Global Warming As Cargo Cult Science

March 17th, 2012 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Science is all about establishing and understanding cause and effect. Unfortunately, there are few examples in science where causation can be easily established, since the physical world involves myriad variables interacting in different ways.

I would argue that this is why there is a “scientific method” at all. Because it is so easy to fool ourselves regarding what causes what to happen in the physical world.

Laboratory experiments are powerful because, if you can control the factors you think are operating, you can isolate a specific effect and more reliably trace it to its cause.

But many problems are not amenable to laboratory investigation. Global warming is one of them. There is only a single subject, or ‘patient’ if you will (the Earth), it apparently has a low-grade fever, and we are trying to determine the cause of the fever.

It’s not that there isn’t any laboratory evidence supporting global warming theory. There have been many laboratory (spectroscopic) investigations where it has been convincingly established that carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation (the fundamental starting point for global warming theory). We even see evidence from satellites that greenhouse gases reduce the Earth’s ability to cool to space.

But to extend those observations to the conclusion that adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will cause substantial global warming is another matter entirely.

If we had hundreds of Earth-like planets nearby that we could visit with satellites and probes, we might randomly split them into two equal groups, inject one group with more carbon dioxide, then monitor them to see whether that group of planets’ climate systems warmed relative to the others. This would allow us to more reliably determine how much warming (if any) was likely due to adding CO2 versus natural, internal quasi-chaotic climate variations, which are always occurring. This is one of the more rigorous methods of research in epidemiology, but one which is not often performed due to expense and ethical issues.

Needless to say, we don’t have hundreds of Earth-like planets to do experiments on. Instead, we have only one subject to study, the Earth. Establishing causation in such a situation is dicey, at best.

Contrary to what you have probably been told, there are no ‘fingerprints’ of human-induced warming which distinguish it from other, natural radiatively induced sources of warming. The warming is indeed (as the IPCC so artfully claims) “consistent” with increasing CO2, but it would also be consistent with other potential causes. Maybe not from direct effects of solar irradiance changes, or from changes in ozone, but I could list many more possibilities which we don’t have good enough data for enough years to thoroughly investigate.

Cargo Cult Science

I am on a mailing list of a career MD/JD who claims much of what passes as policy-relevant science these days (global warming, air pollution epidemiological studies) is what physicist Richard Feynman in 1974 called “cargo cult science“.

The story goes that after primitive South Pacific tribes were exposed to the modernized world with transport planes bringing supplies, they later tried to build mock-airstrips and planes which they believe would ’cause’ the real cargo planes to reappear.

Of course, the villagers were confused about causation. In this case, the need of advanced societies to deliver cargo is what causes airports to be built, not the other way around.

Humans are endlessly ingenious at devising explanations for physical phenomena, while typically there is only one explanation. You can believe that global warming is mostly caused by increasing CO2, changing sunspots, natural climate cycles (my personal favorite), the moon, the planets, HAARP experiments in Alaska, or whatever you can dream up. But to actually prove any of those is impossible, and to even convincingly establish a connection is more a matter of how easy it is to convince people, rather than how good the evidence is.

The Earth has warmed…but there is also abundant proxy evidence that it warmed (and cooled) in the past. So, did increasing CO2 in the last half century really cause the most recent period of warming? We might never know.

The courts are increasingly deferring such matters of causation to the “expertise” of government agencies, such as the EPA. The Circuit Court of DC recently heard challenges to EPA’s 2010 endangerment finding (or ruling) that increasing CO2 is a threat to human health and welfare, and thus must be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

Yet the judges sitting on that court did not want to hear any challenges to the science(!) If the endangerment finding was based upon the science, how the hell can a court hear challenges to the Finding if it does not want to hear about the science? I’m not an attorney, but it seems like lawyers are so busy arguing procedural and obscure legal issues, they are not willing to go after the fundamental premise: that more CO2 in the atmosphere is bad for you.

Yeah, science is hard. It can make your head hurt. But if you are going to base policy on what some scientists claim, you’d better be prepared to address challenges to that science.


129 Responses to “Global Warming As Cargo Cult Science”

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  1. First you and Dr. Lindzen, do not address what causes abrupt climate change, which is at the heart of why earth’s climate changes. Until that is addressed , your climatic outlooks are weak to say the least.

    I have given to you , a good theory on this subject, which you just brush off. Again that theory is ,it might be the phasing in of the items that control the climate, that might be the cause of abrupt climate change, if there phase in is long enough in duration ,and strong enough in degree of magnitude.

    Those items being solar activity,volcanic activity, ao/nao/aao,pdo/amo,earth’s magnetic field strength,and Milankovitch Cycles. If these items phase in ,in one direction, one way or the other, I then maintain thresholds could be met, which will result in an abrupt climate change.

    All your talk about climate change does nothing to address this crucial issue.

    On another note you say the amount of IR radiation lost to space from the earth has decreased by 1% over the last 40 years, when the reality is ,there has been no change, and if anything the amount of IR radiation being emitted by earth to space has shown a slight increase since year 2003. Source ICECAP.COM website.

    No further increase in CO2 is going to have any significant impact on temperature because the CO2 absorption bands are already saturated. You say the wings on these bands are not, well if that was the case the amount of IR emitted by earth to space would have shown a significant decrease given the significant increase in CO2 content. Not just your 1% claim, which likely wrong to begin with, in the first place.

    On another note if CO2 does have an impact on temperature like you claim(although smaller then what the IPCC says), why does it follow the temperature and not lead it?
    take care

  2. Turnedoutnice says:

    According to the 2009 version of the Trenberth-Kiehl atmospheric heat transfer diagram [ http://chriscolose.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/kiehl4.jpg?w=500 ], the ratio of the claimed atmospheric heating [356 W/m^2 including 333 W/m^2 from 'back radiation'] to atmospheric heating without ‘back radiation’ [23 W/m^2] is 15.5.

    Because ‘back radiation’ is an artefact of the measuring process [the radiometer is shielded from the reverse direction so measures an energy flux which without the shielding is exactly offset to zero], I take this as an attempt, either through a failure to understand the physics of radiative heat transfer or to deceive, grossly to exaggerate predicted warming.

    Real air temperatures as measured by satellite appear to be falling slightly, certainly not rising, and any terrestrial temperature rise apparently comes from ‘correcting’ downwards past data in remote Northern locations. It has been argued, unconvincingly, that because of rising coal usage by China, direct and indirect aerosol cooling has exactly offset GHG-AGW thus causing the past 15 years’ temperature rise just to appear to be constant.

    Yet in a report by a senior US cloud physicist [p. 5 http://www.gewex.org/images/feb2010.pdf ] measured data show the climate models use double real low level cloud optical depths and ~40% of such clouds behave differently to what the aerosol optical physics in the climate models predicts. By correcting the physics, the 2nd AIE can be shown to be a substantial warming process.

    It is possible that this modelling exercise could be correct but in my view that probability is extremely small indeed. The problem appears to be that no-one dare state the obvious, which is that it is way past the time that the subject was investigated in depth by competent and objective scientists to decide whether a new direction is needed, one in which these and two other major mistakes in the physics are corrected.

    Also, in view of the rapidly increasing evidence that natural warming processes account for much recent and palaeoclimate changes, these should also be integrated as a condition that funding is maintained. Only then can there be any hope that the models will be able to predict climate.

  3. ABRUPT CLIMATE CHANGE- I will keep on this, because this is at the heart of the matter for the why ,and the causes of climate change. Not this CO2 /HOW MUCH WARMING, debate.

    Unfortunaely or maybe fortunately ,Dr. Spencer can’t address this issue. I say maybe the reason is he would have to make major adjustments to his formulations of what makes earth’s climatic system change, and work.

    Abrupt climate change, which has taken place many times during earth’s history,(which ice cores show beyond a doubt to be the case)maybe would not fit in with the arguments he has been presenting to us about the climate, and the why’s about what makes it change.

    It is either the above, or he does not accept abrupt climatic change. It has to be one or the other.

    I say if someone can’t address this abrupt climate change issue ,how could someone give us a future climatic forecast , that could be considered relevent.

    This is nothing personel , but I am so tired of this co2 /how much global warming argument, which has taken away from what is really meaningful and important, which is what has caused abrupt climate change to take place on the earth in the past.

    If you read my first post, one will be able to see my train of thought on this subject.

    I say again if the prolong solar minimum continues to a point where the solar flux readings for the balance of this decade average 90 or lower, this will very likely promote a phase in of all the other items that control earth’s climate, into an ever increasing colder mode, the results will be lower temperatures this decade. How much lower will depend upon the depth of the phase in of all the items that controll earth’s climate, especially the solar activity level.

    Tipping point could be accomplished if the duration and magnitude of the phasing in , are long enough, and strong enough.

    My arguments certainly are more meaningful then this CO2 /how much global warming debate, that have a never ending, ending.

    • Mario Lento says:

      I would like to read anyone’s definition of a “tipping point” in object terms. So far, it’s been described subjectively when in fact it should be described objectively. Tipping point implies a point at which after that point is reached, there is no turning back, ever. There is absolutely no evidence I have seen that a tipping point the way I see it, has ever happened or ever can happen.

      Please be critical and tell me your thoughts.

  4. Lars P. says:

    Dr Roy, speaking of laboratory measurements, do you have data that would point to laboratory measurement of the doubling of CO2 effect for radiation?
    I saw this at Daly’s site:
    http://www.john-daly.com/artifact.htm

    but in the end could not find something that would clarify for me, is the CO2 effect computed from the “33°C of greenhouse warming” or from laboratory result?

  5. Christopher Game says:

    Responding to the post of Claes Johnson of March 17, 2012 at 12:28PM.

    Claes Johnson’s post is either deluded or deceitful. It falsely tries to say that Dr Spencer has accepted some of Claes’ thinking about certain questions. I think Claes’ thinking about those questions is mistaken. I don’t think Dr Spencer has accepted Claes thinking about those questions.

  6. Christopher Game says:

    Responding to the post of Mario Lento of March 17, 2012 at 1:27 PM.

    “Tipping point” is an IPCC propaganda word that refers to a threshold in a non-linear dynamical system. Non-linear dynamical systems can easily be made to show threshold behaviour as you may check by reading a suitable textbook. But that doesn’t come near justifying the IPCC propaganda use of the phrase.

  7. Roy Spencer wrote: “…we have only one subject to study, the Earth. Establishing causation in such a situation is dicey, at best.”

    Wrong. We have Earth AND Venus, which are easily shown to be warmed alike, despite the great differences in albedo (30% vs. 70%), CO2 atmospheric concentration (.04% vs. 96.5%), and planetary surface (Earth is 70% ocean, Venus all solid crust), because: The ratio of atmospheric temperatures, Venus/Earth, is essentially a constant over the range of Earth tropospheric pressures, and especially so away from the Venus cloud layer, where the constant (1.176) is PRECISELY due to the ratio of the two planets’ distances from the Sun. This fact can only be explained by concluding that both atmospheres are warmed by absorption of the SAME fraction of the incident solar irradiation, and not from the planetary surface: I have explicitly given (at the above link) the simple equations for the mean temperatures in the two atmospheres based upon that assumption, and shown that the fraction (f) absorbed by the two atmospheres drops out of the equation for the ratio of the temperatures, so that one can apply the basic Stefan-Boltzmann formula, without any albedo correction, as I did boldly and simply in my original approach. With the temperature ratio due only to solar distances, there is simply no greenhouse effect due to the much larger CO2 in Venus’s atmosphere. That is how easy it is to establish (the lack of) causation, of a supposed temperature increase with increasing carbon dioxide (and thus for any “greenhouse gas”). See also For Climate, All the World’s a Stage”.

    There have been no competent climate scientists since the Venus temperature and pressure data was obtained over 20 years ago, an elementary study of which (like mine) should have quickly killed the “global warming greenhouse effect”. The only real atmospheric warming by IR-absorbing gases is the fundamental warming by direct absorption of incident solar radiation. There is no extra warming due to increasing CO2–nor is there extra warming from the surface (surface warmth merely drives the weather/climate).

    This is the revolutionary correction to climate science that everyone is steadfastly ignoring. Everyone needs to admit, first to themselves and then immediately to the world, their mistakes, but right now, everyone but me continues to double down on their invalid scientific prejudices. I understand that, but it makes all the debates since my Venus/Earth analysis simply irrational avoidance behavior, entirely unworthy of true, dispassionate science.

    • Ian Smith says:

      I suspect that you, along with many other commentators, have made a common error with regards to CO2 and temperature.
      The fact is that CO2 essentially has no effect on the average PLANETARY temperature of either Earth or any other planet since this is (as you noted)entirely determined by the radiation balance. The average PLANETARY temperature can be thought of as the effective emitting temperature, and corresponds to the temperature at some level between the surface and the top of the atmosphere. However, CO2 does affect the SURFACE temperature by altering the temperature GRADIENT within the atmosphere, with no effect on the average planetary temperature.

  8. John Garrett says:

    Dr. Spencer;
    This is a very good summary of the reasons to press those who claim that CAGW is “settled science.”

    It is, of course, anything but that.

    Thank you.

  9. Origami says:

    Dr. Spencer,

    You showed last week a plot showing the gaps in the spectrum of satellite readings corresponding to the green house gasses. But there is something missing that could be more convincing. If the gap for C02 is increasing in size over time as more C02 enters the atmosphere, your argument would be more convincing. Is there data to support that? If not, what is the explanation?

    Also, what about the opposite? You like to talk about pointing an IR thermometer straight up from earth on a clear night. If the GHE theory is correct, shouldn’t we see increasing “peaks” in the spectrum in readings taken at the surface?

  10. KevinK says:

    Dr. Spencer;

    With respect, am in in the cult, or am I excluded from the cult ???

    I suggest that everybody study the science behind multi-layer interference coatings on optical surfaces. There are lots of similarities between that technology and the GHE. Except that the gases in the atmosphere do not provide a means for destructive and constructive interference of optical light.

    See you soon at the next cult meeting, next Tuesday at 9 pm right ???

    Cheers, Kevin.

  11. Turnedoutnice says:

    I have had an Australian ‘climate scientist’ claim to me once that CO2 layers in the atmosphere act so that ‘back radiation’ arises from a Fabry-Perot interferometer effect with the energy stored as a standing wave.

    This is complete bunkum and ‘back radiation’ does not exist in the real world – it is an artefact created by the measurement technique. I’m still working out the details, but the placement of the detector near the earth’s surface will also probably change the result by affecting the local balance between radiation and convection.

    The bottom line is that climate science appears to have failed to understand the most basic aspect of radiant heat transfer which is that whilst there is bidirectional Prevost Exchange Energy between two between two radiating bodies of equal temperature, the net flux is zero.

    If the bodies are at different temperatures, that bidirectional Exchange Energy is reduced by the net flux. Only for a single body in a vacuum is the total flux equal to that determined by the S-B equation.

    If the air has no temperature gradient and the detector is sufficiently distant from the ground, DWLR = UWLR and net flux = zero.

    If there is a positive temperature gradient a pyrgeometer measures a lower DWLR, higher UWLR subject to second order issues near the ground.

  12. don penman says:

    I don’t think that we need multiple earths to find out if co2 causes warming or not,we have enough data on the real earth to determine that,this is just the lame excuse to use climate models as the reality for climate science.How many Earths do you want? Would they be able answer the question about co2 any better than the climate models?The more we study the earth the more we will find out and in the end we will know if co2 causes warming or not.If we can find out how the Sun works why the heck can’t we find out how the earth works.

    • ben bock says:

      don, do you really think you know how the sun works? please explain why 11y cycle occurs, why current cycle is different from the previous one… that wasn’t a good argument at all.

  13. D_Cotton says:

    These points are made in my peer-reviewed paper now published on at least four sites and linked from my site http://climate-change-theory.com

    (1) Radiation from cooler parts of the atmosphere to warmer parts of the surface cannot transfer thermal energy, but can slow just the radiative component of surface cooling, which is less than half the cooling, probably about a third.

    (2) When radiative cooling is slowed, the rates of evaporative cooling and diffusion (conduction) followed by convection will increase for reasons explained in my paper.

    (3) The energy in each photon is proportional to the frequency of the associated radiation.

    (4) Short wave (high frequency) infra-red radiation (making up about half of the total solar radiation) thus has far more energy per photon than does long wave (low frequency) infra-red radiation from the atmosphere, which is mostly well below freezing point.

    (5) The effect which radiation from the atmosphere has on radiative cooling of the surface depends upon both the temperature of the region from which it originated and the density of frequencies in that radiation.

    (6) Carbon dioxide radiates far fewer frequencies than water vapour, and each radiates fewer than a blackbody.

    (7) Hence each carbon dioxide molecule has far less effect on the radiative rate of cooling than each water vapour molecule, of which there are usually about 20 to 50 times as many.

    (8) So carbon dioxide is like a picket fence with most of its pickets missing, standing up against full blast radiation from the surface.

    (9) Any warming effect of carbon dioxide is cancelled because of the reasons in (2) and, because of those in (4) there is a significant cooling effect as it sends back to space at least half of the high energy photons it captures from solar radiation.

    (10) Hence carbon dioxide has a net cooling effect, but such is absolutely minimal compared with the effect of water vapour which also has radiative cooling effects, but possibly some warming effects also about which we can do nothing.

    • Watchman says:

      Peer reviewed? Isn’t this “paper” in Principia Scientific? Are you suggesting this is a “peer reviewed” scientific journal?

      From the P.S.I website:

      “Principia Scientific International (PSI) was originally conceived in 2010 after 22 international climate experts and authors joined forces to write the climate science bestseller, ‘Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory.’”

      What a prestigious honor to be published there!

  14. I’m not sure what poor Dr Spencer has done in a past life, but he attracts an extraordinary number of cranks to his blog. I suspect Cotton is the crank of all cranks. He must be working his way through every climate blog on the internet until he finally gets banned from them all, just for the nuisance factor alone…

    But back to addressing the subject matter of the post… Fundamentally I suspect the issue is that Earth Sciences is very HARD, for the reasons that Dr Spencer has outlined, and for various sociological reasons it’s been decided that we must know the answers to certain scientific issues for which we do not yet have the knowledge. Having read a fair number of climate science papers now, I can’t help but be left with the impression that this field is still very young and immature.

  15. KR says:

    But we _do_ have multiple experiments! Every change has effects (with, granted, varying time lags), whether that’s the aerosol changes in the ’70′s, slowdown of GHG rates with the collapse of the Soviet Union, each and every volcano eruption – each of these is a new experiment in seeing how the Earth climate changes with a change in forcings.

    Your claims could as well be applied to evolution – as we cannot recreate major speciation (humans/chimps, various evolutions of the eye) in a lab. But every historic example represents another iteration, another experiment, another point of data.

    Constant changes, and constant climate reactions – those are the data set, ever expanding. Claiming otherwise is an epistemologic fallacy.

    “Contrary to what you have probably been told, there are no ‘fingerprints’ of human-induced warming which distinguish it from other, natural radiatively induced sources of warming.”

    Really? Nights warming faster than days, winters warming faster than summers, GHG changes in satellite spectra of Earth emissivity, stratospheric cooling, etc.? The only match to those fingerprints is an increasing greenhouse effect. Not the sun, not galactic cosmic rays, etc.

    The isotopic changes in CO2, ocean acidification, mass balance of carbon consumption vs. atmospheric rise – those all point _straight to us_ as fully responsible for that increase.

    If you have other possible explanations for the observed warming, _with some evidence_, by all means write them up. Put them in the literature for consideration. But note that (a) any such explanation should also include why our own CO2 increases do not cause the observed changes, contrary to basic spectroscopy and atmospheric composition data, and (b) have some testable assertions.

    I (IMO) will not hold my breath.

  16. Doug Cotton says:

    Yes, “really” KR.

    How about reading what I’ve actually said in about 6,600 words that I’m not going to re-write here.

    Anyone is welcome to read about the initial peer-review process and the ongoing “open review” by about 40 members of PSI

    http://www.webcommentary.com/docs/jo120314.pdf

    ________

    And from PSI website …

    PSI has identified that there are currently two opposing methodologies at conflict:

    Traditional scientific method: borne of the Age of Enlightenment and which gave rise to the technological advances of the industrial revolution.

    Post-normalism:* pre-deterministic approach where policy and outcome dictate the kind of ‘science’ needed to justify it. The most culpable purveyors of this modern malaise are national governments, NGO’s and big corporations.

    PSI ASSOCIATES are steadfast in their support of the traditional scientific method as encapsulated most eloquently in the ideas of Karl Popper. As such PSI opposes post-normalism and endeavors to provide society with an antidote (from the Greek ??????????? antididonai, “given against”) to the seemingly gargantuan and pervasive rise of post-normal science by way of our publishing, educational and media-focused materials and presentations. For, as Karl Popper advocated, any hypothesis that does not make testable predictions is simply not science. Such a hypothesis may be useful or valuable, but it cannot be said to be science.

  17. Doug Cotton says:

    Let me put this way …

    (1) Radiation sets out on its journey from an object with a frequency distribution represented by the appropriate Planck curve for its temperature.

    (2) Not all the possible frequencies may be present if the object is not “composite” but is, perhaps, a single gas or several gases with limited emission bands. If this is the case, this radiation will have less effect on the radiative cooling rates of warmer composite bodies than would perfect blackbody radiation with the full range of frequencies that are allowed by the Planck curve

    (3) When the radiation strikes a blackbody target, that target, if cooler, will only be able to match and resonate with a portion of the emitting source’s radiation. The extra source radiation, corresponding to the energy between the Planck curves will be converted to thermal energy, but the rest will undergo resonant scattering. So the radiation is split.

    (4) If the target is warmer, all the radiation from the source undergoes resonant scattering.

    (5) When radiation strikes a target, that portion that resonates (be it all or part) takes the place of radiation for which the target would have had to use its own energy. Hence the target, even if warmer, will cool more slowly, as is observed.

    (6) The target becomes a new source. It, like the original source, still radiates all it can under its Planck curve, but it is using some or all of the energy it received from the original source. Hence “new” radiation sets out which may be thought of as containing some or all of the energy of the original source, plus some of its own it it was warmer than the source.

    (7) If you were to follow the passage of any particular parcel of energy, some of it would be “dropped off” at each target that was cooler than the last, but not targets which were warmer than the last.

    (8) So the surface also just scatters “cooler” radiation from the atmosphere, and all radiation gets to space eventually. There it continues in the same way, striking targets perhaps every few years or centuries or whatever, until its energy gets down to the base level of about 2K to 3K I understand, as is observed in background space radiation. This means nothing much is colder than that out there.

    The above process overcomes the problem of assuming two-way radiation is associated with two-way heat transfer, including transfer from cold to hot. The latter would violate the Secon Law, and so cannot happen.

    Hence the above postulate is a far more likely alternative.

    But there are reasons why carbon dioxide has no effect as explained in my paper which is linked from my site.

  18. KR says:

    Doug Cotton – My apologies, my previous post was not directed to you, but rather to Dr. Spencer and his opening post.

    Regarding your writings, I find myself in _rare_ agreement with Fred Singer (http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=3263), in that 2nd Law objections to the greenhouse gas effect are just silly, and label anyone associated with arguing such points as simply not acquainted with the science.

    Your statement that “If the target is warmer, all the radiation from the source undergoes resonant scattering” can be easily shown to be false in a high school lab. Or for that matter in your kitchen microwave (as microwaves have the photon energies of thermal radiation from an object at ~5K, easily warming your 290K leftovers)…

  19. Doug Cotton says:

    Yes Claes,

    I see Roy got a mention …

    http://principia-scientific.org/supportnews/latest-news/133-the-three-basic-personality-types-of-greenhouse-gas-believers-

    Many thanks indeed for your time in reviewing my paper.

    Doug

  20. Turnedoutnice says:

    KR: a microwave oven does not use randomly-emitted 5 K photons to heat food at 290 K.

    It sets up a series of standing waves at whose nodes the energy amplitude and the resonant coupling is such as to oscillate water molecules sufficiently that the local heating heats the food.

    As an exercise, I’ll ask you to calculate the equivalent arrival rate of focused 5 K photons. Imagine a silicon lens focusing IR!

  21. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Cotton,

    Cooling by evaporation, conduction and convective mass transfer cannot offset the warming by greenhouse gases. Consider earth’s surface and atmosphere as one thermodynamic system. Evaporation, conduction and convection merely transfer heat from different parts of the system (surface, lower atmosphere, upper atmosphere)

    The total heat content and average temperature of the system are constant though the different parts have different temperatures and heat contents. BTW evaporative cooling is equalized by the latent heat of condensation. Only the radiative heat transfer of incoming and outgoing radiation from space can change the total heat content and average temperature of the earth system.

    Greenhouse gases can change the radiative heat transfer and therefore change the average temperature of the earth system.

  22. Doug Cotton says:

    No Dr Strangelove,

    You will find my response disputing your claim that Greenhouse gases can change the radiative heat transfer and therefore change the average temperature of the earth system. in the paper.* In fact, natural climate changes inevitably lead to radiative imbalance (plus or minus) during natural warming and cooling periods. Carbon dioxide has absolutely no warming effect – zero.

    You might note the temperature analysis in the Appendix which also shows that there has been no effect due to carbon dioxide, and that climate follows natural cycles, the most relevant being ~1,000 years (currently increasing 0.05 deg C / decade for another 50 to 200 years before a maximum) plus superimposed 60 year cycles. Evidence is in the Appendix, without cherry picking.

    So I present both a hypothesis, far more comprehensive than your two lines (in fact 7 pages) as well as a further 5 page Appendix relating temperature trends and counter arguments such as the above one regarding microwave ovens.

    No KR

    Microwave ovens (explained above by turnedoutnice) and also in the Appendix to my paper do not disprove the hypothesis, any more than the unmentioned school experiment. What can be shown in a laboratory by spectroscopy, over a wide range of temperatures, is that a warmer gas does not absorb emission from a cooler source. You have no proof of what you say anyway, nor any peer-reviewed papers (to my knowledge) rebutting the writings of either Prof Claes Johnson or myself.

    In general I will ignore those who comment on what they think I may have written, without actually studying what I have. There is a FAQ section in an Appendix.

    * http://www.webcommentary.com/docs/jo120314.pdf

  23. Turnedoutnice says:

    Dr Strangelove: <i.'Only the radiative heat transfer of incoming and outgoing radiation from space can change the total heat content and average temperature of the earth system.'

    Absolutely correct, but the control of that radiative heat transfer is through two mechanisms, the concentration of GHGs and the albedo of clouds.

    The latter may well change as CO2 increases.The Earthshine experiment proves there is considerable variation.

  24. don penman says:

    I am just trying to understand what was said in the previous thread here but convection seems to control the transportation of water into the atmosphere as water vapour where it condenses as water and releases ir radiation into space

  25. Edim says:

    Dr. Strangelove

    “Only the radiative heat transfer of incoming and outgoing radiation from space can change the total heat content and average temperature of the earth system.”

    Yes, but…

    http://science-edu.larc.nasa.gov/EDDOCS/images/Erb/components2.gif

    Assuming incoming radiation is constant (solar), it’s correct to say that only the outgoing radiation can change the internal energy of the earth system (ignoring the geothermal flux and/or other unknown energy fluxes). However, the outgoing radiation is the sum of the surface radiation directly radiated to space (the window) AND the net outgoing atmospheric radiation. Both of these fluxes are dependent on MANY factors and not only the “greenhouse” gases. The atmosphere is warmed predominantly by surface evaporation and cooled exclusively by atmospheric (outgoing) radiation. You would fail a basic engineering heat transfer exam, I think.

    “Greenhouse gases can change the radiative heat transfer and therefore change the average temperature of the earth system.”

    Yes, for example they enhance the atmospheric radiative cooling to space by making the atmosphere more radiatively active. The net GHGE is unknown, but on the face of it, the net effect might be cooling, but probably insignificant and easily overwhelmed by other factors.

  26. By tipping point I mean the climate flips from non glacial to glacial, only to return to non glacial once again at a later point. I did not mean to suggest once the climate reached a tipping point it would keep going in that direction. Contary it will reverse once again, when the items I say control the climate start to phase from a cold mode to a warm mode, which would happen when solar activity picked up once again.

    If anybody really read what I have to say , they would have realized this.

    In the meantime I see no explanation to account for earth’s abrupt climate changes of the past, other then mine.

    The CO2 scape goat, will rule the day, while the important question and the key to understanding earth’s climate (abrupt climate change)continues to not be addressed.

  27. KR says:

    Doug Cotton – Microwave ovens heat your food. CO2 lasers (http://www.google.com/search?q=co2+cutting+laser) emitting at the _same frequencies_ you feel are resonantly reflected are used _every day_ to cut and weld material. And blackbody absorption irregardless of temperature is (as I stated) demonstrable in any high school lab context.

    Photons do not carry id tags with the temperature of their source. Their only characteristic is a frequency, their individual energy. There is no way for an object struck by that photon to know where it came from.

    If your hypothesis is contradicted by observations, it’s time for a new hypothesis. “If the target is warmer, all the radiation from the source undergoes resonant scattering”? Utterly contradicted by observations.

  28. Turnedoutnice says:

    Climate science’s assessment of practical heat transfer is the belief that at 1 atmosphere, the Earth’s surface is forced to radiate at 390 W/m^2, the flux for a black body at 15°C in a vacuum.

    161 [LW] + 333 ['back radiation'] = 494

    494 – 396 ['surface radiation'] = 17 [thermals] + 80 [evapo-transpiration] + 0.9 ['net absorbed']

    [2009 Trenberth and Keihl diagram]

    However, any process engineer knows that at equilibrium, the sum of the heat fluxes from conduction, convection and radiation equals the heat input,

    161 [LW] – 0.9 ['net absorbed'] = 17 [thermals] + 80 [evapo-transpiration] + 63 [net IR emission]

    Climate science’s case is wrong:there is no requirement that IR emission in an atmosphere is set by the S-B equation in a vacuum for that temperature. The real IR emission will depend on convection: you see this in the Urban heat island effect where reduced convection raises temperature to the point where increased radiation compensates for reduced convection.

    The fact that both sums work suggests to me that data may have been manipulate to make the incorrect ‘back radiation’ hypothesis seem plausible. The proof of this is that if back radiation were true, the increased UHI would, by increasing ‘back radiation’ cause global warming. i don’t see any such claims made by the cargo cult because to do so would compete with the ‘mostly CO2-AGW’ argument

  29. Turnedoutnice says:

    Sorry, typo in the first line, 390 should be 396.

  30. Another aspect of climate which is not being addressed ,which will have a very big impact on earth’s future climate is, ALBEDO.

    Dr. Spencer never addresses that issue. Any changes in earth’s ALBEDO , will have a very big impact on earth’s climate. Much greater then IR, which has been steady for the last 40 years, despite CO2 increasing.

    If snow cover were to increase as a result of the various items I say control earth’s climate (as they phase into a cold mode) this will compound the situation. The more, incoming solar radiation is reflected back into space, the colder earth will become.

    If one goes to the LAYMAN SUNSPOT SITE, the theory advanced by GEOFFRY SHARP and others is where I am coming from, and agree with 100%.

    I will say this. If solar activity as measured by the solar flux averages 90 or less for the balance of this decade, with a few spurts of activity mixed in with this trend from time to time ,and the temperatures for the globe fail to go down, I will admit to being wrong.I doubt that wil be the case.

    Since Aug. 2011, the solar flux readings have been to high for my theory ,although still low for this stage of the sunspot cycle. I expect lower readings in the coming years,and hence we will most likey be able to see how the temperatures will correspond. Past history supports my contentions.

    On another note those that agree with me, who have been predicting solar cycle 24 would be very weak ,going back as far as 2008, are being proven to be correct.

    We will also be proven to be correct on the climate outlook, if solar activity remains very low for the balance of this decade, I believe. Time will tell.

  31. Ian Smith says:

    Dr Spencer notes:
    “The warming is indeed (as the IPCC so artfully claims) “consistent” with increasing CO2, but it would also be consistent with other potential causes. ”

    This may be true, and most “warmists” are willing to say that they are (for example) 70% or 95% or 99% etc. sure that CO2 is causing the observed warming. However, I have yet to hear a “sceptic” provide an estimate of the probability that it is not. Why is that?

  32. Dan Pangburn says:

    Would you like to discover what caused the temperature trajectory of the last century?

    A simple equation, with only one input variable, calculates average global temperatures for over a century with 88% accuracy. This equation has predicted average global temperatures for over 20 years with a standard deviation of less than 0.1°C.

    It also shows that atmospheric carbon dioxide has no significant influence.

  33. Dr. Spencer, you say:.” There have been many laboratory (spectroscopic) investigations where it has been convincingly established that carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation (the fundamental starting point for global warming theory).”

    =====

    How many of those experiments show (by thermometer readings) that warming is taking place in the gas subjected to the investigations?

    I suspect the answer is none. – Or we would have heard about it by now, or we would have found the, swept under the carpet “Hot Spot”.

  34. @Ian Smith says:
    This may be true, and most “warmists” are willing to say that they are (for example) 70% or 95% or 99% etc. sure that CO2 is causing the observed warming. However, I have yet to hear a “sceptic” provide an estimate of the probability that it is not. Why is that?
    ===============

    Because you don’t read much?

    Assuming a doubling from 1950-2050, and a temperature increase of 1.1C based on radiative physics, then sceptics expect to see a further warming of .4C by 2050. Slightly more if feedbacks are positive, slightly less if feedbacks are negative.

  35. Doug Cotton says:

    KR All the “points” you make are already refuted in my paper, so I refer you to that, including the Appendix. Turnedoutnice has also explained why microwave ovens do not demonstrate any violation of my hypothesis, and I explain likewise, as well as lasers and other things in the Appendix of FAQ’s.

  36. Doug Cotton says:

    Everyone should note Turnedoutnice’s comment at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/03/global-warming-as-cargo-cult-science/#comment-39322

    Roughly 60% of the thermal energy from the surface to the atmosphere does not transfer by radiation. So, if radiation from a cooler atmosphere really did transfer thermal energy to a warmer surface (and the Sceond Law of Thermodynamics really could be thus violated) then only 40% of that thermal energy would then exit (a second time) by radiation. So you have much more radiation into the surface than out of it. You have expected water to run uphill by itself and fill a water tank at the top of the hill, just because you know the water is going to flow down pipes to people’s homes sometime in the future.

    Thermal energy does not transfer both ways between hot and cold as Planck and Co originally claimed. Botzmann got the right result mathematically, but he did not guess the right physical process. i suggest that is what is in my paper.

    http://www.webcommentary.com/docs/jo120314.pdf

  37. Mike Wilson says:

    Wow Dr. Spencer, This is almost exactly how I have responded in the past to alarmists when they say something to the effect of “If a doctor said you had cancer, would you ignore him or tell him you don’t believe him? If not why do you ignore our best experts in the Climate Science field?” I Can’t tell you how many times I have heard that one.

    And to that I have responded to them: The maturity of Climate Science as it relates to Medical Science is much worse than medieval doctors telling you they need to attach these leaches to suck out the bad blood. And that medical doctors can only cure many cancers because they have studied untold patients that have died. Climate Science has only studied a single heartbeat of one patient.

  38. Doug Cotton says:

    Well said Mike. An appeal to authority has no place in science.

    It is because people have appealed to the authority of early scientists like Planck and Boltzmann that we still have them believing that it’s OK for heat to flow from cold to hot, so long as more flows somewhere else from hot to cold.

    So we can all sit back and watch water flowing uphill by itself and filling a water tank at the top, because next week it’s going to flow in pipes down a bigger hill and into people’s homes.

    There will be a net increase in entropy so all is OK , isn’t it? /sarc

    That’s how early scientists explained the effect of two-way radiation and why the hot body cools more slowly in the presence of a luke warm one.

    I suggest the real mechanism could be more like that described in my paper, but you’d better not believe me when the early scientists have such “authority” and people like Dr Roy also nod their heads to such authority and hope a bit rubs off on them as a result.

    How nice it is to be semi-retired and free to think, then say what I believe – and all under no one’s authority. Try reading it.

    http://www.webcommentary.com/docs/jo120314.pdf

  39. KR says:

    Doug Cotton – Yes, I’ve read that section (Q5). There is no way for the object impinged to tell one photon from another. It’s not coherence – it’s quite straightforward to take a coherent beam from a laser, scramble it to be incoherent (for example, running it through a liquid light pipe with some colloidal fluid in it), and get _exactly_ the same warming effect.

    Again – your basic hypotheses (as well as Claes Johnson’s) are just.not.correct.

    I fully realize I cannot convince D.C., as he holds to his theory despite any and all evidence to the contrary. But other readers – it’s important to at least _try_ not to ignore observations. The last 150-200 years of basic spectroscopy holds up in every experiment, and is not invalidated by someones “Just So Stories”, or running off deep in self-referential theory without tying it to observations.

  40. Doug Cotton says:

    KR

    There is no way for the object impinged to tell one photon from another.

    _________________________________________________

    Then the universe will go crazy because there are a lot of photons out there being emitted by a lot of objects at temperatures around 2 or 3 K.

    The Sun only radiates at us from a small angle in the sky. This space radiation comes at us from all 3D angles and in summation could make us pretty hot at night, just like the backradiation that’s at least a third as strong as the Sun above the Equator at noon.

    Maybe you could tell me why I found that the Sun could warm water in my wide necked vacuum flask by 9.6 deg.C, but the backradiation at night just let it cool away like the air around it. Surely we could have got 3 degrees of warming out of it.

    You’d better go back and read Sections 1 to 4, and read again the last para of Section 5.

    An object most certainly can detect the frequencies in incident radiation with which it can resonate, and that is all it has to do as I explain.

    Of course photons are different. They have different energy which is proportional to their frequency – this is elementary stuff.

  41. Doug Cotton says:

    ,b>KR: Basic spectroscopy actally supports Claes Johnson’s result. Warm gases do not absorb spontaneous radiation from cooler objects.

    Why is it that you have to try to resort to man made, powered machines to try to disprove something that happens naturally in a natural atmosphere. Science has got pretty clever with microwave ovens and lasers – you don’t find them growing on trees in nature.

    Amyway, lasers, microwave ovens, IR thermometers etc are all covered in the Appendix FAQ 4 & 5.
    .

  42. Ian Smith says on March 19, 2012 at 2:50 PM:

    “This may be true, and most “warmists” are willing to say that they are (for example) 70% or 95% or 99% etc. sure that CO2 is causing the observed warming. However, I have yet to hear a “sceptic” provide an estimate of the probability that it is not. Why is that?”

    =======

    Here is one “sceptic or skeptic” who estimates that the probability that it is not is 100%. – Simply – because if it is correct that IR radiation/back-radiation between two objects, i.e. CO2 and the surface leads to an increased heat content in (warming of) one – or both of those objects, then it must follow that all the greenhouse gas molecules which share the same absorption-bands must be warming each other. – And then, where would we be?

  43. CO2 THEORY PREDICTIONS ALL WRONG

    1. NO ATMOSPHERIC HOT SPOT IN THE UPPER TROPOSHERE NEAR THE EQUATOR.

    2. NO DECREASE IN LONG WAVE RADIAITION

    3. NO INCREASE IN THE ARCTIC OSICLLATION BECOMING MORE POSITIVE

    4. NO UPPER STRATOSPEHRIC COOLING, ESPECIALLY IN THE HIGHER LATITUDES.

    5. TEMPERATURE INCREASE HAS COME TO A HALT

    6. NO RISE IN SEA LEVEL

    7. NO INCREASES IN EL NINO VERSUS LA NINA

    Those are a few of the major blunders with the CO2 theory. There are many more. As one can see everything they had said ,is being proven to be wrong. This means their predictions about the future climate are worthless BS.

    Dr. Spencer, is way to kind to their point of view in my opinion , and needs to go much further in his thoughts about earth’s climatic system, and what makes it work.

    Again the abrupt climate change issue, the causes of this ,is what needs to be dealt with. I am one of the few that has put forth a comprehensive sensible explanation as to how this may all come about.

    Until the causes of abrupt climate change are understood, anyone trying to say they know what makes earth’s climate system work,is just giving, a bunch of BS.

  44. Russell says:

    My thanks to Chaos Manor for bringing this site to my attention.

    Having experienced the original Cargo Cult in action , on Tanna, Ambrym and Malekua in the New Hebrides five decades ago, I can certify that many commenting here have more in common with the cult’s practitioners than climate scientists at large.

    Like John Frum’s Tanna wontoks, they really seem to believe in believing they can achieve the ends of science by adopting its exterior form without the necessity of understanding how its components work, witness the willingness of many here to entertain alternative theories of thermodynamics and radiative transfer equilibria without benefit of experiment

    Heaven help the virgins the South Pacific if this lot, overcoming their aversion to experiment, should ever take up volcanology.

  45. Jonthetechnologist says:

    Dr. Spencer,
    Once again a terrific class; I love the way you get out of the way and let the class room explode with ideas.
    To one and all – the climate system complexity leads me to think there is value in all of your theories (except AGW ). Somehow there needs to be a larger forum perhaps a gathering
    or something to force the media to listen. Are any of you lawyers and if so how about a class action against Gore,
    Mann et all to get the ball rolling; it would be entertaining if nothing else. Does anyone remember a painting of the canals in Holland frozen with people ice skating – a copy needs to be sent to Mann.

    Thanks everyone for the education.

  46. Dr. Strangelove says:

    edim

    “the outgoing radiation is the sum of the surface radiation directly radiated to space (the window) AND the net outgoing atmospheric radiation. Both of these fluxes are dependent on MANY factors and not only the “greenhouse” gases.”

    You would fail a grade 7 reading comprehension test. I never said ONLY greenhouse gases. I said only RADIATIVE HEAT TRANSFER to space, that would include all natural and man-made causes.

    “The atmosphere is warmed predominantly by surface evaporation and cooled exclusively by atmospheric (outgoing) radiation”

    Wrong. Evaporation cools the surface and air near the surface. Condensation warms the atmosphere.

    “The net GHGE is unknown, but on the face of it, the net effect might be cooling, but probably insignificant and easily overwhelmed by other factors.”

    Most meteorologists would agree on the 33C warming called greenhouse effect and 1C warming of doubling CO2 without feedbacks. The magnitude of the effect of feedbacks is debatable.

  47. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Johnson,

    In Section 12.2 of your paper, you misunderstood Stefan-Boltzmann law. In Equation 12.2 you misinterpreted -Q12 as something non-physical. But the term simply means B2 is cooling. There is nothing non-physical about cooling bodies. The sign is negative because it is a heat inflow equation. You can change it to heat outflow equation and the sign will become positive. The sign is arbitrary and does not indicate net heat flow in a thermodynamic system.

    In Section 13.3 you misunderstood the 2nd law of thermodynamics. It applies to net heat flow in a thermodynamic system. It doesn’t apply to individual components of heat flow.

    Take a container with a divider in the middle. Put hot gas on right side of the divider and cold gas on the left side. Remove the divider. Net heat flow will be from right to left side. However, it doesn’t mean the gas molecules on the left side cannot go to the right and only the hot molecules can go to the left.

    The motion of gas molecules are random. They will go left and right. Heat will flow both ways. But net heat flow is one way. Even this is not absolutely true. Theoretically the molecules can all go to the right side. But this is extremely improbable. Hence, the 2nd law of thermodynamics is not a physical impossibility but a statistical improbability.

  48. Douglas J Cotton says:

    Dr Strangelove

    Kindly show me an accepted standard explanation in a traditional physics textbook (or on-line tertiary course of instruction in physics) that says the SLoT only applies to “net” heat flow and does not have to apply for any finite time slot in an individual one way spontaneous adiabatic transfer of thermal energy.

    What if we have a never-ending multi-process situation, which you know full well happens in the real world, like atmosphere to ocean to water vapour in clouds to atmosphere?

    Don’t forget the reference regarding “net” heat flow – but not from any “climatology” paper reviewed by other climatologists thanks.

    PS – Have you read my publication yet?

  49. KR

    There is no way for the object impinged to tell one photon from another.
    _________________________________

    Try reading what I actually say in my publication, rather than guessing.

    It’s linked from my site – click my name at the top of this post, and then just one more click.

  50. Roy

    Yet the judges sitting on that court did not want to hear any challenges to the science(!)
    ___________________________________

    Neither do you want to hear any challenges to your beliefs Roy in which you still think that, just because CO2 delays a bit of weak upwelling radiation for a rather small fraction of a second that this is the starting point for Global Warming theory – oops, conjecture.

    Well, so too is the fact that it absorbs incident IR in the 2 micron band (which has about five times the energy per photon) and sends it back to space from somewhere in the upper atmosphere – the start of the Global Cooling theory.

  51. Everyone:,

    Dr Strangelove says Most meteorologists would agree on the 33C warming called greenhouse effect and 1C warming of doubling CO2 without feedbacks. The magnitude of the effect of feedbacks is debatable.
    _________________________________________

    If he had read my publication he might have learnt a bit more about that 33C figure. Seeing that he probably won’t, I shall paste the relevant page so that others can see just how much thought he puts into what he says /sarc …

    Q.2 Why is the surface 33oC warmer than the -18oC we calculate?

    That -18oC figure was calculated using Stefan Boltzmann’s Law which relates to radiation from a perfect blackbody, which should be totally insulated from its surroundings, so that no thermal energy can escape by conduction or any means other than radiation. The radiative flux is proportional to the fourth power of the absolute temperature. But the Earth’s surface is only an internal interface with the atmosphere in the complete Earth-plus-atmosphere system, which is much more like a blackbody. Roughly half of the thermal energy transferred from the surface to the atmosphere is not radiated, so that throws the calculations of that -18oC (255K) figure way out.

    Furthermore, it is based on a flat Earth model where there is no variation in solar radiation received by the surface at any time in the 24 hour daily revolution. One could calculate a more accurate value by integrating over a 24 hour cycle, but it would also have to take into account the rate of heat conduction into the surface each morning and out of the surface later in the 24 hour cycle.

    Furthermore, solar radiation penetrates deep into the oceans almost instantly, and then has to work its way out slowly by convection. If we could properly model all these parameters then perhaps we could work out a more accurate figure, but even then it would apply to the whole system including the atmosphere, which after all, does emit a lot of the radiation, as is observed from space.

    If we were to derive such a figure it would be a weighted mean which would be found somewhere up in the atmosphere. Even if the atmosphere were only 20% oxygen and 80% nitrogen, with nothing else, there would be a natural adiabatic lapse rate (which is a function of the acceleration due to gravity) and that alone would be sufficient to ensure that the surface was much warmer than the above weighted mean temperature. Note also that, in the real world, if some layers of the atmosphere become a little warmer than the natural lapse rate indicates they ought to be, they will radiate away the extra thermal energy until the local temperature falls back to the natural temperature gradient, which is determined by gravity and, to a lesser extent, by the relative humidity. None of the excess energy can make it back into the surface by any means, radiation or otherwise. Besides, any such warm air is of a temporary nature, relating to weather conditions, not long-term climate.

  52. I am not going to waste my time on the subject of how much warming or little warming an increase in CO2, A TRACE GAS WITH A TRACE INCREASE , may or may not have.

    What I am concentrating on is abrupt climate change, and the chances of this happening again going forward.

    Again the potential set up is being put into place, due to the low solar activity(started in year 2005) expected to last at least another 30 years, the potential increase in volcanic activity which seems to be associated with low solar minimum activity, when spurts occur within the minimum ,the weakening of earth’s magnetic field ,which just compounds solar event effects, here on earth, the cold phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, with the Atlantic to follow, the more frequent La Nina’s coming on, along with the much more meridional jet stream circulation ,indicative of a negative Arctic Oscillation,although as is the case currently , it can happen with a +AO.

    In general,however, the more negative the AO, the more extreme the climate will be due to a more meridional jet stream.

    Milankovitch cycles, if anything still favor cooling, due to earth’s closet approach to the sun during the N.H. winter.

    So we have the above in place ,which if those factors should phase in at a level strong enough, and a duration of time long enough, will cause a decrease in earth’s temperatures. In addition, those factors will in turn promote,an increase in clouds,an increase in precipitation and more substancial snow cover. These three factors will in turn increase earth’s albedo. Even a mere 1% increase in earth’s albedo, equates to more then a 1F drop in the average temperature of the earth.

    Ocean heat content,is the last to react , but that to has been shown to have leveled off since 2003 or so. In contrast the atmospheric circulation seems to react within months to solar changes.

    The more negative AO ,will cause the temperature distribution of warm and cold to change in the N.H. in a way which should result in more snow cover.

    If these factors come together properly,in a degree of magnitude strong enough, and duration of time long enough, that is when an abrupt climatic change could come about.

    The basic need for the above to perhaps come about ,is for solar activity as measured by the solar flux to be 90 or less for the balance of this decade.

    Past history suggest this solar minimum is going to persist ,and past history shows (if one just reviews the Dalton, and Maunder solar minimums) ,that each time solar minimum conditions prevail, the temperatures go down, the climatic extremes increase,(hot,cold,wet,dry) along with geological activity.

  53. Salvatore

    I think you will find from the historic records that the abrupt changes do in fact correspond to nodes in the 60 year natural cycle which is discussed in my paper and also now confirmed in a new published paper you can read about here.*

    There are other natural cycles, notably one of just under 1,000 years, and this long-term one is still rising (as I explain in the Appendix of my paper** which is also on tallbloke’s talkshop) by about 0.05 C degree per decade, but only for another 50 to 200 years at the most before reaching its maximum.

    Everything is under the control of the planets, mostly Jupiter and Saturn as is now established in peer-reviewed published science in a major journal.

    Carbon dioxide has zero effect, because all it can do is slow the rate of radiative cooling of the surface (that being less than 40% of all cooling) and, when it does (by a minuscule amount) the other rates of cooling (evaporation, diffusion, conduction etc) speed up to compensate, for the reasons explained in Appendix Q.3 of my paper, which is also linked from my site.

    * http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/nicola-scafetta-major-new-paper-on-solar-planetary-theory/

  54. KevinK says:

    Russell said (In response to a sensible question from Olav on 3/19/2012 at 6:02pm);

    “It’s called a CO2 laser.”

    With all due respect Russell, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO SIMILARITY BETWEEN THE GHE AND HOW A LASER OPERATES……

    LASER = (L)ight (A)mplification by the (S)timulated (E)mission of (R)adiation = (L)(A)(S)(E)(R) = LASER. Please note the terms “Light Amplification”, it is not called an “Energy Amplification” device for a reason, IT DOES NOT AMPLIFY ENERGY………… Every form of laser known to mankind requires more energy input than the light energy it produces…….

    The GHE only DELAYS the flow of energy through a system as the energy alternates between thermal energy (heat) and IR radiation. This delay is simply caused by multiple trips through the system. All of these trips progress at the the same speed. A thermal insulator CAN cause a surface to reach a higher equilibrium temperature by SLOWING the speed (velocity, rate of forward progress, distance travelled per unit time, etc.) at which the heat flows.

    The GHE does not change the velocity of heat/IR energy as it moves through the system.

    Claiming that the GHE acts like a CO2 laser is ignorant (upper case omitted in a sense of decency).

    I work with lasers for a living and have a Master’s Degree in Optics, so if you want to explain to me how a laser amplifies energy I’m listening…………

    Cheers, Kevin.

  55. Ian Smith says:

    Olay,
    Thank you – I admire your confidence. I wonder if it is shared by other skeptics?
    Ian

  56. Dr. Strangelove says:

    cotton

    Your arrogance is annoying. You’re quoting your own paper as if it’s a revolutionary scientific paper. You must be a legend in your own mind. Your paper is wrong. If you have trouble accepting this, try to publish it in a reputable physics journal. I assure you it will be rejected.

    I read your paper. It’s not science. No equations. No computations. No mathematical modeling of physical processes. No description of real experiments and their results. No statistical analyses of actual data. It’s just a narrative of your own opinion about the climate, radiation and heat flow. Worse, your opinion is wrong. I read Johnson’s paper. It is better since it deals with real science though he misunderstood the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

    BTW why are you answering on behalf of Johnson? You are not credible. Judging from his paper, he can give a better answer than you.

    The example I gave is based on kinetic molecular theory of gases. It is discussed in all textbooks on physics, chemistry, thermodynamics, physical science, etc. The fact that you’re asking for a textbook reference shows your ignorance of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

    The “back radiation” and greenhouse effect are discussed in meteorology textbooks. You want us to believe your opinion paper and not the meteorology textbooks?

  57. What a lot of assertive statements, Dr Strangelove. Half the trouble stems from people using formulas of physics without understanding the pre-requisites. I use all I need and there is adequate physics linked and sufficient graphics to make the relevant points.

    And, as for your assertive statement that a Professor of Applied Mathematics (very similar to Physics, I know, because I have majored in each) does not understand the Second Law, well, you leave me speachless.

    Your kinetic molecular theory of gases has nothing to do with radiative transfer, and the fact that you think it does also gives me a clue as to where you’re coming from.

    Prof Claes Johnson, in his own words, has said that I am one of only a few who has properly understood his paper. It would seem that you are not among those. But if I’m wrong, show me anything of significance that he says that I don’t understand and/or apply in my document.

    Finally, I would comment that your hand waving evaluation of my writings does not even quote one sentence that you even imagine you can successfully refute.

    About all you effectively imply is that you consider climatologists better able to understand and peer-review matters relating to heat transfer physics and radiative transfer physics. Judging by the mess up they made with their flat Earth models and their incorrect application of Stefan-Boltzmann and Thermodynamic laws, I afraid I find that can’t agree by a long shot. They should stick to weather forecasting.

    Take a look at the growing membership of Principia Scientific International and the qualifications of some of the members, including professors.

    I’m sorry if I appear arrogant. Sometimes arrogance is best dealt with using pseudo counter-arrogance.

  58. It should be clear when we see peer-reviewed papers published in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics like this* which discusses why climate is probably controlled mostly by Jupiter and Saturn, this must be a bit beyond the realm of climatology. Yet it is fundamentally important to consider natural cycles when trying to project climate. You’ll find that I also mentioned the role of Jupiter and Saturn in my paper which was published before Scafetta’s.

    * http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/scafetta_jstides.pdf

  59. Dr. Strangelove says:

    cotton

    I hope this will be my last post to you. Well, if Johnson really understood the 2nd Law, why don’t he respond? I invite both of you to read the very good articles on the confusion over the basics. You can start with the amazing case of back radiation and the 2nd law of thermodynamics. If you guys are really interested in atmospheric physics, heed my advice. Read these articles.

    http://scienceofdoom.com/roadmap/confusion-over-the-basics/

    I hope you guys are humble enough to entertain the thought that you could be wrong and the rest of the climate science community may be right, at least on something as basic as the 2nd law of thermodynamics. But I’m not very hopeful. It seems to me the blind faith that you accuse others of apply more to you.

  60. Just some of the PSI members, Dr Strangelove

    Professor of climatology
    Former radio chemist but now leading climate researcher
    engineer and impassioned science writer
    meteorologist with a PhD in Physical Chemistry
    Professor of Applied Mathematics
    materials physicist with 38yr career in use of radiation
    Sc.B. in Physics and Ph.D.
    retired analytical chemist
    world-renowned professional licensed chemical engineer
    meteorologist research Planetary effects on Solar activity
    Astrophysicist
    and many more PhD, professor, associate professor

    http://principia-scientific.org/about-us/why-psi-is-a-private-assoc

  61. Dol says:

    Something to think about.

    “Pseudoscience is a claim, belief, or practice which is presented as scientific, but does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status. Pseudoscience is often characterized by the use of vague, exaggerated or unprovable claims, an over-reliance on confirmation rather than rigorous attempts at refutation, a lack of openness to evaluation by other experts, and a general absence of systematic processes to rationally develop theories.”

    “A field, practice, or body of knowledge can reasonably be called pseudoscientific when it is presented as consistent with the norms of scientific research; but it demonstrably fails to meet these norms.”

    “Pseudoscientific beliefs are widespread, even among public school science teachers and newspaper reporters.”

    “The term pseudoscience is often considered inherently pejorative, because it suggests that something is being inaccurately or even deceptively portrayed as science. Accordingly, those labeled as practicing or advocating pseudoscience normally dispute the characterization.”

  62. Dr Strangelove et al

    I read SoD’s “Amazing Case of Backradiation” and just about every comment on the three threads in well over 1,000 hours of research for my paper.

    One comment by DeWitt Payne on the third thread pointed out how warm gases do not show absorption lines when the emitter is cooler than the gas. Wow – just what Claes and I are saying would be the case. You wanted an experiment. There are two on the PSI site and many more to come, all proving we are right as I know in advance of publication.

    SoD is of course wrong about backradiation transferring thermal energy to the warmer surface, as Prof Johnson proves with his equations which you seem to like, but when he could not find a valid response to my posts, screen captures of which are on my site, he simply deleted them and has banned me ever since. There’s money in these sites you know, and they have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, like the IPCC & Co.

    Why do you think text books will prove Claes wrong? His is ground-breaking work extending that of Einstein, Planck & Co and correcting early errors in assumptions about net heat flow. This physics is not in text books yet.

    How about you consider some of the scientists at PSI, not one of whom has disagreed with Claes or myself.

  63. Turnedoutnice says:

    The Cargo Cult’s main justification for its belief in ‘back radiation’ is that you can measure it. To do so, they use pyrgeometers. However, the claimed signal is ‘Prevost Exchange Energy’ which can do no thermodynamic work and it is not that in equilibrium with the ground.

    First the instrument: the prime signal is the emf from a thermopile connecting the absorber and a black body at the temperature of the instrument. This is converted by calibration to a radiative flux difference and the notional flux from the black body added. As the instrument is usually mounted on a table well above the ground, the signal is nothing to do with equilibrium with ground IR.

    Anyone with proper training will realise that the signal is a measure of air temperature convolved with emissivity. What happens next is astounding. Heat transfer from the Earth’s surface is coupled convection and radiation, summing to a defined input energy, in the day SW energy absorbed by the ground with no change in thermal gradient. It’s easy to show by experiment that high emissivity horizontal surface must be ~100°C before radiative heat transport exceeds natural convection.

    In the Trenberth et. al. 2009 energy budget, 63 W/m^2 IR is claimed with 17 W/m^2 thermals and 80 W/m^2 evapo-transpiration. However, the budget also claims 333 W/m^2 ‘back radiation’ is added, making total IR emission equal to the black body emission at 16°C. This is clearly used to calibrate the energy flows in the models.

    This assumption is completely at odds with the practical experience of people like me trained in process engineering. the claimed atmospheric IR absorption is 4.3 times higher than reality on the basis of these data.

    This humongous mistake is the origin of the cargo cult’s belief in CAGW which they believe can only be kept at bay by plastering the World with windmills and PV cells, making the investors in the equipment and the associated carbon taxes very rich. moreover, the unelected EU State is basing the Euro on this new carbon cash, a sort of modern gold standard. This game of fake science is being played with high stakes.

  64. Turnedoutnice (& Roy)

    You forgot to mention the $100,000,000,000 per year for developing countries. I wonder how many lives could be saved, how many people have their eyesight saved in old age etc etc with that sort of money.

    And the irony about the backradiation is that, much of whatever is observed could well be due to acceleration of electrons in oxygen and nitrogen molecules which got warmed originally by diffusion and convection from the surface, not by capture of radiation.

    And then it does not transfer thermal energy to the surface anyway. It may slow the rate of radiative cooling (which is well under 40% of all cooling) but the other 60% or more (conduction etc) just speeds up to compensate, for reasons I mentioned in Appendix Q.3 of Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics/ *

    Those who continue to propagate the hoax that CO2 has any effect at all are, albeit indirectly, failing to save lives and improve the health of millions. I’ve given up over 1,000 hours of my life to study all this in preparation for writing this paper, and I’m proud to be a member of PSI and an author of one of only six selected publications on their site – publications which talk real science, Roy. When are you going to join? You could have a big influence in swaying climatologists, maybe more than anyone.

    * http://principia-
    scientific.org/publications/psi_radiated_energy.pdf

  65. Mr. Doug Cotton, what is your outlook for the climate for the rest of this decade ,given this current solar minimum(which is quite deep) ,and the other cycles you have referenced?

    I say temperatures down ,climatic extrmes continue to rise. Geological activity picks up.

    What do you say?

  66. My “outlook” is based on the natural climate cycles as discussed in Appendix Q1. The reasons why climate depends only on natural cycles, not at all on carbon dioxide levels are summarised below, but it would be better to read my Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics published this month.

    There is a lot of misunderstanding of what Claes Johnson and I are saying. The only heat transfer between hot and cold bodies is represented by the area between the Planck curves, which is of course mathematically the same as scientists, engineers etc have been calculating by subtracting the two S-B calculations in order to get so-called “net” flux, and from that to quantify “net” heat flow.

    But the reality is that there is not, for example, a flow of 5 units of “heat” from hot to cold and 3 units from cold to hot, but rather there is in the real world only a flow of 2 units from hot to cold. Radiated energy flows both ways, but not all of it is converted to thermal energy. The extra radiation from the hot body carries on (after being scattered by the first cold body) and, when it strikes an even cooler body (maybe in space) its energy is again split so that some goes into warming and some carries on to the next body. Eventually all radiation ends up in space where most of it “cools” to about 2K to 3K, or whatever the background space radiation is.

    The huge difference in all this is explained in the paper, and you should also note Appendix Q7. The effect that a cooler body has on the radiative rate of cooling of a warmer body depends upon the density of the frequencies in its radiation. Its radiated energy, which is not converted to thermal energy in the warmer target, is used by the target instead of it having to convert its own thermal energy to radiation. So all bodies radiate up to the maximum indicated by the Planck curve in each frequency that they can. But if a body receives any other radiation, some of it may resonate and supply energy which is not converted to thermal energy, but which is used instead of the body’s own thermal energy which it would otherwise have used for its quota of radiation. Obviously a true blackbody has a full range of frequencies. But carbon dioxide has very few. In fact its most prolific frequencies would be radiated if it were about -92 deg.C near the top of the mesosphere.

    So carbon dioxide molecules have far less effect than water vapour molecules when it comes to slowing the rate of radiative cooling of Earth’s surface. And, in any event, other cooling processes involving “sensible heat” simply speed up in order to compensate.

    All of this has of course been in my paper all along. It would have been far better if people had read it first and then discussed particular sections or paragraphs. In no way would my paper have passed the rigorous three-week peer-review system (and been published on five sites) if it contained obvious errors relating to entropy or energy.

    Please understand that I cannot reproduce the whole 6,600 word paper in posts like this complete with the graphics. There has been a link to the paper at the top of this thread, but here* it is again. Please confirm in any future posts that you have read it and at least understood what I am saying, even if you still agree with the early scientists who, in my opinion, made a serious error in assuming heat flows both ways and that we thus had to stretch the Second Law to say it only applies to “net” heat transfer. This is a mistaken view (as is easily demonstrated in simple experiments and every day experience) which I hope at least some of you will realise to be the case. So, this is my response to all today’s posts – your answer is in the paper. Future discussion will be only on my dedicated thread at tallbloke’s talkshop.

    * http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/radiated_energy.pdf

  67. Leonard Myers says:

    Wow ,I hate to bust your bubble for those who give a rats-ass about what you do, I sell oil and gas hose for the frac industry and what i have found if you swallow small amounts of saliva over many years , all of those people died. Global warming , in the past people had many things that was to wipe out the planet ,. Millmnium all the world will go to crap./ Now the maya calendar ran out room , o-no 12 2012 ,it is all going to be over , Hell Obama is gets elected again and it will be over, Hello $10,00 gas or more,god i love this group of so called learned scholars who fed the kids with crap., see the dumb-asses in the the nyc park bitching about wall street , go to dc, thats where the real crooks are bitch at them. You might find out who is driving the country into the ground/ Its the congress and el-president. Those who know we are the little people.
    Hang in there as its going to hit the fan soon, it will make the depression look like a cake walk.

  68. Dr. Strangelove says:

    cotton

    The distinguished members of your organization probably understands thermodynamics but you don’t. Not openly disagreeing doesn’t mean agreeing to your ridiculous theory. After all, most people will just ignore anybody still claiming the world is flat.

    “Why do you think text books will prove Claes wrong? His is ground-breaking work extending that of Einstein, Planck & Co and correcting early errors in assumptions about net heat flow. This physics is not in text books yet.”

    We all know you and Johnson are wrong because the “back radiation” that you so passionately claim does not exist is being regularly measured by meteorologists with their instruments. Either they are all hallucinating or you are delusional imagining yourself as the Enlightened One who speaks the Truth. Readers can judge for themselves.

  69. Dr Strangelove

    When did I ever say there was no backradiation?

    Prof Nasif Nahle, a member of PSI, has been measuring the backradiation in a paper published on the PSI site.

    In fact, you’ll probably learn quite a bit about backradiation if you read his interesting paper …

    http://principia-scientific.org/publications/New_Concise_Experiment_on_Backradiation.pdf

  70. Quote of the year from Dr Srangelove.

    most people will just ignore anybody still claiming the world is flat.

    Just exactly what the IPCC models do – assume the world is flat and that it receives uniform sunlight at about a quarter the midday intensity for 24 hours every day and day, and from their flat Earth model they calculate what the surface temperature ought to be for such a flat Earth.

    So indeed one day “most people will just ignore” them and sanity will prevail once more.

  71. Gordon Robertson says:

    KR…”Regarding your writings, I find myself in _rare_ agreement with Fred Singer (http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=3263), in that 2nd Law objections to the greenhouse gas effect are just silly, and label anyone associated with arguing such points as simply not acquainted with the science”.

    Here’s what Fred said in one of his posts:

    “Now let me turn to the deniers. One of their favorite arguments is that the greenhouse effect does not exist at all because it violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics — i.e., one cannot transfer energy from a cold atmosphere to a warmer surface…One can show them data of downwelling infrared radiation from CO2, water vapor, and clouds, which clearly impinge on the surface. But their minds are closed to any such evidence.”

    As much as I respect Fred for his accomplishments, his interpretation of the anti-GHE argument are plainly wrong. The 2nd law does not deal with infrared energy, it deals with heat. He goes on to claim there is proof of down-dwelling IR ENERGY, seemingly suggesting the 2nd law is about that energy. It is not.

    Clausius stated that energy is exchanged between a warmer and a cooler body but that heat flows only from the warmer to the cooler. Clearly, he distinguished heat from radiative energy, but Fred does not, and neither does Roy. In fact, Roy speaks of a net energy balance which seems to emanate from blackbody calculations of the radiant energy, which is not heat.

    I don’t know enough about atomic processes but I’ll venture to say that when atoms are vibrating due to a relatively higher energy level, and they radiate energy that warms a cooler body, the radiative energy going back to the warmer body cannot raise its temperature, hence its heat content. I would guess further that atoms vibrating at a certain energy level are not affected by energy at a lower energy level. That is what Clausius seemed to infer.

    Using common sense, when the surface radiates energy that is absorbed by GHGs, that energy must represent a loss at the surface. Only a small portion of surface flux can be intercepted by GHGs, and when they re-radiate, they must radiate up and sideways as well as down. Furthermore, the culprit of concern, anthropogenic CO2, radiates in a very narrow bandwidth and at a reduced intensity.

    It seems apparent that before such radiation can raise surface temperature it must first make up the losses that caused it. AGW theorists are presuming that energy can be added to solar energy to increase surface temperature. Perhaps with a fully independent heat source that may be feasible but not when the down-dwelling energy came from solar energy in the first place, via the surface.

    Roy is presenting an argument that GHGs merely act like a heat trapping mechanism, but he has not explained how the mechanism works. How does one body radiating against another trap energy from the other body, and how does it do it while obeying the 2nd law, which states clearly that heat can only flow from warmer surfaces to cooler surfaces?

  72. Turnedoutnice says:

    Dr Strangelove claims that ‘back radiation’ is measured on a daily basis by meteorologists with their instruments. That is true but as I show above, it is simply a measure of temperature convolved with effective emissivity relative to the body temperature of the sensor.

    It is not a measure of the resistance to IR transport from the adjacent surface of the planet.

    I repeat: It is not a measure of the resistance to IR transport from the adjacent surface of the planet.

    One way to solve this heat transport problem is more instrumentation to separate the two variables of local convective and radiative fluxes.

    Another way is to change the variables. A good example is to put up a windbreak on a beach to create you own UHI effect. Thus if you have a 25°C air temperature and the sand is a coolish 30°C, you can make it a nice 45°C to sunbathe with the windbreak.

    Do the sums for 0.85 emissivity, 20% absorption of the extra IR with half coming back as extra ‘back radiation’ which exists, and you have just increased it by a bit over 5 times the effect of the IPCC’s claimed net AGW.

    One way of regarding this is that UHI causes global warming so we should raze all cities to the ground and chop down all trees!

    The real lesson however, is that back radiation doesn’t mean what most people in climate science claim. As an engineer, I view it as a measure of impedance to local IR transport. Since most of the ~9 K total GHG warming is water vapour anyway, spend your time looking at the properties of clouds and forget CO2; it’s a vanishingly small issue exaggerated by idiotic people who have claimed physics which does not exist and which leads to >4 times real IR absorption by the atmosphere compared with reality.

    And junk the pyrgeometers; you’ve been conned by the salesmen.

  73. Turnedoutnice says:

    Sorry: ‘As an engineer, I do not view it as a measure of impedance to local IR transport, just a temperature measurement and that’s set mostly by convection.’

  74. Dr Strangelove & Gordon

    Gordon is of course right in saying much the same as myself, as in Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics linked from http://climate-change-theory.com – Sections 2 to 5.

    Radiated energy is not thermal energy. It has to be converted to thermal energy, and will not be converted if the target is cooler than the source, for otherwise the Second Law of Thermodynamics would be violated. Th elaws of physics are binding.

    Climatologists have invented a travesty of physics.

    You’ll find my peer-reviewed paper now published on five sites including tallbloke.

    .

  75. Gordon Robertson says:

    Douglas “Radiated energy is not thermal energy. It has to be converted to thermal energy…”

    Agreed. Clausius speaks of the two separately. He talks about energy flowing both ways between a warmer and a cooler body and heat as flowing only one way. Of course, the idea of heat flowing in a radiative process can be confusing since heat is not really flowing. Clausius refers to it more correctly as ‘heat transfer’.

    I do remember a lab at university in which we determined the temperature gradient in a steel rod heated at one end. I am a bit hazy on it but I think we also calculated the rate of heat flow. What was flowing, however, was likely free electrons.

    In the Gerlich and Tscheuschner paper, they point out the contradiction in Rahmstorf’s claim that the 2nd law is not violated because there is a positive net energy flow from the warmer body to the cooler body. G&T corrected that by observing that the 2nd law is about heat, not energy.

    I get the feeling that climate science has really messed up the thermodynamics of heat transfer between the surface and the atmosphere and back. Whereas it seems quite correct to calculate a theorized heat emission and absorption using blackbody equations, it is not good enough to use the results of those equations to claim the 2nd law is satisfied. There is no relationship between them.

    The 2nd law still stands. Heat cannot be transferred from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface, even though there is a two way transfer of radiation. I think the satellite data the past 30 years has made that painfully obvious, especially over the past 14 years, where the trend has gone flat.

    Also, the UAH contour maps of the globe show clearly that the warming is not global, but highly localized. There’s no way anthropogenic CO2 could have caused such localization.

    http://nsstc.uah.edu/climate/

  76. Gordon Robertson says:

    Watchman…”Peer reviewed? Isn’t this “paper” in Principia Scientific? Are you suggesting this is a “peer reviewed” scientific journal?”

    Where in the scientific method does it require a paper to be peer reviewed? Peer review began as a means of preventing laymen from flooding journals with inane science. Today it is a method of preventing people who don’t support the official consensus from being published. That is, peer review is now censorship, and top IPCC official are participating in it (Climategate).

    I have just spent a couple of interesting hours reading through material at PSI that is soundly based in science. I would never get such information from peer reviewed mind control.

  77. Edim says:

    HEAT is a form of energy. It doesn’t matter which form, what gets thermalised, what converted, which frequency and so on. The net energy flux over the system boundaries equals the change in internal energy of the system. Period. Energy is conserved.

    Enet = dU.

  78. Gordon

    Yes – your above two posts are spot on.

    Would you care to support me on the dedicated thread at tallbloke, perhaps copying the first post, but not mentioning PSI, as tallbloke has requested such and I appreciate his point of view.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/doug-cotton-radiated-energy-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/

  79. Edim Your comment epitomises the over-simplified approach used by the IPCC which does not conform with the laws of physics. If you spend half an hour studying my peer-reviewed paper in full, including the last page, you may understand why you are in error. It is linked from my site http://climate-change-theory.com

    Not all radiated energy is converted to thermal energy in a target, in fact none of it is if the target is warmer than the source of the radiation.

  80. Edim (cont’d)

    If you are prepared to accept that absorptivity of a warmer target to radiation from a cooler source is zero (0) and thus acknowledge that all radiation from the cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface is not absorbed and converted to thermal energy, in other words, even if it “gets over the boundary” it is as good as reflected energy wise, then you’re getting close.

    However, you have in the process, demolished the IPCC radiative energy diagrams which clearly imply that the energy in such backradiation is converted to thermal energy. And you have demolished the models because they assume absorptivity for backradiation is > 0.

    So I take it that you are now a “denier” and one who believes in the truth, not the hoax.

  81. RW says:

    Turnedoutnice says:

    March 22, 2012 at 4:14 AM

    “In the Trenberth et. al. 2009 energy budget, 63 W/m^2 IR is claimed with 17 W/m^2 thermals and 80 W/m^2 evapo-transpiration. However, the budget also claims 333 W/m^2 ‘back radiation’ is added, making total IR emission equal to the black body emission at 16°C. This is clearly used to calibrate the energy flows in the models.

    This assumption is completely at odds with the practical experience of people like me trained in process engineering. the claimed atmospheric IR absorption is 4.3 times higher than reality on the basis of these data.”

    While I’m generally no defender of the Trenberth enery budget diagram, I can’t help but to correct this.

    The biggest problem with Trenberth’s depiction is there is no non-radiative return path from the atmosphere to the surface boundary (i.e. that which returns as the temperature component of precipitation, wind, weather, etc.). This seems to have lead to massive confusion all over as to what’s really going on.

    Any non-radiative flux from the surface to the atmosphere that returns to the surface is a net zero flux entering the surface. Of course, some of the non-radiative flux from the surface can and does return to the surface as direct radiative flux from the atmosphere. Some also returns as non-radiative flux. The key thing to understand is this is energy or power circulating within the thermal mass, which is part atmosphere, and is essentially a closed loop in the steady state (i.e. surface -> atmosphere -> surface). The primary source of this energy circulation loop is water vapor and clouds (surface water -> water vapor -> clouds -> precipitation -> surface water). Now, some of the energy within this loop can end up radiated out to space, some can be replenished or even added to by post albedo solar energy absorbed in the atmosphere or radiative energy emitted from the surface – it doesn’t really matter as it all has to be conserved one way or another.

    What Trenberth does is lump all of this in the return path desiganted as ‘back radiation’, which is higly misleading. If you subtract out the 97 W/m^2 of thermals and evapotranspiration from 333 W/m^2, you’re leff with 236 W/m^2. However, Trenberth also has 78 W/m^2 designated as post albedo absorbed in the atmosphere. If this is subtracted from 236 W/m^2, you’re left with 158 W/m^2 of true ‘back radiation’, and excluding Trenberth’s phony extra watt, the whole thing balances:

    161 W/m^2 directly from the Sun + 158 W/m^2 of true ‘back radiation’ defined as that which last originated from the surface + 78 W/m^2 of downward LW from post albedo solar absorbed in the atmosphere – phony extra 1 W/m^2 = 396 W/m^2, which is the net energy flux entering the surface from the atmsophere required to sustain the surface temperature of 289K.

  82. Doug Cotton says:

    Yep – they sure got it wrong.

    Only 2% of molecules in the atmosphere can radiate, so the total flux should be 2% of what S-B calculations show for about -30 deg.C average temperature.

  83. Turnedoutnice says:

    RW: stop trying to fool me, yourself and the rest.

    The claim that the Earth’s surface emits more energy than is claimed to impact it as SW energy is, on average and except for the occasional case of a temperature inversion, the kind of mistake I would expect would not be made by anyone with more than normal education to age 16.

    161 W/m^2 comes in as SW. There is no way that the Earth’s surface can on average produce more than 160.1 W/m^2 [there's the 0.9 'permanently absorbed', a nice little fudge factor for further confidence tricks perhaps?]

    Because this is well below what the S-B equation predicts for 16 °C average temperature it seems these poor saps have had a brain wave that there has to be ‘back radiation’ to make up the difference.

    But surely they’ve heard of something called the heat transfer coefficient for combined conduction and convection? And of course, the radiation part of that can have an emissivity <1.

    You can't have transfer of heat energy from a colder body to a warmer body. You may have net zero heat transfer where the air temperature is nearly the same as the Earth's temperature and high relative humidity so no evapo-transpiration.

    To summarise, my assessment of the Energy Budget is that the claim of 396 W/m^2 from the Earth's surface is radiation, and the thermals and evapo-transpiration is on top of this. If so, it's the biggest mistake in scientific history.

    And the proof that my suspicion is correct is very simple. Take away the 333 W/m*2 'back radiation' and the sums still add up. Therefore, 2.7 times more atmospheric warming is claimed than reality, 4.3 times greater IR warming.

    Do your sums add up correctly this way as well? They don't.

    Tell it to the marines; it's a fundamental failure to understand real physics and practical heat transfer.

  84. Doug Cotton says:

    .

    RW

    TurnedOutNice is, as usual, correct. Though I would say “It’s the biggest hoax in the history of the world.” Let me assure you, he knows his physics and, more importantly, he thinks about the situation.

    Maybe this net energy diagram will help you understand where the “heat” transfers take place. It’s all one way traffic from the surface to space.

    http://earth-climate.com/energybudget.jpg

    When you have time, read my published paper at
    http://principia-scientific.org/publications/psi_radiated_energy.pdf

    Have you joined PSI, turnedoutnice?

    .

    • RW says:

      Doug,

      You have to explain where the power is coming from. Do you agree that the average surface temperature of the Earth is about 288K and that this requires a net power flux of about 390 W/m^2 to sustain?

  85. Doug Cotton says:

    Here’s a lovely fairy tale about the greenhouse conjecture … but oh so typical

    http://www.global-warming-geo-engineering.org/global-warming-science-1.html

    This is the epitome of inaccurate descriptions and incorrect “facts” often quoted by climatologists. Compare what is said there about incident solar radiation with the graphic in my paper. There is an implication that “most” is in the visible, whereas about half is not. Then it is assumed that 99% gets through to the surface, whereas nearly 30% is either reflected or absorbed by the atmosphere. This “inconvenient fact” means that there is in fact a cooling effect, especially for water vapour, but even for carbon dioxide as well. This is discussed in Section 6.where the above mentioned graphic shows far more than only 1% absorption of incident solar radiation.

    In his list of heat transfer processes there is no mention of evaporative cooling. But he dismisses everything except radiation when subsequently talking about the “Earth.” He is obviously, at that point, talking about the full Earth-plus-atmosphere system, but then he starts talking about the Earth being “pretty cool” at about 300K – which could only relate to the surface. So, by this process, he has got any thoughts out of the reader’s mind regarding evaporative cooling and sensible heat transfer between the surface and atmosphere. And at no point does he explain how the atmosphere (which may now be,, say, -29 deg.C instead of -30 deg.C at some middle level) is going to warm the surface and/or the air at about 1.5 to 2 metres above the surface where the temperature is recorded in the climate records.

    He then mixes his terminology, saying that “the cooler a body is the lower its wavelength.” Well, actually its wavelength gets longer and its wave number gets lower. Which does he mean when he says the wavelength gets lower? He hasn’t quite caught up with the talk about backradiation, so his explanation appears to rest on claiming that the carbon dioxide molecules get warmer. But if they do, there’s not much energy left for all the backradiation. And if they do get warmer, what’s to stop them re-radiating and getting cooler again. After all, if the backradiation is similar to the upward radiation, there there’s no energy at all for any warming in the atmosphere.

    Was this explanation intended just to bluff young kids?

  86. Turnedoutnice says:

    Reply to RW 1.16 pm.

    The Earth’s temperature is raised by two factors: lapse rate warming of ~24 K and about 9 K real GHG warming. It does not have to dissipate 390 W/m^2.

    The real average dissipation is ~160 W/m^2, the SW energy that reaches it. NO process engineer who has seen the Trenberth et. al. energy budget agrees that it is correct because it claims that the 390 [396 more recently] W/m^2, the black body emission in a vacuum, SO NO CONVECTION.

    The nearest you’ll get to it is in a desert – the phenomenon of the mirage which only works for flat ground so convection is inhibited.

    This is the biggest mistake in scientific history and no other scientific discipline makes it. As for the claim that you can measure ‘back radiation’ by radiometers, see above.

    This is the second biggest mistake in scientific history because all they measure is air/cloud temperature convolved with effective emissivity.

    Read up Hoyt C. Hottell’s work at MIT in the 1950s and 1960s where he worked out what controls the emissivity of GHGs in air.

  87. Doug Cotton says:

    Generally I agree with you, TurnedOutNice, but you really shouldn’t go round quoting that 33 degree figure which is based on the ludicrous 255 K figure. See the Appendix Q.2 of my paper (linked from my site) regarding such.

    Nor is there any greenhouse effect for the reasons explained in the paper.

    There is discussion on this beginning here …
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/doug-cotton-radiated-energy-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/#comment-21268

  88. Turnedoutnice says:

    Hi Doug: I quote the 33 K because that’s the IPCC propaganda figure and it was and is asserted by Hansen who is supposed to be a professional scientist.

    If you can point out that the IPCC 3 K median CO2 climate sensitivity is 3.7 times too high according to their own definition, you pose a BIG question in the mind of the average person.

    “Can you trust this body?”

  89. Doug Cotton says:

     

    Yes, but I prefer myself to stick to correct statements that sensitivity is zero or negative for reasons discussed here. Note Appendix Q.1 also.

     

  90. Doug Cotton says:

    Since he featured my PSI publication, Tallbloke (Roger) has just published another of the six publications on the Principia Scientific International site. It talks about that 33K figure.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/joseph-postma/

    Compare: http://principia-scientific.org/publications/Copernicus_Meets_the_Greenhouse_Effect.pdf

    By the way, PSI members (nearly 40 of us now) far outnumber the original eight authors who have been called the “Slayers” after the title of their book.

    PSI is a rapidly growing group of scientists and others with appropriate knowledge who have banned together to expose the AGW hoax.

  91. RW says:

    Turnedoutnice says:

    March 31, 2012 at 7:54 AM

    Reply to RW 1.16 pm.

    “The Earth’s temperature is raised by two factors: lapse rate warming of ~24 K and about 9 K real GHG warming. It does not have to dissipate 390 W/m^2.

    The real average dissipation is ~160 W/m^2, the SW energy that reaches it. NO process engineer who has seen the Trenberth et. al. energy budget agrees that it is correct because it claims that the 390 [396 more recently] W/m^2, the black body emission in a vacuum, SO NO CONVECTION.

    The nearest you’ll get to it is in a desert – the phenomenon of the mirage which only works for flat ground so convection is inhibited.

    This is the biggest mistake in scientific history and no other scientific discipline makes it. As for the claim that you can measure ‘back radiation’ by radiometers, see above.”

    Yes, the surface has to dissipate about 390 W/m^2 of radiative flux on global average at a temperature of about 288K (dictated by S-B law). However, 390 W/m^2 is just the net power flux incident on the surface boundary to sustain 288K (i.e. the net result of all of the effects, radiative and non-radiative).

    There is of course non-radiative flux in the form of convection and latent heat from the surface in addition to radiative flux of 390 W/m^2. Moreover, the net flux of 390 W/m^2 to sustain 288K is chaotic combination of both SW, LW and non-radiative power.

    The key thing you and the slayers seem to be missing is there are two energy flow circulation loops occuring.

    One is: Sun -> space -> atmosphere -> surface -> atmosphere -> space (i.e. in and out of the whole system)

    The other is: surface -> atmosphere -> surface (i.e. just in and out of the surface, still within the system)

    Any non-radiative power that leaves the surface and returns to the surface, in either radiative or non-radiative form, is a net zero flux entering the surface from the atmosphere and more or less closed loop (surface -> atmosphere -> surface) Again some of this power can find its way radiated out to space, some can be replenished by post albedo solar power absorbed in the atmosphere or from radiative power emitted from the surface – it doesn’t really matter, as it all has to be conserved one way or another.

    Any non-radiative power that leaves the surface and doesn’t return, like via convection (i.e. there is net convective loss from the surface to the atmosphere), increases the rate at which the system can cool and ultimately radiate energy back out to space. But power convected from the surface that ends up radiated out to space just offsets additional power that would otherwise have to be radiated from a warmer surface in order to achieve equilibrium at the TOA.

    The bottom line is the 390 W/m^2 radiative flux from the surface is just the net power flux incident on the surface, which itself is the net result of all the effects in the atmosphere – both radiative and non-radiative.

  92. Peter Ridley says:

    I see that Doug Cotton has visited this thread as part of his spamming campaign that he has been running for several weeks now all over the blogospere promoting science (fiction?) publishing company Principia Scientific International (PSI) and his own blog article. As Watchman said sarcastically on March 18, 2012 at 5:51 PM “ .. Isn’t this “paper” in Principia Scientific? Are you suggesting this is a “peer reviewed” scientific journal? .. What a prestigious honor to be published there! .. ”.

    It also looks as though Doug may have been daft enough donate the latest $50 to the PSI begging bowl (http://www.gofundme.com/1v39s&aff=GFMse).

    On 26th Dec. 2010 Doug’s hero “dragon slayer”, PSI CEO and Legal Consultant John O’Sullivan made an appeal for $3000 to the 17-strong group of us involved in E-mail exchanges in which John was trying to persuade others to help him set up PSI as a Community Interest Company. His plan, outlined in his Chapter 21 of his cobbled together collection of blog articles “Slaying the Sky Dragon”, was to take legal action against some of the most powerful government agencies in the world, such as NOAA, using mandamus petitions. On 28th Dec. 2010 John claimed that “ .. beating the AGW fraud in the courts – its the only serious game in town .. ” (see http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/15/letter-to-the-dragon-slayers/#comment-126001 etc.).

    That appeal (amounting to a trivial $180 each) failed miserably, with Hans Schreuder (PSI’s CFO) and Oliver Manual offering $500 each, Miso Alkalaj offering Euro100 and Tim Ball (Chairman) offering to make an undisclosed contribution. Other members of the group refrained from making any offer of a contribution, which says appears to sum up their confidence in John’s plans for PSI.

    That internal appeal having achieved little John’s next begging bowl came out on 17th January in front of a much wider group, via the gofundme site, where he claimed to need money for the purpose of “ .. supporting Principia Scientific International (PSI). Help us bring about change .. Give generously for this good cause knowing you can help to counter the creeping folly of misguided societies that appear to have been commandeered by political lobbyists and shills serving self-interested corporations or misguided national governments .. ” (http://www.gofundme.com/1v39s&aff=GFMse).

    Having failed miserably once again to attract much more than loose change into his begging bowl with that appeal despite that initial donation of $350 (from a member of John’s family in the USA!) the next bowl went out 12 months ago begging “ .. Help asked for Dr. Tim Ball in legal battle with Dr. Mann .. ” (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/08/help-asked-for-dr-tim-ball-in-legal-battle-with-dr-mann/).

    In my opinion it would be prudent for anyone considering making donations to John’s appeals or getting involved with PSI to first read carefully the comments on Professor Curry’s “Letter to the dragon slayers” thread (http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/15/letter-to-the-dragon-slayers/). There are over 1300 to get through but if that is too much then those contributed by Andrew Skolnick, some of the “Slayers” and me are worth reading.

    John seems to have set a trend for begging for money for good causes relating to the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change (CACC) hypothesis. We now have the “other side” begging for money for “The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund: Protecting the Scientific Endeavor” (http://climatesciencedefensefund.org/). This one appears to have been initiated yesterday (4th April) by staunch CACC supporter Scott (Super)Mandia who begged “ .. Help the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) raise money to cover the costs of Dr. Mann’s legal defense as well as other scientists who face similar challenges .. ” (http://profmandia.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/support-climate-scientists-look-cool-doing-so/).

    Eye-catching sales gimmicks seem to be a must for this kind of begging.
    John O’Sullivan had his offer of “ . If you contribute £60 (Sixty British Pounds) or more (approx. US$100) we will ensure you receive a copy of ‘Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory’ plus a bonus book (two volume pack RRP: $38.98) .. ” – most science fiction books are far cheaper that than!
    Scott Mandia offers “ .. $25 .. t-shirts .. $150 .. three of the t-shirts and a copy of Climate Change: Picturing the Science .. $300 .. a hockey stick signed by Mike Mann.. $1000 .. 16×20 signed silver gelatin print by Joshua Wolfe .. ”.

    It seems that there is much more support for the CACC supporters’ begging bowl than there is for John’s. He only managed to raise £450 14 months in his PSI bowl, despite that initial £350 boost in the first hour. That recent additional £50 (from Doug?) hasn’t inspired anyone else to throw any spare change into the bowl. On the other hand it is claimed that for Scott’s bowl “ .. The outpouring of support was overwhelming. In less than 24 hours, Scott received $10,000 in small donations from scientists, students, and other concerned individuals .. ” (http://climatesciencedefensefund.org/about-us/).

    Here’s a link especially for Doug Cotton http://www.usingenglish.com/reference/idioms/a+fool+and+his+money+are+soon+parted.html.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

  93. D J Cotton says:

     

    Although I no longer read his posts, I have satisfied myself that Ridley’s knowledge of physics is very limited. When I once asked if he had studied it beyond first year university, he avoided replying and never has.

    I am proud to be an active member of Principia Scientific International and, as such, I am in daily email contact with many of these main stream scientists, including professors and PhD’s in various disciplines such as physics, applied mathematics, chemistry, climatology and astro physics. The numbers are approaching 40, including well known new members just announced.

    What I write are not just my theories. We are all in agreement that standard physics and empirical results back us up.

    • RW says:

      Except you still can’t explain where the energy is coming from to sustain the surface temperature of 288K.

  94. D J Cotton says:

    RW

    Of course I can explain where the energy comes from – nearly all from the Sun’s radiation, but some from sub-surface fission which causes hot gases to seep through the floor of the oceans and immediately convert to liquid, then subsequently evaporate taking energy into the atmosphere. This terrestrial flow has been unnoticed by IPCC & Co, but is likely to be far more than the flow in land areas as detected in boreholes.

    As for your 288K, why are you apparently applying Stefan Boltzmann’s Law to the surface which is not even insulated and thus acts nothing at all like a black or grey body? Haven’t you heard of the adiabatic lapse rate which depends on the force of gravity and thus sets the surface temperature in conjunction with the Solar flux level? Maybe you haven’t read my peer-reviewed paper linked from http://climate-change-theory.com yet? Check out the FAQ’s in Appendix Q.2 for more on this question of yours.

  95. RW says:

    Doug,

    “Of course I can explain where the energy comes from – nearly all from the Sun’s radiation, but some from sub-surface fission which causes hot gases to seep through the floor of the oceans and immediately convert to liquid, then subsequently evaporate taking energy into the atmosphere. This terrestrial flow has been unnoticed by IPCC & Co, but is likely to be far more than the flow in land areas as detected in boreholes.”

    OK, how much from each (in W/m^2)?

    “As for your 288K, why are you apparently applying Stefan Boltzmann’s Law to the surface which is not even insulated and thus acts nothing at all like a black or grey body?”

    Since when does a body have to be ‘insulated’ in order to act as a black or grey body? Are you trying to say any object surrounded by air does not emit radiation according to its temperature and emissivity?

    One of the big things you’re missing is that the thermal energy contained in the atmosphere is an infinitesimal fraction of that stored below the surface:

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/atmosphere-vs-ocean-heat-capacity.jpg

    This means the atmosphere is essentially just a fast acting radiative flux filter between the surface and space, where absorbed surface radiation is quickly re-radiated – some of which eventually finds its way directly radiated out to space and some finds its way back to the surface (in some form) in a relatively short period of time.

    Yes, there are other flows of energy from the surface other than radiation (conduction, convection, evapotranspiration, etc.), but at the TOA only radiation can leave, which means all of these other forms of energy flux from the surface to the atmosphere must be conserved one way or another. The net flux of about 390 W/m^2 incident on the surface to sustain 288K is just the net result of all of the effects – both radiative and non-radiatiave.

    The non-radiative fluxes, in particular that of latent heat of water, are really just circulation currents still within the system (surface -> atmosphere -> surface) and essentially a closed loop in the steady-state.

    • RW says:

      The bottom line end result is it takes about 390 W/m^2 of radiative surface power to allow 240 W/m of radiative power to leave at the TOA. This is the net result of all of the effects and their complex interdependencies – both radiative and non-radiative, that occur in between the boundary of the surface and the TOA.

      • RW says:

        Trenberth’s depiction, while not entirely wrong, obfuscates this, and is apparantly why so many people are so confused.

  96.  

    So RW thinks 390 W/m^2 comes down and only 240 W/m^2 gets back out to space. Will someone help him on that?

    He says, when does a body have to be insulated to act as a blackbody?

    Maybe you can show me some definition of a blackbody which, apart from radiation, can also gain and lose thermal energy by conduction, evaporative cooling, diffusion followed by convection, or chemical processes such as the Earth’s surface can. Have you used the standard physics equations for these processes as well as for radiation, or have you only heard of radiation? There’s only a certain amount of energy coming out of the surface, and less than half is radiation which is absorbed by the atmosphere.

    Carbon dioxide is more effective in absorbing high energy radiation in the 2 micron range on its way in from the Sun. This has 5 times the energy per “photon” as does 10 micron radiation from the surface which it mostly scatters.

    Think of all the backradiation it then sends to space, thus having a cooling effect.

    You have a lot to learn about atmospheric physics, my friend.

    It may be time you read my peer-reviewed publication linked from my website on climate change.

    And/or read today’s post here.
     

  97. RW says:

    Doug,

    You say:

    “So RW thinks 390 W/m^2 comes down and only 240 W/m^2 gets back out to space. Will someone help him on that?”

    In reality, the surface of the Earth is not a perfect black body – it’s just very close to one. A global average emissivity of about 0.98 is a good estimate. In that case the surface would emit radiative flux of about 382 W/m^2 instead of 390 W/m^2.

    The bottom line is the surface emits a radiative flux of energy based on its temperature and emissivity like any other heated object. A temperature of 288K with an emissivity of 0.98 requires a net incident power flux of 382 W/m^2 to sustain.

    You say:

    “He says, when does a body have to be insulated to act as a blackbody?

    Maybe you can show me some definition of a blackbody which, apart from radiation, can also gain and lose thermal energy by conduction, evaporative cooling, diffusion followed by convection, or chemical processes such as the Earth’s surface can.”

    Are you trying to say that a heated object surrounded by air does not emit radiation according to its temperature and emissivity? Just because an object can gain or lose energy by means other than direct radiation, does not mean it still doesn’t emit radiation according to its temperature, yet this seems to be what you’re saying.

    You don’t seem to understand that it doesn’t matter how much of the total energy leaving the surface is radiative flux and non-radiative flux. The net flux incident on the surface to sustain 288K is about 382 W/m^2 (assuming an emissivity of 0.98). At 288K, the surface emits a radiative flux of 382 W/m^2.

    You also don’t seem to understand that if more non-radiative power leaves the surface than returns on average, this is net loss of energy from the surface to the atmosphere. This just offsets power that would otherwise have to radiated from a warmer surface in order to achieve equilibrium output power at the TOA (about 240 W/m). All of these kinds of effects are already embodied in the net of 382 W/m^2 incident on the surface to sustain 288K.

    • RW says:

      Also,

      I said:

      “At 288K, the surface emits a radiative flux of 382 W/m^2.”

      I should have added that any non-radiative flux from the surface is in addition to the 382 W/m^2 of radiative flux.

    • RW says:

      Also, of course the surface is not in pure radiative equilibrium with the atmosphere, but its emissivity is so close to 1 it can be considered essentially the same as black body for practical purposes – requiring a net power flux of about 390 W/m^2 to sustain.

      The only reason I’m saying this is because if it were in pure radiative equilibrium with an emissivity of 0.98, it would require 390 W/m^2 (not 382 W/m^2) to sustain 288K, since about 0.02% would be — I guess — reflected.

  98. RW

    What makes you think the emissivity of the surface is “so close to 1″ when even the IPCC energy diagrams show that so close to half its energy transfers into the atmosphere by means other than radiation? Seems to me that would make the emissivity so close to 0.5. Try that for size!

    Do you think that radiative flux has something to do with the amount of heat transfer? Maybe you should read this …

    Everyone

    Of course radiation can go in all directions. It does so in a microwave oven, but not everything gets warmed in the oven, now does it? Radiated energy is not thermal energy. It has to be converted to thermal energy, and that only happens if the source of the radiation was warmer than the target. Some or all of the radiation can and will resonate with the target. When this happens it supplies energy to the target, yes, but the energy is used by the target to do some of its own radiating. It can use it because it is identical in frequency to what it can emit itself. And this happens because the Planck curve for a cooler body is always fully contained within that for a warmer body. So the two-way radiation which corresponds to the area under the Planck curve for the cooler body just resonates in each body and gives it energy that can only be used for new radiation. Because the new radiation is identical, it looks as if the original radiation has been scattered. Hence the term “pseudo scattering” or, as in my paper, I use “resonant scattering.”

    So the process is not in any way violating the Second Law of Thermodynamics (SLoT) because the radiated energy is never converted to thermal energy. However, there is additional radiation in the warmer body which corresponds to the area between the Planck curves. This is the energy which does get converted to thermal energy in a cooler target. And, since S-B calculations are based on the integrals of Planck functions, the normal calculations (subtracting the two S-B values which represent areas under the large and small curve) still apply, because the difference is the area between the curves.

    So the analogy of the lakes is totally appropriate for radiation, because you may think of radiation being scattered each time it strikes a target, but only “dropping off” some of its thermal energy when it meets a cooler target. The new radiation then continues just as if emitted by that target, so more thermal energy is only dropped off if the next target is cooler than the last one.

    Because the incident radiation supplied radiated energy to the cooler target, that target does not have to convert some of its own thermal energy in order to radiate what it is “allowed” to radiate as per the Planck function. Hence the target’s rate of radiative cooling will be slower, as we observe. So, yes, a wooden table in your back yard may stop dew forming on the ground below it because the table is warmer than the atmosphere and thus slows the cooling more. This is because gases in the atmosphere are cooler, and also because ones like carbon dioxide don’t radiate with a full Planck spectrum. Instead they just have a few spectral lines of radiation which can resonate with the surface. So carbon dioxide is like a picket fence with most of its pickets missing, standing up against a full flood of radiation from the surface. Even water vapour molecules can do much better when it comes to slowing radiative cooling of the surface.

    Whilst the calculations are the same, there are huge differences in the physical consequences. These are explained in the FAQ’s in Appendix Q.7 of my paper which is linked from my site. Because there is no conversion to thermal energy, there can be no subsequent heat transfer to other bodies instead of radiation. Hence, in the case of radiation from a cooler atmosphere, there can be no effect upon the rates of cooling by evaporation, conduction and other sensible heat transfer mechanisms. Nor is there any slowing of the radiation that gets through the atmospheric window to space. So only about a quarter of all the surface cooling is affected, and only by a minuscule amount by carbon dioxide with its limited range of frequencies.

    But wait, there’s more. The temperature of the surface is stabilised by both the underground temperatures and, more importantly, the amount of solar radiation reaching the surface. The temperature gradient in the atmosphere is governed by the adiabatic lapse rate, and that in turn is controlled by the force of gravity. So, if that gradient is represented by a simple linear equation y = mx + b then m is fixed by gravity and b is controlled by solar insolation which only varies a little beyond our control. Thus surface climate is beyond our control and any slowing of the radiative cooling is simply compensated by an increase in sensible heat transfer.

    So there is no overall slowing of the rate of surface cooling, no transfer of thermal energy from the atmosphere back to the surface, and so no greenhouse effect.

  99. RW

    No my friend, it is not me who misunderstands. You just want to have your cake and eat it. Let’s say 50% of the energy the surface receives from the Sun goes into the atmosphere by sensible heat transfer, evaporation and other non-radiative processes. Now you want 100% to also go by radiation.
     
    The proof of the pudding is in the eating. In Appendix Q.1 of my paper (which was reviewed by four peers prior to publication in seven sites) you will find proof that the world is warming at a slower rate now than it was 100 years ago, and all the warming is fully explained by extrapolating natural cycles. Click my name to go to my site, then the link to the 6,600 word paper.

  100. RW says:

    Doug,

    You say:

    “What makes you think the emissivity of the surface is “so close to 1? when even the IPCC energy diagrams show that so close to half its energy transfers into the atmosphere by means other than radiation? Seems to me that would make the emissivity so close to 0.5. Try that for size!

    Do you think that radiative flux has something to do with the amount of heat transfer?”

    The reason why the surface is very close to black body is because most of the surface is liquid water, which has an emissivity very close to 1. The other components of the surface also have emissivities fairly close to 1. Moreover, the emissivity of the surface has nothing to do with how much non-radiative flux there is from the surface to the atmosphere.

    BTW, I assume by “IPCC energy diagrams” you’re referring to Trenberth’s energy diagram? I know Roy himself and many others accept the Trenberth diagram, but I do not. In that sense, it’s really not your fault, as his depiction is confused and not really correct. The biggest problem is there is no non-radiative return path from the atmosphere back to the surface. I think you’re forgetting, because it’s not depicted in the diagram, that to the extent non-radiative flux is leaving the surface, non-radiative flux is also returning to the surface somewhere else (as the temperature component of precipitation, wind, weather, etc.). In effect, much of the non-radiative flux is just energy circulating from the surface to the atmosphere and back to the surface, still within the system (i.e. surface -> atmosphere -> surface, as opposed to Sun -> space -> atmosphere -> surface -> atmosphere -> space).

    The primary source of this non-radiative energy circulation loop is of course that of water (surface water -> water vapor -> clouds -> precipitation -> surface water). Now, some of the energy within this loop can end up radiated out to space (or back to the surface), some can be replenished by post albedo solar energy absorbed in the atmosphere or by energy emitted from the surface – it doesn’t really matter as it all has to be conserved one way or another.

    What Trenberth does is lump this all in the return path designated as ‘back radiation’. This is highly misleading and apparently why so many seem to be so confused.

    The bottom line is, in the steady-state, about 240 W/m^2 enters post albedo from the Sun, about 240 W/m^2 leaves at the TOA and the surface receives a net incident power flux of about 390 W/m^2 to sustain a temperature of about 288K. As a result of the surface temperature being 288K, like any other heated object, the surface emits a radiative flux of about 390 W/m^2.

    • RW says:

      ….only about 240 W/m^2 of which is ultimately allowed to leave the system at the TOA, leaving about 150 W/m^2 ultimately re-directed or re-circulated back to the surface one way or another.

  101. RW says:

    Doug,

    You say:

    “No my friend, it is not me who misunderstands. You just want to have your cake and eat it. Let’s say 50% of the energy the surface receives from the Sun goes into the atmosphere by sensible heat transfer, evaporation and other non-radiative processes. Now you want 100% to also go by radiation.”

    No, not at all. I think you’re forgetting or not realizing that the overwhelming majority of the thermal energy contained in the system from the Sun is located below the surface (mostly in the oceans). The amount of energy in the atmosphere by comparison is only an infinitesimal fraction of that contained below the surface (less than 0.01% is in the atmosphere). As I mentioned before, here is a good illustration of this:

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/atmosphere-vs-ocean-heat-capacity.jpg

    This makes for a fundamentally different dynamic. The atmosphere is really more or less acting as a radiative flux filter between the surface and space, where absorbed surface radiation is fairly quickly re-radiated – some of which, usually after multiple absorptions and re-emissions, eventually finds its way radiated out to space and some finds its way back to the surface in some form or another.

    • RW says:

      Actually, the thermal energy contained in the atmosphere is actually less than 0.001% of that contained below the surface (not 0.01%).

  102. RW

    Actually, the “overwhelming majority of the thermal energy contained in the system” is in sub-surface regions from the inner crust to the core. There is more about this in the Appendix of my paper and on the ‘Explanation’ page of my site.

    However, I do certainly know about and agree with you about the return of energy by precipitation. Below is a copy of an email I wrote on this recently – before reading your post. I was careful in my paper to avoid stating very specific percentages on this, but, whilst evaporative cooling is overstated, sensible heat transfer is understated. And it is the sensible heat transfer that makes garbage of your emissivity of close to 1.0 for water or land surfaces. Why do you suppose the temperature of the air just above the oceans is so close to the water surface temperature? Sensible heat transfer plays a significant role in this, leaving less for radiation to do. Emissivity values of 1.0 must relate to perfect blackbodies that cannot lose any heat at all by sensible heat transfer, being totally insulated in regard to processes such as conduction, convection or diffusion.

    Now, while speaking of the water cycle, consider double glazing in an office building. There should be dry air between the panes. But if a leak develops and moisture enters, the double glazing is said to “fail” because the effective insulation is greatly reduced. This is because water vapour helps radiate away the thermal energy that it acquires by diffusion from the other ~98 to 99% of air molecules. The same thing happens in the atmosphere, so water vapour has a cooling effect as it radiates energy away, such radiation getting to space, even if it is first scattered by the surface.

    C O P Y   of  E M A I L

    Evaporative heat loss of the surface is actually overstated, I believe, or, more specifically, the energy diagrams don’t show the energy returned to the surface by precipitation. Does snow at, say, -5 deg.C, falling on a part of the surface at 10 deg.C return energy to the surface? Yes it does, simply because it contains energy, and this does not violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics because it does not warm the surface. But it does add to the volume of H2O. Consider a backyard swimming pool at, say, 22 deg.C. Early in the week its level falls by, say, 2mm due to evaporation. Later in the week the same volume of rain happens to fall and the temperature of the rain also happens to be 22 deg.C (or even a fraction more if the pool had cooled.) So it could happen that the pool ends up with exactly the same volume of water at exactly the same temperature that it had at the beginning of the week. So its net energy change was zero. I suspect that Trenberth and the IPCC have thought that precipitation does not cause warming, but they have overlooked the energy which is returned to the surface purely because an amount of water has been transferred from clouds to the surface.
     

  103. RW says:

    Doug,

    You say:

    “Actually, the “overwhelming majority of the thermal energy contained in the system” is in sub-surface regions from the inner crust to the core.”

    Yes, but the contribution from geothermal to the whole energy budget is infinitesimally small – something only on the order of about 0.1 W/m^2 on global average. The overwhelming majority of this energy stays contained in the Earth’s inner crust and core, and for the purposes of what we are discussing can be ignored.

    You say:

    “Below is a copy of an email I wrote on this recently – before reading your post. I was careful in my paper to avoid stating very specific percentages on this, but, whilst evaporative cooling is overstated, sensible heat transfer is understated. And it is the sensible heat transfer that makes garbage of your emissivity of close to 1.0 for water or land surfaces. Why do you suppose the temperature of the air just above the oceans is so close to the water surface temperature? Sensible heat transfer plays a significant role in this, leaving less for radiation to do. Emissivity values of 1.0 must relate to perfect blackbodies that cannot lose any heat at all by sensible heat transfer, being totally insulated in regard to processes such as conduction, convection or diffusion.”

    The surface is not a perfect black body – just very close to one.

    You say:

    “Now, while speaking of the water cycle, consider double glazing in an office building. There should be dry air between the panes. But if a leak develops and moisture enters, the double glazing is said to “fail” because the effective insulation is greatly reduced. This is because water vapour helps radiate away the thermal energy that it acquires by diffusion from the other ~98 to 99% of air molecules. The same thing happens in the atmosphere, so water vapour has a cooling effect as it radiates energy away, such radiation getting to space, even if it is first scattered by the surface.”

    All that is happening in this case is non-radiative flux from the surface is being traded off for radiative flux from the surface, requiring the surface to emit less radiation (and subsequently be cooler as a result) in order to achieve equilibrium with space.

    The net of about 390 W/m^2 to sustain 288K already embodies all of the effects – both radiative and non-radiative (known and unknown). This seems to be what you fundamentally don’t understand.

  104. RW

    I wrote the answer to your first question months ago on the ‘Explanation’ page of my site http://climate-change-theory.com and there is further discussion in Appendix Q.4 which you also have not read it appears.

    Could you tell me why you think your time is so much more valuable than mine that you expect me to keep re-writing stuff simply because you don’t want to spend your time reading the answers first?

    If, as happens, the surface loses at least 50% of its energy by evaporative cooling and chemical processes to a small extent, but mostly conduction or diffusion, then it cannot have emissivity greater than 0.5 simply because half the available energy has already gone and so is not available for radiation.

    You missed the point about the double glazing. It was about atmospheric cooling, not surface cooling.
     

  105. If anyone wants to ask further questions about my paper, please do so on the tallbloke’s talkshop thread where you will find my thread among the most commented in the left margin.

  106. RW says:

    Doug,

    You say:

    “If, as happens, the surface loses at least 50% of its energy by evaporative cooling and chemical processes to a small extent, but mostly conduction or diffusion, then it cannot have emissivity greater than 0.5 simply because half the available energy has already gone and so is not available for radiation.”

    Liquid water has an emissivity very close to 1 and radiates according to its temperature like any other heated object. Also, ‘available energy’ is not the same as a power flux, whether radiative or non-radiative (or both). The total energy emitted from the surface, both radiative and non-radiative, is an infinitesimal fraction of that contained below the surface.

    “You missed the point about the double glazing. It was about atmospheric cooling, not surface cooling.”

    Most of the surface cooling ultimately originates from the atmosphere (i.e. the amount of direct surface radiation to space is considerably smaller than the amount of radiation to space from the atmosphere).

  107. Douglas  Cotton says:

    Yes, RW, liquid water floating in space somehow, may well have emissivity moderately close to 1.0, though I would still expect it to transmit and reflect a certain amount of radiation. But on Earth it can evaporate and also lose thermal energy through molecular collisions with air molecules. Try studying this net energy diagram and note the amount of radiation going to space also. You need to learn to question “information” promulgated by IPCC and climatologists. The whole AGW thing is the biggest hoax the world has ever seen.

    The atmosphere does not cool the surface. The surface cools itself. The double glazing example shows that the atmosphere’s rate of cooling will increase if water vapour increases, because water vapour radiates thermal energy away, and all such radiation will get to space, even if it heads towards the surface and gets scattered first.

  108. RW says:

    Doug,

    “The atmosphere does not cool the surface.”

    Ultimately it does, because such a large fraction of the of the total radiative flux leaving at the TOA originates from the atmosphere (as opposed to the surface).

  109. RW says:

    Doug,

    “But on Earth it can evaporate and also lose thermal energy through molecular collisions with air molecules.”

    Of course. Nothing I’ve said is in conflict with this.

    • RW says:

      I’ve never said or implied that surface water is in pure radiative equilibrium with the atmosphere. Of course, it isn’t.