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Why the EPA is Wrong about Recent Warming

[Editor note: The author has added an update at the end showing why it can be reasonably argued that anthropogenic greenhouse gases may be responsible for less than half of the observed warming since the mid-20th century]

Back in December, the EPA announced that it had determined that greenhouse gases released by human activities “threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.” This “Endangerment Finding” is the first step toward EPA’s issuing regulations aimed at restricting GHG emissions in the U.S.

Unfortunately for the EPA, a major pillar of support of the Endangerment Finding—that “most” of the “observed warming” since the mid-20th century is from greenhouse gas emissions from human activities—has been shown by recent scientific research in major peer-reviewed scientific journals to be largely in doubt.

Add this result to the list of problems that seems to grow longer with each passing day as more IPCC gaffes are uncovered and Climategate emails are parsed. One has to wonder just how long it will be until the EPA is challenged to reconsider its Endangerment Finding.

The basis for the Engangerment Finding is contained in the EPA’s Technical Support Document for Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act (TSD). The TSD does not describe any new, independent research carried out by the EPA (because they did not undertake any), but instead largely summarizes the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

One of the key statements (from page 2 of the Executive Summary of the EPA’s TSD) is this—a simple mimic the IPCC AR4 finding:

Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG [greenhouse gas] concentrations.

As I shall show, this statement is no longer tenable.

Background

First off, here is my take on what the EPA/IPCC is claiming.

For “most” I’ll assume “more than half.” For “observed increase in global temperature” I’ll assume the linear least-squares regression trend through the most recent version of the global temperature dataset compiled jointly by the U.K.’s Hadley Center and Climate Research Unit (dataset HadCRUT3). There are other global temperature compilations (most notably from NASA and NOAA) and while there are certainly notable differences over the short run, over the longer term, they are very similar. “Since the mid-20th century” I’ll take as 1950. The EPA defines what it means by “very likely” in the Table I reproduced below—they mean “with a 90-99% probability.” And for “observed increase in GHG concentrations”, I’ll assume the greenhouse gases explicitly mentioned by the EPA (CO2, CH2, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, SF6).

TABLE 1. EPA’s “Description of likelihood”

Likelihood refers to a probabilistic assessment of some well defined outcome having occurred or occurring in the future, and may be based on quantitative analysis or an elicitation of expert views. When authors evaluate the likelihood of certain outcomes, the associated meanings are:

Virtually certain ………. >99% probability of occurrence

Very likely ………. 90 to 99% probability

Likely ………. 66 to 90% probability

About as likely as not ……….. 33 to 66% probability

Unlikely ……… 10 to 33% probability

Very unlikely ……… 1 to 10% probability

Exceptionally unlikely ………. <1% probability

As to what the “observed increase in global average temperature since the mid-20th century” has been, I present Figure 1—the annual HadCRUT3 global temperature record from 1950 to 2009. The trend line has value of 0.117°C/decade which amounts to a total temperature increase of 0.702C over the 60 years from 1950.

EPA_wrong_fig1
Figure 1. Observed global temperature history, 1950-2009 (data source: Hadley Center).

So that’s what we are starting with. The EPA is 90 to 99% certain that at least 0.35°C of warming in the extant (“observed”) record is from GHG emissions from human activity.

Now, let’s see what happens when we start to factor in recent findings.

Corrections to the “Observed” Record

First off, about a year after the IPCC released its AR4 report (from which the EPA took its statement), David Thompson and colleagues published a paper in Nature magazine titled “A large discontinuity in the mid-twentieth century in observed global-mean surface temperature.” In it, they documented how a change in observing practices before and after World War II produced a cold bias in the sea surface temperatures that were incorporated into the compilations of global average temperatures (see here and here for more details). Thompson et al. were unable to correct this bias (so it remains in the extant “observed” global temperature histories) but suggested that:

The adjustments immediately after 1945 are expected to be as large as those made to the pre-war data (~0.3°C), and smaller adjustments are likely to be required in SSTs through at least the mid-1960s, by which time the observing fleet was relatively diverse and less susceptible to changes in the data supply from a single country of origin.

The U.K.’s The Independent newspaper reproduced a graphic (from by the Climate Research Unit) that generally illustrated what the correction to the dataset may look like when it is finally applied.

EPA_wrong_chart

The Independent’s chart basically shows what the Thompson et al. paper described—about a +0.3°C correction after about 1945 slowly declining to zero by the mid-1960s.

Figure 2 shows what happens when I apply this correction to the “observed” data in Figure 1 and then re-calculate the temperature change. The overall warming trend declines from the “observed” rate of 0.116°C/decade to a “corrected” rate of 0.092°C/decade. So EPA’s “observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century” has now dropped from 0.702°C to a “corrected” value of 0.552°C and 21% of EPA’s increase from “anthropogenic GHG” increases has now vanished, lost to errors in the observed data.

EPA_wrong_fig2
Figure 2. Observed global temperature history, 1950-2009 (black). “Corrected” global temperature history (following to Thompson et al., 2008) (red line).

Stratospheric Water Vapor

Now consider the results of a paper published just a few weeks ago in Science magazine by Susan Solomon and colleagues. They report that variations in the water vapor content in the lower stratosphere (apparently largely unrelated to GHG changes) have a large influence on the rate of global temperature change for periods of a decade or more. In fact, since 1980 (the start of the data analyzed), an overall increase in stratospheric water vapor content as been responsible for perhaps 15% of the overall temperature increase.

It is impossible from Solomon et al.’s analysis to know what went on prior to 1980, so, for lack of any other guidance, I’ll assume that no changes took place (or, that the net change was zero) from 1950 to 1980. I’ll then back the 15% warming influence from stratospheric water vapor changes since 1980 out of the “corrected” data in Figure 2. The warming I am left with is shown in Figure 3.

The overall trend declines to 0.081°C/decade (or a total rise of 0.486°C).

Now the EPA’s “observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century” has dropped from 0.702°C down to 0.486°C—and about 31% of increase from anthropogenic GHGs is gone.

EPA_wrong_fig3
Figure 3. Observed global temperature history, 1950-2009 (black). “Corrected” global temperature history (red line). “Corrected” temperature history with general influence of stratospheric water vapor (according to Solomon et al., 2010) removed (green line).

Influence of Black Carbon

Finally, consider the results from Ramanathan and Carmichael published in Nature Geoscience last year. These researchers reviewed the scientific understanding of how black carbon aerosols (aka soot) warm the earth’s climate. Black carbon is not a GHG. Black carbon warms the earth by directly absorbing reflected solar radiation and also by darkening the surface of snow and ice when it is deposited there (and enhances melting). Ramanathan and Carmichael determined that in toto black carbon has been responsible for about 25% of the overall warming.

The result of factoring out this non-GHG warming is illustrated in Figure 4. The 1950-2009 trend drops to 0.061°C/decade.

EPA_wrong_fig4
Figure 4. Observed global temperature history, 1950-2009 (black). “Corrected” global temperature history (red line). “Corrected” temperature history with general influence of stratospheric water vapor (according to Solomon et al., 2010) removed (green line). “Corrected” temperature history with general influence of stratospheric water vapor (according to Solomon et al., 2010) removed and the influence of black carbon (according to Ramanathan and Carmichael, 2009) removed (blue line).

The remaining warming—that which possibly could be caused by anthropogenic GHG increases—now stands at about 0.366°C—or just 52% of the EPA’s “observed” increase.

Conclusion—The EPA is Wrong

And I have only included the best estimates from Solomon et al. and Ramanathan and Carmichael. In fact, both studies include a range of estimates. Had I used the low end of the ranges, the remaining warming from GHGs would have been quite a bit less than 50% of the “observed” warming.

Also, I used a pretty conservative “correction” based on Thompson et al. Others contend that the “correction” should be larger, and in and of itself could invalidate the EPA/IPCC “most likely” description.

And, I didn’t include any warming from things such as urbanization, land-use change, site changes, or other natural variability—which have been by some studies to have a detectable (warming) impact.

So, if we take what the best science gives us, we find that pretty close to half of the warming that is currently indicated by the extant global temperature datasets may be from influences other than anthropogenic greenhouse gas increases—perhaps a bit less, perhaps a bit more.

Heading back to the EPA’s Description of Likelihood Table (above) we find that instead of “very likely,” probably the most apropos descriptor is found a couple of lines down, the one that encompasses a 33 to 66% probability—or “about as likely as not.”

Somehow, I think that if the EPA had written:

It is about as likely as not that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG concentrations.

that EPA’s justification for their Endangerment Finding would “very likely” have been considerably less compelling.

IPCC mistakes, Climategate perversions, and now new major scientific findings all demand the same thing—that EPA reconsider its Endangerment Finding as the validity of its scientific underpinnings is badly in need of update and reappraisal.

Update: Febuary 12, 2010

I have had several inquiries into what the remaining warming would look like if I incorporated the potential effect of non-climatic warming influences (e.g., urbanization, other landscape changes, instrument changes, network quality, etc.). I ran through a middle-of-the road estimate in Comment#6, that I’ll now move up into the post.

It goes something like this:

It is hard to know what a middle-of-the-road estimate from non-climatic influences on the land surface temperature observations may be. Brohan et al. (who developed the HadCRUT3 record) estimate the influence to be 0.005°C/decade. McKitrick and Michaels (2007) on the other hand, estimate it to be nearly 50% of the trend in the land record. This probably defines the range on influence.

Since the land only makes of 30% of the planet, each of the above estimates must be roughly reduced by 70% to be applied to the global record (details may vary). Or, respectively, 0.002°C/decade and 15%.

Applying each to the “corrected” decadal rate from 1950 to 2009 (which is 0.092°C/decade), yields 0.090°C/dec (from Brohan et al.) and 0.078°C/dec (from McKitrick and Michaels).
So, erring on the conservative side, let’s take 0.085°C/decade as the observed rate after correcting for the Thompson et al. error and non-climatic warming.

Working through the rest of my calculations (i.e., stratospheric water vapor and then black carbon) using the new 0.085°C/decade baseline leaves a trend of 0.056°C/decade that could potentially be from anthropogenic GHGs, or a total potential temperature rise of 0.337°C—which is 48% of the current “observed” value—or less than half of the current “observed” warming from the mid-20th century.

I’ve created a new, simplified chart to show the total effect of all the non-GHG adjustments (that I considered, perhaps there are others) to the “observed” temperature history. The black red line in the Figure below is the original warming trend as contained in the most-up-to-date “observed” temperature record, and the red blue line is the remaining (“adjusted”) trend after all non-GHG influences have been removed. The remaining trend is just 48% of the original trend. In other words, it can be reasonably argued that anthropogenic GHGs could be responsible for a minority of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.

EPA_wrong_supp
Update Figure. Global temperature history, 1950-2009. The black red line in the Figure is the original warming trend as contained in the most-up-to-date “observed” temperature record (HadCRUT3), and the red blue line is the remaining (“adjusted”) trend after non-GHG influences have been removed.

References:

Ramanathan V., and G. Carmichael, 2009. Global and regional climate changes due to black carbon. Nature GeoScience, 1, 221-227.

Solomon, S., et al. 2010. Contributions of stratospheric water vapor to decadal changes in the rate of global warming. Science, published on-line January 28, 2010.

Thompson, D., et al., 2008. A large discontinuity in the mid-twentieth century in observed global-mean surface temperature. Nature, 453, 646-649.

40 comments

1 Andrew { 02.11.10 at 11:10 am }

Combined with the fact that some portion of the second warming in the twentieth century is probably due to internal climate variability (eg here and here

2 Andrew { 02.11.10 at 11:12 am }

Oh, didn’t finish my point. If some allowance is made for that multidecadal signal of unknown origin, it reduces the warming attributable to GHG’s, especially in the Arctic.

3 Kenneth P. Green { 02.11.10 at 11:35 am }

Chip -

I notice you chose the conservative route of making sequential adjustments to the warming trend, rather than making all of your adjustments from the baseline, which would have produced an even smaller rate of decadal change than you show.

Can you explain why you went with this conservative computational route, and why you chose to pull your punch this way? What would the decadal warming rate be if you made all adjustments from the baseline, as one would insist on say, in a retail setting if one was getting multiple discounts off of a ticket price?

And, I know that you’re aware of work on the impact of urbanization on temperature trends in inflating instrumental warming measurements. Any reason for not putting that in also?

4 C3 Editor { 02.11.10 at 11:46 am }

Excellent. I wish more scientists would be willing to share this type of common sense insight as the authors here at MasterResource.

I would encourage you in a subsequent posting taking a stab at the remaining warming biases you mention. Putting these additional warming biases (conservative estimates) into context like you have done with the ones above (Corrections to the “Observed” Record, water vapor and black soot) would be incredibly helpful and informative.

5 cknappenberger { 02.11.10 at 1:34 pm }

Ken (re#3),

The difference between the total reduction in net global temperature that I found applying the influences sequentially works out to 0.336°C. Had I applied the black carbon influence to the error corrected baseline and added that to the stratospheric water vapor reduction (that I already calculated from the error-corrected baseline), the total net reduction would sum to be 0.348°C–or very nearly 50% (compared to my 52%). Not an overly big change–nor one that would alter my conclusion.

-Chip

6 cknappenberger { 02.11.10 at 2:08 pm }

C3Editor (re#4),

It is hard to know what a middle-of-the-road estimate from non-climatic influences on the land surface temperature observations may be. Brohan et al. (who developed the HadCRUT3 record) estimate the influence to be 0.005°C/decade. McKitrick and Michaels (2007) on the other hand, estimate it to be nearly 50% of the trend in the land record. This probably defines the range on influence.

Since the land only makes of 30% of the planet, each of the above estimates must be roughly reduced by 70% to be applied to the global record (details may vary). Or, respectively, 0.002°C/decade and 15%.

Applying each to the “corrected” decadal rate from 1950 to 2009 (which is 0.092°C/decade), yields 0.090°C/dec (from Brohan et al.) and 0.078°C/dec (from McKitrick and Michaels).

So, erring on the conservative side, let’s take 0.085°C/decade as the observed rate after correcting for the Thompson et al. error and non-climatic warming.

Working through the rest of my calculations (i.e., stratospheric water vapor and then black carbon) using the new 0.085°C/decade baseline leaves a trend of 0.056°C/decade that could potentially be from anthropogenic GHGs, or a total potential temperature rise of 0.337°C—which is 48% of the current “observed” value—or less than half of the current “observed” warming from the mid-20th century.

Still the descriptor “as likely as not” seems to fit best.

-Chip

7 Kenneth P. Green { 02.11.10 at 3:30 pm }

I have posted a somewhat longish post covering Chip’s great post here to the Enterprise Blog. Mine is shorter on graphs, longer on attitude, and perhaps, boils things down a bit to make them more easily understood. You can find my take here: http://blog.american.com/?p=10390

8 SBVOR { 02.11.10 at 3:53 pm }

Pull back the curtain on any example of Junk Science and you will find a pack of Trial Lawyers circling like vultures:

http://sbvor.blogspot.com/2009/09/co2-next-gravy-train-for-trial-lawyers.html

9 The Divine Conspiracy Blog » Blog Archive » The EPA { 02.11.10 at 3:53 pm }

[...] More. Posted in Politics, Science | No Comments » Leave a Comment [...]

10 JackPoynter { 02.11.10 at 4:51 pm }

Ken Green – On the Enterprise Blog you expressed surprise that the EPA hasn’t been asked to defend their ruling. See
http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/global-233244-epa-warming.html

for a note about the House Bill entered by Ike Skelton, Collin Peterson, and Ann Emerson to abolish their finding.

11 Kenneth P. Green { 02.11.10 at 5:27 pm }

Jack – I should probably have mentioned the other challenges, you’re right. Perhaps I’ll add that into a comment tomorrow.

12 C3 Editor { 02.11.10 at 10:32 pm }

Thanks, Chip (#6). Appreciate your taking time to add more.

13 Robert { 02.12.10 at 9:53 am }

The paper arguing that there has been less warming than previously thought is not on point. The EPA finding that most of the warming is secondary to GHG implies nothing about the absolute magnitude of the warming. The use of water vapor is also misleading — the findings of Solomon did not include any claim that stratospheric water vapor was unrelated to the concentration of other GHGs, only that it had declined recently (perhaps) for unknown reasons. This might be reason to think (if the result holds up) that stratospheric water vapor varies with multiple inputs, not that it is unrelated to other GHGs.

14 cknappenberger { 02.12.10 at 11:13 am }

Robert (re #13),

Your point about Solomon’s results is on topic (although my use of it is not misleading). It is anything but clear at this point in time whether the variations in stratospheric water vapor are natural, or in some way are a positive or negative feedback from GHG changes (although my read of Solomon et al. leads me to think that the authors were leaning towards natural variability). But stratospheric water vapor variations apparently do have a sizeable impact on decadal-scale trends. Surely, you should agree that this adds a degree of uncertainty that was not accounted for by the EPA/IPCC? So, it seems that their “very likely” was jumping the gun a bit–which is my main point.

Thanks for the comment.

-Chip

15 Derek D { 02.12.10 at 11:53 am }

Wow, you took someone else’s data, applied your own set of assumptions and claim to have “proved” the point you set out to prove. How fortuitous! You should go work for the IPCC.

Don’t get me wrong I appreciate the effort. And you highlight an issue many have raised, that being that the foundations of the IPCCs assertions are scandalously shaky. Yet it is the general public who votes, consumes, and drives public policies, despite by and large being naieve to the ways of science. Knowing this, the clowns over at the IPCC took someone else’s data, applied their own assumptions and “proved” that global warming is real (sound familiar). And only a few folks like you and I had the insight to see the scam. By and large the general public does not grasp the difference between a statistical correlation and scientific proof when one is presented as the other. So my point is this:

Great effort, and a great attempt to fight fire with fire. But lamentably the greater exercise lends further credibility to the idea that we can prove a scientific point applying statistics to some off-the-shelf dataset. Thus in essence all you are doing is propping up the IPCCs ruse. You are doing no great service to science or the truth by giving credibility to the same methods, just because you arrive at a contrary conclusion. Science is experimentation, repeatible and reproducibile cause/effect relationships and precise calculation. Neither you nor the IPCC have brought any of these things to the table.

Global Warming Alarmists don’t shout “the statistical assumptions are valid!”, they shout “the science is settled”. Meanwhile neither the EPA nor IPCC did a single bit of science. Neither did you. Yet both of you claim to have reached some scientific conclusion, AND THAT ITSELF IS THE CON. I understand you have more noble intentions, but invoking their own tricks will not only NOT kill them, but make them stronger.

When someone comes up with an experimental method that predictably and reproducibly can mathematically describe the cause/effect mechanism between greenhouse gases and CO2 then I’ll believe global warming is real. And when someone comes up with a similar experimental method that predictably and reproducibly can mathematically negate any cause/effect mechanism between greenhouse gases and CO2 then the debate will be over. But as long as this debate is nothing but an argument of one set of statistical assumptions vs another, with no emphasis on the collecting of data, defining a measurable causal mechanism, or bringing their theories into unity with the existing and indisputable laws of energy and thermodynamics, then you are all equally guilty of convoluting the truth and corrupting the true scientific process. If you are against lying, you should NOT BE OK with lies told on your behalf.

I think the world is sick of the whole exercise altogether…

16 cknappenberger { 02.12.10 at 12:35 pm }

Derek D (re#15),

I have attempted to objectively justify the descriptors of liklihood that should be applied to the statement “most of the warming since the mid-20th century is from anthropogenic GHGs.” The IPCC/EPA seems to have assigned them subjectively.

I didn’t anywhere suggest that *none* of the warming since the mid-20th century was from GHG increases, just that our level of certainty as to how much is far less than the IPCC/EPA state that it is.

-Chip

17 Derek D { 02.12.10 at 3:00 pm }

No offense intended. I fully agree with you empirically and you do a much better job of fairly quantifying certainty vs uncertainty. I just worry about the greater state of science when we allow them to keep the argument confined to the realm of statistics and don’t hold any assertions either way to the standards that the many valid and accepted theories in science meet. For example we can quantify the ability of CO2 in the upper troposphere to absorb and reflect long wave radiation in manner that the theory proposes, and those who have done so have determined that these regions are saturated and thus the proposed mechanism is invalid. In support of this conclusion we have looked for warming in the upper troposphere for years and have not seen it. This is a true scientific conclusion based on things that we can absolutely measure, quantify, reproduce and support with existing laws. And this being the case, trying to prove or disprove that this bogus warming signal is or isn’t present in a temperature dataset becomes a bogus exercise no matter how diligent you are at that point. The IPCC has set up shop on the third floor before the basement has been built. And that’s not how it works in the real world. Would you agree?

So my post is not a criticism of you or your work, but just a open word of caution about what we accept as a “scientific conclusion” . That said I very much appreciate your efforts to expose the flaws in the IPCCs work, because independent verification IS very much a part of the scientific method. But the word that REALLY needs to get out to the general public is that the IPCCs work really just isn’t science by any definition at all.

Thanks for your reply. Keep fighting the good fight.

18 Rich { 02.12.10 at 3:08 pm }

Why is Solar radiation ignored? Surely humankind does not have complete knowledge of every type of radiation given off by the Sun, the magnitude of this radiation, or how it is affected by the sunspot cycle. Just 10 years ago these same scientist were not convinced there were “black holes,” now, they claim every galaxy has one at its center. As an Amateur radio operator I noted that the propagation patterns and communications were the worst that had been in 50 years, and this at the same time they claim it is the hottest it has been in 100 years. Now, the air waves are so quite that at times I think the antenna is disconnected, and we are still in the longest solar sunspot minimum in 50-100 years. There must be some correlation to the things going on inside the sun (including those that we don’t even know about yet) and earth’s temperature. WHY is this dismissed . The analogy that I saw in a recent film of a search light and then turning on and off a pen light to represent the effect of sunspots has to be WRONG. Surely the average scientist has heard of RF (Radio Frequency) ? I have seen RF heating get steel to glow orange-white. And that is just radio waves! What about all the rest of the waves/radiation? The signal strength for radio-waves coming from Venus is measures in milivolts, AND this is for a small range of frequencies on one antenna. What is the TOTAL radiation from all radio frequencies from just Venus striking the earth? Now add in all other sources, the planets, sun, and those objects outside our solar system.
Then there is the earth’s magnetic flux, what is happening to it? But of course, if you ignore the COMPLETE solar spectrum, I guess you can (need to) ignore the effect changes in the earth’s magnetic flux would have on that radiation.

19 C. Brown { 02.12.10 at 3:40 pm }

Chip -

I really enjoyed your discussion. The EPA has summarized its fight against antrhopogenic greenhouse gases by deciding to go to war against CO2, forget the other gases. Can someone tell me how a trace gas, occupying less than .04% of our atmosphere, can be the culprit responsible for any significant temperature rise? Doesn’t concentration have anything to do with the subject? If CO2 existed in our atmosphere as it does on Venus or Mars (96%+) or even at the level of O2 on planet earth (20%), perhaps a case could be made. But at .04% of our atmosphere??? Where does concentration of the gas come into play in determining its effect on temperature rise?

20 Jack { 02.12.10 at 5:25 pm }

C. Brown,
I have the same question as you do.
.04% CO2 in the atmosphere. Man-induced CO2 is 1.5% of the total CO2. So man-induced CO2 is 0.0006% ( .04 X .015) of the atmosphere. The effect of man-induced CO2 on earth temperature is negligible. Is it wrong to assume this?

21 cknappenberger { 02.12.10 at 5:54 pm }

Of the CO2 in the atmosphere, ~388ppm, human emissions are responsible for about 100-120 ppm of that amount.

The earth’s greenhouse effect is a real thing, and CO2 plays a real part in it, thought to be somewhere between 9 and 26% depending on how you calculate it.

So, yes CO2 is an important part of the earth’s greenhouse effect, even at low concentrations.

-Chip

22 Kent { 02.12.10 at 6:15 pm }

CKnappenberger, how can you be sure that any of the temp data is correct when there is so much fraud and collusion? Are we to trust folks that even in remote ways benefit from the findings that they aquire? In order to get it right, this will end up being done by people that don’t benefit in the slightest from their work. Totally without recompense. Else I wouldn’t trust them as far as I could throw them. Also, if you can’t share the data, it shouldn’t be used, period.

23 SBVOR { 02.12.10 at 6:22 pm }

Chip sez:

“CO2 is an important part of the earth’s greenhouse effect, even at low concentrations”

Actually, the lower the concentration, the greater the impact of each additional CO2 molecule. And, conversely, each additional molecule of CO2 has exponentially less impact than the previous molecule.

Click here for more on the direct impact of CO2.

Click here and explore the rapidly dissipating myth of a positive water vapor feedback mechanism. Even NOAA now admits it. Without that assumed positive feedback, there can be no hysteria. And, the evidence now suggests that a NEGATIVE water vapor feedback cancels about 75% of the previously assumed impact of CO2 (abstract found here).

Of course, the preponderance of the evidence leads a rational mind to conclude the hysteria was never justified.

24 Jack { 02.12.10 at 10:33 pm }

Thanks SBVOR,
I’ll find answers at your blog.

25 Paul A { 02.14.10 at 12:29 am }

Could someone explain how warming in the upper atmosphere can travel through 100′s of mile of below freezing atmosphere not warmed it at all and make the ground warmer. Heat will move to cold. You cannot heat the ground because the air much much colder and heat moves to cold.

26 Cooler Heads Digest 12 February 2010 | GlobalWarming.org { 02.16.10 at 11:50 am }

[...] Why the EPA Is Wrong about Recent Warming Chip Knappenberger, MasterResource.org, 11 February 2010 [...]

27 IPCC gate Du Jour – Antarctic Sea Ice Increase Underestimated by 50% « Watts Up With That? { 02.17.10 at 6:01 am }

[...] is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG [greenhouse gas] concentrations” was shown to be wrong. This argument isn’t included in the [...]

28 David Thomas { 02.17.10 at 10:38 am }

“The black line in the Figure below is the original warming trend as contained in the most-up-to-date “observed” temperature record, and the red line is the remaining (“adjusted”) trend after all non-GHG influences have been removed.”
This seems to be reversed from the legend in the graph.

29 Chris { 02.17.10 at 11:52 am }

It should be mentioned that the state of Texas has filed suit against the EPA over its endangerment finding.

30 cknappenberger { 02.17.10 at 12:38 pm }

Re:#28,

Sure enough! Thanks, David. It is fixed now.

-Chip

31 Another IPCC Error: Antarctic Sea Ice Increase Underestimated by 50% « climategate.tv { 02.18.10 at 4:31 pm }

[...] is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG [greenhouse gas] concentrations” was shown to be wrong. This argument isn’t included in the [...]

32 The Roundup: IPCC Authors Now Admitting Fault – No Warming Since 1995 – Sea Levels Not Rising « The IUSB Vision Weblog { 02.23.10 at 12:06 am }

[...] is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG [greenhouse gas] concentrations” was shown to be wrong. This argument isn’t included in the [...]

33 IPCC Must Go!. Part 2-Global Temperature Manipulation « Climate Change Sanity { 02.28.10 at 7:40 pm }

[...] WHY THE EPA IS WRONG ABOUT RECENT WARMING. See here. [...]

34 Man NOT to blame! « TWAWKI { 03.10.10 at 3:01 am }

[...] causes warming then most of it is not likely caused by man. See here at World Climate Report and Master Resource. Then when you realise the warming stopped 12 – 15 years ago and the warming coincided with a [...]

35 Cor de Laater { 03.12.10 at 6:13 am }

Concerning the global climate change;

Has anybody ever thought about the “presession” [?? ed note] of the earth’s axis? It changes very slowly and must have an inpact on the earth’s global temperature in the very long term.

36 Cor de Laater { 03.15.10 at 7:26 am }

“presession” must be “precession”

37 SBVOR { 03.15.10 at 6:11 pm }

Cor de Laater (03.12.10 at 6:13 am),

Precession alone is powerful enough to drive a 20,000 year cycle wherein the Sahara alternates between a lush, wet land with three giant interconnected lakes and the desert we see today.

Precession, of course, is but one of three orbital eccentricities collectively known as Milankovitch cycles. These cycles are clearly the primary drivers of climate change on the scale of roughly 100,000 years, 40,000 years and 20,000 years.

But, many make the mistake of thinking about these cycles as being binary in nature. These cycles play out on a continuum and the interplay of these cycles is constantly altering our climate.

I hope that helped.

Click here for some more basic climate change science.

38 Cor de Laater { 03.21.10 at 12:13 pm }

SBVOR

Thank’s for the comment.
I fear “precession” has a bigger impact on our climat changes than estimated. This is an element on the long term, were humans have no experience.

39 IPCC gate Du Jour – Antarctic Sea Ice Increase Underestimated by 50% – Dark Politricks { 04.10.10 at 6:43 pm }

[...] is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG [greenhouse gas] concentrations” was shown to be wrong. This argument isn’t included in the [...]

40 Arno Arrak { 12.17.10 at 1:25 pm }

No amount of correction will change the fact that their base temperature curve, which is obviously HadCRUT3, is cooked. But before I get into that the way they chose the lower limit for their temperature graph is also tricky.

HadCRUT3 shows a huge heat wave coinciding with World War Two in the forties. That is just off the left end of their curve and rises higher than their chosen zero point line. While in my opinion that WW II rise is entirely imaginary their reason for excluding it is obviously a desire to draw a straight line. To go back to 1940 instead of 1950 would entirely spoil their chance of showing a relentless temperature rise graphically. But all the temperatures above 1980 are cooked by being raised up. To see how it is done look at Figure 16 in my book (Figure 24 in 2nd. ed.) which compares HadCRUT3 with satellite temperature measurements. The ENSO oscillations – El Nino peaks and La Nina valleys – become clearly observable at that resolution.

It turns out that they have made all the valleys very shallow and by that trick given their curve an upward slope. The El Nino peaks match quite well with satellites at first but when later it does not work they simply raise the entire curve. By the time 21st century arrives HadCRUT3 is floating happily a tenth of a degree above the satellite temperature curve. You can even see how they doctored it by looking at the 1998 super El Nino on their own graph. That is the last high peak on the right side. The two valleys that flank it are at greatly different heights while in the satellite record both sides of that same super El Nino are even. They are not the only ones who do it – NOAA is worse – but you will have to read about it yourself.

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