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Discussion > Water Vapour and TPW

The global warming from a radiative imbalance due to increased greenhouses gases equivalent to a doubling of CO2, the usual measure of climate sensitivity, is estimated to be around 1.1C. However scientists predict that this warming will be amplified by positive feedbacks, the main one being the enhanced greenhouse effect due to there being more water vapour in the atmosphere, all things being equal warmer air can hold more water vapour. Despite the fact that this effect has already been observed and reported in a paper which concluded.

The existence of a strong and positive water-vapor feedback means that projected business-as-usual greenhouse-gas emissions over the next century are virtually guaranteed to produce warming of several degrees Celsius. The only way that will not happen is if a strong, negative, and currently unknown feedback is discovered somewhere in our climate system.

some sources maintain that increased atmospheric water vapour has not yet been observed, for example 'Champion of Science' Matt Ridley in his recent GWPF lecture. So it is useful to see a presentation at the forthcoming AGU meeting will be on the topic of total precipitable water (TPW) and summarises the data thusly:

A time-series analysis utilizing a Loess decomposition filter indicated there is a clear upward trend in the RSS TPW data since 1988. The observed total change over the period is ~ 1.5 kg/m^2, centered around the long-term mean of 28.7 kg/m^2. Utilizing the observed relationship between water content and atmospheric absorption, the RSS TPW data indicates an increase in downwelling longwave radiation of 3.3 W/m2 over the period 1988 – 2015.

Source.

Nov 3, 2016 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, all attempts to look for mistakes in Climate Science consensus thinking should be welcomed as climate science cannot admit to making mistakes, even when others point them out.

Your first paragraph assumes a few assumptions are correct, and quotes a presumably (temporary internet glitch so not accessed by me) Peer Reviewed article as proof. As you are aware, I am not convinced by peer reviewed climate science articles, and look forward to further comment on the article at WUWT.

Climate Sensitivity does seem to be at the core of many failed climate science assumptions, and climate science isn't keen to investigate.

Nov 3, 2016 at 3:04 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The poster abstract to be presented by Tony and Willis has the forcing from increased water vapour a lot higher than the mainstream estimate,

Nov 3, 2016 at 4:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, thank you for the explanation. Does that mean CO2 is not as critical as a forcing in climate sensitivity calculations?

Nov 3, 2016 at 5:38 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

No, increased CO2, and other GHGs is driving the warming, higher water vapour is an amplifying feedback.

And the thesis is wrong anyway.

Nov 3, 2016 at 6:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, so you and the Consensus of Climate Science's best brains, had already made up your mind when you posted the thread , inviting discussion.

Don't you ever stop to consider where Climate Science is going wrong?

Nov 3, 2016 at 6:24 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age which followed it are to be central battlegrounds. If they existed, and the overwhelming evidence - historical, literary, and scientific - is that they did, then the warming of recent years (up until 1998) was nothing to do with man. Michael Mann's famous, erroneous hockey-stick graph attempted to do away with them; when that is at length shown to be false, others will take its place, and they will die a death of a thousand fudges and 'redefinitions' in the IPCC reports. Eventually the plan is to claim that, due to the incomplete picture of the temperature of the past, the MWP and LIA cannot be shown to have happened all over the world in the same period. Or just to fiddle the data to do away with them.

2nd October 2003. 1065125462. The Science Correspondent of the Sunday Telegraph dares question the Mann-Jones paper in Geophysical Research Letters on "Global surface temperatures over the past two millennia":

'When the paper came out, some critics argued that the paper actually showed that there have been three periods in the last 2000 years which were warmer than today (one just prior to AD 700, one just after, and one just prior to AD 1000). They also claimed that the paper could only conclude that current temperatures were warmer if one compared the proxy data with other data sets. ...

I'd be very interested to include your rebuttals to these arguments in the piece I'm doing. I must admit to being confused by why proxy data should be compared to instrumental data for the last part of the data-set. Shouldn't the comparison be a consistent one throughout?

With many thanks for your patience with this

His thanks are premature. The great Mann has no patience:

Owing to pressures on my time, I will not be able to respond to any further inquiries from you. Given your extremely poor past record of reporting on climate change issues, however, I will leave you with some final words. Professional journalists I am used to dealing with do not rely upon un-peer-reviewed claims off internet sites for their sources of information. They rely instead on peer-reviewed scientific research, and mainstream, rather than fringe, scientific opinion.

I call this rude. But by this point the inner gang are rude, tetchy and lordly even to those on their own side. In March 2004 a scientist called Chick Keller sends out a request ('REQUEST FOR INFORMATION ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND HUMAN ATTRIBUTIONS') for help with a presentation where he will be debating a skeptic 1079108576:

'Their main point is that their counter information hangs together into a logically coherent picture.

Models: no real finger print that distinguishes AGHG forcings from others! Models using AGHG forcings predict warming is function of latitude yet the Arctic is hardly warming (north of ~^65°N), and high latitude Antarctic (excepting for the peninsula) is actually cooling slightly. ...

Models predict that any surface warming will be seen in the troposphere. Since UAH satellite reduction shows no such warming--1. models are wrong and/or no warming at surface just lousy observations. 2. If no warming at surface in last 30 years AGHG forcing predictions by models is incorrect probably due to poor cloud/water vapor modeling ...

[And on and on, several other cogent points]

... Soooo, it still ain't all that easy to convince an audience ... AND keep in mind that increased CO2 is good for us--more agriculture, etc. Nope it just ain't that easy. So any information--graphics, etc on these issues will be greatly appreciated.'

Tom Crowley snaps:

'For goodness sakes, I don't know where to start ... enough, this is like trying to convert someone with one religion to another.' Indeed.

Someone called Richard (Somerville, I think) has tried to be more helpful to poor Chick in his work trying to proselytize among the heathens, but isn't really - in fact is downright demoralizing as far as I can see, telling him he won't really get anywhere by trying to make sense of the facts:

' I respectfully disagree with you that hammering away on reconciling the MSU data with radiosonde and surface data is the right way to go ... Even though much of the differences may now be apparently explained, it's still a terribly messy job. The satellite system wasn't designed to measure tropospheric temperatures, the calibration and orbital decay and retrieval algorithm and all the other technical issues are ugly, and nobody knows how much the lower stratospheric cooling ought to have infected the upper troposphere ... No matter what one does on trying to make the MSU data tell us a clean story, there are remaining serious uncertainties... I certainly don't think the issue of whether anthropogenic influences are a serious concern should be settled by looking at any single data set.'

Did you get that? Instead he recommends simply depending on the ex cathedra pronouncements recently made by two scientific societies, the strongness of which he says have surprised even him. He says there is a 'scientific consensus' which 'cannot be refuted or disproved by attacking any single data set'.

Do you, if you are someone coming new to this, understand the implications of that? Do you see the point they have reached? No matter what is disproved on the data, the theory goes rolling majestically on - because we say so. It simply cannot be refuted or disproved.

This is a recurring and appalling leitmotif: the data doesn't matter. (See also the words of a British Met Office man down below, and... etcetera and etcetera.)

I certainly don't think the issue of whether anthropogenic influences are a serious concern should be settled by looking at any single data set.

It cannot be refuted or disproved by attacking any single data set.

I know unicorns exist because

A) We find hoofprints.
B) I found a horn. You can't see it, unfortunately, I threw it out by mistake, but trust me.
C) Only virgins can see them, so the dearth of reliable sightings fits perfectly when you factor in youth promiscuity.

Terrible sacrifices must be enacted to the unicorns or they will kill us all with their magic powers. Which can do anything.

You can't attack me on A because I still have B and C, and you can't attack me on B because I still have A and blah blah blah. If you try to you are wicked and are putting the world in jeopardy. You must have been bribed and are callously irresponsible about the risk of the unicorns wiping us out.

If anyone questions this, don't get bogged down in facts, just refer them to the recent definitive pronouncement by the Unicorn-Hunters' Federation.

There's more: he believes that the many things they don't know, the fact that they can prove so little, actually strengthen their case.

'I also think people need to come to understand that the scientific uncertainties work both ways.' Like a proud boast, like a stirring declaration of principles, like a political leader setting out his stall at a conference in a rousing peroration, he declares: 'We don't understand cloud feedbacks. We don't understand air-sea interactions. We don't understand aerosol indirect effects. The list is long.' Then: 'It is just as likely a priori that a poorly understood bit of physics might be a positive as a negative feedback.'

Might. Might. Just as likely. Might.

It cannot be refuted or disproved by...

Time and again one wants to yell: listen to yourselves. Listen to yourselves, and try to remember the scientific principles you were presumably taught in college, and look at what's become of you.

Plaintively Richard (Somerville?) goes on to muse, 'I have often wondered how our medical colleagues manage to escape the trap of having their entire science dismissed because there are uncured diseases and other remaining uncertainties. Maybe we can learn from the physicians.'

What? What? What? I don't know where to begin. How is that remotely comparable? Maybe the physicians can learn from you. 'The patient is getting better, his temperature has dropped.' 'Nonsense. Don't believe it. According to my models he should be close to death. Really I cannot explain what is going on but unless he gives me huge amounts of money and avoids car and plane travel for the foreseeable future the consequences will be fatal.'

Richard winds up by saying, 'People on airplanes, when they find out what I do for a living, usually ask me if I "believe in" global warming.'

I bet they bloody do. And if just one of these bastards could stay off a plane for one single year, I might start to believe - not in their theory, but that they actually, honestly, deep down believed it.

http://michaelkelly.artofeurope.com/cru.htm

Nov 4, 2016 at 2:41 AM | Unregistered Commenterclipe

Edit

'I also think people need to come to understand that the scientific uncertainties work both ways.' Like a proud boast, like a stirring declaration of principles, like a political leader setting out his stall at a conference in a rousing peroration, he declares: 'We don't understand cloud feedbacks. We don't understand air-sea interactions. We don't understand aerosol indirect effects. The list is long.' Then: 'It is just as likely a priori that a poorly understood bit of physics might be a positive as a negative feedback.'

Nov 4, 2016 at 3:26 AM | Unregistered Commenterclipe

virtually guaranteed

By people who are virtually scientists.

"...virtually guaranteed to produce warming of several degrees Celsius." is the utterance of an activist.

or a fool.

Nov 4, 2016 at 2:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat