Comment on climate change

The Devil\’s been looking at CO2 and climate change. This is a comment left there:

\”Now supposedly, according to rather more complicated calculations, doubling CO2 levels in Earth’s atmosphere will raise the average altitude of emission about 150 m, which will therefore raise the pressure difference and hence the surface temperature about 1.1 C. If we raise CO2 by only 40%, surface temperature will go up about half that. So we had half a degree last century (an amount too small to reliably measure). We’ll have half a degree next century. And that’s all the standard Greenhouse Effect can give you.\”

Quite true. And it\’s also actually what the IPCC reports themselves say.

No, really, they do.

The direct effect of CO2 concentration rises is minimal and we don\’t really care all that much about them.

The whole of the rest of the structure is built upon: what are the feedbacks? We know very well that there are positive feedbacks (say, tundra melting and releasing further CO2 and or methane)and we know very well that there are negative feedbacks (say, higher plant growth and thus more carbon sequestered in soil).

The real point of the IPCC reports and of all of those computer models is in trying to work out what the net balance of those feedbacks are. And truth to be told, we don\’t really know all that well.

But CO2 rises leading to temperature rises directly? Yes, the IPCC comes to very much the same conclusion as Pa Annoyed above.

No, really, they do.

The result of which is that this explanation of atmospheric physics is not some great \”gotcha\” showing that the whole climate change set of prognostications is wrong.

12 thoughts on “Comment on climate change”

  1. Exactly.
    You have to consider which is more likely:

    Dude on the internet reveals that the entire climate science community is wrong and doesn’t understand climate science.

    Dude actually doesn’t do that, but people like what they hear, so yay.

    See also: Dudes on the internet who ‘debunk evolution’.

  2. Scientists can indeed get it wrong on occasion, but if one were going to bet on who’s got the best idea of how something works then picking the scientists who study it is definitely the best plan.

    There’s a post here on the topic that may be of interest.

  3. Try reading this rather weighty presentation – the good bits are on pages 45 and 46. It talks about how the models the IPCC uses rely on a negative slope corresponding to a positive feedback, but the actual data from satellite measurement shows a positive slope. ie, all the models have it totally wrong.

  4. Nor was it intended to be a “gotcha”, Tim: I rather think that I have published so many of those that if people haven’t realised that the whole AGW thing is a myth then they haven’t been paying attention.

    What I was aiming to do was to educate people who may not have realised that the Greenhouse Effect has nothing to do with heat being “trapped” and, further, that CO2 does not affect the temperature of the Earth in the way that people think it does.


  5. “And truth to be told, we don’t really know all that well.” No, no, no. Truth be told, we don’t have a bloody clue. I spent a good deal of time over forty years writing mathematical models of physico-chemical phenomena, and supervising their writing, and based on that experience I judge that climate interactions are probably so intricate, and our knowledge of the individual ones is certainly so poor, that it’s just silly to put much weight on the climate model outputs. The problems are probably too taxing even for good scientists to crack soon, and Climate Scientists are, to generalise a bit, not even close to being good scientists. Inept duds might be nearer the mark.

  6. Well if we know that CO2 won’t raise the temperature to what it was in the medieval warm period, never mind what it was in the Holocene optimum, then it isn’t going to push usw to a tipping point (since said tipping point wasn’t reached the last two times.

  7. Its slightly off topic, but I had to share this with someone. This letter was printed in my local toilet paper provider, the Nottingham Evening Post. The great fear is that twats like this will get elected, indeed have already been elected, and will enforce their tyrannical idiocy upon the rest of us.


    News that the Arctic ice cap will disappear in 20 to 30 years’ time is devastating.

    This was not a warning but was based on actual measurements.

    We have a duty to hand over our planet to our children and grand-children and we have to stop squandering its resources.

    On a personal level, we must consume less, waste less and be more responsible.

    On a political level, decision makers must stop take taking sanctuary behind the absurd claims of climate change deniers.

    Opposition to wind farms is now clearly linked to the possible extinction of polar bears.

    Charnwood’s Prospective Labour MP, Lincolnshire

  8. Oh and re commenter and knirirr- where a scientist gets a grant or other payment on the understanding that he reports in favour of global warming, which every scientist at the IPCC does, we should check his calculations very carefully.

  9. Commenter,

    Go and read the original post, Pa annoyed doesn’t claim any new insight he just wants to provide some education. He has, in previous posts, tried to explain some of the voodoo behind quantum mechanics.

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