Science provides the unambiguous answer george white october 2008 revised july 2009 co2@palisad com
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Science provides the unambiguous answer George White October 2008 Revised July 2009 [email protected] CO2 Forcing: Fact or Fiction. Many sources of information. Ice Core Data (ppt)‏ Atmospheric Absorption (ppt)‏ Satellite Observations (ppt)‏ Ground Based Observations (ppt)‏

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Science provides the unambiguous answer george white october 2008 revised july 2009 co2@palisad com

Science provides the unambiguous answer

George White

October 2008

Revised July 2009

[email protected]

CO2 Forcing: Fact or Fiction

Many sources of information
Many sources of information

  • Ice Core Data(ppt)‏

  • Atmospheric Absorption(ppt)‏

  • Satellite Observations(ppt)‏

  • Ground Based Observations(ppt)‏

  • Biology(ppt)‏

  • Physics(ppt)‏

The ice cores
The Ice Cores

  • > 400K year history from Vostok

  • > 800K year history from DomeC

  • The climate is far from constant

  • CO2, CH4 and Temperature are all correlated

  • The data tells us far more than this

    • What kind of changes are expected?

    • Which came first, the gas or the heat?

    • What are the periodic influences?

Data smoothing
Data Smoothing

  • Data samples are intrinsically biased

    • Recent samples represent short term averages

    • Ancient samples represent long term averages

    • Different variables have different sample periods

  • Integrate samples over N years

    • Matches short term data to long term data

    • Matches temperature to CO2 and CH4

    • Isolate long and short term periodicity

    • Isolate long and short term dependency

Correlation analysis
Correlation Analysis

  • Simple correlation metric for time Δt from t

    • Plus 1 when t+Δt changes in the same direction as t

    • Minus 1 when t+Δt changes in the opposite direction

  • Cross correlation identifies cause and effect

  • Auto correlation identifies periodic components

  • Use smoothing to select long or short term

  • Variable window to match Δt to sample period

Cross correlation analysis
Cross Correlation Analysis

  • Can identify which of 2 variables changes first

    • Temperature and CO2

    • Temperature and CH4

    • CO2 and CH4

  • Smoothing is required to normalize variability

    • Smoothing does not mask cause and effect

    • Smoothing makes short term dependence apparent

Domec cross correlation
DomeC Cross Correlation

  • DomeC has finer resolution CO2 measurements

    • Shows apparent correlation of CO2 to future Temp

    • Frequently misinterpreted as a causal dependency

    • Also shows earlier correlation to opposite change

    • This is an aliasing effect which really indicates

      • CO2 increase -> Temp Decrease -> Temp Increase

      • Indicates correlation across a period of unrelated change

      • Indicates interference from a periodic effect

  • When smoothing is applied

    • Same results as Vostok data

Auto correlation analysis
Auto Correlation Analysis

  • Auto correlate temperature

    • Apparent short term periodic behavior

      • 200 year DomeC, 300 year Vostok

      • Seems to be aliasing of seasonal variability

  • Apply smoothing

    • Unambiguous 22K, 41K period (Vostok and DomeC)‏

    • Modulated peaks are evidence for other periodicity

    • Related to variability in Earth's orbit and axis

    • Related to sums and harmonics of this variability

  • Common to temperature, CO2 and CH4

Combined effects
Combined Effects

  • The change between 96K and 41K ice ages

    • Considered by some to be a mystery

    • When the 41K, 96K and 500K forcing are combined

      • One can cancel or enhance the other

      • 96K is weaker, 500K is weakest, 41K is dominant

    • The pattern is clearly an interference pattern

    • We are entering a new age of 41K ice ages

      • Evidenced by current weaker, but longer interglacial

      • Currently approaching 500K peak

      • 41K and 96K peaks are separated by about 30K years

      • Stretching out the current interglacial

Is this enough forcing
Is This Enough Forcing?

  • Some say that these effects are not strong enough

    • The periodicity clearly aligns

    • Magnitudes seem unexpected

      • 96K is weak, but appears dominant recently

      • Several 41K peaks have aligned with 96K minimums

      • This mitigates the magnitude of the 41K effects

  • There is a feedback effect at work

    • Hemispheric asymmetry and ice amplification

Atmospheric absorption
Atmospheric Absorption

  • An objective review of atmospheric absorption is all that's required to disprove CO2 forcing

  • The atmospheric absorption spectrum is known

    • It has been measured and correlated to theory

    • Water vapor contributes about 2/3, CO2 is 1/3

  • Relatively transparent window from 8μ to 14μ

    • Weak ozone absorption in the middle

    • 7.5μ CH4 line on one side, 15μ CO2 line on the other, water vapor continuum absorption throughout

Co2 absorption
CO2 Absorption

  • 15u CO2 line absorption

    • Highly saturated

    • Energy limited, not concentration limited

    • Double CO2

      • Insignificant increase in width

      • Primarily decreases mean distance before absorption

  • Other bands are between 2u and 4.3u

    • Narrower lines

    • Significant H2O overlap

    • Far less energy available to be absorbed

Ghg forcing
GHG Forcing

  • The Energy Cycle

    • CO2 captures 15u surface energy

    • Collisions transfer energy to other gas molecules

    • Some energy gets back to the surface

    • The cycle repeats

  • Delays the release of surface energy

    • GHG flux is a circulating flux

    • Solar flux is an incident flux

Satellite observations
Satellite Observations

  • 25 year history of detailed weather measurements

    • 10 km surface resolution

    • 3 hour time resolution

    • 100% surface coverage

    • Measurements include

      • Surface temperature

      • Cloud temperature

      • Cloud coverage

      • Reflectivities

Observed variability
Observed Variability

  • Global mean temperature varies significantly

    • +/- 2.1˚ C seasonal variability

    • +2.1˚ in June, -2.1˚ in December

    • Sun is closest in early January, farthest in July

    • Global mean temperature changes oppositely

      • Indicates dramatic hemispheric asymmetry

      • Unambiguously supports Milankovitch forcing

    • Data calibration error around 2001-2002

      • This has been misinterpreted as 'evidence' of warming

Hemispheric differences
Hemispheric Differences

  • Southern Hemisphere

    • 8˚K Degrees peak to peak variability

    • 276˚K mean

  • Northern Hemisphere

    • 24˚K Degrees peak to peak variability

    • 280˚K Mean

  • Equatorial

    • Small 6 month periodic variability

    • Clearly illustrates 2001/2002 calibration error

Hemispheric temperatures
Hemispheric Temperatures

Surface reflectivity
Surface Reflectivity

  • Northern Hemisphere

    • Higher mean

      • More land, less water

    • More variability

      • Greater range in surface ice

    • More time spent during higher reflectivity

      • More persistent ice coverage

  • Consequences

    • Sun closer in Northern summer -> cooler climate

    • Sun closer in Southern summer -> warmer climate

Where is the sun now
Where is the Sun Now?

  • Sun is closest in early January

    • 3.4% more incident energy than average

  • Sun is farthest away in early July

    • 3.4% less incident solar energy than average

  • Nearly 7% total solar variability over a year

    • Corresponds to a 4˚C difference in temperature

  • Peak aphelion/perihelion differences are > 20%

Implications of sun earth distance
Implications of Sun-Earth distance?

  • When Sun is closest during North winter (now)‏

    • Warmer seasons, ice shrinks

    • Ice shrinks, -> less reflected energy -> even warmer

    • Positive feedback stops once minimum ice is reached

  • When Sun is farther away during Northern winter

    • Colder seasons, ice grows

    • Ice grows -> more reflected energy -> even colder

  • Southern hemisphere climate is more stable

  • Equatorial climate is even more stable

Ice amplification
Ice Amplification

  • A popular hypothesis is that CO2 forcing amplifies periodic influences of orbit and axis

  • As evidenced by hemispheric differences, small changes in reflectivity have big consequences

  • This is confirmed by energy balance modeling

  • Surface ice and snow reflects a lot of energy

    • Positive feedback reinforces this effect

  • Models show that the ebb and flow of northern hemisphere surface snow and ice provides all of the required amplification

Ground based observations
Ground Based Observations

  • Thermometers, tree rings, etc.

    • Must be very careful here

      • It's invalid to compare short term changes to changes in long term averages

      • The most common mistake in climate alarmists arguments

        • The 'Hockey Stick'

        • Claims that temperatures are rising faster than ever

  • Mauna Loa CO2 measurements

    • Yes, CO2 is increasing, but ...

Mauna loa co2
Mauna Loa CO2

  • Overlay Mauna Loa CO2 with global temperature

    • Temperature decreases as CO2 increases

      • Actually CO2 decreases as temperature increases

    • Clear biological response

      • More warmth, more plants, more CO2 is consumed

      • As it cools, plants die, decomposing into CO2 and CH4

    • Very fast acting

      • Responds to temperature changes immediately

      • Removing trend bias, the response is relatively linear

    • Short term response


  • The CO2 and CH4 record reflects biology

  • Short term

    • More warmth -> more plants -> less CO2

    • Less warmth -> more decomposition -> more CO2

  • Long Term

    • Plants require Sun energy + CO2

    • Build up of CO2 required to support more biomass

      • More biomass -> more decomposition -> more CO2/CH4

      • More CO2 and Energy -> more biomass

    • Animals slowly catch up, increasing CH4/CO2 ratio


  • Conservation of Energy

    • Precludes runaway greenhouse effects

    • Atmospheric absorption has no effect on the energy budget, i.e. Energy in == Energy out

  • Clouds and greenhouse gases, warm surface

    • Clouds trap far more energy than greenhouse gases

    • Greenhouse gases redistribute atmospheric energy

    • Greenhouse gas effects are primarily diurnal

Is co2 forcing plausible
Is CO2 Forcing Plausible?

  • Ice cores

    • The recent rate of temperature change is exceeded in the data

    • Past temperatures were warmer with far lower CO2 levels

    • Temperature changes are correlated to orbit and axis variability

    • There is no correlation of temperature to prior CO2 or CH4 levels

    • Biology offers a complete explanation for CO2 and CH4

  • Atmospheric absorption

    • CO2 absorption is energy limited and not concentration limited

    • Water vapor is a far larger contributor

  • Mauna Loa

    • Increasing temperature is associated with decreasing CO2

  • Satellite

    • Ebb and flow of ice provides all necessary positive feedback

    • Hemispheric asymmetry amplifies seasonal differences


  • Unfortunately, politics has subverted the science

  • Many want global warming to man made

    • There are convenient scapegoats

    • It's preached as the 'the right thing to do'

  • The issue fits too well as a left/right conflict

    • Guilt/greed

    • Environment/business

  • There's money to be made


  • Natural CO2 and CH4 are indicators of biology

    • No forward feedback to temperature is in the record

  • To Solve Global Warming

    • All we need to do is wait

    • In geologic terms, another ice age is eminent

      • It's too bad that anthropogenic CO2 can't stop it

  • Spending money on CO2 mitigation

    • Absolute worst thing to do

    • No climate change reversal will result

    • Better spent on adapting to the inevitable


  • Data Hyperlinks

    • Satellite Data

    • Ice Core Data

    • Irradiance Data

    • Atmospheric Absorption Data

  • Science Hyperlinks

    • Milankovitch

    • Weather Satellite Data

    • Black Body Radiation And Stefan-Boltzmann Law