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One of my good friends (who I’ve unsuccessfully been prodding to join Ricochet) writes the underappreciated blog “Grok in Fullness” under the pseudonym Jubal Harshaw. Since he’s refused my brow-beatings, I’m forced to regurgitate his brilliance here.
His most recent post references two articles on climate science. The thesis of his article is that there is statistical bias in prestigious journals with regards to climate science (“I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!”). Both “Publication Bias in Measuring Climate Sensitivity” and the counter article “No evidence of publication bias in climate change science” actually conclude the same thing, titles notwithstanding. Please go there to see all the lovely details complete with “funnel plots” and intellectual rigor.
But the bias is not the most interesting part for me. The most interesting part is the climate sensitivity conclusion, on which both articles agree. You see, CO2 has a mathematical contribution to the greenhouse effect that amounts to about 1.0 C for every doubling of carbon. It’s logarithmic, which already mitigates the effect of continued burning of fossil fuels. What it all comes down to is what the secondary “forcing” is (mainly the feedback loop of extra water vapor, a powerful greenhouse gas, released into the atmosphere due to increased temperature). Climate alarmists would have you believe the effect of all the other factors is 3x to 6x. It turns out both the bias adjusted factor and the “complete” factor (including the results in obscure journals) came out to about 1.6x.
This, to me, is awesome. Not because it comports with anyone’s particular bias on what they want climate change to be, but because their agreement makes it sound like the truth. Now we might have a solid idea what a doubling of CO2 will cause. Each doubling will cause around a 1.6 C increase in world temperature.
I’m going to leave alone if this is a good thing or a bad thing and just let it sink in with everyone that this is probably the closest to a concrete answer as we’ve ever had to this question. It also comports with the observed increase of 0.8 C with the 46% increase (280 to 410 ppm) since the start of the industrial revolution (a factor of 1.6 climate sensitivity actually predicts a 0.88 C increase).
Now that there’s enough data to have a ballpark idea of climate sensitivity, all of the debate should be able to flow from this probable fact. Use this value early and often (allowing for experimental uncertainty). It’s been pretty obvious for some time that the effect of CO2 is not zero or negative, and it’s also been obvious for some time that the effect isn’t an immediate catastrophe. This result is a good corroborator of common sense.