Are climate skeptics right that there is no link between CO2 levels and temperature?

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Offline jeffreyH

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Let's not forget carbon trading schemes. The new capitalist currency.
Fixation on the Einstein papers is a good definition of OCD.

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Offline puppypower

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One thing that is not addresses is the good side of global warming. For one thing, a warmer earth will mean more water in the atmosphere and therefore more purified drinking water; rain, for the growing world populations. Warming also means longer growing seasons, which when combined with higher CO2 means more food production to feed the higher world populations. It also means new land may open, providing more space for the world's growing population. New land can also make it easier to find natural resources to feed the industry that will be needed to support a growing population.

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Offline alancalverd

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Let's not forget carbon trading schemes. The new capitalist currency.
Wonderful stuff, which has allowed Iceland to import smokestack industries it never had before.
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Offline DanJonesOcean

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Follow-up:

The "Skeptical Science" website has a great explanation of why CO2 lags temperature in paleoclimate data. 

"When the Earth comes out of an ice age, the warming is not initiated by CO2 but by changes in the Earth's orbit. The warming causes the oceans to release CO2. The CO2 amplifies the warming and mixes through the atmosphere, spreading warming throughout the planet. So CO2 causes warming AND rising temperature causes CO2 rise.  Overall, about 90% of the global warming occurs after the CO2 increase."

To put it another way, the fact that CO2 has lagged temperature in paleoclimate data *does not* alter the argument for human-driven climate change.  It's still true that more CO2 in the atmosphere --> more energy at Earth's surface.  There's no way around the greenhouse effect. 

Also from Skeptical Science:
"To claim that the CO2 lag disproves the warming effect of CO2 displays a lack of understanding of the processes that drive Milankovitch cycles. A review of the peer reviewed research into past periods of deglaciation tells us several things:

- Deglaciation is not initiated by CO2 but by orbital cycles
- CO2 amplifies the warming which cannot be explained by orbital cycles alone
- CO2 spreads warming throughout the planet

Overall, more than 90% of the glacial-interglacial warming occurs after the atmospheric CO2 increase"

Since I can't post links, you'll have to google the full piece yourself, unfortunately!

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Offline Bored chemist

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One thing that is not addresses is the good side of global warming. For one thing, a warmer earth will mean more water in the atmosphere and therefore more purified drinking water; rain, for the growing world populations. Warming also means longer growing seasons, which when combined with higher CO2 means more food production to feed the higher world populations. It also means new land may open, providing more space for the world's growing population. New land can also make it easier to find natural resources to feed the industry that will be needed to support a growing population.

Or, then again, we could consider what actually hapens in the real world.
http://www.fwi.co.uk/news/thousands-of-livestock-now-feared-dead-in-floods.htm
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Offline Tim the Plumber

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One thing that is not addresses is the good side of global warming. For one thing, a warmer earth will mean more water in the atmosphere and therefore more purified drinking water; rain, for the growing world populations. Warming also means longer growing seasons, which when combined with higher CO2 means more food production to feed the higher world populations. It also means new land may open, providing more space for the world's growing population. New land can also make it easier to find natural resources to feed the industry that will be needed to support a growing population.

Or, then again, we could consider what actually hapens in the real world.
http://www.fwi.co.uk/news/thousands-of-livestock-now-feared-dead-in-floods.htm

Are you saying that the amount of flooding there has been in the 21st century has been above the expected norm?

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Offline alancalverd

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Or, then again, we could consider what actually hapens in the real world.
http://www.fwi.co.uk/news/thousands-of-livestock-now-feared-dead-in-floods.htm
Interesting statistic, and worth putting in context.

2000 sheep dead or missing. There are 22,000,000 sheep in the UK, and we eat about one third of them each year, so the number killed or missing in floods roughly equals the number we would eat in 2 hours.

Tough luck on individual small farmers (the sheep would have been killed anyway) but big deal? I think not.
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Offline Bored chemist

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One thing that is not addresses is the good side of global warming. For one thing, a warmer earth will mean more water in the atmosphere and therefore more purified drinking water; rain, for the growing world populations. Warming also means longer growing seasons, which when combined with higher CO2 means more food production to feed the higher world populations. It also means new land may open, providing more space for the world's growing population. New land can also make it easier to find natural resources to feed the industry that will be needed to support a growing population.

Or, then again, we could consider what actually hapens in the real world.
http://www.fwi.co.uk/news/thousands-of-livestock-now-feared-dead-in-floods.htm

Are you saying that the amount of flooding there has been in the 21st century has been above the expected norm?
Yes, and I'm not alone in saying that.
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Offline Bored chemist

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Or, then again, we could consider what actually hapens in the real world.
http://www.fwi.co.uk/news/thousands-of-livestock-now-feared-dead-in-floods.htm
Interesting statistic, and worth putting in context.

2000 sheep dead or missing. There are 22,000,000 sheep in the UK, and we eat about one third of them each year, so the number killed or missing in floods roughly equals the number we would eat in 2 hours.

Tough luck on individual small farmers (the sheep would have been killed anyway) but big deal? I think not.
Your point is valid to the extent that sheep are the only things affected.
That's not a very big extent.
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Offline Tim the Plumber

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One thing that is not addresses is the good side of global warming. For one thing, a warmer earth will mean more water in the atmosphere and therefore more purified drinking water; rain, for the growing world populations. Warming also means longer growing seasons, which when combined with higher CO2 means more food production to feed the higher world populations. It also means new land may open, providing more space for the world's growing population. New land can also make it easier to find natural resources to feed the industry that will be needed to support a growing population.

Or, then again, we could consider what actually hapens in the real world.
http://www.fwi.co.uk/news/thousands-of-livestock-now-feared-dead-in-floods.htm

Are you saying that the amount of flooding there has been in the 21st century has been above the expected norm?
Yes, and I'm not alone in saying that.
I was under the impression that there had in fact been less such extreme weather events recently. Certainly around the world.

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Offline Bored chemist

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I was under the impression that there had in fact been less such extreme weather events recently. Certainly around the world.

That's an interesting  impression.
It's not clear that you got it from the real world- where this sort of thing happens
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/aug/11/extreme-weather-common-blocking-patterns
So, perhaps you could let us know hoe you came to that  belief?

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Offline Jolly

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Offline edvinpaus

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And while we are at it, lets do some actual numbers on this claim " You must have missed something. Using nothing more than two square meters of parabolic mirrors, the gentleman in the video was able to turn a large, solid metal bolt into molten lava in just a few seconds. At that rate, you could easily produce a gallon of molten lava per hour. Sorry, but if you can power a train cross country with a couple of guys shoveling coal into a chute by hand, you could certainly power a standard home for a day with the steam produced by several gallons of molten metal."

OK I really don't think there's anything I can have missed here.
You say (twice) they are using two square metres of mirrors.
Well, that can't collect more power than falls on two square metres.
So that's two times the solar constant
which is 2 m^2 times 1.35 KW/m^2
which is 2.7 KW


And then there's your second unsupported claim there
"you could certainly power a standard home for a day with the steam produced by several gallons of molten metal"
That sounds more credible, but it's no great challenge to run the numbers.
Lets assume you are using an imperial gallon, rather than the smaller US gallon.
That's about 4.5 litres and you say "several"
Well, that's not very scientific, but lets pick a number and say 10, which I think is generous.
So that's 45 litres of "metal".
Again, I'm going to have to make an assumption or two here- firstly that the metal is steel and secondly that the heat of fusion of steel is comparable with that for iron.
So 45 litres of steel is (measured near room temp- which introduces an error- but it's in your favour) is about 350kg
And, the data from here
newbielink:http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/fusion-heat-metals-d_1266.html [nonactive]
tells me that it takes 272 KJ to melt each Kg of metal
So that's about 100,000 KJ of energy.
Sounds a lot.
Now lets also consider a 1 bar electric fire
That's 1KJ per second or about 85000 KJ per day.
But that's hardly going to heat your home.
To do that you need the sort of boiler they use for central heating.
This sort of thing
newbielink:https://www.mrcentralheating.co.uk/boilers/boilers-by-type/combi-boilers/35kw-42kw [nonactive]
And it seems tha a typical boiler draws something like 30 KW
Which is about 25 times more energy each day than is needed to melt ten buckets of steel.

So, while I have no doubt that you were "certain", it doesn't detract from the fact that you are wrong.

And what really galls me is that I'd much rather be pointing out that the climate change deniers are the ones who can't do basic maths.
Why don't you try not talking nonsense? Then they won't be able to say "but the people who believe in climate change can't do basic physics".
And I think that's going to make more difference to the debate than randomly TYPING in all CAPS.
Also, please look up the meaning of the word "literally" because this
"When you eat, your body literally uses combustion. " is just plain ignorant.



Just a point about energy needed to heat an average home. Most people on this planet don't have three to four bedroom homes, which is what anything above newbielink:https://hasslefreeboilers.com/vaillant-831-plus-31kw-combi-boiler/ [nonactive]for. Most people don't event have a newbielink:https://hasslefreeboilers.com/combi-boiler/ [nonactive] which is what's indicated below, but heat themselves by burning fossil fuels. You can't even roughly estimate how much each human per average uses energy.


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Offline alancalverd

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As far as atmospheric CO2 is concerned, there is no difference between fossil fuel and biomass. There are plenty of authoritative estimates of global human consumption of artificial (i.e non-food) energy and it works out at about 1.5 kW per capita, nearly all from the oxidation of carbon compounds.

"Extreme weather" depends on how you measure it. A growing population with increasing expectations of security, is living in increasingly marginal land, in increasingly flimsy buildings. 100 years ago the only people who lived near the sea were professional seafarers with stone huts and wooden boats. Nowadays the coast is littered with pensioners in highrise flats and weekenders with plastic yachts, so an onshore Force 8 which used to mean a couple of days' lost work now means massive devastation and injury. Flood plains and water meadows are now concrete housing estates, so a few wet cows  have been replaced by an economic disaster.  Most of Australia and California caught fire from time to time, and the natives made the most of fleeing animals and new growth on the ashes, but modern farming methods (and farmers' bankers) are much less tolerant of nature.

It is interesting to compare the GISS "annual correction" graph with the reported "corrected global mean temperature". They are identical. The real mystery is why any correction needs to be made at all, or why anyone uses individual station data: since 1970 we have had complete satellite data on the entire surface, and there is no useful data before that time that relates to global mean surface temperature except by guesswork. 

The credibility of station data is itself dubious: there was almost no interest in land surface temperature before 1910 (and very little interest in sea surface temperature ever). Accurate land data was required for aviation and the quantity and quality of measurements peaked in the 1950s. However the high quality data necessarily came from areas of high population density (civil airports) or military significance.  The number of stations has decreased since the 1950s and most of the permanent  stations have changed from grass fields to concrete runways and buildings, with quite different diurnal and annual temperature characteristics.

Tree ring data is interesting but far too convoluted by rainfall, sunshine, other trees, and CO2 level, to provide unequivocal temperature records of the required precision.

The best historic data we have is from ice cores and fossil records. These show enormous and very rapid pre-human fluctuations in temperature, always followed by a corresponding change in CO2 level.   

« Last Edit: 08/02/2017 16:33:43 by alancalverd »
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Offline puppypower

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Manmade global warming and climate change has no precedent in terms of earth history. If we work under the assumption this is real, it is still a very unique occurrence, sort of like an experiment that is in progress, but which has never been done before. The drama has not even completed one cycle to know for sure how it will end.

Natural warming/cooling and climate change, on the other hand, has a lot of historical precedent. This is analogous to having data from hundreds of complete experiments. What I don't get is why natural explanations, with more data and precedent is given less credibility, than the one singular experiment, in progress, that has no precedent? Doesn't this violate science protocol?

As an analogy, say I claim to have a gasoline engine that can get 200 MPG. Based on this claim, a lab begins testing. In the next room, and we have another engine that claims to gets 80 mpg. This engine has been successfully tested for hundreds of days, having  gone thorough many compete test cycles. Those in charge of funding, decide to pick the former, and crucify anyone who brings up the latter. Something about this is not normal science protocol. Would the Food and Drug administration fast track a medicine without precedent and then bury another which has been successfully tested for years? The answer is yes if politics and kickbacks are involved.

This is not how science is supposed to work. It smell like a political ploy. In the engine or drug experiments, I would get the impression someone wants the 200 MPG engine or the newer drug to work so badly, they are willing to throw away the bird in the hand.

In terms of a hypothetical example, the current events would be like the warming from the last ice age, being blamed on sparks made during fabrication of stone tools. These sparks are hot and can even start fires. If we could then brow betas anyone who claims the warming is based on natural causes, a denier or worse, the masses might funneled into returning to wood tools. But even if the spark claim was correct, there is still no precedent for a second point on the graph. This is totally new to the earth. One point allows us to draw any curve you want. This allows magic tricks, by politicians, such as the doom and gloom predictions that never pan out, but nevertheless move the herd. That is the problem with no precedent and less that one full experiment.

One thing about CO2 that bothers me is, if CO2 can prevent heat from escaping into space, can't the same CO2 also prevent heat from the sun from entering the earth? CO2 is not a one way thermal blanket, anymore than are clouds. Clouds can cool the surface during the day and keep in heat at night. The result of two way CO2 insulation, would be the earth warming at a slower rate than computer models that assume a one way street. This claim has to do with historical precedent like clouds; 2 way, versus a work in progress; 1 way thermal blanket.
« Last Edit: 09/02/2017 12:19:43 by puppypower »

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Offline Bored chemist

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So what does everyone think about this:-

"The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever"

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/globalwarming/11395516/The-fiddling-with-temperature-data-is-the-biggest-science-scandal-ever.html
I think it is one dissenting voice compared to a consensus of  thousands of scientists.
He doesn't seem to have got close to proving his assertion.
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Offline Bored chemist

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As far as atmospheric CO2 is concerned, there is no difference between fossil fuel and biomass.

"Extreme weather" depends on how you measure it. A growing population with increasing expectations of security, is living in increasingly marginal land, in increasingly flimsy buildings. 100 years ago the only people who lived near the sea were professional seafarers with stone huts and wooden boats. Nowadays the coast is littered with pensioners in highrise flats and weekenders with plastic yachts, so an onshore Force 8 which used to mean a couple of days' lost work now means massive devastation and injury. Flood plains and water meadows are now concrete housing estates, so a few wet cows  have been replaced by an economic disaster.  Most of Australia and California caught fire from time to time, and the natives made the most of fleeing animals and new growth on the ashes, but modern farming methods (and farmers' bankers) are much less tolerant of nature.
Tree ring data is interesting but far too convoluted by rainfall, sunshine, other trees, and CO2 level, to provide unequivocal temperature records of the required precision.


"As far as atmospheric CO2 is concerned, there is no difference between fossil fuel and biomass. "
Yes there is- rather clearly.
Biomass burning is - on a reasonable timescale- carbon neutral in a way that fossil fuel can't hope to be.

"Tree ring data is interesting but far too convoluted by rainfall, sunshine, other trees, and CO2 level, to provide unequivocal temperature records of the required precision."
That rather depends on what you do with the tree rings.
I guess you mean measuring how wide they are.
If you measure C12/C13 and O16 O18 isotope ratios then you have a pretty good measure of temperatures.
Of course, you might not agree with that but in that case you can't use the ice cores so...

Did you notice that almost all of this ""Extreme weather" depends on how you measure it. A growing population with increasing expectations of security, is living in increasingly marginal land, in increasingly flimsy buildings. 100 years ago the only people who lived near the sea were professional seafarers with stone huts and wooden boats. Nowadays the coast is littered with pensioners in highrise flats and weekenders with plastic yachts, so an onshore Force 8 which used to mean a couple of days' lost work now means massive devastation and injury. Flood plains and water meadows are now concrete housing estates, so a few wet cows  have been replaced by an economic disaster.  Most of Australia and California caught fire from time to time, and the natives made the most of fleeing animals and new growth on the ashes, but modern farming methods (and farmers' bankers) are much less tolerant of nature."

wasn't actually about weather.

If you actually look at records of temperature and rainfall- i.e. weather, we are in fact getting a larger number of extreme events.


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Offline jeffreyH

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We are in the unfortunate position that the earth is in an upward phase of a repeating cycle at just the same time that we are making a positive contribution to that trend. So that rather than us reaching extinction in thousands of years time we are merrily hastening the event.
Fixation on the Einstein papers is a good definition of OCD.

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Offline alancalverd

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Did you notice that almost all of this ........
wasn't actually about weather.


No, it was about wind, rain and forest fires. Weather must be about something else. Silly me.
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Offline puppypower

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Putting aside cause and affect, it is interesting that progressives tends to accept the premises of manmade warming and climate change, while conservative tend to be more open to the possibility of natural causes for warming and climate change.

This difference is grounded in how each side views the world. Conservatives tend to honor the best of the past, and therefore are more open to the idea of history repeating itself. Progressives like to stay at the cutting edge of change, with such changes manmade and more of an extrapolation of natural. It looks at the past, through the prism of the present; revisionist history. For example, in USA, the progressives still think slavery is going on in America. They don't check the past, so they can realize this has been illegal for 150 years. They apply a political bias to alter the past to meet their needs of their present; shakedown.

The point is, the vast majority of the people, who discuss and have an opinion on climate science, are not climate experts. They depend on others to tell then what to think. If you combine, with political orientations, the dividing line is predicable, since each side will have an affinity for particular arguments.

Based on the protests that are gong on in America, those on the left appear far more unhinged than the right leaning counterparts, when President Obama won. From this one can infer, the left is easier to influence, using added stresses. Instead of stand back and review the past to see how we got here, it is more thinking in terms of now, acting out or seeking a safe place. 

Let me go back to CO2. Greenhouse gases should be able to block heat in two directions, since the insulation affect is IR dependent, which is the same in both directions. The sun is the main source of heat for the earth, therefore more CO2 in the atmosphere will reduce the solar input, while also causing the heat that reaches the surface, to be retained longer.

The earth, as far as I know, has never gone into a runaway heating loop, as greenhouse gases cause hotter global temperatures, that heat the oceans causing soluble ocean CO2, to appear in the atmosphere, causing even more heating until all the CO2 is the atmosphere and earth becomes a pressure cooker. This suggests maybe the two way greenhouse blanket is more complicated than expected and may not be linear. I am honoring history, to infer the present, and not trying to revise the past to justify the present.


If you look at earth temperature curves, before there was any fossil fuel, the earth was not at its warmest, even though all the CO2 was in play and not fixed as fossil fuel. The correlation between CO2, and heating may not be linear, but sort of sinusoidal. However, if you look at a small section of a sine wave, it can appear linear.
« Last Edit: 10/02/2017 11:54:35 by puppypower »

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Offline alancalverd

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"Putting aside cause and affect...."? In a science forum? You jest, surely!

The fact that something has been illegal for 150 or 1500 years doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

There are no climate "experts". There is a wealth of weather data, around which some enthusiasts  have compiled various models based on the assumption that carbon dioxide drives climate, but to my mind an expert is someone who can look at the data, deduce a cause, and make a prediction that turns out to be more accurate than a guess. But then I'm a scientist, so I would say that, wouldn't I?

The problem with CO2 is that whilst it can be argued that the gas is transparent to incoming shortwave radiation but blocks outgoing longwave infrared, it is an insignificant part of the spectrum in both directions. The dominant factor is water, by several orders of magnitude, because
it is present in all three phases in the atmosphere
the phase changes involve massive quantities of energy
the H2O content of ambient air varies from near zero to over 10%
warm air can hold more water than cold air, givign a positive feedback if water is responsible for warming
the infrared absorption spectrum is extremely wide
as solid or liquid it can reflect over 90% of incoming or outgoing radiation
it covers most of the earth's surface, either as liquid, ice or loosely absorbed in rock and soil
as liquid or ice, it has a far higher specific heat capacity than most solids
we have no useful data on the content and distribution of water in the atmosphere
we have almost no historic data on sea temperature and even less data on the temperature distribution of the oceans
we have no historic data on polar climate before 1900

but we can measure CO2, so it's a scapegoat and a revenue source.

If you want a good sinusoid, look at the CO2 data from Mauna Loa. Whilst the mean has been rising steadily for ages, the annual curve peaks in May-June, when anthropogenic emission is at its lowest and plant growth is maximal, so something else is driving the CO2 level, and that something is temperature-dependent.
« Last Edit: 10/02/2017 15:09:05 by alancalverd »
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Offline Bored chemist

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Did you notice that almost all of this ........
wasn't actually about weather.


No, it was about wind, rain and forest fires. Weather must be about something else. Silly me.

Fairly silly.
 growing population (not weather) with increasing expectations of security (not weather) , is living in increasingly marginal land (not weather) , in increasingly flimsy buildings(not weather) . 100 years ago the only people who lived near the sea (not weather) were professional seafarers (not weather) with stone huts (not weather) and wooden boats (not weather) . Nowadays the coast is littered with pensioners(not weather)  in highrise flats(not weather)  and weekenders with plastic yachts,(not weather)  so an onshore Force 8 (My word! weather!) which used to mean a couple of days' lost work(not weather)  now means massive devastation(not weather)  and injury(not weather) . Flood plains (not weather) and water meadows(not weather)  are now concrete housing estates, (not weather) so a few wet cows (not weather)  have been replaced by an economic disaster. (not weather)  Most of Australia and California caught fire from time to time,(not weather)  and the natives made the most of fleeing animals (not weather) and new growth on the ashes(not weather) but modern farming methods(not weather)  (and farmers' bankers)(not weather)  are much less tolerant of nature.(not weather) "
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Offline Bored chemist

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This difference is grounded in ...

The point is, the vast majority of the people, who discuss and have an opinion on climate science, are not climate experts.

Let me go back to CO2. Greenhouse gases should be able to block heat in two directions, since the insulation affect is IR dependent, which is the same in both directions.

OK, Firstly, the evidence supports the hypothesis that "This difference is grounded in ..."oil money.
Also, it's not the same in both directions- the Sun is, as you may be aware, hotter than the Earth, and this affects their emission spectrum.
As you say "The point is, the vast majority of the people, who discuss and have an opinion on climate science, are not climate experts. ".
You seem to have chosen a "truth" that tallies with your point of view, but is clearly nonsense.

That seems to happen a lot with those who pretend that you can put a forth blanket on the bed and pretend it has nothing to do with the fact that you get warmer.
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Offline alancalverd

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You have missed the key point about "extreme weather". This journaliststic term is undefined but clearly has more to do with the perceived effect of weather, which is easy to determine by counting the cost of repairs, than the actual cause, which produces few photographs and very little of journalistic interest.

Winds of over 100 mph are common at the tops of mountains. So common that they don't make headlines because nobody is affected by them. 100 mph gusts rarely make the headlines outside of Hebridean local papers because very few people are affected by them and the architecture of Stornoway (indeed even the location of the city) has evolved to cope with them. But a 100 mph gust in the middle of London would make a lot of mess and therefore be reported as extreme. 

The point you have deliberately ignored is that by occupying meterologically marginal  territory, or modifying that territory to maximise the effect of the weather, people have, particularly over the last 50 years, turned normal weather (for the planet) into extreme events (for the population).  In other words, we have redefined "extreme"  rather than observed any actual change.

Beware of adjectives when discussing science.   

   
« Last Edit: 11/02/2017 00:28:16 by alancalverd »
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Offline Bored chemist

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You have missed the key point about "extreme weather". This journaliststic term ...

Your decision to introduce journalism to the discussion of weather is, at best, unhelpful.
If you look at the weather ledgers kept over the years you will find that we are seeing records of things like temperature and rainfall that are statistically anomalous. The weather is getting more variable than it was.
That's what I mean by extreme weather.
It's documented and real, and scientific.

So, like I said, the locations of fisherman's houses have absolutely nothing to do with the issue and you should be ashamed of yourself for introducing them, then trying to defend doing so.
(Please don't waste time saying that -for example- if you wait long enough you will get a hotter June than any previous one. We know that, it's taken account of in the statistical analysis.)
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Offline alancalverd

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As I as discussing "extreme weather" in response to another posting, it seemed entirely sensible to point out that it is a journalistic term with no scientific definition.

I wonder what you mean by "the weather is getting more variable"? Snow is now very rare in England, we haven't had a decent hurricane for a very long time, and the highest temperature ever recorded was in 2003 - other monthly records are much older:   http://www.torro.org.uk/maxtemps.php.
This reduced variability is to be expected as the climate generally gets warmer.

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastdec.shtml shows that US hurricane strikes have decreased during the last 50 years, but maybe NOAA are a bunch of liars paid by the oil industry. The difference is that the amount of damage done by each hurricane has increased, for the reasons I pointed out with no hint of shame because I not ashamed of facts, just intrigued by them.

I'm slightly baffled by your assertion that we are seeing statistical anomalies, contradicted by your later advice that I shouldn't waste your time by pointing out statistical anomalies. 
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Offline Bored chemist

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Snow is now very rare in England,
...
we haven't had a decent hurricane for a very long time,


It is snowing outside my window as I type this. It has snowed on about half the days in the last week,
It's true that we don't get many tropical storms in the UK.
I wonder if anyone  can suggest a reason for that.

However, what your last post says- in essence- is that the weather has changed.
I agree- and, given that we have changed a significant factor in what determines the weather, it's reasonable to say that we are responsible for some of those changes in weather patterns.

Incidentally, I'm sorry to see that you didn't understand what I asked you not to waste time with, perhaps you should read it a couple more times. (Hint I'm not asking you to discount anomalies).
« Last Edit: 12/02/2017 09:50:39 by Bored chemist »
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Offline alancalverd

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The U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) data are used to quantify national- and regional-scale temperature changes in the contiguous United States (CONUS). It's worth looking at the "adjustment" figures that NOAA have applied to historic data, and asking whether someone might just be massaging the data to fit the hypothesis. 

If you start by insisting that we are responsible for climate change, and "adjust" your data to reflect that hypothesis, you can end up believing it. That is propaganda, not science.
« Last Edit: 12/02/2017 10:36:38 by alancalverd »
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Offline alancalverd

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Ther is indeed half an inch of snow on the ground in Cambridge this morning. It is forecast to clear by tomorrow. In the 1960s we regularly had a foot of snow around here in January, and it often persisted into March. British weather is a very sensitive measure of climate change because the winter mean tempeature is close to zero, so a small change in either direction makes a huge difference to the snow cover.

The question here is whether  a foot of snow is an "extreme" phenomenon. Since it only equates to about a quarter inch of rain, it isn't scientifically extreme, but it can cause a huge amount of disruption to transport if you aren't prepared for it, so it's socially significant and makes headlines.   

I'm not relying on a fading memory, but looking at the thickness of dust on my crosscountry skis. I often skied to work and around the suburban  parks at lunchtime in the 1970s, but they haven't been used since 1980.

Falling snow in June is not uncommon, but a warming climate raises the freezing level to the point that the sky clouds over and reduces convection before it can produce the necessary towering cumulus clouds, so another "extreme phenomenon" has decreased in my lifetime.
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Offline Bored chemist

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I'm not relying on a fading memory, but looking at the thickness of dust on my crosscountry skis. I often skied to work and around the suburban  parks at lunchtime in the 1970s, but they haven't been used since 1980.


Glad to hear it.
http://draughtyoldfentales.blogspot.co.uk/2009/02/stop-press-breaking-news-shock-horror.html
http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-bicycles-outside-kings-college-cambridge-in-the-snow-12863597.html

It seems you could have skied more recently but didn't: so what?
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Offline alancalverd

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The photos  were taken 8 and 10 years ago, and show not quite enough loose snow to even make a footprint. You need a good inch of packed snow  to ski safely.

Whilst the article has a ring of truth, that driving in falling snow or on loose snow is dangerous, the stuff that falls from a cold sky onto a warm pavement rarely lasts a day. You need several days of sub-zero surface air temperature followed by a good day's snowfall to make any sort of lasting impression. The Norwegians say "three falls before it lies", and that rarely happens in England nowadays.
« Last Edit: 12/02/2017 20:10:21 by alancalverd »
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Offline syhprum

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I am surprised the weight that some correspondents give to the small amount of heat given of by the burning of fossil fuels (2TW)which is infinitesimal compared to the amount we receive from the sun or even to the amount given of by the Earths radioactivity.
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Offline Bored chemist

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The photos  were taken 8 and 10 years ago, and show not quite enough loose snow to even make a footprint. You need a good inch of packed snow  to ski safely.

Whilst the article has a ring of truth, that driving in falling snow or on loose snow is dangerous, the stuff that falls from a cold sky onto a warm pavement rarely lasts a day. You need several days of sub-zero surface air temperature followed by a good day's snowfall to make any sort of lasting impression. The Norwegians say "three falls before it lies", and that rarely happens in England nowadays.
Ok, so the weather has changed: it snows less than it used to.
We also know that we did something which affects heat transfer through the atmosphere- we added rather a lot of CO2 to it.

Is it reasonable to contend that the two facts are related?
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Offline Tim the Plumber

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I am surprised the weight that some correspondents give to the small amount of heat given of by the burning of fossil fuels (2TW)which is infinitesimal compared to the amount we receive from the sun or even to the amount given of by the Earths radioactivity.
The argument s that CO2 causes IR to be absorbed and then emitted back to the surface whilst allowing the higher frequency sunshine to pass through.

The degree to which this is true is debated. Water vapor may well be doing all of it already except in extremely dry places.

The next argument the warmists have is that the warming from the CO2 thing will cause a massive positive feedback effect which will amplify this warming about 4 times.

I don't know if this is a reasonable position. Seems wrong to me but it is beyond my science.

The next idea is that the over all, after all the multipliers, warming of +3.4c over now will cause massive problems. This I do understand and know to be wrong.

The biggest problem they point to is the raising of sea levels due to ice melt. The ice we have is almost all safe from such a warming as it is at high altitude and very cold in Greenland and Antarctica. The edges of Greenland will melt back a bit but over all not so you will notice in terms of sea level.

However, using their inflated figures I still see no problem. Building a 1m high sea defence is not tricky. Bangladesh gets 2cm of sediment deposited every monsoon so it will be bigger in 100 years not smaller.

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Offline alancalverd

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Ok, so the weather has changed: it snows less than it used to.
We also know that we did something which affects heat transfer through the atmosphere- we added rather a lot of CO2 to it.

Is it reasonable to contend that the two facts are related?


Almost. Except for a few facts.

1. There is a 30% discrepancy between the amount of CO2 generated from fossil fuels and other human activity, and the amount present in the atmosphere. Something else is adding it.

2. Historically, CO2 levels follow the temperature curve, they don't lead it. You can see the same behavior in the Mauna Loa data: CO2 peaks in early summer, when temperature is high but anthropogenic emission is low. The reason is obvious to biologists but not to climate "scientists".

3. The CO2 IR absorption bands in the atmosphere are saturated at about 300 ppm so adding more doesn't make a difference

4. The invisible elephant in the room is water. We know it dominates heat transfer by all possible mechanisms, by orders of magnitude, and has a positive feedback characteristic at low atmospheric concentrations, and an inverse positive feedback as surface snow and ice, but we have no idea of how much there is, where it is, or how heat is distributed in most of the oceans.

The scientific response to these facts is to consider CO2 to be an effect rather than a cause of  global surface temperature.  The correlation is obvious, but the causation is complicated.
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Offline Bored chemist

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Ok, so the weather has changed: it snows less than it used to.
We also know that we did something which affects heat transfer through the atmosphere- we added rather a lot of CO2 to it.

Is it reasonable to contend that the two facts are related?


Almost. Except for a few facts.

1. There is a 30% discrepancy between the amount of CO2 generated from fossil fuels and other human activity, and the amount present in the atmosphere. Something else is adding it.

2. Historically, CO2 levels follow the temperature curve, they don't lead it. You can see the same behavior in the Mauna Loa data: CO2 peaks in early summer, when temperature is high but anthropogenic emission is low. The reason is obvious to biologists but not to climate "scientists".

3. The CO2 IR absorption bands in the atmosphere are saturated at about 300 ppm so adding more doesn't make a difference

4. The invisible elephant in the room is water. We know it dominates heat transfer by all possible mechanisms, by orders of magnitude, and has a positive feedback characteristic at low atmospheric concentrations, and an inverse positive feedback as surface snow and ice, but we have no idea of how much there is, where it is, or how heat is distributed in most of the oceans.

The scientific response to these facts is to consider CO2 to be an effect rather than a cause of  global surface temperature.  The correlation is obvious, but the causation is complicated.

OK, lets start by asking what the error margins are on that 30% but, setting that aside for the moment, you accept that most of the additional CO2 is down to us.

3 just isn't true (and I suspect only one of us is actually a spectroscopist)

4 The water isn't invisible- it's invariant.

With 2/3 of the earth's surface covered by water, the amount of water in the air depends on local temperature.  (hint- if there's more than can be accommodated- it rains)

Now you have two choices here- you can accept that the temperature is going up and then you have to explain why (and we are back to pointing the finger at CO2). Or you can say the temperature is staying the same- in which case the quantity of water in the air is staying the same.
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Offline alancalverd

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One of us certainly isn't a meteorologist.
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Offline puppypower

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One of us certainly isn't a meteorologist.

An interesting plot is the earth's temperature as a function of atmospheric CO2, starting before fossil fuels formed; 300 million years ago, up to the present. The atmospheric CO2 was higher before fossil fuels, with the formation of fossil fuels, fixing CO2, so it was not longer part of the atmosphere and carbon cycle.


When fossil fuels started to form, the temperature went down to about modern levels. But afterwards, with less atmospheric CO2,  there was a temperature rise, to levels slightly higher, then before fossil fuels. The graph also shows places from about 450M-375M years ago where CO2 fluctuated and temperature held steady, or from 200M to 100M where CO2 rises and temperature falls.


The impact of CO2 on temperature is not clear cut and linear, but appears to be influenced by other parameters. The computer models are all high, meaning they lack key parameters, which can moderate, amplify and even reverse the expected impact of CO2.


We currently look only at the last 100 years, where we have a nice line that appears to correlate CO2 to temperature. But in the bigger picture, this correlation did not always hold up.






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Offline Bored chemist

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One of us certainly isn't a meteorologist.
It hardly matters if we are both gave-diggers or politicians.
The transition's not fully saturated so your claim just isn't true.
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Offline alancalverd

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A quick google search hasn't turned up the infrared absorption coefficient for CO2, so I'm relying on the memory of other people's data. Can you produce a figure? I'd like to review the maths. AFAIK there are only two significant bands in the IR, but I don't have Landolt-Bornstein or whatever standard text you use.   
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Offline Bored chemist

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A quick google search hasn't turned up the infrared absorption coefficient for CO2, so I'm relying on the memory of other people's data. Can you produce a figure? I'd like to review the maths. AFAIK there are only two significant bands in the IR, but I don't have Landolt-Bornstein or whatever standard text you use.   
Here's a copy of the spectrum.
http://www.senseair.com/senseair/gases-applications/carbon-dioxide/
Now, look at it.
Are the sides of the peaks in the spectrum vertical, or do they slope?
If they slope that's enough to show that the transition never actually saturates.
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Offline alancalverd

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Now here's a well-known and widely published set of transmittance spectra for atmospheric gases, including all the pressure broadening and actual parital prsssures - i.e. actual data from the real atmosphere.. The transmittance of CO2 around 4 nm is zero. So adding more won't change anything.
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Offline Bored chemist

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Now here's a well-known and widely published set of transmittance spectra for atmospheric gases, including all the pressure broadening and actual parital prsssures - i.e. actual data from the real atmosphere.. The transmittance of CO2 around 4 nm is zero. So adding more won't change anything.
What has 4nm got to do with anything?
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Offline alancalverd

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Not a lot, admittedly. Try 4 microns* instead! That's the critical wavelength quoted in the paper you cited. Must have had a senior moment.

Also worth noting that at the longer wavelengths the CO2 band around 12 - 15 microns is also saturated.  Atmospheric behavior in the "thermal IR" region, as everywhere else,  is dominated by the nonsaturated H2O absorption. Plus of course reflection and a whole lot of far more complicated absorption from liquid and solid H2O in clouds.

*Note for US readers: 0.00015748 inches.
« Last Edit: 19/02/2017 09:09:50 by alancalverd »
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Offline Bored chemist

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Not a lot, admittedly. Try 4 microns* instead! That's the critical wavelength quoted in the paper you cited. Must have had a senior moment.

Also worth noting that at the longer wavelengths the CO2 band around 12 - 15 microns is also saturated.  Atmospheric behavior in the "thermal IR" region, as everywhere else,  is dominated by the nonsaturated H2O absorption. Plus of course reflection and a whole lot of far more complicated absorption from liquid and solid H2O in clouds.

*Note for US readers: 0.00015748 inches.

The whole point about the lack of saturation is that absorption isn't at a wavelength, it's over a band of wavelengths.
How wide that band is depends on how hard you look.

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Offline puppypower

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Not a lot, admittedly. Try 4 microns* instead! That's the critical wavelength quoted in the paper you cited. Must have had a senior moment.

Also worth noting that at the longer wavelengths the CO2 band around 12 - 15 microns is also saturated.  Atmospheric behavior in the "thermal IR" region, as everywhere else,  is dominated by the nonsaturated H2O absorption. Plus of course reflection and a whole lot of far more complicated absorption from liquid and solid H2O in clouds.

*Note for US readers: 0.00015748 inches.

The whole point about the lack of saturation is that absorption isn't at a wavelength, it's over a band of wavelengths.
How wide that band is depends on how hard you look.



Another consideration is atmospheric CO2 does not exist in a vacuum, but rather CO2 is reactive with water to form carbonic acid H2CO3. This  has a modified absorption spectrum compared to pure CO2. As the humidity goes up and down the CO2/H2CO3 ratio changes. Below is a graph of CO2 absorption versus CO2 plus H2O.



http://www.astrochem.org/data/CO2H2O/co2fig2.gif


CO2 is roughly a linear molecule that vibrates in a linear fashion, due to the double bonds in O=C=O. When CO2 reacts with H2O, we get H2CO3 where the bond angles around the central carbon are no longer 180 degrees, but closer to 120 degrees. See  below. This alters the vibrational orientation for absorption.



As the concentration of CO2 and water go up, another thing can begin to occur, with is a dimer of carbonic acid, due to hydrogen bonding, as shown below. This further alters bonding vibrations.


At lower CO2 and less water we get more of  pure CO2 absorption spectrum, as the water concentration increases, such as by evaporation due to warming, we get more carbonic acid, and as CO2 plus water increases, we get more of the dimer. The result is the earth can absorb heat by CO2 differently for the deserts and oceans based on the availability of water for carbonic acid. This gets even more complex when you add liquid and solid water from clouds.








« Last Edit: 19/02/2017 12:03:46 by puppypower »

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Offline alancalverd

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The whole point about the lack of saturation is that absorption isn't at a wavelength, it's over a band of wavelengths.
How wide that band is depends on how hard you look.



Then, since I originally said "around 4 microns",  by all means look at all the infrared bands of  CO2 absorption. They are all saturated in the atmosphere except for the 10.6 micron laser band. The 4 or 12 micron figure refers to the band center frequency. Pressure broadening has merged the fine spectrum into a fairly continuous band, but doubling the CO2 content of the atmosphere won't  have much effect as the  broadening is mostly due to interactions with oxygen, nitrogen, argon and of course water, whose pressure won't be much affected by adding 400 ppm of anything else.
« Last Edit: 19/02/2017 14:08:27 by alancalverd »
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Offline Tim the Plumber

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Just for those of us who are not really able to follow this, can you explain in Watts per square meter what the difference in energy balance the differencies you are talking about would cause.
Thanks.

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Offline Bored chemist

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The whole point about the lack of saturation is that absorption isn't at a wavelength, it's over a band of wavelengths.
How wide that band is depends on how hard you look.



Then, since I originally said "around 4 microns",  by all means look at all the infrared bands of  CO2 absorption. They are all saturated in the atmosphere except for the 10.6 micron laser band. The 4 or 12 micron figure refers to the band center frequency. Pressure broadening has merged the fine spectrum into a fairly continuous band, but doubling the CO2 content of the atmosphere won't  have much effect as the  broadening is mostly due to interactions with oxygen, nitrogen, argon and of course water, whose pressure won't be much affected by adding 400 ppm of anything else.
By all means read my earlier point.
"Now, look at it.
Are the sides of the peaks in the spectrum vertical, or do they slope?
If they slope that's enough to show that the transition never actually saturates."
And, of course, there are the weaker transitions as well as things like hydrated CO2.
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Offline alancalverd

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Compared with the water spectrum, the CO2 spectrum edges are indeed vertical.  Any further broadening can only come from significantly increased pressure or temperature.

Anyway. as you are a spectroscopist, you can easily do the experiment. Isolate a metre or so of dry air, measure the transmittance in the CO2 spectrum, and add another 400 ppm of CO2. Now extrapolate to 5000 m or whatever you consider to be the effective thickness of the atmosphere, and see what happens.
« Last Edit: 19/02/2017 18:21:47 by alancalverd »
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