An Astrophysicist Sums Up

Excerpts from the three part series below.

A significant amount of evidence indicates that the global temperature did increase during the 20th century. For example, direct thermometer measurements indicate that the temperature increased by perhaps 0.8°C.

In summary, there is no direct evidence showing that CO2 caused the 20th century warming, or as a matter of fact, any warming. The question to ask is therefore can we point to some other culprit? If humans are not the only ones responsible for climate change, what else is responsible?

Moreover, when studying directly the total ocean heat content, it is possible to see that the amount of heat going into the oceans is at least 5 times larger than can be expected from just the changes in the total solar irradiance (e.g., see this blog entry and references therein). Thus, one can conclude that there must be at least one mechanism amplifying the link between solar activity and climate.

The fact that the sun plays a decisive role in climate change has important implications to the understanding of the causes of 20th century global warming and the expected temperature change in the coming century. The increased solar activity over the 20th century can be translated into a radiative forcing contribution. Since the solar/climate link was already quantified, it is possible to estimate the solar contribution, which turns out to be about half of the measured warming.

Thus, the warming component left to be explained by humans is much smaller than is often claimed by the proponents of the anthropogenic warming. However, if we are to predict the temperature change over the 21st century, we have to know what is the expected human contribution to the radiative budget, but equally important, also the climate sensitivity to these changes in the energy budget.

As we have seen above, the answer to the second question is that the sensitivity is most likely small. In fact, this sensitivity is about 1 degree increase per doubling of CO2.

The evidence shows therefore that even if we continue with “business as usual”, we will not cause a climate catastrophe. It is also possible to estimate the sea level increase, which will be of order 10 cm over the coming century, much less than the meters talked about in Gore’s movie.

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0 thoughts on “An Astrophysicist Sums Up

  1. David, I am surprised at your comments such as 1degree increase per doubling of CO2. Miskolczi see here http://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B74u5vgGLaWoNDFjODAwMWMtNmNmYS00NDhmLWI3NjItMTE0NGMwNWMxYjQ2&hl=en
    acknowledges your input to his paper. Is there something in Miskolczi’s paper with which you have a problem? I would be interested. I have not gone through the maths but it appears the referees did. Further, the are a number of papers and blog posts indicating that temperature records have been fiddled eg http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/07/31/agdataw-begins-in-1990/ . Certainly some of the raw rural data I have examined show lower temperature increase than 0.8C although such an increase should not concern anyone.

    • This was not written by David but Nir Shaviv, hence the “astrophysicist”. Follow the “three part series link”. Also, the article starts off saying “Excerpts from”.

  2. David, I am surprised at your comments such as 1degree increase per doubling of CO2. Miskolczi see here http://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B74u5vgGLaWoNDF…acknowledges your input to his paper. Is there something in Miskolczi's paper with which you have a problem? I would be interested. I have not gone through the maths but it appears the referees did. Further, the are a number of papers and blog posts indicating that temperature records have been fiddled eg http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/07/31/agdataw… . Certainly some of the raw rural data I have examined show lower temperature increase than 0.8C although such an increase should not concern anyone.

  3. This was not written by David but Nir Shaviv, hence the “astrophysicist”. Follow the “three part series link”. Also, the article starts off saying “Excerpts from”.

  4. I apologise to David. I focused on the comments and did not realise that the post concerned articles put up by Prof Nir Shaviv.
    However, my questions are still valid for David and I am interested in his views. I would also be interested in the views of Prof Nir on the paper by Miskolcsi and the post and comments on the linked Chiefio (EM Smith) blog. The more recent post http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/agw-jumping-sharks-since-1986/ add to the doubtful treatment of data as does the controversy surrounding the the book “The Hockey Stick Illusion” by A W Mountford who runs the Bishop Hill Blog see for example http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/8/3/judy-c-at-c-a-s.html

  5. I apologise to David. I focused on the comments and did not realise that the post concerned articles put up by Prof Nir Shaviv.However, my questions are still valid for David and I am interested in his views. I would also be interested in the views of Prof Nir on the paper by Miskolcsi and the post and comments on the linked Chiefio (EM Smith) blog. The more recent post http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/agw-jum… add to the doubtful treatment of data as does the controversy surrounding the the book “The Hockey Stick Illusion” by A W Mountford who runs the Bishop Hill Blog see for example http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/8/3

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