David Evans: Climate change science is a load of hot air and warmists are wrong

Climate scientists’ theories, flawed as they are, ignore some fundamental data.

IN THE theory of man-made climate change, two-thirds of the predicted warming comes from changes in humidity and clouds, and only one-third comes directly from the extra carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases.

The theory assumes humidity and clouds amplify the warming directly due to CO2 by a factor of three: extra CO2 warms the ocean surface, causing more evaporation and extra humidity. Water vapour, or humidity, is the main greenhouse gas, so this causes even more surface warming.

Not many people know that. It is the most important feature of the debate, and goes a long way to explaining why warmists and sceptics both insist they are right.

The warmists are correct that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and it causes warming, that CO2 levels have been rising, and that it has been warming.

Serious sceptics agree with all that, but point out that it does not prove that something else isn’t causing most of the warming. By way of illustration, if the main cause of warming was actually Venusians with ray guns, then all those things would still be true.

The sceptic’s main suspect is the sun. While the sun’s radiation is roughly constant, its magnetic field varies considerably. This field shields the earth from cosmic rays that, according to recent experiments at the world’s premier atom smasher CERN, might seed clouds. Clouds cool the planet, so if the sun’s magnetic field wanes, then it might get cooler here on earth.

We scientists can calculate how much warming results directly from an increase in CO2 levels. We know how much CO2 levels and temperature have risen since pre-industrial times, but the warming directly due to CO2 is only a third of the observed warming. The theory assumes no other major influence on temperature changed, so the effect of the CO2 must have been amplified threefold, presumably by changes in the atmosphere due to humidity and clouds.

There is no observational evidence for this amplification, but it is nonetheless built into all the models. Sceptics point out that if the extra humidity simply forms extra clouds, then there would be no amplification.

If the CO2 theory of global warming is right, the climate models should predict the climate fairly well. If the CO2 theory is wrong, because there is another, larger driver of the temperature, then the climate models will perform indifferently.

According to the latest data from mankind’s best and latest instruments, from impeccable sources, the climate models are doing poorly.


16 responses to “David Evans: Climate change science is a load of hot air and warmists are wrong

  1. Joe D’aleo published a paper comparing the correlation of long term global temperature against: a) rising CO2 levels (r-square = .44); b) solar radiance variation (r-square = .57); and c) changes in the deep-ocean currents whose cycle bring upwellings of deep cold water (r-square = .83).

    I’m not scientist, but that sounds like it’s the AMO + the PDO that explain best the temperature record.

    Furthermore, I’m surprised the author didn’t just outright point out that the assumed positive water vapor forcings were: 1) mere assumptions; 2) unproved; and c) subject to empirical verification using satellite records since 1979 for out-going radiation and rainfall/humidity records and seeing if this period of .4 degree C warming actually was accompanied by positive water vapor feedback). It seems to me we could DISPROVE the models dispositively if it were discovered by science applied to real data actually demonstrated a negative forcing. Then we could turn our attention to mattes of more immediate concern.

  2. davidrussell22

    Can anyone point out to me how a 1 degree C increase in temperature FROM CO2 alone is calculated. I want to understand how you go from a suppression of outgoing IR of 3.7 W/M2 to 1 degree increase in temperature to balance the books. I looked up climate sensitivity and there seems consensus on the 3.7 figure, and a lot of agreement on the 1 degree, but there’s a lot of various opinions on the 1 degree (for example Idso, 1999 says the calculation is .1 degree for every 1 W/M2 suppression, which would imply a .37 degree warming, not 1 degree. Idso is the lowest. The views are all over the map, but there’s no explanation. Indeed I get the impression this 1 degree is not calculated but rather inferred from history (even pre-history).

    Anyone got the math?

    • AFAIK the 1 °C is from 1.2 °C derived by Hansen et al in a 1984 modeling study. Ref IPCC AR4 WG1, chap.8, p631.

      “Climate sensitivity” is what you are talking about and that is complicated by “which one”? I’ll be posting a paper on this in the next week or two – it’s far too complex to be dealt with in a simple comment reply.

      • Thank you, Editor. I can’t wait!! I understand there are forcings alleged, In the mean time, I’ll see if I can figure out Hansen from the online IPCC stuff. Wish me luck!.

  3. davidrussell22

    Regarding “1 degree” I mean in the context of ” from Co2 level doubling.”

  4. I have a question for those more knowledge of climate scientist than I am. Is it reasonable to assume that heat energy released from combustion of fossil fuels is too negligible to account for any of the earth’s warming? The efficiency of thermal heat engines is at best around 35%, right? So, most of the energy resulting from combustion must pass to the environment where it would appear as an increase in temperature of the environment. I have always assumed any increase in temperature due to waste heat from combustion would be too negligible to consider. But is it? Another thought, I understand the core of the earth is molten with a temperature around 5000 C. What is the steady state energy balance for this high temperature core with conduction of heat energy throgh the earththis concept.

    • Quick rule of thumb, solar irradiance of the Earth is ~20,000 times total human energy use (all forms). Humans use about 400 quads annually (one quad = one quadrillion British Thermal Units of energy) and insolation is roughly 8.2 million quads.

      Wrt geothermal surface heating I’d rather hand that off to one of our visiting geologists but given that we use borehole temperatures as surface climate proxies (there’s an obscure formula which I forget for calculating past surface temperature by borehole temp/depth) I’d have to assume near surface temperatures are more strongly influenced by absorbed solar than by geothermal energy. I would guesstimate therefore that it is not an appreciable influence on surface temperature by global average otherwise the deep ocean would not be near-freezing but warmer than the surface.

  5. “Climate change science is a load of hot air and warmists are wrong”

    That pretty well sums up everything I have found at several sites.

    But the weather is funny lately, and getting more so.
    In 1960, world population was about 3 Billion.
    By 2012, it was about 7 Billion.
    Doesn’t it seem reasonable that adding that many new people would have a lot of serious effects?
    What if we add another 3 Billion?

    • Welcome James.

      That large numbers of people have effects and larger numbers have greater effects is a fair point and one that is not under any dispute AFAIK.

      Wrt the weather being “funny” I don’t find that at all compelling. What it really means is “outside living memory and perhaps limited recorded history in a single post-Little Ice Age phase”, when it become a lot less interesting. For example we have (fortunately) not suffered a mesoamerican megadrought but we know they occur with frightening frequency. Silt and peat records here in Australia show the last couple of hundred years have been unusually kind with rainfall but when we do get a drought slightly longer than we are used to then people arm wave and yell “climate change”.

      The climate will change with or without help and I prefer we engineer people-friendly adaptation such as piping water from where it is abundant to where it is needed.

    • Flying at 35,000 feet, you see that people are ants.

  6. I believe I have a pretty good answer to my query here:http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/02/19/co2-an-insignificant-trace-gas-part-seven-the-boring-numbers/

    Page 631 of AR4 WG1 mentions Hansen’s paper, but that’s about it.

    • Page 631 of AR4 WG1 mentions Hansen’s paper, but that’s about it.

      Yup, that’s about as definitive as we’ve managed to get chasing the provenance of that claim.

      Actually the WG1 reference is a lot more important than merely mentioning Hansen since it deals with water vapor feedback, inter alia – pay particular attention to footnote 6. I’ll be dealing with this in the next couple of weeks.

      P.S., the AR4 was my source ref. I was too lazy to chase back a direct link to a scanned copy the complete paper, which is available at the foot of the linked abstract, sorry. It is the original source of the graph in the link you provide (thanks). I’ll spend some more time looking at that document over the weekend.

  7. “I prefer we engineer people-friendly adaptation such as piping water from where it is abundant to where it is needed.”
    I’m guessing that you don’t live in Nevada.
    What do you propose to do if the people who have water don’t want to share it?
    Take it from them? Imminent Domain? Brute force?
    Why should a rancher in Utah give his water to Las Vegas?

    • I was actually thinking grander schemes James, more than 70% of the planet’s surface is water just waiting to be made more suitable for our use. Why shouldn’t Nevada and Utah both have as much water as they can use?

  8. Global Warming Is Not a Problem
    The current understanding, world-wide, of global warming is incorrect. A new book provides sufficient detail, if you are open to discussion that proves that. But before I tell you more, let me show you something about carbon dioxide (CO2).
    Everybody knows that our use of fossil fuels (for automobiles, electric utilities, industry, etc.) is increasing our atmosphere’s content of CO2 and causing global warming. Our “scientists” have told us so. And they have revealed that our activities with fossil fuels and the resulting increase in CO2 have caused global temperatures to rise to dangerous levels – with the worst occurring since the industrialized 1950s. That information “is settled science” and has been spread world-wide by the popular media, using the Associated Press.
    Now, let me show you something important that they have not told us.
    Real-Science, at the site, http://www.real-science.com/correlating-co2-temperature-geologic-record, shows a plot of CO2 (in atmospheric parts per million) and temperature (in degrees Celsius) for 600 million years. It shows that for 600 million years of our history, CO2 and earth temperatures have had absolutely no relationship to each other.

    Figure 1 (10°C = 50°F; 25°C = 77°F)
    The authors say, “During the Ordovician [period] CO2 was more than ten times higher than at present. Global temperatures ranged between very hot and an ice age. We can state with 100% certainty that as CO2 increases, temperatures will either go up, go down, or stay the same.”
    Our warming-enthusiast scientists’ warnings of world devastation from man-made global warming were not scientifically based and showed a dangerous ignorance of world history. And our popular press spread the word. Now, just as they shifted from global-warming to climate-change when it was evident that temperatures had dropped since 1998, you are beginning to see, as this information is made public, a shift from CO2 as the global-warming culprit, to methane or some other gas as the cause.
    (If you have doubts about the above information, Google: CO2, global temperature, millions. The information is available from other sources. If you have a compelling interest in the history of the earth, this site and http://www.scotese.com/climate.htm are Internet sites in which to spend some time. Don’t pay any attention to the usual suspects – NOAA, NASA, etc.; they still need funding to satisfy their lifestyle, and since their past work has been shown to be disreputable, they have been picking and choosing. For temperature data, ignore theirs; use the publically available data at the CRU Internet site given in the book. Do you know how scientists are selected? The book reveals all.)
    Some die-hards have questioned the plotted temperatures in Fig. 1 and where they came from. Mr. Scotese explains at his site, and some of his work is presented in the book.
    Others have questioned the validity of CO2, because of the methods used to reveal magnitudes for millions of years. For them, we offer more recent information. Temperatures, as anomalies, degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit since 1998, the hottest globally for the entire global-temperature history is provided in Fig. 8, pages 100 and 101 in the book.
    Since 1998, temperatures have wobbled, but dropped in magnitude. If the two waltz together, as alarmists claim, CO2 should have followed suit and trended down also. David Evans’ work shows, definitely, there is no togetherness. His temperature and CO2 data, starting in 2002, show that even though CO2 is rising definitively, temperatures have trended down during the entire period.

    Figure 2

    The temperatures shown do not agree with the CRU data that I have been observing since 2009. However, using my data for 1998 ‘til 2011 (as posted 8/12/2012), the temperature anomalies varied from 0.529 Anomaly in 1998 to 0.339 in 2011 (58.155°F to 57..810). A drop of 0.345°F. Small – but that represents a drop of 19.88% of the 1.735°F increase that had occurred from 1850 to 2011. It is obvious that temperatures dropped during the thirteen year period. Temperatures and CO2 went sharply in opposite directions, as you can see from the above chart. You can also see the sharp increase in CO2 during this period from the charts on page 33 and 34 in the book. For more information on CO2 and temperature correlation, visit: http://cosmoscon.com/2012/02/28/global-temperature-and-co2-update-march-2012.
    The top graphic on page 3 is a plot of anomalies that the global-warming scientists have published widely. An anomaly is actually a temperature measured in degrees Celsius, from which the number 14 has been subtracted. This, not explained in any writings I have seen; it is a fact which I obtained from Dr. Phil Jones, University of East Anglia, Climate Research Unit (CRU). (It must be understood why the dates of published data are referred to often in the text. The reason is this: The data change from date to date. No great changes, but changes. I don’t know why the anomalies for 1850 are still changing, but the charts say they are. Charts dated 2/26/2009, used when I wrote the book, showed -0.439 Anomaly for 1850; charts dated 8/12/2012 show -0.435. The scientists are playing with small numbers, so we have to pay attention.)

    Figure 3

    An Anomaly plot has to show positive and negative readings, so a reference point, 0, is necessary, and in this case is somewhat unusual — 0 is actually a temperature of 14 Deg. Celsius (equivalent to 57.2 Deg. F in the United States). The middle graph shows the plot that results from converting anomalies to absolute temperature in degrees Celsius – by adding 14 to each anomaly. You can see how the conversion to degrees Celsius smooths the curve – takes away some of its threatening qualities. The Celsius scale, known as the Centigrade scale until 1954, is used in United States laboratory environments and in all areas of the rest of the world.
    The above plot of Anomalies exhibits an increase or decrease far more definitively than a plot of actual temperature measurements. For example, in 1982 the anomaly was 0.015 and the temperature increased until 1998, to an anomaly of 0.529. Plotting this shows an increase of 34.27, or 3,427%; But reference to the middle graph, the Celsius scale, shows that the actual Celsius temperature for those years went from 14.015 Degrees C to 14.529 , for a change of only .03667, or 3.67%, and the lowest graph, the Fahrenheit scale, the temperature increased from 57.23 Degrees F to 58.15 – only 0.01607 — a 1.61% increase in actual temperature.
    You cannot work to that degree of accuracy by referring to the charts. But I can; I am working with the actual data for that period. (However I should note: The actual temperatures with which I am working, which the scientists have provided, were not measured with sufficient accuracy, so I’m not working to the necessary degree of accuracy, either. The book explains the measurement sensor problems)
    The bottom graph shows the average yearly global temperatures plotted in degrees Fahrenheit. It is difficult to show graphically, but that introduces a further, but much smaller, smoothing effect from that shown in the middle Celsius graph.
    The book tells of a previous scientists’ fear; the earth, cooling dangerously, was ice-age bound. An excerpt:
    In the 1970s, “a major cooling of the planet” was “widely considered inevitable” because it was “well established” that the Northern Hemisphere’s climate “has been getting cooler since about 1950” (The New York Times, May 21, 1975). Although some disputed that the “cooling trend” could result in “a return to another ice age” (the Times, Sept. 14, 1975), others anticipated “a full-blown 10,000-year ice age” involving “extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation” (Science News, March 1, 1975, and Science magazine, Dec. 10, 1976, respectively).
    Checking the top chart during this time, it shows that Anomalies had bobbled up and down as they dropped during that period, but had decreased from 1944 until 1976. By the time the scientists had noted the downward trend, determined that a danger existed and were really into publicizing it — it was gone. Anomalies increased in 1977, continued to increase until 1998, and then began to drop. But they remained considerably above the scientists’ dangerous1944 to 1976’s anomalies for 35 years.
    The Anomalies graph shows a series of temperature cycles, beginning in 1850, when temperatures were first admitted to the record. From 1850 to 1878 temperatures increased; from 1878 to 1911 they dropped; from 1911 to 1944 they increased; from 1944 to 1976 they trended down; from 1976 to 1998 they increased; from 1998 to 2011 they have decreased – from 0.529 to 0.348. But a reference to the CO2 chart on page 34, reviewing these yearly periods of global-temperature rise and fall, it is evident that CO2 and temperature are ignoring each other. The chart on page 33, in CO2 in parts per million shows the same. Real Science is correct: “…We can state with 100% certainty that as CO2 increases, temperatures will either go up, go down, or stay the same.”

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