Update 6/14: Something interesting has come up: an appeal for assistance

Thanks everyone who has responded so far. There is no such thing as an irrelevant, insignificant or distracting lead in what is becoming a major quest.

Most frightening response received so far: “… but with out the multiplier we don’t get enough co2 warming from the models and since we don’t know what else it could be it must be the co2

The author of that will not give permission to publish our communications and I will not identify them other than to say they are a frequently published and well-known climate researcher. I would be embarrassed to have it attributed to me, too.

It seems likely we will need everything we can get on the original CO2 saturation chamber experiments too, so, if someone has a source…

Thanks again for the assist so far

As regular readers know I’ve been on a Quixotic quest to try to establish how climate models manage to take sensible inputs and return what may best be described as utter rubbish.

Part of this of course requires establishing the provenance of certain steps – in particular the marvelous magical multipliers and I am hoping JS readers can be of assistance.

I’ll leave this post sticky for a day or two – new items below:

The following is from The National Academy of Sciences: Climate Change: An Analysis of Some of the Key Questions, pp 6-7


The sensitivity of the climate system to a forcing is commonly expressed in terms of the global mean temperature change that would be expected after a time sufficiently long for both the atmosphere and ocean to come to equilibrium with the change in climate forcing. If there were no climate feedbacks, the response of Earth’s mean temperature to a forcing of 4 W/m2 (the forcing for a doubled atmospheric CO2) would be an increase of about 1.2°C (about 2.2°F). However, the total climate change is affected not only by the immediate direct forcing, but also by climate “feedbacks” that come into play in response to the forcing. For example, a climate forcing that causes some warming may melt some of the sea ice. This is a positive feedback because the darker ocean absorbs more sunlight than the sea ice it replaced. The responses of atmospheric water vapor amount and clouds probably generate the most important global climate feedbacks. The nature and magnitude of these hydrologic feedbacks give rise to the largest source of uncertainty about climate sensitivity, and they are an area of continuing research.

As just mentioned, a doubling of the concentration of carbon dioxide (from the pre-Industrial value of 280 parts per million) in the global atmosphere causes a forcing of 4W/m2. The central value of the climate sensitivity to this change is a global average temperature increase of 3°C (5.4°F), but with a range from 1.5°C to 4.5°C (2.7 to 8.1°F) (based on climate system models: see section 4). The central value of 3°C is an amplification by a factor of 2.5 over the direct effect of 1.2°C (2.2°F). Well-documented climate changes during the history of Earth, especially the changes between the last major ice age (20,000 years ago) and the current warm period, imply that the climate sensitivity is near the 3°C value. However, the true climate sensitivity remains uncertain, in part because it is difficult to model the effect of cloud feedback. In particular, the magnitude and even the sign of the feedback can differ according to the composition, thickness, and altitude of the clouds, and some studies have suggested a lesser climate sensitivity. On the other hand, evidence from paleoclimate variations indicates that climate sensitivity could be higher than the above range, although perhaps only on longer timescales.

The 4W/m2 appears to be a rounding of the IPCC’s 3.7W/m2 and is not a significant concern, at least not yet.

The 1.2 °C surface response comes from saturation chamber tests with a dry atmosphere and will need to be dealt with separately but what is the provenance of the 2.5 times amplification factor?

Surely they cannot mean Hansen’s absurd paleoclimate models that do not include any change in insolation?

Or can they?

Global climate forcing was about 6 1/2 W/m2 less than in the current interglacial period. This forcing maintained a planet 5 °C colder than today. (Can we defuse The Global Warming Time Bomb? naturalSCIENCE, August 1, 2003) — the text is slightly more specific:This forcing maintains a global temperature difference of 5 °C, implying a climate sensitivity of 3/4 ± 1/4 °C per W/m2.” The Scientific American version, March 2004, is also available here as 310Kb .pdf.

Undeniably 4W/m2 at 0.75°C/(W/m2) yields the magical 2xCO2 = 3°C but somewhere there must be a reason or justification for this leap of faith.

If anyone knows or can find the provenance of this marvelous magical multiplier then do please leave a comment or if you really seek anonymity then e-mail editor at junkscience.com and I’ll keep you off-the-books.

Basic info on dry-air saturation chamber experiments would also be greatly appreciated.

8 responses to “Update 6/14: Something interesting has come up: an appeal for assistance

  1. I don’t know very much about climate, but I can tell you why computer models don’t work. I’ve been working with the machines since “telecommunications” meant handing a computer tape to a courier to drive over to the satellite uplink, circa 1968.

    The thing that the general public– and most scientists, BTW– don’t know is that computers can do exactly two things; add ones and zeros, and store data. All of the neat things that they do are the results of complex scripts that combine those two functions in clever ways.

    The bottom line is this: For information to be retrieved, it has to be in the data base in the first place for it to be retrieved. And for the math to be correct, the correct math has to be entered at the start. The slightest error on either function will produce gibberish. GIGO (garbage in-garbage out) is still the most basic rule of computers.

    So, basically, a model that doesn’t account for the Number One greenhouse gas, water vapor, (and NONE of them do) can not possibly produce a correct solution. And please note that I’m NOT saying “it’s probably wrong”, I’m saying that IT IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR IT TO BE RIGHT. Problem is, no one can predict more than a couple of days out when and where a cloud is going to appear to modify the intensity of the sunlight and thereby alter the local weather pattern. And that is just the biggest of the problems. I’m sure there are thousands of little problems that I couldn’t imagine. The story of the butterfly that flaps its wings in Beijing and causes a cascade of events that leads to a hurricane in the Atlantic is a very good image of exactly why computer models are the wrong way to go on this. LOCAL weather predictions for the next week, yes. Long-term global climate patterns, no.

    Until we come to the day when we understand exactly everthing there is to know about climate (including how that butterfly in Beijing fits in), we can not use climate models as a basis for any kind of scientific inquiry on climate. They are useful only as a means of keeping records on climate data.

  2. Ha ha ha ha………. Good Luck! :)

  3. I did an internet search for this and came up with few results. This seems best:


    According to this, the 2.5 is completely made up. It is one of a few scenarios the IPCC modeled. The IPCC then picked 2.5 as the most likely. Just because they decided it was the most likely. Perhaps some IPCC documents have more information as to why they picked it, but it is surely nothing more than a choice made by some humans.

    “The pink is the same formula but with 60% positive feedback (1/[1-.6] = a 2.5 multiplier), and is approximately equal to the IPCC mean for case A2.”

    I hope this helps. There is virtually nothing out there in the world wide waste of time.

  4. The problem I have with the concept of ‘climate sensitivity’ is that there are assumptions that are unsupported, unjustified, and likely erroneous, starting with the definition: “the global mean temperature change that would be expected after a time sufficiently long for both the atmosphere and ocean to come to equilibrium with the change in climate forcing.”
    First of all, there is no “equilibirum” in the conventional sense, because the atmosphere/hydrosphere system is not a closed system in the thermodynamic sense. There are continual and inconstant inputs and losses of energy. Only non-equilibrium thermodynamics can be applied. Because the input and losses are not constant, there can be no such thing as a “time sufficiently long for both the atmosphere and ocean to come to equilibrium” . Long before an equilibrium point can be identified, the ‘climate forcing’ factors will have changed, recasting the problem anew.
    This is the peril of applying linear thinking to a problem a multi-variate nonlinear system of differential field equations.
    Such systems of equations can only be solved approximately, using computational methods, but the system in question is so highly complex and nonlinear that attempts to model it computationally will quickly run into the wall of accumulated round-off errors (from low-res modelling with single-precision arithmetic), hyperexponential data explosions (from high-res modelling with extended precision arithmetic), and so on, which will render computational efforts futile. Chaos (‘sensitivity to initial conditions’) will rule the computations.

  5. This seems too simplistic, but here you go.

    “IPCC author Prof Richard Tol commented on the strengths and weaknesses of the SRES scenarios.[32] In his view, the A2 SRES marker scenario was, by far, the most realistic.”

    It appears that SRES proffers different scenarios.
    And Dr. Tol picked A2.


    Again, I hope this helps and isn’t a distraction.

  6. I recommend you start with Hottel charts. You will find CO2 is nonexistent at low temperature and pressure.

  7. Bruce of Newcastle

    Not sure this will help, but Steve Mosher pointed me to Stephen Schwartz’s homepage>/a>. He has a number of good clear presentations.

    This one especially (warning 13 Mb…use ‘RMB>save target as’). See p22 and p32. On p32 you can see the models group around a value of S of about 0.8 K/(Wm^-2).

    From that and p22 you get 2XCO2 = 0.8 x 3.7 = 3 K

    By contrast S in Spencer and Braswell 2010 measured using the CERES data is about 0.17 K/(Wm^-2)….’way off the top right corner of the graph. But that is only a measurement, not an infallible model. /sarc

    On the other hand I haven’t played with GCM’s so I don’t know how they use sensitivity or how it is derived in each model’s case. But the 3 K value looks to be an average or median value of the assembly of IPCC models.

  8. Your second paragraph says it all – except that on the basis of that, they expect us to:
    1. Bankrupt ourselves by spending trillions (don’t worry, it won’t impinge on the Green elites).
    2. Go back to the Dark Ages (except for the Green elites, who’ll maintain modern medicine, dentistry, heating &c. – for themselves – only)
    3. Abandon democracy (what did Churchill say?) for a failed-wherever-it’s-been-tried Central-Planning model of governance.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s