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Monday, July 21, 2008

Monckton's so-called greenhouse gas warming signature/fingerprint

Arthur Smith's comment in reply to E. Patrick Mosman, on the

More on Why White House Blocked CO2 Curbs

thread of the New York Times' Dot Earth blog (by Andrew Revkin):

#186. July 21st, 2008, 11:25 a.m.

E. Patrick Mosman (#182) raises the “signature” claim that was also highlighted in Monckton’s APS FPS article cited so gleefully above. But I am not aware of anybody from the scientific consensus side stating that this “hot spot” is in any way a “fingerprint” -- maybe it’s expected from the models, but it’s not something central to the greenhouse effect in itself.

What *is* a signature of greenhouse gas warming, and what can be seen easily from the images in Monckton’s article, is differential heating and cooling between the surface and the stratosphere. Stratospheric cooling in particular is a key signature of greenhouse gas warming, because it is the first thing that happens when the radiative fluxes are out of balance: the increased greenhouse gas concentration results in increased emission (just as it results in increased absorption) and those layers closest to outer space must necessarily cool at least until things eventually return to radiative balance (the actual spectral dependence results in cooling even after the return to a steady state).

You will note in Monckton’s Figure 4, none of the other posited causes of warming (changing solar intensity, volcanoes, anthropogenic ozone or aerosols) results in any cooling of the top of the atmosphere: most warm the atmosphere uniformly. Only increased GHGs cool the stratosphere. And then, look at his Figure 6 showing the observations -- lo and behold, the stratosphere has cooled down!

Of course Mosman’s other points should be familiar to people on this blog as already having been repeatedly shot down (I recommend http://www.skepticalscience.com/ for each of those), but I thought it would be interesting to highlight the “fingerprint” issue as a new piece of misinformation not on the usual delayer checklist (perhaps it will be soon though, with Monckton gaining publicity!).

Posted by Arthur Smith

4 comments:

Patrick490 said...

The following was Mr. Mosman's reply to Mr. Smith. For the record Mr. Smith did not respond.
#
201.July 22nd,
20086:57 am

Mr Smith,
Re your #185, as Captain Renault was “shocked, shocked” to hear that there was gambling at Rick’s, I too am shocked to read that “But I am not aware of anybody from the scientific consensus side stating that this “hot spot” is in any way a “fingerprint” -”. Who would have thought any different as the consensus crowd have too much invested in demonizing CO2? Perhaps you were also shocked that Mr. Evans, a former consensus sider had changed sides. Why not take it up with Mr. Evans or Lord Monckton on the APS site in a real scientific paper?
By the way if as you propose “Stratospheric cooling in particular is a key signature of greenhouse gas warming,” was the stratosphere warming to extremes during the several ‘ human generated greenhouse gas free’ Ice Ages and Little Ice Ages on earth that lasted for hundreds or thousand of years? If your thesis is correct wouldn’t a significant reduction in the so-called ‘greenhouse gases’ effect result in another Ice Age condition, frozen earth, hot stratosphere?
Actually, the earth’s climate went through heating and cooling cycles with major climate shifts many times over during hundreds of millions of years without human input of greenhouse gases. Shouldn’t that raise a small question of “why blame CO2 now?”, in the mind of any agenda-free, non-political scientist with an inquiring intellect.
You also state that other points have been repeatedly shot down so please provide the specifics as generalizations and ad hominem comments are not considered as “shooting down”.

— Posted by E.Patrick Mosman

Cassandra_Moderna said...

Well, I am not surprised that Arthur Smith did not reply to that mishmash of a comment. I don't know anything about Evans (except for the company he seems to keep), but Monckton is sadly just a joke.

And E. Patrick Mosman needs to study up on stratospheric cooling. Why should Arthur Smith spend time trying to teach Smith something that he can learn for himself easily enough?

Patrick490 said...

Perhaps you should check out Mr. Evans.

Cassandra_Moderna said...

Perhaps you should have a look at Jürgen Hubert's scrutiny of Monckton's data fudging before you get a lot of egg on your face:

http://jhubert.livejournal.com/181274.html