AGW Falsified: NOAA Long Wave Radiation Data Incompatible with the Theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming

ANTHROPOGENIC Global Warming (AGW) theory claims the earth is warming because rising CO2 is like a blanket, reducing Earth’s energy loss to space. However, data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that at least for the last 30 years, Earth’s energy loss to space has been rising. The last 30 years of NOAA data is not compatible with the theory of AGW. It would appear that either 30 years of NOAA data is wrong or the theory of AGW is flawed. This is Michael Hammer’s conclusion following analysis of the official outgoing long wave radiation (OLR) data.

Read the complete article here: ‘The NOAA Outgoing Long Wave Radiation Data Appears to be Incompatible with The Theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming’ by Michael Hammer. Michael Hammer Chart

The research uncovers some interesting trends and most importantly highlights that:

1. Earth can only warm if the rate of energy input exceeds the rate of energy loss;

2. Thus earth would warm if energy absorbed from the sun increased or energy loss to space (outgoing longwave radiation or OLR for short) decreased – or of course both;

3. The theory of AGW claims that Earth is warming because rising CO2 is reducing the energy loss to space i.e. is causing OLR to decrease;

4. Thirty years of experimental data published by NOAA (one of the prime AGW reference sites) shows OLR has been rising progressively between 1980 and 2010 and is now 2.5 watt/sqM higher than in 1980; and

5. The period between 1980 and 2010 is when almost all the CO2 induced warming is supposed to have taken place.

“If the corner stone of AGW theory says earth is warming because outgoing long wave radiation is decreasing yet 30 years of experimental data shows OLR is rising (remember 30 years is the time AGW proponents claim is the interval necessary to separate climate from weather) it would seem the theory of AGW is as a minimum extremely seriously compromised.”

Read the complete article here:

Michael Hammer has a B Eng Sci and M Eng Sci from Melbourne university. His original training was as an electrical engineer but for the last 35 years he has been employed to carry out research across a wide range of technologies for a major multinational spectroscopy company. Over that time he has taken around 20 patents and his work has resulted in a significant number of commercially successful products.

To read older blog posts from Michael Hammer click here and scroll down:

98 Responses to AGW Falsified: NOAA Long Wave Radiation Data Incompatible with the Theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming

  1. Luke December 17, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

    Another unpublished sceptic flirtation that flies in the face of real science. Humbug.

    Why graffiti this stuff into the blogosphere without checking with professionals who really know?

    BTW wiggly Captcha is maddening

  2. michael hammer December 18, 2013 at 5:28 am #

    Hmm Luke; so where exactly is the error. The source you mention states that rising CO2 should reduce OLR. The NOAA data suggests it is rising. Are you saying the NOAA data is wrong? Blog sites are for discussion of ideas so instead of invective please explain where the error is.

  3. handjive of December 18, 2013 at 6:00 am #

    I found this comment recently from this article-

    “The point is that there is no connection between carbon dioxide and global warming.
    Which is why the IPCC’s models are running hot and the warmists are casting around for increasingly ludicrous hiding places for the missing heat such as the deep oceans.
    Anthropogenic global warming is failed science.

    An atmospheric greenhouse effect depends upon postulated LW back radiation against a temperature gradient, for which there is no experimental evidence whatsoever. In fact, far from it. There is no “back radiation”. It simply does not exist, as proven by Robert W. Wood in 1909.

    Unlike nitrogen, CO2 molecules do absorb IR. However, the surplus IR energy is taken out of the system and redistributed as kinetic energy.
    The CO2 molecule does not get any warmer.

    This is one of the horrifically crass mistakes made by incorrect climate science physics.
    The re-emission of photonic energy by individual CO2 molecules is not thermalisation! In reality, heating in the atmosphere is governed by Local Thermal Equilibrium (LTE) – without which we could not define neither the temperature nor the pressure of a parcel of air.

    The point is that energy transitions include two components.
    Firstly, the kinetic translation of these molecules through space (thermal temperature).
    Secondly, rotational, vibrational and electronic transition components (plank temperature – or in layman’s terms the energy transitions within the molecules). LTE requires that thermal temperature and plank temperature be equivalent.

    The Earth is not a black body and heating at the surface is governed by coupled radiation and convection. A colder atmosphere cannot heat the surface (see above that thermalisation cannot occur) and therefore there is no increased emission of IR and no greenhouse effect.

    Vitaly Klitschko, 13 December, 01:23
    So, let’s look at Robert W Wood 1909:

    – Repeatability of Professor Robert W. Wood’s 1909 experiment on the Hypothesis of the Greenhouse Effect –

  4. handjive of December 18, 2013 at 6:17 am #

    In a twist of irony with a dash of fate, Vitaly Klitschko also commented at another article I happen to click on, and, in his unique & wonderful way with words, commented on the same subject:

    “It’s quite simply a disgrace that children should be indoctrinated by this pseudo religion.
    The concept that it is possible for human beings, who are infinitely subordinate to Nature, to influence the climate is a delusion. The idea that extreme weather events compose some kind of proof is akin to primitive superstition. The fact is that the IPCC is desperate to explain away the lack of warming and that simplistic computer models have failed.

    The Arrhenius greenhouse effect was discredited as long ago as 1909 by Robert W. Wood – and yet this incorrect physics has become dogma in schools and universities.
    There can be no CO2 radiative forcing because warming cannot occur against a temperature gradient. There is not the slightest experimental or physical evidence for this long wave back radiation and experiments in enclosed containers are simply misleading. Thermalization does not and cannot occur in the gas phase, the earth’s atmosphere does not consist of solid layers (unlike a greenhouse) and the release of kinetic energy is not heat.”
    Worth a re-Quote:
    “The Arrhenius greenhouse effect was discredited as long ago as 1909 by Robert W. Wood – and yet this incorrect physics has become dogma in schools and universities.”

  5. Neville December 18, 2013 at 6:46 am #

    Lindzen produced a paper on this very subject of OLR in 2009.

    The problem for Michael is you are not dealing with rational people anymore, but rather people who BELIEVE in their religious cult at all cost.

    Luke even tells us we are all climate criminals and agrees with Bandt, Milne etc that Abbott is the cause of the bushfires in the Blue mountains this year.
    This is the level of logic and reasoning you can expect from these people. On a level with a belief in witchdoctors and fairies at the bottom of their garden.

  6. Nullius in Verba December 18, 2013 at 6:58 am #

    How did you calculate those emissivities? They look *far* too low – if I’m interpreting them correctly.

    Did you do it by taking OLR/(sigma T^4) with T as the *surface* temperature? If so, this is a problem, because the average altitude of emission to space is about 5 km up (there’s fairly even emission from 0 up to 8-10 km) which is a lot colder. You would need to use the average temperature of the ‘surface’ that is emitting to space, not the ground.

    The standard theory says that the Earth absorbs (roughly) the same energy from the sun that it emits to space, and the equivalent black-body temperature to emit the right amount is about -20 C (give or take a few degrees, depending on albedo, and the varying distance from Earth to sun). Seen in the IR spectrum, Earth is very close to a black body, with emissivity around 0.94-0.98. Because the emission takes place from a layer 5 km up, the layer 5 km up settles at about -18 C (as it isn’t quite black), and because the moist adiabatic lapse rate averages about 6.5 C/km, the average surface temperature is about -18 + 5*6.5 = 15 C.

    I’m not sure if this has any impact on your main observation, which is that total OLR seems to be increasing. However, it’s not very surprising – it seems to have been observed previously, although there’s a lot more uncertainty than you mention about the accuracy of the measurements and the transitions between different instruments.

    You’re right that it’s not what you’d expect from pure AGW (not that I can see, anyway), but I’d be cautious about claiming AGW is ‘falsified’ – there are lots of different effects going on all on top of one another, and it may be that AGW combines with cloud cover changes to give a different effect to cloud cover alone. It’s interesting, though, I’ll agree.

    I’d suggest talking to Roy Spencer. He’s the expert on this sort of stuff.

  7. Luke December 18, 2013 at 7:00 am #

    Michael who knows – get published. You guys never do. One spends too much time chasing sceptic nonsense.

    Those data are from a whole series of satellites not just one with drift issues and interpolation. A regression through the OLR data series would be flat until your predetermined stats norty of trying to squeeze out what you want with a polynomial. Errors bounds are? And trying to resolve what level of theoretical change?

    CERES and AIRS OLR have decreased over 2002 to 2011,

    Fig 16 here show similar decreases in TOA longwave and a major dicussion as to why amateurs need in depth knowledge of the instruments they are talking about.
    “The period between 1980 and 2010 is when almost all the CO2 induced warming is supposed to have taken place.” errr not really !

    Additionally Griggs and Harries show similar results And if you’re suggesting the greenhouse effect is missing perhaps you can explain the balances and observations within

    Making grand sweeping statements like AGW falsified is laughing pretentious without a minimal review of the literature to at least be kind enough to dear reader to illustrate the inconsistencies. Duty of care to most of the science illiterates here who’ll believe any old sceptic story is nil.

  8. Johnathan Wilkes December 18, 2013 at 7:36 am #


    “The Arrhenius greenhouse effect was discredited as long ago as 1909 by Robert W. Wood – and yet this incorrect physics has become dogma in schools and universities.”

    interesting read if have open mind!

  9. Neville December 18, 2013 at 7:52 am #

    Here is Spencer’s 2010 response to Trenberth and some thoughts and graph on OLR.

  10. cohenite December 18, 2013 at 7:58 am #

    Classic own-goal by luke.

    More seriously Nullius does raise some good points as usual. The NCEP reanalysis clearly shows OLR increasing since about 1976, the time of the Great Pacific Climate Shift which is well documented:

    Of course Pinker’s work on clouds and indeed most of what Spencer and Braswell have done, not to mention Knox and Douglass and a host of others explain and show why OLR has increased.

    Luke’s silliness reminds me of the old debates about TOA balances, the Harries papers beginning in 2001 and Loeb’s 2012 effort. These dismal efforts really underpinned AGW because they asserted that the TOA flux was negative; that is more radiation was staying then leaving; this in turn sent other ratbags like Trenberth off on their eternal quest to find the “missing heat” at the bottom of the ocean.

    Simply put the “missing heat” ain’t missing, it’s gone.

  11. Robert LePage December 18, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    All the articles “disproving” AGW do not take one thing into account.
    have a look (via satellite pics) of the summer Arctic ice and then explain why it is disappearing, please.
    All the papers “proving” there is no AGW, are not explaining why this is happening.

  12. cohenite December 18, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    “have a look (via satellite pics) of the summer Arctic ice and then explain why it is disappearing, please.”

    It’s not disappearing:

    LePage, you really believe the world is going to blow up due to AGW, don’t you?

    I am familiar with the egos and vanity of the alarmists, not to mention the money but their genuine fear, hence alarm, tends to be overlooked. I think the perspective is pathological.

    Are you seeking guidance LePage, through this dark period?

  13. Neville December 18, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    Geezzz RLP must be an Al Gore clone. Just seems to have the rare gift of being wrong on just about about everything.
    Arctic ice extent has increased by 50% in the last 12 months. See Coher’s link.

  14. Nullius in Verba December 18, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    “All the articles “disproving” AGW do not take one thing into account. have a look (via satellite pics) of the summer Arctic ice and then explain why it is disappearing, please.”

    Changes in wind circulation drive floating pack ice southward into warmer waters more often.

    The IPCC shows the modelled projections of sea ice changes due to global warming in AR4 figure 10.13

    You can see that both poles lose ice at a similar slow rate, which only becomes significant (more than 1m km^2) after about 2050, and only threatens complete loss of Arctic summer ice around 2080. Since the current changes are completely at odds with the prediction, differ at the two poles, and are fluctuating dramatically over a few years rather than the 30-year ‘gold standard’ for defining climate change, it’s clear that the variations are primarily ‘weather’ not ‘climate’.

    I’ve lost the reference now, but somewhere there’s an article by Gavin Schmitt of RealClimate fame, no less, saying in effect that the Arctic ice loss is due to changes in wind patterns, and can’t be reliably ascribed to global warming. Quite the reverse – the recent warming in the Arctic is probably due to the ice loss, rather than vice versa, and is therefore likewise a ‘weather’ effect.

    That doesn’t mean climate change won’t affect it in 2080, but to say that it is affecting it now goes against the mainstream science, and would moreover falsify the climate models. Not that I’m saying you can’t do that – the IPCC mainstream is by no means sacred – but it would make you a ‘climate sceptic’ if you do!

  15. Luke December 18, 2013 at 9:04 am #

    Cohenite thinks our perspective is pathological. That of course would be eclipsed by the ongoing demonstrated stunts and pathological lying of the so-called sceptic movement combined with their ongoing verballing. Really faux sceptics with a purely political agenda.

    You lot said it was wet – why are are we back in drought? Surely you would have predicted it? Where was your warning site? Must have missed it again.

    Neville demonstrates his total disingenuous attitude by rebutting a trend with a wiggle. Faux sceptic tool in trade.

  16. Nullius in Verba December 18, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    “…demonstrates his total disingenuous attitude by rebutting a trend with a wiggle”

    What makes you think it was ‘a trend’ rather than simply a bigger ‘wiggle’?

  17. cohenite December 18, 2013 at 9:26 am #

    Seriously luke, you really want to defend Harries and Loeb?

    Loeb is directly contradicted by Knox and Douglass which you do not understand. Here’s a simple primer for you; see part 3:

    And see Lindzen and Choi at part 1 here:

    Harries was dealt with here by David Stockwell:

  18. sp December 18, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    Professor Huffman’s words provide the best summation of what using a greenhouse analogy has done and what needs to happen.

    “How long will it take to purge climate science of its belief in the greenhouse effect, and how long to disabuse recent generations of students (and the general public) of the bad science which they have been, and continue to be, so determinedly indoctrinated in?”

  19. jennifer December 18, 2013 at 10:02 am #


    Could we please stay on topic and stay civil.

    I’m interested to know:

    1. Whether there is any evidence that contradicts Michael Hammer’s central thesis that data from NOAA shows that at least for the last 30 years, Earth’s energy loss to space has been rising?

    2. Whether others consider this evidence constitutes falsification of AGW?

  20. Luke December 18, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    Jen – as I have cited CERES and AIRS don’t show this at all. An unpublished hack on a generalist mish mash data set with no lit review is poor as. No error bars – no hypothesis of what trend you’d expect. No duty of care to point out other findings. It’s pretentious tripe. And all too typical of the home brew style of sceptic commentary. Read the papers I have cited. Surely we’re not going to spend hours chasing down unpublished nonsense. Racing off with pronouncements that AGW is falsified is just an all so typical indulgent sceptic stunt. Get published (for starters).

    Why do you even say OLR is rising – anyone eyeballing the data would say no trend. Surely you looked ! Fitting a high level polynomial smooth to suit your weak argument is stats hooey.

  21. Malcolm December 18, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    I see the Master Alarmist is in full flight .still totally unable to look at anything on its own merits without bleating publish ….you must publish …sqwark… sqwark…publish…sqwark.

    Its as though no reasoning is possible without going through the mates club of peer review as currently practiced. If it was the ants pants, why are so many papers being with drawn or subsequently found to be confected.

    Most grown people can do the assessment and analysis and come to their own conclusion based upon the evidence available…published and deduced.

    Now what Michael Hammer has asked… is perfectly reasonable.

    So just answer the question…if you are capable …otherwise STFU

  22. Nullius in Verba December 18, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    “as I have cited CERES and AIRS don’t show this at all.”

    They wouldn’t. CERES was launched in 1997, and AIRS in 2002. The period under discussion is the warming that took place between 1980-2000.

  23. cohenite December 18, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    I have a reply to luke in moderation.

  24. micheal hammer December 18, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    Nullis in Verbena at 6:58 I have to disagree with your comment that emisison is relatively uniform from 0km to 10 km, in fact I would argue that such a situation is more or less impossible. In fact the emission to space occurs from different altitudes at each wavelength. In the atmospheric window, emission is from the surface or cloud tops. At the green house gas absorption wavelengths it will be from the top of the gas column (simply because any emission from lower down will be reabsorbed by the gas above it). Thus at the CO2 wavelength (14.7 microns) the top of the coumn is more or less the tropopause (220K) for ozone at 10 microns the top of column is high in the stratosphere (260K) and so on. The “middle of the atmosphere” can only emit if there is a species with an emissivity >0 (which means a ghg) and in that case there will be plenty of the same gas above it to reabsorb such emissions before they get to space.

    In essence all emitting surfaces hava an emissivity of very close to 1. You rightly point out the surface emissivity is around 0.95 and deep gas columns have an emissivity of 1 at their emission wavelengths. As I explained (briefly) in the main article, that means we should really be using Planks law to analyse the system but this is extremely complex and we are primarily interested in surface temperature trends. So again as I thought I explained if we use the SB equation with the surface temperature as T all these different emission temperatures can be taken up by an apparent emissivity. The emissivity computed does not really have any real world meaning but for small system changes one can extract some meaningful insights from the changes in apparent emissivity.

    The comment has been made by several people that one should be careful in saying the AGW theory has been falsified. I know thats the title of this posting but infact what I said was that the theory of AGW is seriously compromised. In fact CO2 is a green house gas and GHG does cause energy retention and thus warming. I know this beyond doubt, the big question is the degree of warming. My point was that the CAGW claim is that rising CO2 will cause a dangerous degree of warming and that we are already seeing such warming. If that were true we should have seen a fall in OLR but instead we have seen a rise in OLR. Thus the temperature rise must have come about by a rise in the energy received not a fall in the energy loss and that means CO2 cannot be the culprit because it cannot change the energy received. Given the thrust of the CAGW argument I think the above very seriously compromises the CAGW psoition. Sure CO2 may have caused OLR to rise less than it otherwise would have but the prime cause for the modest warming we have experienced to date is something else

  25. cohenite December 18, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    While moderation proceeds I simply refer to Pinker et al which shows clearly that OLR is increasing; and that variation in OLR is due to clouds:

    In all the fuss about Monckton not realising that Pinker was a she it was overlooked that Monckton’s use of Pinker et al clearly showed that since about 1990 heat was not being trapped [sic] in the Earth’s atmosphere.

  26. michael hammer December 18, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    Luke at 10:13. Did you really look at the plot included in my post. Look at the scale, you cant be serious to say it shows no increase. The start and end are relatively flat but the end is about 2.5 watts/sqM greater than the start. Compare this with the claim of about 3watts/sqM per doubling of CO2. Since we have had half a doubling that would only amount to about 1.5 watts/sqM ao 2.5 watts/sqM is very signifiacnt. If you cannot see that you either cannot read a graph or you are being disingenuous and I dont for one moment believe you to be incapable of reading a graph.

  27. cohenite December 18, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Just following on from Nullius’s earlier point/query whether Michael’s analysis was based on surface temps. In an earlier paper dealing with OLR Christy and Douglass noted:

    “Lindzen [2007] makes the same point that the surface temperature anomalies are not a good proxy in a different way. He stresses that the radiation in the energy flux balance relations can be thought of as coming mostly from the atmospheric layer where the infrared optical depth is near 1. This characteristic emission layer (CEL) is above the boundary layer and is typically at an altitude of 7-8km [pressure 400-300hPa] in the tropics.”

  28. Another Ian December 18, 2013 at 11:40 am #


    FYI – paper and discussion

  29. Larry Fields December 18, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    As cohenite and Nullius suggest, decreasing cloud cover [especially at night] would be a good explanation for the increased OLR. Cloud cover, which is not adequately accounted for in the GCMs, may be the 800-pound gorilla of global temperature change. BTW, good job Michael.

  30. jennifer December 18, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    The title of the article is Michael Hammer’s. The title of this blog post is mine. And I think it stands. AGW has been falsified once again.

    But like much of the history of science, falsification rarely ever result in the death of a paradigm, more likely the overthrow of AGW will require competition, and a civilisation that wants and cares about the accuracy of forecasts… see

  31. James Mayeau December 18, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    Because the emission takes place from a layer 5 km up, the layer 5 km up settles at about -18 C (as it isn’t quite black), and because the moist adiabatic lapse rate averages about 6.5 C/km, the average surface temperature is about -18 + 5*6.5 = 15 C.

    The Japan Alpine Club installed a meteorological station on a ridge near the summit of Denali at an altitude of 18,733 feet (5,710 m) in 1990.[kilometers are just meters divided by ten right?]
    In June 2002, a weather station was placed at the 19,000-foot (5,800 m) level. This weather station was designed to transmit data in real-time for use by the climbing public and the science community. Since its establishment, annual upgrades to the equipment have been performed with instrumentation custom built for the extreme weather and altitude conditions. This weather station is the third-highest weather station in the world.[50]

    The weather station recorded a temperature of −75.5 °F (−59.7 °C) on December 1, 2003. On the previous day of November 30, 2003, a temperature of −74.4 °F (−59.1 °C) combined with a wind speed of 18.4 miles per hour (29.6 km/h) to produce a North American record windchill of −118.1 °F (−83.4 °C).

    Even in July, this weather station has recorded temperatures as low as −22.9 °F (−30.5 °C) and windchills as low as −59.2 °F (−50.7 °C).

  32. James Mayeau December 18, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    how many times did they say weather station in that wikipedia ?

  33. Johnathan Wilkes December 18, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    well kilo still means a 1000 but we get your meaning

  34. Neville December 18, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    The latest monster AGU meeting was sponsered by BIG OIL.

    What incredible hypocrisy from the alarmists, just imagine the abuse if a sceptical AGW meeting was given a small donation from the same FF companies? There would be hell to pay and some of the MSM would pursue them until they dropped the dough.

  35. Larry Fields December 18, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    You mentioned some interesting facts about mountaineering and meteorology. Here’s one more. On hiking and climbing days, you should eat lots of carbs at breakfast to ‘stoke the furnace’.

    But there’s a caveat for cross-country ski days. At breakfast, most pastries are OK, but do not eat donuts. Why not? Because of the Winchell Factor. 🙂

  36. Robert LePage December 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    Oh ye of little faith and not too good eyesight either.
    We’re Still Losing Ice at the Poles
    US Navy predicts summer ice free Arctic by 2016
    U.S. Navy researchers predict summer Arctic ice might disappear by 2016, 84 years ahead of schedule
    5th Symposium on the Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic
    on Naval and Maritime Operations

  37. Debbie December 18, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    Gee. Over at deltoid and SKS they’re busy telling everyone that what happens in one region is not important.
    Don’t you mean pole (as in singular) Robert?

  38. Robert December 18, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    It’s awkward. Arctic summer ice diminished fast for a while after the Napoleonic Wars. Strangely, those were very chilly years. Eventually it will occur to these experts on stuff-which-hasn’t-happened-yet that their climate “science” stands where medical science stood before hand-washing by surgeons.

    Michael’s observations should make us think, which I guess is all he intends. Just about anything can be made to confirm or contradict global warming (even snow storms in Israel!) because, like global cooling, it is not understood at all. It is not understood for the screamingly obvious reason that the most of the earth’s bulk and hydrosphere remain unknown and unexplored. Duh.

  39. sp December 18, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    So much for the RPL link @ 4.44 above:

    US Navy predicts summer ice free Arctic by 2016

    “The paper is highly critical of global climate models (GCM) and even the majority of regional models, noting that “many Arctic climatic processes that are omitted from, or poorly represented in, most current-generation GCMs” which “do not account for important feedbacks among various system components.” There is therefore “a great need for improved understanding and model representation of physical processes and interactions specific to polar regions that currently might not be fully accounted for or are missing in GCMs.””

  40. michael hammer December 18, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    One of the basic premises of science is that many supportive findings still do not prove a theory but a single definitive contradictory finding is enough to destroy it. In this case the theory of CAGW is that rising CO2 reduces OLR and that will cause the earth to warm. The evidence is that OLR has been rising not falling for the last 30 years and that temperatures have risen despite rising OLR. Earlier I drew a distinction between the title of this post and what I said. I have been thinking about that and I now think I have been unfair to Jennifer. From a practical and predictive point of view, if the NOAA data is correct then the theory of CAGW is wrong, busted, and useless as a predictor of future climate changes. If a theory says A should occur and experiment shows the opposite is happening that theory is busted! On the other hand, if the NOAA data is so comprehensively wrong then, given the authority of that site, all our experimental data is thrown into question including the question of whether the earth has actually warmed or not. Either way we do not have a good bass for action or even concern.

  41. Nullius in Verba December 18, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    “The title of the article is Michael Hammer’s. The title of this blog post is mine. And I think it stands. AGW has been falsified once again. “

    If so, it needs a more explicit argument to deal with the difficulties. Clouds are just one of many forcings/feedbacks, many of which are uncertain, and you need to know the *total* to know if the numbers add up. As with all climate measurements, the instruments have some massive biases and errors that have to be estimated, compensated for, and the bits stitched together. NOAA have no doubt done their best, but why would you trust these numbers more than the surface stations? The outgoing longwave is only part of the outgoing radiation budget – there’s the reflected shortwave too. If there’s anything going on with lapse rates or local heat distribution changes it wouldn’t pick it up.

    In fact, somebody could even argue for it being a demonstration that cloud feedback is ‘worse than we thought’. The greenhouse effect itself doesn’t have any direct impact on outgoing longwave (the TOA ‘forcings’ they keep talking about are the uncompensated imbalances that in the real atmosphere are mostly cancelled). But one of the hypothesised reactions to the surface warming is a change in cloud behaviour. If it turns out that this change is to reduce cloudiness and increase the heat that is absorbed and re-emitted, that might turn out to be a positive feedback. (It depends where the clouds are.)

    Usually with this sort of stuff it’s best to be both cautious and modest, to avoid disappointment. Say it’s an oddity that you don’t understand, and see what the climate scientists say. If they look panicked and start blustering, you might be on to something. If they point to where they said the same thing ten years ago, and fitted it in to their picture, well, you’re another small step forward. Repeatedly making big claims and then having to withdraw them knocks back whatever credibility sceptics might have gained.

    It’s the sceptic equivalent of shouting “the science is settled!” It’s like launching a shell over the front lines and declaring victory before it’s even landed. In science, you present the arguments and evidence, see what the response is, extend it, adjust it, improve it, until you have a well-polished argument that they have tried hard to knock down and failed to come up with any valid counter to. At *that* point, you can start to feel hopeful that you might have found something significant.

    There are several scientists ‘on our side’ who I think would be able to give an opinion – Lindzen certainly could, and Roy Spencer has been arguing cloud feedbacks for a long time and is an expert on what the various satellites can and can’t measure. There are a few on the other side I’d trust to give an honest answer, too, like Isaac Held. Why not check the story out first?

  42. Robert December 18, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    Michael, I’m guessing that since green dogma is pretty hard to kill right now, the argument will be made that increased OLR is “natural”, and that it is temporarily “masking” the effects of man-made warming, which will presently resume when the CO2 blanket is not so stretched by these mysterious natural forces.

    Or some such tripe.

  43. cohenite December 18, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    sp has looked at LP’s 2nd link; the 1st link is useless and goes to a blog run by the usual alarmist; he links to NASA:

    This from the NASA link:

    “But little, if any, surface warming is occurring over East Antarctica. Radar and laser-based satellite data show a little mass loss at the edges of East Antarctica, which is being partly offset by accumulation of snow in the interior, although a very recent result from the NASA/German Aerospace Center’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace) suggests that since 2006 there has been more ice loss from East Antarctica than previously thought 5. Overall, not much is going on in East Antarctica — yet.”

    This is acutely ideological ‘science’; note the “yet”.

    In fact East Antarctica’s ice gains exceeds the losses mainly from the WAP as this paper shows:

    From the above paper:

    ” Similarly, the recent 24 Gt/yr loss from three DS in the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) is consistent with glacier accelerations following breakup of the Larsen B and other ice shelves. In contrast, net increases in the five other DS of WA and AP and three of the 16 DS in East Antarctica (EA) exceed the increased losses”

    There is also much more sea ice around the Antarctic due to the expansion of the glaciation and consequent calving.

    NASA in the link also refer to GIA and the GRACE satellite measurement of sheet ice. GRACE is the satellite measuring device which measures land ice by radar; the technique was and still is confounded by GIA which simply refers to the false ice loss effect produced by EXTRA ice compacting the bedrock underneath so the radar signal goes further and creates a erroneous conclusion that there has been ice loss when in fact there has been an ice increase. This problem has been around for a while as these 2005 and 2008 papers show:

    This 2009 paper shows that the Antarctic land ice sheets are growing when GRACE is used ‘properly’:

    Yet it is true that NASA has recently concluded the opposite, that the Antarctic is losing land ice. In particular the Shepherd et al paper is relied on. That paper and the remaining deficiencies of the measurement of the Antarctic are critiqued here:

    The conclusions are:

    “1. JPL admits that satellite measurement of the Earth has issues because a stable Terrestrial Reference Frame was never established for any of the satellite programs. It’s like setting out to do a terrestrial survey without having an accurate benchmark first. This puts all subsequent data derived with the stable benchmark (the stable TRF) into question.

    2. The lack of a stable TRF affects most if not all satellite programs used in this new Shepherd et al paper ‘A reconciled estimate of ice sheet mass balance‘ including ICESAT and GRACE, upon which the paper heavily relies.

    3. In searching both the full paper (which I purchased from AAAS) and from the extensive supplementary materials and information (SM-SI available here: Shepherd.SM-SI.pdf ) for Shepherd et al, I find no mention of TRF or “Terrestrial Reference Frame” anywhere. It appears that all 47 authors are unaware of the TRF stability issue, or if they were aware, it was never brought to bear in peer review to test the veracity of the paper and its conclusions from the satellite data. Section 3 of the Shepard et al SM-SI deals with uncertainty, but also makes no mention of the TRF issue.

    4. The lack of a stable TRF puts all of the space based geodetic data into question, thus the conclusions of the Shepherd et al paper are essentially worthless at the moment, since there isn’t any good way to remove the TRF error from the data with post processing. If there were, the GRASP team at NASA JPL wouldn’t be calling for a new satellite platform and mission to solve the problem. Obviously, this isn’t an issue they take lightly.

    In my opinion, the folks at NASA JPL really should get those two teams talking to one another to get a handle on their data before they make grand announcements saying :

    An international team of satellite experts has produced the most accurate assessment of ice losses from Antarctica and Greenland to date, ending 20-years of uncertainty.

    A good first step would be to get the GRASP mission funded and then go back and redo Shepherd et al to see if it holds up. Until then, it’s just noisy uncertain data.

    In respect of the WAP and other parts of the Antarctic which appear to be losing ice and in addition Greenland, there is no consensus that any of the ice loss is from AGW:

  44. hunter December 18, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    Maybe after the heat is finished hiding in the deep oceans causing havoc it sneaks off into space?
    But seriously, if earth is warmer, it is going to radiate more.
    The question is does the increased radiation offset the increased warming?
    My bet is that they are closely balanced, helping explain why the AGW apocalypse is not cooperating with AGW promoter’s fevered wishes.

  45. michael hammer December 18, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

    Nullius in Verbena, in general I agree with what you have said and indeed that is why I used more cautious wording in the original posting. But in this case consider, AGW theory says OLR shoudl be going down experiment says OLR is increasing. Yes if the NOAA data is wrong then of course that changs everything and I made that proviso. Sure there are feedbacks but feedbacks change the magnitude of the effect either to increase it (positive feedback) or reduce it (negative feedback) but they cannot reverse it because then there would be no forcing function on which the feedback could work. Sure CO2 could be having the effect claimed by warmists but in that case something else is having an even bigger effect, since it overrides the CO2 and indeed reverses it in which case CO2 impacts are not dominant.

    The statement is very strong and certainly stronger than it would be wise to make in a published reviewed paper but, as many have pointed out, this is not a peer reviewed paper which exists for years in libraries. Blog postings are more transitory and my purpose here is a little different. Sure its to highlight some findings and put up an argument for debate but it seems to me that year after year there is too much willingness to debate endlessly without really considering the implications of what is being debated. Almost like CAGW is a framework for a debating society where the debate is the goal not the outcome. We really need an outcome because while we debate endlessly governments are spending billions of dollars of our money and hindering the progress of our society in a quixotic and possibly utterly wrong quest. The warmists are saying their models are right because there is nothing else that could explain the experimental data. At the practical rather than theoretical level the relevant questions are firstly is rising CO2 the dominant driver of our climate as warmists claim and secondly will rising CO2 lead to dangerous warming. At that practical or maybe political level it seems to me if the theory predicts OLR should be falling and in fact it is rising (again assuming the NOAA data is accurate) then thats pretty damning. It forms excellent grounds to suspect CO2 cannot be the dominant driver and that means the claim of the modellers that nothing else can explain what we are seeing is wrong and the entire edifice collapses.

    This data is far more direct than simply “Oh look the arctic ice is melting” or “but the world is warming” or “the spring is coming earlier than it used to”. All of those are derivative and even if true could come about from one of several causes. This is simply theory predicts A 30 years of observation predict NOT A. The only other thing I have seen as direct is that models predict a hotspot in the upper troposphere and experiment says its not there. That one was successfully brushed under the carpet so to speak by warmists and we cannot allow that sort of outcome to continue. The seriousness of this needs to be made clear and cautious language may not do that adequately.

  46. hunter December 18, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    The serious take on this is that the AGW consensus has failed again. OLR is joining the missing hot spot and the other failed AGW predictions as topics that are inconvenient to the AGW narrative.
    In the real world, multiple failed predictions are cause to reexamine assumptions and theories. In the AGW culture, it is reason to call skeptics names, demand more tax payer money, and to repeat the mantra, “it is worse than we thought’.

  47. Nullius in Verba December 18, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

    “AGW theory says OLR should be going down experiment says OLR is increasing.”

    If that was so, then I think it would count as a strong argument. But I’m not sure that it is. AGW theory says OLR should be more or less unaffected by enhancement of the greenhouse effect, but that feedbacks that affected clouds or albedo could shift it (and I think that’s what the models are doing). The climate isn’t simple, with AGW and nothing else. There are dozens of effects, forcings and feedbacks pushing both up and down. It’s like saying that “AGW theory predicts warming but the increase has paused”, or for that matter the “anti-AGW theory predicts a flat climate but temperatures are rising” argument that they used back in the 1990s. The argument isn’t conclusive because it’s only one contribution; only one possible explanation of it from many.

    You can say that it falsifies the climate models that predicted it ought to be going down, but AGW theory in general? That’s a lot more difficult.

    ” The only other thing I have seen as direct is that models predict a hotspot in the upper troposphere and experiment says its not there.”

    The hotspot isn’t a prediction of AGW, it’s a prediction of the water vapour feedback. The reason for it is that a warmer sea surface should evaporate more water, and a moister atmosphere should have a shallower lapse rate. Lapse rate feedback is a *negative* feedback, it partially cancels global warming at the surface, but reinforces it above the average altitude of emission to space, where the temperature profile pivots. It’s absence suggests that the atmosphere is not getting moister as expected, and so the water vapour feedback effects are milder than proposed. Other explanations might be possible, though (Lindzen, for example, thought it meant the surface temperature measurements were inaccurate and biased too high). It’s early days yet.

    It’s a genuine and serious problem for them, but it doesn’t falsify AGW theory as such: what it does is partially and indirectly contradict the claims that AGW will be magnified massively by feedbacks.

    ” The seriousness of this needs to be made clear and cautious language may not do that adequately.”

    I agree. But first you need to make sure the weapon you’re using will actually work. Talking tough, and then finding out that they’ve got an easy counter is counterproductive.

    First test and develop the argument cautiously, see if it works, see what they do, make adjustments and improvements to refine it, and remove any vulnerabilities they could use to distract (like those emissivities). Once you’re sure it works against the average warmist, try it out against some of their big guns. Adjust and improve further.

    And then, when you’re confident that the bazooka is loaded for mad-bull-elephant, you can stand up and talk tough and with unshakeable confidence, and attract everybody’s attention.

    I agree that cautious and diffident experimentation won’t win the war. But neither will relying on weapons you haven’t properly tested in action. First test, then use.

  48. hunter December 18, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    I just noticed that some trolls are posting the Navy prediction about an ice-free Arctic by 2016 as if it were a credible report.
    The important thing about being a true believer is never needing to deal with pesky facts or data.
    The entertainment value of watching some troll whose mind is similar to an echo chamber except even more devoid of critical thinking ability is wonderful.
    takes care of the south,
    takes care of the north.
    Trolls should be thanked for providing such pleasant diversions.

  49. Larry Fields December 19, 2013 at 4:08 am #

    Comment from: Robert LePage December 18th, 2013 at 4:44 pm
    “US Navy predicts summer ice free Arctic by 2016″

    Unlike some people, I have fully functional crap detectors. Here’s the deal. The top brass in the US military has come out with statements to the effect that Climate Change (the new and improved Gorebull Warming) is THE top security threat to our country. In light of that Big Lie, it should come as no surprise that our generals and admirals repeat the old canard about an ice-free Artic in the near future.

    In contrast, Russian shipbuilders are constructing the biggest icebreaker of all time. Do they know something that we don’t?

    Anyway, why would our top brass say such stupid things, for which there’s zero evidence? Because they’re sucking up to President Dogpile, the Marxist Messiah.

    Old saying: Truth is the first casualty of war. And, I might add, of preparation for war. For generals and admirals, lying is as natural as breathing. Especially when the Liar-in-Chief makes it absolutely clear, while maintaining plausible deniability, that this is what he wants them to do.

    Robert, can you say: confirmation bias?”

  50. Neville December 19, 2013 at 5:29 am #

    Very funny post by Joe Bastardi on all the problems the warmists face in their CAGW struggles. And all in verse.

  51. michael hammer December 19, 2013 at 6:58 am #

    Nullis in Verbena at 11:35 pm Your comments are wise and considered and I thank you for them. Your point about losing the distracting elements such as my diversion into emissivities is undoubtedly correct. I included it because I found the visible green house effects of water vapour very interesting and thought others might as well but I admit in hindsight it was just a distraction better done without.

    I do somewhat disagree with the first part of your first paragraph however. The fundamental thesis of AGW is that rising CO2 acts as a blanket reducing Earths energy loss to space ie: reducing OLR. Once that happens the temperature of Earth rises and that triggers the sort of feedbacks you mention. It has never been suggested to my knowledge that CO2 could directly change anything other than energy loss to space. So what are the possibilities?

    Well if the time constant was short the temperature would rise until OLR again matched insolation. ie: no change in OLR but higher temperatures. In that case the 0.4C rise we have seen is all we would get from the half doubling of CO2 ie: 0.8 C per doubling – not dangerous. That would explain no fall in OLR but it would not explain a rise. Also the warmists reject that situation claiming very long time constants and more rising temperature in the wings. That would mean the imbalance must still be there ie: OLR must still be depressed from its long term average.

    Maybe CO2 is only one factor and there are others in operation – highly plausible. But in that case, the other factors are forcing OLR up while CO2 should be forcing it down. That means the other factors have greater impact than rising CO2 so CO2 is not the dominant effect. Not only in forcing OLR in the opposite direction but also increasing insolation since if bothe the temperature and OLR are rising insolation must be rising even faster that OLR. Yet the CAGW theory says CO2 is the dominant effect, they cant explain what is happening any other way. If there is something else more potent than CO2 which is changing both OLR and insolation then until we understand it, CAGW theory is worthless as a predictor.

    Maybe rising CO2 has forced temperatures up 0.4C and that has been enough to trigger all sorts of feedbacks. Trouble with this is that feedbacks are a response to an initial forcing and are maintained by that intial forcing. They can therefore exacerbate or reduce the initial forcing but they cannot reverse it since if they did there would be no basis for the feedback – indeed if the forcing reversed, the feedback would as well which leads to an infinite regression argument.

    The issue remains, the entire basis of CAGW theory is that rising CO2 reduces energy loss to space yet over the 30 years of dominant rise in CO2 and claimed world temperatures OLR has risen not fallen or even remained static. Further it has risen more than could be explained by the temperature rise given the thermal sensitivity of earth even in the absence of any feedbacks.

    Your point about testing a “weapon” before using it in battle is very good and I would argue that the posting on this blog is exactly that, a test to see what the alternative interpretations are. Consider the strong language a challenge to warmists to prove me wrong.

    Lastly, I sent a short version of this to a high profile and respectable person in the AGW debate and he came back with the comment – this is not new, Linzden and Choi commented on it back in 2011 but its interesting to have your corroboration. Hmm the point was raised by others far more learned than me and with far higher profile 2 years ago. No mention of counter arguments and yet it got swept under the carpet? That is worrying.

    Again I thank you most sincerely for your thoughtful and well considered comments.

  52. spangled drongo December 19, 2013 at 7:06 am #

    And thank you too Michael for those very clear comments.

  53. Neville December 19, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    The CAGW warmists certainly have a few problems with their iconic agenda.

    Problems with increase OLR, polar bears increased 4 fold since 1960, lack of extra humidity in the system, no evidence of more extreme weather events, latest SLR study shows about 7 inches by 2100 or 17.5 cm, all models show no dangerous SLR for the next 300 years, no hot spot over tropics at 10 klm level, ice extent in Antarctica at all time high, Arctic ice extent up 50% in last 12 months, Greenland temps show warmer 1920s to 1940s and 1930s to 40s being the highest.

    Just a few problems for the extremists to think about. But the biggest con is the BELIEF that the developed world can somehow fix or mitigate their problem.
    The OECD countries will only add 6% of the increase in co2 emissions until 1940 and the non OECD will add 94% of the increase to 1940. What a maths challenged joke.

  54. hunter December 19, 2013 at 7:18 am #

    How can we do a wager regarding an ice free Arctic by 2016? I am in a betting mood.

  55. Neville December 19, 2013 at 7:23 am #

    Sorry last paragraph above should read until 2040 not 1940. Twice.

  56. cohenite December 19, 2013 at 8:11 am #

    Nullius says:

    “The hotspot isn’t a prediction of AGW, it’s a prediction of the water vapour feedback.”

    As they say I wouldn’t like to live on the distinction.

    I’m sure Nullius remembers all the fuss about Specific and Relative humidity and the [in]famous papers by Dessler, Soden, Minchswaner about how AGW would increase atmospheric WV and therein create a hotspot as described by Figure 9.1:

    The IPCC calls this water feedback, which in turn produces an enhanced Greenhouse effect:

    The point I’m labouring to make is that the THS through the feedback from water which has increased through CO2 heating has been one of the primary predictions of AGW. The absence of a THS acts to, if not kill AGW, put a stake through its heart. But then I’m given to hyperbole! How would you describe the absence of a THS in terms of damage to AGW?

  57. David Appell December 19, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    This is an extremely amateurish paper that cannot be taken seriously.

  58. Neville December 19, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    The mitigation of this CAGW con has been a disaster. Lomborg runs the numbers for biofuels and shows that millions now starve because of the stupidity and ignorance of EU and USA politicians.

    The biofuel idiocy has been as big a disaster and scandal as wind and solar energy. And it saves ZIP emissions and costs the poor taxpayers a fortune.
    Of course take away the taxpayer subsidies and all of the above industries????? collapse in a heap.

  59. Johnathan Wilkes December 19, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    @ Neville
    “millions now starve because of the stupidity and ignorance of EU and USA politicians.”

    And what makes you think it’s stupidity and ignorance, Neville?
    Sometimes a bit of cynicism is healthy.

  60. Neville December 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    JW you may be right, who knows what these creeps really think about and how extreme they really are?
    But it’s a provable disaster at the level of increased human misery and countless billions wasted for a zip return for lower temp and desirable CC by 2100. Unbelievably stupid and disgusting behavior.

  61. Nullius in Verba December 19, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    “The fundamental thesis of AGW is that rising CO2 acts as a blanket reducing Earths energy loss to space ie: reducing OLR. Once that happens the temperature of Earth rises and that triggers the sort of feedbacks you mention. It has never been suggested to my knowledge that CO2 could directly change anything other than energy loss to space. So what are the possibilities?”

    In order to explain it simply, the effect is broken down into a chain of simpler steps that are explained individually. But the whole sequence of mechanisms act simultaneously, in concert. There are several different ways to break the mechanism down, giving rise to several different intuitive understandings, each with their own set of common misunderstandings. My way of understanding the effect is a bit different to the one taught in climate science courses, although it originated in a standard ‘literature’ approach I first saw in Soden and Held’s review from 2000, but which dates back to the radiative-convective approach of Manabe, Moller, Wetherald, and Strickler from the late 1960s, and even Schwarzchild’s 1930s work on the structure of stars.

    The approach commonly taken in climate science is to first perturb one element holding everything else fixed, and then see what imbalanced forces arise to see how things will change. This is akin to working out what happens when you poke something with a stick by assuming that the hand holding the end of the stick moves while the rest of the stick stays where it is, and analysing the elastic forces that arise in the bent stick. In practice, the stick moves with the hand, the forces adjusting its location simultaneously with the motion. The alternative approach is to assume all the forces remain in balance, and work out where the stick has to be if your hand moves just so. Both approaches come to the same answer, but the intuitions can be different.

    Rising CO2 raises the average altitude of OLR emission to space, which – other things held equal – is a colder level that emits less energy. More energy arriving than leaving warms the entire system until emission at the new higher level once again emits all the energy that the Earth absorbs. In practice, the rising of the emission level is slow enough that the system remains almost at equilibrium the entire time. The atmosphere warms with the rising of the emitting layer, and the imbalance is never very large. It is also buried under the annual cycle of warming and cooling with the seasons, and with the distance from the sun – the imbalances of which are far larger.

    Likewise, the feedbacks occur almost simultaneously with the change – certainly on a far shorter timescale than the century-long rise in CO2. You can actually see the lag in some of the feedback effects – for example, CO2 is more soluble in colder water, so warm weather releases more CO2. The CO2 level fluctuates following the temperature with a lag of a few months, which can be detected. The effect is about a factor of 10 too small to explain the observed rise in CO2, but larger, shorter timescale variations in temperature do have a visible effect. But with a time constant of only months, there is in effect no significant delay between the force and the adjustment when it comes to the centennial changes.

    So according to the theory, OLR should be continually almost in balance all the time. The amount of heat needed to warm the Earth’s surface at a rate of 1 C/century is very low, even if you assume a fairly thick slab of ocean is being warmed.

    The OLR is determined by the temperature of the emitting layer, which can be approximated by treating it as if it all happened at the average altitude of emission to space. The emitting layer stays the same temperature, so it emits the same OLR, but it rises further above the surface, and so the temperature of the surface increases due to the lapse rate having a greater height difference to work across.

    To summarise (and simplify grossly):
    T_surf = T_eff + ALR * AAES
    where T_surf is surface temperature, T_eff is the effective radiative emission temperature, ALR is the adiabatic lapse rate, and AAES is the average altitude of emission to space.

    The lapse rate can be affected by humidity – this is where the upper troposphere tropical hotspot comes from. It’s also part of the reason why dry deserts are so hot.

    The average altitude of emission to space is affected by GHGs.

    T_eff is effectively the OLR figure converted to a temperature, and it is affected by the solar constant, clouds, aerosols, and surface albedo. (Deep ocean heating also takes from this number.)

    (There’s also a lot of stuff going on with horizontal heat transfer between latitudes, ocean oscillations, air and ocean currents, inversions and boundary layers, weather systems, and so on. Don’t let me fool you into thinking any of this stuff is simple.)

    But roughly speaking, T_eff is the most likely source for other influences besides GHGs, and T_eff is what you have observed a rise in. However, it is independent of the greenhouse effect, which is the other two terms in the equation, except possibly via any feedbacks that might affect it. For example, melting ice would increase the amount of heat absorbed from the sun, increasing T_eff, and hence OLR.

    So the critical question is: is this rise the result of a forcing (e.g. Svensmark’s solar hypothesis, or Spencer’s internal variation of cloudiness) or is it a feedback (e.g. water vapour affecting cloudiness, ice cover, vegetation cover, etc.)? If the former, then this is an alternative warming method that suggests AGW is contributing less of the observed increase. If it is a feedback, it kinda hints that the cloud feedbacks are more positive than the models assume, which potentially makes it “worse than we thought” – although given the difficulty in working out what effect clouds have, not necessarily.

    I don’t have the expertise to even guess. But I’m pretty sure that if even I, as a sympathetic reader strongly biased towards finding reasons to doubt AGW, can find issues with it, then the warmists are certainly going to do so.

    By all means challenge them to explain it, or ask the question ‘does this falsify AGW?’ But I’d still be cautious about saying that it *does* falsify it until I was really sure. It’s the same sort of integrity we demand of climate scientists – not to claim more than they really know, with more certainty than is justified. In the long run it works better, even if it gives up some temporary advantage in the short term.

    “The point I’m labouring to make is that the THS through the feedback from water which has increased through CO2 heating has been one of the primary predictions of AGW. The absence of a THS acts to, if not kill AGW, put a stake through its heart.”

    It arguably does so for catastrophic AGW, the problem is that the term “AGW” is ambiguous. Does it mean the hypothesis that anthropogenic CO2 contributes to warmer temperatures, or is the dominant cause of the observed warmer temperatures, or will in the future give rise to dangerously warmer temperatures? Or does it refer to the political campaign to do something about it?

    The reason I emphasise it is that the warmists always bring it up as their standard counter. Even if the observed warming is due to natural variation – Svensmark’s solar hypothesis, or Tisdale’s ENSO residue – there still ought to be a hotspot. So this arguably isn’t a problem specific to AGW – it’s generic to our understanding of climate.

    As I said, it’s an issue with the feedbacks rather than with the AGW mechanism itself. So long as you know and can argue that position, the warmist counter shouldn’t prove a problem. But you have to be a bit careful about how you phrase it to avoid falling into rhetorical traps.

    I’m a great believer in the principle that it’s not sufficient to simply present arguments against incorrect positions – you have to present the *right*, technically correct arguments, or you’re vulnerable to a rhetorically devastating counter-attack from somebody who knows what they’re talking about. And while I cannot reasonably expect every man-on-the-street sceptic to be a climate science expert (I’m not, either), I do what I can to prod things in the right direction.

  62. Neville December 19, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    Interesting cautionary tale from Nullius in Verba. I just wish I had the education and understanding to unravel Willis Eschenbach’s latest post at WUWT.

    I think I understand some of it, but would anyone here care to have a go? And please in reasonably plain english for we lay people. Just a short summary will do.

  63. Neville December 19, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    I can’t believe some of the strange people we find at the summit of climate science. Here’s the deputy head of the UK’s Tyndall centre.

  64. kuhnkat December 19, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    Interesting discussion over the radiation. I would suggest that it is a lack of Papers from the IPCC types touting the decrease or lack of increase that proves whether Mr. Hammer is right or not.

    Like the HotSpot, stratospheric temps, and tropopause height, they have stopped directing attention to radiation metrics as it is a LOSER!! They leave it to their little fanboys to yap about things like Arctic Ice that prove nothing and concentrate on their MESSAGE of the science being settled and anyone who disagrees must have mental issues as the science is burying them.

    Hey fanboys, how is that Antarctic sea ice and volcano beneath the western glacier treating yuh???
    The rest of this winter should be mostly bad news for y’all also. Yup, Climate is the average of weather over decades. We are in for a lot of colder than normal weather.

  65. cohenite December 19, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

    Thanks Nullius. I agree, the THS is really a function of water vapor feedback, not a first order forcing. You don’t see it in MODTRAN as implemented on line because a surface temperature offset entered in MODTRAN only affects the temperature up through 10 km and its constant. You get the THS only if the lapse rate decreases as temperature goes up because the moist lapse rate gets lower as specific humidity goes up (higher energy content/kg). A decreasing lapse rate is actually a negative feedback, but the increased radiation from increased water vapour [SH] is supposed to more than make up for that according to AGW [ie Dessler et al].

    Say the lapse rate is 6.5 K/km and the surface temperature is 300 K. Then the temperature at 10 km would be 235 K (300-6.5*10). Now let’s raise the surface temperature by 10 K and lower the lapse rate to 6 K/km. In this case the surface temperature is 310 K and the temperature at 10 km is 250 K (310-6*10). So the surface has warmed by 10 K and the 10 km temperature has gone up by 15 K. That’s the source and the signature, but with smaller numbers, of the THS.

    The problems are still 2-fold; firstly, a THS DOES depend on a temperature signature; Fig 9.1 of AR4 makes this plain; and this temperature signature is distinct to GHG’s; that is unequivocal; and that temperature signature is NOT THERE. The second problem is more convoluted and depends on there being more SH at particular levels and for that increased SH to have a +ve feedback to temperature. Initially, despite all the Santer and Soden modeling, it is problematic that SH is increasing at all or where it should be [see Soloman and Paltridge]; secondly, does increased SH have a positive feedback; increased SH should increase the latent heat of the atmosphere but this paper says otherwise:

    I guess my point in referring to poor old Miskolzi is that regardless of whether you approach the THS as an AGW forcing or feedback it still fails. In terms of Michael’s post it also fails because there is insufficient radiation being ‘trapped’ in the atmosphere. Chicken or egg this Dodo isn’t going to cross the road!

  66. Beth Cooper December 19, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    Serfs enjoy The Chiefio’s musings, here that the Elvis heat has left the planet.

  67. michael hammer December 19, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    Nullis in Verbena at 1:11. Your arguments are very clear rational and reasonable. It a pleasure debating with you. I believe I understand what you are saying. Let me say first up that the view of an effective radiation altitude is one I know is a commonly used simplification by the climate science community but its one I strongly disagree with because from a spectroscopic point of view it has no meaning. What really happens is radiation comes from different altitudes depending on the wavelength. IN the atmospheric window its from the surface or cloud tops. At the 14.7 CO2 line its from the top of the CO2 column which is at the tropopause and so on. To me the concept of an effective riadiation altitude and then tying this to a lapse rate is a very questionable concept even as a simplification. However in the interest of effectiveness lets put that to one side for the moment.

    Your greater argument as I understand it is that the radiation and temperature equilibration time constants are far shorter than the rate of change of CO2 so the system is always in pseudo equilibrium. I completely agree, all my analysis points to the same thing. That already debunks the claim that there is more warming in the pipe line even if CO2 stops rising tomorrow. If its all due to CO2 then half a doubling gives 0.4C rise in temperature which speaks very strongly against CAGW at least (although not AGW)

    Moving on, if the system is always in temporary thermal equilibrium then the 2.5 watts/sqM rise in OLR must be matched by a 2.5 watts/sqM rise in insolation. This could come about from 2 sources you claim. It could be due to an external factor such as solar modulation of cosmic rays (Svensmark’s theory) or it could be caused by a change here on Earth as a result of the warming we have seen so far and for this you give the example of melting ice exposing more dark ground which absorbs a larger fraction of the incoming solar energy. If the latter, it would represent positive feedback (rising temperature causes greater solar energy absorption) which is what the climate scientists are of course claiming. So lets examine this a bit.

    Lets take your model of earth emitting as a black body at an effective emission temperature (even though I disagree with it) and also accept your point that the system is in pseudo thermal equilibrium. If we use the largest claimed rise in temperature since 1980 (that claimed by nasa giss) 0.5C it means a rise of 0.5C increased OLR by 2.5 watts/sqM giving an incremental sensitivity of 5 watts/sqM/C. For a black body the maximum achievable sensitivity (emissivity =1 ie: a black body)is simply the first derivative of the Stefan Boltzman law which at the effective emission temperature of 255K computes to 4*5.67e-8*255^3 = 3.76 watts/sqM/C. So its not possible for the emission to increase by 2.5 watts/sqM for a rise in Teff of 0.5C. Teff must have risen by at least 2.5/3.76 = 0.66C ie: more than the surface. That means the effective emission altitude must have fallen but you pointed out earlier that rising ghg makes the effective emission altitude rise. The claim that rising ghg makes the effective emission altitude rise is simply the translation into the Teff model of the statement that rising ghg reduces OLR emission to space at constant temperature so its not negotiable.

    If the rise in OLR were entirely due to external factors driving up insolation, with no change in CO2 levels the temperature rise needed for a 2.5 watt/sqM rise in OLR would have been 0.66C. Rising CO2 would add to this making it still bigger but its actually smaller. Thus the observed rise in OLR if due to external forcings is in conflict with the AGW thesis. If the rise in OLR is due to feedbacks in our climate system then we find that the feedback we logically assumed was positive is actually negative. Is there any way that could happen? Maybe, if the feedback were clouds then a reduction in cloud cover would increase insolation (lower albedo) but would also increase OLR because clouds also impede OLR (we well know the difference between a cloudy night and a clear night) so according to the Teff model decreasing cloud cover would drop the Teff altitude. Trouble is while Svensmark gives a model of how that could come about via an external forcing its hard to see how rising temperatures could reduce cloud cover. Anyway negative feedbacks are not compatible with the CAGW thesis.

    I realize you are taking the devils advocate approach and don’t necessarily agree with your own argument but its hard to phrase the response other than implying you do. Please be assured I do realize the distinction.

  68. Nullius in Verba December 19, 2013 at 9:14 pm #


    Thanks! It’s a pleasure debating with you, too!

    I agree about the approximation involved in treating the emission as if it was coming from a single level. The only reason it works is that convective coupling ties the temperature profile at all the different levels together, so it moves together a bit like a rigid body. If you push and pull on different various parts of a rigid body, it moves as if you had applied only a single external force on a particular point or line. Internal forces take care of the rest.

    I also agree that the apparent increase in OLR corresponds to a bigger change in T_eff than is a comfortable fit with observed surface temperature change. What’s more, I can’t think of any easy explanation besides ‘measurement error’, since most of the other forcings and feedbacks that can otherwise offset warming act *through* changing T_eff. But neither am I quite convinced yet that there couldn’t be such an explanation. But I’d definitely say that it counts as a “Good question!” I will be very interested to see how this develops.

    Yes, I am to some extent playing devil’s advocate. This seems to me to be the way science is supposed to work – you do your best to knock down every thesis, especially your own, and the ones left standing are the ones you want to keep. The problem with certain parts of climate science was they lost the habit of doing that – probably because they didn’t want to break another man’s rice bowl. We can do better than that.

    Part of it is a matter of my own scientific integrity. If I can see a problem with an argument, I’ll say so. Even if I like the conclusion, or think that in the end it’s probably close to the truth.

    And part of it is tactical. Not only is it good to tidy up an argument before letting the AGW-fanatics have a go at it, but I’ve also occasionally seen sceptics come in for criticism for uncritically accepting any old anti-AGW argument, no matter how scientifically iffy, while jumping up and down over every scientific infraction when it comes to pro-AGW arguments. That’s unscientific and hypocritical, they say. Being able to point to debates on sceptic blogs where we *do* criticise anti-AGW arguments is an excellent counter to that. I don’t do it so much – they don’t need the help – but it sets a good example.

    Thanks for taking my comments and criticisms in the right spirit.

  69. Neville December 20, 2013 at 6:59 am #

    Bob Tisdale looks at the warming and cooling of the oceans at various depths.

    So why are the Pacific and Nth Atlantic oceans showing either no warming or indeed some cooling over the last 10 years?
    If human co2 emissions were to blame surely the same temp variations should be seen everywhere?
    And who believes the measurement accuracy of hundredths and thousandths of a degree? Of course pre Argo temps were measured from buckets etc, but only on well used shipping lanes. That’s a tiny area of all the ocean’s surface. Surely those earlier temps must be very doubtful?

  70. handjive of December 20, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    @ Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes December 18th, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Thanks for the link, JW.

  71. michael hammer December 20, 2013 at 8:00 am #

    Hi Nullus in Verbena;

    I wanted to explain why I am so opposed to the idea of an effective emission temperature and why I think it leads to problems. Firstly from a spectroscopic point of view an effective emission altitude is meaningless. For the atmosphere to radiate energy it must have a non zero emissivity at least at some wavelengths ie: the emission must be coming from a ghg. Well that’s OK the atmosphere is full of ghg’s. Now lets look at CO2 as an example. At 280 ppm the atmospheric column of CO2 has an optical absorbance of around 2000 abs. Think of it as 2000 layers each 1 abs thick. A 1 abs layer absorbs 90% of the energy (at 14.7 microns for CO2) incident on it, a 2 abs layer absorbs 99% and so on. Thus any energy emitted towards space by CO2 lower down in the atmosphere is re-absorbed by the CO2 above it. Its only the last 2 abs ie: the top 1/1000 of the CO2 column that can emit to space. That’s the very top of the CO2 column. A similar situation exists for any other green house gas.

    By far the two most significant green house gases are water vapour and CO2 and for both the top of the gas column is the tropopause in the case of water this defines the tropopause. So in a somewhat simplified approach we can consider emission to space follows a bimodal distribution, some from the surface (in the atmospheric window) and some from the tropopause at the ghg wavelengths (there is some from the stratosphere via ozone and 10 microns plus minor components from other ghg’s). Increasing the CO2 concentration slightly reduces the fraction from the surface and slightly increases the fraction from the tropopause. Since the tropopause is far colder than the surface the net effect is a reduction in energy radiated to space. Actually there are 3 main emission layers, because clouds absorb surface emissions in the atmospheric window and in turn radiate to space from the cloud tops.

    Now in the model used by climate scientists they glibly say, the emission went up so Teff rose and that could be explained by a drop in the effective emission altitude (something one cant measure because it doesn’t exist). But in the real world the emission from the surface is tied to the surface temperature (not some mythical Teff) so if the emission rose without the surface temperature rising either the tropopause got warmer, which means lower or cloud cover decreased or clouds got lower so the cloud tops are warmer. Now we can measure the tropopause temperature and altitude and I haven’t seen any suggestions it is progressively getting lower and warmer, indeed I get the impression warmists are claiming it is rising as the planet warms due to stronger convection from increased absolute humidity. So that leaves clouds which I indeed think is the dominant factor and the one which is least understood. But this idea of a Teff which can change by a change in emission altitude is to me a dangerous misconception.

    Also, while I agree completely the lapse rate is set by very strong negative feedback (too low and convection stops, too high and one would get massive convection) I do not believe that entirely sets the height of the tropopause. While the peak of solar output is a 550nm there is still significant energy in the near infrared 700nm to 2000nm and in these regions water vapour has some strong absorption bands. Thus the top of the water vapour column can absorb significant solar energy which adds to the energy it receives from convection. In fact, I strongly suspect the absorbed solar energy is larger than the energy received from convection and that’s what sets the tropopause at the top of the water vapour column. In that model, rising CO2 means the tropopause can radiate to space over a slightly greater range of wavelengths so at a given temperature it could radiate more energy, but the CO2 does not contribute to energy gain by this region since the sun puts out negligible energy at the CO2 absorption lines thus one would expect rising CO2 to slightly cool the tropopause and since the lapse rate is well defined that means it would slightly raise the tropopause altitude. Looked at another way, the tropopause cant radiate more energy to space because it doesn’t have any more to radiate, so, if it can radiate over a greater range of wavelengths, it radiates less at each wavelength.

  72. Robert Lepage December 20, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    As Sea Ice Shrinks, Arctic Shipping Options Expand
    On October 7, 2013, the Nordic Orion bulk carrier ship completed its journey from Vancouver, Canada, to Pori, Finland, having traveled northward around Alaska and through the Northwest Passage. It was the first large commercial freighter ever to make the voyage through these typically ice-covered Arctic waters.

    This is of course not really happening

  73. Graeme M December 20, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    While the reduced sea ice in summer undoubtedly makes this voyage a possibility, I wonder at the extent to which modern ship design, navigational aids and ice-breaking activities contribute?

    This article notes some of those matters and observes that Russia in particular is well placed to take advantage of the likelihood, again through the application of serious ice-breaking. The article also sounds a note of warning about just how easy it is likely to be at a commercially viable level. And as the comment notes, that’s presuming warming continues and sea ice reduces more dramatically. As it is, current conditions raise some questions about that.

  74. cohenite December 20, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    More doom and gloom from LP, although I can see an upside to having the North Pole more accessible to shipping: just think of the commercial and tourist possibilities! Anyway we’ve still got a long way to go to get to what they were doing in 1959 as this photo of the USS Skate shows:

  75. Neville December 20, 2013 at 9:30 am #

    RLP you’ve obviously not heard of the Holocene climate optimum or RWP or MedWP etc. During those times the Arctic was probably ice free in summer ( sometimes little winter ice as well) for hundreds if not thousands of years.( Hol Opt)

    Coher’s photo was taken in 1959 at the North pole and Wilkins was a famous Aussie polar explorer and expedition leader at that time.

  76. Neville December 20, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    Don’t worry RLP there’s hope for you yet, even this bloke has started to wake up. But ya gotta laugh.

  77. Larry Fields December 20, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    Comment from: Neville December 19th, 2013 at 10:46 am
    “The mitigation of this CAGW con has been a disaster. Lomborg runs the numbers for biofuels and shows that millions now starve because of the stupidity and ignorance of EU and USA politicians.”

    On the whole, Lomborg makes a very valid and timely point.

    However the article contains conflicting numbers about how many millions of people are starving/going hungry because of biofuels. If he’s making some kind of distinction, he should explain it more clearly.

    Supposedly, the bioethanol that’s added to petrol here in some American states causes a non-trivial reduction of harmful pollutants in tail-pipe exhaust. I don’t know if that’s accurate, but Lomborg should at least mention it — if only to put that puppy to rest.

    I also have the impression is that Lomborg is exaggerating on one point. Is his concern about the isoprene emissions justified, or is he simply stirring the pot, by hinting at the fallacious Precautionary Principle?

    Paracelsus’ old saying:
    The dose makes the poison.

    Tree emissions make you sick. Yeah, right. If Lomborg wants to score more points with discerning readers, he should avoid pissing in the soup. I hope that his academic writing is better than this.

  78. Neville December 20, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    Larry I think you’re being far too technical. Lomborg has exposed this bizarre fraud like no other and with the help of a large team of experts.
    The trouble is this fraud is so brazen and has been going on for so long that many people can’t understand just how big it is and yet how easy it is to understand.
    You just need commonsense and very simple sums to unravel the con. Simply put western countries could stop emitting today and co2 levels would keep rising because of the soaring fossil fuel appetite of China , India etc.
    All the trillions $ to be wasted by the western countries on fraudulent mitigation scams can’t make zip difference to co2 levels or climate or temp anytime soon or by 2100.

  79. Neville December 20, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

    Larry here’s more idiotic legislation from your house of Reps.

    Steve Goreham has written a good article condemning some of your Dem donkeys for telling lies about the reasons for forcing people to use super expensive, unreliable renewable energy.
    These idiots actually state that it will create jobs and help save US fuel imports. In fact these stupid wind and solar technologies???? require backup from gas fired plants when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.

    Of course zip savings in co2 emissions and zip change in temp or weather or climate. They keep telling these lies and a percentage of the electorate seem to believe them. Why is that?

  80. J.H. December 20, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

    Luke misses the biggest point…. He makes it yet misses its importance. He says.

    “Those data are from a whole series of satellites not just one with drift issues and interpolation. A regression through the OLR data series would be flat until your predetermined stats norty of trying to squeeze out what you want with a polynomial. Errors bounds are? And trying to resolve what level of theoretical change?”

    So, he’s saying the OLR trend is flat…. But that in itself is disastrous for the AGW hypothesis….Over the last 30 years of the satellite record, CO2 has risen 20% or more, yet the OLR is barely distinguishable from flat as far as Luke is concerned, while Dr Hammer contends that OLR loss to space is rising.

    ….. The fact remains, if the AGW hypothesis is to be valid, OLR has to be lessening as the effects of 20% more CO2 “impact” the atmospheric system as per the hypothesized effects on OLR. The effects of 20% more CO2 should be starkly clear….. But they are not.

    After all, Luke can barely tell if OLR is going up, down or sideways….. 🙂

  81. Robert LePage December 21, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    Walking In An Anthropocene Wonderland: “But I’ll know my song well before I start singing”

  82. cohenite December 21, 2013 at 8:25 am #

    This article by Michael vindicates Miskolczi big time.

    LePage you’re a crank. You belong on a street corner.

  83. Neville December 21, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    Hansen and his supporting scientists tell us we should reduce and hold co2 levels at 350ppmv for future climate outcomes that will benifit the environment and leave better lives for our kids and grandkids etc.
    Can Luke or bazza or RLP tell us just how this reduction of 50ppmv will help the planet in any positive way or change OLR or bushfires or SLR or change rainfall/ snowfall or droughts or floods or hurricanes or tornadoes or slow ocean acidity, or any future extreme weather events etc?
    And while your at it you could please tell us how to reduce and hold co2 at 350ppmv?

  84. kuhnkat December 21, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    Michael Hammer,

    I notice you seem to use a couple of the AGW assumptions in your statements. I always wondered about them and would appreciate if you could explain why you think they hold.

    Specifically you state that as GHG’s increase the amount of radiation from the lower levels making it through decreases. That would be true IF there is no warming!!! f the atmosphere warms it expands decreasing the density. I have no idea whether this is neutral, positive, or negative in respect to the IR, but, never saw any expert deal with the issue.

    The other item is the assumption that the temperature of the average emission altitude would become colder. As the atmosphere warms it warms through the entire column, although not necessarily at the same rates. Still, the higher emissions altitude may NOT be cooler.

    OF course, if there is no warming this is totally moot!! 8>)

    Again, I have not seen any competent person try and deal with the actual numbers that will obtain in a realistic scenario as opposed to the ASSUMPTIONS that less radiation will make it through and the average emissions altitude will be colder because it is higher. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

  85. Neville December 21, 2013 at 9:41 am #

    Environmental writer Lawrence Solomon explains why wind and solar energies are a toxic environmental disaster for the planet.

    Matt Ridley has also shown that fossil fuel use has helped to green the planet over the last 50+ years.
    We only need to take away the subsidies for these toxic disasters and the whole mess will soon cease to exist. Apart from the inevitable clean up that will have to take place.

  86. Neville December 21, 2013 at 10:43 am #

    Hey I’ve just seen the future for all the warmist loonies. There is a country that they can live in now and enjoy all of the pseudo sc-fi nonsense they want. It’s called North Korea.

  87. michael hammer December 21, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    Hi Kuhnkat; I will do my best but before I do that I wanted to make 2 points. Firstly I do not hold a PhD so the title Dr which some others have used is not appropriate. Secondly, I do not have formal training in spectroscopy and I certainly would not claim to be a spectroscopist (a new graduate spectroscopist would run rings around me) but after 35 years of research for a spectroscopy company I have learnt some of the basics and I do claim the ability to apply what I have learnt. So on to the explanations

    Long wave or thermal emission depends only on the temperature of the emitting source and its emissivity. The relation between energy emitted at any specific wavelength and the temperature for a black body (emissivity =1) is given by Planks law. That is the maximum energy that can be emitted by any surface at that temperature. If the surface has an emissivity less than 1 that reduces the actual emission in a linear fashion. When it comes to absorption, that only depends on the absorptivity(at the wavelength in question) not the temperature and the absorptivity is always exactly equal to the emissivity.

    The surface of the earth has an emissivity very close to 1 in the thermal emission range and any ghg column thick enough will have an emissivity of exactly 1 so to a pretty good first approximation we can look at surfaces as black body in the thermal IR.

    When it comes to average thermal emission altitude please see my post at 8:00 am on the 20th, I describe the situation in some detail there – no point repeating it. Suffice to say I disagree with the concept.

    So back to emission to space at a function of rising ghg. The absorption/emission lines displayed by ghg’s look a bit like gaussian curves. As the concentration goes up the peak of the curve gets higher until it gets to 1. It cant go higher than that because you cant do more than absorb all the incident radiation. So once that point is reached it clips and we say the line centre has become saturated. Does that mean no greater absorption is possible? No not at all. Curves like gaussians have a very interesting characteristic. The product of a gaussian by itself is also a gaussian of the same shape but broader. If you double the concentration of a ghg its like putting 2 identical layers one on top of the other and the combined transfer function is like the transfer function of the first layer times the second layer. Thus as green house gas concentration rises the absorption profile gets wider. It doesn’t matter what the starting concentration is, doubling the concentration is like multiplying the gaussian by itself and that always gives the same amount of widening. This is what gives rise to the logarithmic response with concentration. It only starts once the line center saturates but unsaturated lines are generally so narrow that they would absorb insignificant amounts of energy. In short a ghg only really starts to have a significant impact after the line centre saturates so all significant ghg display this logarithmic behaviour.

    So with regard to emission from the surface, as the ghg concentration above the surface rises it intercepts a slightly greater range of wavelengths emitted by the surface (as an example, if at 280ppm CO2 say blocked radiation between 14microns and 15.2 microns then doubling it to 560 might block radiation between say 13.8 microns and 15.4 microns – the numbers are plucked out of the air for illustration purposes don’t assume they are representative). Incremental surface emissions between 13.8 and 14 plus 15.2 and 15.4 are now blocked and in turn replaced with emission at those wavelengths from the top of the CO2 column.

    This has nothing whatever to do with density. It simply depends on the mass of ghg gas (or if you like the number of molecules) above the surface. Heating the air does not change the amount of air present, if the density goes down the volume goes up whch in this case means the atmosphere would get a bit thicker.

    Does this help?

    Mike Hammer

  88. Malcolm December 21, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

    After all the billions of dollars that has been doled out for the biggest scam of all time, there are people who are credible and brave enough to call it for what it is, and always has been …
    “deeply unscientific”.

    Its about time that the whole hypothesis was finally put to bed and consigned to the scrap heap …along with the perpetrators and their bag carriers.

  89. Robert LePage December 22, 2013 at 9:07 am #

    No snow in Siberia? Locals marvel – and worry – at the ‘snow shortage’
    Of course this is not the result of global warming, it’s cyclical and all happened before……not

  90. Robert JM December 23, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    The direction of OLR change does not falsify AGW, you need to compare its correlation to other factors for that! 🙂

    The system only has four components that determine temp.
    1/ Power of energy source (solar plus orbital)
    2/ Absorption of power (albedo)
    3/ Energy Storage/release
    4/Energy loss to space

    The observation show:-
    1/no significant change to power source.
    2/ 5% step decrease in cloud cover in 1990s
    3/ increase or no change in ocean heat storage.
    4/ increase in energy loss to space.

    The increased OLR was directly caused by a 5% decrease in clouds in the 1990s and is responsible for 75% of the observed warming trends. This natural component must be subtracted from the temp trend leaving a residual warming of 0.1deg C over 30 years from CO2 or other factors. This is obviously a falsification of dangerous global warming due to man, not to mention the explanation for the current pause in global warming.

    The CAGW theory also requires that the extra energy from CO2 energy ends up in the atmosphere where it is amplified by water vapour positive feedback. If the energy is “hiding in the deep oceans instead this actually falsifies CAGW since it is not atmospherically amplified.

  91. Larry Fields December 23, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    Comment from: Neville December 20th, 2013 at 7:23 pm says:
    “Larry I think you’re being far too technical. Lomborg has exposed this bizarre fraud like no other and with the help of a large team of experts.”

    We’re essentially on the same page about the biofuels issue, but our general approaches are slightly different. Here’s what I’m saying to the Warmies: Get real! Probably we’d agree on this one specific point But I’d be a hypocrite if I did not hold Climate Realists and Lukewarmers to the same standard, wouldn’t I?

    The whole point of articles about the science/politics interface is to influence the undecideds. Preaching to the choir does not cut the mustard, even though it warms the cockles of readers having the same persuasion. And that’s Lomborg is doing in this article.

    Lomborg has the APPEARANCE of being less than fair dinkum — or at least of being a hack — because of the specific points that I have raised. And for his true target audience, discerning fence-sitters, Lomborg is shooting himself in the foot.

    If you’re so inclined, you can accuse me of being overly technical. Moreover you can tar-and-feather me, and run me out of Skepticville on a rail. But like it or not, I’ll always be a science curmudgeon.

  92. kuhnkat December 24, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    Mike Hammer,

    “This has nothing whatever to do with density. It simply depends on the mass of ghg gas (or if you like the number of molecules) above the surface. Heating the air does not change the amount of air present, if the density goes down the volume goes up whch in this case means the atmosphere would get a bit thicker. ”

    No it doesn’t help. You ignore that as the air expands up it also expands to the sides a tiny amount also as the geometry is NOT a tube with parallel sides but a cone.

  93. kuhnkat December 24, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    Mike Hammer,

    You run into another area I am confused upon:

    “Long wave or thermal emission depends only on the temperature of the emitting source and its emissivity. ”

    Dr. Spencer and others play with their IR thermometers and tell us that they point them at the sky and read a “temperature” that coincides loosely with the emissions altitude. As there is plenty of water vapor and other specie in the first 100 feet of the atmosphere their readings should be for the air right in front of them.

    My only conclusion is that they really are reading the GHG emissions right in front of them. GHG’s emit primarily based on the molecular vibratory mode I believe which changes very little due to the narrow range of temps in the atmosphere. The emissions from GHG’s molecular geometry swamp their own temp based emissions.

    If I am way off base would you please explain why they keep reading the low temp with their IR thermometers when the atmosphere in front of them should BLOCK the IR from above?? Also, if there is a substantial change in frequency for GHG’s based on their temperature, the GHG’s in the upper trop, and strat should NOT be absorbing the emissions from lower down!!! Or have they decided a GHG molecule can absorb frequencies substantially different from their emissions??

  94. kuhnkat December 24, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    Mike Hammer,

    I went back and reread your post on the effective emissions altitude. I have to disagree with your statement of how thin a layer actually emits to space. The density of the GHG’s falls off rapidly above the lower troposphere which is why they have to talk about an average. There are substantial emissions from middle trop up due to this low density.

  95. michael hammer December 24, 2013 at 11:17 am #

    Hi Kuhnkat;

    You make 2 main points. Firstly you talk about a change in density and the way the air expands. There is a much simpler way of looking at the situation. The pressure at any altitude is simply a measure of the amount of gas above that altitude. Now certainly if the ghg is not well mixed its partial pressure may fall faster than the total pressure which is I think what you are getting at with your comment “The density of the GHG’s falls off rapidly above the lower troposphere”. However the pressure at the tropopause from memory is about 1/3 that at sea level and the troposphere is certainly welll mixed wrt to CO2 because of the turbulence and convective processes. That means the CO2 emisison altitude MUST be higher than that point (the so called average emission altitude is claimed to be within the troposphere). Now when we go into the stratosphere things change. There is no convection (temperature inversion) and the stratosphere is relatively calm. Since CO2 is much heavier than air it could indeed pool in the lower stratosphere or if you like stratify. I have read several claims that the stratosphere is alos well mixed WRT CO2 but I dont believe them. If it were true the emission altitude for CO@would be high up in the stratosphere where the temperature is close to 270K but the Nimbus data shows that the CO2 emission altitude is about 220K corresponding to the tropopause or very low stratosphere. IN fact there is s slight upwards spike in apparent emission temperature in the middle of the CO2 band (about 240K) and thsi corresponds to the very top of the column at the band center. 240K corresponds to the low stratosphere so indeed that supports a pooling of CO2 in the stratosphere.

    With regard to pointing IR thermometers at the sky. You are completely correct to say the thermometers would be reading the ghg emissions from directly above the thermometer. However a IR thermometer reads the total IR energy and uses Planks law to convert that to an apparent emission temperature. The ghg do not emit at all thermal wavelengths, specifically they do not emit at all in the atmospheric window between 8 and 13 microns and there is normally a lot of energy in that wavelength range. Thus the thermometers see emissions from warm ghg at the ghg wavelenghts and an emission in the atmospheric window corresponding to the 4K of space. Not surprising that the average comes out well below the warm ghg temperature.

    ghg do not shift their absorption/emission wavelengths with temperature and pressure (at least not the sort of temperatures we are talking about). The line center remains unchanged but the line width can increase – ie: the ghg can absorb and emit over a slightly greater range of wavelengths centered about the same wavelength as before.

    I hope this answers some of your questions
    kindest regards
    Mike Hammer

  96. michael hammer December 24, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    Robert JM; I think we are more or less in agreement. There is no doubt that CO2 is a ghg and ghg’s do impede radiation of long wave energy to space however the AGW hypothesis is that rising CO2 is having a dominant impact on our climate and is the primary driver. The point is that clearly something else is having a much larger effect swamping the impact of CO2 and you are more or less saying exactly the same.

    Your claim that there was a 5% step change in cloud cover in the 1990’s is extremely interesting. It would indeed explain the change in OLR as you state and it would also explain the step change in temperature registered by the satellite temperature measurements (UAH). I referred to just such a change as a likely possible cause in the post. Do you have a reference for that claim of 5% change in cloud cover? If so would be most interested to have a look at it.

    kind regards
    Mike Hammer


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