Skeptical Arguments that Don’t Hold Water

April 25th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

There are some very good arguments for being skeptical of global warming predictions. But the proliferation of bad arguments is becoming almost dizzying.

I understand and appreciate that many of the things we think we know in science end up being wrong. I get that. But some of the alternative explanations I’m seeing border on the ludicrous.

So, here’s my Top 10 list of stupid skeptic arguments. I’m sure there are more, and maybe I missed a couple important ones. Oh well.

My obvious goal here is not to change minds that are already made up, which is impossible (by definition), but to reach 1,000+ (mostly nasty) comments in response to this post. So, help me out here!

1. THERE IS NO GREENHOUSE EFFECT. Despite the fact that downwelling IR from the sky can be measured, and amounts to a level (~300 W/m2) that can be scarcely be ignored; the neglect of which would totally screw up weather forecast model runs if it was not included; and would lead to VERY cold nights if it didn’t exist; and can be easily measured directly with a handheld IR thermometer pointed at the sky (because an IR thermometer measures the IR-induced temperature change of the surface of a thermopile, QED)… Please stop the “no greenhouse effect” stuff. It’s making us skeptics look bad. I’ve blogged on this numerous times…maybe start here.

2. THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT VIOLATES THE 2ND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS. The second law can be stated in several ways, but one way is that the net flow of energy must be from higher temperature to lower temperature. This is not violated by the greenhouse effect. The apparent violation of the 2nd Law seems to be traced to the fact that all bodies emit IR radiation…including cooler bodies toward warmer bodies. But the NET flow of thermal radiation is still from the warmer body to the cooler body. Even if you don’t believe there is 2-way flow, and only 1-way flow…the rate of flow depends upon the temperature of both bodies, and changing the cooler body’s temperature will change the cooling rate (and thus the temperature) of the warmer body. So, yes, a cooler body can make a warm body even warmer still…as evidenced by putting your clothes on.

3. CO2 CANT CAUSE WARMING BECAUSE CO2 EMITS IR AS FAST AS IT ABSORBS. No. When a CO2 molecule absorbs an IR photon, the mean free path within the atmosphere is so short that the molecule gives up its energy to surrounding molecules before it can (on average) emit an IR photon in its temporarily excited state. See more here. Also important is the fact that the rate at which a CO2 molecule absorbs IR is mostly independent of temperature, but the rate at which it emits IR increases strongly with temperature. There is no requirement that a layer of air emits as much IR as it absorbs…in fact, in general, the the rates of IR emission and absorption are pretty far from equal.

4. CO2 COOLS, NOT WARMS, THE ATMOSPHERE. This one is a little more subtle because the net effect of greenhouse gases is to cool the upper atmosphere, and warm the lower atmosphere, compared to if no greenhouse gases were present. Since any IR absorber is also an IR emitter, a CO2 molecule can both cool and warm, because it both absorbs and emits IR photons.

5. ADDING CO2 TO THE ATMOSPHERE HAS NO EFFECT BECAUSE THE CO2 ABSORPTION BANDS ARE ALREADY 100% OPAQUE. First, no they are not, and that’s because of pressure broadening. Second, even if the atmosphere was 100% opaque, it doesn’t matter. Here’s why.

6. LOWER ATMOSPHERIC WARMTH IS DUE TO THE LAPSE RATE/ADIABATIC COMPRESSION. No, the lapse rate describes how the temperature of a parcel of air changes from adiabatic compression/expansion of air as it sinks/rises. So, it can explain how the temperature changes during convective overturning, but not what the absolute temperature is. Explaining absolute air temperature is an energy budget question. You cannot write a physics-based equation to obtain the average temperature at any altitude without using the energy budget. If adiabatic compression explains temperature, why is the atmospheric temperature at 100 mb is nearly the same as the temperature at 1 mb, despite 100x as much atmospheric pressure? More about all this here.

7. WARMING CAUSES CO2 TO RISE, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND The rate of rise in atmospheric CO2 is currently 2 ppm/yr, a rate which is 100 times as fast as any time in the 300,000 year Vostok ice core record. And we know our consumption of fossil fuels is emitting CO2 200 times as fast! So, where is the 100x as fast rise in today’s temperature causing this CO2 rise? C’mon people, think. But not to worry…CO2 is the elixir of life…let’s embrace more of it!

8. THE IPCC MODELS ARE FOR A FLAT EARTH I have no explanation where this little tidbit of misinformation comes from. Climate models address a spherical, rotating, Earth with a day-night (diurnal) cycle in solar illumination and atmospheric Coriolis force (due to both Earth curvature and rotation). Yes, you can do a global average of energy flows and show them in a flat-earth cartoon, like the Kiehl-Trenberth energy budget diagram which is a useful learning tool, but I hope most thinking people can distinguish between a handful of global-average average numbers in a conceptual diagram, and a full-blown 3D global climate model.

9. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A GLOBAL AVERAGE TEMPERATURE Really?! Is there an average temperature of your bathtub full of water? Or of a room in your house? Now, we might argue over how to do the averaging (Spatial? Mass-weighted?), but you can compute an average, and you can monitor it over time, and see if it changes. The exercise is only futile if your sampling isn’t good enough to realistically monitor changes over time. Just because we don’t know the average surface temperature of the Earth to better than, say 1 deg. C, doesn’t mean we can’t monitor changes in the average over time. We have never known exactly how many people are in the U.S., but we have useful estimates of how the number has increased in the last 50-100 years. Why is “temperature” so important? Because the thermal IR emission in response to temperature is what stabilizes the climate system….the hotter things get, the more energy is lost to outer space.

10. THE EARTH ISN’T A BLACK BODY. Well, duh. No one said it was. In the broadband IR, though, it’s close to a blackbody, with an average emissivity of around 0.95. But whether a climate model uses 0.95 or 1.0 for surface emissivity isn’t going to change the conclusions we make about the sensitivity of the climate system to increasing carbon dioxide.

I’m sure I could come up with a longer list than this, but these were the main issues that came to mind.

So why am I trying to stir up a hornets nest (again)? Because when skeptics embrace “science” that is worse that the IPCC’s science, we hurt our credibility.

NOTE: Because of the large number of negative comments this post will generate, please excuse me if I don’t respond to every one. Or even very many of them. But if I see a new point being made I haven’t addressed before, I’ll be more likely to respond.


709 Responses to “Skeptical Arguments that Don’t Hold Water”

Toggle Trackbacks

  1. Mike Bromley says:

    Thanks for the clarifications! Too many armchair scientists can spoil the broth.

    • David Springer says:

      “9. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A GLOBAL AVERAGE TEMPERATURE Really?!”

      Why then don’t you use that global average temperature instead of minute changes to it?

      In other words your claim doesn’t jibe with the data you produce.

    • David Springer says:

      “10. THE EARTH ISN’T A BLACK BODY. Well, duh. No one said it was. In the broadband IR, though, it’s close to a blackbody, with an average emissivity of around 0.95.”

      There is no such thing as an IR-only black body, Dr. Spencer. A black body is a perfect emitter and perfect absorber across all frequencies. The global ocean is quite transparent to shortwave from the sun and quite opaque to longwave from itself and the atmosphere. That makes it a selective material.

      In fact the characteristic of being transparent to shortwave and opaque to longwave is exactly the property that distinguishes greenhouse gases from non-greenhouse gases. To treat the ocean as a blackbody is a grand mistake.

  2. Jim Cripwell says:

    With respect to 2, my understanding of the argument was not that the greenhouse effect was contrary to the second law, but that one explanation of why the greenhouse effect occurs was contrary to the second law.

    • that might be. I would have to see how that argument is phrased. It’s always difficult to describe the processes accurately with words…It’s why some people prefer to live in a world of equations.

      • Lionell Griffith says:

        Unfortunately, there is a massive confusion between causality and equations.

        Much of what passes for “theoretical” science is based upon the false subterranean assumption that the equations CAUSE reality. This, rather than being the result of a derivation from some sort of theory/hypothesis/wag about what the actual facts of causation happen to be.

        Hence, a logical derivation from the equations are taken to be a reference to the actual state of things. It follows that the belief on the part of far too many “theorists” is that if the data doesn’t match the theory, adjust the data to agree with the equations. Better, ignore contrary demonstrable fact. Hence the whole, almost totally fraudulent, field of “climate science”. The fact is that if you can’t get the qualitative argument right, ANY quantitative argument may be useful but does not contain any stain of causality! See the difference between the geocentric and heliocentric descriptions of the path of planets bout the sun for instructive detail.

        If the real data doesn’t agree with the theory (the equations) change the theory (the equations) and not the data! Equations are simply one language used to offer an explanation of things. To be sure, equations more precise than normal qualitative language but not necessarily more accurate. Truth is in the fact, the demonstration, and the actual experiment. If there is any degree of contradiction with that reality, the equations are irrelevant, immaterial, often fraudulent, and, at best, have a highly restricted range of applicability.

        Fundamental fact: The earth atmosphere system has no relationship to an actual greenhouse except for the existence of convection driven by temperature differences. There is no glass roof! Proof? Note that the rockets used to launch things into distant space encountered no such “glass ceiling”. Hence, the use of the label “greenhouse effect” is inapplicable, misleading, and inherently a fraud. The model of an actual greenhouse is false to fact for the earth/atmosphere/space/sun system and should NOT be used in any explanation for what we call “climate”.

        Words mean things and the words used in our explanations are very important. They can reveal or hide truth. Currently, the set of words used in the discussion of “climate” hide more truth than they reveal. So much so, I am convinced the hiding is on purpose with the intent to defraud the careless and ignorant.

      • Dr. D. E. Koelle says:

        Roy,
        If greenhouse gases have a cooling effect at TOA and a warming effect in the
        lower atmosphere – can it be that these effects cancel out each other, taking into
        account that the atmosphere is a highly dynamic system ??

        In this case the resulting effect would be close to zero, as demonstrated by the recent
        development of the largest CO2 emissions ever, but no distinct effect on the global temperature ?

        • Michelle Snowden says:

          Dr. Koelle,

          I have read in several publications that the CO2 emitted by our combustion of fossil fuels is indeed warming the atmosphere. However, natural events (less solar insolation now incident at the top of the atmosphere and more frequent La Niña events)are causing the earth’s atmosphere to cool. These events cancel each other, and this is why there has not been an increase in average global temperature during the last 15 years.

          See http://blog.chron.com/climateabyss/2012/04/about-the-lack-of-warming/

          See http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/abrupt/data2.html

          Michelle Snowden

        • Ebel says:

          Dr. D. E. Koelle says April 28, 2014 at 6:05 AM
          “In this case the resulting effect would be close to zero”

          On the radiation emission of the planet as a whole, the effects are actually zero. In the wavelengths of the atmospheric window with increasing surface temperature increases the emission of radiation of the earth, for it is reduced in other wavelength ranges, the radiation emission of the earth. This is clearly seen in spectral satellite measurements.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      Jim…the problem is the misunderstanding by scientists like Roy and Fred Singer, who cannot tell the difference between IR and heat. As Gerlich and Tscheuschner, two scientists with expertise in thermodynamics claim, the 2nd law is about heat, not IR.

      The 1st law is about IR….the conservation of energy. The 2nd law was developed by Clausius to address problems with the 1st law in which perpetual motion, like the theorized AGW back radiation, were allowed. In essence, the 1st law does not allow for losses, a mistake made initially by Carnot when he claimed there were no losses in a heat engine.

      Clausius had no problems putting it in words. He claimed that IR can be exchanged between bodies of different temperature but heat can only be transferred from the warmer body to the cooler body.

      IR is NOT heat. Heat is the average kinetic energy of the atoms in a substance and IR is part of the EM spectrum emitted by an atom as it’s electrons change energy states. Or, by certain molecules as their bond energies change states.

      Solar energy is over 50% IR and the only source of that energy is a boiling cauldron of helium and hydrogen atoms. There is no heat contained in the IR emitted by the Sun because there are no atoms with which to determine the average kinetic energy. Heat can be transferred by IR but it needs to interact with atomic structure in order to raise the average kinetic energy of the substance.

      The greenhouse effect is based on a claim that real greenhouses trap IR, which is nonsense. The glass in real greenhouses trap atoms/molecules of air, like N2 and O2, which make up 98% of air. Those molecules are warmed by conduction from soil warmed by solar energy. Without the glass, the N2 and O2 molecules would rise, but since they are blocked from rising, their average kinetic energy continues to rise. Also, convective air is prevented from replacing the trapped air molecules.

      This is a no brainer. There is nothing like glass in the atmosphere and even if GHGs behaved like glass, they account for 1% of the atmosphere, giving the equivalent of 1 pane of glass in a greenhouse with 100 panes of glass.

      • Ned Nikolov says:

        Gordon,

        You made some very good points! It’s not only about the 2nd Law. The current Greenhouse theory also violates the 1st Law of Thermodynamics, which is the only strictly quantitative law. What do I mean by this?

        According to the mainstream theory, the natural Greenhouse Effect (GE) is due to absorption of the outgoing IR flux by atmospheric gases and re-radiation of a PART of that flux back to the surface. The outgoing IR flux originates at the surface as a result of heating by shortwave radiation from the Sun. In other words, in the current GH theory, the Sun is the ultimate and only source of energy to the Earth-atmosphere system, and the outgoing IR flux is basically a wave-length transformed solar flux. This immediately implies that the downward IR radiation being a part of the outgoing IR flux absorbed by GHGs should NOT exceed the the total shortwave flux absorbed the the ENTIRE Earth-atmosphere system. This is dictated by the 1st Law, and is perfectly reproduced by the radiative transfer models if run without any adiabatic adjustments (i.e. when only considering the vertical distribution of IR absorbers).

        However, the actual measurements show a different picture. The Earth-atmosphere system absorbs on average 240 W m-2 of shortwave radiation from the Sun, while the down-welling IR flux in the lower atmosphere is 345.6 W m-2 (see Stephens et al. 2012: http://www.aos.wisc.edu/~tristan/publications/2012_EBupdate_stephens_ngeo1580.pdf). In other words, the lower atmosphere emits some 44% MORE energy towards the surface than the TOTAL amount absorbed from the Sun! The existence of this 106 W m-2 ‘surplus’ energy flux suggests that the lower atmosphere is being heated by something other than the absorbed outgoing IR radiation. This extra 106 W m-2 LW radiation coming down is a manifestation of a higher near-surface air temperature caused by another mechanism. Therefore, the explanation of the atmospheric thermal effect (a.k.a. GE) provided by the current radiative theory cannot be true simply because it violates the 1st Law of thermodynamics pertaining to energy conservation… However, there is an alternative explanation based on thermodynamics (soon to be published) that explains the surface temperature as being completely independent of atmospheric composition.

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          @Ned Nikolov “The existence of this 106 W m-2 ‘surplus’ energy flux suggests that the lower atmosphere is being heated by something other than the absorbed outgoing IR radiation”.

          Is it possible that the atmosphere absorbs long-wave radiation from incoming solar energy? Over 50% of solar radiation is in the infrared spectrum. It has been presumed that only molecules of H20 and CO2 can absorb infrared but any atom will absorb infrared. Also, since clouds, as opposed to water vapour, are more like lakes of water to infrared, is it possible that clouds are absorbing the incoming IR and re-radiating it to the surface?

          If water in clouds warmed that would warm N2 and O2 by conduction, or possibly convection.

          Just thinking out loud.

          • AJ Virgo says:

            What about heat from the Earths Core/Mantle. Go down a mine and you will feel a lot of heat. There are many hotspots right on the surface too and under the ocean.

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          @NedNikolov “the Sun is the ultimate and only source of energy to the Earth-atmosphere system, and the outgoing IR flux is basically a wave-length transformed solar flux”.

          This is being missed entirely by people who rely purely on equations and don’t understand the physical basis of that transformation. When solar energy warms the surface, the surface becomes a radiator of IR, the intensity and frequency of which is dependent on the surface temperature.

          Circa 1910, Watts claimed that radiated IR would be ineffective anywhere beyond a few feet above the surface due to the inverse-square law.

          That IR is partially absorbed by gases that make up 1% of atmospheric gases and in the case of ACO2, it’s only about 0.001%, based on a density of 390 ppmv. It should be obvious immediately that the scale of back-radiation available is trivial compared to the immense outgoing flux.

          So, we have solar energy transformed to IR by the surface and a small part of the IR is absorbed by GHGs. Since the GHGs are at a lower temperature, they are radiating IR at a lower intensity and in a narrower band of EM frequencies. Furthermore, they are only radiating a portion of a tiny fraction back to the surface.

          Even if back-radiation exists, it’s intensity is too low to affect the KE of atoms and molecules on the surface. That’s why Clausius could make the claim that both a warmer and cooler body will radiate IR but that heat can only be transferred from the warmer body to the cooler body.

          Alarmists have made the astounding claim that such back-radiation can be added to solar energy as if they are independent IR radiators. The energy came from the Sun in the first place. Can an alarmist explain how that energy gets recycled so it can be re-added to the energy that created it? That’s called perpetual motion.

          I come from a background in engineering and I have no interest in math that has no reality to back it. Sometimes you have to stand back from the math and ask some serious questions about that reality.

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          Ned says: “This immediately implies that the downward IR radiation being a part of the outgoing IR flux absorbed by GHGs should NOT exceed the the total shortwave flux absorbed the the ENTIRE Earth-atmosphere system. “

          No. Conservation of energy does NOT imply that! That statement is completely muddled!

          Conservation of energy says the total energy within a system can only change if energy goes into/out of that systems from the rest of the universe.

          So look at the “system” consisting of “the atmosphere”. The energy within the atmosphere can only change by adding or removing energy from the atmosphere. Since the atmosphere is (pretty close to) steady-state, the rate of energy into the atmosphere is (pretty closer to) equal to the rate of energy leaving the atmosphere.

          The energy INTO the atmosphere consists of lots of things: radiation from the surface, phase change of water, convection, and absorbed sunlight. Conservation of energy requires that the IR leaving the atmosphere not exceed the total of these inputs to the atmosphere (NOT the input to the surface!).

          More completely, the change in the atmospheric energy (each seconf each sqwould be (using Trenberth numbers)
          Δ = +356+78+17+80 – 333 -169

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          “This [1st Law] immediately implies that the downward IR radiation being a part of the outgoing IR flux absorbed by GHGs should NOT exceed the the total shortwave flux absorbed the the ENTIRE Earth-atmosphere system. “

          No. That is NOT what the 1st Law of Thermodynamics (ie conservation of energy) implies! This is completely muddled.

          Conservation of energy says the energy of a “system” can only change if it gains/lose energy to/from the surroundings. It is vital to pick a “system” and analyze that system.

          In Ned’s statement, the “system” is “the atmosphere”. The atmosphere gains energy in four (significant) ways: absorbing solar radiation, absorbing thermal IR from the surface, condensation of water vapor, and convection. The energy loses energy two ways: thermal IR to the surface and thermal IR to space.

          So to correct Ned, this implies that the downward IR radiation being a part of (the outgoing IR flux + incoming solar energy + convection + condensation) absorbed by the entire atmosphere should NOT exceed the the total of (outgoing IR flux + incoming solar energy + convection + condensation).

          Even more strongly, the (downward IR radiation + upward radiation to space) should equal (the outgoing IR flux + incoming solar energy + convection + condensation) (since the atmosphere is maintaining a steady temperature). I take Trenberth’s numbers as rough estimates, but they agree that (total in) = (total out)

          If instead we want to look at the last part of Ned’s statement, then the “system” is the “surface + atmosphere”. Then the proper conclusion would be “the UPWARD IR radiation leaving the ENTIRE Earth-atmosphere system should should NOT exceed the the total shortwave flux absorbed the the ENTIRE Earth-atmosphere system.” Again, this holds true (other than tiny imbalances that cause global warming or cooling).

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            Oops — the first draft that I though got lost in a glitch seems to have come through! The “second draft” is a more complete version of my thoughts.

      • Christopher Game says:

        Dear Gordon Robertson, you write ” Heat is the average kinetic energy of the atoms in a substance.” This statement is profoundly muddled. It is just the kind of statement that Dr Spencer is concerned about, as making sceptics look muddled in science. Here is not the place for me to try to clarify your thinking about heat, it is just for me to point out that you need to do that for yourself.

        • Nabil Swedan says:

          “IR is NOT heat-Gordon.”

          Both are energy and they are equal. The laws of thermodynamics treats them equally. In fact the radiation equation (Boltzmann) can be easily derived from the basic heat laws of thermodynamics. There is no radiation from a cold body to a warmer body. The back-radiations in the formula is only to calculate the potential net, just like Ohm’s law or Ficks law. There is absolutely no back-radiations and no experiments to proof their existence.

          Infrared astronomy is based on measuring minute IR from the cosmos. In the presence of 340 W/m2 of back radiations at night, it would be impossible for infrared astronomy to exist. Either infrared astronomy is fiction or back-radiation is fiction. The answer is obvious.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @Nabil Swedan ““IR is NOT heat-Gordon.” “Both are energy and they are equal. The laws of thermodynamics treats them equally”.

            No, they don’t. IR is covered by the 1st law and heat by the 2nd law. Conservation of energy (1st law) applies to the total energy in a system and there are instances under the first law that permit perpetual motion. AGW relies on that flaw. The 2nd law was developed to close that loophole by introducing losses into heat engines.

            You cannot sum incoming and outgoing IR and claim the 2nd law is satisfied because the 2nd law applies only to heat. You must take into account losses and respect the basis of the 2nd law that heat can only be transferred from a warmer body to a cooler body under ordinary means.

            The 1st law does not address those stipulations.

        • Gordon Robertson says:

          @Christopher Game “Here is not the place for me to try to clarify your thinking about heat”

          Can’t think of a better place. Roy has gone out on a limb as a climate skeptic and I applaud him for his courage and integrity. However, he has made statements about heat that are questionable to me. Pierre Latour has offered excellent rebuttals to Roy’s claims about heat and I think Roy has failed to respond adequately.

          When I claim heat is the average kinetic energy of atoms in a substance that’s about as close as you are going to get to an explanation of heat, like it or not. The term kinetic energy is dubious since it only tells us that some kind of energy is in action and not waiting to act. If heat is the causative energy, and it has caused atoms in a substance to vibrate harder, and those atoms stop vibrating when the heat energy is withdrawn, then what is going on?

          The question may be asked as to what the difference is between different energies? What is the difference between IR as part of the electromagnetic energy spectrum, gravitational energy, electrical energy, and so on?

          EM seems to have a frequency dependency with regard to its intensity whereas heat does not. That may explain why heat can only be transferred from a warmer body to a cooler body via radiation under ordinary means. In a warmer body, the average KE is higher and the IR it emits has a higher intensity and frequency than the IR emitted by a cooler body. Obviously IR of a lower intensity cannot affect the KE of atoms in a substance at a higher temperature.

          That’s all I am trying to say by claiming heat is the average KE of the atoms in a substance. If you have two bodies of different temperatures the only difference between them is that one has atoms with higher KEs.

          If you disagree with that I’d appreciate an explanation.

          As far as this claim that certain people are making a fool of skeptics, I think it is largely an expression of arrogance. If a person is technically challenged and he is trying to honestly express a POV, I think that should be welcomed.

          • Christopher Game says:

            Gordon Robertson says “Can’t think of a better place.”

            Still Christopher thinks here is not the place.

            The word heat has many meanings. Since the days of Clausius, its meaning has been very thoroughly reconsidered by physicists. Nowadays, in physics, the word heat has a refined definition. Evidently, dear Gordon, you reject that refined definition, and you prefer, more or less, the usage of Clausius.

            In kinetic theory, temperature is defined in terms of the average kinetic energy of particles. In physics in general, heat and temperature are considered to be distinctly different concepts. When you “claim heat is the average kinetic energy of atoms in a substance”, you are kicking sand in the face of customary present-day physical thinking, and not thereby showing that you have a superior understanding.

            I still don’t think it appropriate for me to let you lead me into trying to offer you here a general exposition of current physical thinking about heat. I still think that is something for you to investigate in your own way and time. Perhaps I can recommend Arnold Münster’s Classical Thermodynamics (1970), translated into English by E.S. Halberstadt, Wiley-Interscience, London, ISBN 0-471-62430-6.

            Perhaps I can summarize current preferred thinking about heat by saying that heat is energy in process of spontaneous transfer from one body to another other than as work or through the transfer of matter. The sense of the transfer defines which is the hotter and which the colder of the two bodies, the transfer being from the hotter to the colder, by definition. In this there is no mention of particles such as atoms, and no mention of temperature.

            Kelvin defined absolute thermodynamic temperature consequently upon Carnot’s statement of the second law, interpreted in the light of the relation between energy transfers as work and as heat, leaving behind Carnot’s original belief in the caloric theory of Laplace and Lavoisier. In present-day physics, heat does not reside in a body, pace Clausius who used language in a different way.

            I regret to say that “Obviously IR of a lower intensity cannot affect the KE of atoms in a substance at a higher temperature” and “If you have two bodies of different temperatures the only difference between them is that one has atoms with higher KEs” are homespun handwaving, not rational physics. If you want to be taken seriously, you need to do a lot of work to develop skills in rational presentation of your thoughts about physics. A lot of work, learning diligently from textbooks such as Münster.

          • Carl Brehmer says:

            “When I claim heat is the average kinetic energy of atoms in a substance that’s about as close as you are going to get to an explanation of heat, like it or not.”

            What you are describing is “temperature”. The “temperature” of matter is the average kinetic energy present within the random movements of its atoms and molecules; its symbol is “T” and its units of measurement are degrees on any one of the Kelvin, Celsius or Fahrenheit scales. “Heat” on the other hand is an energy flux between a system and its surroundings; its symbol is “Q” and its units of measurement are W/m^2.

            When the “temperature” of a system is equal to the “temperature” of its surroundings it is in thermal equilibrium and the “heat” (the energy flux between the system and its surroundings) = zero as per the “zeroth law” of thermodynamics. “Temperature” and “heat” therefore are independent thermodynamic realities. For example, a thermodynamic system could have a temperature of 1,000 K without there being any “heat” provided that the surroundings are 1,000 K as well. With this understanding let’s take a look at the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis.

            The foundation of the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis is an attempt to convert a “heat” measurement into a “temperature” measurement. That is, satellites in orbit have measured the “heat” flow through the Earth/atmosphere thermodynamic system to be ~238 W/m^2. This is the mean outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) and is believed to equal the amount of solar energy being absorbed by the Earth/atmosphere thermodynamic system.

            It is calculated that a fictitious planet that has a black-body surface and no atmosphere that is radiating and average of ~238 W/m^2 of IR radiation would have a mean surface temperature of -18 °C. This calculated mean surface temperature of this fictitious planet in question is called the “effective radiating temperature” of the Earth. Keep in mind that this fictitious planet differs from the Earth in three profound ways. 1) The Earth has an atmosphere and therefore does not have a radiating surface. The average OLR at the TOA is a composite of the “net radiation heat loss” from the entire system–from the hard surface up through the atmosphere–with some “heat” being added to the total from every altitude along the way, 2) the Earth not a “blackbody” even though many adherents of the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis treat it as such because they either don’t know what “emissivity” is or don’t want to deal with its complexity and 3) if the Earth had no atmosphere and was a blackbody than the heat flow through the surface would be 340 W/m^2 (no albedo) instead of ~238 W/m^2 and its mean surface temperature would be about 5 °C and not -18 °C.

            If this “science” isn’t bad enough the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis goes on to compare the calculated temperature of this fictitious planet not to the average temperature of tropospheric air, but instead arbitrarily compares it to the average temperature of the hottest part of the troposphere—the thin layer of air 1-2 meters off of the ground. Since the calculated mean surface temperature of the fictitious planet is 33 °C cooler than the hottest part of the troposphere the difference between these two unrelated numbers is called a “greenhouse effect”! If the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis would have instead arbitrarily compared the calculated mean surface temperature of the fictitious planet to the average temperature of the air at the tropopause we would be debating why the Earth is 42 °C cooler than it should be.

            So, what do we have? We have a hypothesis that doesn’t know the difference between “temperature” and “heat” that is based on the calculated mean surface temperature of a fictitious planet, which it compares not to the average temperature of tropospheric air but rather with the temperature of the hottest part of the troposphere, i.e., sea level air. In order to explain the discrepancy between these two unrelated temperatures it is then proposed that the IR radiation being emitted by 1-2% of the air is heating the lower troposphere while simultaneously cooling the upper troposphere. To complete this circle of irrational thinking, water vapor, which is supposedly responsible for 66-75% of an effect that presumably warms the lower atmosphere while simultaneously cooling the upper atmosphere is actually known by all climatologists to do the opposite. That is, based on exhaustive weather balloon studies, water vapor is observed to cool the lower atmosphere while warming the air aloft, i.e., water vapor is know to decrease, not increase the lapse rate.

            When attempting to point out these glaring flaws that are contained within the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis the response one gets is “Please stop the ‘no greenhouse effect’ stuff. It’s making us skeptics look bad.” Who is making who look bad?

            Carl

          • David Springer says:

            @Carl Brehmer

            Outstanding.

            The average temperature of the global ocean is pretty close to 4C. That equates to a blackbody radiant emission very close to 240W/m2. That radiant emission also happens to be very close to the average insolation absorbed by the global ocean after accounting for approximately 30% albedo.

            The ocean is a selective body transparent to solar shortwave and opaque to longwave from itself and the atmosphere. The ocean is also a fluid stratified by temperature and salinity. The greenhouse effect I believe is largely caused by uneven heating of the ocean with subsequent stratification and horizontal convection of ~30C surface water in the tropics spreading toward the poles and not sinking because it’s less dense than 90% of the volume beneath it.

            The global ocean is, in other words, an uber-greenhouse fluid with far greater selectivity than any gas in the atmosphere. Atmospheric greenhouse fluids such as CO2 only work in small absorption bands, unlike water which is completely opaque to all the relevant emission frequencies, and the thermal mass of the atmosphere is less than 0.1% of the ocean which pretty much makes it the tail wagged by a dog named the global ocean mixed layer.

      • Ebel says:

        Gordon Robertson says April 25, 2014 at 10:42 PM
        “The 2nd law was developed by Clausius”

        Read Clausius 1864 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/andp.18641970102/abstract

        Gordon Robertson says April 25, 2014 at 10:42 PM
        “As Gerlich and Tscheuschner”

        The paper by Gerlich and Tscheuschner one could confidential forget.

  3. Thanks for doing this. Prepare for cotton socks.

    • I’ve got my cotton sock blockers updated…but there always seems to be a way around them. ;-)

    • Konrad says:

      Anthony,
      don’t cheer too soon. Dr. Spencer has slain a number of strawmen, but has made a critical mistake in his point 10.

      You should note that Dr. Robert Brown, Willis and Viscount Monckton at WUWT have no counter to my empirical experiments in this area except insults and calls for censorship.

      The temperature for the oceans in the absence of atmospheric cooling and DWLWIR should be +80C, not -18C as the Lukwarmers claim. Regardless of an IR emissivity close to 1, the oceans respond to SW/UV nowhere even close to a blackbody. This error is so huge it invalidates not just AGW but the whole of the radiative GHE hypothesis itself.

      If you keep pursuing the idea of a single voice for sceptics from the Lukewarmer position, you cannot win, because Lukewarmers are just as wrong as AGW believers. And that’s totally and utterly wrong. A 98C error in the calculation for ocean temperatures in the absence of atmospheric cooling and DWLWIR? No amount of Lukewarmer hand-waving can ever hide that one ;-)

  4. Hans Erren says:

    Thank you, the dragon slayers are spoiling the real scientific debate.

    • Which is why Lindzen half-suspects they are actually paid trolls who are out to waste our time. Interesting theory…I sometimes wonder…

      • Fonzarelli says:

        Disinformationalists, Dr. S., disinformationalists…

      • Nabil Swedan says:

        The salyers in my opinion are wrong but have been consistent, and cost us nothing. Many of the so called skeptics have been wrong and changed from one wrong position to another wrong position, of course for interest. The cost has been billions of dollars and over 130 years, and nothing has been accomplished. This I call a big waste of time and money. Is not this a good reason to stop chasing the greenhouse gas effect ghost?

      • Rather than a lengthy point-by-point rebuttal….consider

        #2 “No Virginia, Cooler Objects Do Not Make Warmer Objects Warmer Still” by
        Dr Pierre Latour, PhD Chemical Engineer @ Principia Scientific International.

        #3 “On the Validity of Kirchoff” by Dr Pierre-Marie Robitaille on errors in Kirchoff,
        Planck, Stefan and Boltzman. Absorption varies with temperature and pressure.
        Posted at ThermalPhysics.org

        #4 CO2 has a Specific Heat of 0.80, meaning it heats and COOLS faster than air.

        #8 “Copernicus Meets the Greenhouse Effect” by Joe Postma at PSI.

        The average thundercloud is 20 km in diameter, has 10^15 joules of energy that was removed from the oceans by Latent Heat of Vaporization and released at latitude by Latent Heat of Condensation. Eventually each thunderstorm drops 15 x 10^8 kg of COOLING rain or FREEZING hail, sleet or snow on the warmer Earth. There are over 16 million average thunderstorms on Earth every year….yet water vapor is the most powerful magic WARMING gas.

        Thank you for allowing a wider debate than some ‘skeptic’ sites.

        • Dr. Strangelove says:

          Half of the latent heat released in condensation will go back to surface in the form of IR after it becomes sensible at high altitude. Most of downwelling IR is absorbed by the ocean, less than 25% is evaporated.

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        @Roy…”Which is why Lindzen half-suspects they are actually paid trolls who are out to waste our time”.

        Lindzen also gave you excellent advice, to refrain from commenting on disciplines in which you have no expertise. Each time you talk about thermodynamics you put your foot in your mouth.

        In one thought experiment, you tried to argue that under certain conditions, without the application of external energy, that heat could be transferred from a colder body to a warmer body. Why don’t you just read Clausius? He was an expert on thermodynamics and he made it abundantly clear that IR is not heat.

        He also coined the term entropy, and many scientists have totally messed up what it’s about, mainly because they have applied equations without understanding it. Physicist David Bohm once claimed that equation not backed up by reality are garbage.

        Clausius defined entropy as the disgregation of atoms in a substance as the substance was heated. He was talking about the tendency of atoms to vibrate harder as they gain kinetic energy while deviating in greater amounts from their mean free path. Most of what I have seen written about entropy is in equation form with no effort to explain what it is.

      • David Springer says:

        Cotton swab is right about the ocean being pretty frickin’ far from a blackbody with polar opposite absorption characteristics for shortwave and longwave. It’s a selective fluid just like a greenhouse gas transparent to SW and opaque to LW. A blackbody is a perfect absorber and emitter ACROSS ALL FREQUENCIES and the global ocean absolutely does not meet that definition.

  5. Dr. Spencer I hope you will be able to address this?

    MY COUNTER ARGUMENT

    If CO2 is to have a climate effect(LEAD IT) why would the rate in the rise of CO2 values have an effect on the climate while concentration levels

    of CO2 many times greater in the past then today had NO effect on leading the climate??

    Fact: Past history records (like the chart I sent yesterday) show that no matter how high CO2 concentrations are in the atmosphere they never LEAD the climate/temperature trend. It has always followed the temperature trend.

    The question is why would just a rapid rise in CO2 concentrations from very low levels (280 ppm) to still low levels (400ppm today versus past CO2

    concentrations levels of 2000 ppm or higher) somehow cause CO2 to lead the climate/temperature, when in the past CO2 concentration levels many times greater then today’s levels still could not exert enough forcing on the climate to LEAD it?

    How in the world could lower values of CO2 concentrations (today’s values) somehow exert enough forcing on the climate to lead it when in the past much higher values of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere still could not exert enough forcing on the climate to lead it ? It(CO2) always has followed the temperature regardless of it’s concentration in the atmosphere. Why is that going to change just because it is increasing at a fast rate?

    That is what the data shows.

    • to me, it’s not the “forcing”, its the “feedback”. If our interpretation of the paleoclimate record (which is far from “fact”) is correct (which I doubt it is), then the insensitivity to CO2 is due to strong negative feedbacks in the climate system. NOT to a lack of forcing by CO2. Understand?

      • provoter says:

        This point is so basic that it would be difficult to productively discuss any greenhouse effect issues with anyone who refused to try and understand it. YES the greenhouse effect exists; YES CO2 is a greenhouse gas; but NO, this is not the end of the story. Feedback effects also exist, both positive and negative, and it is entirely possible (nearly certain IMO, I admit) that the net feedback effect is negative, perhaps strongly so.

        It truly is all about the feedbacks, so that is where the action is in any educated discussion of the question, “What does adding CO2 to the atmosphere do to the atmosphere?”

        The faithful of the CAGW religion forfeit the support of science the second they claim scientific near-certainty of strong net-positive feedbacks. The totality of the evidence to this point strongly supports the position that a large addition of anthropogenic CO2 must indeed cause some actual, net global temperature increase, but to a degree so small (thanks to low or negative net feedback) that, if properly understood, would frighten no intelligent being anywhere, ever. Much credit goes to Dr. Spencer for his ongoing efforts to distance us from the riffraff who, with their “no greenhouse effect exists” ravings, would keep this fact from being front and center – where it belongs.

        • David Springer says:

          Of course feedback is negative in the current climate. The dry adiabat is 10C/km and the saturated adiabat is 5C/km. The saturated adiabat varies *strongly* with temperature increasing as the air gets colder and thus holds less water. The result is a negative lapse rate feedback whose strength increases with temperature.

          A real joke is trying to give climate sensitivity a fixed number. It varies with temperature due to the above. During glacial periods it’s large and when the ocean is mostly liquid it’s small. I’ve been saying for years that CO2 is the kindling which ignites the water cycle. Once the water cycle is going strong water vapor takes over from CO2 and the ocean heats up until evaporation creates enough boundary layer clouds to starve the ocean of SW putting a ceiling on further mixed layer warming.

          In effect CO2 is a control knob but it only sets a floor temperature. Water vapor is the big Kahuna in the current climate sustaining the interglacial average temperature. Clouds are a control knob that sets a ceiling temperature.

          • David Springer says:

            We see this demonstrated in the long ice core records when the earth transitiobns from glacial to interglacial. Temperature shoots up like a rocket over a very short span of time then hits a ceiling temperature which is never again reached during the interglacial. The ceiling temperature is essentially the same every cycle. What happens is the ice starts melting and positive albedo feedback causes a runaway warming of the ocean until further temperature increase is choked off by negative feedback from boundary layer clouds.

            It’s not really rocket science but you have to get the first principles correct and treating the ocean as a blackbody and water vapor amplification as never-ending is wrong as far as first principles go. Climate sensitivity is a temperature dependent variable large during glacial epochs and small during interglacials.

      • it snows more when oceans are warm and Polar Oceans are Thawed. It snows less when oceans are cold and Polar oceans are frozen. This keeps temperature in the modern tight bounds that exist since the Polar Ice cycles developed and matured … Look at Actual Data.

      • It does not matter how much heat that more CO2 will provide. Once the oceans are warm and the Polar Oceans are Thawed, it will snow as much and as long as necessary to build ice that advances to stop the warming and bring on the next Little Ice Age or whatever cold period that follows.
        The temperature that Polar Ice freezes and thaws is the set point. When it is warmer, the snowfall is turned on. When it is colder, the snowfall is turned off.

        Some Climate Scientist, with proper credentials, will pick this up and become famous. But, your heard this first from Ewing and Donn in the 1950′s, from Tom Wysmuller more recently, and from http://popesclimatetheory.com/, most recently.

  6. I agree with all of your points except number 7.

  7. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BleEEskCMAA0GBs.jpg:large

    The data shows no matter how high CO2 concentrations are they follow the temperature.

    That is my case.

    • DocSiders says:

      As Salvatore points out, no “tipping points˝ at higher CO2 levels show up in the records… do they? Is a higher rate of concentration apt to generate “tipping” that a lower RATE would not?

  8. geran says:

    Dr. Spencer writes (Point 1) “Despite the fact that downwelling IR from the sky can be measured, and amounts to a level (~300 W/m2) that can be scarcely be ignored;”
    >>>>>
    No, you are confusing photon flux with energy. As the “300 W/m2″ originates from approx. -60ºF, it can heat very little on Earth.

    …the neglect of which would totally screw up weather forecast model runs if it was not included;”
    >>>>>
    Uh, there are few ways to screw up weather forecast models more than they are.

    …and would lead to VERY cold nights if it didn’t exist; and can be easily measured directly with a handheld IR thermometer pointed at the sky (because an IR thermometer measures the IR-induced temperature change of the surface of a thermopile, QED)…
    >>>>>
    In dry climates, we see a significant drop in night temps. But, in high humidity, the drop is not so severe. Kinda messes with the “magic CO2″ mystique, huh?

    And, that is just “Point 1″.

    • sigh….oh well, I got 7 reasonable comments before it started….

      • geran says:

        Dr. Roy, we disagree on CO2, but I salute your willingness to “hear” my side of the argument. You obviously have an interest in being a REAL scientist.

        Now, if you can ban some of those phonies. :)

      • Lionell Griffith says:

        I see. “Reasonable” means, to you, those who agree with your position without reservation or question. To me, that is about as far as one can get from being “reasonable” (ie. to use reason to come to conclusions about reality).

        Reality is what it is and only what it is. What you think/”know”/believe/assert it is can easily have nothing to do with what reality actually is. In fact, reality doesn’t give a damn about such things. It stubbornly stays exactly what it is in spite or your or anyone else’s most authoritative confabulations.

  9. So, where is the 100x as fast rise in today’s temperature causing this CO2 rise?

    Dr. Spencer says in the above.

    That is not the point , the point is there has never been a period of time through out earth’s history including today where CO2 has lead the temperature. In addition show me a sustained correlation between CO2 rising first followed by a temperature rise. It has not happened as of today.

    IF I AM WRONG GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE.

    • Salvatore, I am not claiming CO2 will necessarily cause a significant rise in temperature…I’m saying the 10 arguments I listed above are bad arguments.

    • provoter says:

      I think you are completely misunderstanding the post’s arguments. Your basic point that temperature has always lead CO2 and not vice-versa is almost certainly correct and probably not something Dr. Spencer would quarrel with. But this does not mean there is no greenhouse effect or that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas; it only means that whatever its effects, they are mostly canceled out by small or negative net feedback and by the logarithmic nature of the effects of increased CO2 concentration.

      None of this means that a large, man-made addition of CO2 to the atmosphere can’t cause some minor blip on the global temperature radar screen. And assuming it does, who should really care? (Answer: no one.) A person can disagree with these points all day long, but a proper prelude would be to actually understand them first. Try it – it’s really not hard at all.

      • Lionell Griffith says:

        That there is no glass ceiling about the earth means exactly there can be no actual greenhouse effect. The use of the term is totally false to fact and is misleading, misdirecting, and ultimately fraudulent.

        Please use precision and accuracy in your language and perhaps more than just precision will be found in your equations. Until that time, no one can understand what you are talking about and, likely, not even yourself.

        • provoter says:

          Oh, Lord – here we go…

          Of course there is no literal glass ceiling over Earth, and of course there is therefore no greenhouse effect that is the same as the literal, glass-roof greenhouse effect. Good God, man – are you truly unaware that it’s been said only about, gosh, I don’t know – six trillion times or so – that the atmospheric greenhouse effect is not at all a literal one? That the term is just an unfortunate misnomer? When you say there is no greenhouse effect, you are saying that Earth’s atmosphere would be the same if water vapor, CO2, methane, etc. did not at all absorb and re-emit some portions of infrared radiation. That Earth’s temperature would be the same if there were no water in the air. Hello?

          Dr. Spencer’s patience is superhuman, I submit.

          • gbaikie says:

            –Of course there is no literal glass ceiling over Earth, and of course there is therefore no greenhouse effect that is the same as the literal, glass-roof greenhouse effect. Good God, man – are you truly unaware that it’s been said only about, gosh, I don’t know – six trillion times or so – that the atmospheric greenhouse effect is not at all a literal one? That the term is just an unfortunate misnomer? –

            Unfortunate misnomer?
            I think it’s unfortunate misnomer, like the worker’s paradise is an unfortunate misnomer.

            The problem is nothing works the way the greenhouse effect says it is suppose to work. No one has or will use greenhouse gases to warm anything.

            And also I would say earth doesn’t need a glass ceiling to be a greenhouse.
            Or the vacuum of space works great at stopping all convection.
            And the purpose of glass ceiling on greenhouse is to stop convection losses.
            So the presence of greenhouse gases has nothing to do with why greenhouse [or parked car with windows rolled up] is warm.

            So what you have in existence something that actual can warm and it’s known as greenhouse, and then you have an invented theory which is claimed work kind of sort of like how greenhouse works.

            So it’s like already having horses that can plow a field, and it’s a known as plough horse. And then have an idea that rabbits can be used to plow fields, so then you call this idea that rabbits could plow fields, The Ploughhorse Effect.

            It’s wishful thinking. It’s selling cow manure as “Sunshine”.

  10. Chuck Wiese says:

    Hi Roy: One of these points you bring up here is important to this discussion. Since CO2 cools the upper troposphere ( as calculated with the founding principles) it is not going to amplify water vapors optical depth. The feedbacks are negative, as the drying of the upper troposphere has been apparent for several years.

    This reduces water vapor’s optical depth through an amplification of the hydro cycle. The result cannot and should not be a warming affect at the surface. That would only be true in the absence of water vapor and liquid water as GHG constituents.

    The founding principles taught us that CO2 proxies for a higher water vapor optical depth and I firmly believe that is correct, and no frivolous “climate model” ever disproved this, instead these AGW activists have supplanted the correct physics with failed models.

    Chuck Wiese
    Meteorologist

    • greenhouse gases warm the lower troposphere and cool the upper troposphere, which destabilizes it, which causes “weather”. If you double CO2 in a simple radiative-convective model (we have done this), the convection spreads the lower tropospheric warmth into the upper troposphere as well. (3D models show the same thing).

      Now, it IS possible that water vapor feedback will be negative, limiting the warming to a benign value. The radiosonde humidity data in the last 50 years hints that this might be going on…but raob humidity measurements are notoriously suspect, and the sensors have changed over time.

      • Chuck Wiese says:

        Yes, but the founding principles demonstrate that water vapor does that by itself. Emden’s work bore that out, but got the wrong polar to tropic tropopause temperatures.

        Richard Gooody’s work with CO2 fixed that and showed the tropical tropopause became COLDER than at the poles as it should and does do.

        That makes a weak case that CO2 has an effect on the surface temperatures. Miskolczi’s measurements when he was at NASA also lend considerable credibility to this.

        As much as those who trust models would like to believe they are correct, they are being incredibly dishonest. Not only have models failed, nobody should have ever claimed it is possible to predict the climate with such large time integrations when the limits of the governing differential equations can never be truly satisfied through the necessity to parameterize them.

        This is the same thing as saying we don’t have to get the day to day weather correct but can still calculate a correct energy balance…that is absurd.

        Chuck Wiese
        Meteorologist

        • M D Mill says:

          I respectfully take issue with your implication.
          By analogy ,if we fill a known bucket with a fast flow of water at a set rate we will not now the exact level of the water at any given time…the roiling of the water is too complex to calculate. But we can say with certainty what the average water level will be at any given time (if we can assume no bubbles). And we can know even more certainly what the rise rate of that average will be.
          Most classical physics problem that have a solution, also have some (tractable) linear small signal solution, around any valid initial condition, even if we are dealing with long time averaged quantities. It is certainly proper to assume such a solution exists(for the earth) and test for it.
          If I increase the solar output of the sun by some fixed sufficiently small amount, then it is reasonal to assume the yearly running average global temperature (however you wish to define it) will change (eventually) by some proportional small fixed component–It is reasonable to assume that the earth is not so unstable that this is true: even if other cyclical and pseudo random events are ongoing at the same time, they are obeying physical law and a linear perturbation theory will hold. I need not know anything about the day to day “running” of the weather to develope these models.
          You seem to argue that the day to day weather system is so complex that we can know nothing about longer term trends, and should not try. The story of physics is about making simplifying assumptions about an “infinitely” complex world, which non-the-less work. I do not think it is at all absurd to think one can achieve very usefull results yet ignore the shorter term complexities. I think Dr Spencer could have added this to his list as an oft quoted but undo critisism of current climate science…
          …if that was your contention.

          M D Mill

          • Chuck Wiese says:

            MD Mill: You seem to have little appreciation for the enormity of energy exchange that goes on with the evolution and destruction of the earth’s weather systems. They are not some sort of small noise in the system that can be dampened or isolated as you suggest so that you could get an accurate handle on changing the other parameters you mention, such as a small change in solar insolation.

            The problem is not the “enormous complexity” in the system as much as it is the necessity to parameterize the governing differential equations that govern the behavior of the earth’s atmosphere. All of the governing equations must be fitted on specific spacial grids that are far too large to describe the much smaller pertebations and exchanges of energy that are actually occurring within the system at the micro rather than macro level. In short order, pressure patterns that are predicted within these models can be up to 180 degrees out of phase inside of 15 days with completely unrealistic and non validated solutions around the globe. We see this all of the time in operational meteorology and are well aware of the enormity of the problem. The loss of the track of energy flow and transformation within even short periods is trillions of misplaced joules, a huge part of that is also the result of the models not being able to accurately project precipitation patterns associated with the earth’s hydrological cycle.

            That is only part of the problem. The next is that there is simply not enough known about the earth, oceanic, atmospheric and solar magnetic interface to even begin to construct a “climate model”. That is all new science with little understood about how it is completely related to how climate would change over time as all of these other variables we cannot yet model change.

            There is a HUGE difference in your suggestion that trying to solve this puzzle in physics is a reasonable one versus the fraudulent, absurd and incorrect claims being made today that such a model and skill even exist. Yet those employed in climate science have boasted they possess such skill which is nothing more than a bald faced lie.

            Should public policy be set with the use of these models considering their failed performance in predicting just the temperature itself? I don’t see how anyone could make such an argument. That is absurd. The mathematics and physics are both insufficient to tackle the problem, and I hope you can see this.

            Lastly, but not least, the founding principles that govern atmospheric science and the behavior of the GHG radiation that is absorbed and emitted in the system never eluded to the idea that CO2 would cause the climate to change in the presence of the earth’s hydrological cycle. To assume this, one has to claim the feedback of that system is positive with respect to the water vapor optical depth. The record nor the founding principles have ever bore that out, in fact, the opposite is the case, as the upper troposphere has dried over time as CO2 increased.

            This would imply the claimed radiative forcing calculations done in clear sky flux are ficticious with respect to increasing CO2 because the water vapor flux is simply not cooperating with the model results. But that is another huge deficiency in the claim that CO2 is causing or can cause the climate to change. Clear sky flux is a completely unsatisfactory summation of the mean optical depth of the earth and how it is actually changing over time.

            Chuck Wiese
            Meteorologist

          • M D Mill says:

            To Chuck Wiese:
            My browser ran out of room for a reply after your last comments ,so I submit it now above your last comments.

            I made the statement:

            If I increase the solar output of the sun by some fixed sufficiently small amount, then it is reasonal to assume the yearly running average global temperature (however you wish to define it) will change (eventually) by some proportional small fixed component [which would not occure otherwise. And although the proportionality may change with time, it is a real, and useful number)].

            I would like to know very simply if you agree or disagree?
            Lets cut through the carpet ;^). Please, a simple reply to a simple(?) question.

            Respectfully…M D Mill

          • Chuck Wiese says:

            MD Hill: In response to your second reply repeating the first, the answer is it depends.

            If you are assuming that solar insolation increases with no other changes to the variables that absorb, emit or reflect it or distribute it change by direct or indirect conversion to longer wavelengths of absorption and emission then I think you are safe to assume the temperature would increase with that increase in power emitted by the sun.

            The problem is and I will state it again, is that the mathematical constraints on all of the modeling do not allow you or anyone to make an accurate assessment of what that numerical change would amount to.

            For example, I have already shown you why the models leak huge amounts of energy because of their incapability of satisfying any true mathematical limit of all of the governing differential equations. And further, linear pertebation theory would not hold in this environment. Many of the equations are non linear describing a very chaotic non linear system. The equations are not obeying the laws of physics in an absolute sense when they are leaking energy because of the parameterizations.

            So getting back to my first paragraph,if you change the suns output a small amount, would their be any volcanic eruptions afterward? You don’t know. How would the oceans distribute the heat? How much increased evaporation would there be? You don’t know. How much would the cloud to water vapor ratio change? You don’t know. What happens to global precipitation and its spacial distribution? You don’t know. How does this play out against the changing earth obliquity? You don’t know. How would the glaciers change globally? You don’t know. How would the PDO/ENSO cycle be changed in global heat distribution? You don’t know. Outside of earth obliquity, there are no equations that can come close to accurately calculating these other parameters through large time changes, yet it would be necessary accurately calculate all of them through time to get a correct answer. And you don’t know the answer to many of these questions because of the combination of the mathematical constraints and an incomplete understanding of how all of these systems work together.

            You are grossly attempting to over simplify the enormity of the problem you are faced with in physics to even answer that simple question by extremely generalized and grossly simplified assumptions made that the chaotic “noise” in the system you can’t predict can be ignored and you can still get a reasonable answer as to attempting to calculate another parameter that is linked in many complex ways to the very “noise” that you think you can separate it all from. Does this explain my position better?

            Chuck Wiese
            Meteorologist

          • M D Mill says:

            I will say that I have covered myself somewhat by adding the phrase “than would happen otherwise”, ie a “COMPONENT of temperature change” that would occure regardless of what else happens in the world.

            C.W.:”The problem is and I will state it again, is that the mathematical constraints on all of the modeling do not allow you or anyone to make an accurate assessment of what that numerical change would amount to. ”

            I hope to simply prove you wrong…I have been working very long and hard (and am nearing the conclusion) on a modeling approach and data analysis approach which I think will convincingly surmount the difficulties you describe with regard to the question “what is the expected temperature sensitivity to general power injection into the lower atmosphere, and then what is the sensitivity to a doubling of CO2″.
            [Although I think you do not appreciate/agree on the importance of long term averaging to "sidestep" many of the problems you describe. Most events in the universe are extremely nonlinear and chaotic on some smaller quantum scale, but we can still in most cases find usefull physical laws on the classical scale, and even linear models on small well defined solution spaces, eg small changes in insolation or CO2 concentration--I will leave it there.]

            C.W.:”You are grossly attempting to over simplify the enormity of the problem you are faced with in physics to even answer that simple question by extremely generalized and grossly simplified assumptions made that the chaotic “noise” in the system you can’t predict can be ignored and you can still get a reasonable answer as to attempting to calculate another parameter that is linked in many complex ways to the very “noise” that you think you can separate it all from. Does this explain my position better?”

            Yes, and thank you for your excellent detailed responces.
            And once again I say I hope to simply prove you wrong, without giving any details, yet…I am working hard on it. But at this point only results, and a finished paper, count. So I think, for my part,I will end the discussion there.

            Regards … M D Mill

        • sky says:

          How rare and gratifying it is to find someone in a blog discussion who actually understands Emden’s century-old seminal work and Goody’s sound explication of radiative transfer in the atmosphere. What a welcome relief from muddled notions of “greenhouse forcing” and simplistic appeals to vague “feedbacks.”

      • Jim Steele says:

        greenhouse gases warm the lower troposphere and cool the upper troposphere, which destabilizes it, which causes “weather”.

        Could you provide relative amounts of attribution to surface change vs CO2? I have always though that the warming of the surface that heats the boundary layer that destabilizes the troposphere and causes convection and weather. At night the surface cools and the troposphere stabilizes as inversion layers form. That stable inversion layer happens despite CO2.

    • CC says:

      I am trying to understand the GE and had not heard the term “optical depth” before. I started researching it on the net and at the following location I found out out how to use my smart phone to measure optical death. I also found a good explanation of the blue sky Rayleigh and Mie scattering effect.

      http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0084119

      OPEN ACCESS PEER-REVIEWED
      RESEARCH ARTICLE
      Remote Sensing of Atmospheric Optical Depth Using a Smartphone Sun Photometer
      Tingting Cao,
      Jonathan E. Thompson

      http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/atmos/blusky.html also is a good Resource which discusses blue sky Rayliegh and Mia Scattering.

  11. to me, it’s not the “forcing”, its the “feedback”. If our interpretation of the paleoclimate record (which is far from “fact”) is correct (which I doubt it is), then the insensitivity to CO2 is due to strong negative feedbacks in the climate.

    Dr. Spencer says in the above which leaves only two conclusions either the data is wrong and CO2 has indeed led the temperature or the data is right in which case what Dr. Spencer thinks will happened has not happened yet.

    Until the past data can be PROVEN to be wrong this is an open question, and point 7 is not valid.

    It does not matter if feedback or forcing is the issue.

  12. To add to the uncertainty is the temperature /CO2 lack of correlation post 1998. Just going by the data.

  13. Fonzarelli says:

    Dr. S., I’ve got a big problem with #7. If ice cores are a low variability proxy then your point is moot. Stomata show vast swings over a short period of time and direct measurements (the ones callender used) also show vast swings up to 440 ppm. Could you please elaborate on your position? Thanks so much…

    • I don’t think we have any good measurements before Mauna Loa…I’ve used a portable CO2 meter when driving for years, and if you are downwind of any CO2 sources, they show up.

      I’m not familiar with the stomata data…I suspect the assumptions are formidable. Again, I don’t trust any paleoclimate data. People with the least information always have the most confidence in what they think it means.

      • Fonzarelli says:

        are you familiar with the “beck” co2 data? it shows a very similar rise in co2 for the warming from 1908 to 1940 as the one we are currently seeing… shouldn’t THAT at least take #7 off the “dumb arguements” list?

        ALSO, Dr.S., why should we have confidence in ice cores? Was dr. jaworoski just a “stupid skeptic”? i’d very much appreciate it if you would explain why (or at the very least point me where you’ve covered this in the past). as a long time faithful reader of your blog i’ve always been mystified as to your position on this particular point.

        thanx much…

        • Fonzarelli says:

          Dr Spencer, i also thought i might add that carbon growth tracks lock step with temperature. (YOUR temperature data set) THAT is reason enough to take #7 off the stupid arguements list…

          • You forget that if two variables influence the same target, then you will see the result of the two variables on that target. In the case of CO2, one variable, human emissions, is twice the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere and twice the influence of temperature on the rate-of-change of CO2 in the atmosphere.
            All what the temperature does is influencing the SINK rate of CO2 in oceans and vegetation, but it has hardly any influence on the long-term increase of CO2 in the atmosphere:
            http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em2.jpg

        • I have had a lot of discussions with the late Ernst Beck about his work. The main problem: many of the early CO2 data were taken over land, where there are a lot of local CO2 sources and sinks. That makes it near impossible to have real “background” data. Background data can be found everywhere on the oceans and over a few hundred meters over land. Beck compiled then all: the good, the bad and the ugly…
          Same problem for stomata data: by definition taken over land, thus biased…

          • Fonzarelli says:

            Ferdinand as to the above argument of yours, natural production of CO2 is FIFTY TIMES the observed rise. Since carbon growth is linked to temperature human emissions can be as much as ten times the observed rise or as little as equal to the observe rise in CO2… So I’m not sure that you’re saying anything here. If you wish to give your argument another (hopefully clearer) shot then I’m all ears. This whole thing has been somewhat frustrating for me personally because when most skeptics realize that carbon growth is linked to temperature it’s “game over” in their minds. Therefor the debate rarely goes further than that. I’m having trouble figuring out just what exactly the warmist argument is. You’re obviously in the right neck of the woods but I’m having a hard time grasping what exactly you are saying. Again, I greatly appreciate your input. This has been a rare and delightful treat. Thanks again…

          • Fonzarelli: “natural production of CO2 is FIFTY TIMES the observed rise.”. That is true, but natural sinks are more than fifty times the observed rise: nature is a net sink for CO2, not a source over the past 50 years, while humans don’t sink much CO2:
            http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em2.jpg
            Indeed, there is a link between CO2 levels and temperature, but that is very modest: about 8 ppmv/°C over the past 800 kyears over long term, 5 ppmv/°C over the seasons and 4-5 ppmv/°C over short term (1-3 years) temperature variations.

            Thus the increase in temperature since the LIA (maximum 1°C) is good for maximum 8 ppmv extra in the atmosphere, by far not the 100+ ppmv we see now… Meanwhile humans have emitted over 200 ppmv over the past 160 years. Seems to me quite clear what the cause of the increase is. There are a lot of other arguments too, see here:
            http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_measurements.html#The_mass_balance

          • Fonzarelli says:

            The counter argument to that is that fluctuations in natural production far out strip that of the relatively small amount of human emissions… Why then should THAT not be the driver in carbon growth?

          • The net natural variability is not more than +/- 2 ppmv year to year, the trend is ~2 ppmv/year. Emissions are ~4 ppmnv/year. Thus 2-3 years of emissions are enough for the trend to emerge from the natural noise…

          • Fonzarelli says:

            ferdinand, your not making sense to me again here… your saying variations in natural productions (for one year) can be as much as the observed rise, correct? Human emmissions vary from year to year on average only about 4% of the observed rise. Shouldn’t then the impact of natural variations dwarf that of human emissions?

          • Fonzarelli, I suppose that there is some misunderstanding at work:
            - human emissions are about ~4.5 ppmv CO2 per year.
            - natural throughput is ~75 ppmv in and ~77 ppmv out per year. Most is seasonal where oceans and vegetation work in countercurrent. The average net result in the atmosphere is + and – 2.5 ppmv over the seasons.
            - variations in human emissions are very small with a steady increasing input in the atmosphere over time:
            http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/temp_emiss_increase.jpg
            - natural variations in the carbon cycle are quite modest: +/- 1 ppmv year by year for the ~75/77 ppmv throughput or some 1.5% of the total natural throughput. These are mainly caused by temperature variations.
            - the natural variations are going up and down around the increase in the atmosphere, which is about 50-55% of the human input:
            http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/dco2_em4.jpg
            but as nature is a net sink for CO2, the variability of the increase in the atmosphere is in fact a variability in natural sink rate, not a variability in source rate. Humans still are the main cause of the increase in the atmosphere…

        • And many of the arguments of the late Dr. Jaworowski are from before 1992. Most of his objections were already refuted in 1996 by the work of Etheridge e.a. on the Law Dome ice cores. See further:
          http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/jaworowski.html
          and about Beck’s data:
          http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/beck_data.html

          • Fonzarelli says:

            Ferdinand, thank you for your input… I guess the point I’m trying to make is that their is a difference between a stupid argument and a debatable one which may well be wrong. I’ve always been hoping for a just critique of the beck data and I look forward to reading it. (So thanks again) I would ask you though, how do you explain the sharp rise in co2 a hundred years ago which occurred as temps also were rising? And how about the readings which were with in 10 ppm of Mauna Loa circa 1959? (Was that JUST a coincidence?) Again, I really appreciate your input. Thank you much… Oh, and one last thing… Since 1959 we’ve had a proliferation of co2 stations many of which ARE over land. They never differ from Mauna Loa by more than 20 ppm. (and the yearly averages differ by much less than that) Is the fact that beck’s data was all over land then enough to negate his findings? Thanx…

          • The point is that there was no CO2 rise some 70 years ago… Not in ice cores, not in stomate data and not in coralline sponges. The 1942 rise is only in the compilation of the data by the late Ernst Beck. But if you think about the cause: a rise of 80 ppmv in only 7 years is the equivalent of burning down 1/3rd of all land vegetation and growing it again in the next 7 years. Not what happened those years, despite the wars…
            Alternative, the oceans can provide that quantity in short time by a sudden acidification (by underseas volcanoes…) but it is impossible for the oceans to take that back in a short time frame…

            The main data which caused the 1942 peak in Beck’s compilation are from two long series: Giessen (Germany) and Poonah (India). The latter is an agricultural research station where they measured CO2 below, inbetween and over leaves of growing crops… For Giessen we have a modern station at near the same place as the historical one: average bias +40 ppmv over a year, variability +/- 30 ppmv (1 sigma). The old data had a variability of +/- 68 ppmv (1 sigma), not directly giving confidence in the measurements (skill, reagens, quality control,…).

          • Fonzarelli says:

            Are we talking about the same (beck) data? The rise I’m seeing is 100+ ppm in 40 years. Also, I have seen a stomata data set with a sharp rise during the early part of the twentieth century. (It had 380 ppm in 1959 so it’s obviously wrong though it does show a steep rise) Thanx again…

  14. Salvatore, I am not claiming CO2 will necessarily cause a significant rise in temperature…I’m saying the 10 arguments I listed above are bad arguments.

    Dr. Spencer says.

    I say but until past data is proven wrong how can you say the 7th argument does not have merit? I do not think we know the answer yet. That is what I am trying to say.

    It is going to be very interesting to see what happens to global temperatures over the next few years.

    We will have low solar versus increasing CO2 and a temperature trend to watch. Answers will be coming.

    • All someone has to say, Salvatore, is that the ice core record cannot show the rapid changes in CO2 we are now experiencing, and so there might be no good example in that record of CO2 causing temperature change…instead, it might be that it shows temperature changes causing changes in the global carbon budget on long time scales.

      *I* don’t think we know what, if anything, the ice core record shows us that is relevant to today’s climate.

  15. but I want to say again all the other points with the exception of point 7 I agree with.

  16. Ed Caryl says:

    I understand 7. I try to believe it. The problem is articles like this:
    http://www.thegwpf.org/paper-carbon-dioxide-lags-global-temperature/
    I have noted this myself. I’ve even written an article on it for NoTricksZone. Why does this happen?

  17. I have to ask again . Why is it a bad scientific argument(point 7) to state according to the data CO2 has never led temperature and hence to extrapolate that same relationship will continue?

    The only reason I can think of is that I am assuming the data to be correct, that aside I don’t see how this is not logical reasoning.

  18. Ed Caryl that is my point. Evidence shows CO2 always follows the temperature no matter how high the concentration of CO2 attain in our atmosphere. Feedbacks or forcing from the high concentrations of CO2 still don’t allow it to lead the temperature.

    So if the data is correct point 7 is not a bad scientific argument in my mind.

    The question is this is the data correct that shows CO2 always follows the temperature and if it is wrong where is that proof?

    • Salvatore, how do you respond to Jim Hansen’s view that temperature might have been the initial impulse to change CO2 in the ice core record, but then CO2 took over as the forcing? (I guess that means it’s a positive feedback mechanism). I find his argument unconvincing…I just wondered what you thought.

    • Salvatore, there is no technical reason why the lead of temperature in the past excludes that CO2 may lead temperature today. All depends of the fortifying factors.
      If temperature has a moderate effect on CO2 levels (some 8 ppmv/K over the past 800 kyear) and CO2 has a moderate effect on temperature (some 0.9 K for 2xCO2 according to Modtran, before any feedbacks), then there is no fear for a runaway effect. The only difference with no effect is that both temperature and CO2 will level at a higher range than without effect on each other. See:
      http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/feedback.jpg

      Thus point 7 still stands. It is a non-argument, as long as the real effect of CO2 on temperature is not established. Which is probably (very) low…

  19. What this all come down to is speculation that because CO2 is rising so fast ,that this very fast increase is going to somehow cause CO2 to lead the climate to one degree or another rather then follow it..

    Yet data from the past does not show this ever happening.

    I don’t see how a rapid rise does this if absolute values are relatively low in comparison to the past when no such thing happened unless of course again the data is not showing the true story.

    I think point 7 for bad scientific argument needs a question mark for now.

  20. Don K says:

    I suppose 9 is true in the sense that there is an average temperature that is a (probably) useful metric. But I think that skeptic assertions about average global temperature are often intended to convey that the relationship between average global temperature and observed July temperatures at Badwater or winter temps in Verakoyansk or the temp any time in Singapore are not well understood. I have no idea what the affect of a 1 degree C change in average temperature will be on temperatures at any of those places. I doubt you do either. I don’t think anyone with any sense does.

  21. Salvatore, how do you respond to Jim Hansen’s view that temperature might have been the initial impulse to change CO2 in the ice core record, but then CO2 took over as the forcing?

    That would mean CO2 would have a threshold value , which would cause CO2 to switch from responding to temperature to leading the temperature.

    I think if that were correct this positive feedback once it got started would never come to an end. It would feed upon itself.

  22. geran says:

    Point 2: Mucho mumbo techno babble here, that mostly allows adherents an “out”, but the the bottom line is that yeah, CO2/GHE DOES violate 2LOT. A cold body cannot warm a warmer body. Sorry.

    Want more evidence: “So, yes, a cooler body can make a warm body even warmer still…as evidenced by putting your clothes on.”

    • geran, I don’t see how in the world you and others can say that.

      ANYTHING THAT REDUCES THE RATE OF NET ENERGY LOSS BY AN OBJECT WILL INCREASE ITS TEMPERATURE. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT THE TEMPERATURE OF “ANYTHING” IS. THE EXAMPLES ARE LITERALLY ALL AROUND YOU, GERAN.

      so, yes, a cold body CAN make a warm body increase its temperature IF it replaces a still colder body. In the case of the Earth, the ATMOSPHERE is warmer than OUTER SPACE. Insulation in your home walls are at an intermediate temperature between the heated inside and the outside winter air.

    • Curt says:

      geran: Do you seriously believe that putting additional clothing on a person who is suffering from hypothermia would not contribute to raising his body temperature?

      • geran says:

        Dr. Roy and Curt, let us not forget basic physics.

        A block of wood is at 98ºF. The ambient temperature is 20ºF. We put a blanket on the wood. Okay we put a second blanket on the wood. The ambient temp is maintained at 20ºF. After four hours, we examine the temp of the block of wood. Do you agree it is 98º, or warmer?

        Then, you are a “Warmist”.

        • Curt says:

          The block of wood has no separate power source. A human body has a metabolic power source of about 100 Watts. That makes all the difference. (And unless you can understand the difference, you have nothing serious to contribute.)

          • geran says:

            Try not to miss the point, in your effort to elevate yourself by putting others down.

            The “Warmists” want to claim the Earth is supposed to have no “temp”. They claim mankind is causing the “temp”. The Warmists choose to ignore the temperature of Earth’s core.

            So, if you want to be a Warmist, then the Earth has no temp. So, putting blankets over it would not warm it.

            Your choice, physics or beliefs….

          • Curt says:

            geran:

            Thank you for confirming my (secondary) point. I’m afraid you do need to be put down, because you don’t even understand the issues in play, and until you do, you are just wasting everybody’s time, including your own.

            Where do you even get the absurd notion that some claim ‘the Earth is supposed to have no “temp”’?

            Do you have any concept of even the rough magnitude of the power flux density at the earth’s surface from the high temperatures in the earth’s core? How many W/m2?

      • Rolf says:

        Argument is stupid. Our body is burning energy, that is food. If you do not cool any heating device, like our body it will be even more warm. What the clothes do is INSULATION.

        Or put clothes on a dead body. Dig it down, Wait some days. Measure the temperature. Clothes have no effect. Stupid example.

  23. I must disagree and all the other points Dr. Spencer makes are correct in my opinion. Very correct I might add.

  24. geran says:

    Point 3

    “When a CO2 molecule absorbs an IR photon, the mean free path within the atmosphere is so short that the molecule gives up its energy to surrounding molecules before it can (on average) emit an IR photon in its temporarily excited state.
    >>>>>
    Okay, this is classic “alarmists” stuff. They imply a tricky, super smart CO2 molecule can FIRST measure the distance to another molecule, and then SECOND make the determination to give its energy up.

    (Please stop laughing before continuing.) (Thank you.)

    ‘Also important is the fact that the rate at which a CO2 molecule absorbs IR is mostly independent of temperature, but the rate at which it emits IR increases strongly with temperature.
    >>>>>
    EXCUSE ME! What about wavelengths? You are going to stuff a square peg in a round hole? Sorry, temp (unlike size) matters.

    There is no requirement that a layer of air emits as much IR as it absorbs…in fact, in general, the the rates of IR emission and absorption are pretty far from equal.
    >>>>>
    Dr. Spencer gets this one right. Very few people understand this point. It further debunks AGW.

  25. Curt says:

    One point I like to emphasize in discussions is the difference between the “total” greenhouse effect and the “incremental” greenhouse effect at present conditions.

    Without any greenhouse effect (that is, with a radiatively transparent atmosphere, there is a gap of about 200 W/m2 between incoming and outgoing radiation, averaged over the earth. No matter how you tweak the numbers, you can’t come close to closing the gap. (And no, the weight of the atmosphere cannot impart any power to the earth’s surface.)

    That is a completely different question from the effects of incremental changes in the radiative properties of the atmosphere around today’s conditions. Here, knowledgeable people argue over fractions of a single W/m2 averaged over the earth, increments smaller than our ability to comprehensively measure radiative fluxes or the resulting temperatures, phase changes, etc.

  26. geran says:

    Two points addressed before I have to return to other things. What a deal

    Point 4. I agree with Dr. Spencer that CO2 neither warms nor cools the atmosphere.

    Point 5: Adding CO2 has little effect. If CO2 levels were increased multiple times, then yes, there would be a cooling effect. But that assumes there were no other natural measures to deplete CO2, such as plant growth.

  27. Darren says:

    Junk science is junk science no matter the source.

    I don’t enjoy getting thrown into the mix with some of this either… and I’m not on the front lines like you Dr. Spencer.

    It must get extraordinarily tiring.

    Thanks for the post.

  28. lemiere jacques says:

    i agree with all the points, but there are other critics that can be made to any theory pretending to calculate a global temperature.
    atmosphere / ocean energy exchange,and let s say any assumption of some kind of weird equilibrium of the climate system.

    we add a forcing…we deal with temperature anomaly of tenth of a degree, but we have no idea if eart “global temperature “is not able to vary by itself for any reason and at any scale of time.

  29. oldbrew says:

    Reblogged at Tallbloke’s Talkshop

    Thanks to Dr Spencer for another educational posting.

  30. hunter says:

    Thank yo uDr. Spencer. Skeptics, unlike the cliamte obsessed, clean their own house.

  31. phi says:

    Item 8:
    “Yes, you can do a global average of energy flows and show them in a flat-earth cartoon, like the Kiehl-Trenberth energy budget diagram which is a useful learning tool…”

    These diagrams are mainly for propaganda, useful, but particularly misleading.

    Fortunately, we can correct them: http://oi57.tinypic.com/23k21ax.jpg

    • MikeB says:

      Unfortunately Phil, you cannot correct them like that (apart from the fact they were correct before).

      The problem is that if the earth only emits 63 watts per square metre then this indicates a surface temperature of minus 91 degrees Celsius, which is of course much too low. On the other hand, it shows what an amazing difference the back radiation actually makes! Evidence for an overwhelming greenhouse effect.

      That is why you cannot do it like that. Whoever produced that graph demonstrates that they don’t understand the known Stefan-Boltzmann Law. Furthermore, that sort of ignorant attempt gives sceptics a bad name. It enables someone to tar them all with the same brush and make them all them all look like idiots.

      • phi says:

        This energy budget is established in the framework of thermodynamics, backradiations have no place here, no more than backconvections or backconductions.

        Stefan-Boltzmann is verified in that form : Q=sigma(Th^4 – Tc^4). Qc=sigma*Tc^4 and Qh=sigma*Th^4 have no thermodynamics existence and are not directly verifiable.

        The radiative heat flux from the surface is 23 W/m2, no more.

        • phi says:

          Sorry,
          The radiative heat flux from the surface is 63 W/m2, no more.
          23 W/m2 is the part intercepted by the atmosphere.

          • MikeB says:

            We know that we have downward radiation from the atmosphere because we measure it. We measure it about 340 W/sq.m. Your diagram doesn’t have any, so it is wrong.

            We know we have 390W/sq.m leaving the surface, because we measure it. It can also be calculated from the S-B equation to be this amount for a surface at 15 deg.C, so we know that is correct.
            You show the atmosphere emitting radiation but it all goes up, none of it comes down. That’s not going to happen is it?

            We also measure the spectral distribution of outgoing IR from space. We see that some of it comes through the atmospheric window and has a blackbody profile that matches a surface at 15 deg.C. All your outgoing radiation comes from the atmosphere, and so would not explain that observed spectrum.

            So your diagram has no connection with reality and what we can measure. The useful, verifiable information has been lost.

          • David Cosserat says:

            phi says, April 26, 2014 at 4:36 AM:

            The radiative heat flux from the surface is 63 W/m2, no more. 23 W/m2 is the part intercepted by the atmosphere.

            Phi,

            Belatedly, I respond to say you have hit the nail on the head.

            This debate, between people who insist on Trenberth’s separate surface-to-atmosphere radiative heat flux figures (396Wm-2 up; and 333Wm-2 down), and people who support your excellent amended diagram (63Wm-2 net upward), has now become one of the classic nonsensical climate change ‘straw man’ arguments.

            Yes, Trenberth was guilty of confusing everyone, leading to all sorts of wrong assumptions, evidenced here again by some daft arguments in this blog trail. Your net figure of 63Wm-2 is a much better way of looking at what is really happening.

            Radiation at the surface of a body (as calculated by the S-B equation Q=sigma*T^4) is an electromagnetic potential force (analogous to an electromagnetic force in an electric circuit). It is not a radiative flux.

            The actual radiative flux between two bodies is always the difference between the two opposing radiative potential forces (analogous to current flow between opposing but unequal EMFs in an electric circuit). Hence the validity of your 63Wm-2 figure and the correctness of the standard radiative transfer equation Q=sigma(Th^4 – Tc^4).

            The gross figure of 333Wm-2 down is waved around the blogosphere by well meaning but ignorant skeptics trying to demonstrate how stupid the climate alarmists are. There are plenty of other arguments to knock down climate alarmism. Using one that is both practically and conceptually wrong simply diminishes the effectiveness of the skeptical case.

        • MikeB says:

          Now you are getting even stupider. That is not the Stefan-Boltzmann equation that you cite.
          The amount of energy emitted from a surface depends only on its own temperature and emissivity. It is entirely independent of any incoming radiation.

          • phi says:

            This is Stefan-Boltzmann, we are in thermodynamics and thermal effect of IR on surface is the difference between emission and absorption.

  32. RW says:

    Roy,

    You say:

    “When the radiatively active molecules in the atmosphere — mainly water vapor, CO2, and methane — are heated by infrared radiation, even though they are a very small fraction of the total, they are moving very fast and do not have to travel very far before they collide with other molecules of air…that’s when they transfer part of their thermal energy to another molecule. That transfer is in the form of momentum from the molecule’s mass and its speed.

    That molecule then bumps into others, those bump into still more, and on and on ad infinitum.

    To give some idea of how fast all this happens, consider:

    1) there are 26,900,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules in 1 cubic meter of air at sea level.

    2) at room temperature, each molecule is traveling at a very high speed, averaging 1,000 mph for heavier molecules like nitrogen, over 3,000 mph for the lightest molecule, hydrogen, etc.

    3) the average distance a molecule travels before hitting another molecule (called the “mean free path”) is only 0.000067 of a millimeter

    So, there are so many molecules traveling so fast, and so close to one another, that the radiatively active molecules almost instantly transfer any extra thermal energy (their velocity is proportional to the square root of their temperature) to other molecules.”

    But how specifically are you deriving that these speeds are fast enough to re-distribute IR photonic energy absorbed by GHG molecules? Or that the speeds are faster than the rate at which GHG molecules are capturing photons to where they achieve ionization, causing the absorption of a photon to ‘excite’ the emission of another photon before the absorbed energy can be transferred via collisions to the other gas molecules (mostly O2 and N2). While I certainly don’t embrace any of the arguments above, this seems to be a somewhat loose conclusion so far as atmospheric radiation is concerned.

    • RW says:

      so far as ‘mainstream’ understanding of atmospheric radiation is concerned.

    • Roy Spencer says:

      I’ve been trying to find the reference I had found before with the rate at which an IR photon absorbing molecule emits a photon again. All I remember was it was much slower than the collision frequency.

      • gbaikie says:

        “I’ve been trying to find the reference I had found before with the rate at which an IR photon absorbing molecule emits a photon again. All I remember was it was much slower than the collision frequency.”

        Why also find reference having absorbed a photon, a molecule can transfer the energy of that photon to molecule which doesn’t absorb or emit this photon energy.

        Or that absorbing a photon can increase the velocity of a gas molecule. Or increase the average velocity of gas molecules.

        One one might stumble across a principle involving how a solar sail works- I would say this isn’t particularly related
        to this issue. But if it did, I would guess in has more to do with nitrogen gas molecule rather than trace greenhouse gases.

      • RW says:

        Yes, this is what reference I would like to see.

      • MikeB says:

        A suitable reference is PierreHumbert’s ‘Infrared Radiation and Planetary Temperature’
        http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/papers/PhysTodayRT2011.pdf

        “For the CO2 transitions that are most significant in the thermal IR, the lifetimes tend to range from a few milliseconds to a few tenths of a second. In contrast, the typical time between collisions in a nitrogen-dominated atmosphere at a pressure of 10^4 Pa and a temperature of 250K is well under 10^-7 s. Therefore the energy of the photon will almost always be assimilated by collisions into the general pool of the matter and establish a new Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution at aslightly higher temperature. This is how radiation heats matter in the LTE limit”

        • RW says:

          Yeah, but the rate at which GHG molecules are capturing photons is far faster than milliseconds (let alone tenths of a second). For photonic energy absorbed by GHGs to be re-distributed to the surrounding gas molecules via collisions, the speed at which the absorbing GHG molecules reach ionization must be slower than the speed of re-distribution.

        • RW says:

          “This is how radiation heats matter in the LTE limit”

          LTE in a radiating gas need not operate this way.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_thermodynamic_equilibrium#Local_thermodynamic_equilibrium

          “It is important to note that this local equilibrium may apply only to a certain subset of particles in the system. For example, LTE is usually applied only to massive particles. In a radiating gas, the photons being emitted and absorbed by the gas need not be in thermodynamic equilibrium with each other or with the massive particles of the gas in order for LTE to exist. In some cases, it is not considered necessary for free electrons to be in equilibrium with the much more massive atoms or molecules for LTE to exist.”

          • Christopher Game says:

            Broadly speaking, the quote from Pierrehumbert is right, against your mistaken view, RW. The sentences from the Wikipedia that you quote in your defence are vague and intend to give warning of possible confusion, not specific as you would need them to be in your defence.

            True, in some views, photons travel at lightspeed. True, the absorption of a photon that impinges on a molecule takes a very short time, for our purposes near enough instantaneous. The absorption excites the molecule, and the excited state has an average expectation of lifetime, conditional on its not being ended by a molecular collision, until its spontaneous decay to a lower state of excitation with emission of a photon. We are concerned here with the average time from excitation to molecular collision versus average time to spontaneous decay. The fact is that the average time to collision is much shorter than the average time to spontaneous decay, just as stated by Pierrehumbert.

            R.M. Goody & Y.L. Yung (1961/1989), Atmospheric Radiation; Theoretical Basis, second edition, New York and Oxford UK, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-505134-3, write about this. On page 99, they say “The time between optical collisions for a typical atmospheric gas at s.t.p. is approximately 10-10 s.” On page 98 they say that the average lifetime of the excited state is the reciprocal of the state’s Einstein A coefficient. On page 40 they say that “the most important band in the mesosphere is the 15 micrometer band of CO2, with a radiative lifetime of 0.74. s.” It is evident that 10-10 s is much shorter than 0.74 s, just as Dr Spencer and Pierrehumbert say, contrary to your view.

            In citing Wikipedia as you have just done, you may be said to be doing a snow-job.

          • RW says:

            Christopher,

            The absorption of a photon by a GHG molecule ‘exciting’ the emission of another photon from the same GHG molecule is not spontaneous emission.

          • RW says:

            The main point being that once a GHG molecule achieves its ionization energy state (as internal vibration energy), the dominant mechanism of re-emission is via ‘excitation’ from a photon absorption and not via a collisional ‘bump’ from a surrounding molecule. Or that photons absorbed and emitted by GHGs would largely be bouncing from one GHG molecule to another until they find their way to space, to a cloud, or to the surface.

            According to that Wikipedia excerpt, LTE is still possible under these conditions, because the kinetic energy of the GHG molecules is equally distributed among the kinetic energy of the non-GHG molecules (i.e. mostly N2 and O2).

            My question is how is it established that the rate of re-distribution of absorbed photonic energy by GHG molecules by collisions is faster than the rate at which the photon absorbing GHG molecules achieve their ionization potential?

          • Christopher Game says:

            Another reference in agreement with Pierrehumbert and Dr Spencer is G.W. Paltridge & C.M.R. Platt, (1976) Radiative Processes in Meteorlogy and Climatology, Elsevier, Amsterdam, ISBN 0-444-41444-4, on pages 188 – 189. They write “Local thermodynamic equilibrium occurs when molecular collisions re-distribute the absorbed quantum energy before it can be re-radiated.” They say that the collision relaxation time for carbon dioxide is believed to lie between 2 x 10^(-5) and 2 x 10^(-6) second, while the radiative lifetime is 0.43 second.

            The phrase ‘spontaneous emission’ intends emission that is spontaneous in the circumstances prevailing immediately after excitation by absorption. Your play on words there is apparently disingenuous.

            For the troposphere, it is marginally relevant to talk of greenhouse gas molecules “achiev[ing] their ionization potential”. For the troposphere, the main theatre of activity for this discussion, the relevant excitations are not ionizations. They are just lifing electrons to higher-energy orbitals within the molecule. The relevant rate is not the rate at which the greenhouse gas molecules are excited by absorption. It is the rate at which, having been excited by absorption, they leave that excited state. There are two main ways out. One is by spontaneous emission of a photon. The other is by transfer of energy in an intermolecular collision. The collision rate is millions of times per second. Many of the collisions involve intermolecular transfer of energy that takes the index molecule from its reference excited state to another excited state, most often in the present problem a less excited one. These are the relevant collisional effects for us here. The spontaneous emission rate is only two or three virtual occasions per second.

            The Wikipedia excerpt that you cite is vague and is quite useless for the present problem, except as a warning to be careful.

            The idea of local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) was I think introduced by Milne in 1928, in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society,/i>, at http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1928MNRAS..88..493M . Milne contrasts local thermodynamic equilibrium with what he calls mono-chromatic radiative equilibrium.

          • Christopher Game says:

            Oh, dear I have done a bad thing with brackets such as <. I will see what happens now.

          • Christopher Game says:

            Trying again, the link is http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1928MNRAS..88..493M

          • Christopher Game says:

            Still it went wrong. Sorry.

            The link is http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1928MNRAS..88..493M

            That works if I paste it into my web browser, but it doesn’t work as reproduced in this blog. I don’t know why not. I suppose the .. punctuation is the problem. You can just copy the link, as shown, into your browser url field.

          • RW says:

            Christopher,

            “The relevant rate is not the rate at which the greenhouse gas molecules are excited by absorption. It is the rate at which, having been excited by absorption, they leave that excited state. There are two main ways out. One is by spontaneous emission of a photon. The other is by transfer of energy in an intermolecular collision.”

            But wouldn’t a photonic absorption saturation point be reached where the primary mechanism of re-emission of a photon from a GHG molecule is not via spontaneous or intermolecular collision, but by the absorption of a photon ‘exciting’ (virtually immediately) the re-emission of another photon from the same GHG molecule? For this to occur, the speed at which this initiating mechanism is achieved would need to be faster than the speed of re-distribution of absorbed photonic energy via collisions. If photons travel at the speed of light and are continuously bombarding GHG molecules (unless they happen to pass into space, to a cloud, or to the surface) at speeds far faster than the speeds the molecules themselves are traveling, why would the dominant initiating mechanism of re-emission from GHG molecules (which is agreed to be narrow band) be via collisions?

            Do you at least agree that the absorption of photon by a GHG molecule ‘exciting’ the emission of another photon (because it has accumulated enough internal energy via photonic absorption) is not spontaneous emission? I certainly agree that the rate of spontaneous emission from a GHG molecule is far slower than the rate at which the surrounding gas molecules are traveling.

          • Christopher Game says:

            You write: “Do you at least agree that the absorption of photon by a GHG molecule ‘exciting’ the emission of another photon (because it has accumulated enough internal energy via photonic absorption) is not spontaneous emission?”

            This is your own homespun physics, not a factual account of a physical phenomenon. It would be pointless for me to agree or disagree with your use of the words ‘spontaneous emission’ for it.

            You write: “But wouldn’t a photonic absorption … via collisions?”

            As far as I know there is no simple intuitive account of all this. It is accounted for by the celebrated Einstein A and B coefficients. Their values can be obtained by calculations in advanced quantum mechanics.

            I suggest you study the basics of the Einstein coefficients. Your intuition, which I just above called your homespun physics, is not an adequate source of understanding of this.

          • gbaikie says:

            – Christopher Game says:
            April 27, 2014 at 7:33 PM

            Still it went wrong. Sorry.

            The link is http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1928MNRAS..88..493M –

            Works if highlight and back click and select:
            “Open link in new window”

            Looks complicated, but can our atmosphere be related to a star which is a ball of hot plasma?

          • Christopher Game says:

            Still that didn’t work for me. Perhaps my operating system is not up to it? I still have to copy and paste.

          • Christopher Game says:

            “Looks complicated, but can our atmosphere be related to a star which is a ball of hot plasma?”

            Practically all present-day radiative transfer calculations for the troposphere, the main theatre of activity relevant here, are based on Milne’s assumption of local thermodynamic equilibrium, and rightly so. The physical essence of it is that intermolecular collisions thoroughly dominate the distribution of states of excitation of the tropospheric molecules, according to the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution. The radiative phenomena are small perturbations on that main theme.

          • RW says:

            There is one other thing worth mentioning here: The wikipedia source I quoted seemed to indicate the mechanism for LTE was possible for a radiating gas, especially — I would at least intuitively think — a relatively thermally ‘thin’ and low pressure radiating gas such as the gases that compromise the Earth’s atmosphere.

            Another seemingly important point is of the tiny fraction of the total thermal energy in the system that’s contained within the atmosphere (less than 0.001%), almost all of it is contained within the clouds and not within the gaseous components of the atmosphere, which are infinitesimally ‘thin’ thermally.

        • gbaikie says:

          “In contrast, the typical time between collisions in a nitrogen-dominated atmosphere at a pressure of 10^4 Pa and a temperature of 250K is well under 10^-7 s.”

          In terms of near tropopause, pressure will 10^3 Pa rather than 10^4 Pa. And in terms of collision, density is far more important than temperature- or 200 K to 300 K would not matter much.

    • Dr. Strangelove says:

      The full IR absorption length of CO2 is greater than 1 meter if I recall correctly. You can calculate this using the Beer-Lambert law. The more CO2 molecules, the shorter the full absorption length. IR photons take longer time to travel a fixed distance like troposphere. More photons accumulate in the troposphere at a given time interval. More energy in fixed volume of gas, more heat, higher temperature. Greenhouse effect.

  33. david sinfield says:

    I’ve saved a link this to counter the fallacies when I see them.

    Thanks for collecting them. Very useful.

  34. geran says:

    Curt says:
    April 25, 2014 at 3:10 PM
    geran:

    Thank you for confirming my (secondary) point. I’m afraid you do need to be put down, because you don’t even understand the issues in play, and until you do, you are just wasting everybody’s time, including your own.

    Where do you even get the absurd notion that some claim ‘the Earth is supposed to have no “temp”’?

    Do you have any concept of even the rough magnitude of the power flux density at the earth’s surface from the high temperatures in the earth’s core? How many W/m2?

    >>>>>>>

    Curt has been to Warmist 101, where he learned how to put down the “others”.

    But they did not teach him that the “Earth has a fever”. (That’s probably in a later course.)

    So, now randomly checking his references, he has discovered that, indeed, the Earth “has a fever”. And (uncomfortably for Warmists) it is not manmade.

    Curt has much to learn to gain the Nobel Prize. But, hey, Al Gore did it….

  35. Ossqss says:

    Would a 1 or 2 percent increase in greening of the planet caused from co2 have a positive feedback with respect to albedo? Similar to how changes in clouds impact temperature.

    • Roy Spencer says:

      I suspect the albedo impact isn’t as large as the evapotranspiration impact, which should be a cooling effect. I believe vegetation is, on average, darker than most soils.

  36. gbaikie says:

    1. THERE IS NO GREENHOUSE EFFECT.

    An actual greenhouse mostly functions by reducing convection
    losses and thereby retaining heat.
    The greenhouse effect theory is described as having nothing to do with the reduction of convectional losses which make a real greenhouse have a higher average temperature.
    In addition the greenhouse theory claims that greenhouse gases and only greenhouse gas which inhibit radiation cause the world to be 33 K warmer.

    Or said differently a functioning greenhouse does not keep warm primarily by trapping radiant energy and the greenhouse effect theory states that “their greenhouse” only works by trapping radiant energy, and no heat is trapped on earth by
    inhibting convectional heat losses.

    So I would say the the result of greenhouse effect retaining heat by blocking radiant heat is about the same as one can design an build an actual greenhouse which blocks radiant heat. Or you can do this but it’s not the major way that a greenhouse can be made to have a higher average temperature.
    So one make a greenhouse with double pane panes- and this as nothing to do with radiant losses, this has to do with inhibting convection loses, but by using panes that inhibt IR radiation, one would making a greenhouse which does block radiant energy and is working in way that greenhouse effect theory describes.

    So not only is greenhouse effect theory mis-named but it’s claims that only greenhouse gas which prevent radiant energy from leaving earth are capable of causing earth to be warmer.

    So I would say there lots of evidence that other elements
    other then greenhouse gases cause Earth to be warmer and that greenhouse gases do not add 33 C to the average earth temperature.
    So I would say, no greenhouse effect is much closer to the truth than the claim that only greenhouse gases warm earth.
    As I would say the real greenhouse is mostly about inhibiting convection losses.

    • Roy Spencer says:

      Hmmm…you must be new to the climate debate.

      Do you also think a driveway is for driving, and a parkway is for parking?

      • gbaikie says:

        The question is simple. Do you do or do you not think the only way to increase [or decrease] earth’s average temperature is by only the use of greenhouse gases?

        • gbaikie says:

          Wait, I will also include Bond albedo as the greenhouse theory
          places a lot of important on this.

        • Roy Spencer says:

          Of course not, if you have to ask that, then you indeed are new here. In fact I think it’s more likely that past changes in temperature were due to albedo, especially clouds. But that’s not the subject of the post.

          • gbaikie says:

            It seems the statement there is THERE IS NO GREENHOUSE EFFECT.
            Is mostly referring to a theory, called the GREENHOUSE EFFECT.

            Or if one says there is no evidence that rising CO2 are causing increasing temperature, this similar to say CO2 does
            not cause warming.

            Or it’s seems clear to me that THERE IS NO GREENHOUSE EFFECT
            has nothing to with a claim that greenhouses used for growing plant don’t work. So it’s assumed GREENHOUSE EFFECT is referring to a theory, and one saying this theory is wrong.

            Theory is hopeless silly. Starting with what the theory is called.
            Further is claims earth temperature is 15 C. And one could
            only truthfully say that in terms of earth, it’s only during periods of interglacial periods in the last couple million years earth has been around 15 C.
            It proceeds to argue that if not for greenhouses gases, the 15 C world would instead be about -18 C.
            This wild assertion is based upon model which does involved
            where continents are on Earth, the existence of water, or numerous other pretty important factors.

            So a basic question about if there is NO GREENHOUSE EFFECT
            is certainly related to this idea than only greenhouse gases can and are responsible for 33 C of warming.

            But another glaring flaw if the theory is it attempts to explain why Earth is warm, whereas the pertinent question is why are we current living in ice box climate, or why is earth currently so cool.

          • gbaikie says:

            Re: “In fact I think it’s more likely that past changes in temperature were due to albedo, especially clouds. But that’s not the subject of the post.”

            I agree clouds have significant effect.
            But I don’t think albedo is as critical/significant as people who think Greenhouse effect theory is actually a valid or more importantly, useful theory.

            I think clouds are important in similar way that clouds are important if one wants to harvest solar energy.

            If greenhouse effect theory was actually useful, the people who believe it’s true, might have not made Germany, the solar capital of the world.
            Because they might have managed to wonder if Germany
            is cloudy in the summer, which is at the same time period they would have a dim chance to harvest some solar energy.

            So Germany the country could seen as Exhibit “A” of how little use the greenhouse effect theory has been to those
            indoctrinated.

  37. Ossqss says:

    Dr. Roy, I believe you said this could not be done at one time. Appologies in advance. ;-)
    http://youtu.be/Pk7yqlTMvp8

    Cheers!

  38. Ray Tomes says:

    With reference to 7. WARMING CAUSES CO2 TO RISE, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND:

    My analysis (and others) finds that changes in CO2 do not precede changes in temperature but rather follow them by 6 months. Can you explain this?

    It is a fact that hot water can contain less CO2, so we might reasonably expect changes in temperature to causes changes in CO2 in the observed manner.

    http://cyclesresearchinstitute.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/which-causes-which-out-of-atmospheric-temperature-and-co2-content/

  39. gbaikie says:

    2. THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT VIOLATES THE 2ND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS.
    And:
    “So, yes, a cooler body can make a warm body even warmer still…as evidenced by putting your clothes on.”

    So first clothes do not increase a body temperature of 37 C.
    And human body loses most of it heat [when in warm conditions] by evaporation. Another main way human loses heat is by convection of heat.
    Clothes work mostly by controlling convection losses.
    Examples of clothes involving radiant principles would a reflect suit used by iron workers. Another example is in the middle east black garments are used to to keep cooler. Or so
    it’s claimed:
    “We’re all encouraged to wear white in summer, since white clothing is supposed to keep us cool — but it doesn’t. In fact, black clothing is the best way to keep cool in the heat. It’s basic physics. And biology. Find out why cool people will wear black this summer. ”
    http://io9.com/5903956/the-physics-that-explain-why-you-should-wear-black-this-summer
    I don’t wear black to keep cool, I will wear black because a like to wear that color. But apparently it works.

    And finally putting a blanket over a dead man, will not keep the dead warm.

    • Susie says:

      The link that claims black clothing keeps you cool is incorrect – the author seems to have forgotten that people don’t emit visible light.

      • gbaikie says:

        Things can be trickier than the seem. Not sure, why exactly but it seems the Bedouins are doing something right- there some theories why, but here is another article:

        “The Bedouins’ apparently strange habit of wearing black clothing in hot environments is one that has irked scientists.”
        “The question so intrigued four scientists – all non-Bedouins – that they ran an experiment. Their study, called Why Do Bedouins Wear Black Robes in Hot Deserts?, was published in the journal Nature in 1980.”

        “The results were clear. As the report puts it: “The amount of heat gained by a Bedouin exposed to the hot desert is the same whether he wears a black or a white robe. The additional heat absorbed by the black robe was lost before it reached the skin.”

        Bedouins’ robes, the scientists noted, are worn loose. Inside, the cooling happens by convection – either through a bellows action, as the robes flow in the wind, or by a chimney sort of effect, as air rises between robe and skin. Thus it was conclusively demonstrated that, at least for Bedouin robes, black is as cool as any other colour.
        http://www.theguardian.com/science/2012/aug/19/most-improbable-scientific-research-abrahams

  40. coturnix says:

    I’d still disagree with point number nine (9), about the meaning of averaged temperature. While it is useful it still is unphysical, with the same value may correspond to a vastly different climates. Of course, if we are talking of changes of tens of degrees than average temperature is a meaningful indicator, but not when the tenths of degrees are in question. It is like a mean temperature in a hospital. If it is over 38C you can assume that the hospital is for unfectios diseases, if norman – for traumas etc. By the way, if mat is around 15C now, what percentage of earth is experiencing this temperature 1) right now, 2) in daily average 3) annual average? Tiny, isnt it?

    There are much more important things about climate – precipitation, cloudiness, humidity (i personally for example especially can’t stand the last one :D ). Also, I think it would be good if the temperature rose to 20C.

    I also just in general disagree with the idea that model physics is in general adequate to understand climate… i don’t know what it is going to be but one day some of the most disturbing errors are gonna be found in the most mundane physics of the models. Because if the models were correct in general they should have been able to HINDcast climate, while they do it no better than forecast. This last point is an ultimate proof to me that models can only nowcast correctly.

    Where is the error gonna be discovered? I bet on some subtleties of DYNAMICS, Water Vapor as well as Cloudiness, except that i think that scientific misunderstanding of cloudiness is much greater than you think.

    warning: this opinion is based on reading stuff on the internets, and thus should be considered as trustworthy as a rumor or blind faith.

  41. wizard says:

    9. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A GLOBAL AVERAGE TEMPERATURE
    Really?!

    Of coarse you can measure all points in your bath tub, but your readings are only true at the moment of measurement. But can you accurately measure all points on the earth to get an “average”. I think not. As “average” never exits any where. How many measurements are required to come up with an “average”? 10, 100, 1,000, 10,000 100,000 1,000,000.
    How many points on the globe would you measure to obtain your “average”? Unless you can measure all points at the same precise moment all would be just a guess.
    To disprove the statement that all crows are black you need only to find one white crow.

    • geran says:

      wizard, you are very correct. So take the following as more affirmation of what you are stating, rather than a refutation.

      By taking multiple measurements around the globe, a very good value could be obtained.

      The measurements must be at exact lats and longs, geometrically placed. For example, every 10 degrees long, with 10 degrees lat at each long. All temps should be published, and reviewable. The average of all temps, over time, might be meaningful.

      But, then again NOT. That is SCIENCE.

      Be there or be square.

      • observant says:

        One can average pure numbers.

        One can average extensive physical quantities (e.g. mass).
        The physical units carry through during the addition,
        (e.g. mass of 5 grams + mass of 3 grams = 8 GRAMS; there is something which HAS a mass of 8 grams, although it is only by thinking that we acknowledge it).

        One CANNOT average intensive quantities (e.g. temperature).
        The physical units do not carry through,
        (e.g. temperature of 300 degrees K + temperature of 400 degrees K = 700 of what? There is nothing which has a temperature of 700 degrees K).

        In statistics we simply say that you can’t average averages. To attempt it, at least without some sort of weight scheme, is just to make a howler.Temperature, of course, is an average, by definition.

        The above (obvious?) point is why Professor W.S. Franklin of Lehigh University, Vice-President of the Physics Section of the AAAS, the foremost educator in Physics in the USA at the turn of the 20th Century wrote in the Journal of the AAAS,’Science’, 1904 “Mistakes in thermodynamics that engineers and biologists make.”

        “A body not in thermal equilibrium and not in a steady sweep HAS NO TEMPERATURE… An electric arc is full of heat but IT HAS NO TEMPERATURE”. My emphases.

        • bernie says:

          “…has no temperature…”

          It may have a temperature field. It is a distributed scalar.
          Then one is saying that each little part has a temperature, which is fair enough. For the benefit of people who do not know this rather old terminology, a “sweep” is a process in which a system is settling towards thermal equilibrium, a “steady sweep” is one in which the flows of heat have settled down under some external influence but the temperature field is still inhomogeneous.

          • observant says:

            My strictures apply mainly to arithmetic averages.A median of the temperature anomalies that UAH produce would be interesting, and possibly meaningful as a warning indicator.

            And one has to realise that thermodynamics deals with ideal situations. Nothing ever actually reaches thermal equilibrium. But there is a huge diference betwen a carefully controlled measurement in an insulated laboratory calorimeter, and the whole of the globe, exchanging energy in enormous amounts with the rest of the Universe, through the ever-changing seasons and from 90N to 90S.

            A major purpose of averaging is to find a good mental representation of a property in the data. It is never an improvement on the data. The best data, to an omniscient entity, would be all the data. There is an obvious difficulty with finding a representative temperature for “the air over Asia” compared with finding a respresentative temperature for a bath of water.

            Dr Spencer asked what the temperature of a bath of water is.

            The answer is: if well-mixed – 40 C (say)
            if not well-mixed – it has no temperature
            (but it can burn; I have a scar still from an ill-mixed bath incident).
            It never has an average temperature.

          • bernie says:

            Observant says a bath “at – 40 C”

            I hope the dash is a dash and not a minus sign.

            I hate to think of the effect on my body of jumping into liquid water super-cooled to -40 C.

          • observant says:

            The error in saying that a body not in thermal equilibrium has a temperature, only becomes apparent when the variability of the temperature field within the body is large. If the bath of water is such that the temperatures within lie between 39.9 C and 40.1 C the statements

            “The bath has THE temperature of 40 C”

            and

            “The (local) temperatures throughout the bath are all NEAR 40 C”

            have a similar practical import (provided “NEAR” is defined with respect to some human sensibility) – even though the first statement is still flat-out untrue.

            If one could say that all temperatures in the earth’s atmosphere are near 20 C all the time and next year they are all near 30 C all the time I would agree that “the earth is geting hotter” is operationally defined and proved.
            Indeed that is exactly the way I decide whether I “have a temperature” for health purposes. If my normal daily range is 98 / 99 F and all next week I run at 101/103 I will agree I am sick. But if I run 98.1 / 99.1? Or if I spike at 100 for an hour? And then go down to 97?

    • Mike Flynn says:

      Not only is there no average global temperature, there is not even a scientific definition of the term. It is not the surface, not even an arbitrary distance above the surface, taking sea surface into consideration.

      Remote sensing does not measure surface temperature or air temperature just above the surface. It attempts to measure whatever is between the satellite and the surface.

      This is from a Scripps Oceanographic paper

      “Combined, these data sets provide a definitive picture of the bulk cooling and volumetric contraction of the lithosphere with age.”

      I have extracted a short quote to demonstrate that physical scientists state that the solid lithosphere is cooling. As far as I can tell, climatologists – whose only ability is to calculate averages of weather events over an arbitrary period – are the only people obsessed with the idea that you can somehow cause an objects temperature to rise by surrounding it with gas.

      Of course, this cannot be demonstrated experimentally, because it is nonsense.

      Just for fun, search the Web for “great moments in climate science”, “breakthroughs in climate science”, “climate science benefit to humanity”, or something similar.

      Voodoo science? You be the judge – non science or nonsense?

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

  42. gbaikie says:

    3. CO2 CANT CAUSE WARMING BECAUSE CO2 EMITS IR AS FAST AS IT ABSORBS.
    I guess I am new to this, don’t recall this being claimed
    by anyone.
    That CO2 is trace gas and can’t cause a significant or much warming, I have heard.

    “Also important is the fact that the rate at which a CO2 molecule absorbs IR is mostly independent of temperature, but the rate at which it emits IR increases strongly with temperature. ”

    It is important the rate a CO2 absorbs IR is mostly independent of temperature. I would also say it also has little to do with temperature of gases. Or temperature of gas
    has to do with their mass and their velocity.

    “but the rate at which it emits IR increases strongly with temperature.”
    Temperature of what? Are merely repeating the above where is more radiant energy input will cause more output or are saying the rate of molecules of gas colliding effect how much CO2 emits IR. Or molecules of gases in accordance with ideal gas law do not loses energy from molecules collision, and so you saying CO2 violates this?

    “There is no requirement that a layer of air emits as much IR as it absorbs…in fact, in general, the the rates of IR emission and absorption are pretty far from equal.”

    Again does amount collision related to loss of energy?
    Or do you uphold the idea that ideal gases [which does not apply to gases which condense [such as H20 in Earth temperature and pressure range], can be considered frictionless in terms of their collision with other ideal gases?

  43.  D o u g says:

    OPEN LETTER TO Dr ROY SPENCER

    Your very first item is completely rebutted with sound physics in my book and in none of your 10 items do you come even close to understanding the whole new 21st century paradigm. Instead you continue to repeat IPCC arguments (like that about effective radiating altitudes rising) which are spoken about by John O’Sullivan whom I quote from his article today …

    “After 30 years of these ‘Chicken Little’ alarmist scare stories independent scientists, specialists in a myriad of related disciplines, are speaking out about what they see is junk science. The “experts” – those generalists that dominate the undeniably infant field of research that is climate science – are finally being called to account. Climate realists are increasingly telling the alarmists to stop computer-modeling Earth as if it were a greenhouse! The reason is two-fold: first, it is obvious to experts from the “hard” sciences that Earth’s atmosphere does not act in any way like a greenhouse. Second, and more embarrassing for the “experts,” despite a huge increase in human CO2 emissions over recent decades our planet stubbornly refuses to get any warmer. In short, the real world shows no proof of any CO2-driven GHE whatsoever.book.

    You have no understanding of 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 with maximum entropy.”

    Instead you quote a corollary of the Second Law which only applies in non-gravitational systems, or in a horizontal plane in a gravitational system. Read what Wikipedia says …

    “For this reason, gravitational systems tend towards non-even distribution of mass and energy.”

    The “lapse rate” is not a result of air rising and cooling. The gas in a planet’s atmosphere can also fall and warm. The thermal gradient (badly named a lapse rate) allows heat transfer downwards by diffusion into warmer regions when the thermodynamic equilibrium is disrupted with new energy absorbed higher up. That is the only valid explanation as to how energy gets down into the Uranus troposphere and into the surface of Venus. Your understanding of what happens on other planets is, frankly, “school-kid fissics.”

    The thermal gradient forms at the molecular level because it is the state of thermodynamic equilibrium.

    You have a lot of real physics yet to learn.

    As this open letter will also be posted on several other climate blogs you might do well to actually read what is in my book and admit your errors, Roy, because the longer it goes on, and slight cooling continues until at least 2027, the more embarrassing it is going to be for you eventually.

  44. gbaikie says:

    6. LOWER ATMOSPHERIC WARMTH IS DUE TO THE LAPSE RATE/ADIABATIC COMPRESSION. No, the lapse rate describes how the temperature of a parcel of air changes from adiabatic compression/expansion of air as it sinks/rises. So, it can explain how the temperature changes during convective overturning, but not what the absolute temperature is. Explaining absolute air temperature is an energy budget question. You cannot write a physics-based equation to obtain the average temperature at any altitude without using the energy budget. If adiabatic compression explains temperature, why is the atmospheric temperature at 100 mb is nearly the same as the temperature at 1 mb, despite 100x as much atmospheric pressure?
    Why can 1/10th of atmosphere be same as 1/1000th of 1 atm
    I would one talking about region of Earth atmosphere which different than troposphere.
    That what think is important in regards to ADIABATIC COMPRESSION is related to mostly rising air packets which largely and most significantly confined within the troposphere.

    Or said differently changes in air temperature at 0 to 1000 meters, will translate into changes in temperatures of air 1000 meters to say 10,000 meters [where majority of earth atmosphere is found]. Or DIABATIC COMPRESSION explain why/how one has uniformity temperature. Or how a column of air lowers in temperature [and what happens to this heat].

    • Roy Spencer says:

      sorry, your points do not make any sense to me. Maybe a language problem?

      • gbaikie says:

        Perhaps. I do better if I can edit some of mistakes in typing. And also if type less [or slower] make less mistakes.

        To summarize- air above troposphere is not relevant.

        Energy of column of air in troposphere, increases during day,
        and is transferred upward, and during night it’s transfer downward.

        And of course there are lot details regarding it. Or part of ADIABATIC COMPRESSION is related to night time air temperatures.
        And this process, stores energy or traps energy for a period of time.

  45. Dan says:

    Thanks Roy

  46. Susie says:

    I think one of the reasons that these type of arguments continue is that alarmist scientists tend not to explain to those outside the climate community that models rely heavily on positive feedbacks. If more people realised how little of CAGW was directly related to CO2 increases, there would be less people arguing about the greenhouse effect.

  47. KevinK says:

    Dr. Spencer, with all due respect;

    I do not believe for one second that the online musing of “deniers” can in any way affect the respectability (i.e. give you as a “skeptic” a bad name) of your science. If your work is solid and repeatable that will become clear, or not. Stop deflecting blame about the obvious
    shortcomings in climate science to some folks (a few more “diverse” than others) that repeatedly disagree.

    It’s bad form, if your science and your ability to communicate it to the layman was a solid as you claim we (well about 80%) of us would get in line to solve the problem. That’s what most (never all) folks try to do when faced with an alleged existential threat.

    Sure there are lots of “claims” about the failings in climate science out there on the web, clearly you do not believe in most of them. But all you have presented is a bunch of “handwaving” about how they are wrong, and your assertions (a few of them actually measured, but poorly interpreted) are right. At the end of the day (I do hate that phrase) the general public has little faith in the climate science community.

    This is IMHO a direct result of the ridiculous claims about “what’s going to happen in one hundred years”, (boy it’s bad, really, really bad, trust me I’m a scientist, you have to do exactly as I say, right now, really, I’m serious, really, really serious, trust me, it’s peer reviewed, I have a Nobel prize (just like the “doctor” that “perfected” the lobotomy operation)).

    I think the biggest threat to your line of work is the “Boy that cried wolf” problem, not some un-credentialed non-peer reviewed engineers like myself that say; “wait just a second, nobody in engineering does that calculation that way”.

    Just a few non-specific observations (not correlated to your specific numbering schema);

    I am not aware of any cases where a deceased human (i.e. a corpse) reached a higher equilibrium temperature (i.e. above room temperature) due to the presence of a blanket. The human body is an actual heat source; it “burns” food and creates heat. The surface of the Earth (excluding the small component from Geo-thermal, volcanoes, etc.) simply absorbs and remits sunlight (shifting the bands in the process) and continually cools while it is also being warmed. A light bulb is not an energy source, it is an energy converter, it consumes energy from the utility company (easily verified by checking your electric bill with the lights ON and then OFF) and converts it to light.

    Your: ”anything that reduces the rate of cooling will cause warming” statement is really the crux of your misunderstanding. There are three important factors involved in “reducing the rate of cooling”; 1) the surface emits light as well defined by the Planck distribution, 2) the emitted light travels away from the surface at the speed of light, and 3) thermal energy flows back from underneath the surface to be emitted by said surface as determined by the thermal diffusivity of the materials involved. The slowest process involved here (the thermal diffusivity) determines the “rate of cooling”. It is very much like a single lane road, it makes little difference if you are driving a very fast car when there is a horse buggy in front of you.

    If you want to believe that a miniscule amount of gases in the atmosphere can command the temperatures of the oceans there is probably little hope for you. Please do not stand next to any large heat sources like a wood stove, you might convince yourself that you could put the fire out with your relatively cold body.

    Clearly you will continue to believe as you do, and nothing I say will dissuade you. And I am equally convinced that your exhortations to please “believe in the GHE” will not affect my thought processes. Thankfully the data is mostly in (after a few decades) and most folks have given up on the ability of scientists to predict the “weather” (what we get) or the “climate” (what we expect) way out in the year 2100.

    Cheers, Kevin

    • Dr. Strangelove says:

      “It is very much like a single lane road, it makes little difference if you are driving a very fast car when there is a horse buggy in front of you.”

      The road has three lanes: radiation, convection and conduction. The fast car (radiation) will overtake the horse buggy (conduction)

      “If you want to believe that a miniscule amount of gases in the atmosphere can command the temperatures of the oceans there is probably little hope for you.”

      Sea surface temperature is measured only one meter deep. Deeper is cooler. The miniscule greenhouse gases produce over 300 W/m^2 of measured downwelling IR. The difference in solar insolation between poles and equator is about 200 W/m^2. That’s enough to make South Pole -50 C and Malaysia 30 C. Or 80 C temperature difference.

      “Please do not stand next to any large heat sources like a wood stove, you might convince yourself that you could put the fire out with your relatively cold body”

      You can’t put out a fire by cooling it. Try your lighter inside a freezer. You have to remove fuel or oxygen.

      • KevinK says:

        Dr. Love, you have the observation inverted, the radiation path is significantly faster than the conductive or convective paths, thus the “missing heat” left long ago via the radiative lane in the toll pike, paid it’s fare and went on to the rest of the universe, gone, gone, gone.

        “The missing heat is currently traveling as a spherical IR wavefront that is “X + d” light years away”. In this equation X represents the elapsed time since the energy arrived (i.e. 100 years for sunlight from 1914 and “d” represents the small delay from the “greenhouse effect”. “d” is of course a statistical distribution with some photons exiting directly to space and some being delayed for a few milliseconds by making multiple passes through the Sun/Earth/Atmosphere/Universe system.

        Actually you can extinguish a fire by removing all the thermal energy, try pouring a water hose on one. Eliminate the Fuel or Oxygen or Heat and the fire goes out, pick any one, that’s what the professional firefighting folks do.

        Cheers, Kevin

        • Dr. Strangelove says:

          “thus the “missing heat” left long ago via the radiative lane in the toll pike, paid it’s fare and went on to the rest of the universe, gone, gone, gone.”

          That’s your strange dream because we can still measure the downwelling IR on the ground.

          “try pouring a water hose on one. Eliminate the Fuel or Oxygen or Heat and the fire goes out, pick any one, that’s what the professional firefighting folks do.”

          Water doesn’t remove heat. It temporarily cuts off fuel or oxygen supply long enough to extinguish the flame. It also prevents unburned combustible materials from igniting. You misunderstood your fireman. The fire triangle (heat, fuel & oxygen) is for starting fire. Once you have fire, heat is a product of combustion. You cannot stop a chemical reaction by removing its product. Remove one of the reactants – fuel or oxygen.

          • gbaikie says:

            –Water doesn’t remove heat. It temporarily cuts off fuel or oxygen supply long enough to extinguish the flame. It also prevents unburned combustible materials from igniting. You misunderstood your fireman. The fire triangle (heat, fuel & oxygen) is for starting fire. Once you have fire, heat is a product of combustion. You cannot stop a chemical reaction by removing its product. Remove one of the reactants – fuel or oxygen.–

            Of course water removes heat. Hence firemen with fire hoses dumping large amount of water.

            With forest fires one can’t get enough water, so it’s mostly about limiting the amount fuel in path of. And why one back burns ahead of fire, so as to remove the source of fuel.

            Water is also used to reduce the heat of a large fire- knock down the fire or simply prevent it from become too hot. so one spray water in fan, whereas if want end fire in small area one uses a tighter beam of water.

          • Dr. Strangelove says:

            Yes water can cool but it’s not cooling that put out fires. The film of water separates the fuel and air (oxygen) suppressing combustion. If it was cooling, rockets will not work in space because the temperature shaded from sunlight is -240 C or colder. The rocket will be too cold to work.

          • gbaikie says:

            ” Dr. Strangelove says:
            April 27, 2014 at 10:34 PM

            Yes water can cool but it’s not cooling that put out fires. The film of water separates the fuel and air (oxygen) suppressing combustion. If it was cooling, rockets will not work in space because the temperature shaded from sunlight is -240 C or colder. The rocket will be too cold to work.”

            Space is not cold.
            And in terms of the fire of the human body, space is not cold.

            Space lacks oxygen, and space will evaporate water [below -100 C], and space lacks pressure, but it’s not cold, nor hot.

            So if human body is provided with oxygen, and has enough pressure to breath the oxygen, and such pressure will prevents evaporation, and human body will be warm in space. Or the amount energy a human body generates is more than the energy it radiates into space- space does not cool the fire of the human body. [Though it would probably would freeze a lizard.] And spacesuits are designed to cool a human body in space.

            Or Space does not convect or conduct heat, whereas 20 C water or cooler or even air if not insulated against conducting of convecting of heat of body can put out the fire of human body. As human creature is a tropical creature which has developed technology that enables it to survive outside the tropics.
            So 20 C water can kill a human quicker than 20 C air, as such cool water can cool the body quicker. But humans will instinctively not remain for a long time [hours] in such a cold conditions.
            In terms of things burning hotter than 100 C, water works even better to cool things in Earth’s atmosphere as at 100 C, water boils, and so evaporation of water can powerful at cooling anything over 100 C.

    • Steve Ta says:

      “If you want to believe that a miniscule amount of gases in the atmosphere can command the temperatures of the oceans there is probably little hope for you.!”

      I assume therefore that you believe that a miniscule amount of digoxin in your body cannot possibly command the behaviour of your heart.

      So go ahead and eat a few foxgloves and see what happens. The fatal concentration is much lower that the proportion of CO2 in the air.

  48. Both sides of the CC debate encompass a broad spectrum of opinion from the well informed to fringe extremes of intellectual gibberish. It is noticeable, however, that well informed skeptics are hesitant in refuting nonsense from fellow skeptics. In contrast, the alarmist side appears noticeably reluctant to refute any arguments for alarm. Even clearly dubious claims receive weak support and blatant nonsense is only politely ignored.

    It is apparent that the ethos of science has been badly corrupted and often abandoned by advocates of climate catastrophism. It is hopeful that skeptics are endeavoring to maintain a core of scientific integrity from which to rebuild when the madness has run its course.

  49. Philip Bradley says:

    I’ll take issue with No. 9, as I think you have subtly mis-stated the argument. There is, of course, an average temperature of the air near the Earth’s surface. But Global Average Temperature is used to mean an average property of the atmosphere at whatever elevation, absent the many local to regional scale influences on air temperature. That is, GAT measures global scale effects.

    The ‘GAT doesn’t exists’ argument is that the air temperature resulting from global scale effects can’t be measured (although in principle it could), because we know too little about the local to regional scale effects, and hence cannot remove them from the measured temperatures. And something that can’t be measured (however indirectly), doesn’t exist for scientific purposes.

    I’d make this argument against the surface temperature datasets. I think it also applies to the satellite data, although the non-global effects on temperature would be substantially smaller in most places (South Asia with its brown cloud, is probably an exception).

  50. Mike Flynn says:

    As I understand things, there has been no global warming for 17 years. If this period is not long enough, try 4.5 billion years.

    Any other period could lead to lead to accusations of cherry picking or reliance on unreliable historical data.

    Therefore, there is no need to create a theory to explain something that is notable by its non existence. I may be wrong, maybe the Earth is warming, but the heat is hiding somewhere. Or maybe global warming is a collective delusion in the same class as phlogiston, caloric, or the luminiferous aether.

    Time will tell. In the meantime, unbelief in something that doesn’t seem to exist seems logical to me. Until here is some evidence to prove the existence of global warming, backed up by a useful definition and some real measurements, put me down as an unbeliever.

    Should, would, could – unconvincing.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  51. Ian Wilson says:

    Dr. Roy Spencer,

    One of the arguments you have given is not quiet true.
    [Note: I am not disputing the green-house effect]

    You say the following is a myth:

    ADDING CO2 TO THE ATMOSPHERE HAS NO EFFECT BECAUSE THE CO2 ABSORPTION BANDS ARE ALREADY 100% OPAQUE.

    and you give two reasons for this:

    “The first reason is that pressure broadening of the absorption lines leads to the absorption lines influencing much wider ranges of wavelengths, which are not “saturated”, that is, not 100% opaque.”

    [Your first reason is correct - no major quarrel here.]

    “The second reason is that, even if there is 100% opacity (which there cannot be for gaseous absorption), if you add more and more CO2, the effective radiating altitude to space goes ever higher, which is colder, which means less IR radiation, which means a warming tendency for the lower atmosphere.

    [Again, you second reason is basically correct.]

    However your first reason misses out the fact that the “fresh” continuum that becomes available for additional IR absorption in the unsaturated parts of the CO2 line profiles causes most of the additional IR absorption by CO2 to take place in the mid- to upper-troposphere [which is obviously weighted towards the mid-troposphere because of decreasing particle density with altitude].

    Given that the mid- to upper-troposphere has a lower heat capacity than the lower troposphere (mainly caused by a decrease in specific humidity with altitude), you would expect that the atmospheric warming should be greatest in the mid- to upper-troposphere – producing the classical “hot spot”.

    This characteristic “hot-spot” is not observed.

    Given that the green-house physics is well established, this
    leads to one inescapable conclusion:

    There must be an overall decrease in the specific humidity of the mid- to upper-troposphere over time that increases the heat capacity of the atmosphere at these altitudes that is just enough to counter-balance the energy deposition due to the incremental IR absorption caused by additional CO2.

  52. Terry says:

    Dr Roy, how long does it take for CO2 produced by Fossil Fuels burnt today to be taken up by plant and converted into Carbon and released Oxygen. i.e. CO2 Fertilization.

    • Chris Hansen says:

      In 2012 it is estimated that the activities of man produced about 34.5 billion metric tons of CO2. You are welcome to discover your own favorite value. 34.5*10^12kg / 44g/mole = 7.84*10^14 moles of CO2. Our atmosphere has a mass of about 5.15×10^18kg / 29g/mole = 1.78*10^20 moles of air. 7.84*10^14 / 1.78*10^20 = 4.4ppm/yr of CO2 emitted. Somehow the earth figures out how to squirrel away ~2.4ppm/yr leaving us with a net increase of 2.0ppm/yr. The amount of CO2 left in the air is an equilibrium problem. I assume most of the rest ends up in the oceans. Perhaps Dr. Spencer has a better accounting. Seasonal fluctuation is about 5.0ppm as northern hemisphere plants grow and then decay, so that might be an indication of what plants can do. Problem is, they just can’t keep up with us.

      I thank Dr. Spencer for his scientific and rational discussion of this issue! Amazing to find this website.

      Now… Global warming may come to pass, and all are doomed at last
      Perhaps seven billion here on earth was not sustainable.
      But get government involved, and the problem won’t get solved
      Human nature guarantees it’s unattainable.

      • Terry says:

        Normally CO2 goes into the ocean as the ocean water cools and is expelled from the ocean as as the water warms. I look forward to a world where CO2 is about 800 PPM; this should give the Earths plants ready access to CO2 fertilization; rather than plants today being starved for CO2 by about lunchtime each day limiting the efficiency of plants to grow to their optimum.

    • Some 10% of what humans emit per year is more or less permanently stored in the biosphere, 5% in the ocean’s surface layer and 30% in the deep oceans. The rest remains in the atmosphere.

      If we should stop all emissions today, the decay rate of the extra CO2 above equilibrium is about 52 years (e-fold time) or 40 years (half life time).

  53. gallopingcamel says:

    You are right on most of your ten points but who are the skeptics making such dumb arguments? It is easy to defeat straw men.

    I am with Salvatore Del Prete on point #7. There is abundant evidence for the idea that temperature drives CO2. For example, the last seven glaciation cycles:
    http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/?s=dog

  54. Peter Laux says:

    Roy, you lost me with – “So, yes, a cooler body can make a warm body even warmer still…as evidenced by putting your clothes on.”

    Isn’t that evidence of ‘Insulation’ ? If what you said were true, I could jump in a fridge and let the “cooler body make a warm body even warmer still.”.

    • Ross Handsaker says:

      Further to Peter’s comment, if two objects each having a temperature of 30C, were placed in a sealed room with an air temperature of 25C, would each object become warmer. I think not – they would each cool slightly.

    • Susie says:

      I think you are misunderstanding what Dr Roy is saying. Greenhouse gases don’t “warm” per se they just slow down the rate of cooling. With your fridge analogy, you would be warmer if you jumped in the fridge than if you jumped in the freezer.

      • Lionell Griffith says:

        Then why doesn’t he just say that rather than “warms”? “Slow the rate of cooling” is passive and requires only insulation or a radiation mirror. “Warms” is active which means that the source actually transfers heat energy from itself to the thing warmed rather than merely slow the rate of cooling.

        Like I said above, have both precision and accuracy in your language and your equations have a greater likelihood of being correct (matching reality). That would have an additional benefit of communicating your thoughts clearly and efficiently. Using wording that imply both your intent and the opposite of your intent fails in both counts. It also leaves the distinct impression of an intent to confuse, mislead, misdirect, and to defraud. Which leads to general distrust in anything said by that person.

        The fact is, none of us are telepathic, clairvoyant, and precognitive. All we have is our personal experience, the words he uses, and their plain/ordinary meanings. Thus we cannot know what the really intends to say and neither do you. If he intends to communicate, he should be more careful with the words he uses. As it is, he can use the common defense of any intellectual thug “I was misunderstood and my words were taken out of context.” Yet no context was given and no obvious attempt to be clear and correct was made.

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      Ross Handsaker says: ” Further to Peter’s comment, if two objects each having a temperature of 30C, were placed in a sealed room with an air temperature of 25C, would each object become warmer.”

      Ross, your analogy should use an object with an initial POWER that is kept constant, not an unheated object. Suppose you put a 100 W heater into a 25 C room. For the sake of argument, suppose the heater reaches 120 C. Now the heater is moved to the 30 C room (still a “cooler object” compared to the heater). The “cool” 30 C room will cause the heater to warm up — perhaps by 4 C to 124 C.

      That is all that is being claimed.

  55. Alex says:

    Within point 3:
    You mention that nitrogen travels at 1000mph and hydrogen at 3000mph My understanding of the velocity of molecules of air (averaged) is that it is 750-ish mph ie the speed of sound. That is real world information that an aircraft designer would work on. Theoretical outlier numbers should not be the basis in engineering something.
    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/kinetic/kintem.html

    I neither agree nor disagree with your post. I just had a problem with some numbers

  56. gallopingcamel says:

    I was able to model the lunar surface temperature quite accurately using commercial FEA (Finite Element Analysis) software sold under the name of QuickField.
    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/a-new-lunar-thermal-model-based-on-finite-element-analysis-of-regolith-physical-properties/

    Flushed with success I started to use the same software to construct a temperature vs. pressure model for all seven bodies in our solar system with significant atmospheres. Things were going well until I discovered that the problem had already been solved by Robinson & Catling:
    http://astrobites.org/2013/12/31/unifying-planetary-atmospheres/

    Now I am testing the R&C model against observations. First up was Titan, so I submitted a “Guest Post” to Verity Jones (Digging in the Clay).

  57. KuhnKat says:

    “(because an IR thermometer measures the IR-induced temperature change of the surface of a thermopile, QED)… ”

    Except the IR thermometer measures the IR it is receiving at effectively ground level. The atmosphere between that thermometer and the colder levels blocks virtually ALL the IR from above the lower trop. This means it is measuring mostly IR from the bottom of the lower trop which should be warm, yet, you yourself tell us it shows a rather COLD temp.

    Please explain this so we can get on with our lives.

  58. KuhnKat says:

    ” There is no requirement that a layer of air emits as much IR as it absorbs…in fact, in general, the the rates of IR emission and absorption are pretty far from equal.”

    Yup, so in the lower trop the CO2 helps warm the air which speeds up convection moving the energy up where it can be radiated away.

  59. Werner Brozek says:

    This is with regards to #7. Yes, in the past, temperature went up first and then CO2 followed since warm ocean water had to release some of its CO2 as it could not hold as much CO2 as cold water. But using an average of the 5 main global temperature data sets, we have had no warming for 13 years. However CO2 keeps going up. Obviously our burning of fossil fuels is responsible. However only half of the CO2 we produce ends up in the air. Some gets dissolved in the oceans and some gets used for more photosynthesis.

    • ray warkentin says:

      Just because the temperature has not increased in that time span does not mean that co2 levels cannot continue to rise naturally. The temperature has flat-lined above a thresh-hold level where co2 can continue to be released at a rate allowing accumulation and at a level of warmth that allows for increased biological activity contributing co2 as well. This would probably continue for a while even as temperatures are cooling. So it doesn’t have to signal manmade contributions.

      • ray, the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is with an incredibly fixed ratio with human emissions:
        http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/acc_co2_1900_cur.jpg
        Just try to find any natural process that mimics human emissions at such an incredible fixed rate…

        Further, there is the reduction of the 13C/12C and 14C/12C ratios both in ratio with human emissions. The oxygen balance shows that the biosphere as a whole is a net CO2 absorber and the 13C/12C ratio of the oceans is much higher than of the atmosphere: any substantial increase of CO2 from the oceans would increase the 13C/12C ratio of the atmosphere, but we see the opposite…

        And last but not least, as humans emit about twice the amounts of CO2 as measured in the atmosphere and vegetation only absorbs a part of the difference, the rest must go into the oceans…

  60. Arfur Bryant says:

    Dr Spencer,

    I’ll limit my comment to #2…

    There are several things wrong with your comment.

    1. If the net flow of ‘heat’ is form warm (W) to cold (C), then there can be NO increase in the temperature of C. None at all.

    2. ‘Slowing the rate of cooling’ should not be confused with ‘warming’. Something that is cooling will never get warmer than it was originally, irrespective of the rate of cooling.

    3.Putting clothes on does not make you 9your body temperature) warmer – you only ‘feel’ warmer because your cooling rate is slowed. This is NOT the same as actually warming.

    4. As others have pointed out – putting a blanket on a corpse does not make it warmer. Or, if you prefer, putting hot coffee into a thermos flask will never raise the temperature of the coffee – and yet you have provided a high level of insulation!

    5. You appear to be comparing atmospheric CO2 with ‘insulation’. This would be like comparing a string vest (made of 0.04% cotton and 99.96% air to a fur coat. The string vest does not ‘keep you warm’ to any significant degree unless you have a further layer of insulation on top! and increasing the amount of cotton by 0.04% (doubling) will have a barely measurable effect. The radiative GHE is not about insulation, although the Atmosphere Effect may be.

    6. The fact that a cooler body [C] emits radiation (some toward the warmer body [W]) is not in question but should not, by itself, imply that the emitted ‘cooler’ radiation is absorbed for energy gain by W. This is, IMO, the main problem with the “GHE warms the planet surface’ statement by the IPCC and other warmist/lukewarmist commenters.

    Your quote…

    ANYTHING THAT REDUCES THE RATE OF NET ENERGY LOSS BY AN OBJECT WILL INCREASE ITS TEMPERATURE. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT THE TEMPERATURE OF “ANYTHING” IS. THE EXAMPLES ARE LITERALLY ALL AROUND YOU, GERAN.

    …is just plain wrong.

    But, like others, I do appreciate your open blog.

    • Steve Ta says:

      ANYTHING THAT REDUCES THE RATE OF NET ENERGY LOSS BY AN OBJECT WILL INCREASE ITS TEMPERATURE.

      OK – for those hard-of-thinking, please every time you read anything about the temperature of anything at all, please please assume that there is an implied compared to what it would otherwise be clause that is not mentioned every single time because it would be so dull to read.

      So yes, putting a blanket over a dead body will increase it temperature 1 day later compared to what it would otherwise have been, assuming that it recently died, and that the external temperature is lower than the final body temperature, and all sort of other possible qualifiers that do not need to be mentioned because they over-complicate the trivially true statement!

      • Arfur Bryant says:

        Quite apart from you being just rude, Steve Ta, yours is a ridiculous, specious comment. If Dr Spencer or anyone else wishes to qualify his statements, he should do so. There should be no room for individual interpretation here.

        Apart from that, the IPCC specifically states that the GHE effect warms the surface! There is no qualification. You, or anyone else, changing the goalposts does’t do your sanctimonious insult any justice Dr Spencer’s comment in capitals was wrong, as is the IPCC explanation..

        “…warmer than it would otherwise be…” is just such a change of goalposts. It has nothing to do with the AGW debate, because the original ‘theory’ of CO2 = cAGW does not qualify the warming. It just states that the globe will warm, period. This warming cannot happen with the backradiation from CO2.

        The ‘theory’, and the warmist/lukewarmist interpretation of it, is demonstrably wrong. Get over your self-importance and YOU do some thinking.

    • Arfur Bryant says:

      Oops, just noticed a typo…

      1. Should read: “If the net flow of ‘heat’ is from warm (W) to cold (C), then there can be NO increase in the temperature of W. None at all.

      Bold indicates the change.

      • David Cosserat says:

        Arfur Bryant says, April 26, 2014 at 10:46 AM:

        “…warmer than it would otherwise be…” is just such a change of goalposts. It has nothing to do with the AGW debate, because the original ‘theory’ of CO2 = cAGW does not qualify the warming. It just states that the globe will warm, period. This warming cannot happen with the backradiation from CO2.

        But Arfur, the ‘original theory’ as you put it refers specifically to the earth-atmosphere system. That is the context for it. Those are the goalposts.

        The earth is a powered object, kept at a constant (mean) temperature by the Sun’s incoming rays. If you put insulation around a powered object, the object warms up to a new steady state temperature at which it is able to shed the same amount of power P that it is receiving. The debate therefore has to be about whether CO2 acts as an impedance to the outward flow of LW radiation from the earth’s surface. If it does, it follows that adding extra CO2 to the atmosphere will in principle cause the earth’s surface temperature to rise to a new and higher steady state level.

        Whether this rise is significant in practice (for, say, a doubling of CO2) is quite another matter. Personally I don’t think it is and neither does Roy. But his point is that denying that a powered object can in principle warm up when further insulation is wrapped around it is not going to help the skeptic cause. On the contrary it just makes some skeptics look very foolish.

  61. gallopingcamel says:

    Werner Brozek, April 25, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    During the last seven glaciations temperature led CO2 concentration as you affirm.

    Since 1850 the concentration of [CO2] in the atmosphere has risen relentlessly thanks to us humans. The IPCC says that rising [CO2] will cause “Catastrophic Antropogenic Global Warming”.

    In the real world both the warming (+0.8 K) and the change in [CO2} (+120 ppm) have been beneficial to plants and animals. The “Catastrophe” meme is overwhelmed by the benefits.

    • bernie says:

      gallopingcamel says:

      “The Catastrophe meme is overwhelmed by the benefits.”

      As my grandmother said – repeatedly -

      “Get down on your knees and thank God you are still on your feet!”

  62. Ben says:

    Fast changes of CO2 has happened before – changes of 100 ppm per 50 years. Vostock data can’t see short changes.
    Please read: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379113000553 about “Stomatal proxy record of CO2 concentrations”

    CO2 as high as 425 ppm under a short period.

    • bernie says:

      Dr Spencer says:

      “I believe no good CO2 data exists before Mauna Loa”.

      On the contrary there, is a LOT of excellent data from very good experimentalists. It moulders in the store rooms of libraries. There were some quite definite (non-seasonal) fluctuations at times in the later 19th Century – 20-30 ppm.

      • bernie says:

        Observant left a life-line to those who would LIKE the Earth (defined as the fluid parts) to have “a definite temperature,” even if purists would call it a pseudo-temperature and not a real one. The suggestion would be to use “weights”.

        How about 1 for the atmosphere and 40 for the upper 100 meters of water and 1,559 for the lower waters – based on heat capacity? Even when the blood is boiling out of my eyes I will croak triumphantly “local variation is more important than global numbers”.

      • bernie, a lot of the historical data were measured by excellent experimentalists, but the problem is the places where the the samples were taken: in the middle of towns, forests (diurnal difference hundreds of ppmv), under and inbetween leaves of growing crops… Completely unsuitable to know the real “background” CO2 levels of that time. But samples taken over the oceans and coastal with wind from the seaside all are around the ice core CO2 data…

    • Ben, even the Vostok ice core will notice a one-sided change of 2 ppmv sustained over 600 years or 20 ppmv over 60 years or 200 ppmv over 6 years. Thus if the stomata data show a change of 100 ppmv over a period of 50 years, it would be detected in the Vostok data. The problem is that the reliability of stomata data is heavily influenced by their “land bias”, which may be variable because of changes in landscape in the main wind direction. Even the main wind direction may have changed with climate…

  63. Gordon Robertson says:

    Fred Singer made a similar statement to Roy’s about ‘deniers’ giving skeptics a bad name. He used the same incorrect analogy between heat and infrared energy.

    As far as I’m concerned, and as much as I admire Fred and Roy, they are doing as much as anyone to make a fool of skeptics by continuing to preach that IR and heat are one and the same.

    Somehow the greenhouse effect proponents think they can apply Boltzmann to infrared energy and make a statement about heat transfer. The argument that the 2nd law is not contradicted provided a summation of infrared energies is positive is about as bad as anyone can get with science.

    The 2nd law is about heat, not infrared. Summing infrared energies is the 1st law…conservation of energy. The 2nd law was developed because the 1st law failed miserably in some cases, one example being that it allows perpetual motion with heat transfer.

    When Carnot first worked on the heat engine, he proposed that heat engines have no losses. Clausius thought that was wrong and proved it, developing the 2nd law along the way.

    Imagine a scenario where the Earth’s surface is radiating massive fluxes of infrared energy from every nook and cranny. That represents a loss at the surface. GHGs must collect that radiation and back-radiate it all in order to make up for those losses before it can begin warming the surface. How is that possible when all GHGs make up 1% of atmospheric gases and anthropogenic CO2 makes up about 0.001%, based on a density of 390 ppmv?

    A more likely scenario is along the lines of that produced by Stephen Wilde. Solar energy has warmed the oceans and they act as a heat reservoir to warm the planet. Losses realized at the surface through infrared radiation are made up by solar energy and a stasis is reached in that process. It has nothing to do with CO2, anthropogenic or otherwise.

    The greenhouse effect is an absurd assumption based entirely on models. It’s a metaphor, and a bad one at that. Even the so-called global average of about 15 C is arrived at by models. Comparing an atmosphere with 1% GHG to a real greenhouse is like claiming a real greenhouse with 100 panes of glass will warm effectively if you remove 99 panes of glass.

    Dick Lindzen does not describe the greenhouse effect as such. He claims atmospheric warming has more to do with convection than radiation.

    http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/230_TakingGr.pdf

    In this paper, two people with expertise in thermodynamics challenge the greenhouse effect theory:

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf

    • Dr. Strangelove says:

      “The 2nd law is about heat, not infrared.”

      Heat transfer is by conduction, convection and radiation. Infrared is radiation. 2nd law applies to infrared as well as all types of radiation.

      “Dick Lindzen does not describe the greenhouse effect as such. He claims atmospheric warming has more to do with convection than radiation.”

      This is what Lindzen actually said: “the surface of the earth does not cool primarily by thermal radiation… There is so much greenhouse opacity immediately above the ground that the surface cannot effectively cool by the emission of thermal radiation.”

      He is talking about surface cooling. There is so much greenhouse gases that the ground cannot cool by radiation because all upwelling infrared are absorbed and radiated back to the ground. He is actually confirming greenhouse effect theory. But the atmosphere is cooling by radiation as you can see in Figure 3.

      “In this paper, two people with expertise in thermodynamics challenge the greenhouse effect theory”

      This paper has been adequately debunked by Science of Doom. Read and learn.

      http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/04/05/on-the-miseducation-of-the-uninformed-by-gerlich-and-scheuschner-2009/

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        @Dr. Strangelove “This paper has been adequately debunked by Science of Doom”.

        Surely you jest. A paper by experts in thermodynamics debunked by an amateur site whose creator remains anonymous? SOD cannot understand the difference between independent radiators and dependent radiators.

        For example, if another star came within the vicinity of our Sun, it would become an independent radiator and its energy would add to solar energy. AGW alarmists like SOD, think the same applies to GHGs warmed by the Earth’s surface and they think radiation from GHGs can add to incoming solar energy.

        The 2nd law does not permit that for obvious reasons. Energy LOSSES!!! If there were no losses, and the implied positive feedback was allowed, we’d have experienced thermal runaway eons ago.

        SOD is leaning on the pseudo-science of Halpern et al and Halpern has a site where he uses the nym Eli Rabbett. He hates skeptics. When Halpern released a rebuttal to G&T, I spotted the glaring errors long before G&T responded with the obvious, that Halpern had not defined a greenhouse effect.

        Also, Halpern fumbled with the 2nd law, using the entropy version. They did what Roy claimed, being unable to understand the physical basis of the 2nd law, they fumbled with equations.

        Halpern is so confused about the G&T paper that he claimed they had described two bodies radiating against each other with one body failing to radiate. Absolute nonsense.

        G&T were describing heat transfer, not IR exchange. Heat can only be transferred from a warmer body to a cooler body but Halpern confused heat with IR.

        I agree with you that heat is transferred by IR but in one direction only. The IR radiated by a cooler body does not have the intensity to affect the kinetic energy of the atoms in a warmer body, and heat is the average KE of the atoms in a body, whether it be a gas, liquid or solid.

        You cannot apply the 2nd law to IR, as G&T have pointed out. Thermodynamics is about heat and the 2nd law of thermodynamics is about heat. It’s about the kinetic energy in atoms. IR is nothing more than a mechanism by which that KE can be transferred.

        • Yes Gordon, you are absolutely correct, whether one considers electromagnetic radiation as a wave or particle, a lower energy/frequency/temperature body cannot increase the temperature of a higher energy/frequency/temperature body. Waves or particles are bidirectional between the hot & cold bodies, but HEAT FLOW is always unidirectional from hot to cold. The incorrect notion of bidirectional heat flow is the source of the fallacious “back-radiation radiative forcing” greenhouse theory. The real 33K greenhouse effect is due to atmospheric mass/gravity/adiabatic compression, not “radiative forcing” from greenhouse gases.

          Heat flow from cold to hot can only occur with work input, which GHGs cannot provide. Heat flow from cold to hot requires a reduction in total entropy, which is impossible for the 2nd law.

        • Kristian says:

          Gordon, heat is NOT ‘the average KE of the atoms in a body’. That’s ‘temperature’. Heat is the energy transferred from a hot to a cold body as a result of the temperature difference between the two. Just saying. Otherwise, I agree fully with you …

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @Kristian “Gordon, heat is NOT ‘the average KE of the atoms in a body’. That’s ‘temperature’”.

            Kristian, try to find the mechanical treatise on heat by Clausius. He is from the old school where they explained science subjectively rather than relying purely on equations.

            If you read Clausius, it becomes plain that heat is the average KE of atoms in a substance. Temperature is a proxy for measuring heat in real time. Tree rings are a proxy for measuring heat in bygone atmospheres, albeit a highly dubious proxy due to the fact that tree rings can be reduced in girth by drought brought on by heat.

            As far as I’m concerned, temperature is a property of heat, and if temperature measures the average KE then heat is the average KE.

            Even heat is a dubious term. What is it? In standard thermodynamics, heat is regarded at a macro level with no interest shown in atomic structures. Heat and work become interdependent in that context.

            In statistical thermodynamics, atomic structure becomes the focus. However, Clausius found a way to infer atomic structure long before it was understood at the modern level. He knew there were atoms vibrating in a substance and that when heated, they vibrated harder. In fact, he coined the term entropy based on the degree of vibration, referring to entropy as the disgregation of atoms. Since aggregation means coming together, disgregation means the opposite.

            In his treatise on heat, he talked about internal energy even though the focus was on the external cycle in which work and heat interacted in a heat engine. He made it clear enough that heat is the average kinetic energy of the atoms in a substance.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @Kristian…here is a link to the Mechanical Theory of Heat, by Clausius:

            http://www.humanthermodynamics.com/Clausius.html

            *****************

            “In order for one body to impart heat to another by conduction or radiation (in the case of radiation, wherein mutual communication of heat takes place, it is to be understood that we speak here of a body which gives out more heat than it receives), the body which parts with heat must be warmer that [sic] the body which takes up heat; and hence the passage of heat between two bodies of different temperature can take place in one direction only, and not in the contrary direction”.

            *****************

            I don’t pretend to have expertise in the interpretation of what he is saying and I would appreciate any interpretation that differs from mine, perhaps by someone who has expertise in atomic theory.

            However, when you read through what he has to say, heat comes across as a mysterious entity that can be interchanged with work. That applies to the external world. There is also work done between atoms in a gas (and other substances) and it changes as the pressure changes in a container.

            You can’t just claim that heat operates on nothing, it requires atoms and molecules to have relevance. When you have a gas in a container, the walls of the container exert pressure on the gas and as you transfer heat into the gas, the gas exerts a higher pressure on the walls of the container. In fact, as Clausius implies, if you have a lid on the container, you have to add weight to keep the lid in place as you transfer heat to the gas.

            So, what could cause that pressure change? It has to be the kinetic energy in the gas itself. But how does heat affect the KE?

            I may be wrong in referring to heat as the average KE in a gas but it is certainly the forcing agent that changes the KE, at least in a container of constant volume.

            Heat is described as energy but it is not electromagnetic energy per se. Otherwise, it could not be transferred in a pure solid or liquid. In a solid, when you apply heat to one end of a copper bar, the heat obviously moves rapidly from atom to atom. It’s almost like electrical energy.

          • Kristian says:

            Gordon Robertson, here is the MODERN physical definition of HEAT (from “Fundamentals of Thermodynamics” (2009) by Borgnakke & Sonntag”):

            “If a block of hot copper is placed in a beaker of cold water, we know from experience that the block of copper cools down and the water warms up until the copper and water reach the same temperature. What causes this decrease in the temperature of the copper and the increase in the temperature of the water? We say that it is the result of the transfer of energy from the copper block to the water. It is from such a transfer of energy that we arrive at a definition of heat.

            Heat is defined as the form of energy that is transferred across the boundary of a system at a given temperature to another system (or the surroundings) at a lower temperature by virtue of the temperature difference between the two systems. That is, heat is transferred from the system at the higher temperature to the system at the lower temperature, and the heat transfer occurs solely because of the temperature difference between the two systems.”

            Heat, like work, is a form of energy transfer to or from a system. Therefore, the units for heat, and for any other form of energy as well, are the same as the units for work, or at least are directly proportional to them. In the International System the unit for heat (energy) is the joule.”

            From the HyperPhysics site:
            http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/heat.html

            “Heat may be defined as energy in transit from a high temperature object to a lower temperature object. An object does not possess “heat”; the appropriate term for the microscopic energy in an object is internal energy. The internal energy may be increased by transferring energy to the object from a higher temperature (hotter) object – this is properly called heating.”

            On temperature from wikipedia:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperature

            “A temperature is a numerical measure of hot and cold. Its measurement is by detection of heat radiation or particle velocity or kinetic energy, or by the bulk behavior of a thermometric material.”

          • Kristian says:

            Gordon Robertson, here is the MODERN physical definition of HEAT (from “Fundamentals of Thermodynamics” (2009) by Borgnakke & Sonntag”):

            “If a block of hot copper is placed in a beaker of cold water, we know from experience that the block of copper cools down and the water warms up until the copper and water reach the same temperature. What causes this decrease in the temperature of the copper and the increase in the temperature of the water? We say that it is the result of the transfer of energy from the copper block to the water. It is from such a transfer of energy that we arrive at a definition of heat.

            Heat is defined as the form of energy that is transferred across the boundary of a system at a given temperature to another system (or the surroundings) at a lower temperature by virtue of the temperature difference between the two systems. That is, heat is transferred from the system at the higher temperature to the system at the lower temperature, and the heat transfer occurs solely because of the temperature difference between the two systems.”

            Heat, like work, is a form of energy transfer to or from a system. Therefore, the units for heat, and for any other form of energy as well, are the same as the units for work, or at least are directly proportional to them. In the International System the unit for heat (energy) is the joule.”

            From the HyperPhysics site:

            “Heat may be defined as energy in transit from a high temperature object to a lower temperature object. An object does not possess “heat”; the appropriate term for the microscopic energy in an object is internal energy. The internal energy may be increased by transferring energy to the object from a higher temperature (hotter) object – this is properly called heating.”

            On temperature from wikipedia:

            “A temperature is a numerical measure of hot and cold. Its measurement is by detection of heat radiation or particle velocity or kinetic energy, or by the bulk behavior of a thermometric material.”

        • Dr. Strangelove says:

          No use trying to put sense to the heads of Dragon Slayers. Long live the Slayers! Ignorance is bliss!

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      “GHGs must collect that radiation and back-radiate it all in order to make up for those losses before it can begin warming the surface.”

      No. ANY returned IR will have a warming effect. You seem to be forgetting about the sun. With no atmosphere, the “massive flux of IR energy” will balance out the incoming solar radiation. If the earth absorbs 240 W/m^2 of power (on average), will emit 240 W/m^2 of IR on average. If even 1 W/m^2 of IR was returned by the GHGs, there would be an imbalance and the earth would warm up.

      The 2nd Law says that a cooler atmosphere cannot return more IR to the warmer surface than the surface can send to cooler atmosphere. But since 1 W/m^2 < 240 W/m^2 in this example (or 333 W/m^2 <356 W/m^2 for more realistic terrestrial numbers), there is no violation of the 2nd Law.

      • Kristian says:

        Tim Folkerts says, April 26, 2014 at 11:19 PM:

        “ANY returned IR will have a warming effect. You seem to be forgetting about the sun.”

        Not again with this nonsense, Tim.

        What you’re in effect saying here is that ALL IR is HEAT, no matter in what direction it goes. Why? Because it has the exact same RESULT as a heat transfer. If you ADD energy to a system to make it warmer, you have transferred HEAT to it (or work), Tim. That’s thermodynamics.

        It is not the sun that’s doing the warming in your scenario, Tim. It’s the ‘back radiation’. The absorbed solar radiation is emitted unobstructed again from the surface. By radiating back the already emitted energy from the surface, already spent warming the cooler atmosphere, it is now supposed to come back and ALSO warm the surface that previously sent it out some more!! You’re violating both the 1st AND the 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics, Tim. And you STILL don’t see it.

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          “What you’re in effect saying here is that ALL IR is HEAT, no matter in what direction it goes. Why? Because it has the exact same RESULT as a heat transfer.

          NO! That is not what I am saying!

          “Heat” is a very specific idea in thermodynamics. Heat = Q = the NET transfer of energy due to temperature differences. I am saying
          * all IR is “energy”
          * NET IR is “heat”

          If you ADD energy to a system to make it warmer, you have transferred HEAT to it (or work), Tim. That’s thermodynamics.”
          This sentence is all about the 1st Law: ΔU = Q + W

          Let’s apply this to earths surface. The surface interacts with several other “systems”: the sun, the atmosphere, and space. The earth does no work on these systems, so W = 0 and we don;t need to consider W any further. So our version of the 1st law for this situation becomes
          ΔU = Q = Q_sun + Q_atm + Q_space

          At steady-state, Q_sun + Q_atm + Q_space = 0 (ie the heat gained from the sun equals the heat lost to the atmosphere & space). (ALSO NOTE: Q_atm & Q_space will be negative numbers). Changes to ANY of these three terms will change Q and hence change U and hence change T. For example, changing the earth’s albedo will change Q_sun. We can also change Q_atm by changing the atmosphere’s temperature. Warming the atmosphere will make Q_atm less negative, which will make Q more positive.

          THAT is thermodynamics. We made Q positive by keeping Q_sun constant by making Q_atm and/or Q_space less negative. All of the heat transferred TO the earth came from the sun. All the heat transferred AWAY goes to the atmosphere and space.

          There are lots of ways to try saying this with words, like “reduces the cooling” or “warms the surface” or “increases back radiation” or “decreases net thermal IR”. The atmosphere never “heats” the earth, but changes to the atmosphere can “warm” the earth But don’t start with the words. Start with the equations and symbols.

          What mathematical statement have I written that you disagree with?

          • Kristian says:

            Exactly, that’s not what you’re SAYING. But that’s what you’re DOING.

            You’re ADDING more energy to the surface to make it warmer, Tim. That means you’re increasing its HEATING, not reducing its COOLING. You make MORE energy leave the surface, not less, by ADDING to the original input (increasing the internal energy of the surface).

            You don’t understand thermodynamics, Tim. And you’re incapable of seeing how you’re double counting energy. We all know that. There is no need to keep showing it off.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            Argue with equations and physics, Kristian, not words. You claim that I am misunderstanding, yet you can’t point out one error in the math. Instead, you revert to semantics, and in the process mis-interpret what I am saying (and mis-interpret thermodynamics).

            > You’re ADDING more energy to the surface
            > to make it warmer, Tim.
            Yes

            > That means you’re increasing its HEATING,
            > not reducing its COOLING.
            No, it does not mean that at all.

            >You make MORE energy leave the surface, not less,
            >by ADDING to the original input (increasing
            >the internal energy of the surface).
            No, each ‘explanation’ you give here only muddles things further.

            Use math. Define your variables. Write the equations for your ideas. As Lord kelvin said, “when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the state of Science”.

            I said very clearly (I think) what I mean using specific variables and equations. Since you have a different opinion, please give us an equation to quantify what you mean by statements like “ADDING to the original input (increasing the internal energy of the surface)

          • Kristian says:

            Tim Folkerts says, April 27, 2014 at 4:29 PM:

            “Argue with equations and physics, Kristian, not words.”

            Hahaha! Why? This is perfectly simple, Tim. You are not allowed (by the 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics) to return energy from a colder (dependent, warmed) object back to its source to make this even warmer (a second time).

            This is not about energy, Tim. It’s about HEAT. HEAT heats. Work heats. Energy by itself does not heat.

            You do not ADD energy to a system (like you do) to reduce its cooling. You do not increase the energy INPUT (like you do) to a system to reduce its cooling. Then you increase its heating. This requires HEAT (or work). Heat in nature does not go from cold to hot. Sorry, Tim, but that’s reality. Try sticking to it.

            You reduce the cooling of a system by restraining its energy OUTPUT, by making less energy go OUT from the system. You make MORE energy go out from the surface, Tim.

            The flaw in your thinking is ridiculously simple and childishly naïve.

          • Kristian says:

            Tim Folkerts says, April 27, 2014 at 4:29 PM:

            “> You’re ADDING more energy to the surface
            > to make it warmer, Tim.
            Yes”

            Tim, this is per physical definition increased HEATING, a transfer of HEAT, not energy. But heat does not go both ways. And specifically not from cold to hot.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            Kristian (or anyone else reading this),

            Take your “perfectly simple” argument to any physicists at any physics department at any university. See if you can find even a SINGLE professor to agree with your inane interpretation of heat and energy and the laws of thermodynamics.

            If my thinking is truly “ridiculously simple and childishly naïve” you should be able to find experts lining up to support you.

            Cue the chirping crickets ….

          • Kristian says:

            Tim Folkerts says, April 28, 2014 at 8:46 PM:

            “Take your “perfectly simple” argument to any physicists at any physics department at any university. See if you can find even a SINGLE professor to agree with your inane interpretation of heat and energy and the laws of thermodynamics.

            If my thinking is truly “ridiculously simple and childishly naïve” you should be able to find experts lining up to support you.”

            That should be no problem, Tim, since I’m right and you’re wrong. Since I’m simply consistently referring to what the actual physics are saying while you’re just making things up to suit your agenda. And especially since there is no physics textbook in the world supporting your inane interpretation of ‘all IR as heat’ or ‘heat is going both ways, only more from hot to cold than from cold to hot, and therefore warms in both directions.’

            Can you find me ONE SINGLE example from such a textbook anywhere where it’s described, explained or even suggested or hinted at that energy from a cold system under ANY circumstance will produce a higher temperature than before in a receiving hot system? (And no, I’m not thinking of those short contrived sections where the ‘Climate Science’^TM GHE talking points are just being parroted for ideological reasons. I’m talking about ACTUAL physics.)

            It is pretty obvious to all, when you start appealing to ‘math and equations’ and refer to arguments from authority and numbers, that you’ve got nothing, Tim, that your feet are getting hot, that you’re only trying to divert from the (very simple and very revealing) core of this issue, that is, what you’re in fact doing (not saying):

            You’re transferring energy from the cool atmosphere back to the warm surface that previously sent it out as thermal loss, expecting it to act as (give the result as if it were) HEAT a second time, just like when it originally came in from the sun, after first having been spent warming the atmosphere.

            That’s a clear and unequivocal violation of both the 1st AND the 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            “It is pretty obvious to all, when you start appealing to ‘math and equations’ and refer to arguments from authority and numbers, that you’ve got nothing, Tim”.

            That got a laugh!
            /sarc
            Yep — anytime people start using math in science, that is a sure sign they don’t understand things.
            /sarc off

            Can you find me ONE SINGLE example .. that energy from a cold system under ANY circumstance will produce a higher temperature than before in a receiving hot system?

            Let me cut to the chase with a simple example. A metal box (which we will call “a receiving hot system”) has a 100 W electrical heater inside it. The box is placed into water @ 2 C. The box comes to a steady-state temperature of 60 C at the interior of the box. The box is then moved to water at 10 C (which we will call “a cold system”). The box will warm up (by about 10-2 = 8 C) to about 68 C (which we will call “a higher temperature than before”).

            Energy from “a cold system” produced “a higher temperature than before” in “a receiving hot system”. :-)

            **********************************************

            We could change the “receiving hot system” from a box to the earth. We could change the “electric heating” to “solar heating”. Would could change “conduction” to “IR radiation”. The principle will remain the same. The temperature of the surroundings affects the temperature of a heated object!

          • Kristian says:

            Round and round we go, Tim. It doesn’t matter how you try to writhe and twist your way out of this. It doesn’t matter what kind of ‘examples’ and ‘thought experiments’ you provide to divert from the main issue here:

            Are you allowed in nature to transfer energy from a cold to a hot system and thereby directly raise the temperature (increase the internal energy) of the hot system? That’s what you DO, Tim. And of course, it’s not just NOT allowed. It’s a ridiculous, a preposterous suggestion, completely unheard of in physics!

            You and your silly sand-box version of real physics have been exposed Tim. Live with it. Reality comes knocking …

          • Kristian says:

            Tim Folkerts says, April 29, 2014 at 12:11 PM:

            “That got a laugh!
            /sarc
            Yep — anytime people start using math in science, that is a sure sign they don’t understand things.
            /sarc off”

            Everything you say make me laugh, Tim. Whenever you appear, I bring out the popcorn.

            Your problem is that you’re not appealing to math and equations in order to cut to the chase of the matter. You appeal to it to get away from it, to muddle it. Thing is, if you don’t understand the subject to begin with, the underlying physics, the premises, then no maths will help you, Tim. It will merely confuse you more and more and more … You think you know the truth, that the numbers and letters are telling it to you. But they only carry your own flawed preconceptions back to you.

            This, people like you will of course NEVER understand. And that’s why you’re such a sad (but also funny) case.

          • Kristian says:

            Tim Folkerts says, April 29, 2014 at 12:11 PM:

            “A metal box (which we will call “a receiving hot system”) has a 100 W electrical heater inside it. The box is placed into water @ 2 C. The box comes to a steady-state temperature of 60 C at the interior of the box. The box is then moved to water at 10 C (which we will call “a cold system”). The box will warm up (by about 10-2 = 8 C) to about 68 C (which we will call “a higher temperature than before”).

            Energy from “a cold system” produced “a higher temperature than before” in “a receiving hot system”. :-)

            No, Tim. This is what you will never get. No energy from cold can do hot even hotter. What you do when you move the box from the cold to the not-so-cold water is YOU REDUCE THE TEMPERATURE DIFFERENCE (THE GRADIENT) AWAY FROM THE BOX. This makes less energy go OUT FROM it per unit of time.

            This is what the atmosphere does to the surface, indeed. But this is NOT because it contains radiatively active gases, Tim. It is because it is able to warm. And this it would have done with or without the so-called GHGs. Through other (and more important) heat transfer mechanisms than the radiative one. It couldn’t have adequately cooled to space, though …

            We’re talking about the ‘atmospheric radiative GHE’, not the laboratory alleged ‘closed glass box’ analogy which isn’t an analogy to the open atmosphere at all. You can never REDUCE the temp gradient away from the surface by the radiative properties of the gases above it.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            Round and round we go, Tim Kristian.

            In the example I gave, will energy from “a cold system” (10 C water) produced “a higher temperature than before” (ie than when the heated box was in 2 C water) in “a receiving hot system” (in the metal box with the 100 W electric heater).

            Or will the heated box stay the same temperature, regardless of the temperature of the surroundings (as long as the surroundings are cooler than the electrically heated box)?

            There are only two choices, Kristian — which do you think will happen?

  64. Gordon Robertson says:

    Dr. Pierre Latour was cited earlier. here is an article by him:

    http://www.principia-scientific.org/james-hansen-s-bogus-33-degrees-greenhouse-gas-effect.html

    He is an engineer and I have a background in engineering. Engineers are not theoretical physicists and I can relate to what Latour is saying. Use some common sense when applying equations.

    Physicist Wal Thornhill made an excellent statement. He claimed. “Mathematics ain’t physics”.

    http://www.holoscience.com/wp/sciences-looming-tipping-point/maths-aint-physics-2/

    In theoretical physics, mathematicians make a case for a 4 dimensional space-time world that has to live in a three dimensional world. By manipulating equations you can put time on the LHS of the equation and make space-time appear to warp and dilate.

    Trouble is, we humans created time based on the period of the Earth’s rotation and we created space based on Cartesian and Polar coordinates. Then we mapped a time domain into a fictitious 3-D space and called it space-time. That’s not to say there is no actual space, it just doesn’t have up/down, right/left, and east/west.

    That’s what climate scientists do when they use equations on infrared energy and imply it means something when applied to heat transfer.

  65. mem says:

    It seems that scientists can’t agree on what makes the earth’s climate hot or cold. In the meantime activists and politicians milk the public anxiety and green businesses make mega bucks pretending to be our saviours and coal mines are closing and energy bills going up and up. As a housewife, professional nursing person and mother, my advice to you all is get your @*^#< ing act together. The public has had enough. Scientists need to take the battle to each other. Come back when it is sorted and leave the public out of it. I'd spank all your bottoms!

    • CC says:

      As a teacher of computer hardware and programing for 30+ years. it was my experience that the success that I experienced compared to my peers was that I remembered and was able to explain the basics of what I was trying to teach.

      IMHO Dr. Spenser and many of the people who post on this site have forgotten the basics and will never be able to teach the common man about their science. Dr. Spenser wrote an extremely long article about the GHE while using an IR measuring device. In it he pointed the meter at different things and tried to explain the difference in measurement, he lost me in his explanation about the house. My understanding is that a cloud is composed of water and water stores energy; therefore, less energy reaches the ground when it is cloudy (negative feedback?) At night, the energy stored in that cloud heats the air and accounts for the warmer evening temperature and slows the rate of cooling. CO2 is such a minor component of the atmosphere it rally will make little difference in the temperature. I would trust a smartphone photometer more than the device that was being waved around. I do not know what the smartphone reads at night, maybe I will make one and see.

      http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0084119

      OPEN ACCESS PEER-REVIEWED
      RESEARCH ARTICLE
      Remote Sensing of Atmospheric Optical Depth Using a Smartphone Sun Photometer
      Tingting Cao,
      Jonathan E. Thompsonh

      MEM, for what it’s worth, WUWT is more readable and contains more understandable articles.

  66. mem says:

    My last line wasn’t serious but it was nevertheless to the point. Just as in the medical profession there are codes of practice so now there needs to be a code of practice for scientists in the environmental and climate sciences. How is it that a PR person in a University gets to exaggerate the results of a PhD climate student and grab press media without any recourse to discipline? Your field of science is running amok, it is destroying your validity. Yes, your power is a recent phenomena but you are scientists and like doctors hold enormous responsibility for what you say and what you allow to be published. Put an end to this and develop a code of conduct. Anyone operating outside is expelled, ostracised etc. Sorry I am cooking dinner and must go.

    • gallopingcamel says:

      You are not going to get much ethical behavior out of “Climate Scientists” when the government is paying them to support a political goal.

      It does not matter what the science says when politics and money dominate.

  67. Thierry says:

    Once again, as G&T pointed out, CO2 believers failed to propose a real physical definition of the so called Greenhouse Effect, that will comply with the frame of
    Physics. What are they waiting for ?

    What is puzzling, is that you will never find a single lab experiment that would show the warming effect supposedly warmed by back radiation originating from a very low temperature layer which contains traces of CO2.

    The answers from Gerlich to the vain attempt to criticize G&T work is here :

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1012.0421

  68. observant says:

    There is a code of practice.
    It is mainly used to trash dissenters from AGW.
    Who guards the guardians?

  69. ren says:

    Whether the impact the solar magnetic field on climate is minor?
    Because the sun runs intensively in the zone ozone (UV and cosmic rays) should observe what happens in the stratosphere. You can see that the temperature in the upper stratosphere is currently below normal. However, lately pressure over the South Pole has increased because of the weak vortex. I believe that this is due to jumps of cosmic radiation that affects the decomposition of ozone.
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat-trop/gif_files/time_pres_TEMP_ANOM_AMJ_SH_2014.gif
    http://oi57.tinypic.com/2iv1dlx.jpg
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/intraseasonal/z200anim.gif
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/blocking/real_time_sh/500gz_anomalies_sh.gif

  70. Aaron s says:

    Roy spencer says,
    “I’m not familiar with the stomata data…I suspect the assumptions are formidable. Again, I don’t trust any paleoclimate data. People with the least information always have the most confidence in what they think it means.”
    Here is a start for understanding.
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v327/n6123/abs/327617a0.html

    Ironic, that using your own logic from the average temperature of the earth (or census) argument you can not make this claim. There is value in data that can be measured consistently through time. The correlation between ice cores and plant stomata density allows a measurable proxy to be extended back in time. It is not perfect, but it is repeatable as science. Earth temperature measurements are also flawed (most of the Earths heat capacity is in the oceans below the surface) but they are useful non the less bc they can be repeated and compared through time.

    Again I respect your work and don’t feel you are biased in your field, but this is where your religious beliefs become problematic and frustrate me and probably many in the greater scientific community (google yourself if u don’t agree). You can not throw out the entire field of paleoclimate as useless and expect no frustration. Furthermore, when u make statements like the ones above your religious perspective becomes an issue of concern bc you are biased by your blind faith in issues that involve Geologic time. Fortunately, many do not throw the baby out with the bath water and consider your expertise in your own field as legitimate. perhaps as u age more u will let go of your bias and take a balanced look at the greater field and reevaluate this world we live in. My grandpa was an ardent young earth creationist, baptist preacher, and professor emeritus for purdue. Most of his life he would not consider evolution or geologic time. Near the end he realized the bigger picture and really softened his stance but maintained his faith because he let his ego go and took an unbiased look. I wish this for you because the data is overwhelming and deep inside such a great mind it must be difficult to reconcile.

    • ren says:

      J. G. Roederer has aptly remarked:

      “The energy argument is not valid for highly nonlinear complex systems such as the coupled atmosphere-ocean-cryosphere-biosphere. It is well known that complex systems can behave chaotically, i.e., follow very different paths after the smallest change in initial or boundary conditions, or in response to the smallest perturbation. In a highly nonlinear system with large reservoirs of latent energy such as the atmosphere-ocean-biosphere, global redistributions of energy can be triggered by very small inputs, a process that depends far more on their spatial and temporal pattern than on their magnitude.”

    • Aaron, stomata data can be corrected for their local bias by calibrating them with ice core, firn and direct measurements over the past century. The problem is that no one has an idea how the local bias changed over the previous centuries due to land use changes. Take e.g. one of the main places where (oak) leaves are used in SE Netherlands over the past 1,000 years: land use changed from sea and marshes to land (polders), agriculture and forests and later growing towns and industry in the main wind direction. And even the main wind direction may have changed e.g. between the MWP and the LIA…

      Anyway, if the stomata data show different average levels over the resolution period of ice cores, then the stomata are certainly wrong: the averaging in the ice core does filter the peaks out, but that doesn’t change the average itself.

      • Aaron S says:

        Ferdinand, I am confused let me ask for clarification. Are you suggesting that local bias in CO2 amounts destroys stomata counts? This is why the data require many samples from different locations per given time. But I suspect that we are talking different resolutions here. I agree if you suggest they are not nearly as accurate as instruments- of course not- not even close. But they tell us something about the natural range on longer time scales (thousands to millions of years, which is a critical part of the climate story). For example, I would make the case that satellite data spanning all the way back to 1978 is very limited to understand climate because it is so short it can not properly describe the natural variablility of lets say the PDO or any natural climate driver- look how much variability there is in El Nino. If the record only included one event would it be fair to say we understand the impact. So different scales answer different questions

        • The problem with stomata data is that the average CO2 level at any given place over land will change from growing season to growing season, depending of crop growth in the main wind direction. Thus the stomata index does change from year to year, due to regional changes, which are not connected to the real background CO2 levels in the bulk of the atmosphere. If the climate changes as is the case e.g. between the MWP and the LIA or between a glacial and an interglacial, that makes things worse: the local bias can change tremendously, much more than the real change in the atmosphere.

          Thus while stomata data have a much better resolution than ice cores, one should take their absolute values and variability with a grain of salt.

    • CC says:

      Arron, are you saying that because Dr. Spencer believes in a higher power he believes that the earth is 4000 years old? You are so progressive! Do you believe on the communist manifesto?

      • Aaron S says:

        No actually I am not, I know many who have belief in a higher power and maintain a healthy understanding of Geologic time. Unfortunately, I am making this statement based on previous comments about human evolution and geologic time that Roy has made in past posts. For example, his denial of human evolution or macro evolution is an example of avoiding the obvious as the data for each is overwhelming. As for his belief of Geologic time- I don’t know exactly what he thinks. However, the two issues (denial of Macro Evolution and issues with time) typically go hand-in-hand. After all it is difficult to have a special creation spread out over 3.5 billion years. So you can (in theory) have guided evolution by a higher power (not my belief), but that still requires macroevolution and extinction.

        For example, Simon Conway Morris is a thinker and fantastic scientist with a strong faith, but he does not deny the data for macroevolution.

        As far as me not being progressive- rather odd statement when defending someone on an issue that is now so obvious to the average reasonable person that it has become a point of humor around the globe for Americans. You are living in the past- there is data now and it is very, very clear. You are hairless upright ape.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Conway_Morris

        • Fonzarelli says:

          Aaron, I always admire your comments… Are you saying that the evidence of macro (body parts) evolution DOES exist? I had thought it was well established that it did not. (And even Darwin new this) Dr Spencer believes it doesn’t, at least according to his Wikipedia entry. So I think he’s basing his opinion on what he believes is science…

          Also, Ferdinand has got a lot of moxy, hasn’t he? I wonder if he’s got too much moxy for his own good. (I feel like I’m being spin mastered to death…)

  71. JohnM says:

    I’ve had my arguments with Dragon Slayers too. One got very upset when I pointed out that it was net transfer that mattered. He couldn’t appreciate that a heat source (eg. a 60 watt light bulb) didn’t “know” when a nearby stronger heat source (e.g. a 75 watt bulb) was switched on and therefore wouldn’t suddenly cease sending heat in that direction.

    That said, there’s plenty to dispute in the other points above. No clear response is given to item 4 and item 5 has no supporting evidence (and argument from authority doesn’t cut it with me). Item 7 seems to dispute that increased temperatures mean that less CO2 is absorbed by the biosphere and more remains in the atmosphere. The response to 7 might also have benefited from reading Tom Segalstad’s analysis available at http://www.co2web.info/. (Segalastad is Associate Professor of Resource- and Environmental Geochemistry at University of Oslo). Item 8 seems to confuse climate models with the “flat Earth” energy balance diagrams favoured by Trenberth, Khiel (spelling?) etc., but then again aren’t some models so generalist that they basically say that if CO2 increases by X the average temperature will rise by Y.

    The response to item 9 is questionable. There’s far too many inconsistencies and flaws (coverage, site relocations, number of stations per grid cell) in the temperature data to call it anything other than a “best estimate”. Don’t for a moment think that the IPCC shows correct error bars; those are only for the set of anomalies that month, the error bars should go right back to individual thermometers. Errors in determining ‘normals’ (i.e. long term averages) for each are carried over into every datum.

    And item 10 says that the Earth has an average emissivity of about 0.95 and the change from 1.0 to 0.95 makes no difference to models. That change does make a difference to energy balance diagrams, specifically to surface radiation and back radiation. Also water covers 70% of the Earth’s surface and its emissivity at 38C is 0.67 according to Omega.com, which sells monitoring tools for IR. On those figures the 30% of the Earth’s surface that is land would need an emissivity of 1.6 (!) if the average was to be 0.95. If we take 0.95 for land and Omega’s figure for water, the average emissivity is close to 0.75, which is rather less than 0.95.

    • MikeB says:

      The emissivity of water in the IR is about 98%. That’s close enough to be treated as blackbody.

      • JohnM says:

        Thanks Mike. I’m not adverse to learning :-) . A web search reveals some manufacturers of IR instruments (eg. Omega and Scigenie) saying e=0.67 but other sources giving various figures usually in the range 0.90 to 0.95 but sometimes even higher. Never trust a salesman??

        While investigating this I stumbled across a presentation that might be of interest, http://www.klimanotizen.de/2006.06.17_Sea_Water_Emissivity_Volz.pdf. It’s about how surface wind causes variation in sea water emissivity, making that emissivity a positive feedback that amplifies natural climate variation.

  72. Itsjustme says:

    Dr. Spencer, please consider the following question as an honest one and for which I would appreciate a learned answer:

    If the average global atmospheric temperature is directly proportional, and significantly so, to the level of CO2 in the atmosphere, how come the atmosphere has failed to warm up any during the past 17 years in sync with the linear and significant increase in atmospheric CO2 levels?

    Would not observation trump theory? Which reminds me of Richard Feynman’s explanation of how theories are made…and debunked “no matter how smart” the theorist is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b240PGCMwV0

  73. Me_Again says:

    There’s a whole lot of stuff talked about earth’s buffering systems. I’d guess we don’t know them all but one that interests me is the increase in green plant growth with the increase in CO2.

    Is it possible to calculate whether there is an amount of the green stuff which in growing will affect the CO2 level to the point where it starts dropping. I’m thinking the old algal bloom in the sea stuff and what if Brazil, Indonesia and all points in between were not chopping down the most verdant green growth of all as fast as they can to produce palm oil for the idiots in the EU.

    If we can’t stop India and China vastly elevating the CO2 levels then all we could do is mitigate is it not?

    Or perhaps rising CO2 levels aren’t actually an issue?

  74. Dr. Spencer ask the following question for point 7.

    So, where is the 100x as fast rise in today’s temperature causing this CO2 rise?

    That question in point 7 can be turned around.

    Why are CO2 concentration levels which are increasing 100x faster then any time in the previous 300,000 years not causing the temperature to increase 100x faster then it has anytime in the past 300,000 years?

    • Random lurker says:

      Only if you think anyone believes that the *rate of change in the amount* of CO_2 is what influences temperature, rather than the *amount* of CO_2.

  75. TonyM says:

    Dr Spencer,
    Always appreciate your posts; thank you.

    Averages can be made of any set of numbers but the actual meaning attached to them may be less than helpful.

    Consider avgT. Sure it can exist but what is its meaning. One certainly can’t use it to calculate the avg SB flux as the errors can be large compared to a gridded calculation which is then summed (use same area grid).

    I also make the point that if a disproportion of heat energy is transferred poleward from the equator the avgT will automatically go up more than is indicated by any actual energy change in the system. It just depends on the distributional changes and how dramatic it is.

    Going to extremes it is possible to increase the avg T with a lower total emission to space. In the limit we could distribute all the “surface” energy such that all grids are at the same T. This can easily result in a higher avgT but SB calcs of total emission can be made to remain constant.

    Admittedly for our earth it is not very real but that highlights the issue of avgT as I see it.

    I too would support Salvatore’s assertions as the paleo T was decreasing while CO2 had yet to reach a peak. This happened on multiple occasions which does suggest that a lagged out-gassing of CO2 does occur and it appears to have little effect on T.

    This of course is not to suggest that it is the main factor behind the CO2 increases we see today.

  76. I think if point 7 is wrong all the other points even if correct(which I think they are ) will be mute.

    If CO2 does follow temperature(in all scenarios) then all the other information about CO2 will really have no bearing on the climate.

    It comes down to this question does CO2 respond to temperature or does temperature respond to CO2?

    All of the data I have seen so far keeps showing CO2 responds to and follows temperature. Is this correct? If not then we need counter data to show this is not so. So far there is no such counter data that I know of.

    • gallopingcamel says:

      It is well demonstrated by EPICA and Vostok ice cores that CO2 lags temperature. While correlation does not prove causation, cause does precede effect so clearly CO2 is not responsible for the glaciation cycles as Arrhenius surmised in 1896.

      The issue of the effect of burning fossil fuels is completely different. When the [CO2] in the atmosphere is raised above what it would be if the fossil fuels remained in the ground there should be some effect on global temperatures for precisely the reasons Roy Spencer explains.

      IMHO opinion the IPCC climate models are failing because they assign an unrealistic value to the “Sensitivity Constant” measured in Kelvin per doubling of CO2.

  77. Great Job! And much needed. Thank you
    Ken Haapala

  78. Roy said:

    “No, the lapse rate describes how the temperature of a parcel of air changes from adiabatic compression/expansion of air as it sinks/rises. So, it can explain how the temperature changes during convective overturning, but not what the absolute temperature is”

    The absolute temperature is determined by the amount of conduction from the surface to atmospheric mass and the length of time that the conducted energy spends within convective overturning as gravitational potential energy (which is not heat and does not radiate).

    Roy also said:

    “the net effect of greenhouse gases is to cool the upper atmosphere, and warm the lower atmosphere, compared to if no greenhouse gases were present.”

    The warmed molecules rise (reduced density) and the cooled molecules fall (increased density) which increases convective overturning which prevents any net thermal effect at the surface.

    Roy asked:

    If adiabatic compression explains temperature, why is the atmospheric temperature at 100 mb is nearly the same as the temperature at 1 mb, despite 100x as much atmospheric pressure?”

    Simply because radiation dominates above the tropopause and the presence of gases (ozone) reacting directly to incoming solar shortwave reverses the lapse rate above the tropopause.

    Adiabatic cooling (uplift) and warming of the surface (descent) is a troposphere phenomenon because convection does not get past the tropopause (if one excludes the Brewer Dobson circulation in the stratosphere.

    It is conduction and convection and not radiation that warms the surface above S-B expectations.

    The greenhouse effect is mass induced and not GHG induced.

  79. Disagree with this line of thought Stephen. Goes for Doug Cotton also. I think Dr. Spencer’s information is strong and not refutable, when it comes to CO2 and the GHG EFFECTS other then point 7.

    With you on the solar aspects of things.

    • I don’t see the problem since it is well known that descending air warms at the dry adiabatic lapse rate as it descends and at any given moment half the atmosphere is rising and half is descending.

      Those facts have implications which the radiative theory of gases fails to accommodate.

  80. Ken Coffman says:

    “When a CO2 molecule absorbs an IR photon, the mean free path within the atmosphere is so short that the molecule gives up its energy to surrounding molecules before it can (on average) emit an IR photon in its temporarily excited state.”

    I have some questions…

    Do 1,000,000PPM (close enough) of atmospheric N2, O2 and Argon have a temperature?

    If so, at and near sea level, how did the 1,000,000PPM get that temperature and what are the relative proportions of the influences of conduction, convection and irradiation?

    Do atmospheric molecules exchange energy bidirectionally?

    If so, is it a million times more likely (close enough) that N2, O2 and Argon set the temperature of 400PPM of CO2 and the initial temperature of the CO2 is irrelevant?

  81. Werner Brozek says:

    ray warkentin says:
    April 25, 2014 at 11:27 PM
    So it doesn’t have to signal manmade contributions.

    While volcanoes could also raise CO2 without temperature going up, we are on the scene now and we are emitting lots of CO2. Where is this going then? I would never want to debate a warmist and claim we have no effect on the CO2 concentration in the air. The more important fact is that this additional CO2 is helpful for plants and not harmful.

    gallopingcamel says:
    April 26, 2014 at 1:13 AM
    “The “Catastrophe” meme is overwhelmed by the benefits.”
    Very true.

  82. MikeB says:

    Yes, all constituents of the air have a temperature. The temperature of a gas is a measure of the average kinetic energy of its molecules (i.e. how fast they are moving).

    The air is heated by convection from the ground, by radiation from the Sun and ground, and by latent heat when water vapour evaporated from the ground condenses at higher altitude.
    An indication of the relative proportion of these influences is given in the Earth Energy budget diagram,
    http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Atmosphere/images/earth_rad_budget_kiehl_trenberth_1997_big.gif

    Air molecules gain and lose momentum via collisions with other air molecules. At any one time the energy spread of the molecules is given by the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution.
    http://scienceofdoom.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/molecular-speed.png

    The point to realise is that the most abundant constituents of the atmosphere, such as N2 and O2, do not absorb (significant) radiation in the infrared. The ‘greenhouse gases’, CO2 and water vapour do and they pass the acquired energy to the other gases through collisions. This is the dominant mechanism by which the atmosphere is heated from the ground (see energy budget diagram). Without these gases radiation from the ground would escape to space unhindered and would not warm the atmosphere.

    So, somewhat surprisingly, it is the 400ppm of CO2 and other radiative gases which dictate how atmospheric temperature is controlled.

    • Ken Coffman says:

      MikeB, I understand what you’re saying very well, but I think it’s nonsense. I would love to see a lab experiment–using thermometers–that demonstrate what you’re saying. Good luck with that.

        • JohnM says:

          Interesting but I saw no mention of the different air pressures in the two bottles and it’s an experiment with a closed container rather than the open atmosphere.

          Having some dissolved CO2 in the water also makes the experiement imilar to having one bottle of carbonated liquid (soda? champagne) chilled and another left in the sun. The warmer one will release more CO2 and will foam far more when opened.

        • Ken Coffman says:

          I would be impressed if someone heated a large thermal mass (like a block of iron) to a given temperature (like 80C), removed the heat source, then did whatever they wanted with cooler surrounding gases and showed the temperature of the block greater than 80C, even slightly. The overall response of a cyclic system can often be analyzed by superposition and the declining temperature of the block will form one of the superposition terms. What feedback effect will overcome the declining temperature profile. And, keep this in mind: something temporarily warmer than it would have been is not warmer. The claim is the Earth’s average surface temperature is increased by 33C via the GHE. What is the mechanism? There isn’t any.

          • Curt says:

            Ken – That’s not an appropriate analogy for the earth’s system. Last I checked, the sun is never turned off – it transmits a virtually constant amount of power to the earth.

            The more appropriate analogy would be to input a constant amount of power to the iron block, say through electrical resistance heating. The resultant temperature of the block is then highly dependent on the surrounding environment of the block.

            In steady-state conditions, the power losses to ambient – conductive, convective, and radiative, must match the power input. If they are less, the temperature of the block will rise until the losses to ambient match the power input.

            Something that increases the thermal resistance to these losses, even if it is at a lower temperature than the iron block, will lead to a higher temperature of the iron block.

            This is an everyday type of analysis in the engineering world. My lab has just gone through an extensive analysis of the design of an “iron block” heat sink for power electronics. We have to ensure that with the maximum rated power input level, we can keep the temperature low enough for reliable operation. The idea that the lower-temperature surroundings of the iron block could not affect the temperature of the block would cause anyone in my lab to burst out in laughter.

    • Ken Coffman says:

      While flying from Hong Kong to Penang, Malaysia, I struck up a conversation with my seatmates—as you might imagine, this is something I often do. My neighbors were two Russian scholars specializing in catalytic chemistry. There was no way I would neglect asking their opinion about man-made global warming. The young lady by the window leaned over and in a charming Russian accent voiced the most succinct debunking of the global warming theory I’ve heard. The nonsense of the climate activists cannot be made more plain or stated more concisely than this:

      “There is no mechanism.”

      May Maria Bykova from Novosibirsk, Russia live long and prosper.

  83. MikeB said:

    “The point to realise is that the most abundant constituents of the atmosphere, such as N2 and O2, do not absorb (significant) radiation in the infrared. The ‘greenhouse gases’, CO2 and water vapour do and they pass the acquired energy to the other gases through collisions. This is the dominant mechanism”

    The dominant mechanism for passing energy to an atmosphere is conduction and thereafter that energy is converted by convection to gravitational potential energy which is not heat and does not radiate.

    That energy in the atmosphere is mostly in the form of kinetic energy (heat) at the surface and mostly in the form of GPE (not heat) higher up.

    Radiative molecules do pass energy to and receive energy from the bulk of the atmosphere by collisions but that is a minor mechanism for adding energy to an atmosphere and is offset by the ability of radiative gases to lose energy via radiation directly to space.

    The energy budget diagram shows the conductive / convective flow in the form of 102 Wm2 in thermals and latent heat of evaporation but then balances the budget by proposing that that energy radiates back to the surface but it cannot since it is in the form of gravitational potential energy which is not heat and does not radiate.

    • MikeB says:

      Stephen, I know you have this pet crackpot theory but it isn’t physics is it?

      P.S. We actually measure the energy that radiates back to the surface so you realise that saying ‘it cannot’ doesn’t make any sense.

      • Is it physics to propose that energy in the form of gravitational potential energy can radiate back to the surface ?

        You suggest that a cold molecule at height radiates down at a temperature related to its total energy (KE + PE) rather than at a temperature related to its KE alone ?

        Who is abusing physics here ?

        The surface radiative exchange is in balance at about 222 Wm2.

        The surface adiabatic exchange is in balance at 102 Wm2.

        Surface and atmosphere together absorb 235 Wm2.

        Surface and atmosphere together radiate 235 Wm2.

        That appears to comply with observations.

        The greenhouse effect is mass induced, QED.

    • ren says:

      O3, ozone is one of the most potent greenhouse gases.

  84. Climate Weenie says:

    Dr Spencer,

    The radiative equilibrium atmosphere indicates a super-adiabatic lapse rate:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/Manabe-Strickler-1964-fig.4.png

    Since the radiative forcing of CO2 doubling implies increased flux into the surface, to what extent would convection reduce ( though not negate ) surface warming?

  85. The dominant mechanism for passing energy to an atmosphere is conduction and thereafter that energy is converted by convection to gravitational potential energy which is not heat and does not radiate

    That is so wrong.

    • “In the lower regions of the atmosphere (up to altitudes of approximately 12,000 metres (39,000 ft), temperature decreases with altitude at a fairly uniform rate. Because the atmosphere is warmed by convection from Earth’s surface, this lapse or reduction in temperature is normal with increasing distance from the conductive source”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapse_rate

  86. From Dr. Spencer and it is correct. It can be verified through data obtain from instrumentation, what more do you need!

    Data shows this to be so.

    What is the atmospheric greenhouse effect? It is the warming of the surface and lower atmosphere caused by downward infrared emission by the atmosphere, primarily from water vapor, carbon dioxide, and clouds.

    Greenhouse gases and clouds cause the lower atmosphere to be warmer, and the upper atmosphere to be cooler, than if they did not exist…just as thermal insulation in a house causes the inside of a heated house to be warmer and the outside of the house to be cooler than if the insulation was not there. While the greenhouse effect involves energy transfer by infrared radiation, and insulation involves conduction, the thermodynamic principle is the same.

    Without greenhouse gases, the atmosphere would be unable to cool itself in response to solar heating. But because an IR emitter is also an IR absorber, a greenhouse atmosphere results in warmer lower layers — and cooler upper layers — than if those greenhouse gases were not present.

    As discussed by Lindzen (1990, “Some Coolness Concerning Global Warming”), most of the surface warming from the greenhouse effect is “short-circuited” by evaporation and convective heat transfer to the middle and upper troposphere. Nevertheless, the surface is still warmer than if the greenhouse effect did not exist: the Earth’s surface emits an average of around 390 W/m2 in the thermal infrared even though the Earth absorbs only 240 W/m2 of solar energy.

  87. Dr. Spencer observes –I am talking about the fact that the surface temperature of the microbolometer is being changed by IR emission from the sky. THAT IS the greenhouse effect.

    This proves what he is saying is correct. It is measuring it. The downward IR emission is being registered on the instrument. That proves it.

  88. Stephen Wilde says:
    The dominant mechanism for passing energy to an atmosphere is conduction and thereafter that energy is converted by convection to gravitational potential energy which is not heat and does not radiate

    Stephen Wilde says:

    April 26, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    “In the lower regions of the atmosphere (up to altitudes of approximately 12,000 metres (39,000 ft), temperature decreases with altitude at a fairly uniform rate. Because the atmosphere is warmed by convection from Earth’s surface, this lapse or reduction in temperature is normal with increasing distance from the conductive source”

    The two statements do not go together at all.

    • Conductive source, atmosphere then warmed by convection, decline in temperature with height due to KE converting to PE.

      The statements go together just fine.

  89. Sun�s radiation → absorbed by Earth → Re-radiated to space as heat

    The greenhouse effect is a process where energy from the sun readily penetrates into the lower atmosphere and onto the surface of Earth and is converted to heat, but then cannot freely leave the planet. This can be sketched as follows:

    Sun�s Radiation → absorbed by Earth → some re-radiated to space as heat → some trapped by the atmosphere

    The Radiation Balance

    Illustration of the Earth�s radiative balance. (Adapted from: NOAA)

    Another way to think about the greenhouse effect is to consider that according to physics the radiation we receive from the Sun must be equally balanced by the heat Earth radiates out to space. If we were to give back less energy than we receive, our planet would soon be too hot for life. Likewise, if we were to give back more energy that we receive, our planet would soon be too cold for life. This can be written as a balanced equation of radiation:

    Solar radiation input to Earth = Earth�s output of re-radiated heat

    If we were to measure the temperature of the Earth from space, the Earth’s “surface” would show a temperature appropriate for this requirement of energy balance: a measurement of roughly -18 degrees Celsius (about 0 °F). At this temperature, our planet radiates a quantity of heat into space that is equivalent to the amount of energy received from the Sun.

    Earth exactly balances the incoming sunlight with the outgoing heat radiation? The answer is simple: the amount of heat radiation from Earth is precisely tied to the temperature of the atmosphere. If the temperature of the apparent �surface� is too low and Earth radiates too little heat to keep the balance, Earth will warm up and radiate more heat into space. If the temperature of the apparent �surface� is too high and Earth radiates more heat than it receives, the planet will become colder and radiate less energy back to space. Overall, this �negative feedback� stabilizes the radiation balance despite all the variations of temperature from one place to another and within the vertical column of the atmosphere. It sets the temperature so that the incoming and outgoing energy is balanced.

    • That negative system response is right and that is just how I have described it previously.

      Take the next logical step and consider how that actually works.

      When some internal system factor makes the surface too warm (more than 33K above S-B) convection speeds up, the atmosphere expands and becomes less dense, the extra surface KE is converted to more gravitational potential energy in the higher and less dense atmosphere and the surface cools back to 33K above S-B.

      That is done via conduction and convection and not radiation.

      The process of convection holds the balance between radiation and conduction such that if either get out of line a suitable negative adjustment is made.

      Radiative balance is the consequence but the adjustment process lies in the non radiative adiabatic surface energy exchange.

    • CC says:

      Salvatore, Thank you for this explanation!

      To me, Climate Scientists appear be a bunch of really smart people at the top of a mountian arguing about their science. Each scientist brings his/her own bias, training and morality to the discussion. At the base of the mountian stand the common folk, politicians and sudo “scientists” who still support CAGW even though there has been a 17yr pause in global temprature increase. At the base of the mountian these “scientists” and politicians are standing around yelling “fire” you are all going to burn unless… The common folk are starting to move on with their lives thinking ALL scientists are no better than the politicians. The common folk need straight answers stated in one voice and in a manner they can understand and reiterate. I believe that agreement on these ten points could allow scientists to start talking with one voice on this matter. The damage to all science because of CAGW is incalculable!

      The difference between patriots and scientists is that patriots will put their livelihood/lives on the line for truth. Many scientists are just a protected spieces without courage to speak truth about what is really happening.

  90. ren says:

    Maximum absorption of infrared CO2 falls to about 15μm . It was at this fairly large absorption band environmentalists perceive the greatest source of influence on the climate. It seems that this is evidence – a large range of infrared absorption , but again this is evidence of the perverse . What matters is because no amount of radiation , but its quality , that is the real power of influence . We are dealing here with the radiation of long wavelength , and the longer the wavelength , the less energy . By using such radiation does not change in any significant way the temperature , and partly because these wavelengths are not applicable in heating . Applies there bordering the frequency with visible light (from 0.78 microm ) and slightly larger wavelength , but those larger than 10um did not play the role here (although there are present, because of infrared filaments emit large spectrum of wavelengths ) . Commissioned by the atmosphere part of such radiation is certainly not lead to a significant increase in the surface temperature of the Earth and will not increase the average temperature of the atmosphere.

    • Quite right, and explains the 2nd law of thermodynamics on a quantum scale, why a colder body absolutely cannot increase the temperature of a warmer body. Radiation from a lower energy/frequency/temperature body cannot raise the energy/frequency/temperature of a warmer body.

      If you wish to consider light as a wave phenomenon, a lower frequency wave from a colder body produces destructive interference with a higher frequency/energy/temperature wave of a warmer body, thus cannot increase the frequency/amplitude/energy/temperature of the warmer body.

      If you wish to consider light as a quantum/photon phenomenon, a lower energy photon from a colder body cannot increase the energy of a higher energy/temperature body because all of the lower energy quantum states in the higher energy/warmer body are already filled. A lower energy photon cannot raise a quantum state above its own energy level, thus has no effect on the quantum state/energy/temperature of the higher energy/temperature body.

      There is no “net” two way flow of heat for the above reasons; it’s one-way only, even though photons or waves are indeed bi-directional. Heat flows one way only, from hot to cold, and the -18C atmosphere cannot warm the 15C surface.

      Gravity, atmospheric mass, adiabatic compression, however, do heat the atmosphere and surface ~33K as Steven Wilde, Nikolov & Zeller, and many others have shown.

      Roy, how do you explain why the base of the troposphere on Uranus is 33K higher than on Earth even though Uranus only receives ~2W/m2 from the Sun? Radiative forcing or pressure?

  91. Epilogue
    Finally, I want to address 3 stumbling blocks which people encounter in all of this.

    FIRST, if you are still confused about whether greenhouse gases warm or cool the climate system, let me make the following 2 points:

    1) For the atmosphere as a whole, greenhouse gases COOL the atmosphere, through IR radiation to outer space, in the face of heating of the atmosphere by the solar-heated surface.

    2) In the process, however, greenhouse gases drastically change the vertical temperature structure of the atmosphere, warming the lower layers, and cooling the upper layers. Think of greenhouse gases as a “radiative blanket”…when you add a blanket over a heat source, it warms the air between the blanket and the heat source, but it cools the air away from the heat source.

    Greenhouse gases change the energy budget of all layers of the atmosphere, and it is the energy budget (balance between energy gain and energy loss) which determines what the average temperatures of those layers will be.

    SECONDLY, some people claim that IR emission and absorption cannot affect the atmospheric temperature profile because the rate of IR emission and absorption by each layer must be the same.

    Wrong.

    The rate of absorption of IR by a layer is mostly independent of temperature; the rate of emission, though, increases rapidly with temperature. In general, the rates of IR absorption and emission by atmospheric layers are quite different. The difference is made up by convective heat transport and (especially in the stratosphere) solar absorption.

    THIRDLY, if you are wondering, “If temperature change is an energy budget issue, then why does the temperature of an air parcel change when you change its altitude? Doesn’t the temperature change necessarily imply an energy budget change?”

    The answer is no.

    When an air parcel is raised adiabatically, it’s loss of thermal energy is balanced by an equal gain in potential energy due to its altitude. The ‘dry static energy’ of the parcel thus remains the same, which equals cpT + gZ, where cp is the specific heat capacity, T is temperature in Kelvin, g is the gravitational acceleration, and Z is height in meters.

    Of course, averaged over the whole Earth, there can be no net change in altitude; all air parcels rising (and cooling) at any given pressure altitude must be matched by an equivalent mass of air parcels sinking (and warming) at that same pressure altitude.

  92. The above is from Dr. Spencer.

  93. Werner Brozek says:

    Salvatore Del Prete says:
    April 26, 2014 at 8:13 AM
    It comes down to this question does CO2 respond to temperature or does temperature respond to CO2?

    Both are true. But the huge unanswered question is the degree to which each happens. But there is at least one additional factor, namely all of the CO2 emitted by the millions of planes over the last 100 years. That did not all disappear into the deep ocean.

  94. When an air parcel is raised adiabatically, it’s loss of thermal energy is balanced by an equal gain in potential energy due to its altitude. The ‘dry static energy’ of the parcel thus remains the same, which equals cpT + gZ, where cp is the specific heat capacity, T is temperature in Kelvin, g is the gravitational acceleration, and Z is height in meters

    Right on Dr. Spencer.

    • Right on.

      But how does that potential energy get back to the surface in thermal form ?

      We know that descending air warms at the dry adiabatic lapse rate

      and we know that whilst in potential form that energy cannot radiate.

      So it must be warming the surface via the adiabatic cycle of uplift and descent rather than by DWIR.

      The thermal energy removed from the surface by uplift is balanced by thermal energy returned to the surface on descent but cannot be used for radiation to space otherwise the mass of the atmosphere could not remain suspended above the surface.

  95. It comes down to this question does CO2 respond to temperature or does temperature respond to CO2?

    Both are true. But the huge unanswered question is the degree to which each happens. But there is at least one additional factor, namely all of the CO2 emitted by the millions of planes over the last 100 years. That did not all disappear into the deep ocean.

    You say both are true , but data does not show CO2 leading temperature only following the temperature.
    Until data shows the reverse they both are not true.

  96. Dr. Spencer ask the following question for point 7.

    So, where is the 100x as fast rise in today’s temperature causing this CO2 rise?

    That question in point 7 can be turned around.

    Why are CO2 concentration levels which are increasing 100x faster then any time in the previous 300,000 years not causing the temperature to increase 100x faster then it has anytime in the past 300,000 years?

    I SENT THIS EARLIER I THINK IT IS CENTRAL TO THE WHOLE ARGUMENT.

    • Simply because the net thermal effect at the surface is zero or near zero due to a negative system response via the convective circulation.

      There is a climate effect from GHGs in the form of a circulation change but it is miniscule compared to natural such changes caused by sun and oceans.

      The reason their effect is miniscule is because the greenhouse effect is mass induced and not radiatively induced.

      The entire mass of the atmosphere is involved in the surface temperature enhancement of 33K via conduction and convection.

  97. gallopingcamel says:

    Salvatore Del Prete says:
    April 26, 2014 at 11:27 AM
    QUOTE
    What is the atmospheric greenhouse effect? It is the warming of the surface and lower atmosphere caused by downward infrared emission by the atmosphere, primarily from water vapor, carbon dioxide, and clouds.
    UNQUOTE

    I don’t like the above definition as it assumes a mechanism for the warming process. I would prefer a definition that makes no assumptions.

    Here is my definition:
    The GHE is the change in the average temperature of a planetary body that can be attributed to its atmosphere.

  98. “Of course, averaged over the whole Earth, there can be no net change in altitude; all air parcels rising (and cooling) at any given pressure altitude must be matched by an equivalent mass of air parcels sinking (and warming) at that same pressure altitude.”

    Right on.

    Since there can be no net change in altitude and since the entire mass of the atmosphere is involved the surface temperature enhancement must stay at 33K whatever the amount of GHGs.

    Introducing GHGs only affects the relative proportions of absorption of solar incoming by atmosphere and surface as compared to the proportions emitted to space by atmosphere and surface.

    A miniscule circulation change is the only response to our puny contribution to the global water and carbon cycles.

  99. ren says:

    Infrared radiation is not the temperature , it is simply a stream of energy , which on the one hand, it is a symptom of increased body temperature , on the other hand may be a factor increasing the temperature , but it is not the only factor , but one of many. And what is important , the infrared does not raise the air temperature. It is a matter important to the climate debate , which I think environmentalists in general have not heard . Their theories on this is a complete misunderstanding . For them, the kinetic energy of the molecules of atmospheric gases do not exist. Reading some publications it seems that with the air temperature determined solely by radiation , which is in the case of the atmosphere almost does not matter (except ozonosfera that actually heated under the influence of ultraviolet light , but still warm arising here is the result of a chemical reaction connecting atom oxygen). They even try to argue that the reason for the decrease of temperature with height is reduced radiation , which is a display of incompetence , because the temperature reduction occurs here due to the pressure drop and expansion of gases , leading to the loss of kinetic energy of air molecules.

  100. Werner Brozek says:

    Salvatore Del Prete says:
    April 26, 2014 at 12:46 PM
    You say both are true , but data does not show CO2 leading temperature only following the temperature.
    Until data shows the reverse they both are not true.

    From 1958 to 1998, CO2 lead temperature. I do not believe that all of the increase from 1958 to 1998 was due to CO2. No one knows exactly what fraction was due to CO2, but I believe Dr. Lindzen says it may be 1/4 which I would have no problem accepting.
    The effect of CO2 is logarithmic and at the present time, the miniscule affect of additional CO2 is overshadowed by the ocean cycles and the quiet sun.

  101. Jan Veizer says:

    Dear Dr. Spencer,

    your point 7 is at least partially incorrect. The rates for any non-linear trend, even for a completely preserved oscillating stationary time series, are INVERSELY proportional to the resolution of its time scale. One cannot therefore equate rates from resolution of 1 year to those from a resolution of 1000 years or more, the latter based on smoothed averages. The incompletely preserved time series in ice cores are all based on such smoothed averages for 100 to 1000 years/plus intervals. If, in addition, there is a diffusive loss of CO2 from the ice cores, its concentrations and amplitudes will be smoothed further, resulting in still slower long term rates.

    • Jab Veizer, the resolution of the ice cores is between one decade over the past 150 years (Law Dome) and 560 years (Dome C) for the past 800 kyears. Ice core resolutions overlap each other with the best resolutions over the shortest past.

      Nevertheless, a (none-oscillating) change of 100 ppmv in 150 years would be measurable in every record, including the Dome C core. Or even an oscillation of ~600 years full wavelength would be measurable, be it with a low amplitude.

      CO2 migration is no point: the maximum (theoretical) migration in “warm” (coastal) ice cores gives an increase in averaging from ~20 to ~22 years in the Siple Dome ice core at medium depth and from ~20 to ~40 years at full depth. For the much colder Vostok and Dome C ice cores that is unmeasurable. If there was even the slightest migration, the remarkable fixed CO2/T ratio of about 8 ppmv/K would fade out with each interglacial 100,000 years back in time, which is not the case.

      Anyway, there are other arguments too: e.g. the 13C/12C ratio in ice cores and tree wood changed over the ice ages with maximum +/- 0.2 per mil. Since 1850 the drop is 1.4 per mil. Carbon dating needed correction tables pre-bomb testing, etc…

  102. Pierre R Latour says:

    Dear Dr Roy Spencer,
    You are defending a version of the GHGT with assertions and claims attempting to refute common claims by skeptics. Need evidence, inference and warrants that they are relevant.
    Could you kindly provide the version of GHGT you are defending, with mathematical expressions of the laws of radiant heat transfer you use to compute the effect of [CO2] on T? Are they steady-state algebraic equations or dynamic differential equations? Ordinary or partial? What physical parameters do you assume? Can you solve them for T(CO2) analytically, or numerically? What is the result? How did you verify them, their accuracy and prediction power? Why does UN IPCC continue to use statistically regressed empirical correlations of historic data correlations which can never prove causality without a scientific foundation, rather than yours?
    1. There is no greenhouse effect. Like two years ago, you again offer the fact down-welling IR measured by pyrometer (IR thermometer) from cold CO2 in sky at 300 w/m2 as proof heat transfers at that rate from cold CO2 to warmer surface, is absorbed by surface, heating it and causing it to radiate more intensely. It proves no such thing. I explained you are confusing S-B irradiance or intensity of radiating matter with radiating heat transfer between two radiating matter bodies, driven by an intensity difference. Just because they share the same units, w/m2, does not mean they are the same phenomena. So your argument doesn’t hold water, or GHGT. Since there is no greenhouse in the sky, how can there be a greenhouse effect?
    2. The greenhouse effect violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. I accept your version of radiant heat transfer in one direction at a rate proportional to difference in intensities (emissivity * T**4). I can see if cold atmosphere warms for some reason, that increases resistance to radiant heat transfer up and would cause hot body to warm as well in order to transfer at the same rate. But you are left with explaining how CO2 heats the atmosphere in the first place, and since CO2 does indeed absorb/scatter (block) incoming solar in the overlapping spectrum tails, solar radiant transfer absorbed by and emitted by surface is reduced. That reduces surface temperature needed to transfer at reduced rate to CO2. So we have a net heating – cooling situation. All you need to do is quantify them both. I agree this would not violate 2nd Law. But the common version of GHGT with two way radiant heat transfer in K-T diagram is the version I proved does violate the 2nd Law. You need to decide whether radiant heat transfers from cold to hot, a violation, or not. You cannot have it both ways.
    3. CO2 can’t cause warming because CO2 emits IR as fast as it absorbs. Please write the energy conservation law for a CO2 molecule you describe, with clear definitions and correct parameters. At steady-state, when dT/dt = 0, I assure you the rate of absorption equal rate of emission, no matter what the body is. What is the relevance to validity of GHGT anyway? Once you accept CO2 cools upper atmosphere and warms the lower, you are in the business of defining what you mean by global warming and average temperature. The net depends on how you average, an arbitrary procedure. See #9.
    4. CO2 cools, not warms the atmosphere. Your statement does not refute the premise and confirm GHGT. My parting shot below confirms the premise.
    5. Adding CO2 to the atmosphere has no effect because the CO2 absorption bands are already 100% opaque. Quantify your claim with physics and reference. I join you as a huge critic of climate models used to predict global warming. But I do not understand your version of GHGT. When you see S-B intensities like NASA AIRS CO2 retrievals how do you determine whether it is caused by changes in T or emissivity? So what is the actual effect of adding CO2?
    6. Lower atmospheric warmth is due to the lapse rate/adiabatic compression. Convert your words to mathematics to quantify what you are talking about and why it supports your version of GHGT.
    7. Warming causes CO2 to rise, not the other way around. Your assertion fossil fuel combustion adds CO2 to atmosphere is correct. This is irrelevant to GHGT. It does not refute the premise statement, which is also correct, easily explained by solubility of CO2 in water (ocean) decreases with water T, high school chemistry for Champagne drinkers. The lag is known to be about 800 years. http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-lags-temperature.htm
    8. The IPCC models are for a flat Earth. Please provide the 3D global climate model with Coriolis force you refer to. Is your remark about “thinking people” meant for a thinking person like me?
    9. There is no such thing as a global average temperature. Your analysis does not refute the premise statement. Temperature is a point property of matter, indicating the kinetic energy of its particles. There is no standard way to average point temperatures over dissimilar compositions, phases of state, pressures, heat capacities, mass or molar densities or ionization to get a value of average T with any physical meaning. I worry about averaging different types of measurements: thermometers, tree rings, ice cores, radiation intensities. Once you compute the average temperature of your car (engine, cooling system, AC, exhaust, interior and body surface) show me how you did it and what it means. I can then do it my way and get a different, equally meaningless value. Just because a bathtub of uniform water has a uniform temperature, which can be taken as an average for heat transfer calculations does not refute the premise. When you allowed me to argue over method (spacial, mass weighted) you confirmed the premise. I agree point measurements may be averaged over time, giving trends at the measurement point. With a host of point measurements trending together, it is reasonable to conclude the bulk of matter between them is trending the same way. Just be careful with your English. I agree with your last sentence.
    10. The Earth isn’t a black body. Actually James Hansen and many other GHGT promoters do assume Earth radiates to space as a black body, emissivity = 1.0. You claim the Earth is close to a black body because (surface or global?) emissivity is 0.95, close to 1.0. Wiki Standard Climate Model says it is 0.612. While pure water may be close to 0.98, you should correct it for the large absorption of radian energy by phytoplankton. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photoplankton. Land flora reduce land emissivity greatly, far from 1.0. Further the issue is how much does replacing non-radiating O2 with radiating CO2 increase global emissivity to space? Any radiator with increased emissivity transfers energy to space at same rate with lower T. So you did not refute the premise.

    Parting Shot: Earth’s temperature is unmeasurable, but…….
    1. Satellite spectrometers measure Earth’s average radiating intensity day-night, pole-to-pole, summer-winter to be about I = solar constant*albedo/4 = 1366*0.7/4 = 239 w/m2 of its surface. I varies with solar input and flora photosynthesis rate. The latter increases with solar, T and [CO2], reducing T and [CO2]. Cool.
    2. Stefan-Boltzmann Radiation Law gives temperature of any radiating body with emissivity e < 1 as T = 100(I/5.67e)0.25.
    3. Earth’s global emissivity is difficult to measure or determine, but Standard Global Climate Model uses e = 0.612. It increases with content of radiating gases like H2O and CO2. (It goes down with T.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Climate_Model
    4. Since e is in the denominator, if e increases, T decreases. Doubling CO2 from 400 to 800 ppmv increases e by about 0.001 to 0.613.
    5. T0 = 100(239/5.67*0.612)0.25 = 288.08 (14.93C, a generally accepted value)
    T1 = 100(239/5.67*0.613)0.25 = 287.96 (14.81C)
    T1 – T0 = -0.1156C. Cooling. Decreasing I drops T1 more, increasing e further.
    UN IPCC says 1.5 < T1 – T0 < 4.5. Wrong.
    6. There you have it all, in five sentences. What is all the fuss about? When I was in kindergarten, Henny Penny & Chicken Little said “The sky is falling!” They neglected to say how fast or when.
    7. In 1981 James Hansen, NASA, assumed Earth was a black body, e = 1.0, and deduced Earth’s radiating temperature to be Tbb0 = 100(239/5.67*1.0)0.25 = 254.80 (-18.35C). Since it is about +15C, he declared the Greenhouse Gas Effect to be T0 – Tbb0 = 288.08 – 254.80 = 33C. Everybody was horrified, Hansen got famous, Al Gore got rich and the rest is history.

    You did not refute any of the premises. I think I rebutted all of your claims except #5, 6 & 8. You did not propose and verify any GHGT. I don’t think your 10 analyses hold much water. I am wondering just what you do believe and why.

    You clearly do not approve of skepticism, the hallmark of scientific endeavors. You are prone to insert snide, denigrating remarks against those with whom you disagree. Name calling is rather unbecoming professional behavior from such an eminent scientist, weakening your debating skills.

    I hope you find this helpful and welcome any corrections of fact.
    Pierre R Latour, PhD Chemical Engineer, GHGT Skeptic

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      @Pierre Latour….good stuff Pierre, glad you dropped by.

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      Pierre,

      1. I see several places where you are using terminology inexactly. This leads to you talking past Roy, rather than addressing what he was saying. In particular, it would be wise to be more careful with the word “heat”. While this word is used colloquially in many different ways, as a chemical engineer, I am sure you know that in thermodynamics, heat = Q = NET transfer of thermal energy.

      Some examples …
      ” … 300 w/m2 as proof heat transfers at that rate from cold CO2 to warmer surface, is absorbed by surface, heating it … “
      First of all, you are paraphrasing, not quoting, so it is tough to know what Roy really said. But the “300 W/m^2″ would be an ENERGY transfer, not a “heat transfer” as you called it. “Heat” would be the net transfer, so that would be something like 400 W/m upward – 300 W/m^2 downward = 100 W/m^2 upward. Similarly, I would hope Roy did not actually say the radiation from the sky “heats” the ground, but something more neutral like “warms” the ground.

      “But the common version of GHGT with two way radiant heat transfer in K-T diagram is the version I proved does violate the 2nd Law. “
      Again, there is two way ENERGY transfer (ie photons are heading in every direction, including from the ground to the atmosphere, and from the atmosphere to the ground). But there is only a one way HEAT transfer, which is from the warm ground to the cool atmosphere, in agreement with the 2nd Law.

      Most of the rest of that paragraph is about the 1st Law, not the 2nd Law.

      As to “Please write the energy conservation law for a CO2 molecule you describe, with clear definitions and correct parameters. At steady-state, when dT/dt = 0, I assure you the rate of absorption equal rate of emission, no matter what the body is. ”
      This is easy: (energy in) = (energy out). The energy coming and going in this case can be classified as Electromagnetic Energy (PHOTONS) and as Kinetic Energy (collisions with surrounding molecules).

      With slightly more detail:
      (EM_in) + (KE_in) = (EM_out) + (KE_out)

      EM_in = EM_out only if (KE_in – KE_out) = 0. There is no reason that KE_in must equal KE_out. As a simple macroscopic analogy, hang a black metal object in a room and shine an IR heat lamp on it. The object will warm up until it reaches a steady-state condition. At this point, only SOME of the IR in will leave as IR out, with the rest leaving via conduction with the surrounding air.

      • Milton Hathaway says:

        Tim – thank you for taking the time to so ably and clearly address the heat/energy/temperature terminology use/misuse in these comments.

        I read through these comments to learn more. As soon as I recognize a misuse of terminology in a comment, I tend to give up on it and move on to the next one. The comment may well indeed have something illuminating to say, but my laziness kicks in. Besides, if I have to apply my interpretation to a comment, I can’t really be sure if my interpretation is what the author really means.

        My advice to comment writers – please be more precise in your use of the heat/energy/temperature terminology. Believe it or not, there are some of us non-experts out here who are interested in what you have to say, but you must say it clearly and precisely enough that we can follow your logic. (Unless your underlying purpose is actually to confuse?)

      • geran says:

        Once again, folks confuse energy with power. Tim does it as well as anyone else, or maybe better.

        Energy can be “averaged”, but “power” cannot.

        Consider an elevator. It takes a calculable amount of energy to “lift” an elevator of weight W to a height H. That energy required is “WH + frictional losses”.

        It works every time it is tried.

        BUT, the POWER to lift the elevator is different. How FAST do you want the elevator to rise?

        Consider a 10 story building. The energy required to go all the way to the tenth floor is “E”. If you choose a reasonable time, the power of the motor is fixed–”P”.

        If you only want to go to the second story, the energy required is “E/5″–20% of the total.

        But, the “divide-by-5″ does not work for power. If you divide the power of the motor by five, you will not move.

        Check it out….

        • Milton Hathaway says:

          geran – I am trying, but . . . you lost me.

          When you say “the divide-by-5 does not work for power”, I assume you mean to slow down the rate of deliver of energy applied to the task (raising the elevator). One way to implement this is to size the motor down by a factor of five and size the gear ratio up by a factor of five. If you only size the motor down and leave the gear ratio alone, the motor delivers no mechanical power at all. (The mains circuit, however, will deliver a brief burst of electrical power sufficient to deliver enough thermal energy to the mains fuse to blow it.)

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          geran lost me too.

          1) Any set of numbers can be averaged; any (reasonable) function can be averaged. It is a simple mathematical exercise to find the average power. 5 W for 1 second and 10 W for 2 seconds averages to 8.33 W. (It is a different question to ask what this might mean or if it is useful).

          2) I don’t see how this story of an elevator relates to what I wrote. Give an example of where you think I confused energy and power.

          3) For motors, there are many practical factors involved: power under normal load, power under very heavy or very light loads, and maximum torque, to name a few. But if you raise the elevator at 1/5 the speed, it will require 1/5 the power from the motor and 1/5 the electrical input power top the motor and do 1/5 as much work each second. (But again, this really has nothing to do with the discussion — it is at best and interesting but unrelated topic).

          • geran says:

            The simple example should not confuse anyone. The attempts to go around the simple obvious example could maybe be what is confusing.

            The simple example indicates the energy required to go only to the 2nd floor is 20% of the energy required to go all the way to the 10th floor. But, the power required to only go to the 2nd floor is not 20%. The same power is still required just to go only two floors, everything else remaining the same.

            Trying to add gearing, or otherwise altering the simple example, is maybe an attempt to avoid the issue.

            Power is different from energy, as indicated by this simple example.

            Hope that helps.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            “The simple example should not confuse anyone. ”
            I’m not confused by the physics. I am confused about the relevance to global warming or to things I wrote.

            ” The same power is still required just to go only two floors, everything else remaining the same.”
            That depends what else is “remaining the same”! If the two trips are made at the same SPEED, then both require the same power. If the two trips are made in the same TIME, then the 2 story trip takes 1/5 the power. In either case, the energy is 1/5 as much for the shorter trip.

            Most importantly, I am still wondering where you think I confused power and energy in anything I wrote.

      • Kristian says:

        Tim Folkerts says, April 27, 2014 at 7:33 AM:

        “(…) I am sure you know that in thermodynamics, heat = Q = NET transfer of thermal energy.”

        And this ‘net’ flow of energy is what heats and cools. Nothing else. That’s what makes it the HEAT. You get it, Tim?

        It is indivisible. In the real world. All there is. The individual hemifluxes that ‘make it up’ are conceptual, not real, separate fluxes of energy. They are simply part of the heat. Which is all we physically detect.

        If you claim that both of these BY THEMSELVES AND SEPARATELY would achieve the same result as the ‘net’ of the two (the HEAT), namely heating/cooling of the two systems, then you are effectively saying that ‘HEAT GOES BOTH WAYS’, only more goes from hot to cold than from cold to hot.

        What’s the point in your world in emphasizing the ‘net’ flux as being the heat, if there is no difference between the result it gives and the the result the two conceptual hemifluxes comprising it gives?

  103. gbaikie says:

    –10. THE EARTH ISN’T A BLACK BODY. Well, duh. No one said it was. In the broadband IR, though, it’s close to a blackbody, with an average emissivity of around 0.95. But whether a climate model uses 0.95 or 1.0 for surface emissivity isn’t going to change the conclusions we make about the sensitivity of the climate system to increasing carbon dioxide.–

    The significant of a blackbody compared to a body which is highly reflective, is the blackbody emits the most amount of sun’s energy.
    So highly reflective surface gets 1360 watts and reflects most of this 1360 watts. Blackbody gets 1360 watts of sunlight and emits 1360 watts.

    Whether a body is reflective or black does not say anything about a body’s temperature. Or general shiny sphere in space environment is not remarkably cool in comparison to black body is not remarkably warm- though blackbody would absorb and emit the most energy.

    If you have material transparent to sunlight over a material reflective to sunlight, the reflective material absorbs little energy, and the transparent material could radiate like a blackbody, and so this will be colder.
    Such material is used in the space environment: Quartz over silver or Silver coated Teflon.

    In space, another way to cool, is design it so it radiates energy from large surface area, and/or conduct heat uniformly. Which is related to topic of greenhouse theory and black body.
    In greenhouse theory, it starts with ideal blackbody which is body which absorbs all energy from the sun and emits as blackbody. AND the energy is conducted instantaneous to the entire spherical area.

    So though the Moon is similar to a black body it is not similar to this ideal black body. If the moon were such a black body, it’s surface at noon would 5 C rather than 120 C. Because energy of the sun would be conducted to entire surface of the Moon. So on night side [Midnight] instead being 100 K, it’s also 5 C.
    So having it be an ideal black body would be warming the Moon in sense it’s increasing the average temperature of entire lunar surface. It also could be seem to increase the temperature meter below the surface which currently is about -30 C or cooler. Though this is debatable- what most correct is the ideal black body mostly ignores whatever heat may occur to a planetary body is might do. And one should keep in mind an ideal black body is a model rather than anything real- it’s fiction. Or it’s about same as explaining *exactly* the warp drives of Star Trek. So the substance of ideal black body is fictional, but it’s also
    conveying simple geometry. A sphere is 4 times the area of it’s disk. So 136o watts square meter of disk of sphere is
    surface area of sphere of 340 watts.
    And 340 watts per square from a black body would mean the surface temperature should be about 5 C. And of course any thing mot a black body would be a higher temperature than 5 C, as black body emits most amount energy of a surface temperature per square meter.
    But as Roy has said above such things as water or rocks emits like a black body. Or for most things, in regard to IR radiation spectrum, they radiate as black body. But this is not true of gases.

    So we know that Earth or Moon is not like a ideal blackbody.
    One can go outside and measure the parkway and in the sunlight will tend to be higher the 5 C. If one have ideal black body at earth distance from the sun, every square meter will radiate around 5 C, and if it’s radiating at 50 C
    then that is certain evidence that some part of ideal black body is broken.
    What ideal black body tells you is the Earth if heated by the sun, should not radiate more than 340 watts per square meter averaged globally. Or if Earth was radiating 350 watts
    or more than at least 10 watts per square meter of energy would *need* to be coming from some other source than the sun which 1360 watts per square meter.

    Or one could precisely approximate the amount of energy generated from the interior of Earth. If you can precisely measure amount energy the Earth emits and sunlight it reflects, and you know how much sunlight is reaching earth distance. Or since have measured it, and Earth emits about 240 and reflects about 100 watts per square on average, then one assume Earth interior heat is somewhere around 1 watt per square meter. It’s not zero and unlikely much more than 1 watt square meter. And can do such approximation for any body in our solar system.
    But that Earth reflect 100 and emits 240 watts per square meter does not inform us of Earth’s temperature. Though it seems like good evidence in terms of proving that Earth is mostly warmed by sunlight. Or evident that Earth is not mostly warmed by heat generated in Earth’s interior. Or for that matter, that magic is not involved with greenhouse gases “somehow” making energy- not that I am accusing any one thinking such a thing is possible.
    So generally if Earth reflect about 100 watts and Sunlight is about 1360 watts per square meter, and earth is not getting much heat from the earth, than earth should continue to emit about 240 watts per square meter, regardless of what is the Earth average temperature. Or generally one assume Earth been emitting about 240 watt per square meter for hundreds of million of years, and will continue to do so for hundreds of millions of years, despite earth average temperature varying from say roughly as low as 5 C to as high as 30 C, which is has done in the past. Though in terms dips and peaks it may have been a bit lower than 5 and higher 30 C at some times in past, but should expect as much as 1% variation in terms whatever the accurate number measure in terms of what Earth emits [or roughly 240 watts per square meter.

    Now some people are going disagree with this, and one reason is because they think clouds levels could varying a lot. And I would keep this post shorter, by asking of the 100 watts how many of these watts is due to clouds.
    And I would say clouds is mostly affect how much energy is adsorbed by earth ocean. Or clouds are mostly about the temperature of Earth. And my I point was that temperature has varied.
    Or said differently a thousand years of total energy at earth distance sunlight is not do much warming of the ocean
    and will not effect the 240 watt number by much- or probably within the error range currently measured.

  104. Gad Levin says:

    Dr. Spencer,
    I’m just an Engineer not a climate scientist, but very interested in the subject.
    I mostly agree with your ten points, except for the one dealing with CO2. I don’t trust the CO2 data more than I trust the CRU or Hanson, hopefully there will be at least a second data source (maybe in Alabama?)
    What do you think about Dr. Murry Salby’s research on CO2? he certainly disagrees with your conclusions.

    • Gad, there are plenty of CO2 data stations all over the world, maintained by different organisations from different countries, see:
      http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/dv/iadv/

      But measuring at Alabama is not such a good idea: too close to huge sources and sinks. In 95% of the atmosphere, CO2 is well mixed within +/- 2% of full scale. In the first few hundred meters over land, it is problematic…
      See:
      http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_measurements.html

      And Dr. Salby is wrong on several points, temperature changes don’t give more than 8 ppmv/°C, not the 100 ppmv as seen in the past 160 years. And ice cores have extremely low migration of CO2, contrary to what Dr. Salby calculated…

  105. Konrad says:

    Dr. Spencer, you have challenged and stabbed a number of strawmen. Would you care to debate a real sceptic?

    I would only ask that you never falsely accuse me of being associated with “Slayers” or “PSI” and that if countering my claims based on empirical experiment and observation, you do so on an empirical basis only.

    I am prepared to ignore the strawmen, and will challenge on points 1, 4 and 10 as I have conducted empirical experiments that contradict your claims in these points.

    “1. THERE IS NO GREENHOUSE EFFECT.”
    The correct answer here is that there is a radiative GHE effect on this planet, but no net radiative GHE. DWLWIR provably raises Tmin over land, but empirical experiment shows incident LWIR has no significant effect on liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool. That would be 71% of the planet’s surface. Remember the claim of the climastrologists that is the oceans could be retained in the absence of an atmosphere they would be at -18C? That claim is provably wrong.

    “4. CO2 COOLS, NOT WARMS, THE ATMOSPHERE.”
    The net effect of radiative gases in our atmosphere is cooling at all concentrations above 0.0ppm. Without these gases our atmosphere would have no effective cooling mechanism. (empirical experiment shows gas conduction back to the surface is ineffective) The amount of energy radiated to space by radiative gases is more that twice the net flux they absorb from surface and direct solar radiation.

    Radiative subsidence plays a critical role in vertical tropospheric circulation. Without these gases circulation in the Hadley, Ferrel and Polar cells would stall and the bulk of the atmosphere would have its temperature driven, not by surface Tav*, but by surface Tmax.

    If you model the speed of vertical tropospheric circulation as constant for increasing radiative gas concentration you will always show increased surface warming. But convective circulation coupled with ocean evaporation is the primary means of surface cooling and its speed must increase for increasing radiative gas concentration.

    If your modelling includes the mathematical fiction of “EEH” of “ERL” then you can falsely model that adding radiative gases will reduce the atmosphere’s radiative cooling ability. This is of course ludicrous as the atmosphere would have no radiative cooling ability without radiative gases. The simples empirical observation of IR radiation from the atmosphere shows that clouds are the strongest radiators, their pattern and altitudes are constantly changing. There is no such thing as “EEH” or “ERL”

    *Further, the average surface temperature in the absence of an atmosphere is nowhere near -18C. See point 10.

    “10. THE EARTH ISN’T A BLACK BODY.”
    “Well, duh” is not even close. This is the most critical mistake in the whole of the radiative GHE hypothesis, The error is so huge that it invalidates not just AGW but the radiative GHE hypothesis itself.

    The earth, and most particularly the oceans are not a blackbody, for the oceans, not even close. The oceans are best described as a SW selective coating and trying to calculate an equilibrium temperature based on IR emissivity alone is a critical mistake. Climastrologists have claimed that if the oceans could be retained in the absence of an atmosphere the average 240 w/m2 (albedo adjusted) they might receive could only heat them to -18C. This is totally and utterly wrong.
    Empirical experiment shows that for transparent materials with slow internal speed of non-radiative transport, SW absorption at depth as opposed to SW absorption at the surface makes a huge difference to equilibrium temperature. How huge?

    Climastrologists have calculated -18C for our deep transparent oceans in the absence of atmospheric cooling and DWLWIR. The correct figure is 80C or beyond. That’s a 98C error in the very foundation of the whole radiative GHE hypothesis! Try laughing that one off.

    - Empirical experiment shows differing equilibrium temperatures for differing depth of SW absorption in transparent materials.
    - Fresh water evaporation constrained solar ponds can hit 80C or beyond.
    - Significant diurnal overturning in the oceans is observed, which would not be the case if SWIR and DWLWIR (absorbed at the surface) were actually playing a major role in heating (or slowing the cooling rate) of our oceans.

    Our oceans could hit 80C or beyond without atmospheric cooling regardless of DWLWIR.

    The sun heats our oceans.
    The atmosphere cools our oceans.
    Radiative gases cool our atmosphere.
    AGW due to CO2 is a physical impossibility.

    So why am I challenging you? Because when Lukewarmers embrace “science” that is the same as the IPCC’s pseudo science, you can never win.

    The lukewarmer positions -
    “DWLWIR slows the cooling rate of the oceans”
    “Adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will reduce the atmospheres radiative cooling ability.
    “Given 1 bar pressure, the net effect of our radiative atmosphere over the oceans is warming not cooling”
    - are all disproved by empirical experiment or observation.

    • gbaikie says:

      “4. CO2 COOLS, NOT WARMS, THE ATMOSPHERE.”
      The net effect of radiative gases in our atmosphere is cooling at all concentrations above 0.0ppm. Without these gases our atmosphere would have no effective cooling mechanism. (empirical experiment shows gas conduction back to the surface is ineffective).

      By surface do you mean skin surface? Or ground? Or do you mean surface air- which is what is being measured in terms of Earth’s average temperature.

      • gbaikie says:

        Oh, and this:
        “The amount of energy radiated to space by radiative gases is more that twice the net flux they absorb from surface and direct solar radiation. ”

        So if twice amount radiated from ground or sunlight directly,
        I assume you mean non-greenhouse gases are heating greenhouse gases via collision for the other half of the energy.
        Is there any evidence that non-greenhouse can lose their kinetic energy to greenhouse gases. Or that any greenhouse gas which is an ideal gas [excluding H20] can lose energy via collisions?

        • Konrad says:

          “Is there any evidence that non-greenhouse can lose their kinetic energy to greenhouse gases. Or that any greenhouse gas which is an ideal gas [excluding H20] can lose energy via collisions?”

          Absolutely. Many know that Tyndall showed radiative gases absorbing IR in 1859. What many don’t also realise is that he show the same gases emitting IR when conductively heated in 1860. I have run similar experiments myself. Radiative gases can heat and cool by both radiation and conduction.

          With regard to our atmosphere, over 50% of the energy that radiative gases are emitting as OLR to space was acquired by the atmosphere via surface conduction and the release of latent heat as water vapour condenses.

          Without radiative gases, our atmosphere has no effective cooling mechanism. If our atmosphere cannot cool itself, then it cannot cool the oceans. Without atmospheric cooling, regardless of DWLWIR, our oceans would become a giant solar storage pond with temperatures topping 80C.

          Climastrologists however claim that without atmospheric cooling and DWLWIR our oceans would be at -18C.

          Dr. Spencer dismisses this critical 98C error in the “basic physics” of the “settled science” with a casual “well, duh”.

          • gbaikie says:

            – Konrad says:
            April 27, 2014 at 4:50 PM

            “Is there any evidence that non-greenhouse can lose their kinetic energy to greenhouse gases. Or that any greenhouse gas which is an ideal gas [excluding H20] can lose energy via collisions?”

            Absolutely. Many know that Tyndall showed radiative gases absorbing IR in 1859. What many don’t also realise is that he show the same gases emitting IR when conductively heated in 1860. I have run similar experiments myself. Radiative gases can heat and cool by both radiation and conduction.–

            This does not address my question.

            I am aware room temperature material [or higher temperature] radiate as blackbody, and their spectrum emitted includes wavelength that CO2 absorbs and emits.
            And that gases such as N2 do not radiate or absorb the same spectrum as CO2.
            So solid or liquid emits and adsorbs the wide spectrum including the part of spectrum that CO2 emits and absorbs.
            And H20 gas does include some of CO2 spectrum, but O2 and N2 don’t.

            Or Gases don’t radiate as blackbody like solids and liquids which absorb and emit a full spectrum. Though gases do radiate various segments of such a blackbody spectrum.

            So again, is there any evidence that non-greenhouse can transfer their kinetic energy to greenhouse gases which then allows the greenhouse gas to radiate this gained translational energy.

            Or can any greenhouse gas which is an ideal gas [excluding H20] radiate the kinetic energy of gas molecule collisions?
            [Which is only involving collisions with ideal gases.]

          • Konrad says:

            If you don’t understand that radiative gases can both heat and cool by conduction and also heat and cool by absorbing and emitting radiation, then I suggest you run some empirical experiments yourself -
            http://i49.tinypic.com/34hcoqd.jpg

            Just look at this thread! Hundreds of comments. Type, type, type. Well, type is cheap. Just how many people on this thread actually design and run their own empirical experiments? Three. Dr. Spencer, Anthony Watts and myself. That’s it. And that’s just sad.

          • Curt says:

            Don’t assert what you don’t know. Others have as well.

      • Konrad says:

        Here by “surface”, I am referring to land and ocean. The surface is good at conductively heating the atmosphere, but poor at conductively cooling it. This is due to the bias gravity creates, holding colder air against the surface. A common example is a night inversion layer, where a thin layer of air is cooled by the surface, but due to the slow speed of gas conduction, air above this layer is not cooled. During the day however, colder air drawn to the surface is able to heat rapidly as strength of conduction is dependant on temperature differential.

        This is one of the critical mistakes the climastrologists make in calculating the temperature of a non-radiative atmosphere. They believe the ability of the surface to conductivly heat and cool the atmosphere is equal, and set the temperature of the bulk of a non-radiative atmosphere to surface Tav instead of closer to surface Tmax.

        • gbaikie says:

          –This is one of the critical mistakes the climastrologists make in calculating the temperature of a non-radiative atmosphere. They believe the ability of the surface to conductivly heat and cool the atmosphere is equal, and set the temperature of the bulk of a non-radiative atmosphere to surface Tav instead of closer to surface Tmax.–

          Ok, I don’t make this mistake, I assume air is warming surface air, or atmosphere near the surface [or where we measure air temperature in the shade 5 feet high in little white boxes].

          Also there seems to be difference with ocean surfaces, as in the evaporation is process one has of water molecules interacting with sea surface, and that air molecule can interact with these water molecules. Or there should generally be more interaction of air and ocean surface in terms there being a uniformity of temperatures

          • Konrad says:

            There is indeed a difference in ocean surfaces. The primary cooling mechanism for the oceans is evaporation. Climastrologists have claimed that if the oceans could be retained in the absence of an atmosphere that their average temperature would be -18C.

            However the simplest empirical experiment shows that with incident surface standard sunlight and an absence of atmospheric cooling our oceans would rise to 80C or beyond.

            The 255K (-18C) figure calculated for the surface temperature of the planet in absence of atmosphere is totally and utterly wrong. This means claiming that radiative gases in our atmosphere are raising the surface temperature from 255K to 288K is also totally and utterly wrong.

            The mistake that climastrologists (and sadly Dr. Spencer as well) make is to assume that because the oceans have an IR emissivity near 0.95 they can be treated as a near blackbody. Wrong, Wrong WRONG! Our deep transparent oceans instead act as what is known as a “selective coating” 4-5 km deep over 71% of the lithosphere. UV/SW heats our oceans at depth, and the slow speed of non-radiative return to the surface allows energy to accumulate. Standard S-B calculations cannot be used for this.

            Given 1 bar pressure, our atmosphere is clearly working to cool our oceans. Climastrologists instead claim it is working to warm them. Therefore every claim of AGW based on the “basic physics” of the “settled science” is false.

            The sun heats our oceans.
            The atmosphere cools our oceans.
            Radiative gases cool our atmosphere.
            AGW is a physical impossibility.
            97% of climastrologists are assclowns.

            It really is that simple ;-)

          • gbaikie says:

            Generally I agree.
            But:
            –However the simplest empirical experiment shows that with incident surface standard sunlight and an absence of atmospheric cooling our oceans would rise to 80C or beyond.–

            I don’t know how warm oceans could get under different circumstance- ie: a planet at Earth distance from our Sun and completely covered with water. Plus some other factors which are unclear.
            But I would agree if earth had higher percentage of ocean covering the surface, earth would probably be much warmer than 15 C. And since Earth has had average of more than 25 C in the past [within hundreds of millions of years] and with an Earth [I assume] similar ocean to land ratio as currently, I would think world completely cover with ocean at sun’s distance could have average temperature higher than 30 C.

            And also:
            “Given 1 bar pressure, our atmosphere is clearly working to cool our oceans. Climastrologists instead claim it is working to warm them. ”

            Again not sure about this claim. If we use the Moon with it’s lack of atmosphere, I can see ways of making the Moon be much warmer than Earth. Though it requires being selective of what one calls average temperature.

            BUT even using existing standards of using skin temperature of ideal blackbody- I see how it make it so surface temperature so it is hotter than ideal blackbody of 5 C.
            But it could have a hotter temperature below the skin surface. And if it has to be air temperature, could put some air below surface and it much warmer than 15 C.

          • Konrad says:

            I don’t think you quite understand the severity of the mistake of the climastrologists. They have claimed that in the absence of atmospheric cooling and DWLWIR our oceans would be at -18C. Empirical experiment shows this figure should instead be 80C if not beyond.

            In terms of mistakes, this is a fist-biter.

            The engineering of evaporation constrained freshwater solar ponds is well understood. Build them shallow and you need overnight pumped storage to stop radiative cooling. To avoid the cost of this the solution is simple, build the ponds deeper. How deep are our oceans?

            In calculating the “surface” temperature of the planet in absence of atmosphere, climastrologists have made a 98C error for 71% of the planets surface. No if. No but. No maybe. They stuffed up, and how!

            Don’t believe sunlight can drive evaporation constrained water to 80C or beyond? Try the experiment for yourself -
            http://i40.tinypic.com/27xhuzr.jpg

            Climastrologists used standard S-B equations on our deep transparent oceans. My claim that “97% of climastrolgists are assclowns” is therefore solid.

          • gbaikie says:

            – Konrad says:
            April 28, 2014 at 11:02 PM

            I don’t think you quite understand the severity of the mistake of the climastrologists. They have claimed that in the absence of atmospheric cooling and DWLWIR our oceans would be at -18C. Empirical experiment shows this figure should instead be 80C if not beyond.

            In terms of mistakes, this is a fist-biter.

            The engineering of evaporation constrained freshwater solar ponds is well understood. Build them shallow and you need overnight pumped storage to stop radiative cooling. To avoid the cost of this the solution is simple, build the ponds deeper. How deep are our oceans?–

            Perhaps, it could engineered.
            This thesis suggest one could have very warm solar ponds in Canada- which I think is somewhat surprising:
            http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/745998/1/Thesis_Ibrahim_Alenezi.pdf

            But maybe if using lens to change the angle of the sun hitting the water, I suppose it is possible, but still a bit surprising. He also saying some solar pond have reached 100 C, which again without reflectors or lens, I find hard to believe.

          • Konrad says:

            You find 100C hard to believe?!

            Get over yourself!

            Using acrylic blocks I have achieved 118.9C with SW absorption 10mm below the surface in 3 hours of solar exposure.

            I can run a steam engine off a flat plate collector with no concentration. (however such a steam engine would be an affront to hundreds of years of engineering development, and if created would warrant immediate destruction for gross violation of laws of efficiency.)

            Time for you to study the science of “selective coatings” methinks…

          • gbaikie says:

            — Konrad says:
            April 29, 2014 at 5:16 AM

            You find 100C hard to believe?!

            Get over yourself!

            Using acrylic blocks I have achieved 118.9C with SW absorption 10mm below the surface in 3 hours of solar exposure.

            I can run a steam engine off a flat plate collector with no concentration. (however such a steam engine would be an affront to hundreds of years of engineering development, and if created would warrant immediate destruction for gross violation of laws of efficiency.)

            Time for you to study the science of “selective coatings” methinks…—

            With magnification of sunlight, can melt a brick and magnifying sunlight would a good thing to do for steam engine- or solar ponds.
            So if using something is acting like a Fresnel lens as part of these selection coating this is not hard to believe.

            And perhaps magnification of sunlight from the water is part of what explains solar ponds extremely high temperatures in general.

            Have you measured the amount of watts per square meter you getting at the point in which is making this 118.9C temperature?

          • Konrad says:

            gbaikie says:
            April 29, 2014 at 6:21 PM
            ——————————–
            Sorry for the previous “snippy” response. I’m the one who should be getting over myself. The paper you linked to was excellent, especially as it covered more than salinity gradient ponds. This was a very useful point -

            “A group of researchers at Texas A&M University [20] tried to improve the SSP by using a completely black butyl rubber bag. However, the result was exactly the opposite of what they had tried to achieve: the temperature of the top surface of the bag was 30oC hotter than the water directly underneath. So, the conclusion confirmed that the upper cover should be a transparent film.”

            With regard to Fresnel lenses or concentration, this is not required in most areas. The problem with solar ponds is not achieving high temperatures, but preventing them. Energy accumulates at depth in solar ponds, and instantaneous radiative flux equations cannot be used to determine equilibrium temperature due to the slow speed of non-radiative energy transport back to the surface. Temperatures over 100C cause steam overpressure and destruction of evaporation covers in convecting solar ponds and temperatures above 90C can disrupt the salinity inversion in salt gradient ponds. Energy is normally extracted using ammonia “steam”engines, but if these go off line, bad things happen to the storage pond.

            The findings of the Texas A&M university are good confirmation of some of my own experiments, which will be posted shortly at Talkshop. (WUWT is a nest of lukewarmers unwilling to understand and frightened that they look as stupid as the believers).

            How do the “near blackbody” S-B calcs Dr. Spencer thinks are A-OK for the oceans effectively treat the oceans? Black at the top! It is on the basis of the utterly incorrect application of standard S-B equations based on IR emissivity only that climastrologists have claimed that in the absence of DWLWIR and atmospheric cooling the oceans would be at -18C.

            The atmosphere is not warming the oceans from -18C to 15C. It is cooling them from 80C to 15C. And the atmosphere has only one effective cooling mechanism. Radiative gases.

            AGW is therefore a physical impossibility. Lukewarmers, sadly, are just as foolish as AGW believers.

    • Nate says:

      Konrad,

      Let’s say you are right and climate modelers having been doing it wrong all this time, then there should be some consequences. Their predictions of climate going forward will be very wrong. That’s ok for you because their predictions haven’t been tested yet. But what about meteorology modeling? Have weather simulators been doing it wrong all this time? In my experience weather prediction has vastly improved in the last few decades. Major storms are predicted pretty accurately nearly a week in advance. Heat exchange between atmosphere and ocean has to be modeled correctly in order to predict the strengthening of hurricanes, for example. How is that possible if you are right and they have been modeling things incorrectly all this time?

      • Konrad says:

        Nate,
        the simple answer to that is meteorologists are not as foolish as climastrologists. Meteorologists model the atmosphere as cooling the oceans, or if you like the oceans warming the atmosphere. That is where the energy for the hurricanes you mention comes from.

  106. Blob says:

    Why does this list not address Harry Huffman’s point about the temperatures on Venus and Earth, at the same pressure, being what we would expect due to distance from the sun? Is there argument beyond this being a coincidence? Is greenhouse effect predicted to appreciably increase the thickness of Earth’s atmosphere?

  107. Alick says:

    More molecules in the atmosphere don’t mean much without the energy to keep them there.

  108. Larry Fields says:

    Here’s my negative comment of the day:
    Everyone knows that a Top 10 List should start with #10! Apparently your television only receives signals from Jurassic period broadcasts.

  109. dr jay cadbury phd says:

    Dr. Spencer,

    I mostly agree with your above comments, my question is probably ot but I have not received a decent answer to some questions I have.

    An alarmist argument is that the rate at which we are adding co2 is unprecedented. My question is, compared to what? What historical points have they used as a baseline? I believe there is general agreement that when the dinosaurs walked the earth, atmospheric co2 was 7,000ppm. I can’t believe this was all added gradually. Is there a published study that addresses this? What is your opinion?

    Also, I really feel that you need to be much more aggressive in congressional testimony. I would bring a copy of the 1990 H.H. Lamb graph and compare it to the Mann graph, and show it to the idiots in congress. I feel it is blatant cheating and data manipulation. Why don’t you also testify that Nasa and other temperature record keepers are altering historic data, such as adjusting 1934 downward (side note I might have the precise year wrong) to make recent temperatures appear warmer?

    Finally, I just don’t think your explanations of the co2 absorption bands and opacity are adequate. I think Dr. Happer is much more compelling in his explanation, can you respond?

    • Simple reply:

      The increase of CO2 from the depth of the last ice age to the current interglacial also was some 100 pmmv, comparable to what we see today. The difference is that we did do that in only 160 years, while nature needed some 5000 years to do the same.

      If the current extra 100 ppmv above the temperature controlled equilibrium will have much effect, that is the question. I suppose that most sceptics agree on the answer: very little and more beneficial than harmful

  110. wburns says:

    Re: No 4.

    Excellent. Now all we need to do is determine if there is more IR around during the day, or night. And where most of it is heading.

  111. Johan says:

    Only 238 comments so far (well, 239 including this one)? Dragons must be becoming extinct. All due to global warming no doubt.

  112. Paul says:

    A question I would have concerning the CO2 argument is simply this: how do volcanic eruptions play a part in the current models, considering that one eruption can add more greenhouse gases to the equations than are produced artificially by man since the beginning of the industrial revolution, especially considering that both the worldwide frequency and scope of these eruptions appear to be rising over time?

    Also, could this be a symptom of absorbed heat being transferred from the crust to the mantle? (I personally have my doubts on this, but I hold to the concept of “prove all things”…)

    • gbaikie says:

      - Paul says:
      April 27, 2014 at 3:40 AM

      A question I would have concerning the CO2 argument is simply this: how do volcanic eruptions play a part in the current models, considering that one eruption can add more greenhouse gases to the equations than are produced artificially by man since the beginning of the industrial revolution, especially considering that both the worldwide frequency and scope of these eruptions appear to be rising over time? -

      All eruption add some CO2, but I think it would be somewhat unique eruption to emit as much CO2 as you talking about.

      Consider the one km cubic km of water is 1 billion tonnes.
      And largest eruptions since last big eruption were less than say 10 cubic km of ejecta. Last largest was Krakatoa, 1883, which exploded: “hurled an estimated 11 cubic miles (45 cubic km)”
      http://www.livescience.com/28186-krakatoa.html
      And biggest one since that time was Mount Pinatubo, wiki:
      “It ejected roughly 10,000,000,000 tonnes (1.1×10^10 short tons) or 10 km3 (2.4 cu mi) of magma, and 20,000,000 tonnes (22,000,000 short tons) SO2″
      So 10 cubic km of rock and everything- or 10 billions tons in total. And compared to tens of billion of tons-
      10,000,000,000 tonnes, one has 22,000,000 of SO2. in term of gases say less then 1/100th.
      And we have much larger ones early, but 1000 cubic km is fairly huge. So 1000 billion tons, and if was 1/100th of that being CO2, then it’s 10 billion tonnes, and world’s emission of fossil fuel is 35 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2012. So with Yellowstone super volcano which could eject more than 1000 cubic km of ejecta, it’s unlikely to cause as much CO2 emission as a year of burning fossil.
      So I wouldn’t guess that a large eruption of Yellowstone, it particular would emit much CO2 [as erupted before and one need a lot of fresh limestone/sedimentary rock, massive coal field or something to get a lot of CO2. So it’s possible, but no clear example of volcanoes emitting a lot of CO2. So I would say it’s not normal or typical. And in general I think one need very large area type volcanic activity to do something like create a lot of CO2. Such as make an island like Iceland in short period of time.

  113. Dr Darko Butina says:

    Roy,
    In any field of the real science, the scientists who make scientific statements are expected to be recognised by their peer group. That implies that those respected scientists have published their work in the relevant journals that are peer-reviewed by the world recognised specialists in the field. CO2 is a carbon based molecule that behaves according to its physicochemical properties and the journals that publish carbon-based research are in the fields of either experimental carbon chemistry or bio-chemistry. So two questions two you: 1. Do you have a degree in any scientific field that deals with carbon, and 2. How many papers did you publish discussing your own work with carbon-based molecules and in which journals

    I would also like to challenge all contributors to this completely non-scientific nonsense to answer the same two questions addressed to Roy.
    The problem with all this discussion about CO2 is that while it is inconceivable for anyone not qualified to discuss say brain surgery would lecture specialists on how to perform it, it is quite normal to discuss CO2 without any actual knowledge about what CO2 can and can not do.

    • gbaikie says:

      **I would also like to challenge all contributors to this completely non-scientific nonsense to answer the same two questions addressed to Roy.
      The problem with all this discussion about CO2 is that while it is inconceivable for anyone not qualified to discuss say brain surgery would lecture specialists on how to perform it, it is quite normal to discuss CO2 without any actual knowledge about what CO2 can and can not do.**

      Zero to both. But unlike brain surgery.
      And idea of trust us?
      Is just childish. No someone ha to be able to explain the issue so 99% of population could understand it, assuming 99% wanted to understand it. Or just forget about it.

      But most reasonable people, if they have the time, will research it a bit regarding their proposed brain surgery, before decide if and who will do it. It does not mean they going to cut into their head, but does mean they want to understand it as best they can.

      And one keep mind this whole thing is old idea, invented by people who knew less about science than is currently known.
      Or it proposed at time before plate tectonic theory for example. And really these guys are not even following the “latest” of what “Svante August Arrhenius (19 February 1859 – 2 October 1927)” said regarding CO2 and it’s warming effect.

      • Nate says:

        I think Darko’s point is quite apt. If you have a new idea that proves that established science is wrong, then patent it or publish it. See if it can stand up to expert scrutiny. Sure learning about brain surgery is fine, asking surgeons to explain what their doing is fine, but presuming to know better than the experts, their textbooks, and their thoroughly tested methods is just foolish.

    • Pat Obar says:

      Dr. Butina,
      Thank you, that does describe the “good business plan” to destroy the competitive coal industry, with no regard for the result. Never a conspiracy, only a “good business plan”, for financial profit!

    • Truthseeker says:

      Dr Darko Butina,

      You should also point people to your excellent work in this area (CO2) which I have found very illuminating.

      http://www.l4patterns.com/uploads/virtual_vs_reality_report.pdf

      http://www.l4patterns.com/uploads/20_facts_about_CO2.pdf

  114. ren says:

    Carbon dioxide is a normal constituent of the atmosphere, it is less than 0.04% in the atmosphere. Nature itself purifies the Earth of CO2 . Not only terrestrial plants absorb CO2 . Thanks to good solubility in water, also makes extensive use of marine organisms to CO2 external skeletons ( shell ) . Convert CO2 into CaCO3 is from the limestone . Nature continually cleanses the atmosphere of CO2 . In previous eras of geological process was incomparably more severe , because the CO2 content in the atmosphere was tremendous . All deposits of limestone , chalk , marble, is trapped by marine organisms CO2 . Today, the CO2 is present in trace amounts in practice . In addition, the CO2 is not present in the atmosphere as a whole , since dissolved in runoff water and is flushed into rivers and seas. It should also be noted that the issue of climate change is not about the 0.03 % of CO2 in the atmosphere. The idea is that this percentage has increased a little over the decades. It should also be borne in mind that the annual production of carbon dioxide by human civilization is only about 4% of the total carbon contained in the atmosphere. Since nature itself perfectly copes with 96 percent of CO2 , there is no basis to claim that 4% is any problem.

    • The “only 4%” is a non-argument. While 96% of the carbon cycle input is natural, the same cycle removes 98% of the total seasonal (and partly permanent) flux between atmosphere and oceans/vegetation. Thus from the 4% additional CO2 induced by humans, 2% remains in the atmosphere and is the sole cause of the increase, besides a small contribution from warming oceans…

      If that is a problem is an entirely different question than the origin of the increase…

  115. nigel cook says:

    The real issue for Dr Spencer is the illogic of the IPCC’s 2007 report assumption for all 21 models that there’s positive feedback from water under all circumstances, when – given the oceans – that assumption over a time of hundreds of years would lead to an exponential rise in temperature (a runaway greenhouse effect like Venus or Mars).

    So it’s clearly wrong. Obviously, water vapour in air of less than 100% humidity is a wideband IR absorber that does have positive feedback.

    But in saturated layers of air at high altitude (“stratus clouds”, being technical), water vapour condenses into small cloud droplets, which reflect and absorb sunlight, shadowing and thus cooling the portion of the troposphere and earth’s surface below (i.e. “negative feedback”).

    Thus, obviously, CO2 can’t get solely positive feedback from H2O; once 100% humidity is reached in an air layer, further H2O evaporation from the sea causes a qualitative switchover from “positive” into “negative” H2O feedback. This acts as a thermostat, thus the lack of AGW in the lower troposphere since 1998.

    • nigel cook says:

      Cirrus cloud is a major issue for for negative feedback:

      1. In your monthly-updated temperature graphs, http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/ you give average tropospheric temperatures from satellites (i.e. microwave radiation measurement of air temperature, above, below and within clouds)

      But this data is biased in favor of AGW, since it includes heating effects to air above cirrus clouds (where there is purely positive feedback from H2O), as well as the temperature of the tops of clouds which get warmed by absorbing some of the incident sunlight (although some sunlight is reflected).

      This warming to the cloud tops is not passed on the surface or the ocean, due to the fact that warm air rises (rather than falls); the buoyancy principle discovered by Archimedes!

      Therefore, you’re exaggerating AGW. What matters for causing hurricanes, melting icecaps, flooding, etc. is the temperature in the sea and in the dense low altitude air.

      2. Another issue is whether you’ve heard of the “Wilson cloud chamber” and its mechanism for cirrus cloud formation in clean, high altitude air where there is little dust for cloud droplet formative seeding, i.e. cosmic radiation ionises air at those altitudes and the charged ions then act like dust, behaving as cloud droplet nuclei to allow water vapor to condense. Thus, the cirrus cloud increases when the cosmic radiation increases (cooling the earth), and vice-versa. This has nothing to do with energy (it takes only 34 electron volts to create an ion pair!).

      This is ignored by IPCC and other scammers, who try to debunk the solar radiation by only considering the energy balance, i.e. “solar forcing” effects. True, solar radiation energy doesn’t have any significant effect on climate. But this is a strawman argument, because it deliberately targets the wrong mechanism. The true mechanism ionization caused by cosmic radiation, leading to increased cirrus cloud in clean air by the Wilson cloud chamber mechanism. In nuclear physics courses you see a Wilson cloud chamber in action. Saturated low-density air condenses visibly into white cloud droplets when radiation is injected.

      3. The hockey stick curve is mis-calibrated prior to 1900 AD for tree rings, ice core oxygen isotope evaporation ratios, etc., Dr Michael Mann, who excludes the physical mechanism for cloud cover with temperature due to negative feedback from H2O. In the Medieval warm period, for instance, higher temperatures caused more evaporation and more cloud cover, which reduced photosynthesis and sublimation of light oxygen isotope water molecules from ice! By implicitly excluding any consideration of this mechanism, all of Mann’s ancient temperature “data” are mis-calibrated, and his error bars on temperature fluctuations are massive underestimates. The corrected curve shows no “hockey stick”!

    • gbaikie says:

      –The real issue for Dr Spencer is the illogic of the IPCC’s 2007 report assumption for all 21 models that there’s positive feedback from water under all circumstances, when – given the oceans – that assumption over a time of hundreds of years would lead to an exponential rise in temperature (a runaway greenhouse effect like Venus or Mars).

      So it’s clearly wrong. Obviously, water vapour in air of less than 100% humidity is a wideband IR absorber that does have positive feedback.–

      I think the real issue is not that IPCC had so many wrong models, but rather their statements of their confidence in
      them.

      One could say the UN has such low level of trust- as an excuse. So the reasoning that nothing could possibly sink it further, but other giving us something to laugh about and this intriguing involvement with corruption that wasting vast time, wealth and resources of the people of the world- appears to be something quite profitable with these interests tickling these bureaucrats into doing all they can to damage the IPCC and the UN.
      Obviously the railroad engineer has no shame or pride, and is a selfless person as he steers corrupt organization to most complete ruin that his dim wits are able.

      • nigel cook says:

        “I think the real issue is not that IPCC had so many wrong models, but rather their statements of their confidence in them.”

        False statements of statistical error are always a political propaganda tool. Alexander Thom in 1967 “proved” with 99% probability, by comparing the existence of an 83 cm “megalithic yard” at Stonehenge, but his statistical “test” compared only two equally false hypotheses: random spacing and a megalithic yard measuring tool. The real answer, which he ignored completely in his “test” was quite different: people paced out distances without a yard stick. Only when this alternative possibility was considered, could the “megalithic yard” hypothesis be debunked!

        Likewise, the problem of the IPCC’s universal assumption of positive feedback from water vapor is that it causes instability, leading to a runaway greenhouse effect which would have turned earth uninhabitable long ago if true. So they are plain wrong: clouds must act as thermostats to regulate temperature fluctuations, or we wouldn’t be here.

        I wish Dr Spencer would look into this argument!

  116. Thanks, Dr. Spencer. You help clearing the minds, I hope.

  117. ren says:

    Comparison of absorption of infrared radiation shows you how little CO2 affects the total absorption of this radiation by atmospheric gases.
    http://oi60.tinypic.com/33o5yt1.jpg

  118. Roger Clague says:

    Spencer’s 10 skeptical arguments

    Of these 9 are criticisms of the GHG theory that I agree with.
    One is critical of a rival “compression” theory of the lapse rate. The criticisms are that the “compression” theory

    Is about change of T not measurement of an absolute, real, T
    Does not start its analysis at the surface ( surface heating etc )
    Uses energy budgets wrongly
    Wrongly suggests that the atmosphere is different from buildings, cars and cooking pots
    Does not explain stratosphere temperature
    Does not correctly explain the effect of increasing the mass of the atmosphere

    Is about change of T not measurement of an absolute, real, T

    Yes, its called the lapse rate, the rate of change. It is necessary to know a temperature at a certain height to calculate another temp/height pair. This brings us to

    Does not start its analysis at the surface

    GHG theory starts by calculating the ground/ground temp. and then say it cools I start at the tropopause height/ tropopause temp. and calculate the gravitational enhancement.

    Uses energy budgets wrongly

    “Compression” theory uses the law of conservation of energy to an atmosphere in thermal/gravitational equilibrium. It is GHG theory that uses Kirchoff’s Laws wrongly. It is for a BB. But water is not a BB because of evaporation.

    Wrongly suggests that the atmosphere is different from buildings, cars and cooking pots

    Atmosphere is at a different scale. that is why it has lapse rate.

    Does not explain stratosphere temperature

    Lapse rate only occurs in the troposphere because that is where there is mass. The temperatures measured above the tropopause such as at 1mb are of individual molecules

    Does not correctly explain the effect of increasing the mass of the atmosphere

    Spencer correctly say that according to “compression” theory adding mass would increase the surface temperature. He say according to his theory the surface temp would not change. We know that increased mass, such as on Venus does increase surface temp.

    • gbaikie says:

      – Roger Clague says:
      April 27, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      Spencer’s 10 skeptical arguments

      Of these 9 are criticisms of the GHG theory that I agree with.–

      Can I rephrase that, in that you feel confident the 9 are matters which are resolved, so they unnecessary and a distraction in regards to the “settled science”.

      “One is critical of a rival “compression” theory of the lapse rate. The criticisms are that the “compression” theory.”

      It seems there couple ways [or more] to look at this.
      One way is warm air rises and is cooled higher in atmosphere. And that most of Earth cooling occurs in thinner upper atmosphere.
      So Adiabatic compression is sort of like return air from an engine, an air conditioning machine in the sky.

      The second is the engine is at surface and troposphere is a flywheel that steadies the day time acceleration with night time coasting. As flywheel make engine run smoother, the day and night cycles are less hot and cool.

      • Curt says:

        Let me clarify my bicycle pump analogy. During the actual compression, the process is virtually adiabatic, because it is too fast for any noticeable energy loss to ambient. (gbaikie is just wrong on this. There is essentially no heat or mass transfer to the external environment during the compression, so it is adiabatic.)

        The weight force on the pump, multiplied by the distance over which it travels, is the energy added to the air inside the pump. This is converted to thermal energy of the air in the pump, so its temperature increases.

        But as I said, this is a one-shot deal. The high-pressure air inside the pump and tire is now hotter than ambient. Over the longer term, this is not adiabatic. While it will stay at high pressure, it will lose energy to ambient and its temperature will converge to ambient.

        Similarly, while the weight of the atmosphere maintains a pressure at the earth’s surface, it cannot, just by virtue of its weight, provide ongoing power to the earth’s surface (or if you choose to look at it another way, to reduce its power losses).

        Roger, you say: “Blankets and greenhouses warm but don’t provide extra power.” You have to be very careful when you use the verb “warm”. Imprecise language use can lead to all sorts of confusion. Blankets over people and glass greenhouses over spaces can lead to higher temperatures of what’s inside them when there is a separate power source. Most people look at these effects as reducing power losses.

        So putting a blanket over a hypothermic person (whose metabolism is already generating as much power as it is capable of) can increase the temperature of that person because his metabolism is generating thermal power, and the blanket reduces losses to a cold ambient. On the other hand, putting a blanket over a corpse cannot increase the temperature of the corpse, only reduce the rate at which its temperature converges to ambient.

        • gbaikie says:

          “Similarly, while the weight of the atmosphere maintains a pressure at the earth’s surface, it cannot, just by virtue of its weight, provide ongoing power to the earth’s surface (or if you choose to look at it another way, to reduce its power losses).”

          By virtue of weight it can’t, but by virtue of buoyancy it can.

          And by virtue of gases which is supported by it’s kinetic energy.

          Two different ways. One is like flying, other is like juggling. Both flying and juggling involves idea of delaying the return to the ground.

          The juggling one is like a car jam in 3 d, which require collision to stay up. Or bumper cars in the sky. And I would say it’s unlike buoyancy as one can have buoyancy in liquid, liquid is not kinetic molecules in motion, as is gas. And similar in that a boat uses no energy to float and gas molecule uses no energy to fly. The molecule must have energy [or at least molecules around it have to be moving] but I mean it would not use/consume energy to fly [as airplane does and a lighter than air helium balloon doesn't].
          Of course buoyancy in water or air like standing on the ground- or one could say the ground with it’s molecular structural strength holds up everything.

          And any time one takes 1 atm air at say 20 C and increase it to 60 psi, the temperature of air increases. And 60 psi at 20 C which is released to become 14.7 psi decreases in temperature.
          Or taking two containers of same volume with one empty [or 1 atm, rather absolute vacuum]] and one full with 60 psi, and one fills the empty with the full one [and thereby decrease the pressure in full one] will have net decrease in temperature, overall, one is decreasing the pressure of the 60 psi container. Or once warmed back up, both could be 30 psi.

          • Curt says:

            Nothing you suggest has any capability for providing power to the surface on an ongoing basis. Everything you mention is, at best, a one-shot effect. So nothing in the “compression” school of thought is remotely capable of offsetting the over 200 W/m2 imbalance between the earth’s surface losses and what the surface receives from the sun.

          • gbaikie says:

            **Curt says:
            April 28, 2014 at 10:44 PM

            Nothing you suggest has any capability for providing power to the surface on an ongoing basis. Everything you mention is, at best, a one-shot effect. So nothing in the “compression” school of thought is remotely capable of offsetting the over 200 W/m2 imbalance between the earth’s surface losses and what the surface receives from the sun.**

            Well I don’t believe adiabatic compression is major factor which is related why the world which only radiates about 240 watts per square meter has average temperature of about 15 C, though I do think it happens to be major factor in regards to Venus.

            So I think with Earth, it’s just one factor rather than the major factor.
            I also think it’s possible greenhouse could be one factor- but also not major factor.

            But since on the topic, I think the dominate factor has to do with Earth being warm or cold is because it is mostly covered with oceans.
            And why we have living for millions of year in ice box climate is because the average temperature of our oceans is around 3 C.
            Or in times when earth was much warmer than today, the world had an higher average ocean temperature.
            Warm ocean has warm world. Cold ocean has colder world.

            And CAGW of become very warm is just dumb, plus it’s not even related to science related to the understanding of Earth and it’s global climate. What’s related is what many climate change activists have said- “even if it’s not true, we doing the right thing”. So, obviously, nothing to do with science.

    • Curt says:

      The key problem with the compression theory is that it cannot supply power to the surface on an ongoing basis. It is at best a one-off effect.

      If you add weight to the handle of a bicycle tire pump, it will compress the air inside and cause it to increase temperature, but just once, during the compression action. It does not continue to add energy to that air, so as the air loses energy to ambient, its temperature will reduce.

      Similarly, the weight of the atmosphere cannot continue to add energy to the lower part of the atmosphere and the surface. Weight is a force, and for a force to transfer power, it must do so by creating motion, as force times velocity is power.

      Hydroelectric power is created by the weight (force) of water falling over a height. But the atmosphere has already fallen. While there are local updrafts and downdrafts, they must balance out globally.

      • gbaikie says:

        “The key problem with the compression theory is that it cannot supply power to the surface on an ongoing basis. It is at best a one-off effect.

        If you add weight to the handle of a bicycle tire pump, it will compress the air inside and cause it to increase temperature, but just once, during the compression action. It does not continue to add energy to that air, so as the air loses energy to ambient, its temperature will reduce.”

        But such pumping of tire is not Adiabatic. Wiki:
        “An adiabatic process is a process that occurs without the transfer of heat or matter between a system and its surroundings”
        So if pump a tire without adding heat, you are good.
        So put tire in pressure chamber at 60 psi. Open tire so fills
        to 60 psi. Remove bike from chamber. One then has adiabatically inflated the tires.

        When air packet rises it goes from high pressure to lower pressure and air becomes cooler as it has less volume.
        Or take a balloon up tall elevator, the gas does not gain or loss heat, but it will get bigger or smaller. And because the air is denser air or less dense, the air temperature will change- and will be same temperature as ambient air.

        The issue is 10 meter above ground will have warmer air, than 1000 meters above the ground.
        But as 10 meters gets cooler, so does 1000 meter. Or as 1000 meters get cooler so does 10 meter.
        Or if know the temperature at 10 meter one can know the temperature as 1000 meters- or have pretty good guess.

        So during day not only is the surface air warming, so is the air higher and during night as surface cools so does upper air.
        Or see lapse rate.

      • Roger Clague says:

        You say

        “The key problem with the compression theory is that it cannot supply power to the surface on an ongoing basis.”

        Does warming need extra power input? Blankets and greenhouses warm but don’t provide extra power.
        GHG energy budget theory does explains the GHE with extra power to the surface caused by back-radiation from CO2 in the atmosphere.

        Compression theory says gravity distributes the energy, it does not create it. More at the top less at the bottom.

        What does hydroelectric power tell us?

        Hydroelectric power is continuous because the sun continues to heat and evaporate water. Which rises, creating gravitational energy. Which is converted to motion then to electricity.
        The sun also continuously warms and inflates the atmosphere. Creating kinetic motion ( T ) and gravitational energy ( height )

        “But the atmosphere has already fallen”.

        Bit cloudy in UK today but definitely still there and doing its job of adding 90K to the tropopause temperature.

      • Curt says:

        (My reply to gbaikie and Roger ended up just above, not here.)

        • Roger Clague says:

          “Providing power to the surface”

          I do not use power flux, W/m2, assuming BB, in my analysis. My analysis does not take place at the surface.
          I use J and the 2nd Law of thermodynamics at all heights in the atmosphere.

          I do not use Kirchoff’s Laws and Stefan/Boltzmann Law and W/m2 because the surface and the atmospshere are not black bodies.
          It is the GHG theory that the problem of explaining the 333W/m2 back radiation from the atmosphere that is colder than the surface.

          “On an ongoing basis”

          The sun is continuously creating heat and gravitation energy in the atmosphere. When a photon hits a molecule of air, at any height.

          • Curt says:

            It is well understood that virtually all of the earth’s surface materials, solid and liquid have emissivities of about 0.95. So it is trivially easy to adjust the calculations from the blackbody emissivity of 1.0.

            “My analysis does not take place at the surface.” The laws of thermodynamics are universal. They must work for any control volume or control mass selected. If the 1st Law energy balance does not work for a control mass/volume using the earth’s surface, then the analysis is simply wrong.

            “I use … the 2nd Law…” The 2nd Law simply sets some outside limits on a process. It cannot do what 1st Law energy balance analysis does.

            “I do not use Kirchoff’s Laws and Stefan/Boltzmann Law and W/m2 because the surface and the atmospshere are not black bodies.” The whole point of Kirchoff’s Laws is to deal with non-blackbodies. Withe the emissivity term, SB applies to non-blackbodies as well.

            “It is the GHG theory that [has] the problem of explaining the 333W/m2 back radiation from the atmosphere that is colder than the surface.” The earth’s surface has about 0.95 absorptivity to these wavelengths. It has no way of knowing the temperature of the originating body, whether hotter or colder. (The only 2nd Law constraint is that the hotter body will radiate more than the colder body, so the resultant heat transfer is from hotter to colder.)

            “The sun is continuously creating heat and gravitation energy in the atmosphere.” The thermal energy from the sun is not nearly enough to maintain the existing temperatures of the earth’s surface if the earth’s surface were free to radiate directly to deep space. The amount of gravitational energy in the atmosphere is basically fixed. I repeat that you need an ongoing continual source of power to the earth’s surface that no “compression effects” can provide.

            All of this stuff can be analyzed using stuff learned in the first few weeks of an undergraduate engineering thermodynamics course.

          • Pat Obar says:

            It is the GHG theory that the problem of explaining the 333W/m2 back radiation from the atmosphere that is colder than the surface.

            “On an ongoing basis”

            The sun is continuously creating heat and gravitation energy in the atmosphere. When a photon hits a molecule of air, at any height.

            OK Your concept is really weird, but OK! Please explain why that same molecule of air at any any altitude and any temperature does “not” remain at equilibrium temperature and constant sensible heat by radiating exactly that same amount of “energy” via thermal electromagnetic radiation back out to cold space?

            What evidence do you have that all Solar irradiation absorbed by the atmosphere and surface is not exactly matched by the atmosphere radiating outward into four pi steradians of electromagnetic energy with little or no opposing radiance of cold space. All such radiative energy is produced by each atmospheric molecule at its exact radiating temperature. The summation of all is called radiative exitance, which exactly equals Solar radiative absorbtance.

            The whole concept of anthropogenic heat transfer “difference” is an intentional fraud! Gaea is getting real pissed, at your Climate Clown nonsense! beware!

  119. Isotopic mass balance finds an air CO2 lifetime (halflife) ~5 years, like many other studies with other methods. ~18% of air CO2 is exchanged annually in nature, almost 20 times more than added anthropogenically.

    If this is correct then this supports data which shows CO2 will always respond to temperature because the temperature if it cools will cause the GHG effect to lessen. In other words CO2 concentrations would go down due to a decline in the temperature eventually. 20 X greater then from man made sources.

    This would also explain why no matter how high CO2 concentrations have attained in the past they could never break a threshold level where the CO2 concentrations would lead the temperature.

    If everything else Dr. Spencer says is correct about CO2 (WHICH I BELIEVE IT IS) it will not matter if it can’t lead the temperature but is subject to it.

    • ren says:

      New studies of plant stomata add important information about natural CO2 variations in Earth’s atmosphere. Such studies show that natural variations in CO2 are more dramatic than we have been led to believe, and that CO2 levels which regularly rise past 300 ppm may be the norm– not the exception– during the last 11,000 years. Natural CO2 levels up to 340 ppm are suggested during this time, challenging claims that 300 ppm represents a CO2 threshold which is both “unprecedented” and un-natural in our recent climate history.
      In reality, the actual amount of human additions to CO2 over the past 250 years is more of an academic issue than a practical one, as the theory that human additions to atmospheric CO2 are the principle driver of Earth’s temperature changes, has not been proven. For example:
      The notion that CO2 drives temperature is disproved by the ice core record,which shows that temperatures rise first, then CO2 follows later.
      While CO2 has risen steadily over the last decade, global surface temperatures have not increased.
      Temperatures in the mid troposphere (5 km up), where signals of greenhouse warming should be strongest, have actually declined since 2000. According to greenhouse theory, this should not be happening if CO2 increases are the primary cause of global warming.
      http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/stomata.html#anchor152233

      • Salvatore and Ren, stomata data are based on local/regional CO2 levels over land where the leaves used for the stomata index data were grown. The average over the growing season is what influences the stomata density of the leaves over the next growing season. At any place over land, the CO2 levels may change with hundreds of ppmv over the course of a day, especially under inversion. The averages over land may be 40-50 or more ppmv above the “background” CO2 levels measured in 95% of the atmosphere. That is solved by calibrating the SI data with CO2 from ice cores, firn and direct measurements over the past century. But there is no guarantee that the local/regional bias didn’t change over the previous centuries by land use changes in the main wind direction. Or even the main wind direction may have changed over the centuries. Thus while the stomata have a much better resolution, their absolute CO2 levels should be taken with a grain of salt.

        Further, there is no technical reason why an increase of CO2 shouldn’t have a small influence on temperature. If both effects on each other are modest, there is no runaway effect and they can give a boost for both. The influence of temperature on CO2 levels over the past 800 kyears is about 8 ppmv/K and the calculated (based on measured absorption)influence of CO2 on temperature before feedbacks is 0.9 K/2xCO2. Both are modest…

  120. More examples of nature always trumping man. Which further makes the case for temperature leading CO2.

    All eruption add some CO2, but I think it would be somewhat unique eruption to emit as much CO2 as you talking about.

    Consider the one km cubic km of water is 1 billion tonnes.
    And largest eruptions since last big eruption were less than say 10 cubic km of ejecta. Last largest was Krakatoa, 1883, which exploded: “hurled an estimated 11 cubic miles (45 cubic km)”
    http://www.livescience.com/28186-krakatoa.html
    And biggest one since that time was Mount Pinatubo, wiki:
    “It ejected roughly 10,000,000,000 tonnes (1.1×10^10 short tons) or 10 km3 (2.4 cu mi) of magma, and 20,000,000 tonnes (22,000,000 short tons) SO2″
    So 10 cubic km of rock and everything- or 10 billions tons in total. And compared to tens of billion of tons-
    10,000,000,000 tonnes, one has 22,000,000 of SO2. in term of gases say less then 1/100th.
    And we have much larger ones early, but 1000 cubic km is fairly huge. So 1000 billion tons, and if was 1/100th of that being CO2, then it’s 10 billion tonnes, and world’s emission of fossil fuel is 35 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2012. So with Yellowstone super volcano which could eject more than 1000 cubic km of ejecta, it’s unlikely to cause as much CO2 emission as a year of burning fossil.

  121. Thank you.

    The existence of so many nuts on the critical side of the argument makes it easy for people on the other side to imagine that they are the defenders of truth and science and only fools or rogues can disagree.

    • gbaikie says:

      “The existence of so many nuts on the critical side of the argument makes it easy for people on the other side to imagine that they are the defenders of truth and science and only fools or rogues can disagree.”

      I think it would reinforce their idea that unclean masses ruin
      everything.

      But I think one is mistaken to assume that process of science is only done in quiet lofty halls with white coats and sterility.
      As it has been and will always be something with the appearance of bar scene brawl.

  122. Four areas that climate models do not take into account.

    1. THE INITIAL STATE OF THE CLIMATE: How far away /close to glacial if in interglacial and vice versa.

    2. SOLAR VARIABILITY :P rimary and Secondary effects from that solar variability.

    3. THE EARTH MAGNETIC FIELD STRENGHT: Which will compound or moderate solar variability.

    4. MILANKOVITCH CYCLES : Where earth is in relation to these cycles(tilt, eccentricity of orbit, precession) which will work in phase or out of phase with current solar variability trend.

    As long as these four items are excluded forget about coming up with any worth while climate forecast.

  123. And we have much larger ones early, but 1000 cubic km is fairly huge. So 1000 billion tons, and if was 1/100th of that being CO2, then it’s 10 billion tons, and world’s emission of fossil fuel is 35 billion tons of CO2 in 2012. So with Yellowstone super volcano which could eject more than 1000 cubic km of ejecta, it’s unlikely to cause as much CO2 emission as a year of burning fossil.

    The above proves my point even though he was trying to disprove my point, in that if only 4/100ths of the 1000 billion tons was CO2 it would be more then the 35 billion tons of CO2 emitted in 2012.

    • gbaikie says:

      ==The above proves my point even though he was trying to disprove my point, in that if only 4/100ths of the 1000 billion tons was CO2 it would be more then the 35 billion tons of CO2 emitted in 2012.==

      But the 35 tons in 2012 hasn’t affected global CO2 level much, nor will 10 years with 35 billion added each year have much effect upon global CO2 level. And certainly less actual effect upon local or global temperatures. Nor will it even have much global effect in terms of greening- which unlike temperature, the greening has definite a “fingerprint” in terms of it being unquestionable in regard to having have a detectable and measurable and predicable effect.

      But one could have eruption which within a year had 20/100ths of total amount erupted being CO2.
      It’s possible, but it has not happened in the time we have be actually measuring such things as CO2 emission of volcanoes.

      I don’t think we doing very good measurement of CO2 emission of recent eruptions globally.
      Or I think the measurements remain fairly crude, and sporadic, currently- but better than century ago- but 1 billion tonnes of CO2 in one spot over short period would not require careful monitoring and precise accurate measurement to detect.
      Even if stupid news reporter showed up in the area he/she could probably notice some effects from such large amount.

      So not particularly impressed with accuracy of global monitoring of volcanic CO2 emissions, as thousands occurring and most under a mile of water:
      “How many active volcanoes are there in the world?

      The answer to this common question depends upon use of the word “active.” At least 20 volcanoes will probably be erupting as you read these words (Italy’s Stromboli, for example, has been erupting for more than a thousand years); roughly 60 erupted each year through the 1990s; 154 in the full decade 1990-1999; about 550 have had historically documented eruptions; about 1300 (and perhaps more than 1500) have erupted in the Holocene (past 10,000 years); and some estimates of young seafloor volcanoes exceed a million.”
      http://www.volcano.si.edu/faq.cfm#q3

      Rough global estimates have been made and such estimate seem to me they could be low, or I would say total eruption or active volcanoes in terms of CO2 is almost in category: there are dragons out there.

      But the topic was a single eruption.

      And I would say we have no seem one which had a significant amount [in terms entire atmosphere quantity of CO2] erupting within a year or two period of time.
      And would say possible occurrence in long past seems almost a given, but I lack specific data of it.

  124. Smokey says:

    My biggest problem with #7 is the that the Vostok ice core cited by Dr. Spencer (Manfred Mudelsee; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0277-3791(00)00167-0) also shows that CO2 changes lag the observed temperature changes on the order of ~1.3ka, +/-1ka. That being the case, a truly GENUINE question based on that data (instead of the condescendingly snark-tastic straw man presented) might read something like “Where is(are) the event(s) ~1,300 years ago (+/-1,000 years) that could possibly have driven the current precipitous rate of CO2 rise we’ve seen over the last two centuries?”

    The answer then might be “Well, the quite-a-bit-warmer-than-today Roman Warm Period fits the timeframe, and the rate of temperature rise out of a uniquely cold period of human history back then seems also to have been particularly sharp… maybe whatever caused that warming was also the driver for the delayed mechanism releasing the CO2 we see in the air today (allowing that the warming, per se, may or may not have been the direct cause)?”

    I understand wanting to be clear that CO2 really is a GHG, and that there really is a so-called “GH” effect; NONE of what I write here is meant to contradict that. (Honest, I’m NOT being sarcastic.) However the paper above is not nearly alone in showing distinct evidence of temperatures leading CO2 levels (and on timescales hourly through millenial at that). Thus, Dr. Spencer may wish to re-do the approach to this particular point, especially since the current CO2 rise is almost as poorly correlated with human fossil fuel consumption rates as it is with current temperatures — it started at least half a century before the Industrial Revolution, and has not followed the curve of fossil fuel usage since that time.

    Or, for preference, perhaps he could address why all of those studies showing temps leading CO2 are misleading &/or incorrect; if they’re all of them wrong, then we need not reference them any longer, yes?

    • Smokey, the effect of temperature changes over the past pre-industrial 800,000 years from ice cores is 8 ppmv/K with a lag of ~800 +/- 600 years for the glacial-interglacial transition and several thousands of years for the opposite transition.

      Over shorter time frames, the MWP-LIA transition shows a drop of ~6 ppmv for a drop in temperature of ~0.8 K with a lag of ~50 years or again ~8 ppmv/K:
      http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/law_dome_1000yr.jpg

      The seasonal swings again are of the order of 5 ppmv/K and the interannual variation (largely driven by SST) also is 4-5 ppmv/K (but opposite in sign to the seasonal and long-term changes!)

      Thus one can expect some 6 ppmv CO2 increase from the current warming since the LIA, but the real increase is over 100 ppmv… In this case there is no “precedent” in nature over the past few million years where CO2 levels rised before temperature, which shows that the rise is not natural.

      If there is much effect of that rise, that is a different question. Based on the effect of a 40 ppmv drop at the end of the previous interglacial, the effect is minimal…

  125. geran says:

    Again, Dr. Spencer, I salute your willingness to debate issues like this.

    The science is NOT settled.

    Your patience with us “phony” scientists, is much appreciated. A REAL scientist can handle a scientific debate.

    Oh, yeah, there are many phonies out there.

    (Full disclaimer–I have no property on Venus, and I am not selling a book.)

  126. bob says:

    I thought Dr Spencer was joking about the negative, and sometimes crazy replies. Perhaps this blog serves a purpose of attracting the crazies like molasses attracts flies. We now know where to find them. I don’t Dr Spencer deserves all the stuff he gets in comments, though.

  127. Jim Steele says:

    THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A GLOBAL AVERAGE TEMPERATURE

    The argument that there is no average is silly and not worthy of a response, Anyone can average anything. THe question is how meaningful is that statistic.

    My concern is what does the average tells us. For the average to be useful it must be measuring the “same population”. But the global average is a chimera of different dynamics.
    For example when the winds changed due to the Arctic Oscillation, thick multiyear ice was removed. Temperatures rose, at least in part, because more heat was liberated from the ocean. Likewise El Ninos ventilate heat. Ventilated heat is causing a reduction in the strored energy but raises temperatures. Yet the rise in temperature is misconstrued as a warming that would result in more energy stored in the earth’s system.

    Additionally changes in the landscape alter the heat capacity and the skin temperature. Changing a forest land to a grassland or to a barren surface can raise temperatures 20 or more degrees with out any additional trapping or input of energy . The resulting rise in temperature is interpreted as a greater input and storage of heat, then erroneously attributed to CO2.

    Often we see rising minimum temperatures but declining maximum temperatures. Add the max and mn together and we get a warming trend despite a decline in maximum temperatures. The rising average would suggest warming and more stored energy. But the maximum would suggest less energy is being stored. Coincidentally most tree rings do not show the warming that the instrumental averaage does. Tree rings often correlate with the maximum and do not show warming exceeding the 40s in most places.

    • gbaikie says:

      The main selling feature of global warming is no one can be expected to do anything about.

      Or people were living on Mars, then it would be galactic warming.
      Or settling Mars would be dirt cheap, because we would not have government wasting tax dollar pretending it’s doing something about global warming, and having people living on Mars would be cheaper than decades of global warming nonsense.
      Also it would be bankrupt a country like Germany:

      “Had this been one of the small albeit growing number of German “sceptics” casting doubt upon the XXL-sized politico-economical scam that has cost the German populace more than € 500 billion since its inception in 2000, it would not have gotten more than a footnote in the local press, crammed somewhere in between “horoscope” and “lost and found”. In fact, the media actually tried to keep a lid on the facts by giving them as little coverage as possible.”

      I would say at minimum it cost Germany 500 billion pounds.
      But don’t expect the government or state supported media
      to look in detail at the actual costs.

      And US nation has probably spend some number over 1 trillion
      dollar “doing all kinds of things” trying solving this non problem- and that is US which did not signed Kyoto treaty and country that has lower CO2- no thanks to trillions spend not solving the non-problem.

      • gbaikie says:

        forgot link [and edit]
        Also it would *not* being bankrupting a country like Germany:

        “Had this been one of the small albeit growing number of German “sceptics” casting doubt upon the XXL-sized politico-economical scam that has cost the German populace more than € 500 billion since its inception in 2000, it would not have gotten more than a footnote in the local press, crammed somewhere in between “horoscope” and “lost and found”. In fact, the media actually tried to keep a lid on the facts by giving them as little coverage as possible.”
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/27/germanys-co2-and-energy-policy-about-to-falter/#more-108285

        “Energiewende”

  128. Roy Spencer,
    Consensus Climate Scientists have Consensus. They are wrong but they must all agree. If any disagree, they get kicked out of the clique and they maintain their 97%.

    On the Skeptic Side, we do not have Consensus. Some of us are most likely right and some of us, likely more of us, are most likely wrong. Some one or more of us will most likely be proven right. Since we do not agree with each other, one wrong Theory does not bring down, not mater who turns out to be right. Don’t ask Skeptics to come to Consensus. If we had to, we might, but it would not likely be the right other theory.

    You did not even mention my Polar Ice Cycle Theory. It snows more when oceans are warm and it snows less when oceans are cold and the CO2 is here to make green things grow better with less water. It cannot get too hot because open Polar Oceans cause too much snowfall.

    Who picks which Skeptic Theory is Right. You can slam the ones you think are wrong and you can promote the ones you think are right, but you may be wrong.

    Mother Nature is going to hand us the data and we can compare all the Theories and see which have more or less correlation with real data.

    If you believe a particular Theory is right or wrong, just say so, and say why, but don’t say it should be hid away.

    The Science is not settled and you cannot censor Theories or you may censor the Right Theory.

    • gbaikie says:

      “You did not even mention my Polar Ice Cycle Theory. It snows more when oceans are warm and it snows less when oceans are cold and the CO2 is here to make green things grow better with less water. It cannot get too hot because open Polar Oceans cause too much snowfall. ”

      I know. It’s pretty insulting, huh?

      In science we have never been required to have a
      consensus- requiring consensus is something totalitarian governments do.

  129. ren says:

    The whole discussion is in a situation where the influence of the solar magnetic field is weakening dramatically. Soon we will see how it affects the climate.
    http://www.climate4you.com/images/Ap-Index%20Since199001.gif

  130. Alick says:

    #3. Anyone have any idea what the absorption and emission rate of a single molecule of CO2 orbiting the Sun (no collisions) would/should be?

    ,or would it just keep absorbing energy until it blows itself apart into a single carbon atom and two oxygen atoms, and then those would keep abosorbing energy until they blow themselves apart?

    • gbaikie says:

      “#3. Anyone have any idea what the absorption and emission rate of a single molecule of CO2 orbiting the Sun (no collisions) would/should be?”

      I know some comet are out flowing swimming pools a water a second, I would also assume hourly coal plants exhausts of CO2 per second. Or there is a lot single CO2 molecules orbiting the Sun.

      One thing “special about CO2″ is it absorbs and emits a spectrum of light which part of black spectrum of low temperature things on earth- like the ground or IR radiate humans and other animals.
      The Sun also radiates in this particular spectrum that CO2 emit and absorbs, most of energy of sun is in visible and near infrared. Or in terms energy of the sun, the H20 molecule is a molecule which absorbing and emitting in the spectrum of the Sun’s wheelhouse.
      And it is said sunlight decomposes H2O, but perhaps only if it’s liquid rather than a gas.
      I would guess solar flares might result sweeping away gases in solar orbit. And CO2 and H2O so end up back out there whence the comets came from.

  131. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Poor Clausius his Mechanical Theory of Heat is misused and misinterpreted by Slayers to spread their pseudoscience. This is what Clausius said:

    “The principle may be more briefly expressed thus: Heat cannot by itself pass from a colder to a warmer body… In the first place, the principle implies that in the immediate interchange of heat between two bodies by conduction and RADIATION, the warmer body never receives MORE heat from the colder one than it IMPARTS to it.” (I capitalized the key words)

    1) So the 2nd law applies to radiation. Not only conduction. This is common knowledge except to Slayers.

    2) Why did Clausius say “MORE” heat? Why not “never receive heat?” Because the warm body can receive heat (by radiation too) from the colder body. The Slayers say this is impossible and insist Clausius said so.

    3) Colder body “IMPARTS” heat (by radiation too) to the warmer body. Slayers say this is a violation of the 2nd law. But Clausius himself, the founder of the 2nd law, said it is not.

    I do not hope to convince the Slayers but I hope other people will be skeptical when someone claims 2nd law violation and Clausius said so.

    • Nabil Swedan says:

      “Because the warm body can receive heat (by radiation too) from the colder body.”

      This is untrue in theory and in practice.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      @Dr. Strangelove “…the warmer body never receives MORE heat from the colder one than it IMPARTS to it…”

      You ask what Clausius meant by MORE. It seems to me, that in the case of radiation, you have atoms with a higher average kinetic energy radiating at a higher intensity level and a higher EM frequency level. If that IR is absorbed by atoms in the cooler body, it raises their KE and the body warms.

      Since it is cooler, the IR it radiates is less intense and at a lower frequency. It is impossible for the cooler body to transfer more heat to the warmer body because it would first have to reach the equilibrium stage where both bodies had the same temperature, in which case no heat would be transferred either way.

      If you read Clausius further, he makes it clear that heat operates in one direction only. He claims that you cannot reverse the process so that heat operates in the opposite direction.

      If you had a warmer substance in contact with a cooler substance, as in the case of a hot piece of metal immersed in a tub of cooler water, eventually the metal would cool and the water would warm until a state of equilibrium was reached.

      At t = 0, there would be a maximum heat transfer from the hot metal to the cooler water. As time passed, the metal would lose heat to the water and the water would warm. However, the water could never transfer enough heat to the metal to keep it at it’s initial temperature. Furthermore, as claimed in the AGW theory, the water could never heat the metal to a temperature higher than the temperature at t = 0.

      Suppose now the metal is an electrically-heated metal as in an electric kettle. Suppose further that we adjust the electric current so the water does not boil but just remains warm. The AGW theory is implying that heat is transferred from the water back to the heating element so as to raise it’s temperature.

      According to Clausius, that can’t happen. If the water reached the same temperature as the heating element, no heat would be exchanged and there is no mechanism in the water by which the water temperature could be increased beyond the temperature of the heated element.

      AGW advocates are claiming that back-radiation from anthropogenic CO2 can be added to solar energy to raise the surface temperature beyond what it is heated by solar energy. That’s the same as claiming the heat from the water heated by the electric element can raise the temperature of element by adding energy to the applied electrical energy.

      • David Cosserat says:

        Gordon Robertson says, May 3, 2014 at 12:08 AM: Suppose now the metal is an electrically-heated metal as in an electric kettle. Suppose further that we adjust the electric current so the water does not boil but just remains warm. The AGW theory is implying that heat is transferred from the water back to the heating element so as to raise it’s temperature.

        I would by now be a rich man if I had been paid a small sum each time I came across this completely erroneous assertion.

        Whether the AGW theory is right or wrong, it is much more sophisticated than that. Repeating the mantra that AGW theory requires heat to be transferred from colder to warmer bodies is a classic error by skeptics. It is just the kind of ignorant comment that gets skeptics (of whom I am one) a bad name.

        It is just such own-goals that has prompted Dr Spencer to publish his 10 bad skeptical arguments.

        Responsible AGW theorists would NOT claim that heat is transferred from a cooler to a warmer object in such circumstances, and, in particular, never from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer earth’s surface. Yours is simply a ‘straw man’ argument. You are in good company. It is repeated over and over in the blog trails, not least here.

        What is claimed by competent physicists is that, in the case of a constantly powered object that is at steady state temperature T (as in your warm kettle example, or as in the case of the earth’s surface), if extra insulation is added in the path of the balancing OUTGOING energy flow from the object, then energy flowing from the constant source of power P (electricity in the case of the kettle; or the Sun’s incoming rays in the case of the earth) will raise that power body’s temperature to a new steady state level T’ that is high enough to transfer exactly the same amount of power P as it was doing before against the increased resistance of the added insulation.

        The real scientific issues are (i) whether the warming effect due to adding atmospheric CO2 is measurable (which I doubt); and (ii) even if it is measurable, whether it is offset entirely by much stronger natural negative feedbacks which keep the earth’s atmosphere more-or-less constant at a natural set point (which I personally suspect is very much the case).

        The warming of a constantly powered object to a higher steady state temperature due to adding insulation is simple undergraduate physics. And admitting it is correct in theory will not turn you into a CAGW warmist. But NOT admitting it, and instead using the ‘colder-heats-warmer’ accusation again and again against CAGW protagonists is a wonderful case of shooting yourself in the foot and missing the real targets.

  132. Bryan says:

    Dr. Strangelove you are clutching at straws.

    Heat (as defined by Clausius) is capable of doing mechanical work.

    Give (even one) example of heat transfer to a hot body from a colder one doing mechanical work.
    Rhetorical question – …… you can’t!

    Even easier give an example from any thermodynamics textbook of heat transfer from a colder to a hotter body.
    Rhetorical question – …… you can’t!

    There is no debate in physics about heat transfer.

    Every physics textbook and physics department on the planet agree with Clausius that it always occurs spontaneously from a higher to a lower temperature body.

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      It is usually a Bad Idea to go to the first writings on a topic in science, especially in something as complex as thermodynamics. Sure, Clausius was a brilliant guy (as were Carnot and Boltzmann and … ), but the ideas have become more refined and more complete over the years.

      It is much wiser to start from modern descriptions of thermodynamics, where people have had 150 years to develop a fuller understanding.

      ***************************************************

      In the end, Bryan’s comment amounts to misplaced semantics.

      Yes, “heat” (the net transfer of energy due to temperature differences), always is from hot to cold.

      But “energy” can go either way. Individual collisions can transfer energy from a cold object to a hot object. Individual photons can transfer energy from a cold object to a hot object. The 2nd Law is a statistical law that say on average, the transfers from hot to cold outnumber the transfers from cold to hot, so that the net transfer is always in the “proper” direction”.

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        @Tim Folkerts “It is usually a Bad Idea to go to the first writings on a topic in science, especially in something as complex as thermodynamics. Sure, Clausius was a brilliant guy (as were Carnot and Boltzmann and … ), but the ideas have become more refined and more complete over the years”.

        Or more mathematically obfuscated to the point where everyone has lost contact with the basics. Richard Feynman said of quantum theory that it works but that no one knows why.

        IMHO, we went astray in physics in the early 20th century when we became focused on quantum theory. Sure, it explained a lot of things but in a convoluted, obfuscated, mathematical way that got lost in probability theory. Quantum theory cannot explain the reality we face it can only talk about it abstractly.

        On top of that it divided science. Schrodinger got out of theoretical physics altogether rather than bend to the quasi-physical world of Bohr. Far too many absurd claims have been made based on quantum math with no reality to back them.

        Even Planck was deeply bothered by the way he had to manipulate mathematical equations to arrive at the notion on energy quanta. He seriously doubted whether a physical reality existed that fit the equations he has derived.

        Einstein insisted that physics was about the reality we observe. Bohm went further and called equations with no reality to back them as garbage, and Einstein admired Bohm. They were friends.

        Einstein would not go as far as to accept Bohm’s theories on action at a distance, such as mysterious forces operating on electrons in such a manner that the electrons seemed to know about them. He referred to that as quantum potential. However, Bohm had another side to him in which he strived to understand reality subjectively.

        Thermodynamics has been seriously affected by the statistical processes used in quantum theory. It’s quite likely that the reality of heat has been lost in the math. Entropy, a word coined by Clausius, was in reference to very real properties of processes involving heat. To hear modern scientists talking about entropy you’d think it was a mysterious force upon which the universe depends.

        I prefer the clearer, reality-based approach of the older scientists. They described reality subjectively as well as mathematically. I realize it’s tough to describe atomic structure subjectively but we should be trying to do that rather than becoming lost in math that produces illusions like black holes, space-time curvature, and heat that can be transferred from cold bodies to warm bodies based on radiative transfer.

  133. ren says:

    Pay special attention to the wavelength range from about 14 to 18μm , which is the largest , blamed for causing the greenhouse effect , the extent of absorption of infrared radiation by carbon dioxide. From the results of this calculation that these frequencies are emitted by the body for very low temperatures from – 66oC to -112oC . That is exactly that absorbs CO2 in the atmosphere and then again gives at Earth radiation having energy such that the body emit a temperature of – 66oC to about – 112oC ( with the exception that the solids emit a wider frequency range and the particles CO2 , like elements emit only a specific area visualized in the spectrum of spectral and nothing more) . Is it possible that such energy , even repeatedly , and long circulating in the atmosphere could warm the Earth’s surface and it is so much that the average global temperature increases ? It is totally unbelievable.
    Imagine infrared illuminator , which would emit wavelengths from 14 to 18μm . ” Burner ” in which the heater would have previously mentioned a very low temperature. What would be the power of such a radiator ? Infrared is emitted here , because every body with a temperature above absolute zero emits infrared radiation , however, it will be of extremely feeble force that can not in any significant way to raise the temperature. If, in ideal conditions, the body of a non-zero temperature convey the entire infrared radiated by them to another body , it could cause in this way increase its temperature at most to the level of its own temperature . In practice, however, has never been so happens because of the scattering of radiation, so the body irradiated reaches a lower temperature than the source of the infrared emission .
    http://oi59.tinypic.com/106c408.jpg

  134. lewis says:

    A comment toward your goal.
    Is there global warming? Yes, sometimes. I especially like it in the spring when it causes the flowers to bloom. I don’t like it when it comes early, the flowers and trees bud out, and then it gets cold again.

    Beyond that, I hope there is some global warming. Enough of winter already.

  135. It is way past time to put CO2 behind us and learn more about the real temperature regulation process.

    Climate is complicated, but the basic temperature regulation is simple. Look at the actual data. Can you come up with a way to regulate temperature in the narrow range it has been in for eleven thousand years that is complicated? No, it snows more when the temperature is above the set point and it snows less when temperature is below the set point. The set point is the temperature that polar sea ice melts and freezes. Temperature is regulated in tight bounds now. We have polar ice cycles now. Temperature did have wider bounds before Polar ice cycles developed. This part of temperature regulation really is this simple.

    They need chaos and complication to get a lot of money, but that is not how it is.

    Look at actual data. There is a Set Point and strict regulation to keep temperature bound around the set point. The temperature that polar sea water freezes and thaws is the only reasonable set point. Orbit parameters and solar cycles and everything else you can come up with has no way to establish a set point with proper feedback that always works to enforce the same tight temperature bounds for the past eleven thousand years. THIS REALLY IS SIMPLE! THIS REALLY IS NOT AS HARD AS ROCKET SCIENCE. When the oceans are warm and the sea ice is thawed, it snows as long and as much as necessary to establish the cooling phase. When the oceans are cold and the polar waters are frozen, it stops snowing as long as necessary to establish the warming phase. These Warm and Cool periods ALWAYS FOLLOW EACH OTHER. There is no other forcing that could or would ALWAYS WORK AROUND A SET POINT WITH TIGHT BOUNDS LIKE THIS FOR ELEVEN THOUSAND YEARS.

    More CO2 will make green things grow better and make better use of precious water, but it cannot force us out of this extremely consistent, stable temperature cycle that is regulated by Polar Ice Cycles.

  136. Zdzislaw Meglicki says:

    Wow, talk about stirring ants’ nest…

    Anyhow, I’d like to mention Venus, which is often quoted in this context as an example of a “greenhouse” effect, etc. It’s a bad example. Venus is really very different from Earth. For starters, the planet is nearly locked. It rotates extremely slowly and it rotates in the … wrong direction! Its atmosphere is way thicker than that of Earth. The barometric formula alone reproduces most of its features (note that radiative transfer effects are already encapsulated in specific heats). It is covered with a thick, optically impenetrable layer of white sulfuric acid clouds–visible radiation does not make it to its surface. It has no Moon. There is no plate tectonics on Venus, so it suffers massive crust subduction events at some intervals instead. And, of course, it’s much closer to the sun.

    In other words, it’s such a different world, any comparisons with Earth are completely misplaced.

    • pochas says:

      The convective cells in the Venus atmosphere are visible in some photographs. Even though the sun heats the top of the atmosphere as opposed to the surface as on earth, convection is present. At the poles the atmosphere radiates to space, cools, sinks and is heated and compressed as it does so, returns along the surface to the equator and moves upward into the heating zone at the top of the atmosphere. On Venus as on earth, the lapse rate is established by convection and controls the temperature profile. I know you deal exclusively with radiation in your work with satellites, Dr Spencer, but climate involves thermodynamics as well.

      • Konrad says:

        Somebody gets it!

        Even though Venus reflects more sunlight than earth and only ~10% of absorbed sunlight reaches the surface, surface temperatures on Venus have nothing to do with a radiative GHE.

        Sunlight is absorbed well above the surface on Venus. Convective circulation is established by radiative cooling to space and radiative subsidence. Adiabatic compression on descent results in the high surface temperatures.

        Take the mid atmosphere temperature of an air mass on Venus set by solar absorption. Compress that air mass to Venus surface pressure. What do you get? Venus surface temperature…not hard. (except for climastrologists)

        • Except that you don’t need radiative gases to create a convective circulation, just uneven surface heating causing density variations in the horizontal plane.

          In the absence of radiative capability in the atmosphere exactly as much energy comes down in adiabatic compression as goes up in adiabatic decompression and all the radiating occurs from the surface.

          The more radiative an atmosphere becomes the more radiation is emitted to space from the atmosphere, the less goes to space from the surface and the slower the convective overturning can be.

          A radiative atmosphere allows energy to leak out to space from the atmospheric adiabatic exchange with the surface without it needing to be returned to the surface first.

          GHGs just alter the proportion of emission to space from the atmosphere relative to emission to space from the surface leaving the system in continuing balance.

          • Konrad says:

            Stephen,
            you keep insisting that strong vertical tropospheric convective circulation can be driven by conductive heating and cooling at disparate surface location. Where is the supporting empirical evidence of this?

            My gas column experiments have consistently shown two things -

            1. The surface is poor at conductively cooling the atmosphere.

            2. Heating low down and cooling high up results in strong vertical circulation and lower average temperatures. Heating and cooling at disparate surface locations results in stalled circulation and higher average gas temperatures.

            Why do you hate radiative subsidence so much? Radiative subsidence is what disproves AGW. Increased radiative gasses cause increased LWIR emission from the upper troposphere, increased radiative subsidence and increased speed of convective circulation, the primary energy transport away from the surface. What’s not to love?

            Stop being so radiation phobic Stephen ;-)

  137. “note that radiative transfer effects are already encapsulated in specific heats”

    Interesting.

    What happens thermodynamically if the specific heat of a molecule changes ?

    • Zdzislaw Meglicki says:

      About radiative transfer effects encapsulated in specific heats… also in thermal conduction coefficients.

      This, note, is a phenomenological description of the system. From basic statistical mechanics, you can try to derive the values of the coefficients. If you start from classical mechanics, it works well, but not at all temperatures. The problem with specific heats, for example, manifested, in its day, the need for quantum mechanics.

      The resulting coefficients are functions of various parameters, e.g., of temperature, pressure and so on, which introduces non-linear effects in the phenomenological description. This, again, reflects varying thermal properties of the gas, which may correspond to how its molecules behave, collectively, in thermal radiation bath at various temperatures.

      Eventually, you may find that the gas description in terms of its specific heats and conduction coefficients is not accurate enough for your needs, and you may choose to, e.g., treat the photon gas and the material gas (e.g., air) separately and consider the mixture of the two.

  138. Bart says:

    “The rate of rise in atmospheric CO2 is currently 2 ppm/yr, a rate which is 100 times as fast as any time in the 300,000 year Vostok ice core record.”

    Salby explained this.

    “And we know our consumption of fossil fuels is emitting CO2 200 times as fast! So, where is the 100x as fast rise in today’s temperature causing this CO2 rise?”

    It’s not a proportionality. It is an integral relationship. This match is completely inconsistent with the hypothesis that atmospheric CO2 concentration is being driven by human inputs.

  139. John G says:

    Dr. Spencer, thanks for your commitment to the scientific process. One thing I have questioned is the ascertion that CO2 can re-radiate energy back towards the earth’s surface. I would like to get your thoughts about how the energy is re-radiated. Thanks

    • RW says:

      That’s an easy one. The probability of radiant emission in the atmosphere on a photonic level is 50/50 up or down. Thus, the atmosphere will re-radiate some of the increased GHG absorption back downward toward the surface.

    • gallopingcamel says:

      While RW is right, not all the thermal IR energy absorbed by CO2 is given up in the form of radiation.

      When the local atmospheric pressure exceeds 0.1 bar collision broadening increases the ability of CO2 to absorb radiant energy. If you think that would make radiative transfer dominant at high pressures you would be wrong.

      While collision broadening increases the ability of CO2 to absorb energy the same collisions provide a means to transfer the absorbed energy to the “chief mass of the air” (to use a phrase from Arrhenius’ 1896 paper). The result is that convection usually dominates in the lower atmosphere (troposphere). When you look at the time constants involved it is evident that collisions occur on much shorter timescales than the CO2 molecule needs to radiate a photon (when the pressure is high).

      As a result tropospheres are characterized by DALR = -g/Cp. The derivation of this equation was taught in high schools more than fifty years ago.

      Recently, Robinson & Catling wrote a letter in “Nature” that explains this much better than I can:
      http://astrobites.org/2013/12/31/unifying-planetary-atmospheres/

      I see the R&C work as a major advance in our understanding of the processes by which planetary atmospheres raise surface temperatures (aka the Greenhouse Effect).

  140. Sigmundb says:

    I think you should withdraw several of your statements as a majority of the posters disagree with them. Or does it have to reach a 97% majority before you admit your science obviously is wrong?
    (My contribution to reaching 1000 posts)

  141. Bryan says:

    Tim Folkerts says:

    Yes, “heat” (the net transfer of energy due to temperature differences), always is from hot to cold.

    But “energy” can go either way. Individual collisions can transfer energy from a cold object to a hot object. Individual photons can transfer energy from a cold object to a hot object. The 2nd Law is a statistical law that say on average, the transfers from hot to cold outnumber the transfers from cold to hot, so that the net transfer is always in the “proper” direction”.

    Tim why do you make a habit of stating the bleedin obviuous as if it had jusxt occurwed to you alone?

    You made the same mistake over at Tallblokes where we last met.
    On this point we have no disagreement!!!!!!

    Make a note of my name and stop pointles posts.
    The spontaneous transfer of energy between hotter and colder objects is a two way process.
    The spontaneous transfer of heat between hotter and colder objects(hotter to colder) is a one way process.
    Always as Clausuius saYS FROM HOTTER TO COLDER.

    “Tim Folkerts says:

    In the end, Bryan’s comment amounts to misplaced semantics.

    Yes, “heat” (the net transfer of energy due to temperature differences), always is from hot to cold.

    But “energy” can go either way. Individual collisions can transfer energy from a cold object to a hot object. Individual photons can transfer energy from a cold object to a hot object. The 2nd Law is a statistical law that say on average, the transfers from hot to cold outnumber the transfers from cold to hot, so that the net transfer is always in the “proper” direction”.

    Tim why do you make a habit of stating the bleeding obvious as if it had just occurred to you alone?

    You made the same mistake over at Tallblokes where we last met.

    On this point we have no disagreement!!!!!!

    Make a note of my name and stop pointless posts ON THIS ASPECT.
    The spontaneous transfer of energy between hotter and colder objects is a two way process.

    The spontaneous transfer of heat between hotter and colder objects (hotter to colder) is a one way process.

    Always as Clausius says FROM HOTTER TO COLDER.

    • Bryan says:

      First copy and corrections posted together ………..sorry!

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      Bryan asks:
      “Tim why do you make a habit of stating the bleeding obvious as if it had just occurred to you alone?”

      Two reasons.
      1) The distinctions between “heat flow” and “individual one-way energy flows” and “net two-way energy flows” are NOT “bleeding obvious” to everyone (including several in this discussion.

      2) If your interpretation is the same as mine on this, I don’t understand your original objection. Dr Strangelove was arguing that energy flows both ways, but the net flow is always from hot to cold. You seem to call that “grasping at straws” yet you now seem to agree with the same conclusion. Now, I will grant you that Sr Strangelove did couch the argument in the words of Clausius, who talked of “heat” flowing both ways. It sounds like if anything, you have a beef with Clausius himself, not Dr Strangelove.

      • Bryan says:

        Dr Strangelove says

        ” Colder body “IMPARTS” heat (by radiation too) to the warmer body. Slayers say this is a violation of the 2nd law. But Clausius himself, the founder of the 2nd law, said it is not.”

        Yet he quotes Clausius as also saying

        “The principle may be more briefly expressed thus: Heat cannot by itself pass from a colder to a warmer body.

        The second statement is the one that is found in textbooks
        and flatly contradicts the first.

        No person with any education in physics would claim that heat is transferred spontaneously from a colder to a hotter body.

        Yet many advocates of the greenhouse theory state that this is required for the greenhouse theory.
        Diagrams have been produced with heat labeled showing transfer from colder atmosphere to warmer Earth surface.

        More advanced advocates of the theory agree that heat transfer is a one way process always spontaneously from hotter to colder.

        Why is it that some greenhouse theory advocates find great problems with the technical language of thermodynamics?

        Can it be that they realize without distorting the meaning of HEAT that the theory is incomplete?

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          Unfortunately, the word “heat” has many different meanings in different contexts. Even scientists will use the word with different meanings. In strict modern thermodynamic use, heat (Q) would be the process of transferring energy from one place to another, and it would be the NET transfer. (Colloquially, “heat” can also be used for the “internal thermal energy (U) or for the transfers each way, or even for “temperature”.)

          Even you seem to be misusing and/or misunderstanding when you say
          “No person with any education in physics would claim that heat is transferred spontaneously from a colder to a hotter body.

          Yet many advocates of the greenhouse theory state that this is required for the greenhouse theory.”

          Advocates of the green house theory (at least those with a good understanding of physics) would never claim that ‘heat goes from cold to hot’; this is NOT a requirement for the greenhouse theory! They would claim that energy goes from could to hot, but that MORE energy goes from hot to cold, so the net energy (ie heat) is always from hot to cold. The warmer the atmosphere, the less heat goes from the surface to the atmosphere, leaving more energy behind to help warm the surface (in conjunction with the sunlight of course).

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @Tim Folkerts “In strict modern thermodynamic use, heat (Q) would be the process of transferring energy from one place to another, and it would be the NET transfer”.

            No, Tim, that’s your definition and concept. Clausius does not mention net transfer at any time in his treatise on heat. Net transfer refers only to IR, it has nothing to do with heat.

            You are still confusing infrared energy, which is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, with heat. IR applies only to radiative transfer. Heat can be transferred along a copper rod by heating one end with a torch. What energy are you talking about then?

            It’s obvious that heat is related to the average kinetic energy in a substance. If you read Clausius he says as much, but he takes it further. He talks about work being done at an atomic level when a substance is heated.

            He also points out that you don’t need to work with internal energies since you can measure the work done externally and arrive at the heat content. In conventional thermodynamics they are only concerned with external processes.

            As the average KE of atoms increases in the substance, the atoms vibrate harder, even if they are bound in a solid. That motion represents work internally. Since heat and work are interchangeable that means the internal work due to an increased KE is heat. In other words, the change in internal energy, temperature, and heat are one and the same.

            The human mind has ways of inventing concepts then forgetting it invented the concept. Temperature is a human invention but heat is a phenomenon of nature. Temperature is a human scale imposed on nature.

            When you transfer heat from a warmer body to a cooler body, what are you doing? You are raising the temperature of the cooler body which is a proxy for the raised KE in the cooler body.

            There is no other way to describe heat. It is intertwined with temperature and the average kinetic energy of a substance and the human mind has confused that relationship.

  142. David L. Hagen says:

    Roy
    Thanks for your efforts to clarify relevant science.
    Ice core CO2 concentrations
    Re. #7 suggest clarifying: “The rate of rise in atmospheric CO2 is currently 2 ppm/yr, a rate which is 100 times as fast as any time in the 300,000 year Vostok ice core record”

    Murry Salby finds the conventional models underestimate CO2 in ice by ~ 10x by not properly including diffusivity etc.

    See full Presentation Prof. Murry Salby in Hamburg on 18 April 2013

    On Anthropogenic vs Natural CO2
    Excerpts from Salby’s Slide Show

    anthropogenic CO2 emissions of order 5 Gte yr–1 are two orders of magnitude smaller than natural sources and sinks of order 150 5 Gte yr–1. . . .
    The annual net emission or CO2 increment, a small residual between emissions and absorptions from all sources which averages 1.5 µatm, varies with emission and absorption, sometimes rising >100% against the mean trend, sometimes falling close to zero. Variation in human emission, at only 1 or 2% a year, is thus uncorrelated with changes in net emission, which are independent of it . . .
    Our emissions are not the main driver of temperature change. It is the other way about.

    Professor Salby’s opponents say net annual CO2 growth now at ~2 μatm yr–1 is about half of manmade emissions that should have added 4 μatm yr–1 to the air, so that natural sinks must be outweighing natural sources at present, albeit only by 2 μatm yr–1, or little more than 1% of the 150 μatm yr–1 natural CO2 exchanges in the system.

    However, Fourier analysis over all sufficiently data-resolved timescales ≥2 years shows that the large variability in the annual net CO2 emission from all sources is heavily dependent upon the time-integral of absolute global mean surface temperature. CO2 concentration change is largely a consequence, not a cause, of natural temperature change

    Josh provides a visual summary

    • David, Dr. Salby is completely wrong about the diffusion of CO2 in ice cores. He calculates the diffusion to prove his theory, but that has not any physical basis. If he was right, then the underestimation of CO2 levels after 100 kyears is a factor 10, after 2x 100 kyears a factor 100 etc… But what we see is that there is a rather fixed ratio between temperature proxies (dD, d18O) and Co2 levels over all 8 glacial/interglacial cycles. If there was real migration, the ratio would vanish over time. Or the CO2 levels would have increased with a factor 10 each 100 kyr back in the past, thus 10^8 higher 800 kyr ago than today.

      Moreover, 90% of the time we are in a glacial period. If the interglacial was at 3000 ppmv, that had to spread over the 90% glacial time, which shows ~200 ppmv. Because migration only makes a broader spread, but doesn’t change the average over the full period, that means that the real CO2 level during the glacial period was minus 100 ppmv, good to kill near all life on earth…

      The time integral part simply is true because one can match any linear trend with another linear trend by an offset and a factor. The match in variability between CO2 and temperature is real, but has nothing to do with the trend…

  143. Gunga Din says:

    9. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A GLOBAL AVERAGE TEMPERATURE

    ===================================================
    My main problem with this is, an average of what?
    I know satellites are probably the best truly global “thermometer” we have but they have limits. Can a ground station’s results be checked via satellite?
    Why haven’t they found the heat hiding in the oceans or flowerbeds? (Sorry. Attempt at humor.)
    I think the “global” part of “global average temperature” needs to be defined before it can be said there is or isn’t one.
    Respects.

    • Bart says:

      Moreover, what does the average of an intensive variable, over regions with widely varying heat capacities, really signify? Not retained energy.

      Furthermore, if one is trying to average thermal emissions to space, shouldn’t one really be using a weighted average based on local emissivities?

  144. Hunter Stanco says:

    Roy,

    I am not a scientist, but I read your blog regularly. I read it for two reasons. First, in my opinion, your right and it’s obvious to anyone with half a brain. You have distilled the issue down to forcing and feedback, and while I cannot pretend to understand all the physics, as a CFA charterholder and economics major, I have seen enough pricing systems held in equilibrium through chaotic push-pull negative feedbacks to understand the situation you describe. In fact, I would argue that most stable systems are held in check by competing chaotic mechanisms. The simplest way I would phrase it would be “if feedbacks in climate were positive, the system wouldn’t be anywhere near as stable as its been though history.” Duh.

    The second reason I read your blog is because you routinely post really interesting stuff — like how to heat my pool with black rubber tubing and what ice looks like falling off a radio tower.

    I have a suggestion that I think would be helpful for you. You should mail out copies of Jame Gleick’s “Chaos” to everyone that argues with you BEFORE you talk to them. It’s a wonderful read that really helps lay people — and let’s face it most scientists and engineers are worse than lay people when it comes to non-linear systems held in equilibrium by oppositional chaos. In fact, observationally, I will tell you that engineers and scientists are the worst investors ever precisely for this reason. Anyway, I think it might really help people who keep hearing you say “forcing vs. feedback” ad nauseam, but can’t understand it. A really good friend of mine likes to say “I can explain it to you, but I can’t make you understand it.” You have that problem a lot and I think Gleick’s book might help.

    Just a thought. Keep up the good work and hang in there. You’re a regular modern day Copernicus in the age of the internet — which just means they can hate you faster and with less effort.

    Thanks for everything you do and good luck.

  145. Espen says:

    I don’t know if you have time to read any more comments, dr. Spencer, but as many other commenters here, I only have a problem with one item in the otherwise nicely put together list: Average temperatures.

    My problem with global average temperature is: If (say) 100 square kilometers of Arctic Desert is heated +1 K from -21 C to -20 C, doesn’t that correspond to a much smaller additional amount of energy stored in the atmosphere than if 100 square kilometers of moist tropical forest is heated +1 K from +30 C to +31 C? So.. if we are in a situation where the tropics are cooling while the Arctic is warming, couldn’t the global average temperature rise while the enthalpy of the atmosphere is actually sinking?

    (Sorry if I use wrong or confusing terms here, I’m a mathematician but my thermodynamics knowledge is limited to what I learned in high school).

    • Bart says:

      “So.. if we are in a situation where the tropics are cooling while the Arctic is warming, couldn’t the global average temperature rise while the enthalpy of the atmosphere is actually sinking?”

      Yes.

  146. ray says:

    “…energy stored…”

    Two possible ideas confused together.

    (1)Different bodies may have diferent specific heat capacities, beacause of their constitution. So that a 1 Degree K rise in a kilogram of one will require more or less heat addition than a kilogram of another. I doubt that a kilogram of air in different parts of the globe differs much from a kilogram of air elsewhere.

    (2) The absolute scale of temperature IS designed so that, for a definite body, a rise from 252 K (i.e. -21 C) to 254 K (i.e. -20 C) DOES involve (apart from phase changes and the like) exactly the same increase in contained heat as a rise from 303 K (i.e. 30 C) to 304 K (i.e. 31 C). This is true even if not all internal energy is translational molecular energy (i.e. “heat”). It is generally assumed that for any given body total internal energy bears a constant ratio to translational energy.

    A different – non-technical – point is the following.

    (3) A rise in temperature at one point of the globe at one season might have a completely different significance from a similar rise at another point and time. For example if “a
    global rise” simply meant ALL winter temperatures were 2 C higher than used to be the case while ALL summer temperatures were 1 C lower – then that might be a good thing for humans who live in a place that is uncomfortably cold in winter and / or uncomfortably warm in summer.

    • Bart says:

      “I doubt that a kilogram of air in different parts of the globe differs much from a kilogram of air elsewhere.”

      Pas du tout. The heat capacity of moist air is very different from dry air.

      • ray says:

        “The heat capacity of moist air is very different from dry air”

        Not when I was talking about specific heat capacity. The ENTHALPY is different; that is because it includes the heat of evaporation necessary to CHANGE the composition of the air by adding say 2% of H20 vapour. The sensible heat required to increase the temperature of one kilogram of atmosphere by 1 degree K* is virtually the same (within quite wide limits of temperature) whether it includes a little (constant) water vapour in its makeup or not. And I understood “espen” to be thinking about that sensible heat – actually, probably getting a bit confused about sensible and latent heat. I did say “allowing for phase changes and the like,” because, obviously, they can be very important.

        * The specific heat capacity.

  147. ray says:

    Of course, the absolute approach to temperature was developed for a “perfect gas”. So, like most things in physics, one is starting with rather ideal concepts, which have to be tailored to practicalities.

  148. ren says:

    Satellite clearly shows that the water and water vapor (no clouds) absorbs most solar energy. Water vapor in the troposphere is capable give back energy at night.
    http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/atmosphere/radbud/gs19_prd.gif

  149. It is pitiful in the face of the sensible argument and data to support this sensible argument that Dr. Spencer presents on GHG and their role in the climate that so many are trying so hard to look for alternatives.

    All alternatives I have read are in a word useless and make NO sense.

    My only question which is paramount is does temperature ALWAYS lead CO2 as evidence thus far shows? This is the million dollar question.

    • Jeff says:

      Here is the reasoning behind my belief that temperature would always lead co2 (in at least as far as the historical record).

      The often used graphs aligning rises in temp & co2 are missing a third correlating element. If you line up the rises and falls you will see they follow the Milankovitch cycles as well. Considering that this pattern has held true over at least a half dozen cycles, I believe we have 3 things to try to determine cause and effect. This actually makes it easier in that we have no reason to believe earths temp or co2 levels could cause a change in its orbit so Milankovitch cycles comes first. Then what is the natural thing to follow in cause and effect as the earth gets closer and farther from the sun? temp or co2? If ones argues co2, what would be the mechanism (without temp change) to override the choice that most people would feel is obvious? I have not come up with one so that makes Temp #2 and leaves co2 change last.

      I know there may be feed backs to complicate the issue, but in my option this seals it as far as what are the triggering mechanisms in the cause and effects.

      Please let me know if there is a flaw in my logic (with sincerity).

      • Don says:

        Jeff,
        Be cautious in “lining up Temp with CO2 and Milkanovitch cycles” based on polar ice cores. Most Temp is determined from 18O/16O and measures Temp of the source of that water and fractionation effects (from prior rain, snow, etc) from the source to the core location. CO2 is measured in gas bubbles trapped in the ice, and it is not quantitatively retained in the core until then. Thus the TIME of CO2 retention often lags the TIME of Temp measurement, by up to hundreds of years in ice cores. Temp determined by isotopic fractionation of N2 and Ar in the same air bubbles as CO2 do have the same TIME, but such data are rare.

        • Jeff says:

          I can easily accept that given the resoultion of the data from thousands of years ago, along with my acceptance of the lack of knowlege regarding that data set, are such that I would not try to make a determination of cause and effect based solely on the data. However, my point was more based on an exercise in logic as opposed to the examination of the data in fine detail.

          Regardless, let me clarify some things first to avoid certain assumptions (which are clearly understandable). I accept all points except #7 (and that with a caveat). That means I do accept green house gases warm the atmosphere and, therefore, co2 causes warming. However, I also believe that a temp increase also increases co2. So for me the debate is how much (in the historical record) is it temp causing co2 or visa versa and what is the triggering mechanism (i.e. what is probably dominant) Also, this does not mean that man can not suddenly throw a new source of co2 into the mix and, therefore, the majority of the recent rapid rise in co2 can be due to man. So, the caveat is that to use #7 to argue that all the recent rise of co2 is because of a natural temperature rise is bad. However, to argue #7 to point out that the past correlations between co2 & temp is not “proof” of GW, expecially its magnitude, is good. Thank you for your patience if you are still here.

          This is why I am interested in this point. From what I read in the IPCC report, the climate sensitivity in the models are set by plugging in values so the results match the historical data. If they do this to with the assumption that ALL the warming was caused by the measured increases in co2 (correct me if I’m wrong on this as it makes everything else moot), the resulting sensitivity would be all off. Even if the temp driving co2 contribution is not dominant, it could still have a major influence. As such it would be an important topic to discuss and should not be dismissed with the other more problematic arguements.

    • Don says:

      Salvatore,
      Some work hard to understand a new concept. Others work hard not to understand it.

      As for your $1,000,000 question, see my comment below to Jeff.
      Temp did most likely lead CO2 in the Pleistocene ice ages, and the Eemian maximum does show this. That does not rule out more CO2 being released by the warming and contributing via GHW to the Temp rise.
      Deep geologic time saw both very high CO2 and high Temp, at a time when the Sun was less active and had a lower irradiance. It seems hard to explain this without some CO2 warming of the atmosphere.

  150. One of the more significant aspects of the above discussion, which was demonstrated theoretically back in the mid-1960s by Manabe and Strickler, is that the cooling effects of weather short-circuit at least 50% of the greenhouse effect’s warming of the surface. In other words, without surface evaporation and convective heat loss, the Earth’s surface would be about 70 deg. C warmer, rather than 33 deg. C warmer, than simple solar absorption by the surface would suggest.

    Is it possible for the following: As the GHG effect increases, the lapse rate increases in response to the GHG effect and reaches some critical value or values which then promotes more convection/surface evaporation which in turn compensates or more then compensates for the GHG effect.

    The GHG effect /convection- evaporation connection produces a constant negative feedback situation? Have you thought about that?

    That is what I think. GHG EFFECT/CONVECTION-EVAPORATION NEGATIVE FEEDBACK . THEY CANCEL ONE ANOTHER OUT.

  151. Salvatore,

    I have been saying for some time that convective changes in the form of global air circulation adjustments exert an equal and opposite system response to the thermal effects of radiative gases.

    In so far as radiative gases seek to slow down energy loss to space the convective changes speed it up again to an equal extent.

    Most of my contributions here and elsewhere seek to provide greater detail on the mechanics of that process.

    Convection will always tend to pull the actual lapse rates back to the ‘ideal’ lapse rate set by mass and gravity. If it were to fail for any length of time the atmosphere would be lost.

  152. Kristian says:

    Skeptical Arguments that Don’t Hold Water
    April 25th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

    1. THERE IS NO GREENHOUSE EFFECT.

    There surely is an ‘atmospheric surface warming effect’. That doesn’t mean there is a ‘radiative atmospheric
    surface warming effect’. The main reason behind the ‘atmospheric surface warming effect’ lies in the simple fact that an atmosphere is capable of being warmed by the surface (and by the sun directly) and establish a less-than-vertical (max) temperature gradient away from the solar-heated surface. Space can’t. Therefore energy coming IN from the sun will have a harder time going OUT from the surface again (mainly through convective processes) at equal temperature. On top of this, the atmospheric weight on the surface (expressed by atmospheric pressure) suppresses free convection/evaporation – the heavier the atmosphere, the slower the escape of energy away from the surface through these mechanisms … AT EQUAL TEMPERATURE.

    Radiatively active gases in the atmosphere (like H2O, CO2 and CH4) don’t enable the atmosphere to WARM. It would with or without their presence or radiative properties, through OTHER heat transfer mechanisms than the radiative one (conduction/convection/evaporation). They do, however, enable it to adequately COOL to space. Because in that case, there is no other available mechanism than the radiative. So an atmosphere without so-called ‘GHGs’ would warm from the surface but not cool to space. Hence end up warmer than ours, forcing also the surface to become warmer than ours (temp gradients).

    2. THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT VIOLATES THE 2ND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS.

    The traditional (IPCC) explanation for the ‘atmospheric radiative GHE’ (the ‘heating by back radiation’ one) does indeed violate, not just the 2nd, but also the 1st Law of Thermodynamics. Anyone with just a little bit of training in thermodynamics sees this at first glance.

    4. CO2 COOLS, NOT WARMS, THE ATMOSPHERE.

    Yes. See the last paragraph under 1. A tendency to warm below (absorbing terrestrial IR) and cool above (emitting IR to space) works toward steepening the temp gradient from surface to tropopause, just like solar direct surface heating, strengthening convective circulation (the overwhelmingly dominant transport of surface energy up and away within the troposphere).

    10. THE EARTH ISN’T A BLACK BODY.

    Very true. And this has got nothing to do with its emissivity. It stems from the fact that a black body 1) has no heat capacity (ability to store absorbed energy), 2) has a specified, solid surface, and 3) loses energy ONLY through radiation.

    The earth does have a heat capacity. It contains a certain ‘fund’ or ‘storage’ of internal energy. And this is what gives it its temperature, NOT its instantaneous radiative fluxes. The earth is a real object, not a theoretical concept in radiative physics. 2) is for the earth as a whole. The postulated BB radiating surface of the earth as a planet is NOT a specific, solid surface. The flux received from space is the accumulation, the total of all radiation being emitted freely out of the earth system from surface to ToA, not from one distinct layer that happens to hold a certain Stefan-Boltzmann-calculated temperature. It is not temperature-defined at all. Most of it comes from a dynamic (internally moving) volume of gas. 1) is for the surface of the earth. It loses most of its energy via convective (conductive/convective/evaporative) heat loss, NOT solely via radiation like a black (or gray) body does. Analogy broken.

    • ren says:

      The proof is in the area of the ozone gas. The temperature rises as a result of a chemical reaction (ozone particle decay) and not as a result of the absorption of infrared radiation.

  153. Stephen says Salvatore,

    I have been saying for some time that convective changes in the form of global air circulation adjustments exert an equal and opposite system response to the thermal effects of radiative gases.

    In so far as radiative gases seek to slow down energy loss to space the convective changes speed it up again to an equal extent.

    Most of my contributions here and elsewhere seek to provide greater detail on the mechanics of that process.

    Convection will always tend to pull the actual lapse rates back to the ‘ideal’ lapse rate set by mass and gravity. If it were to fail for any length of time the atmosphere would be lost.

    Stephen, do you believe that the GHG effect is to warm the lower levels of the atmosphere and cool the upper levels thus being the main source for our lapse rate/weather?

    I do 100%. You don’t.

    Stephen, do you believe that the GHG effect intercepts and directs IR back to the surface of the earth making the surface some 33C warmer then it would be otherwise?

    I do 100%. You don’t.

    Correct me if I am wrong.

    • Given the extraordinary stability of the system I still suggest that the negative convective response must deal with as near 100% of GHG thermal effects as makes no difference.

      Otherwise one gets a permanent distortion of the actual lapse rate away from the ideal lapse rate set by mass and gravity.

      That way lies the loss of the atmosphere.

      The combined emission of surface and atmosphere can never exceed or fall short of ( for any length of time) the combined absorption of surface and atmosphere.

      Therefore logic dictates that GHGs can only affect the relative proportions of emission or absorption between surface and atmosphere.

      With no GHGs and a fully transparent atmosphere so that the atmosphere doesn’t participate at all any attempt of the surface to get hotter than 288K gives faster convection, which returns upwardly conducted energy to the surface at a rate which ensures that the surface radiates the correct amount of energy out to space leaving the surface at a stable temperature of 288K.

      With GHGs that are 100% radiatively efficient so that the surface doesn’t participate at all any attempt by the surface to get cooler than 288K gives slower convection, which returns upwardly conducted energy to the surface at a rate which ensures that the atmosphere radiates the correct amount of energy out to space leaving the surface at a stable temperature of 288K.

      At all times the ‘correct’ amount of energy is that which is absorbed from the incoming radiative flux by the mass of both atmosphere and surface.

      The Kiehl Trenberth diagram illustrates the variability of absorption and emission between atmosphere and surface.

      If GHGs reduce the size of the radiative window from the surface by 5 Wm2 then they increase radiative emission from the atmosphere by 5 Wm2 for a zero net effect.

    • The effect of GHGs would be to warm lower levels and cool upper levels all else being equal but I believe that convective changes negate the effect and observations appear to support that given that although CO2 amounts continue to increase the troposphere has stopped warming and the stratosphere has stopped cooling since around 2000.

      I think we must look to solar and oceanic effects for the real cause of the observed changes.

      I think the ‘extra’ 33K is a result of conduction and convection involving the entire atmospheric mass and not a radiative effect.

      Once convective changes negate the thermal effects of GHGs all the additional thermal energy is converted to gravitational potential energy which is not heat and cannot radiate down.

      That energy can only return to the surface as kinetic energy on adiabatic descent and compression whereupon it is re-used in the next cycle of convective uplift and so is not available for radiation to space.

      So, conduction and convection leads to more energy at the surface than is radiated to space and the surface temperature rises due to that additional non radiative energy.

  154. Leonard Weinstein says:

    I see why Roy made the post here. I see so many misunderstandings in many of the comments, that I am afraid that reasonable skeptics will be lumped with the ignorant ones to reduce the impact of their honest concerns. Anyone that does not understand how radiation heat transfer occurs between a hotter and cooler radiating surface (or volume), please stop showing your ignorance. This is well known and valid science. All of Roy’s 10 comments are spot on.

    The one comment I would state slightly differently is that the absorbing (so called greenhouse) gases, and their back radiation, do not add heat (net energy) to the surface, they act as thermal radiation insulation. Total net heat transfer to the surface is only from solar heating, but due to the radiation insulation, other means of energy removal are needed to balance the solar input. These are conduction and convection to the atmosphere, and evaporation of water. The increased radiation energy down is not an increase in net energy down, it is just due to the redistribution of different forms of energy. Only net energy transfers have to be conserved.

    • There is no increased radiation down which is why there is no increase in net energy down from that cause.

      The heat energy coming back to the surface is from adiabatic compression on descent converting gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy.

      If one proposes increased radiation down as well then that is double counting.

      I regret that Roy is wrong on item 6.

      The fact that the temperature profile changes to a positive lapse rate at the tropopause is due to ozone in the stratosphere reacting to direct solar input and therefore is not an adequate response to the proposition that there is adiabatic decompression and compression between surface and tropopause.

  155. Dr. Roy,
    1. THERE IS NO GREENHOUSE EFFECT.
    Despite the fact that downwelling IR from the sky can be measured, and amounts to a level (~300 W/m2) that can be scarcely be ignored;

    Claudius Denk:
    It’s incredibly dishonest to assert that people who disagree with the label put on it that they, therefore, deny the phenomena associated with the label.

    • Infra red sensors record the temperature along the lapse rate slope at which they are calibrated to detect a solid surface on the basis of optical depth.

      Thus pointed at a near transparent sky they record a very low temperature high up along the lapse rate slope.

      If a cloud crosses the field of view it will record the warmer temperature of the cloud which is at much lower position along the lapse rate slope.

      If there is fog in front of the sensor it will record the even warmer temperature right in front of it at the lowest point along the lapse rate slope.

      None of those measurements are of a general radiative flux from above.

      They are just the temperatures to be found where optical depth is sufficient for a reading to be taken and that is height and opacity dependent and not radiative flux dependent.

  156. ren says:

    One thing is clear: the spectrum of radiation and the amount in the atmosphere (compared with steam) testifies to the fact that CO2 has no significant effect on the increase in temperature.

  157. Nate says:

    Roy, these 10 points are excellent. I applaud your efforts here to squash some of the misinformation and pseudoscience ideas that are out there. I think that there are a couple more that are commonly raised in this blog that you could, in the same spirit, discredit, or at least address:

    11. ‘There has been no significant warming in 15 years.’ If you use only the two end-points of a 15 year period, say from 1998 to 2012, you can find a negative trend. But only if you ignore all the data in between! This is a bogus way to find a trend. The actual linear trend from 1998 thru 2012 is +.083 degrees/decade in your data set. This is lower than the 50 year trend, but significantly lower? The most recent 15 year period has a trend of +0.14 degrees/decade, which suggests that variations in the trend over any 15 year period can be pretty large.

    12. ‘Climate scientists are conspiring to hide the truth about AGW.’ It would be amazing if most climate scientists could be wrangled into agreeing to a made-up story about climate change. They didn’t work hard to earn a PhD so that they become part of a collective- like the Borg. Most are independent operators who would be quite thrilled to make a discovery that shakes-up the current understanding of climate change. If their work is important it gets tested and retested by others. After the first ‘hockey stick’ came out, many other researchers criticized it, came out with their own versions, improved on the methods. The details changed, but the general shape of the hockey stick has survived. The approach climate community is taking is the scientific method-the same one that got us all of modern technology.

  158. Gordon Robertson says:

    @Christopher Game “When you “claim heat is the average kinetic energy of atoms in a substance”, you are kicking sand in the face of customary present-day physical thinking…”

    You have that precisely right. Modern theoretical physics is based on mathematics defining reality rather than the way it should be, reality defining mathematics.

    Now I understand your patronizing behavior toward me. You cannot explain heat in physical terms and you are totally reliant on the math.

    Physicist David Bohm, who was an expert on modern physics once lamented that we may need to undo the damage brought on by our reliance on quantum theory and start again. Bohm did not mince his words about mathematics, he claimed that any equation without a reality to back it was garbage.

    That’s why we are having this debate about heat. Most people cannot tell you what it is, including you. I suggest you take your own advice and go back to basics. Do not proceed beyond the basics till you can explain heat in physical terms and relate those physical terms to the math.

    The only reason heat has so many explanations today is that heat has been defined using mathematics rather than a physical explanation. When you regard the physical problem, it becomes pretty obvious what it is, even though you cannot put it concisely in words.

    You can also approach the problem by stating what heat is not. It is not IR, since IR is electromagnetic energy which has it’s own frequency dependent properties. Heat has no frequency dependence.

    • Christopher Game says:

      Dear Gordon, my “patronizing behaviour” is my response to your view that you have a superior understanding of physics, superior to that of many more or less concordant respected writers, when it is evident that you have not bothered to look adequately at the development of physical thinking and writing since the laying of the foundations of thermodynamics in the nineteenth century.

      You say that I am “totally reliant on math”. Not me. I comply with the rules of math, but they don’t dictate the course of my thinking. I agree with you that in physics, physical thinking leads the way, and maths follows.

      You talk about David Bohm. Again, here is not the place for a detailed discussion of his concerns. But I can say that, having read enough of his writing, interesting though it may be, I can’t take him as a reliable guide in all things.

      You advise me to go back to basics. I have done that by reading the writings of over a century’s respected authors, checking them against natural reason as I see it. I find the respected authors have overall done a fair job, even to the point where they can “put it concisely in words” what they mean by heat. You seem to be saying that you think it cannot be put concisely in words.

      They indeed “stat[e] what heat is not”. It is defined as transfer of energy that is not transfer as work and is not transfer of energy associated with the transfer of matter. It is a third kind of transfer, one might say sui generis. That is how it is defined in present-day physics. The definition is essentially macroscopic.

      Its explanation is a different matter, given in microscopic terms, of particles, molecules, and their motions and interactions. The microscopic explanations call on ideas of random motion, with statistical accounts. But they remain explanations, and do not provide the basic definition, which is essentially macroscopic, as I just mentioned.

      As I wrote above, I don’t think here is the place for me to try to go into more detail. I would just be summarizing or putting into my own words what the best textbooks have to say, checked against my own reason. I can do no more than recommend the best textbooks.

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      Gordon, certainly the equations need to match reality, and not the other way around. But at least as import it to be able to precisely define what we mean — for physics that means equations.

      So for example, there is a simple concept that we can define as “average kinetic energy of the atoms in a substance”. We could give this a symbol like 〈KE〉 and give it an equation like 〈KE〉 = Σ(KE_i)/n. We could also give this a name. You want to give this the name “heat” but your definition is NOT the definition given in physics – not even close. To you, perhaps, it “becomes pretty obvious what it [heat] is”, but letting each person define “heat” however they want is a recipe for disaster.

      Temperature is closely related to AVERAGE KE of the particles. Heat is closely related to CHANGES in TOTAL KE of the particles. A system can “have” a temperature, but it cannot “have” heat.

      ************************************************

      This also suggests we would all be better off not using the world “heat”. A full understanding of thermodynamics requires much more than ‘sound-bit science’ like “heat flows from hot to cold” or “IR is not heat”. There can be heat that is not IR; there can be IR that is not heat; there can ALSO be heat that IS IR.

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        @Tim Folkerts “We could give this a symbol like 〈KE〉 and give it an equation like 〈KE〉 = Σ(KE_i)/n. We could also give this a name. You want to give this the name “heat” but your definition is NOT the definition given in physics – not even close”.

        Tim…I studied electrical engineering at university and we had many definitions laid on us that were pulled out of a hat. For example, time. In my physics texts, no definition of time was given, it was presumed to exist. It was not till years later that I encountered a physics prof from my university days and I humbly approached him with my questions about time, basically that it could have no reality.

        He did not mince words. He claimed time does not exist and that humans invented it to keep tract of rates of change. Since then, I have gone into the problem much deeper and I have convinced myself that time does not exist.

        It is nothing more than a division of the period of the Earth’s rotation that had to be adjusted when it was realized that an arbitrary point of reference for the beginning of a new day varies as the Earth orbits the Sun. Thus we have sidereal time and solar time.

        Atomic clocks, as accurate as they are as timebases, are synchronized to the Earth’s period of rotation. This becomes a serious joke when mathematicians take an equation involving time literally. If it is presumed that time is a real quantity representing a 4th dimension, then equations can be manipulated to show time dilating and space-time curving.

        That’s utter nonsense in a 3-D world but it makes great sense in the multi-dimensional worlds in the human mind. Some people call them illusions.

        I am trying to say that you have to be wary of definitions of heat, especially when the definition is based on math and not observation. That’s why I prefer the work of Clausius, who not only offered the math, he offered a physical explanation of what was going on, even at an atomic level.

        Never mind the definitions. Ask the question in relation to the formula you have offered for average kinetic energy as to how heat is related to that. What average kinetic energy are you talking about? I can describe average kinetic energy of electrons in a copper conductor and the energy will be described as electrical energy. You can’t describe KE in a gas without reference to what energy is involved and how heat is related to it.

        I mean, what else would raise the average KE of a gas? There are 3 variable…am I right…P, V and T? You could increase the pressure, hence increasing the probability of collisions. But the volume would decrease and the temperature would rise. That is, the gas would become warmer (I am trivializing this and ignoring adiabatic expansion and the likes).

        Conversely, if you transfer heat into the gas, the pressure increases with a fixed volume. I am trying to understand what is going on but for all intents and purposes, I feel it is close enough to claim that heat is equivalent to the rise in average KE of a gas, just as it is equivalent to the work done in a system.

        Work is generally an external variable although it could be said that work is done internally between atoms. In a solid, work is done through expansion and it is interchangeable with the heat causing the expansion.

        Conventional thermodynamics is only concerned with external variables therefore you will see heat defined in terms of work. Internal work is related to the average KE therefore it should be related to the heat. As a sold warms, the average KE increases, the atoms increase their motion about a mean, and the metal expands. If you warm it enough, the bonds will break and the metal will liquefy, even vapourize.

        That action can all be construed as internal work and it is understood in thermodynamics that work and heat are interchangeable. So why is KE not interchangeable with both? Clausius took on the internal variables as well although atomic theory was in its infancy.

        I claim that because transferring heat to a gas increases it’s average KE. Presuming that we are talking about a monatomic gas, what does it mean to claim the KE of one atom has increased? And if heat is the cause of that increase, what is it, and is it the actual KE itself?

        Unlike what Christopher claims, I am not approaching this with arrogance. I am asking questions, sometimes posed as assertions. Please excuse my style. Better still, just ignore it.

  159. Nate why do you agree with point 7 when al the data shows CO2 follows the temperature?

    Even Dr. Spencer conceded it may not be so. I will post it.

    I do agree with the other 9 points however.

  160. Salvatore Del Prete says:

    April 25, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    What this all come down to is speculation that because CO2 is rising so fast ,that this very fast increase is going to somehow cause CO2 to lead the climate to one degree or another rather then follow it..

    Yet data from the past does not show this ever happening.

    I don’t see how a rapid rise does this if absolute values are relatively low in comparison to the past when no such thing happened unless of course again the data is not showing the true story.

    I think point 7 for bad scientific argument needs a question mark for now.

    Reply

    Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D. says:

    April 25, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Fair enough.

  161. To Christopher Game

    How do you view the 10 points Dr. Spencer made in this post?

    I agree with all of them except point 7.

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      I’m not Christopher, but I’ll take a stab at #7 above. I find the answer to be a bit over-simplified (but then, so are pretty much all discussions at this level).

      On the one hand, rising ocean temperatures mean that less CO2 can dissolve in the water, so warming temperatures at the surface of the ocean will cause MORE CO2 in the atmosphere, so as the earth warms after a glacial period (for whatever reason), CO2 should enter the atmosphere as a result. (which would cause further warming, in a positive feedback effect).

      On the other hand, as the earth warms after a glacial period, plants start to grow in regions previously covered with ice, causing LESS CO2 in the atmosphere. (thus we have a negative feedback effect as well).

      And I am sure there are many other natural feedbacks that influence the CO2 levels.

      Thus we have the situation that warming could naturally increase or decrease the CO2 levels, depending on the starting conditions. It is not a simple black-or-white sort of situation.

      To summarize my understanding:
      * more CO2 causes more warming
      * more warming can cause either more CO2 or less CO2

      **********************************************

      But those are “natural” causes. Those are relatively slow changes. The “more warming causes more CO2″ cannot explain the current rise in CO2. Looking either at orders of magnitude for CO2 increases or isotope analysis of CO2, there seems very good reason to think that the RECENT CO2 is “not natural” but is indeed due to fossil fuel burning.

      This is one situation that truly is “unprecidented”: no species has ever before dug up and burned massive quantities of buried carbon compounds. Thus “natural” cause-and-effect is a poor guide for current CO2 levels.

  162. DR. SPENCER HAS SHOWN THROUGH OBSERVATION/EXPERIMENTATION THAT YOU ARE WRONG.

    Point 6 is most definitely correct.

    There is no increased radiation down which is why there is no increase in net energy down from that cause.

    The heat energy coming back to the surface is from adiabatic compression on descent converting gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy.

    • Christopher Game says:

      You don’t need me to say that Dr Spencer is right about point 6. But, if I may be so bold, what you write here is not right.

      How does energy pass between the land-sea surface and the lowest atmosphere? By conduction and radiation, and by the transfer of matter in evaporation and other ways.

      Radiative transfer between the land-sea body and the lower atmosphere is a two-way thing. Emitted by the body, absorbed by the troposphere. And emitted by the troposphere, absorbed by the body. Radiative heat transfer is the net of those. Other things being equal, when the troposphere has a higher temperature it emits more thermal radiation, and that in every direction, including downwards. Other things being equal, when the troposphere has more water vapour in it, it emits more thermal radiation, again in every direction, including downwards. ‘Other things being equal’ includes ‘the body temperatures being equal’

      • umm”Radiative transfer between the land-sea body and the lower atmosphere is a two-way thing. Emitted by the body, absorbed by the troposphere. And emitted by the troposphere, absorbed by the body. Radiative heat transfer is the net of those.”

        What shear nonsense!
        Thermal radiative electromagnetic flux (radiation), is first of all electromagnetic radiation governed by all of Maxwell’s equations. Flux by definition must be one way through a surface area or none! The only radiative flux at each frequency and each direction is determined by the vector sum of all Poynting vectors, (field strength, normalized for distance from the generator of that field). Only the difference of two opposing radiances becomes radiation. At the absorber the electromagmetic flux is converted to sensible heat, electromotive energy, chemical energy, or some combination of all three, there is no such thing as “radiative heat”.
        Your spouting is but a continuation of the deliberate fraud of “green house effect”. The earth need have no thermal electromagnetic radiation from the surface. The water vapour in the atmosphere is sufficient to radiate all outward toward little or no opposing radiance. Each water molecule in the atmosphere radiates “some” electromagnetic energy outward. The summation of all, is the total planatary exitance. Easily controlled and easily capable of radiating more than all incoming solar irradiance.

        • Christopher Game says:

          You mean ‘sheer nonsense’, I think?

          • “You mean ‘sheer nonsense’, I think?”

            Not at all, ‘sheer’ means fine, as in fine nonsense, such as that in the far side cartoons! What I mean is that what you claims, appear to be cut apart with a ‘hedge trimmer’, a shear! It is shearing sheep not sheering sheep. Please point out one scientific error in what I wrote!

          • Christopher Game says:

            I do not wish to find errors in what you wrote. I am amused that you tell me I am ‘spouting’ as ‘a continuation of the deliberate fraud of “greenhouse effect”‘.

        • Curt says:

          Will, you say: “Flux by definition must be one way through a surface area or none!” So if you shine two flashlights through a glass surface in opposite directions, there’s really only radiation going through in one direction?

          You incorrectly equate “Thermal radiative electromagnetic flux” with “radiation”. The “flux” term originates in the days before the underlying mechanisms were understood, when heat transfer was hypothesized to be analogous to fluid flow. This was the “caloric” theory of heat transfer.

          We now understand, of course, that radiative heat transfer between two bodies is really the result of two opposing streams of electrical radiation, with the energy transferred being the difference between these two opposing streams.

          The “thermal flux” you talk about is still a convenient simplification for analysis purposes, but it is not a physical entity by itself.

          Even if you want to talk about something like the greenhouse effect in terms of reduced (fictional) thermal flux, you get the same answer in terms of heat transfer.

          • Curt says: April 30, 2014 at 2:32 PM

            “Will, you say: “Flux by definition must be one way through a surface area or none!” So if you shine two flashlights through a glass surface in opposite directions, there’s really only radiation going through in one direction?”

            Yes! What is your definition of electromagnetic radiation? Is it anything but the Poynting Flux at any frequency and point in space. That flux is the vector sum of all Poynting vectors at that frequency and point in space. Each Poynting vector is the electromagnetic field strength, the vector cross product of the E and H fields, at that frequency and point in space. Radiance is a similar vector except normalized for distance from that field generator. Radiance is not radiation except to alarmists. All electromagnetic radiation is strictly limited by any opposing radiance.

            You incorrectly equate “Thermal radiative electromagnetic flux” with “radiation”.
            Again What is your definition of electromagnetic radiation?

            The “thermal flux” you talk about is still a convenient simplification for analysis purposes, but it is not a physical entity by itself.
            I wrote of “Thermal radiative electromagnetic flux (radiation)”
            Completely physical and eminently measurable down to a fraction of a microwatt/M^2!! It is your undefined “radiation” that is a fake construct by alarmists, that is non-physical, and non-measureable!

          • Curt says:

            Will, of course you can compute the electromagnetic field E & H at any point in space or time by superposition, but for most of these problems, it is a hell of a lot more work to end up with the same result.

            Consider the simple case of two flashlight beams crossing each other at right angles in an otherwise dark environment. Where they cross, sure you can compute E & H by superimposing the contributions of the two beams. But after they cross each other, each beam is exactly as it would be as if they had not crossed.

            Next, take the case of two opposing flashlight beams shining at each other. Let’s say that the batteries are a little weaker in one, producing a lower voltage leading to a cooler filament, putting out less radiant power at longer wavelengths. This case is more like the earth/atmosphere exchange.

            Yes, all the way along the path, you can compute the resulting fields from superposition. But you will end up with the same result as if you had considered them as independent entities.

            And if you take into account 20th century physics and consider them as streams of photons, they really are independent entities. As streams of particles, they really do pass through each other unimpeded.

          • Christopher Game says:

            The Poynting vector is mainly in practice useful when one is considering the near field from a more or less coherently changing macroscopic source, such as one might find inside an electric motor, and one knows the actual instantaneous values of the electric and magnetic fields as precisely specified functions of time, which of course are governed by Maxwell’s laws. The Poynting vector is a simple vector, with its own one and only direction and sense at an instant. In the contexts in which it is often used, its value can often be known as an instantaneous function of time.

            Radiance is a radiometric term and is mainly in practice useful for considering the far field, especially from a composite of more or less incoherent microscopic sources, such as molecules in a gas, when often one doesn’t know the actual instantaneous values of the electric and magnetic fields. Radiance is a full-blown function dependent on arguments of direction and sense, given over the full range in three dimensions, not a simple vector. Its value is usually an average over a suitable interval of time, not an instantaneous value.

  163. Eric Barnes says:

    The title “Skeptical Arguments that Don’t Hold Water” reminds me of the adage “the best defense is a good offense”. Really that is all the luke warmers and warmists have left. The total failure of models is self-evident and will become more so with the passage of time.

    Any skeptic holds the moral high ground over warmists simply because they aren’t part of the biggest scam ever to grace the surface of planet earth. I have my own thoughts that perhaps are wrong, although I think there is a good chance they are correct. What’s the harm in sharing those thoughts when there is rampant speculation about alarming consequences from people who have gotten almost every “climate scenario” wrong?

    Rather than focusing on why everyone who disagrees with you is wrong, it would seem to me to be a better idea to hammer on the fact that *nobody* is right. Those that claim to be are first class scam artists. Thank you for your efforts in that regard.

  164. Mark Luhman says:

    Global temperature no such thing, yes there is such a metric but the question is what does it tell us, you satellite measurement are helpful, ground base not so much, The question I always ask and do not have a good answer is temperature measure without humidity is worthless since all it measure is the temperature of the atmosphere in one place and time not the heat content of that atmosphere. You cannot tell heat content without humidity so the metric the alarmist publish tells me relativity nothing since they did not take the time to quantify the energy in the atmosphere, am I incorrect or will everything average out in the end? I am guessing but living in the desert south west la-Nina and El-Nino should have a marked effect on humidity from one year to the next again am I incorrect?

  165. Bevan Dockery says:

    Re the last sentence of argument 2, putting clothes on a life-size human dummy does not cause the dummy to get warm. Thus putting your clothes on does not directly make you
    warmer, it is the heat generated by your metabolic system that warms your body not the clothing, that merely slows your rate of cooling to the outside world. As there is no
    internal source of energy generated by the dummy or the clothing, the dummy’s temperature does not change either with or without clothing.

    It is a similar story for an Earth enclosed by an atmosphere. The Earth receives radiation from the Sun which sets its surface temperature after partial absorption by the atmosphere. However the atmosphere does not generate energy so it cannot cause the Earth’s surface to increase in temperature above that set by the Sunshine. Naturally changes in the thermodynamic properties of the atmosphere cause a change in temperature at the surface to ensure that the surface is emitting at the same rate as it is receiving energy from the Sun. That is, only the Sun warms the Earth!

    The Earth’s temperature must be higher with an atmosphere than without to allow for the slower rate of cooling through the atmosphere than would be the case for emission directly to space. For political purposes some people have called it “the greenhouse effect” when it is simply the natural temperature increase needed by any energy-receiving body, surrounded by cooler bodies, in order to balance energy input with output.

    This greenhouse effect is then claimed to be due to back-radiation from the atmosphere to the Earth’s surface. However this is impossible as the atmosphere is cooler than the Earth’s surface. We have direct experience of hot bodies raising the temperature of cooler bodies in the vicinity, via radiation. If radiation from colder bodies could also raise the temperature of warm bodies then everything in the Universe would be increasing the temperature of everything else and the entire Universe would be warming. This is not a known phenomenon.

    Hence it is pointless to say that “downwelling IR from the sky ……amounts to a level (~300 W/m2)…” without specifying the temperature of the source and/or its frequency spectrum with respect to that of the Earth’s surface. As the Earth’s surface is warmer than the
    atmosphere, the downwelling IR cannot increase the temperature of the Earth’s surface. If it did, it would mean that low frequency, low energy IR was being absorbed by the Earth’s surface thereby forcing the surface to emit higher frequency, higher energy IR than previously, that is, pushing the emission spectrum to higher energy. There is no known physical basis for such an event, which amounts to creating energy out of nothing.

    Radiation is a vector field and has an associated radiation pressure. Due to the inverse square law, as radiation from the sky approaches the Earth’s surface it is stopped by the rapidly increasing radiation pressure from the hotter surface. Thus there can be no warming effect by downwelling IR from a colder source.

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      Bevan says:
      “The Earth receives radiation from the Sun which sets its surface temperature after partial absorption by the atmosphere.”
      The radiation sets the POWER that must leave the surface, not the temperature. If I tell you that I have placed a 240 W electric heater inside a metal sphere with a 1 m^2 surface area, have I set the temperature of the sphere? Of course not – the temperature will depend on such things as the temperature of the surroundings and any insulation that might be around the sphere and the emissivity of the surface of the sphere.

      Similarly, inputting 240 W/m^2 to the earth’s surface doesn’t tell us the temperature; it only tells us the surface must be losing 240 W/m^2 (or else warming or cooling).

      (The only hard limit is that the temperature of the earth cannot exceed the temperature of the sun or we would be violating the 2nd Law).

      “The Earth’s temperature must be higher with an atmosphere than without to allow for the slower rate of cooling through the atmosphere than would be the case for emission directly to space.”
      Of course, there was never any cooling of the surface via conduction to space — all of the loss was via IR before you introduced the atmosphere. So the only way for the atmosphere to slow the cooling is via IR. If the atmosphere does not block the outgoing IR from the surface then the emission directly to space via IR radiation will not be slowed. Only an atmosphere that blocks IR can “allow for a slower rate of cooling” from the surface to space.

      On other words, the IR properties of the atmosphere impact the surface temperature. The more the atmosphere reduces the outgoing IR, the warmer the surface will become. For your statement quoted above to be correct, it MUST BE the atmosphere’s IR properties that allowed the temperature to rise.

      ********************************************

      Most of the rest of what you wrote is you arguing against what you had already concluded!

      • gbaikie says:

        – Tim Folkerts says:
        April 30, 2014 at 11:01 AM

        Bevan says:
        “The Earth receives radiation from the Sun which sets its surface temperature after partial absorption by the atmosphere.”
        The radiation sets the POWER that must leave the surface, not the temperature. If I tell you that I have placed a 240 W electric heater inside a metal sphere with a 1 m^2 surface area, have I set the temperature of the sphere? Of course not – the temperature will depend on such things as the temperature of the surroundings and any insulation that might be around the sphere and the emissivity of the surface of the sphere.

        Similarly, inputting 240 W/m^2 to the earth’s surface doesn’t tell us the temperature; it only tells us the surface must be losing 240 W/m^2 (or else warming or cooling). –

        And once it stops warming up or cooling down it again goes back to emitting 240 W/m^2.
        So if in process if cooling it will emit more than 240 watts
        and if it’s warming it will emit less than 240 watts.

        So 240 watts tells us nothing about temperature. And whether planet is cooling or warming tells us nothing about temperature. Or if emitting 240.1 watts rather than 240 watts [and so planet is cooling] it tells us nothing about earth average temperature of 15 C.

        But it should be noted that 240 watts or Earth average temperature of 15 C, can not be accurately measured. Or no one can say when Earth is emitting 240 watts or is 15 C.
        Or one also say earth is varying in these values Every orbit the amount earth receive is higher than 240 and lower than 240 watts and every hour or every day it varies, and likewise amount emits varies. And of course in terms of temperature, you of course experiences such changes in temperature hourly and seasonally.

        So 240 watts or 15 C is sort like the average speed an average human might travel at. And say one including sleeping or one has decided not to include periods one is sleeping. And give reasons why you doing this and they could seem like excellent reasons. And one could figure out what the average speed is.
        So as far as I know, no one has tried to figure out the average speed of humans, so no number is available. If one did, and got say 2 mph, it might be useful. But it could also be misused.

        But we have attempted to determine Earth’s average temperature and amount energy earth emits and it’s roughly 15 C and 240 watts. And people have said earth would -18 C
        if not for greenhouse gases because earth emits 240 watts- and this is false. Or if we determine people move at average speed of 2 mph, one could say it’s because people work too hard, or because they are lazy- or pick any reason.
        And whatever reason it probably will be false.

  166. Marc77 says:

    Greenhouse gases cannot change the daily variation in heat content. If they were trapping this variation near the ground. The volume of air would be smaller and the variation in temperature would be greater. Greenhouse gases could easily increase the diurnal temperature range.

    The adiabatic lapse rate is partly set by the difference of temperature between the ground and space.

    October is a month when solar forcing is not too high in relation to air temperature, so urban surface do not absorb too much heat, so the UHI is limited. October TMAX has not increased in the last 60 years.

  167. richard says:

    “1. THERE IS NO GREENHOUSE EFFECT. Despite the fact that downwelling IR from the sky can be measured”

    just taking a look at this from HArvard

    http://acmg.seas.harvard.edu/people/faculty/djj/book/bookchap7.html

    A low cloud, however, has a temperature close to that of the surface due to transport of heat by convection. As a result it radiates almost the same energy as the surface did before the cloud formed, and there is little greenhouse warming .

    So i expect that any co2, at least up to the height of low cloud would act in the same way and create little warming either.

    So at what height are you talking about that there is downward IR.

    I think what I have trouble about this comment above is that for all the co2 in the atmos, every day there is a massive upwelling of energy around the co2( visually like a river around a few pebbles) why after it has absorbed the energy and then released it in microseconds should it radiate downwards( unless cooler), and even then why wouldn’t lower co2 absorb this energy and miss upward moving energy, it all gets a bit weird and feels a little perpetual motion to me!

  168. As regards Roy’s item 6 relating to adiabatic compression of descending air I think the solution can be expressed very simply.

    It is accepted that GHGs both absorb and emit radiation received from the surface and that they then emit that radiation both out to space and down to the ground.

    The thing is that the emission to space reduces the vigour of the convective cycle because a portion of the energy in that cycle is lost to space and not returned to the surface.

    Thus the amount of energy returned to the surface by adiabatic compression is less than the energy flowing upward in adiabatic decompression due to the leakage to space from GHGs.

    It is that reduction in energy getting back to the surface in the convective cycle that offsets any warming effect of the downward radiation from GHGs.

    There are three consequences of GHGs in an otherwise radiatively inert bulk atmosphere:

    i) Radiation to space from within the atmosphere.

    ii) Radiation to the surface from within the atmosphere which potentially warms the surface.

    iii) Energy leaking to space from within the adiabatic cycle which would otherwise have been returned to the surface to warm the surface. The net effect would be to cool the surface were it not for DWIR from the radiative gases.

    It appears that ii) and iii) cancel out leaving surface temperature unchanged whilst i) simply replaces energy that would otherwise have been emitted from the surface if there had been no GHGs

    Hence a zero net effect on radiative emission to space as well as an unchanged surface temperature.

    Such a scenario is implicit in the radiation budget since aborption by the atmosphere differs from emission by the atmosphere and absorption by the surface differs from emission by the surface.

    The proportions must be interchangeable as between surface and atmosphere as regards both absorption and emission.

    It appears that the only effect of GHGs is to vary the proportions of absorption and emission between surface and atmosphere leaving energy in always equal to energy out.

    • Curt says:

      Stephen:

      While I agree that your effects ii) and iii) are of opposite sign as far as the surface temperature is concerned, why do you think they must be of the same magnitude?

      Mainstream estimates, from what I can tell, put the magnitude of your effect iii) at about 1/3 of ii).

      • That seems unlikely because GHGs radiate equally up and down don’t they ?

        Thus leakage to space from the adiabatic exchange must match DWIR from GHGs.

        For that reason all of effects i), ii) and iii) must be of the same magnitude otherwise balance could not be maintained.

        • Curt says:

          Effects i) and ii) would happen even if you could suppress the convective currents completely. I don’t see any physical reason why iii) in any way would have to balance out the other two.

          • The energy tied up for a period of time in the adiabatic convective loop is in the form of gravitational potential energy which is not heat and cannot radiate down to the surface or out to space so you have a missing block of energy that unbalances the radiation budget.

            Trenberth et al try to deal with it by proposing ‘extra’ DWIR but they can’t do that because that missing energy does not exist in the form of heat and so cannot radiate down.

            Therefore the only way one can re-balance the budget is by recognising the reappearance of that missing KE at the surface in the descent phase of the adiabatic convective loop.

            The critical importance of that is that if the energy comes back to the surface via that separate adiabatic convective loop rather than via DWIR then the entire mass of the atmosphere is what warms the surface above S-B and NOT radiative characteristics of constituent gases.

            It must all balance otherwise the atmosphere would eventually be lost.

          • Curt says:

            Stephen: You say, “It must all balance otherwise the atmosphere would eventually be lost.”

            Now, if you are talking about mass, sure. What (air) goes up, must come down.

            But we’re talking about energy in the loop. And there’s no reason the net energy lost in the cycle needs to match any other quantity, such as DWLWIR.

  169. Skeptikal says:

    1000+ comments is an ambitious goal. This is my contribution to help you in reaching that goal. ;)

  170. richard says:

    “It is accepted that GHGs both absorb and emit radiation received from the surface and that they then emit that radiation both out to space and down to the ground”

    I always find it incredible that co2 can radiate back downwards the same energy that it absorbs, and then this energy goes back up and then gets absorbed by the co2 and then comes down again.

    are you sure this is not perpetual motion or does co2 actually add any extra energy itself?

    • Read the rest of my post.

    • Nabil Swedan says:

      Only one thing that makes scientific sense based on the proven science passed on to us. Carbon dioxide is part of atmospheric air mixture and behaves as such. It is not an independent entity. No radiations occur within the mass of the atmosphere at the macroscopic level. Only convection occurs within the mass of air. Atmospheric air radiations (clouds excluded) are surface phenomenon and occur at the mesopause.

    • Curt says:

      It may be easier to visualize with a thin black metal plate between the surface and space. Let’s say it starts very cold. As it absorbs radiation from the surface, its temperature increases.

      As its temperature increases, it radiates more power away. Being thin and highly conductive, its temperature is almost constant through the plate, so it will radiate about as much down toward the surface as it does up to space.

  171. richard says:

    let me get this straight , the co2 emits exactly the same level of energy it absorbs so no net gain. But what it emits goes downwards as well as up. the energy below is the same level of energy emitted by the co2 so the same temp.

    do two same temps cause a net gain?

    do two heaters in the same room set on 60 degrees make the room warmer than one heater set on 60 degrees.

  172. richard says:

    So when the energy from co2 re -emits downwards , at what point does it do a u-turn back upwards with the rest of the long wave energy.

    • richard says:

      which brings me back to my comment above, when it does a u – turn obviously it can then get re absorbed by co2 and then back down again. Not sure how this creates any more warming if energy just goes up and down like that, but I’m sure it all comes out in the wash.

      • Don says:

        Richard, let me summarized how a photon gets absorbed or emitted by a molecular bond, such as C-O or H-O. The process must behave what are known as quantum rules. For a particular bond ONLY IR photons of certain energy (with a slight leeway) can be involved. Wrong energy, no absorption. When an IR photon is absorbed, it disappears. It is not redirected in some other direction. If and when that bond then emits an IR photon, the time and direction of that emission is random.
        The process of absorption and emission is a bit like a random walk process searching for an outlet. The only final outlet is space.

  173. Don says:

    There is obviously much confusion among readers over photon emission and absorption, thermodynamics, and how the atmosphere warms the Earth.

    Thermodynamic laws mostly pertain to the kinetic movement of individual molecules and how they transport energy. In a gas, some individual molecules do move from warmer areas toward cooler areas, but the NET flow of kinetic energy is from cool to warm. For radiation the same is true. Individual photons move both away and toward cooler areas, but the NET flow of photons is always toward cooler areas. The difference between kinetics and radiation is that it is much easier to measure the flow direction of individual photons than to measure the movement direction for individual atoms. None of this violates the 2nd Law.

    An atmosphere that warms a planet’s surface does not do so directly, but indirectly by slowing down the rate of energy loss to space. (It is the analogy to donning an overcoat on a cold day.) Dr. Spencer and other commenters have made that point clearly. Let me make just one additional point relevant to this. Earth’s surface receives solar energy (the original energy source) for only half (on average) of a 24 hour period. But the surface receives IR photons from the atmosphere for 24 hours (as it emits IR for 24 hours). At night when the surface receives no solar energy, if there were no greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to absorb and slow the loss of IR photons to space, then the surface would cool much faster than it actually does. That thanks to greenhouse gases.

    Now I make brief comments in response to earlier discussions about what occurs when a molecule (e.g., CO2 or H2O) absorbs an IR photon. Yes, the (e.g.) C-O bond can only absorb or emit a specific photon energy, BUT it can handle additional energy through kinetic effects. Thus, immediately after absorbing a photon, the “vibrating” C-O bond likely strikes another molecule (assuming a gas of approx. STP) and transfers kinetic energy, either translational or to another molecular bond. That is, because gas molecules have a distribution of kinetic energies, and because collision among gas molecules occur so frequently, bond energy gained by absorbing that IR photon can be rapidly disseminated among other molecules. How else could radiation heat a gas? Likewise, a C-O bond with too little energy to emit a photon can gain energy via a molecular collision, and now emit an IR photon. All this “energy transfer” slows the loss of IR energy to space and stores some of it in kinetic motion in the atmosphere.
    This constant interaction between photon absorption / emission and kinetic movement permits some flexibility in how energy associated with a specific IR photon event is distributed. This is some of the “pressure broadening” that Dr. Spencer alluded to earlier, whereby under higher gas density, photon absorption can and does occur further out on the edges of the absorption band.

    Some work hard to understand a new concept.
    Others work hard not to understand it.

    P.S. No, I am not a warmist, but a research scientist interested in what actually occurs.

    • What about conduction and convection ?

      • richard says:

        “An atmosphere that warms a planet’s surface does not do so directly, but indirectly by slowing down the rate of energy loss to space”

        desert – hottest place on earth does not need high levels of supposed GHGs to get hot and stay hot in the day, it is the night time that is important , the time we need to slow down cooling.

        Example the desert at night – 100 degrees to freezing in a few hrs except desert areas near the sea that stays quite balmy.

        and if you are going to use the (It is the analogy to donning an overcoat on a cold day.)

        if you are talking about co2 then some coat when 99.7 % of it is missing.

        • richard says:

          in fact if I took away the remaining daytime cooling moisture in the desert , what temp would we get to.

        • Don says:

          Richard,
          CO2 is clearly not as important a greenhouse gas as is H2O. But what is your 97% missing? Looking at absorption of IR by the atmosphere, — down to ~0.3 microns (m) it is ~100% due to O2 and its derivatives. Then there is a open window over ~0.3-0.7 m. Below that down to ~15 m a large fraction of IR photons are absorbed due to different vibrational energy bands of H20 and CO2 bonds. Below ~15 m rotational energy levels of H2O become increasingly important. An IR photon has rather high probability of being absorbed. That is greenhouse warming.

          • richard says:

            A lot of what you write goes over my head, I am not up at your level of science. Of course I cannot argue it out with you guys but because i have seen so many arguments on this subject between scientists of all levels I am not that worried.

            And bandwidth and microns, I cannot pretend to completely get the measure of that, which to you comes so easy, so I can only refer to what Harvard says,

            http://acmg.seas.harvard.edu/people/faculty/djj/book/bookchap7.html

            Contrast this situation to a greenhouse gas absorbing solely at 15 mm, in the CO2 absorption band ( Figure 7-8 ). At that wavelength the atmospheric column is already opaque ( Figure 7-13 ), and injecting an additional atmospheric absorber has no significant greenhouse effect.

      • Don says:

        They are also methods of moving energy around.
        What about them?

    • ren says:

      The phenomenon of convection propaganda undermines the idea of ​​the atmosphere as a “greenhouse”. Heated at the Earth’s surface air masses rise up and lose heat due to pressure reduction and expansion of gases, the molecules of which they lose part of their kinetic energy. At an altitude of 10 km invariably have temperature-50 ° C or even lower.

    • Kristian says:

      Don says, April 30, 2014 at 1:08 PM:

      “Individual photons move both away and toward cooler areas, but the NET flow of photons is always toward cooler areas. The difference between kinetics and radiation is that it is much easier to measure the flow direction of individual photons than to measure the movement direction for individual atoms. None of this violates the 2nd Law.”

      No one is claiming any of this violates the 2nd Law, Don. You seem to be the confused one. It’s normally a good idea to actually read and understand the arguments you’re trying to ridicule …

      “An atmosphere that warms a planet’s surface does not do so directly, but indirectly by slowing down the rate of energy loss to space.”

      Let me rephrase that: ‘An atmosphere that warms a planet’s surface does not do so directly, but indirectly by slowing down [its] rate of energy loss [at equal temperature, as compared to a situation without an atmosphere and equal solar input].’

      The slowed down energy loss is from the surface to the atmosphere and its mainly convective (because convection is the mechanism by which energy is transported from heating surface to cooling tropopause). The reason for the slowdown is mainly because the atmosphere is able to warm, space isn’t. Therefore an atmosphere creates a much gentler temp gradient away from the solar-heated surface, slowing down its energy loss. If the energy INPUT then remains the same, there will arise an imbalance and energy will accumulate at/below the surface, making it warmer. This warming will persist until the flux OUT once again balances the flux IN per unit of time. Further, a heavier atmosphere will make this process take longer than a lighter one, hence force a warmer steady-state surface temperature.

      “Dr. Spencer and other commenters have made that point clearly.”

      Er, no. That’s exactly what they haven’t done. They consistently want the returning energy from the cool atmosphere to the warm surface to directly warm the surface, that is, increasing it internal energy, raising its absolute temperature.

      This is the move that violates the 2nd (and the 1st) Law of Thermodynamics. The notion of ‘heating by back radiation’.

      • Don says:

        I have no debate with part of what you say. But I have read several comments that say NO IR can flow from a cooler to a warmer object. That is clearly not true.
        It is not my intention to ridicule anyone’s argument, but one must always guard against selection bias in one’s attempt to understand.

        Dr. Spencer may not have made the point clearly as to how the atmosphere warms the surface OR some may have read into his comments and those by others assumptions that were not there. You can ask Dr. Spencer directly, but I don’t believe he is saying IR flows from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface and by that action alone DIRECTLY increases its temperature. The second law holds.

        • richard says:

          “But I have read several comments that say NO IR can flow from a cooler to a warmer object. That is clearly not true”

          and at the same time making the cooler object warmer so in fact energy is lost from the warmer to the cooler and then a slow release of warming depending on insulation properties

          so time wise how long does this take. Lets say Co2 , as soon as the sun goes down what happens?

          • richard says:

            “But I have read several comments that say NO IR can flow from a cooler to a warmer object.

            or put another way how much energy flows from the cooler to the warmer before the warmer
            starts cooling releasing its energy back to the cooler.

    • gbaikie says:

      –Thermodynamic laws mostly pertain to the kinetic movement of individual molecules and how they transport energy. In a gas, some individual molecules do move from warmer areas toward cooler areas, but the NET flow of kinetic energy is from cool to warm. For radiation the same is true. Individual photons move both away and toward cooler areas, but the NET flow of photons is always toward cooler areas. The difference between kinetics and radiation is that it is much easier to measure the flow direction of individual photons than to measure the movement direction for individual atoms. None of this violates the 2nd Law. –

      At 14.7 psi [1 atm] gas molecule travel:
      6.7 x 10^-6 cm
      http://www.uccs.edu/~tchriste/courses/PHYS549/549lectures/gasses.html
      So .0000057 cm distance and on average change direction because of other molecules traveling in different directions.
      So basically molecules don’t go anywhere but they going fast:
      Nitrogen molecule at room temperature going nowhere very fast: 450 m/s which is 1000 mph [as said in above ref].

      So one has zillions of tiny bullets all fired in different directions, and according ideal gas law, none are losing any of their kinetic velocity due to collisions with other ideal gases. So the only gas not an ideal gas on Earth is H20 gas. So according this idea CO2 molecule [being an ideal gas] does convert any kinetic energy [those fast little bullets] into radiant energy or remove or add any amount of kinetic energy, but like all the ideal gases is transfer to each other kinetic energy.

      If these fast moving molecules are less crowded they can go further. So again from above, if molecule are in 1 torr
      of pressure [760 torr is 1 atm- so where there is 1/760th of atm]. In 1 torr:
      “1 torr 5 x 10-3 cm”
      So molecules on travel .005 centimeters and N2 molecules going about
      1000 mph. If a N2 molecule [for whatever reason a molecule was traveling a lot faster then it may go significantly further. Or if all the other molecules were traveling significantly faster, than a slower molecule goes a significantly shorter distance.
      So in the troposphere on Earth, what is moving is not molecules but the result of collisions of molecules. So wind is not molecules moving but direction of energy of collisions or air molecules.
      Or you can’t throw air molecules, though you can throw balloons with air molecule in them. So can throw liquids or solids- not gas.

      In terms of radiant energy, they are photons traveling it speed of light, they interact with matter. They don’t “care” about how hot something is, they don’t even share the same time as other matter. How they interact with slower matter depends on the nature of this matter.

      Whether this Universe is filled with light or is cold dark place, depends on what you consider to be light. If it’s what humans can see, the universe is quite dark, but if include all electromagnetic energy it’s universe full of light.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      @Don ” For radiation the same is true. Individual photons move both away and toward cooler areas, but the NET flow of photons is always toward cooler areas”.

      You are describing the 1st law of thermodynamics, not the 2nd law. You are implying, as many alarmists do, that the 1st law covers the 2nd law so long as there is a net positive IR energy flow between bodies, even if heat is being transferred from a cooler body to a warmer body, in direct contravention of the 2nd law.

      There is no physical observation to back your claim about photons, only theoretical physics. For one, no one has ever proved that a photon exists. That was the last word from Einstein who claimed he had studied the subject exhaustively.

      He claimed it was not known whether EM existed as a wave or as individual particles of energy like photons. As a parting shot he claimed that many scientists think the problem has been resolved but that they are mistaken.

      The photon was DEFINED as a particle with momentum but with no mass. Figure that one out since momentum = mass x velocity. If mass is 0, then momentum is zero and the photon cannot exist.

      Craig Bohren, a physicist/meteorologist, who has expertise in atmospheric radiation, pointed out that momentum is a phenomenon and does not rely on human equations. Therefore it is possible to have momentum without mass based on the observed phenomenon of momentum, in theory.

      Quantum theorists adopted the notion of the photon to particalize EM. That does not mean such a particle exists, it only makes it easier for theoreticians to do the math. IMHO, that’s the problem, too much physics is being done with math that has no reality to back it.

      The truth is that energy transfer in the atmosphere is a highly complex problem that requires Feynman diagrams to explain, according to Gerlich, an expert in mathematics as applied to thermodynamics.

      That’s a no-brainer to me. The emission and absorption of energy by atoms and molecules is not as trivial as atoms/molecules acting like guns and sponges. The emission/absorption of EM from an atom is still not understood other than through theoretical math. The mechanism is a mystery so the transfer between bodies has to be a mystery as well.

      In your statement above, you have confused infrared energy with heat. IR can transfer heat energy between bodies of different temperature but the heat can only be transferred from a warmer body to a cooler body under ordinary means. That implies that IR from a cooler body has no effect on the heat in a warmer body.

      In another statement, in another comment, you claimed that the GHE is due to GHGs slowing down the release of energy from the atmosphere. That’s just another way of claiming heat is trapped.

      Bohren has this to say about heat trapping: it is a metaphor at best, and at worst, plain silly.

      Heat cannot be trapped. You can trap atoms and molecules with glass in a real greenhouse, and as solar energy continues to heat the soil in the greenhouse, the average kinetic energy of the air molecules increases as that energy is conducted from the soil to the air via direct contact and convection.

      Heat is related to that increased kinetic energy and that’s why a greenhouse warms. The evidence for such a mechanism in the atmosphere is non-existent. It is purely a model based on math and bad assumptions.

      For example, if GHGs in the atmosphere are an analogue to glass in a real greenhouse there is an immediate problem presented. GHGs account for roughly 1% of atmospheric gases. That is the equivalent of 1 pane of glass in a real greenhouse with 100 panes of glass.

      Try removing 99 panes of glass from a real greenhouse and see how warm it gets. Until someone can answer that conundrum for me, I have no interest in mystery math.

      There is no such mechanism in the atmosphere. Air molecules heated by the surface rise and are replace by cooler air by convection. If you remove the glass from a greenhouse, the same thing will happen.

      Lindzen has offered a more realistic version of heat transfer in the atmosphere. He claims most of it is done by convective currents transferring heat from the tropical regions toward both polar regions. He claims that is done by mechanisms like thunder clouds.

      There is no reason to think that radiation is a major player in transferring heat from the surface. One thing is for sure, heat cannot be transferred from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer surface, especially when the source of the cooler atmospheric heat is the surface. That is the basis of the AGW theory and it is wrong.

      • Don says:

        Gordon,
        You are not up on popular literature.
        Several experiments of various kinds have been made using individual photons. If they do not exist, what were those? And groups of photons exhibit typical wave interference patterns.
        (Some philosophers believe you and I don’t actually exist. Can you prove them wrong? Descartes’ “I think therefore I am” is not sufficient, because some don’t.)

        The photon has momentum because of its motion. A photon can be converted, but never stops. A particle exhibits a wave nature in proportion to its mass. Because a photon has no rest mass, it exhibits a very wide range of wave lengths, depending on its energy. An electron has part of its energy as momentum and part as rest mass and has a wave length in the X-ray region. A proton has almost all of its energy as mass and exhibits a wavelength as gamma rays. Classical physics does not explain everything.

        I will not get into a debate of the definition of heat. You will find slightly different definitions in different places.

        And who says that an atmospheric greenhouse is like a glass greenhouse. The atmospheric greenhouse was just named after the glass one, in retrospect probably not a wise choice.

        There are many ways to transfer energy around in the atmosphere, but there is only one way the Earth loses energy. If one wishes to alter the Earth’s overall temperature relative to a planet without an atmosphere, that is the one mechanism that must be influenced.

      • Don says:

        P.S. Gordon,
        I should say this about the photon and mass. As a particle’s velocity increases, its mass also increases. Einstein also said that. And a photon moves at the speed of light, as it is light. So a photon has “effective” mass when it is moving, and no rest mass, because it never rests.
        Einstein, who invented the basic concept of quantum theory with his photo-electric paper, also never fully accepted quantum. Today a very large amount of modern technology is based on quantum effects.

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        Gordon, I would encourage you to try to restate your ideas without the word “heat”, since that word seems to be problematic and/or misunderstood by various people. If you understand the underlying physics, there should be no problem.

        Alternately, give us a definition of “heat”. What precisely do you mean by “heat”? Give us an equation or an operational definition for how you understand “heat”.

        If you can’t do that, then you really are in no position to teach about how “heat” should behave. (And if you CAN do that, I suspect we will be able to show you some logical inconsistency in your arguments.)

        Personally, I would give an entry-level definition like “the net flow of energy between two systems due to temperature differences” as a good starting point. Is that how you understand heat?

        • Bryan says:

          Gordon Robertson

          Tim asks you to comment on thermodynamics without using the word heat.

          As usual Tim is better at asking questions than answering them.

          A quick response would be to ask Tim to make his points without using the word energy.

          What really irritates me about Tim is his sneering self assumed air of superiority.
          If Tim wants to know about the meaning of the term heat I would recommend Zemanski‘s textbook Heat and Thermodynamics.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            I happen to have a copy of Zimansky & Dittman “Haat and Thermodynamics” (7th Edition) sitting next to me.

            The initial definition of heat is:
            “When a closed system whose surroundings are at a different temperature and on which diathermic work may be done undergoes a process, then the energy transferred by non-mechanical means, equal to the different between the change of internal energy and the diathermic work, is called heat. Denoting heat by Q, we have
            Q = (U_f – U_i) – W”

            In the section on Thermal Radiaton, they go on to say:
            “The gain or loss of internal energy energy of the body, equal to the difference between the energy of the thermal radiation which is absorbed and that which is radiated, is called heat.”

            I would be more than happy to use exactly this definition of “heat” in any and all discussions — radiant heat is the DIFFERENCE between outgoing and incoming photon energy.

            Further, these definitions are incompatible with what Gordon said – for instance:
            “You are implying, as many alarmists do, that the 1st law covers the 2nd law so long as there is a net positive IR energy flow between bodies, even if heat is being transferred from a cooler body to a warmer body, in direct contravention of the 2nd law. “
            The “net positive IR energy flow” [from the hotter to the cooler] is “heat”; then by definition, “heat” is NOT being transferred from colder to hotter, and one of Gordon’s main points simply vanishes.

          • Bryan says:

            Tim

            Glad you are using Zamanski and I agree with his definitions.
            Note that Zamanski does not say heat transfer from the colder to hotter.
            He uses energy transfer.
            Heat is capable of doing mechanical work in the given situation is my quick check on reality.
            Gordon seems uncomfortable about using photon absorption and instead is more comfortable with classical electromagnetic theory.
            For thermal emissions this is perfectly acceptable and you will get the same answer as with photon emission and absorption.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            Bryan, my ‘gripe’ in this context boils down to people who don’t use the thermodynamic definition of heat, then turn around and try to claim the results of thermodynamics.

            In particular, the result that “heat only goes from hot to cold” only applies if you define heat as the net energy. The 2nd Law says nothing about energy moving from cold to hot. Energy can and does move from cold to hot with no violation of the 2nd Law, which is exactly Roy’s point way at the top in #2. And Gordon is falling into this trap, and trying to lead others along with him.

  174. DR. SPENCER RIGHTLY SAYS THE FOLLOWING

    One of the more significant aspects of the above discussion, which was demonstrated theoretically back in the mid-1960s by Manabe and Strickler, is that the cooling effects of weather short-circuit at least 50% of the greenhouse effect’s warming of the surface. In other words, without surface evaporation and convective heat loss, the Earth’s surface would be about 70 deg. C warmer, rather than 33 deg. C warmer, than simple solar absorption by the surface would suggest.

    Thus, weather cools the surface in the face of radiative heating.

    And, yes, this effect is included in the climate models used by the IPCC. It would have to be, otherwise the average temperature distributions in those models would be wildly wrong: much too warm in the lower troposphere, and much too cold in the upper troposphere.

    I continue to maintain that the major source of error in global warming predictions based upon the IPCC models is not in the physics of the greenhouse effect, but in the realm of feedbacks: especially, how clouds respond to a warming tendency. All of the 20+ models predict clouds will enhance warming; I believe they will reduce warming.

    Unfortunately, determining cloud feedbacks from our observations of the climate system is an exceedingly difficult problem. Even more difficult is publishing any evidence of negative cloud feedback in the peer reviewed literature.

    Epilogue
    Finally, I want to address 3 stumbling blocks which people encounter in all of this.

    FIRST, if you are still confused about whether greenhouse gases warm or cool the climate system, let me make the following 2 points:

    1) For the atmosphere as a whole, greenhouse gases COOL the atmosphere, through IR radiation to outer space, in the face of heating of the atmosphere by the solar-heated surface.

    2) In the process, however, greenhouse gases drastically change the vertical temperature structure of the atmosphere, warming the lower layers, and cooling the upper layers. Think of greenhouse gases as a “radiative blanket”…when you add a blanket over a heat source, it warms the air between the blanket and the heat source, but it cools the air away from the heat source.

    Greenhouse gases change the energy budget of all layers of the atmosphere, and it is the energy budget (balance between energy gain and energy loss) which determines what the average temperatures of those layers will be.

    SECONDLY, some people claim that IR emission and absorption cannot affect the atmospheric temperature profile because the rate of IR emission and absorption by each layer must be the same.

    Wrong.

    The rate of absorption of IR by a layer is mostly independent of temperature; the rate of emission, though, increases rapidly with temperature. In general, the rates of IR absorption and emission by atmospheric layers are quite different. The difference is made up by convective heat transport and (especially in the stratosphere) solar absorption.

    THIRDLY, if you are wondering, “If temperature change is an energy budget issue, then why does the temperature of an air parcel change when you change its altitude? Doesn’t the temperature change necessarily imply an energy budget change?”

    The answer is no.

    When an air parcel is raised adiabatically, it’s loss of thermal energy is balanced by an equal gain in potential energy due to its altitude. The ‘dry static energy’ of the parcel thus remains the same, which equals cpT + gZ, where cp is the specific heat capacity, T is temperature in Kelvin, g is the gravitational acceleration, and Z is height in meters.

    Of course, averaged over the whole Earth, there can be no net change in altitude; all air parcels rising (and cooling) at any given pressure altitude must be matched by an equivalent mass of air parcels sinking (and warming) at that same pressure altitude.

    • Don says:

      To SDP. I defer to you on details about the atmosphere, and I have no issues with anything you say above. I am a geochemist, not a climate scientist, but I do know some things about paleoclimate data and basic physical chemistry, including quantum restrictions about changes in bond energies.

    • gbaikie says:

      –DR. SPENCER RIGHTLY SAYS THE FOLLOWING

      One of the more significant aspects of the above discussion, which was demonstrated theoretically back in the mid-1960s by Manabe and Strickler, is that the cooling effects of weather short-circuit at least 50% of the greenhouse effect’s warming of the surface. In other words, without surface evaporation and convective heat loss, the Earth’s surface would be about 70 deg. C warmer, rather than 33 deg. C warmer, than simple solar absorption by the surface would suggest.

      Thus, weather cools the surface in the face of radiative heating.–

      This is wrong. These cooling effects on regional level may warm a high temperature of the day, but in terms of average temperature [so including night time temperature] these effect warm Earth. Or earth’s average temperature would be cooler- particular on land surfaces. And oceans are too weird to not think about these surface as not evaporating surface- as it’s the dominate reason ocean temperature are the temperatures they are.

  175. Don says:

    Molecules at STP do move fast, and in all directions. Thus, at any given time some are moving toward a colder surface and others away. These molecules also have a distribution of energies. Interactions of molecules with one another and with IR of proper frequency can alter the energy of any molecule, up or down. But, those molecules having just struck a warmer surface are moving a bit faster than those molecules that just struck a cold surface. This extra energy in molecules near the warm surface gradually makes it sway, through many, many random collisions toward the cooler surface. That is kinetic heat flow by conduction and occurs in solids, liquids, and gas. With a gas convection also occurs and complicates the situation.

    BTW. Some have quoted James Maxwell’s equations for electromagnetism. How many know about his very important work in the kinetic theory of gases? Maxwell was arguably the most important scientist of the 19th century.

  176. Don says:

    Here is an interesting thought experiment to contemplate.
    Take the Earth’s atmosphere, but imagine that not H2O, nor CO2, nor any other molecule can absorb or emit IR photons.
    IR photons emitted from the surface escape directly to space. What would that be like, and would there be any greenhouse warming?
    Allow water evaporation and condensation(latent heat), full atmospheric convection, gravitational rising and falling of air masses, and albedo of clouds. Imagine all these other processes that move energy between surface and atmosphere still occur. But only IR directly from the surface allows the Earth to cool.

    I suspect some temperature profile with height in the atmosphere would still exist, but probably would be much less than now, because energy cannot be lost from the atmosphere to space, only to Earth.
    Because IR photons would escape directly from the surface to space and not be slowed, there would be no energy delay in Earth’s cooling, nothing to add extra warmth to the atmosphere or surface.
    Likely this imagined Earth would have a surface temperature not very different from the case if it had no atmosphere.

    IT IS THE ABSORPTION/EMISSION OF IR PHOTONS ESCAPING TO SPACE, AND THE DELAY IN THE LOSS OF EARTH’S ENERGY IN THAT PROCESS, THAT PRODUCE GREENHOUSE WARMING.

    • gbaikie says:

      –Here is an interesting thought experiment to contemplate.
      Take the Earth’s atmosphere, but imagine that not H2O, nor CO2, nor any other molecule can absorb or emit IR photons.
      IR photons emitted from the surface escape directly to space. What would that be like, and would there be any greenhouse warming?–

      Ok, that is our Moon. Surface temperature at noon and at equator about 120 C, and poleward beyond 75 latitude considerable colder, as go near pole even colder in sunlight as coldest surface on Earth, in 6 months of polar night.
      On nightside of Lunar’s 2 weeks of night, it gets to about 100 K [-170 C] again colder than anywhere on Earth. Moon is not very reflective. Or it’s surface is like charcoal- generally though surface does have many colors as variety of minerals.
      The Moon’s surface is very different in terms of thermal properties as Earth, basically cause it covered in dust from impact events and it’s a near perfect vaccum- better vacuum than in Earth orbit- at say, ISS.
      The vacuum and the dust, makes very good insulative material, better than you can buy. Or if you buy such material and was about 3 inches thick [about same thickness as this dust {think apollo foot prints}] one walk through a blast furnace and live to talk about it- assuming one could breathe in this blast furnace. So this allow a surface of 120 C and cold material few inches below it. So this material and the long nights makes the Moon very unlike what one imagines about greenhouses. Plus the part about high latitude in sunlight being cold also very un-greenhouse.

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      To follow up on what Don said, this satellite spectrum sums up Don’s conclusion: http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/climatescience/atmosphericwarming.html

      If the IR properties of the atmosphere were magically turned off, the “bites” out of the spectrum would disappear, and more radiation would start heading out to space. More radiation lost = cooling. The atmosphere STOPS some of the ‘bright’ IR leaving the surface warm surface , and REPLACES it with ‘dim’ IR from the cool upper atmosphere.

      • Don says:

        Thanks Tim.
        Figure 1 in this post tells interesting information about where the IR detected derives from. The surface temperature is 117 F — in Africa at mid-day. The open part of the IR spectrum over ~10-13 microns, i.e., where little IR absorption occurs, is being emitted from the Earth’s surface and shows the surface temperature. The strong IR absorption by CO2 in the ~14-16 m region shows an emission temperature of ~215 k, or -58 C. That cold temperature indicates that this C-O bond emission came from high up in the atmosphere, high enough that the chance of another higher CO2 absorption and emission was low. Also note the tiny peak inside this C-O emission. That structure represents some peak broadening.

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          Anyone who wants to be informed on these issues MUST be able to understand that spectrum. Pretty much all of the fundamental physics related to “the greenhouse effect” is contained within such an image.

        • gbaikie says:

          “Anyone who wants to be informed on these issues MUST be able to understand that spectrum. Pretty much all of the fundamental physics related to “the greenhouse effect” is contained within such an image.”

          Well, lets see if I understand it.

          If you were say 10 feet away from flat surface which was 320 K and measured it, and there was no H20, CO2, O3 gas between you, then spectrum of blackbody would up to the line which peaks at around 15 μm [15,000 nanometers].
          And one would receive about 590 watts per square meter.
          The wavelengths of chart start higher the 20,000 nanometers of lenght and numbered to 7000 nm. [20 μm to 7 μm].

          In comparison one look at the solar spectrum as seen from bottom of atmosphere.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Solar_Spectrum.png
          In the graph it goes from 250 nm to 2500 nm. And going up or y axis goes from 0 to 2.5. And at 1 it’s 1 watt per nm.
          And the visible portion of light is about 380 to 700 nm and roughly eyeballing it around 1.3 watts per nm. So 320 nm times 1.3 is 416 watts of visible light. And wiki says 1050 W/m2 of direct light reaches surface:
          “but the total amount (direct and indirect from the atmosphere) hitting the ground is around 1120 W/m2. In terms of energy, sunlight at the earth’s surface is around 52 or 55 percent infrared (above 700 nm), 43 or 42 percent visible (400 to 700 nm), and 5 or 3 percent ultraviolet (below 400 nm)”
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunlight
          And in terms of IR and in terms of direct sunlight [the graph is direct sunlight, 52 to 55 percent of 1050 watts
          is 546 to 577 watts per square meter. So more energy of sunlight reaches the surface as near to mid IR then visible light or all other light. In this graph it shows chunks of spectrum removed mostly by H20. And there are also loses other that these bites out of the spectrum.

          So top of atmosphere one gets about 1360 watts of direct sunlight and at bottom when it's a clear day and sun is a zenith one gets about 1050 watts of direct sunlight [and about 70 watts of indirect which would include general diffusion of sunlight or some other the difference between the 1360 and 1050. But said chart is showing direct.
          So if ask how much sunlight we would receive if not losing the chucks removed by H20 [most of bites removed] we can eyeball it and looks like about 100 watts roughly.
          Or add the indirect 70 and H20 caused missing part of 100
          we get 170 watts, and if add this to 1050 watts we get 1330 watts per square meters. Which is close to 1360 watts, BUT
          we probably can’t do this because a portion of 100 watts H2O removes is also disfusing. But one could say it’s somewhere around 100 watts being blocked and some unknown amount of the 100 watts is diffused.
          One could also say more or as much of sunlight is being diffused and scatter/reflected, the the amount blocked by H20.
          Now returning to graph shown here:
          http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/climatescience/atmosphericwarming.html

          Now, as wild guess it seem the 100 on the y axis is probably about .1 watts per wave number.
          So it one had straight line across from 100 and have 400 to 1600. It would 1200 times .1 or 120 Watts. Hmm seems wrong. So let’s plug in number which makes more sense, considering it’s suppose to be around somewhere around 590 watts [though a lot of missing watts off the chart given [longer wavelength then 20,000 nm or shorter than 7000 nm.
          So if simply give a number that allows 590 watts, it would be around .4 or .5 watts [which doesn't make any sense other than fitting it so it vaguely works].

          Now a problem is graph seems to go from longer wavelength to shorter- or it’s backward from typical black body spectrum. So not sure of y axis value and it’s backwards, but,,,. So if assume y and x axis is uniform. H20 part is 200 of 1200 units, and blocks about 40% of it. CO2 has about 200 of 120 units and removes 75%. And CO2 it’s from region if highest values. Or it appears CO2 removes more watts of energy than H20 from blackbody which is 320 K.
          This sort of indicates that CO2 is blocking more of the spectrum. But we also know that CO2 and H20 overlaps in spectrum they absorb. So graph may not indicate this.
          Further if just addressing both H20 and CO2 the spectrum effected is 400 of 1200 and unequal with other 800 parts in that it has more watts per unit.
          Or it’s units are 1.6 times higher than 100 base line and the 800 units are slightly less 100 base line, say times .9.
          So 400 times 1.6 is 640 with say more than halved: 320 units.
          The next 200 units has little removed and is say 1.5 or less, or less than 300. The next 200 units has big chunk out [say 50] it but still averages about 1.0, so 200 units. And 1200 to 1400 wave number has about 1/2 blocked by CH4 and water.
          Without them blocked one have about .75 or 150 units, so lose 75 units and 75 units go thru. And the 1400 to 1800 section is about .5 and H20 blocks 80 to 90% of it.
          So 10 units get thru and 90 units are blocked.
          Totaling amount not blocked: 320 + 200 + 75 + 10 is 605 units. On other ledger: 320 + 50 + 75 + 90 is 535 units.
          Or about 55% gets thru and 45% is blocked.

          • gbaikie says:

            Though one could say trying to get blackbody spectrum reading thru a large atmosphere is a hopelessly stupid thing to try to do. As one can’t really regard it as directed light, in same way as the sun is regarded as directed light. Or it diffused light for number of reasons. I would guess that is why it’s backward.

    • Kristian says:

      Sigh, come on, you don’t see your own folly here, Don?

      You say:

      “I suspect some temperature profile with height in the atmosphere would still exist, but probably would be much less than now, because energy cannot be lost from the atmosphere to space, only to Earth.”

      There would be ‘some’ temperature profile with height in the atmosphere. Hence, you recognise that the atmosphere would still be warmed from the surface. But probably it would be less than now, meaning the temp gradient away from the surface would be smaller without than with so-called GHGs, meaning less energy per unit of time would move away from it. And finally you recognise that while the atmosphere could be warmed from the surface, it could not be adequately cooled to space.

      How on earth do you get such a surface/atmosphere system to become COLDER than the current situation, Don?

      An atmosphere that WARMS from the surface (via conduction/convection) but does NOT adequately COOL to space (via radiation). Think it through, Don. You’re saying this atmosphere would convect/conduct all the absorbed heat from the day-surface BACK to the night-surface? Every day. Every year. No accumulation of heat in the atmosphere? Do you seriously think air will convect/conduct heat back equally efficient to a solid surface as that same surface will convect/conduct heat to the air, Don?

      It HAS TO. Otherwise your ‘model’ won’t work. And the atmosphere WITHOUT ‘GHGs’ will become WARMER than the one WITH ‘GHGs’, making the surface underneath it warmer as well.

      A solar-heated surface with an atmosphere on top will NEVER (and read this very carefully) be able to RADIATE away all the heat it absorbs from the sun. Why? Because there is air around it. And heat transport through air works primarily via conduction > convection.

      All energy lost from the surface via conduction/convection is unavailable for radiative heat loss. That should be a no-brainer.

  177. Anto says:

    The importance of climate sensitivity is, it goes without saying, key. Given the small starting quantity of CO2 in the atmosphere and also the still vanishingly small amount of CO2 which would exist in the atmosphere with a doubling of CO2, there would need to be an exceptionally strong series of positive feedback responses to generate even a marginally worrying amount of warming.

    If the net feedbacks are only marginally positive or, indeed, only marginally negative, it defies common sense that such minor fluctuations in a trace element such as CO2 would or could cause a measurable or worrying increase in average global temperatures.

  178. STEPHENWILDE SAYS Thus the amount of energy returned to the surface by adiabatic compression is less than the energy flowing upward in adiabatic decompression due to the leakage to space from GHGs.

    This is not correct.

    • I respectfully disagree.

      How can one have the same amount of energy coming back down via adiabatic warming if some of it has radiated to space from a point above the surface ?

  179. An Inquirer says:

    I will quibble about point #9. Yes, theoretically you can have an average temperature — whether of bath water or of the earth’s surface. However, to have a meaningful # and trend, the measuring points must be consistent in location, consistent in measuring procedures, consistent in quality, consistent in handling noise, consistent in . . . So far we do not approach anything approaching such consistency in measuring the temperature of the surface of the earth. What kind of quality control was in place over the past 140 years for ships as a tacked-on mission would take ocean temperatures? Were the depths always constant? Was the distance to heat sources constant? Was the geographic point of measurement constant? Even if the geographic point was constant, were the location of ocean current constant? Then on land, did the color of the screens change over time? Did the distance to heat sources change when measurements started being taken over wire? Did air conditioning exhaust get added over time? Did grass give way to pavement? Has the UHI effect been constant over time? Did the number of planes at airports change over time? Did the type of engines passing by airport thermometers change over time? Did the time of day for measurements change?
    And this is just the beginning … there are thousand more relevant questions that undermine the reliability of anything called a surface temperature average. Of course, through computer-aided gymnastics, heroic adjustments have been made. But when the adjustments exceed the trend claimed, a conscientious analyst would be very careful in pronouncing any meaningful trend.
    Perhaps satellite measurements of troposphere temperatures may be subject to less contamination, but even there the analysis is not so clean. About twenty years ago, reanalysis of the UAH data changed the direction of the trend — not just the magnitude — when further study on drift undermined the historic record.

  180. yonason says:

    I’ve been waiting for someone to address these issues, some of which I get, but others I don’t have enough background in.

    THANKS!

  181. Jim Steele says:

    Dr. Spencer,

    I am a wildlife ecologists who has studied climate effects in wildlife for over 25 years. I have observed many local and regional temperature trends where maximum temperatures have never exceeded the 30s and 40s. Landscape changes and natural cycles seem to have a greater effect on local climate. That has led me to believe that either the climate has a low sensitivity to CO2 or that more powerful regional climate dynamics like ocean oscillations often overwhelm any CO2 warming. Or both.

    I accept that the warming effect of CO2 is the result of absorbing outgoing infrared and then re-emitting it in a random direction. ( the popular notion that CO2 is trapping heat is a misleading and inaccurate term), Therefore the warming effect develops because half of the outgoing heat waves are redirected back towards the earth. Heat waves are not trapped but simply make a detour.

    Some skeptics have put forth the argument that increasing CO2 also has a conter-balancing cooling effect, which may offset any warming and make CO2 an insignificant player in climate change. The same physics that argues that CO2 redirect infrared and warm the planet should also apply to incoming infrared insolation. What is often absent in discussions of CO2′s warming-ability is the fact that half of the incoming solar radiation resides in the infrared spectrum. For example NASA’s illustration of the greenhouse effect suggests that CO2 only traps heat.

    http://climate.nasa.gov/system/content_pages/main_images/normPage-3.jpg

    But CO2 does not prefer outgoing infrared over incoming. CO2 will also absorb its wavelengths of incoming infrared and redirect those heat waves back to outer space. It seems to be a very reasonable argument that the climate would have a very low sensitivity to increasing CO2 if the amount ofincoming infrared redirected back to outer space balances the amount of outgoing infrared redirected back to earth.

    Any climate sensitivity to CO2-warming would then be at least partially by the proportion of outgoing infrared vs incoming infrared. If the amount of energy in wavelengths of incoming infrared that are absorbed by CO2 are greater than the amount of outgoing, then CO2 should have a cooling effect.

    Intuitively I would suspect that because the sun is hotter, then according to the Stefan-Boltzman law the sun should emit more infrared relative to a cooler earth. If so that implies the cooling effect of greenhouse gases could balance the warming effect? Does anyone know of any research that addresses this issue? To what degree Is there a balancing effect between incoming and outgoing infrared? Inquiring minds want to know
    .
    Scientists and fellow critically thinking skeptics please weigh in!!!

    • Curt says:

      Jim:

      There is virtually no overlap between the spectrum of the sun and the spectrum of the earth’s own thermal radiation. While almost half of the sun’s spectrum is infrared, it is almost totally in the “near” infrared (or shortwave infrared). Less than 1% of it is at wavelengths longer than 4 microns.

      Conversely, virtually none of the earth’s thermal spectrum is at wavelengths shorter than 4 microns. We say that the earth’s spectrum is primarily in the “far” infrared (or longwave infrared).

      Now it is true that the intensity of solar radiation at all wavelengths is greater than the earth’s AT THE SUN’S SURFACE. But due to the inverse-square falloff in intensity, the intensity at the earth’s surface in LWIR from the sun is negligible.

      The “greenhouse gases” H2O and CO2 absorb primarily in the LWIR, not visible or SWIR.

      • Don says:

        Curt’s comment about relative emission intensity from the Sun are true.
        However, water does have a few absorption peaks between 1 and 4 microns, just below the visible, and there is a CO2 absorption at 2.8 m.

    • Don says:

      Jim,
      Some incoming solar IR does indeed get absorbed in the atmosphere. Tim’s post (see above) shows the Trenberth diagram of Earth’s energy balance. It has 67 watts/m2 absorbed in the atmosphere, 77 reflected in the atmosphere (mostly by clouds), 30 reflected at Earth’s surface, and 168 absorbed by Earth’s surface. Part of the atmospheric absorption is ozone absorption outside the IR region.

      The Trenberth diagram also shows an internal loop of energy between surface and atmosphere and back again. That adds no net heat, but is part of the energy delay.

      Because the Sun is much hotter, it emits its energy at much shorter wavelengths. Thus, the peak of solar energy emission is in the visible, whereas the colder Earth’s surface has a peak in its energy emission around 15 microns, the mid-IR.

      I would maintain that ANY absorption of IR, outgoing or incoming, slows the process of energy loss from Earth and causes warming. IR absorption and emission in the atmosphere occurs over and over, with emission photons going in all directions. That holds energy in the atmosphere for a time.

  182. ren says:

    You can see that with decreasing solar activity solar processes begin to dominate in climate change.
    I draw your attention to the blockade of the southern polar vortex in the vicinity of the magnetic pole. Cosmic rays quite high.
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/gif_files/gfs_t70_sh_f00.gif
    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag/data/mag_maps/browse/I_map_mf_2010_large.jpeg
    This is how looks like visualization.
    http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/70hPa/orthographic=26.64,-101.37,365
    Simultaneously increasing global sea ice.
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg
    In this situation, the discussion of a few particles of CO2 makes me laugh a little.

  183. Don said:

    “The Trenberth diagram also shows an internal loop of energy between surface and atmosphere and back again. That adds no net heat, but is part of the energy delay”

    Agreed that that self contained separate loop adds nor removes any net heat and that it is part of the energy delay in transmission through the system but Trenberth only shows the upward part in the form of 102 Wm2 in thermals and evaporation.

    Instead of showing the downward part of that separate (adiabatic convective) loop he balances the budget by proposing extra DWIR of the same amount (102 Wm2).

    I say he cannot do that because whilst energy is tied up in that separate adiabatic convective loop the energy is in the form of gravitational potential energy which is not heat and does not radiate.

    So you cannot balance the budget by increasing DWIR by 102 Wm2.

    Instead you need to add the corresponding downward leg of the adiabatic convective cycle. That is missing from the diagram.

    The critical importance of that is that if the energy comes back to the surface via that separate loop rather than via DWIR then the entire mass of the atmosphere is what warms the surface above S-B and NOT radiative characteristics of constituent gases.

  184. Bryan says:

    There have been a number of posts (some very plausible) about why there must be an increase in the Earth near surface temperature with increased atmospheric CO2.

    This they say is due to the greenhouse effect.

    They all fail to see the enormous elephant in the room!

    Atmospheric CO2 has varied widely historically and in the recent past.
    Yet apparently there is no link to surface temperatures.
    The recent ‘pause’ in the last 17 years is well documented.

    Is it not time to move on and reject the greenhouse theory as a failed conjecture without any link to reality.

  185. Mark Bofill says:

    Outstanding post Dr. Spencer.

    I hope that more skeptics come to understand these things and move on to the issues that count, such as the uncertainty in feedbacks, the abject failure of the GCMs to reproduce observed trends (and particularly the folly of basing policy decisions on the projections of such GCMs), the absurdly overblown predictions of doom based on potentially overblown projections of warming, and the costs of adaptation vrs the costs of effectively returning to a pre-industrial level of power generation to humanity.

  186. AlecM says:

    My Dear Roy, you are still so wrong despite my efforts to educate you!

    1. Downwelling is a Thermal Radiation Field, the potential energy flux of the Atmosphere to a sink at absolute zero. This is basic Radiative Physics: there is no downwards energy transmission for a normal temperature distribution. The IR thermometer measures temperature because it measures the difference of its Thermal Radiation Field and that of the Atmosphere, and the result is calibrated vs a black body.

    2. The imaginary ‘Enhanced GHE’ is a Perpetual Motion Machine of the 2nd Kind; the atmosphere using its own heat to cause itself to expand.

    3. Oh Dear! The Tyndall experiment has been badly misinterpreted. There can be no ‘thermalisation’ of the GHG-absorbed energy because that would breach The Law of Equipartition of Energy, as basic a physical principle as quantum theory.

    4. CO2 does not warm or cool because it lis the working fluid of the Heat Engine that stabilises surface temperature: more later!

    5. See 3 and 4.

    6. The Trenberth Energy Budget is juvenile physics. MODTRAN, based on replicating real observations, shows there is ~63 W/m^2 net IR energy flux from the surface to the Atmosphere consistent with 238.5 W/m^2 OLR. The rest of the mean 160 W/m^2 leaves as convection and evapo-transpiration!

    7. The dissolution of CO2 in ice has smoothed out the real Vostok data.

    8. The IPCC models are deeply flawed in many ways so they cheat to get the political result. Leave it at that for the time being.

    9. Ditto……

    10. A black body radiating to Space can have an operational emissivity near unity. The Earth has an operational emissivity of about a sixth of a black body. We engineers know this for a fact!

    My comments are not negative, simply an attempt to correct the false physics you were taught, originating from Sagan!

    • Nabil Swedan says:

      “The Earth has an operational emissivity of about a sixth of a black body. We engineers know this for a fact!”

      AlecM,

      The earth is surrounded by empty space, there are no energy losses to space other than by radiations. Therefore the earth’s emissivity must be equal to one as well.

      The notion of emissivity is for engineering systems at surface, because radiation is not the only heat transfer that occurs. If you place a rusted piece of metal at surface, its emissivity is less than one. However, if this piece of metal is floating in space, its emissivity must be equal to one, because there is no other way to exchange the energy.

      • AlecM says:

        The Earth’s surface radiates a mean net 63 W/m^2** to the atmosphere. This is 63/396 = 0.159 of a black body’s emission to a sink at absolute zero.

        The atmosphere radiates energy to Space from three main regions: the Earth surface at c 15 deg C in the atmospheric window, the upper level of the atmosphere set by low level clouds for water vapour, about 0 deg C, and the lower stratosphere for CO2, about -50 deg C.

        This part of the system might be considered to have an operational emissivity of near unity because the sink temperature is ~2 7 deg K. However, because there is no single emitter, this ‘mean operational emissivity’ is an artefact.

        **2009 ‘Energy Budget’.

        PS Radiative heat transfer is a tricky subject, only appreciated by the long in tooth and grey of head! Dr Spencer is still learning!

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          Your 2nd sentence bothers me — that is not like any definition of “emissivty” I have ever seen. Taken to an extreme, if the object were surrounded by a warmer surface, the net flow of energy would be INTO the object and your definition of “effective emissivty” would give a negative number! That seems like a rather perverse definition of emissivty!

          • AlecM says:

            You are correct. Operational emissivity can be negative.

            You can also have energy flow in opposite directions at different wavelengths, dependent on the temperature and the wavelength-dependent emissivities of the two emitters.

            This is a very subtle subject which he physicists disguise by assuming ‘grey bodies’.

            The way you understand it is by using Poynting Vectors.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            “You can also have energy flow in opposite directions at different wavelengths, dependent on the temperature and the wavelength-dependent emissivities of the two emitters.”

            Certainly you can have energy (ie photons) flowing both directions, but you can’t have NET energy flows in opposite directions — that would violate the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. The NET energy flow is from hotter to cooler at each and every wavelength. If there were wavelengths where the flow was from cool to warm, I could (at least in principle) insert a filter that only allowed those wavelengths to pass through, thereby having a flow of heat from cold to hot.

          • Curt says:

            Alec, you say: “The Earth’s surface radiates a mean net 63 W/m^2** to the atmosphere. This is 63/396 = 0.159 of a black body’s emission to a sink at absolute zero.”

            That’s a very succinct description of the greenhouse effect! If the atmosphere were transparent to the earth’s radiation, the surface would be emitting directly to a sink virtually at absolute zero, and would have about 0.95 “of a black body’s emission to a sink at absolute zero.”

            This reduced “operational emissivity” means that for a constant power input, the surface must have a higher temperature than it would with a higher operational emissivity.

            While I agree with Tim that you are using “emissivity” in a non-standard sense – nothing in my engineering or physics texts or any of the materials I have used in my technical professional career have used it that way – I understand how you are using it.

            But you must realize that all you have is a semantic quibble with the “standard” (or you could just consider it “alternate”) terminology. Effectively, you are just reversing the order of a couple of calculations compared to the alternate approach. The end result of the net heat transfer is the same.

            (You are computing the difference in “radiative potentials” before integrating over the effective cross-sectional area of transfer, where as others would use the absolute radiative potentials and integrate each flow over the effective cross-sectional area of transfer, then subtract these two. By the distributive property, these two approaches yield the same result.)

          • AlecM says:

            @Curt.

            I have put much thought into this. The term ‘emissivity’ means the ratio of the real Irradiance relative to the Planck Irradiation Function. The former is not a measure of the transformation of kinetic energy to EM energy, but of the potential energy flux of the emitter to a sink at absolute zero. This is turn is the integration over all wavelengths of mean the Poynting Vectors, the mean potential energy flux of each monochromatic wave.

            If the sink is above absolute zero, you integrate the vector sum of all the PVs at a plane, including those from the sink! This means energy transmission can be bidirectional if the body emissivities vary significantly. That is the case for the Atmosphere in a temperature inversion, for example because the Atmosphere is semi-transparent to IR.

            The Big Problem with Climate Alchemy is its reliance on the pyrgeometer, a bad instrument because it works by both radiative and convective equilibrium.

            My use of the term operational emissivity is deliberately intended to focus the mind of the reader on the fact that net surface IR, mostly in the atmospheric window, is much lower than a black body’s emission to empty space so the rest of the 160 W/m^2 thermalised SW comes off as convection and evapo-transpiration.

            63 W/m^2 IR is 39% of 160 W/m^2 mainly because for isothermal conditions, it’s the difference of surface and opposing atmospheric Irradiance. The 160 W/m^2 is 40% of the black body Irradiance for 16 deg C. The c.0.16 Operational Emissivity is 0.39 x 0.4. Understand this and you understand the real physics and how badly US Atmospheric Physicists have been taught, hence the failure of the IPCC modelling.

          • AlecM says:

            @Folkerts.

            Consider a temperature inversion. The atmosphere is warmer than the surface so radiates net IR to it in the main GHG bands (self-absorbed). However, because the atmosphere is semi-transparent in the ‘atmospheric window’ the surface emits IR energy to Space.

            So, you can have net R in different wavelength bands of different sign, also negaive, zero or positive net heat transfer from the surface to Space and a small bit absorbed in the non self-absorbed atmospheric GHG bands.

            For equal temperatures, there is zero net IR emission in the self-absorbed GHG bands.

          • Curt says:

            Alec: You didn’t really respond to my points, so I will restate them

            First, you are using distinctly non-standard terminology. I reviewed many old texts and papers, and none use the terminology the way you do. When you do this, don’t be surprised that virtually no one understands what you are trying to say.

            Second, your analysis that goes along with your terminology just re-orders some calculations compared to what others are doing. You end up with the SAME RESULT! The KT 390 up minus 324 down = 66 net up (which you can also think of as the sum of opposing vectors) is fundamentally the same thing as your 0.159 * 396 = 63 up.

            Your whole argument is simply a semantic quibble.

        • Nabil Swedan says:

          “The Earth’s surface radiates a mean net 63 W/m^2** to the atmosphere.”

          AlecM,

          There is no radiation between two masses in intimate contact such as the atmosphere and surface. Either conduction or convection exists between the atmosphere and surface. This is what the engineering textbooks tell.

          • AlecM says:

            Not true.

            Use MODTRAN, a programme which because it is proprietary cannot be altered by the politicians.

            The net surface IR transmission for the Earth’s surface to the atmosphere is set by the vector sum of the opposing Thermal Radiation Fields at that plane.

            The underlying assumption, dating from Manabe and Wetherald, is that there is conservation of energy, c. 160 W/m^2 arriving as thermalised SW, the same as convection, evapo-transpiration and net, true IR!

            The physics is defined by the simple fact that the Earth’s emissivity is c. 0.97 and, because the atmosphere is semi-transparent to IR, its emissivity is c. 0.6.

            As I wrote above, this is a tricky subject and the dim people who set up the IPCC version failed to understand the basics.

          • Nabil Swedan says:

            AlecM

            see that you are a fan of the GHG effect theory. You said that you are an engineer with gray hair. Show me the greenhouse gas effect being mentioned or applied in the engineering books. Show me a machine devised that works on the principle of GHG effect.

          • AlecM says:

            Reply to Swedan.

            The IPCC ‘Enhanced GHE’ is a Perpetual Motion Machine of the 2nd Kind’.

            It cannot exist.

          • Nabil Swedan says:

            Agree, but this is not the IPCC, it is the climate science that we have to accept like it or not.

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        No, objects in space do NOT need to have an emissivity of 1. IR might be the only way to lose energy, but that does not imply that the object emits IR with 100% of the theoretical maximum efficiency.

        • AlecM says:

          Thanks mate!

          This is a VERY tricky bit of physics, misunderstood by most scientists.

          Engineers like me know it because we have to get the sums right!

          The key adjective is ‘OPERATIONAL’, defined by the conditions under which it is measured.

        • Nabil Swedan says:

          “No, objects in space do NOT need to have an emissivity of 1. IR might be the only way to lose energy, but that does not imply that the object emits IR with 100% of the theoretical maximum efficiency.”

          Tim Flokerts, Then where does the difference of energy go if the efficiency is not 100%. I know that at steady state all incoming energy must be radiated and therefore emissivity must be equal to 1.

          • AlecM says:

            Imagine a sphere of solid, oxidised aluminium, which can only emit IR in the two major Al2O3 bands…..

            I helped build 2-colour optical pyrometers to measure such physics on-line!

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            Nabil, you misunderstand “emissivity”. All the energy still leaves, but the temperature will be different.

            As a concrete example, suppose you have a sphere with a surface area of 1 m^2 with a 240 W electric heater inside. This sphere is placed deep in space far from any star.

            The temperature will be given by P = εσAT^4 or
            T = (P / εσA).

            If the emissivity is 1, then the temperature will be 255 K.
            If the emissivity is 0.9, the temperature will be 262 K.
            If the emissivity is 0.2, the temperature will be 381 K.

            All of these will be at steady-state, and all will be losing 240 W of thermal IR to match the 240 W of the electric heater.

          • Nabil Swedan says:

            Tim,

            Thank you for the clarification. I understand that a rusted surface will be warmer than a shiny one, but in the case of the earth there is no energy generation, it is energy received from the sun either reflected or radiated back. The emissivity of earth subsystems are close to 1.0, and this is true for land, surface water, and atmosphere. Please correct me if am wrong.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            Nabil,

            I am not quite sure what your question is, but let me say briefly that the emissivity depends on the wavelength (and hopefully this will help with your specific concern).

            For example, a cloud is very nearly a “white body” for visible light, but very nearly a black body for thermal infrared.

            The higher the emissivity in the visible portion of the spectrum (ie the blacker the object, ie the lower the albedo), the WARMER the object will be in sunlight, because it is better at absorbing solar energy.

            Conversely, the higher the emissivity in the thermal IR range (ie the blacker the object), the COOLER the object will be, because it is better at emitting thermal IR.

            The earth’s surface is indeed pretty close to a blackbody for thermal IR — water, ice, and leaves are all around 0.9 – 1.0. Rocks and soil seem to vary a lot.

          • Nabil Swedan says:

            Thank you Tim,

            What about the emissivity of the atmospheric air, any figure? I came up with 0.93-0.98 for the emissivity. How does this number look to you.

  187. Tim Folkerts says:

    I am reminded of a quote attributed (in various forms) to Einstein:
    Things should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.”

    It is very clear that the IR properties of materials around a heated object affect the temperature of the heated object, making it warmer than it would otherwise be. For various simple situations, it is easy to calculate how much warming. For example, a thin blackbody shell positioned close to the surface of a uniformly heated blackbody object will raise the temperature of the object by a factor of 2^(1/4) compared to having no shell around the object.

    This is the “simple” version; the freshman physics version. Conceptually, the earth must also warm due to the surrounding atmosphere. This result agrees (in a broad sense) with temperatures of the earth (ie 255 K vs 288 K)

    ********************************************

    On the other hand, this is TOO SIMPLE to fully explain the actual climate. The atmosphere is not a thin solid blackbody shell; sunlight is not uniform; the atmosphere also has convection and latent heat to deal with, cloud cover varies, ….

    All of these sorts of factors modify how effectively the IR properties of the atmosphere warm the surface. But none of these other factors change that underlying physics that of an IR active atmosphere causing at least some warming.

    • AlecM says:

      The real GHE is presently c. 11 K.

      At the last glacial maximum, it was ~2 K

      The increase to the present, ~9 K, is from biofeedback.

      There is near zero effect of CO2.

      Discuss!

      (I am prepared to argue the point, but it involves irreversible thermodynamics and few know what that means.)

      • Kristian says:

        AlecM, there is no atmospheric radiative warming effect on the surface. It clearly has a net radiative cooling effect on the surface.

        The TOTAL atmospheric warming effect on the surface, however, is huge, many tens of degrees. It simply has to do with the heat capacity and the weight of the atmosphere, not with the radiative properties it might have.

        • AlecM says:

          Agreed: Lapse Rate warming is from Gravity, the constancy of potential and internal energy for any given parcel of air below the tropopause.

          The ~11 K GHE is from clouds, the effect of albedo increase being offset by the effect of reduction of direct IR emission from the surface to Space in the ‘atmospheric window’.

          The effect is amplified by reduced ice area, hence reduction of albedo from hat cause.

          There is near zero CO2 effect because near aero net CO2 surface IR emission and the impossibility of thermalisation of GHG-absorbed IR in the gas phase means no extended GHE. And the non-amplified CO2 warming is offset by atmospheric processes, to be published!

    • Kristian says:

      Tim (and all),

      You just don’t get it, do you?

      The temperature gradient away from the solar-heated surface of the earth that our atmosphere creates, forcing the surface to keep a steady-state mean temperature higher than in a non-atmo situation, is NOT there because H2O and CO2 absorbs IR from the surface and sends some of it back to reheat it.

      It is there because the atmosphere, unlike space, is warmable (with OR without so-called ‘GHGs’) (meaning it’s massive, it has a heat capacity), and because it resides in a gravity field.

      It’s that simple.

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        The atmosphere DOES help even out the temperature swings due merely to its heat capacity. And that DOES help raise the average slightly.

        But conservation of energy is the ultimate limit on temperature. The earth as a whole only receives ~ 240 W/m^2 on average. Therefore it cannot emit more than 240 W/m^2. A surface @ 288 K with no IR effects from the atmosphere would emit more than 240 W/m^2 to space (and hence cool).

        It is THAT simple.

        • Kristian says:

          Tim Folkerts says, May 1, 2014 at 7:05 PM:

          “The atmosphere DOES help even out the temperature swings due merely to its heat capacity. And that DOES help raise the average slightly.”

          You know that’s not what I’m talking about, Tim. Why? Because I said so in the very comment you replied to. The atmospheric heat capacity is what makes the atmosphere able to WARM from the surface. You just reveal your true agenda every time you try to twist and confuse basic facts. Should I perhaps use ‘maths and equations’ to make it clear that I meant the temp gradient away from the surface and not the evening out of temps between night and day, Tim?

        • Kristian says:

          Tim Folkerts says, May 1, 2014 at 7:05 PM:

          “The earth as a whole only receives ~ 240 W/m^2 on average. Therefore it cannot emit more than 240 W/m^2. A surface @ 288 K with no IR effects from the atmosphere would emit more than 240 W/m^2 to space (and hence cool).”

          A solid blackbody at 288K in the vacuum of space (that is, WITHOUT an atmosphere around it) would, Tim. Not earth’s surface. As has been explained on this thread …

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            A 288 K surface would emit the same IR power to space whether it has no atmosphere or an atmosphere that is transparent to IR. From space, the outgoing spectrum would look IDENTICAL since the atmosphere would have no impact on the IR.

            A 288 K surface being heated by 240 W/m^2 would therefore cool whether surrounded by no atmosphere or an atmosphere transparent to IR. It would cool a little slower with an atmosphere since the atmosphere would have to cool as well. But that affects the time to reach steady-state, not the final temperature.

            As has been explain *correctly* in this thread. :-)

          • Kristian says:

            Tim Folkerts says, May 1, 2014 at 8:06 PM:

            “A 288 K surface would emit the same IR power to space whether it has no atmosphere or an atmosphere that is transparent to IR.”

            There’s no point in continuing this discussion, Tim. Because as always you insist and thrive on not relating to or addressing specific counter-arguments at all, this time around the expounded reasons WHY earth’s surface must become warmer with an atmosphere WITHOUT radiative gases than WITH.

            Your BB argument fails already at the first step. Because a solar-heated surface surrounded by air will automatically lose energy through conduction/convection, energy that would otherwise be lost through radiation. You don’t have more energy available than what’s coming in in the first place, Tim. A blackbody does not store energy to warm. It absorbs an incoming radiative energy flux, immediately attains a corresponding surface temperature and then emits directly according to this temperature. That’s a blackbody. That’s NOT the surface of the earth.

            Sorry, it doesn’t really matter how much you keep CLAIMING it is, Tim. It’s not. Again, reality comes knocking.

          • Kristian says:

            I repeat (for interested readers, not for Tim who is here only to confuse, obfuscate and distract):

            The temperature gradient away from the solar-heated surface of the earth that our atmosphere creates, forcing the surface to keep a steady-state mean temperature higher than in a non-atmo situation, is NOT there because H2O and CO2 absorbs IR from the surface and sends some of it back to reheat it.

            It is there because the atmosphere, unlike space, is warmable (with OR without so-called ‘GHGs’) (meaning it’s massive, it has a heat capacity), and because it resides in a gravity field.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            “Your BB argument fails already at the first step. Because a solar-heated surface surrounded by air will automatically lose energy through conduction/convection, energy that would otherwise be lost through radiation.”

            Your counter-argument fails already because any effect of the atmosphere will be temporary. After some time (maybe a few days; maybe a few years) the atmosphere will have reached some steady-state condition, and there will be no more net energy transfer between the surface and the atmosphere. You can’t keep putting energy into a finite atmosphere indefinitely with no way for the energy to leave the atmosphere!

            At this point, the surface will stop transferring net energy to the atmosphere, and will once again need to emit IR to space equal to the solar energy input.

            (Your conclusion would be correct only if the heat capacity of the atmosphere was infinite!)

          • Kristian says:

            Tim Folkerts says, May 2, 2014 at 3:04 PM:

            “Your counter-argument fails already because any effect of the atmosphere will be temporary. After some time (maybe a few days; maybe a few years) the atmosphere will have reached some steady-state condition, and there will be no more net energy transfer between the surface and the atmosphere. You can’t keep putting energy into a finite atmosphere indefinitely with no way for the energy to leave the atmosphere!

            At this point, the surface will stop transferring net energy to the atmosphere, and will once again need to emit IR to space equal to the solar energy input.

            (Your conclusion would be correct only if the heat capacity of the atmosphere was infinite!)”

            Why do I get this distinct feeling that I’m talking to a child here? Tim, you’re displaying such a puerile lack of basic logic and coherence in your argumentation that I am forced to conclude that you’re just joking around. I’ve told you before how your simplistic sand-box view of the world normally makes me chuckle. But this is simply too stupid. Do you even read through what you write before you publish it?

            I have to quote your entire post because there is no way I can extract only one part to best show what I’m referring to.

            I’m not even gonna try to put you straight here, Tim, because if you seriously can’t see this for yourself, then there’s no helping you.

          • Kristian says:

            But I will give you a hint, Tim.

            What happens if you prevent a constantly (diurnally) solar-heated surface from transferring its absorbed energy to its surrounding air through conduction/convection/evaporation (somehow block all conductive/convective/evaporative transfer away from the surface)? Will it just immediately and without temperature rise rather radiate away all its energy? Is this the way the world works, Tim?

            You can’t just take out the convective processes from the equation and then be back to a purely radiative situation. Not with air still around, a gravity field and a constantly heated surface.

            Welcome to reality, Tim! This is what I mean with your hand-waving appeal to maths and equations. Mathematically you don’t see the flaw. Out in the real world you see it instantly.

  188. Bob Jarrett says:

    Wow! I can see why you would be exasperated by some of the skeptical non-science as you are by the climatology GCM tautology. I had a frustrating discussion over dinner with a true believer and our high school kids. The public schools teach simplified CAGW so the young minds were not exposed to any skeptic discussion of the theories. In this discussion, I realized how little of the science was understood by all sides of these family debates.

    I was determined to better understand the hard science of meteorology and the physical behavior of the atmosphere, oceans, clouds and sun. I enjoyed your Great Global Warming Blunder and others by the “skeptic” community after trying to trudge through the IPCC reports.

    My conclusions from the public discourse are parallel to your points in this article. I progressed from the misconception about the saturation of CO2 to recognizing the IR ceiling temperature dropping as the concentration continues to rise—Clive Best has a good description of this on his blog.

    At this point in the science, I see the hand-waving begin. The feedback from the CO2 effect, dominates discussions. The believers in the proxy hockey stick have unshakeable proof that the industrial age increase in atmospheric CO2 correlates with the global average temperatures for 1000 years. CAGW advocates accept that the unprecedented rise in temperature and CO2 will continue at an accelerating rate—the death of Mother Earth.

    The MBH visual from TAR is the lens used to interpret any climate discussion. One has to applaud the effectiveness of this image. Despite all the demonstrated flaws, this belief is the foundation of the “settled science”. Of course, it is neither settled nor science.

    The counter points are lost in the noise. One of the casualties is your assertion that the forcing and feedback may be reversed—as you have learned, it is not open to discussion. Similarly, the semi-cyclic, chaotic solar activity and low frequency changes in ocean currents (PDO, AMO) are natural noise in the long-term average climate—rather than potentially driving the current temperature cycle.

    I am thankful that UAH and the array of other scientists are collecting global data over the course of decades. This growing record encourages me that the climate system on earth doesn’t react to hyperbole expressed by the political wing of the IPCC. Yes, the temperatures are showing an increase (particularly in the northern hemisphere). And yes, the CO2 continues to increase. But yes, the vegetation is reacting favorably to these effects. And no, the temperatures are not in lock-step with the CO2. And no, the run-away warming is not occurring. And no, the warming rate is not unprecedented.

    Keep up the good work.

  189. PS Radiative heat transfer is a tricky subject, only appreciated by the long in tooth and grey of head! Dr Spencer is still learning!

    What a ridiculous assertion to make.

    You all need to learn from Dr. Spencer.

    He lays out a sensible argument and can back it up through experimentation and data.

  190. Don says:

    If two objects have the same emissivity and are maintained at the same temperature, they will have the same radiation flux, as read on an optical pyrometer or any other way. If you now magically lower the emissivity of one object (but maintain the same energy input as before), its radiation flux will decrease and of necessity its temperature must rise. Instead, if you lower the energy input into the object with lowered emissivity in order to maintain its temperature as before, its radiation flux will be lower than the unaltered object.
    Readings of an object’s temperature via radiation flux will always be low if the object’s emissivity is below one.

    IR radiation flux from Earth primarily occurs from the atmosphere. Earth viewed from space is in energy equilibrium between energy input and energy output. However, greenhouse warming has raised Earth’s temperature above that which would be the case if there were no greenhouse warming and emissivity were one. This implies Earth overall would have an emissivity less than one.
    Emissivity of the Earth’s surface cannot be practically measured, because other means of energy transfer beside radiation are involved.

    • AlecM says:

      The BIG FALLACY in most people’s understanding of radiative physics is that the body emits the energy predicted by the Stefan-Boltzmann Equation. IT DOES NOT!

      The net IR or other frequency energy emitted is set by the vector sum of all the Thermal Radiation Fields; the S-B flux is a potential energy flow to a sink at absolute zero!

  191. This is similar to points I was trying to make as to why point 7 is not correct.

    Don Easterbrook says:

    May 1, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Roy,
    I am a big fan of yours—in fact you might say I’m a very big fan of yours. I pore over your regular postings of satellite temperatures and read your blog regularly—all really good stuff. But the logic in your #7 seems to be way off base so I’m hoping you will amend it appropriately. #7 says:

    “7. WARMING CAUSES CO2 TO RISE, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. The rate of rise in atmospheric CO2 is currently 2 ppm/yr, a rate which is 100 times as fast as any time in the 300,000 year Vostok ice core record. And we know our consumption of fossil fuels is emitting CO2 200 times as fast! So, where is the 100x as fast rise in today’s temperature causing this CO2 rise? C’mon people, think. “ The logic here seems to be that if warming causes CO2 to rise and CO2 is rising rapidly, we need a 100 times faster rise in temperature to account for the elevated CO2. What’s wrong with this logic? Think about it. No one is saying that today’s elevated CO2 was caused by warming because there is a totally unrelated cause of higher CO2 that has nothing to do with warming as a cause!! IT’S CLEAR THAT THE TODAY’S HIGHER CO2 LEVELS ARE DUE TO INCREASED HUMAN EMISSIONS, NOT GLOBAL WARMING so we don’t need to look for 100 times global warming. Your argument seems to say that warming does NOT cause CO2 to rise and that is clearly not correct. The chemistry of CO2 equilibrium in sea water clearly shows that warming of sea water releases CO2 into the atmosphere and since three fourths of the globe consists of oceans, that means warming causes a lot of oceanic CO2 to be released into the atmosphere. This is confirmed in ice cores where CO2 lags temperature by hundreds of years as interglacial climates warmed from ice ages (see Jo Nova’s post on this). Here is what I wrote in Chap 5 of the NIPCC 2013 report (Easterbrook, Ollier, and Carter, 2013):

    “Changes in carbon dioxide content lag their equivalent temperature events by between several hundred and 2,000 years in Antarctic ice cores (see Figures 5.7.1 and 5.7.2). Changes in carbon dioxide level cannot be the proximate cause of the warmings and coolings seen. Fischer et al. (1999) established CO2 lagged temperature by 600 ± 400 years as the climate warmed from an ice age. Monnin et al. (2001) found warming from the last major ice age preceded rise in CO2 by 800 ± 600 years. Caillon et al. (2003) documented that rise in temperature preceded rise in CO2 in the Vostok core by 800 ± 200 years. Mudelsee (2001) recognized temperature over the past 420,000 years preceded changes in CO2 by 1,300 years ± 1,000 in the Vostok core. Petit et al. (1999) analyzed 420,000 years of the Vostok core and found as the climate cooled into an ice age, the CO2 decrease lagged by several thousand years. Measurements of recent and modern temperature and CO2 changes show the same lead-lag effect (Figure 5.7.3).” Humlum, Stordahl, and Solheim, J. (2012) showed that even short warming intervals from 1982-2012 were followed by increased atmospheric CO2.

    So, Roy, I hope you will amend your statement #7 to acknowledge that your argument there would be true only if warming was the ONLY cause of elevated CO2 (which is clearly not the case), and to add that both ice core and recent evidence indicates that warming does indeed cause increased atmospheric CO2, but it isn’t the only cause of increased CO2.

    With best regards.

    • Don says:

      One must use caution in comparing times of CO2 retention in ice cores to the times at which temperature was recorded using 18O/16O. 18O/16O records times between evaporation of sea water and its precipitation as snow. CO2 is not retained in that snow and only partly retained in subsequent firm; ice bubbles must form to retain CO2 quantitatively. Thus CO2 often lags temperature by hundreds of years.

      An alternate method of comparing the two parameters is by determining temperature using isotopic fractionation in N2 and Ar trapped in bubbles with the CO2. For two such studies, see the papers below, which present experimental data on a Greenland ice core and the Vostok ice core. By these techniques, one of these studies found ~1090 years elapsed between changes in Temp and when CO2 was locked into place. The other study found 800 years.

      Lang et al., Science 286, p. 934
      Caillon et al., Science 299, p. 1728

      • Don says:

        Two more points.
        A review paper on this subject a year or two ago concluded that CO2 most likely lags Temperature but that the uncertainty overlaps zero.
        Secondly, for the rise in CO2 to account for changes in temperature would require much higher CO2 climate sensitivities than any climate scientist advocates. Most suggest that only about 20% of the temperature rises in the ice ages were caused by CO2.

        • AlecM says:

          In reality, warming from CO2 is near zero. The post glacial increase of GHE by c. 9 K to the present ~11 K is mainly due to the reduction of cloud albedo as aerosol levels shot up when life restarted.

          One bit of evidence is that cold-climate adapted Neanderthal Man, with whom we share most genes, had much larger eyes to cope with the persistent gloom under the clouds that envelope icy regions.

          At present, clouds allow much more light through, particularly shorter wavelengths, and the heating effect is exactly that required by the failing CO2 hypothesis!

  192. Paul says:

    Well, looks like Dr. Spencer has checked out of this thread long ago and moved on to his “best skeptical arguments”

    For those still here, Joe Postma addresses each of Spencer’s “don’t hold water” arguments in a new post:

    http://climateofsophistry.com/2014/05/01/roy-spencer-leaked-his-pants/

  193. Joe Postma and those who follow them do not know what they are talking about.

    I agree with all of Dr. Spencer’s points with the exception of 7

  194. Paul Murphy says:

    Dear Dr. Spencer:

    I agree that all 10 of the issues you raise have been raised by “sceptics” and that in doing so they have generally been wrong.

    However…

    1) Your discussion of “THERE IS NO GREENHOUSE EFFECT” is wrong too. The issue here is not whether there is such an effect, but how important it is and what proportion of it is due to particular gases like CO2 in the lower atmosphere.

    I would argue that:

    a) clearly the effect exists and is important,

    b) but the CO2 contribution is usually overstated by a factor of about 10.

    2) your discussion of “WARMING CAUSES CO2 TO RISE, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND” is wrong in several ways. First I read it as “hot air rises” – which it does, but is not what youi had in mind…

    More importantly, your argument comes down to corelation proving causation. Nonsense.


    Just for fun I’ve recently been picking at the numbers we use to generate those wonderfuil temperature anomalies you defend here. There is one real and one possible problem with them.

    The real one is that you can’t add precision by averaging. If the average measurement error is + or – 0.25C, Microsoft Excel can compute a change of 0.017F per year, but science can’t.

    The possible one is that the data appears to show waves of adjustment – mostly down for early terrestial data, mostly up for data from the late 70s through to about 1998, and not much either way after that. Satelite data may have tilted toward upward adjustments from about 76 to about 99 when some took a big jump, and has been stable since.

    Not all of these are after the fact numerical adjustments – many sensors were moved, others removed, and yet others replaced. Overall, however, the pattern beginning to seem reasonable is downward adjustment for early data, upward for late 20th century data, stability for 21st century data.

    Notice all these adjustments are external to the measurement process – and much of the source data is inaccessible, at least to me. Bottom line, however, is that we don’t have a trustworthy record and, at this point, I’m inclined to think that “the pause” is somewhat more likely to be an artifact of series editing than it is of climate.

  195. Excellent article
    It wouldn’t have hurt to make the list a little bit longer, here are my suggestions:

    11. “There is no global warming. The increasing temperature records are caused by urban heat island effect”
    The urban heat island effect is real, but it cannot explain increased sea temperature, increasing satellite and balloon measurements and melting glaciers.

    12. “There is no increase in the sea level. It is not possible to measure sea level to such accuracy from a satellite”
    The satellite measurements have been confirmed by lots of buoyancy measurements.

    13. “There is no increase in the CO2 level. The Mauna Loa measurements are erroneous and influenced by gas from the volcano.”
    There are a lot of measurement stations all over the globe, and all are agreeing on the increase.

    14. CO2 has so short lifetime in the atmosphere
    It is right that each CO2 molecule has a short lifetime, but that is irrelevant. What’s count is that an elevated level of CO2 has a very long lifetime in the atmosphere.

    /Jan

  196. Ebel says:

    The arguments are supported by my presentation.

    http://www.ing-buero-ebel.de/Treib/Klima.pdf

  197. richard says:

    At the moment my money is on AlexM

    AlecM says:
    May 1, 2014 at 9:51 AM
    Thanks mate!

    This is a VERY tricky bit of physics, misunderstood by most scientists.

    Engineers like me know it because we have to get the sums right!

    The key adjective is ‘OPERATIONAL’, defined by the conditions under which it is measured.

    ————————–

    Perhaps when people reply they could give us an idea of which industry they work in. Of course theory is important. But I do value hands on hardcore making it work in the real world.

  198. Ebel says:

    To Kristian sagt 1. Mai 2014 um 7:49 Uhr

    The counter radiation is in circulation. After adjusting stationary conditions adds up for the back-radiation to the upward radiation and convection, and then returns as a counter radiation to the surface. The back radiation could therefore be even greater without the first law of thermodynamics to hurt.

    An average temperature of the surface is to be formed clearly. That’s right, there is an integration of the temperature over the whole surface divided by the surface. By temperature measurements as the value for a given area is approximated very well that. Without greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the maximum achievable average temperature is -18°C (Hölder’s inequality). This is the highest average temperature is only achieved when the surface temperature is uniform – what can nievorliegen in practice. (For example, in the zenith higher and of the poles lower) for each non-uniform temperature, the average temperature is lower than -18°C.

    • Kristian says:

      Ebel says, May 2, 2014 at 9:35 AM:

      “Without greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the maximum achievable average temperature is -18°C (Hölder’s inequality). This is the highest average temperature is only achieved when the surface temperature is uniform (…)”

      No, Ebel. You’re talking about an object with no massive atmosphere surrounding it, a blackbody where radiative equilibrium is all there is.

      The temperature of a real-world object (like the earth’s surface) is always determined by how much energy it holds stored up (its internal energy). A blackbody does not store energy. It’s temperature is determined solely by the size of its instantaneous radiative fluxes IN/OUT.

      This is the big misunderstanding of ‘Climate Science’. The earth simply does not work as a theoretical concept of radiative physics.

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        Kristian says: “A blackbody does not store energy.”

        This is simply false. Blackbodies have surfaces with ε = 1. Period. But they still can have mass and heat capacity and internal energy. There has never been a requirement that “blackbody” = “no energy storage”.

        • gbaikie says:

          This is simply false. Blackbodies have surfaces with ε = 1. Period.
          Wiki:
          “The idea of a black body originally was introduced by Gustav Kirchhoff in 1860 as follows:

          …the supposition that bodies can be imagined which, for infinitely small thicknesses, completely absorb all incident rays, and neither reflect nor transmit any. I shall call such bodies perfectly black, or, more briefly, black bodies”
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_body#Definition
          And:
          “Planck offers a theoretical model for perfectly black bodies, which he noted do not exist in nature: besides their opaque interior, they have interfaces that are perfectly transmitting and non-reflective.”

          A black body can be call something that absorbs most wavelengths. So things which act like Blackbodies exist, depending upon one’s criterion, but ideal blackbodies aren’t in nature and have not been made.
          Anything with emissivity of 1 to all wavelength would have lowest temperature in vacuum.

          “But they still can have mass and heat capacity and internal energy. There has never been a requirement that “blackbody” = “no energy storage”. ”

          The key word is requirement. They are created as model rather than actually exist if they existed the measurement of it would determine their qualities.
          The requirement for starting point of Greenhouse Effect theory is an ideal blackbody that has absorption and emission of 1 and to get uniform temperature of sphere the energy absorbed distributed evenly around the sphere- it conducts heat/energy perfectly.
          Since it conducts and radiates uniformly there is no requirement for heat capacity, nor is there requirement for the body to rotate.
          Or one could assign a heat capacity or rotational rate to body, but it makes no difference. Or it “works” for all rotations and heat capacities.

          Anything which has emissivity of 1 and can transmit to heat of “largest available surface area” [say to keep it simple, a sphere] is the coldest thing one can make. Unless you believe in greenhouse effect theory.
          Which thru series of idiotic steps, it takes ideal blackbody [absorbs and emits at 1 and spreads the uniformly over a sphere giving a temperature of about 5 C, and then reduces it further to -18 C. And then jumps to another irrational concept that only greenhouse gases can add 33 K to this created uniformly cold body, returning it to 15 C average temperature [not 15 C uniform temperature].
          The only reasonable conclusion one could make about the greenhouse effect theory is it must have been made by a committee, but nothing other than committee can create such a stupid thing. Unfortunately no knows who or what committee it was, as they failed to stamp the name on it.
          And it’s generally blame on someone long dead.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            “The requirement for starting point of Greenhouse Effect theory is an ideal blackbody that has absorption and emission of 1 and to get uniform temperature of sphere the energy absorbed distributed evenly around the sphere- it conducts heat/energy perfectly.”
            This is not a requirement, merely a handy simplification. You could start with a graybody with non-uniform illumination.

            “Anything which has emissivity of 1 and can transmit to heat of “largest available surface area” [say to keep it simple, a sphere] is the coldest thing one can make. Unless you believe in greenhouse effect theory.”
            Physics says that — for a given power input — a blackbody would be the coldest possible thing. Of course, changing the input power by lowering the emissivity for visible light would make the object cooler still. But that is standard physics, not some special “greenhouse effect theory”.

            “Which thru series of idiotic steps … then reduces it further to -18 C.”

            “… another irrational concept that only greenhouse gases can add 33 K to this created uniformly cold body …
            Not only GHGs. There would be lots of ways to do it. But the only one that makes sense is IR radiation.
            the earth is not a blackbody for sunlight — about 30% is reflected away. So you conclude it is ‘idiotic’ to cool off when there is less input power???

            “… returning it to 15 C average temperature [not 15 C uniform temperature] …”
            The ‘average’ vs ‘uniform’ has nothing to do with IR properties (ie the GHE), it has to do with more advanced models not having uniform input. It hardly seems ‘idiot’ that sunlight on one side of the earth would lead to non-uniform temperatures. :-)

            “it must have been made by a committee”
            I suppose you could say that. Many different scientists contributed to the fundamental physics of IR radiation and radiative heat transfer. Many scientists have developed various models of varying degrees of sophistication.

          • gbaikie says:

            “Physics says that — for a given power input — a blackbody would be the coldest possible thing. Of course, changing the input power by lowering the emissivity for visible light would make the object cooler still. But that is standard physics, not some special “greenhouse effect theory”.”

            I would say the way it is done is special to greenhouse effect theory.
            A reflective surface will reduce amount energy getting into a system. Though of course, gases are not a surface nor a reflective surface.

            But anyhow, you agreeing with my main point, a blackbody as a surface and if one can distribute the heat to large surface area to radiate as blackbody is cool rather some idea of it being “warmest it can get”
            Or anything but, such a “perfect machine”- so there would be ways to accidentally or badly make anything which would only result in making it warmer.
            So I am not arguing that greenhouse gases could not add any warming [it's how much and is it vaguely significant- nor do believe CO2 cools. I would simply point to Venus as sole argument against that idea.] Generally I would say any type of atmosphere adds warming. If by warming one means lessening rate of the lowering of temperature of the surface when the sun goes down.

            So a greenhouse delays loss of heat.
            In contrast to ideal black body, if you were to somehow turn off the sun, it rapidly cools to 2 K.
            Or ideal blackbody could be warmed up and cools down very fast.

            Compared to say ocean which take centuries to cool [or to warm]. Compared to atmosphere which takes days to cool, compare to land surface [a km of rock]-take a long time to get 2 K.
            Or if you wanted to cool earth- the sky the ground and the ocean, an addition of something like an ideal blackbody is the great big refrigerator.
            [[But it's passive cooling system rather active or powered refrigeration [which uses energy to cool].]]

            –“Which thru series of idiotic steps … then reduces it further to -18 C.”

            “… another irrational concept that only greenhouse gases can add 33 K to this created uniformly cold body …
            Not only GHGs. There would be lots of ways to do it. But the only one that makes sense is IR radiation.–

            No, what you mean is ultimately the only way to lose energy from Earth is via radiation.
            Which everyone should agree.
            But Earth can lose heat fairly rapidly and there is a limit to how warm earth can reach from sunlight.
            Our atmosphere blocks direct sunlight- top atmosphere 1360 and below it at noon at zenith, can could only deliver about 1050 watts of directed sunlight and directed sunlight is needed to reach highest surface temperatures. Compared to moon [with no atmosphere] the lunar surface gets 1360 watts of direct sunlight. So Lunar surface limit is about 120 C. If moon faced one side of it toward the sun for thousand years, in the sunlight it will not warm much over 120 C. And since earth gets 1050 watts it’s surface temperature is also limited. And as long as earth does not lose it’s atmosphere, it will always be limited. And surface can warm as much as 70 C, with air temperature max related to elevation [lowest will be hottest] of about 50 C. And ocean surface will never warm more than 35 to 40 C.
            And average ocean temperature is about 3 C, and takes thousands of year to warm this average temperature because of sunlight [massive volcanic or impactor could be different story, but it would not be the ocean temperature that would be what we would worry about- it's extinction possibility by other much more severe and acute effects].

            So even if one believed Hansen, we aren’t going to get Oregon being tropical within a century of time. And if it happened, Oregonians property value would rise as result of it.
            Or Hansen must realize he is exaggerating if were he to says Oregon will be tropical within a century- he could say it to dramatize his urgent message of ultimate doom.
            Lie for the Cause. Which I regard as insane.
            Perhaps, it’s profitable, but still, insane.

            –the earth is not a blackbody for sunlight — about 30% is reflected away. So you conclude it is ‘idiotic’ to cool off when there is less input power??? –

            Do I believe a world which gets 240 W and emit 240 W can be warm without greenhouse gases? Yes.

            Or said differently Mars gets about 600 watts. So 600 divide by 4 is 150 W in and 150 out. And I believe it’s possible to had liquid water on surface of Mars.
            How would design it, has to increase water vapor in Mars atmosphere. So now it’s suppose to be about 210 ppm of water vapor:
            http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/factsheet/marsfact.html

            Regional the water vapor would have increase around bodies of water. Mars is a very dry place, unlike anywhere on Earth including deserts of Antarctic. But globally it would not have to increase by much. So it would “dome” of increased water vapor which diminishes the further form a body of water. And system would lose some water to poles.
            But say near water, water vapor was doubled to 420 ppm, and thousand km away it’s say 300 ppm, and perhaps 5 or 10 ppm more at poles [so more ice would form]. So put billions of tonnes of water in large lakes in Mars tropical zone, and seems one could keep water unfrozen at least half the time.

            And significant aspect is one does need to add trillion and trillions of tonnes of atmosphere [in what I think would be vain attempt at warming Mars- it makes it more dusty and "feels" colder, humans would need much protection from cold than they do in spacesuits- which they currently actually have cool the suits, rather warm them]. And the other aspect is the water gives “atmospheric pressure” if underwater. So on Earth 10 meters depth gives 1 atm of pressure. Mars 1/3rd gravity under 10 meters of water gives 1/3 of Earth’s atmospheric pressure, and 1/3 of atm of pressure allows a person to breath pure oxygen without a spacesuit. Now, you need a wetsuit to keep warm, need essential scuba gear to breath if want to travel in water 10 meters under surface. But you have buildings under the water and one could travel about without a pressure suit- and plants and fish could survive in the water.

            So temperatures in the water would not be anywhere near -18 C, on the surface one might still have cold nights and average temperature of about -50 C.
            And sunlight reaching 10 meter beyond surface of water, would be more solar energy than people in germany get on average per year- have higher average solar flux on Mars than Germany.

          • gbaikie says:

            There is evident that billions of years Mars had liquid ocean.
            It thought by many that Mars had a thick atmosphere which allowed Mars have such an ocean.
            And I disagree.
            Mars currently has a atmosphere of mostly CO2 and it’s total mass is 25 trillion tons.
            I would say to begin to qualify as “thick” one have add say 100 trillion tons or more to the atmosphere.
            In compared to earth this is still a very thin- a still not
            enough pressure to breath without a pressure suit.
            Point is to go from thick atmosphere to today’s atmosphere
            Mars would lose over 100 trillion tons of atmosphere.

            I say one could colonize Mars if one adds billions of tons
            of water to surface [put it into a large crater for instance]. And this requires finding enough water on Mars and very low cost of extracting the water- comparable to costs of getting water on Earth [we routinely on Earth use massive amount of water]. So this would probably mean drilling water water on Mars and pumping to surface. Or water on Mars would be like oil mining on Earth, but there could be more water underground on Mars than oil underground on Earth. Or on the surface of Mars there is trillion of tonnes of water in polar caps and as permafrost in polar regions.

            So I think that rather than losing hundreds of trillion of tons of atmosphere, Mars had trillions of tons of water migrate from surface to below the surface.
            And it did this because Mars is unlike Earth, in that Mars has no plate tectonic and volcanic activity which bring water back up to the surface.
            Mars was going to lose water simple because it’s not volcanic active- and Mars was more volcanically active couple billion year ago, it is thought to once had tectonic activity.

            So in terms of natural processes, Mars is doomed not to have much water on the the surface, and lacking water on the surface causes Mars average temperature to be lower.

            So trillions of tonnes of water didn’t leave Mars, it went into the surface crust of Mars. And if one has large impactor [was twice as likely on Mars] it cause floods of water to erupt from the crust. So I think that within last couple billion years there may been periods with large lakes of liquid water on Mars but over say 1 million years they essential work there way down into the crust.

            But with human activity- something taking a million years is not a problem. Even if loss rate of billion ton every 100 years, it’s not a problem. Or my assumption is one could mine ten billion of tons with a decade, and because one wants a lot water [for everything- just Earthlings use lots of water for everything, that one is going increase amount of water mined so it’s tens of billion per year going towards hundreds of billions of tons per billion.

            So example US uses 478.4 billion tonnes of water and India uses 761.0 billion tonnes per year.
            http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/ER.H2O.FWTL.K3

            Of course Mars is a very dry planet compare to Earth, and water will probably cost few times more than it does on earth.

            So just having as much as say 1 million people on Mars does not mean one will terraform Mars so the Mars the planet is warm, but given 1000 years, one could get Mars so it has oceans of water rather than lakes. Given enough time, one could have entire tropical zone of Mars mostly covered with water- and this would affect Mars average temperature.

  199. AmateurSkeptic says:

    While most of the points make sense, this one: “THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A GLOBAL AVERAGE TEMPERATURE” is discounting the argument, I’d suggest that this physics journal article coauthored by a physics professor should be consulted since it is explaining some very basic concepts and asking fundamental questions.

    The paper is available here:
    http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/globaltemp/globaltemp.html
    “Does a Global Temperature Exist?

    Christopher Essex, Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Western Ontario
    Bjarne Andresen, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen
    Ross McKitrick, Department of Economics, University of Guelph

    ABSTRACT:

    Physical, mathematical and observational grounds are employed to show that there is no physically meaningful global temperature for the Earth in the context of the issue of global warming. While it is always possible to construct statistics for any given set of local temperature data, an infinite range of such statistics is mathematically permissible if physical principles provide no explicit basis for choosing among them. Distinct and equally valid statistical rules can and do show opposite trends when applied to the results of computations from physical models and real data in the atmosphere. A given temperature field can be interpreted as both “warming” and “cooling” simultaneously, making the concept of warming in the context of the issue of global warming physically ill-posed.

    This is a pre-print of an article in Journal of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics, Volume 32 No. 1 “

  200. Edward Grau says:

    I take some exception to your critique of this “theory”:
    “WARMING CAUSES CO2 TO RISE, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND The rate of rise in atmospheric CO2 is currently 2 ppm/yr, a rate which is 100 times as fast as any time in the 300,000 year Vostok ice core record. And we know our consumption of fossil fuels is emitting CO2 200 times as fast! So, where is the 100x as fast rise in today’s temperature causing this CO2 rise? C’mon people, think. But not to worry…CO2 is the elixir of life…let’s embrace more of it!”

    Yes, CO2 is increasing today (from burning fossil fuels), but that does not mean that if temperatures were also increasing by 100x that the CO2 would not be increasing even faster. The two (possible) causes of CO2 increase (burning fossil fuels and an increasing Earth mean temperature from whatever source – increased solar activity, whatever) are INDEPENDENT. And so that does not dis-prove that past increases in CO2 could not have been preceeded (and thus CAUSE) a subsequent rise in CO2 levels as some believe (and this theory postulates) – in direct opposition to those who believe the reverse: that increases in CO2 CAUSE(d) the Earth’s mean temperature to rise.

  201. Edward Grau says:

    oops…bad start. Corrections:
    I take some exception to this:
    “WARMING CAUSES CO2 TO RISE, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND The rate of rise in atmospheric CO2 is currently 2 ppm/yr, a rate which is 100 times as fast as any time in the 300,000 year Vostok ice core record. And we know our consumption of fossil fuels is emitting CO2 200 times as fast! So, where is the 100x as fast rise in today’s temperature causing this CO2 rise? C’mon people, think. But not to worry…CO2 is the elixir of life…let’s embrace more of it!”

    Yes, CO2 is increasing today (from burning fossil fuels), but that does not mean that if temperatures were also increasing by 100x that the CO2 would not be increasing even faster. The two causes of CO2 increase (burning fossil fuels and an increasing Earth mean temperature from whatever source – increased solar activity, whatever) are INDEPENDENT. And that does not mean that past increases in CO2 could not have been preceeded by a rise in TEMPERATURE that caused the CO2 to increase as some believe (and this theory postulates) – in direct opposition to those who believe the reverse: that increases in CO2 CAUSE the Earth’s mean temperature to rise.

  202. AJ Eltorson says:

    Roy belongs to a group of men who followed James Hansen’s absurd ‘Green House Gas Law’ scam to the bitter end,

    abandoning the actual method used getting volume temperatures:

    Ideal Gas Law.

    He has sworn with others he’ll go down, with “thuh SiGNTs are SoWnD!”

    when for the past 17 years i guess it is now, not one time has their “more co2 probably means more warming: we got math” story.

    What they have is the scamming of the greatest scientific hoaxer in the last century James Hansen.

    It was he who defied colleagues at N.A.S.A. with his spastical Infrared Global Warming Model in place of the

    REAL one that fits earth, the Infrared Global Cooling Model.

    That ridiculous unbalanced Kiehl-Trenberth trash, with the 324 reflected to the ground and the magically, no mention of the ”theory’s” allusion to there must be 50% going up not toward earth –

    The very concept a light from a fire, having 30% of it’s incoming energy reflected to space by a reflective atmospheric envelope,

    causing every heat sensor on the surface of the sphere to have it’s temperature rise 33C – this, to the Green House Gas Hansenite Computer Modeling Religion,

    is real science.

    Hansen’s colleagues pointed out: “The Atmosphere’s Temperature is Calculated Using the IDEAL GAS LAW.”

    Till Hansen and this bunch of concensus monkeys NOBODY had ever actually calculated atmospheric temperature using some “Green House Gas Law.”

    There was the fact WATER was such a prodigious holder of heat until it changes temp, that it’s thermal handling’s different from the other gases,

    but prior to these Hansenite Believer Religionists, there were no “Global Infrared Warming” models in use by science.

    It’s a scam, the real N.A.S.A. one was the Global Infrared COOLING model. The atmosphere at large acts as an ideal gas, and as energy cycles through contact with the lower energy level gases, they emit to space, infrared emisssions, cooling the globe. End of story.

    The entire reason these people run their mouths is they’re terrified to be asked to predict which way the thermometer will go.
    Lindzen said it best and he’s still got his job: “It’s not even science, it’s voodoo” – patched together in ad hoc attempt to make it coherent theory. It’s a mishmash of error and pure made up falsehoods, which is why every one of these Hansen Infrared Warming Believers is as addled about climatic nature as their record proves.

  203. AJ Eltorson says:

    Climate Gate, where the originators of the story are seen in the Trenberth meltdown email “It’s a travesty we can’t!” confession before them all: look at the CCs on the emails -

    There’s Hansen’s name, there’s Phil Jones’ name, there’s Trenberth with his meltdown how all their expertise together has them conferring that each of them individually, as well as together, are
    utterly,
    utterly,

    ridiculously,
    humiliated in their claims:

    while the PLOT TO DESTROY a BBC REPORTER’S CAREER

    for REPORTING IT HAD STOPPED WARMING in 1998.

    Phil Jones in February the next year ADMITTING it stopped warming in 1995….

    THIS is the kind of science, climatic reflection is based in, when reading the pseudo science of “Infrared Warming” on the globe.

    So bear it in mind when it all looks like smoke and mirrors and there’s a lot of speech of awe, and wonder, for the marvelous complexity.

    The people who believe in Green House Gas Theory don’t admit the green house gases’ relection from earth of several percent sunlight coupled with their actually being, the LOWEST temperature radiators among the atmosphere make them the COOLANTS of the atmosphere –

    water alone through evaporation removes half the sun’s input energy from the surface – yet these gases are contributing to more warming, when more of them are in the air?

    The atmospheric envelope blocking a total of 30% energy to any particular earth, surface sensor, and Green House Gas Belief is that not only is the earth’s surface warmer than if there was 100% impingement and ZERO removal via conduction or convection/evaporation -

    but that it’s the water and CO2 that are responsible for ALL the temperature rise, from 100% temperature without atmospheric coolants, sapping off energy.

    It’s a circus to listen to Green House Gas Law believers tell you what they think makes something get warmer or colder.

    They’re the ones who never heard of the well known answer to what happens when photons contact matter, which is non thermalized re-emissions.

    Non thermalized re-emissions is what makes the moderh Electronic Engineering radiation communications world possible, it is a result of several laws that forbid energy impinging on matter from entering it if, the matter is already, that temperature. It stops energy leaving but itself is turned back.

    This is such wide spread knowledge in the world there was never even any named paper establishing it as fact because usage of microwave guide and cavity/pin geometry assessment showed clearly how energy waves act when they collide, and since energy doesn’t cancel – free radiant energy on something invariably leads to warming – it’s proof, there’s no cancellation of energy when photons strike matter.

    Green House Gas Law people are the ones who go around teaching the energy arriving, is entering the matter, which is already emitting energy of the same or, higher frequency.

    THAT’S who Green House Gas people are. Cold gas makes thermal sensors rise.

    Cold gas makes an object hotter than if there were no cold gas bathing that object, illuminated by the star.

    Geen House Gas is the loopiest thing and it started out with James Hansen claiming CO2 in the atmosphere would make more and more water be evaporated from the oceans.

    Hence more warmth. Hence more storms. Hence his people are the only ones on earth who,

    when calculating a parcel of atmospheric air,

    completely eliminate Ideal Gas Law Mechanics from their descriptions.

    Hence it turns out like drunks did it all, on napkins.

    No matter how many times they play you with that “I’m likeable” or “I’m smart, you wish you were like me.”

    They can’t predict the thermometer for coming on a quarter century yet they regularly engage in the kind of yellow journalism real scientific discoverers wouldn’t have much time for, answering

    the fan mail

    for the clarity of their exposition of science the way it’s done when it predicts accurately, and doesn’t violate the primary laws of gas mechanics.

  204. Ebel says:

    Kristian says May 3, 2014 at 12:50 AM

    “It’s temperature is determined solely by the size of its instantaneous radiative fluxes IN/OUT.”

    These are the values for the Hölder inequality:
    IN: the absorbed power
    OUT: the Stefan-Boltzmann law.

  205. dr jay cadbury phd says:

    On point #7, the rate we are adding co2 is 100x faster than anything in the 300,000 year vostok ice core record. SO WHAT!!! That is 300,000 years. This sounds like the alarmist talking point that current atmospheric co2 levels are the highest in 400,000 years or whatever they say. I submit that co2 has been added, and temperature has risen faster in the geologic record. How did the atmosphere become 7,000ppm co2 during the time of the dinosaurs?

    Salvatore I understand your point, Dr. Roy seems to be ignoring Dr. Salby’s work. Roy, how do you account for the fact that less co2 was added to the atmosphere in 1992 during the pinatubo eruption, but much more was added in 1998 during the el nino year? It is obvious to me that the oceans are outgassing the majority of the co2 that is staying in the atmosphere.

  206. Eric Barnes says:

    I suppose what this post really signifies is the end of the climate sensitivity debate. When you are that wrong, i suppose it’s natural to lash out.

  207. The following is what I had sent a few days ago.

    MY COUNTER ARGUMENT

    If CO2 is to have a climate effect(LEAD IT) why would the rate in the rise of CO2 values have an effect on the climate while concentration levels

    of CO2 many times greater in the past then today had NO effect on leading the climate??

    Fact: Past history records (like the chart I sent yesterday) show that no matter how high CO2 concentrations are in the atmosphere they never LEAD the climate/temperature trend. It has always followed the temperature trend.

    The question is why would just a rapid rise in CO2 concentrations from very low levels (280 ppm) to still low levels (400ppm today versus past CO2

    concentrations levels of 2000 ppm or higher) somehow cause CO2 to lead the climate/temperature, when in the past CO2 concentration levels many times greater then today’s levels still could not exert enough forcing on the climate to LEAD it?

    How in the world could lower values of CO2 concentrations (today’s values) somehow exert enough forcing on the climate to lead it when in the past much higher values of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere still could not exert enough forcing on the climate to lead it ? It(CO2) always has followed the temperature regardless of it’s concentration in the atmosphere. Why is that going to change just because it is increasing at a fast rate?

    That is what the data shows.

  208. New paper studies Ordovician Ice Age, which occurred when CO2 was 11 times higher than the present

    A paper published today in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology studies the timing of the onset of the late Ordovician ice age, which occurred when CO2 levels were more than 11 times higher than the present. The late Ordovician ice age occurred around 450 million years ago, when temperatures plunged 10C from “greenhouse conditions” despite CO2 levels of around 4500 ppm in comparison to today’s level of 400 ppm, demonstrating that CO2 is not the “control knob” of climate.

    MY COMMNETARY.

    The way they(AGW proponents) try to wiggle out of this is they say solar radiation back then was much weaker. Not going to fly.

  209. Norm Kalmanovitch says:

    In Hansen et al 1981 Hansen merges the (faulty) computation of the effect from increased CO2 by Arrhenius from his 1896 paper with what people have come to know as the greenhouse effect but these are not related in any way shape or form.
    The greenhouse effect is not an actual effect but merely the name given to a theoretical calculation of temperature difference between effective radiative temperature and actual global temperature with the difference (35.42°C calculated for 2010) being a relative measure of net atmospheric insulation the sole purpose of which is to compare the atmospheric insulation of the planets within our solar system.
    The only factors included in the calculation of the greenhouse effect are TSI and albedo with the effective radiative temperature rightly or wrongly determined in accordance with the Stefan Boltzmann constant and blackbody radiation theory.
    35.42°C is a real number so the greenhouse effect does in fact exist.
    35.42°C is just a number and does not violate any law of physics including the second law of thermodynamics.
    On the other hand the sun heats the Earth surface and the surface heats the air through conduction convection latent heat of evaporation and to a very small extent through thermal radiation. The net energy flow is from the warmer earth surface to the cooler atmosphere which is in accordance with the second law of thermodynamics. Once heated by the Earth surface it is not physically possible for the warmed atmosphere to turn the process around and heat the Earth surface to a warmer temperature than it was when the heat was flowing from the Earth surface to the atmosphere as this would in fact be a violation of the second law of thermodynamics.
    The key word in this is “net” because heat does flow from cold bodies to warm bodies but at a far lower rate than from a warm body to the colder one with the net flow from the warmer body to the cooler one in accordance with the second law.
    What we have here is some people very well versed in physics who know nothing about climate and are caught up in fabricated rhetoric created by the IPCC climate modellers to confuse people like this and it appears that they have succeded.

  210. Don says:

    @SDP Comments
    CO2 did NOT lead temperature during the recent ice ages. Temperature initially rose from other causes. Most climate scientists agree with that. CO2 was likely driven upward by ocean heating.

    When one goes to deep geologic time, the relative timing of data becomes much more uncertain. Thus, whether temperature or CO2 led is uncertain. No ice cores exist, and sediment cores have gaps.
    That the early Sun was less energetic than today is established from astronomy, not climate science. There is a good probability that the high CO2 (thousands of ppm) in the Mesozoic and Paleozoic DID contribute extra heat to the Earth. The greenhouse effect does exist.

    Here is an interesting association. Until ~350 Myr (million years) ago, CO2 was high (few thousand)and temperature moderately so. Then woody plants arose. They began producing lignin and cellulose, the very large molecules that form the structural components. No existing fungi or bacteria could bread down these molecules. As a consequence organic matter drew most of the CO2 out of the atmosphere, and CO2 dropped to levels similar to todays. That un-decayed organic matter produced much of the world’s fossil fuel deposits (Carboniferous and early Permian — ever hear of the Permian Basin?). Temperature also dropped into a major glacial period. Then, fungi developed the ability to destroy lignin and cellulose. Both atmosphere CO2 and Temperature rose dramatically.

    Summary:
    The Pleistocene (last Myr) glacial cycles were not initiated by rising CO2. Most agree.
    For much earlier periods, it is hard to tell which came first, CO2 rise vs temperature rise.
    The prediction by some climatologists that the recent rapid rise of CO2 will produce dangerous temperature rise is based on MODELS, not on past climate associations.
    Unless NATURAL processes in producing climate change are fully accounted for, model predictions must have uncertainty.

    • Jeff says:

      I have to respectfully disagree with your summary statement: The prediction by some climatologists that the recent rapid rise of CO2 will produce dangerous temperature rise is based on MODELS, not on past climate associations.

      Reading the IPCC report (section 9.6) it is clear that parameters in the models are adjusted so that the models will reproduce what is seen in the historical records. The result of this action is that the past climate data becomes incorporated into the model itself, via the modified values in those parameters. Any future predictions made by those models are thus greatly influenced by the historical data and any assumptions used in translating the data into the model’s parameters.

      Needless to say if any assumption about the data is wrong, or better incomplete, then the future predictions of the model would be off. If one would try to explain how 95% of the models are overestimating the warming taking place, one would have to admit the possibility that the error might be in the complex task of interpreting the historical record.

  211. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BleEEskCMAA0GBs.jpg:large

    Weak sun apparently did not cause lower temperatures before and after the ORDOVICIAN ICE AGE.

    Look at graph.

  212. Don says:

    Much of this graph is based on Scotese and represents crude measurements (e.g. CO2 is based on estimated weathering rates of rocks). More recent data are somewhat more accurate. The Sun has probably strengthened by several percent over the past 500 Myr, which would amount to perhaps 50 watts/sq-m. In comparison, solar irradiance at 65N changed by ~80 w/sq-m from the Eemian interglacial 130 kyr ago to the first plunge into glaciation ~105 kyr ago (likely due to Milankovitch cycles).

    But, as you say, Temperature on Earth for some time has not varied widely, except for a few isolated ice ages.
    Many attribute some of this to the presence of life in modifying its environment. Early Earth was kept warmer by higher CO2, CH4 and possibly other causes. But life has been instrumental in precipitating much of that CO2. In addition, removal of CO2 by weathering can be important, and continents have stood high (more weathering) in the recent geologic past. Then the production of O2 in the atmosphere by photosynthesis permitted existence of ozone, which absorbs in the near UV — another atmospheric energy source.
    Natural climate drivers are quite complex.

  213. Wes Allen says:

    Norm says:”The key word in this is “net” because heat does flow from cold bodies to warm bodies but at a far lower rate than from a warm body to the colder one with the net flow from the warmer body to the cooler one in accordance with the second law.”
    This would be correct if he used ‘electromagnetic energy’ instead of ‘heat’, which always moves from warmer to cooler by conduction. By confusing radiation and conduction, greenhouse-deniers say that the (somewhat misnamed) greenhouse effect violates the second law of thermodynamics.
    There is no doubt that the cooler atmosphere does radiate IR to Earth’s surface. But deniers claim that this cannot be absorbed by the surface or have any effect on its temperature. According to Kirchhoff’s law, it is all absorbed, and according to the first law of thermodynamics it either enhances the solar warming by day or reduces the rate of cooling by night.
    Roy Spencer could perhaps have improved his wording here and there, but his arguments against the deniers are fundamentally correct.

  214. Ebel says:

    Norm Kalmanovitch says May 3, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    Read http://www.ing-buero-ebel.de/Treib/Klima.pdf film 9 to 12 to net radiation (black) and counter-radiation (blue).

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      Well, he does make one huge mistake. He equates temperatures to a SINGLE wavelength of IR. The wavelengths he quotes correspond to the STRONGEST wavelength at a given temperature, but any temperature from 100K – 300K has a significant fraction of its power output in the CO2 band near 15 um.

      You can get some pretty good numbers on backradiation from MODTRAN
      (http://climatemodels.uchicago.edu/modtran/). Even at cold temperatures and high altitudes, CO2 provides 10′s of W/m^2 of backradiation. This is NOT an insignificant amount of power!

      The rest of the discussion has some other significant flaws. For instance, IR astronomers only look in certain bands. Specifically, the N Band stops at 14.5 um and the Q band starts — exactly skipping wavelengths where CO2 absorbs! IR astronomers care SO MUCH about CO2 that they have given up looking there even before they start. In the bands where CO2 is NOT a problem, THEN they worry about reducing the effects of H2O.

      • gbaikie says:

        –Well, he does make one huge mistake. He equates temperatures to a SINGLE wavelength of IR. The wavelengths he quotes correspond to the STRONGEST wavelength at a given temperature, but any temperature from 100K – 300K has a significant fraction of its power output in the CO2 band near 15 um.–

        Earth does not get much cooler than 175 K, and average temperature of highest and coldest continent is about -50 C
        or 223 K. And the guy said CO2 could block some heat loss in Antarctic.

        But anything blocking below 200 K doesn’t matter much. What might be important is 300 K or warmer, as the Tropics is around 300 K or warmer. And tropics is where most sunlight is going and where most of heat leaving Earth is leaving Earth.

        And a blackbody at 100 K radiates about 5 watts per square meter, whereas 300 K radiates 459 watts per square meter.
        So if one delay 459 watts per square meter so that radiate 1/2 as much in a hour, that is 230 watts of “warming”.
        And 223 K is 140 watts, so half of that is 70 watts.
        Plus tropics is 40% of surface area, Antarctic is less than 5%.

        –The rest of the discussion has some other significant flaws. For instance, IR astronomers only look in certain bands. Specifically, the N Band stops at 14.5 um and the Q band starts — exactly skipping wavelengths where CO2 absorbs!–

        I wonder how astronomers want to see at around 15 um- or if many telescopes in orbit look there.
        N Band:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Atmosfaerisk_spredning.gif

        It could also related to transparency of glass used in telescopes:
        http://books.google.com/books?id=J0RX1mbhzAEC&pg=PA304&lpg=PA304&dq=transparent+glass+15+um&source=bl&ots=0FTwEAsgN8&sig=6MOJyoZGl3CxW4XX7tLTMcwIxfk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Qv1mU8ajLOmD8QGT1oDoCA&ved=0CE4Q6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=transparent%20glass%2015%20um&f=false

  215. I don’t agree with point 7.

    7. WARMING CAUSES CO2 TO RISE, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND The rate of rise in atmospheric CO2 is currently 2 ppm/yr, a rate which is 100 times as fast as any time in the 300,000 year Vostok ice core record. And we know our consumption of fossil fuels is emitting CO2 200 times as fast! So, where is the 100x as fast rise in today’s temperature causing this CO2 rise? C’mon people, think. But not to worry…CO2 is the elixir of life…let’s embrace more of it!

    I think your point is there is a more rapid increase in CO2 recently than in the past. This may be true, haven’t studied the recent variation. But the Vostok ice core samples show CO2 and temp to be highly correlated. The question is then, does the varying CO2 cause varying temp, as global warming enthusiasts believe, or does varying temp cause varying CO2. I vote for the latter, that temp change produces large variations in CO2, but changes in CO2 produce minor, at best, changes in temp. Recent burning of fossil fuels may cause CO2 level changes also, but the effect of the CO2 would remain minor.

    From what I could see from the ice core data, if the temp goes from an elevated state to an ice age, the CO2 takes about 12,000 years to follow the temp change. This wouldn’t be possible if the CO2 was driving the temp change.

  216. Iva says:

    Do you have any video of that? I’d love to find out some additional information.

    Also visit my weblog http://smh.com.au (Iva)

  217. Ebel says:

    Iva says May 5, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    What follows is a matter of cause. First, when the temperature rises outgassing of CO2 from the ocean and amplifies the temperature increase. If at first increases the CO2 concentration, the higher temperature reduces a stronger buffering of CO2 by the ocean and we get the current increase that only about half of the additional amount of CO2 is buffered from the ocean. Therefore, the temperature increase lags the CO2 increase.

  218. richard says:

    To me there is an impression from certain quarters that there is a constant back radiation from co2 etc.

    It is either upward welling or downward but not both.

    http://www.stfc.ac.uk/Chilbolton/facilities/24807.aspx

    Radiation can be measured in both downwelling (from the sky) and upwelling (from the ground) configurations. The combination of these measurements gives information on the energy balance (which results in warming or cooling) at the earth’s surface.

  219. richard says:

    It is either upward welling or downward but not both at the same time.

  220. richard says:

    Obviously if Co2 was causing any extra warming, Chilbolton and its facilities would be used as the definitive proof.

    http://www.stfc.ac.uk/Chilbolton/facilities/24807.aspx

  221. Tim Folkerts says:

    You have REALLY confused me, Richard! I read what you read, but get the exact OPPOSITE conclusion!

    * Chilbolton (and many other similar facilities) ARE measuring both upward and downward radiation at the same time.
    * The combination DOES tell us about the energy balance and hence about warming and cooling (although they don’t seem to measure convection or evaporation to get complete energy balance).
    * Their measurements ARE definitive proof that the surface temperature is impacted by back-radiation.

  222. richard says:

    Tim Folkerts

    then you must hold them up as the definitive proof!

  223. richard says:

    But maybe first contact them and see what they say – I would misinterpret.

    I would love to hear if their interpretation is the same as yours. Surely this would stop the arguments.

  224. richard says:

    Maybe take one of those gadgets to the desert and see what it reads in the daytime and night time.

  225. Don says:

    I believe Richard and Tim are talking past each other.
    Atmospheric CO2 does emit IR upward and downward all the time.
    However, the NET flow of IR energy is from the warmer to the cooler object. IF the ground cools off at night such that it is cooler than the atmosphere (rarely), then the net IR flow would be downward.
    But, even when the IR downward is less than the IR upward, that downward flow slows the energy loss from the surface and thus keeps the surface from cooling as much as it would otherwise.

    • gbaikie says:

      Have wooden post 4 feet above the ground. Cool a brick so colder than ground. Put brick on post at night.
      Does the top surface of brick become warmer than the sides of
      brick?
      Then cool brick further by using liquid nitrogen. At cryogenic temperature, does top of brick become warmer?

      If you have downward IR of 300 watts, would this not warm the top of brick by a significant amount.

      Repeat with the brick when sky is clear and sun is high in sky shining energy downward. Would top of brick become warmer than the sides?

  226. But, even when the IR downward is less than the IR upward, that downward flow slows the energy loss from the surface and thus keeps the surface from cooling as much as it would otherwise.

    Exactly , Don.

  227. David Cosserat says:

    phi says, April 26, 2014 at 4:36 AM:

    The radiative heat flux from the surface is 63 W/m2, no more. 23 W/m2 is the part intercepted by the atmosphere.

    Phi,

    Belatedly, I respond to say you have hit the nail on the head.

    This debate, between people who insist on Trenberth’s separate surface-to-atmosphere radiative heat flux figures (396Wm-2 up; and 333Wm-2 down), and people who support your excellent amended diagram (63Wm-2 net upward), has now become one of the classic nonsensical climate change ‘straw man’ arguments.

    Yes, Trenberth was guilty of confusing everyone, leading to all sorts of wrong assumptions, evidenced here again by some daft arguments in this blog trail. Your net figure of 63Wm-2 is a much better way of looking at what is really happening.

    Radiation at the surface of a body (as calculated by the S-B equation Q=sigma*T^4) is an electromagnetic potential force (analogous to an electromagnetic force in an electric circuit). It is not a radiative flux.

    The actual radiative flux between two bodies is always the difference between the two opposing radiative potential forces (analogous to current flow between opposing but unequal EMFs in an electric circuit). Hence the validity of your 63Wm-2 figure and the correctness of the standard radiative transfer equation Q=sigma(Th^4 – Tc^4).

    The gross figure of 333Wm-2 down is waved around the blogosphere by well meaning but ignorant skeptics trying to demonstrate how stupid the climate alarmists are. There are plenty of other arguments to knock down climate alarmism. Using one that is both practically and conceptually wrong simply diminishes the effectiveness of the skeptical case.

  228. richard says:

    This is my real life observation, great fun, cheap and you can do it at home and lot less hokey than some of the other offered scenarios.

    We had on open fire at home, I would sit with half my face facing the fire , so one side warm the other cool.

    I had a copper spoon/bowl with a handle. If you angled it at the cool side of the face you could reflect the heat from the fire and obviously feel this heat. Reflected against the warm side of the face there was no increase in warmth, you could angle it on angle it off, no change.

    My interpretation is if there is back radiation it will shows no increase in temp unless the back radiation is more than the upward radiation.

  229. richard says:

    So let’s run through my experiment/observation.

    the Fire = sun
    my face = earth surface
    copper sppon / bowl = c02.

    So i have cheated, rather than take back radiation off my face and reflect back i have taken it from the FIRE/ SUN and still the my face is no warmer on the side facing the Fire/Sun.

    • gbaikie says:

      The infrared of fire is near IR and will emit somewhere around 1000 nanometers. What reflects sunlight will reflect Near IR.
      Something which is about 300 K [26 C] will emit round 10,000 nm IR.
      So what reflects this wavelength?

      • richard says:

        i think my experiment is not about wavelengths it is about back radiation and whether it warms.

        It proves a point.

        • gbaikie says:

          Reality proves your point, as expecting any amount of warming from back radiation does not conform to reality.

          But a spoon and fire are quite dissimilar to back radiation- one could expect some warming from spoon and fire and a face. And if one could demonstrate that spoon does warm a face, it does not prove one can get warming from back radiation.

          Back radiation is not reflecting IR, if back radiation could reflect IR, it might warm something.
          A spoon has a surface and surfaces can reflect light. A spoon can reflect a significant amount of visible or near infrared light, I am not sure how well spoon reflects long wave infrared light, but at least it is a surface so it *might* reflect a fair amount of long wave IR.

          A fire emits visible and near infrared light, and because it emits these these wavelengths and at the intensity it does it one can feel warmth at a distance from a fire.
          A fire also emits long wave IR, probably far more than non flaming walls emits long wave IR, but one does not feel the heat from the long wave IR from the fire or a wall.

          How far one is away from a fire will affect how much a fire can warm you at a distance, and also affect how much longwave IR radiation from the fire will reach you. And obviously the size of fire will affect how hot it will be at a distance.
          So we atoms [very small] at say 1 km distance which are suppose warm something. One would need a huge fire to warm you at distance of 1 km. And perhaps it’s needless to say, but the longwave IR at longer distance don’t somehow suddenly start causing warmth.

          Now the sun which 149 million km from you, it can warm your face- if you are facing the sun. It can do this because, the sun is big, and it is hot, and it’s light is directed.
          Or directed sunlight can warm your face. Indirect sunlight can not warm your face.
          One could get large mirror reflect the direct sunlight at say 1 mile distance and warm your face. If instead of mirror you used a large piece plywood and painted white, it could reflect sunlight a mile and but it would not warm your face.
          And keep in mind a white painted board, is at least a surface. It’s capable of reflecting some kinds of radiant energy [assuming it start of as directed light of some kind of light].
          So when sun is at zenith and it’s clear day one get about 1050 watts per square meter of directed light. “but the total amount (direct and indirect from the atmosphere) hitting the ground is around 1120 W/m^2″:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunlight
          So the 170 watts portion of indirect sunlight hitting your face is also not warming your face.

  230. David Cosserat says:

    Arfur Bryant says, April 26, 2014 at 10:46 AM:
    “…warmer than it would otherwise be…” is just such a change of goalposts. It has nothing to do with the AGW debate, because the original ‘theory’ of CO2 = cAGW does not qualify the warming. It just states that the globe will warm, period. This warming cannot happen with the backradiation from CO2.

    But Arfur, the ‘original theory’ as you put it refers specifically to the earth-atmosphere system. That is the context for it. Those are the goalposts. The earth is a powered object, kept at a constant (mean) temperature by the Sun’s incoming rays.

    If you put insulation around a powered object, the object warms up to a new steady state temperature at which it is able to shed the same amount of power P that it is still receiving. The debate therefore has to be about whether CO2 acts as an impedance to the outward flow of LW radiation from the earth’s surface. If it does, it follows that adding extra CO2 to the atmosphere will in principle cause the earth’s surface temperature to rise.

    Whether this rise is significant in practice (for, say, a doubling of CO2) is quite another matter. Personally I don’t think it is and neither does Roy. But his point surely is that denying that a powered object can in principle warm up when further insulation is wrapped around it is not going to help the skeptic cause. On the contrary it just makes skeptics look very foolish.

    • Kristian says:

      David Cosserat says, May 9, 2014 at 1:56 AM:

      “If you put insulation around a powered object, the object warms up to a new steady state temperature at which it is able to shed the same amount of power P that it is still receiving. The debate therefore has to be about whether CO2 acts as an impedance to the outward flow of LW radiation from the earth’s surface. If it does, it follows that adding extra CO2 to the atmosphere will in principle cause the earth’s surface temperature to rise.”

      It doesn’t, David. It can’t. THAT’S the point. The TEMPERATURE of the atmosphere is what impedes the outward flow of ALL heat (radiative AND convective) from the surface of the earth AS COMPARED TO a non-atmo situation. The atmosphere is able to warm. Space isn’t. It’s that simple. THIS is why and how the atmosphere insulates the surface of the earth. NOT through ‘heating by back radiation’ as the IPCC and all the Roy Spencers and Anthony Wattses and Tim Folkertses and Robert Browns and Willis Eschenbachs and Curts and Joel Shores out there keep promoting without flinching.

      Radiatively active gases like CO2 do not enable the atmosphere to WARM. It would’ve warmed with or without their presence, simply by being convectively coupled to the solar-heated surface. The adiabatic lapse rate makes no use of the radiative properties of certain gases in the atmosphere. The environmental lapse rate is maintained globally fluctuating around the adiabatic lapse rate simply by the tight interaction between diurnal solar surface heating and convective (buoyant/evaporative) response. If the so-called ‘GHGs’ do ANYTHING, they work towards STEEPENING the tropospheric temperature profile, thereby strengthening the convective response, by absorbing terrestrial IR down low and emitting it to space up high. In the end, they are critical to the earth system as COOLANTS. What they do is enabling the atmosphere to adequately COOL to space. Without their presence, both the atmosphere and the surface of the earth would be much hotter than they are now.

      “Whether this rise is significant in practice (for, say, a doubling of CO2) is quite another matter.”

      Yes, this is the lukewarmist position, a position which bases itself on the very same flawed premise as the GHE and (c)AGW hypotheses do.

      “But [Spencer's] point surely is that denying that a powered object can in principle warm up when further insulation is wrapped around it is not going to help the skeptic cause. On the contrary it just makes skeptics look very foolish.”

      First of all, no one here is denying that a powered object being insulated will heat up. That’s a straw man. The point is simply that the so-called ‘GHGs’ don’t act as insulators at all. They act as coolants. The world would be a much warmer place without them.

      Secondly, the bunch of people who clearly are doing nothing to help the ‘sceptic cause’ is the lukewarmists, by acting as tail-wagging apologetics of and hence useful idiots for the ‘(c)AGW cause’, defending at all costs and at every turn the ridiculous ‘heating by back radiation’ concept with a seemingly ever-increasing fervour and zeal.

      Frankly I don’t know how we got here.

  231. Ebel says:

    Kristian says May 9, 2014 at 2:10 PM
    “The adiabatic lapse rate makes no use of the radiative properties of certain gases in the atmosphere.”
    to be right
    Kristian says May 9, 2014 at 2:10 PM
    “cite: “Whether this rise is significant in practice (for, say, a doubling of CO2) is quite another matter.”
    Yes, this is the lukewarmist position, a position which bases itself on the very same flawed premise as the GHE and (c)AGW hypotheses do.”
    Inapplicable. With more CO2, the height of the tropopause rises – which has already Ernest Gold 1908 found. The thicker troposphere the temperature difference between the surface and increases the tropopause. This difference is distributed over the surface temperature increase and decrease in the tropopause – and all will be well measured.
    Kristian says May 9, 2014 at 2:10 PM
    “ Without their presence, both the atmosphere and the surface of the earth would be much hotter than they are now.“
    That’s not right. Although most of the atmosphere would be warmer than today, but the surface would be much colder than today – namely as cold as without an atmosphere, since the radiation is not affected. Between the hot part of the atmosphere, and the cold surface is an inversion layer. An inversion layer in the air at rest and still air is a poor heat conductor.

    • Kristian says:

      Ebel says, May 10, 2014 at 1:47 AM:

      “With more CO2, the height of the tropopause rises – which has already Ernest Gold 1908 found. The thicker troposphere the temperature difference between the surface and increases the tropopause. This difference is distributed over the surface temperature increase and decrease in the tropopause – and all will be well measured.”

      Ebel, the tropopause rises when the troposphere warms, because it thermally expands. This is very basic stuff. And the troposphere warms AFTER and AS A RESULT OF a preceding warming of the surface.

      All available data from the real world system shows this causal relationship clearly: surface warms (or cools) > troposphere warms (or cools) > OLR at ToA increases (or decreases).

      The GHE hypothesis needs the opposite of the above to be true: OLR at ToA decresases > troposphere warms > surface warms. Where is the data supporting this implied chain of events, Ebel?

      “Kristian says May 9, 2014 at 2:10 PM
      “ Without their presence, both the atmosphere and the surface of the earth would be much hotter than they are now.“

      That’s not right. Although most of the atmosphere would be warmer than today, but the surface would be much colder than today – namely as cold as without an atmosphere, since the radiation is not affected. Between the hot part of the atmosphere, and the cold surface is an inversion layer. An inversion layer in the air at rest and still air is a poor heat conductor.”

      Are you listening to yourself? The atmosphere is warmed from the surface, Ebel. If the atmosphere is warm, then the surface is even warmer. Because it is the HEAT SOURCE of the atmosphere. You cannot just set convective losses to 0 and that’s it, you have a free, purely radiative situation. You people need to lift your eyes and take a look at how the world really works. Your mathematical postulates won’t help you until you do. If you continue to heat the surface but block all convective losses, the surface will warm. Until convective losses are once again put into action. Radiation can’t just take over from the convective losses without any rise in temperature.

      We experience this all the time in our everyday lives, Ebel. Block convection and you get heating.

      • richard says:

        Block convection and you get heating- yes if the object is completely covered . We do not have this in an open atmosphere.

        • Ebel says:

          richard says May 12, 2014 at 10:32 AM
          “Block convection and you get heating- yes if the object is completely covered. We do not have this in an open atmosphere.”

          Since Fourier was in 1824 (in French) already on. He first described the greenhouse effect with blocked convection. With convection, although the effect is smaller (now known to about 30 K), but it does not disappear and is greater than 33 K. With blocked convection therefore greater than 63 K.

          Translation to english
          http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/papers/Fourier1827Trans.pdf

        • Kristian says:

          richard says, May 12, 2014 at 10:32 AM:

          “Block convection and you get heating- yes if the object is completely covered . We do not have this in an open atmosphere.”

          My point exactly. You CAN’T just disappear convective energy loss from a solar-heated surface with a massive atmosphere on top and then pretend to be back at a purely radiative situation, as if the atmosphere now all of a sudden acted like a perfect vacuum.

          • Ebel says:

            Kristian says May 15, 2014 at 2:58 AM
            “You CAN’T just disappear …”

            Fourier not interested???

  232. gbaikie says:

    While my May 8, 2014 at 4:42 AM is awaiting moderation, I thought just explain why oceans warm the world.

    Now there two possibilities the ocean cool the world or ocean warm the world.
    Though there is the highly unlike possibility that ocean and land area warm the world equally. And it seems to me, there a lot ignoring going on regarding the difference between ocean or land- so by default this denial of reality, gives us third and very unlikely possibility that in terms of why Earth has average temperature of 15 C, that whether it’s land or water it all the same.

    Though since it’s well know that gulf stream warm Europe, and various worries related the slowing or stopping of Gulf Stream, that of course every one knows the Ocean warms the world. Mexico accused of warming the US. Or large land areas warming land or water.
    Now if atmosphere was important in terms of why earth was 15 C, then land would warming the world more than ocean. Or land areas would be warming oceans. Or if there was more land area, there would a warming world.
    It’s possible to have some world with twice as much land area, but we can’t have twice as much ocean area because more 70% of our surface is ocean. Total surface: 510 million square km. Ocean: 361 million. We can’t even get 50% increase in ocean area [would be: 541 million].
    We got so little land area, that dinky planet of Mars also has as much land area- 144.8 million km of land, and no oceans. And we got:
    “Seen from space, the majority of the Earth’s surface is covered by oceans – that makes up 71% of the surface of the Earth, with the remaining 29% for land. But what percentage of the Earth’s land surface is desert? Deserts actually make up 33%, or 1/3rd of the land’s surface area.”

    Read more: http://www.universetoday.com/65639/what-percentage-of-the-earths-land-surface-is-desert/#ixzz31HpN4sAi

    But they probably including Antarctic as desert.
    Anyways the question is can ocean be warmer the ideal black body- which most probably think of a resembling some weird improved land surface.
    We know humans have make land warmer without trying to make land warmer, and this it called Urban Heat Island effect. So people just want some roads, buildings, and watering their lawns, next thing you know, it warms up the region.
    The only people I know who have made an effort to warm up a region is the idiot Soviets- not that blame the general idea of wanting to warm up the hell hole. And no doubt I fail to truly appreciate the desire of millions of people who strive make the scenic lands, habitable- to other creatures other than furry animals.

    An ideal black body will warm up as fast as it cools down.
    So 400 watts is absorbed in 1 second and in 1 second 400 watts is emitted.
    So at earth distance, with solar flux at 1360 watts per square, a black body absorbs the 1360 watts
    and emits the 1360 watts as infrared. If one has a flat panel which 1 meter square with one side
    insulated and other side facing the sun it will absorb 1360 watts and emit 1360 watts at blackbody spectrum of about 394 K [120 C].
    And if flat panel does not have one side insulated, then it absorb 1360 watt, emit from both surface, 680 watts and has blackbody spectrum of 330 K [60 C]
    With cube, or a 1 meter cube of copper, it has 6 sides, and one side faces the sunlight it will radiate about
    226.7 watts per sides.
    If insulate 4 sides so one left side facing sun and one side away from sun, then it would not take too long before side away the sun is heated up so it 680 watts per square meter [and is 60 C]. But while it’s heating up, it radiating less watts than it is receiving from the sun, and it only 1360 watts once the end away from sunlight has heated up to 330 K [60 C].

    So how long. Well say it starts at 5 C. So it already radiating 240 watts per square meter. And two side totals
    480 watts. And gets 1360. Roughly 1360 minus 480 watts
    which is 880 watts added each second.
    And takes 3482.7 kJ to warm to by 1 C.
    So 3,482,700 divided by 880. Which is 3958 seconds to warm both sides to 6 C. Which over an hour.
    And needs to warm it by another 54 C. So we know it we take a lot longer than 54 hours, and in a week’s time, it will get pretty close. Because as warms more of it radiates, until it reaches equilibrium, which will be almost two degrees less than 60 C on back side, with sun facing side a bit warmer than 60 C.

    Note that the sun facing side will be warmer despite the high heat conductivity of copper. Though silver because it better at conducted heat will less of difference. And diamond [or something better] has even less difference. And silver would because of lower total heat capacity reach near equilibrium faster than copper.
    copper meter cube: 3482.7 kJ
    Silver: 2412.7 kJ per K
    Also it should noted this would cool [if no sunlight reached it] quite fast back down to 5 C, where it will still be radiating 480 watts. So as guess, a week to warm near equilibrium and couple days to cool to 5.

    Now replace copper with water:
    Transparent window facing sun, and blacken metal on back side with 1 meter cube water between it.
    So most sunlight instantly shine thru water and heats the side facing directly away from sun.
    To review water transmission energy sunlight [speed of light] but water is very poor conductor of heat [and we will assume enough pressure so water does not boil- 14.7 psi, 100 C].
    Depending on much of 1360 watt gets thru water- pick number say it 1200 watts.
    What going to happen is back plate will get hot, because it can not conduct much heat thru water and water blocks the IR radiation [it's acting like insulation against IR- it's transparent to sunlight and not transparent to the black body spectrum].
    If 1200 watt get thru 1 meter of water, one get the back plate radiating at about 380 K [106 C].
    The water will eventually warm up- it warm up from the conduction with hot panel [106 C] and will warm up directly from the 160 watts of sunlight not reaching panel.
    So as far temperature glass facing the sun. The water against the 106 C back panel will get to 106 C, but will hours or day to warm up rest of the water, or guess the 160 watts of sunlight could warm the water quicker than 106 plate [with enough pressure so water does not boil at 106 C]
    So that’s cute, but does really answer anything?
    One thing is water temperature is not much related to back plate temperature. Part water could be ice, even, plate going to get rid of it’s heat [radiate] to space- mostly.
    The plate would warm if it’s against ice, and water next to ice will be near freezing. There is no gravity- so no convection [which like evaporation is powerful way to transfer heat]. I was assuming water is at starts at around 5 C [like copper], but assuming ice could form, it would not effect back plate [much].
    I guess should try to determine what temperature the water would be. Well, water *could not* cool quickly- certainly not hours. And what’s important is how the glass emits into space and how much water could warm the glass [which like back plate, water has low heat conduction]. So one could say the glass temperature is somewhat independent of water.
    So how warm is sheet of glass in sunlight in space with one side insulated? Generally, it seems it would depend on what kind of glass it was. But normal window glass only radiating one side should at least 5 C. So the 160 watts not reaching back would add 160 watts per second, requiring
    4204 kJ to warm by 1 C. Or 28,026 second per 1 C [7.7 hours]. Or for increase from 5 to 55C [average temperature]
    389 hours [16 days].
    Now do conduction:
    q = (0.58 W/moC) (1 m) (1 m) ((106C) – (5 C)) / (0.01 m)
    Hmm, well water conducts 690 times slower than copper and copper has in ballpark of heat capacity. But anyhow at least 100 times longer.
    So water near back plate will be same temperature of 106 C.
    So I say in 16 days 1/2 meter towards back plate may around 106, and other half it warmed to 55 C. One this warmed water should be getting close to warming the glass so radiate more than it normally radiate [regardless of how panes separated by vacuum.
    But average temperature is warmer than copper and has more stored heat.
    Now, put it on the moon [give it gravity]. Warmed water from plate rises, and mixes and transfer heat much quicker. And back plate accordingly is cooled more, though as water warms, back plate is cooled less. How hot water gets is more dependent on what is the properties of the glass- one could simply have thick glass and/or multiple panes glass and still have good transparency.
    One also could stop convection with salt gradient {solar ponds].
    So how does this relate to planet Earth?
    Oceans are similar in that the most of sunlight [watts per square meter] go below the skin surface.
    And dissimilar in that earth has processes which disrupts such heating- earth oceans warm, makes clouds, clouds reduces amount sunlight reaching below the surface. And etc.
    But if see that ocean are major element of warming Earth, then if want an average temperature of Earth, one should regard Earth’s ocean average temperature as Earth’s average temperature. And by mix the Earth ocean waters, you get average earth temperature of about 3 C. Or it’s below, uniform ideal blackbody of 5 C .
    Earth can get warmer than 3 C. But it takes a very long time.
    So the ice box climate will continue.
    And I would say it’s probably better not to be in ice box climate- though no danger of leaving it, unless we do much more than add some CO2 to atmosphere.

    And we should figure out what important- what causes cooling.
    Completely mixing ocean would cause instant cooling, but probably less dramatic things cause the cooling [Little Ice ages and descending into a glacial period], and completely mixing ocean would be a short term effect [decades to centuries- and in the long term, cause warming. If you could find a way to significant increase the mixing of the oceans, that could get us, eventually, out of ice box climate. {Nuke Panama, maybe].

    • Ebel says:

      gbaikie says May 10, 2014 at 5:38 AM

      “An ideal black body will warm up as fast as it cools down.”

      Incorrect – that is correct only if both temperatures are equal. The sun has but 6000 K and the sea about 280 K.

      About the buffering effect of sea-and land masses, but on average, the emitted power is equal to the absorbed power.

      • gbaikie says:

        –gbaikie says May 10, 2014 at 5:38 AM

        “An ideal black body will warm up as fast as it cools down.”

        Incorrect – that is correct only if both temperatures are equal. The sun has but 6000 K and the sea about 280 K.–

        Arguing about ideal black body is similar to discussing
        the behavior of angels.

        “The idea of a black body originally was introduced by Gustav Kirchhoff in 1860 as follows:

        …the supposition that bodies can be imagined which, for infinitely small thicknesses, completely absorb all incident rays, and neither reflect nor transmit any. I shall call such bodies perfectly black, or, more briefly, black bodies.

        A more modern definition drops the reference to “infinitely small thicknesses” ”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_body#Idealizations

        In the mythology of greenhouse effect theory, the only possible rational for planet to have a uniform temperature of 5.3 C is that the ideal black body conduct the heat [or energy from the sun] perfectly. Otherwise on this sphere which starts in vacuum, when the sun is at zenith the surface should be around 120 C, and in the theory it is suppose to be 5.3 C.
        There other ways one could create a planet with temperatures
        which is close to uniform. But to do this, one needs something to can convey the energy of the sun at fast speed.

        So one could use copper. [or silver, diamond, and etc].
        But water though it’s very poor conductor of heat as compared to copper, can transport the suns energy below it’s surface faster than copper. So water can transmit energy at speed of light. No solid can transmit heat at speed of light. And heat is conducted due to a difference in heat. So with heat conduction it depends on type material, it depends difference in temperature of the material and it depends on distance involved in this heat difference.
        So a large block of copper can have it’s surface temperature at 5 C despite after spending hours in the sunlight which would warm a normal rock up to 120 C.
        Also a body of water can do the same trick as chunk of copper. But water can do this trick better than copper.

        If Earth surface were covered with 10 meters of copper, then any moron, would know that this amount of copper had something to do with earth’s average temperature. Likewise since Earth is covered by thousands of meters of water, one also should think that such water had something to do with Earth’s average temperature [which it does].

        Now there is other ways other distributing the sun’s energy other than inventing the fiction of an ideal black body- and other than a solid copper, diamond surface or having Earth covered with water. An atmosphere can transport heat and the earth rotation also transport the sun energy at the equator at fast rate of 1000 mph [east to west].

        So actual earth mixes it’s heat, by rotation, atmosphere, and ocean and it does not have uniform temperature of ideal black body in a vacuum of 5.3 C.
        Present Earth has cooler temperature than ideal black body in a vacuum. Because if uniform black body was over a ocean surface, it would eventually warm the entire ocean to 5.3 C and it is currently about 3 C.
        But because of how we measure earth temperature [and there could be endless amounts of ways to to do this- and none are "correct"] we say the Earth average temperature is 15 C, and we foolishly compared this with the mythological ideal black body’s uniform temperature of 5 C, and wonder why earth is warmer than this, when in fact earth is colder accordance to Earth average ocean temperature.

        One should think the average temperature of the ocean is strong related to average temperature of Earth’s *weather*.
        Or ocean temperature is strong related to what kinds of climate one will find on the Earth surface.
        Or our cold ocean, is symptom of the current global climate- which everyone should be aware, is called an ice box climate- for good reasons. As if we were not in an ice box climate the ocean would be warm enough to eliminate polar sea ice. And so Greenland would be a green land. And Washington state and Oregon would be tropical. And growing grapes in Scotland would be easy. One could also grow oranges.
        So in the past [more than ten of million years ago], earth has had periods where it was not in ice box climate and according average ocean temperature which were higher than 5.3 C [thereby warmer than mythical ideal black body temperature].

        • gbaikie says:

          “No solid can transmit heat at speed of light.”
          I should have said conduct heat. Glass like water is transparent to sunlight and can also transmit the energy of sunlight at speed of light.
          So no solid can transmit heat via conduction at speed of light [which includes glass [or water] both glass and water conduct heat poorly]

          • Ebel says:

            gbaikie says May 11, 2014 at 3:15 PM
            “If Earth surface were covered with 10 meters of copper, then …”

            If the surface would consist of copper, but by a surface film of the same properties (albedo, almost black in infrared), then the temperatures were almost the same.

          • gbaikie says:

            – Ebel says:
            May 14, 2014 at 11:13 PM

            gbaikie says May 11, 2014 at 3:15 PM
            “If Earth surface were covered with 10 meters of copper, then …”

            If the surface would consist of copper, but by a surface film of the same properties (albedo, almost black in infrared), then the temperatures were almost the same.–

            My point is that due to conduction of heat the blacken copper would not be the same temperature if was 10 meter thick, because the heat would be transferred.
            The purpose is to make it similar to ideal blackbody which is spherical. Which is 5 C in direct sunlight and 5 C at night.
            So the solid copper blacken at surface so as absorb and emit like a blackbody, would also be about 5 C at noon direct sunlight and 5 C at night.
            Whereas is it was only 1 or 2 cm thick it would 60 to 70 C at noon and much cooler than this at night.

          • gbaikie says:

            -So the solid copper blacken at surface so as absorb and emit like a blackbody, would also be about 5 C at noon direct sunlight and 5 C at night.-

            Actually if planet at earth distance and therefore receiving
            1360 watts and it was vacuum and same rotation of Earth,
            and had 10 meter of copper coated with material absorbed and emitted like a black body, then it’s surface would somewhere around 5 C.
            But what we would know if it did not reflect sunlight or it reflected an insignificant amount of sunlight is that it should emit on average 340 watts per square meter.
            And this does not tell you how warm the surface would be.
            As the 10 meter thick copper does not act exactly like an ideal blackbody, or it could not evenly warm the regions poleward.
            So this would mean the tropical region would be warmer than 5 C and poleward would be cooler.

            So got planet covered with 10 meter thick copper. If cover the entire planet with 1 meter of water, one aspect of the water is it will help a bit in distributing the heat poleward. Though in vacuum the water would vaporize, but given enough time and water [always supply any part of this world so it always has 1 meter deep of water] the vaporize water becomes atmosphere with inhibits vaporization. So one needs a mars pressure to inhibit evaporation if water is about 5 C. So if water is 5 C one will have much H2O gas- or less than 1 mm of liquid water compared to present earth which I believe is around 5 mm of water globally. So in terms of greenhouse gas, it should be less than 1/5th as compared to Earth. And the main thing which will distribute heat poleward will evaporation of condensation of H2O.

            But the more important aspect is the water will trap heat- it is transparent to sunlight and not transparent to IR.
            And having water cover the planet will increase the reflection of sunlight.
            So since more reflective it will emit less 340 watts per square meter.
            So if you thought how much planet radiate indicates it’s temperature, then one would assume the planet should be cooler in temperature [some amount- though perhaps a fairly insignificant amount. The point is it reflects more, and my point is not that it would necessarily reflect a significant amount.
            It's safe to say the water in tropics would be at or more than 5 C.
            Now, it is said the water emits very closely as compared to a black body. Or:
            "I then calculated the blackbody radiation for a 15°C surface and the radiation from a water surface using the emissivity from the graph above for the same 15°C surface. Both were calculated from 1 μm to 100 μm:

            The “unofficial” result, calculating the average emissivity from the ratio: ε = 0.96."
            http://scienceofdoom.com/2010/12/27/emissivity-of-the-ocean/

            So this makes blacken copper surface absorb at 1 and it can't radiate thru water, but water surface emits a .96
            and so based upon this it's about the same.

            So roughly adding the water biggest difference is it could help warm poleward, and warming poleward will mean tropics will be cooler, it seems it still would work as well as ideal black body. Still have poles colder and tropics warmer
            to maybe not much cooler or warmer but not as well as ideal.

            But then we have the details. One could add according to greenhouse effect theory the warming from the H20 gas [which as I said should be less than 1/5th of earth].
            But there are also other details.
            As mentioned in other post, water will transfer heat thru 1 meter faster than copper, because the watts per square meter
            are going at speed of light, and copper conducts heat far slower than speed of light. And the another factor is water is very poor conductor of heat. Though it can convect heat much quicker than it conducts heat.
            And another factor is a thin layer of water at surface will warm up during the day.

            As to the last point, one might argue that oceans or lakes on Earth are warming up during the day due to greenhouse gases. And related to this point is that the IR emitted by any greenhouse gas can not penetrate thru the water, has sunlight can. Or to UV, visible, and near infrared light the ocean is fairly transparent, but it it isn’t transparent
            to long wave IR.
            A problem with idea of greenhouse gases warming the surface, is idea that back radiation should warm the water water during the night. Of course I don’t think back radiation actually causes much warming to anything.

            Now, in tropics and 1 meter below the water, the copper should warm to about 5 C and roughly have this temperature throughout the 10 meter depth of solid copper.
            The water above it [assume it's fresh water] will during day also water to 5 C, and perhaps the top couple mm being 5 to 10 C warmer [largely varying due to evaporation rate inhibting warmer temperature. And more evaporation from top 2 mmm of water, adds to poles. Of course during day the evaporation process blocked from quickly transporting heat to poles. Or during the day the tropics will develop bubble
            of higher vapor pressure [and allowing higher surface temperatures] and poleward one has lower vapor pressure in which high pressure vapor is moving towards.
            And then as sun goes down, the 2 mm depth of water cools to same temperature temperature as most of meter of water.

            And since this is fresh water, the top skin water temperature lowers to 4 C, which for fresh water is the most dense it becomes, and falls downward to be replace by warmer water, and if cooler water reaches the copper the warm copper will warm the cooler water.
            But there is not much difference in the temperature of water or copper, and therefore less speed of due to convection. The warmth of copper doesn’t rise quickly and the cooled top layer may lower to 4 C or slightly cooler.
            So one could have 10 C or more surface temperature during day and 4 or lower surface temperature at night. Which may average a couple degrees warmer in tropics as compared to just a copper surface. And poleward one should do better
            because with water you can transfer more heat than with the copper.
            Now in terms of H20 greenhouse gas, the the warm surface should make these gases glow and gases will diffuse the IR radiation from the water. And such diffusion should make more difficult to measure the IR radiation from the surface.

            Now in terms warming the planet what could the greenhouse do? It’s claimed they warm the atmosphere but it seems all it could could do is further warm the poles by added to the evaporation rate. Nor would it seem to do anything if one were to add 1 mm globally of liquid CO2 and or methane which became a gas. The problem is there lacks enough atmosphere to allow any significant amount of warming.
            If enough nitrogen and/or oxygen is added one could least imagine it doing something.
            So at this point, I don’t seem to have enough elements to get the world so it has an average temperature of 15 C or more.
            So it’s possible that combination of greenhouse gases and an 1 atm of nitrogen and oxygen could increase average temperature.
            But instead what if I add solar ponds.
            I think the solar ponds and the 10 meters of copper might not possible get higher temperatures. Instead I am going add insulated solar ponds, just put some over the water and copper.
            With clear skies and 1360 watts and insulated pond, I should be able to water temperature over 80 C. Or we have solar ponds on Earth which routinely get temperature higher
            than average local temperatures.
            So with enough solar pond one has potential increasing average temperature by a lot.
            And I think ocean work similar to solar ponds and is largely why earth is warm. But in general terms it’s the addition of depth to 2 dimensional surface which is key elements. Plus the 4th dimension of time.

          • Ebel says:

            With so much nonsense (eg black albedo 0 and not 30%) my advice is: Do you deal with times Hoelder’s inequality

            http://www.math.cornell.edu/~erin/analysis/lectures.pdf

          • gbaikie says:

            – Ebel says:
            May 16, 2014 at 11:50 AM

            With so much nonsense (eg black albedo 0 and not 30%) my advice is: Do you deal with times Hoelder’s inequality–

            As far as I understand this, it seems as general idea, one would probably have to. Assuming one is wants a computer model.
            I would say that generally speaking, global climate is very complicated.
            But then again, everything can complicated depending on what you want done.
            Do I deal Hoelder’s inequality?
            Not I am sure I am familiar enough with it, say I understand what you mean.
            But do this math? No.
            That is easy to answer.
            Rather I would say I tend to avoid this realm of complexity. And why I think it’s useful to use 10 meters of copper as a starting point.

            So I tend to think greenhouse gases could add some warming, but I am interested in how much. And it seems to me, that no one knows how much.
            And also why I think Greenhouse Effect theory is pseudo science, due to this acceptance of this vagueness. And that it is represented as though it was precise- settled science.
            I have no problem with vagueness, I have problem with vagueness coupled with certainty- that is pseudo science.

            So, does 400 ppm of CO2 add 5 C, or does it add 2 or 8 C?

            And as alluded in above post, does it matter how much N2 and O2 there is. And how much. And why? Maybe why can be explained using Hoelder’s inequality. And maybe some have already explained it in these terms.

          • Ebel says:

            gbaikie says May 16, 2014 at 3:29 PM

            And also why I think Greenhouse Effect theory is pseudo science, due to this acceptance of this vagueness.

            This is not a justification. The quantum theory used uncertainty statements – and is a very successful theory oak.

            Because of the many influencing factors and contexts is a calculation of all relationships difficult – but measurements show the result of all relationships. And it is practically unlikely that current connections are not properly in the future.

            My language is German, so I ask to excuse many things.

            The past has a clear trend, from the different annual values ​​- and this deviation has a discrete normal distribution (Student’s distribution). See http://www.ing-buero-ebel.de/Treib/Klima.pdf film 46/47

            And because of this trend is followed by a climate sensitivity of about 3 K.

          • Ebel says:

            gbaikie says May 16, 2014 at 4:28 AM

            “should emit on average 340 watts per square meter.”

            If albedo 30% only about 240 watts per square meter.

            The emission is T^4 (Stefan Boltzmann) – and this emission is due to the absorption fixed. The temperature of interest is the mean temperature.

            The relationship between T and T^4 describes the Hölderche inequality – and which gives a maximum value of -18°C without the greenhouse effect. The actual temperature is considerably lower. If the location of the zenith of the sun is immutable, about -140°C.

          • gbaikie says:

            – Ebel says:
            May 18, 2014 at 1:53 AM

            gbaikie says May 16, 2014 at 4:28 AM

            “should emit on average 340 watts per square meter.”

            If albedo 30% only about 240 watts per square meter.–

            Yes if 30% is reflected. If of 1360 watts is 408 watts is reflected one is left with 952 watts and if divided by 4 it is
            238 watts.
            If have a mirror, one reflect more than 99% of sunlight.
            So if 99% of 1360, 1346.4 watts is reflected. And one is left with 13.6 watts. And if it’s sphere: 13.6 watts divide by 4
            is 3.4 watts per square meter.
            And if you had small enough sphere- solid silver, or silver coating cooper, it could conduct the heat fast enough to be close to a uniform temperature.
            But if put this in space, it will not be a cold as black body radiating 3.4 watts per square meter. As it is not black body.
            So just because it reflecting 408 watts or 1346.4 watts of 1360 watts, it does not tell you it’s temperature.
            In space one can affect the temperature of something better than on Earth, but not that much better.

            The moon has low average temperature, but this has little to nothing to do with it’s albedo. And to be clear, the Moon’s average temperature also has little to do with it’s Bond albedo or geometric albedo.

            What it can indicate is max temperature [sort of]. But as flat surface [not sphere]. Because Earth receives about 1050 watts, it is limited by this amount direct sunlight in terms how much it can warm a surface.
            And earth surface receiving 1050 watt of direct sunlight, when sun is at zenith with clear skies, is why one can not fry eggs on sidewalk [requiring over 158 F]. Whereas on the moon one fry eggs, you could boil them with unmagnified sunlight or not requiring reflectors.

            The moon is almost at perfection in terms of having lowest average temperature. But one improve it, by having an even slower rotation. And if the moon chalk white, we would have a much brighter moon, but it would have little effect upon it’s average temperature. Maybe instead of 120 C [or more] it could be around 110 C in noon sun.

            Now, what exactly causes Earth reflection. One has white clouds, snow, reflecting waters, light colored sand.
            But one also has the transparent sky which has a significant reflection, but this transparent sky also blocks direct sunlight from reaching the surface. So when the atmosphere allows most amount of direct sunlight, it’s then there is no clouds or dust blocking the sunlight and the sun is at zenith, which permits 1050 watts of the 1360 watts of direct sunlight. Or 310 watts of direct sunlight is “lost”. Or why sidewalks don’t get much higher than 158 F [70 C].
            Now if our sky had no CO2, the sidewalks would still reach a temperature of 70 C. Or CO2 has nothing to do with this. If there was no H20 in atmosphere, the sidewalk get more direct sunlight and they can get a bit warmer than 70 C.

            So without H20 and without CO2, and you are in desert and sun is near zenith, the sand is going to be slightly more than 70 C. The experts have informed you that despite nearly dying from heat exhaustion, the this world’s average temperature is -18 C. But they a bit confused in regards to this has to do with surface or air temperatures. In order guess what the temperatures will be a night, they want you to find some shade, construct white box, and measure the air temperature in the box. So you do this and say the answer is 50 C. So minus 68 C and 50 C gives -18 C.
            So experts tell you that the night might get as cold as -60 C. The person is excited because if it’s say -30 C, he can make a lot of ice. Something he most desirous of at the moment.

  233. David Cosserat says:

    Gordon Robertson says, May 3, 2014 at 12:08 AM: Suppose now the metal is an electrically-heated metal as in an electric kettle. Suppose further that we adjust the electric current so the water does not boil but just remains warm. The AGW theory is implying that heat is transferred from the water back to the heating element so as to raise it’s temperature.

    I would by now be a rich man if I had been paid a small sum each time I came across this completely erroneous assertion.

    Whether the AGW theory is right or wrong, it is much more sophisticated than that. Repeating the mantra that AGW theory requires heat to be transferred from colder to warmer bodies is a classic error by skeptics. It is just the kind of ignorant comment that gets skeptics (of whom I am one) a bad name.

    It is just such own-goals that has prompted Dr Spencer to publish his 10 bad skeptical arguments.

    Responsible AGW theorists do NOT claim that heat is transferred from a cooler to a warmer object in such circumstances, and, in particular, never from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer earth’s surface. Yours is simply a ‘straw man’ argument. You are in good company. It is repeated over and over in the blog trails, not least here.

    What is claimed by all competent physicists is that, in the case of a constantly powered object that is at steady state temperature T (as in your warm kettle example, or as in the case of the earth’s surface), if extra insulation is added in the path of the balancing OUTGOING energy flow from the object, then energy flowing from the constant source of power P (electricity in the case of the kettle; or the Sun’s incoming rays in the case of the earth) will raise that power body’s temperature to a new steady state level T’ that is just high enough to transfer exactly the same amount of power P as it was doing before against the increased resistance of the added insulation.

    The real scientific issues are (i) whether the warming effect due to adding atmospheric CO2 is measurable (which I doubt); and (ii) even if it is measurable, whether it is offset entirely by much stronger natural negative feedbacks which keep the earth’s atmosphere more-or-less constant at a natural set point (which I personally suspect is very much the case).

    The warming of a constantly powered object to a higher steady state temperature due to adding insulation is simple undergraduate physics. Admitting that it is correct in theory will not turn you into a CAGW warmist. But NOT admitting it, and instead using the ‘colder-heats-warmer’ ‘straw man’ accusation again and again against CAGW protagonists is a wonderful case of shooting yourself in the foot and missing the real targets.

    • Kristian says:

      David Cosserat says, May 11, 2014 at 3:20 AM:

      “Whether the AGW theory is right or wrong, it is much more sophisticated than that.”

      Hahaha, actually it isn’t, David. It’s just you not getting it.

      “Repeating the mantra that AGW theory requires heat to be transferred from colder to warmer bodies is a classic error by skeptics.”

      No. This is exactly what is required by the IPCC-proposed GHE mechanism.

      “It is just the kind of ignorant comment that gets skeptics (of whom I am one) a bad name.”

      No. YOU, David, give REAL sceptics a bad name by endorsing the IPCC-supported and heavily promoted ‘heating by back radiation’ nonsense as if it were a fact, but trying your best to help sweep under the rug what it is that they’re ACTUALLY suggesting.

      “Responsible AGW theorists do NOT claim that heat is transferred from a cooler to a warmer object in such circumstances, and, in particular, never from a cooler atmosphere to a warmer earth’s surface. (…) What is claimed by all competent physicists is that, in the case of a constantly powered object that is at steady state temperature T (as in your warm kettle example, or as in the case of the earth’s surface), if extra insulation is added in the path of the balancing OUTGOING energy flow from the object, then energy flowing from the constant source of power P (electricity in the case of the kettle; or the Sun’s incoming rays in the case of the earth) will raise that power body’s temperature to a new steady state level T’ that is just high enough to transfer exactly the same amount of power P as it was doing before against the increased resistance of the added insulation.”

      But dear David, this is exactly NOT what they are suggesting. This IS what would happen. But it’s NOT what your ‘competent’ climate physicists suggest. They suggest that the ‘back radiation’ from the cooler atmosphere to the warmer surface, previously emitting the very same energy now being recycled as thermal loss, warms (as in increasing the internal energy, raising the temperature of) the surface DIRECTLY. AS IF IT WERE A SEPARATE/INDIVIDUAL HEAT FLOW. It is the addition of the back radiated energy and nothing else that according to them raises the temperature of the surface above what the solar input alone could muster.

      Note, they of course do not CALL this added energy ‘heat’. Because then any fool would realise at once how their explanation blatantly violates the laws of thermodynamics. But they expect it to give a DIRECT RESULT as if it were heat. Well, what looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and so forth …

      The best way to show how these people ACTUALLY believes that the ‘back radiation’ from the cooler atmosphere to the warmer surface, the heat source of the atmosphere, is a separ