Here’s what you may not have heard about the massive new report on climate change in the U.S.

By Tom Yulsman | November 25, 2018 8:18 pm

Many news outlets all but ignored a crucial part: the urgent need to adapt to changes already underway and in the pipeline

Climate change report emphasizes adaptation, but news media ignore it.

Research shows that wildfires in the western United States are already burning hotter, wider, and more frequently, thanks in large measure to human-caused climate change. Shown here is the 2018 Howe Ridge Fire in Glacier National Park. (Source: National Park Service, Glacier National Park)

The White House released a massive scientific report on climate change the day after Thanksgiving. Given that timing, you may have missed it entirely (which is probably what they had in mind).

But if you did manage to hear about it in news coverage, you may well have gotten the impression that the 1,656-page assessment, produced by 13 federal agencies, was devoted exclusively to the dire future we’ll continue hurtling toward unless we reduce emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

That impression would be understandable, given that many news media outlets, including the New York Times, chose to frame their coverage almost entirely around predictions of crop failures, deteriorating infrastructure, thousands of deaths from heat waves — and a worst-case hit to the economy of 10 percent of the nation’s GDP by century’s end.

Largely left out of much of the coverage that I’ve seen is an equally important part of the Congressionally mandated report: the pressing need to adapt to changes that are already occurring, and inevitable future changes.

The federal report, prepared under the auspices of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, mentions the words “adapt” or “adaptation” at least 40 times, and “resilience” or “resilient” another 39 times. But the word “adapt” appears just once in the main New York Times story about the report; “resilience” or “resilient” not at all. And many other news outlets seems to have followed the lead of the Times.

Make no mistake about it: This second volume of the climate assessment, focusing on impacts, risks, and adaptation to climate change in the United States, does emphasize that global action is needed to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. But this mitigation of greenhouse gases, or GHGs, is just one part of the needed response, according to the report:

In the absence of more significant global mitigation efforts, climate change is projected to impose substantial damages on the U.S. economy, human health, and the environment. Under scenarios with high emissions and limited or no adaptation, annual losses in some sectors are estimated to grow to hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century. It is very likely that some physical and ecological impacts will be irreversible for thousands of years, while others will be permanent.

Note that mitigation and adaptation go hand in hand in that statement. In fact, adaptation is no mere afterthought — it comes up time and again in the report, including in the title.

Why is it important to prioritize both mitigation and adaptation? Most obviously, climate changes like hotter heat waves, drier droughts, rising sea levels, intensifying storms, and nastier wildfire seasons, are already very much part of the new normal on our planet.

Consider wildfire. The first volume of the climate assessment, published in 2017, noted that recent decades “have seen a profound increase in forest fire activity over the western United States and Alaska,” thanks to warming and drying of forests.

The report cited research appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showing that human-caused climate change caused more than half of the documented drying of forest fuels in the West since the 1970s — and doubled the cumulative forest fire area since 1984.

The just released second volume of the report included some sobering details. From chapter six of the report, focusing on forests:

Wildfire burned at least 3.7 million acres nationwide in 14 of the 17 years from 2000 to 2016—an area larger than the entire state of Connecticut—including a record 10.2 million acres in 2015 (an area greater than Maryland and Delaware combined). Over this same time span, annual federal wildfire suppression expenditures ranged from $809 million to $2.1 billion.

Those expenditures aren’t spiraling so high solely because fires are growing in scope and intensity. Another factor is that more and more people are choosing to live and work in increasingly fire-prone areas. With that in mind, wouldn’t it make sense to encourage policies that would help communities become adapted to wildfire?

There’s another reason why the National Climate Assessment emphasized adaptation as much as mitigation of greenhouse gases: Even if we were to magically slash emissions to zero overnight, wildfire and other climate change impacts would not quickly cease. In fact, the climate would continue to change for quite some time.

That’s because CO2 and other greenhouse gases stay in the atmosphere for many decades. As the report’s chapter on adaptation puts it, this means:

. . . many climate-influenced effects are projected to continue changing through 2050, even if GHG emissions were to stop immediately. Thus, climate risk management requires adaptation for the next several decades, independent of the extent of GHG emission reductions. After 2050, the magnitude of changes, and thus the demands on adaptation, begins to depend strongly on the scale of GHG emissions reduction today and over the coming decades.

Here’s my translation and interpretation: Because entire towns are now being quickly swallowed by wildfires made much worse by human-caused climate change — and because horrible things like this will continue for at least decades — we’d better figure out how to reduce risks, right here, right now, through policies designed to help us adapt.

Given the obviously pressing need to adapt to climate change — and just how prominently it figured in the climate assessment report — it is disturbing that the main New York Times news story barely mentioned it at all. And to make things even worse, the story ends with this stunning factual error: 

The variable going forward, the report says, is the amount of carbon emissions humans produce.

It is patently untrue that the variable — singular — going forward is the amount of carbon emissions humans emit. The report couldn’t have been any clearer: How we choose to adapt to change is another key variable in determining how millions of Americans — not to mention billions of people worldwide — will feel the impacts of climate change.

I teach science journalism at the University of Colorado, and if a student had turned in the New York Times story, I’d send it back for a rewrite.

This failure was by no means limited to the Times. CNN framed their web story completely around the dire changes that will be coming if we don’t cut emissions of greenhouse gases enough. The story ignored adaptation — not a single mention.

For its part, MSNBC got political in one of its stories, pointing out that the White House buried the report by releasing it on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This seems obviously true, and I’m glad they pointed it out. But when the story got to the report’s findings, it too ignored adaptation. MSNBC had a second chance to deal with the subject in another segment elaborating on the report’s findings. But this segment also contained not a single mention of adaptation.

Given the quality of its past coverage, I had high hopes for the Associated Press. But in its story, the AP also failed to mention adaptation.

Meanwhile, CBS News did manage to bring up the subject — but just once and only barely in passing in a ten minute segment about the report.

In it’s coverage, the Washington Post actually got it right:

The authors argue that global warming ‘is transforming where and how we live and presents growing challenges to human health and quality of life, the economy, and the natural systems that support us.’ And they conclude that humans must act aggressively to adapt to current impacts and mitigate future catastrophes ‘to avoid substantial damages to the U.S. economy, environment, and human health and well-being over the coming decades.’”

National Geographic also nailed it in their story.

Mind you, I just sampled the coverage from a handful of outlets. So there may well be other examples that accurately reflect what the report actually says. If you find examples, please feel free to share them in the comments section below.

I’ve been left wondering how reporters who otherwise do a truly excellent job covering climate change missed the mark. Ben Hale, an environmental philosopher and a colleague of mine at the University of Colorado, wrote in a Facebook post that he believed “the adaptation taboo of 15 years ago is still in effect. Some people continue to think that accepting adaptation amounts to giving up on mitigation.”

That may well be true. And it suggests that reporters and editors are filtering things unconsciously (or not) through groupthink. As I wrote in my reply to Ben on Facebook:

My God, entire cities are being swallowed by flames, and what we should be doing to deal with that right here, right now, is an obvious urgent question. But instead they are worried what people will thingk if they report on something that some view as being associated with denialism?

| Update 11/26/18: Since posting this story, Bob Henson of the Category 6 blog at Wunderground.com has written an excellent story covering all aspects of the National Climate Assessment released last Friday — both mitigation and adaptation. He gets it just right. So for a well-written run-down covering the most important aspects of the report, check out his story: A Report Not to Be Buried |

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  • Drake Stevens

    Of course there are media outlets who are focusing entirely upon mitigation rather than adaption. I don’t think it’s entirely accurate or fair to attribute it to “liberal groupspeak”. I believe the reasons for this are multiple, but all go back to the simple fact that there are MANY who still deny that anthropogenic climate change even exists. I think some journalists see it as one battle at a time. This doesn’t excuse it… the media certainly is inundated with bias and agenda, both conscious and unconscious, but it does highlight the massive problem with this particular subject, as well as many others… journalists feel they have to be careful with what they cover, or it could be twisted. Imagine the headline “CNN says that adaptation to climate change is more important than stopping it”. There are many who would use this very article, citing certain carefully chosen quotes, to support that very argument. Of COURSE they are worried about whether or not their coverage could be used by climate change deniers, because it most CERTAINLY will be in today’s current political climate. The report highlights both the need to reduce emissions and to adapt to the changes, but there are those who would use adaptation as a political message intended to negate the need for mitigation. The coverage I’ve seen has mainly been focused on the long term costs and economic impact of climate change, which I see as an attempt to address climate change deniers, who are primarily motivated by financial consideration. It’s frustrating, because the adaptations are arguably more important in the immediate short term than mitigation efforts, but NOTHING will be done until we can convince those who have the power and means to do something about it that there is actually something to do something about.

  • http://j.mp/revkinmusic Andy_Revkin

    Groupthink, indeed. Great piece. I call the process #narrativecapture (http://j.mp/narrativecapture ). I was guilty of it in my climate coverage, to a certain extent, from 1988 through 2007 or so – until emerging studies showed the main drivers of risk in several areas of extreme climate or coastal hazard were where and how people were building or settling.

    I also more deeply absorbed the implications of science showing that emissions cuts have no payoff in reduced climate-related *risk* for decades, as John Reilly at MIT summed up so well in a brief chat here: j.mp/climateinertia.

    And the issues go deeper. “Adaptation” implicitly is about adaptation to climate CHANGE. If the conversation built around vulnerability reduction (reducing exposure to climatic and coastal hazards), that would put the #expandingbullseye (http://j.mp/expandingbullseye) of built vulnerability front and center (the main driver of losses is where/how we’re building, with or without co2-forced heating).

    It’d also encompass the tough issues in places, like Africa from the Sahara to the Equator, where models still differ on whether it’s going to get wetter or drier, but where profoundly dangerous century-long super droughts are part of the system and persistent poverty and high fertility rates are doubling e https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/84c3a94386f5d57916b33059529118b696469b4325977bcac6e505c13ff6736d.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/038e739666cfb649de1af9d1f90e5c0ea4c821fcbc0d042eb9c6dd54d831d6b1.png xposure to danger by 2050. Case in poin, Ghana: https://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/16/debate-over-climate-risks-natural-or-not/

    Seems a very hard pattern to break.

  • John C

    https://gurulohordo.blog.hu/2012/07/11/az_usa_szen-dioxid_kibocsatasa_az_1990-es_szintre_esett_a_nem-konvencionalis_gaznak_koszonhetoen

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/07/16/chart-of-the-week-the-us-is-a-leader-in-co2-reduction/

    ———————–

    Seems like we’re doing our part compared to everyone else. In very large part due to the new technologies pioneered in this country to produce fracking and natgas.

    Now we just have to convince billions of people in China and India that they have to put their rise from subsistence poverty to the middle class because it cannot be propelled by cheap carbon fuel, the way it was in the West for 150 years.

    Good luck with that.

    • Tom Yulsman

      Thank you John for contributing here. It is true that the U.S. has seen significant cuts to CO2 emissions, thanks to a switch from coal to natural gas, as well as renewables — which have played a bigger role than generally acknowledged.

      But the benefits of the switch from coal to gas are being undercut, perhaps dramatically, by so-called ‘fugitive’ emissions of methane, a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. These fugitive emissions come from leaks in oil and gas operations.

      Research has shown that if such leakage exceeds 3% of the gas produced, then the climate benefits of switching are wiped out. The EPA estimates that between the well and stove or furnace, U.S. leakage is about 1.2%. But research suggests that is a significant underestimate. Research commissioned by the Environmental Defense Fund suggests the leakage rate is, at a minimum, 2.2%. And there is reason to believe it could be more than 3%. But even if it is not, at greater than 2%, much of the climate benefits are being cancelled. The sad fact is that while this problem could be solved with better regulation of fugitive emissions (some companies have leakage rates below 1%), the Trump administration is moving in the opposite direction.

      Also keep in mind that methane emissions globally are rising. Scientists are trying to figure out why. Much methane is likely coming from wetland sources, including rice paddies. But there is growing suspicion that some of the increase is coming from oil and gas operations. Much more research is needed. But here too, the administration is not keen to do what’s necessary.

      Bottom line: Natural gas could still be a bridge fuel to the renewable era. But until we get a handle on methane leaks, that remains in doubt.

      Some resources to check out:
      * https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-much-natural-gas-leaks/
      *https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14693062.2018.1427538
      * https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acs.est.6b00705

    • Mike Richardson

      They can skip that part altogether with increasingly cheap solar and wind power, as well as safer forms of nuclear power. I’m sure the fossil fuel industry doesn’t like to hear that, but they are becoming increasingly irrelevant. That can’t happen soon enough.

      • John C

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_the_United_States

        I agree about nuclear, with widespread implementation of the latest generation nuclear technology the need for carbon could be dramatically reduced. But there is a widespread, scientifically unfounded fear of nuclear energy just like there is of GMO’s, which is preventing us from taking full advantage of this resource.

        I don’t think wind and solar can be the core of a modern industrial economy any time soon, if ever. How do you scale up from the current 3% share shown above to replace carbon…as well as hydro and nuclear if greens had their way.

        • Mike Richardson

          Carbon-based fuels need not be fossil fuels, though. In addition to the alternative fuels we’ve discussed, there’s also biofuels to consider. Biodiesel has been introduced into mass transit buses, and research continues into producing oil from algae which could be refined to produce gasoline replacements. These would not be introducing carbon into the atmosphere which had previously been sequestered since prehistoric times, so they would also be a step in the right direction.

          As far as solar and wind power, we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible. Large stretches of desert could be utilized for solar, while wind power is feasible across the Great Plains of America, the steppes of Asia, and most of the world’s coastline.

          New generation nuclear fission plant designs, such as liquid thorium and graphite pebble bed reactors, would ease fears of dangerous meltdowns, and offer promise if we can resolve the issue of nuclear waste disposal. Eventually, fusion would provide even cleaner and safer nuclear energy.

          Basically, the main stumbling block to implementing most of these alternatives is not engineering or economics, but the political will and resolve to make changes for long-term civilization.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            ❝New generation nuclear fission plant designs, such as liquid thorium❞

            Agreed!!

  • BBQman

    Climate Change is a fact, it’s also a fact that man and his machines, car tailpipes, power plants and cow farts, if stacked side by side take up 21 billion sq feet, based on 7 billion individuals being allotted 3 square feet each while emitting their own CO2

    So, ask yourself, how much of the earth’s surface are we emitting CO2 from?

    The earth’s surface is 197,000,000 million square miles.
    A square mile is 27,878,400 square feet.
    Which means we could stand 9,292,800 people per square mile, based on 3 square feet each x and there’s 7 billion people.

    Therefore, we need 753.27 square miles to fit everyone.

    So the earth is 197,000,000 million square miles and we only take up, 753.27 square miles.

    Putting it in layman’s term, man is only spewing CO2 from 1/261,526 of the earth’s surface.

    It’s impossible for man to do anything which will effect the climate, we are just too small and insignificant.

    Besides, CO2 is a byproduct of a warming earth, not the cause, CO2 always LAGs temperature changes.

    • Abby L. Hansen

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    • CB

      “CO2 is a byproduct of a warming earth, not the cause”

      It’s both! …a fact you have been informed of over and over and over again.

      “The heat-trapping nature of carbon dioxide and other gases was demonstrated in the mid-19th century”

      climate.nasa.gov/evidence

      You are well-known for posting fossil fuel industry misinformation and then using vote-bots and shell accounts to promote that misinformation and drown out the facts.

      Why should that be allowed here?

      Why shouldn’t you be flagged as spam and permanently barred from commenting?

      • Mike Richardson

        I actually thought he had gotten himself banned, but it may have been voluntary after he was asked to quit spamming the blog with pseudoscience crackpot theories like his “magnetic forcings” spiel, or insistence that a new ice age is on the way. I can see he’s chosen to ignore that and go back to his old ways.

        • Damn Nitpicker

          There’s even a name for this coming ice age … Move over, Maunder … here comes Eddy.

        • Damn Nitpicker

          ❝… pseudoscience crackpot theories like his “magnetic forcings” …❞

          Imagine that … ❝pseudoscience crackpot theories❞ being published in peer-reviewed, prestigious journals … like Nature. How absurd!
          Kirkby 2016: ”Here we present evidence for the formation of aerosol particles from highly oxidized biogenic vapours in the absence of sulfuric acid in a large chamber under atmospheric conditions. The highly oxygenated molecules (HOMs) are produced by ozonolysis of α-pinene. We find that ions from Galactic cosmic rays increase the nucleation rate by one to two orders of magnitude compared with neutral nucleation.”

          Kirkby, Jasper, et al. 2016 “Ion-induced nucleation of pure biogenic particles.” Nature
          https://www.nature.com/articles/nature17953

          CERN in 2016: ”The results also show that ionisation of the atmosphere by cosmic rays accounts for nearly one-third of all particles formed, …”
          https://home.cern/about/updates/2016/10/cloud-experiment-sharpens-climate-predictions

          The magnetic influence of the sun is quite devious! While the energy imparted from the sun to Earf (from the magnetic field) is tiny, the magnetic field, when stronger, deflects galactic cosmic rays, and, when weaker, allows those GCRs to impact Earf. So, the sun has an indirect influence, using GCRs. The impact of galactic cosmic rays causes cloud-nucleating particles to form … hence, more sunshine-reflecting clouds. This is not properly accounted for in the computer models … heck, even ordinary cloud formation is not properly accounted for in climate models. In fact, “… not a single model has a statistically significant agreement with the observational datasets on yearly averaged values of [cloud cover fraction for total cloudiness] and on the amplitude of the seasonal cycle over all analysed areas.”

          Probst, P., et al. 2012 “Total cloud cover from satellite observations and climate models.” Atmospheric Research
          http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/10/21023/2010/acpd-10-21023-2010.pdf https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6fb7895e8a2399fd4ac0d341b3330a84e40c3a50e0e59f4194f8c3a65dcac677.jpg

          • Mike Richardson

            Wow, you really drank the BBQ Man’s Kool-Aid didn’t you? None of what you’ve posted actually adds up to a coherent argument that magnetic influences of the outer planets affect our weather — which is what he previously argued. Nor does it change the well-established fact that humanity’s production and release of greenhouse gases is driving up temperatures worldwide. I’m sure BBQ appreciates your efforts, though. 😉

          • Damn Nitpicker

            ❝… well-established fact that humanity’s production and release of greenhouse gases is driving up temperatures worldwide.❞

            There is evidence of warming, but, as I pointed out, the magnitude of the warming is arguable. However, evidence of warming does not implicate a cause of the warming. There is no observational evidence to back up your statement. The only such ‘evidence’ comes from the climate models. Nothing else.
            You only have a statistical inference from the climate models, and observations of global average surface-air Tamperature.

            Philipona 2004: ”Nevertheless, changes in radiative forcing related to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations could not be experimentally detected at Earth’s surface so far.”

            …no experimental evidence (“so far” being 2004)… This lays to rest the frequent myth of someone having “proven AGW to be true” decades ago.

            Philipona 2004: ”Yet to our knowledge, radiative forcing and its direct relation to surface temperature and humidity changes, has not been observationally examined in depth and over long time periods with radiation budget measurements at Earth’s surface.”

            So “Exxon Knew” is a farce. Even the premier ‘climate’ scientists – Ralph Philipona, and pals, in 2004, did not know. Hypothesized, conjectured, … but not “know”.

            Lean 2018: ”IPCC’s finding that the globe would warm in the range 2–4 °C by the end of the 21st century unless greenhouse gas emissions were reduced significantly was based on simulations made by physical climate models, …”

            That’s it… simulations made by climate models. That’s all you have.

          • Mike Richardson

            Nope, decades of observations correlated with those models, and consistent with what we know about how greenhouse gases work. That’s why there’s a scientific consensus which contradicts your rhetoric. Science has quite a bit more than you do on the subject, it seems.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            So, quote from, and cite, those many papers of OBSERVATIONS, that make the connection, “well-established fact that humanity’s production and release of greenhouse gases is driving up temperatures worldwide” Just confidently saying that it is so, does not make it so. In the paper by Lean & Rind 2008, “Influences on Surface Temperatures”, the authors started off with a grand summary. They mentioned, ”An exhaustive model- based study concludes that increasing anthropogenic gas concentrations (GHGs and tropospheric aerosols) produced 0.3–0.5 K per century warming over the 1906–1996 period, and are the dominant cause of global surface warming after 1976 [Allen et al., 2006].”

            If some empirical, observational evidence, of this anthropogenic warming, existed prior to their publication in 2008, don’t you think that this review, would have mentioned it? …but, all they mentioned in this review, was this exhaustive model-based study by Allen 2006.

            Lean, Judith L., and David H. Rind 2008. “How natural and anthropogenic influences alter global and regional surface temperatures: 1889 to 2006.” Geophysical Research Letters

            Where is this empirical, observational evidence that Mannkind’s emissions of CO₂ caused warming? All I can find, is computer-model generated, imaginary evidence, and people who conflate warming with evidence illuminating the cause of the warming.

          • James Owens

            Cherry Picker likes to disrupt with somewhat senseless posts – in many cases then, he makes a deliberate effort to be incoherent

          • Damn Nitpicker

            Sorry you are unable to keep up. “Next time, do a little research” (Geico commercial)

          • James Owens

            No lengthy, convoluted, obscuring word salad, Cherry Picker
            Just 4th grade foot stomping and insults
            Sad, Cherry Picker, Sad

          • classicalmusiclover

            The only thing he is true to is the name you have given him. It seems that all his posts boil down to “I found a statistical variation or outlier! I will now claim that it refutes the established trend!”

          • 9.8m/ss

            Most of them. The rest involve imaginary feedback control systems or simply misreading an old paper.

          • Damn Nitpicker
          • James Owens

            Alley is spot on.
            There was no plausible alternative then – and none has turned up since.
            Example, the small solar changes are woefully inadequate.
            In turn, we observe the greenhouse effect, can analytically measure the changes in greenhouse gases like CO2, can measure the changes in the downwelling infrared from CO2 and methane, and can measure the multitude of changes on earth itself – from increased ocean heat content to decreases in the ice caps
            Remember the basic conclusion of the national assessment last year was the same as Alley’s

            This assessment concludes, based on extensive evidence, that it is extremely likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. For the warming over the last century, there is no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational evidence.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            2009: Richard Alley, 08:52 ”…if you put it [anthropogenic CO₂] in models, it is sufficient to explain what happened …so far, we can’t find anything else that is… We don’t have, sort of, pound on the table, this [anthropogenic CO₂] is nailed, we’re done on this one, yet …” Yep, even now, there is no observational evidence that Mannkind’s emissions of CO₂ causes planetary warming. NONE.
            Dr. Alley: ”…so it surely looks like it…” Well, “supported by the extent of the observational evidence”, it sure looks like ASR is causing warming, and that is ’cause of a decrease in cloud. For one, that is what the models tell us.
            Trenberth & Fasullo 2009 ”There is an increase in net radiation absorbed, but not in ways commonly assumed. … Instead, the main warming, from an energy budget standpoint, comes from increases in absorbed solar radiation that stem directly from the decreasing cloud amounts.” Trenberth & Fasullo 2009 “Global warming due to increasing absorbed solar radiation.” Geophysical Research Letters

            Donohoe 2014: ”In response to increasing concentrations of atmospheric CO₂, high-end general circulation models (GCMs) simulate an accumulation of energy at the top-of-the-atmosphere, not through a reduction in out-going long wave radiation (OLR)—as one might expect from greenhouse gas forcing— [“heat trapping —”] but through an enhancement of net absorbed solar radiation (ASR).”
            Donohoe, Aaron, et al. 2014 “Shortwave and longwave radiative contributions to global warming under increasing CO₂.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

            Wielicki, 2005: ”The global CERES observations show a small decrease of ~2 W per metre squared, in shortwave reflected flux, equal to an albedo decrease of 0.006.”
            Wielicki, Bruce A., et al. 2005 “Changes in Earth’s albedo measured by satellite.” Science

          • James Owens

            As Alley notes, several possibilities have been tested – the evidence only supports AGW and says others are not viable
            Here’s the comparison of natural and human forces from the climate report, identifying the cause of the increased warming or the process of attribution Go to Chapter 2 “Our Changing Climate” and the link for that:
            https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/chapter/2/
            Scroll down to Figure 2.1: ‘Human and Natural Influences on Global Temperature’
            It’s not natural forces increasing the temps, the ocean heat content, melting glaciers and ice caps, etc – it’s human greenhouse gas emissions. The black line is the basic observations in both panels.
            In panel a, solar changes (blue) volcanoes (green) and Milankovtich cycles (brown) fail for the natural causes
            In panel b, greenhouse gases (blue) do it, aerosols (brown) hold that back some for the human causes.
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/60707eaa14d8fecce6df351e0fc7737f94f55e39c031e9bcb7af1a20512a84de.png

          • Damn Nitpicker

            ❝As Alley notes, several possibilities have been tested – the evidence only supports AGW and says others are not viable

            My family enjoys a Chinese food item … the pork bun. My youngest, at age five, wouldn’t eat it. I urged her to taste the food, before rejecting it. Knowing that it would be mandatory, she complied. Holding the bun, she carefully extended just the tip of her tongue, until it made contact with the exterior … the bread-like wrapper. She never came into contact with the BBQ pork filling inside, only the exterior of the bread. She retracted her tongue, and announced, “I’ve tasted it, and I don’t like it”.

            In that same fashion, that is how the various other explanations for “Global Warming” have been dealt with — inadequately.

            Mostly, this is all done with the computer models. They take the models, which don’t properly simulate climate in the first place, and add in, or remove, large quantities of Carbon dioxide. Supposedly, this “tests” the theory. When they have the extra CO₂, it is claimed that they better simulate the recent historical climate … which is, kinda true. But, truth be told, with the extra CO₂, they fail in simulating the historical climate … but, they fail even worse, without it.
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/39d9c320b531e2b9333230dc924f0ef2836d5b9a9f5a712141d16e1b19065579.jpg

          • James Owens

            Just measurements and observations, Cherry Picker
            Satellites measure the solar output, proxies of isotopes can take that back several thousand years
            Volcanic aerosols are measured, and numerous ice cores use sulfur measurements to take that back several thousand years
            Milankovitch cycles are know and can be calculated
            Greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere can be measured, again ice cores take these back thousands of years. Here’s the figure showing the various forcings from von Schuckmann et al “An imperative to monitor earth’s energy imbalance” Nature Climate Change 6:138–144 2016
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/22cb8a0300b86b31746eaad51e388e51dedc95ae429dfff7ae2f980e6ee2b07f.png
            So just measurements and observations – the way hard science works
            Closing notes – don’t go off your meds, get your prescriptions refilled

          • Damn Nitpicker

            So, where are those observational measurements? Just claiming that they exist, does not make it so.

          • James Owens

            Better read all those papers and reports that have been published in the last 40 years, Cherry Picker
            Lots of work for you to catch up on

          • Damn Nitpicker

            Not that you’re saving me any effort, James. A few key points, in the more recent scientific literature, tells me that I don’t have to go back 40 years. For example, Philipona 2004: ”Nevertheless, changes in radiative forcing related to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations could not be experimentally detected at Earth’s surface so far.”

            …no experimental evidence (“so far” being 2004)… So, nothing between 40 years ago, to 2004, otherwise, Philipona 2004 would have mentioned it.

            In the paper by Lean & Rind 2008 the authors started off with a grand summary. They mentioned, ”An exhaustive model- based study concludes that increasing anthropogenic gas concentrations (GHGs and tropospheric aerosols) produced 0.3–0.5 K per century warming over the 1906–1996 period, and are the dominant cause of global surface warming after 1976 [Allen et al., 2006].” If some empirical, observational evidence, of this anthropogenic warming, existed prior to their publication in 2008, it would be front and centre, right there. But, all they mentioned in this review, was this exhaustive model-based study by Allen 2006.

            Then, there is a paper by Lean, 2018, that spells it all out for us.

            Lean 2018: ”IPCC’s finding that the globe would warm in the range 2–4 °C by the end of the 21st century unless greenhouse gas emissions were reduced significantly was based on simulations made by physical climate models, …”

            Lean 2018: ”IPCC’s finding that the globe would warm … was based on simulations made by physical climate models, …” So, this global effort of the world’s “climate” scientists, by the United Nations … the IPCC, well, even they didn’t come up with any of the observational evidence that I seek. I don’t have to search through 40 years of papers, I have professional scientists do it for me. They make reports, via peer-reviewed, journal-published scientific papers. If they had such observational evidence, it would be paraded right there in the abstract of sooooo many papers.
            …but, it is not there. The only thing, is statistical inferences with climate models. There is no observational evidence that Mannkind’s emissions of CO₂ causes planetary warming. NONE.

          • James Owens

            Cherry Picker, you were discussing the two Feldman papers with another person
            One shows the increase in downwelling IR from CO2
            The other shows the increase in downwelling IR from methane
            And as you know the Philipona paper was using a network in Switzerland to measure the downwelling IR – your cherry pick is from the introduction! They then provided their network observations showing the increase in downwelling II
            Just note the full title:
            Philipona et al “Radiative forcing – measured at Earth’s surface – corroborate the increasing greenhouse effect” Geophys Res Let vol31 L03202 2004
            Why be so blatant in your misinformation and distortions?

          • Damn Nitpicker

            Because an increase in DLR just shows that the humidity, or atmospheric temperature, or both, has increased. Ramanathan & Collins 1991 already showed, from observations, that even a super-sized enhancement of DLR, complete with a whopping supply of water-vapour amplification, ended up with an increase in clouds, which blocked the incoming sunshine (which is what started the warming in the first place).

          • James Owens

            Poor deluded soul – Feldman et al have used wavelengths specific to CO2 and methane.
            Put this sad word salad of yours where it belongs – into the garbage.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            Ramanathan & Collins 1991 observed — not with computer models: ”Observations made … in the upper range of sea surface temperatures, … In response to this ‘super greenhouse effect’, highly reflective cirrus clouds are produced which act like a thermostat shielding the ocean from solar radiation. The regulatory effect of these cirrus clouds may limit sea surface temperatures to less than 305 K.”

            Ramanathan & Collins 1991: “When the SST drops to 297K, the surface parcel … can barely reach the middle troposphere. … The warmer ocean, thus, produces clouds, at higher altitudes. These clouds … have a larger greenhouse effect. … The required moisture for sustaining cirrus is not necessarily provided by the local evaporation, but instead, by large-scale transport within the lower troposphere, into the region of convection. These large circulation systems are the ‘Hadly’ and ‘Walker’ circulations. The sources [of energy] for these large-scale motions are the latent heat released by convection, the cirrus long-wave cloud forcing, and the spatial gradients in SST. Therefore, this convective large-scale system is self-sustaining. The large-scale convergence of moisture, into the warm oceanic regions, amplifies the warming, though the enhanced greenhouse effect, further driving the circulation. This continues, until the cirrus clouds, which accumulate during this process, reflect enough sunlight to arrest further warming. Thus, the [cirrus-cloud] anvils act like a thermostat.”

            Ramanathan & Collins 1991: ”It would take more than an order-of-magnitude increase in atmospheric CO₂ to increase the maximum SST by a few degrees, in spite of a significant warming outside the equatorial regions. … the interaction between SSt and solar radiation [the increased reflection by clouds, arresting further warming] at the ocean surface is an important negative feedback…”

            Ramanathan, Vi, and Wu Collins 1991. “Thermodynamic regulation of ocean warming by cirrus clouds deduced from observations of the 1987 El Nino.” Nature

          • James Owens

            Another nonsensical and unconnected reply, Cherry Picker
            Ramanathan & Collins are suggesting feedbacks in the greenhouse effect during an El Nino between rising ocean surface temperatures and cloud formation.
            They discuss the greenhouse effect and general circulation models – as examples 1) see the table notes on which terms represent the greenhouse effect and 2) see the legends for Figure 2 “Monthly mean greenhouse effect …” and Figure 3 “Changes induced by 1987 El Nino in the monthly mean greenhouse effect …”
            That is not connected to the increase in specific downwelling IR wavelengths observed by Feldman et al from increasing concentrations of CO2 and methane, and by inference other greenhouse gases – which is the basis for AGW.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            Ramanathan & Collins 1991 showed … by observations … that, despite an increase in “forcing” which was then amplified by water vapour feedback, all that happened, in the long run, was an increase in clouds. Not only do clouds affect the climate, but clouds effect the climate (pun intended). Earf has a system of dynamic control – Clouds act to thermostatically regulate the temperature. On hot days, clouds form earlier, and more strongly. Observe Figure 2, Vertical distribution of cloud incidence, from Li, Ying, et al. 2014 “A global survey of the instantaneous linkages between cloud vertical structure and large‐scale climate.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4ec3895fb112894916c27040e32a62730a9bb4e186b1fcff7d0b26eea876c72c.jpg The dark spot in the upper right corner indicates enhanced cloud formation … based upon the colour scale shown at the bottom. The position of the blob in the upper right, shows that the enhanced cloud formation happens at a higher surface temperature

            Reid 2009, 2.5.1: ”Tropical storms play a vital role in climate by pumping a considerable quantity of heat from the ocean into the atmosphere each year, by generating mixing that brings cold deep water to the surface and, through evaporation (Trenberth and Fasullo, 2007). During the storm, precipitation releases latent heat that is rapidly transported high into the atmosphere where it may radiate into space (Emanuel, 2006). These storms act as a release valve for solar heat caught above the sea in the humid, cloudy conditions of the summer tropics and are generated when surface water temperatures reach a threshold of ~26 °C over a depth of ~50–100 m.”

            Reid, Philip C., et al 2009. “Impacts of the oceans on climate change.” Advances in marine biology

            Stevens & Bony 2013: ”Recent research also shows that clouds directly mediate the response of the atmosphere to an external forcing, and they do so on time scales as short as a few hours.¹⁸”

            Stevens, Bjorn & Bony, Sandrine 2013. “Waterin the atmosphere.” Physics Today [“Water in the atmosphere.”]

          • James Owens

            You need to stop your ridiculous red herrings, Cherry Picker
            Yes, human emissions of greenhouse gases increase the downwelling infrared at their respective wavelengths, adding measurable energy expressed as Watts per m^2
            Yes, the resulting increase in temperature leads to the feedback of more water vapor in the atmosphere, further increasing the greenhouse effect
            Yes, on a global scale these changes in the heat balance (e.g.,evaporation and atmospheric convection/heating) begins to impact the distribution of cloud cover as well as the critical types & heights of those clouds. These multiple changes are indeed one of the remaining key uncertainties in climate science – will they ultimately be a positive feedback or negative feedback – and in either case, if so, how much?

          • Damn Nitpicker

            ❝impact the distribution of cloud cover as well as the critical types & heights of those clouds.❞

            Lebsock, Kummerow & Stephens 2010: ”For example, in the particular case of high clouds, Stephens and Webster (1981) point out that all but the thinnest high clouds tend to cause a cooling of the earth’s surface and a warming of the atmospheric column.”

            Lebsock, Matthew D., Christian Kummerow, and Graeme L. Stephens 2010. “An observed tropical oceanic radiative–convective cloud feedback.” Journal of Climate

          • James Owens

            Why don’t you simply try a recent review that wrestles with the multiple and divergent effects of clouds as the climate system changes (rather then your random cherry picks)?
            This one covers the key mechanisms and how various models attempt to handle them (since that is one of your favorite subjects)
            Ceppi et al “Cloud feedback mechanisms and their representations in global climate models” WIRES Climate Change vol8 e465 2017

            From the abstract: Global mean cloud feedback in GCMs results from three main effects:
            (1) rising free tropospheric clouds (a positive longwave effect);
            (2) decreasing tropical low cloud amount (a positive shortwave [SW] effect);
            (3) increasing high-latitude low cloud optical depth (a negative SW effect).

          • Damn Nitpicker

            … why contaminate your mind with babble from the output of climate models that genuinely fail to simulate climate? Why should I care what models think is the dividing line between negative feedback clouds, and positive feedback clouds? The models don’t match reality. Not by a long shot. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/df2745db97f17a74ba96be1ca0b4b8bbd9e26fe22a7126614a73c222a9e5000a.jpg

          • James Owens

            Poor Cherry Picker – with clouds, it is wrestling with the multitude of factors occurring in the same time frame and sometimes opposing directions. That’s the heart of the uncertainty about the role of clouds in our climate system.
            Now if you don’t like models – why post a paper testing models in a specific region (the southeast Pacific), a specific time period (Oct-Nov 2008), and a specific segment of the atmosphere (the marine boundary layer (MBL) or the interface of the ocean and atmosphere)?
            Also, even though a decade old as both the understanding and the models both improve, read the basic conclusion in the abstract; it’s a breakeven

            The overall performance of the models demonstrates their potential utility in simulating aerosol–cloud interactions in the MBL, though quantitative estimation of aerosol–cloud interactions and aerosol indirect effects of MBL clouds with these models remains uncertain.

          • 9.8m/ss

            “Earf has a system of dynamic control – Clouds act to thermostatically regulate the temperature. ”
            Desperate cherrypicker pulls out Gaia theory.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            Bayr 2018: ”The weakening of the zonal winds in Niño4 in response to warmer SSTs during El Niño is caused by more convection in Niño4, which in turn increases the cloud cover and reduces the SW flux there …”

            Lin 2006: ”Furthermore, other cloud properties, such as cloud total water and ice water paths, increase with SST. These changes in [deep convective systems] properties will produce a negative radiative feedback for the earth’s climate system due to strong reflection of shortwave radiation by the [deep convective systems].”

            ”Since the net radiative forcing due to [deep convective systems’] development from existing environmental conditions is about –20 W/㎡, the change of [deep convective systems] with SST will produce a negative radiative feedback for the earth’s climate system. This study partially supports the thermostat hypothesis but indicates a smaller magnitude of the negative feedback…”

            Igel Drager & Heever 2014:”The results presented here are interpreted as supporting a Thermostat-like response. Physically thicker anvils and weakly increasing ice path of anvils above 300 K SSTs should be more reflective in that manner proposed by Ramanathan and Collins [1991].”

            ”In conditions with a warmer surface, the moist adiabat is steeper due to the nonlinearity of the Clausius-Clapeyron relationship. ”

            ”Consequently, anvils should become deeper if their base and top temperatures are constant. This response is essentially a Thermostat.”

          • Popcorn Joe

            Hi Mr. Owens… It is difficult to try and conduct an intelligent discussion with a block of concrete isn’t it.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            Stephens 2012 suggested that there is a trend of increasing DLR. They go on to point out that it is statistically insignificant, considering the errors of equipment observing it.

            ”The trend in the clear-sky DLR [Downward Longwave Radiation ] found over the oceans, based on a linear fit to the time series, is 1.8 ±0.3 W/㎡ per decade. Thus over the 18 years of the record analyzed [1988–2005] the expected change in global oceanic DLR is 3.2 W/㎡, which is the same order of magnitude as the error obtained in calculating it (approximately 2–3 W/㎡, according to the results of Fig. 3). Thus we conclude this trend in global-mean DLR would not yet detectible from observations.”

            DLR – downward, long-wave emissions, stems from the temperature of the atmosphere … taking into account, the emissivity, the DLR varies directly according to the fourth power of the atmospheric temperature. I believe that there is adequate evidence of an increase in the global atmospheric temperature, right? That, according to that T⁴ relationship, says that the DLR should increase. Trying to discern the tiny slivers of the CO₂ narrow band emissions, if they increased, strains credulity. Both times, Feldman 2014 (or is it 2015) and Feldman 2018 (with Methane) … Feldman resorts to using a computer model to calculate counterfactual spectra … thus, even his evidence is model-based.
            Observation-Observation=observatonal results
            Observation-model=model results

          • James Owens

            Again, the first Feldman paper showing the increase in downwelling IR from CO2 was in 2015
            The second Feldman paper showing the increase in downwelling IR from methane was this year, 2018
            They used specific wavelengths – the AERI instruments in Oklahoma and Alaska – able to scan in cm^-1 increments
            So why are you responding by throwing up some cherry pick from 2012?
            Makes no sense!

          • Damn Nitpicker

            Feldman – all of them, used “counterfactual spectra” from computer models. You cannot find “observational evidence” from Feldman.
            Observation-Observation=observatonal results
            Observation-model=model results

            ❝So why are you responding by throwing up some cherry pick from 2012?❞

            There is more being discussed here, than just Feldman.
            I do notice that you cannot, and do not dispute what Stephens 2012 stated. Or, what I asserted from it … there is no statistical significance in the DLR data that Stephens 2012 discussed in that quote. Feldman 2015 used only “clear sky” observations, yet, Earf does not exist under just “clear sky” conditions. Kiehl & Trenberth 1997 tells us that Earf has an ”… observed cloudiness of about 62%.” I can take a guess as to why Feldman avoids “all sky” conditions … because, they cannot show a damn thing, if they do. What little they simulated, is very inapplicable … Yes, simulated. Observation-model=simulation
            results

          • James Owens

            So you don’t like the facts …
            after 10 to 15 years of observations
            at two different sites
            on the downwelling IR from two greenhouse gases
            at the specific wavelengths where those greenhouse gases are known to be active
            and using the AERI instruments more than capable of detecting the changes (again, not a broad spectra reading, but scanning the infrared spectrum from 520 to 3020 cm^-1 (or 3.3 – 19 µm) in cm^-1 increments every 30 seconds)
            Well those facts show the increase in downwelling energy from the greenhouse effect matches the increase expected from the concentration changes in those two gases (CO2 and methane)
            So AGW is real and we have the smoking gun (actually, two smoking guns!)
            Then you respond with just sheer classic denial of basic facts then you’re off into rambling cherry picks about a 1997 paper.
            Those closing notes again – don’t go off your meds, get your prescriptions refilled!!

          • Damn Nitpicker

            My claim is that there is no observational evidence of Mannkind’s CO₂ emissions causing planarity warming. This work is interesting, but, inapplicable, for these reasons:
            (1) Feldman and pals don’t claim any warming
            (2) Feldman and pals work is not observational (due to the computer model’s “counterfactual spectra”
            (3) Feldman and pals’ work is not applicable, due to restrictions on just “clear sky”

            EVEN IF this work absolutely shows an increase in DLR due to CO₂ (and, it might), there is still the same gap, between an increase in DLR and planetary warming. As pointed out in Ramanathan & Collins 1991, just because you have all the things you like, increased DLR, water-vapour-amplification, and (localized) heating … it doesn’t (in the the case studied by them) cause planetary warming.

          • James Owens

            Cherry Picker, you need to think a second and to think in logically.
            1. Feldman et al used instruments taking spectral scans of the downwelling IR; those are observations.
            The instruments operated for over a decade. The original design was to take scans up to every minute – and later modified to do so every 30 seconds.
            Now – there are 525,600 minutes in a year
            So granting some times for maintenance and outages – there are a huge number of actual observations in their work
            2. Read the methane abstract, noting the increase in methane forcing since 2006: the trend in forcing was 0.026 ± 0.09 (99.7% CI) Watts per m*2 per yr
            Cherry Picker, a Watt is a joule per second, that’s heat, that’s warming
            3. Yes, clear sky conditions are absent the additional downwelling radiation from clouds
            So you do have a less complex and cleaner spectra to look at the CO2 and methane under clear sky conditions. There is no change in the concentration of CO2 and methane in the atmosphere. It’s that simple. So no problem with their results.
            Finally, yes, when CO2, methane, and other human greenhouse gas emissions warm the earth’s climate system – yes, there is a feedback – yes, the total quantity of atmospheric water vapor increases – and yes, this further increases the greenhouse effect and warming.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            The entire effect of greenhouse gases is contained in the infrared band. Feldman and pals, myopically concentrate on a narrow sliver in the IR band. The reactions of Earf take place outside the infrared band! Any attempt to raise the surface temperature also increases evaporation, which increases clouds; clouds have an infrared effect, and also a visible-light effect. In the whole, increasing clouds causes an increase in reflected sunshine, thus cooling Earf. Increasing evaporation causes an increase in latent heat transfer (evaporation takes 2,260 joules per gram). This latent heat is convected, to a hight as high as the tropopause, where it condenses (releasing 2,260 j/g) and freezes (releasing an additional 334 j/g) — this releases heat that never was “infrared” and was never interfered-with by CO₂ or any greenhouse gas. At the top of the tropopause, the vast majority of greenhouse gas, and the majority of mass of the atmosphere, is now beneath this released heat; it can radiate to space with little effect from CO₂, seeing as most of the CO₂ is below, heck, most of everything, is below.
            Rycroft, Israelsson & Price 2000: ”The atmospheric density decreases exponentially with increasing height, …” The spacing between GHG molecules in the atmosphere is larger, allowing more radiation to escape, despite being at the same parts-per-million by volume of CO₂.
            Mariani, Strong & Drummond 2016 speak of Arctic latitudes, but, similar conditions apply in the high, cold, dry stratosphere: ”… significant IR surface cooling-to-space can also occur in the 20 ㎛ “dirty window” (400/cm to 600/cm or 17 to 25 ㎛) …surface cooling-to-space in the 20 ㎛ window is less significant because of strong absorption by water vapour; however, the 20 ㎛ window is semi-transparent in the extremely cold and dry … The lower temperatures also shift the Planck function to longer wavelengths, increasing the impact of the 20 ㎛ window …”
            This heat was brought by ascending water vapour; it can radiate directly to space in the infrared. If there is CO₂-interference at this height, some of the infrared radiation will be re-emitted by CO₂ back downward … but, CO₂ in the atmosphere, below, will, in an equal fashion, absorb and re-emit about half of this radiation back upwards. The “heat trapping” works in the opposite direction, restricting the infrared radiation from penetrating back to the surface. The heat that was brought up by non-radiative effects (latent heat, sensible heat) to the upper troposphere is no longer as strongly affected by greenhouse gas absorption and re-emisson, due to the larger layers of greenhouse gases below this altitude, which, correspondingly, absorb and re-emit back upwards.

            As surface temperature increases, advection and convection of sensible heat is also increased, because “heat rises” … warmer air is less dense, etc. This causes updrafts (and concurrent downdrafts) … which transports water vapour to higher levels … The tropospheric lapse rate causes these updrafts to lower, in temperature, at a rate of about 6½°C per km of altitude gained. This causes condensation … i.e., cloud formation. That reflects shortwave incoming sunshine, which stops the sunshine from ever becoming infrared, thus negating the greenhouse gas absorption entirely.

            Earf atmosphere is not simple physics … but, the effects of greenhouse gas absorption is, simple physics.

          • James Owens

            You don’t seem to understand the basics about the downwelling infrared spectrum or the Feldman et al papers, Cherry Picker
            1. the AERI instruments scan the infrared spectrum from 520 to 3020 cm^-1 (or 3.3 – 19 µm)
            2. realize that shorter wavelengths carry more energy – so this portion of the spectrum carries the bulk of the greenhouse effect’s energy back to the surface
            Remember: E = h c / λ
            3. the instruments cover not only the bulk of the energy: they also cover the key relevant wavelengths for vibration
            They cover molecules such as CO2, methane, ozone, the water vibrations, and the other gases (the rotational water absorption does occur the higher wavelengths). Basics in the Figure
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/327a3d1b3f96992170fc6ccf1f6dcf85773ae8441d17fd099697c53b45ece1e7.jpg

          • Damn Nitpicker

            The AERI system is wonderful.
            Stopping at 19㎛ is probably a detector-limited shortcoming. This system does not “see” the “far infrared” … which carries about half of the infrared emitted by the planet to space.

            ❝the instruments cover not only the majority of the energy (about 70%)❞

            IN which direction? The DLR returning to the surface is not the same spectra that Earf emits to space at the top of the atmosphere.
            Feldman 2014: 46% of Earf radiation to space, occurs in the wavelengths longer than 16㎛.

            Wielicki 2013: The far infrared includes 50% of the Earth’s infrared energy emitted to space and contains most of the Earth’s water vapor greenhouse effect (Mlynczak et al. 2006). As a result, this spectral region dominates the physics of the water vapour feedback in climate…”

            Feldman 2014: ”…transmission between 200/cm [50 ㎛] and [16 ㎛] 630/cm, a spectral range that covers ∼46% of total thermal emission…” (16㎛-50㎛)

            Maestri 2014: ”… the FIR, that comprises wavelengths from 100/cm to 600/cm [100㎛ – 17㎛], is important for understanding of the climate system, because the Earth is a cool object in space and the peak energy from a blackbody at 255 K occurs at [wavelengths longer than 20㎛, or at wavenumber] about 500/cm . They also state that, in clear sky conditions, 35% of the energy escaping to space is at wavenumbers below 500/cm [20㎛] and that the emission comes from the upper Troposphere because the lower Troposphere, over most of the planet, is totally opaque and the surface is obscured.”

          • James Owens

            Glad to see you basically agree with me, Cherry Picker.
            Just note that the emission peak is about 10 µm and begins to rapidly fall – and take note how much actually leaves the top of the atmosphere.
            First, think basic integral calculus – the area under the curve
            Second, I’ve drawn a red vertical line at about 19 µm – the upper atmosphere spectrum if there were not interaction with the greenhouse gases would be the intermediate moderate blue line.
            So stick to the 19 µm and not various wiggles around it
            Hope this helps you a bit
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/66513f0e8ca608ccc16914c0b34cab5785977b313b02891bcb74fd3032f2ebf5.jpg

          • Damn Nitpicker

            The water vapour continuum dominates the cooling of the lower troposphere. The cooling of the middle and upper troposphere is primarily from the water vapour rotational band (15㎛-100㎛ far-infrared). (Liou 1981 An Introduction to Atmospheric Radiation, 4.8, pg 109) … your unattributed, plagiarized chart seems to be from the surface … the curves shift with the lapse rate.

            Merrelli 2012: ”An important aspect of FIR emission is the fact that the relative intensity of the blackbody curve is more strongly peaked in the FIR for cold atmospheric temperatures. Coupled with the fact that the water vapor absorption is stronger in the FIR relative to the MIR leading to higher altitude weighting functions, the majority of the upper atmosphere cooling to space occurs in the FIR region.

            ”… the spectral cooling rate… show a strong maximum in spectral cooling in the FIR wavelengths, through the mid and upper troposphere, from water vapor emission lines. ”

            What’s that mean, James? What does it mean, “show a strong maximum in spectral cooling in the FIR wavelengths, through the mid and upper troposphere” Doesn’t that MAXIMUM differ from yours?

          • James Owens

            You seem to be getting awfully frustrated, Cherry Picker
            Again, the key is that major portion of the downwelling IR is covered by the AERI instrument and, most importantly, the vibrational interactions are covered for the greenhouse gases. The primary contributor in the far infrared is the rotational interaction with water.
            So the AERI instrument, its use by Feldman et al, and the conclusions Feldman et al are valid: for CO2 and methane, their downwelling emission has increased as humans have increased their concentrations – that is the greenhouse effect and the warming of earth’s climate have increased – we have a direct link between the greenhouse gases and AGW

          • Damn Nitpicker

            A carefully crafted counterfactual spectra could reveal ANY signal, from an observed flat line. I could create anything … a heartbeat, for example. That doesn’t mean that there really was a heartbeat, imbedded or hidden in that observed flat line … it just means that the heartbeat was inverted in counterfactual spectra subtracted from that flat line.

          • James Owens

            You are blowing way too smoke this evening, Cherry Picker
            Just making up whatever suits you to try and to argue against the science
            Again, if you think they are wrong … as I noted in a previous comment … the normal scientific practice is
            a) publish your own data and calculations or
            b) write a comment to the original journal noting the problems and issues with a paper.
            However, do be aware, that either path will involve a review of the scientific quality and merit of any submission (and probably a quick look at your credentials)

          • Damn Nitpicker

            ❝we have a direct link between the greenhouse gases and AGW❞

            That’s the missing portion, James! Tell me, what is this link?

            ❝the greenhouse effect and the warming of earth’s climate have increased❞

            Wait, is that it? That’s the best you have, that both, have increased?

            Condom usage has increased, and has the same general shape as the greenhouse ‘forcing’ James. Does condom usage cause AGW?

          • James Owens

            Poor Cherry Picker, the basics are that 1) our greenhouse gas emissions 2) have increased the greenhouse effect 3) thereby warming the earth’s climate system
            Now, there’s no doubt on #1. Evidence for the increased levels is in analytical chemistry, and the same chemistry and basic economic accounting shows the human sources.
            And there’s no doubt on #3. The increases in ocean heat content, the surface temps, the lower troposphere temps, the loss of glaciers and ice caps, and the sea level rise – the combination of thermal expansion and ice loss
            So now that connecting #2. We know the downwelling IR has increased and know it has 3 sources: increased greenhouse gases, the increased radiation as temperatures have risen, and increased water vapor as those temps have risen.
            It’s simply an interplay of feedbacks driven by the increase in greenhouse gases from human emissions.
            So if you want to continue to play the fool and deny and pound sand – yes, I’ll help you and watch

          • Damn Nitpicker

            When asked for detail, James, … responding with “basics” … in your own hand, no quotations, citations or even URLs …
            Is inappropriate.

          • James Owens

            Simple basics and facts, Cherry Picker
            I have presented the details, etc., to you in numerous other comments
            So go ahead and continue to pound your denier sand

          • Damn Nitpicker

            And so, there remains, no observational evidence linking Mannkind’s CO₂ emissions, with planetary warming.
            … as usual, James, when challenged, you usually say that you already provided that information, and walk away.

          • James Owens

            Lot’s of observational evidence, Cherry Picker
            Links are solid, that’s why scientists continue to say we humans are causing the warming and that there are no viable alternatives – such as in the National Climate Report and lot’s out there in the scientific journals on attribution, etc.
            Have provided that for you numerous times
            You refuse to accept those basic facts
            So continue to uselessly pound your denier sand

          • Damn Nitpicker

            Four digit numbers are not citations, James. Lists of chapters, are not evidence, James.
            Linkages in the data are solid, but none provide observational evidence of Mannkind’s emissions causing planetary warming.

            I’ve been through the previous National state of the climate report … It, or they, conflate multiple symptoms (that are evidence of warming) with evidence of the cause of the warming.

            It is a tad bit warmer, out there. That’s a fact. That is one, solitary fact. Ice melting is not an additional item, it is just a symptom of it being a tad bit warmer. Steric sea level rise is not an additional item, it i just a manifestation of what happens when it is a tad bit warmer, out there. Plant hardiness zones that move poleward, are not new items, they are just symptoms of warming. Stringing together a series of items, that are evidence of warming, is not “multiple lines of evidence” it is multiple occurrences of warming … just one thing: warming. Evidence of warming does not implicate any particular cause of the warming.

            Just as I said, James. You write “have provided that for you numerous times” but, you have never provided observational evidence of Mannkind’s emissions causing planetary warming. No one has, James. Feldman doesn’t even attempt to do so.

            Scientists continue to say we humans are causing the warming because they are convinced by the computer models, James. I’m not. Just because scientists are fooled by models, and then they make proclamations, does not mean that they have observational evidence of Mannkind’s emissions causing planetary warming. It just means that they believe the models.

          • James Owens

            The observations and the data are there, Cherry Picker
            Thousands of scientific papers
            And so realize, more every year, and many appear in the AMS State of the Climate summaries
            And yes, with Feldman there is direct observational evidence for the increase in downwelling IR from both CO2 and methane. Others have noted an overall increase in downwelling IR
            Again, this is why the scientists conclude:

            This assessment concludes, based on extensive evidence,
            that it is extremely likely that human
            activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of
            the observed warming since the mid-20th century.
            For the warming over the last century, there is
            no convincing alternative explanation supported by the extent of the observational
            evidence.

            And the scientists also note that extremely likely
            is 95-100%

          • Damn Nitpicker

            Measured quantities of (1) Greenhouse gases. Granted
            (2) Have increased the greenhouse effect … Well, some have claimed so. Their evidence is thin, and dodgey. Connect the dots on your (2) Enhanced greenhouse effect and (3) warming the planetary system (with observational evidence). In small regions, DLR can be tied to warming, but, the warming causes more clouds, which stop the warming. So, you lack the connection from (2) to (3). At best, James, you might have correlation, but no signs of causation.
            “Correlation is a necessary, but not sufficient condition, for a causal relationship.” J Munshi

            Barnard 1982: “That correlation, is not causation, is perhaps the first thing that must be said.”

            Barnard, G. A. 1982 ”Causation.” Encyclopedia of Statistical Sciences, John Wiley, New York

            In response to warmer sea-surface temperatures, there is more convection, which increases cloud cover, which reduces the short-wave sunshine that caused the sea-surface temperatures to rise in the first place.

            Bayr 2018: ”The weakening of the zonal winds in Niño4 in response to warmer SSTs during El Niño is caused by more convection in Niño4, which in turn increases the cloud cover and reduces the SW flux there …” Bayr, Tobias, et al. 2018 “Mean-State Dependence of ENSO atmospheric feedbacks and ENSO dynamics in climate models.” EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts

            Also, the aforementioned Ramanathan & Collins 1991: ”Observations made during the 1987 El Niño show that in the upper range of sea surface temperatures, the greenhouse effect increases with surface temperature at a rate which exceeds the rate at which radiation is being emitted from the surface. In response to this ‘super greenhouse effect’, highly reflective cirrus clouds are produced which act like a thermostat shielding the ocean from solar radiation.”

          • James Owens

            Again, how greenhouse gases operate to produce radiative transfer is well known.
            Their spectral fingerprints in the earth’s atmosphere are clear, including the CO2, methane, ozone, nitrous oxide, CFCs, etc
            The concentration increases are simply chemical analyses
            The amount of heat these concentrations will retain in the are easily calculated (those Watts per m^2)
            Feldman et al have measured that increase for CO2 and methane
            So this short synopsis is why scientists link those greenhouse gas increases from human emissions to the observed increase in the heat content of earth’s climate system.
            And if you want to deny the basic operation of the laws of physics and chemistry and deny the scientific observations – well, OK

          • Damn Nitpicker

            Another string of word turds, James. You alliterate the obvious, and then

            ❝So this short synopsis is why scientists link those greenhouse gas increases from human emissions to the observed increase in the heat content of earth’s climate system.❞

            which happens to be the missing link. Real-world observations show that Earf reacts to the increased “forcing”
            Stevens & Bony 2013:”Recent research also shows that clouds directly mediate the response of the atmosphere to an external forcing, and they do so on time scales as short as a few hours.¹⁸”

            Stevens, Bjorn & Bony, Sandrine 2013. “Waterin the atmosphere.” Physics Today [“Water in the atmosphere.”]
            Here, James, it is YOU who sit on the science denier seat.

          • Popcorn Joe

            Nitpicker… 3 hours ago on another thread which then closed the comments, in a reply to me you wrote this BS, > (An individual CO₂ molecule will only stay in the atmosphere about 5 to 8 years “).

            I cannot reply to you there Nitpicker but will here and say you write some really stupid stuff about the subject of global warming but that one tops the list.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            Huffington post, as the source of your “science”?

            You don’t read well, Joe. Even in the quote you proffered, “A molecule of carbon dioxide can persist in the atmosphere for centuries. -Much of the carbon…” The key to reading, Joe, is to learn that words mean things. The meaning of the word, ‘can’ is different that the meaning of the word, ‘will’ … The Huff post blog article did not say, A molecule of carbon dioxide will persist in the atmosphere for centuries. The use of the word, ‘can’ expresses a likelihood of less than 100%, while the substitution of the word, ‘will’ (in place of can) implies a strict 100% compliance.
            The amount of CO₂ in the atmosphere is directly related to the balance of CO₂ sources, and CO₂ sinks. If the sinks exceed the sources, CO₂ levels go down. Vice versa, they go up.
            It has little to do with atmospheric residence time. Look Joe, cold oceanic waters absorb CO₂ by dozens of gigatonnes, annually. Warmer waters outgass CO₂ by the dozens of gigatonnes. These two fluxes of CO₂ going into, and out of the ocean, are imbalanced by a small 2.2% — which is negligible, in this circumstance … so for almost every CO₂ molecule, freshly absorbed into the ocean from the atmosphere, another emitted into the atmosphere by warm ocean waters. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f46d754fb83bb4e5586e33438a24961544f398cc46371de877bcf3f542056256.jpg This EXCHANGES CO₂ molecules, rather regularly, but since it is nearly in balance, it does not affect the total accumulation of CO₂ in the atmosphere (much). Just as the example of gambling with a mix of coin-dollars and paper-dollars spelled out by David. Let’s make it more extreme. A man has $150 in coin-dollars. He enters a gambling saloon, and plays cards for twelve hours, against people who have only paper dollars. The man wins some hands, and loses some hands … each time, exchanging money. At the end of the night, the man walks out with $150 … the same dollar value that he entered the saloon with. However, when he went in, he had 150 dollar coins. When he left, he had a significant number of paper dollars. In this analogy, the $150 represents the atmospheric CO₂ concentration level. It remans the same. The coin-vs-paper dollar exchange, however, shows the effect of the short residence time of individual CO₂ molecules.

            The “bomb spike” put lots and lots of ¹⁴C into the atmosphere. According you your Huffington post logic, the pumped-up ¹⁴C levels should still be present! However, they aren’t. Observational data shows that ¹⁴C has returned to (near) normal levels, and the time it took to return to (near) normal levels, calculates out to about five to fifteen years that any one, individual CO₂ molecule, stays in the atmosphere. BTW, the rest of the ¹⁴C was incorporated into the ocean and land plants, each of which, on average also emitted a non-radiocarbon isotope.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            Look Joe, cold oceanic waters absorb CO₂ by dozens of gigatonnes, annually. Warmer waters outgass CO₂ by the dozens of gigatonnes. These two fluxes of CO₂ going into, and out of the ocean, are imbalanced by a small 2.2% — which is negligible, in this circumstance … so for almost every CO₂ molecule, freshly absorbed into the ocean from the atmosphere, another emitted into the atmosphere by warm ocean waters. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f46d754fb83bb4e5586e33438a24961544f398cc46371de877bcf3f542056256.jpg This EXCHANGES CO₂ molecules, rather regularly, but since it is nearly in balance, it does not affect the total accumulation of CO₂ in the atmosphere (much). Just as the example of gambling with a mix of coin-dollars and paper-dollars spelled out by David. Let’s make it more extreme. A man has $150 in coin-dollars. He enters a gambling saloon, and plays cards for twelve hours, against people who have only paper dollars. The man wins some hands, and loses some hands … each time, exchanging money. At the end of the night, the man walks out with $150 … the same dollar value that he entered the saloon with. However, when he went in, he had 150 dollar coins. When he left, he had a significant number of paper dollars. In this analogy, the $150 represents the atmospheric CO₂ concentration level. It remans the same. The coin-vs-paper dollar exchange, however, shows the effect of the short residence time of individual CO₂ molecules.

          • Popcorn Joe

            Nitpicker… That is all soooo interesting and useless information when discussing what is causing human caused global warming, AGW.

            Nitpicker all of that BS has NOTHING whatsoever to do with the CO2 emitted daily all around the world from burning coal, natural gas and petroleum.

            It does not matter to us if the CO2 entering and exiting the oceans of the world are almost carbon neutral.

            What matters NITPICKER; is the DAILY increase of CO2 in the ATMOSPHERE from human activity which reduces the window openings of IR heat exiting into outer space.

            The more CO2 in the atmosphere, the smaller the window and the higher the surface temperature of the planet which caused global warming which has now reached the point of being very dangerous for life.

            Your rambling BS Nitpicker is designed to create confusion and create some slight shadow of doubt in people’s minds that global warming is not caused by the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere… So essentially Nitpicker, yo are a dangerous con artist, a liar and a very dangerous person.

            You are a loose criminal who hasn’t been arrested and charged of attempted genocide of all life on Earth, and you know full well what you are doing Nitpicker…. Your day will come.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            Joe, this is all in rebuttal to your BS claim

            ❝… you wrote this BS, > (An individual CO₂ molecule will only stay in the atmosphere about 5 to 8 years “).❞

            It isn’t BS, and I have demonstrated that.

            ❝… has NOTHING whatsoever to do with the CO2 emitted daily all around the world from burning coal, natural gas and petroleum.❞

            Exactly. It has everything to do with your idiocy in confusing residence time with atmospheric concentration levels, and your stupid conflation of Huffington Post with actual science.

            You have now gone off on a rant, that is separate from my rebuttal.

            ❝You say when a molecule of CO2 is absorbed it is replaced by another CO2 molecule, so emitting CO2 is carbon neutral… If that were true, the CO2 level would never rise nitpicker… It does rise however.❞

            I asserted no such “carbon neutrality” … You, however, again show your lack of understanding of the two different concepts, of residence time with atmospheric concentration levels.

          • Popcorn Joe

            Nitpicker,, you wrote, > (“It isn’t BS, and I have demonstrated that.”).

            YOUR demonstrations do not override the science which is published in the science article I posted which rebuts everything you wrote about the CO2 Nitpicker… Try writing about something you are educated about, maybe how to make a pet rock.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            That Huff Po is not a ‘science article’.

          • Popcorn Joe

            Yes it is Nitpicker… Science articles can be published in Journal Science, a newspaper, a magazine, a web blog, or even on a toilet wall.

            That Huffington Post article I linked for your educational benefit quoted the science and the scientist Dr. Cara Augustenborg.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            ❝That Huffington Post article I linked for your educational benefit quoted the science and the scientist Dr. Cara Augustenborg.❞

            It’s an opinion piece. Said pHd is a self-proclaimed “Climate Communicator by passion” — A “media pundit” i.e., Journalist. “An Irish-American environmental scientist, climate change lecturer, writer and activist based in Ireland”
            http://www.caraaugustenborg.com
            It did not quote Dr. Dr. Cara Augustenborg, it was written by her.

            That would be an educational detriment

            There is no science quoted, in that Huff Po blog entry.
            She quoted another blog, Climate Central’s Brian Kahn; a pithy sentence fragment from a science paper by Hansen, and Bill McKibben from a 2007 Washington Post article.
            Hansen 2008: “…to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted” is not science.

          • Popcorn Joe

            Nitpicker,,, she didn’t offer any opinion about the CO2 can stay in the atmosphere for centuries… All honest climatologists say the same thing.

            Some CO2 molecules are consumed by plant life, some enter the ocean, some stay in the atmosphere for days, weeks, months, years, decades and or eons.

            What you wrote on that subject is more of your dishonest BS.

            Hey NP,,, I have answered far enough of your worthless disinformation this week and you have become an annoyance… I have other idiots to argue with about AGW, you aren’t the only one who spreads lies on the net.

            So I’m gonna just let you spout off to your heart’s content and block you for awhile so I don’t have to see your BS every day… Rave on NIt Piccker.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            I appreciate your enthusiasm, Joe. It would be nice, though, if your opinions had some factual basis.

          • Popcorn Joe

            And your opinions are factual Nitpicker… Right…. Btw, I posted citations to back up my comments.

          • Popcorn Joe

            Nitpicler; just stop the lying and con games… We are not stupid… Here is a great example of your crazy BS… You say she quote a 2007 paper by Dr. Hansen So?

            Then you quote a sentence Hansen spoke in 2008 to show all of what Hansen says or writes isn’t science… You are not just a Dam Nitpicker = Nitpicker, you are nuts.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            It is true that the Hansen 2008 paper was a real science paper.
            But, the Huff Po blog quoted only a small sentence fragment. That sentence fragment brought no ‘science’ with it.

            To be sure, James Hansen writes a lot of science. He also writes his opinions into his scientific papers. One small sentence fragment from Hansen’ts 2008 paper did not bring any “science” into the Huff Po blog.

          • Popcorn Joe

            BS Nitpicker… Now you are lying and trying to discredit me with lies.

            You wrote, > (“I asserted no such “carbon neutrality” … You, however, again show your lack of understanding of the two different concepts”).

            Liar… Today you wrote, > (“so for almost every CO₂ molecule, freshly absorbed into the ocean from the atmosphere, another emitted into the atmosphere by warm ocean waters.”)…. That is (*almost Carbon Neutral*) Nitpicker.

            So don’t say I don’t understand the science… I do understand the science and I also understand that you are a lying con artist.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            Joe, I don’t need to discredit you. You do that yourself, when you post.

          • Popcorn Joe

            You may write all the BS you desire Nitpicker but anyone who is honest and intelligent who may read our comments, will know you have lost every argument… So it is you who had discredited yourself.

          • Damn Nitpicker
          • James Owens

            More kindergarten insults, Cherry Picker
            Usually a sign of anger from failure
            Yep, directly measured downwelling IR and specific wavelengths for CO2 and methane.
            Now, in that directly measured downwelling – three basic slices of the pie:
            1. Temperature increase from past years of greenhouse warming (remember, the background emission curve shifts slightly and grows as the temperature rises)
            2. increase from added water vapor as the atmosphere warms
            3. Those added greenhouse gases
            Yes, as everyone knows, better understanding clouds and aerosols are the key to reducing most of the remaining uncertainty. Example for total forcings with uncertainty would be the IPCC back in 2013. Figure 8.15 Clouds and aerosols are the larger blue bars with large uncertainty
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/334a8a02593f78b60ed174d7c3f4dadd259dfd6314e7d2a52fa32fc8cfff9b55.png

          • Damn Nitpicker

            Nice graphics you plagiarized, James. However, they also fall short, as your last post did, in that they make no connection between observed warming, and Mannkind’s emissions. Enumerating “forcings” does not connect “forcings” to planetary warming. Again, James, you’re (apparently) relying upon correlation to show causation. That doesn’t work, James.

            Observed warming (which, in my opinion, is still exaggerated) as claimed by Roemmich 2015, is still about ½W/㎡, yet your plagiarized, unattributed graphic suggests Mannkind is causing more than 2W/㎡

            … and, the fudge factor to equalize them all?

            because …

            AEROSOLS!!!.

            Lean 2018: ”Anthropogenic forcing, in particular the aerosol component, is poorly known (Kahn, 2012; Schwartz et al., 2007; Smith & Bond, 2014).”

            Conveniently, this poorly known collection of “forcings” just happens to add up — just the amount of fudge factor that is needed.

          • James Owens

            Poor, poor Cherry Picker … sigh
            You introduced the subject with a point about forcing
            Real-world observations show that Earf reacts to the increased “forcing”
            I replied and cited the IPCC AR5 report Figure 8.15, noting the large uncertainties with clouds and aerosols.
            So no clearly plagiarization – where did that informed accusation of yours come from????
            And different forcings, including aerosols, are designed to add into an overall total. Which they do.
            Now it seems you’ve seriously confused all of this by trying to directly extrapolate into the overall global energy balance
            But remember, there is a gradual increase in the outgoing longwave radiation in response to the human forcings
            So that there is only a smaller imbalance – the actual heat gain of the earth’s climate system remains.
            That remainder is the 0.5-0.6 Watts per m^2 of Roemmich and many others
            So I hope that I’ve helped educate you a bit, Cherry Picker
            And I accept your apologies for your mistake in saying that I plagiarized something

          • Damn Nitpicker

            ❝gradual increase in the outgoing longwave radiation in response to the human forcings

            Objection! The prosecutor is asserting “facts” not in evidence. There is, in fact, a gradual increase in OLR … but the OLR increase is a result of T⁴ emissions … Temperature increased, which increase OLR. ONLY theory differentiates this into components attributed to sources. There is no observational evidence of this OLR allocation into various accused gases. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c4acdea4bf621a8486a5ae59757a39d9ed38d94cd6d6127006962009639b9719.jpg

            ❝… – the actual heat gain of the earth’s climate system remains. ❞

            Nope. In the example of Ramanathan & Collins 1991, The heat gain from the infrared is offset by the increased albedo of the clouds. Ramanathan & Collins 1991:”Observations made … In response to this ‘super greenhouse effect’, highly reflective cirrus clouds are produced which act like a thermostat shielding the ocean from solar radiation.”

          • Damn Nitpicker

            ❝where did that sadly misinformed accusation of yours come from????❞

            The graphic, itself, is unattributed.
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/334a8a02593f78b60ed174d7c3f4dadd259dfd6314e7d2a52fa32fc8cfff9b55.png
            However, I do apologize, in that your text identified the IPCC. The text is quite acceptable in attributing the chart.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            Read carefully, James.
            1. Feldman subtracts an artificial number from those observations. Errors (or assumptions) in calculating that number, transfer to the resulting output. An observation, from which a computer-model-generated number is subtracted, yields a computer-generated result. It is no longer an observational number.

            How long, or how frequent, the operation, matters little. What matters is how accurate, and stable, the measurements (and atmospheric conditions) are.

            2. Any increase in ‘forcing’ is theoretically supposed to warm, but there are other factors afoot, that mitigate the effects. Feldman makes no claim to a warming caused by his simulated ‘forcings’.

            3. Much of Methane’s “forcing” occurs in wavelengths that are also occupied by water. More so than CO₂ — CO₂ has signifiant unsaturated ‘shoulders’ in the 15㎛ region. Methane does not. Water occludes almost all of the “forcing” generated by Methane. Hence, the ‘clear sky’ conditions.

          • James Owens

            Just more of your useless word salads, Cherry Picker
            Realize your brain mush is going up against world-class scientists.
            1. There aren’t any “artificial” numbers
            2. When you note all the other factors under certain conditions you’ve now done a 180 and justified the use of clear sky conditions data.
            3. yes, they work carefully to separate out the methane and the water – one of the reasons that take water vapor readings throughout the atmospheric column as well as other efforts.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            Just more of your word turds, James.
            Working carefully to separate the water from the Methane, is fine, for their discovery … however, Earf does not separate the water from the Methane. Only a small amount of water in the atmosphere, effectively cancels out the increase in Methane, much as a plant sprout dies under the canopy of a larger tree.

          • James Owens

            Little kindergarten insult don’t faze me, Cherry Picker
            There is no “cancellation” – part of the fine line discovery, let’s see about 85 years ago, with CO2 also applies in large part over to methane:
            Martin & Barker “The infrared absorption spectrum of carbon dioxide” Physical Rev 41:291-303 1932
            Then, remember, water vapor condenses – with altitude less water is the norm – so even if there was “cancellation” the freely mixed CO2 and methane would begin to come into play at higher altitudes.

            Now really – if you do want to challenge Feldman et al, the normal scientific practice is a) publish your own data or b) write a comment to the original journal noting the problems and issues with a paper. However, do be aware, that either path will involve a review of the scientific quality and merit of any submission (and a quick look at your credentials)

          • Damn Nitpicker

            Yes, water condenses … and is replaced by another water molecule. Even in the coldest parts of Antarctica, the water in the atmosphere is never zero…. That “condensing” line is just crap.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3845d0160c33a239ffbb0526f749a73d0046d6ecce9cd13d30677179d8dfbd87.jpg
            CO₂ does not condense, but, it gets absorbed. Rapidly. The average life time of any given CO₂ molecule in the atmosphere is about 5 years. (This was confirmed by the A-bomb tests that filled the atmosphere with a spike of radiocarbon). Just as a water molecule condenses (and perhaps, freezes in place) … other water molecules replace the ones lost. Similarly, on average, for every CO₂ that gets absorbed, another CO₂ is liberated. The act of absorption does not change the average level of atmospheric CO₂ (well, there is the seasonal upswing and downswing in the Keeling curve) … because it is balanced by outgassing and emission. Similarly, the act of condensing does not cause the atmosphere to suddenly dry out … and it is never zero.

          • James Owens

            Just take a breath -there are indeed important distinctions between “condensing” molecules like water and “well-mixed” greenhouse gases. And it’s not following individual molecules, the issue is atmospheric concentrations. So all the word salad on on absorbed molecules and replace molecules is just red herring nonsense.
            Indeed, as I’ve noted a couple of times – Feldman et al go to great lengths to account for water and the ups and downs as its level changes in the atmosphere during their observations. Same with some of the seasonal variations in both CO2 and methane. That’s why their publications are a good example of complete and well executed science.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            I don’t want to challenge Feldman … I want people to stop thinking that Feldman shows something, that even Feldman does not claim.
            Feldman does not claim any planetary warming from his measurements
            Really, Feldman is just doing what Tyndall did, except, Feldman’s atmosphere is not contained in a brass tube. Come to think of it, Tyndall’s work didn’t extend to longer wavelengths, either. Tyndall used Sodium Chloride ‘rock salt’ windows for his tubes, and that limits the useful wavelengths … rock salt becomes uselessly opaque by about 17㎛.

            Feldman’s work could be easily reproduced in a laboratory, based solely upon the atmospheric measurements of Methane … ESRL data would probably work.

            Now, if Feldman took observations now, and subtracted observations from ten years ago, then … we’d have observational evidence.

            Feldman does not hide the fact that the subtraction from the observations is modelled. The name of the model output … “counterfactual spectra” is the exact wording used in Feldman 2015 and Feldman 2018. However, the contents of that “counterfactual spectra” has not been revealed, to my knowledge.

          • James Owens

            Feldman et al simply provide the linkage between the observed increase in atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and methane (by man) and an increase in the greenhouse effect, that is as they wind up in their methane paper:

            as we have shown, CH4 surface radiative forcing trends can be derived from measurements and quantified spectroscopically.Cherry Picker, surface radiative forcing is simply the added Watts per m^2 from the downwelling IR from the greenhouse effect.
            Again, if you want to dispute them, you or others can submit a comment to Nature.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            … and when you add up all the supposed “forcings” and compare them against the estimates, for example, the ocean heat content accumulated, as listed by Dean Roemmich
            Roemmich 2015: ”… ocean heat gain over the 0–2,000 m layer continued at a rate of 0.4–0.6 W/㎡ during 2006–2013.”
            There is a large discrepancy … to which, you will just respond,

            …because, AEROSOLS

            The incredible inaccuracy in all this is unacknowledged …

          • James Owens

            You’ve connected this comment to literally nothing, Cherry Picker.
            Yes, the overall estimates of the heat gain from AGW are consistent with the observed gain in the ocean heat content – and since ~93% of the AGW heat ends up in the oceans, it should.
            Besides Roemmich et al Nature Climate Change 5:240–245 2015
            There’s the comparison by Cheng et al Science Adv vol3 e1601545 2017
            The yellow line is the imbalance estimate over the time period multiplied by 0.93 and dashed lines are the 95% confidence intervals
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/419613f9cc7a6694fb2436b51bec74cd66abb99505a9195c7cbc1d1a7ed9d148.png

          • Damn Nitpicker

            1 how would you describe Feldman’s “counterfactual spectra”?

          • James Owens

            Cherry Picker, as I’ve noted for you several times – Feldman et al go to great lengths to deal with variations of the CO2, methane, and water concentrations and to ensure they can separate out the different spectral lines of the different molecules.
            The counterfactual spectra is just one step in that process and is proof of their sophistication and expertise in spectroscopy.
            To try to put this in lay terms – yes, the signal is noisy and it takes a good deal of effort and a hihg level of technical expertise to separate out the methane and the water signals

          • Damn Nitpicker

            James, show me exactly where, in our exchanged disqus commentary, several times where you noted “Feldman et al go to great lengths to deal with variations of the CO2, methane, and water concentrations and to ensure they can separate out the different spectral lines of the different molecules. “ to me.

            You haven’t.

            You just make that stuff up.

            Just like most “facts” and figures you spout up without references.

          • James Owens

            Don’t go over the edge in your anger, Cherry Picker
            Noted several times how they were careful to separate out the methane and the water signals
            And we’re still talking same paper(s) we have been for most of the day.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/64e5ab8331d32c958511404e3e39151294791210410c52e3a32d7e3fb7e7e384.jpg

            ❝It’s not natural forces increasing the temps, the ocean heat content, melting glaciers and ice caps, etc – it’s human greenhouse gas emissions.❞

            So it is said, but there is no observational evidence linking the planet’s warming with the CO₂ emissions of Mannkind. NONE.

          • James Owens

            Mountains of observational evidence, Cherry Picker
            Despite all your efforts to obscure, twist, and misinform – AGW is real and is causing the observed warming.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            This is truly tiring, James. Just saying that there are “Mountains of observational evidence” does not produce even a single page. Just claiming that they exist, does not make it so.

          • James Owens

            Yes, you are very tiresome in your denial, Cherry Picker
            But remember, the periodic reports that summarize all the data – think and take a look at those summaries and their citations and read up on the evidence
            Example, the recall the IPCC updates its assessment, mainly using the most recent studies.
            So take the IPCC AR5 physical sciences volume from late 2013, look at the references and the publication years.
            Recall, that the previous AR4 was released in 2007 – so let’s look at nine years and the year that the papers were published
            2005….381 citations
            2006….576 citations
            2007….854 citations
            2008….987 citations
            2009….1191 citations
            2010….1300 citations
            2011….1313 citations
            2012….1264 citations
            2013….659 citations
            That’s a total of 8,525 citations – now I would expect a few duplications among the chapters – but it’s a huge body of evidence across many fields coming together.
            So lay your illusions and delusions to rest and start reading.

          • Damn Nitpicker

            ❝the periodic reports that summarize all the data – think at look at their citations❞

            You’re implying that the number (not the content) of the publications signifies the ‘correctness’ of YOUR assertion. Yet, none of the observational evidence, showing that Mannkind’s emissions of CO₂ causes planetary warming, have surfaced.
            James, the vast majority of those citations are papers that deal with reporting what their tinker-toy climate models said. 2005 through 2013, if any had discovered such observational evidence, it would be proudly proclaimed in Lean’s 2018 paper that I cited, earlier.
            It isn’t.
            None is.

          • James Owens

            You poor deluded soul – simply look at the AR 5 Table of Contents
            There’s only a single chapter dealing with models (Chapter 9)
            Then all the observations and data on the current climate, plus chapters on paleoclimate work and sea level
            Several later chapters involve the attribution (no it’s not the sun, yes it is human greenhouse gases) and updates of future scenarios
            Again, huge number of basic observations – and that was back in 2013!
            Chapter 1 Introduction 119
            Chapter 2 Observations: Atmosphere and Surface 159
            Chapter 3 Observations: Ocean 255
            Chapter 4 Observations: Cryosphere 317
            Chapter 5 Information from Paleoclimate Archives 383
            Chapter 6 Carbon and Other Biogeochemical Cycles 465
            Chapter 7 Clouds and Aerosols 571
            Chapter 8 Anthropogenic and Natural Radiative Forcing 659
            Chapter 9 Evaluation of Climate Models 741
            Chapter 10 Detection and Attribution of Climate Change: from Global to Regional 867
            Chapter 11 Near-term Climate Change: Projections and Predictability 953
            Chapter 12 Long-term Climate Change: Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility 1029
            Chapter 13 Sea Level Change 1137
            Chapter 14 Climate Phenomena and their Relevance for Future Regional Climate Change 1217

    • Bridging the gap

      That is awkward reasoning. You complete ignore the indirect impact of agriculture and other forms of land use on the biosphere. I am sorry to say, but you have not understood the message you trying to criticize.

      • 9.8m/ss

        It’s not reasoning at all. Three square feet of ground can’t support a chipmunk, much less a human.

    • Popcorn Joe

      Wrong BBQ, first, only guys fart… Secondly you are always wrong.

    • Popcorn Joe

      The truth is BBQman… Human activity of burning coal, natural gas and petroleum, has raises the atmospheric CO2 level from 280ppm to near 407ppn in just a 138 years.

      That has now created a very dangerous situation of rapid dying ocean life because of warming ocean waters… The green plants that live in our ocean waters’ produce most of the necessary oxygen almost all life needs to live.

      When those ocean plants have died by near 60%, which is not for long now, human life will die by 100%… So it has now become a rather serious issue.

      Now that you have been informed about that pending global disaster BBQ, I am sure you will agree and start preaching to your large choir the truth of AGW.

      • Damn Nitpicker

        ❝When those ocean plants have died by near 60%❞

        Most (80%) of the Oxygen we breathe, comes from those ocean plants. Mostly, GREEN phytoplankton. IF 60% have died off, then we’d have (0.6•0.8)=0.48 about 48% reduction in our Oxygen supply.
        Don’t you think, we would have noticed that, by now?

        • Popcorn Joe

          Nit Picker… I did not say it has happened yet… Get some professional help to try and cure your serious reading comprehension disability… Never mind, that won’t help you stupidity.

    • Popcorn Joe

      Heyyyy BBQman,, how the heck are ya today? Hey BBQ, I just something for the first time that you wrote and what you wrote is incorrect.

      You wrote this, > (“Besides, CO2 is a byproduct of a warming earth, not the cause, CO2 always LAGs temperature changes.”)… Oops, that is a AGW denier’s rumor, started by what scientists read from ice core samples in Antarctica.

      The problem with their initial findings was the CO2 samples in the ice cores they dug up were CO2 in the immediate area of Antarctica, not global CO2… So it didn’t prove CO2 lags temperature.

      On the contrary, what we have seen since humans can read global CO2 samples daily, we know for sure that CO2 LEADS the planet’s surface temperature…

  • Bridging the gap

    I do recomend people reading the original. It easy accessible and understandable.

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ImaGeo

ImaGeo is a visual blog focusing on the intersection of imagery, imagination and Earth. It focuses on spectacular visuals related to the science of our planet, with an emphasis (although not an exclusive one) on the unfolding Anthropocene Epoch.

About Tom Yulsman

Tom Yulsman is Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also continues to work as a science and environmental journalist with more than 30 years of experience producing content for major publications. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Audubon, Climate Central, Columbia Journalism Review, Discover, Nieman Reports, and many other publications. He has held a variety of editorial positions over the years, including a stint as editor-in-chief of Earth magazine. Yulsman has written one book: Origins: the Quest for Our Cosmic Roots, published by the Institute of Physics in 2003.

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