My take on why warming is observed and what climate sensitivity appears to be in four easy steps

Dr. Douglas V. Hoyt

Step 1. The warming is occurring over the land.

Quoting from Vincent Gray, we have:
"The MSU measurements show only Northern versus Southern Hemisphere, but they can easily be used to calculate the temperature changes over sea and land separately. The Northern Hemisphere rise was +0.153 C/decade. The Southern Hemisphere was +0.12 C/decade.

Now 50.9% of the Northern hemisphere is ocean and 84.8% of the Southern Hemisphere. If x is the temperature rise per decade for land, and y the temperature rise per decade for sea, then

0.509y + 0.491x = 0.153
0.848y + 0.152x = 0.012

This gives x= 0.36 C/decade over land and y = - 0.05 C/decade over oceans, for 1979-2003.

In other words, the satellite figures give no warming at all for the sea, but a warming of 0.36 C/decade for the land." In addition, the surface observations show more warming over land than
oceans, but the surface observations use buoy and ship water temperatures and so are not very reliable over oceans. GISS rejects their use.

Step 2: The vegetation is getting greener and hence darker as determined by satellite observations.

The attached figure shows how closely trends in NDVI and surface temperature follow each other over Eurasia and North America. Even the year to year fluctuations parallel each other. As the
surface gets darker (higher NDVI; Zhou et al., 2001; Royer et al., 1997), it absorbs more radiation and the surface layer warms. The upper troposphere temperature will also warm, but less so since it is at a distance from the source of the heat. This vertical pattern is observed. Furthermore, in winter the darker evergreens will contribute to even greater warming than in the summer, and this is observed as well. So the observed darker surface explains the spatial, vertical, and seasonal patterns of the warming. Greenhouse gases cannot explain any of these patterns.

Step 3. Lunar observations show the Earth got darker from 1984 to 1998 and has gotten brighter since then, paralleling the trends in surface temperature.

The changes are illustrated in Figure 3 of (Palle et al., 2004; in press). From 1984 to 2000, the additional shortwave forcing due to the change in the Earth's albedo is 6.8 W/m2. The purported forcing by carbon dioxide over the same time period is about 0.35 W/m2. The change is Earth's temperature at the surface is roughly 0.31 C and in themid-troposphere about 0.13 C.

Step 4. The lunar observations and temperature observations allow the climate sensitivity to be measured (as opposed to purely theoretical arguments).

From this we can conclude that the climate sensitivity is 0.31/(6.8+0.35) = 0.043 C/W/m2. This compares to a blackbody sensitivity of 0.3 C/W/m2. It implies a large negative feedback loop in the climate system as claimed by Karner (2002) and Douglass et al. (2004).
For a doubling of carbon dioxide it would imply a warming of 0.15 C, a very small number. On the chance that Palle et and al. forgot to divide by four to account for a spherical spinning earth, the climate sensitivity would still be 0.15 C/W/m2 giving a doubling warming of 0.53 C, a number consistent with many empirical measurements and one fifth what Hansen and the IPCC usually assume.


So in summary the IPCC paradigm appears weak and unsupported in nearly every aspect. The climate models fail to predict the geographical distribution of the warming, have the vertical changes incorrect, cannot deal with diurnal variations adequately, have some success with seasonal changes, and overestimate the magnitude of the long-term trends. In contrast, changes in surface properties are consistent with virtually all the observations (geographical, vertical, diurnal, seasonal, and long-term in direction and perhaps magnitude) and indicate a low climate sensitivity consistent with negative climate feedbacks. A new paradigm has arisen.


Douglass, D. H., E. G. Blackman, and R. S. Knox, 2004. Temperature response of Earth to the annual solar irradiance cycle. Physics Letters A, 323, No 3-4, 315-322.

Karner, O., 2002. On non-stationarity and anti-persistency in global temperature series. JGR, 107, D20, 1-11.

Palle, E., P. R. Goode, P. Montanes-Rodriguez, and S.E. Koonin, 2004. Changes in Earth's reflectance over the last two decades. In press.

Royer, A., P. C. S. Traore, N. O'Neill, K. Goita, N. Bussieres, 1997. Parametrisation globale du bilan d'energie a partir de la combinaison des parametres satellitaires albedo, NDVI et temperature de surface. Physical Measurements and Signatures in Remote Sensing, Guyot & Phulpin Eds., Balkema, Rotterdam, pp. 773-777.

Zhou, L., Tucker, C. J., Kaufmann, R. K., Slayback, D., Shabanov, N. V. and Myneni, R. B. 2001. Variations in northern vegetation activity inferred from satellite data of vegetation index during 1981-1999. Journal of Geophysical Research, 106, 20,069-20,083.

27 March 2004
layout by meteoLCD