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Comment: Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (Score 1) 497

Again though, I was talking about radiative forcing, which measures the actual amount of net energy being added or removed from the Earth. This is measured directly and we know the increase in the greenhouse effect is dwarfing the natural variation (solar irradiance and albedo) because we can directly measure the net energy gained or lost.

This really is not open for any significant debate and is a settled science. We know that CO2 is causing global warming because we know that it is adding energy to the atmosphere at a rate that dwarfs any observed natural variations.

Climate sensitivity actually has absolutely nothing to do with the sources and degrees of radiative forcing. It is only useful in local models of warming (i.e. change in net temperature of some part of the earth, not change in net energy levels).

So, if you want to know how much the cities of the earth are going to heat up on average by 2100 assuming a certain buildup of CO2, climate sensitivity is important, but it is irrelevant to the question of what is driving the warming.

Comment: Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (Score 1) 497

That is simply how scientists write. In science, every statement is pretty much a working theory and subject to refutation, whether it be the theory of gravity or the conclusion that CO2 is the prime driver of global warming.

It is easy to criticize any science, because no scientific endeavor, by its very nature, can ever reach 100% certainty.

But ultimately, all those criticisms are meaningless unless you can actually propose a better, alternative theory. Show me strong evidence of any driving source of radiative forcing that is of a higher magnitude than the increase in the greenhouse effect. Saying "there could be an alternate explanation" is meaningless unless you are actually willing to put your cards on the table, create an actual alternate theory, and open it for criticism.

You basically want to have your cake and eat it too. It's like the evolution deniers saying, "well God could have done it." Well, actually show how God did it and you may have a right to criticize. Until then, your criticisms are meaningless because you are not putting forward your own theory to be tested and criticized.

Comment: Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (Score 1) 497

The data does not support your conclusion. The survey did not ask "has human activity become the predominant factor in global warming?"

But there is plenty of data to suggest that actual climatologists believe that. It is right there in the IPCC report. When the Bush Administration asked the National Academy of Sciences to review climate change and the IPCC's conclusions (and keep in mind, the panel would be made up of the best American scientists in their relevant field), they concluded that the IPCC report was an extremely accurate summary of the science as it existed at the time the review was conducted.

Comment: Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (Score 1) 497

No, we know how much heat CO2 traps based on direct measurement, just like we know how much heat reaches earth from the sun. The error bars are reasonably small because these are direct measurements, not inferred values.

Not only can we determine how much radiative forcing CO2 will add via controlled lab experiments, we can directly measure the amount to confirm that our lab-generated models are correct. In terms of known sources of radiative forcing, the accuracy of CO2 values is probably only behind the accuracy of solar irradiance. This is not complicated at all. It is all basic undergraduate thermodynamics.

I agree that climate sensitivity is a more complicated, more controversial subject, because we can only measure it indirectly and there are a lot of factors inherent in it that are difficult to quantify. However, as I originally stated, climate sensitivity is irrelevant to figuring out the DRIVING energy behind global warming. It is only relevant to predicting future warming of individual climates with accuracy.

Comment: Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (Score 1) 497

You are moving the goalposts. You cannot deny that there is a strong scientific consensus that human activity has become the dominant driver behind global climate change so you are now attempting to change the subject from the cause of global warming to the effects.

Also, it should be noted that this particular survey was of scientists in general, not people who actively study the causes or effects of global warming. The scientific consensus among experts in the field is that the effects will become increasingly severe and that the IPCC report is an accurate model of the effects based on our current best understanding of the science.

Comment: Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (Score 1) 497

I know exactly what climate sensitivity means. It is (radiative forcing)=(climate sensitivity)*(change in temperature). Radiative forcing and temperature changes are something we measure DIRECTLY. Climate sensitivity is something we INFER. Climate sensitivity does not affect radiative forcing of CO2 because we can measure this directly, both in the lab and by using satellites.

Climate sensitivity does not affect radiative forcing of CO2. The radiative forcing of CO2 is a measurement of how much energy a kilogram of CO2 is trapping (redirecting groundward rather than allowing to reach space). This is a well-known, non-controversial, and precisely measured number. The climate sensitivity has zero effect on radiative forcing.

Climate sensitivity is the response of the lower atmosphere (or any other local climate) to radiative forcing. Radiative forcing causes climate, not the other way around.

  From the IPCC report: "Radiative forcing is a measure of the influence a factor has in altering the balance of incoming and outgoing energy in the Earth-atmosphere system and is an index of the importance of the factor as a potential climate change mechanism. In this report radiative forcing values are for changes relative to preindustrial conditions defined at 1750 and are expressed in Watts per square meter (W/m2)."

Radiative forcing is something that we can measure directly and it is not affected by climate sensitivity. We know how much energy comes from the sun and we know how much energy a kilogram of CO2 traps. Repeatedly stating that we cannot measure this just shows you do not understand what radiative forcing is.

Climate sensitivity is the coefficient which governs the RESPONSE to radiative forcing in terms of temperature change. Unlike radiative forcing, sensitivity is something we cannot measure directly and must INFER based on the temperature change caused by adding energy.

Again, I will repeat my analogy, because you do not seem to understand the difference.

I cannot measure the specific heat of a liquid directly, but what I can do is heat it on a stove. I can measure exactly how much energy the stove is adding, which is analogous to radiative forcing. We know this number. There is no significant scientific controversy, because we can use satellites to measure exactly how much extra energy CO2 is trapping. By measuring how quickly the liquid heats up in response to radiative forcing of the stove, I can infer the specific heat, just like scientists can infer the climate sensitivity from seeing how quickly the troposphere heats up when we add a trillion Joules of energy.

Comment: Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (Score 1) 497

1. You keep misusing the definition of climate sensitivity. The amount of energy added to the atmosphere by the greenhouse effect is a very well-known quantity and it has absolutely nothing to do with climate sensitivity. Rather, it is called radiative forcing. This is basic undergraduate thermodynamics. There is no "climate sensitivity" involved.

2. Climate sensitivity is how much the temperature will change in a certain part of the climate in response to the net change in energy equilibrium in the atmosphere. It has nothing to do with this discussion, despite your repeated attempts to use it. This discussion purely is related to the net change in energy of the Earth-sun system. Not the net change in temperature of a certain part of the Earth.

3. We know that there are only three major factors that affect the net thermal energy of the Earth and we know that the non greenhouse effect factors are pretty close to flat in relation to greenhouse gasses. Claiming that there is some mysterious fourth force that explains the net change in energy is really just a pathetic attempt at denialism. In physics, it is called "not even wrong", because there is no way to disprove it. You might as well say that global warming is caused by invisible faerie farts. It is just unscientific.

You either have the data or you do not have the data. If you do not have the data (which you obviously don't), then you have no argument because you have no valid theory.

4. I'm not going to explain cherry picked temperature data, because it is irrelevant to the discussion.

5. Oceanographers believe that the amounts of heat absorbed and released by the oceans play a strong role in year-to-year variations of climate. It is very likely that during La Niña years, the oceans are absorbing a lot of the heat. It is also important to remember that the sun goes through natural cycles, which is ultimately where a lot of the noise probably comes from. Even though these natural cycles have become overwhelmed by CO2, they are still strong enough to create a lot of noise (i.e. year-to-year peaks and valleys). The amount of CO2 we add on a year-by-year basis creates less radiative forcing than the natural fluctuations of solar irradiance. However, in the long term (the century-to-century data), CO2 dominates and overwhelms solar fluctuations.

Comment: Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (Score 1) 497

The 97% number, within a reasonable margin of error, has been evidenced by a lot more than 2 studies.

Meteorologists are not climate scientists and most do not study climate change, so I am unsure what the consensus of meteorologists has to do with the consensus among those who actively research climate change.

Also, even if the number were only (91%), I would call it an "overwhelming" consensus, as per the definition of overwhelming [very great amount]. 95% or higher is probably best described as unanimous.

Comment: Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (Score 1) 497

We can measure to a pretty high degree of certainty how much net energy the greenhouse effect adds to the earth. We also know, to a very high degree of certainty, how much net energy a metric ton of CO2 increases the greenhouse effect by.

This is simple thermodynamics.

The "little ice age" was not a global, long-term temperature change. As far as we know, it was a local phenomena. We simply do not have accurate data for that period. It is irrelevant to the discussion as we do not have any good records of the three main radiative forcing factors from that period.

The rest of your questions represent further irrelevant cherry picking of noise out of the overall warming trend.

We know that the "natural factors" are not driving warming because no natural factors exist that can explain the warming. As per my original statement, there are only three major factors that can add or remove net energy from the Earth and we know that neither solar irradience nor albedo is responsible because the net change in radiative forcing from those factors is dwarfed by the net change in the greenhouse effect since we began careful monitoring around the late 1800's.

And we know that the major increase in the greenhouse effect's radiative forcing is drive by the buildup of CO2, and we know the buildup is due to human industry because we know how much extra CO2 we add to the atmosphere every year.

The noise in the trend is caused either by a temporary aberration in one of the three major sources of radiative forcing, or it is caused by changes in how the energy on earth is distributed (like, for instances, how much atmospheric heat is being absorbed by the oceans). None of these have any long-term effect on the warming trend, because they are not actually adding or removing heat from the earth. They are only moving heat from one part of the earth to another.

The short answer is, noise is absolutely irrelevant. You might as well ask why it's so cold in January in Alaska when the average temperature of the Earth's lower atmosphere is a balmy 61 degrees.

You keep talking about "natural factors", but you cannot provide any actual evidence of current sources of increased radiative forcing over the past 100 years which are on the same net energy level as the increase in the greenhouse effect. Either show the amount of Joules added by these unnamed "natural factors" over the past 100 years or concede that there is no evidence for their existence.

Comment: Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (Score 1) 497

Again, you do not need to factor in "climate sensitivity" to determine what is responsible for net changes in radiative forcing.

It is like taking a fluid and putting it on the stove. You can put a thermometer in and figure out whether or not the fluid is warming. If the fluid is warming, then the fluid must be gaining net energy.

You measure how much net energy is gained or lost to the environment and you measure how much net energy is being added or removed by the stove. You don't have to know the sensitivity of the fluid to temperature change (i.e. specific heat) to figure out that the stove is the dominant factor in heating up the fluid.

It is exactly the same with Earth's atmosphere. There are a lot of factors which effect sensitivity (i.e. how much adding one Joule of energy to the Earth will heat up the lower atmosphere). There are not a lot of major factors that effect net energy gain or loss.

You can figure out what is driving the temperature change without figuring out the details of the internal workings of the system.

Comment: Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (Score 1) 497

I understand perfectly. Climate sensitivity is just completely irrelevant to my thesis, which was about the driving force behind climate change (i.e. what is actually adding or removing net energy from the Earth).

Predicting the mean temperature increase of the lower atmosphere is a much more complicated subject which is irrelevant to what I was discussing.

You see but you do not observe. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes"