Once upon a time I was worried about the climate. Genuinely concerned. Now I'm not. The recent El Niño is a big part of this. Beginning in late 2015, peaking in early 2016, it has now dissipated. El Niño is an ocean current effect, poorly understood. We don't ultimately know what causes such ocean currents to behave as they do. The effect on atmosphere is to concentrate ocean heat in a particular Pacific ocean area. This heat is given up to the atmosphere. If can effectively increase the average surface temperature of the atmosphere by 0.6°C. What it did in 2015/2016. That's where the global warming spikes (1998, 2016) come from:
Beginning from a low at about [temp anomaly = +0.22°C ] in late 2015, the temperature of surface air peaked in Feb 2016 [temp anomaly = +0.84°C ]. By Dec 2016 it was down to +0.23°C. Jan 2017 sees the anomaly at +0.3°C. Within a few months (February to December) all the heat gained was lost. The average temperature at the earth's surface dropped by 0.61°C. This showed that earth's atmosphere does not hold heat well, even with its GHG effect. That puts a nail in the coffin of catastrophic global warming. It indicates the greenhouse effect of CO2 is unlikely to count for much. If the greenhouse blanket can't hold 0.6°C for less than one year, it has no chance of regularly accumulating heat as the climate models tell us it should. It may seem to you, dear reader than doubling CO2 from pre-industrial times (~ 280 ppm in 1750 to 560 ppm sometime later this century) adds a lot more greenhouse gas (GHG). Not really. Because each addition of GHG causes less 'warming' (there no actual warming - there is a blanket effect) than the previous one. W.r.t. CO2, the first 20ppm (20 parts per million) in the atmosphere is responsible for over half the CO2 GHG effect. After that the GHG effect tails off logarithmically. By the time it gets to 400ppm (where it is now) another CO2 doubling will contribute only 6% more to the CO2 GHG blanket. The GHG (water and CO2 combined) warms the surface air to about 33°C above what it would otherwise be. No GHG = -18°C. With GHG (water + CO2) = 15°C.
CO2 is responsible for between 25% and 40% of the GHG effect (The so-called 'settled science' can't even decide upon that). A doubling (CO2 from 280ppm to 560ppm) will only add 0.15°C to the GHG blanket effect of CO2 in theory.
Where did that El Niño heat go?
Simple answer: it was radiated out to space. That's the only place it can go. Heat from the atmosphere cannot warm the earth by any measurable amount. There is just no mechanism for that to happen. In the climate: the sun warms the earth and oceans. The oceans warm the air by evaporative cooling and radiative warming. The warm air cools as it dissipates heat to outer space (as infra red emission). We just saw that warm air cooling, in 2016, by a whole 0.6°C in less than a year.
- that the atmosphere has little capacity to store heat.
- that when the atmosphere gets warmer it quickly loses the heat to outer space by radiative emission of IR.
- that future additions of CO2, GHG will have a minimal effect upon the GHG blanket effect.
CO2 is not 'pollution'
Meanwhile all that CO2 added to the atmosphere is accelerating world-wide plant growth and helping to make arid areas greener. Because CO2 is plant food. Because higher CO2 concentrations mean plants keep stomata open for less time, so respire less, and lose less water to the air. So more CO2 means plants can grow with slightly less water. Making plants grow better in arid areas.
More CO2 is a boon to nature. If you love nature, you should love CO2. All animals, including humans should love nature; it's in our nature to.
CO2 is not pollution. It is an essential compound upon which the tree of life on earth rests
What's been causing global warming?
(1) Surely I don't 'deny' global warming?
Of course not. I accept what the thermometers tell us.
Note: The preference by NOAA for land-based temperature monitoring. Their refusal to accept the satellite evidence which is the only comprehensive atmospheric surface temperature record. Land-based stations are subject to a number of error sources. Typical errors include the 'urban heat island effect'. This means the temperature monitoring stations are located close to where scientists work. Scientists live near other people. People living in towns, cities and even villages tend to warm our houses, and use heat. When we measure temperature close to us it will be warmer than more isolated locations. But more isolated locations are the norm. 95% of earth's surface is populated by only 5% of the population. 5% of the earth's surface is populated by 95% of the population. NOAA need to stop collecting data from badly sited weather stations. They need to stop interpolating data where there are no weather stations. That is also known as making data up.
Here (below) is a temperature record for the last hundred years.
(2) So what's causing the warming?
WTF, why should I know, or care what's causing the warming? What caused the global warming from 1909 to 1944? Scientists, climate or not, can't tell us. They do not agree. If climatologists can't tell us what caused the warming from 1909 to 1944, why should they expect me to believe them about 1976 to 1998? I know, for a fact, that the 1998 spike was El Niño. I know it quickly dissipated. I know the heat for El Niño comes from the ocean. That's all I'm willing to say about 1976-1998. I have no idea what caused global cooling from the mid-1940's to mid-1970's either.
I recall about 10 years ago the president of the UK Royal Meteorological Society said something like
"It must be carbon dioxide because I can’t think what else it could be"That is not actually a scientific statement. It's not something any scientist should have any truck with. Sadly I can no longer find this quote on the web. It looks like it's been cleaned. So obsessed are our global warming friends with cleansing the historical record.
Another issue I have with climate 'scientists'
Most scientists are happy to explain their work to the public. Climate scientists seem eager to keep the public dumbed down. By not debating their critics. By not explaining the science. CO2 is supposed to cause global warming by a blanket effect.
The earth radiates infrared heat into space. Atmospheric CO2 molecules intercept the outbound IR and re-emit. Reemission happens in any direction. The CO2 molecule has the sky above, ground below and sky at its sides. So instead on ONLY heading off into space the IR bounces about in the atmosphere a bit before finally leaving earth. This absorption and re-emission of IR is supposed to, one day, cause the temperature of the atmosphere (at ground surface) to increase by 3°C or, as previously some climate scientists claimed, by up to 10°C !).Yet the recent El Niño showed the atmosphere radiating so much extra heat to outer space that the surface air cooled by 0.6°C in 10 months. So now we have some idea of just how long IR will bounce about to blanket the earth before heading off into space. No where near enough time to raise the temperature of the atmosphere by 10°C or even 3°C. It currently can't even raise the temperature 0.6C for any length of time. Additional CO2 contributes only marginally to a warmer blanket due to the logarithmic falloff in the effectiveness of CO2 GHG.
I still don't know how long, on average, a CO2 molecule can hold extra energy before it re-emits the IR. This seems like top secret stuff. Fit for only climate scientists to discuss. I have low trust for people who are contemptuous of me. I trust climate scientists about as much as drug dealers, used car salesmen or financial advisors. Not very much at all. Now we see global warming and climate change hysteria for what it is: a busted flush, as deal offered by a conman.
Perhaps El Niño heat dissipated into the rest of the atmosphere?
The problem with this notion is that the rest of the atmosphere is cooler than the surface. If the El Niño heat gets to the rest of the atmosphere (above the surface) it's on its way out to space anyhow, but faster as there tends to be little water vapour above the troposphere since it precipitates out due to the cold.
Anyhow: this is changing the subject. Alarmists promised us 3°C per doubling of CO2. That was never on. All this based on modeling. Models never properly validated against reality. Because climate models are complex and one can only easily validate simple models against reality. Models where you change one variable and know what to expect as a result.