climate sensitivity or no climate sensitivity

The Antarctic is about to set a record for measured sea ice extent in the modern Satellite era. which means there is more ice at the South Pole in the last 34 years then ever before measured.

This is at the same time that CO2 levels have risen from 328 to 401 ppm, a rise of 2 ppm/year which has been put down to increased burning of fossil fuel.

CO2 is known to cause a warming effect in the atmosphere due to its absorption of Infra red radiation, as do all the other gases and water both as a gas and a vapor. The effect of an increase in CO2 levels is postulated to cause a 1 degree rise in temperature for a doubling of the CO level from 35 years ago.

This rise in temperature of the earth at sea surface level for a doubling of CO2 is referred to as the Climate Sensitivity [CS].  The Climate Sensitivity which is easy to define is in practice impossible to estimate or measure.

The reasons involve Natural Variation, which can also be looked at as not being able to measure the multiple effects of winds , waves, currents, forests, deserts, cloud and albedo to mention just some with precision hence the weather daily, weekly and seasonally cannot be fully predicted. Another is the presence of positive and negative feedbacks in the climate system which are even harder to work out.

Some people have stated that Climate Sensitivity cannot be negative, that there must be some positive increment to a forcing and any feedbacks must of necessity be less than the original input.

A measure of the degree of warming is logically that cold areas should warm up and areas of ice should melt.

Here is the conundrum. The Antarctic sea ice should be melting. At a Climate Sensitivity of 1  the world temperature should be 0.7 degrees warmer over the last 35 years and this should show in retreating Antarctic Sea Ice extent.

The fact that the area of Sea Ice is now 1.8 square million kilometers greater than the average over the last 35 years on its own would imply a negative Climate Sensitivity to CO2 increase.

There are arguments why this might not be correct.

We might be having a very, very long lasting natural variation in temperature which is overriding CS.
Temperature changes are different in the 2 hemispheres due to different land mass sizes.
Numerous other explanations have been attempted which fall over for 2 reasons.

The first is that all of them involve measures which are inherently counter intuitive. An example would be hot seas cause more clouds which cause more snow which cause more ice buildup. This logic loop is ultimately self defeating, two plausible ideas  are put together but the outcome fails due to the argument on climate sensitivity above. An input should not usually cause a bigger feedback than the input itself.

Other arguments include trade winds blowing faster put forward ten tears ago and trade winds blowing slower put forward last year. Ozone holes are another argument  which fails the logic test. Melting causing fresh water which is lighter and sinks allowing colder water to form more ice. Melting glaciers is another.

The second reason is that there are so many of these counter intuitive arguments still around with few in the close knit Antarctic community having the gumption to say no, this is wrong. Hence we have nearly 10 reasons for why there is more ice in the Antarctic. If even half of them were right this would mean that there should be 5 times as much ice in the Antarctic as there currently is.

This leads to the question then of is it possible that there are feedback loops that prevent our climate from  changing too drastically whatever the local  input. With the input of palaeontology it is obvious that the earth has had massive eons of life producing the fossil fuels in the first place, possibly for over a billion years. The earth’s atmosphere may originally have been devoid of Oxygen and CO2 [see stromatolites]. The upheavals of the earth’s crust have had super volcanoes and eras where burning coal would have produced more CO2 than mankind could ever produce. Yet we are here.

CO2 does warm the air, rising levels with no negative feedbacks should cause a rise in the earth’s temperature, yet one of the biggest, easiest to measure objective measurements says very plainly this is not happening.  There may be a bit of transfer of heat to the Northern Hemisphere for the North South divide to exist that is not yet understood. The most likely answer is that Climate sensitivity is a lot lower than most climate scientists are prepared to admit.

a doubling of CO
(which amounts to a forcing of 3.7 W/m2) would result in 1 °C global warming



humans are changing Earth’s climate. – Royal Society

humans are changing Earth’s climate. – Royal Society
This should have the proviso
” by increasing the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere”
and the follow up proviso
” causing the earth to warm more than it would naturally “.
The earth is warming naturally as it comes out of the last ice age.
The cause of why we have ice ages is still not clear despite good theories and is not a concern as we will all be dead many centuries before another and ice ages are not good.
The degree of variation of warmth of the atmosphere, earth surface and sea yearly has only been measured for a short time and quite large variations can occur from year to year.
The amount of variation in temperature the last 40 years is well within the bounds of natural variation [given the large amounts that have been shown to occur in a single year like 1997.] and of no cause for concern and no predictor of future temperatures on a century scale.
As understanding of causes of temperature changes are still in their infancy all we can say is that the earth is expected to get a little warmer overall in the next century and the next millennium.

In regard to CO2, the amount of distorting the facts is incredible. Most people including the Royal Society are aware that CO2 rises have followed the temperature rises not caused them.
This is due to more carbonate substrate dissolving into the warmer sea and the water giving off more of the CO2 it now contains.
In fact in the slight warming that we have had more of the CO2 rise might be just that, a natural response, and the fingerprint? of burning carbon unimportant.
Human CO2 remaining in the atmosphere for thousands of years is also emotive rubbish. How much will remain? after a few years virtually none.
The amount remaining is important, after all each breath we take has a molecule of CO2 breathed out by Julius Caesar [fact] but I am not going to say that he is the cause of CO2 increase /Climate change.
1 molecule in every ton is not important
When the earth cools again a little in the next 5,10 50 years as it will, the CO2 levels will fall.
The earth and sea are a giant buffer system that keeps a balance and the more CO2 we produce the more the earth will absorb.

I hope and trust that the Royal Society is right
humans can change the Earth’s climate. We already do on a micro climate scale. Rivers can be diverted and lakes drained, I live in an area dependent on irrigation.The three Gorges Dam is a monument to human ingenuity. But the big,big stuff is still out of reach.
Heck you have to drop 100 Hiroshima bombs a minute just to keep the planet’s warmth steady. [thanks Gavin].
I cannot see humans doing that for even an hour with all our resources so whatever way it wants to go it is just too big [for the sun] to worry about a few gnats on the surface producing a trace of a trace gas for a micro, micro second.

Trade winds are slower due to global warming Vecchi
Trade winds are faster due to global warming England
now tell me again slowly these are the same?????
Paul S
The only thing which matters with regard consistency between Vecchi 2006 and England 2014 is that the observed trends in equivalent variables during the period of overlap are about the same, which they are.

Are equivalent variables the same thing as gobbledygook?
I am talking about trade winds not equivalent variables of whom knows what and you suggest I am changing the subject.
When you are wrong, dig a deeper hole.

I upset Mosher and am PNG. I would not dare comment on ” you think Mosher believes temperature changes over the past 10-15 years can be entirely explained by CO2 and volcanoes.”
He has written somewhere recently that CO2 and volcanoes may be enough for the last 150 years. He has CO2 is going up , Global air temp should go up and is spot on. My disagreement is that I can see a host of negative feedback factors Including buffering in the sea and perhaps Spencer’s extra clouds that has meant the temperature rise with the CO2 will be negated.
The natural temperature rise in the last 40 years is what has caused the upswell in CO2. Nature will use the excess CO2 to good effect and the CO2 levels will stop rising soon as the earth cools down for the next 40 years with the usual suspects all converting to Ice Age Alarmists instead

for Geoff and Karlo if a large number of cures exist for any one condition then none of them are valid.

Judith, a small comment on the latest in a long line of excuses for the pause.
In a medical setting we have a condition called plantar fasciitis.
It has possibly over 200 cures. Most risible but all with just a hint of why it might work when the others don’t.
One for instance is rolling a golf ball underfoot with the sore foot. There are operations, steroid injections, ultrasound, infrared, physio and chiropracty to name a few.
Sadly none of them work any better than the others other than for the true believers who happened to accidentally get better at the time of their particular treatment.
The only thing that works for nearly everyone is the passage of time.
The parallels to the climate debate are obvious.
There is a saying sort of equivalent to Occam’s razor here, that is, that if a large number of cures exist for any one condition then none of them are valid.
Hence the more explanations one has to have to explain the pause the more likely that none of them are right.
Which would mean I guess that natural climate and temperature fluctuations are the norm and chaotic enough to be beyond the scope of our current understanding, although we can recognize and predict the recurrent patterns of our daily and yearly cycles.
Worse, the more explanations one has to have to explain the pause the more of a “turtles all the way down ‘ mentality one has to develop in reverse as each new argument demolishes the old arguments and sets an even harder benchmark.
I am sure you could work this into a post but unfortunately you will be inundated with people’s medical problems and might miss the important argument being made here.


There is no missing heat in that scenario. The only heat that needs to be accounted for is the 0.5W/m2 imbalance at TOA because if that number is accurate then the only place it can be going is in the ocean.

A two part question on Energy imbalance .

Can we have a TOA imbalance of -0.5 W/m2? If not why not.

ANSWER we are neither a heat source or a heat sink

Energy in is energy out. In other words we cannot have a TOA imbalance because the TOA is where the energy in equals the energy out.

We can have a warmer atmosphere or ocean without having to violate that principal, but only if the input of energy [Sun] varies due to distance [Summer/Winter locally] North and south hemispheres depending on the elliptical orbit of the sun. Or due to intensity [solar Cycles]
In effect the temperature we have is  balance of  the energy in the ocean, land surface and air. In a mathematical model  where the air and sea remained fixed the amount of heating up, the amount of clouds, would run like a clock  and stay the same from 1 24 hour period to the next apart from the energy input.

In our world of currents and Coriolis forces and winds, erosion volcanoes etc where the heat is varies but if one area becomes hotter SOI, PDO, El Nino etc another becomes colder.

Adding CO2  to the air does not make the total energy in or out change one iota. It does modify where the heat is found and this should be more in the atmosphere [ Gates, Droedge, Mosher etc]. The air should be warmer Gates and when it isn’t for 16 years it is indeed a travesty for your argument and the IPCC.

What it implies is that the earth’s atmosphere is a lot more resistant to intemperate changes  than most people here are prepared to realise.

Over the course of a year the average solar radiation arriving at the top of the Earth’s atmosphere at any point in time is roughly 1366 watts per square metre[3][4] (see solar constant)

The Sun’s rays are attenuated as they pass through the atmosphere, thus reducing the irradiance at the Earth’s surface to approximately 1000 W /m2 for a surface perpendicular to the Sun’s rays at sea level on a clear day.

, the sunbeam hitting the ground at a 30° angle spreads the same amount of light over twice as much area

Ignoring clouds, the daily average irradiance for the Earth is approximately 250 W/m2 (i.e., a daily irradiation of 6 kWh/m2)

The insolation of the sun can also be expressed in Suns, where one Sun equals 1000 W/m2 at the point of arrival, with kWh/m2/day expressed as hours/day

  1. Making stuff up here as I go.
    R Gates, R Pielke on ocean heat.
    No one has said what the average heat of the 700-2000 meter level is but a wild guess would say in the tropics [sea surface temp up to 25 degrees centigrade] and Arctic ocean [sea surface temp 3 degrees C] that the deeper level would be about 3-5 degrees centigrade. I.e not much difference at all at depth.
    There are no deep hot ocean currents, only cold ones and colder ones.
    If the hot currents ever come to the surface they will cool it not heat it [See D Springer earlier on heat sinks and why you cannot heat a warmer body with a colder body] as they are cooler than the surface air . The second thing is heat conducts both ways so at anyone time the hot surface water is not only heating the air above but heating the water below. Which has a lot more molecules than air for the heat to transfer to hence the heat diffusion will for most purposes be downwards by large orders of magnitude.
    That is not to say that the surface water might not heat up to 30 degrees C or more in the tropics but it cannot make the air hotter than the water and the water will almost always be colder [please leave out objections like hot air over land blowing out to sea/ night time etc which are not relevant to this argument ] than the air.

  2. Pekka Pirilä TOA can be a term for the level where radiative energy out equals radiative energy in. Whether one pumps CO2 into the air or not does not change the amount of energy in by the sun , nor the energy radiated out which is at an equilibrium.
    Yes the air at surface levels can be warmer but not because the CO2 is trapping more heat. If that were the case the earth would get warmer and warmer, The AGW argument of climate sensitivity and you might as well argue a sensitivity of 30 degrees instead of 3 degrees.
    The reflective surface of the earth is a strange combination of solid liquid and gas. At some point incident radiation is stopped then emitted back.
    It matters not whether it is a solid metal spacecraft a meteor or moon they all radiate the heat back. If an atmosphere with increasing CO2 is hotter than one without Then somewhere else in the system becomes colder. ie if the CO2 radiates more heat back to space then the oceans and land will not heat up as much.
    Hence there is no radiative imbalance just a poor understanding on our part of the actual way the energy movements occur

  3. Sea levels rising reminds me I left a tap running overnight last year?
    Surely not.
    If the ocean measurements were reliable, which they are not yet proven to be, then the ocean heat content rising would be true but it would mean CO2 was not the cause as there has been a hiatus. What a conundrum.

The mystery of the melting Antarctic

The mystery of the melting Antarctic

Actually 3 mysteries in one.

The measurement of the actual amount of ice on land or at sea is extremely difficult. While we can measure the extent of the land cover very accurately the depth of the ice is very difficult to estimate. Complicating this is the possibility of snow cover which is not as dense as ice but adds to the difficulty in measuring the actual ice thickness and the amount of unfrozen water under the ice in rivers and lakes which does the same.

More complicated is the measurement at sea due to the difficulty in assessing ice edge boundaries and even more so when there are ice floes and packs with clear water in between. In the Arctic it is possible to get measurements by submarine  and icebreakers to give some idea of depth

Conventional measurement depends on using multiple yearly measurements of extent and depth from multiple sources  and combining the best estimates into a volume if ice with quite significant margins for error. The most inputs come from arctic ice measurement,  and are represented by PIOMAS. A second measurement is done by Cryosat 2. The estimated volumes differ quite markedly at times.

In the Antarctic  it is impossible to actually measure the depth accurately, hence a different method GRACE has been developed which works on estimating the gravitational differences  detected by 2 satellites to determine the mass of ice above the land contributing to the gravitational fields. The volume of ice estimated in this way is potentially extremely inaccurate  though  not inexact as it is very dependent on the coefficient in the formula to give the volume of ice. A smidge up and there is more ice in Antarctica, a smidge down and there is less ice in Antarctica.

At different times using the gravitational measurement  there have been suggestions of increasing ice volume in Antarctica but with further interpretation the GRACE measurements state that Antarctica is losing ice volume.

Hence the mystery. Antarctic sea ice has been increasing in the main for 30 years and is well above the average for the last 30 years. Ipso facto the Antarctic itself  should have been definitely colder than normal in recent times. Hence there must be more not less ice in Antarctica.

Sea ice extent is dependent more on the coldness of the water rather than the air temperature itself, hence the second mystery. Measurements of the Antarctic water temperature claim that it has been warming over recent years. This should have resulted in less sea ice extent as predicted by IPCC models.

The third mystery is how has the Antarctic been losing ice volume. This is unexplainable by theory and fact. The Antarctic is too cold for the ice to melt and evaporate from the surface. The glaciers are not getting smaller and shrinking back in from the coast. This would involve less calving  from the glaciers which would in turn be smaller.  As demonstrated by the recent Spirit of Mawson expedition there is more not less ice along most of the coast of Antarctica.

If an adequate explanation cannot be given for how the ice is mysteriously disappearing from Antarctica then attention should be turned to the degree of accuracy of the GRACE measurements and a readjustment of the coefficient done to correct it to the reality of more ice volume in Antarctica.



The causes of heat in the atmosphere and sea.

Co2 follows warming in the atmosphere is an oft quoted message

This led me to thinking about the known causes of heating for the land sea and atmosphere . The atmosphere at both sea level and higher.

Some atmosphere of course as in mine shafts and deep earth valleys is actually below sea level and help  add some insight into heat movement in air.

Starting from the center of the  earth there are the more obvious nuclear reactions in the core and mantle. There are less obvious atomic reactions due to the vibration of atomic particles causing friction.  Then there is heat generated by the increasing pressure of gravity  as one moves towards the core. These are possibly exacerbated by the gravity changes of a rotating moon in competition with the sun and to a minute extent by the other planets and space matter including any from the sun.

An obvious cause of heating is the wave motion in the oceans especially when hitting the land and along the sea bottom.  The friction here generates a significant amount of heat every day [24 hours]. In fact one could say that if the temperature is hot enough to sustain liquid water there will always be heat generated  in excess of that needed to heat the water in the first place.

Gravity waves in land cause the same friction and may also cause the land to heat up at all levels all the way down to the core.

All this without needing any heat input from the Sun at all. When we talk about the earth being _ 30 degrees  centigrade without green  house gases are we taking all these other effects into play or are they so minuscule that they do not count at all.

with respect to the CO2 question is a warming world releasing more CO2 into the air because of the warming or taking more out because there is more biomass created to use it up.


missing out on

missing out on putting new ideas down

The first is seeing the universe is infinitely older than we can imagine there must be lots of other background effects from other big bangs, not just the  background noise from the one that may have created our semiverse. These effects should also be detectable. One way of detecting them would be unusual inversion or denting of the universe at the outer limits of what we can see. Could rogue matter exist?

The second is amnesia which we all have to a more or less degree. I am talking about our dreams and their deliberate fading away. I had a great comment the other morning worthy of listing for all time and it has gone.

Write down these thoughts as soon as you have them for they invariably deteriorate and disappear. The other thing that does happen unfortunately when you do write them down is that the do not always appear as great as when you first had them, in fact they can look quite banal but if you do not put them down you will never know.

Lost a trifecta the other day 10 dollars free from TABCORP . Backed Geelong to beat Fremantle, Collingwood to beat Port and Richmond to beat Carlton. Would not have paid much but I would have got my free 10 dollars. All three lost. Not that I now take a lot of bets but this makes it all the more hard to fathom.

As mentioned previously the world takes you on and yo go 2 steps back for everyone forward.

Well that cleared all the dreams away!

Is there any hope of communication on a blog ??










the pause

Every pause starts with one small step. The step can be backwards or sideways.

But this can be due to a multitude of factors.

The pause is confirmed when a second reading is also sideways or backward.

Mind you it is a very temporary pause and of very little import.

Further readings can be up or down and still be a pause  as long as the average of the readings from the first step remain at or below the last reading that was he start of the pause.

Now comes the interesting part. Defining a pause as the length of time from the initial start point would give a decline instead of a pause if the readings over time continue downwards

A pause is actually a leveling of the readings, which dates from the last reading backwards.

Hence after say 20 readings downwards one has to take extra readings from the upwards part of the graph to balance out or level the new downwards section. The way to do this is to take the line across from the last reading to the new first reading, then evaluate the area above the line and take the average  level here as the length of the pause.

Obviously the start of the pause is not where the line goes across from the last reading but a little higher,

The point is though that the pause extends backwards as well as forwards as long as the last measurement  puts the average below the  initial measurement when the pause started.

When the average starts dropping significantly the pause extends out dramatically.

When does a pause become a reversal or fall?

1929 is a good answer. A fall or reversal starts with a similar change to a pause only it is never a sideways step always down.

The only answer can be in retrospect although a good sign is a preternaturally large fall. The global climate changes constantly and a big fall is only likely through a catastrophic event which mankind cannot ward against.


  1. I opened the fridge and found a frozen Schrodinger’s cat. At the same time I note a giant leap upwards on the arctic sea ice extent.[Ice Area NORSEX SSM/I August 1st 2013]
    The world has just done a quantum leap sideways in space in the last few days and both the Arctic and Antarctic are getting less sun.
    At least it makes more sense than more heat deciding to go missing in the deep sea.
    PS will write further if the cat is alive or dead

  2. when it thaws out, that is.

    AGW could exist if  Human beings produced enough energy or CO2
    to increase the thermal load in the earths atmosphere. Alternative methods could also work e.g. painting/coating the earth’s surface  black to absorb heat [or white if one wanted AG Cooling.]. The amount of heat coming in [and leaving the earth each day is on orders of magnitude so vastly different that human heat output is negligible and always will be.
    Steve Mosher believes that CO2 increase of itself must scientifically lead to warming  [AGW]. and technically he is right except…
    one, there is no step by step link to show this is happening. The CO2 goes up but the temperature goes up down and sideways and never in kilter with the CO2 rise.Obviously there are “natural variations” but there is no link and he knows this.
    secondly  there may be confounding reasons that lead to greater outgoing radiation when the  CO2 levels go up. The extra heat retention may cause more cloud, thinner atmosphere. more reflectiveness of the atmosphere whatever that counter balances the pure physics of CO2 alone.
    If such forces exist [a little more likely than the deep heat in the oceans rubbish] He should be prepared to be more skeptical than he currently allows himself to be.
    PS better to drag the oceans than beat the bushes to find AGW  believer’s at the moment Steve






I lost my keys

I lost my keys the other night in the dark, Kept looking for them under that streetlight but no keys.
Q  Where could they be.
A  ?   [not the sea]the other night in the dark, Kept looking for them under that streetlight but no keys. Q Where could they be. A ? [not the sea]


The aim of this piece is to demonstrate that the computer models  used for making predictions on Global Warming  are basically unable to make the predictions they do in any meaningful way.

To do so I will have to show the reasons that  they cannot work for the use they were intended.

The arguments will have to rely on logical reasoning

Analogies to other similar situations will help demonstrate the points used.

The argument will rely on the complexity of the task and the amount of input available at the current moment. It will also depend on the definitions used which will need to be set out clearly.

The topic of Global Warming will also need to be explained in context and history.

Potted version. The earth as a  rotating solid mass revolves around the Sun and has forces exerted upon it by other celestial bodies including the moon, other planets, comets meteors space debris and background radiations of many sorts.

It is presumed to have formed 4 to 5 billion years ago at the same time as the rest of the planetary system. Its composition is unknown  and has had to be inferred from its weight, motion  and chemistry and observation of other planets.

Due to the presence of a strong magnetic field it i s postulated that it has an iron core  and seismic experiments suggest that it has a liquid core with  a more solid covering of iron and then a mantle of other elements.

The earth possesses a degree of internal heat which might be kept going by nuclear fission of radioactive elements in the earths core and crust. Another  cause of heat production is thought to be from compressive forces due to the pressure of the materials themselves as it rises closer to the core. Gravitational forces are also postulated to work  on the material of the earth as in causing waves in water but also in causing storm patterns [Coriolis forces] and land or earth waves. While usually postulated as working on the mantle and crust there is no reason to expect that they might not work on all parts of the earth.


The earth surface is where humanity lives in a space of 2 meters from the surface of the ground up. This living space is broader for other parts of the biosphere.
Bacteria can live to depths of up to 5 kilometers in the earth mantle and seas and can go to thousands of meters in the air

Conditions for life involve a need for water, sunshine and oxygen and carbon dioxide plus numerous other trace and not so trace elements and compounds. Not all components are needed for some life forms eg anaerobic bacteria do not need oxygen and some plants and animals survive without sunshine

For those creatures on the earth’s surface an important element is the surface temperature.