Global tipping point just 55C away

Obligatory photo of back-lit harmless water vapour that must accompany every article on Global Warming.

An official press release tells us that the boffins at MIT have discovered something very interesting about the warming planet. Quote.

Just as an oven gives off more heat to the surrounding kitchen as its internal temperature rises, the Earth sheds more heat into space as its surface warms up. Since the 1950s, scientists have observed a surprisingly straightforward, linear relationship between the Earth’s surface temperature and its outgoing heat.

But the Earth is an incredibly messy system, with many complicated, interacting parts that can affect this process. Scientists have thus found it difficult to explain why this relationship between surface temperature and outgoing heat is so simple and linear. Finding an explanation could help climate scientists model the effects of climate change. End of quote.

What do they possibly mean? Everybody knows that there is only one thing that affects the earth’s heat – CO2!  Quote.

Now scientists from MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) have found the answer, along with a prediction for when this linear relationship will break down.

They observed that Earth emits heat to space from the planet’s surface as well as from the atmosphere. As both heat up, say by the addition of carbon dioxide, the air holds more water vapor, which in turn acts to trap more heat in the atmosphere. This strengthening of Earth’s greenhouse effect is known as water vapor feedback. Crucially, the team found that the water vapor feedback is just sufficient to cancel out the rate at which the warmer atmosphere emits more heat into space.

The overall change in Earth’s emitted heat thus only depends on the surface. In turn, the emission of heat from Earth’s surface to space is a simple function of temperature, leading to to the observed linear relationship.

Their findings, which appear this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may also help to explain how extreme, hothouse climates in Earth’s ancient past unfolded. The paper’s co-authors are EAPS postdoc Daniel Koll and Tim Cronin, the Kerr-McGee Career Development Assistant Professor in EAPS.

In their search for an explanation, the team built a radiation code — essentially, a model of the Earth and how it emits heat, or infrared radiation, into space. The code simulates the Earth as a vertical column, starting from the ground, up through the atmosphere, and finally into space. Koll can input a surface temperature into the column, and the code calculates the amount of radiation that escapes through the entire column and into space.

The team can then turn the temperature knob up and down to see how different surface temperatures would affect the outgoing heat. When they plotted their data, they observed a straight line — a linear relationship between surface temperature and outgoing heat, in line with many previous works, and over a range of 60 kelvins, or 108 degrees Fahrenheit.

“So the radiation code gave us what Earth actually does,” Koll says. “Then I started digging into this code, which is a lump of physics smashed together, to see which of these physics is actually responsible for this relationship.”

To do this, the team programmed into their code various effects in the atmosphere, such as convection, and humidity, or water vapor, and turned these knobs up and down to see how they in turn would affect the Earth’s outgoing infrared radiation. […] End of quote.

We will chop out all the detailed explanation – nerds etc can read the original. Quote.

Koll says this greenhouse effect explains why the heat that does escape into space is directly related to the surface temperature, as the increase in heat emitted by the atmosphere is cancelled out by the increased absorption from water vapor.

The team found this linear relationship breaks down when Earth’s global average surface temperatures go much beyond 300 K, or 80 F. In such a scenario, it would be much more difficult for the Earth to shed heat at roughly the same rate as its surface warms. For now, that number is hovering around 285 K, or 53 F.

“It means we’re still good now, but if the Earth becomes much hotter, then we could be in for a nonlinear world, where stuff could get much more complicated,” Koll says. […] End of quote.

How much hotter?  Well, back to the figures above, the linear relationship fails at 300K compared to the 285K the earth is currently at. That is a 15K (or 15C) rise in the average temperature on earth. [A one degree Kelvin increase is the same as a one degree Celsius rise, the difference is that Kelvin and Celsius have different zero points.]

All the climate alarmist shills are screeching that a 1.5C rise is as much as we can stand and once we get a 2C rise it is all over rover.  Quote.

For Earth, Koll calculates that such a runaway effect wouldn’t kick in until global average temperatures reach about 340 K, or 152 F. Global warming alone is insufficient to cause such warming, but other climatic changes, such as Earth’s warming over billions of years due to the sun’s natural evolution, could push Earth towards this limit, “at which point, we would turn into Venus.” End of quote.

Read that all again. And again.

This work from the very respected MIT is saying that there is no runaway climate disaster until the earth gets 55C hotter than now.  55C, not 2C. 

Global warming on its own is NOT going to tip us over the edge and anything that did could take billions of years. Quote.

Koll says the team’s results may help to improve climate model predictions. […] End of quote.

This would be a good thing as the climate models have been spectacularly wrong to date.

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