@steveo73 - You need very serious work on your reading comprehension and also to stop putting words in people's mouth, because it's annoying.
More importantly, since you're the one making extraordinary claims, you're the one needing to provide extraordinary evidence. That means peer-reviewed papers, not blog posts, youtube videos or op-eds from James Inhofe's favorite playground---all you need to do to get stuff published in the senate record is to convince a well-funded politician. This is where science fiction authors and journalist majors publish; not real scientists. Very low barrier. Now, I know that Curry actually publishes real papers in journals, so why don't you post some links to those? If you can't provide primary sources, then your explanation needs to be based on physics rather than cherry-picking out-of-context quotes.
Since "I did get you there", I'll get you again, ok, just to show how tiresome it would be to do if I had to do it every single time you say something bizarre.
CO2 is not a meaningless greenhouse gas. It is the most important one---not even paid skeptics will get this wrong.
Why is CO2 the most important GHG? (I hope brute is following along here). I hope y'all are following along because this is high school level science.
Note: I'm only going to do this exercise once, because writing all this pretty much wasted an entire day of my life
1) The earth receives most of its heat from the sun in the visible spectrum (the sun is a black body emitter with a surface temperature of 5778K). At the orbit of the Earth, the intensity of the sun is 1350W/m^2. This varies slightly with the earth's orbital parameters, therefore we get Milankovich cycles (but these are also well understood and bringing them in at this point would not be pedagogical). It also varies with the number of sunspots (they are cooler) --- this is also well understood and in the advanced model but too much to introduce at this point.
2) The amount of heat the Earth absorbs from the sun is thus I_sun=1350W/m^2 times the area that's facing the sun or pi radius^2 ... and we subtract the Earth's albedo (which is 0.33 ... we can leave this as a parameter or a microphysics simulation for later on. People do that too. E.g. when the ice cap melt, the albedo goes down.) So in total I_sun pi r^2 (1-alpha) ... that's about 1000W/m^2.
2) The earth emits this in the infrared band (the earth is also a black body emitter with a surface temperature of 288K). A blackbody emitter radiates via the Stefan-Boltzmann law, so the surface of the earth (goes out in all directions) or 4 pi r^2 times sigma*T^4, where T is the Earth's surface temperature, and sigma is the Stefan-Boltzmann constant which is 5.67e-8 in SI units (I'll keep everything in SI). I_earth = 4pi r^2 sigma T^4
3) There's an energy balance between the two so that ingoing energy from the sun matches outgoing energy from the earth. So I_sun = I_earth. If this is not in balance, the earth would either heat up or cool down until it is satisfied because if you heat up an object (like the earth) then it will start emitting infrared until it's in balance. This happens at the equilibrium temperature. We can solve for that, so
I_sun pi r^2 (1-alpha) = 4pi r^2 sigma T^4 => T^4 = (1-alpha) I_sun / (4 sigma) ... Everybody has all the numbers, so please calculate.
You should all get 251.3K for the Earth's surface temperature.
This is high school level, so everybody reading along should be able to get the same number I did.
No, don't just trust me. Calculate and verify. If you can't get the right result but still make the attempt, I won't judge. Just ask. Conversely, if you're not tall enough to ride even this ride, well ... I absolutely will judge.
Now, you'll notice a one thing. This result is much lower than the actual observed surface temperature of 288K. Why is that? It's because I haven't added greenhouse gases yet. Fourier noticed the same thing back in 1826 which caused him to postulate the greenhouse affect.
Currently our model has no atmosphere, but it does account for energy balance.
4) Now lets add an atmosphere to see the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect works because the atm (greenhouse) doesn't stop visible light (it's transparent to visual wavelenghs) but it attenuates/stops/reduces infrared. You can see through glass with your eyes but it stops heat so you can't feel it on your skin. Try it. The key point here is that radiation comes in at visible wavelength. Gets absorbed ... and tries to leave at a much longer wave lengths where it gets blocked.
This is how greenhouses work. Basic physics.
I'll do a simple slab model (aka a one-zone model).
Instead of just the Earth and the Sun. We'll have Earth, Sun, and atmosphere (which you can think of as a piece of glass---made out of air), so we need to keep track of where the radiation goes and leaves from all three of them. Fourier understood this almost 200 years ago.
As before, ultimately, what comes in eventually goes out once a temperature equilibrium is reached.
* All radiation from the sun (visible) goes directly through the atmosphere to the surface. That was I_sun (1-alpha) pi r^2.
* All the radiation from the Earth (infrared) goes up and gets absorbed in the atmosphere (because it's opaque to IR). That was 4pi r^2 sigma T^4.
* Half of the radiation (also infrared) from the atmosphere is radiated back down I_atm_down and half is radiated up I_atm_up.
How does this add up?
What goes into the atmosphere equals what comes out: 4pi r^2 sigma T_earth^4 = I_atm_down + I_atm_up or because I_atm_up = I_atm_down and both are 4pi r^2 sigma T_atm^4 (think of the atmosphere as a hollow sphere with the Earth in the center that radiates in both directions, we get sigma T_earth^4 = 2 sigma T_atm^4
What goes into the ground equals what comes up. The ground is receiving visible light from the sun and IR from the atm, so
4pi r^2 sigma T_Earth^4 = pi r^2 I_sun (1-alpha) + 4pi r^2 sigma T_atm^4
What enters the atm+earth system from the sun goes out from the atm (via IR), so I_atm_up= 4pi r^2 sigma T_atm^4 = I_sun pi r^2 (1-alpha)
Now, lets calculate T_earth in the slab-model.
sigma T_atm^4 = I_sun (1-alpha) / 4 and we insert that in sigma T_earth^4 = 2 sigma T_atm^4 = 2 I_sun (1-alpha) / 4, so T_earth = 298K.
That's 47 degrees higher. Cf 251K wo atm and 288K measured. Not bad for something that can be calculated on the back of a napkin.
Anyone who has followed along so far now understands the greenhouse effect at a level of the science community at the time Andrew Jackson was president or at the level at which high school students should be able to in current times. This is basically highschool physics and if I didn't have to type it down, I could sketch it out in 5 minutes on a black board.
If you made thus far you now understand why the Earth is neither colder than Hoth nor warmer than Vulcan.
Again, don't trust me, verify, using HS level science.
However, even this crude level is far more sophisticated that anything that happens in the comment space when uninformed laymen talk about climate change. This makes me sad and this is why I urge people to either read a book or get out of the kitchen when the adults are cooking. Real models are much more sophisticated. The ones I worked with to model surface/atmospheres on neutron stars and white dwarf stars had hundreds of zones detailing the transport between each of them in far greater detail including how the gas could diffuse and react chemically. Modern climate models are much more sophisticated still.
5) But all I've shown so far is why red-herring comments about "only a 1% difference" are eye-rolling to someone who understands the physics at this simple level. Try increasing I_sun by 1% and see what effect you get on the surface. Temperature goes up by 0.7C or 1.2F ... which also happens to be around the order at which temperatures have actually increased since we started adding CO2.
Key-point: Difference in the energy balance goes with the fourth root (because Stefan Boltzmann) .. and so because I'm one of those people who can do math in my head, I'll just go ... (1.01)^0.25 * 288K = 288.7K
... but feel free to write out the algebra. [I think I've earned the right to condescend ... if not ... I'll continue]
So lets deal with CO2 now ... and then with water and clouds after that.
6) Consider what would happen if we increase the thickness of the glass slab. More I_earth_up gets absorbed => It heats up until a new energy-balance is established at a higher temperature.
7) Now when dealing with the atmosphere, one has to understand the interaction between photons and molecules. This requires quantum electrodynamics which is probably beyond you monkeys
... This stuff can also be calculated and measured in great detail. QED dates back to early Feynman. I did such calculations in nuclear physics as a MSc rather than atomic physics, but the basic idea is the same. The detailed calculations take about 1 page of type set equations for each emission line but the principles are fairly pedestrian.
Hopefully you recall playing around with a spectroscope in high school and understand how photons can excite the electron in a hydrogen atom to higher quantum level (orbital) and how this causes emission lines when it drops down again. It also works the other way around. If instead of heating up hydrogen and looking at the emission, you instead irradiate hydrogen with wide-spectrum black body radiation, you will see that the hydrogen atoms absorb wave lengths that match the difference between its quantum levels of the possible orbitals. You can also see these absorption lines in stars (the photosphere) and interstellar clouds/gasses. This is how we know what elements are present on the sun and on other stars and the universe in general.
If atoms combine into molecules, some orbitals will be shared. Shared orbitals cause chemical bonds. This is how chemistry works at a deep level.
If you hit a molecule with a photon, several things can happen. Lets consider CO2 which looks like this O=C=O with two double covalent bonds on a straight line (exactly 180 degrees). Think of it as three balls on a line connected by two springs. What happens if you blow a gust of air on that (illustrating hitting it with a photon).
It can move (translational energy, kinetic, velocity)
It can rotate (rotational energy)
The spring can stretch so both oxygens moves away from the carbon (potential energy)
The carbon can move towards one oxygen and away from the other along the line
The carbon can be moved sidewards away from the centerline thus bending the molecule
It can be blown apart if you hit hard enough
What's the physical consequence:
It can move (heat)
It can rotate (heat)
The spring can stretch so both oxygens moves away from the carbon (heat)
The carbon can move towards one oxygen and away from the other along the line (this creates an electric dipole and as the molecule goes back to normal this dipole emits radiation at 2349/cm---an emission line. It will also absorb radiation at that wavelength very well---an absorption line).
The carbon can be moved sidewards away from the centerline thus bending the molecule (this also creates an electric dipole similar to the above but at 667/cm)
It can be blown apart if you hit hard enough (ionization)
8) It's the ability to create an electric dipole (requires molecular level asymmetry) in the molecule that determines whether a given molecule responds to infrared energies. This is possible in CO2, H2O, and NO2 so they're all active in the IR band. O2 and N2 which makes up the majority of the atmosphere do not have dipole moments (there's no asymmetry possible ... they look like this O=O and N triple-bond N ... you can't deform them into asymmetry... all they ever do is the first three entries on my list) and this is why they don't interact with IR. CH4 and halocarbons are more complex and easily made asymmetric by bashing them with a photon and so they are also active in IR. CO and NO are also active. If you put molecules next to each other so they touch like in liquid or gas, they easily share energy with everybody else and so the whole thing begins to act like a black body. This is why solid or liquid objects (hot iron) don't appear as emission lines.
So now we know why some molecules are responsive in IR and others are not. And also why this is relevant to gasses but not liquids and solids.
We know all this because atomic physics tells us and because we can measure it directly using equipment found in a high school laboratory. Historically people started caring about CO2 because it interfered with heat-seeking (infrared) missiles as they weren't properly calibrated to acount for the effect that CO2 absorbed the IR from the target plane's engine.
9) How do we know which of them are relevant greenhouse gases and which are not?
We need to go back to the slab model and increase the sophistication a little.
In the slab model (step 4), we assumed that the atmosphere was completely opaque to the outbound radiation from the earth. This gave an Earth temperature of 298K (10C too high). Whereas in the initial model (step 1-3) we assumed that it was completely transparent and this gave a temp of 251K (37C too low). And the actual temperature is 288K so somewhere in between.
This makes sense because the actual atmosphere is also somewhere in between fully opaque and fully transparent. It suggests an upper limit to how hot the surface can get on average even if the atmosphere becomes fully opaque to infrared.
Again ... if you're building heat seaking missiles for the airforce, you need to know and account for this. Something the air force learned in the late 1940s. Conversely, if you dispute this, you can't get your missiles to work. In other words, this is one of those "you must be this smart to ride this ride"-tests. If you don't know how this works, you basically have no business here. Now, ...
If there were no atmosphere (like on the moon), the incoming spectrum would be a nice blackbody spectrum at 5700K (the solar bb temperature). And if we point a spectrometer at the moon (outside the earth's atmosphere, obviously, for reasons that will shortly become clear), we'll see a nice bb spectrum centered at the lunar surface temperature.
But if we look at the bb spectrum of planet Earth from the moon (or a satellite) ... which we do ... we'll see absorption lines. The ones discussed in steps 7 and 8 above.
See graph here: http://paos.colorado.edu/~fasullo/pjw_c ... tion2.html
What happens physically is that CO2 and H2O and other greenhouse molecules absorb radiation. You can see this directly in satellite measurements.
10) Some deniers (actually large numbers of them googling each other's websites and reposting their personal ignorance like a rashy anti-vaxxer measles epidemic) only focus on the absorption aspects will note that if you keep adding gas, you will eventually saturate the band (=a range of frequencies) and therefore claim further CO2 emissions won't matter. This is true if you're building heat seeking missiles and only look at what radiation gets true. However, it demonstrates an ignorance of how the energy-balance is what's important. Steveo73 has been wrong about both of these at different times. Here's how that works:
11) Saturation is easy to understand. Suppose you have a slab of tinted glass that reduces intensity by 50%. Like a pair of sunglasses. What happens to the intensity if you add another slab behind it? It goes down to 25% not 0%. If you add a third, you get to 12.5% and so on. The effect is therefore logarithmic and not linear. The biggest impact from a greenhouse gas thus comes from the first tiny-piddly amounts. This is why a halocarbon molecule are the most effective GHGs ($1000 dollars bills if you will). Because they never existed before humans started emitting them and they absorb on a band of wavelengths that would otherwise remain free to go into space without heating anything. Methane (CH4) is also a powerful molecule ($100 bill) because the density is also in the ppb range (parts per billion). Conversely, there was 280ppm CO2 ($20 bill) in 1880. That already absorbed quite a bit. Now in 2017 there's 402ppm and so 43% more but because of the band saturation effect, we're not trapping 43% more energy in that part of the outgoing IR band. So think of this as a situation where you had 10 slabs already ... but then started the industrial revolution and added 4 more slabs. Think about it. The answer is not 43% when it comes to energy balance or radiation intensity. The answer is on the order of 1%ish. Spencer understands this. I don't think steveo has a clue.
If you were talking heat seeking missiles, you can fix this by simply building a more sensitive detector or detecting just outside the band. IOW, you just calibrate your seeker head. Problem solved.
PS) This is also why when people talk about climate sensitivities, they speak in terms of doubling rates. Raising CO2 from 280ppm to 560ppm has the same effect (expected to increase surface temps around 3C) as raising CO2 from 560ppm to 1120ppm (=> an increase of 2 doublings times 3C so 6C). This "short-hand rule" works due to the basic physics of how absorption works and the fact that most other responses in more sophisticated system are linear (so far).
12) One might imagine (if one is an electrical engineer or someone who's never dealt with atmospheres---fair enough, I've worked with atm as a publishing scientist but I understand that most scientist haven't so I accept that people can slip when they're new) that adding more and more GHG to the atmosphere would just drive the bands down to zero and that'd be the end of that argument. I presume you all clicked on the link above. If not, do it now. So for example, there would be a bunch of completely blacked out but narrow absorption lines or bands (just like a spectrometer in high school) but the radiation would get clean through in all other parts of the blackbody spectrum.
Not so in an atmosphere. The reason is heat. Remember the first two entries on my list? As the molecules get bashed they move faster. This allows them to absorb outside their frequency due to the Doppler effect. Here's an analogy. Put one of those ukulele tuners in your car. The tuner will show if you're playing an A note or a G note when you blow a whistle or strum a string. Suppose your tuner only responds to A notes. Now if the car is parked, then it will respond to an A-note being played from the sidewalk. However, if you drive your tuner (molecule) away from the fork (radiation) it will also respond to a G note or an F note and so on. Because the soundwaves are "redshifted" and sound like an A to the tuner. Vice versa if you drive towards the sound. If you have a bunch of tuners driving around (like molecules in a gas) the central A sound (frequency) they will be able to detect more tones (larger band) than if they were standing still.
Because a gas has molecules with a wide range of speeds (they have a Boltzmann distribution --- this is first year physics, so beyond high school), the bands become wider.
13) So how do we figure out which green house gas is the strongest (accounting for density)?
You take the blackbody spectrum and then you take the absorption spectrum (which follows from the densities of the respective molecules, H2O, NO2, CO2, CO, NO, CFCs (halocarbons), ... ) and then you see which GHG prevents the most I_earth from getting through.
You can either do this directly via satellite measurements or you can use a radiation transport code which have been known and used since the 1950s.
It turns out that it's H2O. Now, I'd fully expect steveo73 to quote this out of context if he's still reading along. Blaming things on water vapor is also a common denialist point but it misses the pertinent physics of the complex system. I'll get back to that in step 15.
14) The second one is CO2. The third is Methane. Adding CFC is nitpicking or details. (So all the $20 bills add up to more than all the $1000 bills).
15) If you add in the CO2 effect, which Arrhenius did in 1896 (here's the peer-reviewed paper: http://www.rsc.org/images/Arrhenius1896 ... 173546.pdf
)... you get very close to the actual observed value but you come in too low.
So what's the difference between CO2 and H2O. Why aren't people concerned about H2O when it's the stronger one. Conversely, why is it a bullshit argument to say that CO2 is irrelevant because H2O is stronger? Let me hit you with the clue-stick.
H2O is part of the water cycle. If you evaporate more water into the atmosphere, then once you hit 100% relative humidity it condenses and falls down as rain---a familiar phenomena to most people. In other words, the amount of water the atmosphere can hold at a given temperature is limited by the temperature (and pressure). In addition this cycle is fast. Water in the atmosphere comes down and goes up quickly based on what the weather is like. In other words, H20 responds immediately to temperature because "relative humidity" and "rain". Keywords: immediate and temperature-sensitive.
CO2 on the other hand has no mechanism to rain down like that. Unlike CO or NO (which break down quickly --- and are therefore irrelevant GHGs) CO2 stays up in the atmosphere for hundreds and thousands of years. This is why the carbon cycle is what drives climate, not the water-cycle (aka the weather). In the carbon cycle, CO2 is what plants crave ... but unless you bury them underground and stop them from decaying, the CO2 comes back up again when they die. The only way to reduce CO2 is via reacting with rocks. It's a geological process. What we do by burning fossil fuels is to shift his carbon cycle. Keyword: cumulative and temperature-increasing
However, because water vapor is stronger and immediately response, it is leveraged by the accumulating CO2 levels. CO2 shifts the radiative balance. Therefore, the atmosphere gets slightly warmer (step 1-4). It can therefore hold more water (this step); and this boosts the greenhouse impact of CO2 (step 13).
63) What Spencer is talking about wrt how he and a few other guys think that clouds have a negative feedback effect because as temperature goes up, the number of clouds will increase (thus increasing the alpha variable in step 1 because clouds reflect visible sun light ... they're white... you've all seen it!) and thus stabilize the climate in short order, whereas several thousand other scientists disagree. At this level/step arguments are better found in peer-reviewed papers if available.
Okay, here's my main "problem" with climate science/change debates on the internet and on these forums.
In the 15 steps above, I explained the basic mechanism of climate change. All these steps were known by physical scientists by 1950. Most of them were known by 1900. And if you read Fourier from 1826 (I linked the paper somewhat further back), a lot of physical insight was available 190+ years ago. The average noob who's read Fourier's original paper is miles ahead on the modern climate debating clown who learned everything he knows from google.
IOW... if the average physical scientist from year 1850 or 1950 were to google the current popular level of climate science "debate", he'd see it as bunch of feking morons. Not because of disagreements when it comes to the conclusion but because the level of sophistication and insight would embarrass the average 18th century renaissance man.
So why do I generally ignore all these repeated denialist bullshit arguments? Because it takes four or five hours to explain basic stuff that I'd expect people to know from high school! That's why! Only I also know that they don't. In particular, I recognize that those who demonstrate the highest confidence/cluelessness ratio are also the least likely to make any effort to educate themselves or even read this far. So I just go bang my head against the wall while steveo repeats his list of quotes and alternative facts.
I realize that this is a real political problem, but it's definitely not a scientific problem. It only appears to be a scientific issue because of overall scientific cluelessness.
Same reason why I don't waste timing edumacating politicians on how grammar works or what words mean for when "they talk words". I disagree with brute. It's not my responsibility to dig everyone out of the swamp of ignorance if they can't be assed to understand even a modicum of the relevant science. If I lift one corner and you can't lift the other three or even make the attempt, I'll proceed to ignore you. I'd rather spend my time working around other people's ignorance that trying to educate someone who refuses to learn. It's not the responsibility of anyone who can walk to carry around those who are too fat and lazy to even get off of the couch.
Understanding the basic science is NOT hard, nor does it require extremely sophisticated expert level math or ability to conceptualize highly abstract constructs. It's not even close to even basic 1930s style quantum physics (much less QED) or general relativity in terms of the demands it makes on the reader.
I think at least half of my graduating high school class would have been able to follow this level of math and ball+spring models. I'm pretty sure most of them would have a reasonable idea of what a photon is or how the Doppler effect works. The equations are high school level algebra. I'm also aware that making statements like that in the past have backfired. If lots of college freshmen now require remedial reading classes ... where are we when it comes to the Stefan Boltzmann law?
If I didn't have to type all this shit in, I could explain it in 15 minutes in front of a black board. Maybe at the next ERE meetup?
Any physical scientist worth his salt can do this because it's basically high school stuff or the programming equivalent of writing "Hello World" in C and figuring out how to compile and run it. It's like brute explaining how steak works. Anyone who went on from HS and became a professional probably understands they can solve problems, like written exams, that used to take 3-5 hours back then, in 5-10 mins now just by looking at them insofar they didn't have to waste time writing/typing the answers. Popular science debate is no different.
If you took one of those elective science for non-scientist classes in college, this would have been covered in the first month!
If you read the corresponding book, which I've linked above, this would be chapter 1 and 2.
And even if you're a professional skepticist funded by the fossil fuel industry (which I don't think is problematic as long as you don't use your expertise to deliberately mislead) working as an actual scientist, you would know and agree with those steps so as not to look embarrassing. Spencer, Curry, Easterbrook... are questioning details that would require me to proceed an additional 30 to 60 steps before we get to what they're actually skeptical about.
How do I know this? Because I have an educated idea of where this progression of physical insight and sophistication actually leads if you spend 10 years working and getting paid for it instead of googling whenever a new keyword comes up. (Yeah, it's pretty obvious how steveo only brings up new concepts AFTER someone else points them out
Before I became Mr ERE I made models in astrophysics using all the same kinds of physics as climate scientists do. Energy balances, multi-zone models including 1D, 2D, and 2.5D (climate science uses 3D now... but I stopped in 2009 when that level of computing was still $$$). Radiation transport. Nuclear chemistry. Fluid dynamics. General relativity (not relevant to climate science, obviously). Providing data to verify and validate both at the deeper level (nuclear accelerator measurements) and the higher level (verification by X-ray satellites). I've gotten paid for working and creating models all this stuff. Spending 4 years in grad school (PhD, theoretical physics, graduated summa cum laude) and 5 additional years as a postdoc. You can look me up on google scholar. If I had to go on in terms of steps, I've done work in a very parallel field at a professional level publishing dozens of papers. I've presented seminars and doing "summer schools" for grad students and professors in adjacent field at the equivalent level of steps 150-200 compared to the simple stuff I typed out above. So while I'm not a climate scientist, I am a former atmospheric+surface model focused/specialized astrophysicist. It's trivial for me to understand and detect basic bullshit at step 15 whenever people contradict the laws of thermodynamics or atomic physics.
Basically ... if anyone doesn't know about steps 1-15 or make repeated statements that contradict basic thermodynamics or atomic physics, I will completely disregard anything else they say about climate science insofar they don't display a capacity/willingness to learn.
I'm particularly looking at you steveo, because you're a shamelessly habitual offender in that regard. But I don't even think you're aware of it (Dunning-Kruger), so I'll give you some leeway, which I've so far done just by ignoring you. I only responded to you because you called me out. I wish you hadn't done that ...
And yet! And yet!
Most participants and spectators when it comes to internet debates about climate science don't seem to comprehend the fundamental mechanism as laid out in steps 1 to 15. They quabble and quibble like armchair quarterbacks who've never touched a football in their entire life---the intellectual equivalent of spending the first many seconds of a 40yrd time just trying to "bump" or "oscillate" out of their deep comfy seat because they're too fat to stand up w/o gaining momentum from bouncing on and off until they finally pass beyond the pivot point of central point of mass and gravity and manage to get up.
Oh, I'm sure these spectators watched lots of TV games and "know all the facts" from the sports-channel, but to stay with the analogy: What passes for the so-called controversy is somewhere between not being able to tell the difference between the shotgun formation and the triple option on live TV and refusing to acknowledge that there's no such thing as a 5th down attempt because further research is needed on that point because "some people say" there are alternative facts when it comes to that rule. It's just eye-bleedingly stupid and mortifying to anyone who's ever held a football and peered through a visor.
Now ... while I do know "stupid", I still don't know much about "fixing stupid" (if I did, the world wouldn't look how it does now), but ... here's what I think.
This if for the rest of you ... those who can't tell the difference between the teams ... those who talk about game results ... you know ...
Rather than trying to fix stupid and talking about how climate or temperatures have changed in this place or that place. I think time is much better spent going through steps 1-15 above. Just knowing the basic physics works will make it possible detect a lot (up to 20%) of the most common uninformed denialist arguments: H20 has more impact (misleading), CO2 is not important(bullshit), there's not enough CO2 to be important(ignorant), the radiation is saturated(dumb), CO2 is not a greenhouse gas(stupid), the greenhouse effect does not exist(wtf?). By the Pareto effect, these also happen to be the 80% most commonly raised complaints because most people are clueless about the physics. Steveo73 has stated all of these denialist arguments as "a fact" ... in list form ... over an over .. and claimed that doing so makes his argument "scientific" ... and he will probably continue to do so in the future
Now this approach actually works insofar most laymen remain equally ignorant.
If you've read this far and didn't pick up a calculator yet, you're still one of those people.
However, even skeptical scientists would never go this low no matter how well funded they are because they know their audience has more than a basic high school level of understanding of how it works (15 steps)---and insofar they want to actually publish, they have to go further (50+ steps).
Bonus exercises for the student or anyone who's read this far:
1) It's been confirmed (from satellite and ground based measurements) that the stratosphere is cooling while the troposphere is heating as predicted by simple physics. Construct a two zone model to explain why this is so. Hint: build a slab-slab (two-zone) model (step 4). This is a nice science-project for a 16 year old.
2) Calculate what happens to the earth's surface temperature if the Earth's orbit is move further out from the sun by 10% or closer in. Hint: do a bit of algebra in steps 1-3.
3) Alternatively, calculate what happens if mirrors are put into space to decrease Earth albedo by 1%. Hint: already done that, see step 4.