Wednesday, October 31, 2012

New paper falsifies basis of the theory of man-made global warming

A paper published today in Environmental Research Letters shows that the "hot spot" or "fingerprint of man-made global warming" predicted by climate computer models is indeed missing from satellite observations.  Climate models predict more warming in the upper tropical troposphere than the lower troposphere allegedly due to "heat-trapping" from increased greenhouse gases. However, satellite observations do not show the warming trend predicted by models, and thus the basis of the theory of man-made global warming is falsified.
Satellite observed upper tropical tropospheric temperature anomalies [red] have not shown the warming trend predicted by computer models [black = model average, grey = spread].

Discrepancies in tropical upper tropospheric warming between atmospheric circulation models and satellites

Stephen Po-Chedley1 and Qiang Fu1,2
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Recent studies have examined tropical upper tropospheric warming by comparing coupled atmosphere–ocean global circulation model (GCM) simulations from Phase 3 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP3) with satellite and radiosonde observations of warming in the tropical upper troposphere relative to the lower-middle troposphere. These studies showed that models tended to overestimate increases in static stability between the upper and lower-middle troposphere. We revisit this issue using atmospheric GCMs with prescribed historical sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and coupled atmosphere–ocean GCMs that participated in the latest model intercomparison project, CMIP5. It is demonstrated that even with historical SSTs as a boundary condition, most atmospheric models exhibit excessive tropical upper tropospheric warming relative to the lower-middle troposphere as compared with satellite-borne microwave sounding unit measurements. It is also shown that the results from CMIP5 coupled atmosphere–ocean GCMs are similar to findings from CMIP3 coupled GCMs. The apparent model-observational difference for tropical upper tropospheric warming represents an important problem, but it is not clear whether the difference is a result of common biases in GCMs, biases in observational datasets, or both.

Greenpeace denies millions of children essential nutrients to avoid blindness & death

Save the Whales, Forget the Children

Greenpeace's war on Golden Rice ignores science in the name of misguided activism.

Say what you will about Greenpeace, the organization has always had a flair for publicity. From its early days of dodging harpoons and Japanese whalers in outboard motor boats, it has used media savvy and an aptitude for political theater to become a $360 million-plus per year behemoth with offices in more than 40 countries.

But what few members of the public know is that Greenpeace isn't just about saving whales and other appealing sea creatures. Its PR machine is now spearheading an effort to deny millions of children in the poorest nations the essential nutrients they need to stave off blindness and death.

The targets are new plant varieties collectively called "golden rice." Rice is a food staple for hundreds of millions, especially in Asia. Although it is an excellent source of calories, it lacks certain micronutrients necessary for a complete diet. In the 1980s and '90s, German scientists Ingo Potrykus and Peter Beyer developed the "Golden Rice" varieties that are biofortified, or enriched, by genes that produce beta-carotene, the precursor of vitamin A.

Vitamin A deficiency is epidemic among poor people whose diet is composed largely of rice, which contains no beta-carotene or vitamin A. In developing countries, 200 million-300 million children of preschool age are at risk of vitamin A deficiency, which increases their susceptibility to illnesses including measles and diarrheal diseases. Every year, about half a million children become blind as a result of vitamin A deficiency and 70% of those die within a year.

Golden rice could thus make contributions to human health on a par with Jonas Salk's polio vaccine. Instead, antitechnology groups such as Greenpeace have given already risk-averse regulators the political cover to delay approvals.

Genetically modified food has been a bête noire of left-wing groups for years, perhaps because it combines the evils of being somehow "unnatural" and often comes from corporate research labs. Greenpeace hasn't been swayed by the scientific consensus about the safety of genetically engineered crops—a consensus that is the result of hundreds of risk-assessment experiments and vast real-world experience. In the United States alone, approximately 85% of all corn and 91% of all soy grown is genetically engineered, and in almost 20 years of consumption around the world not a single health or environmental problem has been documented.

Greenpeace has variously alleged that the levels of beta-carotene in golden rice are too low to be effective or so high that they would be toxic. But feeding trials have shown the rice to be highly effective in preventing vitamin A deficiency, and toxicity is virtually impossible. So with no science to support its antagonism, the organization has been forced to adopt a new strategy: try to scare off the developing nations that are considering adoption of the lifesaving products.

In August, Greenpeace issued a press release stating that 24 children had been "used as guinea pigs in [a] genetically engineered 'golden rice' trial." The reference was to the results of a 2008 study conducted by Chinese researchers and Tufts University and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institutes of Health.

The 2008 study demonstrated that the new varieties of golden rice did indeed deliver sufficient vitamin A and were superior to spinach for that purpose. As to the ethics of the study, the journal article states clearly: "Both parents and pupils [subjects] consented to participate in the study."

The Greenpeace press release nonetheless produced a furor in China. Chinese news agencies inaccurately reported that the researchers had conducted dangerous, unauthorized experiments on poor children, and within days Chinese police had interrogated the researchers and coerced statements disavowing the research.

While Tufts is cooperating with the Chinese and responsible organizations in the U.S. to conduct a review, for the time being Greenpeace has achieved its aim of significantly delaying, if not actually eliminating, further development of golden rice in China.

Greenpeace is also taking its scare campaign on the road to other nations. In the Philippines, where field trials of golden rice are under way, Greenpeace is warning that "the next 'golden rice' guinea pigs may be Filipino children," and it has persuaded the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, the highest Catholic authority in that country, to weigh in against Golden Rice.

It has never been clear why Greenpeace—which has also raised money and its profile by bragging about sabotaging efforts to test insect-resistant crops that need less pesticide—persists in some of its campaigns. But none is likely to be more harmful for the world's children than its assault on golden rice.
Dr. Miller, a physician and molecular biologist, is a fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and was the founding director of the FDA's Office of Biotechnology. His most recent book is "The Frankenfood Myth" (Praeger, 2004).

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Why the U.S. burns 40% of its corn, despite a global food shortage

The Ethanol Election Delay   WSJ.COM 10/30/12
This summer's once-in-a-half-century Midwestern drought caused global prices for staple food products to soar by 10%—and corn in particular to jump by 25%, according to the World Bank. The food shortages across Africa, the Middle East and South America are the worst since the 1980s and have produced hunger and political instability, according to the United Nations.

So perhaps this emergency is the time to relax the U.S. ethanol mandate, which diverts four of every 10 domestic bushels of corn into gas tanks. That's equal to 15% of international corn production, burned in internal combustion engines that could run on another fuel. But this obvious solution is evidently not obvious to the Environmental Protection Agency, which, despite studying the question for more than a year, says it needs more time.
Last October, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Action Aid petitioned the EPA to review the so-called renewable fuel standard that mandates that 13.8 billion gallons of corn ethanol be blended into the gasoline supply next year. The free-market think tank and global hunger charity argued that the EPA's technical regulations implementing the mandate did not meet "basic standards of quality."
That basically applies to all EPA rule making, though in this case the EPA was supposed to answer in 90 days. But last Thursday the agency took another 90-day extension, the third so far. "We would like to assure you that we are working diligently to provide you with a substantive response," the EPA claimed.
Specifically, the Competitive Enterprise and Action Aid folks noted that the EPA failed to consider multiple peer-reviewed studies documenting the link between ethanol and world hunger in its public health literature review, as required by law. That includes one paper that concludes that biofuel mandates are responsible for at least 192,000 premature deaths every year. Overall more people die from chronic hunger world-wide than malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS combined.
President Obama declared in May that "As the wealthiest nation on Earth, I believe the United States has a moral obligation to lead the fight against chronic hunger and malnutrition, and to partner with others." He saluted U.S. global food programs but noted with characteristic understatement that "when tens of thousands of children die from the agony of starvation, as in Somalia, that sends us a message we've still got a lot of work to do. It's unacceptable. It's an outrage. It's an affront to who we are."
This sentiment did not trickle down to the EPA, which is less concerned with feeding the world than feeding the ethanol lobby and buying Farm Belt electoral votes. The EPA will now rule on the hunger issue post-election.

Astrophysicist explains why conventional greenhouse theory is incorrect

Astrophysicist Joe Postma has a new paper showing from both a theoretical and observational basis why the assumptions of conventional greenhouse theory are incorrect. Postma debunks the popular myth that greenhouse gases act as a "heat trapping" "blanket" to allegedly increase global temperature by 33C. 

Related: Prior papers by Joseph Postma

A Discussion on the Absence of a Measurable Greenhouse Effect

Joseph E Postma, M.Sc. Astronomy

Abstract: A contextual flaw underlying the interpretation of a back-radiative greenhouse effect is identified.  Real-time empirical data from a climate measurement station is used to observe the influence of the “greenhouse effect” on the temperature profiles.  The conservation of heat energy ordinary differential equation with the inclusion of the “greenhouse effect” is developed, which informs us of the temperature profile we expect to see when a “greenhouse effect” is present.   No “greenhouse effect” is observed in the measured data. The latent heats of H2O are identified as the only real heat-trapping phenomenon and are modelled. A discussion on the existence of universal principles is used to explain why simplistic arguments cannot be used as justification for the greenhouse effect.


1.1. The problem, and truth, of the albedo

A well-known attempt at a theoretical  disproof of the postulate of an  “atmospheric greenhouse effect” (GHE) was found in  Gerlich &  Tscheuschner’s [1] “Falsification of the Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects Within the Frame of Physics”.  One of the rebuttals to this paper was Smith’s [2] “Proof of the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect”.  A fault can be levelled at both of those papers in that no true empirical tests were made of either’s claims, no matter how well-established the physical principles might have seemed to be in either’s assessments.  Generally, the inference of an atmospheric GHE is made by comparing the Earth’s near-surface-air average temperature to  its global effective blackbody radiative temperature  calculated from the  absorbed energy from the Sun – there is a difference of 33K.

There exists a simple contextual flaw in this inference because the average terrestrial albedo is  much higher than the true surface albedo due to the presence of clouds in the atmosphere, resulting in a terrestrial albedo of approximately 0.3, while the true surface albedo is actually much less at only 0.04 [3].  That is, without greenhouse gases, the albedo would not still be 0.3, but 0.04.  The physical surface is not where the average terrestrial albedo of 0.3 is found, and so the direct comparison of related temperatures using the same albedo is  unfounded, because one system is being compared to a qualitatively different system with different absorptive (and presumably emissive) properties. But for a common example, in this [4] online textbook, we read: 
“The temperature of the surface of the Earth without these greenhouse gases would be 255 K. With these greenhouse gases the average temperature of the surface of the earth is 288 K. Our total of greenhouse warming is 33 K.”
However, without greenhouse gases, the albedo would not be 0.3, which thus leads to the 255K value.  The albedo would actually be 0.04.  Therefore a valid comparison is actually found in the theoretical temperature of the Earth-ensemble without  greenhouse gases (GHG’s) and with a correctly corresponding albedo, to that with  greenhouse gases with their corresponding albedo.  In this physically meaningful comparison, the difference in temperature between the theoretical ground surface, and the observed surface with an atmosphere and GHG’s on top, is only 12K, reducing the inferred strength of the GHE by almost two-thirds.  That is, the average global surface temperature without GHG’s, calculated using the usual method of the Stefan-Boltzmann Law with conservation of energy given the known solar input and the surface-specific albedo, results in a value of 276K.  

The observed average surface temperature with GHG’s present is actually 288K (15C), and so the “greenhouse  effect”  should  actually be thought to only provide 12K worth of additional temperature, not the 33K which is always incorrectly cited.

It should be noted that  the much higher albedo, with GHG’s present, is caused by the presence of clouds from droplet-condensation of the GHG water vapour.  This reduces the amount of sunlight absorbed by the system and thereby  must  reduce the temperature, in spite of the warming effect of the GHE from water vapour’s own presence.  In light of that one may ask: What would be the theoretical temperature of the surface of the Earth, with GHG’s including water vapour present, but when no clouds form?  Without knowing (as yet in this paper) the mechanism of the GHE and how to account for it, we can’t directly answer the question, but it should be at least 276K, as above, given that the albedo isn’t reduced from clouds. However, the answer can simply and easily be tested empirically on days where there are no clouds.  This will be done later in this report.  Without the albedo-increasing cooling effect of clouds (they prevent heating from solar insolation) above the surface, the GHE should manifest much  more clearly.    We must also acknowledge the fact that since the bulk portion of the terrestrial albedo is caused by cloud-tops, at altitude, we still cannot directly infer that the resulting 255K  terrestrial temperature  with clouds present should be found at the physical ground surface, whether or not there is a GHE, because the radiative surface with albedo equal to 0.3 does not reside with the ground surface.  There is a vertical dimension which affects the interpretation and must be taken into consideration.  Martin Hertzberg adds additional detail [5], with the point being that treating the emissivity as unity such as to arrive at the “Cold Earth Fallacy” is also unjustified:
“Since most of the albedo is caused by cloud cover, it is impossible for Earth to radiate out into Space with unit emissivity if 37% of that radiation is reflected back to Earth, or absorbed by the bottom of those same clouds. Even for those portions of Earth that are not covered with clouds, the assumption that the ocean surface, land surfaces, or ice and snow cover would all have blackbody emissivities of unity, is unreasonable. This unrealistic set of assumptions - leading to sub-zero average temperatures for Earth - is shown in Fig.1; and it is referred to  there as the “Cold Earth Fallacy”.”
A second and related ambiguity is that the 33K “GHE” value is a comparison of a calculated effective blackbody radiative temperature as should only be observed from outside the system (from space), via an integrated emission spectrum, to a specific kinetic temperature measured at only a single  depth-position inside the thermodynamic and  radiative ensemble.    That is, the average radiating emission altitude of outgoing energy from the terrestrial ensemble is actually between 5 and 6 km [6], and this is where the kinetic temperature of 255K is found.  In terms of radiation, the ground surface of the Earth is not the radiating surface, and therefore we shouldn’t expect the ground surface to have that temperature. In terms of the radiating surface, the temperature of the Earth as an integrated thermal ensemble inherently including the atmosphere, as seen from space, is exactly the same value as the theoretically-calculated effective blackbody temperature.  The Earth, in terms of its only means of exchanging energy – radiation – is exactly the temperature it is supposed to be.  But for most natural radiating gaseous systems with central gravity, such as stars, there will be a generally fixed effective blackbody temperature, while the kinetic temperature of the gas typically follows a distribution, in the main radiating layers, which increases in temperature with depth; see Gray [7], Table 9.2, for example.  This is true for stars because the source of energy is below the radiating layers; however, the same is true for the terrestrial atmosphere because the bulk source of  heat  energy, similarly, comes from solar radiation generating heat at the bottom-most layer of the atmosphere, at the surface-atmosphere boundary.  (Some solar radiation is absorbed directly into the atmosphere via absorptive extinction; see [8] and [9] for example.)   And so, because the ground surface is where the solar heat is (mainly) initially deposited, which then works its way through the atmosphere conductively and radiatively, the surface and lower layers should be expected to be warmer than the integrated average layer and upper layers.  

This fact is particularly relevant when we consider the actual maximum heating potential of sunlight under the solar zenith: considering a surface albedo of, say, 15%, and no clouds in the way, the real-time insolation temperature works out to ~378K or 105C, via the Stefan-Boltzmann Law.   As a matter of fact, the instantaneous average heating potential of sunlight over the sun-facing hemisphere, assuming an integrated albedo of 0.3, has a  hemispherically integrated average value of  322K or  +49C.    Note that the bihemispherical average temperature at the surface is actually only  +15C.    Because this energy is initially deposited by sunlight within the first few millimeters of land surface  (for the ocean most sunlight is absorbed within 200m depth), and this is therefore the only (main) place where the insolation is converted to heat, we find much justification for finding said surface to be warmer than the integrated average of the entire atmospheric thermodynamic ensemble above the surface conducting heat  away from  it, similar to the classical problem of a bar heated at one end.   The effective blackbody radiating temperature, being an integrated sum of the emission from all wavelengths and points along the optical (i.e. physical) depth of the atmosphere, necessarily requires that higher kinetic temperatures than said radiative average will be found below the depth of average radiative emission, essentially by the mathematical definition of what an integrated  average is, and 
independent of any “GHE”.

5.3. Summary Statements

1) The surface of albedo is not the ground surface, and so it never was correct to associate 
the  radiative temperature of -18C with the ground surface in the first place, since the albedo is what determines the equilibrium temperature and the albedo is not found with the physical surface.

2) Even as the climate models show, an increase in cloud height causes an increase in temperature at the surface. This is not due to a backradiation GHE but due to the lapse rate of the atmosphere combined with the average surface of equilibrium being risen further off of the surface.

3) A real greenhouse doesn't become heated by internal backradiation in any case, but from trapped warm air which is heated by contact with the internal surfaces heated by sunlight, and then physically prevented by a rigid barrier from convecting and cooling. The open  atmosphere doesn't do what a greenhouse doesn't do in the first place, and the open atmosphere does not function as a rigid barrier either.

4) The heat flow ordinary differential  equation of energy conservation is a fundamental equation of physics. It combines the fundamental mechanics of heat flow together with the most venerated law of science, conservation of energy. This equation predicts what should be observable if backradiation or heat-trapping is introduced to the equation, in accordance with the main idea of the atmospheric GHE, that a higher temperature than the insolation will be achieved.  A higher-than-insolation temperature is not achieved in experimental data, and we make it clear how one could test the postulate with even more surety by using the "Bristol Board Experiment".

5) An important factor for why the introduction of backradiation into the equation fails to match the real world is because radiation cannot actually increase its own Wien-peak frequency and its own spectral temperature signature; radiation cannot heat up its own source.  The Laws of Thermodynamics are real and universal.

6) The rate of cooling at the surface is enhanced, rather than retarded, relative to the entire atmospheric column, by a factor of 10.  Therefore, backradiation doesn’t seem to slow down the rate of cooling at the surface at all.  Backradiation neither causes active heating, nor slowed cooling, at the surface.  (Given Claes Johnson’s description of radiative heat transfer, radiation from a colder ambient radiative environment should slow down the rate of cooling, and we agree with that.  What we didn’t agree with was that “slowed cooling” equated to “higher temperature” because that is obviously sophistic logic.  And now in any case, it is apparent that sensible heat transfer from atmospheric contact at the surface dominates the radiative component process anyway, leading to ten times the rate of cooling at the surface relative to the rest of the column.)

7) Given the amount of latent heat energy actually stored (i.e. trapped) within the system, and that this energy comes from the Sun, and  considering  the Zero-Energy-Balance(ZEB) plot, it is quite apparent that this energy gets deposited in the equatorial regions and then shed in the polar regions.  This trapped latent heat prevents the system from cooling much below 0C, which keeps the global average temperature  higher than it would otherwise be and thus leads to an “interpreted appearance” of a GHE caused by “GHG trapping”, when the only trapping of energy is actually only in H2O latent heat.

8) Subsoil readings prove that a large amount of energy is held at a significant temperature (warmer than the surface) overnight, and because this soil is warmer than the surface, and the surface is warmer than the atmosphere, then the direction of heat flow is from the subsoil to the atmosphere.  And as  discussed, the atmosphere seems to enhance surface cooling rather than impede it.

9) The heat flow equation can be modeled to show that the Sun is capable of maintaining large amounts of water under the solar zenith at about 14 degrees C. This is very close to the surface average of +15C. The Sun can maintain a liquid ocean at +14C because it takes  a long time for heated water to lose its thermal energy.    This is also in combination with the surface of albedo being raised off the surface where the lapse rate will maintain a near-surface average of +15C in any case.

10) The issue has never been about whether radiation moves freely about in the atmosphere (it does), the question is whether once it has arrived at the surface, does it get more than one go at generating heat (i.e. “back radiation” heating)?  We say “no” because a) no such phenomenon as “back radiation heating” is cited in any thermodynamics textbooks and b) nor has any such effect been measured empirically.  GHE believers are left not knowing whether to support the “back radiation” heating or the “delayed cooling” (i.e. “blanket effect”) argument for the GHE; this is because each is a contradiction in terms and may separately be shown to not have any empirically proven basis.  The Laws of Thermodynamics probably play a part in this.

11) As Alan Siddon’s has explained [41], it isn’t actually clear, and there seems to be a plain logical contradiction, when we consider the role of non-GHG’s under the atmospheric GHE paradigm.  If non-GHG’s such as nitrogen and oxygen don’t radiate, then, aren’t they the ones trapping the thermal energy which they sensibly pick up from the sunlightheated surface and from GHG’s?  If on the other hand they do radiate, then aren’t they also GHG’s?  If a GHG radiates, and the others gasses don’t, then doesn’t that mean that GHG’s  cause  cooling because they provide a means for the atmosphere to shed thermal energy?   If the GHE is caused by trapping heat, then aren’t all non-GHG’s contributing to the effect since they can’t radiatively shed the thermal energy they pick up?   Isn’t how we think of the GHE therefore completely backwards?   In any case, everything with a temperature is holding heat; the only place trapping can be thought to be occurring is in latent heat.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

New movie 'Truthland' explains facts about natural gas fracking

Truthland: Dispatches from the Real Gasland - Trailer [HD] - For more Truthland news and information, visit

In the HBO movie "Gasland," New York City filmmaker Josh Fox tried to scare people into thinking that natural gas development and hydraulic fracturing are new, unregulated and dangerous. It made one Pennsylvania mom living atop the Marcellus Shale wonder what she was getting into. She asked environmentalists, academics and everyday people what they think. Nobody got paid to talk — all they were asked was to tell the truth.

Whoops: paper finds supposed positive feedback from low clouds in models is exaggerated 50%

A mew paper published in Geophysical Research Letters finds computer models greatly exaggerate positive feedback from tropical low clouds by 50%. Meanwhile, ample direct observations indicate that both low and high cloud feedback is instead net negative.

Key Points
  • Correlation between low-cloud radiative effects in present and future climates
  • Due to a positive radiative feedback between low clouds and relative humidity
  • Observations help constrain the strength of climate change low-cloud feedbacks
F. Brient
Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, CNRS, Paris, France
S. Bony
Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, CNRS, Paris, France
The influence of cloud modelling uncertainties on the projection of the tropical low-cloud response to global warming is explored by perturbing model parameters of the IPSL-CM5A climate model in a range of configurations (realistic general circulation model, aqua-planet, single-column model). While the positive sign and the mechanism of the low-cloud response to climate warming predicted by the model are robust, the amplitude of the response can vary considerably depending on the model tuning parameters. Moreover, the strength of the low-cloud response to climate change exhibits a strong correlation with the strength of the low-cloud radiative effects simulated in the current climate. We show that this correlation primarily results from a local positive feedback (referred to as the “beta feedback”) between boundary-layer cloud radiative cooling, relative humidity and low-cloud cover. Based on this correlation and observational constraints, it is suggested that the strength of the tropical low-cloud feedback predicted by the IPSL-CM5A model in climate projections might be overestimated by about fifty percent.

Friday, October 26, 2012

New paper finds large increase in Northern Hemisphere sunshine since 1982; dwarfs alleged effect of CO2

A new paper published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics finds from direct measurements that there was a significant increase in solar radiation at the surface of the Northern Hemisphere from 1982 to 2008. According to the authors, "the average increase of [surface solar radiation] from 1982 to 2008 is estimated to be 0.87 W m−2 per decade," which equates to 2.26 W m-2 over the 26 year period. By way of comparison, this forcing was 12.5 times greater than the surface forcing alleged by the IPCC from increased CO2 over the same period:
5.35*ln(386.59/341.44) = 0.66 W m-2 alleged CO2 forcing at the top of the atmosphere  
which equates to only 0.66 * 1/3.7 = 0.18 W m-2 at the Earth's surface
The paper adds to several others showing that a decrease in cloudiness was largely responsible for warming in the latter 20th century, rather than man-made greenhouse gases.


New paper finds large increase in sunshine since the 1980's; dwarfs alleged effect of CO2

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 9581-9592, 2012

Atmospheric impacts on climatic variability of surface incident solar radiation

K. C. Wang1, R. E. Dickinson2, M. Wild3, and S. Liang4
1State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100875, Beijing, China
2Department of Geological Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
3Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zürich, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland
4Department of Geography, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA

 Abstract. The Earth's climate is driven by surface incident solar radiation (Rs). Direct measurements have shown that Rs has undergone significant decadal variations. However, a large fraction of the global land surface is not covered by these observations. Satellite-derived Rs has a good global coverage but is of low accuracy in its depiction of decadal variability. This paper shows that daily to decadal variations of Rs, from both aerosols and cloud properties, can be accurately estimated using globally available measurements of Sunshine Duration (SunDu). In particular, SunDu shows that since the late 1980's Rs has brightened over Europe due to decreases in aerosols but dimmed over China due to their increases. We found that variation of cloud cover determines Rs at a monthly scale but that aerosols determine the variability of Rs at a decadal time scale, in particular, over Europe and China. Because of its global availability and long-term history, SunDu can provide an accurate and continuous proxy record of Rs, filling in values for the blank areas that are not covered by direct measurements. Compared to its direct measurement, Rs from SunDu appears to be less sensitive to instrument replacement and calibration, and shows that the widely reported sharp increase in Rs during the early 1990s in China was a result of instrument replacement. By merging direct measurements collected by Global Energy Budget Archive with those derived from SunDu [Sunshine Duration], we obtained a good coverage of Rs [surface incident solar radiation] over the Northern Hemisphere. From this data, the average increase of R[surface incident solar radiation] from 1982 to 2008 is estimated to be 0.87 W m−2 per decade.

The full paper is available here:

 Final Revised Paper (PDF, 794 KB)   Discussion Paper (ACPD)   

Seven recent papers that disprove man-made global warming

Re-posted from the Australian Climate Skeptics Party website:

Has Man-made global warming been disproved? A Review of Recent Papers.
Anthony Cox and Jo Nova
Climate Change was described in 2007 by the soon to be, briefly, Australian prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, as the “greatest moral, economic and environmental challenge of our generation.” By Climate Change Rudd meant anthropogenic global warming, or global warming as it was originally described by Al Gore.
Government attempts to ‘solve’ global warming are framed by hyperbole and urgent policies. These policies involve the expenditure of vast amounts of money1,2 and are justified because we are told “The science is settled”3.
Science is never settled. Richard Feynman said [The Meaning of it All, 1999]:
The exception proves that the rule is wrong. That is the principle of science. If there is an exception to any rule, and if it can be proved by observation, that rule is wrong.
The dominant argument for global warming contradicts Feynman’s “principle of science”. This dominant argument is that a majority of scientists, a consensus, support it4. But as Feynman notes consensus is a false proof of a scientific theory because only one contradictory bit of empirical evidence is sufficient to refute that theory.
In fact not one but seven recent peer-reviewed papers have revealed what would seem to be fatal flaws in global warming. Global warming says there has been an increase in the global average temperature since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] “most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.” [AR4, Working Group 1, page 10].
For purposes of this essay then global warming is the increase in global average temperature primarily caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide [CO2].
The seven papers discussed use different methods to critique global warming but are all based on empirical data and are in rough agreement that any increase in global average temperature due to a doubling of CO2 is more likely to be about half a degree than the 3.26 degrees determined by the IPCC [AR4, Box 10.2]. The extent of the change in global average temperature to a doubling in COis known as the climate sensitivity [see Figure 8].
A forcing is a factor external to or introduced to the climate system which affects, for a period, the radiative balance at the Tropopause, the boundary between the Troposphere and the Stratosphere. The IPCC recognises 2 main types of forcings; greenhouse gases, the most dominant one being CO2, and solar radiation. A feedback is a change in another quantity in the climate system as a response to a change in a forcing. The IPCC assumes that an increase in forcing from an increase in anthropogenic CO2 causes a feedback by an increase in water vapour [AR4, FAQ 1.3]. This process is measured by the change in global average temperature. However, as some scientists note, the distinction between a forcing and a feedback is not clear:
However, disadvantageously, including non-instantaneous processes clearly blurs the distinction between forcing and feedback as there is no longer a clear timescale to separate the two; further including these processes in the forcing incorporates more uncertain aspects of a climate models response [Forster et al., 2007].5
The following papers clarify this uncertainty between forcings and feedbacks and show that the global warming science is not clear about the distinction or effects. The papers show the IPCC assumptions about the role of CO2 and water vapor, particularly in the form of clouds, are incorrect and that the IPCC conclusions about climate sensitivity are both exaggerated and wrong. In doing so, these papers also vindicate Feynman’s maxim.

1      Lindzen and Choi –The Earth has a safety release valve

Figure 1 6
From Wielicki, B.A., T. Wong, et al, 2002: Evidence for large decadal variability in the tropical mean radiative energy budget. Science, 295, 841-844.
If global warming is going to happen it will be due to feedbacks. If the feedbacks are positive it means that as the world warms, atmospheric conditions would have to change to keep evenmore of the sun’s energy inside our system. But Richard Lindzen and Yong-Sang Choi show that as the world warms Earth’s dynamic system changes to let more of the infra red or long-wave energy out to space [LW from Figure 1]. It’s like a safety release valve. This means that the system has negative feedbacks (like almost all known natural systems). The changesdampen the effects of extra CO2. If there is no net amplifying positive feedback there is no catastrophe. Because Lindzen & Choi are looking at long-wave radiation leaving the planet [outgoing long-wave radiation], this is a way of assessing all forms of feedbacks at once. We can’t tell which part of the system is responsible: clouds, humidity, ice-cover or vegetation, but we know the net effect of all of them together is that when the world warms, more energy escapes from the planet.
Their research was first posted in 20097 and updated in 20108 as a response to earlier criticisms. In the 2009 paper Lindzen & Choi measured changes in the outgoing long-wave radiation leaving from the top of the atmosphere during periods that the world warmed. Their findings were a direct contradiction to global warming because they showed that increased CO2did not block outgoing long-wave radiation. With no blockage the level of available energy in the climate system also did not increase. With no increase of available energy there was no energy to cause positive feedbacks and increase temperature.
Kevin Trenberth, a leading climate modeler, criticized the first paper. Those criticisms concerned the extent of satellite data used by Lindzen & Choi, their concentration on the tropics and various statistical methodologies. All of these complaints were addressed by the subsequent paper. They still found that outgoing long-wave radiation increased as the world warmed, which was different to what all the models predicted.

2      Spencer and Braswell – Cloud feedback is net negative

In a 2007 paper Roy Spencer and Danny Braswell undertook empirical measurements of cloud radiative forcings which are a net result of blockage by clouds of solar radiation coming in to the atmosphere [cooling] and blockage by clouds of long-wave radiation leaving the atmosphere [warming]; they concluded that
“the net radiative effect of clouds…is to cool the ocean atmosphere system during its tropospheric warm phase and warm it during its cool phase.” 9
That is, clouds moderate or dampen temperature movement in either direction.
Spencer & Braswell’s papers in 200810 and 201011 took a different approach to Lindzen & Choi. Spencer & Braswell looked more closely at the nature of feedbacks and forcings and the difficulty of putting a value on feedbacks. The IPCC models assume that clouds change inresponse to temperature, so they are a “feedback” [AR4, WG1,]. But as Spencer & Braswell show in their 2008 and 2010 papers clouds can be a forcing factor as well. This means that if something other than temperature affects cloud cover (like changes in ocean currents or air circulation) the change in clouds would then force the temperature to change.
The latest IPCC report acknowledges that the models don’t simulate clouds well and that’s where the main uncertainties lie. If clouds are not just a forcing in their own right, and provide negative feedback [by shading the earth] that would seriously undermine the premise of global warming. This point is illustrated by two other recent papers.
The first is a report by The Climate Process Team on Low Latitude Cloud Feedbacks on Climate Sensitivity [CPT] 12. CPT found “strongly negative net cloud feedback” in a warming world. Utilizing the climate models from NCAR, GFDL and NASA, CPT found this negative feedback concentrated in the Tropics.
Similarly Allan 201113 based his study on cloud “radiative effect” in the Tropics and concluded a “net cooling of the climate system” from clouds because solar blocking, cooling, was greater than long-wave blocking, warming. However unlike CPT, Allan did not regard this cooling as a feedback since the cloud cooling was not a response to temperature.
Spencer & Braswell provide proof that it’s very difficult to find definitive feedback signals in a dynamic system that is never at equilibrium. The only feedback they can calculate in their 2008 and 2010 papers is negative and means a climate sensitivity of about 0.6 °C for a doubling of CO2, though it’s only applicable over short time-frames. They show the near impossibility of establishing climate sensitivity over long time frames. But if climate sensitivity to CO2 is as low as they find, and dwarfed by potential cloud forcing, it would mean no postponed effect from CO2. We have had all the effect there is and there will be no stored heat lying dormant to cause future climate change. This would explain Trenberth’s concern, expressed in the CRU e-mails that the pro-global warming scientists “can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t”.
Spencer & Braswell’s 201114 paper confirms the difficulty in distinguishing cloud feedback and forcing. They also find the global warming models have substantially overestimated the climate sensitivity due to their lack of understanding of this distinction. One of the reasons that the models have failed to distinguish the effect of clouds on temperature is the difference in time it takes for the radiative effects of temperature and clouds to occur in the system; temperature effects are immediate while those of clouds take some months as Figure 2 [Figure 3 from Spencer & Braswell 2011] shows.
Figure 2
Spencer & Braswell 2011 has received considerable vitriol from the global warming science. This is unwarranted because this science concedes it has a lack of understanding of clouds. Spencer & Braswell have offered an explanation of clouds strongly correlated with and consistent with observations. The criticism of them would seem, therefore, to be based on preserving the global warming theory rather than answering Trenberth’s concern.

3      R.S. Knox and D.H. Douglass – The missing heat is not in the ocean.

The dominant explanation for where Trenberth’s missing warming or heat is that it is in the ocean. This missing heat is the difference between the climate effects, particularly change in global average temperature, which global warming predicted we would have and the much lower change in global average temperature we have had. In 2009 modeling von Shuckmann et al15 seemed to have found this missing heat at depths of 2000 metres in the ocean. One immediate problem for von Shuckmann et al is found in the NOAA graph in Figure 3. This graph is based on data for ocean heat content to depths of 700 metres which show no warming from 2003:
Figure 3: []

The problem this shows for von Shuckmann et al [and other papers which also use modeling to ‘find’ deep-ocean warming16] is; how could the ocean depths be warming when the ocean top was cooling?
A second problem was raised in 2 papers by the team of Ablain17 and Cazenave18; they showed that not only was the rate of sea level rise decreasing but the steric part of the sea level rise, which is based on ocean heat content, was also decreasing from 2006.
The third contradiction to von Shuckmann et al and the missing heat is in Knox and Douglass’s paper19. Knox & Douglass are both imminent atmospheric physicists and have already written a number of papers dealing with ocean based climatic events and the connection between the ocean radiative rate of change [Fohc] and the radiative rate of change at the top of the atmosphere [Ftoa].
In their latest paper Knox & Douglass showed that not only was ocean heat content declining but that the Fohc was negative, which meant more radiative energy was leaving the ocean than being stored:
Figure 4 From Knox & Douglass page 1. Fohc left scale.
Figure 1. Ocean heat content from Argo (left scale: blue, original data; red, filtered) and ocean surface temperatures (right scale, green). Conversion of the OHC slope to W/m2 is made by multiplying by 0.62, yielding –0.161 W/m2.
Knox & Douglass’s findings about ocean heat content were based on empirical measurements and are consistent with studies by Willis, Loehle, and Pielke, and NOAA data [see Figure 3].
Knox & Douglass conclude that because “90% of the variable heat content resides in the upper ocean” the Fohc can accurately infer the Ftoa. Therefore if Fohc is negative then Ftoa is as well. A negative Ftoa is contrary to Trenberth’s claims of missing heat being stored most likely in the oceans. Without missing heat the models have greatly overestimated the effect of global warming.

4      Miskolczi – The optical depth of the atmosphere hasn’t changed

Figure 5 [from Miskolczi 2010]

Ferenc Miskolczi was a NASA atmospheric physicist whose 2 papers in 200720 and 201021were both peer reviewed and have never been refuted. These papers draw on data and calculations made by Miskolczi in a 2004 paper co-authored by NASA physicist Martin Mlynczak. Miskolczi 200422 shows that radiation leaving the Earth, outgoing long-wave radiation, is based on zonal and global averages of real atmospheric conditions as shown in the atmospheric optical thickness.
 Miskolczi 2007 and 2010 measure “the true greenhouse-gas optical thickness” [Abstract, Miskolczi 2010]. This is made up of two parts which are depicted in Figure 4.
a.     τ--  is defined as “the total IR flux optical depth” [page 5 Miskolczi 2007]. This is a measure of the total amount of infra-red or long-wave radiation which is absorbed between the surface and the top of the atmosphere.
b.     A -- is the flux absorbance [page 3 Miskolczi 2010] and is a measure of what wavelengths of long-wave radiation are being absorbed and transmitted in the atmosphere by 11 greenhouse gases [page 7, Miskolczi 2004].

Together τA and A are the optical depth of the atmosphere The optical depth is a kind of proxy measure of the greenhouse effect. Global warming says that more COwill increase the optical depth. Miskolczi showed that available empirical measurements of the optical depth are consistent with no change in 61 years. This means that even though CO2 has increased over the 61 years of measurement and increased the optical depth slightly, “variations in water vapor column amounts” [Figure 11, Miskolczi 2010] have decreased the optical depth by a similar amount. Paltridge et al.23 have confirmed a decrease in water vapor for this period.
 If the optical depth has not increased overall, it suggests the slight warming of the 20th C has not been due to an increase in the greenhouse effect.
In addition Miskolczi also finds no positive feedback from water vapor on atmospheric long-wave radiation absorption, which negates what the models have predicted; this lack of positive feedback has been confirmed by the missing ‘Tropical hot spot’ [see section 6].

5      McShane and Wyner24 – The Hockeystick is broken

Figure 6. McShane&Wyner, page 36

Blakeley McShane and Abraham Wyner attempted to replicate Michael Mann’s infamous hockeystick using Mann’s own data. The hockeystick first appeared in Mann’s 1998 paper and has been a centre-piece of global warming evidence ever since. The hockeystick is important because it supposedly shows recent warming is exceptional and “unprecedented”. The hockeystick is based on dendro-climatic proxies or tree-rings which supposedly provide evidence for past temperatures. Mann’s hockeystick shows basically flat temperature until the 20th C and then a sudden and rapid increase.
Mann’s data was highly problematic. Mann had used the wrong type of tree, and at times, hardly any samples. Some of the tree-ring records even show the opposite “temperature” trend to what thermometers show suggesting those trees don’t make a good or accurate alternative to thermometers.
McShane &Wyner tried to create the same graph from the same data, but, as Figure 5 above shows, could not. They conclude:
“Using our model, we calculate that there is a 36% posterior probability that 1998 was the warmest year over the past thousand. If we consider rolling decades, 1997-2006 is the warmest on record; our model gives an 80% chance that it was the warmest in the past thousand years. Finally, if we look at rolling thirty-year blocks, the posterior probability that the last thirty years (again, the warmest on record) were the warmest over the past thousand is 38%.”[page 37]
So, even using Mann’s dubious data and employing a variety of statistical methods, McShane & Wyner’s model suggests that there is only an 80% chance that one recent decade was the warmest of the last 1000 years, and 1998 is most likely not the warmest year [64% against] and the last 30 year period, is also unlikely to have been the warmest [62% against]. In other words, the type of weather we have now has all occurred before, and in the not too distant past when CO2 was supposedly low.
The paper correctly describes the importance of the hockeystick not only to global warming but also Green policies:
 “the effort of world governments to pass legislation to cut carbon to pre-industrial levels cannot proceed without the consent of the governed and historical reconstructions from paleoclimatological models [ie hockeysticks] have indeed proven persuasive and effective at winning the hearts and minds of the populace.” [page 2]
It would seem the hearts and minds have been won with false promises.
In recognition of the importance of McShane & Wyner’s paper it was published as an edition discussion piece in Annals of Applied Statistics25 As well as the original paper 15 discussion papers were included in the edition.
Two salient points emerge from this discussion. The first is noted in McIntyre and McKitrick’s comment where they say:
McShane & Wyner’s results are, in a sense, a best case as they assume that the quality of the data set is satisfactory [page 4]
In fact, as noted, the data was not satisfactory. The significance of this is that the ‘science’ of the hockeystick is the data; the data is the proxy for the climatic processes which are analysed in McShane & Wyner’s statistical overview.
This statistical analysis is the second point and it is in this respect that McShane & Wyner are unassailable because they have anticipated every complaint and objection to their critique of Mann’s statistical justification for the hockeystick. As this stage therefore their view on the hockeystick is definitive.

6      McKitrick, McIntyre, Herman26 - The hot spot is really missing

Figure 7. Based on Figures 2 and 3, page 13 of McKitrick et al.

If the IPCC models are right about the feedbacks, we would see a hot spot 10km above the tropics. Global warming theory says this should happen because more water will have been evaporated to this part of the atmosphere and would have caused rapid warming. Observations as shown in Figure 7 contradict this . Thus the main, most powerful factor in the climate models turns out to not match the real world.
Douglass et al 27 pointed out the glaring discrepancy of the missing hot spot in 2007. However Douglass et al did not adequately distinguish model variability in terms of single model or ensemble model outputs. Nor did Douglass et al adjust the data for autocorrelation which meant the data did not have satisfactory confidence levels or error bars.
As a result Santer et al [2008] 28 claimed Douglass got it wrong, and that the data and the models did agree. But Santer et al used a truncated set of data ending in 1999 to achieve the model and data correlation.
Christy et al [2010] 29 responded to Santer et al by developing a scaling ratio comparing the atmospheric trend to the surface trend. Christy et al showed the models predicted a scaling ratio of 1.4 ±0.8 [i.e. the atmosphere should warm 40% faster than the surface]. In reality the observations showed a scaling ratio of 0.8 ± 0.3 [i.e. the atmosphere was not warming as fast as the surface].
McKitrick et al [2010] also use the extended data and addressed the data adjustment issues but used a greater range of statistical analysis. They found that the model predictions are about 4 times higher and outside the error bars of the weather balloons and satellites measurements [see Figure 7].
McKitrick et al’s findings have been replicated by Fu et al 30 who also find a discrepancy between the models and observations about Troposphere warming, although not to the same extent as McKitrick et al do. However, in a follow-up paper, McKitrick 31 not only confirms that the predictions of warming by the models have been exaggerated but also shows the small amount of recent warming was due to a natural climate shift in 1977. This climate shift has been noted by many other researchers 32 and means global warming is playing an even smaller role then predicted by the models.
As noted in section 4, the absence of a tropical hot spot vindicates Miskolczi because either the optical depth is not changing or, if it is, it means that extra water vapor and CO2, which would change the optical depth, are not heating in the way predicted by AGW.
7 Anagnostopoulos, G. G., Koutsoyiannis, D., Christofides, A., Efstratiadis, A. & Mamassis, N.: The only thing certain is the models are wrong.
If McKitrick et al shows that the IPCC global computer models can’t model the present and therefore the future, Professor Demetrius Koutsoyiannis and his team show those models can’t even model the past
Koutsoyiannis is one of the world’s leading hydrologists and an expert on Hurst and stochastic effects. Hurst or Long Term Persistence refers to the uncertainty and random qualities present in all complex natural systems. Koutsoyiannis argues that global warming modeling does not take into account this uncertainty.
In his 2008 paper Koutsoyiannis33 compared the model predictions from 1990 to 2008 and whether those models could retrospectively match the actual temperature over the past 100 years. This test of retrospectivity is called hindcasting. If a model has valid assumptions about the climatic effect of variables such as greenhouse gases, particularly CO2, then the model should be able to match past known data.
Koutsoyiannis’s 2008 paper has not had a peer reviewed rebuttal but was subject to a critique at Real Climate by Gavin Schmidt.34 Schmidt’s criticism was 4-fold; that Koutsoyiannis uses a regional comparison, few models, real temperatures not anomalies and too short a time period.
Each of Schmidt’s criticisms was either wrong or anticipated by Koutsoyiannis. The period from 1990-2008 was the period in which IPCC modeling had occurred; the IPCC had argued that regional effects from global warming would occur; model ensembles were used by Koutsoyiannis; and since the full 100 year temperature and rainfall data was used in intra-annual and 30 year periods by Koutsoyiannis anomalies were irrelevant.
In 2008 Koutsoyiannis found that while the models had some success with the monthly data all the models were “irrelevant with reality” at the 30 year climate scale.
Koutsoyiannis’s 201035 paper “is a continuation and expansion of Koutsoyiannis 2008”. The differences are that (a) Koutsoyiannis 2008 had tested only eight points, whereas 2010 tests 55 points for each variable; (b) 2010 examines more variables in addition to mean temperature and precipitation; and (c) 2010 compares at a large scale in addition to point scale. The large, continental scale in this case is the contiguous US.
Again Koutsoyiannis 2010 found that the models did not hindcast successfully with real data from all the 55 world regions not matching what the models produced. The models were even worse in hindcasting against the real data for the US continent.
So that is 3 strikes for global warming models; they could not predict the future in 1990; they cannot predict the present and they could not replicate or match the past.


The global warming models amplify CO2’s effect by 3 – 7 fold, but no matter how you measure it [outgoing long wave radiation, cloud changes, optical depth, historical temperatures, vertical heating patterns in the atmosphere] the real measurements contradict the models and their assumptions about the feedbacks appear to be unconnected with real data. It follows that the global warming predictions about climate sensitivity to a doubling of COare exaggerated by at least 3C.
Figure 8 Climate Sensitivity Comparison

The Hansen36 point of 1.2C in Figure 8 is a non-feedback calculation for the temperature increase from a doubling of CO2. While that non-feedback figure is essentially meaningless in the real world it is a convenient half-way house between the climate sensitivity estimates of the IPCC and the models which assume positive feedback and the empirical measurements of the papers discussed in this article which consider the actual measured feedbacks to increases in CO2.
The climate sensitivity estimates of the discussed papers establish two points which are fundamentally opposite to global warming. The first is that a large portion of the temperature response to 2X CO2 has already occurred. COatmospheric concentrations have risen approximately 40% since 1900. Any temperature increase due to the increase in COduring this period would have already occurred.
The second point and as a corollary to the first is that there is no delay or lag in temperature response as a proxy for climate sensitivity. The IPCC makes a distinction between transient climate sensitivity and equilibrium climate sensitivity with transient climate sensitivity being less and on a shorter term than equilibrium sensitivity [see AR4, WG 1, TS.6.4.2]. These papers strongly suggest that there is no such distinction between transient and equilibrium sensitivity and that any COtemperature response is not delayed. This aspect of climate sensitivity has been independently confirmed in the Beenstock and Reingewertz analysis.37 Beenstock finds that any effect COincrease has on temperature is temporary and not related to the absolute level ofCO2.
The global warming predictions are contradicted by past, present and future data. Feynman’s maxim applies and the vast funding which is now being directed to ‘solving’ global warming should be redirected to hypothesis which are consistent with empirical data and confirmed by observable evidence.


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