Letter to the editor

Climatists not Fair Dinkum?

quill pen

To the Editor
Climate Conversation

27th August 2012

A “greenhouse gas” is one capable of absorbing infra-red (IR) radiation.

The most common atmospheric gases with such properties are water vapour and carbon dioxide (CO2). Water vapour is far more abundant with an average of 20,000 parts-per-million (ppm) in the atmosphere compared to just 395 ppm of CO2. Moreover water vapour is more effective as a greenhouse gas because it can absorb IR radiation over far more bands of the IR spectrum.

Therefore, if man-made CO2 causes dangerous global warming, (a dubious proposition anyway), then man-made water vapour is far more dangerous.

The two main electricity generation fuels in Australia are coal and gas. Coal is a dense fuel with a high carbon content which, when burnt, produces mainly CO2 with some water vapour. Natural gas has more hydrogen and less carbon and produces a higher proportion of water vapour, the main greenhouse gas.

Thus if the climate alarmists are really scared of man-made greenhouse gases, they should be promoting coal instead of gas or systems that need 100% gas backup, such as wind.

And if they believe a tax on man-made greenhouse gases will control the climate, a tax on steam makes more sense than a tax on carbon dioxide.

Finally, if they want “zero emissions” of either greenhouse gas, the only significant energy sources that qualify are nuclear, hydro and geothermal.

Maybe the climatists are not fair dinkum?

Viv Forbes


forbes [at] carbon-sense [dot] com

135 Thoughts on “Letter to the editor

  1. Also this figure.It’s quite clear that the anthro correlation is not good. Bear in mind that the expected correlation is fossil fuel increase first, global measured CO2 second.

  2. Some people see only what they want to see and cherry-pick their data to prove it.
    I look at that chart of Arctic sea ice extent and I am shocked.

  3. Some people see only what they want to see and cherry-pick their data to prove it.
    I look at that chart of Arctic sea ice extent and I am shocked


    The chart shows the ice loss taking a fast increase from the norm on August 7th or thereabout.
    Did “global warming” suddenly get an extra set of teeth on Aug 7th or was there a weather phenomenon that caused this loss?

    After all, there was nothing particularly unusual before this date.


  4. Simon, assuming you and he are the same, my response (in moderation) is this

    I don’t see it being so much lower. The winter extent is higher, the spring period is about the same as the 2007 line,

    There is a general trend of decline over the ensemble, but that is not the issue here. The issue is that there is a divergence around the beginning of August which I would imagine could be tied to some meteorological influence like winds.

    And I should add that everyone is getting their knickers in a twist over that divergence, not the rest. That is the bit about the records being set

    [Update] Comment out of moderation.

  5. Full paper is here.

  6. Jim Mck on August 31, 2012 at 4:49 pm said:

    “This isn’t even slightly controversial, the uptake but has been measured (the word estimate isn’t synonymous with “guess” in normal English, and it certainly isn’t in science). The ocean is a sink – how else would it be getting more acidic? The extra CO2 is ours – the increase in atmospheric CO2 is less than the amount we emit!”

    If indeed the oceans are getting more acidic overall it is pretty miniscule and there are many possible culprits. From my calculation if all the carbon from the total known world reserves of fosil fuels – about 1000 GTC – were transferred as CO2 to the oceans and stirred up a bit the CO2 in the ocean would have increased by about 2.5%. Big deal.

  7. Richard C (NZ) on August 31, 2012 at 7:15 pm said:

    All of those Fig 13 locations: Alert; Mauna Loa; Ascension Island; and the South Pole, are completely insensitive to any fossil fuel change up or down.

    It’s clear in Fig 5 on the other hand that ocean surface air temperature regulates release or uptake of CO2.

    Remind me again, why do we need an ETS to combat this natural phenomenon?

  8. Jim Mck on August 31, 2012 at 7:53 pm said:

    Surely the annual saw tooth configuration of the Maunu Loa figures can only be explained by temperature driving CO2 rather than the other way round..

  9. No, it’s attributed to variable seasonal output of CO2. Most forests are in the Northern Hemisphere, so there’s an asymmetry to the seasons. But in looking for a reference, I’m wondering how or whether that explains the actual decrease in CO2 during May-October.

  10. Richard C (NZ) on August 31, 2012 at 8:52 pm said:

    On reflection, it was incorrect to say “ocean surface air temperature regulates release or uptake of CO2” because the air temperature is a secondary response to ocean surface temperature and I don’t think warmer or cooler air forces CO2 in to and out of the ocean (not that I actually know).

    The relationships in that case should really be something like this perhaps:-

    Ocean surface temperature regulates => ocean surface air temperature response

    Ocean surface temperature regulates => CO2 response in the air.

    Ocean surface air temperature response leads => CO2 response in the air.

  11. Richard C (NZ) on September 5, 2012 at 2:13 pm said:

    Where Did All The CO2 Go?


    A recent study in Nature by A. P. Ballantyne and colleagues has shed new light on the short term carbon cycle with a painstaking survey of carbon sources and atmospheric CO2 levels over the past 50 years. The main result of the study can be gleaned from the letter’s title, “Increase in observed net carbon dioxide uptake by land and oceans during the past 50 years.” More detail is available from the paper abstract:

    One of the greatest sources of uncertainty for future climate predictions is the response of the global carbon cycle to climate change. Although approximately one-half of total CO2 emissions is at present taken up by combined land and ocean carbon reservoirs, models predict a decline in future carbon uptake by these reservoirs, resulting in a positive carbon–climate feedback. Several recent studies suggest that rates of carbon uptake by the land and ocean have remained constant or declined in recent decades. Other work, however, has called into question the reported decline. Here we use global-scale atmospheric CO2 measurements, CO2 emission inventories and their full range of uncertainties to calculate changes in global CO2 sources and sinks during the past 50 years. Our mass balance analysis shows that net global carbon uptake has increased significantly by about 0.05 billion tonnes of carbon per year and that global carbon uptake doubled, from 2.4 ± 0.8 to 5.0 ± 0.9 billion tonnes per year, between 1960 and 2010. Therefore, it is very unlikely that both land and ocean carbon sinks have decreased on a global scale. Since 1959, approximately 350 billion tonnes of carbon have been emitted by humans to the atmosphere, of which about 55 per cent has moved into the land and oceans. Thus, identifying the mechanisms and locations responsible for increasing global carbon uptake remains a critical challenge in constraining the modern global carbon budget and predicting future carbon–climate interactions.

  12. Richard C (NZ) on September 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm said:

    Doing some housekeeping of pdf’s that seem to accumulate on my system like bacterial reproduction. Decided that this one was a “keeper”:-

    An Unsettling Look at the Settled Science of Global Warming
    Part 1: Scientific Discussion
    John Eggert P. Eng.


    Wrt radiant energy absorption by CO2 at increasing concentrations, John Eggert describes some IPCC sleight-of-hand:-

    Figure 2 shows 4 curves. One is a direct plot of ΔF = α ln (C/Co). This is called “forcing” by IPCC scientists and represents an approximation of the impact of a change in CO2 concentration from the impact at some arbitrary point. The math symbol “ln” means natural logarithm. Taking the logarithm of a quotient is the same as subtraction. Another way of writing the IPCC curve equation is: ΔF = (α ln C) – (α ln Co). This equation implies that the absolute radiant heat loss from the atmosphere (the correct symbol for this is q) is q= α ln C. This is the second curve. The third and fourth curves are obtained using the emissivity as determined from Leckner’s curves. This is then used in the equation q=εσ(T^4). In this equation, ε is emissivity of the intervening gas, σ is the Stephan Boltzman constant at T is temperature of the radiating surface in Kelvin. This equation is not a simplification, if one assumes that the absorbing surface is space and further that the temperature of space is 0k (it is actually closer to 4K).

    Figure 2 shows the two curves relative to each other. They are nearly identical in shape. The IPCC curve artificially offsets the 0 at 278 ppm atmospheric CO2. The IPCC curve does not reach a maximum. Rather it continues to grow up to 100% CO2. The IPCC curve closely models the curve generated using standard engineering methods, though offset by the artificial requirement to have a 0 at 278 ppm. The deviation of the IPCC curve from the Eggert curve after about 200 ppm, is not supported by the well documented and tested methods of calculating radiant heat transfer through an atmosphere.

    Beyond 200 ppm, the Leckner curves indicate that there is a negligible change in emissivity and hence a negligible change in forcing. That is: Above 200 ppm atmospheric concentration of CO2 there is no increase in the greenhouse affect due to CO2, and changes to human emissions of CO2 will have no affect on climate.

    The IPCC manufactured a straight line to represent a curve with a maximum.

    Unfortunately, the pdf’s have reproduced in bacterial manner so that I’ve now accumulated another 2 (Sigh):-

    An Unsettling Look at the Settled Science of Global Warming
    Part 2: Layman’s Discussion


    What It Means

    The short summary of what it means is: CO2 increases will not increase the greenhouse effect. Full stop. That is it. CO2 is not a pollutant, it will not change the weather or climate. There is no basis whatsoever for trying to control the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    The IPCC equation assumes a “logarithmic” or log relation between forcing and CO2. The path length curve more closely resembles a „log log‟ relation between forcing and CO2. That is the IPCC model is an oversimplification that results in overestimating the impact of CO2 at higher concentrations. The IPCC reports discuss the impact on forcing of doubling CO2. This is because they believe the relation is logarithmic. Indeed for most of the range of CO2 concentrations, it does resemble this.

    The doubling table above shows that there is a strong case to be made that this doubling does not continue for all concentrations of gas. This effect is not seen in other fields that calculate radiant heat loss in the atmosphere. It is a precept of science that the laws of science that hold in one area are the same everywhere. Thus, radiant heat absorption in climate science will behave the same way as radiant heat in engineering. Utilizing the climate science model for calculating radiant heat absorption results in inaccurate values for radiant heat absorption at higher levels of CO2. As atmospheric CO2 increases, this error increases as well.

    An Unsettling Look at the Settled Science of Global Warming
    Part 3: Policy Maker’s Summary


    In Part 1 of this series, a detailed description of the use of the engineering method (known as the path length approximation) for radiant heat absorption in the atmosphere (the greenhouse effect) shows that:

    ► The IPCC method for calculating the greenhouse effect of CO2 generates similar results to the engineering method for levels up to 100 ppm CO2;
    ► At levels above 100 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere, the IPCC method overestimates the impact of CO2 on the greenhouse effect, compared to the engineering method;
    The engineering method shows that for levels of CO2 above 200 ppm, increases in CO2 have a negligible impact on the greenhouse effect;
    ► The engineering method predicts that increasing CO2 from current levels to 800 ppm (more than double) will have AT THE MOST, the same effect as has occurred in the last 100 years (from 278 ppm to about 350 ppm).
    ► The maximum effect possible from increased CO2 will be equal to or less than the Copenhagen protocol. That is, the effect of no action is to meet the Copenhagen protocol.

    It is important to note:

    ► The engineering method has been successfully used for decades in numerous fields, with designs based on it working in many areas;
    ► The IPCC method has never been tested except in computer models;

    That is, the engineering method has been proven to work, while the IPCC method has not.

  13. Richard C (NZ) on September 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm said:

    In the same vein:-


    Norm Kalmanovitch, P Geoph


    It only takes a minute amount of CO2 to fully “capture” the energy at the resonant wavelength, and additional CO2 progressively captures energy that is further and further from the peak wavelength. At the 280ppmv CO2 preindustrial level used as reference in the forcing parameter, about 95% of the energy bandwidth that could possibly be captured by CO2 has already been captured. There is only 5% of this limited energy available within the confines of this potential “capture” band left to be captured.

    The greenhouse effect from CO2 is generally stated as 3°C, so an additional 100ppmv above the 280ppmv level is only capable of generating a maximum 5% increase or 0.15°C. The forcing parameter is based on a full 0.6°C which is four times the 0.15°C absolute physical limit of warming from CO2. Furthermore if this 0.15°C increase has used up the full 5% of the remaining possible energy as the concentration reached 380ppmv, there is zero warming possible from further increases in CO2.

    This is why the CO2 notch is virtually identical in the two spectra; the CO2 band was virtually saturated at the 325ppmv concentration level, so even nine times more CO2 has almost no appreciable effect.

    Unless all these points can adequately be addressed, the climate models based on this forcing parameter must be declared invalid, and all work based on these models as
    as a reference for global warming mitigation must also be declared invalid

  14. You do find some pearlers Richard.

    Keep clearing out that closet!

  15. Richard C (NZ) on September 7, 2012 at 10:02 pm said:

    SOON AND BRIGGS: Global-warming fanatics take note
    Sunspots do impact climate

    The hallmark of good science is the testing of plausible hypotheses that are either supported or rejected by the evidence. The evidence in BEST’s own data and in other data we have analyzed is consistent with the hypothesis that the sun causes climate change, especially in the Arctic, China and the United States. BEST’s data also clearly invalidate the hypothesis that CO2 is the most important cause of observed temperature changes across the United States.

    Given the wide, and perhaps at times excessive, interest in tying carbon dioxide to climate, there has been relatively little work investigating the solar-climate connection. The scientific community has proved the wisdom of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said, “The sun shines and warms and lights us and we have no curiosity to know why this is so.”


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