Monthly Archives: August 2009

Comment On News Article “U.S. Chamber of Commerce Seeks Trial On Global Warming”

There was a news article in the LA times on August 25 2009 by Jim Tankersley entitled “U.S. Chamber of Commerce seeks trial on global warming“.

The article has the text

“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, trying to ward off potentially sweeping federal emissions regulations, is pushing the Environmental Protection Agency to hold a rare public hearing on the scientific evidence for man-made climate change.”

I do not know if a “trial” is effective, however, it is certainly clear that the EPA ruling is scientifically very flawed, as I wrote in a series of posts:

Republican Comment On EPA Endangerment Findings

Brief Overview Of Several Climate Science Research Findings

Comments On The EPA “Proposed Endangerment And Cause Or Contribute Findings For Greenhouse Gases Under The Clean Air Act”.

As I have written in the last weblog above

In conclusion, the EPA Endangerment findings is the culmination of a several year effort for a small group of climate scientists and others to use their positions as lead authors on the IPCC, CCSP and NRC reports to promote a political agenda.

Now that their efforts have reached the federal policy decision level, Climate Science urges that there be an independent commission of climate scientists who can evaluate the assement process that led to the EPA findings as well as the climate science upon which it is constructed. “

The Chamber of Commerce statement further documents that independent assessments of the EPA findings are required.

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The Issue That James Annan and Gavin Schmidt Should Focus On With Respect To The Klotzbach Et Al 2009 Paper

There has been quite a bit of discussion by James Annan (see and see) and Gavin Schmidt (see) on our paper

Klotzbach, P.J., R.A. Pielke Sr., R.A. Pielke Jr., J.R. Christy, and R.T. McNider, 2009: An alternative explanation for differential temperature trends at the surface and in the lower troposphere. J. Geophys. Res., in press.

 which is quite peripheral to the conclusions of our paper.  In our multi-authored paper

Mahmood, R., R.A. Pielke Sr., K.G. Hubbard, D. Niyogi, G. Bonan, P. Lawrence, B. Baker, R. McNider, C. McAlpine, A. Etter, S. Gameda, B. Qian, A. Carleton, A. Beltran-Przekurat, T. Chase, A.I. Quintanar, J.O. Adegoke, S. Vezhapparambu, G. Conner, S. Asefi, E. Sertel, D.R. Legates, Y. Wu, R. Hale, O.W. Frauenfeld, A. Watts, M. Shepherd, C. Mitra, V.G. Anantharaj, S. Fall,R. Lund, A. Nordfelt, P. Blanken, J. Du, H.-I. Chang, R. Leeper, U.S. Nair, S. Dobler, R. Deo, and J. Syktus, 2009: Impacts of land use land cover change on climate and future research priorities. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., in press

We summarized the issue as follows

“The stable nocturnal boundary layer does not measure the heat content in a large part of the atmosphere where the greenhouse signal should be the largest (Lin et al. 2007; Pielke et al. 2007a). Because of nonlinearities in some parameters of the stable boundary layer (McNider et al. 1995), minimum temperature is highly sensitive to slight changes in cloud cover, greenhouse gases, and other radiative forcings. However, this sensitivity is reflective of a change in the turbulent state of the atmosphere and a redistribution of heat not a change in the heat content of the atmosphere (Walters et al. 2007). Using the Lin et al. (2007) observational results, a conservative estimate of the warm bias resulting from measuring the temperature from a single level near the ground is around 0.21°C per decade (with the nighttime minimum temperature contributing a large part of this bias). Since land covers about 29% of the Earth.s surface, extrapolating this warm bias could explain about 30% of the IPCC estimate of global warming. In other words, consideration of the bias in temperature could reduce the IPCC trend to about 0.14°C per decade; still a warming, but not as large as indicated by the IPCC.”

So far, it appears that neither James or Gavin are particularly knowledegable on boundary layer physics.  While they certainly have expertise in other areas in climate science, they have failed so far to comment on the topic in the above paragraph (which is what the Klotzbach et al (2009), Lin et al (2007) and Pielke and Matsui (2005) papers are about.

My current weblog is an invitation to them to comment on the above paragraph (either as guest weblogs or on their sites). If they ignore this request, it would further demonstrate that they are commenting outside of their expertise on the subject of our papers, and that their real goal is simply to malign papers they disagree with.

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Comments On An E-mail Exchange With James Annan

James Annan and I have been exchanging e-mails over the weekend, and while he clearly is misunderstanding the focus of the papers,

Pielke Sr., R.A., and T. Matsui, 2005: Should light wind and windy nights have the same temperature trends at individual levels even if the boundary layer averaged heat content change is the same?Geophys. Res. Letts., 32, No. 21, L21813, 10.1029/2005GL024407

Lin, X., R.A. Pielke Sr., K.G. Hubbard, K.C. Crawford, M. A. Shafer, and T. Matsui, 2007: An examination of 1997-2007 surface layer temperature trends at two heights in Oklahoma. Geophys. Res. Letts., 34, L24705, doi:10.1029/2007GL031652.

Klotzbach, P.J., R.A. Pielke Sr., R.A. Pielke Jr., J.R. Christy, and R.T. McNider, 2009: An alternative explanation for differential temperature trends at the surface and in the lower troposphere.J. Geophys. Res., in press.

the fact that he is engaging in more-or-lessconstructive debate is encouraging.

I have posted below my edited latest reply to James, as the information should be useful to those have been misled by James’s and Gavin Schmidt’s posts on our paper [James still concludes this is only about the radiative forcing of CO2; James's statement in the comments that "At least it now seems fairly clear from the recent distraction tactics (eg belatedly trying to convolute the effect of different atmospheric states with that of anthropogenic forcing) that he realises his error" still emphasizes his missing the point on our papers].

Here is my latest e-mail.  With James permission, I would post his also.

E-Mail to James Annan August 23 2009

James

 I do not reject the figure by Woods. That figure presents the instantaneous radiative flux divergences for the specific vertical profiles used in that analysis. However, it does not have the time integration that would result in the development of a stable boundary layer near the surface.

 To more closely illustrate the actual issue in our papers, as one example, we compute vertical heating rates all of the time in our modeling. As an easily accessible sample, see Fig 8-6 in my modeling book [Mesoscale MeterologicalModeling, 2nd Ed. 2002] for a location in Australia. The rate of cooling is about 0.18K per hour with the largest cooling near the surface. At 1.5 km, it is about an order of magnitude smaller. An alteration in the vertical distribution of this heating will necessarily alter the minimum temperature at 2m.

 What I see is the issue is that you are fixated on the radiative effect of doubled CO2. I agree with you that it is a much smaller effect than other influences on changing the vertical distribution of the heating.  In the Eastman et al 2001 paper , see Figure 8. These results present an integrated analysis of the effect on the vertical distribution of heating on minimum temperatures where both radiative flux divergence and vertical divergence of turbulent heat fluxes are included.

 The radiative effect of CO2 on the minimum temperature is an inconsequential -0.017 C, but it does have an effect. The biogeochemical effect (which alters stomatal conductance and the growth of leaf area and roots during the period of the simulation) is +0.097 C and the land use change is +0.261 C. The later two are significant. Both of the later, we attribute to the addition of water vapor into the atmosphere [and its effect on the vertical profile of the long wave radiative flux divergence] as a result of the greater leaf area.

 Thus the focus on the radiative effect of doubled CO2, which was presented in P&M as just one example of what could alter 2m temperatures, is a diversion from the focus of our paper. Anything which alters the vertical distribution of heating will alter the temperatures at 2m. If the alteration is systematic over years, it will result in a bias in the interpretation of the 2m temperature trends (anomalies) as moving in tandem with the trends (anomalies) higher up.

 I invite you to comment on the core of the three papers [P&M; Lin et al; and Klotzbach et al] instead of the peripheral discussion of TOA and surface radiative heating from the doubling of CO2. The core issue is

“Our results also indicate that the 1.5 or 2 m minimum long term temperature trends over land are not the same as the minimum long term temperatures at other heights within the surface boundary layer (e.g. 9 m), even over relatively flat landscapes such as Oklahoma. For landscapes with more terrain relief, this difference is expected to be even larger.

Therefore, the use of minimum temperatures at 1.5 or 2 m for interpreting climate system heat change is not appropriate. This means that the 1.5 to 2 m observations of minimum temperatures that are used as part of the analysis to assess climate system heat changes (e.g., such as used to construct Figure SPM-3 of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [2007] and of Parker [2004, 2006] study) lead to a greater long term temperature trend than would be found if higher heights within the surface boundary layer were used.”

Your comments on the above conclusion would be where the focus of your weblogs are. If you disagree, discuss why. 

 You are using the discussion of the role of the radiative effect of added CO2 in  directly altering the surface fluxes as an way to divert attention from the actual conclusions of our paper. Indeed, if we accept your interpretation that the direct radiative effect of doubled CO2 is so small, yet the other effects, such as land use change are so much more important even at short time periods, we should take away the message that there is much more to climate change than just changes in the radiative top of the atmosphere forcing due to added CO2.

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Does Gavin Schmidt Understand Boundary Layer Physics?

I want to thank Bryan Sralla for alerting me to the comment by Gavin Schmidt on Real Climate  regarding  our papers 

Klotzbach, P.J., R.A. Pielke Sr., R.A. Pielke Jr., J.R. Christy, and R.T. McNider, 2009: An alternative explanation for differential temperature trends at the surface and in the lower troposphere. J. Geophys. Res., in press

and

Mahmood, R., R.A. Pielke Sr., K.G. Hubbard, D. Niyogi, G. Bonan, P. Lawrence, B. Baker, R. McNider, C. McAlpine, A. Etter, S. Gameda, B. Qian, A. Carleton, A. Beltran-Przekurat, T. Chase, A.I. Quintanar, J.O. Adegoke, S. Vezhapparambu, G. Conner, S. Asefi, E. Sertel, D.R. Legates, Y. Wu, R. Hale, O.W. Frauenfeld, A. Watts, M. Shepherd, C. Mitra, V.G. Anantharaj, S. Fall,R. Lund, A. Nordfelt, P. Blanken, J. Du, H.-I. Chang, R. Leeper, U.S. Nair, S. Dobler, R. Deo, and J. Syktus, 2009: Impacts of land use land cover change on climate and future research priorities. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., in press.

The questions on Real Climate by Paul Klemencic and Gavin’s comment are reproduced below along with my responses.

 FROM REAL CLIMATE

Paul Klemencic says:

Paul Klemencic Question #1: Since this post was set up to discuss how to critique a scientific paper, I wonder whether an example from a paper currently in publication might be interesting. The paper accepted by Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society is “Impacts of Land Use Land Cover Change on Climate and Future Research Priorities” by Rezaul Mahmood, Roger Pielke Sr., et. al. A copy of the paper is here: http://www.climatesci.org/publications/pdf/R-323.pdf

One of the key findings seems to summarized in this passage:

“The stable nocturnal boundary layer does not measure the heat content in a large part of the atmosphere where the greenhouse signal should be the largest (Lin et al. 2007; Pielke et al. 2007a). Because of nonlinearities in some parameters of the stable boundary layer (McNider et al. 1995), minimum temperature is highly sensitive to slight changes in cloud cover, greenhouse gases, and other radiative forcings. However, this sensitivity is reflective of a change in the turbulent state of the atmosphere and a redistribution of heat not a change in the heat content of the atmosphere (Walters et al. 2007). Using the Lin et al. (2007) observational results, a conservative estimate of the warm bias resulting from measuring the temperature from a single level near the ground is around 0.21°C per decade (with the nighttime minimum temperature contributing a large part of this bias). Since land covers about 29% of the Earth’s surface, extrapolating this warm bias could explain about 30% of the IPCC estimate of global warming. In other words, consideration of the bias in temperature could reduce the IPCC trend to about 0.14°C per decade; still a warming, but not as large as indicated by the IPCC. ”

A couple of quick questions on this result:

1. Is it fair to conclude that every one of the very large number of temperature measurements made on the land would be impacted by a surface boundary layer? Can a direct linear extrapolation be used to estimate the warming bias, as was done in this paper?

[Gavin Schmidt Response: As is being discussed in a number of places, there is a strong possibility of misunderstanding these statements. Changes in the BL structure for whatever reason do not cause the surface temperature trend to be wrong in any respect. If however you wanted to calculate the total heat content trend of the atmosphere (something which has not heretofore been a big requirement), then you would want to take the vertical profile changes into account (and not just in the boundary layer). If however, you are trying to compare observed surface trends to a model then you'd not have to make any corrections since a perfect model would have exactly this same behaviour. - gavin]

Roger A. Pielke Sr. Comment:

Our papers do not indicate that the measurement of the temperature is incorrect. It is the interpretation of the 2m temperatures in terms of the heat content trend above the surface that is the issue. Gavin actually agrees with this perspective, but then ignores its significance.  The use of a global average surface temperature trend to diagnose climate system heat changes introduces a bias in the magnitude of the heat changes.  The GISS communication of a global average surface temperature trend, as a surrogate to describe global warming is quantitatively flawed (e.g. see and see for how the global average surface temperature trend is linked to  climate system heat changes [global warming]).

Paul Klemencic Question #2:

2. It appears that correcting the land reading by the large warm bias in this report would wipe out almost all of the land warming trend. If so, is a stable or cooling land surface trend consistent with satellite measurements over the continents showing warming of the lower and mid-level troposphere?

[Gavin Schmidt Response:This is not evidence that the land surface trend needs to be adjusted if you are comparing like with like. There is plenty of reasons to expect the land surface trend to be faster than the ocean trends - just as is observed. - gavin]

Roger A. Pielke Sr. Comment: Gavin shows that he does not understand the issue raised in the text from the Mahmood et al paper.  There is a significant bias in the use of 2m minimum temperatures as a diagnostic for deeper atmospheric temperature trends and anomalies.  I can only imagine that Gavin superficially read our papers, if he read them at all.  He does clearly inadequately understand boundary layer dynamics.

Paul Klemencic Question #3:

3. The paper seems to conclude that much of the warming bias is due to heat generated from man’s activities other than the GHG forcing. Is the heat released from mankind’s activities enough to explain the warming bias of 0.21 K per decade?

[Gavin Schmidt Response:Really? First off, this isn't evidence that there is a bias in the surface temperature trends. Secondly, I don't think this is related to the direct output of waste heat into the atmosphere. This might be locally important in some regions, but as a global effect (or even just a land effect) it is a couple of orders magnitude smaller than the impact of increased CO2 on the forcing. - gavin]

Roger A. Pielke Sr. Comment: Here Paul Klemencic misinterprets the papers.  While waste heat certainly is another effect that will alter the minimum temperatures, the issue we raise occurs whenever there are stably surface boundary layers. This typically occurs everywhere at night (particularly on clear and light wind nights) and in the high latitudes in the winter.  This happens even in pristine landscapes. Gavin Schmidt, by not reading the papers, or as a result of his lack of knowledge regarding boundary layer dynamics, did not accurately reply to Paul’s question.

Final Paul Klemencic Comment

If you would prefer to defer addressing this issue and answering these questions at this time, I will understand.

Roger A. Pielke Sr. Comment:  Gavin Schmidt should have invited me (or one of our other co-authors to respond). Clearly, however, despite clear evidence of his inadequate lack of knowledge of boundary layer physics, he elected to be the authority on our research papers.  This just further documents that Real Climate does not present balanced viewpoints on research papers, but uses misinformation to seek to discredit them. This is a pity, since Gavin Schmidt, if he would educate himself on the issues we raise, could contribute significantly to a constructive discussion of our papers. So far, he has not done so.

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Major Errors In James Annan’s Post “Pielke and Matsui (2005) revisited”

UPDATE: James made this new claim on his weblog titled PM05 resolved (see his comment linked to one of my weblogs in the last paragraph of his post).

Roger,

The change in heating rate in those plots is much less than 0.05K/day near the surface, probably 0.01K/day (green curve = relevant to the real world). How do you reconcile this with the change in heating rate of about 0.1K PER HOUR that you used in your calculations?

The classic book The Climate Near the Ground by Geiger et al (reprinted most recently in 2009) illustrates the error in James’s statement.  On page 124,  for example, they report changes of at least 0.1C  PER HOUR, and often more, as a result of changes in vertical stratification and surface characteristics. The sensitivity of the 2m  temperatures to the overlying thermodynamic stability, intensity of turbulent mixing, and surface fluxes is illustrated even in this early study.  The authors discuss atmospheric moisture and cloud cover effects elsewhere in their excellent book. I recommend that James read this text to update himself on the surface boundary layer and for an explanation of the physics of minimum temperatures that occur overnight.

*******************************************************************************

James Annan has posted on his weblog  “Pielke and Matsui (2005) revisited”. In it, he perpetuates his misunderstanding of that paper, as well as its role in defining the issue that is examined further in Lin et al 2007 and Klotzbach et al 2009.

His errors start with his text [where he is referring to

Pielke Sr., R.A., and T. Matsui, 2005: Should light wind and windy nights have the same temperature trends at individual levels even if the boundary layer averaged heat content change is the same?Geophys. Res. Letts., 32, No. 21, L21813, 10.1029/2005GL024407]

“In all this work, they apply the radiative cooling at the surface, even though they explicitly portray this forcing as being representative of the effect that arises from a change in GHG concentrations. Standard climate theory holds that the radiative forcing is applied the top of the atmosphere – indeed this is the level at which the forcing is defined. It is simply wrong to claim that a doubling of CO2 will generate a forcing of 3.7Wm-2 at the surface, for example.”

What we actually wrote is

“……if the nocturnal boundary layer heat fluxes change over time, the trends of temperature under light winds in the surface layer will be a function of height, and that the same trends of temperature will not occur in the surface layer on windy and light wind nights.”

The addition of CO2 was presented as just one example of how the nocturnal boundary layer fluxes can change over time.  Other examples, include changes in atmospheric water vapor content, cloudiness , and alterations in the surface heat fluxes due to landscape change.

He clearly further illustrates his misunderstanding of this issue as he wrote

“Thus, a large increase in GHGs generates a warming rate of about 0.04K per day across the boundary layer, as compared to the Pielkian ~1K over a single night (depending on wind speed).”

We never stated that there would be a 1K change across the boundary layer. He has completely  misrepresented our paper. 

 The 1K change is concentrated near the surface (e.g. 2m).  Figure 1 in

Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007: Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S08, doi:10.1029/2006JD008229

provides a real world example of how the nocturnal boundary layer cools during the night.

With respect to the actual changes in surface heat fluxes due to a doubling of CO2, this  is discussed on my weblog at

Relative Roles of CO2 and Water Vapor in Radiative Forcing).

Further Analysis Of Radiative Forcing By Norm Woods

where the instantaneous simulated flux change from a doubling of CO2 is on the order of 1 Watt per meter squared, as we used in Pielke and Matsui paper. However, it does not matter in our analysis,, what the reason for a change in the cooling rate of 1 Watt per meter squared is.

He also writes

“The startling impact of this odd application of “bottom of the atmosphere” forcing is apparent from their Table 1. A change in this “forcing” of a mere 1Wm-2 leads to a temperature difference of a whopping 1.5C (at the 2m level) over a single calm night! This is the simple result of applying 1Wm-2 of cooling to the fairly shallow layer at the bottom of the atmosphere, which has relatively low heat capacity due to its shallowness.”

He actually recognizes the issue (the cooling effect is concentrated in a fairly shallow layer), but does not see its significance!

The 1.5C temperature difference that he lists results from the manner in which  cooling is vertically distributed in the surface boundary layer.  With stronger winds, for example, this heating is distributed through a deeper layer.

What we have explored in the Pielke and Matsui (2005), Lin et al (2007) and Klotzbach et al (2009) papers is summarized as follows:

1.  A global average surface temperature trend is used to diagnose the magnitude of global warming.  This is clearly shown in the equation (from NRC, 2005)

dH/dt = f – T’/λ  

where H is the heat content in Joules of the climate system, f is the radiative forcing at the top of the tropopause, T’ is the change in surface temperature in response to a change in heat content, and λ is the climate feedback parameter. Equation (1) above is a thermodynamic proxy for the thermodynamic state of the Earth system; as such, it must be tightly coupled to that
thermodynamic state, as we wrote in our 2007 JGR paper

2. T’ is computed from the equation

T’ = [T' (over the ocean) *  area of the ocean + T' (over land) * area of the land]/[area of the Earth's surface].

3. T'(over land) = [T' (maximum) + T' (minimum)]/2

4.  T’ is supposed to be monitored at a standard height (e.g. 2m); if it is not, this introduces another bias, but for this discussion, I will assume that all of the land measurements are at 2m.

5. Our papers show that whenever the boundary layer is stably stratified, any alteration in the cooling rate (for any reason), results in a greater temperature change in T’ at 2m than would occur higher up.

6. This means that these values of T’ (from the 2m height) are NOT an appropriate thermodynamic proxy for the thermodynamic state of the Earth system. Values of of temperature anomalies used to calculate  T’ when the atmosphere is stably stratified are not tightly coupled to the thermodynamic state of the global climate system. 

6. Using observed data from Lin et al 2007,  we report (see) that

“[T]he monitoring (and predicting with multi-decadal global models) the temperature at a single level over land near the surface, as representative of deeper layer temperature trends that are positive, introduces a significant warm biasUntil further analysis is completed using temperature trend data at two or more levels near the surface, the best estimate that we have is that this warm bias  explains about 30%of the IPCC estimate of global warming [based on a global average surface temperature trend].”

As a final comment, I have worked with James Annan in the past (see). I would be disappointed if he now has decided join the group (such as we see on Real Climate) who inaccurately discuss research papers  in order to discredit them.

 

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Guest Weblog By Kiminori Itoh “Soot And The Arctic Ice – A Win-Win Policy Based On Chinese Coal Fired Power Plants”

Kiminori Itoh of Yokohama National University has prepared a guest weblog for us. It is titled “Soot And The Arctic Ice – A Win-Win Policy Based On Chinese Coal Fired Power Plants” [UPDATE: see also Mike Smith's Guest Weblog on this subject]

GUEST WEBLOG

As you saw in a recent weblog in Climate Science, China appears to be modifying the global climate through aerosol emission from a large number of coal fired power plants: August 12, 2009, New Paper “Increase In Background Stratospheric Aerosol Observed With Lidar” By Hofmann Et Al 2009.  This paper gave me an idea that soot from China may be responsible for the recent reduction of the Arctic ice, which finally leads me to a Win-Win policy on coal fired power plants in China, as you see below.

The target of the paper of Hofmann et al was  sulfate aerosol transported into stratosphere. Thus, its main effect on the global climate is cooling of the troposphere and warming of  the stratosphere similar to volcanic eruptions. In fact, this paper was introduced in Science (24 July 2009, p. 373) with the title of “China’s Human Volcano.”

The Chinese aerosol, however, can have another effect on the climate. That is, a possible influence of soot on the Arctic ice. It seems to me that Hofmann et al.’s paper, together with other recent findings, gives evidence for this possibility as follows:

1) Hofmann et al’s paper shows that stratospheric haze became densest in 2007 and declined a little after that. According to their claim, this is associated with the changes in sulfate emissions from China. This fact reminds me that the ice extent in the Arctic sea was significantly reduced in the 2007 summer and recovered after that. Since the amount soot should be proportional to that of sulfate, also the amount soot transported to the Arctic may have a peak in 2007, and may explain the dramatic reduction of the sea ice extent; the soot deposited onto the ice surfaces absorbs sun light of Arctic summer, gives heat to the ice, and lets it melt. This process should be particularly effective during summer of the Arctic when the sun does not set.

2) About half of the recent temperature increase in the Arctic region is reportedly due to aerosols (combination effects of sulfate and soot) (D. Shindell and G. Faluvegi, Nature Geosci. 2, 294-300 (2009)); this result convinces one that the influence of soot on the Arctic environment does exist.

3) There are other recent papers on soot: e. g., “Atmospheric brown clouds: Hemispherical and regional variations in long-range transport, absorption, and radiative forcing,” V. Ramanathan et al., J. Geophys. Res. vol. 112, D22S21, doi:10.1029/2006JD008124, 2007.

From these results, I suspect that the soot from China is responsible for the recent reduction of sea ice in the Arctic summer. To verify this, detailed chemical analyses, such as carbon allotropes, should be made if the soot can be sampled from the ice (this may be an interesting project).

Thus, I can claim that the influence of the soot is likely large. Then, according to the spirit of the precautionary principle, the soot from China should be reduced even if  the scientific basis is not sufficient. The precautionary principle should be applied not just to CO2, but to other primary factors of climate changes. If this is not possible just because there is no statement on soot in the FCCC (Framework of Convention of Climate Change), we need another convention (or protocol) which enables us to treat soot properly. Otherwise, countermeasures on climate change will be useless.

Now, I want to point out that the reduction of the Chinese soot can become a Win-Win policy for China as well as for other countries. About 80% of the Chinese electricity comes from coal fired power plants. The CO2 emission from China in 2004 was about 2.27 billion metric tons, which was 8.6% of the world emissions (26.3 billion metric tons). But, their efficiency of energy production is still low (34.6% as an average), and emissions other than CO2 and aerosol (i. e., mainly SOx, NOx and mercury) bring heavy health problems as well. In fact, resultant atmospheric pollution causes 300 thousands to 400 thousands of deaths a year.

If countries like Japan, which has advanced technologies of coal fired power plants (e. g., energy production efficiency being 41.1% in Japan), can cooperate with China to increase the efficiency of energy production and to decrease all kinds of emissions, this will become a true Win-Win policy. China can save a lot of human lives and working hours, can reduce the influence of the aerosol on the global climate, and in addition, can reduce CO2 emission. The other countries also benefit from this policy, including economical ones and a reduction of transboundary pollution.

This Win-Win policy actually will reduce the emission of CO2. Just from this aspect, it is much better than the cap-and-trade policy which in fact will increase the CO2 emissions. Moreover, and importantly, when considering a large capacity of coal reserves, this is a reasonable tactics in near future.

With this kind of Win-Win policies, developing countries like China can agree with developed countries on their energy policies. There will be no progress in the negotiation between them if the developing countries can participate in the climate policies only through the reduction of CO2. We need flexible approaches for complicated issues like the climate changes.

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Comment on The Webog Of Michael Tobis “My Final Word on Klotzbach”

Michael Tobis at Only In It For The Gold has posted a weblog titled “My Final Word on Klotzbach”.  In it he perpetuates the misinformation concerning our paper that I reported on earlier today (see).  He continues, for example,  to assume we are talking about an error in the measurement of the surface temperatures (which we are not), and to claim that the Eastman et al 2001 paper misrepresents the radiative effect of added CO2 over the time scale of our model simulation.

In the Eastman et al paper, we showed that for short (monthly) time scales, the biogeochemical effect of added CO2 and of land use change were larger effects on the seasonal weather than the radiative effect of CO2.  The advection of weather from outside the regional domain was the same for each of our model sensitivity experiments.  This does not mean the radiative effect is not important at longer time periods (it is), but its biogeochemical effect is much more immediate.

The Eastman et al paper citation was just presented to illustrate one of the effects (added CO2 and H2O) which can reduce the long wave cooling to space.  The conclusions of our paper are not at all affected by that paper.

Our paper is dependent on the paper

Lin, X., R.A. Pielke Sr., K.G. Hubbard, K.C. Crawford, M. A. Shafer, and T. Matsui, 2007: An examination of 1997-2007 surface layer temperature trends at two heights in Oklahoma. Geophys. Res. Letts., 34, L24705, doi:10.1029/2007GL031652.

This is the one Micheal Tobis should be commenting on, if he disagrees with our findings.  Also, we published the issue of a warm bias (and other uncertainties and biases in the surface temperature trend record) in

Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007: Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S08, doi:10.1029/2006JD008229.

Except for one Comment in JGR (see),  and our Reply (see and see), our paper remains without any peer reviewed disagreement of our findings. Michael Tobis should read and comment on this paper, also, if he wants to be convincing that he is actually understanding the science.

I will repeat here what we have reported in our paper, and on the blogs;

“[T]he temperature at a single level over land near the surface, as representative of deeper layer temperature trends that are positive, introduces a significant warm bias.”

Moreover, despite his claim that much of the trend is in the tropics, as seen in the figure from NCDC reproduced in my weblog New Paper Documents A Warm Bias In The Calculation Of A Multi-Decadal Global Average Surface Temperature Trend – Klotzbach Et Al (2009), there is a substantial warm anomaly at higher latitudes over land.

With respect to his statements that

“1) The mechanism described in Pielke & Matsui is surely real in this respect: as greenhouse gases increase and global warming proceeds, the strength of extreme nighttime near-surface inversions will decline. If it is faster than other effects it will contribute to making the surface temperature trend go up without affecting the middle atmosphere trends.

This comment is certainly true, and fits with our findings. If Micheal really accepts this, then he should agree that using the surface temperature trend as a diagnostic of global warming (e.g. see pages 19-21 in NRC, 2007) is an inadequate metric.

2) It is implausible that this effect is large enough in the aggregate (common enough as a fraction of space and time) to account for discrepancies in global trends in GCMs. It would take quite a lot of serious revisiting of boundary layer theory and boundary layer implementation in models to quantify the expected effect to demonstrate this one way or the other, work that the Pielke crowd has not undertaken.”

Our conclusion is based on the Lin et al (2007) paper and substantiated by the Klotzbach et al 2009 (2009) paper.  Stating that “It is implausible that this effect is large enough in the aggregate (common enough as a fraction of space and time) to account for discrepancies in global trends in GCMs” documents that he has failed to complete the actual  quantitative analysis to refute our claims. The warm bias we have identified occurs whenever the overlying atmosphere warms and the surface boundary layer is stably stratified.

The bottom line conclusion that should be reached is that Michael Tobis has not completed a proper scientific assessment of our paper, but rather, has other motives for dismissing it.  This is unfortunate, since if he would actually engage in a constructive debate on this subject with questions and answers, everyone would benefit. He is certainly welcome to do this on my weblog or on his.

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