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IPCC Ignores Studies of Soot’s Effect on Global Warming

The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) drastically understates the warming potential of soot (black carbon) in its report to policy makers. The IPCC has an agenda and that agenda is to blame manmade carbon dioxide emission for climate change. Europe and Asia emit most of the soot from burning coal, wood, dung, and diesel in open fires or without particulate filters in stoves, chimneys, smokestacks, and exhaust pipes. The United States has been restricting soot emissions in Draconian fashion since the Clean Air Act of 1963. The IPCC agenda is really about blaming the United States. I document all this below the fold.

JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, 2002

Control of fossil-fuel particulate black carbon and organic matter,
possibly the most effective method of slowing global warming

Black Soot and Snow: A Warmer Combination (my emphasis)

NASA News Archive
December 22, 2003

New research from NASA scientists suggests emissions of black soot alter the way sunlight reflects off snow. According to a computer simulation, black soot may be responsible for 25 percent of observed global warming over the past century.

Soot in the higher latitudes of the Earth, where ice is more common, absorbs more of the sun’s energy and warmth than an icy, white background. Dark-colored black carbon, or soot, absorbs sunlight, while lighter colored ice reflects sunlight.

Soot in areas with snow and ice may play an important role in climate change. Also, if snow- and ice-covered areas begin melting, the warming effect increases, as the soot becomes more concentrated on the snow surface. “This provides a positive feedback (i.e. warming); as glaciers and ice sheets melt, they tend to get even dirtier,” said Dr. James Hansen, a researcher at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York.

Hansen and Larissa Nazarenko, both of the Goddard Institute and Columbia University’s Earth Institute, found soot’s effect on snow albedo (solar energy reflected back to space), which has been neglected in previous studies, may be contributing to trends toward early springs in the Northern Hemisphere, thinning Arctic sea ice, melting glaciers and permafrost. Soot also is believed to play a role in changes in the atmosphere above the oceans and land.

“Black carbon reduces the amount of energy reflected by snow back into space, thus heating the snow surface more than if there were no black carbon,” Hansen said.

Soot’s increased absorption of solar energy is especially effective in warming the world’s climate. “This forcing is unusually effective, causing twice as much global warming as a carbon-dioxide forcing of the same magnitude,” Hansen noted.

Scientists Watch Dark Side Of The Moon To Monitor Earth’s Climate

“Earth’s climate is driven by the net sunlight that it absorbs,” says Philip R. Goode, leader of the New Jersey Institute of Technology team, Director of the Big Bear Solar Observatory, and a Distinguished Professor of Physics at NJIT. “We have found surprisingly large–up to 20 percent–seasonal variations in Earth’s reflectance. Further, we have found a hint of a 2.5-percent decrease in Earth’s albedo over the past five years.” If Earth reflected even one percent less light, the effect would be significant enough to be a concern with regard to global warming.

Click here for many more articles about global warming and black soot if the above aren’t enough.

Now after considering these smoking soot guns implicating black carbon with “global warming” in a major way compare Hansen’s (NASA climate researcher) climate forcing factors to the figures in the IPCC 2007 climate report.

Hansen Forcings
Hansen Forcings: Black Carbon = 0.8 (for higher res image click here)

The IPCC doesn’t mention the number they use for BC forcing in the press releases. You have to dig it out of the details in the 2007 IPCC Assessment Report Physical Science Basis

IPCC Forcings
IPCC Forcings: Black Carbon = 0.1 (for higher res image click here)

You’ll find all the forcing factors (Hansen et al vs. IPCC) agree except for black carbon. In Hansen black carbon (BC) is given a forcing factor of 0.8 (a major factor second only to C02) but in the IPCC report it’s given a factor of 0.1 which makes it trivial. Also note Hansen says BC is TWICE AS EFFECTIVE as a CO2 forcing of the same magnitude so we can double that 0.8 to 1.6 so black carbon alone should be equal to CO2 as a source of warming.

But if you have an agenda to blame CO2 and hence the United States then of course you must understate (lie) about black carbon so you don’t put any blame on Europe and Asia. Sickening isn’t it?

FEB 1999 Sat
Global Temperature Anomalies: February 1999 From NASA (for higher res image click here)

Soot Density
Soot Density Around the World From NASA

Notice any similarities between the two maps?

Global Average
Global Average Temperature 1979-2003 in degrees C Above and Below Normal From NASA

Global Warming is a misnomer. As you can see by the graph of global average temperature it’s cooler than average as much as it is warmer. It should be called Regional Warming.

Temperature anomaly map and graph from NASA’s Interactive Satellite Data Browser. The following explanation (my emphasis) is found there below the data browser. I highly encourage you to browse the data for yourself.

Global temperatures have been monitored by satellite since 1979 with the Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) flying on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) TIROS-N series of polar-orbiting weather satellites. Data from nine separate satellites have been combined to provide a global record of temperature fluctuations in the lower troposphere (the lowest 5 miles of the atmosphere) and the lower stratosphere (covering an altitude range of about 9-12 miles). The global image above shows monthly-averaged temperature anomalies (departure from seasonal normals), while the graph shows point or area-averaged anomalies for the entire period of record (since January 1979).

The lower tropospheric data are often cited as evidence against global warming, because they have as yet failed to show any warming trend when averaged over the entire Earth. The lower stratospheric data show a significant cooling trend, which is consistent with ozone depletion. In addition to the recent cooling, large temporary warming perturbations may be seen in the data due to two major volcanic eruptions: El Chichon in March 1982, and Mt. Pinatubo in June 1991.

The high temp in 1998 was due to an unusually strong El Nino – a cyclic event. You can see it in the map below in the eastern Pacific.

1998 El Nino
1998 El Nino (eastern Pacific) From NASA

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3 Responses to IPCC Ignores Studies of Soot’s Effect on Global Warming

  1. Dave

    The IPCC diagram and the Hansen diagram are consistent. They just show the same things in different ways. If you add all the forcings together for both diagrams they both come to approx +1.8.

    The difference is that Hansen has included the aerosol effect of black carbon (which does not have the x2 effect on temperature) in the BC column which adds up to 0.8. The IPCC include this under their total aerosol effect which is correspondingly less negative. The forcing due to black carbon on snow is approximately 0.1 in both cases.

  2. markf

    re; black carbon positive forcing included in IPCC report under aerosol

    This very well may be true but there is no mention in the IPCC report of a specific number for positive forcing of black carbon in the aerosol graph. Hansen’s arrangement clearly shows that black carbon is a major factor in anthropogenic global warming and at best this is hidden in the IPCC report.

    So it doesn’t change at all the main thrust of the article which is that the IPCC has an agenda – blame CO2 and with it the United States. If they’d shown the black carbon forcing all in one column like Hansen and then exposed the major sources of black carbon it would point a big finger of blame at Europe and Asia.

    As the opening reference pointed out it’s far easier to limit black carbon emissions than CO2 emissions. Breathing CO2 in any reasonable atmospheric concentration is not harmful to health for animals (including us) and is beneficial for plant growth (raising crop yields). Moreover, the warming effect of black soot can be eliminated in 3-5 years vs. reducing CO2 which won’t help for 50 – 200 years (see below). Breathing soot on the other hand is bad for animals and deposition on plant leaves is bad for them too. That’s why the U.S. never considered CO2 a pollutant but has considered soot a pollutant and taken measures starting 40 years ago to limit soot emissions.

    The IPCC clearly has an agenda and because of that they have created a great hoopla to reduce CO2 when the science, the practicality, and the net benefit to humanity would come from targeting black carbon emission instead.

    Control of fossil-fuel particulate black carbon and organic matter,
    possibly the most effective method of slowing global warming
    Mark Z. Jacobson
    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA
    Received 9 October 2001; revised 5 February 2002; accepted 12 April 2002; published 15 October 2002.
    [1] Under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, no control of black carbon (BC) was considered.
    Here, it is found, through simulations in which 12 identifiable effects of aerosol particles on
    climate are treated, that any emission reduction of fossil-fuel (f.f.) particulate BC plus
    associated organic matter (OM) may slow global warming more than may any emission
    reduction of CO2 or CH4 for a specific period. When all f.f. BC + OM and anthropogenic
    CO2 and CH4 emissions are eliminated together, the period is 25–100 years. It is also
    estimated that historical net global warming can be attributed roughly to greenhouse gas
    plus f.f. BC + OMwarming minus substantial cooling by other particles. Eliminating all f.f.
    BC + OM could eliminate 20–45% of net warming (8–18% of total warming before
    cooling is subtracted out) within 3–5 years if no other change occurred. Reducing CO2
    emissions by a third would have the same effect, but after 50–200 years. Finally, diesel cars
    emitting continuously under the most recent U.S. and E.U. particulate standards (0.08 g/mi;
    0.05 g/km) may warm climate per distance driven over the next 100+ years more than
    equivalent gasoline cars. Thus, fuel and carbon tax laws that favor diesel appear to promote
    global warming. Toughening vehicle particulate emission standards by a factor of 8 (0.01 g/
    mi; 0.006 g/km) does not change this conclusion, although it shortens the period over
    which diesel cars warm to 13–54 years. Although control of BC + OM can slow warming,
    control of greenhouse gases is necessary to stop warming. Reducing BC + OM will not
    only slow global warming but also improve human health.

  3. This is off topic I know, but thought I would ask what people here thought of Electric Universe theory. http://www.holoscience.com/

    They seem to say a few things that are rather similar to things that IDists often say.

    “When a crowd—a consensus—believes something, any doubt appears unreasonable. A crowd of scientists is not exempt from having “major delusions.” This spurs my criticism and dissent. What follows is, I hope, the outline of a remedy for some of the most obstinate delusions of modern science.”
    http://www.holoscience.com/new.....ensus#dest

    “Q: Have plasma cosmologists such as you made any predictions that have been successful? Astronomers have made lots of successful predictions.
    A: Oh really? Name one. They claim they have. But they haven’t.”
    http://www.holoscience.com/new.....e=8u6jdqr1

    And finally, here’s one that’s slightly on topic.
    “Like Darwin’s theory of evolution and Big Bang cosmology, global warming by greenhouse gas emissions has undergone that curious social process in which a scientific theory is promoted to a secular myth.”
    http://www.holoscience.com/new.....e=8gfbewe7

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