Climate Model Forecasts, Rising Atmospheric CO2 Levels & Global Warming

Climate models forecast increasing temperatures on earth because of increasing levels of atmospheric CO2, but observational data appears to contradict this claim.

Subsequent to publishing the feature “The Fluid Envelope – A Case Against Climate Alarm” by Dr. Richard Lindzen, we received an email from a science journalist questioning one of the central assertions in Lindzen’s report. The writer wanted to know on what basis Dr. Lindzen was claiming there has been no significant warming in the last 10+ years. In response, Lindzen emailed the following table, showing temperature trends for the last 27 years. This data is based on global (including over the ocean) average temperature readings per year, per altitude, as reported by the U.K.’s Hadley Climatic Research Unit:

altitude (meters/feet) hPa Trend (C/decade)
24,000/79,000 30 -0.84
20,000/65,500 50 -0.76
16,000/52,500 100 -0.35
14,000/46,000 150 -0.12
12,000/40,000 200 -0.01
9,100/30,000 300 0.10
6,500/21,500 500 0.05
3,000/10,000 700 0.06
1,500/5000 850 0.08
zero (surface) 1,000 0.13 (from HadCRU3)

As the data indicates, over the past two decades, temperatures have actually declined in the upper troposphere, even though there has been some minor upward trends in temperature at sea level and lower altitudes. This completely contradicts conventional global warming models. As Dr. Lindzen explained in his follow up email:

“I used this data to show that the trend at 300 hPa was not about 2.5 x the surface trend which is what greenhouse warming [models] requires.” Apparently climate models that predict global warming ala increasing levels of atmospheric CO2 assume increasing temperature trends in the troposphere, where CO2 concentrates, and the reality is the troposphere is not getting hotter, it is getting cooler.

Before we radically rearrange the political economy of the world because some scientists claim anthropogenic CO2 is the cause of climate change, it might be worthwhile for anyone taking a position on the topic to consider whether or not this is indeed “well settled science.”

Any rebuttals to this interesting bit of data would be most welcome.

24 Responses to “Climate Model Forecasts, Rising Atmospheric CO2 Levels & Global Warming”
  1. Dr Coles says:

    Over 400 World Wide Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007. See InteliOrg.

  2. Brian says:

    I think you’ll enjoy this award winning illustration showing all the water and all the air. There’s a few of its calculations here too.

  3. Paul Dymon says:

    Certainly man has an impact of everything. We have to stick our collective fingers into everything we see. We over-consume, therefore we impact. The question and answer seems to be whether you “believe” in warming or not. Any question asked is immediately tagged as criminal if it dare questions the validity of the Gore Academy Award. However I highly doubt anyone in the “academy” has an advanced science degree or good taste for that matter. But the Nobel?

  4. George E. Smith says:

    Well what CO2 or methane or any other so-called ghg does anywhere in the atmosphere is somewhat irrelevent, because ANYTHING that tends to cause the SURFACE of the earth to warm; particularly if by re-radiated Infra-red radiation in the 13-17 micron band affected by CO2, is immediately absorbed mostly in the surface film of the ocean and leads to prompt evaporation of H2O; the forgotten ghg. And we now know the system gain from surface warming to increased cloud cover that results form that evaporation (and the subsequent precipitation resulting from that extra cloud cover, and it is more than enough extra cloud to squash any possible surface warming that CO2 could try and cause.
    The earth’s surface temperature (where all of us and all the ice lives) is completely regulated by massive negative feedback due to the evaporation/cloud formation cycle, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with CO2.

  5. Eli Rabett says:


    (I really like the low vision feature of your security check)

    1. The root of this is Lindzen’s prediction that the troposphere will dry if the surface warms while pretty everyone else thinks relative humidity will stay constant which means that water vapor concentrations will increase in the upper troposphere. That leads to warming the upper troposphere.

    For a discussion of observations see
    This is a ppt presentation on a less formal basis

    which shows that the stratosphere is cooling (T4), and the upper troposphere is warming (T2). Stratospheric cooling is a base prediction of the IPCC consensus and is strongly observed.

    Note from the ppt, that the UAH MSU T2 data lies significantly below the RSS and that the models match the RSS reasonably well. I think you are being sold a bridge in Brooklyn

    2. There is an efficient transfer of heat from the surface deeper into the ocean. Energy from IR/Solar photons absorbed near the surface is rapidly mixed into the bulk not concentrated at the surface (try to do a BOE calculation, if this were not the case the thin upper film in which the photons are absorbed would boil). George Smith is trying to sell you a bridge in Brooklyn

  6. Roy says:

    I believe in warming on the earth but I don’t believe that humans are a main cause. I also believe that the earth only gets so warm then it will start to cool. When the earth gets closer to the sun and to venus and mercury it gets warmer. When it gets further from the sun and the two inner planets it gets colder. If people say we’re the main cause of global warming ask them how come the polar ice caps on mars are melting. Maybe there are little green men there lighting fires. My point is there is no human on Mars, man or woman, and Mars is quite a bit further from the sun, yet Mars is still warming. So why would we be the cause of global warming on earth? All it is is a bunch of crock.

  7. Barry says:

    Uh-huh… everyone’s favorite sock puppet is back — how are you ‘Eli’? Still selling the bridges you accuse others of doing, I see. The UAH & RSS T2 plots are not significantly different. If you wanted to avoid differences induced by trust of backing satellites introducing spurious warming you could always refer to Hadley’s graphics but they don’t suit your narrative either, do they? Shame there’s been no statistically significant change in stratospheric temperature for a decade (does nothing for that ‘heat trapped at lower altitudes being denied to the stratosphere’ thing, eh?).

    Oh, and if ‘captured Joules’ are ‘hiding’ in the deep ocean? That would be really good because there’s more than 250 atmosphere’s worth of mass in the oceans and if ‘captured’ warming is being distributed through the system (explaining why we can’t find it) then anticipated warming would only be 0.4% of those for the atmosphere, meaning the most extreme guesstimate of +6 K would really only be +0.024 K for 2xCO2, right?

    The enhanced-greenhouse hypothesis just isn’t cutting it as a real-world disaster. Time to find another boogey-man.

  8. anna v says:

    Have a look at the plots in this

    where David H. Douglass, John R. Christy, Benjamin D. Pearsona, and S. Fred Singer compare IPCC models and measured temperature trend for the last three decades.

    It says the same thing, no warming of the troposphere over the tropicals and great difference with IPCC model predictions.

  9. Robert Wood says:

    Facts cannot be rebutted..

  10. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    RE: Carbon Dioxide in Real Air.
    The following is a comment that I posted on JunkScience on FeB. 24.

    The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere as determined by analysis of ambient air at Mauna Loa is reported for “Standard Dry Air” which is air at 273.16 K and 1 atm pressure and is comprised of nitrogen, oxygen and the inert gases. These are the reference conditions always used for reporting the composition of the atmosphere based on analysis of ambient air at a particular site by various methods. The value is only valid for Mauna Loa and bear no relationship to the concentration of CO2 in “Real Air” at any other site. “Real Air” is term for ambient air at the intake ports of air seperation plants and is used in the HVAC industries.

    In general, the composition and physical properties of real air are quite site specfic, variable and depend primarily on elevation and fluctuating temperature, air pressure, and absolute humidity and to a lessor extent on the seasons and weather, site surface and geophysical features (e.g., ocean, mountains, desert, forests, cropland, urbanization, etc) and on biological and human activities. Clouds and the temperature of water bodies will also effect the concentration of CO2 in the air above them.

    For example, if standard dry air is heated to 30 deg C the mole number declines by about 10% but the relative ratios of the gases in the real air will remain about the same. This is origin of the phase “well-mixed gases in the troposphere.”

    Standard dry air has 388 ml of pure CO2/cu. meter. At 30 deg C this value drops to 350 ml/cu. meter. If the air were to become saturated with water vapor (ca, 4% by volume), the amount of CO2 declines to about 336 ml/cu. meter

    Air pressure declines about 1 psi per 2000 ft increase in elevation. This would lower the density of the air and thus the absolute amount of the gasses per unit volume. However, air temperature drops about 6 deg C per 2000 ft. increase in elevation. This would increase the density of air. Thus the absolute amount of the gasses per unit volume of air becomes a complex function of these variables as well as the above mentioned fluctuating temperature, air pressure and absolute humidity.

    Since clouds have a high surface area and CO2 is quite soluble in water, the amount of CO2 in the air will be altered and depend the cloud density, i.e, the amount of water per cubic meter. If the clouds move into warmer air and dissipate, the CO2 will be released to air. If the clouds move into cooler air and rain is formed, the CO2 will be transported to the surface and its disposition will depend on that surface. Over the oceans the CO2 will mix in the water quickly. Over the land, however, the nature of the surface will effect whether the CO2 is retained in the water (e.g., porous soil) or released back to the air (for example, hot concrete or rocks or plant leaves, etc).

    Over water the amount of CO2 in the air will be influenced by the temperature of the upper layers. The solubility of CO2 declines rapidly with increasing water temperature and can be about 60% lower in water at 30 deg C than water at 0 deg C. As warm tropical water moves to the poles, its temperature slowly drops and by the time it reaches the polar region the water temperature can be about 0 deg C, and can hold about 2.5 times as much CO2 as the warm tropical water. How much CO2 is absorbed will depend on air presssure, wind, wave action, salinity and biological activity, etc.

    Biological activity will affect the amount of CO2 in the air. In particular, green plants from algae to big trees fix CO2 in the daytime, but all animals and non-photosynthetic microbes respire. At night all plants and animals respire.

    Human activities will affect local and regional concentration of CO2 in the air. For example, in Southern California, the concentration of CO2 will start to increase at sunrise, continue to rise throughout the workday, and will be the highest at the end of the evening rush hour after which the concentration of CO2 will start to decline. How the CO2 disperses will depend on the weather (e.g., movement of highs and lows into and out of the region) and the direction of the wind(s). Presence of large airports will certainly alter the local concentration of CO2.

    What all of the above boils down to is this: There is no uniform spatial and temporal distribution of CO2 in real or ambient air as expessed in an absolute amount per unit volume of air. Climate models would probably give better results if the absolute amount of CO2 per unit volume is used (e.g., milligrams or millimoles/cubic meter) and some method for estimating the above mentioned spatial and temporal distribution(s). However, the fluctuating concentration of CO2 would be most prevalent in the lower troposphere, and might not apply in upper troposphere above ca. 40,000 ft.

    Since standard dry air exists at no site on the surface of the earth, any “computer modeling experiments” using a value of 388 ppmv will give erroneous results.

    Commercial aviation might alter the concentration of CO2 and water vapor in the lower troposphere due to the enormous emission of these two gases upon combustion of jet fuel. For example, at take off for a long flight, a Boeing 747-400ER has 240,000 liters of jet fuel. Upon combustion, about 603,000 kg of CO2 and 247,000 kg of water will be produced, and most of this will be deposited at ca. 35,000 ft where the air pressure is quite low.

  11. Paul Dymon, the Nobel Prize Commitee does not hand out the Nobel Peace prize. It is given by the Norwegian government, a socialist one for the moment. It is a political prize, not a scientific. From one socialist to another, essentially.

  12. BRIAN M. FLYNN says:

    I understand that former NASA researcher Miskolczi has written in “Greenhouse effect in semi-transparent planetary atmospheres” at:

    that 1) generally accepted climate models based upon semi-infinite atmospheric parameters introduce for clear or optically thin atmospheres large errors into equilibrium surface temperatures, 2) finite semi-transparent atmospheric models, on the other hand, give the “correct relationships between the fluxes, greenhouse parameters and the flux optical depths…good enough to give quantitative estimates with reasonable accuracy”, and 3) the latter models resolve the surface temperature discontinuity problem, and show “significantly reduced greenhouse effect sensitivity to optical depth perturbations”.

    I read the October, 2006 “peer reviewed” paper published in Quarterly Journal of the Hungarian Meteorological Service as a possible explanation for the findings reported by Lindzen.

    The findings by Miskolczi were rejected by the IPCC because they were unsupported by the literature, but you would expect nil written support since he questioned the conventional approach in the first instance. If his findings are nevertheless valid, then the rejection certainly appears arbitrary and capricious.

    Has anyone given the foregoing more attention and, if so, what conclusion(s)?

  13. Todd Sicklinger says:

    The total heat/energy flux through the upper troposhpere is reduced, at least temporarily, as a result of global warming. The energy in (from the sun) is still the same. However, the energy leaving the earth is reduced by the green house gasses. Accordingly, the total heat flux through the upper troposhere is reduced and its temperature falls.

  14. Pink Pig says:

    Eli Rabett is a well-known troll.

    I was amused by Harold Pierce Jr.’s reply. Apparently he thinks that HVAC has something to do with air conditioning: it stands for High-Voltage Alternating Current.

  15. anna v says:


    There IPCC plots are reproduced which show that the trend in air should be warmer than the on on the ground, because by construction that is the greenhouse model. Only be introducing the CO2 greenhouse can they get this. The data is in complete disagreement.

    It is impossible to believe any projections from models that do not even reproduce their basic premise: CO2 induced greenhouse effect. Np epicycles can save these models.

  16. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    Hello Pink Pig!

    HVAC stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning” Go check the Yellow Pages.
    Are you an EE?

  17. Bobclive says:

    Eli-Rabbet is a main player at realclimate, treat with caution.

  18. Vic Sage says:

    “The total heat/energy flux through the upper troposphere is reduced, at least temporarily, as a result of global warming. The energy in (from the sun) is still the same. However, the energy leaving the earth is reduced by the green house gasses. Accordingly, the total heat flux through the upper troposphere is reduced and its temperature falls.”

    Your reasoning does indeed explain why the upper atmosphere would be cooler, except one needs to throw out 100% of what is known about radiative heat transfer to make it work.

  19. birather khan says:

    give an education to peoples that how to make homes to protect yourself from warm season. how it will be possible to new construction in all over the world that peoples protect themselves from warm and cold season. is there any suggesstion for new kind of buildings, or is it possible? think about for living because the warming system increase day by day. need plantation for new forestry to make earth green and solve the problem. what kind of houses are safe from fire and heat and how the low income peoples can make their homes. please think for world and for safety of humans.

  20. offshore says:

    Is it legal for me to have – offshore companies explained here?, and bank accounts? How to start? Can I move my existing business offshore


  21. Tony says:

    Conserve, protect, love…Let’s fault on the side of caution, shall we?

  22. Mho says:

    Most blogs/comment vehicles concentrate on the so-called “green house” gasses as the major cause of the “warming”. I do that myself (I have no formal training beyond 12th grade chemistry/physics and am about 70 yrs old) as I think if you can knock “that bottle” off the fence post the whole idea of MMGW will implode !!. A friend recentley suggested that maybe all the argument back and forth was a distraction and we would be better served by delving into WHY this is MMGW is being pushed so hard ??? Is it possible that MMGW is about power and money ?? I am leaning that way but wish I was wrong !! I have seen video’s claiming to be from the 1960′s which suggested that we could eliminate war by creating a new bogeyman and the environment/climate change would be an ideal vehicle. There are some who believe we are on the verge of another ice age based on the 100,000 year climate cycle. Tony’s comment “Conserve, protect, love…” seem to have no point. Fault on the side of caution. ??? I would agree if he means don’t turn over American sovernty to a world body that you may never be able to extricate us from. If he means don’t create a whole new taxing body via Cap & Trade which would not help us during this recession to create badly needed jobs for Americans, then I would agree. Vast amounts of money commited to global warming (warming and cooling like April, come she will) and the possibility of the oposite happening would be catastrophic !!! Some feel the poor and 3rd world would be hurt most by Cap&Trade. They need developement and electrical power by any reliable means (wind, solar, and geothermal while renewable can, I have read only supply up to 15% maximum of the worlds energy needs). The world is not going to need less power but more due to growing population and power needs are not brought on line overnight. (The Chinese bring about 1 coal fired plant online per week). The poem below by my father pops into my mind more these days…


    Whether the world shall be destroyed
    by fire or ice,
    nobody knows;
    but I’m inclined to think from the way
    the wind blows,
    it’s more likely to be by fire.
    But should a man not be proved a fool
    by a witch,
    and it turns out in the end to be ice,
    from what I know of winter clothes,
    I’d hire
    the graduate of an eastern boiler school
    in preference to one of a western school–
    but if it’s fire–
    it doesn’t really matter which!

    From “Ballad of Twelth Night and “Other Poems”

    G.W. Sherman 1903-1988

    P.S. Remember, consensus is not SCIENCE !! Consensus among scientists is when they leave the coffee break AND they are not at each others throats !!

  1. …Global warming sceptics buoyed by record cold – Freak rain, not global warming, blamed for last year’s devastating floods…

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