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How Quickly does the Climate Respond to Change? Part 1

This current article started out as a simple article about the time lag (or response time) between a change in CO2 level and when the warming takes place. The warmist theory indicates that it takes decades or centuries for the full effects of CO2 to be felt. This is in stark contrast to all other atmospheric effects that show a response on the order of a few months for the full effects to be felt.

The article grew long enough that it will now be a two part article. The first will cover the time lag of the Earth for different types of changes. The second part will discuss the theory that warmists use to support the claim that it will be a hundreds or thousands of years before the full effects are felt.

This is one of the least discussed aspects of global warming, but it is absolutely critical for future projections of warming. If there is little to no time lag, then the full effects of current CO2 emissions are already being felt. If the lag is 50 years, then we are only starting to feel the effects of the emissions from 1960 when the CO2 level was still around 320 ppm. The importance of understanding how quickly the climate responds is critical to future projections.


Climate Sensitivity: Help Needed

I have bumped up the two articles on climate sensitivity because I am getting some very interesting results on that topic. Note that in both articles I achieved a result of a climate sensitivity of 0.24 °C / (W/m2 ). That corresponds to a doubling effect of CO2 at about 0.9 °C.

These articles show two independent methods that achieve the same result. One provides the basis (a theory if you will) for predicting what the Earth’s climate sensitivity is. The other article uses the local changes in solar energy to determine the climate sensitivity and it gives a comparable result to the overall one.

This matters at the moment because I have found some stunning results that require action. I am looking for assistance in putting the results together in a paper to be submitted for publication. Anyone experienced in working through that labyrinth of publication would be appreciated. This is a very important result because if it can be proven that the Earth’s climate sensitivity is less than 1 °C for a doubling of CO2 then there is almost no cause for concern. It could mean that CO2 does have some effect, but one that is limited enough to not be much of a worry.

A climate sensitivity at the 0.24 °C / (W/m2) scale would indicate that CO2 levels of 1,200 ppm would result in less than a 2 °C temperature change. That puts the IPCC projections off by more than a factor of 3. This could be a pretty significant result.


Hurricanes and Global Warming

This is a special article just for the Middle School and High School students out there. I have been informed that the myth that Hurricane Katrina was caused by global warming is still being taught in those schools and that such hurricanes will get worse in the future. This is a great myth, but it is only a myth. It certainly gets told a lot, but just because something is used as political capital does not make it true. This might be one of the biggest lies that just won’t go to sleep. So I am putting together this article to help students debunk the myth that global warming causes hurricanes. I will even proceed on the assumption that increasing CO2 levels will actually cause warming, just to keep it simple.

The myth that global warming causes hurricanes started with Hurricane Katrina. Al Gore really put that on the map with his emotional, but not scientific portrayal in the movie An Inconvenient Truth. The basis for the claim was timing. An article by Webster et al. in Science Magazine came out weeks before Hurricane Katrina hit. That article was based on the idea that warming oceans would cause an increase in hurricanes in the future as a result of global warming.

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Tree Ring-A-Palooza

Dr. Judith Curry is entering the fray about tree ring proxies and the problems associated with their usage in the IPCC.

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Global Temperature Anomaly: January

The main sets I use for the Blended Temperature set have finally updated for the month of January 2011. The historical behavior for the month of January is very different than the one presented by the theory of Global Warming. There are many claims that the Earth is warming more in Dec-Feb months, but when the monthly data is looked at by itself there is a distinct difference in the results. Especially if the actual monthly data is looked at. January is a very good example of a month that shows a very different picture of the past 160 years than the warmists paint.

The warmest month in the blended set was January of 1863. The monthly anomaly for that month was 0.751 °C. In that period of time there were the warmest and the coldest Januaries that have been recorded. The coldest was in 1850 with an anomaly of -1.646 °C. That is a difference of more than 2 °C slightly more than 10 years apart. Large variations in January temperatures are normal. Certainly part of this could be the very limited data that was available globally during this period of time, but since we are told that the data is good and should be trusted by the warmist consensus I will go ahead and use it.


Silencing Dissent: Climate Style

Skeptical Science has been running a series of articles pointing out that anyone who is skeptical about global warming is comparable to those arguing that smoking isn’t bad for you. Truly it is a textbook example of strawman arguments where they make a poorly related claim and then use that to degrade the opposition. It is a truly despicable practice, but one that is very common in many of the debates that have become politicized in today’s world. The current debate about the roles of public unions and the benefits of the civil servants is another example of a topic that intelligent discussion is unlikely to happen today.

Some examples from their latest smoking strawman to climate science are as follows:

2. Anyway smoke is a naturally occurring substance in the environment. It has been around for thousands of years. Actually fire and smoke is necessary for some plants and seeds to grow in parts of Australia. It is vital so what can be wrong with smoke?

This is similar to the argument that climate has been changing for thousands of years so what is new? CO2 is also natural so it cannot be harmful and in fact is essential to life. Increasing levels of CO2 is good for us. It actually improves crop yield so how can CO2 be a problem?


Ethanol vs. Gasoline: MPG

Ethanol remains very popular as a ‘green’ alternative fuel to the terrors of gasoline. Ethanol of course is nothing of the sort. It causes more pollution and it decreases the fuel efficiency of your car. The theoretical difference for even a 10% blend of ethanol is only about 3.7%, but over the course of a year it can easily add an extra tank or two, even with such a minor addition of ethanol.

I decided to put this to the test. Over the past few months I have been filling up my car with a no ethanol blend of gasoline and then from stations that use up to 10% ethanol. I did not verify that the fuel from the ethanol stations contained exactly 10% ethanol. I also did the tests in series so all tanks of gasoline and then of ethanol were in sequence. I also drove the tank to near empty each time.


Sea Level Deceleration: Inverted Barometer

Previously I showed that the “rise in the sea levels” was decelerating. I did this using data from the University of Colorado “No Inverted Barometer Applied” data. I was challenged in my choice of data as the Inverted Barometer data is adjusted for atmospheric disturbances (high and low pressure systems) that affect the satellite data. I prefer to work with the unadjusted data which is why I made the choice I did. I commented with a rough calculation that the inverted barometer gave even more deceleration than the unadjusted data and left it at that.

As I got busy with my move I left it at that. I kept thinking more about it and decided to revisit the issue. So I went back and re-did all the work and set it up so I would easily be able to apply the same methods to the different types of satellite sea level data. My rough estimate that the inverted barometer (IB) is showing greater deceleration than the unadjusted data (No-IB) stands. It is more refined now, but the result is clear. There is no chance that the IPCC is correct that the sea level will rise 1m by 2100 based on anything seen in the actual data.


The 2011 Big Story Prediction: Arctic Ice Coverage

With the strong El Nino a year ago the obvious big news story to get people worried about global warming was the story that 2010 would be a warm year thus proving that global warming was real. Since El Nino has faded and been replaced by a strong La Nina there is no chance that warmists will be focusing on the global temperature. Since the global temperature will be bad news for the warmists this year they will have to pick a new topic to show had badly global warming is damaging the Earth.

That is the real advantage that the warmists have created by saying that everything bad is caused by global warming. They can pick and choose a topic every year (or day) and use that to show how much the world is changing as a result of global warming. Since weather is always causing some variation it is safe to say that they will always be able to find something to latch onto.


Confusing Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) Temperature Update

The Remote Sensing System (RSS) has decided to switch to a version 3 much like the GHCN and UAH temperature sets have done in recent months. As I have discussed each in turn I felt it only fair to discuss the differences in the RSS temperature set. The GHCN change subtly enhanced the appearance of global warming. The UAH was the most straightforward as the adjustment was a month by month (and spatial) adjustment to a new average temperature.

The RSS adjustment is just confusing. There is no significant difference until January of 1999. After that there is a small difference for each month, but there is no pattern to the adjustment. 1999-2000 show a small shift upwards in temperature while 2001-2010 show a decrease in temperature. Nor is there a pattern by month. This version change is the most confusing of them all.


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