“But ABC”

Reducing climate change to Anything But CO2.


Climate change — it happens, with or without our help.


Read my lips: Climate change is a common planetary phenomenon that has nothing to do with people and cars.


Objections and Replies

Attribution. We don’t know how much is our fault & how much is
☞ The A in AGW is likely 93%–123% of the observed 1951–2010 change.

Backradiation. Backradiation does not warm
☞ At least you do not deny it exists. Here’s the IPCC’s description of the greenhouse effect: “The infrared radiative effect of all infrared-absorbing constituents in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases, clouds, and (to a small extent) aerosols absorb terrestrial radiation emitted by the Earths surface and elsewhere in the atmosphere.” Call that however you please. BTW, do you think blankets warm?

Cause. CO2 does not cause temperature to
☞ It influences solar radiation, which in turn affects temperature.

Climate changes. Climate doesn’t stay the exact same forever
☞ Our carbon dioxide has prevented the next ice age.

Coolant. CO2 is used as an industrial coolant
☞ Because it’s cheap and mostly harmless, not because it’s efficient.

Correlation. CO2 follows temperature in both short and long time scale
☞ If CO2 was all there was in the atmosphere, you’d have a point. Science is about explanation, and CO2 is the best one we got for current warming.

Cycles. This period of warmth is not different from prior periods
Current warming is occurring roughly ten times faster than the average rate of ice-age-recovery warming.

ENSO. Yes, AGW is a thing, but if we account for ENSO
☞ Is that you, Bob?

Entropy. The Earth has cooled from a molten state to its present
☞ That heat flow is too small (less than 0.1W/m^2) and has been constant over millennia, so it can’t explain current increases (H/T Entropic Man).

God. God controls the weather
☞ But She does not control climate.

Implication. That CO2 is a GHG in no way implies that increasing CO2 must— ☞ That the Sun has risen today does not imply it will rise tomorrow either.

Natural. The warming could be 100% natural
☞ Over the past 60 years, natural forcings have had a cooling effect.

Nights and Days. Each hot day it freezes at night
☞ Climate is a long term average.

Ozone. Warming is driven by changes in ozone
☞ Great! Quantify your new theory and publish it. Please mind your units.

Pluto. There’s global warming on Pluto
☞ Natural death does not exclude murder. If humans could not contribute to Nature’s ebbs and flows, they would be pure spirits.

Rotation. We discovered the Planet Surface Rotational Warming Phenom
☞ Is that you, Christos?

Teh Sun, Stoopid. No one recognizes solar output
☞ Quite sure physicists heard about the Sun.

Venus. Surface measurements on Venus refute the “radiative forcing” con—
☞ Is that you, Doug? Here is a counterpoint: Venus is the best example of what happens to a system with a runaway greenhouse effect.

Volcanoes. Massive eruptions at Kilauea for four months in 2018, but nary
Every single day humans release a Mt Pinatubo eruption’s worth of CO2.

Water Vapor.
☞ Water vapor fluctuates daily whereas CO2 used to vary on geological times scale.

Wood. R. W. Wood disproved the GHG theory
☞ There are at least two problems with Wood’s logic.


{} Second Law. There are lots of arcane discussions about the Second Law of thermodynamics. Unless you like to play #ButSemantics (it’s all about what warming means), stay away from them and defer to physicists. It takes expertise to diagnose misunderstandings.

* * *


Cool story.

Greenhouse effect on other planets.

Space Weather Prediction Center; NOAA provides all we need about Sun cycle.

Wood’s 1909 greenhouse experiment, performed more carefully; Vaughan rocks.

2019-07; You Asked: If CO2 Is Only 0.04% of the Atmosphere, How Does it Drive Global Warming?

2018-02; Anthropogenic and Natural Radiative Forcing; the IPCC’s take on natural forcings.

2017-09; Why the sun is not responsible for recent climate change.

2016-10; Can a blanket violate the second law of thermodynamics?

2016-02; What is the best explanation of the greenhouse effect?

2015; CO2 Measurements; we need more contrarians like Ferdinand.

2014-04; Skeptical Arguments that Don’t Hold Water

2012; The Global Climate System; not a bad introduction.

2010-11; The Tyndall Effect; great introduction by a great Climateball player.

2010-08; Yes, Virginia, Cooler Objects Can Make Warmer Objects Even Warmer Still

2009-01; Climate and Earth’s Energy Budget

2009; The Biggest Control Knob: Carbon Dioxide in Earth’s Climate History; Richard Alley rocks.

1997-08; Climate Change: The Basics; Web 0.1 was the best.

1993; How Sensitive is the World’s Climate?


2020-12; Global Carbon Budget 2020; https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-12-3269-2020

2010-10; Attribution of the present‐day total greenhouse effect; https://doi.org/10.1029/2010JD014287

2008-07; Earth’s Global Energy Budget; DOI:10.1175/2008BAMS2634.1

Climateball Episodes

2021-04; Mind Your Units; on Joe’s bogus geometry.

2015-11; Peter Ward’s Ozone Depletion Theory

2004-01; Your Logic Escapes Me; the time Judy misunderstood the 100% attribution statement.

2011-08; Slaying the Greenhouse Dragon Part IV;

2010-04; On the Miseducation of the Uninformed by Gerlich and Tscheuschner (2009).