Global Warming 2013-07

Berkeley Earth

While this is outside of my field, I will discuss a specific aspect of the Global Warming controversy. In October 2011, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project was announced as an attempt to resolve contention on the average global temperature based on available records (also see the Wikipedia entry on Berkeley Earth). The 1998 Mann, Bradley, Hughes paper displayed the famous or infamous figure that became Hockey Stick Controversy. Steve McIntyre and others challenged the hockey stick paper, and curiously the MBH authors refused to disclose the source data or method of analysis. (It was later shown that eigenvector code used would generate a hockey stick for any dataset.)

In Figure 5b of the paper Global scale temperature ... (covering only 600 years) on the PSU website shows a strong increase in the early twentieth century. Later attributions (extended to 1000 year) seem to emphasize late twentieth century warming? Curiously, the hockey stick graph in essence denies that climate change occurred between 1000 and 1900CE, earning the right to claim to be the first climate change denier. (The IPCC 1990 report did show a medieval warming period.)

Professor Robert Muller, a well-known scientist at UC Berkeley was presented as a skeptic of the temperature record analysis supporting global warming, lead the Berkeley Earth project. All temperature data records and the method of analysis were made available for other parties to examine. In December 2012, the results of the Berkeley Earth project were announced as supporting the assessment of both global warming and that it seemed likely that this increase was entirely due to human caused greenhouse gas emissions. Professors Muller’s opening paragraphs leads with:

“Call me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming ...”

I have not found a public (web) material on the above problem identification by Dr Muller, but it could simply refer the the McIntyre challenge. Within our specialty, people know that I freely criticize poor, incorrect or outright fraudulent representations of database, server and storage performance. But is there any reason I would be technically qualified to discuss this topic? The answer is no, so I will confine myself to a very narrow aspect.

In chapter 10 Climate Change of the book "Physics and Technology for Future Presidents: An Introduction to the Essential Physics Every World Leader Needs to Know" (Princeton University Press April 2010), Professor Muller fully supports the core of the 2007 IPCC assessment of global warming with proper scientific definitions. So exactly when between writing the book published in 2010 and the few years prior to December 2012 was he a skeptic of global warming? Keep in mind that there is an interval between completing the manuscript and the publication, but the author does have opportunity to make last minute corrections. Given the intended audience of the book, surely serious doubts on global warming would have warranted a correction. Was this ever made public?

I stress that I am not aware of any technical deficiency in the analysis of the data used in the Berkeley Earth project. Professor Muller is after all an eminently accomplished physicist. In fact President Obama mentions the prominent former skeptic now converted in his global warming speech (a link on this would be appreciated). It is only the representation of his position as a skeptic now converted that borders on fraud.

The Berkeley Earth project only examined the data provided by weather agencies. The SurfaceStations group actually went out to physically examine as many weather stations in the US as possible with astonishing findings on quality. I say as astonishing as the belief in the safe structural conditions of bridges in United States.


this is rather disorganized. At some point, I may clean it up a bit.

Anthropogenic Global Warming

My own opinions on this topic. The Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) alarm requires several points to be linked:
(1) the world is warming,
(2) driven primarily to CO2 (but not necessarily directly, I don’t care about the source),
(3) the magnitude is sufficient to have severe negative consequences, and
(4) that it could occur in over short time interval such that adjustment would be difficult.

Any one of these elements would be difficult to establish with confidence. Establishing with confidence that the full set of elements are chained would be even more extraordinary. However, the full set of arguments including anthropogenic source, are important to the AGW movement because, all elements are required to argue for action. Of course, so far none of the proposed action seem to have economic merit.

Surface Temperature Record 1880-present

Warming in the 20th century surface station temperature record is clear. But how is it that the warming in the first half is natural, while the second half is not? See the first chart in Wipedia on Global warming and NASA Global Climate Change. Item 4, rapid change over decades is reasonably established in the paleoclimate history, but the mechanisms are not clear. Apparently the IPCC surface temperature chart is heavily processed data? The cooling from 1945-1970 has been largely erased? The increase from 1970 to 2000 may be artificial?

Carbon Dioxide - Greenhouse Effect

Even I though I prefer to examine the impact of CO2 regardless of origin, the global warming alarmists insist the cause is anthropogenic, hence the solution is to drastically reduce fossil fuel consumption. From atmospheric concentration of 280-400ppm and the volume (and density) of the atmosphere, we can calculate the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. From the annual increase in CO2, we can calculate how much net CO2 is added each year (CO2 in the atmosphere has a mean life of 5 years due to nature cycles).

The fossil fuel contribution can also be calculated, which I understand to be 1/10th of nature sources. So the alarmist argument is that the 1/10 due to anthropogenic sources causes the warming, which in turn causes natural cycles to release more CO2!@#$%^&

Reconstructed Paleo-Climate

There is an argument that the recent temperature rise is unprecedented in both magnitude and rate, to support the argument that the source is man-made. However there is sufficient record that
1) it has been warmer in the past, and
2) that significant temperature changes have occurred over decades,
fully negating this argument.

Tree rings might be good indicator of climate suitability for tree health, but it is highly problematic for reconstructing temperature.


A recent argument is that 90% of global warming is going into the (deep) oceans, to explain why land surface or low atmosphre temperature has not changed significantly in the last 15 years. But this cannot be explained by the CO2 greenhouse warming mechanism. The ocean is 70% of the earth surface and hence aborbs a proportionate share of the light energy from the sun. Presumably much of the energy on land is converted via photosynthesis to chemical energy, and hence not stored as thermal energy. Much of the sunlight to poles are reflected back into space. The sunlight going into the ocean is going to happen regardless of CO2 concentration. Greenhouse warming specifically refers to thermal radiation from the surface bouncing around a few times before escaping into space. So there must be atmospheric warming from the extra energy due to the greenhouse effect before this can cause warming on land or ocean.

Finally it argued that the CO2 greenhouse heating is going into the deep ocean, presumably because ocean surface temperatures have not risen? So not only does the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere transfer heat to the ocean without heating up itself, now there must also be a mechanism for warm water to sink beneath cooler water? The AGW proponents have gone deeply desperate and delusional.

Energy Balance Equation

It is well known that in the full energy balance equation for the earth’s climate system, the contribution of carbon dioxide in the greenhouse effect is too small to be of significant impact. (The impact of CO2 is nonlinear with concentration. The initial amount has strong impact, but this falls off significantly by the 280-400ppm range.)

Joel Norris cites an estimate of 1.6W/m2 in Changing Clouds in a Changing Climate where as the swing factor in clouds is 17W/m2. This is also the value used by IPCC? Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) over the full spectrum is 1361W/2 with about 1W/m2 variation over the Sunspot cycle. This should be divided by 4 for the conversion of the surface area of a circle to the surface area of a sphere. (Solar variation in the UV range is greater, Solar wind is a completely different matter?) Scott Denning says CO2 is 4W/m2 in the relavent range.

Greenhouse effect

What is the correct relavent answer? Nitrogen and Oxygen are relatively transparent to long wave IR. Water, CO2 and methane have different but overlapping absorption over the IR spectrum? So we need to know the CO2 impact in the 280-600ppm range with "typical" H2O, which will also vary over regions of different humidity. See Wikipedia Electromagnetic_absorption_by_water which has a chart of synthetic stick absorption spectrum of a gas mixture corresponding to earths atmosphere.

The poles are cold and dry, which is why CO2 has greater impact there? The tropics are humid (what about the Sahara desert?) so if H2O and CO2 absorption spectrum overlaps, the impact of CO2 green house effect would be lessened?

In principle, the impact of a greenhouse gas should be somewhat logarithmic? (I have not seen anything to support this, some have assumed this. It seems reasonable because we are interested in the percentage of IR photons from the surface that have not scattered.) Each doubling should have approximately the same impact? Hence the impact of CO2 is strongest in the first x ppm?

Methane is said to be a much stronger green house gas. Is this just because the methane concentration is much lower at 1-2ppm? hence only 1-2ppm is required to double the methane concentration? or is it because the spectrum coverage is much larger?

Wikipedia has chart showing that Methane concentration is high non-uniform between northern and southern hemisphere?

Amplification - Positive Feedback

The corner stone of AGW due to CO2 greenhouse is amplification via positive feedback. If this cannot be supported, then the entire CAGW argument of concern is rubbish, because regardless of what happening, CO2 does not drive climate. If CO2 does not drive climate, then the entire AGW action agenda fails.

The only way for CO2 (beyond 280ppm) to have a meaningful impact is if it were strongly amplified. The early theory for amplification was water vapor? CO2 induced warming leads to more evaporation, amplifying the effect CO2. If we narrowly restrict ourselves to the data to the warming period from 1970 to 2000, the direct effect of CO2 can only account for 1/3 of the warming. If the feedback from some source amplified CO2 by 3X, then the model is in agreement for the 1970-2000 data, assuming that something else explains the 1910-1940 warming.

This is apparently one of the cornerstones of AGW. I am not aware of any studies on
1) how much increased evaporation to expect from the CO2 induced warming,
2) how much the increased water vapor increases the greenhouse effect.

The CO2 greenhouse effect with water vapor amplification should produce warming high in the troposphere at most lattitudes, and this is not observed. The IR spectrum, emission and absorption, is also not consistent with greenhouse warming?

Another reason the water vapor feedback does not hold water. If the greenhouse effect is logarithmic, then a doubling of CO2 increases thermal energy at the surface for 1C temperature. How much does this increase water vaper by? 2-3%? which would neglible additional greenhouse effect per the logarithm rule.

The albedo effect can also have a sufficiently large impact on climate. One is via clouds, and another is via the polar ice caps.

But in order for CO2 induced warming to be the driving force, then it is also necessary that none of the other sources of climate variation are amplified to a greater extent. It is also necessary that CO2 to be the primary driver of cloud coverage, for which there is no viable mechanism.

There are some serious problems with amplification theory. Any temperature source would then be amplified. This would suggest that global climate would be exhibit large swings from any source.

Second, greenhouse effect should be logarithmic with concentration. (need source for this) The concentration of water vapor is already much higher than CO2. A slight warming does not significantly alter the water vapor concentration. So even though water vapor has a larger greenhouse effect than CO2, it will not change much with 1C warming.

Of course, there are large variations in water vapor concentration by location, hence the variation of H2O greenhouse effect on climate is evident.

Numerical Models - GCM

In physical science, there is an equation of motion. The equation of motion can derived from the principle of least action. It so happens that the equation of motion also satisfies an energy conservation equation, or an energy continuity equation when there are external forces. The equation of motion expressed with continous numbers, can be discretized into a form that can be solved computationally. However, the discrete equations do not conserve energy. (I believe turbulence is also a problem)

If we were to first repesent Action in discrete form, then apply the principle of least action to the field variable, we arrive at the discrete form of the equation of motion. If we were to further apply least action to the discrete grid, we arrive at the discrete form of the energy conservation equation!

It would seem that the correct method of numerical modeling is to solve both the equation of motion and energy conservation equation. But solving the energy equation with a variable grid is much more complicated and horribly expensive computationaly (of course I may be 30 years out of date on this topic). Side note: the principle of least action is basically: nature is not stupid.

On numerical modeling, there should be 3 important elements. One is: are all external sources modeled. The next two are related? The discrete equation represents the continous equation to order X, typically order 2 with a uniform grid in finite difference method. The concern in aerodynamics is that turbulence is of the same order of magnitude as the discretization error? (not sure if this impacts weather modeling) Finally, there is the granularity of the grid. (are these the same?) What level is required for a reasonable model? Does increasing granular improve accuracy? If not, then something is seriously wrong.


Dr Roy Spencer says that the AGW group believe the final key to their argument was in the observed correlation of warming and cloud coverage, assuming the CO2 warming drove cloud coverage for amplification of the effects of CO2. (were the water vapor greenhouse amplification theory flaws conceeded by this point?) His argument is that cloud coverage drove the temperature trend. His talk at James Madison 2009 says that if PDO were linked to clouds, then that would provide a much better fit to recent global temperature data. Also there is data for a limited period that clouds are a negative feedback?


Finally, the concept that the global average temperature has meaning is silly. (It is used as an artificial construct to reduce the globe to a single number). What matters is the distribution of thermal energy. Is the concentrated in the tropics and sub-tropics? Or is it transported to the polar regions? Compare southern Greenland to Norway. Both are at similar latitudes. Greenland is covered by ice and Norway is not. The Antarctic will most likely remain covered in ice because the circumpolar current keeps warm waters away.

Climate Theories

There are a number of theories on climate on the scale of hundreds of years (shorter than the scale of Milankovitch cycles). It is know that the variation in TSI alone is too small to be the cause of nature climate change. Henrik Svensmark has demonstrated that cosmic rays has a mechanism for cloud formation (not a trivial matter). See Die klimatische Rolle der Sonne und der kosmischen Strahlung 2011 Munich? and eike-klima-energie. One argument is that Solar magnetic cycles affects the heliosphere, determining cosmic ray incident on the atmosphere.

Piers Corbyn at WeatherAction argues that Solar magnetic activity plus lunar modulation, Solar-Lunar-Action-Technique (SLAT) with historical records is a good method of forecasting weather much further in advance than global circulation models.

Piers makes a powerful statement-assertion: the numerical GCM cannot forecast weather more than 3-4 days because it does not model external forcing (SLAT). (The mechanism may be via the jet stream?) The implication is that GCM with progressively smaller cells converges on an incorrect solution, (does it actually converge on any result?)

Piers Corbyn at The Greenest Event says a solar eclipse occurs in the first 2 weeks of a december at the (beginning?) declining phase of an odd Solar cycle precedes temperature peak by one year.

Nicola Scafetta at Duke demonstrates that there are periodicities in the climate at intervals that may correlate with the orbits of the moon, Jupiter and Saturn (and other gas giants). See Solar and Planetary Oscillation Control ..., Solar and planetary oscillation control ... and on youtube ICCC6. The net angular momentum of the solar system is cited. This would explain why attempts to correlate climate to any single cycle does not work.

Landscheidt argues the orbits of the four gas giants are correlated to magnetic sunspot activity, with the possible mechanism being movement between the sun and the center of mass of the solar system. Longer term climate may be more clearly related to Milankovich cycles. Volcanic eruptions are one time events. Ocean currents affect climate, so continental drift is involved.

Also see Professor Murry Salby - Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate 2012, and his presentation at Hamburg April 2013 on youtube.

Polar Ice Caps

Another item I am curious about are the polar ice caps. Supposedly the ice caps on the north pole has existed for 3M years, about the same time the Isthmus of Panama formed. The ice cap at the south pole supposedly formed 30M years ago when South America separated from Antartica. (the Antartic ice cap may have formed before the ACC?) So did closing the gap between North and South America alter ocean currents, reducing flow of warm water into the Artic Ocean?

In the 1920's, Artic regions warmed up dramatically, then returned to "normal". It is known that purely atmospheric climate effects can dramatically change climate quickly. But I believe the 1920's event was driven by ocean currents, noted in the ocean temperatures as an atmospheric event can impact water temperature to that degree.

Science Principles

I seriously dislike the heavy emphasis on overwhelming consensus. Science is based on the strength of evidence over that of evidence to the contrary. This means hearing all meaningful evidence instead of dismissing evidence to contrary of a favorite theory. It should not be unexpected that in a complex topic, there would be perfectly valid evidence that contradicts a good theory. This is what makes science interesting. It is usually the communist party and third world president-for-life feel the need for 99% support.

Apparently the 97% consensus is only on that climate change is happening, and this is gleaned from papers that cite CO2 warming. Did the authors cite AGW because they believe the full collection of assertions that global warming is driven mostly by climate CO2, with severe negative consequences? In addition, the recent change (1980-present) is due entirely to CO2 while the 1910-40 increase and all previous changes were natural. Or was CO2 AGW cited because that will guarantee funding and publication? Apparently nobody has done a proper poll for explicit support of each key element of AGW.

Another question: can a climate scientist get funding if his/her previous papers do not support AGW? and can he/she get published in a peer-reviewed climate journal? If not, then the 97% consensus is actually circular logic.

As it becomes more apparent that the overall picture of climate is not driven by CO2, the alarmist have taken to issuing ever more ominous sounding statements of impending catastrophy, something like 8 of the hottest years have occurred in the last 15. But the wording of statement is in fact actually driven by the need to narrowly restrict the applicable data to obscure the view of the overall data set, rendering the statement ridiculous on careful examination. Well if we are at the top of a noisy sine wave, and the dataset does not include the previous maximum, then just what do you expect? Anyone who is afraid of presenting the full set of data in arguing a theory, even if some data is not in agreement, is seriously disreputable.

If AGW is a total fraud, then why do so many scientists support it? The fact is scientists need to publish. To publish, they need grant money. There is a huge pool of money available to support AGW oriented research, meaning anything that mentions AGW in a manner that could be construed as supportive. The funding agencies are explicitly not interested in anything that might contradict AGW. This is science? or is this crap.

Apparently, there is also a strong cabal to reject for publication any papers presenting evidence to the contrary. Any scientist not supporting AGW over the last decade or so has probably had a very difficult time in getting grant money. I contend that after AGW is thoroughly debunked, a great very many scientists will claim that they only supported it for the grant money.

Consider Galileo. It is possible to construct a mechanism which could explain the motion of the planets in terms of the earth being at the center of the universe (but of course, not the underlying physics). This model is horribly complicated. A model with the sun at the center can explain planetary motion in a much simpler manner.

Much of AGW seems to constructed around the idea that CO2 drives climate. All data is adjusted to support this interpretation, instead of examining the data to assess all possible explanations.


Chiefio on C12-C13 ratio.

Richard Lindzen MIT, Youtube Deconstructing Global Warming.
European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE), also search Youtube for EikeKlimaEnergie.
Dr. Vincent Courtillot Präsentation, Internationale Klimakonferenz in Berlin, Dez 2010?
Ian Plimer Heaven and Earth.
This amazing BBC documentary The Sunspot Mystery by Ben Shedd before they went AGW crazy. Charles Greeley Abbot and Eddy are cited. Perhaps 36 years old?

Concerning the lack of warming between 2000-2012 the heat went into the deep ocean? with higher temperature water below lower temp water??? Natural variations, specifically the Pacific ocean were more significant than the AGW cult thought? they have already been on record that most of the warming between 1980-2000 was driven by CO2 (direct + feedback amplification) How is it a warming ocean did not contribute then but now in the cooling phase it does now? Is not a better explanation that the Pacific contributed a significant warming then, and a cooling now? with CO2 being the lesser effect.

GW Summary

I am not skeptical of the high certainty assertions of (C)AGW driven by CO2, which would imply that the science supporting AGW is not sufficiently sound to support a 90% confidence level. Rather, the AGW theory driven by CO2 with strong positive amplification is deeply flawed based on selective data, twisted logic and wishing away data to the contrary.

How is it that I can believe the establishment can align to such a ridiculous situation? Having worked in databases (software development and IT) for twenty years, well thats no problem.

I believe that the original core set of data and arguments on which it is based were a legitimate inquiry that caused some people to leap to a mistaken conclusion. (Leaping to a conclusion based on non-conclusive evidence tends to occur when you want to believe in that idea.) Then it attracted too large funding and attention for the principles too concede that the original leap to AGW was premature. Instead, additional arguments for AGW have progressively become so severely twisted and deeply delusional.

I do not deny that climate change is occuring, it has always been occuring. To argue that early twentieth century warming is natural but second half is AGW requires a deep leap of faith against science.

There is somewhat of a similarity to Clovis theory. Some initial facts seemed to support an extraordinay theory that also implied only this theory could be correct. So only data that supports Clovis theory could be correct. But ultimately evidence to the contrary broke down the Clovis establishment. I would say that the initial Clovis data was much stronger than the initial CO2 data, and yet AGW has become a more imposing establishment.

What are the large drivers of climate change? (Assuming TSI is steady) The big three should be the jet stream, clouds and ocean currents. These three must be modeled correctly to predict climate. As far as I know, these three cannot be modeled with confidence.