[Coral-List] Pseudoscience

Ulf Erlingsson ceo at lindorm.com
Wed Nov 7 08:31:42 EST 2012

Doug: It's all very well that you present arguments and data, but it gets tiring to read when you start with a long paragraph attacking the messenger. You are not helping your argument when you do that....


On 2012-11-06, at 22:11, Douglas Fenner wrote:

> *your post gives no calculations to show how the 0.64C figure was derived,
> nor any empirical evidence that it is true.
> *it is not true that the amount of infrared which CO2 absorbs in saturating
> with increasing concentrations of CO2, as revealed by modern scientific
> studies.
> First, in your post after the quote from Arrhenius from page 267, there is
> a statement about what this means.  It says that the temperature change
> would only be 0.64 C.  I assume that since that section isn't in quotes,
> that it does not come from the Arrhenius paper.  Where does it come from?
> Can you show us how that number is calculated?  What empirical evidence
> shows that is correct?  Or is that just something that was included in this
> piece that you copied off some political website (or a friend sent you),
> for which there is no documentation or evidence?  Why should we accept it
> without evidence?  You're just the messenger?  Ask Arrhenius?  He's long
> dead, though the person who wrote this is probably very much alive.  Should
> we accept whatever your friends send you, without being critical, like you
> seem to?
> This comes under one of the headings of the standard (ie, frequently
> repeated) arguments which climate change deniers make.  On the Skeptical
> Science website (http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php), it is
> listed as number 73 (out of 173 listed).  Titled "CO2 effect is
> saturated."  The short version of the reply is "If the CO2 effect was
> saturated, adding more CO2 should add no additional greenhouse effect.
> However, satellite and surface measurements observe an enhanced greenhouse
> effect at the wavelengths that CO2 absorb energy. This is empirical proof
> that the CO2 effect is not saturated."  There is a longer more technical
> explanation given lower on this page, copied from the same page of
> Skeptical Science.
>  Arrhenius did point out that without the warming effect of natural levels
> of CO2, earth would be too cold for life.
>    I notice that "it's the sun" is listed as skeptic argument number 2,
> both you and more recently Bill Raymond have used that argument.  Number 76
> is the "CO2 is just a trace gas" which is your recent statement that there
> is only a tiny amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.  I think they need to
> update number 5, though, the latest I heard on the news was that mid-year
> last year to mid-year this year was the hottest year on record ever.  So
> much for "global warming has stopped," an argument I seem to remember you
> using.  Any one interested in the "sun" or "trace gas" arguments might take
> a look at the pages of Skeptical Science explaining why those are not valid
> arguments.
> Anyhow, so this is one of the 173 standard arguments that climate change
> deniers make over and over, no matter how many times they have all been
> disproved, to convince the public that doesn't know better that humans
> aren't causing global warming or other climate change, in spite of the
> massive amount of evidence that humans are now the main cause of climate
> change.  Or at least to sow enough doubt in the public's mind that there is
> no support for doing anything about it (the stated goal of the fossil fuel
> industry).  A propaganda effort that has been amazingly successful, since
> the actual facts are complicated enough that the general public doesn't
> understand them, and can be easily misled.  Misled by some of the same
> people who claimed tobacco doesn't cause cancer.
> The relevance to coral reefs comes in number 61, "corals are resilient to
> bleaching."
> Cheers,  Doug
> The long explanation given on the same web page as the short explanation
> (and feel free to follow the link in the third sentence to the Nature paper
> that it is based on):
> If the CO2 effect is saturated, adding more CO2 should add no additional
> greenhouse effect. However, observations continue to find an enhanced
> greenhouse effect as CO2 levels rise. The paper Increases in greenhouse
> forcing inferred from the outgoing longwave radiation spectra of the Earth
> in 1970 and 1997 (Harries
> 2001)<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v410/n6826/abs/410355a0.html>attempts
> to find out. In 1970, NASA launched the IRIS satellite that
> measured infrared spectra between 400 cm-1 to 1600 cm-1. In 1996, the
> Japanese Space Agency launched the IMG satellite which recorded similar
> observations. Harries 2001 compared both sets of data to discern any
> changes in outgoing radiation over the 26 year period. The resultant change
> in outgoing radiation was as follows:
> *Figure 1: Change in spectrum from 1970 to 1996 due to trace gases.
> 'Brightness temperature' indicates equivalent blackbody temperature (Harries
> 2001 <http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v410/n6826/abs/410355a0.html>).*
> What they found was a drop in outgoing radiation at the wavelength bands
> that greenhouse gases such as CO2 and methane (CH4) absorb energy. The
> change in outgoing radiation over CO2 bands was consistent with theoretical
> expectations. Thus the paper found "direct experimental evidence for a
> significant increase in the Earth's greenhouse effect".
> This result has been confirmed by subsequent papers using the latest
> satellite data. Griggs
> 2004<http://rose.bris.ac.uk/dspace/bitstream/1983/999/1/paper.pdf>compares
> the 1970 and 1997 spectra with additional satellite data from the
> NASA AIRS satellite launched in 2003. Chen
> 2007<http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=>extends
> this analysis to 2006 using data from the AURA satellite launched
> in 2004. Both papers found the observed differences in CO2 bands matched
> the expected changes based on rising CO2 levels. Thus we have empirical
> evidence that increased CO2 is preventing longwave radiation from escaping
> out to space.
> Measurements of downward longwave radiation
> What happens to longwave radiation that gets absorbed by greenhouse gases?
> The energy heats the atmosphere which in turn re-radiates longwave
> radiation. This re-radiated energy goes in all directions. Some of it makes
> its way back to the surface of the earth. Hence we expect to find
> increasing downward longwave radiation as CO2 levels increase.
> Philipona 2004 <http://www.agu.org/journals/ABS/2004/2003GL018765.shtml>finds
> that this is indeed the case - that downward longwave radiation is
> increasing due to an enhanced greenhouse effect. Evans
> 2006<http://ams.confex.com/ams/Annual2006/techprogram/paper_100737.htm>takes
> this analysis further. By analysing high resolution spectral data,
> the increase in downward radiation can be quantitatively attributed to each
> of several anthropogenic gases. The results lead the authors to conclude
> that "this experimental data should effectively end the argument by
> skeptics that no experimental evidence exists for the connection between
> greenhouse gas increases in the atmosphere and global warming."
> So we have multiple lines of empirical evidence for an enhanced CO2
> greenhouse effect. Satellite measurements confirm that less longwave
> radiation is escaping to space. Surface measurements detect increased
> longwave radiation returning back to Earth at wavelengths matching
> increased CO2 warming. And of course the result of this energy imbalance
> is the accumulation of heat over the last 40
> years<http://www.skepticalscience.com/How-do-we-know-global-warming-is-still-happening.html>
> ..
> On Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 4:31 AM, Eugene Shinn <eshinn at marine.usf.edu> wrote:
>> Dear Douglas, There may be a problem with item 3 of your posting, You
>> said,  "CO2 absorbs infrared radiation (a physical fact not in
>> dispute), the more of it is in the atmosphere, the more it heats the
>> earth." That statement wrong.  The whole business of CO2 being a
>> greenhouse gas started with  Arrhenius 1896, (Arrhenius, Svente,
>> 1896, On the Influence of Carbonic Acid upon the Temperature of the
>> Ground: The London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophic Magazine and
>> Journal of Science, fifth series, p. 267.)
>> Arrhenius started this debate with his original work on atmospheric
>> gases, but he placed a constraint upon the contention that increasing
>> CO2 concentration causes greatly increased temperature:
>> "Thus if the quantity of carbonic acid increases in geometric
>> progression, the augmentation of the temperature will increase nearly
>> in arithmetic progression." (p. 267)
>> This statement simply argues that if "carbonic acid" levels were to
>> double from today's value, the temperature change would be 0.64 C in
>> a dry atmosphere, and 0.22 C in the real, wet, atmosphere. Thus,
>> there would be no significant effect of doubling CO2 on temperature
>> from the present concentration of nearly 400 ppm.
>> To recap, if the present concentration of CO2 was only 100 ppm, the
>> effect of doubling would be significant, but at 400 ppm, the effect,
>> logarithmically declining, is insignificant.
>> Again I am just the messenger. This information was sent to me last
>> week. If you disagree take it up with Arrhenius.  Gene
>> --
>> No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
>> ------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
>> E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
>> University of South Florida
>> College of Marine Science Room 221A
>> 140 Seventh Avenue South
>> St. Petersburg, FL 33701
>> <eshinn at marine.usf.edu>
>> Tel 727 553-1158----------------------------------
>> -----------------------------------
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> Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA
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