Climate Change Authority: Last Spasm

Climate Change Authority: Last Spasm

by Anthony Cox

The government has already abolished the Climate Commission and Flannery is off romancing the new lady in his life, ex-prostitute, Kate Holden. Now it is the turn of that equally pompous and irredeemably incompetent Climate Change Authority [CCA] which will soon be abolished by the practical Abbott government.

None the less the CCA has managed to squeeze out one last report about the dire need to reduce our CO2 emissions due to man-made global warming [AGW]. The report is a farrago, an absolute mishmash of unrelenting garbage.

The basis of all its recommendations about increasing renewables and reducing CO2 emissions is Chapter 2, which deals with the ‘Science’ supporting [sic] AGW. Nothing in this chapter is correct; it is misleading from go to woe. Some examples demonstrate this.

On page 2 of Chapter 2 the Report says CO2 is the most important Greenhouse gas [GHG] and is produced in large quantities by humans.

CO2 is not the most important GHG, H2O is. This is beyond dispute despite bizarre ‘consensus’ papers produced on behalf of AGW which purport to show CO2 is a control knob for climate [see point 8 here.].

But there is no question that H2O is at least 2.5 times as important as CO2 in trapping and reemitting radiation as the Report quaintly and erroneously explains. The greater importance of H20 is clearly shown in this table prepared by one the greatest of all climate scientists, Ramanathan:

As is plain when H20 is removed there is a 25% adjustment on radiation flux; whereas when CO2 is removed there is a 9% adjustment. That is at the top of the atmosphere.

The difference within the atmosphere is even more marked. This is illustrated in the famous schematic cartoon prepared for AGW science purporting to show the movement of radiation within the atmosphere by Keihl and Trenberth [K&T]:

K&T show a huge amount of backradiation of 323W/m2; the bulk of this is in the 15um wavelength; is it from water or CO2?
The question is answered in the following paper: Measurements of the Radiative Surface Forcing of Climate, W.J.F. Evans & E. Puckrin, American Meteorological Society, 18th Conference on Climate Variability and Change (2006).
From Evans and Puckrin we see in tables 3a and 3b); Winter H20 94 to 125 W m-2 CO2 31 to 35 W m-2 Summer H20 178 to 256 W m-2 CO2 10.5 W m-2 Not only did the relative CO2 contribution drop in Summer, but the back radiation value decreased from about 30 in Winter to about 10 W/m2 Summer.
How do these Evans and Puckrin (2006) values compare with and confirm the energy estimates in K&T? The back radiation shown in the K&T chart is 323 W/m2. Data from Evans and Puckrin suggests that CO2 accounts for at most 10% of K&T, and in Summer CO2 is only about 3% of the K&T back radiation.
To get close to the K&T back radiation values, there apparently needs to be a LOT of water in the atmosphere; CO2 would only be relevant if there were no water.

As for the claim that humans are producing large quantities of CO2, this is contradicted by the IPCC, the source of the science which the CCA relies on. In the IPCC 4th Report, AR4, Figure 7.3 from AR4 showed the annual flux or movement of CO2 from natural and man-made sources:

The total flux from all sources per year is 218.2Gt; the amount of CO2 from human sources is 8Gt or 3.67% of the annual total.

The CCA Report then says that the increase in temperature since 1950 is extremely likely caused by humans as asserted by the latest IPCC Report, AR5, which has been roundly critiqued. The CCA then scraps the bottom of the barrel by referring to the consensus and the Cook et al paper which has not only been critiqued but ridiculed.

It is worth looking at the Cook paper in some detail because this egregious paper is the basis of all that is wrong with the CCA Report. Put simply Cook used different definitions to both bolster his claim and to exclude contrary papers. As expert statistician William Briggs says:
In any survey such as Cook’s, it is essential to define the survey question very clearly. Yet Cook used three distinct definitions of climate consensus interchangeably. Also, he arbitrarily excluded about 8000 of the 12,000 papers in his sample on the unacceptable ground that they had expressed no opinion on the climate consensus. These artifices let him reach the unjustifiable conclusion that there was a 97.1% consensus when there was not. 
As Ken Gregory states:
 The Cook et al study data base has seven categories of rated abstracts.
1. 65 explicit endorse, >50% warming caused by man (See link in first news release) 2. 934 explicit endorse 3. 2933 implicit endorse 4. 8261 no position 5. 53 implicit reject 6. 15 explicit reject 7. 10 explicit reject, <50 by="" caused="" man="" span="" warming="">
We can't even say that 65 abstracts in the "explicit endorse" category, or 0.54% of 12,000 abstracts, supports the IPCC consensus as many climate skeptics believe the humans (via black soot, UHI, GHG) may cause 50 to 80% of the warming, but strongly disagree that man-made greenhouse gases have caused more that 90% of the 20th century warming. There has been no warming for 16 years, a fact that strongly supports the skeptics case. 
Put bluntly Cook et al is a disgrace yet the CCA uses it as the bulwark of its scientific justification for the rest of its recommendations about comprehensive energy and social policy to be implemented in Australia.

The CCA should follow the Climate Commission and its members can then go about their business like Flannery and no longer cost the rest of Australia vast amounts of money with grandiose schemes to change the weather.

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See Also Terry McCrann's Eliminating Climate Insanity.