming trend in the 1980’s and 1990’s as a Solar cycle peaked with lots of sunspots and solar flares. That ended in 1998 and now the Sun has gone quiet with fewer and fewer Sun spots, and the global temperatures have gone into decline.

You know you can stop reading as soon as you are told that the earth has cooled since 1998. Anyway, the connection with the sun has been debunked multiple times already.

Earth has cooled for almost ten straight years.

No, it hasn’t.

Let me illustrate. I estimate that this square in front of my face contains 100,000 molecules of atmosphere. Of those 100,000 only 38 are CO2; 38 out of a hundred thousand. That makes it a trace component. Let me ask a key question: how can this tiny trace upset the entire balance of the climate of Earth? It can’t. That’s all there is to it; it can’t.

Not sure what he is trying to say here, all he has demonstrated is his impressive ability to divide by ten. I guess he thinks that because the mixing ratio is small it cannot have a large effect. Which is quite silly, because a lot lower mixing ration of cyanide will have a devastating effect on your body for example. And there a lot more effective toxins. Well, the point is that CO2 is a triatomic gas, which does absorb infrared radiation, while the much more common gases (nitrogen, oxygen and argon) have two or just one atom. That makes a lot of difference. And that’s not just something pulled out of thin air, it can be measured. (Pun not intended, but tolerated).

One point Coleman makes repeatedly is the claim that the only greenhouse gas we are worried would be carbon dioxide, which isn’t quite correct. There are also methane, nitrous oxide and, to a lesser extent, CFCs.

The rest of the article doesn’t contain any scientific arguments. This one certainly isn’t:

I suspect you haven’t heard it because the mass media did not report it, but I am not alone on the no man-made warming side of this issue. On May 20th, a list of the names of over thirty-one thousand scientists who refute global warming was released. Thirty-one thousand of which 9,000 are Ph.ds. Think about that.

Well, I did think about it and found that there are 22,000 scientists without a PhD on that list. Anyway, it seems to be quite easy to get onto that list. And this is not a signature contest in the first place.

Coleman opened his speech with:

You may want to give credit where credit is due to Al Gore and his global warming campaign the next time you fill your car with gasoline, because there is a direct connection between Global Warming and four dollar a gallon gas.

Later he argues:

The battle against fossil fuels has controlled policy in this country for decades. It was the environmentalist’s prime force in blocking any drilling for oil in this country and the blocking the building of any new refineries, as well. So now the shortage they created has sent gasoline prices soaring.

Completely wrong. For example. drilling in the ANWR would decrease the price of gasoline by 2 cents. And the refineries are underutilized. Who cares, when we can have a cheap shot at the evil environmentalists.

If Al Gore and his global warming scare dictates the future policy of our governments, the current economic downturn could indeed become a recession, drift into a depression and our modern civilization could fall into an abyss. And it would largely be a direct result of the global warming frenzy.

Sounds alarmist, doesn’t it?

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Venus and all that

The year 2000 was a leap year. If you ask anybody, you will most likely be told that it’s because it’s divisible by four, and years divisible by four are leap years. Case closed. But it’s wrong. Years divisible by 100 are not leap years, so the year 2000 should not have been. But years divisible by 400 are. So you can be right although you are wrong.

Similarly, when you ask somebody why Venus is hotter than the Earth, you will most likely be told that’s because it is closer to the sun. But it’s wrong (well, not completely).

Venus has a very high albedo (0.65) compared to that of the Earth (0.3), because it is covered with white clouds. A simple formula which gives the black body temperature for the distance (0.72AE) gives the temperature T = 252.6K (-20.6C). For the Earth, we get T = 254.9K (-18.3C). So, Venus should actually be slightly cooler than the Earth, even though it is closer to the sun. Of course, both values are false, because the black body temperature is only comparable to the real surface temperature for planets (or moons) without any atmosphere.

The average temperature on Venus is 461.85 °C, and ~15 °C on Earth. Both effects are explained by the greenhouse effect. Which is a good thing on Earth, not so much on Venus (if we want to move there). That doesn’t mean we should increase it on earth.

And you know what? Mercury is closer to the sun than Venus, and yet it is cooler.

So, why am I writing this? Because Tim Blair does not understand it. That’s why.

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