The inconvenient truth about the Ice core Carbon Dioxide Temperature Correlations

One of the "scientific" highlights in Al Gore's movie is the discussion about the clear correlation between CO2 and temperature, as is obtained in ice cores. To quote, he says the following when discussing the ice-core data (about 40 mins after the beginning for the film):

“The relationship is actually very complicated but there is one relationship that is far more powerful than all the others and it is this. When there is more carbon dioxide, the temperature gets warmer, because it traps more heat from the sun inside.”

Any laymen will understand from this statement that the ice-cores demonstrate a causal link, that higher amounts of CO2 give rise to higher temperatures. Of course, this could indeed be the case, and to some extent, it necessarily is. However, can this conclusion really be drawn from this graph? Can one actually say anything at all about how much CO2 affects the global temperature?

To the dismay of Al Gore, the answer is that this graph doesn't prove at all that CO2 has any effect on the global temperature. All it says is that there is some equilibrium between dissolved CO2 and atmospheric CO2, an equilibrium which depends on the temperature. Of course, the temperature itself can depend on a dozen different factors, including CO2, but just the CO2 / temperature correlation by itself doesn't tell you the strength of the CO2→ΔT link. It doesn't even tell you the sign.

Al Gore uses pyrotechnics to lead his audience to the wrong conclusion. If CO2 affects the temperature, as this graph supposedly demonstrates, then the 20th century CO2 rise should cause a temperature rise larger than the rise seen from the last ice-age to today's interglacial. This is of course wrong. All it says is that we offsetted the dissolution balance of CO2 in the oceans. If we were to stop burning fossil fuels (which is a good thing in general, but totally irrelevant here), then the large CO2 increase would turn into a CO2 decrease, returning back to the pre-industrial level over a century or so.
Think for example on a closed coke bottle. It has coke with dissolved CO2 and it has air with gaseous CO2. Just like Earth, most of the CO2 is in the dissolved form. If you warm the coke bottle, the coke cannot hold as much CO2, so it releases a little amount and increases the partial pressure of the gaseous CO2, enough to force the rest of the dissolved CO2 to stay dissolved. Since there is much more dissolved CO2 than gaseous CO2, the amount released from the coke is relatively small.

Of course, the comparison can go only so far. The mechanisms governing CO2 in the oceans are much more complicated such that the equilibrium depends on the amount of biological activity, on the complicated chemical reactions in the oceans, and many more interactions I am probably not aware of. For example, a lower temperature can increase the amount of dust reaching the oceans. This will bring more fertilizing iron which will increase the biological activity (since large parts of the ocean's photosynthesis is nutrient limited) and with it affect the CO2 dissolution balance. The bottom line is that the equilibrium is quite complicated to calculate.

Nevertheless, the equilibrium can be empirically determined by simply reading it straight off the ice-core CO2/temperature graph. The global temperature variations between ice-ages and interglacials is about 4°C. The change in the amount of atmospheric CO2 is about 80 ppm. This gives 20 ppm of oceanic out-gassing per °C.

The main evidence proving that CO2 does not control the climate, but at most can play a second fiddle by just amplifying the variations already present, is that of lags. In all cases where there is a good enough resolution, one finds that the CO2 lags behind the temperature by typically several hundred to a thousand years. Namely, the basic climate driver which controls the temperature cannot be that of CO2. That driver, whatever it is, affects the climate equilibrium, and the temperature changes accordingly. Once the oceans adjust (on time scale of decades to centuries), the CO2 equilibrium changes as well. The changed CO2 can further affect the temperature, but the CO2 / temperature correlation cannot be used to say almost anything about the strength of this link. Note that I write "almost anything", because it turns out that the CO2 temperature correlation can be used to say at least one thing about the temperature sensitivity to CO2 variations, as can be seen in the box below.

It is interesting to note that the IPCC scientific report (e.g., the AR4) avoids this question of lag. Instead of pointing it out, they write that in some cases (e.g., when comparing Antarctic CO2 to temperature data) it is hard to say anything definitive since the data sets come from different cores. This is of course chaff to cover the fact that when CO2 and temperature are measured with the same cores, or when carefully comparing different cores, a lag of typically several hundred years is found to be present, if the quality and resolution permit. Such an example is found in the figure below.
Analysis of ice core data from Antarctica by Indermühle et al. (GRL, vol. 27, p. 735, 2000), who find that CO2 lags behind the temperature by 1200±700 years.
There are many examples of studies finding lags, a few examples include:
  • Indermühle et al. (GRL, vol. 27, p. 735, 2000), who find that CO2 lags behind the temperature by 1200±700 years, using Antarctic ice-cores between 60 and 20 kyr before present (see figure).
  • Fischer et al. (Science, vol 283, p. 1712, 1999) reported a time lag 600±400 yr during early de-glacial changes in the last 3 glacial–interglacial transitions.
  • Siegenthaler et al. (Science, vol. 310, p. 1313, 2005) find a best lag of 1900 years in the Antarctic data.
  • Monnin et al. (Science vol 291, 112, 2001) find that the start of the CO2 increase in the beginning of the last interglacial lagged the start of the temperature increase by 800 years.
Clearly, the correlation and lags unequivocally demonstrate that the temperature drives changes in the atmospheric CO2 content. The same correlations, however cannot be used to say anything about the temperature's sensitivity to variations in the CO2. I am sure there is some effect in that direction, but to empirically demonstrate it, one needs a correlation between the temperature and CO2 variations, which do not originate from temperature variations.

The only temperature independent CO2 variations I know of are those of anthropogenic sources, i.e., the 20th century increase, and CO2 variations over geological time scales.

Since the increase of CO2 over the 20th is monotonic, and other climate drivers (e.g., the sun) increased as well, a correlation with temperature is mostly meaningless. This leaves the geological variations in CO2 as the only variations which could be used to empirically estimate the effect of the CO2→ΔT link.

The reason that over geological time scales, the variations do not depend on the temperature is because over these long durations, the total CO2 in the ecosystem varies from a net imbalance between volcanic out-gassing and sedimentation/subduction. This "random walk" in the amount of CO2 is the reason why there were periods with 3 or even 10 times as much CO2 than present, over the past billion years.

Unfortunately, there is no clear correlation between CO2 and temperature over geological time scales. This lack of correlation should have translated into an upper limit on the CO2→ΔT link. However, because the geochemical temperature data is actually biased by the amount of CO2, this lack of correlation result translates into a CO2 doubling sensitivity which is about ΔTx2 ~ 1.0±0.5°C. More about it in this paper.

The moral of this story is that when you are shown data such as the graph by Al Gore, ask yourself what does it really mean. You might be surprised from the answer.

[collapsed title="Upper limit on the effects of CO2"] It turns out that the CO2 temperature correlation can be used to say one thing about the temperature effects of CO2 variations. It can be used to place an upper limit on the temperature sensitivity to CO2. The reason is that if CO2 has a large effect, the positive feedback from any temperature change would drive an additional temperature change which could render the climate system unstable, something which luckily isn't the case. We can calculate this critical feedback relatively easily, and thus place an upper limit on the temperature sensitivity.

Suppose there is a change in the energy budget of $ \Delta F_0 $, from some climate driver other than CO2 variations (e.g, from the Milankovich cycles). If the sensitivity is given by $ \lambda $, this radiative forcing would drive a temperature change, of $ \Delta T _0= \lambda \Delta F_0 $, assuming for a moment that CO2 does not play a role.

We know however that a temperature change of $ \Delta T $ causes a change in the CO2. Per unit temperature change, it is:
$$  \alpha \equiv {d(p(CO2)) \over dT}\approx 20 ppm/^{\circ}C .$$
This change in the CO2 would drive a radiation imbalance. Per unit $ p(CO2) $ change, it is
$$  \beta \equiv {dF \over d(p(CO2))} 
%= {dF \over d(log_{2}(p(CO2)))}   { d(log_{2}(p(CO2)))\over d(p(CO2)) } 
\approx { 3.71 W m^{-2} \over 280 ppm~ \ln 2} \approx 0.02 {W m^{-2}}/ppm .$$
The interesting quantity is $ \lambda \beta $, which is the temperature response to changes in the amount of CO2. Thus, the total temperature change is:
\Delta T = \lambda F_0 + \lambda \beta \alpha \Delta T  
or, after a little algebra:
\Delta T = {\lambda F_0  \over 1- \alpha \beta \lambda }  
One can easily see that if $ \beta \lambda > 1/\alpha $, the positive CO2 feedback will make the system unstable. Any small change in the radiative balance would cause a CO2 variation that will make the response diverge. Since we know that the climate system is stable (we don't get runaway conditions like on Venus, nor did we ever have them), the sensitivity is less than the critical sensitivity we obtained.

In terms of a CO2 doubling temperature, the critical sensitivity is:
\Delta T_{\times 2,max} \approx {(280 ppm) \ln 2 \over \alpha} \approx 10^\circ C
Of course, this CO2 doubling sensitivity is very large, much larger than the IPCC's 2 to 4.5°C range of GCM models in the AR4, and it is much larger than the 1 to 1.5°C sensitivity that I find. Thus, this exercise is mostly academic. [/collapse]



At the bottom of my page How does CO2 respond to temperature ?, you'll find an update with the graph what the actual contribution is of CO2 to temperature change in the ice ages, using a sensitivity of 1 and 3K/CO2.
Even with a high climate sensitivity the bulk of the warming in the ice ages is not caused by CO2

One note of caution. You mix between Antarctic temperature and the global temperature. They are not the same. Antarctic temperature variations are much larger than the global ones.

Can you point me to an authorative source of global average temperatures during the ice age?

A few refs in section 3.5 of my sensitivity paper (here)

When I took a good look at Gore's chart, I had a different question come to mind. Look at the previous four spikes in both temperature and CO2. Something caused temperature to increase and then fall back to ice age levels. If CO2 had been responsible, then why wouldn't temperatures just continue rising. If CO2 started dropping first, which we know wasn't the case but I'm playing devil's advocate here, then what caused CO2 to suddenly start dropping? What I'm getting at is that there clearly was some natural mechanism that has a negative feedback effect that prevents the earth from getting too hot or too cold. Since the earth doesn't care whether CO2 is from natural or man-made sources, there is no reason to suppose that this self-correcting mechanism won't work again this time around too.

I think you will find that the CO2 mechanism will get to a point where it causes a premature mini-ice age. If you study the relationship between CO2 levels and the temperature maximum then the cause and effect only needs one other driver, solar. As we are heading into a period of relative low solar activity it is pretty obvious that we are going to see a mini IA by mid century. It would seem that the GHGs do not just warm. They act like your cars thermostat. Fully operational when hot, low in activity when cold.
The EcoMarxists claim a mono-directional purpose for GHG, ie warming. No one disputs this, even we Heretics. What they haven't told people is that at some point, Gores Tipping Point, it causes cooling. Our contirbution has been minor and will tip us into a MIA slightly sooner.
Even if the Solar activity didn't increase I believe the GHG concentration/purpose would have stopped a run away temp simply by its "other side". ie.To stop such a temp excursion. This is why the CO2 levels recede after the temp maximum. The lower atmosphere cools because of the upper thermal blanket, oceans uptake more CO2....

Yes, I think they are called clouds, and a hell of a lot of rain.

Today Micke Lockwood and coleagues from Rutherford-Appleton Lab said that solar activity has dimisnished in the last 20 years according to their new measures the x.ray solar driven for climate change is false. He said also that the people supporting other theories are manipulating the data. Of course very well published in the media at least in Spain.

How can someone said that the all previous measurements of solar activity in the last 20 years are incorrect???????

I has been unable to see the paper and probably i will not get the point but it sound to me that they do not get the point that any change is delayed in time by oceans activity; so today climate is affected but what happens 400-800 years before. Conclusion of change in Temperatures at the same time with solar activity sounds very naif conclusion.

As soon I get the paper I will comment details. If shavi or someone knows something about it it will be nice to comment.


There is an interesting point in the discussion by Lockwood and Froehlich, although it seems a little old, and I have not yet seen a cogent explanation. The same effect of a disconnect between solar activity and climate change is also mentioned in Ján Veizer's piece, "Celestial Climate Driver: A Perspective from Four Billion Years of the Carbon Cycle". He writes: "the temperature trend correlates well with the solar properties ... except perhaps for the last two decades of the 20th century..."

This is the point made in the recent paper - at least, according to news reports - and I would appreciate, Prof. Shaviv, if you could throw some light on how this fits with the GCR-cloud-climate theory. If this is GHG "overtaking" solar driving, then presumably this suggests low climate sensitivity - if so, does the timing enable us to put a figure to that? Thanks in advance...

Edward Henning

I found an analysis of the Lockwood and Froehlich paper:

I hope it is useful.


Thanks, yes. I recently also discovered a short paper by Svensmark and Friis-Christensen, entitled "Reply to Lockwood and Fröhlich – The persistent role of the Sun in climate forcing". This is available at:

Edward Henning.

A comment made here already, and a comment made almost always when discussing the CO2-lag is why does temperature not continue to rise?

All 'sides' agree on the mechanism: Some external forcing starts to heat up the earth and as a result CO2 is outgassed. And 'both sides' even agree that CO2 increases the rise of the temperature (although they disagree strongly about whether this feedback is strong or not). But why does it then ever stop rising?

A question which is hardly even answered on whatever blog or textbook one grabs on this topic.

As far as I can see it there are two explanations possible

1) The 'sceptics' are right and the CO2 feedback is small. So as soon as the initial forcing (e.g. Milankovitch cycles, or Cosmic Rays :-) ) slows down again, CO2 alone cannot compensate for the drop in the other forcing.
Needless to say, this is not what the 'non-sceptics' will accept as explanation.

2) At some point the outgassing of CO2 stops because some equibrillium is reached. In popular terms: There is no CO2 available to outgass. Or in case of cooling, the oceans will not absorb more CO2 as the air-concentration is getting too low.

In favour of 2 will be that is the concept that equibrillium and diminishing effects are often the rule in the processes on this planet. I'd be surprised if it wouldn't work this way actually.
Also in favour is that the CO2 during the last 300.000 years indeed seems to bounce between a low a high value.

Against is that if we go further back in time CO2 concentrations didn't stay within these limits. But this may be explained by the fact our earth was 'somehow' in a different equibrillium-mode.

Also against is that as said, I'd be surprised if (2) isn't true, but if (2) is true this does not mean the feedback must be high. It is only so that if the feedback is high, (2) must be true to preventing run-away-climate. So (2) isn't a real explanation until one actually 'proves' that the CO2 feedbacks are strong and the outgassing is indeed bounded by these historic upper and lower values as in the graph.

Finally if CO2 is a strong feedback (with diminishing effect) this should be visible somehow in the rate of temperature rise. However from the granularity of the picture it is hard to see if this is the case.

So far my two €0.01

It seems to be that the ocean waters at the surface and the atmosphere should be in equilibrium. If temperature changes drive CO2 change through an ocean dissolution mechanism (one for which the soda anaology is valid) then it must be true that the solubility of CO2 in seawater at the lower temperature (and lower CO2 level) must be higher than the solublity at the higher temperature and higher CO2 level.

CO2 solubility is a function of the equilbrium between carbonate species and the Henry's Law relationship. I spent some time working on this (after I found my simple approach flawed) to obtain a detailed understanding of how CO2 affects solubility due to both its direct effect reflecting Henry's Law and its indirect effect affecting pH and so the relative amounts of the carbonate ions. Buffering is provided by calcium carbonate through the reaction:

CO2 + CaCO3 --> Ca(HCO3)2

The temperature effects arise through the effects of temperature on the Henry's Law constant, the carbonic acid disassociation constants, and the CaCO3 solubility product. I found expressions for all of these for seawater (their values are quite different than those for water--which was part of the source of the problems with my simple model) and have now obtained what I believe to be a correct representation for CO2 solubility. It is quite clear that CO2 solubility is lower at the lower temperature becasue the Henry's Law effect of lower CO2 outweighs the temperature effects. This means temperature cannot be responsible for CO2 changes through a CO2 solubility in the ocean mechanism.

Temperature can still cause CO2 changes, just not through solubility changes. If CO2 fixation in the oceans is nutrient limited then lower temperatures in tropical oceans might have little effect on CO2 fixation. On the other hand, extensive ice coverage in northern land masses could reduce CO2 release due to decay and animal respiration. If this were the case then temperature reductions could shift the balance between CO2 fixation and release to result in a lower atmospheric CO2 level.

What this means is as the temperature falls the amount of CO2 held by the atmosphere relative to the oceans actually *rises* (the opposite of the soda analogy) but the total inventory of CO2 in both ocean and atmopshere falls so the levels in both are lower.

Simple Global Warming Model

Great post. It's kinda amazing to me that the public wants to take something as complex as atmospheric science and distill it down to "more CO2 means global warming".

Here is a theory that I have not heard advanced a whole lot anywhere: We know that the temp in cities is greater than that outside of cities b/c pavement and building absorb heat during the day and re-radiate it at night. (in fact, it not uncommon to see 2-3 degree differences consistantly only 10 miles outside of a city) My question is: Couldn't global warming be caused by the population explosion and be a result of more pavement/asphalt/steel structures in the world and NOT the result of CO2 emmisions from my neighbor's SUV?

Well, there are three sides to that question

1) If one measures the T in those urban area's one will see a bias. See or ('How not to measure temperature') for examples.

2) Can it be that the fossil fuel we burn is responsible for the global warming? The answer is no as we burn not enough. The heat-output of that dwarfs that of the greenhouse-effect. Although at local situations it could be according to some. See e.g.

3) Does the amount of concrete we add change the heat-capacity of the planet? That seems unlikely as most heat-trapping occurs in the atmosphere. The effect we have on the albedo is probably larger (but more likely to increase the albedo and therefore cool), but I've not seen any paper indicating that this is a major factor.

I would say it's obvious that covering large areas of the Earth with concrete, asphalt, and metal and uncovering large areas and leaving them as wet dirt would cause a lower albedo quite a bit.

Gore statements reflect the countless years of hard work from scores, thousands of dedicated scientists worldwide
who in many cases risk their lives to achieve their results.
The results are published in Science, Nature and other top peer-reviewed journals.
Those fellow men spent a lifetime studying what you, self declared, can't do.
Therefore, Gore is not an opinion. It is scientific evidence and consensus.
There is nothing you can do about that other than dedicate
your life to hard study, rigor and discipline which it is evident you completely lack.

Yours is an ad lib opinion,
and however you are entitled to it, it's completely unpublishable, much less verifiable.
Therefore, useless.

There are a number of well-thought out posts here on both sides, more respectable in my opinion than the original article which ignores many facts and seems to be a one-sided presentation.

But, aside from all that, I would like to raise the point that we are, as some scientists have pointed out, conducting the largest uncontrolled experiment on our planet that has ever been carried out. We are not sure of the results of dumping more and more heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. All agree they trap heat, and that the earth has warmed somewhat; disagreement seems focused on the degree of sensitivity and importance of human activity, although my readings so far indicate human influence is crucial. But, let's just say we are doing an experiment on our planet: if there is a 30% or 50% chance that our temperature will rise 10 degrees Centigrade, which was the case during the Permian mass extinction, shouldn't we be worried about preventing that? And what if we decide there is only a 10% chance that will happen, raising temperature 10C (equal to 18F), turning much of the planet into desert and causing multiple other effects? Shouldn't we stop that?

On the other side, we might say it will be too disruptive. Really? Focusing on our human benefit, strengthening society by working on a shared vision, and working at all due speed as a primary focus, to replace fossil fuels with renewable sources, what do we really have to sacrifice? Not a lot. It may be a bit inconvenient at times, but what is the significant downside?

Al Gore is not the point - thousands of scientists after years of modeling support the causation of warming as being primarily by human activity.

So what we are REALLY saying through inaction and through arguing against action is that we don't care much what happens. Think about it. If you had a 5% chance of dying suddenly, and had three small children, would you try to get life insurance? Would you protect against that 5% chance for those you care about? How is our current situation on the planet any different? This is a serious matter that requires sober thought - it is beyond the political.

David -, wasting billions on the global warming hoax will cause much more damage to humans than multiplying CO2 several times. The measures already taken and about to be taken by Obama and his ilk will destroy industries, increase unemployment and multiply poverty and misery. Additionally, the environment will suffer from the increased poverty. Just look at the environmental disasters in poor countries like Haiti.

Man-made Global Warming is a hoax that threatens our future and the future of our children. Václav Klaus, president of the European Union, is right when he states that “environmentalism is the new communism and climate change is a myth.”

In agreement with Klaus, more than 650 international scientists dissent over the man-made global warming claims. They are more than 12 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers.

Additionally, more than 31,000 American scientists have signed onto a petition that states, “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate…”

“Progressive” (communist) politicians like Obama seem determined to force us to swallow the man-made global warming scam. We need to defend ourselves from the UN and these politicians, who threaten our future and the future of our children. Based on a lie, they have already wasted millions and plan to increase taxes, limit development, and enslave us.

If not stopped, the global warming scam will enrich the scammers (Gore and Obama’ Wall Street friends), increase the power of the U.N. and communists like Obama, and multiply poverty and servitude for the rest of us.

30% chance? 50% chance? What about the chances of being wiped out by an asteroid? I appreciate the sentiment, but 'chance' should not be a factor in this at all. Science is based on facts, not chance. And government policy should be based on solid science, not climate models based on assumptions that have no basis in fact, not 'what-if' scenarios that seem to all try and out-do one another for the scope and scale of impending doom that they predict.

First of all, let me be clear that I am a sceptic. Here's why there is harm in believing the CO2 warming theory if it's wrong: we will divert our resources and lose time to save lives.

I believe that instead of reducing energy use and hoping to stop global warming that way, we should actively shore up our sea and river banks to prevent floods.

We should move residential areas away from shorelines.

We should actively build out new habitats not only human beings, but also for animals and plants.

We should use more energy to explore outer space.

Believing in the CO2 theory is not a harmless behavior in any case.

My goodness - don't we weave a tangled web.

I am amazed at how many foolish scientists imagine they are in control of how to change an incredibly chaotic system - a very egocentric attitude.
Coping is what we (humans) do and we do it extremely well - as we have done ever since we began existence - greed and capitalism will use any tool to make more money and utilise it as leverage for power hence the carbon bum print ;o) debate here.
Coping is the human condition as without the need for survival, collectively as a race we would die out from apathy/boredom. So we can all argue until we are blue or red and I really laud these efforts at continuing what will be a fruitful race for many a milennia to come.

Enjoy existence - you are all contributing to it just fine!

Not believing in the CO2 theory will also not be harmless if it turns out to be true. So, this really boils down to whether the theory is right or not, not whether it's harmless to have an opinion, one way or the other.

Climate change isn't just about sea-level rise, so shoring up embankments isn't enough. Rather than trying to put band-aids over all the symptoms, it makes a lot of sense to try to determine what the root cause is, and address that (CO2, and any other driving factors).

It's simply not rational to say that we can't switch to renewable energy sources, because we should be building massive sea walls everywhere instead.

The only rational behaviour is to look for the BEST available explanation, not the explanation that passes some skeptics' threshold for being good enough to believe in. If you don't believe CO2 is part of the reason for observed warming, then put forward your explanation for the root cause(s). To date, greenhouse gas absorption of infrared is the most credible, scientifically supported explanation for observed warming. Period.

It's simply not credible that temperature increases are simply due to the sun's warming alone. The solar irradiance / temperature correlation has been broken since the 70s.

Don't make the strategic error of assuming the status quo ("we don't know for sure") is by default a good answer. We're not in a position to decide "is the CO2 theory solid enough" ... we're in a position of needing to decide, "what's the best theory we've got right now".

The answer to that is simple.

Why does the NOAA deliberately massage data instead of just get rid of the incorrect urban data. They say they use five algorithms to correct for the urban affect, but still after their fancy math, the urban areas show most of the increased temperatures.

David brings up the Permian extinction, or, I believe, more correctly the Permian-Triassic event. Yes, it was a devastating blow to life on Earth which we should hope will not be repeated; and yes, it was coincident with a rise in CO2.

However, it was also coincident with our solar system being between two spiral arms of our galaxy and an attendant cosmic ray flux minimum. The PT, once held as a candidate for an actual positive feedback warming, seems to me to instead be more evidence for a 'celestial driver of Phanerozoic climate'.

I'm not exactly the brightest bulb being still in middle school but i saw the video and i researched it.
I found out that if you combine the two graphs he uses at the beginning (Not the hockey graphs the ones after) that
they do not say that rising co2 levels don't produce higher teperatures, but in fact the higher temperatures do come
Also if you read about his graphs they are all based on inacurate facts, and England even had to ban his movie because of such inacuracy.
I hope you learned something and if you have something to add please do.

I have read through several posts on the subject of global warming.
All seem to be much the same, are we in trouble or not and mainly focussing on carbon causing the problem.
There is one thread in here that questions if we may be causing the warming through the raising of temperature itself. The amount of pavement and cleared land causing the temperature to rise.
In the following thread the poster stated that any rise in temperature caused by that and the burning of fossil fuels is nothing compared to the greenhouse effect.
Firstly I would like to point out that the greenhouse effect is theory, and one with many flaws.
Secondly to dispute the statement made by the poster on the amount of heat we create.
If you look at our cars alone and work out how much effect they have on our temperature you can see that there is at least a chance we do have a problem there.
An average car will warm more than 200,000 cubic meters of air by .1 degrees F for every litre of fuel it uses. Multiply that by the billions of litres of fuel burnt in our cars every day and then again by the 365 days in a year and you can begin to see a problem.
Also note that our atmosphere is not as huge as we all seem to think. Although it stretchers for hundreds of kilometres out from the surface of the planet, most of it is very much thinner than on the surface where we take our temperature readings.
To take an accurate measure of what difference the heat we create can make to our atmosphere we have to allow for the entire atmosphere to be compressed to that of surface pressure. When you calculate that down it ends up being only a little over 10 kilometres from the surface.
I have done these figures, I don’t have them anymore and am unwilling to go through all the work it took again just for this post. What I can tell you is that cars alone go close to warming 70% the volume of our entire atmosphere by .1 degrees F every year.
We all seem to be under the impression that the heat we create disappears, cools down, it doesn’t, it disperses into our environment. One cubic meter of air warmed by 10 degrees will disperse and warm 10 cubic meters by 1 degree or 100 cm by .1 degrees.
The heat also moves from our air to other materials on our planet like our oceans, dirt, rock and so on. The only time it cools is when plant life traps it and uses it for growth.
I can go through the hole process of how energy comes to our planet, bumps around warming things and producing growth in our living things on this planet. On how plant life retains it, releases a portion back into the atmosphere, captures it again and goes through this hole cycle until it ends up stored under ground in our oil and coal reserves.
What we are doing is re releasing that energy, that has taken hundreds of thousands to millions of years to accumulate back into our environment which then needs to go through the hole process again.

DR Robert L Hamilton, Engineer
Richardson, Texas, USA
{ 12.11.10 at 6:37 am Z - 6 }

As much as the Warmers deny it, AGW is based on two graphs and a ‘Noncept.’ Nor is it anything New; such was proposed as soon as we determined that Aristotle’s element, Air, was a mixture. It was determined that the atmosphere weighs about 10**19 pounds and at a concentration of 300 parts per million (by volume) the CO2 weighs about 5*(10**15) pounds. Currently we produce about 10**11 pounds annually. Of the two graphs, MBH98 and the Keeling Curve, the first was summarily deconstructed and shown to be a hoax. The Keeling curve requires — over 40 years — an addition of 10**13 pounds per year. Professor Keeling would never return my calls nor answer my mail and I think he died a few years back. The ‘noncept’ is of course the ‘greenhouse effect.’ This was examined experimentally over 100 years ago by Prof. R. W Wood of Johns Hopkins U and found not to exist and High School Physics shows why: when a molecule radiates energy it cools and when another molecule absorbs that energy, it warms. So the net result is null; there is no increase in temperature. This entire fiasco is a sham and I think at least some of the ‘warmers’ know it and they are just crooks robbing the public treasury. Even the American Association for the Advancement of Science are on board the scam! One of the major factors in atmospheric temperature control is this: Each pound of rain or ice that falls has carried over 500 Btu’s high into the atmosphere where at least half that energy is radiated into the galaxy. The warmers are so entranced by a 'noncept' that they don't even understand how the planet works.

If someone ever updates ‘Extraordinary Popular Delusions . . .’ this current hoax will be a chapter. My www is being reconstructed after a Warmer from Australia tried to attack my server; (his machine doesn't work any more), and will have a link to some of my thoughts on the subject. One editor only has respond to my manuscript.

Thanks for your time and Enjoy the Day.

DR Robert L Hamilton, Engineer