New Roundup

For a variety of reasons I have been limited in blogging, but here is a brief roundup of interesting stories related to the science of anthropogenic global warming.

  • Even by the EPA’s own alarmist numbers, a reduction in man-made warming of 0.01C in the year 2100 would cost $78 billion per year.  This is over $7 trillion a year per degree of avoided warming, again using even the EPA’s overly high climate sensitivity numbers.   For scale, this is almost half the entire US GDP.   This is why the precautionary principle was always BS – it assumed that the cost of action was virtually free.  Sure it makes sense to avoid low-likelihood but high-cost future contingencies if the cost of doing so is low.  But half of GDP?
  • As I have written a zillion times, most of the projected warming from CO2 is not from CO2 directly but from positive feedback effects hypothesized in the climate.  The largest of these is water vapor.  Water is (unlike CO2) a strong greenhouse gas and if small amounts of warming increase water vapor in the atmosphere, that would be a positive feedback effect that would amplify warming.   Most climate modellers assume relative humidity stays roughly flat as the world warms, meaning total water vapor content in the atmosphere will rise.  In fact, this does not appear to have been the case over the last 50 years, as relative humidity has fallen while temperatures have risen.  Further, in a peer-reviewed article, scientists suggest certain negative feedbacks that would tend to reduce atmospheric water vapor.
  • A new paper reduces the no-feedback climate sensitivity to CO2 from about 1-1.2C/doubling (which I and most other folks have been using) to something like 0.41C.  This is the direct sensitivity to CO2 before feedbacks, if I understand the paper correctly. without any reference to feedbacks.  In that sense, the paper seems to be wrong in comparing this sensitivity to the IPCC numbers, which are including feedbacks.  A more correct comparison is of the 0.41C to a number about 1.2C, which is what I think the IPCC is using.   Never-the-less, if correct, halving this sensitivity number should halve the post-feedback number.

My hypothesis continues to be that the post feedback climate sensitivity to CO2 number, expressed as degrees C per doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations, is greater than zero and less than one.

  • It is pretty much time to stick a fork in the hide-the-decline debate.  This is yet another occasion when folks (in this case Mann, Briffa, Jones) should have said “yep, we screwed up” years ago and moved on.  Here is the whole problem in 2 charts.  Steve McIntyre recently traced the hide-the-decline trick (which can be summarized as truncating/hiding/obfuscating data that undermined their hypothesis on key charts) back to an earlier era.

6 thoughts on “New Roundup

  1. Dr. T

    “My hypothesis continues to be that the post feedback climate sensitivity to CO2 number, expressed as degrees C per doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations, is greater than zero and less than one.”

    There is some evidence that the CO2 effect could be less than zero. If increased CO2 causes atmospheric warming, and atmospheric warming causes more evaporation, and more evaporation into warm air leads to increased formation of high altitude clouds, then the increased albedo from the clouds could reflect enough solar energy to drop the planet’s temperature to below what is was before the CO2 rise. The MIT models of CO2 and cloud effects on global temperature show slight warming effects from increased CO2, but the error limits extend below zero (so slight cooling is possible).

    Of course, the primary flaw of the AGW argument isn’t the magnitude of the CO2 effect. The primary flaw is that, on average, we’d be better off with a warmer world. The AGW advocates try to spin catastrophes out of a temperature rise that doesn’t even reach what the planet experienced circa 800 A.D. In that warmer time, the coastal cities of the world were not flooded, the planet was not scourged by powerful hurricanes, and arable lands were not turned into desert. Instead, climates were pleasanter, winters were less severe, growing seasons were longer, receding glaciers increased the amount of arable land, etc. Yep, we must avoid those changes at all costs!

  2. barryjo

    I recently toured Biosphere 2 near Tuscon,AZ. When I questioned the idea that gasses, namely CO2, couldn’t trap heat, I was told the following. “Actually, it isn’t CO2 that traps the heat. CO2 breaks down other gasses in the atmosphere and that is what causes the heat-trapping”!!!???
    This place is funded by the state of Arizona.

  3. Davo B

    So erm.. where’s your carefully collected and analyzed scientific data hmm? Where are the links to peer reviews of your academic achievements? What exactly are the letters before your name? I have theories about climate skeptics, I choose not to voice them because like you I, a) don’t understand thermodynamics well enough to interpret all the data available, b) I have no claim to be a practicing scientist in the field of Climate studies and c) I have no graduate degree in this field of study by a reputable institution.

    The only point to your arguments seems to be to incite further misrepresentations of scientific fact by your own beliefs and bias.

  4. Ted Rado

    If one is a zealot, cost and practicality do not matter.
    “Onward for King, Country, and my pet idea!” Who cares whether .01 degree costs 78 billion or 780 billion. We are the righteous!!

  5. Andy

    Davo B

    “The only point to your arguments seems to be to incite further misrepresentations of scientific fact by your own beliefs and bias”

    To what scientific facts are you referring to ? Hypothesis? Theory? Accepted law?.

    There are also differences in empirical deduced and supported science (Plato ,Aristotle and Socrates different base beliefs for scientific method).I believe one should not lump them all together to give all science equal credibility as “fact” because then ones beliefs and bias would far outweigh any skeptics.

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