Cointegration Summary

It’s incredible that a global warming theory could agree with both the IPCC (discernable anthropogenic influence) and the sceptics (low long term risk from emissions) but there you are. The analysis of Greenstock suggests it is not the amount of greenhouse gasses, particularly CO2, in the atmosphere that contributes to global warming, but the change in the amount. That is, when the rate of CO2 produced is increasing — as it was last century — this increases the global temperature. Conversely, if the rate of increase is constant so is temperature.

dCO2 and CRU

The graph above illustrates the global temperature (CRU) and the rate of increase of CO2 at Mauna Loa (dCO2). Greenstock’s theory provides an explanation for the moderation of temperature increases in the last decade. Anthropogenic effects are predicted to decline in coming decades, if the rate of increase in CO2 remains linear, or slows. As cohenite suggested, the theory suggests no problems with longer term delayed effects, apart from those involved in the processes that compensate for the level CO2.

The most obvious physical explanation is a process that adjusts to an impulse of GHGs into the atmosphere, restoring the radiation balance as it was before the impulse. In this case, there is an obvious relationship to Miskolczi’s theory of constant greenhouse effect, where levels of water vapour in the upper atmosphere adjust to maintain a constant greenhouse effect. Various negative feedback mechanisms involving clouds could also be implicated.

Obviously few people expect one unpublished paper to turn decades of thinking on its head. But if Greenstock is right, it means climate science has screwed up, big time. There are very many next steps, the first of which would be for Greenstock to get the manuscript published. Improved statistical tests of integration order, evaluation of other data, such as satellite data and global climate simulations, and integration of these results into other theories proposing a homeostatic climatic system are warranted. Cointegration is a generalization of correlation, only not so prone to spurious regression. It should have great applicability of climate studies.

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0 thoughts on “Cointegration Summary

  1. DavidThis is very interesting. But I really, really wish you hadn't said:”In this case, there is an obvious relationship to Miskolczi’s theory of constant greenhouse effect, where levels of water vapour in the upper atmosphere adjust to maintain a constant greenhouse effect.”It gives prominence to Miskolczi Theory which has not only been explored thoroughly in various technical blogs e.g. here, since its promulgation and been found grossly wanting (as well as an exercise in bad math and numerological obscurantism) but made phenomenological predictions which have NOT been verified in the real world. Where, for example, is the raw evidence that the normalized greenhouse factor remains at 0.333 (i.e. the clear sky value) over the entire range of cloud covers????? This is a relatively easy factor to determine over any region and time period you care to specify. Yet Miskolczi is touring Australia promoting this canard even now!Where, for example, is the support for Miskolczi Theory by reputable sceptical scientists who really know their stuff such as Lindzen, Spencer or Christy?I find this constant harping back to Miskolczi by prominent sceptics such as Jennifer Marohasy and yourself exceedingly depressing! I have also noticed that it has the very undesirable effect of encouraging the less technical but well meaning broad lay community of sceptics to keep mouthing arcane Miskolczian nonsense during community meetings while not having a clue what is really meant by it. Miskolczi Theory is the Scientology of the sceptical movement.There is far more value in your followup sentence:”Various negative feedback mechanisms involving clouds could also be implicated.” yet it sounds like such “faint praise” of a subject worthy of so much more attention.

  2. “Miskolczi Theory is the Scientology of the sceptical movement.”I think Beenstock is being promoted as the sequel. This post takes it from unstatistical statistics to unphysical speculation.

  3. Steve, I only point out that both are homeostatic theories. Nick, Of course I am speculating. Where is the evidence that recent warming is due to an increase in the greenhouse effect. People have looked, there is nothing convincing. If there were it would be shouted from the rooftops. They wouldn't need to argue that CO2 must be responsible because there is no other explanation. Ergo, AGW is UN sponsored speculation.

  4. David

    This is very interesting. But I really, really wish you hadn’t said:

    “In this case, there is an obvious relationship to Miskolczi’s theory of constant greenhouse effect, where levels of water vapour in the upper atmosphere adjust to maintain a constant greenhouse effect.”

    It gives prominence to Miskolczi Theory which has not only been explored thoroughly in various technical blogs e.g. here, since its promulgation and been found grossly wanting (as well as an exercise in bad math and numerological obscurantism) but made phenomenological predictions which have NOT been verified in the real world.

    Where, for example, is the raw evidence that the normalized greenhouse factor remains at 0.333 (i.e. the clear sky value) over the entire range of cloud covers????? This is a relatively easy factor to determine over any region and time period you care to specify. Yet Miskolczi is touring Australia promoting this canard even now!

    Where, for example, is the support for Miskolczi Theory by reputable sceptical scientists who really know their stuff such as Lindzen, Spencer or Christy?

    I find this constant harping back to Miskolczi by prominent sceptics such as Jennifer Marohasy and yourself exceedingly depressing! I have also noticed that it has the very undesirable effect of encouraging the less technical but well meaning broad lay community of sceptics to keep mouthing arcane Miskolczian nonsense during community meetings while not having a clue what is really meant by it.

    Miskolczi Theory is the Scientology of the sceptical movement.

    There is far more value in your followup sentence:

    “Various negative feedback mechanisms involving clouds could also be implicated.”

    yet it sounds like such “faint praise” of a subject worthy of so much more attention.

    • “Miskolczi Theory is the Scientology of the sceptical movement.”
      I think Beenstock is being promoted as the sequel. This post takes it from unstatistical statistics to unphysical speculation.

  5. Steve, I only point out that both are homeostatic theories.

    Nick, Of course I am speculating. Where is the evidence that recent warming is due to an increase in the greenhouse effect. People have looked, there is nothing convincing. If there were it would be shouted from the rooftops. They wouldn’t need to argue that CO2 must be responsible because there is no other explanation. Ergo, AGW is UN sponsored speculation.

    • No, that’s looking for proof in the wrong place. AGW says that if you put CO2 in the air, it will block IR and cause warming. We do see warming. This does not prove AGW, but it does support it.

      There are good reasons for believing that if you eat too much, you’ll get fat. So suppose you are eating well and putting on weight. That doesn’t prove that the fat is due to your eating – it could be a metabolic disorder. But most people in those circumstances try to eat less.

  6. No, that's looking for proof in the wrong place. AGW says that if you put CO2 in the air, it will block IR and cause warming. We do see warming. This does not prove AGW, but it does support it.There are good reasons for believing that if you eat too much, you'll get fat. So suppose you are eating well and putting on weight. That doesn't prove that the fat is due to your eating – it could be a metabolic disorder. But most people in those circumstances try to eat less.

      • In fact, if you keep slicing your SH in 100 – 200 mb increments all the way up to the (upper) limit of 300 mb all that happens is that you go from an obvious long term upwards trend (over the vertical interval) to absolutely no trend at all i.e. flat as a tack.

        No evidence there for water levels in the upper atmosphere drying up to match increasing pCO2 and keeping g down towards the (Miskolczian) mythically constant value of 0.333.

        As I understand it, Garth P’s paper was using the contentious sonde data record.

      • “contentious sonde” data – is still the best data available prior to recent satellite data.
        Is it “contentious” because it is invalid or because it does not support AGW orthodoxy?

        Heat transfer includes convection, latent heat and conductive transfer, not just radiation. Also major albedo variations with clouds.
        Where are the models that quantitatively include those?
        Where is the evidence for cloud reflectivity sufficient to support/disprove AGW?

        See Spencer:

        You would think that we’d know the Earth’s ‘climate sensitivity’ by now, but it has been surprisingly difficult to determine. How atmospheric processes like clouds and precipitation systems respond to warming is critical, as they are either amplifying the warming, or reducing it. This website currently concentrates on the response of clouds to warming, an issue which I am now convinced the scientific community has totally misinterpreted when they have measured natural, year-to-year fluctuations in the climate system. As a result of that confusion, they have the mistaken belief that climate sensitivity is high, when in fact the satellite evidence suggests climate sensitivity is low.

      • Don’t become confused by woolly logic David.

        I was only pointing out that the body of modern atmospheric Specific Humidity data does not provide any comfort whatsover for a believer in Miskolczi Theory.

        You need to carefully remind yourself that Miskolczi didn’t give a damn i.e. couldn’t comprehend anything about; wet convection, latent heat, clouds, albedo etc. All he wanted to do was bury all that in his nonsensical lumped parameter K and have nothing more to do with it. Laughable really.

        I don’t believe in Miskolczi and yet I also don’t believe there is a sensitivity to CO2 in excess of 1.0 – 1.5 K.

        “Where is the evidence for cloud reflectivity sufficient to support/disprove AGW? ”

        Well, as I have posted at Jo Nova and at Deltoid it can quite easily be shown that the Pinker (2005) data for the rate increase in surface solar irradiance 1983 – 2001 can be explained as principally due to the albedo reduction over that period arising from diminishing cloud cover.

        So, as I said:

        Miskolczi Theory is the Scientology of the sceptical movement.

        It is possible to be a sceptic and to also think that Miskolczi Theory is complete BS – surprisingly enough to some deluded sceptics.

        I firmly reject the persistent crass attempts to somehow make Miskolczi Theory a basis for AGW scepticism. It’s a mummy, a dead thing.

        By the same token I greatly admire the work of Spencer and agree with his statement that you quote.

      • Nope!

        Average annual Specific Humidity from the surface up to 300 mb rises from ~15 g/kg in 1949 to ~17.5 g/kg in 2010 and indeed the range of annual variability get narrower (!) more recently (other than for the 1998/9 Large El Nino year)!

        As I said before, you can also plot SH in narrow slices of altitude (pressure) right up to the 300 mb limit and all that happens is the the SH trend getter flatter.

        Where is the trend to reduced SH at altitude?

        What sort of head were you referring-to?

      • My statement read:

        “Average annual Specific Humidity FROM THE SURFACE UP TO 300 mb rises from ~15 g/kg in 1949 to ~17.5 g/kg in 2010”

        I also stated:

        “As I said before, you can also plot SH in narrow SLICES of altitude (pressure) right up to the 300 mb limit and ALL THAT HAPPENS is the the SH trend gets FLATTER.”

        Meaning THAT IT DOESN”T DECLINE (in the upper atmosphere).

        You’re wriggling (yet) again Jan. Flash all the plots that you like but I’m not going to indulge you.

        Why don’t you just be a good fellow and admit that the long term 1949 – 2010 record (much of the early stuff is radiosonde data BTW) CLEARLY does NOT show a progressive DECLINE in upper atmosphere Specific Humidity below 300 mb as Miskolczi Theory apparently demands?

      • “Average annual Specific Humidity FROM THE SURFACE UP TO 300 mb rises from ~15 g/kg in 1949 to ~17.5 g/kg in 2010″”

        Now check the theory as stated by Dave and others.

        ” In this case, there is an obvious relationship to Miskolczi’s theory of constant greenhouse effect, where levels of water vapour in the upper atmosphere adjust to maintain a constant greenhouse effect. ”

        You want argue from the ground up but that is NOT the theory you are fighting a strawman here.

      • No strawmen by me.

        As I said before, using the NCAR web site you your yourself cited (first) one can also plot SH in narrow SLICES of altitude (pressure) right up to the 300 mb limit and ALL THAT HAPPENS is the the SH trend gets FLATTER.”

        Meaning THAT IT HASN”T DECLINED (in the upper atmosphere) as M Theory requires.

        We have had the AGW people ‘hiding their decline’, do we now have to listen to you NOT finding yours?

      • “No strawmen by me.”

        LOL

        I think we can leave it here we have the plot of the upper troposphere specific humidity whicch shows just what David stated I’ll repeat it once more

        “In this case, there is an obvious relationship to Miskolczi’s theory of constant greenhouse effect, where levels of water vapour in the upper atmosphere adjust to maintain a constant greenhouse effect. ”

        “ALL THAT HAPPENS is the the SH trend gets FLATTER.””

        reality check! If you stick with verifying the actual theory instead of one of your own (the strawman) and check what happens above 700 mb you will see the decline and the negative trend.

      • You really haven’t changed for the better have you?

        If you look at the SH 1949 – 2010 for the altitude pressure window 700 – 300 mb, as you insist, the trend is upwards from about say 5.8 g/kg to about say 6.4 g/kg. Within that width of pressure window there is certainly no declinine and the rising trend, such as it is, is certainly not getting flatter!

        You need to go back and re-read Miskolczi (2007) bottom of page 23 from the where it starts “For example, in case the increased CO2 is compensated by reduced H2O, the…” down to the end of the paragraph where M says: ” Note that there are accumulating evidence of long term negative surface pressure trends all over the southern hemisphere (Hines et al. 2000), which may be an indication of decreasing water vapor amount in the atmosphere.”

        So there Miskolczi is clearly talking about atmosphere right down to the surface even having (hopefully) a “decreasing water vapor amount’.

        Look – we’ve been here, done this, many, many times before Jan.

        M Theory is not really a religion and I have no intention wasting another 2 years chasing the endless hair-splitting of M’s self-appointed pharisee.

      • Look – we’ve been here, done this, many, many times before Jan.

        and I don’t quite understand why you still don’t get it.

        I think you need another year to think about it. Tata for now.

      • That was a simple typo and you are a complete fibber. I’ve got a desk full of whole-of-globe plots here and I can’t find any with real downward trends. Your uploaded graphs for the upper atmosphere are your own subjective judgement calls – essentially flat, no matter what pressure altitude you pick.

  7. In fact, if you keep slicing your SH in 100 – 200 mb increments all the way up to the (upper) limit of 300 mb all that happens is that you go from an obvious long term upwards trend (over the vertical interval) to absolutely no trend at all i.e. flat as a tack. No evidence there for water levels in the upper atmosphere drying up to match increasing pCO2 and keeping g down towards the (Miskolczian) mythically constant value of 0.333.As I understand it, Garth P's paper was using the contentious sonde data record.

  8. “contentious sonde” data – is still the best data available prior to recent satellite data. Is it “contentious” because it is invalid or because it does not support AGW orthodoxy?Heat transfer includes convection, latent heat and conductive transfer, not just radiation. Also major albedo variations with clouds. Where are the models that quantitatively include those? Where is the evidence for cloud reflectivity sufficient to support/disprove AGW? See Spencer:

    You would think that we’d know the Earth’s ‘climate sensitivity’ by now, but it has been surprisingly difficult to determine. How atmospheric processes like clouds and precipitation systems respond to warming is critical, as they are either amplifying the warming, or reducing it. This website currently concentrates on the response of clouds to warming, an issue which I am now convinced the scientific community has totally misinterpreted when they have measured natural, year-to-year fluctuations in the climate system. As a result of that confusion, they have the mistaken belief that climate sensitivity is high, when in fact the satellite evidence suggests climate sensitivity is low.

  9. Don't become confused by woolly logic David. I was only pointing out that the body of modern atmospheric Specific Humidity data does not provide any comfort whatsover for a believer in Miskolczi Theory. You need to carefully remind yourself that Miskolczi didn't give a damn i.e. couldn't comprehend anything about; wet convection, latent heat, clouds, albedo etc. All he wanted to do was bury all that in his nonsensical lumped parameter K and have nothing more to do with it. Laughable really.I don't believe in Miskolczi and yet I also don't believe there is a sensitivity to CO2 in excess of 1.0 – 1.5 K.”Where is the evidence for cloud reflectivity sufficient to support/disprove AGW? “Well, as I have posted at Jo Nova and at Deltoid it can quite easily be shown that the Pinker (2005) data for the rate increase in surface solar irradiance 1983 – 2001 can be explained as principally due to the albedo reduction over that period arising from diminishing cloud cover.So, as I said:Miskolczi Theory is the Scientology of the sceptical movement.It is possible to be a sceptic and to also think that Miskolczi Theory is complete BS – surprisingly enough to some deluded sceptics.I firmly reject the persistent crass attempts to somehow make Miskolczi Theory a basis for AGW scepticism. It's a mummy, a dead thing.By the same token I greatly admire the work of Spencer and agree with his statement that you quote.

  10. Nope! Average annual Specific Humidity from the surface up to 300 mb rises from ~15 g/kg in 1949 to ~17.5 g/kg in 2010 and indeed the range of annual variability get narrower (!) more recently (other than for the 1998/9 Large El Nino year)!As I said before, you can also plot SH in narrow slices of altitude (pressure) right up to the 300 mb limit and all that happens is the the SH trend getter flatter.Where is the trend to reduced SH at altitude?What sort of head were you referring-to?

  11. My statement read:”Average annual Specific Humidity FROM THE SURFACE UP TO 300 mb rises from ~15 g/kg in 1949 to ~17.5 g/kg in 2010″I also stated:”As I said before, you can also plot SH in narrow SLICES of altitude (pressure) right up to the 300 mb limit and ALL THAT HAPPENS is the the SH trend gets FLATTER.”Meaning THAT IT DOESN”T DECLINE (in the upper atmosphere).You're wriggling (yet) again Jan. Flash all the plots that you like but I'm not going to indulge you.Why don't you just be a good fellow and admit that the long term 1949 – 2010 record (much of the early stuff is radiosonde data BTW) CLEARLY does NOT show a progressive DECLINE in upper atmosphere Specific Humidity below 300 mb as Miskolczi Theory apparently demands?

  12. “Average annual Specific Humidity FROM THE SURFACE UP TO 300 mb rises from ~15 g/kg in 1949 to ~17.5 g/kg in 2010″”Now check the theory as stated by Dave and others.” In this case, there is an obvious relationship to Miskolczi’s theory of constant greenhouse effect, where levels of water vapour in the upper atmosphere adjust to maintain a constant greenhouse effect. “You want argue from the ground up but that is NOT the theory you are fighting a strawman here.

  13. No strawmen by me.As I said before, using the NCAR web site you your yourself cited (first) one can also plot SH in narrow SLICES of altitude (pressure) right up to the 300 mb limit and ALL THAT HAPPENS is the the SH trend gets FLATTER.”Meaning THAT IT HASN”T DECLINED (in the upper atmosphere) as M Theory requires.We have had the AGW people 'hiding their decline', do we now have to listen to you NOT finding yours?

  14. “No strawmen by me.”LOLI think we can leave it here we have the plot of the upper troposphere specific humidity whicch shows just what David stated I'll repeat it once more”In this case, there is an obvious relationship to Miskolczi’s theory of constant greenhouse effect, where levels of water vapour in the upper atmosphere adjust to maintain a constant greenhouse effect. “”ALL THAT HAPPENS is the the SH trend gets FLATTER.””reality check! If you stick with verifying the actual theory instead of one of your own (the strawman) and check what happens above 700 mb you will see the decline and the negative trend.

  15. You really haven't changed for the better have you? If you look at the SH 1949 – 2010 for the altitude pressure window 700 – 300 mb, as you insist, the trend is upwards from about say 5.8 g/kg to about say 6.4 g/kg. Within that width of pressure window there is certainly no declinine and the rising trend, such as it is, is certainly not getting flatter!You need to go back and re-read Miskolczi (2007) bottom of page 23 from the where it starts “For example, in case the increased CO2 is compensated by reduced H2O, the…” down to the end of the paragraph where M says: ” Note that there are accumulating evidence of long term negative surface pressure trends all over the southern hemisphere (Hines et al. 2000), which may be an indication of decreasing water vapor amount in the atmosphere.”So there Miskolczi is clearly talking about atmosphere right down to the surface even having (hopefully) a “decreasing water vapor amount'.Look – we've been here, done this, many, many times before Jan. M Theory is not really a religion and I have no intention wasting another 2 years chasing the endless hair-splitting of M's self-appointed pharisee.

  16. Look – we've been here, done this, many, many times before Jan. and I don't quite understand why you still don't get it.I think you need another year to think about it. Tata for now.

  17. That was a simple typo and you are a complete fibber. I've got a desk full of whole-of-globe plots here and I can't find any with real downward trends. Your uploaded graphs for the upper atmosphere are your own subjective judgement calls – essentially flat, no matter what pressure altitude you pick.

  18. Can't some of the water vapour versus altitude relationship be examined from ground-based or sonde barometric pressure?

  19. Can’t some of the water vapour versus altitude relationship be examined from ground-based or sonde barometric pressure?

    • “Can’t some of the water vapour versus altitude relationship be examined from ground-based or sonde barometric pressure?”

      Yep it’s done with radiosondes equipped with thermometer, hygrometer and altimeter.

      Trouble some of the older data is somewhat questionable because some (being conservative) radiosondes were launched without properly recording fiduciary and calibration information making review or reanalysis rather difficult.

  20. “Can't some of the water vapour versus altitude relationship be examined from ground-based or sonde barometric pressure?”Yep it's done with radiosondes equipped with thermometer, hygrometer and altimeter. Trouble some of the older data is somewhat questionable because some (being conservative) radiosondes were launched without properly recording fiduciary and calibration information making review or reanalysis rather difficult.

  21. Nick, your dietary comparison is inadequate; people can eat more and still lose weight if the caloric content of the food is less or if they exercise more and use more energy; which is the most appropriate description for the Earth’s climate feedback systems?

    I must admit that Steve and Jan’s discussion has left me wondering; has atmospheric water vapor increased or not; if SH has increased at 300 mb that would be a slam dunk for AGW wouldn’t it? I note Nick has not commented on this crucial issue.

    • I note Nick has not commented on this crucial issue.
      It isn’t all that connected to AGW (except of course via WV feedback). There’s a general belief that if the air above the sea gets warmer, for any reason, SH will rise there, and the increase will diffuse upwards. It has got warmer.

      But I’ve been a sceptic about measurements – I think we really don’t know. Here is what I said back in June 2008 (#3544). NCEP figures are not very reliable.

    • “if SH has increased at 300 mb that would be a slam dunk for AGW ”

      The Data from NOAA tells us that the globally averaged SH above 700 mb has generally decreased. There is no support in the data for the belief that the water vapour increase will diffuse upward as it has become warmer or as CO2 has increased.

      Here is another level 400 mb monthly instead of annual this time:
      http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/timeseries/timeseries.pl?ntype=1&var=Specific+Humidity+%28up+to+300mb+only%29&level=400&lat1=90&lat2=-90&lon1=180&lon2=-180&iseas=0&mon1=0&mon2=0&iarea=0&typeout=2&Submit=Create+Timeseries

      • I have been overseas on business for 5 days so have been unable to comment. A few points:

        I make the overall increase in SH over the entire globe over 1949 – 2009 for the pressure range from 1000 mb to 300 mb pressure to be from about 7.63 g/kg to about 7.88 g/kg, i.e. an overall INCREASE of about 0.25 g/kg.

        Superimposed on that increase I make the overall decrease in SH over the entire globe over 1949 – 2009 from 700 mb to 300 mb pressure to be only from about 2.53 g/kg to about 2.49 g/kg, i.e. a decrease of about 0.04 g/kg.

        Thus the decrease in SH at high altitude was about 0.04 g/kg imposed on top of an actual overall increase over the whole troposphere up to 300 mb pressure of about 0.29 g/kg i.e. only some 14% of the overall increase.

        The decrease in SH at high altitude may be seen to be an insignificant trend in the overall scheme of things because:

        (1) The bulk of the tropospheric water content (~70%) is at low altitude below about 4 km anyway i.e. below about 700 mb and there the really long term trend is clearly an increase.

        (2) Most LW IR absorption occurs in that lower part of the troposphere below ~ 4km anyway (as even Miskolczi himself often pointed out).

        (3) As I had noted, ironically even Miskolczi himself clearly expected the water vapor content should decline at all altitudes right down to the surface to provide his form (or more correctly perhaps, one of his forms of homeostasis).

        In this context, I can’t see a meaningful claim for significance in a downward trend in water vapor content at only high altitude (above ~ 4km) which is less than one sixth of the overall long term increase at low altitude (below ~ 4 km).

        Similarly I therefore can’t see how it demonstrates: ‘….an obvious relationship to Miskolczi’s theory of constant greenhouse effect,…’ – whatever is meant by that purposefully vague hand waving assertion.

        Obvious – how? Constant greenhouse effect – how come?

        It can also be noted that the apparent decline in SH at high altitude seems to occur largely in the earlier period when the data was derived from radio sondes rather than in the later period where the data is satellite-derived.

        Of course, that was the issue upon which critiques of Garth Paltridge’s paper were based. In all fairness it needs to be noted that Paltridge himself acknowledged that as a a potential confounding issue ‘upfront’.

      • Thanks for the clear comment Steve. I don’t have any problem with Garth’s assessment, and that Miskolczi took a few air swings in his paper, or that it was purposeful had waving, to draw attention to the homeostasis at core.

      • There was some discussion between Garth and Ferenc in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago on this issue. Garth was saying that he felt a small change high in the troposphere where there was little water vapour would make a bigger difference near the surface than even a large change low where it is already saturated. Ferenc saying that his radiometric analysis suggests it’s not so important that the changes are in the mid to high troposphere.

        I’m firmly on the fence on this one for now. Clearly more work needs to be done.

      • Welcome back Steve I trust it was a good trip.

        I’m glad that you’ve sorted out your bugs with the ESRL time series. I agree the downward trend in the mid to high troposphere is not as large as the upward trend down low. What difference that makes I don’t know but see my response to David.

  22. Nick, your dietary comparison is inadequate; people can eat more and still lose weight if the caloric content of the food is less or if they exercise more and use more energy; which is the most appropriate description for the Earth's climate feedback systems?I must admit that Steve and Jan's discussion has left me wondering; has atmospheric water vapor increased or not; if SH has increased at 300 mb that would be a slam dunk for AGW wouldn't it? I note Nick has not commented on this crucial issue.

  23. I note Nick has not commented on this crucial issue.It isn't all that connected to AGW (except of course via WV feedback). There's a general belief that if the air above the sea gets warmer, for any reason, SH will rise there, and the increase will diffuse upwards. It has got warmer.But I've been a sceptic about measurements – I think we really don't know. Here is what I said back in June 2008 (#3544). NCEP figures are not very reliable.

  24. “if SH has increased at 300 mb that would be a slam dunk for AGW “The Data from NOAA tells us that the globally averaged SH above 700 mb has generally decreased. There is no support in the data for the belief that the water vapour increase will diffuse upward as it has become warmer or as CO2 has increased. Here is another level 400 mb monthly instead of annual this time:http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/cgi-bin/data/times

    • “So this overview of the importance of SH for AGW based on ESRL data is wrong?”

      Not wrong but may be suspect. It is quite likely that the data for the early part, the late 40s and 50s isn’t the best but we really have no way of testing this or rechecking so we are stuck with what we have.

  25. “So this overview of the importance of SH for AGW based on ESRL data is wrong?”Not wrong but may be suspect. It is quite likely that the data for the early part, the late 40s and 50s isn't the best but we really have no way of testing this or rechecking so we are stuck with what we have.

    • I see. I think it probably isn’t quite right in the face of other warmists (Arthur Smith comes to mind) who have claimed the fingerprint of CO2 induced warming is a cooler stratosphere.

      It kinda doesn’t gel too well with it being able to hold more water vapour. Can’t be sure also can’t be sure it’s worth USD 15 for the article either.

    • Stratospheric WV is different. It’s very dry anyway, so there isn’t really an issue of being able to “hold” water. And the water doesn’t much come from below by diffusion etc. The main sources are oxidation of methane, and nowadays, airliners.

      • Nick the vapour pressure of water is very much related to the air temperature. Water can’t hang around too long where the air is thin an cold and that is why it is dry. The cold is also why it’s dry on the poles.

        Ha any one really considered that his low SH and RH at higher altitudes is having an effect on the worlds glaciers?

        I thing it would be.

  26. I see. I think it probably isn't quite right in the face of other warmists (Arthur Smith comes to mind) who have claimed the fingerprint of CO2 induced warming is a cooler stratosphere.It kinda doesn't gel too well with it being able to hold more water vapour. Can't be sure also can't be sure it's worth USD 15 for the article either.

  27. Stratospheric WV is different. It's very dry anyway, so there isn't really an issue of being able to “hold” water. And the water doesn't much come from below by diffusion etc. The main sources are oxidation of methane, and nowadays, airliners.

  28. Nick the vapour pressure of water is very much related to the air temperature. Water can't hang around too long where the air is thin an cold and that is why it is dry. The cold is also why it's dry on the poles.Ha any one really considered that his low SH and RH at higher altitudes is having an effect on the worlds glaciers?I thing it would be.

  29. I have been overseas on business for 5 days so have been unable to comment. A few points:I make the overall increase in SH over the entire globe over 1949 – 2009 for the pressure range from 1000 mb to 300 mb pressure to be from about 7.63 g/kg to about 7.88 g/kg, i.e. an overall INCREASE of about 0.25 g/kg.Superimposed on that increase I make the overall decrease in SH over the entire globe over 1949 – 2009 from 700 mb to 300 mb pressure to be only from about 2.53 g/kg to about 2.49 g/kg, i.e. a decrease of about 0.04 g/kg.Thus the decrease in SH at high altitude was about 0.04 g/kg imposed on top of an actual overall increase over the whole troposphere up to 300 mb pressure of about 0.29 g/kg i.e. only some 14% of the overall increase.The decrease in SH at high altitude may be seen to be an insignificant trend in the overall scheme of things because:(1) The bulk of the tropospheric water content (~70%) is at low altitude below about 4 km anyway i.e. below about 700 mb and there the really long term trend is clearly an increase. (2) Most LW IR absorption occurs in that lower part of the troposphere below ~ 4km anyway (as even Miskolczi himself often pointed out). (3) As I had noted, ironically even Miskolczi himself clearly expected the water vapor content should decline at all altitudes right down to the surface to provide his form (or more correctly perhaps, one of his forms of homeostasis). In this context, I can't see a meaningful claim for significance in a downward trend in water vapor content at only high altitude (above ~ 4km) which is less than one sixth of the overall long term increase at low altitude (below ~ 4 km). Similarly I therefore can't see how it demonstrates: '….an obvious relationship to Miskolczi’s theory of constant greenhouse effect,…' – whatever is meant by that purposefully vague hand waving assertion. Obvious – how? Constant greenhouse effect – how come? It can also be noted that the apparent decline in SH at high altitude seems to occur largely in the earlier period when the data was derived from radio sondes rather than in the later period where the data is satellite-derived. Of course, that was the issue upon which critiques of Garth Paltridge's paper were based. In all fairness it needs to be noted that Paltridge himself acknowledged that as a a potential confounding issue 'upfront'.

  30. Thanks for the clear comment Steve. I don't have any problem withGarth's assessment, and that Miskolczi took a few air swings in hispaper.

  31. There was some discussion between Garth and Ferenc in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago on this issue. Garth was saying that he felt a small change high in the troposphere where there was little water vapour would make a bigger difference near the surface than even a large change low where it is already saturated. Ferenc saying that his radiometric analysis suggests it's not so important that the changes are in the mid to high troposphere.I'm firmly on the fence on this one for now. Clearly more work needs to be done.

  32. Welcome back Steve I trust it was a good trip.I'm glad that you've sorted out your bugs with the ESRL time series. I agree the downward trend in the mid to high troposphere is not as large as the upward trend down low. What difference that makes I don't know but see my response to David.

  33. I have been overseas on business for 5 days so have been unable to comment. A few points:I make the overall increase in SH over the entire globe over 1949 – 2009 for the pressure range from 1000 mb to 300 mb pressure to be from about 7.63 g/kg to about 7.88 g/kg, i.e. an overall INCREASE of about 0.25 g/kg.Superimposed on that increase I make the overall decrease in SH over the entire globe over 1949 – 2009 from 700 mb to 300 mb pressure to be only from about 2.53 g/kg to about 2.49 g/kg, i.e. a decrease of about 0.04 g/kg.Thus the decrease in SH at high altitude was about 0.04 g/kg imposed on top of an actual overall increase over the whole troposphere up to 300 mb pressure of about 0.29 g/kg i.e. only some 14% of the overall increase.The decrease in SH at high altitude may be seen to be an insignificant trend in the overall scheme of things because:(1) The bulk of the tropospheric water content (~70%) is at low altitude below about 4 km anyway i.e. below about 700 mb and there the really long term trend is clearly an increase. (2) Most LW IR absorption occurs in that lower part of the troposphere below ~ 4km anyway (as even Miskolczi himself often pointed out). (3) As I had noted, ironically even Miskolczi himself clearly expected the water vapor content should decline at all altitudes right down to the surface to provide his form (or more correctly perhaps, one of his forms of homeostasis). In this context, I can't see a meaningful claim for significance in a downward trend in water vapor content at only high altitude (above ~ 4km) which is less than one sixth of the overall long term increase at low altitude (below ~ 4 km). Similarly I therefore can't see how it demonstrates: '….an obvious relationship to Miskolczi’s theory of constant greenhouse effect,…' – whatever is meant by that purposefully vague hand waving assertion. Obvious – how? Constant greenhouse effect – how come? It can also be noted that the apparent decline in SH at high altitude seems to occur largely in the earlier period when the data was derived from radio sondes rather than in the later period where the data is satellite-derived. Of course, that was the issue upon which critiques of Garth Paltridge's paper were based. In all fairness it needs to be noted that Paltridge himself acknowledged that as a a potential confounding issue 'upfront'.

  34. Thanks for the clear comment Steve. I don't have any problem with Garth's assessment, and that Miskolczi took a few air swings in his paper, or that it was purposeful had waving, to draw attention to the homeostasis at core.

  35. There was some discussion between Garth and Ferenc in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago on this issue. Garth was saying that he felt a small change high in the troposphere where there was little water vapour would make a bigger difference near the surface than even a large change low where it is already saturated. Ferenc saying that his radiometric analysis suggests it's not so important that the changes are in the mid to high troposphere.I'm firmly on the fence on this one for now. Clearly more work needs to be done.

  36. Welcome back Steve I trust it was a good trip.I'm glad that you've sorted out your bugs with the ESRL time series. I agree the downward trend in the mid to high troposphere is not as large as the upward trend down low. What difference that makes I don't know but see my response to David.

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