Carbon 'budget' may be bigger than thought: study

September 19, 2017 by Mariëtte Le Roux
A new analysis estimates that the world's remaining carbon 'budget' to be nearly four times bigger than previously thought

An ambitious goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is still within reach, said researchers Monday who calculated humanity may have a larger allowable "budget" for burning carbon than previously thought.

While this amounted to rare "" in the generally doom-and-gloom domain of climate science, it was no cause for complacency, said the authors of a study in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Instead, it should revitalise efforts towards a target many had already abandoned as too onerous.

"All large emitters without exception will have to step up their efforts," co-author Joeri Rogelj of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria, told AFP.

Countries agreed in the Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015 after years of bickering, to limit average global warming to "well below" two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels.

They also committed to "pursuing efforts" for a more difficult 1.5 C target, for a better chance of avoiding global warming's worst effects.

In a 2014 report, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said the carbon concentration in the atmosphere should not exceed 450 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 equivalent (CO2eq) by 2100 for a "likely", 66-percent, chance of 2 C.

According to the IPCC report, the concentration in 2011 was already 430 ppm CO2eq.

On the basis of the IPCC figures, a budget of 400 billion tonnes was calculated as the maximum amount of CO2 humanity can emit into the atmosphere from 2011 and still keep the 1.5 C goal in sight.

For 2015, that number dropped to about 245 billion tonnes.

The new analysis, however, estimates the remaining budget from 2015 to be closer to 880 billion tonnes of CO2—nearly four times bigger than the UN estimate, the research team said.

Pressure 'not off'

"This is good news but the pressure is not off," said Rogelj.

The findings, he added, "revived the objective of keeping maximum warming to 1.5 C—back from being a geophysical and socioeconomic implausibility to it being possible, yet still very challenging."

The team said they used the same "Earth System" simulation models employed by the IPCC for its projections, but also other modelling tools that enabled them to explore a greater variety of possible scenarios.

"Our study is based on a wider range of evidence than available at the time of the IPCC" report, said Rogelj.

The results showed that reaching "" by mid-century would offer "a fair chance to keep to a maximum 1.5 C," he added.

Carbon neutrality means removing as much carbon from the atmosphere as you put into it, in order to achieve a zero carbon footprint, or even a negative one.

"The literature shows that achieving carbon neutrality is technologically and economically possible, if we start with ambitious actions today," said Rogelj.

But it was clear that national carbon-cutting pledges submitted under the Paris Agreement, dubbed NDCs, "do not represent the kind of ambitious actions that are implied here," the researcher added.

Keeping within the budget would require a phase-out of traditional coal power in the next two decades, and investing in trees and technology that suck CO2 from the atmosphere.

The global electricity sector, said the study authors, would need to become carbon neutral, even negative, by mid-century.

The planet has already heated up about 1.0 C, according to scientists.

Explore further: New hope for limiting warming to 1.5 C

More information: Halfway to doubling of CO2 radiative forcing, Nature Geoscience (2017). DOI: 10.1038/ngeo3036

Emission budgets and pathways consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C, Nature Geoscience (2017). nature.com/articles/doi:10.1038/ngeo3031

Related Stories

New hope for limiting warming to 1.5 C

September 18, 2017

Significant emission reductions are required if we are to achieve one of the key goals of the Paris Agreement, and limit the increase in global average temperatures to 1.5°C; a new Oxford University partnership warns.

Climate 'carbon budget' soon maxed out: study

February 23, 2016

The window of opportunity for humanity to cap global warming by slashing greenhouse gases is closing faster than previously thought, according to a study released Tuesday.

A lower limit for future climate emissions

February 24, 2016

In a comprehensive new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, researchers propose a limit to future greenhouse gas emissions—or carbon budget—of 590-1240 billion tons of carbon dioxide from 2015 onwards, ...

Earth likely to warm more than 2 degrees this century

July 31, 2017

Warming of the planet by 2 degrees Celsius is often seen as a "tipping point" that people should try to avoid by limiting greenhouse gas emissions.But the Earth is very likely to exceed that change, according to new University ...

Allowable 'carbon budget' most likely overestimated

July 24, 2017

While most climate scientists, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, implicitly define "pre-industrial" to be in the late 1800's, a true non-industrially influenced baseline is probably further in the past, ...

Recommended for you

67 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

rodkeh
1 / 5 (5) Sep 19, 2017
The carbon budget is infinite, since CO2 has nothing whatsoever to do with climate. The science was settled in 1856 when Eunice Foote proved there is no such thing as as GHG.
BobOfPhysics
5 / 5 (8) Sep 19, 2017
rodkeh: Perusal of available literature indicates that Foote identified Carbon Dioxide gas as a medium exhibiting all the properties of what can be termed a "Greenhouse gas". Since your statement runs almost exactly at odds with research into this topic, please clarify and substantiate your statement.
rodkeh
1 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2017
Bob: Learn the definition of a GHG before you blather nonsense!
691Boat
5 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2017
The carbon budget is infinite, since CO2 has nothing whatsoever to do with climate. The science was settled in 1856 when Eunice Foote proved there is no such thing as as GHG.

Like this little ditty?
https://books.goo...;f=false
carbon_unit
5 / 5 (2) Sep 19, 2017
Rodkeh: So what is the meaning of GHG? Great Horny Goats??
BobOfPhysics
5 / 5 (4) Sep 19, 2017
rodkeh: We are still waiting for your clarification, which may include any instructive notes and definitions you care to include. If you shirk this opportunity, you will be known as merely another poseur. Please, beat the odds! We can't wait for you to illuminate us with your knowledge.

carbon_unit: So far, I see classic trolling tactics, but he can still turn it all around and actually provide some useful information. Let's see.
rodkeh
1 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2017
Bob: If you are too lazy to look it up, that is your problem.
BobOfPhysics
5 / 5 (5) Sep 19, 2017
rodkeh: Standard trolling techniques in use, I see. I was asking YOU for YOUR proof, after stating I had already looked it up. Evidently, you do not want to supply any proof on your own, and this is, we can all conclude, because you have no proof. You have nothing to back up your comments and bluster, and can therefore be safely ignored with harming the direction of further discourse.

Thank You for clarifying your position as a troll and a phony, who cannot provide anything to back up the positions you have claimed.

To All Readers: rodkeh has done an excellent job of identifying himself as a fake, by exhibiting the same behavior as other fakes across the net. Let us resume our conversation of this topic without rodkeh, who has shown that, given the chance, he provides no added value to the conversation.
rodkeh
1 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2017
You have shown quite unequivocally, that you are uneducated and unable to understand the simplest concepts.
By all means, please confine your remarks to those of your intellectual peers.
BobOfPhysics
5 / 5 (4) Sep 19, 2017
rodkeh, I have done exactly what you are asking, confining my remarks to my intellectual peers, the other readers. Of course, we all understand that excludes you, and perhaps any other trolls that may be hanging around, but have the grace and wisdom to withhold contributions to this rather one-sided discussion. Now, rodkeh, please be silent, and allow the actual discussion to go forward.
rodkeh
1 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2017
First you call me by name and then reinforce that with the objective pronoun (you) and then claim to not be talking to me?
Pleeeease, in future? Feel free to completely ignore anything I post!
I will try and do the same to you from now on.
carbon_unit
5 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2017
Bob: If you are too lazy to look it up, that is your problem.
Look what up? GHG? That could mean all sorts of things. If it truly means greenhouse gas, then your use of the term seems to be different than what most would expect; a heat trapping gas. It is incumbent on you to make the minimal effort to explain what you mean (a sentence or two, maybe a link?) Otherwise your comments are pointless because there is no basis for discussion, much less debate.
BobOfPhysics
5 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2017
carbon_unit: You are seeing, and are part of the conversation with this troll. The original topic was climate change, rates at which the atmosphere was heating up, and so forth. Then someone makes a claim, which so far has not been substantiated. You're trying to help by asking clarifying questions, let's see if it helps.

Trolls divert attention from the topic at hand by making such claims; where i come from, if you make a claim, you are obligated to back it up, and provide definitions toward that end. When you're dealing with a troll, they do not honor that, instead telling you to "look it up". Well, folks, "looking iy up" isn't satisfactory, and it has nothing to do with motivation, or its inverse, laziness. It is also not a time for the troll to make ad hominem statements which insult his audience. Look how far we are from discussing climate change, due to a great degree over the interference and noise generated by this troll
BobOfPhysics
5 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2017
Carbon_unit, (and all readers) continuing...There's a very simple reason why someone making a claim is naturally called upon to back it up. We would all like to see what evidence has convinced the claimant that what is being said is true. If we each go "look it up", we may find different evidence, which may not be as convincing, and might even be contradictory. In the absence of the trolls evidence, we cannot evaluate the credibility of that evidence, which is a component of any such proof. Thus the entire exercise is useless.

This is why being barked at to "look it up" is the mark of a phony, and why the insults are not merely rude. They cover up ignorance, which is something we're all trying to cure.

Maybe we can get back to discussing climate change now, without the phony interruptions.
dustywells
1 / 5 (2) Sep 19, 2017
Hmmp!!!

Hmmmph!

HmmmphHahahaHaHaHAAHAHAHA!

Hmmmph!

Hmmmph!

Hoo Boy!
aksdad
1 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2017
So essentially they're saying that all that certainty about CO2 causing irreversible warming if we don't act now...never mind. Because settled science...well not really.

It's what the skeptics have been saying all along. The science is nowhere near conclusive that humans are contributing significantly to global warming, or that the warming from 1975 to 1998 and the blip in 2016 is an indication of continued warming.

http://www.nsstc...._bar.png

Natural variability is so large that it's virtually impossible to say with any certainty that humans are causing warming.
aksdad
1 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2017
So essentially they're saying that all that certainty about CO2 causing irreversible warming if we don't act now...never mind. Because settled science...well not really.

It's what the skeptics have been saying all along. The science is nowhere near conclusive that humans are contributing significantly to global warming, or that the warming from 1975 to 1998 and the blip in 2016 is an indication of continued warming.

http://www.nsstc...._bar.png

Natural variability is so large that it's virtually impossible to say with any certainty that humans are causing warming.
rodkeh
1 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2017
Bob: If you are too lazy to look it up, that is your problem.
Look what up? GHG? That could mean all sorts of things. If it truly means greenhouse gas, then your use of the term seems to be different than what most would expect; a heat trapping gas. It is incumbent on you to make the minimal effort to explain what you mean (a sentence or two, maybe a link?) Otherwise your comments are pointless because there is no basis for discussion, much less debate.

Look up, "John Tyndall"s Greenhouse Effect theory"............
BobOfPhysics
5 / 5 (3) Sep 20, 2017
dustrywells: Amusing, perhaps you could be more specific?

askdad: I do not believe that the finding blows the doors open so far that there is no certainty, or that any indication of a causal relationship is invalid. In fact, the authors of the study, and of the above article, make sure that the reader understands that this doe not absolve us of the need to reduce the emission of Carbon Dioxide and other pollutants to evade temperature rise.

Please note that there are products (like Methane and more complex hydrocarbons) that retain heat better than CO2 (some of them by a factor of between 10 and 100). Leaking natural gas infrastructure and cattle account of large amounts of these gases, and consume portions of that "budget", not addressed in this article at all.

Changes in what we know about the capacity of natural systems are not necessarily game-changers, and we can expect some adjustments as we learn more; the basic structure of our models remains intact.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Sep 20, 2017
askdad: I do not believe that the finding blows the doors open so far that there is no certainty,

It does not. And the author specificially states that it does not. This is just wishful/magical thinking on his part
dustywells
1 / 5 (1) Sep 20, 2017
So, does Dr. Joeri Rogelj get dumped into the same basket as other "deniers" or has he just rationalized a reason why the predicted doom scenarios have failed to appear?

It's fun watching you try to fit this into your dogma.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (2) Sep 20, 2017
So essentially they're saying that all that certainty about CO2 causing irreversible warming if we don't act now...never mind. Because settled science...well not really.

It's what the skeptics have been saying all along. The science is nowhere near conclusive that humans are contributing significantly to global warming, or that the warming from 1975 to 1998 and the blip in 2016 is an indication of continued warming.

http://www.nsstc...._bar.png

Natural variability is so large that it's virtually impossible to say with any certainty that humans are causing warming.

I would rather use the term "contributing"...
rodkeh
1 / 5 (3) Sep 20, 2017
The IPCC has just admitted that there has been no significant warming for the last 20 years.

In spite of the fact that atmospheric CO2 levels have been rising and continue to accelerate as they have done for the last 20 years and yet there has been no significant warming.

No surprise! Eunice Foote Proved there is no such thing as a GHG back in 1856. The science was settled back in 1856. That is what the GHE theory is all about and back in 1859, that was it's purpose, to determine if the Sun could affect climate or not. If there were atmospheric greenhouse gases, then there was a mechanism by which the Sun could affect climate, if not, then the Sun was responsible for weather only and climate was something else all together.

The Sun give us weather not climate, that is what the science has been telling us all along but everyone just keeps ignoring the science and listening to the opinions of a lot of self-serving opportunists instead.
BobOfPhysics
5 / 5 (3) Sep 20, 2017
rodkeh: Substantiate your claims with citations, and define your terms, please.

Your statements are not borne out by background searches. In some cases what is found is the opposite of what you have stated. In other cases, what you're saying borders on the incoherent, and seems to be your own impressions.
howhot3
5 / 5 (2) Sep 20, 2017
Climate denier goons need to be aware, this is just one study that has a rosier forecast than 100's of others. If this study is tossed into a spaghetti model it's probably an outlier. Assume we all pitched in an went solar (a good thing), and the grid was mostly solar, wind and hydro, and we drove EVs, we might make it easier for out heritage, our kids and our humanity to survive a few more 100 years. But then there are some models where humanity is not as nice to the environment and we get really bad scenarios.
Sorry climate deniers. There is nothing nice about the future outcomes from global warming and you will live with the nagging voice in your head from the consequences your posterity will face because of your ignorance.
cantdrive85
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 21, 2017
The entire basis for AGWism is falsified by a complete failure of the predictions, models, and hypotheses. Yet the science is still considered "settled" and the acolytes still vehemently defend their religious beliefs of AGWism.

"When Kepler found his long-cherished belief did not agree with the most precise observation, he accepted the uncomfortable fact. He preferred the hard truth to his dearest illusions; that is the heart of science." Carl Sagan

AGWism is not science, it's anti-science with all of it's inaccuracies and surety.
Whydening Gyre
not rated yet Sep 21, 2017
The entire basis for AGWism is falsified by a complete failure of the predictions, models, and hypotheses. Yet the science is still considered "settled" and the acolytes still vehemently defend their religious beliefs of AGWism.

"When Kepler found his long-cherished belief did not agree with the most precise observation, he accepted the uncomfortable fact. He preferred the hard truth to his dearest illusions; that is the heart of science." Carl Sagan

AGWism is not science, it's anti-science with all of it's inaccuracies and surety.

CD,
models of the next century will not be obviated tomorrow....
rodkeh
1 / 5 (1) Sep 21, 2017
On the money 85.
Except that, the science was settled back in 1856 when it was proved that there is no such thing as a GHG.
That means that CO2 is our friend, not enemy!
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (1) Sep 21, 2017
CD,
models of the next century will not be obviated tomorrow....

But what about the last 20-30 years, you know where the models failed miserably. Didn't predict the "hiatus" that lasted over a decade(nor can the models be fudged to even support it). We're supposed to buy-in to these failed models to explain what will happen 100-years in the future when they can't even predict a fraction of that time period? Stick to art WG, logic isn't your strong point.
BobOfPhysics
5 / 5 (1) Sep 21, 2017
To All Readers: Please beware of any claims made by rodkeh. He is very good at generating and repeating unsubstantiated claims, and refuses to back them up with references to evidence.

I have researched his points in some detail, and discovered that in fact, the opposite of his claims was true. Of dozens of articles about Foote (and others, like Tyndall) i was able to find ONE article that indicated that the experiments did not show what most colleagues thought they showed, but the article did not make thermodynamic sense, and in any case was off-topic.

Requesting more information from rodkeh resulted in ad hominem remarks that indicated such information would not be forthcoming. All of this is evident in previous comments above.

Science relies on peer review, examination of background materials, and intellectual honesty. None of these characteristics are evident in rodkeh's behavior or presentation. All we see from there is repetition, almost gainsay, no depth is offered.
rodkeh
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 21, 2017
Bob, you're an idiot who knows nothing of science but thinks he can just fake it and no one will know.
Get an education!
BobOfPhysics
5 / 5 (2) Sep 21, 2017
Ah, I see. More ad homenim static. Nothing useful or on topic, exactly as expected.

Let's move on...

Some useful URLs.

Another report on these events:
https://qz.com/10...issions/

A graphic showing contributions to average temperature change over time:
https://www.bloom...he-world
rodkeh
1 / 5 (1) Sep 21, 2017
Get an education Bob!
leetennant
5 / 5 (1) Sep 21, 2017
I hate to be negative but temps are already above 1 degree and CO2 is a delayed actor in the atmosphere. I find it extremely difficult to accept that 1.5 degrees is achievable at this rate without geoengineering because the carbon neutrality they're talking involves removing carbon from the atmosphere. So unless we find a way to grow some sort of monster CO2 eating kelp in vast swathes of ocean, geoengineering it is. And that is a disaster waiting to happen.

On the money 85.
Except that, the science was settled back in 1856 when it was proved that there is no such thing as a GHG.
That means that CO2 is our friend, not enemy!


Experiments around that time proving that gravity is a illusion perpetrated by elites were also super compelling.
BobOfPhysics
not rated yet Sep 21, 2017
leetennant: Can you briefly explain why you believe geoengineering is a "disaster waiting to happen"?
leetennant
not rated yet Sep 21, 2017
leetennant: Can you briefly explain why you believe geoengineering is a "disaster waiting to happen"?


The cane toad in Australia. That is all.

Basically, I'm a massive pessimist about our capacity to fully understand the holistic system we're messing with before planning an intervention. Humans are terrible at complex systems and we're massively overconfident about how ability to implement new technologies. I mean, that's what got us into this trouble in the first place isn't it?

Science is an incredible epistemological tool but it's also hugely reductionist by definition and that does not help us work with complex systems. If it did, we wouldn't be trying to mitigate this particular problem.

Induction is powerful but there are too many variables for us to be able to successfully use it for decisions on long-term planet-wide climate interventions.
rodkeh
1 / 5 (1) Sep 21, 2017
Induction is powerful but there are too many variables for us to be able to successfully use it for decisions on long-term planet-wide climate interventions.


Deduction on the other hand can light-up the universe, if we understand the Physics.

You are fundamentally correct! But science is eye-opening and enlightening and lets us see the truth, if people would only pay attention to it. I mean the real science not that climate pseudoscience.

The real science proved back in 1856, that there is no such thing as a GHG, so the whole issue is moot and neither We, CO2 nor Solar energy, have anything to do with climate. CO2 is a blessing and a gift!
BobOfPhysics
not rated yet Sep 21, 2017
To substantiate your claim, you would help everyone here by providing more detail,
rodkeh
1 / 5 (1) Sep 21, 2017
Okay Bob, here you go:

https://www.resea...f_nature

Try to understand what HIS definition means.
BobOfPhysics
5 / 5 (2) Sep 21, 2017
The article you have cited narrates Tyndall's discovery of "The Greenhouse effect" after several weeks of experimental efforts, which culminated in successfully showing that "It was supposed that the rays from the sun and fixed stars could reach the Earth through the atmosphere more easily than the rays emanating from the earth could get back to space". The result of which, he clearly understood and accepted would be (as he observed) the increase in temperature of the atmosphere.

As such, the article documents the initial discovery of atmospheric warming, and shows us enough of Tyndalls reasoning about the consequences of altering the gas mixture in the atmosphere.

Now, please let us all know how this squares with your assertions, that "he whole issue is moot and neither We, CO2 nor Solar energy, have anything to do with climate. CO2 is a blessing and a gift !"

These do not appear to be compatible views; i leave it to you to reconcile them.
rodkeh
1 / 5 (1) Sep 21, 2017
Here is the quote from the first italicized paragraph, in the middle column of the second page:

" ... the atmosphere admits of the entrance of the solar heat, but checks its exit; ..."
That, is the Greenhouse Effect! And to express it in more technical terms, " ... the atmosphere admits of the entrance of the solar IR (infrared radiation) but checks the passage of terrestrial IR... "

Eunice Foote's experiments show very clearly that CO2 and Water Vapour both absorb solar IR, which means they are not GHGs. That IS the test! If there are no GHGs, then there is no heat storage mechanism for solar energy and those gases are just blanket gases, not GHGs and as such are completely indifferent to solar energy and just act as any good blanket does and keeps us warm (in the day time at least, but we still need to go indoors at night). That said, if it weren't for the internal furnace of this planet raising the background temperature 240 C (climate), we would freeze to death day or night.
rodkeh
1 / 5 (1) Sep 21, 2017
Everywhere on land on this planet, there is an underground temperature gradient that increases in temperature the deeper you go; as any underground miner knows. Nearer the surface, the temperature gradient changes over the seasons but below a specific gradient, the temperature never changes, day in and day out, month in and month out, year in and year out. That is the equilibrium point and that point, that specific temperature and that specific depth, are peculiar and particular to that geographic location and changes from place to place, in both temperature and depth underground, it gets shallower and warmer near the Equator and deeper and colder toward The Poles and yet that temperature can be easily calculated anywhere on the planet by knowing the annual high and low atmospheric surface temperature. The surface temperature is determine by the underground equilibrium gradient and that gradient is determined by our planet's internal furnace and has nothing to do with the atmosphere.
BobOfPhysics
5 / 5 (1) Sep 22, 2017
OK so far, this goes a way towards substantiation, but let's go on. Please unpack the following:
1. What is a "GHG"? I don't want to make an assumptions, and I want to see what you think of as the properties involved.

2. Why not jump to the beginning and talk directly about Foote's experiments, rather than refer to them indirectly? Good treatment of them in context may go a fair way towards sealing the deal.

Thanks!
BobOfPhysics
5 / 5 (1) Sep 22, 2017
Rodkeh, your readers await your continued substantiation of your position. Absent your response in a reasonable amount of time there will be additional postings, discussing inconsistencies between what's been stated and the historical record. Assumptions regarding terms will be made (despite your previous objections), and the conversation will continue.

The amount of heat radiated into the atmosphere from internal, naturally occurring terrestrial sources is about 0.027% of the incoming solar radiation, or about 1:3700. To what extent are you prepared to present that changes in this rate are responsible for the observed increases in temperature (see the links I cited above) ?
rodkeh
1 / 5 (1) Sep 22, 2017
Bob, if you got an education in Physics you would understand that the temperature of an object being heated (be it a steal rod or CO2) depends on the substances resistance to heat, its Thermal Conductivity, NOT flux and radiation is of little concern in terms of the heat transfer from the interior of our planet to ground's surface, this is pure "conduction" underground and has no radiant aspect. It is the temperature of the ground that determines how hot it gets when the Sun shines on it!
BobOfPhysics
5 / 5 (1) Sep 22, 2017
Yes, rodkeh, it surprises me that you brought up the topic of naturally caused radiation from earth at all. i think we can ignore it for practical purposes, and it seems you agree.

You're not yet addressing the other issues. You seem to have Foote and Tyndall contradicting each other, while the general understanding is that they do not.

I also find no reference anywhere that states that a gas that absorbs Solar IR is perforce not a greenhouse gas. What is your source for this statement?
rodkeh
1 / 5 (1) Sep 22, 2017
Bob:
" ... the atmosphere admits of the entrance of the solar heat, but checks its exit; ..."
That, is the Greenhouse Effect! And to express it in more technical terms, " ... the atmosphere admits of the entrance of the solar IR (infrared radiation) but checks the passage of terrestrial IR... "


BobOfPhysics
5 / 5 (1) Sep 22, 2017
Unfortunately, the quote doesn't really address the question. Also, repeating something doesn't provide clarity.

The gas absorbs and re-emits energy, which goes in all directions. This means that only a tiny fraction of it tends to escape the atmosphere, since the only way for the energy to be radiated away is to repeatedly go in the same direction for numerous absorption and re-emission events. Most of the radiated energy goes sideways, or downward, and so on, and does not escape. This is why we (and Tyndall, and Foote before him) understand that the atmosphere gets warmer over time. Raise the concentration of radiation absorbing and re-radiating gases, and the effect is enhanced, perhaps to some limit.

Experimental efforts verify this hypothesis. Observation in nature also verifies it, perhaps absent some other factors not initially accounted for, in some cases.
Whydening Gyre
not rated yet Sep 22, 2017
The gas absorbs and re-emits energy, which goes in all directions.

You mean 360 degrees, right?
This means that only a tiny fraction of it tends to escape the atmosphere, since the only way for the energy to be radiated away is to repeatedly go in the same direction for numerous absorption and re-emission events. Most of the radiated energy goes sideways, or downward, and so on, and does not escape. ...

Would you explain the mechanic of why it only radiates that way?
Raise the concentration of radiation absorbing and re-radiating gases, and the effect is enhanced, perhaps to some limit.

This, I totally agree with.
[
rodkeh
1 / 5 (1) Sep 22, 2017
The GHE is a one-way effect, the energy has to pass through unobstructed from the Sun, so that it can be absorbed on the the return from the ground! If the gas absorbs solar energy, then it can not absorb more energy from the ground, so there can be no net gain of energy and no way to affect climate.

What you and all the AGW fanatic are describing is the insulating effect of these gases NOT a GHE!!!!! And an insulating effect does not store anything, it just inhibits flow. That can not affect climate but it might, if CO2 were many thousands of times more concentrated than it is now, have a minor effect on the weather.

There is no GHE and neither We, CO2 nor solar energy have anything whatsoever to do with climate and that is exactly what all the virgin and unmassaged data has been telling us for the last 40 years. And yes I have been studying the subject longer than just about anyone else, still living.
BobOfPhysics
5 / 5 (1) Sep 22, 2017

Whydening Gyre: Well, 360 degrees is a planar term, i really mean any direction at all, in 3 dimensions.

The molecules are randomly positioned in a free gas, subject only to Brownian and other thermal changes in their paths. they are thus in any position when they absorb and then re-radiate energy. Since this happens to many molecules simultaneously, the composite effect is radiation emissions in a random distribution - any direction at all.

With radiation heading every which way, it may not get very far; some of it is absorbed by other molecules after only a few mm or cm of travel, and the process repeats, perhaps with a change in direction. If a given amount of energy is going to escape, it's going to take a while to do it. The gross net result is that the atmosphere retains more of the energy.

Again, change the composition of the gas, and the energy retention properties change accordingly, along the lines of our understanding of those materials.
rodkeh
1 / 5 (1) Sep 22, 2017
Bob, you have a great imagination and I have no doubt that you sincerely wish to understand but the internet is a very unreliable source for learning and most especially, understanding! That is why a classical education is so invaluable because theoretically you are taught to understanding the meaning of what you learn, not just present a lot of unrelated facts, as evidence of an imaginary phenomenon.

If you had the education, you would understand that what you describe is an idealized teaching convention but it is not a description or is it intended to be a description of the real world.

In the real world, heat (energy) rises. But what that really means is what the second law of thermodynamics tells us, that heat flows to cold and since there is more energy below us than above, the flow will always be ............... wait for it ......................................... "UP!" };o)
leetennant
not rated yet Sep 22, 2017
If you had the education, you would understand that what you describe is an idealized teaching convention but it is not a description or is it intended to be a description of the real world.

In the real world, heat (energy) rises. But what that really means is what the second law of thermodynamics tells us, that heat flows to cold and since there is more energy below us than above, the flow will always be ............... wait for it ......................................... "UP!" };o)


I'm sorry, are you saying your amazing classical education taught you that the atmosphere does not trap heat? You realise it has to for us to even be alive, right? If it doesn't use GHG as a means of doing it then what does it use? Bad words? A light smack? Persuasion?

The greenhouse effect is the reason life exists on this planet. Increase gases that trap heat and you increase the heat in the system. That's pretty basic physics.

Or by 'classical' did you mean 'studied Latin'?
rodkeh
3 / 5 (2) Sep 22, 2017
So Bob, what you are describing is the Thermal Conductivity or the rate at which a substance or material will conduct heat or energy. If you look it up you will find that CO2 has a lower Thermal Conductivity than normal air, which means it is a better insulator, so, "when the Sun shines", the air will reach a higher temperature and when the Sun goes down, the air will cool off more slowly but once the temperature hits bottom, all the stored energy is gone and we start over from scratch the next day. That said, at the current atmospheric concentrations of CO2, the effect would be minuscule and insignificant and none of it has anything to do with climate.
BobOfPhysics
5 / 5 (1) Sep 22, 2017
Sure, If we assume that we're dealing with a pure gas, and if we assume that Earth nights always long enough to allow all the energy to be dissipated into space each night, there no turbulence, and there is a lot of uniformity..

None of this is so; our atmosphere is composed of a lot of different compounds, like hydrocarbons, water vapor, particulates (some of which have different rules). The gas/particle mix is also layered, so there are different concentrations of each as a function of altitude, and perhaps there are immediate local conditions to consider as well. Radiation duration is a function of season and latitude, local weather matters. We also need to take the gas dynamics into account; convection in altitude and latitude, and interaction with different surface features, with their own physical and thermal characteristics.

Modeling this is not simple, what we have seen tells us that action is needed before models are perfected, a more resilient course seems preferable.
rodkeh
1 / 5 (1) Sep 22, 2017
Absolute nonsense, and it doesn't matter if the air cools off each and every night. It only matters that it cools off once, because once it does, all the stored heat is lost and it is a total hard reset, in between it is just bouncing around as it always does.

Absolutely true, each gas contributes its own measure to producing an aggregate effect which is an aggregate "insulating effect", not GHE. And on that note Methane has a higher Thermal Conductivity than normal air and acts as a thermal conductor to cool the atmosphere.

And modeling is nonsense. They are not modeling climate they are modeling weather and although good weather reporting can be invaluable, neither Meteorology nor Climate Science have anything to do with science, they are about guess-work, which is why the forecast is updated every 15 minutes.
BobOfPhysics
5 / 5 (2) Sep 22, 2017
Heating (or cooling) of the atmosphere is not transnational, we DO care if it all cools off to the same temperature with each diurnal cycle. If it does not, then, over multiple days, the temperature will be trend one way or another. We observe this now, and have for some time.

Personally, I don't care much about labels, I do care about the science. If it allows you to be more comfortable to call this an "insulating effect", that's fine with me. The point is that there is a process in progress that makes it warmer (or cooler) tomorrow than it is today, and understanding that process gives us some advantage. Over a short term, we call that "weather". Over a much longer term, we look at the norms, and call that "climate".

Don't like models? No problem! No one does, until they actually work, or well enough to be good forecasting tools. Then, they're VERY popular. Maybe no model will ever be good enough for you, which doesn't mean they're not useful to someone, in some context.
Whydening Gyre
not rated yet Sep 22, 2017

Whydening Gyre: Well, 360 degrees is a planar term, i really mean any direction at all, in 3 dimensions.

What I meant, but guess I didn't quite get there...
The molecules are randomly positioned in a free gas, subject only to Brownian and other thermal changes in their paths. they are thus in any position when they absorb and then re-radiate energy. Since this happens to many molecules simultaneously, the composite effect is radiation emissions in a random distribution - any direction at all.

Actually, they will be (weakly) gravitationally "polarized"...
Again, change the composition of the gas, and the energy retention properties change accordingly, along the lines of our understanding of those materials.

Still - (weakly) gravitationally "polarized".
Carbon will retain the heat better than a gas (ie - oxygen).
Don't ask me why, tho.
anyway, just for reference - photon absorption/re-emission is "line o' sight"...
Whydening Gyre
not rated yet Sep 22, 2017
So Bob, ... That said, at the current atmospheric concentrations of CO2, the effect would be minuscule and insignificant and none of it has anything to do with climate.

Is that your "perspective"? Or do you have hard evidentiary content to back it up?
Whydening Gyre
not rated yet Sep 22, 2017
Actually, you guys are maintaining a very civil discourse and looking at each other's points with respect.
Well done.
rodkeh
1 / 5 (1) Sep 22, 2017
Well Bob, you keep talking about weather as though it were climate, you just don't get it but that is because you lack the education.

I'm going back to the original deal, I'm going to try to ignore all of your posts.

dustywells
1 / 5 (1) Sep 23, 2017
A very good try, rodkeh, but as I found it's almost useless to try to discuss this topic with a true believer. Believers keep shifting their argument: when you talk climate, they talk weather; when you talk weather, they talk physics; when you talk physics, they talk chemistry; when you try reason, they ask for proof; when you offer links, they call them biased; when you question their links, they call you closed minded.

Always they keep quoting various lab experiments performed in a closed, controlled environment and insist that it applies in an open chaotic atmosphere; often arbitrarily bringing in quantum physics and relativity to make themselves feel more intelligent.

Thank you rodkeh and you, BobOfPhysics for a good and entertaining discussion.
leetennant
5 / 5 (1) Sep 23, 2017
Well Bob, you keep talking about weather as though it were climate, you just don't get it but that is because you lack the education.

I'm going back to the original deal, I'm going to try to ignore all of your posts.



So much for civil discourse...
BobOfPhysics
5 / 5 (1) Sep 23, 2017
Whydening Gyre: Yes, that's right CO2 is polarized, and we use that property in other processes. I was ignoring that in this discussion, mostly for brevity, but it can be an important property; look what it does for water. Although discussion has focused on CO2, other gases are involved as we have noted; polarization and other properties play roles on a per material basis.

All readers: I have engaged in an exercise to exhibit how much of a troll a certain individual in this discussion has been, and more troll-like properties have emerged, largely as expected. I have maintained a civil discourse, but as my list of questions expanded, answers were never really forthcoming, and we saw the creation of a narrative about my supposed lack of education. Finally, we see discourse cut off, with that as rationale.

A pity civil discourse had to end, I was getting too close to unmask a phony, so conversation was cut off.
dustywells
1 / 5 (1) Sep 23, 2017
... our atmosphere is composed of a lot of different compounds, like hydrocarbons, water vapor, particulates (some of which have different rules). The gas/particle mix is also layered, so there are different concentrations of each as a function of altitude, and perhaps there are immediate local conditions to consider as well. Radiation duration is a function of season and latitude, local weather matters. We also need to take the gas dynamics into account; convection in altitude and latitude, and interaction with different surface features, with their own physical and thermal characteristics
Agreed, so why is CO2 singled out as the one cause of global warming?
rodkeh
1 / 5 (1) Sep 23, 2017
Well Dusty <<;;
Thanks for a very lucid and concise assessment, you're right. I don't now why I bother. I know better.
BobOfPhysics
5 / 5 (1) Sep 23, 2017
Dustywells: Some of the very early models of atmospheric behavior used an idealised gas mixture in representing the atmosphere. In these models, only Nitrogen, diatomic Oxygen, and Carbon Dioxide was included. As modeling evolved and more gases were included, Carbon Dioxide became a reference; some behaviors of some gases were expressed is equivalent amounts of CO2, for purposes of energy retention. This is usually expressed over a given timescale (like 100 years), since gases have different mean lifetimes in the atmosphere.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.