Seven Theories of Climate change

Excerpts from the Introduction in italics with my bolds.

In the past few years, confidence in the AGW theory has declined dramatically. New research points to natural causes of the modern warming, and stabilizing (by some measures, falling) global temperatures have called attention to long-recognized shortcomings of the AGW theory. Tens of thousands of scientists have signed petitions expressing their dissent from the so-called “consensus” in favor of AGW. Opinion polls show a majority of the public in the U.S. and in other countries no longer believes human activity is causing global warming. Evidence of the decline of the AGW theory is presented in the postscript to this booklet.

The demise of the AGW theory makes this a good time to look at other theories of climate change put forward by prominent scientists but overlooked in the rush to judgment. This booklet identifies seven theories – AGW plus six others that do not claim man-made CO2 is a major cause of climate change.

Each theory is plausible and sheds light on some aspects of climate change that were hidden or obscured by too great a focus on the AGW theory.

In some respects these theories are not mutually exclusive: solar variability could be the sustaining force behind what I have called the “cloud formation and albedo” and “ocean currents” theories as well as being its own theory, though the mechanisms in each case differ slightly. Most physicists don’t study biology or chemistry and so don’t pay much attention to biological and chemical feedbacks. If they did, they would probably recognize that such processes play a bigger role in controlling climate than previously believed.

Deeper analysis also reveals that these theories are not all trying to answer the same questions or necessarily achieve predictive power. Trying to discern a human effect on climate is not the primary objective of biologists studying the effect of higher levels of CO2 on plants or of physicists measuring the amount of energy leaving Earth’s atmosphere. While they are “experts” on climate change, they are not part of the search for a “human fingerprint” on Earth’s climate. Nor are they qualified to make predictions based on their narrow expertise, as Kesten Green at the University of South Australia and J. Scott Armstrong at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania have tried to explain.

The six theories of climate change that do not involve man-made greenhouse gas emissions
are incompatible, though, with the AGW theory.

If evidence exists that negative feedbacks offset whatever warming is caused by man-made greenhouse gases, then the warming during the past 50 years could not be due to the burning of fossil fuels. Similarly, if solar variability explains most or all of the variation in temperatures in prehistoric as well as modern times, then there is no room for speculation about a large role for man-made CO2 .

Over time, the science of climatology will become somewhat more exact, based on examination of the historical record and newly assessed empirical evidence. It probably will not be illuminated much by mathematical models that cannot generate reliable forecasts of a system that even proponents of the anthropogenic global warming theory admit is naturally chaotic. We cannot adequately measure the enormous quantity of data necessary to feed the models, and we are not even sure which variables should be included.

The uncertainty that pervades climate science today, as climate scientist Mike Hulme has written,
is a function of the limits of science itself.

The object of this essay is not to say which of these seven theories is right or “best,” but only to present them to the reader in a format that allows reflection and balanced consideration. Such dispassionate interest in the subject has been lacking in recent years, and the scientific debate has suffered for it.

PDF of the publication is available from Heartland Institute:  7 Theories of Climate Change

 

Greenland Ice Varies, Don’t Panic 2022 Update

 

It being August and end of the Greenland Ice Sheet melting season, the media is replete with warnings about how the Greenland glacier is melting and will flood the coastlines with a foot or more of sea level rise. For Example:

Study: Greenland ice melt will raise sea levels by nearly a foot Axios

Greenland ice sheet losing ice faster than forecast, now irreversibly committed to at least 10 inches of sea level rise Phys.org

Melting Greenland ice sheet will raise seas by nearly a foot USA Today

Melting of Greenland Ice Sheet Poised to Trigger Almost a Foot of Sea Level Rise Common Dreams

Greenland’s Melting Ice Sheet Has ‘Passed The Point of No Return’, Scientists Say science alert

The scare du jour is about Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) and how it will melt out and flood us all.  It’s declared that GIS has passed its tipping point, and we are doomed.  Typical is the Boston.com hysteria: Zombie ice from Greenland will raise sea level 10 inches  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Greenland’s rapidly melting ice sheet will eventually raise global sea level by at least 10.6 inches (27 centimeters) — more than twice as much as previously forecast — according to a study published Monday.

That’s because of something that could be called zombie ice. That’s doomed ice that, while still attached to thicker areas of ice, is no longer getting replenished by parent glaciers now receiving less snow. Without replenishment, the doomed ice is melting from climate change and will inevitably raise seas, said study co-author William Colgan, a glaciologist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland.

“It’s dead ice. It’s just going to melt and disappear from the ice sheet,” Colgan said in an interview. “This ice has been consigned to the ocean, regardless of what climate (emissions) scenario we take now.”

One of the study authors said that more than 120 trillion tons (110 trillion metric tons) of ice is already doomed to melt from the warming ice sheet’s inability to replenish its edges. When that ice melts into water, if it were concentrated only over the United States, it would be 37 feet (11 meters) deep.

Study lead author Jason Box, a glaciologist at the Greenland survey, said it is “more like one foot in the grave.”

Time is the key unknown here and a bit of a problem with the study, said two outside ice scientists, Leigh Stearns of the University of Kansas and Sophie Nowicki of the University of Buffalo. The researchers in the study said they couldn’t estimate the timing of the committed melting, yet in the last sentence they mention, “within this century,” without supporting it, Stearns said.

Annual Greenland Fluctuations in Perspective

Panic is warranted only if you treat this as proof of an alarmist narrative and ignore the facts and context in which natural variation occurs. For starters, consider the last six years of GIS fluctuations reported by DMI and summarized in the twelve graphs below.  Note the noisy blue lines showing how the surface mass balance (SMB) changes its daily weight by 8 or 10 gigatonnes (Gt) around the baseline mean from 1981 to 2010.  Note also the summer decrease between May and August each year before recovering to match or exceed the mean.

The other six graphs show the accumulation of SMB for each of the last six years including 2022.  Tipping Point?  Note that in both 2017 and 2018, SMB ended about 500 Gt higher than the year began, and way higher than 2012, which added nothing.  Then came 2019 dropping below the mean, but still above 2012.  Finally, both this and last year exceeded the 30-year average.  Note also that the charts do not integrate from previous years; i.e. each year starts at zero and shows the accumulation only for that year.  Thus the gains from 2017 and 2018 do not result in 2019 starting the year up 1000 Gt, but from zero.  Nor will the gains in 2021 and 2022 be added to the base.

The Truth about Sliding Greenland Ice

Researchers know that the small flows of water from surface melting are not the main way GIS loses ice in the summer.  Neil Humphrey explains in this article from last year Nate Maier and Neil Humphrey Lead Team Discovering Ice is Sliding Toward Edges Off Greenland Ice Sheet  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

While they may appear solid, all ice sheets—which are essentially giant glaciers—experience movement: ice flows downslope either through the process of deformation or sliding. The latest results suggest that the movement of the ice on the GIS is dominated by sliding, not deformation. This process is moving ice to the marginal zones of the sheet, where melting occurs, at a much faster rate.

“The study was motivated by a major unknown in how the ice of Greenland moves from the cold interior, to the melting regions on the margins,” Neil Humphrey, a professor of geology from the University of Wyoming and author of the study, told Newsweek. “The ice is known to move both by sliding over the bedrock under the ice, and by oozing (deforming) like slowly flowing honey or molasses. What was unknown was the ratio between these two modes of motion—sliding or deforming.

“This lack of understanding makes predicting the future difficult, since we know how to calculate the flowing, but do not know much about sliding,” he said. “Although melt can occur anywhere in Greenland, the only place that significant melt can occur is in the low altitude margins. The center (high altitude) of the ice is too cold for the melt to contribute significant water to the oceans; that only occurs at the margins. Therefore ice has to get from where it snows in the interior to the margins.

“The implications for having high sliding along the margin of the ice sheet means that thinning or thickening along the margins due to changes in ice speed can occur much more rapidly than previously thought,” Maier said. “This is really important; as when the ice sheet thins or thickens it will either increase the rate of melting or alternatively become more resilient in a changing climate.

“There has been some debate as to whether ice flow along the edges of Greenland should be considered mostly deformation or mostly sliding,” Maier says. “This has to do with uncertainty of trying to calculate deformation motion using surface measurements alone. Our direct measurements of sliding- dominated motion, along with sliding measurements made by other research teams in Greenland, make a pretty compelling argument that no matter where you go along the edges of Greenland, you are likely to have a lot of sliding.”

The sliding ice does two things, Humphrey says. First, it allows the ice to slide into the ocean and make icebergs, which then float away. Two, the ice slides into lower, warmer climate, where it can melt faster.

While it may sound dire, Humphrey notes the entire Greenland Ice Sheet is 5,000 to 10,000 feet thick.

In a really big melt year, the ice sheet might melt a few feet. It means Greenland is going to be there another 10,000 years,” Humphrey says. “So, it’s not the catastrophe the media is overhyping.”

Humphrey has been working in Greenland for the past 30 years and says the Greenland Ice Sheet has only melted 10 feet during that time span.

Summary

The Greenland ice sheet is more than 1.2 miles thick in most regions. If all of its ice was to melt, global sea levels could be expected to rise by about 25 feet. However, this would take more than 10,000 years at the current rates of melting.

Background from Previous Post: Greenland Glaciers: History vs. Hysteria

The modern pattern of environmental scares started with Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring claiming chemicals are killing birds, only today it is windmills doing the carnage. That was followed by ever expanding doomsday scenarios, from DDT, to SST, to CFC, and now the most glorious of them all, CO2. In all cases the menace was placed in remote areas difficult for objective observers to verify or contradict. From the wilderness bird sanctuaries, the scares are now hiding in the stratosphere and more recently in the Arctic and Antarctic polar deserts. See Progressively Scaring the World (Lewin book synopsis)

The advantage of course is that no one can challenge the claims with facts on the ground, or on the ice. Correction: Scratch “no one”, because the climate faithful are the exception. Highly motivated to go to the ends of the earth, they will look through their alarmist glasses and bring back the news that we are indeed doomed for using fossil fuels.

A recent example is a team of researchers from Dubai (the hot and sandy petro kingdom) going to Greenland to report on the melting of Helheim glacier there.  The article is NYUAD team finds reasons behind Greenland’s glacier melt.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

First the study and findings:

For the first time, warm waters that originate in the tropics have been found at uniform depth, displacing the cold polar water at the Helheim calving front, causing an unusually high melt rate. Typically, ocean waters near the terminus of an outlet glacier like Helheim are at the freezing point and cause little melting.

NYUAD researchers, led by Professor of Mathematics at NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Principal Investigator for NYU Abu Dhabi’s Centre for Sea Level Change David Holland, on August 5, deployed a helicopter-borne ocean temperature probe into a pond-like opening, created by warm ocean waters, in the usually thick and frozen melange in front of the glacier terminus.

Normally, warm, salty waters from the tropics travel north with the Gulf Stream, where at Greenland they meet with cold, fresh water coming from the polar region. Because the tropical waters are so salty, they normally sink beneath the polar waters. But Holland and his team discovered that the temperature of the ocean water at the base of the glacier was a uniform 4 degrees Centigrade from top to bottom at depth to 800 metres. The finding was also recently confirmed by Nasa’s OMG (Oceans Melting Greenland) project.

“This is unsustainable from the point of view of glacier mass balance as the warm waters are melting the glacier much faster than they can be replenished,” said Holland.

Surface melt drains through the ice sheet and flows under the glacier and into the ocean. Such fresh waters input at the calving front at depth have enormous buoyancy and want to reach the surface of the ocean at the calving front. In doing so, they draw the deep warm tropical water up to the surface, as well.

All around Greenland, at depth, warm tropical waters can be found at many locations. Their presence over time changes depending on the behaviour of the Gulf Stream. Over the last two decades, the warm tropical waters at depth have been found in abundance. Greenland outlet glaciers like Helheim have been melting rapidly and retreating since the arrival of these warm waters.

Then the Hysteria and Pledge of Alligiance to Global Warming

“We are surprised to learn that increased surface glacier melt due to warming atmosphere can trigger increased ocean melting of the glacier,” added Holland. “Essentially, the warming air and warming ocean water are delivering a troubling ‘one-two punch’ that is rapidly accelerating glacier melt.”

My comment: Hold on. They studied effects from warmer ocean water gaining access underneath that glacier. Oceans have roughly 1000 times the heat capacity of the atmosphere, so the idea that the air is warming the water is far-fetched. And remember also that long wave radiation of the sort that CO2 can emit can not penetrate beyond the first millimeter or so of the water surface. So how did warmer ocean water get attributed to rising CO2? Don’t ask, don’t tell.  And the idea that air is melting Arctic glaciers is also unfounded.

Consider the basics of air parcels in the Arctic.

The central region of the Arctic is very dry. Why? Firstly because the water is frozen and releases very little water vapour into the atmosphere. And secondly because (according to the laws of physics) cold air can retain very little moisture.

Greenland has the only veritable polar ice cap in the Arctic, meaning that the climate is even harsher (10°C colder) than at the North Pole, except along the coast and in the southern part of the landmass where the Atlantic has a warming effect. The marked stability of Greenland’s climate is due to a layer of very cold air just above ground level, air that is always heavier than the upper layers of the troposphere. The result of this is a strong, gravity-driven air flow down the slopes (i.e. catabatic winds), generating gusts that can reach 200 kph at ground level.

Arctic air temperatures

Some history and scientific facts are needed to put these claims in context. Let’s start with what is known about Helheim Glacier.

Holocene history of the Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland

Helheim Glacier ranks among the fastest flowing and most ice discharging outlets of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). After undergoing rapid speed-up in the early 2000s, understanding its long-term mass balance and dynamic has become increasingly important. Here, we present the first record of direct Holocene ice-marginal changes of the Helheim Glacier following the initial deglaciation. By analysing cores from lakes adjacent to the present ice margin, we pinpoint periods of advance and retreat. We target threshold lakes, which receive glacial meltwater only when the margin is at an advanced position, similar to the present. We show that, during the period from 10.5 to 9.6 cal ka BP, the extent of Helheim Glacier was similar to that of todays, after which it remained retracted for most of the Holocene until a re-advance caused it to reach its present extent at c. 0.3 cal ka BP, during the Little Ice Age (LIA). Thus, Helheim Glacier’s present extent is the largest since the last deglaciation, and its Holocene history shows that it is capable of recovering after several millennia of warming and retreat. Furthermore, the absence of advances beyond the present-day position during for example the 9.3 and 8.2 ka cold events as well as the early-Neoglacial suggest a substantial retreat during most of the Holocene.

Quaternary Science Reviews, Holocene history of the Helheim Glacier, southeast Greenland
A.A.Bjørk et. Al. 1 August 2018

The topography of Greenland shows why its ice cap has persisted for millenia despite its southerly location.  It is a bowl surrounded by ridges except for a few outlets, Helheim being a major one.

And then, what do we know about the recent history of glacier changes. Two Decades of Changes in Helheim Glacier

Helheim Glacier is the fastest flowing glacier along the eastern edge of Greenland Ice Sheet and one of the island’s largest ocean-terminating rivers of ice. Named after the Vikings’ world of the dead, Helheim has kept scientists on their toes for the past two decades. Between 2000 and 2005, Helheim quickly increased the rate at which it dumped ice to the sea, while also rapidly retreating inland- a behavior also seen in other glaciers around Greenland. Since then, the ice loss has slowed down and the glacier’s front has partially recovered, readvancing by about 2 miles of the more than 4 miles it had initially ­retreated.

NASA has compiled a time series of airborne observations of Helheim’s changes into a new visualization that illustrates the complexity of studying Earth’s changing ice sheets. NASA uses satellites and airborne sensors to track variations in polar ice year after year to figure out what’s driving these changes and what impact they will have in the future on global concerns like sea level rise.

Since 1997, NASA has collected data over Helheim Glacier almost every year during annual airborne surveys of the Greenland Ice Sheet using an airborne laser altimeter called the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM). Since 2009 these surveys have continued as part of Operation IceBridge, NASA’s ongoing airborne survey of polar ice and its longest-running airborne mission. ATM measures the elevation of the glacier along a swath as the plane files along the middle of the glacier. By comparing the changes in the height of the glacier surface from year to year, scientists estimate how much ice the glacier has lost.

The animation begins by showing the NASA P-3 plane collecting elevation data in 1998. The laser instrument maps the glacier’s surface in a circular scanning pattern, firing laser shots that reflect off the ice and are recorded by the laser’s detectors aboard the airplane. The instrument measures the time it takes for the laser pulses to travel down to the ice and back to the aircraft, enabling scientists to measure the height of the ice surface. In the animation, the laser data is combined with three-dimensional images created from IceBridge’s high-resolution camera system. The animation then switches to data collected in 2013, showing how the surface elevation and position of the calving front (the edge of the glacier, from where it sheds ice) have changed over those 15 years.

Helheim’s calving front retreated about 2.5 miles between 1998 and 2013. It also thinned by around 330 feet during that period, one of the fastest thinning rates in Greenland.

“The calving front of the glacier most likely was perched on a ledge in the bedrock in 1998 and then something altered its equilibrium,” said Joe MacGregor, IceBridge deputy project scientist. “One of the most likely culprits is a change in ocean circulation or temperature, such that slightly warmer water entered into the fjord, melted a bit more ice and disturbed the glacier’s delicate balance of forces.”

In addition consider Greenland Ice Math

Prompted by comments from Gordon Walleville, let’s look at Greenland ice gains and losses in context.  The ongoing SMB (surface mass balance) estimates ice sheet mass net from melting and sublimation losses and precipitation gains.  Dynamic ice loss is a separate calculation of calving chunks of ice off the edges of the sheet, as discussed in the post above.  The two factors are combined in a paper Forty-six years of Greenland Ice Sheet mass balance from 1972 to 2018 by Mouginot et al. (2019) Excerpt in italics. (“D” refers to dynamic ice loss.)

Greenland’s SMB averaged 422 ± 10 Gt/y in 1961–1989 (SI Appendix, Fig. S1H). It decreased from 506 ± 18 Gt/y in the 1970s to 410 ± 17 Gt/y in the 1980s and 1990s, 251 ± 20 Gt/y in 2010–2018, and a minimum at 145 ± 55 Gt/y in 2012. In 2018, SMB was above equilibrium at 449 ± 55 Gt, but the ice sheet still lost 105 ± 55 Gt, because D is well above equilibrium and 15 Gt higher than in 2017. In 1972–2000, D averaged 456 ± 1 Gt/y, near balance, to peak at 555 ± 12 Gt/y in 2018. In total, the mass loss increased to 286 ± 20 Gt/y in 2010–2018 due to an 18 ± 1% increase in D and a 48 ± 9% decrease in SMB. The ice sheet gained 47 ± 21 Gt/y in 1972–1980, and lost 50 ± 17 Gt/y in the 1980s, 41 ± 17 Gt/y in the 1990s, 187 ± 17 Gt/y in the 2000s, and 286 ± 20 Gt/y in 2010–2018 (Fig. 2). Since 1972, the ice sheet lost 4,976 ± 400 Gt, or 13.7 ± 1.1 mm SLR.

Doing the numbers: Greenland area 2.1 10^6 km2 80% ice cover, 1500 m thick in average- That is 2.5 Million Gton. Simplified to 1 km3 = 1 Gton

The estimated loss since 1972 is 5000 Gt (rounded off), which is 110 Gt a year.  The more recent estimates are higher, in the 200 Gt range.

200 Gton is 0.008 % of the Greenland ice sheet mass.

Annual snowfall: From the Lost Squadron, we know at that particular spot, the ice increase since 1942 – 1990 was 1.5 m/year ( Planes were found 75 m below surface)
Assume that yearly precipitation is 100 mm / year over the entire surface.
That is 168000 Gton. Yes, Greenland is Big!
Inflow = 168,000Gton. Outflow is 168,200 Gton.

So if that 200 Gton rate continued, (assuming as models do, despite air photos showing fluctuations), that ice loss would result in a 1% loss of Greenland ice in 800 years. (H/t Bengt Abelsson)

Comment:

Once again, history is a better guide than hysteria.  Over time glaciers advance and retreat, and incursions of warm water are a key factor.  Greenland ice cap and glaciers are part of the Arctic self-oscillating climate system operating on a quasi-60 year cycle.

Yes, The Climate Changes

Michael Foley writes at Quora (Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.)

Q:  Why do most scientists believe that the climate is changing? 

A:  Because it is. But most scientists do not believe
human activity is the cause of the change.

The 97% of scientists belief fraud, which has been proven to be a fraud over and over again, was based on a review of the scientific literature on climate. Over 10,000 papers were reviewed and of those only about 2,000 mentioned climate change of those 1,900 were eliminated for various reasons (some of those reasons were bias based) resulting in 100 papers. Of those 100 papers 97 concluded that man’s activity may have a roll in climate change. They ranged from very likely to maybe, which is what came to be reported as the 97% figure.

There is no argument that the climate is changing,
it always has and will always continue to change.

From ice cores and ocean sediment cores it has been established that the earth has regular and generally predictable 2 major climate cycles. They are classified as a Greenhouse cycle (defined as a period where there are NO PERMANENT ice sheet anywhere on earth) and Ice Ages ( defined as periods where there are permanent ice sheets in at least 1 Hemisphere).

Each of these major cycles has several sub cycles. Ice ages have 2 major sub cycles called Interglacial and Glaciation. 73% of earth’s existence has been during a a Greenhouse period. The remaining 27% has been in at least 5 ice ages. We are currently in an Ice age. To be more exact we are living in an Interglacial phase of the current Ice age which has been going on for around 11,500 years. The 2 subcycles also have additional subcycles which last on average of 500 years. The two last such mini cycles are known by the names the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period.

The little ice age ended in the late 1800’s with 1880 being the generally used end date. Interesting enough climate alarmists almost exclusively use this date as the start date for any chart or graph they use in support of their theory. It is also important to realize that man made global warming (by burning fossil fuels and thereby contributing to atmospheric CO2) is a theory and has such remains an unproven theory.

Despite the claim of some who say the science is settled and that there is a scientific consensus.

Both of these claims should raise red flags for anyone who has even an elementary school level of science education. For starters, science is NEVER settled, our scientific understanding and knowledge is constantly changing and theories that have been accepted for decades, centuries and millennia are proven false or modified almost daily. For example,  the Big Bang theory is no longer a credible theory of how the universe started. But is still generally accepted in the general public. Secondly, science is not about a consensus period. Science is a search for the true. Either a theory is true or it is false. In order for a theory to reach a level of scientific acceptance requires the use of the scientific method, which involves testing the theory and retesting, them releasing all the information and data gathered in the testing to allow it to be reviewed by others and allowing others to try and duplicate the original experiment.

If just one of these efforts fails to confirm the results of the original finding theory is not validated. Therefore a consensus believing something is the case is irrelevant.

A consensus used to believe that the earth was flat, that the earth was the center of the universe, that the sun orbited around the earth and each of these beliefs were strongly defended. When you look at the efforts of the climate alarmist research and testing of their theory you find that not one of their efforts has resulted in a conclusion that the theory is correct. Not only that but those experiments that have claimed to support the theory have never released their data sets or methodologies for review.

The first graph appeared in the IPCC 1990 First Assessment Report (FAR) credited to H.H.Lamb, first director of CRU-UEA. The second graph was featured in 2001 IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR) the famous hockey stick credited to M. Mann.

The most famous of these is Michael Mann’s hockey stick graph that purported to show a relatively stable climate prior to the mid 1900’s. This graph became the poster child for the UN’s IPCC 1st climate assessment report. Man refused to release the data sets he used or let others review his methods or computer programs that came up with the hockey stick. However, Mann’s hockey stick graph eventually was proven to be a fraud. The IPCC quietly dropped it from their 3rd assessment. Each IPCC assessment has adjusted the predicted climate change downward to where the latest report has a predicted climate change resulting from human activity to be 2 to 3 degrees C over the next 100 years.

The original MBH graph compared to a corrected version produced by MacIntyre and McKitrick after undoing Mann’s errors.

However, even that amount remains nothing more than a computer model prediction which has not been proven.

Why so many people are so willing to accept a theory without any evidence and are so willing to accept the demanded changes to how we live with no evidence is a truly remarkable thing. Climate alarmist will point to every weather event as proof of man’s destruction of the planet. Even when the science has proven time and again that the supposed weather events are in fact well within the natural cycle of events. All of these claims and efforts are efforts to bring within the human experience (life time) evidence of climate change and the man made use of fossil fuels has the cause.

Even though NONE of the predictions made over the last 50 years has come to fruition. NOT ONE OF THEM. How can a group promoting and claim and being wrong every single time still be consider credible, is simply incredible. Some, maybe most are sincere in their belief but instead of using the evidence that is available they are simply Lemmings. Others, the politicians and those with an economic stake in turning the economy upside down are acting out of basic greed. Greed for power and money.

Climate changes occur on geologic timeframes,
which are measured in thousands and millions of years, not in human life times.

See also Rise and Fall of the Modern Warming Spike

World of Climate Change Infographics

 

OMG! Doomsday Glacier Melting

With the potential to raise global sea levels, Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier has been widely nicknamed the ‘Doomsday Glacier’

Climate alarms often involve big numbers in far away places threatening you in your backyard.  Today’s example of such a scare comes from Daily Mail  Antarctica’s ‘Doomsday Glacier’ is melting at the fastest rate for 5,500 YEARS – and could raise global sea levels by up to 11 FEET, study warns.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Although these vulnerable glaciers were relatively stable during the past few millennia, their current rate of retreat is accelerating and already raising global sea level,’ said Dr Dylan Rood of Imperial’s Department of Earth Science and Engineering, who co-authored the study.

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is home to the Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers, and has been thinning over the past few decades amid rising global temperatures.  The Thwaites glacier currently measures 74,131 square miles (192,000 square kilometres) – around the same size as Great Britain.  Meanwhile, at 62,662 square miles (162,300 square kilometres), the Pine Island glacier is around the same size as Florida.  Together, the pair have the potential to cause enormous rises in global sea level as they melt.

‘These currently elevated rates of ice melting may signal that those vital arteries from the heart of the WAIS have been ruptured, leading to accelerating flow into the ocean that is potentially disastrous for future global sea level in a warming world,’ Dr Rood said.

‘We now urgently need to work out if it’s too late to stop the bleeding.’

On the Contrary

From Volcano Active Foundation:  West Antarctica hides almost a hundred volcanoes under the ice:

The colossal West Antarctic ice sheet hides what appears to be the largest volcanic region on the planet, according to the results of a study carried out by researchers at the University of Edinburgh (UK) and reported in the journal Geological Society.

Experts have discovered as many as 91 volcanoes under Antarctic ice, the largest of which is as high as Switzerland’s Eiger volcano, rising 3,970 meters above sea level.

“We found 180 peaks, but we discounted 50 because they didn’t match the other data,” explains Robert Bingham, co-author of the paper. They eventually found 138 peaks under the West Antarctic ice sheet, including 47 volcanoes already known because their peaks protrude through the ice, leaving the figure of 91 newly discovered.

Source: volcanofoundation with glacier locations added

The media narrative blames glacier changes on a “warming world,” code for our fault for burning fossil fuels.  And as usual, it is lying by omission.  Researcher chaam jamal explains in her article A Climate Science Obsession with the Thwaites Glacier.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

It appears that costly and sophisticated research by these very dedicated climate scientists has made the amazing discovery that maps the deep channels on the seafloor bathymetry by which warm water reaches the underside of the Thwaites glacier and thus explains how this Doomsday glacier melts.

Yet another consideration, not given much attention in this research, is the issue not of identifying the channels by which the deep ocean waters flow to the bottom of the Doomsday Glacier, but of identifying the source of the heat that makes the water warm. Only if that source of heat is anthropogenic global warming caused by fossil fuel emissions that can be moderated by taking climate action, can the observed melt at the bottom of the Thwaites glacier be attributed to AGW climate change.

However, no such finding is made in this research project possibly because these researchers know, as do most researchers who study Antarctica, that this region of Antarctica is extremely geologically active. It is located directly above the West Antarctic Rift system with 150 active volcanoes on the sea floor and right in the middle of the Marie Byrd Mantle Plume with hot magma seeping up from the mantle.

Ralph Alexander updates the situation in 2022 with his article No Evidence That Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica Is about to Collapse.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Contrary to recent widespread media reports and dire predictions by a team of earth scientists, Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier – the second fastest melting glacier on the continent – is not on the brink of collapse. The notion that catastrophe is imminent stems from a basic misunderstanding of ice sheet dynamics in West Antarctica.

Because the ice shelf already floats on the ocean, collapse of the shelf itself and release of a flotilla of icebergs wouldn’t cause global sea levels to rise. But the researchers argue that loss of the ice shelf would speed up glacier flow, increasing the contribution to sea level rise of the Thwaites Glacier – often dubbed the “doomsday glacier” – from 4% to 25%.

But such a drastic scenario is highly unlikely, says geologist and UN IPCC expert reviewer Don Easterbrook. The misconception is about the submarine “grounding” of the glacier terminus, the boundary between the glacier and its ice shelf extending out over the surrounding ocean, as illustrated in the next figure.

A glacier is not restrained by ice at its terminus. Rather, the terminus is established by a balance between ice gains from snow accumulation and losses from melting and iceberg calving. The removal of ice beyond the terminus will not cause unstoppable collapse of either the glacier or the ice sheet behind it.

Other factors are important too, one of which is the source area of Antarctic glaciers. Ice draining into the Thwaites Glacier is shown in the right figure above in dark green, while ice draining into the Pine Island glacier is shown in light green; light and dark blue represent ice draining into the Ross Sea to the south of the two glaciers.

The two glaciers between them drain only a relatively small portion of the West Antarctic ice sheet, and the total width of the Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers constitutes only about 170 kilometers (100 miles) of the 4,000 kilometers (2,500) miles of West Antarctic coastline.

Of more importance are possible grounding lines for the glacier terminus. The retreat of the present grounding line doesn’t mean an impending calamity because, as Easterbrook points out, multiple other grounding lines exist. Although the base of much of the West Antarctic ice sheet, including the Thwaites glacier, lies below sea level, there are at least six potential grounding lines above sea level, as depicted in the following figure showing the ice sheet profile. A receding glacier could stabilize at any of these lines, contrary to the claims of the recent research study.

As can be seen, the deepest parts of the subglacial basin lie beneath the central portion of the ice sheet where the ice is thickest. What is significant is the ice thickness relative to its depth below sea level. While the subglacial floor at its deepest is 2,000 meters (6,600 feet) below sea level, almost all the subglacial floor in the above profile is less than 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) below the sea. Since the ice is mostly more than 2,500 meters (8,200 ft) thick, it couldn’t float in 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) of water anyway.

 

 

Nature Erases Pulses of Human CO2 Emissions

Those committed to blaming humans for rising atmospheric CO2 sometimes admit that emitted CO2 (from any source) only stays in the air about 5 years (20% removed each year)  being absorbed into natural sinks.  But they then save their belief by theorizing that human emissions are “pulses” of additional CO2 which persist even when particular molecules are removed, resulting in higher CO2 concentrations.  The analogy would be a traffic jam on the freeway which persists long after the blockage in removed.

A recent study by Bud Bromley puts the fork in this theory.  His paper is A conservative calculation of specific impulse for CO2.  The title links to his text which goes through the math in detail.  Excerpts are in italics here with my bolds.

In the 2 years following the June 15, 1991 eruption of the Pinatubo volcano, the natural environment removed more CO2 than the entire increase in CO2 concentration due to all sources, human and natural, during the entire measured daily record of the Global Monitoring Laboratory of NOAA/Scripps Oceanographic Institute (MLO) May 17, 1974 to June 15, 1991.

Then, in the 2 years after that, that CO2 was replaced plus an additional increment of CO2.

The Pinatubo Phase I Study (Bromley & Tamarkin, 2022) calculated the mass of net CO2 removed from the atmosphere based on measurements taken by MLO and from those measurements then calculated the first and second time derivatives (i.e., slope and acceleration) of CO2 concentration. We then demonstrated a novel use of the Specific Impulse calculation, a standard physical calculation used daily in life and death decisions. There are no theories, estimates or computer models involved in these calculations.

The following calculation is a more conservative demonstration which makes it obvious that human CO2 is not increasing global CO2 concentration.

The average slope of the CO2 concentration in the pre-Pinatubo period in MLO data was 1.463 ppm/year based on the method described in Bromley and Tamarkin (2022). Slope is the rate of change of the CO2 concentration. The rate of change and slope of a CO2 concentration with respect to time elapsed are identical to the commonly known terms velocity and speed.

June 15, 1991 was the start of the major Pinatubo volcanic eruption and April 22, 1993 was the date of maximum deceleration in net global average atmospheric CO2 concentration after Pinatubo in the daily measurement record of MLO.

The impulse calculation tells us whether a car has enough braking force to stop before hitting the wall, or enough force to take the rocket into orbit before it runs out of fuel, or, as in the analogy in the Phase Pinatubo report (Bromley & Tamarkin, 2022), enough force to accelerate the loaded 747 to liftoff velocity before reaching the end of the runway, or enough force to overcome addition of human CO2 to air.

MLO began reporting daily CO2 data on May 17, 1974. On that day, MLO reported 333.38 ppm. On June 15, 1991, MLO reported 358 ppm. 358 minus 333 = 25 ppm increase in CO2. This increase includes all CO2 in the atmosphere from all sources, human and natural. There is no residual human fraction.

25 ppm * 7.76 GtCO2 per ppm = 194 GtCO2 increase in CO2

For this comparison, attribute to humans that entire increase in MLO CO2 since the daily record began. This amount was measured by MLO and we know this amount exceeds the actual human CO2 component.

11.35 GtCO2 per year divided by 365 days per year = 0.031 Gt “human” CO2 added per day. Assume that human emissions did not slow following Pinatubo, even though total CO2 was decelerating precipitously.

Hypothetically, on April 22, 1993, 677 days later, final velocity v of “human” CO2 was the same 0.031 per day. But to be more conservative, let v = 0.041 GtCO2 per day, that is, “human” CO2 is growing faster even though total CO2 is declining sharply.

Jh = 2.17 Newton seconds is the specific impulse for our hypothetical “human” CO2 emissions.

Comparison:

♦  2.17 Newton seconds for hypothetical “human” CO2 emissions
♦  -55.5 Newton seconds for natural CO2 removal from atmosphere

In this conservative calculation, based entirely on measurements (not theory, not models, and not estimates), Earth’s environment demonstrated the capacity to absorb more than 25 times the not-to-exceed amount of human CO2 emissions at that time.

The data and graphs produced by MLO also show a reduction in slope of CO2 concentration following the June 1991 eruption of Pinatubo, and also shows the more rapid recovery of total CO2 concentration that began about 2 years after the 1991 eruption. This graph is the annual rate of change of total atmosphere CO2 concentration. This graph is not human CO2.

During the global cooling event in the 2 years following the Pinatubo eruption, CO2 concentration decelerated rapidly. Following that 2 year period, in the next 2 years CO2 accelerated more rapidly than it had declined, reaching an average CO2 slope which exceeded MLO-measured slope for the period prior to the June 1991 Pinatubo eruption. The maximum force of the environment to both absorb and emit CO2 could be much larger than the 25 times human emission and could occur much faster.

We do not know the maximum force or specific impulse. But it is very safe to infer from this result that human CO2 emissions are not an environmental crisis.

Theoretical discussion and conclusion

These are the experiment results. Theory must explain these results, not the other way around.

Bromley and Tamarkin (2022) suggested a theory how this very large amount of CO2 could be absorbed so rapidly into the environment, mostly ocean surface. This experimental result is consistent with Henry’s Law, the Law of Mass Action and Le Chatelier’s principle. In a forthcoming addendum to Bromley and Tamarkin (2022), two additional laws, Fick’s Law and Graham’s Law are suggested additions to our theory explaining this experimental result.

There are several inorganic chemical sources in the sea surface thin layer which produce CO2 through a series of linked reactions. Based on theories asserted more than 60 years ago, inorganic and organic chemical sources and sinks are believed to be too small and/or too slow to explain the slope of net global average CO2 concentration. Our results strongly suggest that the net CO2 absorption and net emission events that followed the Pinatubo eruption are response and recovery to a perturbation to the natural trend. There is no suggestion in our results or in our theory that long-term warming of SST causes the slope of net global average CO2 concentration. We have not looked at temperatures or correlation statistics between temperature and CO2 concentration because they are co-dependent variables, and the simultaneity bias cannot be removed with acceptable certainty. References to 25 degrees C in Bromley and Tamarkin (2022) are only in theoretical discussion and not involved in any way in our data analysis or calculations. References to 25 degrees C are merely standard ambient temperature, part of SATP, agreed by standards organizations.

When CO2 slope and acceleration declined post-Pinatubo, why was there a recovery to previous slope, plus and additional offset? The decline and the recovery were certainly not due to humans or the biosphere. As we have shown, CO2 from humans and biosphere combined are over an order of magnitude less than the CO2 absorbed by the environment and then re-emitted. That alone should end fears of CO2-caused climate crisis. Where did the CO2 go so rapidly and where did the CO2 in the recovery come from? Our data suggests that in future research we will find a series of other events, other volcanoes, El Ninos and La Ninas, etc. that have similarly disrupted the equilibrium followed by a response and recovery from the environment.

Footnote:

Tom Segalstad produced this graph on the speed of ocean-CO2 fluxes:

Background:  CO2 Fluxes, Sources and Sinks

 

 

 

How Climatists Eclipsed the Sun

Recently, Dr. John Robson of the Climate Discussion Nexus (CDN) interviewed CERES co-team leader, Dr. Ronan Connolly, on the role of the Sun in recent climate change. Excerpts from ICECAP in italics with my bolds, followed by a video and my transcript from the closed captions.

CDN have now published their 20 minute “explainer” video including extracts from this interview and discussion of some of CERES’ recent scientific research. Although the video covers quite a few technical points, they are explained in a very clear and accessible manner.

Topics covered include:

The significance of the debates between the two main rival satellite estimates of solar activity trends since 1978, i.e., PMOD and ACRIM.

How using either PMOD or ACRIM to calibrate the pre-satellite era solar data can give very different estimates of how much solar activity has changed since the 19th century and earlier.

How politics and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports have downplayed the possible role of solar activity in recent climate change.

The urbanization bias problem of current thermometer-based estimates of global temperature trends since the 19th century.

They say you should not look directly at the sun but when it comes to climate a lot of people take that advice to ridiculous extremes. That bright yellow ball in the sky is basically earth’s only source of energy though a very small amount radiates from the planet’s hot core. The sun’s output has been measured to a high degree of precision by satellites in orbit since the late 1970s. and we now know that it varies over time.

Since it is our only source of energy, if it gets stronger it stands to reason
that it could warm the climate.

Indeed there was a time about 20 years ago when many scientists believed that the sun had gotten a bit brighter during the 1980s and 1990s. And they even argued it was enough to explain much of the warming that had taken place.

But now agencies like the UN IPCC ( intergovernmental panel on climate change), NASA and others insist the change in solar output never happened. They say the warming can only be explained by greenhouse gases, so do not look at the sun.

People, something pretty basic doesn’t add up here.

If satellites are measuring the sun’s energy precisely, how can there be disagreement about what it’s been doing? The answer unfortunately is that there’s a gap in the satellite record, a gap that came about after the 1986 space shuttle challenger disaster. And as happens too much in this field, the gap quickly went from being a scientific problem to a political one. And the way that gap was handled is a story that deserves a little sunlight.

I’m John Robson and this is a climate discussion nexus backgrounder on the ACRIM gap controversy

The name ACRIM comes from an instrument called the Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor that satellites use to measure solar output. And the amount of solar energy that hits the earth’s atmosphere is called the total solar irradiance or TSI measured in watts per square meter.

On average the sun provides about 1367 watts of energy per square meter continuously on the upper atmosphere. For comparison, all the carbon dioxide ever released from using fossil fuels is estimated by the IPCC to have added about 2 watts per square meter of energy to the atmosphere. And so given the overwhelming role of solar output in the total it shouldn’t take much of a change in the sun’s output to have a global influence on the climate.

We also have data on solar output from the pre-satellite era. For centuries astronomers have been keeping track of the number of dark circles or sunspots that appear on the surface of the sun. Galileo even wrote a book about them. The sunspot count rises and falls on a roughly 11-year cycle which provides clues to the changing strength of solar energy in the past. Scientists can also use evidence from chemical signatures in the earth, called cosmogenic isotopes, to reconstruct solar activity. As usual when you go backward in time on climate it’s only proxy data, and it’s considerably less precise than modern measurements.

Source IPCC Assessment Report #1

But by comparing proxies to satellite data since 1979 we get some idea of how to interpret the clues. In the IPCC’s first report in 1990 they presented a graph that summarized the prevailing view of the sun’s history over the 19th and 20th centuries. It showed the familiar sunspot cycle and also suggested average solar output grew stronger in the second half of the century but they said the changes were not large enough to cause much warming unless there are positive feedback mechanisms that amplify those changes.

But that qualification is not trivial because in fact the notion that carbon dioxide is the driver of warming itself depends on a series of positive feedback mechanisms. Because on its own the warming effect of CO2 is quite small. So there have been various proposals for amplifying mechanisms to increase its impact, which we’ll look at in more detail on another day.

When it comes to the sun basically the argument is that the sun doesn’t just affect how bright it is outside, it also influences how cloudy it is. And since some kinds of clouds have a major role in reflecting heat back into space if more solar output not only adds a bit of heat but also suppresses that kind of cloud formation, it can translate into a lot of surface warming.

So key point here: By the time of the IPCC’s third assessment report in 2001, their views about the sun’s history were getting more uncertain not less uncertain.  In AR3 in 2001, instead of having just one reconstruction of solar output, the IPCC now had multiple different ones to choose from. The reconstructions all agreed that solar output followed the sunspot cycle and they all agreed that solar output had increased over the 20th century.

Fig. 6.5 Reconstructions of total solar irradiance (TSI) by Lean et al. as well as Hoyt and Schatten 1993 updated.

But they disagreed over whether the increase was a lot or little and whether it had happened all at once early in the century or more gradually over the whole span. Since these differences arose from statistical estimates using proxy records, it didn’t look as though there would be an easy way to resolve the disagreements.

So attention turned to the modern satellite record with precise measurements of TSI available since 1978. It should have been possible to compare them with surface temperatures to see if there was any relationship. Unfortunately there was the problem we referred to at the outset: A big gap in the data. The satellites that carried the ACRIM system were first launched in 1978. From time to time satellites wear out and need to be replaced. A replacement satellite is supposed to be launched early enough so its ACRIM system overlaps with the existing one allowing the instruments to be calibrated to each other giving scientists a continuous record.

But as you can see, there’s a gap in the ACRIM record from June 1989 to October 1991. and that gap was a consequence of the space shuttle challenger disaster in January of 1986 that caused NASA’s satellite launch program to be suspended for several years.

By the time a new ACRIM system could be put into orbit in 1991 the old one had already been offline for two years. And the only data available to fill the gap was from a different monitor called the earth radiation budget system or ERB which flew on the Nimbus 7 satellite launched in 1978 as part of a separate series. That satellite didn’t have an acronym and unfortunately the ERB system was not meant to monitor solar output with much precision. Its sensors were pointed toward the earth so it could monitor the climate system and it only had a view of the sun during brief intervals of its orbit.. Also it generated two data series, called ERB and ERBS in the diagram, and they disagreed with each other regarding what the sun did during the ACRIM gap.

Still it was something to work with. In 1997 the lead scientist working on the ACRIM system RIchard Willson of Columbia University used the satellite data and all available information on the behavior of the onboard sensors in the various satellites to construct a composite ACRIM record. A comparison of the minimum points in the solar cycle suggested an increase in TSI from the early 1980s through to the end of the 1990s, after which solar output flattened out.

Since this broadly matched the progress of temperatures after 1980 it opened the door to the possibility that the sun might be responsible for some or all of recent climate changes. The alarmists didn’t like that result at all. In fact they reacted like that far side cartoon with the astronauts going blast the controls are jammed we’re headed right for Mr Sun.

So a few years later a different team led by Claus Fröhlich and Judith Lean published a new reconstruction of the same data that showed: Voila, no upward step, just the standard solar cycle steady downward trend after 1980. It’s called the PMOD reconstruction after the name of Fröhlich’s institute the Physical Meteorological Observatory in Davos. It had the convenient effect of ruling out the sun as a factor in climate change.

Now when I say convenient I do mean in the political sense. The authors made no secret of their motivation. In a recent article reviewing the whole episode scientist Ronan Connolly of the center for environmental research in earth science (CERES) massachusetts found some telling quotes from the authors and others working in the field. In a 2003 interview discussing the motivation for their research author Judith Lean stated the fact that some people could use Willson’s results as an excuse to do nothing about greenhouse gas emissions. It is one reason we felt we needed to look at the data ourselves. And in a later review published in 2014 Pia Zacharis of the international space science institute in switzerland conceded that the data adjustments are still a matter of active debate and have prevented the TSI community from coming up with a conclusive TSI composite so far.

But she went on to observe a conclusive TSI time series is not only desirable from the perspective of the scientific community but also when considering the rising interest of the public in questions related to climate change issues, “thus preventing climate skeptics from taking advantage of these discrepancies within the TSI community by for example putting forth a presumed solar effect as an excuse for inaction on anthropogenic warming.”

We spoke with scientist Ronan Connolly recently to discuss the ACRIM gap and how the IPCC handled the controversy. So the PMOD rival group took the ACRIM data and they’ve applied a series of adjustments which got rid of that rise in solar activity in the 80s and 90s, replacing it with a decline. The net effect shows a declining, effectively according to the PMOD, solar activity has been generally decreasing since at least 1970s.

If the ACRIM composite is correct then that would be consistent with a solar contribution because some of the warming in the 80s and 90s could be due to the solar activity. And then the reduction in warming, the pause or even a slight decline depending on the metric, that could be due to a reduction in solar activity. But if PMOD is correct then solar activity can’t really explain any of the global temperature trends during the satellite era.

Which gives us two things to think about. One is that if the sun’s output did get stronger over the 1980s and 1990s that means it bears some of the blame or gets some of the credit for warming the planet over that interval. Which is a valid argument for not blaming everything on greenhouse gases, especially since the sun’s subsequently quieting down coincides with two long pauses in any warming detected by satellites.

Second, the other thing is that we have scientists talking as if their motivation is not just finding the truth. It’s preventing so-called inaction on climate change and feeling no need to hide such a motive. On the  contrary they seem to be broadcasting it. And if you’re going to come right out and tell us that your goal is to push a policy agenda whether it’s scientifically justified or not, don’t act surprised when we ell you we’re skeptical about your results.

One group that wasn’t skeptical was the IPCC in their fourth assessment report or AR4 in 2007 they showed both the Willson series here in violet and the Piedmont series which is green. But in their next report in 2013 while they still mentioned the Willson series they dropped it from their calculations and said from now on they would only use the PMOD series that told them what they wanted to hear.

Namely that with no increase in solar output there’s no way to blame the sun for global warming so it must be all your fault

Which is one way to do science but what kind of way? My own experience is that there’s a lot of scientists that feel a lot of pressure to conform their work to the IPCC. The IPCC has become a very dominant political body within the scientific community.

How did the PMOD team come up with a different answer than Willson’s group? By arguing that one of the sensors on the ERB system was defective and experienced an increase in its sensitivity during its time in orbit, adding an artificial upward trend to its readings. The PMOD team corrected this supposed defect by pushing the later part of their data downward, thus erasing the increase and getting the result they were looking for.

But did the ERB system actually suffer this malfunction? In 2008 Richard Willson and another of
his co-authors physicist Nicola Scafetta of the university of Naples tracked down Dr Douglas Hoyt, the scientist who’d been in charge of the ERB satellite mission at the time but had since retired. And they asked him and Hoyt emailed them back the following:

Dear Dr. Scafetta:

Concerning the supposed increase in Nimbus 7 sensitivity at the end of September 1989 and other matters as proposed by Fröhlich’s PMOD TSI composite:

1.there is no known physical change in the electrically calibrated nimbus 7 radiometer or its electronics that could have caused it to become more sensitive. At least neither Lee Kyle nor I could never imagine how such a thing could happen. And no one else has ever come up with a physical theory for the instrument that could cause it to become more sensitive.

2.  The Nimbus-7 radiometer was calibrated electrically every 12 days. The calibrations before and after the September shutdown gave no indication of any change in the sensitivity of the radiometer. Thus, when Bob Lee of the ERBS team originally claimed there was a change in Nimbus 7 sensitivity, we examined the issue and concluded there was no internal evidence in the Nimbus 7 records to warrant the correction that he was proposing. Since the result was a null one, no publication was thought necessary.

3. Thus Fröhlich’s  PMOD TSI composite is not consistent with the internal data or physics of the Nimbus 7 cavity radiometer.

4. The correction of the Nimbus 7 tsi values for 1979 through 1980 proposed by Fröhlich is also puzzling. The raw data was run through the same algorithm for these early years and the subsequent years and there is no justification for Freulich’s adjustment in my opinion.

Sincerely Douglas Hoyt

Yeah puzzling, though we can think of other words like suspicious. So let’s look again at the various reconstructions of solar output. In the 2007 IPCC report here’s the range they admitted was possible from the 1600s to the turn of the century. And typically the uncertainty increases as you go backwards, but there are ways to try to decrease it. In that review article I mentioned by Ronan Connolly and 22 co-authors, when they surveyed the various ways experts have used the satellite and proxy records, they found 16 possible reconstructions of solar activity since 1600: Eight yielding fairly low variability and eight fairly high variability.

To illuminate solar influence on temperature these authors also took a close look at the other side of the equation, surface temperature data, and constructed a new climate record for the northern hemisphere using only rural weather stations and data collected over the sea surface to avoid contamination from urban heat islands. Then they coupled this with tree ring proxy data to assemble a temperature estimate covering the same interval as the solar series.

Putting the solar and temperature data together depending on which solar reconstruction you pick the sun turns out to explain either none of the observed warming or all of it or somewhere in between. So we can get a result from nothing to almost all of the temperature changes since 19th century in terms of solar activity depending on whether ACRIM is correct or PMOD is correct.

Now that result doesn’t mean we get to cherry pick the result we like and say, aha we’ve proven that the sun causes all climate change. But neither can the alarmists go, aha we’ve proven that the sun causes none of it. And the trouble is they do it when they put out reports confidently declaring that warming is all due to greenhouse gases.

They don’t tell you that their calculation is based on using one specific solar reconstruction and a lot of temperature data from cities which have grown bigger and hotter since the start of the 21st century.

I’m going to leave you here with one more quote from another scientist working in the solar measurement field. In a 2012 review paper physicist Michael Lockwood discussed all the difficulties in trying to reconstruct solar output and measure its current effects and lamented:
“The academic reputation of the field of sun climate relations is poor because many studies do not address all or even some of the limitations listed above. It is also a field that in recent years has been corrupted by unwelcome political and financial influence as climate change skeptics have seized upon putative solar effects as an excuse for inaction on anthropogenic warming.”

It’s strange when scientists insist that there’s political and financial corruption in their field but it only ever goes in one direction. And it’s not the direction the funders want because, don’t forget, climate research is funded overwhelmingly by governments who believe in a man-made global warming crisis.  And it’s also weird when they say that people drawing logical conclusions about the policy implications of the sun having a significant impact on climate are “just making excuses.”

I don’t expect these scientists want any advice from me but I’m going to give it to them anyway.

When you keep telling us that your motivation is to promote a costly policy agenda whether it’s scientifically justified or not;

and you keep getting caught trying to conceal the fact that you’re not nearly as certain about your conclusions as the IPCC keeps claiming;

and you keep getting caught fiddling data series;

and when challenged you substitute abuse for argument;

It makes the general public more skeptical and not less.

So please look up, because for the climate discussion nexus, I’m John Robson and I am looking at the Sun.

Europe’s Alps: From White to Green and Back Again

The usual suspects (BBC, Science Focus, Phys.org, The Independent, Metro UK, etc.) are worried that green spaces are visible from space, and snow cover will continue to retreat, with bad consequences for the Alpine eco-system, unless we stop burning fossil fuels.  This is triggered by a new paper by Sabine Rumpf et al. From white to green: Snow cover loss and increased vegetation productivity in the European Alps.  Excerpts from Science Focus in italics with my bolds.

Snow in the European Alps is melting and invasive plant species are outcompeting native Alpine plants, satellite imagery has shown. Both findings will reinforce climate change, say scientists.

The changes noticed in a new study, which uses satellite data from 1984 to 2021, show that as much as 77 per cent of the Alps has experienced greening, where areas with previously low vegetation have suddenly seen a boom in plant growth.

While the new plants do take a small amount of carbon out of the atmosphere by photosynthesis, scientists say the greening has a much bigger negative effect on climate change, as less of the Sun’s light will be reflected away from the Earth meaning the planet will get warmer.

The Alps are expected to see a reduction in snow mass of up to 25 per cent in the next 10-30 years, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2019 report. As the snow melts, there will be more rock falls and landslides, which could have devastating consequences.

The new study shows that the Alps is experiencing snow cover recession that can already be seen from space, which the authors warn will only get worse as time goes on.

In the changing mountain environments, native Alpine plants have suffered while new species have thrived. This is because the plants specialised to higher elevations have had to focus on long-term living in the Alps, sacrificing the characteristics that could make them more competitive in the short term.

However, over time Alpine Temperatures and Snow are variable in quasi-cycles

For example, consider Change in temperature for the Greater Alpine Region, 1760–2007: Single years and 20-year smoothed mean series from the European Environment Agency (EEA)

Yes there are warming and cooling periods, and a rise recently.  However, summer minus winter half-years have declined the last century.  Calendar year averages peaked in 1994.  So the certainty about present conditions “only getting worse” is founded on faith rather than facts.

Then consider the record of snow cover over a longer period than the last thirty years.  Rutgers Snow Lab provides this graph:

So a lot of decadal variation is evident.  While 2020-21 snow extent is down from a peak in 2016, it was lower in 2007, and very much lower in 1988-1990.  True, the last 30 years had generally less snow than 30 years prior to 1990. But who is to say that the next 30 won’t see a return to earlier levels, still with large decadal fluxes.

And a longer term view of Alpine glaciers, shows how much climate change has gone on without the benefit of CO2 from humans.

Summer Temperatures (May – September) A rise in temperature during a warming period will result in a glacier losing more surface area or completely vanishing. This can happen very rapidly in only a few years or over a longer period of time. If temperatures drop during a cooling period and summer temperatures are too low, glaciers will begin to grow and advance with each season. This can happen very rapidly or over a longer period in time. Special thanks to Prof. em. Christian Schlüchter / (Quartärgeologie, Umweltgeologie) Universität Bern Institut für Geologie His work is on the Western Alps and was so kind to help Raymond make this graphic as correct as possible.

Summary

The combination of mild warming and higher CO2 has greatly benefited the biosphere globally, resulting in setting crop yield records nearly every year.  It should not be surprising that Europe’s Alps participated in this greening of the land.  But I object to the notion that humans caused it or can stop it by reducing emissions.  We do not control the climate or weather, and both warming and cooling periods will come and go as they always have.

 

Would You Prefer With or Without Ice?

Raymond at RiC-Communications has produced the above poster on the theme expounded in a previous post In Celebration of Our Warm Climate, reprinted below. The above image is available in high resolution pdf format at his website The last ice age and its impact.

His other science infographic projects are:

The World of CO2

The World of Climate Change

The World of Energy

Legacy and social media keep up a constant drumbeat of warnings about a degree or two of planetary warming without any historical context for considering the significance of the alternative.  A poem of Robert Frost comes to mind as some applicable wisdom:

The diagram at the top shows how grateful we should be for living in today’s climate instead of a glacial icehouse. (H/T Raymond Inauen)  For most of its history Earth has been frozen rather than the mostly green place it is today.  And the reference is to the extent of the North American ice sheet during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM).

For further context consider that geologists refer to our time as a “Severe Icehouse World”, among the various conditions in earth’s history, as diagramed by paleo climatologist Christopher Scotese. Referring to the Global Mean Temperatures, it appears after many decades, we are slowly rising to “Icehouse World”, which would seem to be a good thing.

Instead of fear mongering over a bit of warming, we should celebrate our good fortune, and do our best for humanity and the biosphere.  Matthew Ridley takes it from there in a previous post.

Background from previous post The Goodness of Global Warming

LAI refers to Leaf Area Index.

As noted in other posts here, warming comes and goes and a cooling period may now be ensuing. See No Global Warming, Chilly January Land and Sea.  Matt Ridley provides a concise and clear argument to celebrate any warming that comes to our world in his Spiked article Why global warming is good for us.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Climate change is creating a greener, safer planet.

Global warming is real. It is also – so far – mostly beneficial. This startling fact is kept from the public by a determined effort on the part of alarmists and their media allies who are determined to use the language of crisis and emergency. The goal of Net Zero emissions in the UK by 2050 is controversial enough as a policy because of the pain it is causing. But what if that pain is all to prevent something that is not doing net harm?

The biggest benefit of emissions is global greening, the increase year after year of green vegetation on the land surface of the planet. Forests grow more thickly, grasslands more richly and scrub more rapidly. This has been measured using satellites and on-the-ground recording of plant-growth rates. It is happening in all habitats, from tundra to rainforest. In the four decades since 1982, as Bjorn Lomborg points out, NASA data show that global greening has added 618,000 square kilometres of extra green leaves each year, equivalent to three Great Britains. You read that right: every year there’s more greenery on the planet to the extent of three Britains. I bet Greta Thunberg did not tell you that.

The cause of this greening? Although tree planting, natural reforestation, slightly longer growing seasons and a bit more rain all contribute, the big cause is something else. All studies agree that by far the largest contributor to global greening – responsible for roughly half the effect – is the extra carbon dioxide in the air. In 40 years, the proportion of the atmosphere that is CO2 has gone from 0.034 per cent to 0.041 per cent. That may seem a small change but, with more ‘food’ in the air, plants don’t need to lose as much water through their pores (‘stomata’) to acquire a given amount of carbon. So dry areas, like the Sahel region of Africa, are seeing some of the biggest improvements in greenery. Since this is one of the poorest places on the planet, it is good news that there is more food for people, goats and wildlife.

But because good news is no news, green pressure groups and environmental correspondents in the media prefer to ignore global greening. Astonishingly, it merited no mentions on the BBC’s recent Green Planet series, despite the name. Or, if it is mentioned, the media point to studies suggesting greening may soon cease. These studies are based on questionable models, not data (because data show the effect continuing at the same pace). On the very few occasions when the BBC has mentioned global greening it is always accompanied by a health warning in case any viewer might glimpse a silver lining to climate change – for example, ‘extra foliage helps slow climate change, but researchers warn this will be offset by rising temperatures’.

Another bit of good news is on deaths. We’re against them, right? A recent study shows that rising temperatures have resulted in half a million fewer deaths in Britain over the past two decades. That is because cold weather kills about ’20 times as many people as hot weather’, according to the study, which analyses ‘over 74million deaths in 384 locations across 13 countries’. This is especially true in a temperate place like Britain, where summer days are rarely hot enough to kill. So global warming and the unrelated phenomenon of urban warming relative to rural areas, caused by the retention of heat by buildings plus energy use, are both preventing premature deaths on a huge scale.

Summer temperatures in the US are changing at half the rate of winter temperatures and daytimes are warming 20 per cent slower than nighttimes. A similar pattern is seen in most countries. Tropical nations are mostly experiencing very slow, almost undetectable daytime warming (outside cities), while Arctic nations are seeing quite rapid change, especially in winter and at night. Alarmists love to talk about polar amplification of average climate change, but they usually omit its inevitable flip side: that tropical temperatures (where most poor people live) are changing more slowly than the average.

My Mind is Made Up, Don’t Confuse Me with the Facts. H/T Bjorn Lomborg, WUWT

But are we not told to expect more volatile weather as a result of climate change? It is certainly assumed that we should. Yet there’s no evidence to suggest weather volatility is increasing and no good theory to suggest it will. The decreasing temperature differential between the tropics and the Arctic may actually diminish the volatility of weather a little.

Indeed, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) repeatedly confirms, there is no clear pattern of storms growing in either frequency or ferocity, droughts are decreasing slightly and floods are getting worse only where land-use changes (like deforestation or building houses on flood plains) create a problem. Globally, deaths from droughts, floods and storms are down by about 98 per cent over the past 100 years – not because weather is less dangerous but because shelter, transport and communication (which are mostly the products of the fossil-fuel economy) have dramatically improved people’s ability to survive such natural disasters.

The effect of today’s warming (and greening) on farming is, on average, positive: crops can be grown farther north and for longer seasons and rainfall is slightly heavier in dry regions. We are feeding over seven billion people today much more easily than we fed three billion in the 1960s, and from a similar acreage of farmland. Global cereal production is on course to break its record this year, for the sixth time in 10 years.

Nature, too, will do generally better in a warming world. There are more species in warmer climates, so more new birds and insects are arriving to breed in southern England than are disappearing from northern Scotland. Warmer means wetter, too: 9,000 years ago, when the climate was warmer than today, the Sahara was green. Alarmists like to imply that concern about climate change goes hand in hand with concern about nature generally. But this is belied by the evidence. Climate policies often harm wildlife: biofuels compete for land with agriculture, eroding the benefits of improved agricultural productivity and increasing pressure on wild land; wind farms kill birds and bats; and the reckless planting of alien sitka spruce trees turns diverse moorland into dark monoculture.

Meanwhile, real environmental issues are ignored or neglected because of the obsession with climate. With the help of local volunteers I have been fighting to protect the red squirrel in Northumberland for years. The government does literally nothing to help us, while it pours money into grants for studying the most far-fetched and minuscule possible climate-change impacts. Invasive alien species are the main cause of species extinction worldwide (like grey squirrels driving the red to the margins), whereas climate change has yet to be shown to have caused a single species to die out altogether anywhere.

Of course, climate change does and will bring problems as well as benefits. Rapid sea-level rise could be catastrophic. But whereas the sea level shot up between 10,000 and 8,000 years ago, rising by about 60 metres in two millennia, or roughly three metres per century, today the change is nine times slower: three millimetres a year, or a foot per century, and with not much sign of acceleration. Countries like the Netherlands and Vietnam show that it is possible to gain land from the sea even in a world where sea levels are rising. The land area of the planet is actually increasing, not shrinking, thanks to siltation and reclamation.

Environmentalists don’t get donations or invitations to appear on the telly if they say moderate things. To stand up and pronounce that ‘climate change is real and needs to be tackled, but it’s not happening very fast and other environmental issues are more urgent’ would be about as popular as an MP in Oliver Cromwell’s parliament declaring, ‘The evidence for God is looking a bit weak, and I’m not so very sure that fornication really is a sin’. And I speak as someone who has made several speeches on climate in parliament.

No wonder we don’t hear about the good news on climate change.

 

 

Little Ice Age Warming Recovery May be Over

Figure 1. Graph showing the number of volcanoes reported to have been active each year since 1800 CE. Total number of volcanoes with reported eruptions per year (thin upper black line) and 10-year running mean of same data (thick upper red line). Lower lines show only the annual number of volcanoes producing large eruptions (>= 0.1 km3 of tephra or magma) and scale is enlarged on the right axis; thick red lower line again shows 10-year running mean. Global Volcanism Project Discussion

Update March 23, 2022

Recently I published an analysis showing how warming over the last four decades has driven a steady rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations.  See Temps Cause CO2 Changes, Not the Reverse. 2022 Update

In discussion with Kip Hansen, it occurred to me that the process and equation could be explained by the steady recovery from the LIA (Little Ice Age).  That reminded me of this relevant discussion about the causes of the LIA, what ended it, and why the warming recovery from it may now be over.

Update August 2, 2019

University of Bern confirms in a recent announcement that volcanoes triggered the depths of the LIA (Little Ice Age).  Their article is Volcanoes shaped the climate before humankind. H/T GWPF.  However, they spin the story in support of climate alarm (emergency, whatever), rather than making the more obvious point that recent warming was  recovering to roughly Medieval Warming levels after the abnormal cooling disruption from volcanoes. Excerpt in italics with my bolds.

“The new Bern study not only explains the global early 19th century climate, but it is also relevant for the present. “Given the large climatic changes seen in the early 19th century, it is difficult to define a pre-industrial climate,” explains lead author Stefan Brönnimann, “a notion to which all our climate targets refer.” And this has consequences for the climate targets set by policymakers, who want to limit global temperature increases to between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius at the most. Depending on the reference period, the climate has already warmed up much more significantly than assumed in climate discussions. The reason: Today’s climate is usually compared with a 1850-1900 reference period to quantify current warming. Seen in this light, the average global temperature has increased by 1 degree. “1850 to 1900 is certainly a good choice but compared to the first half of the 19th century, when it was significantly cooler due to frequent volcanic eruptions, the temperature increase is already around 1.2 degrees,” Stefan Brönnimann points out.”

Bern seems preoccupied with targets and accounting, while others are concerned to understand the role of volcanoes in natural climate change.  A previous post gives a more detailed explanation, thanks to a suggestion I received.

The LIA Warming Rebound Is Over

Thanks to Dr. Francis Manns for drawing my attention to the role of Volcanoes as a climate factor, particularly related to the onset of the Little Ice Age (LIA), 1400 to 1900 AD. I was aware that the temperature record since about 1850 can be explained by a steady rise of 0.5C per century rebound overlaid with a quasi-60 year cycle, most likely oceanic driven. See below Dr. Syun Akasofu 2009 diagram from his paper Two Natural Components of Recent Warming.
When I presented this diagram to my warmist friends, they would respond, “But you don’t know what caused the LIA or what ended it!” To which I would say, “True, but we know it wasn’t due to burning fossil fuels.” Now I find there is a body of evidence suggesting what caused the LIA and why the temperature rebound may be over. Part of it is a familiar observation that the LIA coincided with a period when the sun was lacking sunspots, the Maunder Minimum, and later the Dalton.

Not to be overlooked is the climatic role of volcano activity inducing deep cooling patterns such as the LIA.  Jihong Cole-Dai explains in a paper published 2010 entitled Volcanoes and climate. Excerpt in italics with my bolds.

There has been strong interest in the role of volcanism during the climatic episodes of Medieval Warm Period (MWP,800–1200 AD) and Little Ice Age (LIA, 1400–1900AD), when direct human influence on the climate was negligible. Several studies attempted to determine the influence of solar forcing and volcanic forcing and came to different conclusions: Crowley and colleagues suggested that increased frequency of stratospheric eruptions in the seventeenth century and again in the early nineteenth century was responsible in large part for LIA. Shindell et al. concluded that LIA is the result of reduced solar irradiance, as seen in the Maunder Minimum of sunspots, during the time period. Ice core records show that the number of large volcanic eruptions between 800 and 1100 AD is possibly small (Figure 1), when compared with the eruption frequency during LIA. Several researchers have proposed that more frequent large eruptions during the thirteenth century(Figure 1) contributed to the climatic transition from MWP to LIA, perhaps as a part of the global shift from a warmer to a colder climate regime. This suggests that the volcanic impact may be particularly significant during periods of climatic transitions.

How volcanoes impact on the atmosphere and climate

Alan Robock explains Climatic Impacts of Volcanic Eruptions in Chapter 53 of the Encyclopedia of Volcanoes.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The major component of volcanic eruptions is the matter that emerges as solid, lithic material or solidifies into large particles, which are referred to as ash or tephra. These particles fall out of the atmosphere very rapidly, on timescales of minutes to a few days, and thus have no climatic impacts but are of great interest to volcanologists, as seen in the rest of this encyclopedia. When an eruption column still laden with these hot particles descends down the slopes of a volcano, this pyroclastic flow can be deadly to those unlucky enough to be at the base of the volcano. The destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum after the AD 79 Vesuvius eruption is the most famous example.

Volcanic eruptions typically also emit gases, with H2O, N2, and CO2 being the most abundant. Over the lifetime of the Earth, these gases have been the main source of the Earth’s atmosphere and ocean after the primitive atmosphere of hydrogen and helium was lost to space. The water has condensed into the oceans, the CO2 has been changed by plants into O2 or formed carbonates, which sink to the ocean bottom, and some of the C has turned into fossil fuels. Of course, we eat plants and animals, which eat the plants, we drink the water, and we breathe the oxygen, so each of us is made of volcanic emissions. The atmosphere is now mainly composed of N2 (78%) and O2 (21%), both of which had sources in volcanic emissions.

Of these abundant gases, both H2O and CO2 are important greenhouse gases, but their atmospheric concentrations are so large (even for CO2 at only 400 ppm in 2013) that individual eruptions have a negligible effect on their concentrations and do not directly impact the greenhouse effect. Global annually averaged emissions of CO2 from volcanic eruptions since 1750 have been at least 100 times smaller than those from human activities. Rather the most important climatic effect of explosive volcanic eruptions is through their emission of sulfur species to the stratosphere, mainly in the form of SO2, but possibly sometimes as H2S. These sulfur species react with H2O to form H2SO4 on a timescale of weeks, and the resulting sulfate aerosols produce the dominant radiative effect from volcanic eruptions.

The major effect of a volcanic eruption on the climate system is the effect of the stratospheric cloud on solar radiation (Figure 53.1). Some of the radiation is scattered back to space, increasing the planetary albedo and cooling the Earth’s atmosphere system. The sulfate aerosol particles (typical effective radius of 0.5 mm, about the same size as the wavelength of visible light) also forward scatter much of the solar radiation, reducing the direct solar beam but increasing the brightness of the sky. After the 1991 Pinatubo eruption, the sky around the sun appeared more white than blue because of this. After the El Chicho´n eruption of 1982 and the Pinatubo eruption of 1991, the direct radiation was significantly reduced, but the diffuse radiation was enhanced by almost as much. Nevertheless, the volcanic aerosol clouds reduced the total radiation received at the surface.

Crowley et al 2008 go into the details in their paper Volcanism and the Little Ice Age. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Although solar variability has often been considered the primary agent for LIA cooling, the most comprehensive test of this explanation (Hegerl et al., 2003) points instead to volcanism being substantially more important, explaining as much as 40% of the decadal-scale variance during the LIA. Yet, one problem that has continually plagued climate researchers is that the paleo-volcanic record, reconstructed from Antarctic and Greenland ice cores, cannot be well calibrated against the instrumental record. This is because the primary instrumental volcano reconstruction used by the climate community is that of Sato et al. (1993), which is relatively poorly constrained by observations prior to 1960 (especially in the southern hemisphere).

Here, we report on a new study that has successfully calibrated the Antarctic sulfate record of volcanism from the 1991 eruptions of Pinatubo (Philippines) and Hudson (Chile) against satellite aerosol optical depth (AOD) data (AOD is a measure of stratospheric transparency to incoming solar radiation). A total of 22 cores yield an area-weighted sulfate accumulation rate of 10.5 kg/km2 , which translates into a conversion rate for AOD of 0.011 AOD/ kg/km2 sulfate. We validated our time series by comparing a canonical growth and decay curve for eruptions for Krakatau (1883), the 1902 Caribbean eruptions (primarily Santa Maria), and the 1912 eruption of Novarupta/Katmai (Alaska)

We therefore applied the methodology to part of the LIA record that had some of the largest temperature changes over the last millennium.

Figure 2: Comparison of 30-90°N version of ice core reconstruction with Jones et al. (1998) temperature reconstruction over the interval 1630-1850. Vertical dashed lines denote levels of coincidence between eruptions and reconstructed cooling. AOD = Aerosol Optical Depth.

The ice core chronology of volcanoes is completely independent of the (primarily) tree ring based temperature reconstruction. The volcano reconstruction is deemed accurate to within 0 ± 1 years over this interval. There is a striking agreement between 16 eruptions and cooling events over the interval 1630-1850. Of particular note is the very large cooling in 1641-1642, due to the concatenation of sulfate plumes from two eruptions (one in Japan and one in the Philippines), and a string of eruptions starting in 1667 and culminating in a large tropical eruption in 1694 (tentatively attributed to Long Island, off New Guinea). This large tropical eruption (inferred from ice core sulfate peaks in both hemispheres) occurred almost exactly at the beginning of the coldest phase of the LIA in Europe and represents a strong argument against the implicit link of Late Maunder Minimum (1640-1710) cooling to solar irradiance changes.

Figure 1: Comparison of new ice core reconstruction with various instrumental-based reconstructions of stratospheric aerosol forcing. The asterisks refer to some modification to the instrumental data; for Sato et al. (1993) and the Lunar AOD, the asterisk refers to the background AOD being removed for the last 40 years. For Stothers (1996), it refers to the fact that instrumental observations for Krakatau (1883) and the 1902 Caribbean eruptions were only for the northern hemisphere. To obtain a global AOD for these estimates we used Stothers (1996) data for the northern hemisphere and our data for the southern hemisphere. The reconstruction for Agung eruption (1963) employed Stothers (1996) results from 90°N-30°S and the Antarctic ice core data for 30-90°S.

During the 18th century lull in eruptions, temperatures recovered somewhat but then cooled early in the 19th century. The sequence begins with a newly postulated unknown tropical eruption in midlate 1804, which deposited sulfate in both Greenland and Antarctica. Then, there are four well-documented eruptions—an unknown tropical eruption in 1809, Tambora (1815) and a second doublet tentatively attributed in part to Babuyan (Philippines) in 1831 and Cosiguina (Nicaragua) in 1835. These closely spaced eruptions are not only large but have a temporally extended effect on climate, due to the fact that they reoccur within the 10-year recovery timescale of the ocean mixed layer.

The ocean has not recovered from the first eruption so the second eruption drives the temperatures to an even lower state.

Implications for Contemporary Climate Science

In this context Dr. Francis Manns went looking for a volcanic signature in recent temperature records. His paper is Volcano and Enso Punctuation of North American Temperature: Regression Toward the Mean  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Abstract: Contrary to popular media and urban mythology the global warming we have experienced since the Little Ice Age is likely finished. A review of 10 temperature time series from US cities ranging from the hottest in Death Valley, CA, to possible the most isolated and remote at Key West, FL, show rebound from the Little Ice Age (which ended in the Alps by 1840) by 1870. The United States reached temperatures like modern temperatures (1950 – 2000) by about 1870, then declined precipitously principally caused by Krakatoa, and a series of other violent eruptions. Nine of these time series started when instrumental measurement was in its infancy and the world was cooled by volcanic dust and sulphate spewed into the atmosphere and distributed by the jet streams. These ten cities represent a sample of the millions of temperature measurements used in climate models. The average annual temperatures are useful because they account for seasonal fluctuations. In addition, time series from these cities are punctuated by El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

As should be expected, temperature at each city reacted differently to differing events. Several cities measured the effects of Krakatoa in 1883 while only Death Valley, CA and Berkeley CA sensed the minor new volcano Paricutin in Michoacán, Mexico. The Key West time series shows rapid rebound from the Little Ice Age as do Albany, NY, Harrisburg, PA, and Chicago. IL long before the petroleum-industrial revolution got into full swing. Recording at most sites started during a volcanic induced temperature minimum thus giving an impression of global warming to which industrial carbon dioxide is persuasively held responsible. Carbon dioxide, however, cannot be proven responsible for these temperatures. These and likely subsequent temperatures could be the result of regression to the normal equilibrium temperatures of the earth (for now). If one were to remove the volcanic punctuation and El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) input many would display very little alarming warming from 1815 to 2000. This review illustrates the weakness of linear regression as a measure of change. If there is a systemic reason for the global warming hypothesis, it is an anthropogenic error in both origin and termination. ENSO compliments and confirms the validity of NOAA temperature data. Temperatures since 2000 during the current hiatus are not available because NOAA has closed the public website.

Example of time series from Manns. Numbers refer to major named volcano eruptions listed in his paper.  For instance, #3 was Krakatoa

The cooling effect is said to have lasted for 5 years after Krakatoa erupted – from 1883 to 1888. Examination of these charts, However, shows that, e.g., Krakatoa did not add to the cooling effect from earlier eruptions of Cosaguina in 1835 and Askja in 1875. The temperature charts all show rapid rebound to equilibrium temperature for the region affected in a year or two at most.

Manns Map

Fourteen major volcanic eruptions, however, were recorded between 1883 and 1918 (Robock, 2000, and this essay). Some erupted for days or weeks and some were cataclysmic and shorter. The sum of all these eruptions from Krakatoa onward effected temperatures early in the instrumental age. Judging from wasting glaciers in the Alps, abrupt retreat began about 1860).

Manns Conclusions:
1)Four of these time series (Albany, Harrisburg, Chicago and Key West) show recovery to the range of today’s temperatures by 1870 before the eruption of Askja in 1875. The temperature rebounded very quickly after the Little Ice Age in the northern hemisphere.

Manns ENSO Map

2)Volcanic eruptions and unrelated huge swings shown from ENSO largely rule global temperature. Volcanic history and the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) trump all other increments of temperature that may be hidden in the lists.

3)The sum of the eruptions from Krakatoa (1883) to Katla (1918) and Cerro Azul (1932) was a cold start for climate models.

4)It is beyond doubt that academic and bureau climate models use data that was gathered when volcanic activity had depressed global temperature. The cluster from Krakatoa to Katla (1883 -1918) were global.

5)Modern events, Mount Saint Helens and Pinatubo, moreover, were a fraction of the event intensity of the late 19th and early 20th centuries eruptions.

6) The demise of frequent violent volcanos has allowed the planet to regress toward a norm (for now).

The forecast above did not mention the January 15, 2022 major eruption of  Hunga Ha’apai volcano in Tonga.

Summary

These findings describe a natural process by which a series of volcanoes along with a period of quiet solar cycles ended the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), chilling the land and inducing deep oceanic cooling resulting in the Little Ice Age. With much less violent volcanic activity in the 20th century, coincidental with typically active solar cycles, a Modern Warm Period ensued with temperatures rebounding back to approximately the same as before the LIA.

This suggests that humans and the biosphere were enhanced by a warming process that has ended. The solar cycles are again going quiet and are forecast to continue that way. Presently, volcanic activity has been routine, showing no increase over the last 100 years. No one knows how long will last the current warm period, a benefit to us from the ocean recovering after the LIA. But future periods are as likely to be cooler than to be warmer compared to the present.

Dr. Happer’s Advice from Global Warming Dialogue

There’s renewed interest in this interchange between William Happer and David Karoly conducted by The Best Schools in their Civil Global Warming Dialogue.  Excerpts below are from William Happer’s Major Statement, which is no longer available.  Instead, there is an extensive William Happer Interview on Global Warming from September 7, 2021.  The David Karoly Interview is available from Andy May’s website.

William Happer’s Major Statement at the Best Schools Global Warming Dialogue is CO₂ will be a major benefit to the Earth.

Some people claim that increased levels of atmospheric CO2 will cause catastrophic global warming, flooding from rising oceans, spreading tropical diseases, ocean acidification, and other horrors. But these frightening scenarios have almost no basis in genuine science. This Statement reviews facts that have persuaded me that more CO2 will be a major benefit to the Earth.

Discussions of climate today almost always involve fossil fuels. Some people claim that fossil fuels are inherently evil. Quite the contrary, the use of fossil fuels to power modern society gives the average person a standard of living that only the wealthiest could enjoy a few centuries ago. But fossil fuels must be extracted responsibly, minimizing environmental damage from mining and drilling operations, and with due consideration of costs and benefits. Similarly, fossil fuels must be burned responsibly, deploying cost-effective technologies that minimize emissions of real pollutants such as fly ash, carbon monoxide, oxides of sulfur and nitrogen, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, etc.

Extremists have conflated these genuine environmental concerns with the emission of CO2, which cannot be economically removed from exhaust gases. Calling CO2 a “pollutant” that must be eliminated, with even more zeal than real pollutants, is Orwellian Newspeak.[3] “Buying insurance” against potential climate disasters by forcibly curtailing the use of fossil fuels is like buying “protection” from the mafia. There is nothing to insure against, except the threats of an increasingly totalitarian coalition of politicians, government bureaucrats, crony capitalists, thuggish nongovernmental organizations like Greenpeace, etc.

Figure 1. The ratio, RCO2, of past atmospheric CO2 concentrations to average values (about 300 ppm) of the past few million years, This particular proxy record comes from analyzing the fraction of the rare stable isotope 13C to the dominant isotope 12C in carbonate sediments and paleosols. Other proxies give qualitatively similar results.[

Life on Earth does better with more CO2. CO2 levels are increasing

Fig. 1 summarizes the most important theme of this discussion. It is not true that releasing more CO2 into the atmosphere is a dangerous, unprecedented experiment. The Earth has already “experimented” with much higher CO2 levels than we have today or that can be produced by the combustion of all economically recoverable fossil fuels.

Radiative cooling of the Earth and The Role of Water and Clouds

Without sunlight and only internal heat to keep warm, the Earth’s absolute surface temperature T would be very cold indeed. A first estimate can be made with the celebrated Stefan-Boltzmann formula

 J= εσT^4   [Equation 1 ]

where J is the thermal radiation flux per unit of surface area, and the Stefan-Boltzmann constant (originally determined from experimental measurements) has the value σ = 5.67 × 10-8 W/(m2K4). If we use this equation to calculate how warm the surface would have to be to radiate the same thermal energy as the mean solar flux, Js = F/4 = 340 W/m2, we find Ts = 278 K or 5 C, a bit colder than the average temperature (287 K or 14 C) of the Earth’s surface,[19] but “in the ball park.”

Figure 5. The temperature profile of the Earth’s atmosphere.[20] This illustration is for mid-latitudes, like Princeton, NJ, at 40.4o N, where the tropopause is usually at an altitude of about 11 km. The tropopause is closer to 17 km near the equator, and as low as 9 km near the north and south poles.

These estimates can be refined by taking into account the Earth’s atmosphere. In the Interview we already discussed the representative temperature profile, Fig. 5. The famous “blue marble” photograph of the Earth,[21] reproduced in Fig. 6, is also very instructive. Much of the Earth is covered with clouds, which reflect about 30% of sunlight back into space, thereby preventing its absorption and conversion to heat. Rayleigh scattering (which gives the blue color of the daytime sky) also deflects shorter-wavelength sunlight back to space and prevents heating.

Today, whole-Earth images analogous to Fig. 6 are continuously recorded by geostationary satellites, orbiting at the same angular velocity as the Earth, and therefore hovering over nearly the same spot on the equator at an altitude of about 35,800 km.[23] In addition to visible images, which can only be recorded in daytime, the geostationary satellites record images of the thermal radiation emitted both day and night.

Figure 7. Radiation with wavelengths close to the 10.7 µ (1µ = 10-6m), as observed with a geostationary satellite over the western hemisphere of the Earth.[23] This is radiation in the infrared window of Fig. 4, where the surface can radiate directly to space from cloud-free regions.

Fig. 7 shows radiation with wavelengths close to 10.7 µ in the “infrared window” of the absorption spectrum shown in Fig. 4, where there is little absorption from either the main greenhouse gas, H2O, or from less-important CO2. Darker tones in Fig. 7 indicate more intense radiation. The cold “white” cloud tops emit much less radiation than the surface, which is “visible” at cloud-free regions of the Earth. This is the opposite from Fig. 6, where maximum reflected sunlight is coming from the white cloud tops, and much less reflection from the land and ocean, where much of the solar radiation is absorbed and converted to heat.

As one can surmise from Fig. 6 and Fig. 7, clouds are one of the most potent factors that control the surface temperature of the earth. Their effects are comparable to those of the greenhouse gases, H2O and CO2, but it is much harder to model the effects of clouds. Clouds tend to cool the Earth by scattering visible and near-visible solar radiation back to space before the radiation can be absorbed and converted to heat. But clouds also prevent the warm surface from radiating directly to space. Instead, the radiation comes from the cloud tops that are normally cooler than the surface. Low-cloud tops are not much cooler than the surface, so low clouds are net coolers. In Fig. 7, a large area of low clouds can be seen off the coast of Chile. They are only slightly cooler than the surrounding waters of the Pacific Ocean in cloud-free areas.

Figure 8. Spectrally resolved, vertical upwelling thermal radiation I from the Earth, the jagged lines, as observed by a satellite.[28] The smooth, dashed lines are theoretical Planck brightnesses, B, for various temperatures. The vertical units are 1 c.g.s = 1 erg/(s cm2 sr cm-1) = 1 mW/(m2 sr cm-1).

Except at the South Pole, the data of Fig. 8 show that the observed thermal radiation from the Earth is less intense than Planck radiation from the surface would be without greenhouse gases. Although the surface radiation is completely blocked in the bands of the greenhouse gases, as one would expect from Fig. 4, radiation from H2O and CO2 molecules at higher, colder altitudes can escape to space. At the “emission altitude,” which depends on frequency ν, there are not enough greenhouse molecules left overhead to block the escape of radiation. The thermal emission cross section of CO2 molecules at band center is so large that the few molecules in the relatively warm upper stratosphere (see Fig. 5) produce the sharp spikes in the center of the bands of Fig. 8. The flat bottoms of the CO2 bands of Fig 8 are emission from the nearly isothermal lower stratosphere (see Fig. 5) which has a temperature close to 220 K over most of the Earth.

It is hard for H2O molecules to reach cold, higher altitudes, since the molecules condense onto snowflakes or rain drops in clouds. So the H2O emissions to space come from the relatively warm and humid troposphere, and they are only moderately less intense than the Planck brightness of the surface. CO2 molecules radiate to space from the relatively dry and cold lower stratosphere. So for most latitudes, the CO2 band observed from space has much less intensity than the Planck brightness of the surface.

Concentrations of H2O vapor can be quite different at different locations on Earth. A good example is the bottom panel of Fig. 8, the thermal radiation from the Antarctic ice sheet, where almost no H2O emission can be seen. There, most of the water vapor has been frozen onto the ice cap, at a temperature of around 190 K. Near both the north and south poles there is a dramatic wintertime inversion[30] of the normal temperature profile of Fig. 5. The ice surface becomes much colder than most of the troposphere and lower stratosphere.

Cloud tops in the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) can reach the tropopause and can be almost as cold as the Antarctic ice sheet. The spectral distribution of cloud-top radiation from the ITCZ looks very similar to cloud-free radiation from the Antarctic ice, shown on the bottom panel of Fig. 8.

Convection

Radiation, which we have discussed above, is an important part of the energy transfer budget of the earth, but not the only part. More solar energy is absorbed in the tropics, near the equator, where the sun beats down nearly vertically at noon, than at the poles where the noontime sun is low on the horizon, even at midsummer, and where there is no sunlight at all in the winter. As a result, more visible and near infrared solar radiation (“short-wave radiation” or SWR) is absorbed in the tropics than is radiated back to space as thermal radiation (“long-wave radiation” or LWR). The opposite situation prevails near the poles, where thermal radiation releases more energy to space than is received by sunlight. Energy is conserved because the excess solar energy from the tropics is carried to the poles by warm air currents, and to a lesser extent, by warm ocean currents. The basic physics is sketched in Fig. 11.[35]

Figure 11. Most sunlight is absorbed in the tropics, and some of the heat energy is carried by air currents to the polar regions to be released back into space as thermal radiation. Along with energy, angular momentum — imparted to the air from the rotating Earth’s surface near the equator — is transported to higher northern and southern latitudes, where it is reabsorbed by the Earth’s surface. The Hadley circulation near the equator is largely driven by buoyant forces on warm, solar-heated air, but for mid latitudes the “Coriolis force” due to the rotation of the earth leads to transport of energy and angular momentum through slanted “baroclinic eddies.” Among other consequences of the conservation of angular momentum are the easterly trade winds near the equator and the westerly winds at mid latitudes.

Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity

If increasing CO2 causes very large warming, harm can indeed be done. But most studies suggest that warmings of up to 2 K will be good for the planet,[38] extending growing seasons, cutting winter heating bills, etc. We will denote temperature differences in Kelvin (K) since they are exactly the same as differences in Celsius (C). A temperature change of 1 K = 1 C is equal to a change of 1.8 Fahrenheit (F).

If a 50% increase of CO2 were to increase the temperature by 3.4 K, as in Arrhenius’s original estimate mentioned above, the doubling sensitivity would be S = 3.4 K/log2(1.5) = 5.8 K. Ten years later, on page 53 of his popular book, Worlds in the Making: The Evolution of the Universe,[40] Arrhenius again states the logarithmic law of warming, with a slightly smaller climate sensitivity, S = 4 K.

Convection of the atmosphere, water vapor, and clouds all interact in a complicated way with the change of CO2 to give the numerical value of the doubling sensitivity S of Eq. (21). Remarkably, Arrhenius somehow guessed the logarithmic dependence on CO2 concentration before Planck’s discovery of how thermal radiation really works.

More than a century after Arrhenius, and after the expenditure of many tens of billions of dollars on climate science, the official value of S still differs little from the guess that Arrhenius made in 1912: S = 4 K.

Could it be that the climate establishment does not want to work itself out of a job?

Overestimate of Sensitivity

Contrary to the predictions of most climate models, there has been very little warming of the Earth’s surface over the last two decades. The discrepancy between models and observations issummarized by Fyfe, Gillett, and Zwiers, as shown in the Fyfe Fig.1 above.

At this writing, more than 50 mechanisms have been proposed to explain the discrepancy of Fyfe Fig.1. These range from aerosol cooling to heat absorption by the ocean. Some of the more popular excuses for the discrepancy have been summarized by Fyfe, et al. But the most straightforward explanation for the discrepancy between observations and models is that the doubling sensitivity, which most models assume to be close to the “most likely” IPCC value, S = 3 K, is much too large.

If one assumes negligible feedback, where other properties of the atmosphere change little in response to additions of CO2, the doubling efficiency can be estimated to be about S = 1 K, for example, as we discussed in connection with Eq. (19). The much larger doubling sensitivities claimed by the IPCC, which look increasingly dubious with each passing year, are due to “positive feedbacks.” A favorite positive feedback is the assumption that water vapor will be lofted to higher, colder altitudes by the addition of more CO2, thereby increasing the effective opacity of the vapor. Changes in cloudiness can also provide either positive feedback which increases S or negative feedback which decreases S. The simplest interpretation of the discrepancy of Fig. 13 and Fig. 14 is that the net feedback is small and possibly even negative. Recent work by Harde indicates a doubling sensitivity of S = 0.6 K.[46]

Figure 17. The analysis of satellite observations by Dr. Randall J. Donohohue and co-workers[53] shows a clear greening of the earth from the modest increase of CO2 concentrations from about 340 ppm to 400 ppm from the year 1982 to 2010. The greening is most pronounced in arid areas where increased CO2 levels diminish the water requirement of plants.

Benefits of CO2

More CO2 in the atmosphere will be good for life on planet earth. Few realize that the world has been in a CO2 famine for millions of years — a long time for us, but a passing moment in geological history. Over the past 550 million years since the Cambrian, when abundant fossils first appeared in the sedimentary record, CO2 levels have averaged many thousands of parts per million (ppm), not today’s few hundred ppm, which is not that far above the minimum level, around 150 ppm, when many plants die of CO2 starvation.

All green plants grow faster with more atmospheric CO2. It is found that the growth rate is approximately proportional to the square root of the CO2 concentrations, so the increase in CO2 concentrations from about 300 ppm to 400 ppm over the past century should have increased growth rates by a factor of about √(4/3) = 1.15, or 15%. Most crop yields have increased by much more than 15% over the past century. Better crop varieties, better use of fertilizer, better water management, etc., have all contributed. But the fact remains that a substantial part of the increase is due to more atmospheric CO2.

But the nutritional value of additional CO2 is only part of its benefit to plants. Of equal or greater importance, more CO2 in the atmosphere makes plants more drought-resistant. Plant leaves are perforated by stomata, little holes in the gas-tight surface skin that allow CO2 molecules to diffuse from the outside atmosphere into the moist interior of the leaf where they are photosynthesized into carbohydrates.

In the course of evolution, land plants have developed finely tuned feedback mechanisms that allow them to grow leaves with more stomata in air that is poor in CO2, like today, or with fewer stomata for air that is richer in CO2, as has been the case over most of the geological history of land plants.[51] If the amount of CO2 doubles in the atmosphere, plants reduce the number of stomata in newly grown leaves by about a factor of two. With half as many stomata to leak water vapor, plants need about half as much water. Satellite observations like those of Fig. 17 from R.J. Donohue, et al.,[52] have shown a very pronounced “greening” of the Earth as plants have responded to the modest increase of CO2 from about 340 ppm to 400 ppm during the satellite era. More greening and greater agricultural yields can be expected as CO2 concentrations increase further.

Climate Science

Droughts, floods, heat waves, cold snaps, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, and other weather- and climate-related events will complicate our life on Earth, no matter how many laws governments pass to “stop climate change.” But if we understand these phenomena, and are able to predict them, they will be much less damaging to human society. So I strongly support high-quality research on climate and related fields like oceanography, geology, solar physics, etc. Especially important are good measurement programs like the various satellite measurements of atmospheric temperature[59] or the Argo[60] system of floating buoys that is revolutionizing our understanding of ocean currents, temperature, salinity, and other important properties.

But too much “climate research” money is pouring into very questionable efforts, like mitigation of the made-up horrors mentioned above. It reminds me of Gresham’s Law: “Bad money drives out good.”[61] The torrent of money showered on scientists willing to provide rationales, however shoddy, for the war on fossil fuels, and cockamamie mitigation schemes for non-existent problems, has left insufficient funding for honest climate science.

Summary

The Earth is in no danger from increasing levels of CO2. More CO2 will be a major benefit to the biosphere and to humanity. Some of the reasons are:

  • As shown in Fig. 1, much higher CO2 levels than today’s prevailed over most last 550 million years of higher life forms on Earth. Geological history shows that the biosphere does better with more CO2.
  • As shown in Fig. 13 and Fig. 14, observations over the past two decades show that the warming predicted by climate models has been greatly exaggerated. The temperature increase for doubling CO2 levels appears to be close to the feedback-free doubling sensitivity of S =1 K, and much less than the “most likely” value S = 3 K promoted by the IPCC and assumed in most climate models.
  • As shown in Fig. 12, if CO2 emissions continue at levels comparable to those today, centuries will be needed for the added CO2 to warm the Earth’s surface by 2 K, generally considered to be a safe and even beneficial amount.
  • Over the past tens of millions of years, the Earth has been in a CO2 famine with respect to the optimal levels for plants, the levels that have prevailed over most of the geological history of land plants. There was probably CO2 starvation of some plants during the coldest periods of recent ice ages. As shown in Fig. 15–17, more atmospheric CO2 will substantially increase plant growth rates and drought resistance.

There is no reason to limit the use of fossil fuels because they release CO2 to the atmosphere. However, fossil fuels do need to be mined, transported, and burned with cost-effective controls of real environmental problems — for example, fly ash, oxides of sulfur and nitrogen, volatile organic compounds, groundwater contamination, etc.

Sometime in the future, perhaps by the year 2050 when most of the original climate crusaders will have passed away, historians will write learned papers on how it was possible for a seemingly enlightened civilization of the early 21st century to demonize CO2, much as the most “Godly” members of society executed unfortunate “witches” in earlier centuries.

Dr. William Happer Background: Co-Founder and current Director of the CO2 Coalition, Dr. William Happer, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics at Princeton University, is a specialist in modern optics, optical and radiofrequency spectroscopy of atoms and molecules, radiation propagation in the atmosphere, and spin-polarized atoms and nuclei.

From September 2018 to September 2019, Dr. Happer served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director of Emerging Technologies on the National Security Council.

He has published over 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He was awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship in 1966, an Alexander von Humboldt Award in 1976, the 1997 Broida Prize and the 1999 Davisson-Germer Prize of the American Physical Society, and the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award in 2000.

Footnote on History of Debates on Global Warming/Climate Change see:

We are Ignored, then Dissed, then Debated, then We Win.

Global Warming Debate Soho Forum May 8, 2019