No, Increasing CO2 isn’t going to trigger a hot world without clouds.

March 1st, 2019 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

I’ve received many more requests about the new disappearing-clouds study than the “gold standard proof of anthropogenic warming” study I addressed here, both of which appeared in Nature journals over the last several days.

The widespread interest is partly because of the way the study is dramatized in the media. For example, check out this headline, “A World Without Clouds“, and the study’s forecast of 12 deg. C of global warming.

The disappearing clouds study is based upon the modelling of marine stratocumulus clouds, whose existence substantially cools the Earth. These extensive but shallow cloud decks cover the subtropical ocean regions over the eastern ocean basins where upwelling cold water creates a strong boundary layer inversion.

Marine stratocumulus clouds off the U.S. West Coast, which form in a water-chilled shallow layer of boundary layer air capped by warmer air aloft (NASA/GSFC).

In other words, the cold water causes a thin marine boundary layer of chilled air up to a kilometer deep, than is capped by warmer air aloft. The resulting inversion layer (the boundary between cool air below and warm air aloft) inhibits convective mixing, and so water evaporated from the ocean accumulates in the boundary layer and clouds then develop at the base of the inversion. There are complex infrared radiative processes which also help maintain the cloud layer.

The new modeling study describes how these cloud layers could dissipate if atmospheric CO2 concentrations get too high, thus causing a positive feedback loop on warming and greatly increasing future global temperatures, even beyond what the IPCC has predicted from global climate models. The marine stratocumulus cloud response to warming is not a new issue, as modelers have been debating for decades whether these clouds would increase or decrease with warming, thus either reducing or amplifying the small amount of direct radiative warming from increasing CO2.

The new study uses a very high resolution model that “grows” the marine stratocumulus clouds. The IPCC’s climate models, in contrast, have much lower resolution and must parameterize the existence of the clouds based upon larger-scale model variables. These high resolution models have been around for many years, but this study tries to specifically address how increasing CO2 in the whole atmosphere changes this thin, but important, cloud layer.

The high resolution simulations are stunning in their realism, covering a domain of 4.8 x 4.8 km:

The main conclusion of the study is that when model CO2 concentrations reach 1200 ppm or so (which would take as little as another 100 years or so assuming worst-case energy use and population growth projections like RCP8.5), a substantial dissipation of these clouds occurs causing substantial additional global warming, with up to 12 deg. C of total global warming.

Shortcomings in the Study: The Large-Scale Ocean and Atmospheric Environment

All studies like this require assumptions. In my view, the problem is not with the high-resolution model of the clouds itself. Instead, it’s the assumed state of the large-scale environment in which the clouds are assumed to be embedded.

Most importantly, it should be remembered that these clouds exist where cold water is upwelling from the deep ocean, where it has resided for centuries to millennia after initially being chilled to near-freezing in polar regions, and flowing in from higher latitudes. This cold water is continually feeding the stratocumulus zones, helping to maintain the strong temperature inversion at the top of the chilled marine boundary layer. Instead, their model has 1 meter thick slab ocean that rapidly responds to only whats going on with atmospheric greenhouse gases within the tiny (5 km) model domain. Such a shallow ocean layer would be ok (as they claim) IF the ocean portion of the model was a closed system… the shallow ocean only increases how rapidly the model responds… not its final equilibrium state. But given the continuous influx of cold water into these stratocumulus regions from below and from high latitudes in nature, it is far from a closed system.

Second, the atmospheric environment in which the high-res cloud model is embedded is assumed to have similar characteristics to what climate models produce. This includes substantial increases in free-tropospheric water vapor, keeping constant relative humidity throughout the troposphere. In climate models, the enhanced infrared effects of this absolute increase in water vapor leads to a tropical “hot spot”, which observations, so far, fail to show. This is a second reason the study’s results are exaggerated. Part of the disappearing cloud effect in their model is from increased downwelling radiation from the free troposphere as CO2 increases and positive water vapor feedback in the global climate models increases downwelling IR even more. This reduces the rate of infrared cooling by the cloud tops, which is one process that normally maintains them. The model clouds then disappear, causing more sunlight to flood in and warm the isolated shallow slab ocean. But if the free troposphere above the cloud does not produce nearly as large an effect from increasing water vapor, the clouds will not show such a dramatic effect.

The bottom line is that marine stratocumulus clouds exist because of the strong temperature inversion maintained by cold water from upwelling and transport from high latitudes. That chilled boundary layer air bumps up against warm free-tropospheric air (warmed, in turn, by subsidence forced by moist air ascent in precipitation systems possibly thousands of miles away). That inversion will likely be well-maintained in a warming world, thus maintaining the cloud deck, and not causing catastrophic global warming.


50 Responses to “No, Increasing CO2 isn’t going to trigger a hot world without clouds.”

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  1. Emeritus says:

    Dr. Spencer, please publish the the February UAH data. I am very excited and can’t wait much longer.

  2. Rob Mitchell says:

    Dr. Spencer is a busy man. Be patient, he’ll get to it!

    Nice refute of the disappearing clouds scenario. The alarmists now know they have to get rid of the clouds to heat up the planet!

  3. Entropic man says:

    I read Schneider at al.

    It is welcome to see detailed work on cloud feedbacks, an area which both consensus and sceptic workers needs better understanding.

    So, how does it stack up.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-019-0310-1/figures/1

    The energy flow vaiues for 400ppm are a good match for the measured energy and the entrainment, the convection within the cloud which transfers energy from the cloudbase to the cloud tops is familiar and so is the longwave radiation.

    So far so good.

    The conventional wisdom is that the low cloud response to increased temperatures is an increase in area. This increases albedo and reflection back to the surface. The former changes more, so the net effect is a negative feedback, slight cooling.

    Schneider at al disagrees. Convection within the cloud decreases. The outward longwave radiation is down from 74W/m^2 to 62W/m^2, a warming feedback. This is at 1200ppm CO2 and 4C warmer than today.

    Then at 1300ppm convectio nwithin thecloud layer stops. The cloud layer disappears. The longwave radiation from the cloud drops, replaced by radiation from the surface. The drop in albedo produces a large increase in temperature.

    Is the rapid change reasonable?

    I think so. Many chaotic process are bistable. They flip from one state to another when a variable passes a certain value. When the variable decreases the system does not flip back until the variable is considerably lower than before. In this case the stratocumulus breaks up at 1300ppm and does not reform until CO2 drops to 300ppm.

    Lessons?

    1) The response of low cloud to increased temperature is a warming feedback, not a cooling feedback.

    2) Up to 1200ppm the warming feedback would be fairly small.

    3) Beyond 1300ppm the warming feedback would be large.

    4) Sceptics, you mightbe able to live with theconsequences of increasing CO2 to 1200ppm. Dont let CO2 go above 1200ppm!

    • DMackenzie says:

      You are sort of correct in your lesson 1). From a ground up viewpoint, the cloud reduces the amount of IR that can see the low temperature of outer space. Therefore, theoretically providing a warming feedback. But we all know that when a cloud goes over, it cools down. Thats because those nice white cloud reflects hundreds of W/sqM of sunlight back into space, as viewed from space. In comparison, the internal cloud effects you mention are close to trivial.

      • Rick says:

        Clouds have a cooling effect at the surface during sunlight hours only. At night they have an insulating effect which maintains warmer surface temperatures. My guess is that the daytime cooling is more significant.

    • ossqss says:

      The lesson is not to pay for studies that assume the Oceans are a meter deep. Where is my “Real World” BS button!

    • Bart says:

      The reason it rings my BS alert is that this is an instability that could be excited by any warming, not just putative CO2. Ergo, if it were real, it already would have been triggered long since, feeding on itself to the ineluctable end state.

  4. Rob Mitchell says:

    I’ve always wondered about internal forcing on the earth. Let’s say a campfire. Or, for that matter, a forest fire. There is no doubt a heat source right there, generating heat and putting it into the atmosphere. It seems to me that the alarmists are of the opinion that the heat stays in the atmosphere for a long period of time. And it builds up. I am of the opinion that the heat radiates out into space. There may be some things like clouds and CO2 molecules that impede the heat energy escape to space, but it eventually all radiates out.

    Has anybody ever figured out how quickly the heat of a forest fire escapes to space? CO2 by itself does not create heat energy. It may slow down the escape of heat energy to space somewhat, but isn’t this for the most part exaggerated?

    • Svante says:

      Yes, the direct CO2 effect is small, less than 2 W/m^2 since preindustrial. You can calculate it here:
      https://tinyurl.com/pg3bd8p

      • Rob Mitchell says:

        Pretty cool model Svante, thanks. Might take me a while to figure out how to use it. I’ve heard Lindzen say that the CO2 effect is about 31/2 W/m^2. I guess he is quoting IPCC figures if I’m not mistaken. But he did mention the effect could be smaller than that. And that cirrus clouds could easily match that amount.

        • Svante says:

          Yes, pretty cool and battle proved.

          You can set CO2 in ppm at the top, then save to background.
          Change the number and see the difference (recalculated when you shift focus, tab or click outside of the cell).

          To find the effect on surface temperature you have to change the temperature offset until the flux difference is zero.
          It’s about 0.4 C from preindustrial to now (ignoring CH4).

        • Ken says:

          Rob … the 3.5 W/m^2 is total greenhouse gas including methane etc. The CO2 portion is about 1.7 W/m^2.

  5. Randy Bork says:

    Any paper based on RCP 8.5 should be published in a science fiction journal instead. [for detailed reasoning behind such a statement see: https://judithcurry.com/2019/01/28/reassessing-the-rcps/%5D

  6. Entropic man says:

    Svante

    The snag is that the direct effect is only the first stage. You have to add in the effect of feedbacks such as increased water vapour. Depending on which estimate you read, this might be anywhere between 1.5 and 6, giving a total increase anywhere between 3W/m^2 and 12W/m^2. The general expectation among the consensus is that Climate Sensitivity is about 3, wattage will increase by 6W/m^2 for present CO2.

    The temperature change effect is about 1C change for each 3.7 W/m^2.

    Thus CS of 1.5 eventually produces 0.8C warming. cS of 6 produces 3.2C warming and CS of 3 produces 1.6C.

    Since we have already warmed by 1C since pre-industrial times that eliminates any CS below 1.85.

    • Christopher Hanley says:

      You are assuming that all the warming since “pre-industrial times”, say 1750, was due to CO2 and by extension human emissions.
      Human CO2 emissions before ~1945 were relatively insignificant:
      https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/co2-by-source

    • DMackenzie says:

      Entropic Man, a degree rise in ocean surface temp causes 7% more water vapour in the air above the water, which convects upwards and makes more clouds. Clouds reflect about 500 W/sqM of incoming sunlight back into space, easily negating a couple of watts of CO2 forcing.

    • Svante says:

      Entropic man says:

      “The snag is that the direct effect is only the first stage.”

      So far we have seen about twice the direct effect (CH4 adds 50%).
      I assume more than all of it is human caused because we were in a long term decline before it turned around.

      • Entropic man says:

        Svante

        Have you allowed for the 25 year lag betewwen an increase in CO2 and the resulting increase in temperature due to the ocean heat sink?

        The temeratures we see now match what you would predict from early 1990 CO2 levels. The temperatures due to current CO2 levels will emerge in the 2040s.

  7. Chuck Wiese says:

    The numbers you guys calculate for R forcing from CO2 are stand alone numbers. They are meaningless physically unless you know how the whole system responds.

    If you increase atmospheric CO2, the effect will cause cooling of the middle and upper troposphere in exchange for the increased downwelling IR that is realized at the surface and is expected to cause warming.

    But if you cool the upper layers in exchange for this effect, you are lowering the saturation vapor pressure of water in the mid and upper troposphere, which will lower the absolute humidity of those layers. This is merely describing enhancement of the hydrological cycle, not of raising the surface temperature because the optical depth of the troposphere is not increasing across all wavelengths like it is from CO2. Enhancing the hydro cycle in this manner decreases the optical depth. It is similar to describing the “Iris effect” that Richard Lindzen has spoken about.

    With the small amount of R forcing you get even from doubling CO2, it would take a very small change in total atmospheric cloud cover and increasing emission from lower altitudes as a result of this to completely offset the warming effect from CO2.

    This was the expectation from the founding principles in atmospheric science derived years ago. The only thing that has changed was the supplanting of those first derived principles with failed climate models that rely on the opposite effect, positive feedback on water vapor as a result of increasing CO2 that gives grossly inaccurate forecasts of rising global temperatures. The founding work was never disproven. The failure of climate models are proven. They are overrated heaps of junk that taxpayers have wasted billions of dollars on and led to the spreading of incessant propaganda and fake news stories running that tout catastrophic human caused climate change and the ultimately stupid and greedy response by politicians from that who always look for an angle to take more of your money, such as claiming carbon taxation will “turn down the climate thermostat”. Think of idiot and scientific illiterate Al Gore.

    Now we find the IPCC is grossly wrong on their calculations of the residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere, and the correct modeling of that time negates the human component of the total in the atmosphere to only 4.4%, meaning as expected,and from ice core records, atmospheric CO2 follows temperature perturbations, it dos not lead them.

    Atmospheric physicist, Dr. Ed Berry, published and presented a new paper on this subject to the national American Meteorological Society this last January and his paper has been submitted to a scientific journal for publication:

    https://edberry.com/blog/climate-physics/agw-hypothesis/contradictions-to-ipccs-climate-change-theory/

    What a disaster that those who have been responsible for promoting climate hysteria have made of real science. We know who they are and what they have done is unforgivable.

    Chuck Wiese
    Meteorologist

    • Chuck Wiese, I have had an extended discussion with Ed Berry as in my opinion he is completely wrong on that topic.

      Too many skeptics make the mistake to see the residence time as the removal time for any extra CO2 (whatever the source) in the atmosphere above the (temperature induced)equilibrium.
      The residence time only shows what the average time is that any CO2 molecule in the atmosphere, whatever its origin, remains in the atmosphere, before being swapped with a CO2 molecule from another reservoir. The net effect on the total CO2 mass in the atmosphere is zero.
      Residence time = mass in the atmosphere / throughput
      800 GtC / 150 GtC = 5.3 years

      In contrast, the “relax time” is the net amount of CO2 that is removed by vegetation and oceans as result of the extra CO2 pressure in the atmosphere above equilibrium. That is much slower.
      E-fold relax time = cause / effect
      Removal rate = extra CO2 pressure above equilibrium / net sink rate
      110 ppmv / 2.15 ppmv/year = 51.2 years
      Or a half life time of about 35 years.

      The removal rate is highly linear over the past 60 years of direct measurements and estimated human emissions.
      That is in contrast to the IPCC’s Bern model that assumes rapid saturation of different reservoirs. That is only true for the ocean surface, not the deep oceans and not the biosphere…

      That humans are responsible for most of the 110 ppmv CO2 increase since ~1850 is beyond reasonable doubt and a non-human increase is a very bad argument which renders any other stronger argument worthless in any discussion with (luke) warmers… See further:
      http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_origin.html

  8. Sorry the formula for the residence time calculation is:
    800 GtC / 150 GtC/year = 5.3 years
    as the throughput is the amount per year going in and out the atmosphere. For that reason one can use input or output or throughput for the residence time, as long as these are near equal.
    The sign of the fluxes to calculate the residence time is of no influence, as one need to use absolute fluxes: the direction doesn’t matter.

    It does matter if you think that the total volume (= pressure) is responsible for the out flux (that is the calculation that Dr. Ed used). In this case there is hardly any change in CO2 mass in the atmosphere over a year, despite the huge seasonal in/out fluxes, because oceans and vegetation uptake and release are going in opposite directions. The net global seasonal effect is about +/- 5 ppmv (about +/- 10 GtC). The net yearly changes 0 +/- 1.5 ppmv for the extremes (Pinatubo, El Nio).
    The seasonal variability is entirely temperature driven and dominated by vegetation, so is the year by year variability.

    The removal of any extra CO2 is only a matter of extra pressure which influences the input of the oceans and the outputs in oceans and vegetation: the difference between influxes and out fluxes gives the net effect…

  9. Chuck Wiese says:

    Ferdinand: I’ve read your comments on Berry’s site and seen what the IPCC uses for carbon ab-sorp-tion and I believe it is you and the IPCC that is wrong.

    An essential truth in determining the validity of an equation and its use in these applications is whether it can replicate the real data. Berry uses the well known continuity equation from atmospheric science in his application which can nearly perfectly replicate the 14C ab-sorp-tion from the atmosphere and the IPCC’s equation comes nowhere close to reality. It is flat out wrong.

    His assumptions are valid in setting an atmospheric balance level to inflow and outflow dependent on actual level which represents partial pressure and temperature perturbation which can also affect balance level indirectly through inflow.

    When you consider that the natural carbon cycle emission is two orders of magnitude greater than human emissions, and natural emissions are influenced by temperature perturbation, it is not believable that if that balance is upset by temperature ( which ice core records demonstrate) that they would remain static as the IPCC claims. They would easily obtain imbalance and overpower human emission and create a new balance level on their own.

    Dr. Murry Slaby’s work had plenty to say about this as well in this attached video lecture link below. Salby is an atmospheric science PhD.

    Why do you suppose that those like him are censored and fired from their academic positions rather than respected for dissenting analysis? If true science was being presented by the IPCC, why do they not use it to show the dissenting opinion is wrong rather than using every attempt to silence and punish it?

    Who do these people think they are fooling?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeCqcKYj9Oc

    Chuck Wiese
    Meteorologist

  10. John Chism says:

    Some of my favorite commenters are on here Ferdinand Engelbeen and Chuck Wiese and arguing on a Dr Roy Spencer article. All very smart people and knowledgeable. But…this argument is based on the misconception that there is enough Carbon in the environment that could create over 1,000 ppm Carbon Dioxide in our Atmosphere in the future.

    Throughout the history of Earth the Carbon Dioxide level has declined from estimated 8,000+ in the Cambrian to around 260 ppm at the start of our present Holocene Interglacial. During the Hothouse just prior to this “Last Ice Age” the Carbon Dioxide had dropped below 1,000 ppm. This is because over the 4.5 billion years Carbon has been sequestered by mass extinction events as microorganisms forming various limestones and Fossil Fuels. Extinctions of larger flora and fauna that formed fossils by mineral replacement that sequestered carbon. As well as sequestration of Carbon in Flora and Fauna as both dead and living things. With large amounts of sequestration of Carbon in all forms of water that only a long term Hothouse would release the majority of it. Some scientists have estimated that we could burn all the known Fossil Fuels and it wouldn’t amount to a tripling of Carbon Dioxide in our environment. That we can burn all life forms and add that to the Fossil Fuels and still not reach that tripling. But added to those the melting all the polar ice caps and release the majority of the Carbon Dioxide from the oceans could leave the environment void of all life and be able to reach a tripling. An impossibility because of the sequestration of Carbon Dioxide in water below boiling.

    There is simply not enough Carbon available in the environment that can create the amount of Carbon Dioxide being argued. Cabon minerals, shells, bones and fossils have sequestered the the majority of Carbon throughout history, that would never be reintroduced into the environment without extreme measures to do it. That arguing these scenarios are just a waste of time.

    • E says:

      John Chism

      Two points

      1) The geology of carbon is cyclic. Volcanoes release CO2 into the atmosphere while it is revoved by weathering, sedimentary rocks and subduction which return it to the mantle.

      There is no fixed quantity of CO2 which is depleted over time.

      2) There is enough CO2 in coal,oil, gas and especially peat to replace the current atmospheric CO2 content twice over.

    • John Chism, depends of the speed of the release of all that fuel… The IPCC estimates 3000 GtC (oil + gas + part coal) and 5000 Gtc (oil + gas + coal).
      If you release that faster than the removal rate, it is not that difficult to reach 1000 ppmv or more.
      At 1000 ppmv, the removal rate is (1000-290)/50 = 14,2 GtC/year. We are emitting already 9 GtC/year, thus only increasing that with some 50% will do the job…

      • Chuck Wiese says:

        Ferdinand: Are you sure about your calculation? Fossil fuel burning nearly tripled after the year 2000 and yet the atmospheric increases remained constant and linear. How would you explain this?

        The problem with your calculation is that it does not match the true ab-sorp-tion curve of CO2 in the environment. That relationship is an e-base inverse exponential curve using the integrated form of the continuity equation, which preserves atmospheric CO2 until it is ab-sorb-ed into the environment.

        If the residence time for CO2 is 50 years as you give, then the atmospheric balance level would rise to 4,900 ppmv with the present natural cycle being at 98 ppmv/year.

        Chuck Wiese
        Meteorologist

        • DMA says:

          Chuck
          Additionally the human emission rate of change went to zero in 2011 and there still was no change in the growth rate of atmospheric CO2. See Salby at about 42 min int this video (https://edberry.com/blog/climate-physics/agw-hypothesis/what-is-really-behind-the-increase-in-atmospheric-co2/)
          Also note (https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/12/19/co2responsiveness/) which tests atmospheric CO2 for responsiveness to emissions and finds nothing significant.
          It is my position that this work not only falsifies the hypothesis but nullifies all the work based on RCPs and should be the focus of intense effort toward falsification itself if the consensus group wants to remain relevant.
          Why is it so unknown and/or ignored? There has been no reasonable refutation other than FE and Kohler’s weak response to Harde 2017.

          • Chuck Wiese says:

            DMA: Yes, I’ve seen this video and completely agree with Salby as well. Ed Berry and Salby are essentially saying the same thing, but Salby has additional data to back it up with.

            I agree with you about climate models. I always knew they could never deliver what was promised, they are completely useless in telling us anything about the climate, and this work reinforces that notion greatly as you state.

            Chuck Wiese
            Meteorologist

        • Bart says:

          Yes. Ferdinand’s calculations are ad hoc and biased. He arbitrarily decouples the natural and anthropogenic flows such that they have different dynamics, though nature has no means of distinguishing these species in establishing the overall balance.

        • I need to shorten my comments as several now are disappearing…

          Part one:

          Chuck, DMA and Bart (some time ago!),

          The main natural CO2 flows are seasonal and near entirely temperature driven. Moreover the two main sink/sources are each other opposite with temperature:
          Warmer seasons: more uptake by plants, more release by the ocean surface.
          Cooler seasons: more release by plant decay, more uptake by the ocean surface.
          In average, plants dominate, especially in the NH (more land):
          http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/seasonal_CO2_d13C_MLO_BRW.jpg

          The overall balance after a year, is a small increase of about half human emissions in the same year.
          That means that near the full seasonal cycle has nothing to do with the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, neither with the CO2 mass change in the seasonal cycle, which has only a global variability of around +/- 5 ppmv over the seasons (while 20, 25 and 30 ppmv/year are passing by!).
          The entire huge seasonal carbon cycle is temperature driven. Not level or pressure driven. That is the main mistake by Dr. Ed and many others.

          Next: part two

          • I don’t know why, but now 5 comments disappeared in cyberspace… Even shorter ones. I hope Dr. Spencer does know what is happening and/or can recover them. This is not working now…

          • Part three (without reference):

            Then we have the result of an increase in CO2 level/pressure in the atmosphere, whatever the origin. That does reduce the ocean inputs from near the equator, as that is linear in ratio with the pCO2 difference of the warming upwelling waters and the atmosphere and it increases the uptake by the cold polar sinking waters (and vegetation). It is the difference between natural sinks and sources + human sources which makes the overall balance. The net natural balance is negative over all the past 60 years:

            Next part four

          • I give up for the moment… there is too much disappearing…

          • Bart says:

            It is not unusual, happens to everybody. The site filter looks for several key words or letters in succession. I cannot tell you what they are, because then this message would disappear. It is owing to a person who used to bomb the comments here, and kept getting around the site filter until Dr. Spencer activated the nuclear option.

            One hint: avoid the letters “Dee” and “Cee” in succession (hope that gets through). Copy your post before hitting the submit button. Then, you can post pieces until you find the bit that doesn’t get through.

    • Chuck Wiese says:

      John: I disagree. If you take the time to watch the lecture by Salby, he points out that ab-sorb-ed carbon into the environment as revealed in ice core data is not representative of the true atmospheric total that has occurred in this record over time and explains how diffusion and other processes affect the measured record of CO2 bubbles trapped in ice. The difference between ice core and atmosphere can be as great as 15 times over the stored ice record, meaning during prior warm periods in the Holocene interglacial, atmospheric CO2 has been as high as 4,200 ppmv. The yearly cycling of natures CO2 is significant and because it is affected by temperature perturbation, an imbalance created by this drives a significantly higher atmospheric total. There is more than enough carbon in the environment to do this. For example, using the Berry equation, if a temperature perturbation increases the residence time, Te, by just 2 years, the new atmospheric balance level increases to 615 ppmv, and I would point out that these levels are far below what has been sequestered by micro-organisms that form ocean carbonates and helped lower atmospheric levels below some of those found in the geological record that approached 9000 ppmv in the atmosphere. And the same micro-organisms found in soil generate large amounts of CO2 during warmer periods like we are in compared to glacials and the little ice age, and have an opposite effect of the ocean sequestration you reference.

      I think you miss the greater point of the physical significance in Berry and Salby’s work. What it really means in this regard is that humans cannot and do not control the total atmospheric CO2 and the human component or fraction is completely insignificant to the amount produced without the burning of fossil fuels, and that is a significant find if you believe that CO2 controls earth temperature, which even the observations show it does not. There is more than enough carbon in the environment to drive atmospheric totals to over 1000 pppmv, which we are still far below today. That’s not to say we can expect levels to return to 9000 ppmv because ocean storage will prevent this as you point out, at least as far as we understand.

      What I think is more of a waste of time is having to study what sort of shenanigans and malarkey get continuously fronted by Ben Santer and other modelers who keep trying to resurrect their failed climate modeling efforts using statistical chicanery as pointed out by Ross Mckitrick and others in Santer’s latest paper. A “5 sigma” statistical inference is meaningless by itself without understanding how the authors derived it, and as Ross McKitrick shows, and as usual, it is a flawed derivation.

      You don’t need this crap to plainly see climate models don’t work and do not accurately predict climate or temperature and cannot hind cast natural warming trends either. Only a fool would believe this nonsense that is trained in atmospheric science. The mathematical and physical constraints on large time integrations are far too large to overcome with present calculating techniques. And worse, none of these clowns can model the hydro cycle with their failed models, which by itself means game over. But they also unjustly manipulated the surface temperature records to cover up their incompetence and false claim of model skill that has the public and politicians ready to steal your money from you under the color that this will “turn down the climate thermostat”. Those premanipulated climate records have distinct warming and cooling trends in them that reflect ocean cycles that these failed climate modelers no longer want the pubic to see and prove the last century of warming temperature is very modest compared to what they changed it to so that they could congratulate themselves on a failed record and ask for even more money to continue to tout their climate propaganda. I don’t know about you, but I think this is a disgrace. This demands accountability:

      https://thsresearch.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/ef-gast-data-research-report-062717.pdf

      Chuck Wiese
      Meteorologist

      • Chuck Wiese, what Dr. Salby said about ice cores is physically impossible.
        If there was diffusion and the peaks in the 10% warm periods were redistributed over the 90% cold periods, that means that the 300 ppmv in the previous peak was originally (at least) 3000 ppmv and 2700 ppmv was redistributed as average 300 ppmv over 90% of the time period, while we measure only 180 ppmv over the cold periods. Thus the original CO2 level before the redistribution was negative…
        Moreover the ration between warm and cold periods is about 8 ppmv/K over 8 peak periods, each 100,000 years further back in time. If there was any diffusion, that should show a lower and lower ratio for the older peaks, which is not the case. Or each older peak had originally a 10-fold higher CO2 level than the mor recent one… Anyway that story is simply impossible…
        Dr. Salby did not repeat that part in his more recent lectures.

  11. Entropic man says:

    Dr Spencer

    “The bottom line is that marine stratocumulus clouds exist because of the strong temperature inversion maintained by cold water from upwelling and transport from high latitudes. ”

    You failed to mention that upwelling areas make up only a few
    Percent of the subtropical ocean.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upwelling#/media/File%3AUpwelling_image1.jpg

    This makes your objection that Schneider et al did not take account of upwelling less convincing.

  12. BRI says:

    I often boil water using a hair dryer , i dont see anything wrong with there models. ;~)

  13. Reziac says:

    Not long ago I saw a report (which I’m too lazy to go find again) that cloud cover was generally increasing. Now it’s shrinking? make up my mind! 😛

  14. gallopingcamel says:

    The idea that CO2 affects cloud cover is an interesting idea but even after reading Dr. Roy’s explanation three times I still don’t get it.

    While I will try to keep an open mind, nothing in this post or the amazing comments from Ferdinand Engelbeen and others convinces me that the hypothesis can explain the past let alone the future.

    “The widespread interest is partly because of the way the study is dramatized in the media. For example, check out this headline, A World Without Clouds, and the studys forecast of 12 deg. C of global warming.”

    I have said this before. Fairy tales to frighten children.

    We need more equations and less rhetoric.

    It bothers me that nobody seems to care that mathematical models such as Robinson & Catling’s can explain temperature with impressive accuracy from the surface to the top of the stratosphere on seven worlds with significant atmospheres.

  15. gallopingcamel says:

    @Ferdinand,
    “Moreover the ratio between warm and cold periods is about 8 ppmv/K over 8 peak periods, each 100,000 years further back in time.”

    I hope you will honor us with your presence more often. Finally someone who has the horse in front of the cart!

    Thanks to “Henry’s Law”, temperature drives CO2 rather than the false Arrhenius hypothesis that imagines a “Sensitivity Constant” of K/doubling of [CO2]:

    https://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/the-dog-that-did-not-bark/

  16. Ned Nikolov says:

    This is one of an increasing number of junk model-based climate studies published in recent years that bares no relevance to the physical reality. The whole prediction of disappearing marine stratocumulus clouds hinge on the assumption that an increasing CO2 would cause an overall tropospheric warming. This assumption in turn is based on a mathematically wrong decoupling between radiative transfer and convection resulting in a violation of the Fist Law of Thermodynamics (the Energy Conservation Law) in climate models. It is this violation of the energy conservation that produces a positive (greater than ZERO) climate sensitivity to CO2… In reality, CO2 being a minor trace gas with a minuscule partial pressure has no measurable impact on tropospheric temperatures! Once the latter is understood, all these model experiments will become completely meaningless.

    What I find particular interesting, however, is that the increasing amount of evidence about Sun-controlled cloud regulation of surface temperature accumulated over the past 8-10 years is now being actively distorted (twisted) into the physically absurd concept of a CO2-caused warming that reduces the cloud cover/albedo. This malarkey of modern climate science is the latest attempt to keep the discombobulated 19th-Century “Greenhouse theory” afloat in the face of contemporary satellite observations showing that surface temperature variations on a decadal to centennial time scale are driven by fluctuations of cloud cover controlled by cosmic forces such as Galactic Cosmic Rays and solar Birkeland currents.

    The question is how long more is the public be willing to support such junk (unphysical) science based on faulty computer models? Isn’t time to shelf the CO2-climate superstition in the Museum of Irreproducible Scientific Results?

    • gallopingcamel says:

      This struck me as far fetched and your explanation has convinced me to waste no time trying to reproduce the results.

      I will write this off as another case of the government funding “Scientists” who will tell them what they want to hear.

      https://youtu.be/QNafpG3KvbQ

      Eisenhower was right.

  17. Nelson Smith says:

    Does anyone know if there is update to Ternberth diagram that would show what the heat fluxes were after a CO2 doubling?

    • gallopingcamel says:

      The idea that the doubling of CO2 has a dominant effect on global temperature is based on the false Arrhenius (1896) hypothesis.

      Nikolov and Zeller state that the surface temperature of worlds is primarily determined by surface pressure and TSI (Total Surface Irradiance) and their theory accords with observations on Venus, Earth and Mars.

      Robinson & Catling can explain temperatures from the surface to the top of the stratosphere with great accuracy for Venus, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Titan, Uranus and Neptune using pressure as the main variable.

      The percentage of CO2 in a world’s atmosphere is a minor factor compared to pressure.

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