UAH Global Temperature Update for February 2014: +0.17 deg. C

March 5th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

The Version 5.6 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for February, 2014 is +0.17 deg. C, down 0.12 deg C from January (click for full size version):

The global, hemispheric, and tropical LT anomalies from the 30-year (1981-2010) average for the last 14 months are:

2013 1 +0.497 +0.517 +0.478 +0.386
2013 2 +0.203 +0.372 +0.033 +0.195
2013 3 +0.200 +0.333 +0.067 +0.243
2013 4 +0.114 +0.128 +0.101 +0.165
2013 5 +0.082 +0.180 -0.015 +0.112
2013 6 +0.295 +0.335 +0.255 +0.220
2013 7 +0.173 +0.134 +0.211 +0.074
2013 8 +0.158 +0.111 +0.206 +0.009
2013 9 +0.365 +0.339 +0.390 +0.190
2013 10 +0.290 +0.331 +0.249 +0.031
2013 11 +0.193 +0.160 +0.226 +0.020
2013 12 +0.266 +0.272 +0.260 +0.057
2014 1 +0.291 +0.387 +0.194 -0.028
2014 2 +0.172 +0.325 +0.019 -0.102

Note that most of the cooling was in the tropics and Southern Hemisphere, less in the Northern Hemisphere.

The global image for February should be available in the next day or so here.

Popular monthly data files (these might take a few days to update):

uahncdc_lt_5.6.txt (Lower Troposphere)
uahncdc_mt_5.6.txt (Mid-Troposphere)
uahncdc_ls_5.6.txt (Lower Stratosphere)

368 Responses to “UAH Global Temperature Update for February 2014: +0.17 deg. C”

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  1. RW says:

    Thanks for the update.

    • Doug Cotton   says:

      When are you going to update or correct item 6 in your “Misunderstood” post, Roy. There’s is no physics which supports what you claim, and no physical evidence of such isothermal conditions in any planetary troposphere.

      I’ll not write another comment here, and I’ll withdraw my book if you can prove such an isothermal state possible. But note that I will not accept the 19th century Clausius (“hot to cold”) statement of the Second Law because physicists, with good reason, have done away with such and now refer to maximum entropy, that implying a thermal gradient in a gravitational field.

      You’ll have to prove the Second Law wrong Roy. It’s that or your claim that is wrong.

    • Ball4 says:

      Doug 7:35pm: There’s is no physics which supports what you claim…isothermal conditions…I’ll not write another comment here, and I’ll withdraw my book if you can prove such an isothermal state possible. “

      There is a 2004 paper in the literature that rigorously proves the physics of conditions for isothermal standard air column from surface up to near tropopause at equilibrium result of well-known classical thermodynamics and the kinetic theory of gases, T(p) = Tr = constant = 261.36K for Earth. Now, please, not write another comment here and follow through and withdraw your book per your kind offer.

      • Doug Cotton   says:

        In the above mentioned 2004 paper (by Verkley et al) here, they assert that …

        “convective turbulent motions are now taken into account, albeit implicitly. Their role is to mix the potential temperature field, to strive to homogenize it.”

        This is not necessary, as there is no reasonable evidence of such convective turbulence existing on some other planets, notably Uranus. Instead it is the actual movement of molecules between collisions which provides the random mixing they claim is requiring advection. (They are not even precise in their terminology, because “convection” can include diffusion.)

        They deduce in fact two conclusions using different constraints. However the constraint that leads to their deduction of isothermal conditions is not appropriate. It involves assuming constant enthalpy and this implies that there is a compensating increase in mean molecular total energy that is offset by the reduction in density at higher altitudes. This means that the molecules would be retaining equal kinetic energy, whilst gaining gravitational potential energy, that being offset by the reduction in total numbers so that total enthalpy remains constant. There is no justification for this assumption and the constraint is not a reality.

        Furthermore, they introduce “constancy of the integrated potential temperature as a single additional constraint” and then they admit “but this choice is of course open for debate.” Well, of course it is open for debate because there is no logic supporting it. What they are doing is trying to find a reason for the wet lapse rate being less than the dry one. They know that isentropic conditions lead to the dry rate (-g/Cp) but what they don’t realise is what I have explained in my book about the temperature levelling effect of inter-molecular radiation.

        As I have said all along, the empirical evidence that water vapour cools rather than warms supports the fact that the gravito-thermal effect produces the dry gradient which is then reduced in magnitude by the inter-molecular radiation, not primarily the release of latent heat.

        All in all, this is a very wishy-washy paper. Whilst their computations are OK, they do not engage in any detailed discussion or reasoning as to what would be the correct constraints. It would have been appropriate to start by considering a sealed perfectly insulated cylinder of ideal non-radiating gas. If they had done this there would have been no ambiguity about the constraints or any need to discuss advection. This it the approach I have taken in my papers and the book. Once we accept that the gravito-thermal gradient evolves spontaneously at the molecular level without any need for advection, then it is not hard to extend the concept to a troposphere which has a propensity to approach such a thermal gradient, modified by inter-molecular radiation.

      • Ball4 says:

        Doug 4:13am: “..their computations are OK…”

        Please, then, kindly honor your 7:35am intention to “…not write another comment here…” and “..withdraw my book…” until comments and book science are in line with the 2004 paper computations.

        I will add your book need also be consistent with the Akmaev 2008 paper which mathematically removed all impreciseness in the 2004 paper.

        • Doug Cotton   says:

          Computations based on false assumptions are nothing but “garbage in, garbage out.” Try understanding the full comment.

        • Ball4 says:

          Doug 6:26pm : “…based on false assumptions…”

          The atm. isothermal profile proof you wrote would cause you to withdraw your book is based on two assumptions: 1) constant mass, 2) constant internal plus potential energy. You cannot rightly call these false assumptions in the real world. In this light, having been shown true, real assumptions and your assessed “ok” calculations for the isothermal profile, I will consider you as having hereby announced that your book is withdrawn.

        • Doug Cotton   says:

          They specifically apply constraints which in themselves assume the isothermal result, which is thus what they get. It’s a circular argument. I quote their second constraint alternatives …

          “2) a constant energy E
          or 2′) a constant enthalpy H”

          You just simply cannot have constant gravitational potential energy in a gravitational field. The decrease in PE at the top must be compensated by a decrease in KE, that is, a decrease in temperature, and vice versa at the bottom.

          Wikipedia reads The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium—the state with the maximum possible entropy.

          (1) You will only have “maximum entropy” when you have isentropic conditions. (Prove me wrong on that if you can!)

          (2) Assuming no phase change or chemical change in total energy, then the isentropic state has each molecule with an equal sum of kinetic energy plus gravitational potential energy.

          (3) As the PE component of the sum must vary, it follows that KE must vary to retain (PE+KE)=constant.


          • Doug Cotton   says:

            That should be “increase in PE at top must be compensated by a decrease in KE ..”

        • Ball4 says:

          Doug 8:47pm: The 2004 paper is not in the least circular. Assumption 2 (and equivalently 2′) hold energy constant (1st law) to introduce the adiabatic condition for the isothermal column. This adiabatic constraint does not select the outcome since both columns are theoretically assumed adiabatic. I realize you were asleep in the back row for this particular gas enthalpy class.

          “The decrease in PE at the top must be compensated by a decrease in KE, that is, a decrease in temperature, and vice versa at the bottom.”

          Not for isothermal solution. Again, you miss the W term, the work done by the system in classical solution.

          You are proven wrong by the 2004 paper isothermal profile and why you are right to then withdraw your book, a fait accompli. The basic reason is you completely miss the W(=pV) term in gas enthalpy (1st law) which the 2004 paper properly does not miss – see eqn. (5) for the variations in E and W. I have told you this repeatedly with no effect. You miss that the changes in internal KE plus PE are equal and of opposite sign to the work performed by the system coming to equilibrium. The temperature thus remains isothermal due to the W(=pV) term.

          Since the non-isothermal profile is selected by the added assumption, a rigid container, the work performed by the system variation in W is 0, i.e. the 2nd term in eqn. 5 becomes 0. So in THAT case, you become correct in your statement I will clip again ONLY for the non-isothermal solution, which is well known:

          “The decrease in PE at the top must be compensated by a decrease in KE, that is, a decrease in temperature, and vice versa at the bottom.”

          • Doug Cotton   says:

            An isothermal profile in a gravitational field is not isentropic, for the simple reason that, firstly you are assuming all molecules have the same kinetic energy, but secondly, we know the ones at the top have more gravitational potential energy.

            So, tell me which step in the logic you don’t understand …

            Molecules at top: More PE + equal KE

            Molecules at bottom: Less PE + equal KE

            In such a situation you have an unbalanced energy potential because the molecules at the top have more energy than those at the bottom. Hence you do not have the state of maximum entropy, because work can be done.

            Let’s consider an extremely simple case of two molecules (A & B) in an upper layer and two (C & D) in a lower layer. We will assume KE = 20 initially and give PE values such that the difference in PE is 4 units …

            At top: A (PE=14 + KE=20) B (PE=14 + KE=20)

            At bottom: C (PE=10 + KE=20) D (PE=10 + KE=20)

            Now suppose A collides with C. In free flight it loses 4 units of PE and gains 4 units of KE. When it collides with C it has 24 units of KE which is then shared with C so they both have 22 units of KE.

            Now suppose D collides with B. In free flight it loses 4 units of KE and gains 4 units of PE. When it collides with B it has 16 units of KE which is then shared with B so they both have 18 units of KE.

            So we now have

            At top: B (PE=14 + KE=18) D (PE=14 + KE=18)

            At bottom: A (PE=10 + KE=22) C (PE=10 + KE=22)

            So we have a temperature gradient because mean KE at top is now 18 and mean KE at bottom is now 22, a difference of 4.

            Note also that now we have a state of maximum entropy and no unbalanced energy potentials. You can keep on imagining collisions, but they will all maintain KE=18 at top and KE=22 at bottom. Voila! We have thermodynamic equilibrium.

            But, now suppose the top ones absorb new solar energy (at the top of the Venus atmosphere) and they now have KE=20. They are still cooler than the bottom ones, so what will happen now that the previous equilibrium has been disturbed?

            Consider two more collisions like the first.

            We start with

            At top: B (PE=14 + KE=20) D (PE=14 + KE=20)

            At bottom: A (PE=10 + KE=22) C (PE=10 + KE=22)

            If B collides with A it has 24 units of KE just before the collision, but then after sharing they each have 23 units. Similarly, if C collides with D they each end up with 19 units of KE. So, now we have a new equilibrium:

            At top: C (PE=14 + KE=19) D (PE=14 + KE=19)

            At bottom: A (PE=10 + KE=23) C (PE=10 + KE=23)

            Note that the original gradient (with a difference of 4 in KE) has been re-established as expected, and some thermal energy has transferred from a cooler region (KE=20) to a warmer region that was KE=22 and is now KE=23. The additional 2 units of KE added at the top are now shared as an extra 1 unit on each level, with no energy gain or loss.

            That represents the process of downward diffusion of KE to warmer regions which I call “heat creep” as it is a slow process that happens in which thermal energy “creeps” slowly up the sloping thermal profile. It happens in all tropospheres, explaining how energy gets into the Venus surface, and explaining how the Earth’s troposphere “supports” surface temperatures and slows cooling at night.

          • Ball4 says:

            Doug 2:38am: “Molecules at top: More PE + equal KE”

            Not total energy for a non-rigid gas container. This is incorrect; your major error is right there. Sum and find this is total energy only for a rigid container where work on/from environment=0.

            Total non-rigid container energy (paper eqn. (5)) = “Molecules at top: More PE + equal KE” plus pV = internal energy (PE+KE) plus pV work from/to non-rigid system.

            You are right for 1 idealized molecule but incorrect for an ideal gas enthalpy. You miss that the changes in internal KE plus PE are equal and of opposite sign to the work performed by the non-rigid container isothermal system coming to equilibrium.

            See that “s” you write in molecule”s”? Once you have a gas additional work can be done on the gas by compressing each molecule’s distance from the other and expanding that distance – they repel each other for the same reason you can stand on earth; the gas can do work on/from its environment in addition to just PE+KE of an individual molecule when the container is not rigid.

            This is why you are right to have withdrawn your book when pointed out you need to be considering the rigorous non-rigid container air column isothermal proofs in 2004 and 2008 that show your book must be incorrect.

            Possibly re-issuing ed. 2 can be made correct but it will add nothing to the literature, and the title will need to change.

            NB1: “An isothermal profile in a gravitational field is not isentropic..Hence you do not have the state of maximum entropy, because work can be done. “

            No. At equilibrium no more work can be done by the non-rigid container after coming to isothermal profile, the single value max. entropy will achieve in the standard air column of the 2004 paper is 4.3783 10^7 J K^-1 m^-1.

            NB2: “So we have a temperature gradient…”

            Not in non-rigid container equilibrium, the pV term ensures that when no further work can be done, the column is at one temperature, 261.36K. The packet of molecules hitting the thermometer bulb from top to bottom impart the same KE as P changes with height.

            NB3: ”That represents the process of downward diffusion of KE to warmer regions which I call “heat creep”…”

            The rest of science calls it molecular diffusion after Fourier’s and A.E. Fick’s work in the 1800s. You are a little late to the party; your book adds nothing.

            NB4: “…thermal energy “creeps” slowly…”

            Concur except you mean diffuses slowly; so slowly in fact that in a gas much faster radiative and convective energy transfer are the dominate processes over conductive energy transfer.

          • Doug Cotton   says:

            What’s your problem Ball4?

            You write “this is total energy only for a rigid container where work on/from environment=0.”

            Garbage! The first part of this “thought experiment” will work in such a container also, just as it does in the atmosphere. You can’t deny what I described between four molecules will happen regardless. That’s very basic Kinetic Theory. Then just extrapolate to the whole troposphere using inductive reasoning.

            The ideal gas law (that you quote) is based on just such an ideal (non-radiating) gas and it is derived from Kinetic Theory.

            Climatologists derive the lapse rate (as here) in a very roundabout way, introducing pressure, doing several lines of calculations, cancelling out pressure and ending up with the same -g/Cp thermal gradient. Pressure and density are not involved at all my friend!

            In contrast, my four molecule experiment leads to a simple derivation direct from the same Kinetic Theory that gave us the ideal gas law. We just equate PE=-KE and get, for a height difference H and temperature difference T, and any mass, M which cancels out …

            M.g.H = – M.Cp.T

            So the gradient T/H = -g/Cp

          • Doug Cotton   says:

            The term “heat creep” is coined to emphasise that it is diffusion from cooler to warmer regions creeping up the thermal profile, just as explained in the second part of the four molecule thought experiment.

            Radiation cannot do that at all, regardless of its superior speed which, in fact, is the main reason why it reduces the insulating effect of double glazed windows and Earth’s troposphere.

            You have no evidence of an isothermal troposphere anywhere in our Solar System. If there were to be one it would be on Uranus where there is virtually no incident solar radiation and no surface at the base of its nominal troposphere. Yet the thermal gradient I calculated (over 18 months ago) to be about 95% of the -g/Cp value.

            Without “heat creep” you cannot explain how new solar energy freshly absorbed in the cold upper troposphere of Venus makes its way into the far hotter surface.

          • Doug Cotton   says:

            Maybe you all should read what a retired physics educator has written after reading the text of my book …

            “Essential reading for an understanding of the basic physical processes which control planetary temperatures. D C shows how simple thermodynamic physics implies that the gravitational field of a planet will establish a thermal gradient in its atmosphere. The thermal gradient, a basic property of a planet, can be used to determine the temperatures of its atmosphere, surface and sub-surface regions. The interesting concept of “heat creep” applied to diagrams of the thermal gradient is used to explain the effect of solar radiation on the temperature of a planet. The thermal gradient shows that the observed temperatures of the Earth are determined by natural processes and not by back radiation warming from greenhouse gases. Evidence is presented to show that greenhouse gases cool the Earth and do not warm it.”

            John Turner B.Sc.;Dip.Ed.;M.Ed.(Hons);Grad.Dip.Ed.Studies

          • Doug Cotton   says:

            Ball4 and others:

            The confusion in Ball4′s mind and those of the authors of the 2004 paper stems from a lack of understanding of what happens at the molecular level.

            All this “work” done by pressure amounts to nothing more than what happens when molecules collide. That’s all that is going on in any gas: molecules colliding at random, sharing their kinetic energy in the process, and taking off in another direction with free frictionless flight until they collide with the next one.

            No single molecule “knows” what the pressure or density of the gas around it is. But we do have a state of thermodynamic equilibrium if and only if the kinetic energy of each molecule is the same, before and after the collision.

            Pressure is caused by molecules “pushing” against a wall (or other molecules) and so it is proportional to the product of temperature and density. That’s the ideal gas law derived from a simple understanding that the pressure increases if more molecules strike the wall, and also if the mean kinetic energy increases.

            So go back and really study what I’ve described in the four molecule thought experiment.

          • Doug Cotton   says:


            Work can only be done with a supply of energy.

            Have you ever wondered why the Earth’s surface can cool at a far faster rate in the afternoon and early evening following a hot sunny morning, but then the rate of cooling slows right down in the early pre-dawn hours?

            I’ll leave you to think about that. But it does happen (for reasons in my book) so we can consider the troposphere on a calm night in those pre-dawn hours when virtually no further energy is flowing into the base of the troposphere from the surface, and no upward advection is apparent.

            Is the temperature isothermal in the whole troposphere then? Obviously not empirically. But why not theoretically, Ball4? There’s no significant new energy supply to do any work. What is you had a really huge enclosed cylinder many Km in diameter and extending to the top of the troposphere – is there any difference if you then put a few holes in its side?

          • Ball4 says:

            Doug 6:00pm: “What’s your problem Ball4?”

            My problem is deciding whether enthalpy should be pronounced with the emphasis on the 1st or 2nd syllable. And trying to understand and make sense of the top post.

            Doug’s problem is ignorance of gas enthalpy all together. In solids and liquids, the difference between internal energy changes and enthalpy changes is negligible so Doug is ok (for solids) using total energy analogy examples like solid billiard balls where Doug’s intuition stems from solids. In atm. physics, our primary interest is a gas where this difference is not negligible (where gas enthalpy is conserved quantity = H = U + pV) and is the main cause for Doug’s correct decision to withdraw his book above.

            “You can’t deny what I described between four molecules will happen regardless.”

            Yet I do deny it. What you show is impossible in nature because the 4 gas molecules interaction described doesn’t increase entropy in the universe, nor does it agree with quantity conserved 1st law for a gas. No hope for it.

            Proof: Go back to your 3 cell perfectly insulated container. What happens to gas T immediately after puncture the partitions? For an ideal gas, T is the same immediately afterwards. In a real gas expansion, the T decreases slightly. This should teach Doug something about the nature of the mean forces between gas molecules (based on enthalpy considerations) and that he is correct in deciding to withdraw his book because the proof of isothermal column exists since 2004 (actually earlier as it is classic solution).

            “The ideal gas law (that you quote) is based on just such an ideal (non-radiating) gas and it is derived from Kinetic Theory.”

            All gases radiate in nature. Read Maxwell’s 1866 paper I posted for Kinetic Theory derived quote stuff. Joule’s Law may be looked upon as defining what is meant by an ideal gas, look it up – please, not on wiki, go look up Joule’s own words. This is the means to help Doug (and me) understand implications of the top post.

            NB5: In 1824, Carnot published his gem of thermodynamics: “Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire”. In it he made the proposition: “When a gas passes w/o change of temperature from one definite volume and pressure to another volume and another pressure equally definite, the quantity of (integrated [Q = change in enthalpy wrt time -V*dp/dt]) absorbed or relinquished is always the same, whatever may be the nature of the gas chosen as the subject of the experiment.”

            Doug please note herein (from 1824!), the V*dp/dt term you completely miss and is the root cause of your decision to withdraw your book in the face of the isothermal gas column proof.

            An experienced thermodynamics teacher such as Doug should be able to prove Carnot’s proposition in a few lines. Please do so Doug. Demonstrate your bona fides.

            Should be as simple as for Doug’s g/Cp DALR derivation. Pity Carnot did not write down the 2nd law as he figured it out a few decades before Clausius. In Carnot’s reversible and irreversible process diagrams. Which Doug should draw (listen & learn from Carnot) for Doug’s billiard ball reversible examples.

            NB6: Of course an isotropic troposphere does not exist in any planet, it occurs at max. entropy S which won’t happen until the big universe reaches max. S. Sooo…Doug – how is it possible Earth atm. just above the tropopause is isothermal at 216.65K with z increasing!

            Wow. I thought Doug proved T lapses as –g/Cp with increasing height. How can this be? Fill me in.

          • Ball4 says:

            Doug 6:51pm: Wonders.

            Not me, I understand gas enthalpy mechanics and that radiative and convective energy transfer happens far faster than conductive energy transfer in the atm.

            If left alone, Doug’s molecular diffusion (“heat creep”) would not sense the sun coming up at dawn until it set; well at least sense the energy diffused after more than a month if the energy source was just 10m overhead. Yet, given radiative and convective energy transfer processes, I enjoy sensing the sun coming up at dawn immediately on clear, cold days.

          • Doug Cotton   says:

            Ball4 says “What you show is impossible in nature because the 4 gas molecules interaction described doesn’t increase entropy in the universe,”

            Of course the first and the third set of collisions increase entropy. In each case molecules with more KE collide with ones with less KE and the end result is that they both continue with the mean amount of KE.

            If it happened in a horizontal plane and “heat” diffused horizontally across a room (as it would) Ball4 would change his tune and agree entropy was decreasing. So somehow he thinks he can pull wool over my Cotton eyes and assume that, in my example, the molecule that was hit “knew” that the other molecule had come from a different height.

            Of course Ball4 still cannot correctly answer how the required thermal energy warms the Venus surface, or why there is a gavito-thermal effect in the Uranus troposphere.

            Oh, and Bull4, where does the energy come from to compress those molecules closer together? Mate! Gravity produces a pressure gradient, but it ain’t correlated with the temperature gradient also caused directly by gravity, not by pressure variation. Your car tyres get hot while driving a long way, but they still cool to ambient temperature overnight in the garage, despite the pressure therein. But for the gravito-thermal effect (now agreed upon by at least five other scientists known to me) the troposphere would just radiate away and cool much more at night.

            “No more work can be done” from an isothermal state you say??? I just showed you how it can be in the 4 molecule thought experiment – a little molecule drops down a little distance and adds a little energy to another it bangs into.

          • Doug Cotton   says:

            It’s getting late here and I’m just home from talking to a group meeting, and somewhat tired after a busy day mostly at the keyboard. That should of course have read:

            If it happened in a horizontal plane and “heat” diffused horizontally across a room (as it would) Ball4 would change his tune and agree entropy was increasing.

            I’ll just sit back now and wait for Ball4 to explain why the evidence is that drier cities have higher temperatures than those with plenty of precipitation at similar altitudes and latitudes. We need to come down to Earth here and change the topic, because my comment just written above is obviously the last nail in Ball4′s enthalpy coffin. It seems he thinks he is God and can stop molecules in their path, because he said such free path motion was impossible if all was isothermal. It seems like he thinks all molecular motion and collisions cease when isothermal conditions apply. Weird!

            So, while I sleep you can have a think about why water vapour cools, rather than warms by about 10 degrees per 1% of volume in the atmosphere, as the IPCC would like you to believe.

          • Doug Cotton   says:

            One question I didn’t get down to on first reading at the end of Ball4′s last comment was about “just above the tropopause.” (It’s called the stratosphere.)

            From my book, the text of which was finalised well over a month ago, I respond …

            … above the tropopause (at the top of the troposphere) temperatures then level out and start to get warmer going further up into the stratosphere. This is because ozone absorbs incident solar radiation more quickly than it can be dissipated. We see a similar effect in the thermocline just below the ocean surface, where temperatures decline rapidly because more and more Solar radiation has already been absorbed the deeper the rays penetrate.

          • Doug Cotton   says:

            Just one other point: To a physicist the word “convection” embraces both diffusion (no detectable gas movement) and advection which has detectable gas movement. The difference is just a matter of degree – when you can detect the motion. These processes “flow over” the underlying sloping thermal profile, which has had plenty of time to form over the life of any planet. The speed of flow depends on the rate of delivery (absorption) of new energy. The new thermal energy disperses away in all accessible directions. If there is a lot of new energy (such as on a sunny day in the Earth’s tropics) upward advection is measurable but is still very slow. Heat creep can also be as fast with a downward advection process.

            What Ball4 doesn’t understand is that 17W/m^2 of incident Solar radiation striking the Venus surface cannot raise its temperature from 732K to 737K even over 4 months, or 4 million years of continuous sunshine if he could still play God and stop Venus rotating. So Venus cools by 5 degrees at night, and warms by 5 degrees by the reverse processes by day. I’m sure silent readers can understand, but I am happy to answer genuine questions at

          • Doug Cotton   says:

            Perhaps I’d better explain this enthalpy issue for the benefit of silent readers. Enthalpy is total energy of a system (such as a cylinder of gas) including a component based on volume and pressure which represents the energy needed for the system to replace whatever was in the space before it. We don’t know how much energy it took to do that, so all we ever consider is changes in enthalpy.

            Now, suppose we have a perfectly insulated long, thin cylinder filled with argon and lying in a horizontal position until, in any horizontal plane we have equal temperature and pressure, as well as homogeneous density along the cylinder.

            Now we rotate it slowly about its centre of gravity into a vertical position. The second law talks about a state of maximum entropy that the system can reach. In the short term we can assume it stops losing entropy (in the limit anyway) at the moment it reaches thermodynamic equilibrium.

            Once the cylinder is in a vertical position, enthalpy may have changed a little during rotation but will then remain fixed as no energy will be lost. But the distribution of energy from which the total enthalpy is determined, will change because, under gravity, a pressure gradient will develop as more molecules move downwards than move upwards. Likewise a temperature gradient also develops, all without any change in enthalpy, but certainly an increase in entropy – until isentropic conditions are achieved at thermodynamic equilibrium.

            At thermodynamic equilibrium (assuming elastic collisions as we do in Kinetic Theory) whenever a molecule moves with a downward component of motion, thus gaining KE, it will find the next molecule it collides with has the same higher level of KE that it has acquired. The opposite occurs with any upward component of motion. This is demonstrated in the 4 molecule thought experiment in another comment.

            So the gravito-thermal gradient evolves spontaneously at the molecular level ………. QED

            Good night from me.

          • Ball4 says:

            Doug 4:53am, 5:39am, 5:50am, 6:09am, 6:41am : Gets no closer (backslides actually) to correctly understanding the processes occurring in nature causing the top post observations.

            ”..wait for Ball4 to explain why the evidence is that drier cities have higher temperatures than those with plenty of precipitation at similar altitudes and latitudes.”

            Doug shouldn’t have to wait, I already showed Doug cities on the lee side of mountain ranges are drier (deserts Atacama, Owens Valley) even though they have more water vapor in the air column above on avg. than say Madison, Wisc. I’ve cited why Doug uses incorrect physics to determine the amount of photons coming down from more wv and higher T column in his city pairs so he misses these photons & draws wrong conclusions from his multi-city analysis.

            “Of course the first and the third set of collisions increase entropy.”

            They do not. Calculate entropy S properly before and after collision. There will be no change. Show your work. Hint: draw a Sadie Carnot p-v cycle. This is thermo 101 which a teacher of thermodynamics such as Doug should be able to knock out in a few minutes.

            “Ball4 would change his tune and agree entropy was decreasing.”

            Not in either 2004 paper column. No hope for this.

            ”Gravity produces a pressure gradient, but it ain’t correlated with the temperature gradient also caused directly by gravity,”

            Correct for the non-rigid container column where T(p)=To throughout, incorrect for rigid container column T(p) = To * (p(z)/po)^R/Cp at equilibrium.

            “No more work can be done” from an isothermal state you say??? I just showed you how it can be in the 4 molecule thought experiment…”

            Nope. The 4 molecules as you describe don’t follow the 1824 gas state science established by Sadie Carnot, backed up by Clausius. You are over 189 yr.s behind in reading and understanding.

            “..he said such free path motion was impossible if all was isothermal.”

            No. I said it is correct for you to withdraw your book as you wrote it is necessary to do.

            “Enthalpy is total energy of a system (such as a cylinder of gas) including a component based on volume and pressure…”

            Concur, also for a solid where pV component is negligible. You are listening & learning. Now show this component in your 4 multi molecule construct which currently misses pV term so that your book does not need to be withdrawn as you write.

            “In the short term we can assume it stops losing entropy…”

            Stops losing entropy? So, uh, just to where exactly was the entropy draining out? You have not computed Sadie Carnot’s proposition in a few lines yet. Your bona fides are nowhere in evidence.

            “..above the tropopause (at the top of the troposphere) temperatures then level out and start to get warmer going further up into the stratosphere.”

            This is observation not explanation. If ozone “absorbs incident solar radiation more quickly” then why does your -g/Cp derivation fail? The correct answer will show mathematically that stratosphere convection ceases due to added parcel energy from the top not the bottom as in the troposphere. Convection process requires a fluid increased in temperature from the bottom in a gravity field an assumption which Doug misses.

          • Doug  Cotton   says:

            I have done a comprehensive study (being published in April) involving 30 years of temperature data for inland tropical cities on three continents in their hottest month, with temperatures adjusted for altitude. The results are statistically significant. In contrast, Ball4 cherry picks cities on the lee side of mountains (subjected to Foehn winds in many cases) and tries to make out they are representative. If the radiative forcing conjecture were right, cities with 4% water vapour above them should be a massive 20 degrees or so hotter than dry desert regions with perhaps less than 1% water vapour above them. Besides all that, there is valid physics in my book which explains why water vapour cools. So too does carbon dioxide by <0.1 degree.

            Ball4 still doesn't understand the diffusion process involving the sharing of kinetic energy during molecular collisions. He thinks this is not increasing entropy, even though the increase in entropy is the very reason that there appears to be thermal energy transfer from the convection heater on one side of your room to the other side, and even downwards if there is a stairwell nearby.

            His discussion of enthalpy is a red herring, and he is very confused about it, because pressure is a force, not energy itself. The (kinetic) energy is in the motion of molecules and this determines temperature. Increasing the number of molecules (and/or) the temperature does increase pressure, of course, but the force comes from the kinetic energy as molecules bombard the wall. It is inappropriate to double count the kinetic energy and the "pV" component. Besides, those equations relate to a system with homogeneous enthalpy, whereas this system has an enthalpy gradient, and so, if anything, one should consider the specific enthalpy at different levels. But, you can keep it simple by remembering the energy is in the molecules themselves, and that is why my four molecule thought experiment is valid. And of course it is backed up by heaps of empirical data demonstrating the existence of the gravito-thermal effect.

            The stratosphere presents no mystery as I have explained in my book. There is downward convection where solar energy is absorbed above at a rate that is faster than the rate at which energy is coming up from the surface. So the downward convection dominates the upward convection because the state of thermodynamic equilibrium was disturbed. The process of “heat creep” is explained in my book, but Ball4 just doesn’t understand the process. That is why he keeps avoiding the questions about Uranus and Venus which he has never correctly answered.

            Yes, I was tired last night and I should have written entropy stops increasing when the system reaches the state of maximum entropy – that being thermodynamic equilibrium. We don’t still use 19th century Carnot cycles or Clausius statements when considering significant differences in altitude in a gravitational field. We use the more comprehensive and general version of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and we take note of what physicists are now saying in the 21st century that the gravito-thermal gradient does indeed evolve spontaneously. We also note the 21st century understanding of resonant (“pseudo”) scattering which I was one of the first to explain in detail two years ago in my peer-reviewed paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” published on several websites in March 2012 and easily found on Google.

          • Ball4 says:

            Doug 3:44pm: “…with perhaps less than 1% water vapour above them.”

            Then only perhaps is there “..valid physics in my book..” which is why you are correct to announce it be withdrawn.

            “…my four molecule thought experiment is valid. And of course it is backed up by heaps of empirical data…”

            There is no empirical data on 4 molecules, the real collisions are not elastic as you explain since entropy doesn’t increase in elastic collisions. No one has ever observed a real collision of molecules, no one knows what really happens.

            “The stratosphere presents no mystery as I have explained in my book. There is downward convection…”

            Where the lapse is 0 in stratosphere, there is no downward or upward convection. This is why jetliners get a smoother ride in that part of the stratosphere.

            “The process of “heat creep” is explained in my book, but Ball4 just doesn’t understand the process.”

            No one does including you. Science does understand molecular diffusion of Fourier and A.E. Fick.

            “We also note the 21st century understanding of resonant (“pseudo”) scattering which I was one of the first to explain in detail….”

            Which, again, predicts bank vaults must build scattered photonic pressure forever and must be exploding at some point in blinding flashes of light. Empirical evidence shows this is not the case.

          • Doug  Cotton   says:

            So Ball4 does not wish to accept the standard assumptions of Kinetic Theory as used successfully by Einstein and others, in particular that we assume collision are elastic. We may as well throw out the Ideal Gas Laws then because they are developed from such assumptions.

          • Ball4 says:

            Doug 1:33am: Indeed the Kinetic Theory is very successful. The issue is that you do not apply it correctly and thus your written statement to withdraw your book is correct in the face of the rigorously proven non-rigid container isothermal gas column. Again, here is Kinetic Theory explained by original paper:


            You have obviously not read this J. Clerk Maxwell 1866 paper and applied it correctly in regards gas enthalpy. You discuss enthalpy 3:44pm but completely ignore the gas enthalpy term for pV in your 2:38am description in A,B,C,D individual molecule elastic sphere collisions. You mislead at that point.

            J. Clerk Maxwell 1866 p. 51: “In the present paper, I propose to consider the molecules of a gas, not as elastic spheres of definite radius, but as small bodies or groups of smaller molecules repelling one another with a force whose direction always passes very nearly through the centers of gravity of the molecules, and whose magnitude is represented very nearly by some function of the distance of the centres of gravity.”

            Thus the concept of a parcel of gas molecules having different properties than just collection of elastic spheres colliding was adopted by science and that you ignore in your book.

            The 2004 paper considers the pV term correctly and arrives at the right answer for the isothermal column which you do not. This is the root cause you are correct to withdraw your book which arrives at different conclusions than Kinetic Theory due to missing an important term pV in gas enthalpy, which you call a red herring at 3:44pm.

            pV is not a gas enthalpy term that misleads or distracts from the relevant or important issue. pV term is the main gas parcel physics Doug misses.

          • Doug  Cotton   says:

            A formal proof of the existence of the gravito-thermal gradient and the “heat creep” process only requires mathematical induction.

            The four molecule experiment can be extended to the inductive step having three rows each with two molecules. Similar molecular paths and collisions can easily be applied between this new row and the others, giving the same outcomes. Hence, by induction, we can extend the result to a whole troposphere wherever the gases do not solidify and the temperature remains significantly above 0K for molecules to have sufficient KE to reach the row above.

            I refer you to BigWaveDave’s comment two years ago here which (abbreviated) says …

            “Because the import of the consequence of the radial temperature gradient created by … gravity is that it obviates the need for concern over GHG’s. And, because this is based on long established fundamental principles that were apparently forgotten or never learned by many PhD’s, it is not something that can be left as an acceptable disagreement.

          • Doug  Cotton   says:

            Ball4 continues to introduce red herrings, such as molecular attraction and repulsion, which is of second order magnitude. One of the assumptions of Kinetic Theory is to ignore it. If you throw out Kinetic Theory assumptions you also need to throw out the Ideal Gas Law, which climatologists think they can use to explain the dry adiabatic lapse rate even though the same result can be derived in two lines direct from Kinetic Theory.

            An important part of my hypothesis is that the temperature levelling effect of intermolecular radiation plays a variable role in reducing the magnitude of the thermal gradient. As we know, water vapour in our atmosphere produces the lower “wet adiabatic lapse rate” normally blamed on latent heat release, though I consider the vast majority of the “blame” is this inter-molecular radiation.

            That is why they are careful not to let air between double glazed window panes get too moist, because the insulation effect is reduced.

            Likewise, water vapour in Earth’s troposphere reduces the insulating effect and lowers the supporting surface temperature because the whole thermal plane rotates about the pivoting altitude that’s around 4Km, not 5Km. So in liquid water the inter-molecular radiation probably dominates reducing the thermal gradient in the oceans that can only be observed in some parts of the Arctic Ocean and maybe in lakes in Antarctica. Elsewhere the penetrating solar radiation forms a thermocline and currents also can dominate.

            As I mentioned, the Uranus troposphere is probably the best location in our Solar System to observe the gravito-thermal effect. We have an experiment already done for us out there, nearly 30 times further from the Sun than we are.

            The radiating temperature of the planet is just under 60K and there is a methane layer that absorbs and re-emits most of the trickle of solar radiation, so virtually none penetrates to the base of the nominal troposphere. There’s no surface there at altitude -300Km, yet it’s 320K – hotter than Earth’s surface. There is also no convincing evidence of significant net outward flux, yet the solid core (55% the mass of Earth) is at about 5,000K because the atmosphere above it extends for quite a few thousand kilometres.

            So the overall level of the thermal plane is established near TOA at around 60K. Then thermal energy “creeps” up the sloping thermal plane which has a gradient maybe just 5% less than the calculated value for the negative quotient of the acceleration due to gravity and the weighted mean specific heat of the gases. I’ve posted the calculations on another blog but don’t have time now to find and link the comment.

            When Ball4 can explain the fact that the thermal gradient is so close to the -g/Cp value in the 350Km high Uranus troposphere, and how the required energy from the Sun gets to the base of that troposphere, then and only then will I perhaps acknowledge that he is starting to understand the new 21st century paradigm based on the well-proven and long established theory of the gravito-thermal effect.

          • Doug  Cotton   says:

            By the way, I first learnt about enthalpy in the early 1960′s, Ball4, and I have helped many students understand it over the decades.

            The pV component is a value based on the whole system with an implicit assumption that enthalpy is homogeneous throughout that system. That is the very thing we are disproving!

            You need to consider the specific enthalpy for separate layers, noting that specific enthalpy is an intensive property. That is why my four molecule proof by mathematical induction (adding one layer at a time) is correct, and the Uranus troposphere provides sufficient evidence thereof.

            Engineers have known about the gravito-thermal gradient for decades and it is evident on all planets, providing the only valid explanation for all temperature observations and estimates throughout the Solar System. You have no valid alternative hypothesis.

          • Ball4 says:

            Doug 2:51am: “..molecular attraction and repulsion, which is of second order magnitude.”

            Close inspection of the pV term reveals no exponent higher than 1 and no higher differential than 1. pV is first order. Doug is wrong again. I am happy to still be perfect 0of11 on Doug’s exam.

            “One of the assumptions of Kinetic Theory is to ignore (pV).”

            Hardly. The foundation paper of Kinetic Theory I cited above 7:42am, right in the clipped paragraph in Maxwell’s own words, shows pV term is his major innovation beyond elastic collisions of ideal gas molecules in a parcel. Doug writes about Kinetic Theory but doesn’t understand its foundation. So Doug’s next few paragraphs are gibberish.

            Ideal gas theory is indeed built on elastic collisions so in that sense Doug may be shocked to find it is non-Maxwellian. Ideal gas theory does not include changes in Maxwell’s pV term; it follows Joule’s 2nd law where the partial derivative of internal energy wrt volume = 0 and pV changes vanish. This is the very definition of an ideal gas.

            This means in Doug’s 3 chamber example of an ideal gas with two compartments of vacuum, when the partitions are punctured – the temperature doesn’t change. Isothermal!

            If the walls of Doug’s chamber are non-rigid the gas remains isothermal at max. entropy (pV=-(KE+PE)). If the walls are rigid, the pV term vanishes to 0 at max. entropy shown in 2004 and gas is slightly non-isothermal at equilibrium. An ideal gas does not exist, puncture the partitions and a real gas will change temperature a bit due to Maxwell’s pV term in the expansion. All gases are real but we can learn a lot from IGL, except for Doug.

            “When Ball4 can explain the fact that the thermal gradient is so close to the -g/Cp value…”

            Uranus atm. has a Cp and the planet has a g.

            “…explain how the required energy from the Sun gets to the base of that troposphere…”

            Maybe it doesn’t directly, no one knows including Doug. In any case, there is no required energy from the sun, the existing energy there is from KE of in falling material at birth.

            The sun’s direct rays can’t penetrate the Uranus opaque atm. at some unknown point – no probe has discovered it, the temperature is driven to 5,000K+ from the energy of that in falling material at planet birth that hasn’t had time to “heat creep” (i.e. scientifically conduct or molecular diffuse) out to deep space in the time since solar system birth. This is how slow the diffusion process is known to be. I showed this with similar eqn.s of class room”perfume creep” which Doug apparently didn’t “get”.

            3:08 am: “The pV component is a value based on the whole system with an implicit assumption that enthalpy is homogeneous throughout that system. That is the very thing we are disproving!”

            Enthalpy is a law of nature not a homogeneous material, the contents are the material, their enthalpy is constant by 1st law; the gas parcel total energy called enthalpy is conserved quantity.

            “…I first learnt about enthalpy in the early 1960′s…”

            Doug claims attending a class with syllabus containing Maxwell Kinetic Theory & enthalpy but Doug demonstrates being deeply asleep in the back row when subject was discussed.

            “You need to consider the specific enthalpy for separate layers…That is why my four molecule proof…You have no valid alternative hypothesis.”

            Sure in layers of a gas parcel. But then inexplicably Doug leaves out the valid alternate hypothesis of Maxwell’s parcel enthalpy in Doug’s A,B,C,D elastic collisions. Must be because he was in such a deep sleep when Kinetic Theory and gas enthalpy was discussed in class.

          • Doug  Cotton   says:

            Ball4. There’s no empirical evidence and no valid physics which supports the possibility of an isothermal troposphere being in thermal equilibrium, let alone thermodynamic equilibrium.

            Thermal equilibrium as a relation between the physical states of two bodies means that there is actual or implied thermal connection between them, through a path that is permeable only to heat, and that no energy is transferred through that path.”

            If there were isothermal conditions, then there would be a transfer of thermal (kinetic) energy from higher to lower levels of air molecules (about 68 nanometres apart) as molecules travelled back and forth between these two layers, with an interchange of kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy whilst in their free path motion that averages 68nm.

          • Ball4 says:

            Doug 4:03am – “Thermal equilibrium as a relation between the physical states of two bodies…”

            Concur however understanding the top post requires noticing the tall non-rigid adiabatic column of interest in the 2004 paper’s valid physics theory is just one body so thermal equilibrium is not applicable. Thermodynamic equilibrium applies for one isolated body & thus for each of the theoretical non-rigid and rigid tall one body containers in the 2004 paper. The zeroth law applies for three or more bodies.

            “…with an interchange of kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy…” and interchange of work done on the environment for the non-rigid container through the pV term with entropy increasing in the isolated column until isothermal thermodynamic equilibrium is achieved at max. entropy heat death of this little universe described in the 2004 paper.

            There is much empirical evidence supporting the theory but no 5km tall totally insulated non-rigid column; for that need to depend on getting the theory right based on fundamental 1st principles. They aren’t that hard; the 2004 paper is very elegantly simple. Enthalpy for these isolated columns of real gas is held constant by 1st law = H = U + pV

          • Doug  Cotton   says:

            Then go and edit Wikipedia, Ball4, because according to you it must be wrong where it talks about thermal equilibrium in a single body …

            “Thermal equilibrium as a technical term in thermodynamics can also be used in two senses. One sense is that of thermal equilibrium within a system for itself. The other sense is that of a relation between the respective physical states of two bodies. Thermal equilibrium in a system for itself means that the temperature within the system is spatially and temporally uniform. Thermal equilibrium as a relation between the physical states of two bodies means that there is actual or implied thermal connection between them, through a path that is permeable only to heat, and that no energy is transferred through that path. This technical sense is concerned with the theory of the definition of temperature.”

            There is no need to discuss enthalpy. The Second Law of Thermodynamics is about approaching thermodynamic equilibrium with maximum possible entropy. And entropy is a measure of progressing towards thermodynamic equilibrium.

          • Ball4 says:

            Doug 5:07pm: I am shocked…SHOCKED…to find a wiki top post article that might need improve its science. In fact pard, this is one fight you might just win over there at wiki. No text book I have ever encountered says that for a gas and I note the paragraph you clip is devoid of cites.

            First, look up a dictionary meaning for “uniform” & find: “constant; unvarying; undeviating”. Hmmmmm….

            This generates a clue even you might support with Graeff’s 800+ gas experiments, think now, were they ever constant; unvarying; undeviating temperature? Do you yourself support isothermal constant; unvarying; undeviating temperature the obvious classical gas solution ALL the time? That’s another clue.

            Second, do your thermo. homework. Start by reading the bottom section where it is consistently discussing thermal equilibrium with two body examples compared to one isolated body thermodynamic equilibrium. That’s another good hint maybe you are on to something.

            Then think about one system of gas molecules. When the gas is in equilibrium its molecules are moving in all directions with equal probability, but all kinetic energies E are not equally probable. Even if all the molecules had the same constant; unvarying; undeviating energy when put into the container, they would in time have different energies because they exchange energy in collisions with each other and the container walls. A given molecule may experience a sequence of collisions in which it always gains kinetic energy, which would give it a much greater energy than average and not remain constant; unvarying; undeviating i.e. uniform.

            Check out a few atm. thermo. text books at the library see if they concur.

            Then get your courage up, I know it is so hard for you to post things up, but overcome that, get some swagger, and go contact wiki page committee. See what they say. Let me know.

            Hint: Doug, they are talking about a solid, be prepared for that, and I was writing 7:32am about the gas column of interest, but you could add some stuff to wiki for a gas w/o hardly trying after all this homework. Wutcha’ think pard? That’s what wiki is for after all.

          •  Doug  Cotton   says:


            An isothermal state in a gravitational field is certainly not obvious to me, when I can quite easily visualise molecules that move downwards accelerating under the force of gravity, just like the tennis balls I played with when playing John Newcombe at school in my teens and those he used when I watched him practise on our backyard court.

          • Ball4 says:

            Doug 7:55pm : “An isothermal state in a gravitational field is certainly not obvious to me…”

            No kidding. Then you concur wiki’s uniform (constant; unvarying; undeviating) i.e. isothermal temperture in one gas body thermal equilibrium is indeed incorrect because you do correctly see for a gas this is not physical:

            Thermal equilibrium in a system for itself means that the temperature within the system is spatially and temporally uniform.

            This might work to a good approx. but it is srtill safer using thermal equilibrium only for two bodies:

            Thermal equilibrium in a SOLID system for itself means that the temperature within the system is spatially and temporally uniform

          •  Doug  Cotton   says:

            The more precise wording in Wikipedia is ..

            “Thermal equilibrium as a relation between the physical states of two bodies means that there is actual or implied thermal connection between them, through a path that is permeable only to heat, and that no energy is transferred through that path.”

            There’s nothing in there about being at equal temperatures, Ball4. That’s why the two rows of molecules are representative of two 68nm adjoining thin layers with no net energy passing between them when they are in thermodynamic equilibrium, even though at different temperatures.

          • Ball4 says:

            Doug 4:08am – Wiki’s thermal equilibrium for two bodies is ok, but their discussion of thermal equilibrium for one body to itself having uniform temperature doesn’t work for a gas.

          • Doug Cotton says:

            I’m not interested in your assertive statements, Ball4, without a word of explanation based on sound physics.

          • Ball4 says:

            Doug 6:23am: See above 3/16 6:47pm for the non-assertive version clipped here since you didn’t get it the 1st time.

            Thank you for your commitment to withdraw your upcoming book; this is a good move to get it right in 1st ed.

            “Then think about one system of gas molecules. When the gas is in equilibrium its molecules are moving in all directions with equal probability, but all kinetic energies E are not equally probable. Even if all the molecules had the same constant; unvarying; undeviating energy when put into the container, they would in time have different energies because they exchange energy in collisions with each other and the container walls. A given molecule may experience a sequence of collisions in which it always gains kinetic energy, which would give it a much greater energy than average and not remain constant; unvarying; undeviating i.e. uniform.

            Check out a few atm. thermo. text books at the library see if they concur.”

            They will. As no thermal equilibrium in 1 isolated system of gas is possible in nature despite wiki.

      •  Doug  Cotton   says:

        You say the 2004 paper uses classical physics. So why do they mistakenly talk about enthalpy, when there’s no mention of it in the second law of thermodynamics which states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium— a state depending on the maximum entropy?

        • Vladimir says:

          Dear Dough Cotton, Dear Ball4,

          It was nice to follow your discussion. I feel like Doug’s arguments are more logical (whatever in that book is) but I’m not fully convinced. To clarify my doubts would you please both make a thought experiment:

          Imagine a vertical adiabatic cylinder long enough to develop a pressure gradient but short enough to assume constant g.

          In the cross-section of the cylinder, there is a heat-insulated membrane that is fixed initially exactly in the middle so it separates the cylinder into two equal volumes.

          Both volumes, lower and upper, have exactly the same axial pressure and temperature (if any) distributions.

          Now we release the fixation of the membrane so it can move freely.

          I guess the membrane would move somewhere down under the gravity force and reach an equilibrium position where the average pressure would be higher in the lower part. Then I guess the bulk temperature in the lower part would increase while in the upper part decrease according to pv=kRT.

          Please correct me if I’m wrong.

          Thank you both.

        • Ball4 says:

          Vladimir 10:09am: Not sure what your k is. Think about standard PV=nRT for isolated ideal gas. V is constant, n is constant, R is constant, T is constant (adiabatic). What does that tell you about P in the middle?

          • Vladimir says:

            Thanks, should be pv=kT, k is constant anyway.

            I didn’t get your point. In the middle of what? Do you conclude that upper and lower volumes wouldn’t change? The separation membrane is movable, pressure on the top of lower volume is lower than one at the lower part of higher volume. I guess the membrane will move down, will not it?

          • Ball4 says:

            Validimir 11:13am: “In the middle of what?…I guess the membrane will move down, will not it?”

            10:09am: “…a heat-insulated membrane that is fixed initially exactly in the middle…”

            Instead of guessing, throw in some numbers, compute the P(z) at the middle in the initial condition. Then compute the P(z) in the ideal gas thermodynamic equilibrium max. entropy condition of Verkley et. al. 2004. Compare results. Let me know. Suggest compute using both isothermal and non-isothermal max. entropy thermodynamic equilibrium solution in the 2004 paper.

          • Vladimir says:

            We have one membrane “in the middle” but two possibly different pressures in the same “middle” but in different volumes: upper and lower.

            No, Ball4, we don’t have to read that 2004 paper to calculate this. I don’t need precise results, I just want to confirm that we all agree on
            1. Lower volume will be smaller
            2. Pressure (average) will be higher in the lower volume
            3. Temperature (bulk) will be lower in the higher volume

            Note: my membrane is 0 conductivity. If it was conductive we would have to wait (pretty long time) the system to reach equilibrium at max entropy. Of course, temperatures would finally equalize but much later (remember, we excluded convection and irradiation)

          • Ball4 says:

            Vladimir 1:53am: As above for your ideal gas “Think about standard PV=nRT for isolated ideal gas. V is constant, n is constant, R is constant, T is constant (adiabatic). What does that tell you about P in the middle?”

            Ideal P is therefore constant at the middle. 1,2,3 = no change for ideal gas. You could interestingly investigate this by running thru the ideal calc.s given some numbers.

            If the gas is real not ideal, T would decline a bit. And the membrane would then move a bit. If the gas is standard air, you should be able to reasonably compute the distance the membrane moves 1. 2. 3.

          • Vladimir says:

            Ball4 says:
            April 1, 2014 at 2:03 PM

            Thank you, Ball4. But.. I probably didn’t explain it well – my fault.
            Again: the membrane is fixed in the middle of the vertical cylinder separating its volume in two equal parts. These parts are identical in p,T,V. The pressure in both is not constant but with some axial distribution, just like in the real atmosphere.
            Then, the membrane is released, so it CAN MOVE under up/down forces. Due to the axial p distribution, the pressure in higher in the lower part of both volumes. I.e. pressure is higher on the upper surface of the membrane. Then membrane must move down – from now see above.

            PS. You don’t think that air pressure is lower with higher altitude because the air is not an ideal gas, do you?

          • Ball4 says:

            Vladimir 1:34am: ”These parts are identical in p,T,V. …You don’t think that air pressure is lower with higher altitude because the air is not an ideal gas, do you?”

            Vladimir – Which one is it? Identical p(z) to start or varying p(z)? It is your construct.

            I think I wrote correctly that the P(middle) is constant before and after release of membrane for an ideal gas, even while P(z) varies thru z – P(middle) remains as is, membrane won’t move.

            Then P(middle) is non-constant for a real gas; after release the membrane will move. You really, really need to do the math to find out, the necessary values and eqn.s are right there in 2004 paper – in applying yourself to doing so, you will discover the issues. Let me know.

          • Vladimir says:

            Thank you. Let me try again.

            If we have two identical cylindrical volumes, with exactly the same air mass and internal energy.

            p is not constant, it changes with altitude. Because if gravity.
            p(z) distribution is exactly the same in both volumes.

            As for T – we don’t know – you say it’s constant, Doug invented a theory (in that book) that T changes 10K/1000m. For the moment, I don’t care. I postulate that if there is a T distribution it would be exactly the same in both parts of my cylinder.

            1. Then I guess that pressure in both lower parts is the same and higher then pressure in both upper parts. We don’t have to read 2004 paper or 2014 Doug’s book to conclude it, do we?

            2. If 1. is true then membrane will move down when released.

            3. Above is true for both ideal and real gas.

          • Vladimir says:

            Just to add: the MIDDLE of the cylinder is a place where the membrane is initially. We fix it there so there are two P values in the middle: below the membrane and above it.

            How can those two pressures be equal? we have gravity, remember?

          • Ball4 says:

            Vladimir 1:34am: ”These parts are identical in p…
            Vladimir 7:53am: ” p is not constant…

            Try again. I think you are struggling with initial conditions (IC) where p(z) can set however you construct and then the membrane released and the whole cylinder with both parts of this little isolated universe increases entropy until max. in nature’s construct at which time measure where the membrane is.

            The formulas in the 2004 paper are useful, correct and will convince me of the answer when used; Doug invented no theory, has committed to withdraw his 2014 book in the thread above so it is not useful.

          • Vladimir says:

            Thank you, Ball4.

            Identical doesn’t mean constant. These are two cylinders, very high. So of course, there is a pressure distribution inside. Exactly the same in both. Then you simply put one on the another and insert “imaginary” membrane that removes top of 1st and bottom of second. You have now a double height cylinder but the pressure distribution is still identical in both halves (but not constant). This is a starting point – I cannot explain better, sorry.

            Unless you understand this starting point – it’s useless to “discuss” further. neither real gas. And of course, your 2004 paper wouldn’t help.

            Anyway, thank you for your time.

          • Ball4 says:

            Vladimir 10:42am: “…there is a pressure distribution inside.”

            Then you will have to run thru the eqn.s in 2004 paper or from well accepted text book based on that actual starting pressure distribution and the final one to find the movement of the membrane after release. You have changed original to V constant, n constant, R constant but T,P vary IC. PV=nRT (IGL) will ~work from Maxwell’s Kinetic Theory ideal case and in the real gas case there will be slightly different soln. The 2004 paper has the final ideal exact T(p) eqn. 18 solution which became well known in Poisson’s time from IGL math.

            Note Doug’s 2014 book missed the ideal exact solution and slightly different real gas solution as his billiard ball A,B,C,D model was preceded by Maxwell’s 1866 Kinetic Theory paper I clipped above. Maxwell’s improvement to gas elastic collision Kinetic Theoy is in part what Doug missed thinking about solids/liquids and the reason he committed to withdraw his book on gases up thread.

          • Vladimir says:

            Great! Thank you, Ball4. We finally agreed that the membrane will move down.

            From now, we can discuss what would be the pressure and T distributions after the membrane reaches the equilibrium position. I don’t have to read your 2004 paper not 2014 Dough book to predict that pressure will be always lower in the upper (bigger) volume, and so average (bulk) T. However, if we consider conductive membrane, the energy should transform from hotter bottom membrane surface to cooler top surface. It will take pretty long time, some millions years if we talk about atmosphere scales. I hope your 2004 paper can predict the moment.

          • Ball4 says:

            Vladimir 11:55am: “We finally agreed that the membrane will move down.”

            No. I agree it will move but not convinced it will necessarily move down unless run thru the calculations. The final pressure below middle could well be higher than above.

            Thermodynamic equilibrium theory famously has no time associated with it – as far as when max. entropy happens. I would think computing the time to conduct from top to bottom might be an indicator using Fourier and/or Ficks law as I calculated somewhere around here for Doug in the “perfume creep” example, probably give a time on the order of less than month or two for a well insulated classroom size cylinder to quit changing T anywhere inside. A cylinder ~5km high – you are on your own to estmate time.

          • Vladimir says:

            Ball4:> No. I agree it will move but not convinced it will necessarily move down unless run thru the calculations.

            Hm. To move down the membrane has to go through the calculations? Does it has to read 2004 paper too?

            Ok, I see the point why don’t agree with Dough. I haven’t read his book (not going to) but only his comments here.

            Well, it looks like Dough consider the case where only pressure (governed by gravity) is at (relatively) steady state, similar to my cylinder example. It’s definitely not a max entropy state which you consider as a reference. When you are right about max entropy state, we understand that, due to low air conductivity, this in unreachable in the our planet time scale.

            These pure theoretical “though experiments” are not useless, they help to understand what are real mechanisms behind the temperature distribution in the atmosphere. Convection near the surface, irradiation in the upper layer. Yes, it also depend on the individual elements, N2, O2, etc. (including CO2 ) radiation/absorption capacities.

      • Ball4 says:

        Doug 7:49pm: Enthalpy is the total energy in each column system which the 2004 paper conserves (1st law) to formulate max. entropy (2nd law) at thermodynamic equilibrium.

    • Doug Cotton   says:

      I have told you before, there is a glaring error in that paper and another similar article which both assume temperature increases with density. That’s laughable! Such an elementary error. They must have been thinking of pressure which is proportional to the product of temperature and density. I’ll leave it to you to try to prove that they used the correct assumption from Kinetic Theory (as used by Einstein) that temperature is proportional to the mean kinetic energy of the molecules, because the fact I sthat they didn’t.

      You don’t reduce a mean by reducing the number of molecules, as those idiots did. Big mistake, Bull4.

      • Doug Cotton   says:

        I should clarify that these comments refer primarily to the article, not the Verkley paper, though I’m going on memory and can’t locate that article now. My more detailed review of the Verkley paper is above at 4:13am.

        • Manfred says:

          Ball4 says:
          March 12, 2014 at 4:57 PM
          Where the lapse is 0 in stratosphere, there is no downward or upward convection. This is why jetliners get a smoother ride in that part of the stratosphere.

          Just wondering, but have you ever experienced the trauma, chaos and broken bones of clear air turbulence?
          The atmospheric region most susceptible to CAT is the high troposphere at altitudes of around 7,000–12,000 metres (23,000–39,000 ft) as it meets the tropopause. (Wikipedia).
          At moderate latitudes the stratosphere is situated between about 10–13 km (30,000–40,000 ft; 6–8 mi) and 50 km (160,000 ft; 31 mi) altitude above the surface, while at the poles it starts at about 8 km (30,000 ft; 5 mi) altitude, and near the equator it may start at altitudes as high as 18 km (59,000 ft; 11 mi).(Wikipedia)

  2. Another month goes by with no additional global warming.

    All of this despite being in the maximum of solar cycle 24, CO2 concentrations increasing, neutral ENSO conditions, and more or less neutral PDO/AMO readings of late, although the PDO has been mostly in a cold phase ,while the AMO has been mostly in a warm phase, for the past few years, very low volcanic activity.

    In addition the UHI effect apparently is not causing a further temperature increase, or it has not for the past 17 years or so.

    Again I say the two unknowns are how variable is the sun and is there a threshold of solar variability that will cause the climate to have a significant change through primary and secondary effects?

    In addition the magnetic field of the earth has to be considered. Is it moderating or compounding solar effects.

    I say the sun is variable enough to create thresholds that can impact the climate through primary and more importantly secondary means,(WHEN THE SUN ENTERS A PROLONGED SOLAR MINIMUM PEROIOD) and that a weak solar magnetic field/earth magnetic field will equate to a cooler climate.

    Four arguments against AGW theory are

    CO2 follows the temperature does not lead it. This lends support to my theory that that the GHG effect ,is a result of the climate not the cause.

    Temperatures have been steady for 17 years despite CO2 concentrations increasing.

    Antarctic Sea Ice is at or near record highs.

    Recent past history tells us that recent warm periods such as the Roman warm period some 2000 years ago has temperatures as warm or warmer then today despite lower CO2 concentrations.

    In addition if CO2 is the main driver of the climate today, why did the climate change so often and abruptly in the past and why would those same forces that exerted such a dramatic influence on the climate then ,not still exert the same influence today?

    AGW THEORY does not address this.

    • mobiusstrip says:

      I like the phrase of Professor Petrovay, in 2010:

      “The end of the Modern Maximum in Solar activity is here.”

      Real Fin-de-Siecle feel.

  3. ThefinalNail says:

    Dr Spencer,

    Your update is still showing 0.291 (global) for January, yet the official data set is showing 0.30.

    0.291 rounds to 0.29, not 0.30. Is there some mistake?

  4. Kristian says:

    Roy, any news on your pending version 6?

  5. D o u g    C o t t o n   says:

    I believe we may be starting to see the slight increase in the rate of cooling in 2014 which I predicted over two and a half years ago in this archived statement on my earth-climate website …

    From 2003 the effect of El Niño had passed and a slightly declining trend has been observed. This is the net effect of the 60-year cycle starting to decline whilst the 934 year cycle is still rising. By 2014 the decline should be steeper and continue until at least 2027. (This statement was archived 22 August 2011)

  6. Svend Ferdinandsen says:

    Hi Roy
    It is amazing how much even global average for a month can variate relative to the 30 year average and relative to each month. I can spot changes up to 0.2C, so i have a hard time to be alarmed of the 0.8C from last century.
    I could understand it for a smaller area like Denmark where you can have several degrees, but taken for the whole Globe?

  7. david dohbro says:

    Dr. Spencer,

    Thanks for the update. Is it possible to get all the data in 3 decimals instead of 2? There are 3 decimals in the table you provide each month, but the files are only 2. Since 3 is better than 2, and since apparently 3 decimals are available, it be great to get that last decimal too!


    Now the RSS, UAH and Hadcrut4 all show the same change in linear time-trends with the 5yr trend more negative than the 10yr trend, which has a lower slope-value (0 for UAH, – for RSS, and Hadcrut4) than the 15yr trend. Climate change is accelerating, but not the way most say it would…

    Although linear trends though none-linear, stochastic data are of course an incorrect approach; they serve an informative purpose I’d say.

    • Walter Dnes says:

      david dohbro says:
      March 5, 2014 at 2:51 PM
      > Dr. Spencer,

      > Thanks for the update. Is it possible to get all the
      > data in 3 decimals instead of 2? There are 3
      > decimals in the table you provide each month,
      > but the files are only 2. Since 3 is better than 2,
      > and since apparently 3 decimals are available, it
      > be great to get that last decimal too!

      The file you want (with 3 digits) is Note that this file is updated a couple of days after Dr. Spencer’s posting. Try it Thursday or Friday. It should almost certainly be updated by sometime Monday.

  8. Werner Brozek says:

    UAH dropped from 0.291 to 0.172 for an average of 0.232. If it stays this way, 2014 would rank 5th.
    RSS dropped from 0.262 to 0.162 for an average of 0.212. If it stays this way, 2014 would rank 11th.
    So far, Walter Dnes’ prediction is right on the money. See:

  9. Bassman says:

    The ENSO state has been mostly negative since 2010, not La Niña recently but still influencing surface temps quite a bit. If we return to El Niño conditions this summer it will surely overwhelm minor climate forcings like average to low solar input. I’m confused as to why anyone on here doesn’t think surface temps aren’t going to continue rising (not just the high latitudes). Temps may not be accelerating yet, but they are still on a clear linear path up, especially when you have more inclusive data sets like NOAA and NASA GISS.

    • Jim Cripwell says:

      You ask ” I’m confused as to why anyone on here doesn’t think surface temps aren’t going to continue rising (not just the high latitudes).”

      I can only speak for myself. Temperature data is ergodic; what happened in the past tells us nothing about what is going to happen in the future. I would put the question the other way. Why does anyone believe we can foretell what is going to happen in the future? I suspect Herman Kahn’s maxim might apply. Nothing would be more surprising that nothing surprising is going to happen.

      • Carson says:

        I love when people use mathematical terms when they have absolutely no clue what they mean.


        Perhaps you meant “chaotic”.

        • Lewis Guignard says:

          The usage seems correct to me. Perhaps you don’t like the implications?

          • Carson says:

            Lewis: In what sense is it correct? Ergodic in the mathematics of dynamical systems means that averaging a quantity in time is equivalent to averaging a quantity over all possible states in the phase space. It has nothing to do with how predictable a future state is given the past or present. In fact by definition, a system that never changes in time is ergodic.

            In statistics, an ergodic ensemble means that averaging over one member is equivalent to averaging over the whole ensemble.

            Boltzmann coined the ergodic hypothesis relating to the probability of a system being in a certain microstate is related to the energy.

            So Jim Cripwell’s use of the word ergodic does not fit the context of his argument.

            BTW: Frequent poster Salvatore here used to also use this word incorrectly, but he stopped.

            salvatore del prete says:
            June 7, 2011 at 4:43 PM


            So I think we should have a lively debate between Jim, Salvatore, and Lewis as to weather the climate is ergodic or non-ergodic.

            wizard: I was not aware of the term “ergodic literature”. Thanks for the laugh.

          • Lewis Guignard says:

            From Yahoo dictionary Ergodic: adjective Mathematics, Statistics.
            of or pertaining to the condition that, in an interval of sufficient duration, a system will return to states that are closely similar to previous ones: the assumption of such a condition underlies statistical methods used in modern dynamics and atomic theory.

      • D o u g    C o t t o n   says:

        Temperatures will rise again by about half a degree roughly between the years 2030 to 2060, but the long-term natural (~1,000 year) cycle will hit a maximum between 50 and 200 years from now (probably in about 100 years) and then the world can expect about 500 years of natural cooling. These long term trends are about half a degree per century.

        Why would you expect anything else? You can’t prove to me with any valid physics that carbon dioxide has any warming effect. In fact, I can prove it cools, but by less than 0.1 degree. Now don’t bother to tell me what climatologists say – I’ve probably studied that more than you have, and when I compare it with what standard physics tells me, I find I can explain why it’s not carbon dioxide after all.

  10. Aaron S says:

    David A,
    Sorry i live in KL Malaysia so im always a little behind on posts and the a new topic emerges and there is no opportunity for you to address my concerns about the sun’s impact on climate. So im taking the leap of faith that u will read this blog and bringing forward a comment you seem to have missed last topic (poor timing and  honest mistake no doubt). Sorry it is not exactly in line w this conversation but the previous post suggests baseman doesn’t know why anyone would think temperatures won’t keep rising. Well simply put most on this blog feel that the models are to sensitive to CO2 and that other factors control global temperatures. Several of us suggest the recent strong decline in total solar activity might be a major driver and that there will soon be cooling.

    Okay so in response to a similar comment David A said:

    Changes in solar irradiance simply are not strong enough to cause changes on the scale of GHG-warming, since to first order (from the Stefan-Boltzmann equation) the temperature change at the Earth’s surface is

    dT/T = (1/4)(dS/S)

    plug in the numbers; you will find dT ~ 0.1 K for reasonable values of the change in solar irradiance S.

    I responded:

    A) The solar irradiance is only a part of the sun’s variability that can force climate.
    B) We don’t even know the range of solar irradiance and we are getting surprises
    C) If you play by the CO2 rules and link the total sun’s variability to the water vapor cycle then you can do whatever you want in a model of global temperature based on how the sun moves.
    D) There is plenty of empirical data saying the sun does force climate at the 22 to 24 year hale cycle, the 10 to 12 yr schwabe cycle, and the ~90 year cycle. The Hale cycle is not solar irradiance; it is magnetics, which affect cloud cover and is at best very poorly understood.

    Also, the frequency of solar CME, which vary with solar activity are disregarded as affecting Earth’s climate, and the impact of CME on climate is a total unknow. Just like volcanic activity is cited as a cooling mechanism I can envision CME activity as a player in the global climate system.

    So yes the models do a half baked attempt to control for the sun based on irradiance, but reality is that is only a piece of the story and we just don’t know the suns total impact.

    I also find it odd that the Dalton and Mounder minimums are disregarded when they are coeval with significant cool earth conditions. I consider this more empirical data for a solar influence that is wished away by the climate mafia.

    I don’t claim to know the answers, but I think in a decade we will learn more about the sun’s impact on Earth’s climate as we leave the ~11yr solar max and enter a new phase of low solar activity. We have had a transgression then high stand in solar activity coeval with the last century of global warming… now this abrupt regression provides a fantasic natural experiment. I can’t wait to watch

    Aaron S says:
    March 5, 2014 at 2:47 AM
    David A, by the way here is a good review of some work that suggests the sun impacts climate significantly: Perhaps you could read up on the greater field… I will gladly share the literature I have with you because I can tell your a smart individual and I bet if you look at the data it will change your perspective. Let me know and I will put a bunch of links to relevant peer reviewed literature up here.

    I also said a comment in response to your expertise in peer reviewed literature and about the validity of published papers. I’m sure Roy can agree publication is a political process. This is what I said.
    Exactly how many peer reviewed papers have you published David A? I do have a few under my belt… so if you want to know about the process I will gladly share. When I published in line with the CO2 proponents papers were easy to get through review, but the first time my data (like Roy’s) led me to believe CO2 was not the primary driver of modern global warming- then things got more interesting. Publishing about the sun’s role in climate change is a different beast all together bc the band of brothers in the CO2 community have a total lock down on the field. Ifor example, I had an EPA scientist as a reviewer and he basically said the sun is not a factor, but that was the point of my paper… Yes it is. It is absolutely absurd to consider alternative scenarios in their mind. Here is a paper you can take a look at if you like- this was the transitional paper for me bc the presence of solar cycles in the spectral analyses of Lacustrine varves made me realize how powerful the sun is in the system (although this example is a regional system rather than global it is obvious the sund forces climate).

    • D o u g    C o t t o n   says:

      Aaron and others

      You will be interested in my explanation as to why there is no valid physics which confirms the greenhouse effect. If the radiative forcing concept were valid then it should be possible to apply it on other planets, because physics is universal. But no one – I mean absolutely no commenter on any climate blog out of a dozen or more where I have posed the question – can answer in any other way than what is in my book. The world should not be spending a trillion dollars over the next few years when it cannot answer this question using the same greenhouse conjecture that they use to justify that expenditure. Failure to answer means failure of their GH conjecture. I have only just found (this week) one other paper that says what I do about the valid physics which can be used to answer the question, and that physics completely debunks the GH hoax. Note that the solar radiation reaching the Venus surface is less than 20W/m^2.

      The trillion dollar question is …

      How does the required additional thermal energy actually get into the surface of Venus in order to raise its temperature by 5 degrees (from about 732K to 737K) over the course of its 4-month-day, after it has cooled by 5 degrees during the Venus night?

      • Alick says:

        19.9W/m^2 for 120 of our days seems like a good answer.

        Have we landed something on Venus to know that it is 730ishK on the surface?

        • Doug Cotton   says:

          Radiation doesn’t work like that. Read about the Planck function and the integral thereof in the Stefan-Boltzmann equation, and then try to understand that, unless the radiative flux is sufficient to maintain the temperature, a little more flux will not raise it. In this case well over 16,000W/m^2 would be needed for 732K and an additional 450W/m^2 would be needed for the 737K temperature. The reality is that radiation is not supporting the surface temperature at all. Downward diffusion and advection are doing so.

          • Alick says:

            Actually, radiation from the sun is partially supporting the surface temps on Venus but indirectly. You believe the majority of it is from the top down.

            Venus’ geothermal energy is the other part. Quite small compared to the mass of the sun, but with more distance from the sun, comes more significance. How much, I don’t know.

            If the surface of Venus is only a 5 degree difference from night to day, from 732 K to 737 K, and it has been that way for millions and millions of years, then how could there exist a space under Venus’ surface (inside Venus), that would register considerably less than 732 K?

          • Doug Cotton   says:

            How about you provide a link to your information about “a space inside Venus” far cooler than its surface. It’s feasible to an extent of a few degrees, being perhaps just like the ocean thermoclines.

            With or without internal energy generation, solar energy “tops up” the crust, mantle and core by whatever extra energy is required to keep the cores of planets and moons (like our Moon) far hotter than their surfaces because of the gravito-thermal effect and the “heat creep” process, being diffusion up the temperature gradient. For an explanation please see my four molecule thought experiment before you reply.

          • Alick says:

            Where can I find this four molecule thought experiment.

          • Doug  Cotton   says:

            The four molecule thought experiment is in this comment above.

          • Alick says:

            I do not understand your thought problem.

            1. kinetic energy is a vector, so simple scalar math doesn’t always work. Yes I know you framed them as “units”.

            2. You provide no frame reference. Kinetic and potential energy has direction associated with them. Since you define your molecules as being in an upper and lower layer (of the atmosphere I will assume), I can only conclude that the Z-axis is in the direction of gravitational pull making the XY-plane perpendicular to the Z – axis and therefore tangent to Earth’s sphere.

            3. Initially, the kinetic energy along the Z-axis to maintain a constant distance between A and C or B and D, is 0. If they are all traveling with the same velocity (kinetic energy of 20 units) in the XY -plane, they will never collide with each other. They will either leave orbit at the same distance apart along the Z-axis, stay in orbit at the same distance apart along the Z-axis, or fall to the surface at the same distance apart along the Z-axis.

            4. The angle of incidence of the collision matters as to the directions of the resulting vectors Ka and Kc, and Kb and Kd. Your end result is AC traveling in the lower XY – plane and BD traveling in the higher XY – plane with all energy preserved. The only way to achieve this, is if the angle of incidence of the collisions was parallel to the XY – plane before the collision. If there is a Z component, then your simple sharing of the KE is incorrect.

            5. While A may fall and have 4 units of potential energy changed to kinetic energy and collide with C, the kinetic energy of D, does not spontaneously change back into potential energy. It needs at least 4 units applied from outside it, to even have a chance at a collision with B, making the mean Ke of B and D = 20 units. There IS still a gradient. Just not how you believe it happens and not as large.

            6. I don’t know how this translates into a “temperature” gradient. This is only an exercise in wind speeds. It can be windy and 50 degrees or less windy and 50 degrees.

          • Doug  Cotton   says:

            The frame reference for gravitational potential energy is irrelevant, because I am only considering differences. If you wish, use the conventional reference at infinite distance.

            For kinetic energy, given that temperature is a measure of mean kinetic energy, the frame reference is zero K and zero energy. But again, I am only talking differences, so what’s the problem?

            If geothermal energy is significant on Venus, how come it can cool by 5 degrees at night? But if it concerns you, try Uranus where there’s no convincing evidence of significant net energy loss at TOA. Is it just a “fluke” that the thermal gradient in the 350Km high Uranus troposphere is almost exactly the -g/Cp value?

            The rest of your comments indicate you don’t understand the standard assumptions of kinetic theory. There is a statistical probability that some molecule will go straight upwards, but who cares? All we are really considering is the vertical component of the vector. This is very basic Newtonian physics which the assumptions of Kinetic Theory say can be applied to molecules, because they are affected by gravity.

          • Alick says:

            I confused kinetic energy with momentum.

            I looked at the link about “assumptions”.

            Of course, none of my replies are showing up here after I click “submit comment”, so I will stop here.

          • Alick says:

            Doug, I believe you need to set up your 4 molecule thought experiment a little better.

            My thought experiment for Doug: I noticed on your assumption page there was a box with a bunch of blue dots and some red dots representing molecules bouncing around. I am assuming this represents a gas in a container.

            This is what I see. If the space is shrunk, the mean speed of the molecules is not initially increased. The first thing to increase, due to the shortened space, is the number of collisions/second within the container. Shouldn’t this lead to more thermal radiation being present/second?

            How will this lead to a larger mean speed of the molecules?

            Yes, I am assuming a perfect container, where nothing escapes and nothing enters.

        • Doug Cotton   says:

          Yes the Russians landed probes (with little parachutes) that sent information from the surface of Venus for quite a few minutes until they died.

  11. Bassman says:

    Jim Cripwell, There is always uncertainty but it is crazy to deny that past geological and biological data can’t inform our understanding of future climate conditions. The fingerprints of AGW our everywhere (the hockey stick has been confirmed 20 times over by other studies). I just don’t understand how people on here actually think temps won’t go up. Argue about rate and forcing contributions sure but overall the CO2 forcing is simply overwhelming everything at this point

    • Jim Cripwell says:

      Bassman, you write “There is always uncertainty but it is crazy to deny that past geological and biological data can’t inform our understanding of future climate conditions.”


    • Bart says:

      You’re both wrong. The past can definitely inform the future. But, what the past tells us is that the rise from 1910-1940 was the same as the rise from 1970-2000, and we are simply repeating a pattern which was established long before CO2 in the atmosphere increased significantly above “pre-industrial” levels.

  12. Bassman says:

    Jim, Think about what you are saying. For the most part the past is our only estimate of the future; gravity, photosynthesis, eating food to survive. Most if not all decisions about the present and future are based on past events. Think about it, of course we can’t be absolutely certain about anything, but to disregard the past and act like it tells us nothing about the future could be a definition of insanity. This is 2014, I can’t believe I’m having this conversation. What is the point of science if we can’t even use our current knowledge about how our world works to inform future decisions?

    • Aaron S says:

      Yes but the proxy records from the past are not so polarizing as presented. I am a paleoclimatologist that studdied Late Miocene Early Pliocene climate as a proxy for continued global warming. So Bassman lets talk paleo climate.

      1) How do you differentiate the correlation between CO2 and temperture in ICE CORES as indicating that CO2 is a 1st order climate driver and not just a mostly passive second order factor following temperature trends as a thermometer. (CO2 does lag at inflection points in the Vostok ice record, but this doesnt polarize either way). The physics could be as simple as a warm cola can will fizz when opened more than a cool one, so who is to say that as the oceans warm they don’t realease more CO2, and that the CO2 is a minor feedback to another primary driver? Also, if the century of warming stops (like it may have) then it will be to short in duration to even make it into the ice record. I have spoken specifically to Lonnie Thompson (The OSU geologist that did most of the core analysis and created much data used in and inconvient truth) about this issue. The system is low resolution because gas moves and becomes time averaged during the conversion from snow to glacier during compaction.

      2) Did you know that during the last interglacial warm phase (about 120kyr ago) global sea level peaked at >20′ higher than today and that was with CO2 under .03%? It was primarily caused by orbital forcing, but the point is natural variability is greater than what we have encountered in the modern warm interglacial.

      So what paleo data are you referring to? Perhaps I can provide additional feedback.

    • Jim Cripwell says:

      Bassman, you write “Most if not all decisions about the present and future are based on past events.”

      I think this is too simplistic. It is not past “events” that guide the future, it is past “MEASUREMENTS”. The whole basis of the scientific method, as developed by Galileo and Newton, and stated so clearly by Richard Feynman, is that hypotheses are tested by actual measurements. It is impossible to do controlled experiments on the earth’s atmosphere, so we can never prove that the hypothesis of CAGW is correct. By the same token, we can never prove that it is wrong.

      There are as many indications that CAGW is wrong as there are that it is right. You have given reasons for supposing it is right. I could give a list of reasons for believing that it is wrong. But it would serve no purpose.

      So I go back to my original statement. No-one has any idea what is going to happen to our climate in the future. Anyone who pretends they do, is,IMHO, merely fooling themselves.

  13. Bassman says:

    Aaron, I understand the physics of past glaciations, that temps often lead co2 increases. Even if CO2 was a secondary forcing/positive feedback it was still a forcing. What is unique about this century is the abruptness of the CO2 forcing, it looks like a wall going straight up in geological context . Most analyses right suggest that we should have cooled slightly based on natural factors.

    Jim, unless we have some major event that alters the atmosphere(volcanoes) even a persistent negative ENSO and grand solar minimum won’t hold back the earths current energy imbalance. The oceans are gaining enormous amounts of energy and the positive feedback of the summer Artic sea ice retreat will only contribute further to this imbalance. There is simply no natural or man made influence that is likely too slow down warming into the foreseeable future. Even this Data set above shows a clear trend. The best hope would be for a fast negative feedback from changes in cloud cover and recent research (Sherwood 2013) suggests otherwise.

    • Aaron S says:

      Thank you Bassman,

      I am always interested in a healthy debate about this issue and I am glad you know your stuff because I hope to learn something from you, but I do have a couple of comments or questions based on your responses above.

      1) The natural factors you are considering must not include the hockey stick in long term solar activity (magnetics, irradiance, and CME) from late 1800′s to the 1950′s and then the maintainenance of a significantly high level of solar activity relative to the entire record until recently when this most recent 11 yr solar cycle changed the trend. It is likely the sun’s activity just regressed to the weakest schwabe peak in over a hundred years. What evidence is there that the sun doesn’t have a dominant role in climate? At best the role of the sun is poorly understood, but there is solid empiracle data suggesting solar activity forces climate significantly, via magnetics (thought to affect cloud cover) and irradiance flux at high frequency (11 yr) and lower frequency scales (Dalton and Mounder minimums). Perhaps the slow in warming will turn down to a negative trend because of this change. It is plausible to me- given what I know about the sun.
      2) On its on CO2 is a relatively weak greenhouse gas because it is a trace gas in low abundance and mostly overlaps the absorption profile of much more common water vapor. If CO2 is decoupled from water vapor, then we have nearly exhausted the direct impact on temperature increases. So if it is merely a secondary driver then it is not capable of large scale global warming. The reason it is significant in the models is becuase it is coupled with other green house gases, but what evidence do you have that this coupling relationship in the models is valid? Have the models modeled the Earths temperatue accurately since 2000? How do we know the earth’s sensitivity to CO2? Wasn’t the relationship just estimated early on in climate modeling then that number carried forward?
      3) I agree we have been in a phase of significant warming, but again the resolution of most proxie paleodata could not resolve this sort of a short term event. Why do you assume this pulse of warming isn’t a mostly natural event (obviously CO2 increases have contibuted) from the constructive interfenrence between solar activity and orbital forcing? Even if orbital paramaters are very slightly negative (big negative changes are about 700 to 1000 years away) we have been in the midst of two peaks in solar activity and orbital forcing- perhaps this is what led to the raise of Earth’s temperature.
      4) Also, as far as ENSO goes if we had an equivalent El Nino compared to the 97-98 event starting right now and the temperature jumped just like it did then (stair case model), then we would still be substaintially below the estimated warming in the models. So you had better clarify your argument because to catch up we need an exceptional El Nino. It is possible, but IDK about plausible.

      I agree I don’t know, but the reason I have such passion about this is because so many people do claim to know and politicians are trying to exploit this issue.

      Thanks again for the discussion.

      • Lewis Guignard says:

        Aaron S. says in part: “The reason it is significant in the models is becuase it is coupled with other green house gases,but what evidence do you have that this coupling relationship in the models is valid.”

        The first part of this statement is false. The reason CO2 is significant in the models is because it is a byproduct of man’s use of hydrocarbons and must be proven to be bad in order for the anti-capitalists/industrialists to have a reason to control the economy and thus the people. Notice that natural gas was a great alternative until it became a viable source of energy.

        In general the arguments and information presented in this blog are interesting to a person interested in weather and climate and climate history. But to use the information, considering it is of such short term, to influence decisions about economic policy is wrongheaded.

        So just remember, the efforts to use AGW as a reason to control the economy has nothing to do with climate or weather and everything to do with politics. As the results of those proponents success will be harmful to many people one can only guess their have a case of species hatred – is there a term for that?

        I ran across an interesting statement by Noam Chomsky in his book “What Uncle Sam Really Wants” :”If segments of the public depart from their apathy and begin to organize and enter the public arena, that’s not democracy. Rather it’s a crisis of democracy in proper technical usage, a threat that has to be overcome in one way or another: in El Salvador, by death squads – at home, by more subtle and indirect means.”

        Dr. Spencer’s recent interview on TV as referred to in this blog, is a case in point of this type attitude by the ruling elite.

      • D o u g    C o t t o n   says:

        Carbon dioxide has no warming effect what-so-ever.

        I suggest you all read this comment.

    • D o u g    C o t t o n   says:

      No carbon dioxide wasn’t a forcing, it isn’t a forcing and it never will be a forcing. All the existing carbon dioxide does not warm at all – it only cools by about 0.1 degree.

      Before you reply, try to answer the trillion dollar question here because Roy can’t answer it either, now can you Roy?

    • Doug Cotton   says:

      Is there any reason why we should believe you, Bassman rather than the professor of physics and astronomy in charge of this study which showed a clear-cut correlation between chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) and temperature?

  14. Thanks, Dr. Spencer. I have updated your graph in my pages.
    Very good looking.

  15. stevek says:

    Generally consensus in science is based on observations. However when dealing with political issues consensus is also built on grant money, tenure, ostracism in the scientific community and outright threats. Give me a gun and a room full of people and I’ll build consensus pretty quickly, regardless of truth.

    • Threepwood says:

      It’s not always nefarious though- astrologists, climatologists, paranormal investigators are often genuinely convinced of their belief.
      Any ‘field’ that requires innate belief to even venture into is not going to have many skeptics. But yes, add in the potential for a massive transfer of wealth and power and that belief becomes a government institution pretty quickly

      • stevek says:

        I believe there is selection bias of who goes into climatology because often this department is part of environmental sciences which attracts the green folks.

  16. Ray says:

    Dr Spencer,

    RSS shows a similar Global fall to UAH, but it is mostly in the NH while as you say, most of the fall in UAH is in the SH.

    Can you explain the this apparent discrepancy?

  17. Bassman says:

    I’m a biologist, I have a good understanding of how science and publishing works. I find the large and growing body of evidence highly convincing that CO2 is causing a very abrupt (in a geological timescale) change in our energy balance. Too many independent lines of evidence support this to give weight to other ideas. The warming we see now shows the fingerprints of a “trapping effect” instead of an increase in incoming energy “More radiation”. Also think of the dimming effect from aerosols ( I know there’s uncertainty with the forcing value). We are still warming despite all of these natural and man made negative forcings.

    • D o u g    C o t t o n   says:

      “Too many lines of evidence …”

      Sorry – no they don’t prove anything. Go to this comment, because I am getting very annoyed at the travesty of physics promulgated here.

    • David Springer says:

      The TOA imbalance is modeled at around 0.5W/m2. That’s enough to raise the basin temperature of the global ocean 0.02C/decade. The enormous amount of energy meme is based on using Joules to state it instead of degrees C.

      Funny how we measure the temperature change in the troposphere in degrees C but the ocean we measure in Joules followed by 23 zeroes. ROFLMAO – warmists are so transparent in their attempt to scare people with big numbers of Joules.

      •  Doug  Cotton   says:

        Yes maybe it’s modelled at that, but it’s impossible with current technology to measure it that accurately simultaneously all around the globe. In fact, with the acknowledged uncertainty in each measurement (incoming and outgoing) the error in the difference is such that we really cannot be certain whether the difference is positive or negative.

        Besides, the models assume that the thin surface layer of the oceans (say 1cm thick) acts like a grey body, when in fact I seem to have noticed that 1cm of water is pretty transparent.

        The fine print in real physics is that black and gray bodies are not at all transparent. Pity!

        The fact is we can’t work out planetary surface temperatures from radiation, now can we. Think of the base of the Uranus troposphere.

  18. I’m a biologist, I have a good understanding of how science and publishing works. I find the large and growing body of evidence highly convincing that CO2 is causing a very abrupt (in a geological timescale) change in our energy balance.

    I’m a human being and researcher, I have a good understanding of human behavior and what makes people tick. I find the large and growing body of evidence highly convincing that AGW theory at this point is nothing more than a political venue to control populations in a rapidly changing consensus reality paradigm.

    So, I say to your understanding, so what? Good, you understand. Now leave the rest of us alone and feel good about your understanding. But you don’t do that. You, and many others who believe AGW theory is now fact, feel a need to not only proselytize, but also to convert the rest of us and have us kneel in homage at the altar of Prince Albert or face the wrath and damnation of vindictive Nature.

    Here’s an excellent essay from Michael Chrichton. I agree with his sentiment, although I take issue with the part I’ve bolded.

    Once again, the measures being urged have little basis in fact or science. Once again, groups with other agendas are hiding behind a movement that appears high-minded. Once again, claims of moral superiority are used to justify extreme actions. Once again, the fact that some people are hurt is shrugged off because an abstract cause is said to be greater than any human consequences. Once again, vague terms like sustainability and generational justice — terms that have no agreed definition — are employed in the service of a new crisis.

    I am not arguing that global warming is the same as eugenics. But the similarities are not superficial. And I do claim that open and frank discussion of the data, and of the issues, is being suppressed. Leading scientific journals have taken strong editorial positions of the side of global warming, which, I argue, they have no business doing. Under the circumstances, any scientist who has doubts understands clearly that they will be wise to mute their expression.

    One proof of this suppression is the fact that so many of the outspoken critics of global warming are retired professors. These individuals are not longer seeking grants, and no longer have to face colleagues whose grant applications and career advancement may be jeopardized by their criticisms.

    In science, the old men are usually wrong. But in politics, the old men are wise, counsel caution, and in the end are often right.

    The past history of human belief is a cautionary tale. We have killed thousands of our fellow human beings because we believed they had signed a contract with the devil, and had become witches. We still kill more than a thousand people each year for witchcraft. In my view, there is only one hope for humankind to emerge from what Carl Sagan called “the demon-haunted world” of our past. That hope is science.

    But as Alston Chase put it, “when the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power.”

    That is the danger we now face. And this is why the intermixing of science and politics is a bad combination, with a bad history. We must remember the history, and be certain that what we present to the world as knowledge is disinterested and honest.

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Cold N. Holefield,

      The problem doesn’t merely exist in the mixing of science and politics, but in the BRAINWASHED minds of the public at large. Too often ACADEMIA is CONFUSED with SCIENCE. Anyone can retain a scientific mind-set and perceive the world around them. Today instead too many people allow themselves to be told what SCIENCE IS and what SCIENCE IS NOT from ACADEMIC institutions that have a vested interest in maintaining often DISPROVED theories (i.e. CAGW, Neo-Darwinian Synthesis (Darwin never did provide a complete theoretical framework for his conjecture), (IMO) The Big Bang Theory, Dark Matter, and many, many more). Those in these positions maintain power by advancing only those people that agree with their pre-determined theories. Gullible citizens elect politicians that throw enormous sums of cash at failed institutions that merely repeat bromides and conduct little in the way of real research. The conjectures like the one’s listed above bear little relation even to known facts. In fact, it was the FAILURE of GENERAL RELATIVITY to explain tight galactic formations from their assumed (by academics) mass to cock-up Dark (unobserved)Matter in the first place! So in essence SPECULATION attempts to bolster SPECULATION, and for some peculiar reason unknown to the many SENTIENT but un-subsidized masses in our society the whole canard is described as SCIENCE! The entire MIASMA of MINDLESS CONFORMITY always faces the danger someone will DE-FUND it so to PRESERVE THE JOBS AND REPUTATIONS OF FAILED ACADEMICS and keep the checks coming CONSENSUS is enforced, OUTLIERS and TRUTH-SEEKERS ruthlessly REPRESSED, data “ADJUSTED” and/or MASSAGED to conform with SPECULATIVE PREDICTIONS and control of public media tightly maintained at all times to avoid DISSENT!

      “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.”

      ― Mark Twain

      As to CAGW PSUEDO SCIENCE, Hmmh! As I’ve pointed out in previous posts, the geological record provides extensive evidence that the climate has been warmer in the past. Prior to the recent ice-age, tropical vegetation and large mammalian life forms (mammoths, rhinoceros, lions, wolves, etc.)existed in higher latitudes and polar/glacial regions far too cold to support such life now. IT’S GOOD TO REMEMBER THE ONLY EXAMPLE OF CLIMATE CHANGE CAUSING MASS EXTINCTION IS THE ICE AGE AND RUSSIA REMAINS THE WORLD’S LARGEST IVORY EXPORTER EVEN THOUGH NO ELEPHANTS EXIST IN THAT REGION BECAUSE IT’S TOO COLD!!! Prior to the onset of the ICE AGE, warmer weather meant deserts as we understand them for the most part didn’t exist. However, the onset of colder periods like the ICE-AGE WITNESSED MASS EXTINCTION ON A SCALE NEVER OBSERVED SINCE. Our modern “permafrost” contains a mass burial ground of evidence to support that fact. NO ONE has provided evidence that a warmer period would not be in net beneficial. The mere fact that some species will find it difficult survive simply restates an obvious empirical observation that can be made about any period in earth’s history subsequent to the FALL.

      In addition, you should review the data. From what the records indicate CO2 levels have risen since the 19th century. To halt atmospheric CO2 growth would require the entire 7 billion people on the planet to reduce it’s carbon production to levels not seen since the century before last or ever earlier. Atmospheric CO2 levels measured in the 1880′s I believe fell around 280 ppm. In 1958 when Mona Loa measurements began the levels fell around 315-20 ppm. Today they’re around 400 ppm. Has anyone else suggested how we might induce the planet to do that? Believe me the Chinese cannot build solar panels fast enough. Where their is no solution their is no problem. If anyone has a solution other than faux moral pretension and blowing out more of their own CO2 I’m sure we’d all love to see it.

      BTW, remember the Kyoto Protocol that ridiculous plan sought to limit signatory countries (a few European ones) to limit their CO2 contribution to 1985 levels. They failed to meet even that goal. It would have been meaningless anyways since atmospheric CO2 growth levels in 1985 (2-3 ppm/yr) were almost identical to today’s. It’s CREEPY TO CONTEMPLATE WHAT UN police state measures have been conjured up to reduce human CO2 production to levels not seen for centuries? It’s even more amazing considering we have no idea if conditions will improve if we do reduce either CO2 emissions and/or atmospheric concentrations. Good reason exists that it may not.






      Many more points can and will no doubt be brought up, but these few obvious observations would seem to be enough for a rational person to conclude the country and the world truly has lost touch with much if any semblance of reason.

      Have a great day!

      • John K says:

        Hi Cold N Holefield,

        Just a few additional points on science. It should be made clear historically SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE consisted of the FACTS AND LAWS OF NATURE NOT speculation and THEORY. Speculation may lead to empirical knowledge but is not itself knowledge.

        Concerning fact vs assumed psuedo-science, I have an interesting story. Textbooks and the assumptions of basic biology and our understanding of design supposedly tell us that the animal kingdom can be divided among other methods between plant eaters and meat eaters. We’ve been lectured that while some animals exhibit omnivorous behavior others like rabbits eat only vegetation. However, a co-worker of mind had a family member that as a child fed his RABBIT ‘HOT DOGS. For years the lagomorph dined on PROCESSED MEAT. It makes me laugh when I remember a book on animals claiming that even a small amount of animal cholesterol will kill a rabbit and therefore they can never eat meat. Apparently this rabbit never read the book. For years the strict bamboo diet of Pandas presumably arose from it’s biology. However, recently trained veterinary scientists examined the stomach and concluded it could handle many types of food. Scientists now believe human population pressure forced the Panda’s into mountainous regions rich in bamboo and adopted the local diet.

        “Science is organized common sense where many a beautiful theory was killed by an ugly fact.”
        Thomas Huxley

        “Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every conceived notion, follow humbly wherever and whatever abysses nature leads, or you will learn nothing.”
        Thomas Huxley

        “Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men.”
        Thomas Huxley

        To those who seek to ENFORCE CLIMATE CONSENSUS and quiet DISSENT:

        “Freedom and order are not incompatible… truth is strength… free discussion is the very life of truth.”
        Thomas Huxley

        Have a great day!

        • JohnK1, good points. I agree with your sentiment. I should have added that Chrichton does put a little too much “faith” in science without parsing it like you have. It consistently needs to be clarified what is meant by science because what is considered science these days, and what’s increasingly happening within the scientific establishment, is not TRUE science.

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Cold N. Holefield,

            Thank you for the reply. Believe it or not I replied to you a moment ago and for some unknown reason it seems to have been removed or it never transferred. Hmmh! Anyways, admittedly I have not read Chrichton’s book and would no doubt find it interesting. Currently I’m perusing other literature. However, I noticed my previous post above referred too harshly in regards to Einstein’s GENERAL RELATIVITY THEORY. My statement should have read:

            In fact, it was the PERCEIVED FAILURE of GENERAL RELATIVITY to explain tight galactic formations from their assumed (by academics) mass to cock-up Dark (unobserved)Matter in the first place!

            IMO, current estimates as to the mass of any given galaxy will not likely bear much relationship with reality and I personally don’t see it as a significant empirical challenge to the general theory at this time, which will almost inevitably have to be altered to reflect new data. Given the theories ability to explain a range of phenomenon rejection seems unlikely, but anything can happen. Whatever happens honest and open discussion of speculative theories should be encouraged.

            Have a great day.

          • Whatever happens honest and open discussion of speculative theories should be encouraged.

            Exactly. To me, it’s not science if this principle, among others, is not held dear and tight.

          • Bart says:

            I have some sympathy for the viewpoint expressed. It annoys me no end when people who could not even solve a differential equation if their lives depended on it presume to lecture me about what science is and is not.

            Science and nonconformity are virtually synonymous. Nullius in verba is its catchphrase. Too many people think intelligence is measured in how fast one surrenders one’s capacity for rational thought to the herd.

          •  Doug  Cotton   says:

            Indeed what is happening in climatology circles is not true science at all. Hence you have no valid science that proves carbon dioxide warms, because in fact sound physics can be used to show that its net effect is about 0.1 degree of cooling. The IPCC would like you to believe that for every 1% of water vapour there is about 10 degrees of warming. The real world evidence shows it also cools.

    • Doug  Cotton   says:

      ColdYou’re a biologist – good. My specialised field of study for the last four years or more has been the physics of planetary atmospheres, surfaces and cores, in particular 21st century breakthroughs in thermodynamics and radiative transfer theory. Maybe this comment above will be helpful. I’m happy to answer any questions about the new paradigm that explains all planetary temperature data.

  19. Tim says:

    We have had a very mild winter in the UK, however in Scotland, they have having fantastic levels of snow in the ski resorts. I suspect once this peak sun cycle stops, then we will start to really see the world go through a cold cycle.

  20. Bassman says:

    Cold ,

    Social policy and addressing governmental responses to AGW is a separate issue from the simple question: Is the evidence for AGW conclusive enough? Even if we didn’t have overwhelming evidence that CO2 is a central GHG that regulates long term climate conditions, the current understanding of natural forcings suggest we should be cooling ( think about all the recent hockey stick studies based on many independent lines of evidence, Mann’s hockey stick was just the start). Human carbon emissions are the only likely cause of this sudden peturbance, there is really no other likely explanation.

    Like I said up thread, argue over the values of these forcings, climate sensitivity ect; aerosols are a big wild card.

    People on here suggesting that the Earth will suddenly start cooling without showing any peer reviewed evidence for a new or unknown forcing just sounds very unreasonable. Does anyone seriously think the next El Niño won’t set a record year or that the next La Niña year won’t likely be warmer than the 2011/2012 La Nina’s. The direct CO2 forcing is one of the most well understood forcings and it just continues to increase, again there is no plausible reason why the plant would just abruptly start losing energy instead of gaining energy.

    If your just going to have a whole sale rejection of peer reviewed science, maybe you should discuss it on a non science blog.

    • D o u g    C o t t o n   says:

      Valid physics tells us carbon dioxide cools by <0.1 degree, and it cannot warm. In fact it causes a much lower surface temperature on Venus than would otherwise have been the case.

      I suggest you read this comment.

  21. Jim Cripwell says:

    Bassman is typical of thousands of warmaholics who write on blogs. Nothing anyone can write will convince him he is wrong. I say “him” because I know no woman would be that stupid. Somewhere he has read something that has convinced him that CAGW has as much validity as the first and second laws of thermodynamics combined.

    The trouble is he has the same one vote in a democratic election as the rest of us. That is truly absolutely frightening.

    • BooS says:

      Jim Cripwell is typical of thousands of “skeptics” who write on blogs. Nothing anyone can write will convince him he is wrong. I say “him” because I know no woman would be that stupid. Somewhere he has read something that has convinced him that CAGW is a hoax and violates the first and second laws of thermodynamics combined.

      The trouble is he has the same one vote in a democratic election as the rest of us. That is truly absolutely frightening.

  22. Martinitony says:

    I have a simple question for anyone who cares to address it. When I look at the chart of global temperatures Dr. Spencer posted, I note that the higher variances from the mean seem to be where the most people are, the northern hemisphere.
    Shouldn’t these variances be similar over time? I am only looking at the last 12 months, but doesn’t this suggest the obvious, that as opposed to CO2, which I assume would over time balance out across the globe, some other factor, perhaps heat island effect, causes a substantial part of these variances?

    • D o u g    C o t t o n   says:

      Yes – I’d go along with “heat island effect” but probably it’s “climatologists’ effect” as I guess more of them reside there and fiddle the books.


    Solar Flux avg. sub 90

    Solar Wind avg. sub 350 km/sec

    AP index avg. sub 5.0

    Cosmic ray counts north of 6500 counts per minute

    Total Solar Irradiance off .015% or more

    EUV light average 0-105 nm sub 100 units (or off 100% or more) and longer UV light emissions around 300 nm off by several percent.

    IMF around 4.0 nt or lower.

    The above solar parameter averages following several years of sub solar activity in general which commenced in year 2005..

    IF , these average solar parameters are the rule going forward for the remainder of this decade expect global average temperatures to fall by -.5C, with the largest global temperature declines occurring over the high latitudes of N.H. land areas.

    The decline in temperatures should begin to take place within six months after the ending of the maximum of solar cycle 24.

    NOTE 1- What mainstream science is missing in my opinion is two fold, in that solar variability is greater than thought, and that the climate system of the earth is more sensitive to that solar variability.

  24. When those values in the above post our approached then the answers to how much or little influence the sun has on the climate will be known.

    I expect these values will be attained for the balance of this decade, once the maximum of solar cycle 24 ends, since I feel the sun is in a prolonged solar minimum period , and maybe some answers will come our way.

  25. Bassman says:

    Jim, don’t resort to insults. If all measurements of Earth’s energy imbalance were to suddenly reverse in a significant way, that would be a reason I would change my mind. Too come on here and argue the opposite of what a giant body of scientific data (NASA, NOAA, Berkeley UAH ect.) requires more evidence than “cyclic “.

    Think about evolutionary science, an onslaught of molecular and fossil evidence pours into journals every week confirming the obvious about Evolution. The opposite isn’t happening. Right now in Climate science the same thing is happening in terms of supportive evidence for AGW. For people on here to think their own ideas have equal weight to this growing body of evidence is very strange. Theories grow or shrink based on supportive evidence.

    I’m not talking about politics just the science of AGW. There is simply too much supporting evidence to take some of these “surface temps are going to reverse” arguments without a mechanism. One can never rule out a sudden negative forcing like a monstrous drop in solar output much more severe than the Maunder Minimum. That could be said for any scientific theory. Right now continued warming for the next 2000-3000 years is many times more likely than a cooling this century.

    • David Springer says:

      Talk about the energy entering the ocean in terms of basin temperature instead of Joules, Bassman. That will convince me you’re an honest broker. After all, we have used degrees C as the metric for global warming in the troposphere for decades. Why don’t you use it for the ocean too? Hahahahahahahahahahaha – we both know the answer to that don’t we?

    • David Springer says:

      Furthermore Bassman, perhaps you can describe to me how ocean basin warming of 0.02C/decade can somehow reconcentrate itself in the future into a greater degree of warming in a smaller volume of surface water so that it may then have some significant effect on the atmosphere. This goes against the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics I’m afraid so once the ocean eats your global warming it isn’t coming back out except so slowly it won’t make any significant difference.

    • D o u g    C o t t o n   says:

      The margin of error in measuring each of the inward and outward radiative flux at TOA is so great that there is no convincing evidence as to whether the net difference is positive or negative. Any difference is the result of natural climate change, not the cause.

      I suggest you read this comment and my book “Why it’s not carbon dioxide after all” when it’s available late April. If you care to debate this, and if you have at least a pass degree majoring in physics, I’ll take you on.

    • D o u g    C o t t o n   says:

      Bassman and any other lukes or warmists:

      Two questions for you …

      (1) Without looking up Wikipedia, state in your own words what you believe the Second Law of Thermodynamics says.

      (2) Imagine a process in an isolated system wherein (one-way) radiation from a cooler atmosphere is assumed to penetrate 2mm beneath the warmer surface of a lake and raise the temperature of that layer of sub-surface water. Does entropy decrease, stay the same or increase?

    • Doug  Cotton   says:

      The measurements of Earth’s energy imbalance are rarely outside the range of minus 0.5% to plus 0.5% and the margins for uncertainty in the measurements of incoming and outgoing flux are themselves each greater than 0.5%, so the error in those 0.5% figures could be up to 1.0%, and they are not done simultaneously all over the globe, because there aint enough satellites, so who has a clue whether the result is really positive or negative?

      Anyway, if you follow the points made here you might understand why radiative imbalance is the result of natural warming or cooling, not the cause. If you have any questions I’m happy to help.

  26. Right now continued warming for the next 2000-3000 years is many times more likely than a cooling this century.

    If it’s already baked in, as your statement implies and many, if not all, in the AGW Consensus crowd assert, then why the need to legislate anything in regard to what you believe is inevitable? If there is a consensus and the science is settled, why are you here arguing it? What’s the point? According to the theory, what’s done is done; human-induced global warming and climate change and permanent warming to catastrophic levels for the next several millenia. Or isn’t it? If it’s not, why not? What do you possibly think humans can do at this point if CAGW is correct as you believe it is?

  27. bassman says:

    David and Cold, I’m not arguing about policy here just science. It’s telling that people keep making that assumption. Honesty about reality/science is of much greater importance to me than any dishonest political gains that I might want. I can assure you I personally have nothing to gain from a transition to carbon free energy. It wouldn’t likely benefit me in my lifetime anyways.

    David, the oceans are enormous, heating a coffee pot to boiling requires much less energy than heating a swimming pool a small amount. You know this and I suspect your not being forthright if you fail to acknowledge the significance of ocean warming and accelerating sea level rise. The oceans heating up just .01 or .02 degrees Celsius is a really big change. Use temperature if you want, I understand the significance but others who don’t understand the specific heat of water wouldn’t. It takes an incredible amount of energy to make this happen. The earth is clearing gaining energy even in years/decades when surface warming isn’t always as obvious.

    Considering the size of the oceans NOAAs 2013 Data is a very big deal. If you take this into account, it makes the “surface temps will begin cooling” argument seem very wrong.

    • Jim Cripwell says:

      Bassman, your trouble is that there are few people who do not believe in AGW; adding CO2 to the atmosphere will make a slight difference to climate. What you do not address is whether this effect will be catastrophic; the C in CAGW. An insignificant warming of the oceans is not going to cause any adverse effect; none whatsoever. The IPCC NEVER talks about energy; only surface temperatures. They know that the only thing politicians are worried about are massive increases in surface temperatures. Show us where the science proves that something catastrophic is going to happen to our climate, or you have no case at all.

      • Lewis Guignard says:

        Jim C. The only thing politicians are worried about is being politicians – being in office. Towards that end they follow where they need to. Right now, many of them kowtow to the CAGW crowd, because they’re so loud.

        Bassman and others are in that crowd – they’re loud. But they’re not right. As you point out, if Gaia is actually losing heat to the oceans at the rate the CAGW crowd says, that in itself would be incredible, but if it were true, why wasn’t it happening 25 years ago, why JUST now? The point being, they don’t know but, once again, are about control over others and use CAGW as a device.

        Also, as John K1 and others have pointed out, Gaia was much warmer in the past. And then there is the problem of, what is wrong with being warmer? I, for one, don’t much care for the foot of snow we had here (Charlotte, NC) this winter. What makes the current weather so desirable over something a bit warmer – longer growing seasons would be nice wouldn’t they.

        No, what I see are a bunch of chicken littles running around crying out about how bad man is. Hopefully they won’t have children and so when they die off, we’ll be done with them. Which makes me wonder, if they’re so unhappy, why are they staying around?

    • Layman Lurker says:

      bassman, the fact is that ocean’s, to the depths that can be measured, are not gaining heat in the last 10 years or so at the pace predicted by models. If lack of surface warming is due to oceans absorbing *extra* heat then shouldn’t ocean content during the hiatus be accelerating and outpacing the models? As for surface temperatures, are you aware that at least 0.09C per decade of warming over the last 30 years are projected by models solely due to natural factors – combination of solar forcing and recovery from El Chicon and Pinatubo? Subtracting this trend from observations leaves only roughly 0.8C per decade of the 30 year trend unaccounted for. No where near what models suggest.

    • D o u g    C o t t o n   says:


      I’m glad science is important to you. I also consider it important and I detest the travesty of physics promulgated by the IPCC. Go back to this comment and the following one.

    • Streetcred says:

      Bassman, if science is important to you, stick to your strengths in biology. I’ve not read anything from any of your writings above that addresses the prostitution of ‘climate’ science. Be good.

  28. Layman Lurker says:

    *0.9C per decade* instead of 0.09C per decade written above

  29. Layman Lurker says:

    Doh, the original was correct

  30. John Owens says:

    Here in the US, we are experiencing the coldest Winter in years. Where are the warmer temperatures that makes the Northern Hemisphere still .325 degrees above the long time average?

    • Lewis Guignard says:

      An interesting website is the Rutgers Snow Lab

      Current monthly deviation of snow cover from normal charts will help answer your question. The fact is, it is colder and wetter in the eastern US due to jet stream changes – as others more knowledgeable than I have discussed here. But other parts of the world are warmer for the same reason.

    • BooS says:

      Um, last time I checked, the Northern Hemisphere had a bit more land then just the “US”.

    • Ansgar John says:

      Here in Amsterdam, Holland. Temperatures were way above normal. No skating on the canals this year I’m afraid…

  31. Bassman says:

    When it comes to ocean warming from CO2 you have to consider the lag in response to this forcing. It will take the oceans centuries or more to fully respond to 400ppm CO2 let alone 500 or 600 ppm. It is already game over in the Artic. I know it isn’t natural for humans to grasp this kind of slow change but these climate changes are already impacting our lives. I find it disturbing that 20-30 years from now after continued warming some of these commenters will still be promoting the “it’s cyclical” “it’s the sun”. I make this prediction because evolution deniers are still at it even in 2014. I don’t care about the politics, I find the denial of peer reviewed consensus science far more disturbing. If you don’t care what happens 40 years from now on earth just say it. But please don’t go around perverting science with crackpot ideas that are always in direct contrast with NASA scientists. Just come out and say you love your current lifestyle and don’t give a crap about the long term future. I can accept that, but not an assault on rationalism.

    • Jake says:

      Bassman, you and I see it completely differently …

      There is peer reviewed science that doesn’t agree with YOUR peer reviewed science.

      You view the science as settled … there are many of us who don’t agree, believe that the data doesn’t agree across the board, and want more information.

      You folks are perverting science; you have an agenda, you close the books too quickly so that you can press your agenda forward.

      Understand me … I want us to preserve petroleum so that we can continue to use it for the many varied products that make our world better. I’m not against moving to “Green Energy” (god I hate that term … goodness, CO2 should be considered the “green” energy), why not. But, the manner in which you people are going about it, blackmailing people’s emotions and scaring a lot of folks who can’t understand the science … without verification and unification of facts? Many of you should be ashamed of yourselves.

      And it’s all a moot point, because if cycles tell us anything the next ice age is about 700 years away. Mankind will have a tough time overcoming that, even WITH global warming. If your version of global warming is going to wipe us out, what’s a couple of hundred years ……

    • D o u g    C o t t o n   says:

      Yes, long term the climate is still warming naturally by about 0.4 degree per century, just like it did for about 500 years between the Dark Ages and the Medieval Warming Period, followed by about 500 years of cooling, just like will commence in about another 100 years. So what?

    • D o u g    C o t t o n   says:

      Oh, and yes, here is a good example of crackpot science. Are you open to discussing such?

    • Bryan says:

      But even after the oceans fully respond to even 600 ppm of CO2, how warm will they really be? Will it be catastrophic?

      I don’t understand why it is “game over” in the arctic. You seem to be saying that the deep oceans are absorbing huge amounts of heat. But that huge amount of heat hardly raises the temperature of the deep oceans. And heat that is absorbed by the deep oceans is not available to melt the arctic ice (the same heat can’t do both).

      Maybe your certainty of “game over” in the arctic just comes from the trend in arctic sea ice. But how do you know the trend will continue? The ice has mounted a (so far) modest comeback. No one can say that it will be a long term comeback, but no one can say that it won’t. Antarctic ice has been near historic highs for the time of year. Who is to say that the situation won’t reverse, and the Antarctic ice retreat while the arctic ice recovers?

      Even if you are right about the hockey stick, how do you know that the hockey stick will resume? The climate models are getting farther from reality every day. Doesn’t that cast some doubt on the magnitude of AGW?

      While we’re talking about the hockey stick, we have to remember that it comes from significantly adjusted data from (still) inadequate thermometer coverage of the globe. Take out the adjustments and the hockey stick disappears. Use the pre 2000 data as it was previously presented (by NASA for example), and the hockey stick disappears. I don’t care how many studies have been done to support it. We simply do not know the average surface temperature of the earth right now, let alone over the entire 20th century, when thermometer coverage was even worse, and data collection techniques were not as rigorous. The temperature adjustments have to be just right to make the hockey stick valid. Are we really sure that the adjustments are that correct? I accept that if you do not adjust, then you are going to have errors. But you can get as large (or larger) errors if you adjust and don’t get the adjustments right. To be sure about the hockey stick, you have to be sure the adjustments are just right. I do not know how anyone can be certain that they are. The number of studies supporting it is not very relevant, for reasons that have been explained by others.

      • Doug Cotton   says:

        The oceans cannot “respond to CO2″ because radiation from cooler CO2 molecules cannot raise the temperature of a layer of water just below the surface, for example. Such a process would result in a decrease in entropy of the bodies taking part in the process. You can read here why that cannot happen.

  32. D o u g    C o t t o n   says:

    Something all should consider is the obvious fact that all our temperature measurements showing (natural) global warming are made in the first two metres of the troposphere where weather stations must be placed. But the vast majority of the radiation from the surface passes straight through this mere 2 metres which is obviously a very small percentage of the height of the troposphere.

    So the temperatures that we measure are primarily determined by sensible heat transfers due to kinetic energy being shared when molecules collide. That is why, at least in calm conditions, the temperature of the first 2m of air above the ocean surface is very similar to that of the first 1mm of the water surface, because it is only molecules in that 1mm (or in fact far less) which can collide with air molecules. In fact it is the predetermined thermal profile in the troposphere which determines the ocean surface temperature by diffusion and conduction, not the other way around.

    Now, the models do not calculate the temperature of that 1mm fairly transparent surface layer of water by somehow working out how much of the energy in the warmed ocean thermocline will rise to the surface and what the temperature would thus be, or by any calculations involving sensible heat transfer in the troposphere..

    Instead the models do a most ludicrous calculation using the Stefan Boltzmann Law which is only for black and grey bodies that do not transmit any incident radiation, quite unlike that 1mm ocean surface layer.

    If the models were to use S-B calculations in any remotely valid way, they should calculate the percentage of solar radiation that is actually absorbed in the first 1mm (or even less) and use that far, far smaller radiative flux in their calculations, which would then give totally incorrect results of course, because radiative flux is not the primary determinant of planetary surface temperatures, as is blatantly obvious on Venus..

  33. Bassman says:

    I’m done posting here. I gave it my best shot. No amount of surface warming, ice melting or sea level rise is going to change your mind. I hope this site isn’t representative of how most Americans think. “Rabbits eating hot dogs”, “CO2 isn’t a greenhouse gas”, I hope that none of you are science teachers like me. Goodbye.

    • Doug Cotton   says:

      Of course not, because I know that there are 1,000 year and 60 natural climate cycles, so the world can expect slight cooling until about 2027 to 2029 with half a degree of warming from about 2030 to 2060. But within 150 years at the most, the long-term cycle will revert to about 500 years of cooling.

      It’s all natural and probably regulated in some way by planetary orbits that may affect the radiation and cosmic rays from the Sun, as well as the annual mean distance that we are from the Sun.

    • Jake says:

      I’m a high school AP Chemistry teacher who does everything I possibly can to teach students not to jump to conclusions, to allow the scientific method to run its full course, and to not block data outlets that may counter the desired outcome. I have two other colleagues who do the exact same thing, so thankfully I don’t have a department filled with “Bassmen”.

      And by the way, don’t let the door hit you in the backside.

      • Norman says:


        Thanks for the post. Bassmen is a very scary science teacher. When I was in college I had a gifted professor who wanted us to question even the current atomic model. He emphasized that the atomic theory was a useful model and it works to make predictions. But what is really going on down there could still be different and he most welcomed questions. No blind belief!

    • Bryan says:

      “No amount of surface warming, ice melting or sea level rise is going to change your mind.”

      Let’s take them one at a time.

      Surface warming would certainly convince some people if it came close to matching the projections that come from the theory. Absent that, it would also convince some people if research established it to be at unprecedented levels, or increasing at an extreme rate. But there is gobs of evidence that it was just as warm or warmer during Roman times and during the Medieval period. As for the extreme rate of increase (hockey stick), there is plenty of doubt about that, as discussed above by me and others.

      Melting ice is divided between sea ice and land ice. The short answer on sea ice is that it is right now at a level that is typical historically. It is below average in the north, and above average in the south, but the total amount is typical. As for land ice, I have to admit I don’t know a lot about land ice over the past. However, I have not heard any coherent argument that land ice is at unprecedented lows, or shrinking at an unprecedented rate. Mostly what we hear is just sensationalized reports in the media about retreating glaciers. But this is not convincing, because they have retreated in the past. Researchers have dated the Medieval Warming Period using evidence of the advance and retreat of glaciers. Greenland was once green (relatively so, that is). Vikings settled it during the MWP, but abandoned the settlements when it got colder. Again, I am not well informed about the history of land ice, but I’m not even hearing anyone making the case that recent land ice losses are extreme relative to changes in the past.

      Which takes us to sea level. The rate of increase is slow, and not accelerating. Furthermore, while the trend since satellite measurement has been upward, Judith Curry has claimed that the rate was around as high from 1930-1950 as in recent years, and may have been higher. (Before 1950 CO2 levels were not nearly as high as they are now.)

      These are the observation based arguments. Some of us don’t find the observations of global temperatures, melting ice, and rising sea level convincing, for the reasons above. It seems to me that what some do find very convincing is not the observations, but instead, “the consensus”. So we have statements like this:

      “I find the denial of peer reviewed consensus science far more disturbing.”

      What? Since when are educated people supposed to check their brains at the door and accept “peer reviewed consensus science”? That is not how the search for truth works. It works by questioning the consensus. There is no “ministry of science” in our society that tells us all what to accept. You have to keep questioning. I’m thankful that my science teachers taught me that. Scientific progress often happens after a period of strong consensus, when bold thinkers question that consensus, and consider other explanations and ways of looking at things. When they do they face a lot of opposition. Could it be that your students will not be among the bold thinkers who make progress in the search for truth, but will instead be among the entrenched who stand in the way of progress?

      • Bryan says:

        A clarification about the sentence: “Surface warming would certainly convince some people if it came close to matching the projections that come from the theory.”

        What I mean is the projections made by CAGW theory, which is based on climate models. I am not talking about the theoretical 1 deg rise from doubling of CO2, which is far less dramatic, and which is pretty much in line with observation.

      • Doug  Cotton   says:

        All the peer-reviewed GH “science” is based on a false assumption that a planet’s troposphere would be isothermal in the absence of radiating gases. Well that on Uranus sure isn’t, and standard physics tells us a temperature gradient evolves at the molecular level in a gravitational field because that’s what the Second Law of Thermodynamics says will happen when maximum possible entropy is reached.

        Sure they are “peers” – climatologists with little understanding of the physics which they sprout. Look at the Skeptical Science team – about 30 members but only five with qualifications in physics. And those five, including John Cook, don’t think much about the physics involved anyway. I’m currently “arguing” with one of them.

  34. I hope that none of you are science teachers like me. Goodbye.

    Is this how you’re teaching this subject? It would explain why my fifteen-year-old daughter and eleven-year-old son acted the way they did the other day when we touched on this at the dinner table. It came up because they’re both fond of Bill Nye The Science Guy and I used the discussion of him as a segue to the discussion of AGW theory and his championing of it. They wouldn’t accept that he was an emphatic proponent of AGW. Seriously, they wouldn’t believe it and I was labeled a conspiracy theorist for besmirching his honorable reputation. This is what traditional education, public or private, is doing to young minds. It’s teaching the impressionable youngsters to trust the establishment over common sense and the collective wisdom of those who see the establishment for what it is. The Nazis turned the youth against their parents. The same tactic is at play here. Roy is right when he says the AGW Consensus engages in Nazi-like behavior, and this is yet one more example.

    Hitler came to power by turning the working class, unemployed, and academic elite against the conservative republic. After der fuhrer’s election ceased being a political conspiracy and was transformed into a fashionable social phenomenon, party membership was especially popular with educators, bureaucrats, and the press. Being a Nazi was politically correct. They called themselves “The Children of the New Age of World Order” and looked down their noses at everyone else. As Hitler accrued more power, he referred to his critics as “The Dark Forces of Anarchy and Hatred”. Anyone who questioned Nazi high-handedness in the German press was branded a “Conservative Reactionary”. Joseph Goebbels, minister of communications, proclaimed a “New World Order”.

    Public schools rewrote history and Hitler youth groups taught the children to report their parents to their teachers for anti-Nazi remarks. Such parents disappeared. Pagan animism became the state religion of the Third Reich and Christians were widely condemned as “right wing fanatics”.

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Cold N Holefield,

      Thank you for the quote and link. If you seriously seek to research the topic you may want to peruse William Lawrence Shirer’s “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” As a child I read his “The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler.” The latter proved smaller and more easily digestible. The former you’ll find to be an enormous tome well over a thousand pages. I’m currently reading the larger “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” and find it packed with information. The Nazi’s unlike the Soviets seemed to document everything. In addition, much came to be revealed by the Nuremberg trials and subsequent events.

      Have a great day!

      • Thanks for the suggestion, JohnK1. The Third Reich, the Nazis and the Holocaust have always been a fascination of mine and as a result, I’ve spent quite a bit of time reading and watching related to the topic in my fifty long or short years. There is so much material, it’s breathtaking and honestly, even if I was so inclined, I don’t think I could cover it all in one lifetime, so it’s nice to have cues to sources from a person such as yourself. In keeping with your gesture, I’d like to reciprocate and suggest an interesting dimensional analysis of the topic. Here’s a link:

        The Childhood Origins of World War II and the Holocaust from The Origins of War in Child Abuse by Lloyd deMause. As you can imagine this has created quite a stir, but that’s alright…stirring only helps marry the flavors despite the clamoring against it.

    • Bart says:

      The young are easily persuaded by peer pressure, which is why the catastrophists focus on them. When I was growing up in the 1970s, our generation was being continually menaced with the ‘scientific fact’ that we were going to run out of oil sometime in the 1980s which, of course, seemed like a very long time off to us, and we thus considered it plausible and likely.

      We were subjected to constructing endless presentations for roundtable discussions on ‘alternative energies’ and conservation strategies. It amuses me no end when I see young people today who apparently believe solar and wind power are new and revolutionary, sure to replace ‘old’ fossil fuels. No, kids. They are really old and have never panned out, and never will.

      Anyway, we had what we considered a cranky uncle who, when we and our cousins confidently explained how we were about to run out of oil, would roll his eyes and scoff, assuring us that there was plenty of oil, and it would be the energy source of choice for hundreds of years yet. We all thought he was just behind the times and in denial.

      Fast forward 40 years, and I find myself the cranky uncle, trying to explain to the next generation that we’ve been through all of this before, and it won’t amount to a hill of beans when they get to be my age. They listen respectfully, but shake their heads and are clearly not convinced. In time, they will repeat the cycle, and life will go on much as it always has. Hi ho.

  35. bernie says:

    + 0.66 C in 1998

    - 0.36 C in 2000

    + 0.17 C in 2014.

    I think this is what Wall Streeters mean by “stuck in a trading range”.

  36. dave says:

    “…stuck in a trading range”.

    And do not buy on a false upside break-out!
    Been there, done that – lost my shirt!

  37. bernie says:


    I had more hair when this boring “trading range” set in!

  38. channellingalice says:

    “…stuck in a trading range.”

    Although we humans burn a million tons of coal EVERY HOUR.

    It is indeed ‘curiouser and curiouser’.

  39. bernie says:

    “…a million tons of coal every hour.”

    Half of that goes up in smoke in mainland China!

    For better or worse, it is the way the human race intends to live.

    Good luck with convincing seven (soon to be eight) billion people that the world is going to melt because of their impiety.

  40. Gail Combs says:

    Dr. Spencer This is off topic.

    Since People are having a problem with N@zi I have a better suggestion

    Big Green Slime™

    After the sleazy moves that were pulled on Chevron by the legal leeches and others I feel it is quite appropriate.

  41. AGW theory fails on so many fronts. Let us look at the models.

    1. Temperature trend is not following the models.

    2. Atmospheric circulation is becoming less zonal
    again not following the models.

    3. No lower tropospheric hot spot near the equator has
    formed again not following the models.

    4. Antarctic sea ice is increasing ,again not following
    the models.

    5. Stratospheric cooling is neutral again not following
    the models.

    6. Ocean Heat Content increases are slowing not
    accelerating again not following the models.

    7. El Nino’s are not becoming more frequent again
    not following the models.

    When one then combines this with these climate FACTS,
    how anyone can buy into CO2 man made global warming is beyond me.

    1. CO2 is a trace gas with has increased in trace amounts.

    2. CO2 follows the temp. does not lead it.

    3. Past history shows clearly periods of warmth as great or greater then today despite lower CO2 concentrations then today.

    4. Past history shows this period of climate over the last 100 years or so as being one of consistency rather then change, compared to earlier climate periods.

    For example the Climate of the Little Ice Age being much more extreme and changeable, then what we have had post 1850 thru today.

    5. Climate correlations to the AP index of the sun MUCH stronger then with CO2. In-fact I see no climate correlation to CO2.

    Just a few there are many more.

  42. MikeR says:

    More good news.

  43. Doug Cotton   says:

    Yes, the slight decline we see here will steepen a little this year, and the overall slight cooling trend will persist till at least the year 2027. Natural global warming will continue (long-term) for another hundred years or so, with a half-degree burst between about 2030 and 2060, but subsequently a 500 year period of cooling by 1.5 to 2 degrees.

    However, I have explained why carbon dioxide is not causing any of it, because it is all due to natural cycles.

    It is of course your prerogative whether or not you choose to believe me and learn from my published paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” and my book “Why it’s not carbon dioxide after all” that is based on my paper “Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures” now withdrawn from PSI because of my disagreement with the radiative “physics” of Postma and Latour.
    To my knowledge, only one other author has put forward the same valid explanation of planetary atmospheric and surface temperatures, although I have extended it to explaining all crust, mantle and core temperatures of planets and satellite moons such as our own. My hypothesis is supported by all known observed and estimated planetary temperature data. It explains, for example, exactly how the required energy gets into the surface of Venus in order to actually slowly raise its temperature by five degrees over the course of its 4-month-long day. I have explained why the base of the nominal Uranus troposphere is hotter than Earth’s surface, even though there is no significant energy input from internal generation or direct solar radiation.

    My interest in physics dates back to when I was awarded a scholarship in physics by Prof Harry Messel and his team at Sydney University, under whom I studied for my first degree with a major in physics. I subsequently turned to more lucrative business ventures, operating an academic tuition service (where I personally helped tertiary physics students) and writing medical, dental and mathematics software from which I have earned several million.

    In the last four years (in semi-retirement) I have turned my attention to comprehensive study of the very latest concepts in physics pertaining to thermodynamics (especially the Second Law) and radiative heat transfer. No one has successfully rebutted what I have written in numerous comments and the above papers. But unless people are willing to learn from me, I will not waste my time.

    Very, very briefly, I have proven beyond reasonable doubt that the gravito-thermal effect is a reality, and I have debunked all known papers and articles that attempted to prove isothermal conditions would prevail in any troposphere, even one without so-called greenhouse gases. Because of this autonomous thermal gradient (which is a direct corollary of the Second Law) I have explained what happens in all planetary tropospheres and just exactly why atmospheric and surface temperatures are what is observed, and how the energy gets there primarily by non-radiative processes, just as it gets to that thin layer of the ocean surface. It is only molecules from the very top of that thin surface layer of oceans (and solid crust) which affect the temperatures we measure for climate records. It is not radiation which is the primary determinant of such temperatures, but non radiative processes transferring energy that has been absorbed elsewhere, both from above and below. And perhaps the most remarkable deduction that I have made is that even subsurface temperatures are governed by the gravito-thermal effect, and solar energy can “creep” up the thermal profile above and below planetary surfaces as it restores thermodynamic equilibrium in accord with the Second Law. This is a whole new paradigm.

  44. Doug Cotton   says:

    Highly relevant to the issue of sensitivity, indeed the whole validity or otherwise of the greenhouse conjecture, is the trillion dollar question, was Loschmidt right about the gravito-thermal effect? If so, the sensitivity to water vapour, carbon dioxide and its colleagues is negative not positive.

    Josef Loschmidt was a brilliant physicist who was first in the world to estimate reasonably closely the size of air molecules – not bad in the 19th century. He obviously thought a lot about molecules, kinetic theory, and how molecules exchanged PE and KE in free flight. Like me, he came to the conclusion that a thermal gradient evolves autonomously at the molecular level in a gravitational field.

    But I take it that you, Roy, and some others here think Loschmidt was wrong on that point.

    Of course you can’t prove he was, and the evidence in all planets, the outer crust of Earth, the Moon’s core etc all supports what he said. But, no, you think he was wrong. Try proving it and I’ll show you where you are wrong, or any of the papers that purport to do so.

  45. bernie says:

    Cotton says:

    “…evidence in…outer crust of Earth, the Moon’s core…”

    Not quite sure how far you are going with this extension to solids.

    What are you predicting with respect to the following?

    Suspend a long thin uniform bar of insulated metal, at a uniform temperature T throughout, on a smooth pin at the centre of gravity of the bar, horizontally in a uniform gravitational field. Hold it* in such a way that it is rigid. Nudge it into an upright orientation with respect to the gravity. Measure accurately the temperatures at the ends, without draining any significant amount of heat from the bar.

    What will be the measured temperatures at the two ends:

    Top End Lower End

    Immediately after the reorientation?

    After a long time assuming a very poor
    conduction in the bar?

    After a long time, assuming a very good
    conduction in the bar?

    *I am concerned that no flexing or compression or elongation
    should be possible. It could be done in various ways, without vitiating the whole idea.

    PLEASE, PLEASE I am just asking you to fill in the grid – with T or T- or T+ ‘s.

    • bernie says:


      “Top End Lower End” meant to be headings for the grid.

    • Doug Cotton   says:

      The temperatures at each end will only change slowly as thermodynamic equilibrium evolves with a thermal gradient in the vicinity of 60% to 90% of the negative quotient of the acceleration due to gravity and the mean specific heat of the metal, being cooler at the top. You cannot prove otherwise from any laws of physics, whereas Kinetic Theory and the Second Law of Thermodynamics can be used to prove this is what happens.

      • dave says:

        So, with reference to the grid laid out by Bernie:

        T at both ends immediately after the reorientation;

        T- at the top and T+ at the bottom, after some time, for
        both good and poor conductors ?

      • dave says:

        …a thermal gradient in the vicinity of 60% to 90% of the negative quotient of the acceleration due to gravity and the mean specefic heat of the metal…”

        Just so we are clear numerically…

        In SI units the acceleration due to gravity is about 9.8 meters per second per second, and the mean specific heat of copper, for instance, is 390 Joules per kilogram, and so your formula gives a thermal gradient of 60% to 90% of

        9.8 / 390 = 0.025

        i.e. a thermal gradient between 0.015 and 0.022 degrees K per metre, of copper rod. This is a very large number and easily measurable I would think.

        • bernie says:

          “…a very large number…”

          Sixteen meters of lead-bar would eventually have a difference of a whole degree K between its ends, when stood up!!

          • bernie says:

            Of course specific heat of copper is 390 Joules per kilogram PER DEGREE K. But that does not change anything.

            I only asked for a grid to be filled in. I didn’t ask for the bloody doors to be blown off!

        • Doug  Cotton   says:

          Yes, and Roderich Graeff did observe thermal gradients in virtually all of about 850 meticulous experiments using various substances with well engineered insulation. So what’s your point?

          Just look at the Uranus troposphere where the gradient is very close to the -g/Cp value. Is this just coincidence? There’s no surface and no solar radiation at the base of its nominal troposphere, so no upward advection during its daytime.

          Then try to understand the physics which proves this must happen because the Second Law of Thermodynamics tells us the state of maximum entropy will evolve spontaneously, as it does at the molecular level – as I have proved by mathematical induction from the four molecule experiment discussed in other comments, and currently stumping SkS team member Neal J. King M.A.(Physics).

  46. dave says:

    No change in total potential energy of the system.
    No change in total energy of the system.
    No change in external kinetic energy of the system.
    No change in internal eneergy of the system.
    No temperature gradients.

    Looks like T all the way to me.

    • Doug Cotton   says:

      Of course there is no significant change in the total system (other than a small increase in kinetic energy due to the force applied to rotate it) but we can ignore that.

      However, The second law of thermodynamics states that “Every process occurring in nature proceeds in the sense in which the sum of the entropies of all bodies taking part in the process is increased.”

      Hence, to support your hypothesis of “no temperature gradients” you have to prove to all the silent readers and myself that the vertical position is in an isentropic state of maximum entropy with no unbalanced energy potentials that would enable extra work to be done, such as more downward movement than upward movement of molecules in free flight subjected to the gravitational field.

      So I challenge you to prove the impossible, which it is.

      Who’s next?

      • dave says:

        “no temperature gradients”.

        I meant no temperature gradients at the beginning. That was stipulated by Bernie.

        • Doug Cotton   says:

          And that’s why I was very precise in saying the temperatures will only change slowly. If you could measure the difference, you would find that the temperatures would start to change as the rotation starts. What is your point anyway? The planetary tropospheres, crusts and mantles have had billions of years to get close to the isentropic state of maximum entropy, which would be the limiting state for what the Second Law says will happen. No more red herrings please.

    • Doug Cotton   says:

      You asked about different conductivity (and thus different thermal gradients) so here is some data on specific heat of metals. From this you can see that gold (0.13kJ/kg K) and copper (0.39kJ/kg K) for example, will have steeper thermal gradients than aluminium for which the specific heat is 0.91kJ/kg K. You probably know that gold connections for your audio system work best.

  47. dave says:

    Of course the “no-flexing” is an important stipulation.
    With the tides in the Earth’s crust, some of the gravitational potential energy of the Earth-Moon system is continually being converted to heat in the Earth.

    • Doug Cotton   says:

      This is another red herring. Gravity itself will bring about a very slight change in the density of molecules even in a solid, just as it does in the troposphere, leaving it less dense at the top.

      Off topic: It is not strictly gravitational potential energy in the Earth-Moon system. It is gravitational tidal force from the Moon, and the Sun also to a lesser extent, namely about 47% to 48% of the Moon’s effect, if I remember rightly.

      • bernie says:

        It is not a red herring for Dave to point out that a stipulation has a purpose. Allowing the bar to flex as one moved it might bring in extra heat energy and be a (minor) source of inaccuracy.

        • Doug  Cotton   says:

          Yes OK, but I get the impression Dave thought flexing would be my magician’s trick to warm the bar.

  48. bernie says:

    No red herrings here. I asked about solids, nothing else.

  49. dave says:

    It would be ridiculously easy to test this theory.
    Lay out some insulated bars horizontally and similar ones vertically, all inter-connected through a node. After a while, measure the temperatures at the ends of all of them. “Ordinary” physics says, I think, that the temperatures would all be the same. This “gravito-thermal” physics says,I think, that the vertical ones would be different from the horizontal ones.

    • I have to admit, D o u g, this does seem like a valid test of your theory. Do you agree? If so, are you willing to put it to the test and maybe we can settle this once and for all? If the test reveals you’re wrong, you can stop typing and your carpal tunnel will subside. If you’re right, your carpal tunnel will exacerbate, ultimately forcing you to talk into a microphone to type like Stephen Hawking because your hands will be paralyzed from the ravages of your sincerely fastidious hen-pecking.

    • Doug Cotton   says:

      Aren’t you aware of the fact that Roderich Graeff has spent about 10 years testing for the existence of the gravito-thermal effect in more than 800 experiments. Guess what! He found it in virtually every experiment. Read Lucy Skywalker’s articles on tallbloke’s talkshop.

      • mobiusstrip says:

        But, as Lucy Skywalker writes:

        “This is not 852 separate experiments, this is 852 facets of one basic experiment.”

        Dave’s suggested setup is FAR superior to anything of Graeff’s, because it would allow for a much larger effect to manifest itself. The longest column that Graeff has ever used according to his 2011 paper is 1 meter and the effect he finds, with metals, amounts to one thousandth of a degree K in such columns*.

        [* Quote

        "Average values for various metals are found to be lower than -0.001 K/m which means they are still negative but lower than those found for gases and liquids."

        This is actually ambiguous because, in Mathematics, "lower than -0.001" means any and all negative numbers below -0.001 down to -infinity; but I take him to mean that the absolute value of the effect in his experiments with 1 meter columns is less than 0.001 degree K.]

        Using YOUR FORMULA** for the effect, Dave and Bernie have noticed that a temperature diference of a WHOLE degree K should be obvious with a mere 18 metres of lead.

        You have informed us that you are rich, semi-retired, and a Scholarship whizz in Physics. Why don’t you go for it, and DO THE EXPERIMENT at your own expense?

        ** “60% to 90% of -g/C(p)” – which seems, incidentally way bigger absolutely than Graeff’s results.

      • Doug  Cotton   says:

        Yes, well you need to read just how sophisticated Graeff’s experiments were in regard to insulation.

        (1) I am satisfied Graeff’s experiment proved the existence of thermal gradients in a variety of substances.

        (2) I am satisfied with the “experiments” on Venus and Uranus, as well as in the outer 9Km of Earth’s crust.

        (3) I have used standard physics to prove the thermal gradient must evolve.

        Which of the above three are you having trouble understanding and/or accepting?

    • Doug Cotton   says:

      The evidence is staring you in the face in the Uranus troposphere, as I have explained in numerous comments on several climate blogs.

      In addition, I have proved it using the laws of physics.

      Climatologists, it seems, recognise the need to teach Mother Nature how to perform.

      You see, the second law of thermodynamics states that “Every process occurring in nature proceeds in the sense in which the sum of the entropies of all bodies taking part in the process is increased.”

      So climatologists are telling Mother Nature to cross out the words “every process” and replace with “any combination of independent processes” and delete “proceeds” and somehow explain that all that matters is the end “net” result. Nothing has to proceed continuously in the direction of increasing entropy, according to what these weather folk are telling Mother Nature. Mother Nature needs to learn that water can run uphill into a lake, provided it “knows” it will flow further down the other side of the hill.

      But wait! There’s more.

      They also need to tell Mother Nature that if she finds isothermal conditions in a vertical column of something, which thus has more gravitational potential energy per molecule at the top (though equal kinetic energy per molecule) then Mother Nature should ignore the fact that there are unbalanced energy potentials that could still do further work. So, Mother Nature, you need to learn that this is a very special climatology limitation of the Second Law which means things have to stop right there and not gain the extra entropy that they could of course still do.


    • Doug Cotton   says:

      Which “ordinary” physics, my friend? Are you still in the 19th century listening to Clausius, whose (“hot to cold”) statement of the Second Law has been thrown out the window long ago?

      Link me to some statement of the “ordinary” physics you are talking about. Wikipedia will do in this instance.

      • dave says:


        For “ordinary” read “conventional” as used (with quote signs) by R Graeff in his paper of 2011.

        • Doug Cotton   says:


          dave and others

          Graeff by his own admission, lacked much formal training in physics. To a physicist this is obvious.

          As I have written in a paper (that first appeared in November 2012) Graeff was in error in his assumption that the thermal gradient should be multiplied by the number of degrees of freedom of the molecules. As a consequence of his incorrect calculations, he thought it might be possible to construct a perpetual motion machine.

          Climatologists love to cite this latter calculation error of Graeff’s as if it debunks his actual physical detection of a gradient in nearly all of over 800 meticulous experiments.

          There is nothing what-so-ever in the spontaneous evolving of a thermal gradient which is in violation of the second law of thermodynamics which, as per Wikipedia, states that “Every process occurring in nature proceeds in the sense in which the sum of the entropies of all bodies taking part in the process is increased.”

          The existence of the thermal gradient is, in effect, a corollary of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, because it is the isentropic state with the maximum entropy that is accessible by the system.

          Now if you Dave, or any others wish to actually discuss physics in a scientific and courteous fashion, I’m willing to help you all to understand the 21st century breakthroughs in the fields of thermodynamics and radiative heat transfer theory.

  50. bernie says:

    If the insulating material was resistant to compression and held the conducting bar closely, there would no question of a conducting bar changing density anywhere in itself when erected.

    • Doug Cotton   says:

      Whatever you think happens, the thermal gradient evolves autonomously in accord with the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

      Q.1: Why is the core of the Moon far hotter than the surface ever is?

      Q.2 Why is there a steep thermal gradient in the outer 10Km of Earth’s crust which is at least 25K/Km?

      • Alick says:

        Q.1: A.1: Because the surface area of the surface is much greater than where the source of heat is (hottest shell on a line to the core).

        Q.2: There is? Have we drilled 20 Km into Earth’s crust to determine that?

        • Doug  Cotton   says:

          I said 10Km. Yes the German KTB borehole was 9,101m and they extrapolated temperature measurements to 10Km. I believe another subsequent borehole went to about 12Km but I haven’t investigated it.

          • Alick says:

            Strange how I wasn’t able to reply for a few days.

            The only reason I said 20 km is because you have to go past 10 km to know if the gradient stops. I suppose 12 km would be sufficient.

        • Doug  Cotton   says:

          Regarding Q1; You have no evidence of a sufficient source of heat (nuclear or whatever) in the core of the Moon. It could easily have cooled right down by now but for the gravito-thermal effect which allows the Sun to keep it hot, even in the core, just as with Uranus, Venus, Earth and any planet or satellite moon.

          • Alick says:

            No evidence? Who is the one here claiming he knows that the core of the moon is hotter than the surface? We have only drilled 12 km deep on Earth. Seems reasonable to conclude we havn’t drilled very deep on the moon.

  51. dave says:

    Loschmidt predicted that his “effect” would release mankind from reliance on fossil fuels. Having recently fainted upon receipt of my utility bill,


    But I do not think he was.

    Somebody should do my experiment. I am too poor at present to even buy the lead.

    • Doug Cotton   says:

      Roderich Graeff was not well educated in physics. He admits that. He mistakenly multiplied the gradient by the number of degrees of freedom. Because of his mistake he thought perpetual motion might be possible. But it is not.

      Loschmidt probably also made some similar mistake. PPM was all the talk in those 19th century days.

      None of this negates the valid physics and empirical evidence in Graeff’s 800 lab experiments, and on Uranus, Venus etc – all of which proves the gravito-thermal effect is a reality.

      As gold has a low specific heat, a better experiment would be with a gold bar about 10 metres high, well insulated within multiple cylinders like Graeff designed, all of it enclosed perhaps in a disused lift well and left for a few months with regular measurements being taken. Go to it. I’ll depend on the experiment in the Uranus troposphere.

      An isothermal state is not what the Second Law of Thermodynamics says will evolve. A state of maximum entropy is.

      • dave says:


        I have already written that I can’t afford lead!

        • bernie says:

          I have got SOME pure gold coins. Unfortunately, when I pile them up they do not quite reach sixteen meters. I am going to have to ask for some donations – all in the name of science, of course. Maple Leafs, Krugerands,… I am not fussy. I promise to return them all – eventually.

          • nigel says:

            I have got some old lead washers for the lead experiment. You will have to collect them yourself, however.

        • Doug  Cotton   says:

          Yes, but the billions spent on carbon dioxide could have bought a bit of gold, which would be re-saleable anyway.

  52. bernie says:

    Dave, perhaps you won’t need to buy any lead!

    Looking for analogies to the Loschmidt “effect” now. Just throwing this “out there” as an idea.

    The fundamental issue is what counts as an “external influence” to a system considered thermodynamically. Gravity is just another force among several. Steady Electric or Magnetic fields could be investigated to see whether THEY affect the ultimate distribution of temperatures, where conventional physics says they shouldn’t matter.

    Perhaps test an iron bar to see whether an imposed magnetic field results in a temperature gradient. Or apply an electric field to ionized gas in a tube. Probably all this was done in the 19th Century! A literature search is cheap enough. One’s local high school would have the equipment to redo anything interesting!

    • Doug Cotton   says:


      If you were to read here about Roderich Graeff’s experiments you would probably agree with me on at least one point: a local high school would not have the equipment or the patience to carry out over 850 such meticulous experiments.

  53. Ice core data has proven that when the climate changes it changes very rapidly. It does NOT change GRADUALLY.

    Take the Younger Dryas episodes, of which there were three with the most famous being the Younger Dryas, which came on and left in decades not to mention changes within that period which lasted about 1300 years.

    Another example would be the 8200 year ago cold period or more recently the Little Ice Age.

    Have yet to see any adequate explanations.

    My explanation lies with solar changes that reach a certain degree of magnitude change, with a sufficient length of time that bring about climatic thresholds to be reached in the climatic system of the earth which then can cause the climate to change in a rapid fashion.

    That aside I see no other explanations that can account for the many abrupt chaotic climatic changes back and forth with no rhyme or reason, with al variable lengths of time from extreme cold to extreme warmth or from moderate cold to moderate warmth or just plain old so called average climate conditions.

  54. Taking this further what it boils down to is this.

    1. How variable is the sun?

    2. How sensitive is the climate to solar changes?

    I thing everyone agrees solar changes will bring about a climate change if significant enough. That is obvious.

    The questions are what degree of solar change is needed and does that degree of solar change occur?

    If this prolonged solar minimum turns out to be very quiet answers may be coming.

  55. Ice-core evidence of abrupt climate changes
    Richard B. Alley*
    Environment Institute and Department of Geosciences, The Pennsylvania State University, Deike Building, University Park, PA 16802
    Ice-core records show that climate changes in the past have been large, rapid, and synchronous over broad areas extending into low
    latitudes, with less variability over historical times. These ice-core records come from high mountain glaciers and the polar regions,
    including small ice caps and the large ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica.
    As the world slid into and out of the last
    ice age, the general cooling and
    warming trends were punctuated by
    abrupt changes. Climate shifts up to half
    as large as the entire difference between
    ice age and modern conditions occurred
    over hemispheric or broader regions in
    mere years to decades. Such abrupt
    changes have been absent during the few
    key millennia when agriculture and industry
    have arisen. The speed, size, and extent
    of these abrupt changes required a reappraisal
    of climate stability. Records of
    these changes are especially clear in highresolution
    ice cores. Ice cores can preserve
    histories of local climate (snowfall, temperature),
    regional (wind-blown dust, sea
    salt, etc.), and broader (trace gases in the
    air) conditions, on a common time scale,
    demonstrating synchrony of climate
    changes over broad regions.
    Ice-Core Interpretation
    Dating and Accumulation. On some glaciers
    and ice sheets, sufficient snow falls each
    year to form recognizable annual layers,
    marked by seasonal variations in physical,
    chemical, electrical, and isotopic properties.
    These can be counted to determine
    ages (e.g., refs. 1 and 2). Accuracy can be
    assessed by comparison to the chemically
    identified fallout of historically dated volcanoes
    and in other ways (3); errors can be
    less than 1% of estimated ages. Ice flow
    may disrupt layers quite close to the bed
    (4, 5), and ice flow progressively thins
    layers with increasing burial so that diffusion
    or sampling limitations eventually
    obscure annual layers.

    Just a small piece of the evidence how abruptly the climate has changed in the past which AGW theory/climate science do not address, and will not address.

    Until addressed any climate forecast made are with out any merit.

  56. This is why in my view the climate world of science is off topic and focused and going in the wrong direction.

    • Doug Cotton   says:

      All that the world needs to understand is why it’s not carbon dioxide after all. The reasons are in my comments starting here

      • dave says:


        I asked you to confirm that the answer to Bernie’s question is “eventually, T+ at the top and T- at the bottom”. You never did. You have only said that ultimately there is a gradient. For all I know you could be saying “T at the top and T- at the bottom” or “T+ at the top and T++ at the bottom” or “T– at the top and T- at the bottom” or…


        A hundred meter high tower of perfectly insulated gold bar with a cross-section of one square meter stands on the surface of the Earth, and the gold bar is started off at 300 degrees K throughout. After one thousand years what is the temperature at the top and what is the temperature at the bottom?

        • nigel says:

          Oh dear, you are only going to get a quibble that a tower of gold will collapse under its own weight. Or it will get stolen. Or that Uranus is staring you in the face.

          • dave says:

            I know; I should never have asked! I also notice that the last of my illustrative possibilitites came out wrong. Instead of “T- at the top and T- at the bottom” I meant “T- at the top and T– at the bottom”.

          • dave says:

            I keep trying to write T double minus but this blog-site has some odd quirks!

          • nigel says:


            You mean T double minus at the top and T minus at the bottom?

          • dave says:

            “…you mean…”

            At the moment the only temperature that interests me is that of the bottle of South Australian Rose I am opening.

          • bernie says:

            “bottle of South Australian Rose”

            Is the top colder than the bottom?

          • dave says:

            “Is the top colder than the bottom?”

            Not enough of a wine-snob to notice.

          • dave says:

            Oh lor, of course it will collapse of its own weight.
            It is the most ductile of the metals.

            Brick is immensely strong under compression.

            Make it of hard brick then; and one thousand meters high, since it has a greater specific heat capacity than gold.
            They can use it in the next film from the Lord of the Rings series.

        • Doug Cotton   says:

          Temperatures in the bar can be calculated from the information I have given over and over again, but seeing that you either don’t read or don’t understand my papers and comments, I’ll spoon feed you …

          The thermal gradient is no more than about 30% less in magnitude than -g/Cp (due to inter-molecular radiation) the negative sign meaning cooler at the top.

          Using specific heat of gold 0.13kJ/kgK we get -9.8/0.13 = -75K/Km.

          Hence in 0.1Km we have a temperature difference of at least 0.7 * 75 * 0.1K but no more than 7.5K. Let’s say about 6K to make it easy for you to calculate 297K at top and 303K at bottom.

          What was so hard for you to calculate yourself? When I tutor physics students I find they learn better if they work things out for themselves.

          • bernie says:

            Had already calculated it. Just wanted to make sure that it was T+ and T- in YOUR world. If you do not state something explicitly I can not ASSUME you mean it.

            Incidentally, you are revoltingly rude.

          • Doug Cotton   says:

            Like using a negative sign in -g/Cp ?

  57. RichardLH says:

    Roy: When can we expect the uahncdc_lt_5.6.txt (Lower Troposphere) url to be updated?

  58. nigel says:

    Yes, some of us find the zonal comparisons interesting.
    Also, it is confirmatory to look at the other levels
    of the air.

  59. This site is the best because it post all views on the climate which is what is needed in science.

    This site is going to go a long way in finding out the real answers.

  60. Doug Cotton   says:

    New study blames CFC’s not CO2

    I’ve often mentioned cosmic rays as possibly affecting cloud formation. Now they show they could be affecting the ozone layer.

    The natural cycles in cosmic rays could be regulated by planetary magnetic fields interacting with the Sun.

    One way or another, it’s all natural cycles.

    • confusable says:

      Yes, somebody – it might have been “torontoann” posted about CFC’s a few months ago. It is another theory. The more the merrier. Let’s have multiple hypotheses.I am not sure, however, that the use and now disuse of CFC’s by us counts as a natural cycle!

      • Doug Cotton   says:

        I suggest you look at the article, even though not actually new, I agree. The correlation looks good to me.

  61. bitcoin says:

    Have you ever considered publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs?
    I have a blog based upon on the same subjects you discuss and would love
    to have you share some stories/information. I know my
    readers would enjoy your work. If you’re even remotely interested,
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    • Doug Cotton   says:

      Who are you addressing? My book (due out in April) will be both paperback ($13.95) and in a Kindle version ($8.95) through Amazon – also similar through Barnes & Noble. You are welcome to contact me through

  62. dave says:


    T+ at the bottom and T- at the top. That is what I assumed Loschmidt meant. Any other arrangement would seem to be in trouble immediately with the law of conservation of energy.

    In my post of March 8, 2014 5:35 AM blogtime,I already calculated that the given formula derived from Graeff implied

    “a thermal gradient of between 0.015 and 0.022 degrees K per metre of copper rod.”

    Cotton’s sneer of March 10, therefore, “What was so hard for you to calculate?” tells me all I care to know about him.

    • Doug Cotton   says:

      As I have pointed out in my papers since November 2012, Graeff (with limited education in physics) made an error in that he multiplied by the degrees of freedom. The “dry” thermal gradient (aka lapse rate) is well known to be the negative quotient of the acceleration due to gravity and the weighted mean specific heat of the solids, liquids or gases involved. That’s not hard to work out.

  63. confusable says:

    “dave” did NOT perpetuate that error of Graeff, if error it be; and does not need any rude correction from you.

    “dave” specifically used YOUR formula; and above he said it DERIVED from Graeff, obviously to give credit to Graeff – if credit is the right word. “mobiustrip” had no trouble in seeing how bernie and dave had calculated a gradient for vertical lead. In the post of “mobiustrip” addressed to you on March 9th he writes the words “your formula” in capital letters and for good measure reproduces your formula in your own exact words in a foot-note.

    Now the science.

    The thermally insulated tower is the system. The rest of the Universe is the surroundings. The surroundings do not take heat from or give heat to the tower(definition of insulation). The tower does no work on the surroundings and the surroundings do no work on the tower because the impressed forces are static (definition of work and definition of a solid body standing still). Therefore the entropy of the surroundings does not change when the gradient of temperature changes in the tower. On the way to 297 degrees K at the top and 303 at the bottom there is a time when it 299.999 at the top and 300.001 at the bottom. From then on, at least,heat is flowing from a cooler place in the tower to a warmer place in the tower in a reversible change (reversible because you could turn the tower upside down as Graeff does in his experiments.) That is a reduction of entropy in the tower (fundamental definition of entropy per Rankine in 1851 as heat flow dQ calculated with reference to temperatures at the receiving and giving places.

    Unchanged entropy in the surroundings plus a reduction of entropy in the system adds up to a postulated process which reduces the entropy of the universe. That is not an exmple of “maximum entropy”.

    • Doug  Cotton   says:

      In physics “reversible” refers to processes being adiabatically reversible. Altering the system by physically turning it upside affects the gravitational potential energy of the molecules in the system. The process in which thermodynamic equilibrium (isentropic = with maximum entropy) is a non-reversible process in which entropy is increasing as the Second Law says must happen, until the state of maximum possible entropy is achieved. Physics is a precisely stated science that is not always intuitive.

      Yes there is an apparent heat transfer from cooler to warmer regions. The mid-19th century Clausius statement is not used by physicists these days for reasons such as this, in that it does not apply for some non-radiative processes in a gravitational field. There is nothing in the Second Law now which says anything about heat transfers being only ever from warmer to cooler regions, because some such transfers (like this) would in fact decrease entropy. All this is explained in my book. Entropy is increasing as thermodynamic equilibrium is approached. Such is not thermal equilibrium.

      If you want to live in a Solar System that you think obeys 19th century physics, such as Rankine and Clausius postulated with limited measuring devices, then you live in an imaginary Solar System my friend in which there is no explanation for quite a few observations.

  64. confusable says:

    “…fundamental definition of entropy…”

    “fundamental defintion of CHANGE of entropy…” of course.

    Rankine coined a word other than entropy for the measure, but Clausius’ name for the concept is the one that caught on.
    Rankine has clear precedence over Clausius in this field. Joule was earlier still, however in developing the ideas of dispersion of energy.

    • Doug  Cotton   says:

      What’s in a name? What’s your point?

      Entropy is not dispersion of energy. Nothing like it. It can be thought of as “a measure of progressing towards thermodynamic equilibrium.”

  65. bernie says:

    “Impressed forces” – that is an old phrase!

  66. bernie says:

    Graeff in his 2011 paper devotes 47 words to solids, and gives a trace which purports to show – in a blurry wobble – an effect of some one-thousandth of a degree K between the top and bottom of a 0.85 m solid column in his workshop. In free (well, freeish) Western Democracies I think everybody has the right to accept or reject such assertions about solids as they see fit. Or to suggest in accordance with Graeff’s own request and in his own words a “duplication”, “preferably on a larger scale.”

    • Doug  Cotton   says:

      The process at the molecular level works the same way regardless of the relative distances between molecules of solids, liquids and gases. Please study very carefully the four-molecule thought experiment I have posted in another comment on Roy’s blog, Lucia’s, Judith Curry’s, Jo Nova’s and several other climate blogs.

  67. bernie says:

    And I really do not want to go to the GAS of the troposphere of Uranus to investigate SOLIDS.

    • Doug  Cotton   says:

      You only need to look at actual measurements in a German borehole extending 9Km into the Earth’s outer crust to see evidence of the very steep thermal gradient of about 25 to 30C/Km. Obviously such a gradient (based on -g/Cp) does not extend all through the hot mantle, and the reason is that the specific heat is much greater at those temperatures, so the gradient drops to about 1C/Km there.

  68. confusable says:

    My brother says he went to Uranus once.
    Worst holiday ever.
    He smokes some odd things.

  69. confusable says:

    Of course, technically, the point of application of the impressed force of gravity on each molecule regarded as an harmonic oscillator IS moving all the time as the molecule and its bits jiggle – cycling at the Debye frequency at 300 degrees K of ten trillion hertz. But none of that is coherent or permanent action. That is the underpinning of the experience that allows us to define a solid as a continuing entity whose parts do not interchange except possibly by diffusion over billions of years.

    • Doug  Cotton   says:

      Yes, but at least for gases, we get pretty accurate results using the assumptions of Kinetic Theory, which Einstein and others also used successfully, such as in deriving the Ideal Gas Laws from such assumptions.

      You might argue that the result for solids may need to be modified slightly, but it is still evident in solids, and typically about two-thirds the magnitude of the -g/Cp value, the reduction being due to the temperature levelling effect of inter-molecular radiation. Otherwise the gradient in Earth’s outer 9Km of its crust would be about 40C/Km.

    • Doug  Cotton   says:

      PS Confused

      Of course in solids the molecules do not interchange. But they come close enough to share kinetic energy with the next molecule. In solids we usually call this diffusion like process “conduction” – maybe you’ve heard the term?

      How do you suppose the conduction temperature plot “knows” how to adjust to a change in the external temperature(s) at one or both ends? How do you suppose the temperature plots of measurements in hundreds of boreholes all over the globe nearly always extrapolate from the depths and “break out” at the surface at about the right temperature? That’s where an understanding of the “heat creep” process explained here may help.

      • Doug  Cotton   says:

        From good old Wikipedia

        “Heat conduction (or thermal conduction) is the transfer of internal energy by microscopic diffusion and collisions of particles or quasi-particles within a body due to a temperature gradient.

        “In solids, conduction is mediated by the combination of vibrations and collisions of molecules, of propagation and collisions of phonons, and of diffusion and collisions of free electrons.”

        I think we can assume that the whole molecules have somewhat more mass than just the electrons, and so the microscopic changes in gravitational potential energy relate primarily to the molecules, and the whole process is comparable with the diffusion in gases, but just with considerably shorter free paths.

  70. bernie says:

    Well, you are dotting i’s and crossing t’s.

    The whole point of Newton’s Third law is that it enables us to ignore the reactive forces in a non-deformable body* and only consider the gross effect and activity of the impressed forces.

    It wouldn’t bother me if the Second Law of Thermodynamics has a flaw. But hands off Newton!

    *or one not capable of further deformation.

  71. RichardLH says:

    Roy: Thnaks for the uahncdc_lt_5.6.txt (Lower Troposphere) url now including Feb data.

  72. confusable says:

    “…dotting i’s and crossing t’s…”

    Just pointing out that as the force of gravity has a (scalar) potential the principle of vis-viva must hold. [See, for instance, page 84 of "Vectorial Mechanics" by L. Silberstein PhD (Berlin), 1913.]

  73. dave says:

    Gawd! A 1913 Textbook! When were you born?

  74. confusable says:

    “When were you born?”

    A long time ago, sonny, a long time ago.

  75. bernie says:

    I also am of ‘un certain age’.

    It occurred to me, when I was feeling particularly bilious recently, that 99% of the people in this world have come here after me. And none of them asked my permission before barging in.

  76. bernie says:

    “d’un certain age.”

    Who am I kidding with that 99% crack.

    Troisieme age.

  77. I spend time looking at other skeptic climate sites unfortunately. I say this since so many of the articles that are featured are done from a subjective point of view ,and try to isolate the item they are trying to promote to climate change as if it is THAT item and only that item that the change in the climate can be linked to. The reality is there are ALWAYS many items impacting the climate at the same time and some to a larger degree then others. In addition some of the items that impact the climate could bring about thresholds to the climate at times while at most other times the item or items impacting the climate; change but not enough to bring about a threshold impact to the climate.

    Hence to try to sort or show this item causes the climate to do x if this item changes is a ridiculous approach to try to prove which item may or may not cause the climate to change and to what degree.

    Also to ignore abrupt past climate changes and try to show how stable the climate system is ,when there is much direct evidence of climatic change is equally ridiculous.

    I will not mention those web-sites but I am sure those of you who look at the many other skeptic web-sites will know.

  78. The only item that can promote a climate change is the item that drives the climate to begin with , which is the sun.


    The sun although it drives the climate system still has to have a degree of variability great enough and produce many secondary effects in order to accomplish that change.

    It is a cascade of changes which start with a change in solar that bring about a climate change in my opinion at times of extreme prolonged solar conditions.

    This then goes on to impact all the zillion random climatic items to one degree or another that impact the climate perhaps some impacts from the items bringing the climate to a threshold, but often times not and often times just keeping the climate in a particular regime with maybe a .5c change up or down varying over the decades but in essentially the same climate regime.

    That is my take good or bad ,agree or not.

    • Norman says:

      Salvatore Del Prete

      If the climate is a chaotic system then it would have attractor basins that a particular regime meanders around. Case of point would be the Sahara. 10,000 years ago Sahara was a forest capable of supporting abundant life. Now it supports much less life. It went from one attractor basin to a totally new one that it now meanders around.

      If CO2 could raise the temp (not that 0.5 C is much) it is not the amount so much but the rate of change. I hope Doug does not respond to this. I know his views and his constantly posting them over and over just gets annoying.

      The thing concerning the climate community is that rapid change could push climates into new basins with very different conditions (previously wet areas could be very dry, and dry areas become much wetter). To feed the 7+ billion we need some predictable climate regimes. We need to know that the midwest section of the US will have normal rain falls and stable temps. Droughts do take place within the basin but they are not long term and fixated so one bad year may take place (like in Texas) then the next year is good.

      I do not know if a new regime will develop if temperature changes too fast and once set up will remain indefinately.

      It is something to keep one eye open to watch.

      • Threepwood says:

        Adding CO2 has a dramatic effect on the growth and drought resistance of plants, most evolved with vastly higher levels of CO2 ‘pollution’ and still prefer several times current levels of this ‘pollution’. Add to that slightly milder temps mostly at the low end = less early/late frost= longer growing seasons, extended arable land, plus slightly more net precip…. If the opposites were all true then there might be some cause for concern, as is it’s pretty tough to come up with a global reduction in agricultural output (scientifically speaking) most likely we’d see a continuing significant boost

        unless of course we decided to make energy less globally available / affordable somehow- then yes I can see how that could be very dangerous.

      • bernie says:

        “I do not know if a new regime will develop if temperature changes too fast…”

        For all we know the present stability of temperature is a symptom of the ONSET of a nasty natural regime change, and anthropogenic influences are going to STOP that change in its tracks and help us. For all we know.

        The pattern in the beating of your heart shows chaos. When it becomes regular it is about to stop. At which point the regime is very stable indeed.

        “…keep one eye open to watch…”

        Roger Rabbit was told to do just that in the animated film. He prances around shouting “I’m on it! Nothing escapes me! I’m on the qui vive!”. To shut him up, Mrs Rabbit clocks him on the head from behind with a length of pipe. I suppose the lesson is to have eyes in the back of your head.

        Actually the film is inaccurate (apart from being about non-existent cartoon animals). Rabbits can see almost all the way round behind. That is why when you try to creep up on the one in your garden, who is apparently staring away at the horizon, to shoot the pest, they suddenly disappear down the hole just when you raise the gun.

        • ray says:

          And even if you do make a brilliant prediction, that does not mean the decisions you make as a result will be any good.

          I have two friends in England. One was offered a house on the river bank of the Thames above London for 200,000 pounds thirty years ago. He was very clever about the environment and he went “Ooh no! I foresee an increase in flooding.” Well, we did have flooding there a month ago. Yet the house has just been sold again. For how much? 4,000,000 pounds!

          What my clever friend did NOT predict was the upper end of the London housing market and the influx of rich foreigners into it after the fall of Communism.

          My other friend did buy a house on a river bank, where it led out to the sea in Kent. I pointed out to him that there was a risk from North Sea surges such as occured in 1954. He pointed out that the Environment Agency (it wasn’t called that, then) were building sound sea defences. The recent conditions led to him being flooded. He is trying to sell, but his property is unsaleable. What HE did not predict was that the British Government would fall hook, line, and sinker for environmental guff and deliberately REMOVE those sea defences to make a wetland paradise for birds.

  79. bernie says:

    We thank thee, O Lord, for sending the Stefan-Boltzmann 4th-Power-of-Temperature Law to reign over us.

    • Doug Cotton   says:

      And thank you. O Lord for divine revelation that You are in control of all climate change, that You placed our Earth (of just the right size) at just the right distance from Your energy-giving Sun which does indeed keep the whole Earth+atmosphere system at a reasonably constant temperature in the long-run, and that You have now shown us why it’s not carbon dioxide after all, and so mankind is not as smart as climatologists thought, because they weren’t too good at thinking about all those little molecules colliding, diffusing, conducting and sometimes radiating energy back to space, not the surface. Thank God for the Second Law or we’d all freeze, or boil, depending on how you look at it.

  80. ray says:

    I (Ray) read those four pieces by Lucy back in 2012.
    She was supposed to be doing something about getting people together “to replicate”. I have not heard anything more about that.

  81. ray says:

    “…to replicate…”

    I didn’t mean it quite like that. However…

  82. Brad says:

    I see Doug has returned with his base ball bat to beat us over the head.

    • Doug  Cotton   says:

      Yes Brad. But it is the lukes and warmists who have been “beating” the politicians and the public “over the head” with their false claims about GH radiative forcing, supposedly backed by primitive 19th century physics now totally debunked. So I hope you can understand that I won’t tolerate the propagation of such a hoax for the rest of my life, and I’m putting my money (and unpaid time) where my mouth is.

      • Brad says:

        No Doug, your trying to defeat people that disagree with you by harassing them with a paper dragon. Your approach is without humility. You are pugnacious. That does not serve you well. If it is not completely apparent to you, you must live in a cave and not had much contact with the outside world.

        If you would show an ounce of humility and swallow some or your pride, maybe people would respond differently to you. As of now, you are an annoyance. Nothing more.

        • Doug  Cotton   says:

          I agree that I am angry about the false “science” being promulgated by the IPCC and many commenters on climate blogs, because they don’t understand the physics, but like to pretend they do. It is a travesty of physics.

          Their assumptions of isothermal conditions without GHG are simply not the state of thermodynamic equilibrium which the Second Law says will evolve, so the whole GH conjecture is based on an assumed violation of the Second Law – in fact two assumed violations, because they think radiation from the cold Venus atmosphere somehow raises its temperature from 732K to 737K It doesn’t come anywhere near doing so. Venus temperatures are not caused by any “runaway greenhouse effect.”

          How about you try to show what’s wrong with my physics, rather than my humility? I think you confuse assertiveness with a lack of humility. I’m not sitting here just saying “I think this is what happens.”

  83. Norman says:

    Doug has repeated his theory several times. If he wishes to shake up the world of science he now needs to do a lot of empirical testing. One person running some tests with temp measurements of much less than 0.1 C are not too convincing. All great scientists had their theories confirmed with experimentation. Like Einstein. Interesting theory until they actually measured time dilation.

    Repetition is not what validates a theory. Experimental evidence is the next step.

    I have still not found strong compelling experimental evidence of greenhouse effect. Lots of models and calculations but not strong experimentation to validate it beyond doubt.

    I did have one line of evidence that could validate if how much CO2 could be causing a warming. Temperature in dry desert climates from daily high to daily low (with low wind conditions to prevent air from other regions changing the signal). Greenhouse gas CO2 should be lowering the temperature from the maximum high to the minium low. It should be a clear signal that can be easily graphed with the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. I think this would greatly help determine the actual number for climate sensitivity.

  84. Doug  Cotton   says:

    Norman and others:

    I’m not travelling the world and the whole Solar System gathering temperature data that confirms the gravito-thermal gradient. Here’s just one example of a study in my book, this one based on 30 years of temperature and precipitation records in Africa, Australia and South America. The methodology is in the book, so I’m just giving the data and conclusions (again) below. I trust you understand from my hypothesis why such data supports it.


    City, Country/State, Continent, Altitude, Maximum, Minimum, Rainfall, Adj* Max, Adj Min

    01: Manaus, Brazil, SA, 39m, 27.3, 18.7, 238.7, 23.4, 14.8
    02: Goiania, Brazil, SA, 749m, 30.1, 19.5, 209.6, 31.1, 20.5
    03: Kadoma, Zimbabwe, AF, 1160m, 28.6, 17.7, 183.2, 32.5, 21.6
    04: Halls Creek, Western Australia, AU, 422m, 36.6, 24.4, 164.9, 35.4, 23.2
    05: Charters Towers, Queensland, AU, 336m, 33.5, 22.4, 164.7, 31.7, 20.6
    06: Pedro Juan Caballero, Paraguay, SA, 563m, 29.9, 20.4, 160.4, 29.6, 20.1
    07: Mariscal Jose Felix Estigarribia, Paraguay, SA, 151m, 35.4, 22.9, 129.3, 32.0, 19.5
    08: Mount Isa, Queensland, AU, 356m, 36.4, 23.7, 117.3, 34.6, 21.9
    09: Francistown, Botswana, AF, 1001m, 30.8, 18.9, 115.5, 33.8, 21.9
    10: Maun, Botswana, AF, 943m, 32.2, 19.8, 109.4, 34.8, 22.4
    11: Ghanzi, Botswana, AF, 1100m, 32.4, 19.3, 104, 36.4, 23.3
    12: Longreach, Queensland, AU, 193m, 37.1, 23.3, 73.0, 33.8, 20.0
    13: Beitbridge, Zimbabwe, AF, 456m, 33.5, 21.9, 56.8, 32.3, 20.7,
    14: Paraburdoo, Western Australia, AU, 389m, 41.2, 26.0, 51.4, 39.5, 24.3
    15: Alice Springs, Northern Territory, AU, 545m, 36.9, 21.8, 39.9, 36.5, 21.4
    * At 600m: for 01 to 05 use gradient 7C/Km, 06 to 10 use 7.5C/Km, 11 to 15 use 8C/Km

    Means of Adjusted Daily Maximum and Daily Minimum Temperatures

    Wet (01-05): 30.8°C 20.1°C
    Medium (06-10): 33.0°C 21.2°C
    Dry (11-15): 35.7°C 21.9°C


    There is clearly no indication of any warming effect related to water vapour and so no evidence for the assumed positive feedback, which is a fundamental building block for the greenhouse conjecture. Rather, the opposite appears to be the case, and water vapour does in fact appear to have the cooling effect anticipated by the hypothesis in this book.

    It may well be argued that the sample was not large enough, but this must surely indicate a need for some attempt to confirm such a crucial assumption, which is vital for there to be any validity in the greenhouse conjecture that carbon dioxide has a warming effect. If water vapour does in fact have a negative feedback (as it radiates heat to higher, cooler regions, or direct to space) then so too would carbon dioxide have such a cooling effect, albeit far less in magnitude. It is noted that carbon dioxide would cause a minuscule increase in the temperature gradient because it has a slightly lower specific heat than air, but calculations show that such an increase is not as great as the decrease caused by inter-molecular radiation. The overall effect of carbon dioxide appears to be net cooling of less than one-tenth of a degree.

  85. Norman says:


    The Graeff paper you linked to has his experimental value of -0.07 K/m of air as the gravitaion induced gradient. If you multiply by 1000 you get a value of 70K/kilometer(km).

    The actual atmospheric lapse rate is 6.4 C/km. His experiment does not match the measured value of the atmosphere. We should have a gradient 10 times higher if the theory is correct.

    Also in your global temp study where you conclude water vapor cools. Look at the high and lows of each climate. The dinural range for the wet is only 10.7 C. The dry is 13.8 C.

    I do not reject your theory as you believe when someone questions you. I reject your tactics!! Read what Poptech says about your posts. No great scientist changes things by your tactic. They present their theory in humility and wait patiently. If it is correct it will eventually get accepted. Pounding a theory into the ground will not overturn current thought processes of anyone and will get you banned from blogs. Can’t you ever post anything but your own theory promotion?

    As for why wet areas are cooler, others have pointed it out to you, but you ignore them and blindy go on with your own thoughts (no conversation there). Wet areas are cooled by evaporation which dry areas do not experience. Why can a person survive 150 F dry air in a sauna? Sweat is the answer, the evaporation cools the skin. When sweat stops in a hot environment people die from heat stroke.

    Grass is much cooler than pavement even though both are receiving the same amount of solar radiation. What makes the difference? Evapoartion. The grass absorbs the radiation and has considerable amounts of this radiation used in evaporation keeping the grass much cooler than the pavement next to it.

    You in no way demonstrate that water vapor is not causing a slowing cooling rate. In fact your data would suggest just the opposite. Evaporation keeps the air cooler during the middle of day then at night the water vapor created from the evaporation prevents as much cooling. And from your examples the effect could be as much as 3C for water vapor.

    • Doug  Cotton   says:


      I have never ever denied that water vapour plays a part in slowing the portion of surface cooling that is itself due to radiation. But it doesn’t help the Sun to achieve higher daily maximum temperatures.

      All that stuff was explained in my paper published two years ago.

      But water vapour also considerably lowers the supporting temperature, and that’s the main reason why its overall effect is to lower mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures.

      Oxygen and nitrogen are especially good at slowing non-radiative cooling and, after all, they do tend to dominate water molecules by about 50:1 now don’t they?

      And the air they affect most is the first 2 meters where we measure our climate records, though most radiation passes straight through these critical 2 metres.

      Here’s another quote from my book …

      “… back radiation from the atmosphere can only affect the rate of cooling associated with that 15% which causes radiative cooling of the surface.

      Contrary to what IPCC authors assume, back radiation from a cold atmosphere cannot affect the rate of surface cooling that is due to the 30% of the initial energy being transferred by non-radiative processes.”

      • Norman says:


        “But water vapour also considerably lowers the supporting temperature, and that’s the main reason why its overall effect is to lower mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures.”

        I am not sure you were reading my point. It is not water vapor in the air that keeps the wet climates cooler, it is the evaporation of still liquid water in the soil, and grass that keeps the wetter climates cooler. A wet summer in Nebraska is cooler than the very dry ones. It is because wet soil uses lots of solar energy to evaporate water that does not go into heating the soil if it was dry. That is why drought conditions also have much higher temperatures associated with them even though the solar radiation in the area is the same between drought and wetter conditions.

        Again for evidence of a greenhouse effect you would not just look at the max and min temps but the range between them and the drier areas have a larger range.

        Doug I think many people who post on this sight have physics backgrounds. I have a chemistry degree but did take a college physics class (many years ago). I think you missed something important in your studies about science.

        The very thing I oppose from the AGW crowd you also display.
        They are so bent on proving their theory they bias temp data and only report on things that support their ideas, they do not even want to look at other possibilites. You are so taken in by your own theory that you ignore any data that does not support what you believe. True science is not about proving a theory at all costs (that is an ego trip). The truth is the goal whatever that might end up being. Best to you!

      • Doug  Cotton   says:

        Norman said: “it is the evaporation of still liquid water in the soil, and grass that keeps the wetter climates cooler.”

        That amounts to the climatology claim that it is latent heat release which makes the adiabatic lapse rate less steep, being cooler at the surface due to evaporation and warmer in the clouds where the latent heat is released. I dispute that for reasons given in my book.

        (1) On Venus the thermal gradient in the troposphere is reduced about 25% mostly by intermolecular radiation between carbon dioxide molecules.

        (2) On Uranus the thermal gradient in the troposphere is reduced about 5% mostly by intermolecular radiation between a few methane molecules.

        (3) On Earth the thermal gradient in the troposphere is reduced about 35% mostly by intermolecular radiation between water gas and vapour molecules and suspended water droplets, plus some carbon dioxide molecules etc.

        (4) In the outer 9Km of Earth’s crust the thermal gradient is reduced about 30% mostly by intermolecular radiation between numerous molecules.

        • Doug  Cotton   says:

          Sorry – typo – the italic should have cancelled after the first two lines.

          Footnote: The maximum, the mean and the minimum temperatures are all lower in moist regions. Climatologists use maximum and minimum temperatures for the temperature data relating to climate. Of course the range is higher in drier regions, because there are fewer clouds so that the Sun can make the maximum more above the supported minimum. Have you not noticed how the rate of cooling slows down in the early pre-dawn hours? It is because the surface is approaching the supporting temperature at the base of the troposphere. To cool below that temperature, all the troposphere would have to cool by the same additional amount, as would all the oceans and land surfaces. The calculated (and predetermined) thermal profile starts at the tropopause and increases through the troposphere, the surface, the crust and the mantle, all the way to the core. Temperatures in planets are supported by solar energy which, in their daytime, replaces that lost on the dark side. So the whole of the Venus troposphere, and its surface, rise and fall by 5 degrees every Venus day and night respectively.

    • Doug  Cotton   says:

      By the way, carbon dioxide radiates in far fewer spectral lines than water vapour. Hence it is far less effective at slowing radiative cooling during the night when the supporting temperature is being approached by the early pre-dawn hours.

      As I once wrote, carbon dioxides radiation is like a picket fence with most of its pickets missing, standing up against a torrent of full spectrum radiation from the surface.

      Carbon dioxide possibly extends the warmth of the day a few seconds longer into the night, but its overall effect is to lower temperatures by perhaps 0.1 degree because it, like water vapour, lowers the supported surface temperature because it lowers the thermal gradient due to inter-molecular radiation.

  86. Doug  Cotton   says:

    Following on from my comment #126658 on Lucia’s Blackboard, it appears that SkS team member Neal J. King made a huge error in assuming any molecules would run out of kinetic energy when they are moving upwards between collisions. In my four molecule thought experiment #126576 we are talking about a distance averaging the mean free path of air molecules between collisions. That’s about 68 nanometres! Even in a whole kilometre air molecules only lose about 3% to 5% of their kinetic energy because that’s how much the temperature drops.

    So may I suggest that Neal J. King goes back to his Skeptical Science Team to work up a better “answer” to the trillion dollar question (which many will be asking when my book comes out) what’s wrong with the Loschmidt gravito-thermal effect theory, which eliminates any need for explaining things with GH radiative forcing?

  87. Doug  Cotton   says:

    Norman, the data is summarised at the end and clearly indicates, with statistical significance, that there is a negative correlation between temperature and precipitation.

    I have said many times (as far back as November 2012 in my paper “Planetary Surface Temperatures”) that Roderich Graeff made a huge mistake in that he multiplied by the degrees of freedom. (He admits to a lack of formal education in physics.) That, however, does not negate the fact that virtually all of his experiments did show some thermal gradient. From his results, the probability of an isothermal state being the norm, Norm, is infinitesimal.

    The methodology for my study is explained in great detail in my book. I selected only the hottest month from up to 30 years of data, because this is when the Sun passes nearly directly overhead in the tropics, and that eliminates the need for adjusting for the angle of insolation. I can assure you I extracted correct data as it was when the study was done early last year, and that was only after selecting the cities. So I did not cherry pick the locations. When you read the methodology, you could easily do your own even larger study in a day or two.

    Norman, is it difficult for you to understand that, with a background in physics dating back to when I won a physics scholarship awarded by Prof Harry Messel and his team at Sydney University in the 1960′s, I am (to say the least) somewhat annoyed when I see totally false “physics” being promulgated, such as by the SkS team member mentioned in my comment just above?

    I do answer all your objections about water vapour in my book, but there’s not space here, other than to say that you, like Neal J. King, are neglecting the gravito-thermal effect and incorrectly blaming that “33 degrees of warming” on radiative forcing. This is not just my theory – many are starting to realise it is reality.

  88. Doug  Cotton   says:

    Norman there’s also a comment here regarding water vapour.

    • Carson says:


      Will you please promise to stop posting here once your book is out (or sooner)? Since you have written this wonderful book that everyone is able to read, there is no need to carry on filling Dr. Spencer’s blog with the same information.

      You will probably be too busy with the lecture tours, guest professorships, and awards ceremonies anyway (although it may take a few years for the conservative folks in Sweden to give you the Nobel nod).


      • Doug  Cotton   says:

        If you and Roy and all others promise to stop posting anything about the carbon dioxide hoax and the false claim that a troposphere without radiating gases would be isothermal.

        How long do you think it will take for people like yourself to come to a realisation that what Josef Loschmidt said in the 19th century, and many more scientists are saying in the 21st century, that the gravito-thermal effect is a reality in all planetary atmospheres, surfaces, crusts, mantles and cores. You can’t prove it doesn’t happen.

        • Norman says:


          Look at figure 2 of this Judith Curry paper. It is of actual recorded temperatures of an arctic air mass.


          This will show that the thermo gradient you describe is a very weak effect. Surface warming and cooling are much more active in explaining the temp profile.

          In the Curry paper the surface is rapidly cooling and via heat transfer of the warmer air to the cooling surface the air above the surface cools much more rapidly than air above. The “heat creep” does not work it way down fast enough to counter the cooling degree.

          Likewise the lapse rate can be explained that the surface in contact with solar radiation rapidly warms (sometimes to 150 F depending upon the surface material). This heated surface transfers this heat to the cooler atmosphere and the air closest to the surface warms (convection can bring this warm air to even higher levels). This will create the gradient we see. Surface air is warmer because the surface is so very hot. Then you look at the arctic air and see the reverse and you don’t need a gravitational gradient to explain any of it.

          • Doug  Cotton   says:

            Yes, Norman, diffusion is a slow process involving molecules colliding, but it has had plenty of time to form the anticipated -g/Cp thermal gradient in the Uranus troposphere, for example where it’s hotter than Earth at its nominal base, even though there’s no significant direct solar radiation or internal energy supply from any compression or cooling off process. Obviously weather conditions can disturb the thermodynamic state.

            Please argue from valid physics, not anecdotal “evidence” which proves not a thing. A good point to start is the assumptions of Kinetic Theory and the second law of thermodynamics which states that “the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium — a state depending on the maximum entropy.”

            If you agree this physics is a vaild starting point on which we each agree, then please follow through the four molecule thought experiment I have posted in an earlier comment. Currently I’m busy debating on another blog with Neil J. King an SkS team member about all this. Not surprisingly, he’s made a few blunders, because no one in the world has ever been able to correctly rebut the gravito-thermal effect. Uranus provides cogent evidence, better than any experiment you could devise on Earth. The thermal gradient in the Uranus troposphere is very close to the expected negative quotient of the acceleration due to gravity and the weighted mean specific heat of the gases.

            As Prof Julius Sumner-Miller used to ask us in his physics lectures, “Why is it so?”

      • ray says:

        At least he should stop mentioning he once received a Scholarship. He has done it twice in this thread alone!
        It is bad form to list one’s achievments.


        (Winner of an Egg-and-Spoon Race at age 6;
        Managed to stay alive all my life.)

        • Doug  Cotton   says:

          So sorry, but so should be those who show such disrespect and/or calls to other “authorities.”

          I am reminded of how, two years ago, Tim Folkerts likes to put people down, and on the WUWT thread about the Loschmidt gravito-thermal effect BigWaveDave responded, as the final comment on the thread …

          BigWaveDave says:

          March 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm

          Tim Folkerts: You asked …what qualifications do you have to judge a disagreement between PhD physicists on issues of fundamental thermodynamics?

          I have been earning a living as an engineer specializing in cutting edge technology for very large scale thermal energy transfer processes and power systems for close to 40 years. My credentials include BS, JD and PE, and I have four patents.

          As for my qualifications to engage in argument with PhD’s, I have many times been part of and have led teams with PhD team mates. I was also married to a PhD for 20 years.

          Because the import of the consequence of the radial temperature gradient created by pressurizing a spherical body of gas by gravity, from the inside only, is that it obviates the need for concern over GHG’s. And, because this is based on long established fundamental principles that were apparently forgotten or never learned by many PhD’s, it is not something that can be left as an acceptable disagreement.

          • ray says:

            Doug says “so sorry…”

            Apology accepted.

            The following is simply a question, and not meant as a barb.

            Does your book have a Foreword, commending it to the reader, by an instantly recognizable educator such as Professor Giancoli or Professor Lewin?


            (Sometime Winner of an Egg-and-Spoon Race, aged 6)

          • ray says:

            I noticed you posted something in the thread 13 hours and 51 minutes after my query above. I’ll take your silence here as “no such Foreword arranged as yet”.

          • ray says:

            Oh, and good luck with the class action suit. I will join it as soon as I see the legal advertisment. Who are we suing by the way?

          • bev says:

            I was attached to a class action suit, once. The lawyers got half a million and I got $28.43.

          • anonlawyer says:

            “…got $28.43.”

            You were lucky.

            We usually ask for contributions FROM the suitors as we go along – to employ “expert witnesses” and the like, ha ha.
            It is all a nice little earner, as Arthur Daley used to say.

          • bev says:

            Some time ago, the American Bar Association held their annual beanfest in London. There were twenty thousand of the litle devils running around. I happened to attend a performance of Henry VI Part 3 at the Barbican at the same time. When Dick uttered the line

            “First thing we do, we kill all the lawyers”

            there was the biggest burst of laughter I ever heard in a theatre.

          • torontoann says:

            “…in London…”

            I think that was the one time they ventured to Europe. They were here in Toronto in 2011, and they are coming back in 2020. Help us!

          • flyby says:

            Still no reply on that “Foreword” query, I see.

            Perhaps Doug could ask Professor Harry Messel, who approved that Scholarship for him. He is still active, I believe, at the good old age of 92.

          • ray says:

            No reply on who we are suing, either.

            A phoney war, so far.

          •  Doug  Cotton   says:

            I’m not going to keep on re-reading the whole thread looking for new questions. Please post them at the end of the thread, with links to any relevant earlier comment.

            The class action will be by large companies against whomever the lawyers recommend in the way of Australian authorities, educational institutions, SkS bloggers (being based in Australia) and maybe others. Yes I suppose they may pay me for information provided as a result of thousands of hours of research.

          •  Doug  Cotton   says:

            Ray – you’ll find a paragraph about it (in a previous comment) which will be used in the advertising campaign.

  89. crosspatch says:

    I have a question:

    Here in the US we have this great new network, CRN or Climate Reference Network. This network requires NO adjustments for UHI, TOBS, or anything else. I have so far been unable to obtain data such as CONUS average temperature over all stations for a month. They do give an interface for data at individual stations but one would need to visit the web page for each site and scrape the data. NOAA presents all sorts of aggregate graphs for HCN stations, nothing for CRN stations.

    Does anyone know if the CRN data are published anywhere in graphic format where one can look for divergence from, say, CRN and NCDC?

  90. ray says:

    Cotton wrote:

    “In physics ‘reversible’ refers to processes being ADIABATICALLY reversible….” [his emphasis].

    A little embarassing for Professor of Physics Giancarlo of Massachusets Institute of Technology to have his textbook publically corrected by you in this way.

    For, on Page 521 of the Third Edition (2000) we find,

    “[In the Carnot cycle], the gas is first expanded ISOTHERMALLY, AND REVERSIBLY…” [my emphases].

    All this is is even more shocking when you consider that SIXTY Professors of Physics provided direct feedback before the Third edition came out in 2000, and did not catch the howler. Naughty Physics Professors.

    • Doug  Cotton   says:

      The 19th century Carnot cycle is all about different processes in an imaginary “engine” that cannot be constructed in the real world, where energy is lost in frictional processes, and so such reversible “engines” do not exist.

      But in Kinetic Theory (also an imaginary world, but close enough to reality) the assumptions are that molecules collide in perfectly (100.00000…%) elastic processes. Hence a molecule could bounce back where it came from.

      Ball4 continually claimed entropy must always increase. If he read the second law of thermodynamics it states that “the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium — a state depending on the maximum entropy.” There’s nothing in there about always increasing, and there’s a reason why.

    • ray says:

      Merely pointing out to casual readers that, in Textbooks of Physics (such as Giancoli’s) ‘reversible’ is not used as an abbreviation of, or synonym for, ‘adiabatically reversible’.

    • Ball4 says:

      Doug 11:09pm: Entropy always increases in real processes, entropy can remain the same in ideal processes but these cannot exist in nature.

  91. mobiustrip says:

    Yes, earlier on page 520, Giancoli gives a clear explanation:

    “A reversible process is one that is carried out infinitely slowly, so that the process can be considered as a series of equilibrium states, and the whole process could be done in reverse with no change in magnitude of the work done or heat exchanged. For example, a gas contained in a cylinder fitted with a tight, movable, but frictionless piston could be compressed isothermally in a reversible way if done infinitely slowly…

    real processes are ireversible…but…reversible processes…are conceptually important, just as the concept of the ideal gas is.”

  92. ray says:

    In any case the matter is moot. Bernie et al stipulated ‘thermally insulated’ and that is another way of saying ‘adiabatic’ (“without loss or gain of heat” – Chambers Science Dictionary).

  93. ray says:

    “without loss or gain of heat”

    across the boundary between ‘the system’ and ‘the surroundings’ as initially defined for analysis.

  94. thermoboy says:

    I and my brother come from a long line of reversible adiabatic processes. My mum was shocked when we shacked up with a couple of cute reversible isothermal processes. She is reconciled now to the situation – especially since we have a cute little baby called Sadi Carnot. She still isn’t quite sure how sex among four processes is necessary to make cylic babies. But she says “Don’t tell me the mucky details!”

  95. thermoboy says:



  96. ray says:

    Thank you, thermoboy. Nice to hear from some one actually involved on the production side of things. We in the Thermodynamics Company Public Relations team try to avoid the mucky details.

  97. mobiustrip says:

    Cyclic babies are very serious. They are all work and no play.

  98. mobiustrip says:

    Ray writes:

    “…Giancoli of MIT…”

    I thought he was at Berkeley now?

  99. ray says:

    It may be. He was at MIT when he wrote his textbook.

    Just using Giancoli as an example of what a well regarded main-stream physics professor tends to write. One cannot claim authority from being taught physics in University and at the same time mangle the messages in the basic textbooks used there – at least not without looking a bit Humpty-Dumpty-ish.

  100. channelingalice says:

    Mr Dodgson TOLD ME that in the incident of Humpty Dumpty falling off the wall he was deliberately giving an example of the new-fangled Second Law of Thermodynamics – “All the King’s horses and all the King’s men could not put Humpty together again.” Then he told me to take all my clothes off. That is when my mother appeared and took me home. SHE said I was not to go back to Mr Dodgson ever again. Something about Mr Dodgson wanting to break MY egg ireversibly. I did not understand that bit of it.

    • Doug  Cotton   says:

      Seriously, what’s all this about some “new fangled” Second Law. As far as I know The second law of thermodynamics states that “the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium— a state depending on the maximum entropy.”

      I do like the recent addition (just in the last few days) of the word “depending” rather than the previous phrase “the state of maximum possible entropy.” Which do you prefer and why? Or do you live in the mid 19th century?

    • Doug  Cotton   says:

      Oh, sorry! I’m a bit slow today. You meant of course the Second Law of Climatology which states “the entropy of any combination of independent isolated (or otherwise) systems can temporarily decrease provided that, at some future time, the net effect for all these totally independent processes is an increase in entropy, because – well .. we’re not sure why but it must do because we know carbon dioxide causes catastrophic warming.”

      • channelingalice says:

        As I say at another place in the thread:

        I do live in the 19th Century.
        Look at my name.

  101. thermoboy says:

    Thermoboy to channelingalice:

    The Mad Hatter tells me you like to “drink tea” and ” to party”. Are you interested in meeting up with an open-minded foursome to discuss physics and other things?

  102. channelingalice says:

    My mother has told me to say “No!”

  103. thermoboy says:

    If Graeff were RIGHT about solids, it would mean that, in a vertical tower of uniform composition and initial uniform temperature standing in a uniform gravitational field, one could place a vertical diathermal wall inside and NO HEAT would flow across it, or alternatively a horizontal diathermal wall at the same height such that heat WOULD flow across it. This contradicts the Zeroth law of Thermodynamics as expressed by Bailyn:


    “A Survey of Thermodynamics”, American Institute of Physics, 1994. 1994 – This is not just some old 19th Century crudity.

    This is a consequence of the fact (or generally accepted view, at least) that gravity provides a conservative force whenever, and wherever, and on whatever scale.

    Being an everlasting abstraction, I am not much bothered by what Century I pop up in.

    A reversible adiabatic process.
    (“Reversibles do it both ways”)

    • bernie says:

      “All diathermal walls are equivalent.”

      This is very slightly ambiguous. But I always took the statement to mean that if Body A at a uniform temperature is placed in contact with Body B at a different uniform temperature the DIRECTION of heat flow by conduction is DEFINITE and not affected in any way by WHICH parts come into contact. And that if they are at the same temperature no net heat will flow.

      • Doug  Cotton   says:

        If you had a tall perfectly insulated rod of gold about 3 metres high, there would be a temperature difference, it being about 0.2 degree cooler at the top than at the base. If you had another small metal object 0.1 degree warmer than the top of the gold rod, but 0.1 degree cooler than the base of the gold rod, then there will obviously be heat transfers in different directions if you (somehow) place that object against the top or the base of the gold rod. So what? The smaller object would warm or cool as expected, with a very small change in the mean temperature of the rod, but still (eventually) the same temperature difference over its height.

        • bev says:

          “…rod of gold…about 3 metres high…temperature difference …0.2 degree K…”

          Goes back to what Dave said at the BEGINNING about testing in solids. EASY-PEASY for anyone in a normal physics lab to test that specific prediction (using lead, not gold!) There must be someone on this blog who isn’t an armchair warrior (I include myself in that group, unfortunately). I really wish someone would do it, and we could all shut up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          I for one AM going to shut up and go away.

          • dave says:

            Someone taking my name in vain?

            As far as I know, the only person to report such an experiment was Graeff. He did not find such a large effect – so far as I can work out, from the 47 words on solids in the paper I read.

            DEFINITIVE experiments have ultimately to be done by TEAMS in recognized institutions. Not because individuals are dishonest or incompetent, but because otherwise WE SIMPLY CAN NOT KNOW if they have been done properly.


            There is an interesting account in the archives of Edge Science (Journal of the Society for Science Exploration) of an attempt in the 1960′s by a young graduate scientist to replicate, on his own time, the “Saxl gravitational effect” which “effect” originally was published in Nature, to a storm of indifference, by Saxl, a now forgotten physicist.. One of the points the writer makes is that he was, of course, AFRAID to enlist the help of “big-hitters” in his department, because he would have been marked out as a non-conformist. I suppose that is part of the reason why obvious experiments, such as I propose, RARELY get done to a standard which is incontrovertible. Instead, a million footling things ARE done that simply fritter away the research budgets (our money, really) of the Universities.

          • dave says:

            The writer who was afraid…

            I mean the young man who thought it would be great to confirm and resurrect the “effect”. Interestingly, Saxl also “worked from home”, like Graeff, on this particular project of his.
            But Saxl wasn’t “a private scholar,” and Saxl did “get published” once or twice with reports on his “effect”.

          • gordie says:

            “…obvious experiments…”

            However obvious a test, it will not be allowed unless you can prove to your boss or fund granter that it can only prove their brilliance. Perhaps that is a litle harsh. Most scientists I have met do not mind being proved a little wrong. But they will not tolerate any “rocking of the boat” which might actually throw them into the water.

            This has always struck me as ridiculous. It must make the actual practice of modern science SO boring.

          •  Doug  Cotton   says:

            You could use any of these with similar specific heat (as shown) and maybe mercury would be a good choice …

            Bismuth 0.13
            Gold 0.13
            Hafnium 0.14
            Iridium 0.13
            Lead 0.13
            Lutetium 0.15
            Mercury 0.14
            Osmium 0.13
            Platinum 0.13
            Plutonium 0.13
            Rhenium 0.14
            Tantalum 0.14
            Thallium 0.13
            Thorium 0.13
            Tungsten 0.13

        • gordie says:

          We are not quite there with the experimental set-up.

          How LONG is it going to take for (say) the half the effect to manifest itself in the vertical rod. And also how long, for rods that are longer still – if someone wanted to go to 30 meters?

          As a practical matter, one must know how good the thermal insulation needs to be.

          How about it, please, Mr Cotton?

          Just some more numbers.

          •  Doug  Cotton   says:

            Duplicate the experimental setup used by Roderich Graeff – just use about 0.7g/Cp for your calculations, not his erroneous equation which included degrees of freedom.


          •  Doug  Cotton   says:

            Why aren’t you interested in the “experiment” in the Uranus troposphere?

            Why aren’t you interested in the fact that the gravito-thermal effect can be proven with standard physics?

            Why aren’t you interested in the evidence implicit in the study showing a negative correlation between temperature and precipitation – or don’t you understand why that would require the gravito-thermal effect to exist?

    • Doug  Cotton   says:

      It doesn’t contradict the definition of thermal equilibrium (no net transfer of thermal energy across a boundary) nor does it contradict the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and nor is any energy created or destroyed.

      So, you quote the three body version of the Zeroth Law and explain exactly and precisely why you think it is contradicted. Described the three bodies, their composition and whether in vertical or horizontal positions, what their points of contact are etc. And then explain what energy flows, if any, you postulate.

  104. thermoboy says:

    If Graeff were rightabout solids one could circumvent the Carnot limit on efficiency.

    For imagine the insulated tower which has been started off at 300 K by assumption is allowed to touch water (through a contact at the top of the tower), of 300 K, of small depth* and this water happens to be the endpoint reservoir of an ideal Carnot cycle which is exhausted. Heat could eventually be bled off at the bottom of the tower to another reservoir at 300 K TO DO MORE WORK.

    In other words, one would have to stipulate the state of “the end reservoir” in a thermodynamic cycle by more than the usual state variables. One would have to state the orientation of some parts in local gravity fields. This may be so, but it is not what any textbook says, whether written in the 19th Century or in the 21st Century.

    *So there is no question of a vertical gradient in the water.

    • Doug  Cotton   says:

      It is totally impossible to set up any perpetual energy cycle just because of the thermal gradient. That’s where the WUWT article was wrong, because they failed to realise the wire or rod also had a thermal gradient. The combination becomes a single new system and soon reaches a new and stable state of thermodynamic equilibrium. I debunked Watts over a year ago, and you should read BigWaveDave’e comment at the end of the WUWT thread.

      He wrote …

      “Tim Folkerts:

      “You asked …what qualifications do you have to judge a disagreement between PhD physicists on issues of fundamental thermodynamics?

      “I have been earning a living as an engineer specializing in cutting edge technology for very large scale thermal energy transfer processes and power systems for close to 40 years. My credentials include BS, JD and PE, and I have four patents.

      “As for my qualifications to engage in argument with PhD’s, I have many times been part of and have led teams with PhD team mates. I was also married to a PhD for 20 years.

      “Because the import of the consequence of the radial temperature gradient created by pressurizing a spherical body of gas by gravity, from the inside only, is that it obviates the need for concern over GHG’s. And, because this is based on long established fundamental principles that were apparently forgotten or never learned by many PhD’s, it is not something that can be left as an acceptable disagreement.”

      Now, thermo my boy, this is a serious matter involving perhaps a trillion dollars, and many lives. I suggest you stop dabbling in what you do not understand. I am currently debating the issue with a member of the Skeptical Science team on Lucia’s Blackboard, but any trolls who butt in without reading the whole thread can expect what they will get from me.

      It’s time now to quash this greenhouse hoax, and I will raise millions from companies for a class action suit – you’ll see.

    • Doug  Cotton   says:

      There’s a debate between SkS’s team member Neil J. King and myself on Lucia’s Blackboard. My reply today is here.

  105. thermoboy says:

    “…or in the the 21st Century”

    Or in the 22nd Century. I can tell you this, because I am there too. Unfortunately, I am not allowed by the higher spirits to say what stocks you should be buying.

  106. bernie says:


    Of course ‘work’ here means work as discussed in Mechanics 101. A man throwing a ball for his dog, or lifting his kid onto his shoulders, or compressing a spring.

    • ray says:

      Or falling off a ladder. Elementary Mechanics books always struck me as violent and dangerous places, what with cannons going bang and dreadful accidents taking place.

  107. ray says:

    I notice that the UAH Mid-Troposphere global-anomaly number for February is published:

    It is +0.07 degrees K.

    The figures for the Lower Stratosphere are not updated yet,
    but the global-anomaly number in January was:

    -0.16 degrees K.

  108. bernie says:

    Such precision.

    but I am reminded of the lines from Henry V:

    Messenger hurrying in to attend the French general:

    My Lord High Constable, the English lie within fifteen hundred paces of your tents!


    Who hath measured the ground?


    The Lord Grandpre.

    (laughing at the uselessness of the information)

    A valiant and most expert gentleman!

    • ray says:

      To Cotton:

      I click where it says ‘reply’. I just follow along with the way Roy has setup his blog. I agree it can be annoying. The alternative of having all threads together, like unsorted postal mail, is also annoying. Some forums send an automatic message to one’s Email Box whenever there is progress in a particular thread one has contributed to; and one only has click on this to go straight in.


      •  Doug  Cotton   says:

        Yes – I’m just making the point that at least the WUWT sequential comment system is better if people know how to include a link in a comment.

        For any who don’t, click the brown date line and store the URL in your clip board before you start your comment. Then, suppose you are using the word “here” that you want to link, you would type the following without the spaces except for the space before href …


        •  Doug  Cotton   says:

          Sorry, it still tried to link even with the spaces. I’ll try again. Ignore all spaces except for typing a space where ^ is used …

          < a ^ h r e f = " URL “ > h e r e 

        •  Doug  Cotton   says:

          then you have to mark the end of the link with …
          less than sign
          forward slash
          letter “a”
          greater than sign

  109. ray says:

    “The alternative is also annoying…”

    For instance, if twenty posts should now be made after mine which have nothing to do with my point, and you come along and start reading at the end of the Comments, it will not be obvious to you that there has been a response to you. One still has to scroll all over the place. I guess Roy set up his blog as a personal thing, on the cheap. And it IS his blog, so he can do whatever he likes. If I were him, I would hit the “Delete Everything Button” occasionally!.

  110. ray says:

    The detailed figures for the Lower Stratosphere temperatures are still not updated. I actually like to make an average from the three series. It is just another meaningless number to my way of thinking, but ‘warmists’ hate it when you say:

    The average temperature anomaly of the lowest 95% of the atmosphere in the FIRST month of Satellite observations (December 1978) was

    + 0.15 K

    and the figure for the LAST month (January 2014) was

    + 0.10 K.

  111. Doug Cotton says:

    How are you going with the March figures, Roy. In my archived prediction made in August 2011, I said the slight cooling will continue until at least 2027 with an increase in the rate of cooling in 2014.