January 30, 2010
Water Vapor Decline Halted Climate Warming?

Global temperatures over the last 10 years haven't risen as fast climate models predicted based on rising CO2. A new report might explain this result: a decline in water vapor appears to have slowed the warming.

A decrease in water vapor concentrations in parts of the middle atmosphere has contributed to a slowing of Earth’s warming, researchers are reporting. The finding, they said, offers part of the explanation for a string of years with relatively stable global surface temperatures.

Anyone know what mechanism might be responsible for the changes in water vapor reported in this study? Any reason to expect a continuation or reversal in the water vapor decline?

A period of increasing stratospheric water vapor was followed by a more recent period of water vapor decrease.

Stratospheric water vapor concentrations decreased by about 10% after the year 2000. Here, we show that this acted to slow the rate of increase in global surface temperature over 2000 to 2009 by about 25% compared to that which would have occurred due only to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. More limited data suggest that stratospheric water vapor probably increased between 1980 and 2000, which would have enhanced the decadal rate of surface warming during the 1990s by about 30% compared to estimates neglecting this change.

Will the decline in water vapor continue or reverse?

Note how a recent NASA announcement about record temperatures shows several of the latest 12 years all having about the same temperature. That's not an upward trend. The report above suggests why.

WASHINGTON -- A new analysis of global surface temperatures by NASA scientists finds the past year was tied for the second warmest since 1880. In the Southern Hemisphere, 2009 was the warmest year on record.

Although 2008 was the coolest year of the decade because of a strong La Nina that cooled the tropical Pacific Ocean, 2009 saw a return to a near-record global temperatures as the La Nina diminished, according to the new analysis by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. The past year was a small fraction of a degree cooler than 2005, the warmest on record, putting 2009 in a virtual tie with a cluster of other years --1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, and 2007 -- for the second warmest on record.

If the water vapor stays at current levels then rising CO2 likely will cause a resumption in average air temperatures.

I am in the process of reading more about climate science. Anyone have suggested reading? I'm not looking for political diatribes or books about the politics of climate change. I'd like to develop a better understanding of climate science.

Update: The key question in my mind about this report: Did warming cause the decrease in water vapor in the stratosphere? Or is it coincidental. To put it more succinctly: Was the decrease in stratospheric water vapor a negative feedback of global warming? If you want to predict the future of the climate you have know all the major feedbacks and predict their future behavior. NOTE: I fixed this. changed "increase" to "decrease" in this paragraph.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 January 30 09:45 PM  Climate Feedbacks


Comments
Stopped Clock said at January 31, 2010 6:01 AM:

I don't know what your position on global warming is, so forgive me if this comment comes off as antagonistic. You seem pretty honest and fair. But when are global warming denialists ever going to stop giving us "trends" which always start with the highly anomalous 1998 as the start year and tell us "look, there's no net warming"? Start with 1997 or 1999 and you'll see quite a strong warming trend. Or, if that seems like cherry picking just the same as choosing '98, use a moving 5-year average and you'll still see the same thing. The Earth has definitely warmed since 1998, and thus there's no need to look for reasons to explain "why it hasnt warmed" (though I note that that NYT story doesnt say that, in fact it agrees with me ... there's a big difference between 0% of a particular predicted warming trend and 75%).

Anonymous said at January 31, 2010 6:28 AM:

Stopped Clock:

"But when are global warming denialists ever going to"

I stopped reading there. Pro tip: if you're looking to get a rise out of someone, it helps to keep their attention.

SteveSC said at January 31, 2010 8:23 AM:

Given random walk data anyone with a little training can 'prove' anything, as long as they can select the 'right' period of data. Take temperature data from 1980 to 2000 and one can 'prove' warming. Take a different 20 year period, say from 1960 to 1980, and one can 'prove' statistically that the world is cooling. Take bigger chunks of time and one can prove warming during the last few hundred years after the Little Ice Age, or cooling after the Medieval Warm Period. Go back several thousand years and there were long stretched of time where the temperature greatly exceeded anything projected to be 'catastrophic' now.

Going back to the topic of the post, so changes in the temperature of the Pacific (which is what drive La Nina and El Nino patterns) are related to changes in the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere? I think I learned in 3rd grade that heating water causes more water vapor. And since water vapor accounts for the huge majority of the greenhouse effect, someone is surprised that this affects 'global warming'? Does this mean that the vaunted climate models weren't accurately accounting for water vapor? Or worse yet, were they assuming water vapor levels were constant?

This is the equivalent of a sports analyst predicting a score in football by looking at only special teams performance, and forgetting that offense and defense account for most of the scoring.

rsilvetz said at January 31, 2010 8:51 AM:

Why anyone bothers with this stuff is beyond me. Here. It's a non-problem. Start with the interspersed references and go with the science as opposed to the creampuffs of the IPCC.

http://ff.org/centers/csspp/pdf/20061121_gore.pdf

Nick G said at January 31, 2010 9:21 AM:

Randall,

Here's a very good website: http://www.grinzo.com/energy/

rsilvetz, here's a reply to monckton: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2006/nov/14/science.comment

Randall Parker said at January 31, 2010 9:36 AM:

Stopped Clock,

Think when you read. I said:

If the water vapor stays at current levels then rising CO2 likely will cause a resumption in average air temperatures.

Does that sound like I think global warming won't happen?

SteveSC,

The period during which warming seems to have stopped is longer than the La Nina lasted.

JAY said at January 31, 2010 10:03 AM:

Does this mean H2O is good or bad?

Fat Man said at January 31, 2010 10:09 AM:

At such time in the future as there are physically meaningful definitions of things like "global climate", and physics based models that can take measured quantities based on those definitions and make testable predictions that can be verified, "climate science" will exist. Until then I will believe that "climate science" is a scam and AGW is a fraud, designed by its practitioners to milk government research budgets, and used by conniving politicians, none of whom understand anything about any science, to accumulate political power.

Before Climategate and Glaciergate, I was a skeptic, because I am skeptical by nature. I now strongly believe that the whole AGW theory is a deliberate fraud produced by a group of conspirators who deserve prosecution and jail sentences.

SteveSC said at January 31, 2010 10:12 AM:

I was not trying to imply that La Nina was the only cause of changes in water vapor in the atmosphere, nor that temperature changes vary directly with La Nina or El Nino.

My point is that water vapor is known to be a greenhouse gas very highly influential on heat retention; and if climate 'scientists' are just now figuring out that changes in water vapor are affecting their climate models their previous work is highly suspect.

Stopped Clock said at January 31, 2010 10:13 AM:

The sentence 'If the water vapor stays at current levels then rising CO2 likely will cause a resumption in average air temperatures.' could be interpreted in many ways which is why I prefixed my comment by saying I dont know what your opinions are.

Nick G said at January 31, 2010 10:32 AM:

Science under siege:

"A growing number of science students on British campuses and in sixth form colleges are challenging the theory of evolution and arguing that Darwin was wrong. Some are being failed in university exams because they quote sayings from the Bible or Qur'an as scientific fact and at one sixth form college in London most biology students are now thought to be creationists."

"Support for creationism in the UK has traditionally lacked real vigour but in the US a recent poll found 45% of Americans believed God created life some time in the past 10,000 years."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/feb/21/religion.highereducation

Meanwhile, this just in: scientists suggest earth is round, flat-earth society provides rebuttal...

Randall Parker said at January 31, 2010 10:55 AM:

Stopped Clock,

I realize that most who write about climate science in blogs do so as political partisans in political battle. I'm not trying to do that. Reality is what it is. We live in a universe governed by natural law.

SteveSC,

A late great planetary scientist told me a few years ago (2005?) that the climate models are not predictive because they have error sources that are too big and the models are too incomplete. He says science is when you can predict things. I think he was correct and remains correct.

The problem is that we might really be heating up the planet. CO2 does really absorb IR and emits it in random directions. The first guy to note this did so in the 1830s. The first guy to predict how much CO2 would warm the planet did so in the 1890s. The basic physics is not controversial. The debate hinges on feedbacks. I do not think the negative feedbacks will be so large that we can stop worrying. But the problem that this report above demonstrates is that we have serious limits to our knowledge.

KTWO said at January 31, 2010 11:41 AM:

Nick G: I suspect there is less to the science under siege problem than the writer proclaims. I sure hope so.

No science instructor ever told me I had to believe in molecules or in gravity or evolution. None gave a damn. And rightly so. They did ask that I explain the prevailing view, and sometimes alternate views, about each.

Even over in the somewhat vaporous study of literature there was no test about whether I really believed DeVere was Shakespeare. OTOH neither did any student insist that the witches in MacBeth offended their religion belief.

fb0252 said at January 31, 2010 1:06 PM:

anyone interested in climate science should study paleontology. check out the superb Paleos.com. it reveals the numerous factors in climate change. we need to stop tying the fouling of the atmosphere to global warming and concentrate on the real problems, of which possible global warming is one isolated variable.

Anonymous said at January 31, 2010 1:06 PM:

anyone interested in climate science should study paleontology. check out the superb Paleos.com. it reveals the numerous factors in climate change. we need to stop tying the fouling of the atmosphere to global warming and concentrate on the real problems, of which possible global warming is one isolated variable.

Nick G said at January 31, 2010 1:54 PM:

KTWO,

I suspect there is less to the science under siege problem than the writer proclaims. I sure hope so.

I agree, for the UK. In the US...things are very unsettling. Most people aren't thinking for themselves, and many are following bad leaders - that's alarming. We'll muddle through, but things will be rather more painful that necessary.

No science instructor ever told me I had to believe in molecules or in gravity or evolution.

Sure - same for me. I'm sure it never occurred to them to think in terms of beliefs. And no one in my classes put anything in their test booklets about the Bible or Qur'an.

Fat Man said at January 31, 2010 6:12 PM:

It is Sunday, so here is another IPCC cock-up.

"UN climate panel shamed by bogus rainforest claim" by Jonathan Leake in The Sunday Times on January 31, 2010

A STARTLING report by the United Nations climate watchdog that global warming might wipe out 40% of the Amazon rainforest was based on an unsubstantiated claim by green campaigners who had little scientific expertise. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in its 2007 benchmark report that even a slight change in rainfall could see swathes of the rainforest rapidly replaced by savanna grassland.

The source for its claim was a report from WWF, an environmental pressure group, which was authored by two green activists. They had based their “research” on a study published in Nature, the science journal, which did not assess rainfall but in fact looked at the impact on the forest of human activity such as logging and burning. ...

===============================

I think I see a pattern here.


etaoin said at January 31, 2010 6:17 PM:

It just sounds like desperation on the part of the AGW hoaxers, who have so little credibility left, as their numbers are so made up. "Hide the decline." Indeed.

Gunnar said at January 31, 2010 8:28 PM:

Mr. Parker, have you never heard of negative feedbacks in climate? Shame.

The problem with hearing only one side of a complex argument is that you tend stay ignorant and to side with the zombies.

Bob Badour said at January 31, 2010 9:11 PM:

Gunnar,

Never read anything else Mr. Parker ever wrote? Shame.

The problem with hearing only one aspect of a complex thought process is that you tend to stay ignorant and to side with complete and utter nonsense.

Randall Parker said at January 31, 2010 10:00 PM:

Gunnar,

I've repeatedly stated that we can't predict the future climate without better understanding of positive and negative feedbacks. I do no state this every time I relay a new report about climate research.

Oh and pray tell: Which zombies do you think I'm siding with?

Dave Gobel said at February 1, 2010 6:27 AM:

I believe but cannot prove that the feedback loops are planetary homeostasis in operation. Each individual organism has multiple metabolic setpoints which drive the organism toward life maintaining equilibria. Multicellular organisms derive their homeostatic capability from myriads of smaller organisms (cells, intestinal fauna et al [pun]). Earth has quintillians (guess) of such interacting organisms and inorganic dynamics in motion all individually and collectively driving toward equilibria. I suggest that adaptive dynamics have emerged from this substrate.

...Our story begins as the sun beats down on the ocean, where tiny sea plants (phytoplankton) objecting to the sun's heat respond by releasing quantities of cloud-forming particulates on days when the sun's rays are especially strong. The particles rise into the air through a series of chemical processes that result in especially reflective clouds. This, in turn, blocks the radiation that was bothering the phytoplankton. In other words, collectively, they make umbrellas made of clouds...

jb said at February 1, 2010 7:04 AM:

The fact that the water vapor change isn't predicted, isn't understood and isn't modelled is a critical flaw in any attempts to predict future global temperatures. In other words, the existing predictive models are now all garbage. Not for lack of trying, not for lack of smarts, but simply because there remain significant "actors" in the climate system that aren't known. You would not attempt to model the engine of a car without understanding all of the pieces and how they interact. We have no business claiming precision in our climate predictions until we stop discovering new inputs (either positive or negative).

Given the ongoing improvements in solar technology and nuclear power technology, I believe we'll have the ability to significantly drop our consumption of fossil fuels in the future, not because of laws, but because of economics.

Raj said at February 1, 2010 10:40 AM:

Atmospheric water vapor change is an example of a negative feedback. Discussing the issue without mentioning negative feedbacks is like telling the story of Hansel and Gretel without mentioning the wicked witch.

Martin Weiss said at February 1, 2010 12:04 PM:

Back when I was in school, one of my colleagues had a numerical model that had a dynamic thermopause. That is, the thermopause rose and fell depending on the mean global temperature. Assuming that the thermopause rises when global temperature rises and assuming that the prime means of water vapous entering the stratosphere is by maga thunderstorms that penetrate the thermopause, this would account for the reduced water vapor in the stratosphere when global temps rise (and thus act as a negative feedback).

This is, of course, speculative, in that our measurements are far too gross, even today to model the thermopause in 4 dimensions.

Also, I am not sure if my collegue ever published his theory. In fact I can't remember the guys name.

Lew said at February 1, 2010 1:34 PM:

Roger Pielke's blog is a great source of information on climate science:

http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/

non_anon said at February 1, 2010 1:42 PM:

It should be obvious to any diligent reader of the blog post that Randall Parker is a true, blue believer in AGW.
It is equally obvious to any astute reader of the blog post that Randal Parker is in full and total denial w/r/t AGW.

Is everyone happy now?

Jeff said at February 1, 2010 1:46 PM:

a recent review of the validity of surface temperature records ...

http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/surface_temp.pdf

Billylauderdale said at February 1, 2010 1:48 PM:

What difference does it make what anyone were to "read", if all the data were to be incorrect.

Isn't it possible, even most likely, that there is NO real data?

If that is true then -- WE KNOW NOTHING.

Can any real data on this subject be known?

What circumstances would need to be present for there to be any correct data?

The most accurate statement on this subject probably is " we don't know"

Jeff said at February 1, 2010 1:52 PM:

To be clear Global Temperatures haven't statistically risen at all in the last 10 years. Look at the error bands ... its hard to have much faith in a .8 degree rise for the last 100 yeasr when you have an error of +/- .4 degrees. Imagine a political poll that said a race was 50 - 50 with a margin of error of 25%. Thats a WAG not science.

David Weisman said at February 1, 2010 2:03 PM:

The impartiality of the sources I would have suggested has come into question recently, but a few thoughts to help you get what you read on both sides: Those who predict global warming expect to see the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere increase slightly overall with warming, and I haven't seen this particular expectation contradicted by the opponents - although I think they say it will be much less. I'm pretty sure the phrase in your update should be positive feedback - Warming causing increased water vapor causing more warming because the atmosphere absorbs more radiation of certain frequencies before it can radiate to space would be a positive feedback loop. Warming causing more clouds at certain specific latitudes causing sunlight to be reflected into space instead of absorbed by the earth or ocean is a negative feedback loop - warming causing less further warming instead of more. The latter is widely asserted by people who think anthropic global warming is small. Clouds can have different effects at different latitudes.

David Starr said at February 1, 2010 2:06 PM:

The world is mostly ocean, and thus the air above the oceans picks up a lot of water vapor. It's been like that for ever. I seriously doubt that the amount of water vapor has changed much since the continents attained their present form. The authors would have to present some real evidence of a change (which they haven't bothered to do) before it's worth spending much ink or electrons on their ideas.

AMac said at February 1, 2010 2:07 PM:

Contrary to the claims of Consensus followers, the science [of AGW] is not settled. Contrary to claims made by fervent Stone-Colders, the greenhouse-gas-based mechanisms of warming have well-understood physics. As Randall notes supra, the crux of the matter lies in understanding the magnitudes of the various feedbacks.

The "lukewarmer" blogs are a good source of insight. Unfortunately, much of that must take the form of figuring out where the pro-Consensus "settled science" is unreliable or incorrect (agenda-driven, sloppily performed, etc.).

I'd recommend looking at technical posts at the Air Vent and The Blackboard.

Bruce said at February 1, 2010 2:08 PM:

"An increase in atmospheric water vapor is responsible for at least a third of the average temperature increase since the early 1990s, say scientists at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)."

"Soloman did point out thatthe research does allude to human emissions having a much smaller role in climate change than previously thought, and serves as a warning to climate modelers who "over-interpret the results from a few years one way or another." Despite Soloman's personally held belief, the NOAA study is expected to give further ammunition to climate skeptics working to draw public attention to perceived flaws in man-made global warming theories."

Soloman is careful to be polite to the global warming believers, but a few months ago, this research would not had even seen the light of day.


http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2010/01/29/steve-janke-more-unsettling-science-in-the-global-warming-camp.aspx

Meiczyslaw said at February 1, 2010 2:12 PM:

I'm sure there's something out there on cloud effects. NASA had pointed out the problems with cloud modeling in this 2002 press release about the CERES sensor they were launching on the Aqua satellite.

(NASA's more detailed description of the effects is here, but the bibliography doesn't cite anything more recent than 1999. Still, one of those books might get you started.)

Also, Dave Gobel isn't just whistling Dixie: Georgia Tech identified a feedback loop exactly as he describes.

Nick Reynolds said at February 1, 2010 2:17 PM:

It's the SUN stupid!

Bob said at February 1, 2010 2:17 PM:

Please, please, please. Would somebody tell me, or point me to a competent professional publication explaining, what is the physical mechanism that causes global warming. Don't bother with pseudo- and pop science, btw (historical statistics, pictures with big arrows going up into the sky, and so forth). Assume (correctly) that my background includes graduate level courses in fluid mechanics, convective, conductive and radiative heat transfer, and physical gas dynamics. Thx

Brahma said at February 1, 2010 2:20 PM:

Science is about creating ever more accurate models with which we can predict future results, so that we can use those results to plan and accomplish acts which benefit us. When the IPCC and supporters chose to ignore water vapor and sunspots when describing the foundation for how the earth temperature changes, they stopped trying to create accurate models and what they did stopped being science. It became something else. I think it became a grant funding engine which supported global income/asset redistribution, in an effort to give global government bureaucrats power over people and therefore leverage with which to extract influence payments, but I may be being cynical.

Brahma said at February 1, 2010 2:22 PM:

Science is about creating ever more accurate models with which we can predict future results, so that we can use those results to plan and accomplish acts which benefit us. When the IPCC and supporters chose to ignore water vapor and sunspots when describing the foundation for how the earth temperature changes, they stopped trying to create accurate models and what they did stopped being science. It became something else. I think it became a grant funding engine which supported global income/asset redistribution, in an effort to give global government bureaucrats power over people and therefore leverage with which to extract influence payments, but I may be being cynical.

Anonymous said at February 1, 2010 2:23 PM:

Waper vapor is one of the greenhouse gases. In fact it is the largest single greenhouse gas. Seems to me that explaining that the lack of rise in temps with rising CO2 with another greenhouse gas, means we did not understand ( and could not model ) what was happening. Pardon me for being slightly remaining skeptical about this latest revelation. When we can produce a model that can semi accurately predict the temperature, then I will start to believe any predictions. Right now I have better odds on double zero on the roulette wheel.

Dogwood said at February 1, 2010 2:25 PM:

What difference does it make what anyone were to "read", if all the data were to be incorrect. Isn't it possible, even most likely, that there is NO real data?

Absolutely. The AGW theory can be refuted with four words: Instrumental margin of error.

The underlying temperature data are so flawed and inaccurate that they can not be used to claim a .7 degree C warming trend over the last 100+ years.

What was the margin of error of a mercury thermometer with a hand-painted temperature scale? What was the margin of error if the thermometer was six inches above eye level of the person reading it? What was the margin of error if the thermometer was 6 inches below eye level? Add in variations of some readings being made at Noon, or 2 p.m., or 11 a.m., or not at all, etc., etc., and you have a global temperature record riddled with inconsistencies, errors and other flaws that render it all but useless for precision modeling and prediction.

Then, add in quality and accuracy variations between thermometer manufacturers, or within production batches of one manufacturer, and you have even more margin of error issues with which to contend, not to mention proper maintenance of the site and enclosure, if any.

Finally, the volunteers and proprietors at Surfacestations.org have discovered that most modern temperature stations have a margin of error of 2 degrees F or more due to poor location selection.

In short, the noise in the data, historical and current, is so great that the data can not be used for any precise scientific purpose, let alone discovering a .7 degree C trend over the last century.

dennymack said at February 1, 2010 2:36 PM:

One of the negative effects of politics on climate science is that it has polarized both sides. It is hard to enter into a discussion of climate without entering a debate about our limited understanding of the natural world and the arrogance of the global elite, about the shortsightedness of industry and the proper limits of government control, about rent seeking bureaucracies and the corrupting effect of money upon science, about the materialism of the West.

These are all important fields of inquiry, but none of them has anything to do with understanding how the climate works and developing a predictive ability with regards to climate and temperature. These "outside" arguments force the AGW believers into overstating their abilities, and force the skeptics into denying that we may in fact be doing serious damage. The believers feel they have to overstate to get any action out of a capitalist system that responds to short term consequences only and is swayed by monied interests. The skeptics feel they have to fight the ideologically driven believers before they catastrophically hinder the economy. Both sides believe that if they fail millions of most vulnerable people on earth will be harmed.

I do not doubt that many of the folks reading this are trying to decide which side I am on. I refuse to pick. There are times when one has to, but this is not one of those times. Nothing is happening in the next few years that we can do a darn thing about, so we should use the time wisely. I am on the side of an open review of what we know about the climate. The CRU emails, particularly the notes on the modeling data, tell us that it is not settled science, and that the models may be deeply flawed. Worse, the raw data may be flawed. We may not have the ability to say what the global average temperature was within a fraction of a degree 500 years ago. I don't think it makes me a denialist to acknowledge that possibility. Those scientists who have lost their credibility should step aside, or be pushed. We need research that fills in our ignorance, and the process has to be wide open enough that even skeptics will agree that all sides got a fair hearing. There will still be zealots and skeptics, but at this point the two camps are so far apart, and so well populated that noisy inaction is the only possible result.

(As an example of what I mean by "open": High school science classes should be able to go into their schools computer lab and play with the model of the climate the way a geography class plays with google earth. There should be lab projects where they experiment with the effect on predictions of various assumptions about positive and negative feedbacks. They should account for the effect on the model of modifying data sets. They should correlate temperature, time and sea level rise with map of the local area. )

Bob Badour said at February 1, 2010 2:36 PM:

Bob,

The explanation you request was posted here a couple weeks ago. Basically, some gases act like blackbody radiators. They absorb some spectrum of electromagnetic radiation and re-radiate it in all directions. Infrared, radiating out from the surface of the earth, is absorbed by gases like CO2 and re-radiated back in all directions including back down toward the earth.

As a result, energy that might have radiated out to space thereby cooling the earth remains as heat.

Wrauny said at February 1, 2010 2:40 PM:

"I am in the process of reading more about climate science. Anyone have suggested reading?"

It's hard to find reading material that isn't biased. Most reading material typically starts "Since Global Warming is [is not] real, here is the selective evidence to prove my viewpoint". The problem with this approach is that research (functional MRIs) have shown that we use the emotional parts of our brains when we start with an assumption of truth. The result is ignoring facts that don't support our opinions.

I decided to try and put aside my biases and investigate a critical area of the AGW issue that didn't agree with my scientific understanding. I ended up accepting facts that I initially rejected due to biases. This is what I found. When the politicians and big corporations stop trying to capitalize on yet another emerging disaster, I would love for us to decide on what we can reasonably do to preserve our planet and keep it beautiful.

AMac said at February 1, 2010 2:44 PM:

Re: Bob (Feb. 1, 2010 at 2:17 PM) --

> Would somebody tell me, or point me to a competent professional publication explaining, what is the physical mechanism that causes global warming.

See engineer Jeff Id's post at the Air Vent, explaining the effects of greenhouse gasses in the Earth's atmosphere on surface temperature.

CosmicConservative said at February 1, 2010 2:45 PM:

It is very nice to see the shrill shrieking of the global warming alarmists finally being revealed for what it always has been. Hopefully in the next year or so we can get climate research back to being an actual SCIENCE instead of a source of political activism. This sort of article is a step in the right direction. A year ago I doubt this would have been published.

Global Warming is real and demonstrable. The world has been warming since the last major ice age. All you have to do is look at a map of the globe to see all the huge puddles left behind by the melting glaciers.

The problem we have today is that people are completely unable to rationally analyze facts and reality, and that too many are willing to use any excuse whatever to promote an ideology. Here is what we should be doing about Global Warming:

1. Continuing to do research until we can actually demonstrate that we can predict climate. We can't do this yet. This was one of the key things revealed in the EA CRU emails. Computer models for the past fifteen years have been so laughably wrong that random prediction is actually MORE ACCURATE than the computer models. Anyone who doesn't realize this is simply ignorant or blind. We currently have no scientifically valid means of predicting what the climate will do. NONE. ZERO. ZIP. NADA.

2. All historical evidence points to periods of global warming (which have happened repeatedly even in historic times) as periods when human civilization booms. It is no coincidence that the rise of agriculture and the renaissance BOTH coincided with periods of global warming. Cold kills. Warmth does not. In all the long years of me listening to all the end of the world nonsense predictions from AGW alarmists, NOT ONE OF THEM has come true. Hurricanes have not increased. The seas have not flooded the streets. The only croplands we've lost in that period are due to overfarming and soil erosion, two FAR MORE serious calamities facing the world than Global Warming. There is NO REASON to assume that a rise in temperatures will be bad for humanity. NONE. ZERO. ZIP. NADA.

3. The connection between CO2 and rising temperatures has been proven time and time again to be far to tenuous to accurately cite CO2 as the driving force behind the warming we've seen. In fact the percentage increase in CO2 was the HIGHEST back in the 60s and 70s, and if you don't remember I sure do, that was when many of the same AGW alarmist "scientists" were screeching about the "Coming Ice Age" and "Global Cooling." So if increased CO2 is behind Global Warming, why didn't the temperature increase during the period of the highest percentage increases since we've started tracking CO2 levels?

4. For the world to reduce CO2 levels to the amounts the Alarmists demand, human civilization would come to a shrieking, shuddering standstill. The idea that bringing civilization to a shrieking halt is preferable to adapting to a slow (and unproven) temperature increase is shockingly insane. It's a sort of species suicide pact that just makes me shake my head.

So now we get this news from NASA that some unknown agent is affecting the water vapor in the atmosphere. Water vapor as a greenhouse warming gas is THOUSANDS of times as powerful as CO2. We don't have any idea what is causing the water vapor changes (which again are THOUSANDS of times as powerful as CO2). Our models don't account for it. Our theories don't predict it. We currently have no clue what is happening to water vapor which has an impact on greenhouse heat trapping that is THOUSANDS of times more powerful than CO2. But we want every technological culture on this planet to beggar themselves to stop producing CO2 because it MIGHT be a problem.

Insanity. Utter and complete insanity. A culture this insane probably deserves to commit suicide. But until it does, I'll continue to be the voice of reason on these things and tell the Al Gores and Barack Obamas of the world "DON'T JUMP!! IT'S NOT AS BAD AS YOU THINK!"

WebSpinner said at February 1, 2010 2:46 PM:

Bob,
Nick Reynolds (2/2/2010, 2:17 pm) is correct. It is the sun. Specifically, the solar wind, which has been seriously reduced during this current minimal-sunspot cycle, beginning in 2004.

Warming works like this: Increased sunspots means increased solar wind. Increased solar wind means more particles from the solar wind hitting our atmosphere. More particles in our atmosphere from solar wind causes more clouds (made of water vapor) to form, thus retaining more heat, particularly in the temperate zones between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. More clouds in tropics means more heat retention and thus more water evaporation in the tropics. Thus more water vapor in the atmosphere.

We are currently in a solar sunspot minimum period. These occur roughly every 11 years as the sun cycles through its magnetic pole shifts. This current minimum began in 2004. In this cycle (since 2004) we have had 772 spotless days (as of today). The average solar sunspot minimum cycle has 485 spotless days. Thus, we are in a much deeper minimum than average and are experiencing the effects of that: specifically, the coldest winter and previous summer the northern hemisphere has seen since the 1930s.

This explanation is somewhat simplistic and there are other factors at work, but this is the major contributor to planetary warming and cooling.

WebSpinner said at February 1, 2010 2:48 PM:

Here's a good site for sunspot activity (as well as other neat stuff): http://www.spaceweather.com/

Skyler said at February 1, 2010 2:59 PM:

Seems to me that the people who claimed global warming have been proven to be liars, frauds, and opportunists.

So the reason for the lack of global warming is now claimed to be not because of the lies, frauds, and opportunism, but because of some other questionable data point that hadn't yet been added into the computer model that was proven to be based on lies, frauds and opportunism.

I think it's time to ignore all climatologists for a while. They just don't matter anymore.

Bad Penny said at February 1, 2010 3:05 PM:

For anyone interested in sun spots I would like to mention a cool smart phone app that gets daily data and pictures from the SOHO solor observatory. Bonus: it looks like a tricorder. In android market it's just called Tricorder. It's free. IIRC there is an iphone version also.

Brian Macker said at February 1, 2010 3:08 PM:

Stopped Clock,

But when are global warming denialists ever going to stop giving us "trends" which always start with the highly anomalous 1998 as the start year and tell us "look, there's no net warming"?

When you chicken littles stop giving trends since the end of the little ice age. Would be nice if you started during the Medieval warm period, or the Roman warm period. You know when all those dead trees above current snow lines were growing.

Bret said at February 1, 2010 3:15 PM:

Ex-Nasa scientist Dr. Ferenc Miskolczi predicts that rising CO2 will generally be offset by reduced humidity because the atmosphere is driven by natural processes towards a constant infra-red optical depth.

You can start reading more about it at here .

Blanchard said at February 1, 2010 3:36 PM:

A good video from a geologist can be found on Youtube, here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOLkze-9GcI&feature=player_embedded

A good site for information and analysis can be found at climateaudit.org

vince52 said at February 1, 2010 4:05 PM:

MIT offers you a chance to view lectures from their Department of Earth Atmosperic and Planetary Sciences. Follow the link and take your pick.


http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Earth--Atmospheric--and-Planetary-Sciences/index.htm

JP said at February 1, 2010 4:15 PM:

Water Vapor is the single largest GreenHouse Agent in the atmosphere. it could easily overpower anything we do via CO2 or the other agents (some of which are 100% human made, but are fractions of a fraction of a percent of the total of GHA). Patterns it takes are far more influentual to the temp than anything else outside the Sun (The reason there can be a greehouse is the big Fusion Furnace in the sky).

I find it Ironic that one of the "Prefered" methods the Greens give to stop AGW is Fuel Cell cars. The only emission? Water Vapor. So to stop "Warming" by an agent that likely doesn't do much warming, we should change to the agent that does the most? Brilliant.

Syl said at February 1, 2010 4:23 PM:

Water vapor plays a major role in AGW theory which posits WV as a positive feedback to warming from CO2. ie, as the atmosphere heats up, it can hold more water vapor so it will. The water vapor adds to the warming which adds even more water vapor.

I believe that's incorporated into the models as well as more CO2 emitted from oceans as the atmosphere warms which is also a positive feedback. (A recent paper has quantified the actual CO2 feedback as less than originally thought and has among its authors one or two 'climategate' guys.)

This new paper seems to be saying (I haven't looked at it in detail--AFAIK it's behind a paywall) that water vapor in the stratosphere rose (or at least was higher) until about 2000 and since has dropped and/or remained steady.

It seems strange at first because what would cause the change.

Well, since one can compare ENSO and global temperatures and show that the major climate driver seems to be the tropical pacific, it does make sense. During the nineties (and even the eighties) there was a series of strong el Nino's culminating in the super el nino of 1998. El nino's add oodles (scientific term) of water vapor to the atmosphere and convective processes could have shot plenty of it into the stratosphere. Since about 2000 the el ninos have not been as strong--contrary to NASA. GISS has a higher reading for 2005 than the other global temperature series which mark 1998 as the highest.

Well what would reduce the water vapor in the stratosphere? Simple dissipation.

But a REDUCTION of 'extra' water vapor, or even a lack of increase even as CO2 is added, is not included in the models so they would (and did) miss this current period. As far as the models go, what goes up never comes down. They only give lip service to 'natural variation' and don't do clouds well at all. And even a 1% difference in (lower, not stratus) cloud cover has a negative effect on temperature about 20 times greater than the radiative effects of CO2.

Billsv said at February 1, 2010 4:40 PM:

Everyone needs to hit the reset button. The original data from CRU, NASA GISS and anyone else with raw original data has to put this into public domain and let the scientist discuss it. What makes anyone think that the data this blog starts with from GISS is unadulterated. Take no position until all data is in public domain. NASA GISS has failed to answer the FOIA requests.NASA GISS has to give all station data instead of selective station data. Let the sun shine on this issue.

Junk Science Skeptic said at February 1, 2010 4:49 PM:

A few things:

Regarding those who tout the atmospheric greenhouse hypothesis as anything other than a childishly simplistic explanation of an unproven concept, one must ask, have any of these fools ever seen, been inside of, or used an actual greenhouse? Likely not.

A greenhouse is used in agriculture to minimize the range of effects that the atmosphere can have on plant life. Instead of contending with the myriad known and unknown forces working on the atmosphere at any given point in time, growers use a greenhouse to reduce the number of environmental variables on plant growth, and to control those variables within a narrow range best suited for optimum plant growth. Greenhouses are used precisely because there are too many variables, feedbacks, forcings and other inputs on the open atmosphere to measure and adjust for.

To suggest that a "greenhouse effect" can be used as an analogy for conditions in the open atmosphere is to be ignorant both of greenhouses, and of the atmosphere. This is not to say that atmospheric composition can't have any effect on local, regional or global weather and/or climate at any given moment in time, just that the greenhouse terminology is far beneath those who can be considered as serious practitioners or students of science.

Next, let's address the social/political perspective. We've had AGW proponents (Richard Alley of Penn State) go on record stating that long before the industrial era, average temperatures dropped and rose tens of degrees within tens of years, a pace far more dramatic than any offered by even the most extremist members of the warming cult.

For a moment, let's stipulate that man may be able to change temperatures by as much as a degree per century. Given the historical precedent for natural changes of as much as 10 degrees inside of a decade or two, wouldn't our money and effort be better invested in educating people how to cope with the inevitable high-level natural changes in temperature, than to spend that money and effort on the minute theoretical change in temperature we ourselves may be causing?

If this were all about "protecting" people from the inevitability of impacts due to a changing climate, rather than redistribution of wealth and power, I'd think that folks like the IPCC would be focusing on coping with the inevitable, rather than attempting to cripple developed economies.

flataffect said at February 1, 2010 4:59 PM:

I've always wondered why CO2 was singled out when it's so small a part of the atmosphere and water vapor is the most significant greenhouse gas.

Orson said at February 1, 2010 5:03 PM:

"Update: The key question in my mind about this report: Did warming cause the increase in water vapor in the stratosphere? Or is it coincidental. To put it more succinctly: Was the increase in stratospheric water vapor a negative feedback of global warming?"

Two mechanisms come to mind. Solar variability and cosmic ray flux. The first is glossed above; the current solar minimum is record-setting low. The latter however, poses head-scratching.

Looking for cosmic ray flux has generally focused on the effect on clouds in the lower troposphere. And for good reason. More low clouds cool by reflecting UV back into space (albedo effect), while upper troposphere clouds tend to warm by reflecting IR back to earth.

Cosmic ray flux is implicated in regulating the nuclei for water vapor formation because the atmosphere screens out the buggers most effectively near the surface. And thus, since an active sun shields more cosmic rays from hitting the earth, a sun in low-activity mode will let more pass to the surface and increase cloud formation.

What cosmic ray flux might do in the stratosphere I simply don't know. But the search for mechanisms to make this observation a meaningful climate component is surely on.

I have seen co-author Susan Solomon (also IPCC co-chair) speak in global warming - at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science last August. She gave a True Believer account based on the recorded (but - to me - obviously corrupt) surface temperature records. No UHI or satellite temperature records need apply. (Dr Solomon is at NOAA in Boulder.) Solomon is un-Solomonic on AGW. For example, she co-authored a piece arguing that AGW effects from anthropogenically added CO@ may last thousands of years, based on modeling.

But elsewhere, she is worst considering on her scientific merits.

Robinsolana said at February 1, 2010 5:12 PM:

It is hard to deny that the AGW as 'settled science' is melting down.
Al Gore and his acolytes are drenched in scientific fraud.
So what comes next? Real science I hope.
The historical record suggests that climate is quite important for the rise of civilization and prosperity. Rome apparently happened during a warm spell.
The longer climate record suggests that our globe has spent more time being cold that it has being balmy, like today. Think glacier. The next really cold spell may be soon or 1000s of years away, but climate history suggests it's coming. This makes climate record and prediction important. Clean out the frauders and scammers and get back to work.

Alec Rawls said at February 1, 2010 5:15 PM:

Water vapor will continue to decrease because the planet is now cooling. It isn't just that the 25 year Pacific Decadal Oscillation has entered its cold phase. 20th century global warming was caused by an extended "grand maximum" of solar-magnetic activity. Numerous studies show a .6-.8 correlation between solar activity and temperature (that is, solar activity "explains" statistically 60-80% of past temperature change).

From "grand maximum" there is nowhere to go but down, we just did not know that the fall off would be so sudden or so deep. We are now facing at least a deep minimum and possibly an extended grand-minimum. Supposing that we live under the same physical reality as our ancestors, that means it is going to get cold.

Human increments to CO2 never had any significant effect on anything but plant growth, so don't look to CO2 to have any significant counter-effect to the coming cooling. It won't (though it does have more effect in stopping cooling than in creating warming, since its heat-trapping effects become less redundant with the decline in water vapor).

Stephen Andersonq said at February 1, 2010 6:53 PM:

Has anyone here seen the CERN CLOUD presentation by Jasper Kirkby?
http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1181073/
Well worth watching if you are interested in water vapor.

Excellent video, compelling science.

Richard Leed said at February 1, 2010 6:59 PM:

I noticed only one comment that referred to sunspots and none that referred to gamma rays and their influence on the formation of low clouds. There is some interesting and sober research on that subject.

SF said at February 1, 2010 10:36 PM:

You might be interested in "The Two Mile Time Machine," a summary of the research on the Greenland ice cores. You can apply your own degree of skepticism to the one chapter summarizing the arguments for AGW. The research itself has not been involved in any of the recent scandals and seems well respected. It does show a significant midieval warming, but then that was in Greenland, not necessarily the entire world.

Mark V Wilson said at February 1, 2010 11:07 PM:

I recommend this website for a ground up empirical approach by someone with similar questions as yours:

http://homeclimateanalysis.blogspot.com/

goodspkr said at February 2, 2010 3:26 AM:

The decrease in water vapor would be expected if Ferenc M. Miskolczi is correct. Dr. Miskolczi has proposed The Saturated Greenhouse Effect which says that we are at an equilibrium in our greenhouse gases. The new theory implies that adding CO2 to the atmosphere would reduce the relative humidity, contrary to climate model assumptions. If Miskolczi is correct, the entire AGW theory is invalidated.

You can read about it here
http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/The_Saturated_Greenhouse_Effect.htm

AMac said at February 2, 2010 5:56 AM:

Er -- why'd this post attract so much interest? It's super-excellent of course, but so are many other of our host's musings.

BJ said at February 2, 2010 6:18 AM:

Randall, Bob, et al: A good book describing how very long-term solar and galactic cycles affect solar radiation hitting the earth's atmosphere, which in turn affects water vapor in the atmosphere, which in turn affects surface temperatures (depending on whether the water vapor accumulates at high or low altitudes), is: The Chilling Stars, 2nd Edition: A Cosmic View of Climate Change - Paperback (Aug. 25, 2008) by Henrik Svensmark. Provides a low-key, scientific approach, without climate change hysterics (pro or con).

AnotherPuzzledScientist said at February 2, 2010 7:12 AM:

I'm a scientist, although not a climate scientist. I find that Watts Up with That (wattsupwiththat.com) and Roy Spencer's site (www.drroyspencer.com)
pass scientific muster yet are written so (I think) most folks can understand.

th said at February 2, 2010 2:46 PM:

geez, I thought the science was settled.

Haraza said at February 2, 2010 7:17 PM:

Nick G: "things are very unsettling. Most people aren't thinking for themselves"

'Global Warming is true! 98% of scientists agree! The time for debate is over! Shut up, you deniers!'

Ben Albahari said at February 2, 2010 10:38 PM:

This is a wiki compilation of experts opinions and arguments on the global warming issue:

http://www.takeonit.com/question/5.aspx

For a complex issue, the website works by breaking a question down into more specific questions, which in turn, can be broken down into even more specific questions. The resulting hierarchical structure forms an argument map for a complex issue.

Random physicist said at February 5, 2010 10:05 AM:

If you really want to learn something about climate science read Spencer Weart's "History of Global Warming":
http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.html
He references many original papers so read the book and then download the original papers.

Honestly, reading climate blogs is about the worst possible way to learn the subject.

Raymond Pierrehumbert's book on the physics of atmospheres is really good too:
http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/ClimateBook/ClimateBook.html

It stacks up well against my older atmospheric physics books.

th said at February 5, 2010 3:16 PM:

One interesting aspect of the climate models is the conclusion that since water vapor plays a much larger role in absorbing convected heat at lower altitudes, the role of CO2 in warming would be at much higher altitudes of the atmosphere, so far no rise in the temperatures at the higher altitudes has been detected, indicating according to the models, CO2 is having no effect on earth's temperatures.

Engineer-Poet said at February 6, 2010 8:14 PM:

Answering the question for a change, it stands to reason that the increasing concentration of non-condensible GHGs will increase the depth of the convective layer (because the switchover from convective to radiative heat transport occurs later) and lower the temperature at the tropopause.  The lower temperature will lead to less water vapor in the air at that junction, and less vapor transport into the lower stratosphere.  If this turns out to offset part of the warming effect, it means we may have a bit more breathing room.

if climate 'scientists' are just now figuring out that changes in water vapor are affecting their climate models their previous work is highly suspect.
If you haven't been looking at climate blogs such as Real Climate, I suppose you could be forgiven for not knowing that modelling of water transport and effects is one of the hairiest parts of climate models.  Of course, if you don't know that, you really can't be forgiven for having such harsh words for people trying to do the hard work of science in that field.
science is when you can predict things.
No, science is a process of refinement of knowledge.  Science of strange attractors is science even though it doesn't let you predict what state a chaotic system will be in at some future time T+Δt even given near-complete knowledge of the state at T.

Despite the impressive accuracy of Newtonian physics, it still doesn't permit an analytic solution of the 3-body problem.  You can only model it numerically.  This is analagous to what's happening with climate, only not all of the various factors and feedbacks are understood yet and there are error bars on everything.  Does that mean that climate study isn't science?  Far from it.  We can be absolutely certain that e.g. additional CO2 has certain effects, both by prediction and by direct measurement.  The people claiming that uncertainty means that nothing undesirable is going to happen are making the argument from ignorance.  I realize that ignorance is very fashionable in the USA, but that doesn't mean that it should be given a pass.

Water vapor as a greenhouse warming gas is THOUSANDS of times as powerful as CO2.
Ignorance like that, to be specific.  Not only is water vapor far LESS powerful than CO2 by mass (it only has such influence because there is so much of it), it also precipitates out; at the driest zones (like the poles), its effect is quite small.

That's one reason why th's 2/5 3:16 comment is so wrong.  Another is that he is utterly ignorant of even the popular articles on the subject, which have clearly stated that stratospheric cooling is a prediction of the climate models.  This cooling is being observed, BTW.  The mechanism isn't all that hard to understand; a heavier GHG concentration means that IR radiation is concentrated in the wavelength windows not absorbed by those gases, and that radiation passes through the stratosphere instead of helping to keep it warm.

The Examiner article about Dr. Miskoloczi isn't a scientific piece.  The very same "gosh wow" tone was used in the popular press about imminent glaciation in the 70's, but the scientists were saying something quite different.  Anyone who badmouths James Hansen (or worse, Al Gore, who is just a very successful publicist) while latching onto Miskoloczi as a prophet is deluding himself.  Worse, there is a very unflattering resemblance between those who say that anthropogenic climate change is "a theory in crisis" and people who say the same thing about "Darwinism" (which doesn't exist as a science; the real thing is called evolutionary biology).

AMac:  The denialosphere swarms anything which contradicts its dogma and attempts to shout it down.  It is the mirror image of the Politically Correct hordes on the left which will not allow anything but its own tenets to be heard on university campuses.

many are following bad leaders
Don't follow leaders, watch the parking meters.

Hong said at February 7, 2010 7:17 PM:

The alarmists rapidly shrinking credibility has been the most amusing vindication for skeptics who've been the subject of petty harassment and cheap personal attack. Watching the continuing meltdown of the IPCC is Karmic caramel goodness.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7177230/New-errors-in-IPCC-climate-change-report.html

Let's see now if we're spammed again with more warming propaganda.

Randall Parker said at February 7, 2010 8:00 PM:

Hong,

You take such a political approach to AGW. I've yet to see you show signs of understanding the physics, chemistry, geology that underlies all this debate. For you it is just a game of politics where the sides score political points to determine the winner.

Just because some small number of scientists made mistakes does this invalidate all the work of thousands of other scientists? If so, explain how.

Hong said at February 8, 2010 4:42 AM:

Randall,

I think I understand enough of the science to recognize a hoax when I see one and that's enough for a layman like myself. I have presented my case with a minimum of science and yet I think I've answered your points on CO2 and water vapor before quite cogently before. I've received no answer from you except to hear more talk about how 'I simply don't understand'. It would've been more honest for you to say we agree to disagree on the science until more evidence piles in my favor.

I was content to let this thread run without my input until your favorite troll offered his opinion (conveniently when the adults had already left) trashing the skeptics. I couldn't resist a taunt of my own. And if your going to grade me on politics than your spambot troll must also be judged. Quite arguably, he's the most politically prolific and personally invasive here. And really, as I've tried to patiently explain before, this is not about the science anymore but about the politics of who gets control of our destinies. Those who abuse science to preach a new eco religion or those resisting it.

As for the 'small numbers of scientists.' The news item I linked shows that the entire IPCC structure is quite possibly corrupt. That much of the world's opinion is formed from such an organization is beyond dispute. That much of the data used by the IPCC came from corrupted sources like the CRU is equally true. It's a spreading taint that is harder to isolate than your few 'mistaken' scientists. Even NASA, which you've pointed to has been panned by other scientists for its methodology. The source of so much of this theory rests on data from sources as reliable as Communist China, stations located near towns and cities, activist writings, student dissertations(!) and this unbreakable belief that the narrow CO2 contributions of human activity will tip us into man made global warming. At what point will the tipping point be reached where the 'open minded' understand they've been played for suckers?

Engineer-Poet said at February 8, 2010 7:56 PM:

If he's real, he certainly lacks introspection, eh R?  You call him on his lack of reference to or understanding of science, and he gives you a comment full of hand-waving and slurs.  I don't know whether to call that hypocrisy or "leading with his chin".

And Hong... if you hate metadiscussion so much, try engaging the subject instead of being the worst offender in the thread.  Someone who's got evidence on his side should be able to bring up plenty of it and tie it all together (and no, I don't mean posting hyperlinks alone; you have to quote the parts which support the argument you're making).  If all you have is the party line from Instapundit, you don't really know anything.  I've made actual study of the physical sciences and applied several of them professionally, and I have a far better and documented record of going after BS than you do.  If you think facts matter, let's see you rise to the challenge instead of whining.

Hong said at February 9, 2010 4:34 AM:

"And Hong... if you hate metadiscussion so much, try engaging the subject instead of being the worst offender in the thread. "

Exactly my point about you E-P. Try actually debating the issue rather than forced, reflexive regurgitation of alarmist bomb throwing. Your proven incompentance in debate not withstanding.

"Someone who's got evidence on his side should be able to bring up plenty of it and tie it all together (and no, I don't mean posting hyperlinks alone;"

The evidence has been steadily pouring in against AGW hasn't it? Is it that difficult to find non-biased scientists and uncorrupted data--if the theory is sound? Now as for quoting the hyperlinks, it's funny how someone who beats his chest about his expertise can't read relatively short items casting doubt on his pet theory. Maybe I can explain that last link. The IPCC uses a significant amount of anecdotal sources along with their advertised 'peer-reviewed' ones. That the research of even AGW believers like Roger Pielke Jr can be conveniently ignored if it doesn't strictly adhere to their gospel. Seriously, what will you do when each and every pillar of your alarmist belief system is dismantled? How's that chin aching?

"I have a far better and documented record of going after BS than you do. "

You certainly have a better record of trollish doggedness and carefully avoiding difficult to refute facts. I've seen you slide away from the main points put out by the others here which might explain why you waited until they all left. Attacking soft targets like the ethanol lobby or 'psychic research' doesn't earn you much credit. As I recall you still dodge the much tougher question I posed on how to actually enforce a carbon tax on non-compliant nations. Or why the relatively small fraction of human originated CO2 is the cause of global warming.

"If you think facts matter, let's see you rise to the challenge instead of whining."

As I recall, you've engaged in a fact free flame war with me for quite awhile. When I've presented facts, such as the link above, you've avoided them so answer your own challenge instead of offering this pathetic excuse that the links are somehow too long or difficult to understand. Now that's whining. Tease out the details or are you comfortable with your spammed replies?

Hong said at February 9, 2010 8:19 AM:

It does appear that negative feedback is the natural planetary response to rising temperatures. A simple mechanism largely created with water vapor. An argument skeptics like Roy Spencer have made consistently and now appears vindicated, or soon to be. Whether it's enough to offset any global temperature rise is uncertain but it certainly dampens the hysteria of the alarmists with their broken climate models and biased largely anecdotal studies. It also suggests man made CO2, which is only a fraction of total CO2 anyway, is less influential in the temperature rise when slight water vapor fluctuations can affect them so broadly.

http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=e12b56cb-4c7b-4c21-bd4a-7afbc4ee72f3

We've already seen how this is ignored or panned by the alarmist trolls but it suggests their doctrine is slowly becoming unglued.

Engineer-Poet said at February 15, 2010 9:12 PM:

Wow, the irony-blindness is just amazing.  Awe-inspiring, AAMOF.

Exactly my point about you E-P. Try actually debating the issue rather than forced, reflexive regurgitation of alarmist bomb throwing.
<snork!>

Let me remind you that you use sources (e.g. wattsupwiththat) known to have no standards other than what supports their ideological position, and you don't even quote the sections of those which you claim support your argument.  It's a well-known tactic of trolls to provide links to nonsense as "evidence" without providing anything from the source and force opponents to sift through it to see if it's BS or not.  I won't waste my time; homie don' play dat.

The evidence has been steadily pouring in against AGW hasn't it? Is it that difficult to find non-biased scientists and uncorrupted data--if the theory is sound?
If you define "non-biased" climatologists as those who support the denialist position, you would indeed have trouble finding them.  Young-earth creationists have similar difficulties finding "non-biased" paleontologists, biologists, cosmologists and so forth.  My advice to you is the same as my advice to them:  first, remove the log from your own eye.
Maybe I can explain that last link. The IPCC uses a significant amount of anecdotal sources along with their advertised 'peer-reviewed' ones.
And members of the IPCC have published an open letter about that, which includes this:
We took cognizance of the commotion surrounding the errors that were found in the IPCC fourth assessment report, in particular in volume II. The wrong year for the projected disappearance of the Himalaya glaciers and the wrong percentage “land below sea level” of the Netherlands are examples of errors that need be acknowledge frankly and need be rectified properly. However, they do not alter the key finding that human beings are very likely changing the climate, with far reaching impacts in the long run.

... the suggestion that scientific data have deliberately been manipulated is not supported by the facts.

Also we strongly contest the impression that the main conclusions of the report are based on dubious sources. The reference list of the approximately three thousand page report refers to about 18,000 sources, the large majority being studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The IPCC has transparent procedures[1] for using non-published and non-peer-reviewed sources in their reports. In the Himalaya case these procedures have not properly been followed. In the writing of new reports the compliance with the procedure requires extra attention.
Of course, you don't consider such scientists as "non-biased", so it's doubtful that you give their position any weight.  I have a lot more respect for bloggers with their own sites than somebody who uses the un-identifiable nickname "Hong", and scientists with actual reputations at stake are at the top.
I've seen you slide away from the main points put out by the others here which might explain why you waited until they all left.
I usually don't discuss my personal life in places like this, but I'll make an exception:  I didn't wait, I didn't see this thread until some days after it was posted.  I have had close to zero connectivity for two weeks plus a spontaneous computer shutdown which ate my first version of this reply (and delayed it by at least a day and a half), as well as going in to work fourteen out of the last fourteen days.  It's close to midnight on Sunday as I write this, and I would still be at work if I could get anything done†.

Not that I care what you think.  You are projecting your own faults, and I find it hilarious.

As I recall you still dodge the much tougher question I posed on how to actually enforce a carbon tax on non-compliant nations.
It is amazing how many lies you can cram into one sentence.  I have repeatedly stated that the exports of the non-compliant should be subjected to tariffs.  Nations like China which own Western debt can be threatened by repudiation of that debt in addition to tariffs; simply making it impossible for them to sell the debt to others for goods or resources would cramp their style.  Kleptocracies (whose elites are almost universally dependent on their skim from outside funds) can be forced to comply as a condition of receiving further foreign aid.

None of this is at all novel.  Much of it is standard fare against nations like Iran and N. Korea.  Our leaders should have no difficulty with the means if they find the will.  (Of course, to do this they have to overcome the absolute opposition of people like you.  People who deny there is a problem block action against nations contributing to it.)

I've given ideas like this again and again.  You rail against me for not reading your links, but you don't even read what I post.  Then again, hypocrisy is your defining trait.

Or why the relatively small fraction of human originated CO2 is the cause of global warming.
Because the non-human-originated CO2 is a large fraction of the cause of the 30°C greenhouse effect which keeps Earth from being a perpetual iceball, and so far we've already added more than 30% to it.  Duh.  The downward IR radiation has been measured to have increased‡, and that's something you can't ascribe to defective models.
When I've presented facts, such as the link above
I've seen you post enough canards to have zero interest in digging into what you claim are "facts".  This is the Web; if you think you have factual support, post pithy excerpts.  And learn to use the blockquote tag.
It does appear that negative feedback is the natural planetary response to rising temperatures. A simple mechanism largely created with water vapor.
And I suggested an easy-to-understand reason for this phenomenon (in this very thread, which you ignored).  But the negative feedback from the stratosphere cannot go any further than zero humidity, so the limit is quite obvious.  Addition of substantial amounts of e.g. methane could easily overwhelm the influence of less water (and the breakdown of methane will itself create water).  The problem is not simple, no matter what kind of simpletons you denialists are.

† It is now midnight Monday, and I finally have decent connectivity again.  This means I get to spend the next several days playing catch-up.

‡ A quote:  "... an ensemble summary of our measurements indicates that an energy flux imbalance of 3.5 W/m2 has been created by anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases since 1850."

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