This is Your President’s Science Advisor

March 21st, 2015 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

A President’s political appointees are chosen because their views support the President’s political leanings. This is to be expected.

One might expect the Science Advisor position to be more politics-free, but not these days. The President’s choice of John Holdren, previously a professor at Berkley, to be his science advisor tells us something about his policies.

Holdren wrote this 1975 newspaper article, entitled Too Much Energy, Too Soon, a Hazard, about the dangers of having too much energy available for human use.

Among some of the gems of wisdom there, we find this:

Finally, less energy can mean more employment. The energy producing industries comprise the most capital intensive and least labour intensive major sector of the economy. Accordingly, each dollar of investment capital taken out of energy production and invested in something else, and each personal consumption dollar saved by reduced energy use and spent elsewhere in the economy will create more jobs than are lost.

Now, one doesn’t need to be an economist to see the problem with this position. Holdren thinks that because the energy sector generates so much energy so efficiently with so few people and with so much capital investment, that must be a bad thing. He is either unaware (he can’t be that stupid) or he chooses to hide the fact that all of that energy is demanded by the rest of the country for everything we do. Energy enables people to make things and provide services.

As I’ve said before (and I’ve asked some of the nation’s top economists about the validity of my views), if you really want full employment, just put everyone to work digging holes in the ground and filling them up again. Just having “jobs” is not the desired goal; what we do in those jobs makes all the difference. Jobs must efficiently provide goods or services desired by the rest of society in order for everyone, poor and rich alike, to prosper.

And abundant, affordable energy is required for all of those productive jobs.

It literally scares me that people like this have so much influence in our country.


496 Responses to “This is Your President’s Science Advisor”

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  1. Dan Pangburn says:

    Typical ‘ignorant and unaware of their ignorance’ condition.

    I expect that most also ‘get it’. It scares me also that people who don’t have so much influence.

    This was copied from http://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/10/10/spoons-shovels which also includes several variations to the anecdote.

    Here is an account from the economics writer Stephen Moore that was printed in the Wall Street Journal in 2009. Moore stated that he used to visit Milton Friedman and his wife, and together they would dine at a favorite Chinese restaurant:

    At one of our dinners, Milton recalled traveling to an Asian country in the 1960s and visiting a worksite where a new canal was being built. He was shocked to see that, instead of modern tractors and earth movers, the workers had shovels. He asked why there were so few machines. The government bureaucrat explained: “You don’t understand. This is a jobs program.” To which Milton replied: “Oh, I thought you were trying to build a canal. If it’s jobs you want, then you should give these workers spoons, not shovels.”

    • MikeN says:

      Digging holes and filling them up is a reasonable policy, particularly for people on welfare. The actual benefits of getting them into a job position outweigh the waste of the job.

      • Dan Murray says:

        A man may waste his own life. He may rightfully rebel at another wasting it for his own good

      • CharlieG says:

        What a load.

        Just providing a job is about stupid. There is plenty of “need” to be filled with jobs – if it was that easy, why do we have such an issue with immigrants and seasonal labor – duh.

        I am a conservative, but I have come up with a real “jobs” program. I feel like it borders on fulfilling socialism to some respect so it bothers me, but it makes too much sense to not promote it.

        Pick a site in Arizona to construct a large, man-made lake (2 of them actually). Build a large gated canal from the Gulf of California to said lakes. At this very large lake you will be building multiple Nuclear Power Plants – 10 of them – to first off process salt-water to fresh water running a large desalination/water processing facility, and the rest to provide a large footprint national (and international) energy generation facility. So the purpose of this large project would be two-fold – primarily to provide a high-volume fresh-water source for drought stricken areas of California and surrounding areas, and second, to provide abundant, cheap electricity to the US and parts of Mexico.

        The site would be close enough the Yucca for easy removal and storage of waste products, or they could even build a nice reprocessing facility there as well to cut down on that need. The water distribution would provide thousands of jobs, both in building the canal, and then the needed infrastructure to distribute the water inland from the facility. We could start investing in restructuring the electrical grid, and putting in hardened systems we need in case of EMP attack from a nuclear bomb detonated over the US, etc. This would be a program not unlike the Hoover Dam – it would actually have a quantified end-result – to help deal with a fresh water shortage, and electrical generation needs, and it would be a useful way to invest money in a “jobs” program that actually has a result at the end.

        Cheap energy – in particular electricity – is what our country needs to start a new long term economic growth plan. That is in large part what has starved off any affordable and sustainable growth in the US – the limiting factors of affordable energy. I always like to point at why Star Trek is possible (granted they have anti-matter energy) – they have abundant, cheap energy which allows them to do things like create food from energy using matter replicators, and create essentially anything they need through that kind of process. We may not be there any time soon – but abundant low cost energy will be the thing that keeps the US economy ahead of all the rest out there. Not to mention a project like this would put us back on the “BIG IDEA” people we always used to be. This kind of program would create jobs, supporting communities, and actually drive the economy for decades – and for the folks who want to be green, it would work to that end as well.

        I dunno, I am just tired of people acting like we have to limit ourselves artificially – for no better reason than it serves the purpose of some “money guy/group” somewhere that will cry if they lose their profiteering engine.

        • Walt Allensworth says:

          Side benefit – would satisfy the salt needs of the entire planet! 🙂

          • CharlieG says:

            One of the things I was glad to see lately is that NASA is finally planning a mission to bring an asteroid into orbit around the Moon to see what they can do with it. One of the best reasons for establishing a permanent Moon base is to start up operations of this sort – where we can have a stable platform out of Earth’s gravity well to establish operations. We could, during the course of this, find a more suitable chunk of rock/ice/etc that we could transition operations to – in particular if we find one with an abundant source of water (in the form of ice) that can be used for energy and manufacturing support.

            Man has always excelled when there is a push for expansion, exploration and developing new technologies to tackle these challenges. We should be so much further ahead than we are now in pushing our space program to help us explore nearby planets, establish off-world operations and start pulling in and making use of the vast mineral resources we have just wandering around the solar system looking for a planet to hit. Instead we could start setting up operations to manage these objects, and start exploiting them. Sure, it would be nice if it were a concerted world-wide effort, but between the US, EU, and other allied partners, we could easily setup a robust program to get this really moving. This kind of effort would also eventually take pressure off of China and Russia to feel like they have to compete with the West to corner the market on all the resources of the planet. Plus we would all be looking outside of the Earth instead of just focusing inward on ourselves – it would make a huge difference in overcoming cultural and other differences.

        • Mark Luhman says:

          You could skip desalination and just pump the a small portion of the spring run off from the Mississippi over the divide into those reservoirs. A few hour of spring runoff would fill those reservoirs in certain years. Cheap power electrical would lead this country back to full employment and back to the number one manufacturing power in the world, it would eliminate employment across the board and if we went back to conservative principals in education we would be back to the number on educated nation in the world, instead we worry about nesting of the plovers on the Missouri river and how a student feels about his self esteem. God help us liberal are so damn stupid. Most of the time they are not capable of taking care of themselves let alone anyone else.

          • CharlieG says:

            Well, my second “Big US Style Infrastructure” project was the transcontinental water pipeline. I had a thought that we could undertake a large pipeline (not sure what the capacity has to be, but large enough to siphon off or transfer large amounts of water quickly) that linked the Mississippi (middle and lower reach where heavy flooding can occur), Missouri and then on across the country to California via Colorado or through New Mexico and Arizona.

            The idea being in times of heavy rains or flooding (melt-off) that the pumps could be turned on and pump off excess water to the west, to help supplement water supplies there. They would obviously have to engineer the things to ensure the normal river run-off needs could be met for wetlands and river deltas, but certainly we get enough excess water at times in the east to help with adding water in the west where it is needed. We could put lines into Las Vegas, Reno, etc. The system should be able to work in both directions just in case there is a need to move water to the east for some reason.

            In either case, both of these style of infrastructure projects are the kinds of things the US is known for – and it would do us good to get back into the large engineering business. It seems like since the railroads got connected, the WWII war machine, and then we set foot on the moon, we are pretty much done.

            @Walt – yeah 🙂 I am sure there are a number of other benefits that would come from this – not to mention lots of long-term jobs, a way to actually employ the folks from South America, etc. Not to mention, Mexico would benefit from this with all the canal work, and future electrical benefits as well. Cheap energy really is the answer – that is the principal driver of a strong and vibrant economy. With that many plants in collocation to each other you reduce operational and support costs.

          • Brian H says:

            Problem: pumping the water in would take more energy than the reservoirs would generate. Where does it come from?

          • CharlieG says:

            The nuclear power plants we are gonna build down in Arizona… project #1 🙂

          • CharlieG says:

            Figure the initial stages is just going to be a large canal from the Gulf of California inland to the salt-water “reservoir”. In turn there would be nuclear power plants there to run massive desalination and pumping operations to move water inland from the man-made fresh-water lake. It is for sure a long term project – but it could be done, and it would be the good first step in giving us more electricity generation long-term, and also put a man-made process in place to help deliver fresh water where it is needed. Even if we build pumping pipelines, we would need the generator capacity in any case.

      • yonason says:

        I agree. And, because there are almost limitless holes waiting to be dug, filled in, re-dug, re-filled, re-dug, …, I also think Obama’s importing foreign labor to assist us in this important, nay crucial endeavor, is most laudable. //s//

    • Bohous says:

      Today, very few people think that the Luddite breaking of machines was the correct way how to solve grave social problems in the early 19th century. Similarly, I do not think that artificial shortage of energy can help the masses. Let’s learn from history and judge the proper solution of the ancient problems – before we make a problematic decission like this one.

  2. jimc says:

    Let’s delete farm machinery and all go out and hoe the fields. Considering us to be vermin destroying the earth for them, I sometimes think the progressives would be delighted to condemn us to a Hobbesian struggle for existence. They will say they wouldn’t go that far, but still insist they determine how far. In progressivism’s earlier days (around WWI), euthanasia and forced sterilization were seriously considered, later they cheered Hitler’s program of racial purity (until he turned everyone against himself), currently its abortion on a massive scale, next comes condemnation of undesirable groups such as the Israelis and Obama care’s death panels. In progressivism, nothing is really forbidden, and Marxism is “scientific”. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but I never thought I would see the things I have already seen.

  3. KevinK says:

    Yeah, that’s quite the “advice” coming from the highest levels of gubermint…

    I have often thought that intelligence is a circular scale, as one gets smarter and more specialized one eventually knows absolutely everything about almost nothing and wraps around to the idiot side of the scale (i.e. not smart enough to come in out of the rain).

    Yeah, expensive and limited energy, that’s the ticket to prosperity, and think of all the jobs created by fixing broken windows…. But, if we are all shivering and hungry in the dark after tilling our fields all day pushing our electric tractors who would have any energy left over to dare to criticize the gubermint???

    Cheers, KevinK.

    • Tom says:

      Those like Holdren who seem to see economic prosperity as being a naturally ocurring, fixed amount that can be distributed as desired need to sincerely take the time to see past the money that’s involved and to take the time to at least begin to gain some understanding of “the mechanics of prosperity.” Or, maybe, “the physics of prosperity” could be a more appropriate way of expressing the idea.

  4. Ron C. says:

    Anecdote:

    An economist was visiting a dam construction project in China.

    Noticing a lot of manual workers on the site, he asked: “Why not bring in some earth-moving machinery to get the job done?” The answer was, “We want to create jobs for unemployed people.”

    To which the economist said: “If that is your objective, then take away their shovels and give them spoons. I thought you wanted to build a dam.”

    • Curious George says:

      Both sides have a point. When you become a presidential advisor, opponent’s points vanish.

    • Slipstick says:

      If I had been the Chinese representative, my response would have been “We are, the rate of construction is acceptable, and we are creating jobs for the unemployed. Why is your way better?”

      • lemiere jacques says:

        well because the definition of acceptable will be based on unemployment rate…this sounds soccially nice BUT it there is a problemen when everybody is employed..how do you make any change?

        Planification works perfectible well when there is no developpment at all…and no changes at all whatsoever…and it works well too if you thinks members of communist party are clever enough to decide what people want exactly..

        • lemiere jacques says:

          well because the definition of acceptable will be based on unemployment rate…this sounds socially nice BUT it there is a problemen when everybody is employed..how do you make any change?

          Planification works perfectly well when there is no developpment at all…and no changes at all whatsoever…and it works well too if you think members of communist party are clever enough to decide what people want exactly..

          sorry i am french and i don’t need no stinking english grammar

        • Streetcred says:

          I worked in construction in Africa for many years … manual labor was common as it was cheap and provided employment. Mechanisation would have caused significant unemployment and unrest. It is important to recognise that living a basic subsistence level is cheap. The USA does not have the luxury of abundant and cheap unskilled labor in this context … hold on, if illegal immigrants were to suddenly become legal …

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            See Bart post below (which I fully agree), visit the link “opportunity cost” and read the paragraph “Evaluation”, the two bands example is the correct explanation to the issue.

            Have a great day.

            Massimo

          • Bart says:

            A good illustration of opportunity costs is the Broken Window Fallacy.

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Bart,
            I didn’t know about the broken window fallacy before.

            I absolutely agree with that.

            Thank you for the link.

            Have a great day.

            Massimo

          • JohnKl says:

            The supposed labor conflict exists only because of government regulations. Prohibiting the use of technologies that reduce costs will HARM workers. New technologies will reduce wage rates but reduce the cost to manufacture products or provide services further. However, remember that cheaper prices for manufactured goods reduces the operating costs for businesses relying on them, which then can afford to hire more people. The metric in part to look at remains the quantity of goods and services produced. More of either means more availability to consumers. Simply allow FREEDOM OF RATIONAL ACTION AND VOLUNTARY CONTRACT and jobs will follow.

            Have a great day!

      • Massimo PORZIO says:

        “Why is your way better?”
        Because jobs should never be created just for employ people. The goal of a job is producing welfare not just revenue for the workers.
        Who accept that jobs can be “created” just for give the workers a revenue, should accept burglary and robbery as legal jobs, since they are very profitable for the “worker”.
        But that unfortunately is not the case for the society (and the ones who get their things stolen of course).
        All those “manual workers” were just steal money from the pockets of all the other Chinese real workers.
        Remember that your money are not your welfare, your money are just your credit of welfare that you produced for the society consuming your precious lifetime, credit of welfare that you still have not consumed.
        If many other “dummy workers” get money for doing nothing really useful for the society which prints the money, then that money lose value, and your precious lifetime spent working to produce something useful for the society is depreciated.
        Much better build the dam with the earth-moving machinery
        and give the unemployed people the freedom of do something else, useful for the welfare of the society.

        Paraphrasing Dr. Spencer: “if your goal is just create jobs to keep you citizens employed, then give half the population a shovel to make holes, and give the other half a shovel too to fill those holes.”

        Not very cheap indeed.

        Have a nice day.

        Massimo

      • Bart says:

        “Why is your way better?”

        Because you are frittering away those workers’ productive capacity on useless labor when it should be applied to something useful. The opportunity costs are staggering.

    • Brian H says:

      That was Milton Friedman.

  5. Ron C. says:

    Sorry, Dan P got there first.

  6. AlecM says:

    Soylent/Soviet Green Politics.

    These people want their Corporate Fascist Paymasters to feast off the mountains of corpses of the poor and vulnerable as they kill the inner cities by energy starvation, a Global Pol Pot Regime on Steroids.

    Holdren is an affront to Science, as is his Master Paul Ehrlich, Eugenicist Extraordinaire.

    As for O’Barmy; my thoughts are as yet incomplete but I am temporarily calling him the Indonesian Candidate, brought to life by the Club of Rome.

  7. Aaron S says:

    I work in the oil industry for a major so i am pro energy as it has lifted our species to levels of development that are impossible otherwise. However, i often ask myself why the US has resisted light rail and mass transportation, if for no other reason to reduce the 30,000 people that die a year in crashes (ive lost several friends and was in a serious crash myself). I think the answer partially resides in the amount of jobs related to personal car manufacturing, sales, maintenance, upgrades and fuel. What politician would really cut that industry and reduce jobs even if it is the rational move? So i think there are aspects of inefficiency that promote the economy.

    • Bart says:

      Because rail service only makes sense in densely populated areas, and the US has a great deal of wide open space. Population density in the US is about 35 people per square kilometer, compared to 265 in the UK (a factor of 7.6), 121 in France (a factor of 3.5), 231 in Germany (6.6X) and 349 in Japan (10X).

      • Brian H says:

        Exactly. To be able to survive, you have to be on a rail line. That depopulates most of the country.

    • Joe Born says:

      Run the numbers. What you find is that mass transportation is hideously inefficient in comparison with personal cars. In a car you can drop the kids off at soccer practice, pick up water-softener salt, return the library books, do the food shopping, and pick the kids up after practice, all in two hours. Try doing that by bus or train. Think of what could be accomplished by society as a whole if people who took buses took cars instead.

      And, by the way, city buses (as opposed to inter-city buses) generate at least as much carbon dioxide per passenger mile as the average personal car tends to.

      Look, over the last 45 years I’ve owned a total of only four cars. During most of my working life my non-walking transportation occurred mostly by subway. I don’t particularly like driving. So I’m no gasaholic, and I’d love it if mass transportation really made sense.

      But here’s the bottom line. Sure, there are niches in which it works out for the rider–but in most cases that’s only because other people, for whom it does not work out, are paying for it. Except in, say, Tokyo and maybe Beijing and Shanghai, mass transportation is subsidized, so what it does is divert to transportation the resources that could be used for, oh, I don’t know, curing Alzheimer’s. As a society we are poorer because mass transportation has been subsidized for the last half century. Who knows what advances we could have made by now if we hadn’t been thus wasting resources? How many people would not have lost their parents prematurely because the cure for their dementia had not been delayed by waste on transportation?

      Yes, I know; mass transportation sounds great. It does to me, too. But at some age we have to start acting like grow-ups. We have to make judgments about what really is good instead of what just sounds good. Run the numbers and don’t just imagine that someone else, who can afford it, will be paying your way. Maybe some of them can afford it, but it would be better for society if the resources they can afford to invest were used for something more worthwhile.

      Mostly, the reason people don’t use mass transportation is not that they are benighted idiots but rather that, if they take the value of their time into account, mass transportation doesn’t make sense to them economically, even at subsidized rates.

      Let’s respect that.

      • Konrad says:

        Google Maps has a nice feature for directions. It allows you to compare travel times of driving, walking, bicycling, or public transit. Driving always takes the shortest amount of time. Public transit always takes the longest. Usually bicycling beats public transit. We’d be better off if bicycling was subsidized.

        • Mark Luhman says:

          Bicycling is being subsidized, bike paths are being paid for out of highway funds. I am a bicyclist and would support a 15 to 20 excise tax on bike and bike equiptment sales and yet when that is purposed god forbid we cannot do that. I am also a hunter fisherman all that gear has a 15% excise tax and yet again when those funds pay for a boat landing the water skier who pay noting to get on that lake via a public landing think it great fun to harass a fisherman trying to have a peaceful day on the lake. Proposal to tax their equipment like hunting and fishing gear is always killed by the water sport lobby. the bastard as far as I am concerned the bastard have had a free lunch far to long. I believe user should pay, subsidies are evil anytime they are use since they distort what really is going on.

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Aaron S,

      You ask:

      “However, i often ask myself why the US has resisted light rail and mass transportation, if for no other reason to reduce the 30,000 people that die a year in crashes (ive lost several friends and was in a serious crash myself).”

      Like you I’ve been in a crash as well but still prefer a car. It’s not as if rail comes without risks either and the greater freedom and mobility still appeals. As to the 30,000 annual deaths. People are no where near as risk averse as government planners wish them to be. Many especially younger people like fast cars and a live fast die young attitude has supporters. When combined with alcohol, drugs and many general societal disorders the resulting cocktail appears a bit deadly to me. However, civilizations in this world of sin and sorrow have past, present and future sought to live on the edge and will likely continue to do so. Keep safe!

      Have a great day!

    • Aaron S says:

      A bit confused: ive not seen the assessments you reference before and population density calculations of dividing US population by US area might be a bit simplistic. For example, over 80% of the US lives in urban settings. So id love to see the math you are citing but in general light rail in cities with trains interconnecting cities works well almost everywhere on Earth that it exists. Houston went through this assessment a few times in the last 20yrs and the logical choice is train, but the culture decides the opposite and they built the 22 lane mega highway i drove to work on daily called I10. Currently, the high speed between Houston and Dallas looks promising. Im using this math, can u show me the numbers suggesting it is a cost sink? Undoubtedly there is upfront cost but investment is part of the equation.

      • Bart says:

        Yes but, pace Houston, our urban centers generally do have intra-city rail service. And, our cities themselves are much farther apart. When you take a rail line to another city, you are generally committing yourself to a huge amount of time in which you are virtually imprisoned. It’s better, faster, and more time-efficient to take a plane.

        The one major exception in the US is the DC-NYC-Boston corridor, and we have reasonably high speed rail service there already. I enjoy taking the trains when I have to travel that route. Perhaps Houston-Dallas would be a good place to have another. I am not familiar enough with the density of travel or the distance between the two to make a personal judgment.

        The thing is, past decisions constrain the present, and when the decision was made to focus on interstate highways, it really did not make any sense at all to have high speed rail service between US cities. And, now, the incremental costs are much higher compared to using the existing automobile-centric infrastructure.

        Do I think high speed rail service between relatively closely spaced urban centers would be nice? Sure. I think having a lot of things we don’t currently have would be really nice. But, I have to choose between them, and there are, to me, higher priorities.

        Your observation on highway deaths hits me in a very personal way. I have had family members mangled, and even one killed, in highway auto accidents. But, you gotta’ do what you gotta’ do. Maybe driverless cars hold the answer. They’re on the horizon now. It would be a shame to commit now to the major costs of a system soon to be rendered obsolete.

        • Lewis Guignard says:

          Rail,light or otherwise, is one of the worst ways to move people. The initial infrastructure costs are exorbitant and then is cannot be moved to allow for the change in where people live or wish to go.

          Charlotte, NC has put in light rail, it is very expensive but does little to alleviate traffic congestion. One of the reasons is that, as explained elsewhere, people want to go where they want to go when they want to go. Recently I was in San Fransisco and the BART system, while useful and heavily used, required transportation on each end. But it is only useful if it goes where you want to go.

          Toward that end the government planners start trying to tell you where to live, how to live and where your job should be. All to satisfy the need for rail for riders.

          Buses are better and could be better still.

          Think on this. You ship a package from work, across the country to someone’s home. It gets there in 2 or 3 days, maybe a week. It changes the vehicle it is on 3, 4 maybe 5 times. Yet doesn’t have to move an inch by itself.

          People, unless paying for a cab, are not picked up at their door, nor delivered to where they want to go. Why not? Why can’t public transportation offer me the same travel service a package gets?

          Because government is self serving instead of customer serving.

          I’ll leave it at that.

          Best wishes

          • Aaron S says:

            That brings me to my next point and thanks for the perfect set up. The US is fat and unhealthy… god forbid people had to walk to a station and then to work. It would save billions in health care. Also, seriously show me some math. I will make a strong analog based argument… it works in europe asia and everywhere else. It can be private and id sure prefer a loan to construct rains over a trillion a year in quantitative easing.

          • Bart says:

            The old “it would save $$$ in health care” ploy. A) Savings in health care at young ages would be offset by greater costs to care for people who live to old age, and B) would be swamped again by all the transfer payments made, e.g., through Social Security, which are necessary to maintain an aged population no longer in its productive prime.

            So, there are no savings, overall, and probably much greater costs, to forcing people into healthier lifestyles. Ergo, this is not a valid justification for forcing people to maintain the health status you believe they should. Moreover, cost is not sufficient justification to enact health policies anyway. Based on the above, if you were solely looking to economize, mandatory euthanasia after retirement would be the way to go.

            You’re not anyone’s parent who is not your own child. You have no right to tell others how to live.

            As far as “it works in europe asia and everywhere else”, it doesn’t. It works in densely populated regions, like many in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. You cannot simply create a system which works in particular areas due to special circumstances, and expect it to work just as well in another area lacking those particular circumstances.

          • Mark Luhman says:

            Aron I had a meeting in Downtown Phoenix right next to light rail, I live about ten miles from light rail. Parking at the terminal is free, i goggle the trip and to do it with light rail two and a half hours, to diver it 30 minutes, My schedule precluded me going to that meeting even with the 30 minute travel time how was that to work with light rail. If I were to skip driving to the light rail connection and used my bike, what kind of condition would I present myself to my fellow attendees after a six mile bike ride in 105 degree temperature? Public transportation is an obsolete concept that can only be revived when a person can join the transportation stream individually from point of origin to the termination point at speed without waiting for anything. Anything else steals years from someone which they will never get back, you only live one life and wasted time cannot ever be given back. It the greatest thief on can do to his fellow man. I still curse Nixon and all the years of time he took from people and me with his stupid 55 mph speed limit, far more life times were lost on the highway going 55 MPH from point A to point B, than were save from accidents. I had to drive over a half million mile at that speed taking care of my companies client’s computer problems out in rural America, both their time and min were wasted by at least 10% because of it. I could of have at least a quarter more of a years time to do something else rater than taking windshield time, Think how two week vacation that is!

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Hi Mark,
            you are great!
            “I still curse Nixon and all the years of time he took from people and me with his stupid 55 mph speed limit, far more life times were lost on the highway going 55 MPH from point A to point B, than were save from accidents.”
            I never thought that way, but I must agree!

            Have agreat day.

            Massimo

  8. Vincent says:

    I see two sides to the story here. Roy is of course right that everything we do in a modern society requires energy. We can’t even walk down the road without consuming energy, in the form of calories provided by the food we eat, which in turn requires energy to plow the fields to plant the wheat and harvest the wheat, and energy to operate the factories which process the wheat to make flour, and energy to run the bakeries which produce the bread, and energy to deliver the bread to the shops, and energy to run and maintain the shops, and so on and so on.

    Every facet of life, whether pleasure or work, requires energy. As a general principle, the average total wealth and well-being of every person on the planet is directly proportional to the real, unsubsidized cost of energy and the efficiency with which we use that energy.

    If one imagines a hypothetical scenario in which the cost of all forms of energy were to double overnight, in real terms, such as the cost of extracting oil and coal suddenly becoming more expensive due to scarcity and increased difficulty of extraction, then everyone on the planet would experience a halving of their living standards, if the burden of the increased energy cost were shared equally.

    Of course, in practice this wouldn’t happen. The increased cost wouldn’t apply equally to all forms of energy, and even if it did, the increased cost would encourage greater efficiency in the use of the energy and less wastage, so in practice one could expect less than a halving of living standards as a result of a doubling of energy costs.
    So that’s encouraging, isn’t it!

    • Brian H says:

      Economics: the price of a good determines how hard people work to obtain and provide it. If an energy source’s price rises, the hunt is on for a cheaper substitute. It is invariably found, which is how society has progressed from windmills to modern power stations. Human ingenuity trumps shortages, and drives costs down and quality of life up.

  9. John F. Hultquist says:

    Aaron S RE: why the US has resisted light rail and mass transportation

    There is much history about this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_City_Lines

    However, the biggest issue is geography and timing. The USA is a very large place and even now much is thinly settled. Collection and dispersal of riders are issues with no good solutions. Many cities developed along with personal vehicles (& trucks) and exclusionary zoning (live one place, work another, shop elsewhere) so that population densities of cities are relatively low. Friendships (interactions) are often determined by factors other than “the neighborhood” as might have been the case 100 years ago. Thus, there are many destinations that cannot be served with a route-based system. The USA has encouraged home ownership – often with disastrous results – so this helps to spread the population.
    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/2010-08-11-housing11_cv_N.htm

  10. MarkB says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like the main point of the article was to focus on efficient use of energy resources as a strategy rather than maximizing extraction at any cost. We’d call it sustainability today though I don’t recall that term being in vogue in the 70s. In principle at least, it would be hard to imagine anyone would be against sustainability, though we might differ on precisely how it should be practiced.

    • Slipstick says:

      It’s not just you; I completely agree. I cannot fathom why anyone would disregard or purposefully oppose sustainability, other than for short-term profit. I find it more than a little amusing that people complain that a policy with which they disagree is “political” (although, hypocritically, not those with which they agree), as if “politics” is some kind of “evil” can somehow be separated from policy. The formulation of policy is an inherently political process.

      A vaguely related thought occurred to me recently. The Yellowstone super volcano is believed to be overdue for an eruption. Perhaps we should give some thought to conserving our fossil fuels for that eventuality; humanity will need all it can extract if the volcano pops with the force expected. Such an event, by the way, would render any discussion of global warming completely moot.

      • dave says:

        “Slipstick” writes:

        “The Yellowstone super volcano is believed to be overdue for an eruption.”

        Not according to the National Park Service. Thus:

        “Another caldera-forming eruption is theoretically possible, but it is VERY UNLIKELY [my emphasis] in the next 1,000 years or even 10,000 years. Scientists have also found no indication of an imminent smaller eruption of lava.”

      • An Inquirer says:

        I cringe when I hear “sustainability.” Who could be against sustainability today like who could be against Americanism during the McCarthy era? Great assault is taken against freedom and liberty in the name of sustainability. People in power will use sustainability to impose their vision of lifestyles on other people — and people in power often use faulty analysis to determine what is best for environment. There are hundreds of cases where the imposition from the powerful was not better for the environment but rather powerful wanted their vision.

        I served on a Planning Commission for several years where the mantra of sustainability was used to enshrine the power of the powerful — not to help the community.

    • Gunga Din says:

      Just what does “Sustainable” mean?
      To me it means it can stand on it’s own two feet.
      Remove politically directed ObamaEPA regulations.
      Remove emotional objections to nuclear.
      Remove politically directed taxpayer subsidies to “fossil-fuel” AND “Green-goo”, which will stand?

      The ones that stand are “sustainable”.

      • Bob Weber says:

        Sustainable development is what ‘the market can bear’. The warmist idealogues are hellbent on changing the market.

    • Bart says:

      No, it is focusing on rationing, not efficiency.

      • Manfred says:

        The first law of sustainability – economic sustainability – seems to be the most frequently broken.

    • mothcatcher says:

      ‘Sustainability’ is a great slogan, but as a policy it is astonishingly short-sighted.In fact, in economic and intellectual terms it has very few clothes at all. It survives in policy and in liberal thought only because it SEEMS to be common sense, and SEEMS to have that yearned-for moral quality that so many of us seek. Conspicuous consumption would be far better for progress!
      Interesting thread that goes right to the heart of so many issues, not just climate change and energy use. Let us not forget that it isn’t the hard working labourer who adds to the wealth of future generations (though he can sustain what is already achieved) but the guy who invents a machine that puts that labourer out of a job. This is very hard for many, perhaps most, people to understand but is absolutely a truth. As a result, resources get cheaper, and people get more expensive. That’s how it should be.

    • Brian H says:

      There’s a hidden barb in the term. It assumes the good in question is always going to be needed, and at the same rate. Was the solution to whale oil shortage the efficient breeding of whales? The development of superior technologies changes what is needed, and renders “sustainability” moot and irrelevant.

  11. Jim Schmidt says:

    Some things never change…

    “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.” – Ronald Reagan

  12. Johan says:

    “…I’ve asked some of the nation’s top economists” ? Dr. Spencer, you really are a comedian. Ask 100 economists whether in industry energy-capital, energy-labor and capital-labor are substitutes or complements, and out of 8 possible answers you’ll get 100 different ones instead !

    • An Inquirer says:

      With a Ph.D. in Economics, I confirm that Dr. Spencer is correct, and all the members of the faculty in my university agree. Furthermore, Econ textbooks usually cover this issue with the same conclusion. Economists can and do have many disagreements, but this issue is not one of them.

  13. Tom says:

    I can’t think of a better way to gain insight into “the mechanics of prosperity” than to spend a part of a morning or afternoon in a hardwood forest that has a lot of squirrells watching how the squirrells “make a living.” Sustainability is a condition in which the amount of energy that is yielded by our efforts and activity is greater than the amount of energy that is used and dissipated expending the effort and performing the activity.

    An informative read:
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_returned_on_energy_invested – Similar to Energy returned on energy invested – Wikipedia, the free …
    In physics, energy economics and ecological energetics, energy returned on energy invested (EROEI or ERoEI); or energy return on investment (EROI), is the …

  14. Groty says:

    Yes, he is right that using less energy could mean more employment. That isn’t necessarily good. It may mean we’d have a lower standard of living. It all depends on productivity.

    We could farm with mules and everyone would have a job, but we’d be poorer as a society. After someone invents a tractor, then we can replace labor with technology and get the same output. Then many of those people who used to walk behind mules all day can figure out new ways to make their lives productive, which improves our standard of living and increases societal wealth.

    • JohnKl says:

      Groty claims:

      “We could farm with mules and everyone would have a job, but we’d be poorer as a society.”

      How am I or anyone else poorer if someone chooses to farm with a mule or not. Society becomes poorer when it coerces individuals to make irrational economic decisions. A farmer with wealth may choose to use a tractor a poorer farmer may choose not to. Society’s wealth increases when we allow both of them to employ their capital as THEY SEE FIT! Imposing directives on either and forcing them to make socially acceptable choices to mirror the mindset of politicians and social manipulators only INCREASES THE COST TO SOCIETY of imposing costly burdens on the marginal. Imo, a truly sad mindset.

      Likewise, using political coercion to determine the quantity of energy consumed and/or used by the public makes even less sense.

      Thanks and have a great day!

  15. benpal says:

    If we (the people) produce too much energy, the surplus must be stocked somewhere or somenody must destroy it as it is produced. I have never seen a dump site for energy in my life, I have never seen a destruction site for energy. So where does it go?

    • Jon J. says:

      Oil, gas, and coal can be stored between production and use. But electricity is produced entirely on demand: if there is no load, no energy is produced by the power plant.

      Even for oil, gas, and coal, if production stopped completely and suddenly, you would see the stockpiles disappear in a matter of a few days. From domestic crude, the gasoline you put in your car may have come out of the ground less than a week ago.

  16. I just read Holdren’s 1975 newspaper article, and the point seems to me as not so much an excessive supply or availability of energy, but excessive use of it due to waste.

    Now, I don’t know whether Holdren now would restrict energy supply, restrict energy demand, or – as the newspaper article suggests – make energy-consuming devices more efficient and discourage using energy in wasteful ways. That would not harm the economy. If the energy industry is still less labor intensive than other industries, then making cars and light bulbs more efficient would create jobs by letting people spend more money in other industries. It would also save consumers by reducing or eliminating need to expand capacity of generating and transmitting electricity, and to produce and transport petroleum products.

    Regardless of the labor intensiveness issue, fossil fuels are limited, and prolonging their availability allows more time for more practical alternatives – for example better and more practical electric cars, which can be powered by electricity from nuclear power plants developed to use fuels more plentiful than U-235.

    Meanwhile, I see in America many opportunities for reducing energy consumption. For example, practical LED light bulbs are newly becoming available. I recently purchased an Osram 8.5W 60W LED bulb with 60W incandescent equivalence is available at Lowes for $6, and at US-average electricity rates would pay for itself in 1,000 hours of usage.

    Improving home insulation and making electronic devices use less power while idling does not have to hurt standards of living. For example, my cable box needed for internet with lots of LEDs would consume .5-1 watt less power if it had 20x-more-efficient LEDs (actually available) that would increase its cost by only $1-$2 retail. At USA-average ~12 cents per KWH, having this device made with better LEDs would pay for itself in .5-2 years, assuming the cable company has its rates only appropriately higher to cover boxes that cost $1-$2 more. My cable modem also has LEDs with 1970s technology, to save 10-15 cents of manufacturing cost in comparison to LEDs that use 95% less power to produce the same amount of light. These devices also have their internal DC power supplies apparently designed to be similarly penny-wise for the cable company, and pound-foolish for the consumer.

    Another example of opportunity to reduce energy consumption is in automatic transmissions for motor vehicles. If the general design would be changed to one having a robot operate a manual transmission, the significant losses in non-highway driving would be nearly eliminated. However, I have seen before some strange inertia in the automotive industry. For example, TV ads for vehicles with extra airbags – and the auto industry did not start using airbags on their own motivations, but was initially dragged by a government mandate while kicking and screaming.

    And how about dressing more warmly in the winter and cooler in the summer? How about sweaters to allow a house to be several degrees cooler in the winter? These sweaters can be worn on several days between washings. And if not a sweater, how about a hoodie? What’s up with ridiculing president Carter for suggesting this? Why don’t even many “green” types do this? Or, what’s up with men wearing long pants, sometimes even full suits in the office in summer? How about men dressing in summer like men with office jobs in American Samoa, even managers and executives? We have the power to cause pain to hostile oil-exporting nations, and to greatly improve our balance of trade. And to have more money to buy other things we want, or to pay off debts.

    • Bart says:

      The problem with having good ideas about how to control other peoples’ lives is that the good ideas inevitably get muscled aside for bad ideas that line the pockets of those with political connections. Then, you have the worst of both worlds – oppression and waste.

      The Mensheviks always get done in by the Bolsheviks. Best to just get on with your life, and leave others to theirs, lest you one day find yourself with your own back against the wall, in front of the firing squad you helped enable to come into existence.

  17. I did some followup on John Holdren:

    Maybe telling is this:

    http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/files/uploads/2007_11-6_Forum_(NXPowerLite).pdf

    He seems to go along with IPCC’s likely overstatement of the problem, and his solution seems to include increasing the cost of energy – which I disagree with, despite some conspicuous consumers rubbing my nerves the wrong way.

    I prefer government motivation for energy consumption reduction via reduction of waste – such as caused by penny-wiseness in some areas of the design of most buildings, motor vehicles, electronic devices, and many electrical appliances.

    My thought here is that government mandates for energy efficiency are good when they actually save consumers money without reducing their standards of living. For example, for light bulbs and refrigerators to be more energy efficient. I wish this would be expanded to cable boxes, modems, and wall warts.

  18. Vincent says:

    The problem with introducing sustainable energy is the cost and the practical difficulties of changing our infrastructure and introducing new infrastructure.

    For example, solar power has a tremendously sustainable characteristic, and there is so much unproductive land available for solar farms, and unused vacant roof and wall areas available for the installation of solar panels.
    But as we all know, sometimes the sun doesn’t shine on certain days. To overcome this problem, a country that were to rely upon solar power would need to construct a network of High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission lines covering the whole country, and even connecting with other countries.

    Such HVDC power lines have a very low loss and can transport electricity efficiently and inexpensively over thousands of kilometres from where the sun shines to where it doesn’t shine, once the infrastructure is in place.

    It is estimated, although I don’t know how reliable the estimates are, if the whole Sahara Desert were covered in solar panels, it could generate 20 to 30 times the current annual global consumption of energy, converting all forms of energy to kWh.

    Of course, the Sahara Desert is very large, about 7 million square km, but imagine the potential if the whole world were connected with a network of HVDC power lines criss-crossing both land and sea. Imagine if all countries that have desert areas where the sun shines most of the time, such as America, Australia, China, and Africa, were to build large solar farms in such deserts.

    If the total area of deserts around the world, used to accommodate solar farms, was just a fraction of the total area of the Sahara Desert, we could still have an abundance of cheap energy available day and night, whether the sune shines or not in any particular area, provided the area is connected to the HVDC power line network. Wow! That’s my brave new world!

    • Lewis Guignard says:

      My best guess is it would take 500,000 sq miles of solar panels to power the electrical needs of homes, business and some transportation.

      This is extrapolated from local greenies telling us that 40 acres powers 800 houses.

      The problem is, as stated previously, storage and availability. And the solar panels are expensive and relatively shortlived.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      “…would need to construct a network of High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission lines….”

      That was considered over a century ago and abandoned. The problem with DC is the difficulty in transforming it from one voltage level to another. With AC it’s simple using transformers.

      Most industrial motors run at 600 VAC using 3 phase technology. Solar panels are notoriously low voltage devices and to transform low voltage DC to 3 phase AC would be a tremendous problem. You’d not only have to re-rig the transmission infrastructure you’d have to replace all AC motors or spend billions (trillions??) installing inverters.

      You’d have to rewire each building that is run from 3 phase power, unless you had inverters to change low voltage DC to 3 phase AC at much higher voltages.

      I think it would be insane to contemplate such a system.

      You claim HVDC has very low losses. What kind of losses, in comparison, do you think HVAC lines have? HVAC allows for the use of very small transmission lines, how large would the conductors have to be with HVDC to achieve the low losses?

      For example, I was on a crew that installed a 48 volt DC system that delivered 10,000 amps. The conductors were 6″ x 1/4″ copper bus bars paralleled 6″ wide. The distribution lines feeding the load were 72 runs of 750 mcm cable which translates to about a 1″ stranded copper cables per 750 mcm cable.

      In comparison, the conductors that feed neighbourhood 3 phase transformers with 120/240 VAC on the secondary are only about 1/4″ stranded copper. The transmission lines delivering 3 phase power from dams and so on are about 3/8″.

      They can get away with such small conductors because they transform the primary voltages up to thousands of volts AC, allowing for smaller primary currents.

      You can’t do that easily with DC. In facts, it’s a major hassle, using DC to AC inverters.

  19. KevinK says:

    Vincent wrote; (bolding added by me)

    “Such HVDC power lines have a very low loss and can transport electricity efficiently and inexpensively over thousands of kilometres from where the sun shines to where it doesn’t shine, ONCE THE INFRASTRUCTURE IS IN PLACE”.

    Yeah, that is quite correct. However what we have now is what has evolved from the discoveries and efforts of those that came before us. The USA has the best electrical distribution grid(s) ever developed, some folks claim (with valid justification) that is the largest man made machine ever built. It took over a century to implement, what makes anyone think we can just replace it with a “flick of a switch” (an electrical engineering term)???

    Sure, maybe it should have all been done as High Voltage DC with solar cells and wind turbines from the get-go, but who wanted to wait until all that technology was “perfected”??? A guy named Edison had some major “Ego-fits” with another guy named Tesla over the whole AC/DC argument. Tesla’s solution has worked for the last century and Edison did not have the semiconductors necessary to enable high voltage DC.

    Technology advances in “fits and starts”, trying to plan what will work in the future is “Ego Building” but ultimately pointless. Nobody (Not even Climate Scientists) are smart enough to know what will be the most efficient solution to the problems society will face 50 years from now.

    In summary, it’s real easy to throw stones at those “stupid old guys” that came up with this “crappy fossil fueled AC” electrical system we have NOW, but awful painful to ponder where we would be if we waited until electricity in our homes/offices was “perfect”; i.e. free, sustainable, with absolutely no impact on anything, like pixie dust.

    Funny that all these folks that are absolutely certain that there must be a better way to generate electricity have had the luxury of “pondering the question” using a computer powered by and illuminated with relatively inexpensive and reliable electricity…..

    Cheers, KevinK

    • Lewis Guignard says:

      Kevin,

      They also have the luxury of not having to guide a mule to plow the field to grow the crops to supply their food. It is taken care of with fossil fuels. Many of the jobs existent today are dependent upon the work of others, yet those jobs pay more than the ones they depend upon.

      Let us think farmers, mechanics, truck drivers, manufacturing, fork lift drivers, Walmart employees. Then consider those in live in or about washington DC and live so very well on transfer payments, either forced by government or otherwise.

      Holdren, Holder, Obama, McConnell, Boehner, Pelosi, Roberts etc

    • Curt says:

      HVDC does have its (limited) place, but is no magic bullet. It is already being used for some long-distance point-to-point transmission of electric power because of its lower losses.

      In the 19th century, only AC electric power could be stepped up and down, because with AC you had the inductive coupling of transformers (made of copper and iron) to do this, and there was no comparable technology for DC.

      But this same AC inductive coupling mechanism means that some power is lost to the ground along transmission lines. As you go hundreds of miles, this adds up. And with underwater cables, this coupling is much stronger.

      Also with AC transmission in wires, there is a phenomenon known as “skin effect”. Basically, virtually all of the actual current flows near the surface. You quickly get to the point where making the cable thicker does not add anything to the current-carrying capability.

      And now, with 21st century silicon power electronics, it is possible to step DC voltages up and down with efficiencies comparable to AC transformers. So there are already some significant HVDC transmission lines that don’t have AC limitations.

      The most important use is underwater. Significant lines include Sweden/Denmark, France/England and Long Island NY/Connecticut. There are also some long-distance above-ground lines, including from the Pacific Northwest to California.

      Above-ground HVDC lines have a little better transmission efficiency than HVAC, so they can make sense to build for long distances, but they are not a game changer. And they are only for point-to-point transmission, not for distribution. At the end of the line, the voltage is stepped down, and then inverted to AC for local distribution.

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        Curt….skin effect only applies at high frequencies, much higher than the 60 Hz used in North America (microwave frequencies). The wiki article on skin effect is wrong. There is a better explanation here:

        http://ecee.colorado.edu/~ecen3400/Chapter%2020%20-%20The%20Skin%20Effect.pdf

        The wiki article claims the skin depth in a conductor is around 8mm for 60 HZ AC. The standard commercial wiring gauge is #12 wire and it’s diameter is a bit over 2 millimeters. At 60Hz, skin effect will not be apparent on such a conductor, You can make larger conductors using stranded cable with #12 copper or aluminum to get around skin effect in larger cables at 60 Hz.

        When you size a conductor in commercial or industrial, or for any code job, you are concerned about the cable’s ampacity and the spacing between conductors, not skin effect. There is nothing in the electrical codes in North America for skin effect other that for eddy currents which can travel in the metallic sheaths of armoured cable.

        When you get up in the 100 Mhz range or into Ghz ranges, then the current tends to travel down a thin layer of a conductor at it’s outside diameter. That’s why in microwave frequencies they use waveguide, which is essentially a hollow conductor.

        With regard to inverters, stepping voltages up and down is not that simple. You end up with a lot of transients from the switching transistors that can be a concern with semiconductor devices. In a DC-AC inverter, the voltages looks like a dog’s breakfast but you can pull it into a 3 phase configuration using the inductors in a 3 phase motor, for example.

        • Massimo PORZIO says:

          Hi Gordon,
          fully agree with you, but having worked for 25years as an electronic designer for a small factory which used to self made its high voltage power drivers (up to 3ph 600Vac), I would add to what you said that I dispute anybody here who try to deal to 300kV DC (our HVAC grid voltage in Italy) using an IGBT or any other silicon semiconductor based device.
          One more thing: high power AC transformers are very efficient, nothing to do with any (even well designed) DC-DC converter.
          It wasn’t because Tesla and Westinghouse were rivals of Edison that they won the battle for the long distance energy transmission, it was because accounting all pros and cons the HVAC grid was and still it is better.

          Have a great day.

          Massimo

          • Curt says:

            Massimo:

            You need to read up on devices like thyristors, which can use much higher voltages, and can be, and are being, used in very high-voltage systems, up to hundreds of thousands of volts, in many places around the world. I named several prominent examples above.

            These really do exist! It’s easy to find info on-line about them.

            Remember that they didn’t exist in the 19th century, so there really was no alternative to AC for long-distance transmission.

            But as I pointed out to Vincent, HVDC presently is only appropriate for very long-distance, or underwater, point-to-point transmission.

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Hi Curt,
            since I worked with Thyristors too (but the DC power drivers I designed were 3-phase up to 380Vac/400Vac input only), I never see one capable of handling more than 3-5kV, would you please tell me where I can find any datasheet of those devices?

            Have a great day.

            Massimo

        • Curt says:

          Gordon:

          We are talking about long-distance very-high-power transmission with large cables, not household wiring. For these cables, a skin-effect depth of ~8mm can be very significant, as increasing the diameter of the cable will not help much to reduce losses in AC transmission, because the center will not carry current.

          I am well aware of the various issues in inverters and similar power electronic devices, as designing these is my day job. The point is that these challenges are being met successfully, and the number of systems employing them is growing rapidly, including for HVDC transmission.

          By the way, you should read up on how skin-effect phenomena are used on the rotors of AC induction motors to increase starting torque. It’s really neat!

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            Curt… “By the way, you should read up on how skin-effect phenomena are used on the rotors of AC induction motors to increase starting torque. It’s really neat!”

            I have covered that in motor theory courses. From what I recall it’s X of L versus R that allows variable starting torque, XL being the inductive reactance. You can design rotor bars with different ratios of XL and R.

            All in all, it’s pretty impressive. A buddy of mine designs systems for moving conveyor belts loaded with ore and they run thousands of volts per phase.

            With regard to thyristors, they seem to have become old school. The Igfets referred to by Massimo are one of the newer semiconductors and I know they can carry a whopping current compared to the older devices. However, as Massimo claims it would not be practical designing them for 300KV DC lines.

            Having said that, I have seen varistors used to suppress transients on hydro lines but not anywhere near 300KV.

            I have seen high amperage Igfets and other newer devices used in motor speed controllers like variable frequency drives. I have also seen them fail for no apparent reason and having worked with semiconductor devices for decades I know that transients can knock out a semiconductor pretty quickly.

            In lower power devices you can suppress transients easily since circuits can be designed to detect di/dt, dv/dt and so on. Circuits like that can clamp a transient before it gets started. But when you are dealing with high voltage transients, they can arc over a switch, and linemen have a heck of a time shutting such an arc down once it gets started.

          • Curt says:

            Gordon:

            The use of skin-effect principles in AC motor rotor design is a little more subtle than what you refer to from an introductory class.

            The rotor bars are thick enough that the skin effect limiting the conductivity of the interior of the bar actually significantly increases the in-phase resistance of the bar (separate from the out of phase reactance) at slip frequencies at and near 60 Hz. This lowers the L/R time constant and increases the starting torque.

            Many motor designs accentuate this effect by using a metal with lower conductivity on the outside of the bar, which has to carry most of the current at high slip frequencies, further increasing the low-speed resistance. That’s the “really neat” part, IMO!

            On the power electronics, yes, newer transistor designs have replaced thyristors in the ranges of hundreds to even a few thousand volts. But above that, various forms of thyristors still rule.

            HVDC systems with solid-state silicon step-up and step-down electronics exist, and are used many places in the world. Yes, they have to be protected 6 ways from Tuesday, but they are now operating with very high reliability, and the only reason they exist is that their total losses — step-up, transmission, and step-down — are lower than comparable HVAC systems.

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Hi Curt,
            You wrote “HVDC systems with solid-state silicon step-up and step-down electronics exist, and are used many places in the world. Yes, they have to be protected 6 ways from Tuesday, but they are now operating with very high reliability, and the only reason they exist is that their total losses — step-up, transmission, and step-down — are lower than comparable HVAC systems.”
            Could you supply any link with data about efficiency and most of all reliability?

            As far I know they use many devices in series for handling the line HV, I really wonder how could they be more reliable than an AC/AC hi energy transformer.
            In 2005 I also designed the electronic part of a 4 robotized arms machine to build paralleled multipath enameled copper bars to make the windings of those hi-energy transformers. The technologist explained me that their major concern was about inhomogeneous magnetic field which could create eddy currents not the very low skin effect which was negligible.
            Of course it probably became a question of concern when the transmission line became longer, but even in a strategic context I don’t believe it’s very safe to design grids with long paths, because in case of war attacks it could be a big problem for the fragile country economy in that situation.

            Yesterday I had a phone call with a good friend of mine who worked for some years for a power station near here, he told me that instead of the skin effect their major concern was about the phase shift due to the line inductance, but he warranted me that also that it’s a long time solved issue.

            Anyways, let them work and see what they do with it.

            Have a great day.

            Massimo

          • Curt says:

            Hello Massimo,

            Here’s an interesting paper on HVDC and how it compares to HVAC transmission written by some people from ABB.

            http://www08.abb.com/global/scot/scot221.nsf/veritydisplay/ff3a4516c7e727ecc1257206002bb2b2/$file/Converter%20stations%20for%20800%20kV_web.pdf

            Note that they show 800kV DC transmission as established technology.

            From what I can tell, the solid-state elements like thyristors are used massively in series for these voltage levels — the individual devices cannot withstand these potentials.

            Wikipedia actually seems to provide a good overview on HVDC topics.

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Hi Curt,
            first of all thank you for the link.
            You wrote “From what I can tell, the solid-state elements like thyristors are used massively in series for these voltage levels — the individual devices cannot withstand these potentials.”
            It’s exactly my concern about reliability of this technology, I seen an another paper by ABB (which seems the most interested in this business) where they drawn a block diagram with all those devices in series.
            I really wonder how they have demonstrated that this much more complicated technology is more reliable than the current HVAC one. In fact in the HVAC the components are very few, and taking apart that in this last the semiconductors (which are much sensitive to transients ) are little used.
            Just to say, that friend of mine who worked for the power station told me that the current hi-energy transformers are practically unbreakable, they are periodically substituted because of programmed maintenance against ageing. How could a so complex DC-DC or more probably a DC-AC so complex converter be more reliable? Uhmmm…

            Anyways I read the ABB paper at your link, they finally concluded:

            “800 kV HVDC is economically attractive for bulk power
            transmission, 6000 MW, over long distances, 2000-2500 km.”
            So they are “attractive” for so long distance, but why we should rely on that kind of grid?
            For example the longer axis of Italy is 1200km, why should we switch to that technology?
            Except for Sweden, Norway and Finland there is no country with that distance, and even in that case they should place the power station on one edge and the loads on the other edge to take advantage of it!
            Ir seems that they started by the unproven truth that solar in the deserts will be a good tech, but currently I see so much more issue with that tech (functional, economic and strategic), that I don’t care about their energy transmission issue.

            They also concluded:
            “With the present progress of R&D converter equipment for
            800 kV HVDC will be qualified within short. With proper
            separation between converters and proper structure of the
            control and protection and auxiliary systems, the reliability and availability will be as good as, or even better than, for converters at lower voltage.”
            So, they compared low voltage converters to these hi voltage converters, but it’s not clear if they compared them to a simpler AC/AC transformer.
            I warrant you that there is no efficiency comparison between a low voltage converter and a good AC/AC transformer, I designed the firsts for along time, and if someone didn’t it better in last 5 years (since I abandoned that field) I still have doubts about this new HVDC technology.

            But as I already said let them work, we will see.

            Have a great day.

            Massimo

          • Curt says:

            Hi Massimo,

            The thing is, this HVDC technology is really not that new. It has been used successfully under the English Channel since 1961. The existing line has been in operation since 1986.

            The Norway/Denmark line has been in operation since 1977, with the current configuration since 1993.

            There are many others. I haven’t found anything that says that reliability has been an issue in these lines.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            Curt…”The rotor bars are thick enough that the skin effect limiting the conductivity of the interior of the bar actually significantly increases the in-phase resistance of the bar…”

            Curt…I don’t think the reference here to skin effect is the same skin effect related to current depth in a conductor due to frequency. It seems to me they are referring to the stacking of different-sized armature bars radially, which affects resistance by one bar being farther from the stator field.

            You could model that as skin effect if you like but I don’t think it is true skin effect.

            I’d be willing to bet dollars to donuts that if you could measure the current through an armature bar at 60hz there would be negligible difference in current between the core of the bar and the surface. I am talking about running a current through the bar itself while the armature is removed from the stator field.

            Under such conditions, the bar would be essentially a short circuit to DC and would make sense only at 60 hz, where the inductive reactance would be significant.

            However, if the rotor is in the motor, and affected by the stator field, it’s a different kettle of fish. In that case, stacking rotor bars radially will give different values of inductive reactance and effective resistance between stacked bars.

            I don’t think it is even necessary to talk about skin effect in that case. It’s referred to as ‘deep bar effect’ and if you read what is implied, they are talking about stacked rotor bars, which is a common way of altering torque related to slip.

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Hi Curt,
            “The thing is, this HVDC technology is really not that new. It has been used successfully under the English Channel since 1961. The existing line has been in operation since 1986.
            The Norway/Denmark line has been in operation since 1977, with the current configuration since 1993”

            Yes, it’s the first thing that the friend of mine told me, that’s the only use that justify the costs and the risks about reliability, because underwater HVAC is not feasible at all.
            But we were arguing to use them for the whole grid and even ABB concluded that they are “attractive” only for distance longer than 2000km.
            I repeat, I’m very pessimist about the intention of extend this technology to the whole grid.

            Have a great day.

            Massimo

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Hi Gordon,
            just to tell, maybe you know it better than me, the skin effect depth highly depends upon the material and frequency.
            For copper @60Hz penetration should be 8.5mm, which means that for cables having diameters up to 17mm (section up to 227mm^2) the skin effect is absent.
            This is the reason that in industrial application for higher current we used copper bars not thicker than 15mm instead of circular section cables.
            For what I know for high current long distance transmission sectorial cables are used.
            I used the standard computation for copper cables @ 50Hz, 500kV, 1GW power transmitted over a 1000km three phase line to get 2% loss and I get 3560mm^2. Which it means that the single cable must be composed by 16 insulated sectors to zeroing the skin effect.

            Have a great day

            Massimo

          • Curt says:

            Massimo: You say, “I’m very pessimist about the intention of extend this technology to the whole grid.”

            Neither Vincent nor I was talking about extending this technology to the whole grid. Vincent thought it would be useful to transfer, say, solar generated electricity from the US desert southwest to more populated areas. I was cautioning him that even in that case, it was no magic bullet — it might reduces losses a little, but it would not be a game changer.

            I emphasized that it is only appropriate for point-to-point transmission, not distribution, and that the only places it really does anything that HVAC cannot do at all is for underwater transmission.

          • Curt says:

            Gordon: You say, “I don’t think the reference here to skin effect is the same skin effect related to current depth in a conductor due to frequency.”

            Yes, it is the same effect. It is easy to find many technical presentations — papers, lecture notes, etc. — on this with a simple search. Here’s a basic one:

            http://people.ucalgary.ca/~aknigh/electrical_machines/induction/design/rotor_influence.html

            It gives the equations for skin effect depth and a table for aluminum rotor bars of different depths. It concludes:

            The table above indicates a number of important points:

            * No matter how deep a rotor bar, only the top 12mm conducts at standstill
            * Medium-large machines with bars deeper than 12mm will have varying rotor resistance
            *Smaller machines with bars less than 12mm deep will have effectively constant rotor resistance

            As an example, a machine with a rectangular bar 72 mm deep will have a resistance 6 times smaller at low slips than it will at starting.

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Hi Curt,
            You must know that here in Italy, ten or little more years ago, some scientists-environmentalists wrote a letter to our government asking to change our whole power grid to underground cables just because they didn’t like the powerline transmission towers, they called them eco-monsters (I never understood why they don’t call the windmills the same way indeed, but probably it’s because the very same people like them instead).
            They were asking to switch all the grid to HVDC indeed.
            I believed that you were suggesting something like that.
            Instead what you wrote in this last post it’s more or less what I think about it.

            I apologize, it seems that I completely misunderstood you.

            Have a great day.

            Massimo

  20. Streetcred says:

    “It literally scares me that people like this have so much influence in our country.”

    It scares the rest of us in the Free World that people such as Holdren indirectly influence US international relationships through emboldening the POTUS in his medieval quest.

  21. Vincent says:

    Kevin,
    Don’t think for one moment I’m throwing stones at those guys who put the current AC systems in place. The existing AC delivery systems, from the various current coal power plants to individual houses and factories in the cities and suburbs could remain in place.

    The changes I envisage would consist of additional HVDC transmission lines stretching from the new solar farms situated in remote, unproductive arid regions, to some central points near the cities, perhaps at the same locations as the old discontinued coal-fired power plants. The DC current could then be converted to AC at the old power plants, and from that point onwards, everything would be as usual.

    I imagine that the initial capital cost of the solar farm plus HVDC transmission lines would be much greater than the cost of a new coal power station, even of the Ultra-Super-Critical variety, or even a nuclear power plant, but the savings over time resulting from the freedom from the need of a continuous supply of fossil fuel to feed the plant, should result in cheaper electricity in the long run.

    Has anyone seen any cost comparisons I wonder? I guess it’s difficult to do a comparison because of so many variables, such as the length of the HVDC transmission lines required, which would vary according to circumstances. If the HVDC lines were, say 2,000 km or more, one would certainly want to take full advantage of such costly infrastructure and build a huge solar farm capable of meeting the electricity demands of at least a couple of large cities or more.

  22. Vincent says:

    Thanks for the link, Chris, but I can’t find much in the way of facts and figures there, and I see no mention of HVDC transmission costs. My overall impression is that the goal of meeting certain CO2 reduction targets has been a strong factor in the rather negative opinions expressed in the article.

    I have no issue with CO2, a clean and odourless gas which is particularly good for plant growth and essential for all life. But I do see a problem in the pollution often resulting from the use of fossil fuels, and the unavoidable fact that sooner or later fossil fuels will become scarcer and more expensive, reducing everyone’s living standards as a result (on average).

    It seems perfectly rational to me that we should be using a good portion of our current fossil-produced energy to build a sustainable alternative-energy system. The emphasis should be on efficiency and sustainability. not CO2 reduction, so let’s tap into that greatest source of all energy, without which we wouldn’t exist, ie. the sun.

    By the way, the following Wikipedia article claims that ‘grid parity’ for Solar PV systems has already been reached in 19 countries around the world, and that the price of solar power will continue to fall into the future. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid_parity

    Here’s an extract from the article:

    “Grid parity (or socket parity) occurs when an alternative energy source can generate power at a levelized cost of electricity (LCoE) that is less than or equal to the price of purchasing power from the electricity grid.

    By January 2014, grid parity for solar PV systems had already been reached in at least 19 different countries.”

    • Massimo PORZIO says:

      Hi Vincent,
      that Wiki article consider that all the PV produced energy is really used by the PV owner or by the other grid users, and consequently that the other conventional energy production has fallen by that value, which is absolutely not true.
      What they missed is that being the PV energy production very stochastic and for that not predictable, except for those who use independent battery packs (which have the currently unsolved short battery life issue instead), all those who installed the PV panels can’t work off-grid indeed. They need the grid to supply their loads when the PV panels shut down because of missing sufficient Sun radiation, even momentarily. This implies that the grid owner still has to continuously produce the energy for all the PV owners even when they don’t need it because their PV panels supply their loads instead.
      For that, most of the produced PV energy is wasted on the grid lines as the consequence of the Joule’s effect.

      No, IMHO grid parity shouldn’t occur just “when an alternative energy source can generate power at a levelized cost of electricity (LCoE) that is less than or equal to the price of purchasing power from the electricity grid”, I suggest to change it into “grid parity occurs when an alternative energy source GENERATES power EFFECTIVELY USED SURROGATING THE GRID at a levelized cost of electricity (LCoE) that is less than or equal to the price of purchasing power from the electricity grid”.
      This fits better the concept for me.

      Have a great day.

      Massimo

    • Chri says:

      Quoting the article above “Whenever somebody with a decent grasp of maths and physics looks into the idea of a fully renewables-powered civilised future for the human race with a reasonably open mind, they normally come to the conclusion that it simply isn’t feasible”

      It doesn’t seem to me that using a different transmission technology would change their conclusions – and in all likely hood as transmission losses are considerable, I expect they did consider alternative transmission and distribution systems.

      Quoting you “New solar farms situated in remote, unproductive arid regions” sounds like environmental vandalism on a massive scale to me. Compared to a mine and power station – what you are proposing would destroy vast ecosystems.

      • Lewis Guignard says:

        Chri, of course they would. And we are already doing just that. In North Carolina the proponents are pleased when we put up 40 acres of solar panels, not telling us it would take 500,000 acres to supply the state and you still have the problem of cloudy days.

        So where do the 500,000 acres come from? Farm land and forests. Swamps???

        It is a nice thought but until solar becomes much more efficient at converting sunlight to power, it is not a good solution. So we need to stop the subsidies, which have been in existence for 40 years and let these industries stand on their own.

  23. Thanks, Dr. Spencer.
    This post must have been painful to write.
    Yes, we (the U.S. and the world) had Milton Friedman, now we are remained of Forrest Gump almost every day.

  24. Ron C. says:

    Access to cleaner and affordable energy options is essential for improving the livelihoods of the poor in developing countries. The link between energy and poverty is demonstrated by the fact that the poor in developing countries constitute the bulk of an estimated 2.7 billion people relying on traditional biomass for cooking and the overwhelming majority of the 1.4 billion without access to grid electricity. Most of the people still reliant on traditional biomass live in Africa and South Asia.

    The relationship is, in many respects, a vicious cycle in which people who lack access to cleaner and affordable energy are often trapped in a re-enforcing cycle of deprivation, lower incomes and the means to improve their living conditions while at the same time using significant amounts of their very limited income on expensive and unhealthy forms of energy that provide poor and/or unsafe services.

    http://www.iiasa.ac.at/web/home/research/Flagship-Projects/Global-Energy-Assessment/GEA_Chapter2_development_hires.pdf

  25. Doug   Cotton says:

     

    The 21st Century Paradigm in climate science is now proven beyond doubt.

    It is proven using the Kinetic Theory of Gases and the Second Law of Thermodynamics, about which considerable extensions in understanding have occurred since 1988 as discussed here.

    The new science is based on the fact that the state of thermodynamic equilibrium in a force field exhibits a density gradient and temperature gradient, both of which can be shown to be non-zero with appropriate computations from the Kinetic Theory of Gases, as used successfully by Einstein and others to explain such things as the Ideal Gas Laws and much more.

    There is experimental evidence of such gradients now available in a recently developed centrifuge machine discussed at http://climate-change-theory.com and there is also a wealth of other evidence outlined on that site which is endorsed by a group of persons suitably qualified in physics. Attempts to refute such temperature gradients have all been themselves refuted, such as explained here.

    If the temperature gradient were not the state of thermodynamic equilibrium then all planets with significant atmospheres would be considerably colder and there would be no valid explanation for the necessary energy transfers into their surfaces (such as Earth and Venus) or to the base of their nominal tropospheres, such as for Uranus where that region is hotter than Earth’s surface, all due to a mere 4W/m^2 of solar radiation absorbed about 350Km higher up in its atmosphere.

    The new science involves relatively recent breakthroughs in physics in our understanding of heat transfers by radiation, conduction, natural convection and advection. It also requires a correct understanding of the Law of Entropy (an extension of the Second Law of Thermodynamics) and, in particular, the propensity in all nature for unbalanced energy potentials to dissipate in isolated systems.

    These breakthroughs in physics have all occurred since the early 1980’s when James Hansen made his huge blunder (re-iterated by the likes of Pierrhumbert) in assuming that it would be possible that isothermal conditions could exist as the state of thermodynamic equilibrium in a vertical plane in a gravitational field. Such a state would still have unbalanced energy potentials with more mean gravitational potential energy due to the mass of the molecules at the top than at the bottom. More molecules would fall than would rise, and we know this happens when a sealed cylinder is rotated from horizontal to vertical. When that happens, we know from Kinetic Theory exactly how and why a density gradient forms, and the Law of Entropy allows us to determine why that density gradient stabilizes and, at the same time, exhibits a stable temperature gradient (aka “lapse rate”) which can also be quantified using Kinetic Theory.

    Meteorologists also know that the environmental temperature gradient (the state of overall thermodynamic equilibrium involving both radiation and sensible heat transfers) remains intact in calm conditions in the pre-dawn hours, even when upward advection ceases altogether. The evidence, folks, has been staring you in the face, and is now proven with centrifugal force and correct physics.

    The old has gone; the new has come.

  26. Vincent says:

    Ron C. says:
    “Access to cleaner and affordable energy options is essential for improving the livelihoods of the poor in developing countries.”

    I agree completely, but I’d also make the point, whether or not one is poor or rich (relatively), there is a fundamental reality of economics which is often ignored and which affects all our activities, and determines our status of wealth and well-being, and that is that the cost and availability of energy, plus the imaginative ways we use it, and the efficiency with which we use it, determine our prosperity at the most fundamental level. There’s no getting away from it.

    We can’t do anything without energy. This concept could be more easily appreciated if the currencies in the world, instead of being in dollars, francs and pounds etc. were instead described in terms of quantities of energy. That would reflect the reality better.

    What disturbs me most about AGW alarmism is the likely consequences of an enormous waste and misapplication of resources when we attmept to solve a problem which might turn out to have been fictitious.

    There are millions of families around the world living in areas subject to natural cyclones, hurricanes and floods, and in houses not designed to withstand extreme weather events. Reducing CO2 emissions will not help such families one whit, if Doug Cotton is right in his assertions that CO2 cannot act as a greenhouse gas because it would contravene the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

    Now, I’m not qualified to dispute Doug Cotton’s claims of Physics, but I consider myself to be a rational and fairly logical sort of person. If we know from historical records that certain areas have been devasted by floods in the past, for example, and we even know the levels that such floods reached in the past, then it makes sense to ensure that all dwellings are raised above such previous flood levels, or that ‘effective’ flood-mitigation dams are built.

    Both solutions require energy. If energy becomes more expensive as a result of tackling what might be an imaginary problem of CO2 emissions, then it will be less likely that the problems due to natural climate changes and natural weather events will be fixed. One can’t spend money twice, and one can’t use the same energy twice.

    • Ron C. says:

      In other words, where energy is scarce and expensive, people’s labor is cheap and most live in poverty. Where energy is abundant and cheap, labor is expensive and most gain a higher standard of living.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      Bear in mind that (after 30 years of warming from 2028 to 2058) the world will enter another ~500 years of long term cooling as discussed at http://climate-change-theory.com and there is unlikely to be more than another half degree of warming in that period from 2028-2058 which will follow the 30 years of slight decline after 1998. There is no point at present in building dykes or whatever that may not be needed until at least the year 2045.

  27. Mark Bofill says:

    It literally scares me that people like this have so much influence in our country.

    It used to scare me too. But I don’t believe this is a new phenomenon. We’ve survived the exact same type of stupidity from our leaders time out of mind, we’ll survive this. On some level or another I think most people understand this, and thus it tempers what we expect from (and how far we will follow) our politicos.
    It doesn’t scare me anymore. I don’t think I’ll ever get over the mild sadness and regret I feel when I think about it though. How much farther along would our civilization be, our world, ~my~ world, if not for cutting ourselves off at the ankles like this.

  28. Vincent says:

    Doug Cotton says:
    “There is no point at present in building dykes or whatever that may not be needed until at least the year 2045.”

    It depends on the specific circumstances of particular areas, Doug. I remember well the 2010/11 floods that caught Rockhampton by surprise. The council was still considering the reports and recommendations from the previous flood, which occurred just a few years earlier.

    The recommendations included the building of dykes around the airport so that the airport could still function during the next flood. The report also recommended that the council buy all the low-lying properties most vulnerable to flooding so the owners could afford to relocate to higher ground, or at least buy new houses raised on piers above the level of previous floods.

    Whilst still considering these proposals, and no doubt considering that they were too expensive to implement, the next flood hit, which was initially considered to be the worst flood in history and, of course, the worst due to climate change.

    However, when everything had settled down and the figures became available, it was realised that is was in fact the 3rd worst flood on record (in terms of flood height).

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      My point is that climate change has nothing to do with carbon dioxide levels, because that’s what we can deduce from correct physics, as distinct from the absolute travesty of physics promulgated by the AGW crowd.

      Because of that, when we find the real reason for natural cycles that appear to be regulated by planetary orbits, then we can have confidence in predictions of future climate change.

      If you want the truth read http://climate-change-theory.com and my linked peer-reviewed papers.

  29. boris says:

    One point worth noting is that “Modernizing” an economy may sometimes require a lot of labor on the way there. The anecdote about Milton Freeman is perhaps a bit too self serving. China has been engaging in huge infrastructure development over the years and in the course of that building a modern workforce out of the grandchildren and children of peasants. As the guy who had been to Africa noted skilled labor does not suddenly materialize because you’ve brought modern technology to the job. That being said China has right now 28 nuclear facilities under construction and is expecting to ad another 30 in the next twenty years in addition to other big projects so it seems that they are not at a loss for skilled construction crews any longer. If the United States had the balls to outline a course of Power plant production and dam building (one can imagine how California water shortages could be mitigated by coupling desalinization with power plants) that would actually by golly solve our energy needs and then do the administrative things necessary to facilitate it rather the hinder it I don’t think there would be any shortage of high paying skilled, semi- skilled,and professional jobs. We might even find a way to make “immigrants” workable

  30. Vincent says:

    Doug Cotton says:

    “… when we find the real reason for natural cycles that appear to be regulated by planetary orbits, then we can have confidence in predictions of future climate change.”

    In the meantime, Doug, we have quite frequent occurrences of extreme weather events throughout the world, and as we know, weather predictions are notoriously inaccurate.

    Predictions of long-term climate cycles are probably not going to help much in protecting us against normal, but extreme, weather events.

    There might also be a problem with ocean acidification as CO2 levels increase, although that issue is probably also exaggerated to add to the alarm of warming.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      Climate has nothing what-so-ever to do with carbon dioxide. At most, all the carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere cools but by less than 0.1 degree. The proof is here: http://climate-change-theory.com based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics. There is compelling correlation with past climate and the plot shown on that website.

      • Slipstick says:

        Wow…just wow. I wonder if the author of the cited article is working on extracting energy directly from the aether for use in transmuting lead into gold as well.

        I especially enjoyed this statement:
        “But those who postulated that so-called greenhouse gases like water vapor, carbon dioxide and methane raise the surface temperature assumed the temperature would be the same at all levels in the troposphere if there were no greenhouse gases.”

        Ummm…no they didn’t.

        I recommend you investigate the absorption spectra of water vapor and carbon dioxide in the long-wave infrared.

        • Doug   Cotton says:

          Ummm…. Yes they did. See …

          http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/01/misunderstood-basic-concepts-and-the-greenhouse-effect/

          I quote:

          6) The tropospheric temperature lapse rate would not exist without the greenhouse effect. While it is true that convective overturning of the atmosphere leads to the observed lapse rate, that convection itself would not exist without the greenhouse effect constantly destabilizing the lapse rate through warming the lower atmosphere and cooling the upper atmosphere. Without the destabilization provided by the greenhouse effect, convective overturning would slow and quite possible cease altogether. The atmosphere would eventually become isothermal, as the full depth of the atmosphere would achieve the same temperature as the surface through thermal conduction; without IR emission, the middle and upper troposphere would have no way to cool itself in the face of this heating. This scenario is entirely theoretical, though, and depends upon the atmosphere absorbing/emitting absolutely no IR energy, which does not happen in the real world.

          I’ll be happy to post corrections/additions to the above list as warranted.

          Well, Roy, when are you going to post corrections?

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            And Pierrehumbert also wrote here in the second column of page 34 the words “towards an isothermal state.”

            The state of maximum entropy (which the Second Law of Thermodynamics tells us there is a propensity to approach) cannot be isothermal in a gravitational field because the higher molecules have more total energy since their gravitational potential energy is greater than lower ones.

            Hence, in any force field, the Second Law may be used to explain the autonomous simultaneous approach towards a stable density gradient and temperature gradient. We can measure this temperature gradient using centrifugal force, as is also explained at http://climate-change-theory.com – a site that is being visited by over 3,000 per month.

          • Slipstick says:

            Note the last sentence in the quote: “This scenario is entirely theoretical, though, and depends upon the atmosphere absorbing/emitting absolutely no IR energy, which does not happen in the real world.”

          • Slipstick says:

            The cow is not a sphere.

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            “Entirely theoretical” – yes, and not based on the laws of physics, as is the case for the whole greenhouse conjecture.

            Do you not realize that Pierrehumbert’s book is considered the “gold standard” text in the infant science of climatology, which “science” has very little to do with the real physics of the atmosphere. Why don’t you listen to the physicists who are now realizing that climatology is full of junk “science” which totally ignores the very fundamentals of physics. If you don’t think the science of heat transfers is all to do with physics, then you don’t think.

            Up thread you denied that Pierrehumbert claimed the troposphere would be isothermal in the absence of GH gases. That was wrong on your part, and I quoted him, because the whole concept of “33 degrees of warming” is based on the assumption that the surface temperature would be equal to the radiating temperature about 5Km above the surface. Hence it is based on the false assumption of isothermal conditions, which is totally incorrect because of the reasons here that are based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics, a subject in which I have specialized since doing my first degree in physics in the 1960’s. You know nothing about entropy maximization, now do you? In that regard you could learn from http://entropylaw.com which will update you on developments since 1988.

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            The slippery stick quotes Roy ..

            “depends upon the atmosphere absorbing/emitting absolutely no IR energy”

            Yes, well that is exactly what the whole IPCC garbage “depends on” there being a surface temperature of 255K which then need s to be raised by 33 degrees supposedly by radiation from a colder atmosphere. But the temperature gradient was already there, with or without GH gases, because it was formed when the atmosphere formed by the force of gravity, and gravity doesn’t sniff out the GH gases and then decide what it’s going to do.

        • Doug   Cotton says:

          Go to this comment and study up on thermodynamics, kinetic theory, entropy maximization (here) and what is here and in the linked peer-reviewed papers which I wrote in 2012 and 2013.

          Our group of persons suitably qualified in physics will be happy to explain any paragraphs you quote that you don’t understand.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      Show me your proof that a planet’s troposphere tends towards isothermal conditions in the absence of IR-active gases. It does not, because such would be a complete violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, for the reasons here.

      Hansen, Pierrehumbert, Roy Spencer and all Isothermalists display a complete lack of understanding of entropy maximization and the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

      And you probably also lack a correct unedrstanding, and thus get bluffed by the hoax that water vapor (and carbon dioxide) warm the Earth’s surface by 33 degrees. Pierrehumbert could not even get the 255K figure right for a world without water vapor and clouds, because he assumed there would still be 20% reflection due to non-existent clouds.

      The whole GH conjecture is an absolute travesty of physics, as our growing group of persons suitably qualified in physics knows all too well.

  31. Marchesarosa says:

    A while back a contributor to a message board I frequent was boasting that as well as providing much renewable electricity the US solar industry also providing 174,000 jobs.

    I looked up the amount of electricity provided by US solar. It is apparently 0.23% of the total.

    Then I thought I would look up the number employed in the US coal industry. Quite fortuitously it is also 174,000 which makes comparison easy. These are employed in coal mining, coal transport and coal power generation as well as coal exports. The coal industry apparently provides 39% of US electricity.

    I pointed out the “productivity” implications of this and was told, “productivity” doesn’t matter so long as the jobs are well paid and that “productivity” it is a capitalist concept.

  32. Marchesarosa says:

    This was the discussion about the productivity of solar energy as compared to thermal energy from coal.

    http://pinkmelon.proboards.com/thread/10597/european-progress-on-renewables

  33. Chris Hanley says:

    In dynamic open economies goods and services are created, the pie grows:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYyNY_5ACFc

  34. Gordon Robertson says:

    Anyone wondering about the insanity behind Obama and other climate alarmists should look up the Club of Rome and the kooks who inhabit it like Al Gore and Maurice Strong.

    http://www.clubofrome.org/?p=319

    http://www.jeremiahproject.com/newworldorder/club-of-rome.html

    “In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill…. But in designating them as the enemy, we fall into the trap of mistaking symptoms for causes. All these dangers are caused by human intervention and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy, then, is humanity itself.” – Club of Rome, The First Global Revolution, 1991.

    I saw a quote elsewhere in which the CoR identified democracy as another enemy. They seem to feel that a true world order cannot be realized under democracy. In other words, humans are not only identified as an enemy, they are not to be trusted in this new order.

    I mentioned Maurice Strong above, who is credited as the Father of Kyoto. Strong is on record as claiming western industrialization may need to be destroyed. He has also advocated licenses for having babies.

    These guys make Hitler look like a misguided Boy Scout. Whatever happened to voting for a future rather than having Big Brothers decide it for us?

    THE CoR is essentially the idle rich. One of them, a friend of Maurice Strong suggested dumping dry ice in the Arctic as a means of cooling it.

  35. Doug   Cotton says:

     

    Isothermalists like Roy Spencer, Pierrehumbert et al are wrong because they don’t understand entropy maximization.

    When molecules collide there is a propensity for their total kinetic energy to be shared more equally if it was different before the collision. We know this happens in a horizontal plane, such as when warm temperatures on one side of a room tend to cool while the other side warms until there is uniformity in that horizontal plane.

    But in a vertical plane molecules are accelerated by gravity and they gain or lose kinetic energy if there is a component of vertical motion downwards or upwards between collisions.

    If there is a stable state (thermodynamic equilibrium) they will have equal kinetic energy (KE) when they are about to collide. But this means that those which came from a higher location must have had less KE at that height, whilst those that came from lower down must have had more KE at that lower level. Since temperature depends only on the mean KE per molecule, there is thus a temperature gradient.

    What we can then deduce is explained at http://climate-change-theory.com
     

  36. Doug   Cotton says:

    There is absolutely no warming sensitivity for any IR-active gases like water vapor, carbon dioxide and methane. The force of gravity produces a temperature gradient in a planet’s troposphere which, for an Earth with dry air, would raise the mean surface temperature to about 25°C to 28°C. But then inter-molecular radiation between water vapor molecules has a temperature leveling effect and thus reduces the surface temperature because it makes the gradient less steep, as is well known.

    What is the sensitivity for each 1% of water vapor in the atmosphere?

    We know that water vapor reduces the magnitude of the so-called lapse rate, which does not need a special name because it is just the temperature gradient in the troposphere. Now, we also know that radiative balance at the top of the atmosphere is virtually always close, in fact to within ±0.5%. The inward radiation is based on the so-called “Solar Constant” (although that does vary, especially due to variations in Earth’s eccentricity in a ~100,000 year cycle that regulates glacial periods) and the outward radiation (broadly speaking) increases if the whole temperature plot rises, making the area under that plot greater.

    Now, what the AGW crowd want you to be gullible enough to believe is that (as the percentage of water vapor increases) the thermal plot can rise at the surface end whilst at the same time acquiring a less steep gradient. Any secondary student with a knowledge of coordinate geometry would know that the area under the new (higher and less steep) thermal plot would be far greater than that under the original plot for a world with less water vapor. So how could that happen? It can’t, because the whole plot would then fall to regain radiative balance, and in fact it would have just rotated downwards at the surface end in the first place. So how could the sensitivity for each 1% of water vapor be positive causing warming of the surface?

  37. Slipstick says:

    What scares me is people who are so afraid of change that they will risk their grandchildrens’ and greatgranchildrens’ futures to avoid acknowledging an ever-growing mountain of evidence that the climate is changing and the only correlating factor is the rise in greenhouse gases. If 97% of food scientists declared that there was a 60% certainty that a given food fed to children would result in cancer when they are reach their 40’s, would we keep on feeding it to children? So, why are so many people actively fighting the advice of 97% of climate scientists?

    • Doug   Cotton says:

       

      Why? Because diverting funds from humanitarian aid to carbon dioxide aid, using corn for ethanol and increasing costs, and thus starvation, in developing countries is killing people (directly or indirectly) right here and now.

      Go back to this comment and then read, study and inwardly digest the website endorsed by our growing group of persons suitably qualified in physics, which you clearly don’t understand, but might get closer to understanding if you read that site and my linked papers and various comments on this and the February temperature data thread. You might also wish to use the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon to read some of my book that is also linked.

      How much warming do you see since 1998 in Roy’s monthly temperature plots?

      • Slipstick says:

        I do understand physics and I understand the difference between simplistic linear models and complex chaotic systems with a multitude of inflection points. I also understand that comparing the temperature from any time with 1998, one of the strongest El Nino periods on record, is a ludicrous straight line analysis; but, since we’re doing single points and straight lines, comparing the latest 13 month average with 1994, I see a warming of approximately 0.2 deg. C per decade. You might want to look at the temperatures in the years following that event and compare those with that of the years that preceded and do the same around the weaker 2010 event.

        People starving because of ethanol from corn (not that I consider ethanol from corn a mitigator of GHG’s)? That seems a bit of a stretch. Exactly how much money has been diverted from humanitarian aid to “carbon dioxide aid(?)”? Whatever that amount might be, it is a pittance when compared to the trillions of dollars in mitigation costs we face in the future if we continue to ignore the obvious.

        • Doug   Cotton says:

          Good Slipstick, I’m glad you “understand physics.” What qualifications do you have in physics and what do you understand (in your own words) about maximum entropy production?

          The Australian Government very specifically announced the re-direction of $200 million recently from their overseas humanitarian aid budget to the carbon dioxide cause. There is estimated to be soon over $100 billion a year worldwide going into “energy projects” in developing countries and “research” that is based entirely on the false physics about carbon dioxide.

          And, by the way, a spokeswoman for the United Nations openly admitted that they have a specific goal to eradicate capitalism by a specific date.

          But anyway, if you really do understand physics then you will understand the valid physics here which proves why the most prolific GH gas, water vapor cools, and such physics is supported by a study of real world temperature and precipitation correlation which you, with your love of correlation, should be impressed by.

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Doug,

            Since I’m not Australian, I have a question. Didn’t Australia recently elect a conservative guy who supposedly ran against climate change alarmism? Has he done anything to change course, or did he sell out and join the carbon paranoial chorus?

            Have a great day!

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            Our group of persons suitably qualified in physics (with two members in the Liberal Party local group) is working on it with regular weekly emails to (Liberal) Prime Minister Tony Abbott and about 150 politicians, plus Climate Council etc – and some talks to larger audiences as well.

            The hit counter at http://climate-change-theory.com goes up about 750 to 800 per week. Abbott is indicating he won’t be ruled on anything by the United Nations, as with the illegal boat people for example. The Institute of Public Affairs also runs talks and they have my book as well as their own book here. Things are happening and Australia may be among the first to buck the hoax, hopefully in the next five years or so.

    • James Patrick says:

      100% of the people who site the “97% of climate scientists” statistic demonstrate they have never bothered to do even basic research to determine if this particular claim is True or False. Otherwise, they would not offer it as intelligent discourse. Please spare us from the Unassailable Authoritative Argument–it is not only a Lie, it is a Damned Lie.
      I would invite you to do your own research–perhaps now would be an excellent time to stop depending upon others to do your thinking for you, including some Clown like me. For starters, I would recommend you read an article co-authored by Roy Spencer in the Wall Street Journal (May 26,’14) entitled “The Myth of the Climate Change ‘97%'”
      Just type “97 of scientists myth” and have the courage to re-examine your belief system.
      You may have an epiphany when you recognize the depths of the deception surrounding that particular claim. Or perhaps you will conclude that the 97% claim is valid in spite of the “ever-growing mountain of evidence” to the contrary. In that case, you will continue to needlessly live in a calculated state of Fear manufactured by deception.

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        @James Patrick ““The Myth of the Climate Change ’97%’””

        It’s akin to the myth spread by the Mann et al study (hockey stick) that claimed the 1990s to be the warmest decade in 1000 years.

        Mann et al used tree ring proxies. A very clever article by the late John Daly pointed out the fallacy of tree ring proxies applied to a global temperature reconstruction.

        Daly pointed out that no trees exist in the ocean, ruling them out as proxies for 72% of the planet’s surface. He went on that no trees exist in deserts, tundras, savannahs/prairies, or either polar region. He estimated that Mann’ study at best covered 14% of the global surface area making it neither a global study or even regional.

        That’s just in our times. Mann et al used one tree sample to cover an entire century in the Middle Ages. They used pine bristlecone almost exclusively for the 20th century and in a subsequent National Academy of Science investigation they were told they could not do that.

        The 97% issue has two facets. The initial facet involves two studies, one with 1000 participants and one with 2000. One study was conducted by uber-alarmist Naomi Oreskes who tries to make the point that consensus is a valid part of science.

        The participants were asked such loaded questions with regard to their beliefs about global warming that even a diehard skeptic like me would have been included in the 97%.

        If someone asked me if I thought humans had contributed in any way to global warming I could only truthfully answer yes, simply because there was no option to choose, “I don’t know”. I could not say no because it makes sense that GHGs are causing a fraction of a fraction of a degree warming, even if it is statistically insignificant.

        The other facet was a bogus study put forward by the uber-alarmist site skepticalscience in which their claims were quickly revealed to be manufactured.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/29/a-psychologists-scathing-review-of-john-cooks-97-consensus-nonsensus-paper/

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/28/cooks-97-climate-consensus-paper-crumbles-upon-examination/

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/12/19/97-articles-refuting-the-97-consensus-on-global-warming/

        I mean, what else can you expect from a site which was admonished by Roger Pielke Sr. for ad homming Roy Spencer and John Christy of UAH?

        • Doug   Cotton says:

          And, more importantly, the only way the hoax will be defeated is to call upon the fact that the physics they present ignores the Second Law of Thermodynamics for the reasons here and in the two linked peer-reviewed papers I have written based on extensive study of that law.

          “The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations — then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation — well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.”

          —Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @Doug … “The law that entropy always increases holds…”

            Not according to Clausius. He called entropy a summation of instantaneous states of dQ/T during a process, where T is the absolute temp at any one instant. If you do an integral of dQ/T in a reversible process, where the initial and final conditions are the same, the integral is zero, and so is the entropy.

            Clausius did say that most natural process have positive entropy, meaning they are not reversible.

            Although I agree with you in principle regarding the 2nd law prohibiting AGW through radiation, and even a greenhouse effect, I can’t agree with you entirely on the 2nd law. Clausius added entropy to his original treatise of the 2nd law almost as an after-thought. In other words, entropy was not regarded by him as the key principle of the 2nd law.

            I say that because he described the 2nd law based on heat transfer exclusively before introducing the concept of entropy. In other words, the 2nd law was established using heat transfer without reference to entropy.

            In his description of the 2nd law, he emphasized heat transfer as being exclusively from a warmer body to a colder body if the process is done without compensation. He even described that for radiative transfer, where he insisted that heat was transferred only from warmer to colder bodies, even though infrared energy flowed both ways between a warmer and colder body.

            I have tried to point out several times in this blog that heat is not infrared energy. I think that is a crucial point since many people seem to think they are one and the same. Thermodynamics experts Gerlich and Tsceuschner pointed that out several years ago.

            In a rebuttal to the G&T paper, by Halpern et al, the latter seemed seriously confused about the difference between IR and heat. They were inferring that the summation of IR did not contradict the 2nd law as long as the net IR energy is positive. The 1st law is about energy summation but the 2nd law is about heat and has nothing to do with IR.

            The AGW theory is based on IR and heat being equivalent and they are not. Work and heat are equivalent but not IR and heat.

            From discussions I’ve had with you I know you are aware that IR contains no heat. It is completely inert in that sense unless it contacts matter. In that case, it ‘can’ raise the energy levels in molecular bonds and atomic valence bands provided it has sufficient intensity to overcome the energy present in those bonds and bands.

            The AGW theory focuses on the IR absorbing nature of so-called greenhouse gases. However, all atoms can absorb IR into their valence bands. Since the majority of atoms in the atmosphere consist of N2 and O2, they are molecules and their bonds wont absorb IR.

            I wonder if it has been considered that their valence electrons might?

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            Gordon: That equation has no term for gravitational potential energy. That’s why the Clausius statement is only a corollary of the Second Law which applies only in a horizontal plane. It’s just as well this is true, or the Earth’s surface would be far colder, as you can deduce from reading this.

            When entropy increases towards the maximum (thermodynamic equilibrium) unbalanced energy potentials are being dissipated. Entropy may be considered as a measure of progress towards this state. It does not become zero. Having positive entropy does not mean a process is reversible. I suggest you read http://entropylaw.com because entropy is fundamental in all natural processes.

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            Please read the three comments starting here.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @Doug “Gordon: That equation has no term for gravitational potential energy. That’s why the Clausius statement is only a corollary of the Second Law which applies only in a horizontal plane”.

            Why does dQ/T require anything related to gravitational potential energy, it is about heat, not gravity? Entropy is about HEAT.

            Your statement about applying only in a horizontal plane is just plain wrong.

            You have gotten yourself off the track somewhere along the way and started to think of everything in terms of vertical air masses. The 2nd law is about heat. Please repeat that till it sinks in. It was not written based on gravitational theory.

            Clausius described entropy in words claiming it was the sum of infinitesimal changes of HEAT transfer in a process. You have turned entropy into an imaginary concept related to gravitational potential energy that you cannot even explain correctly.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @Doug “Gordon: That equation has no term for gravitational potential energy”.

            Of course not, dQ/T is a reference to an incremental change in heat transfer. That is what entropy is about…heat…it is the sum of incremental heat transfers around a process.

            If you want to bring in gravitational potential energy with respect to entropy then you need to find the work equivalent of heat. PE and work are related but work and heat are only equivalents, not equalities.

            I don’t know what the work equivalent of entropy would be but if you can find the equivalent in work of dQ/T and sum the differentials around a process then you should have the work equivalent of entropy.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      I have already proven you wrong in one of your assertions, Slipstick here and I will await your acknowledgement of your error as an indication that you are willing to learn from our group’s website and linked paper, and learn you could because, like many who promulgate the hoax, you have far less knowledge of what is actually asserted in the “false fissics” on which this fraud is built than does our group of persons suitably qualified in physics.

  38. Vincent says:

    Marchesarosa says:

    “A while back a contributor to a message board I frequent was boasting that as well as providing much renewable electricity the US solar industry also providing 174,000 jobs.
    I looked up the amount of electricity provided by US solar. It is apparently 0.23% of the total.”

    That must have been quite a while back. According to Wikipedia, the current situation has improved greatly. Not only is the amount of electricity produced by solar in the U.S. now almost double your figure of 0.23%, but the number of people employed in the solar industry has fallen to 143,000. Refer links and extracts at the end of the post.

    A good analogy of the sort of trend we can expect in the development of solar power, is the example of the amazing transformation from film-based cameras to digital cameras that has taken place during the past 25 years or so.

    I remember very vividly when attending an exhibition of computer technology in 1990 (or so), I noticed a Kodak digital camera with a price tag of $4,000. I felt quite elated because I was interested in photography and the new digital technology, and thought to myself, I’ll soon be able to afford one of those if the price falls a bit.

    After walking around the exhibition hall, I returned to the camera stall to have another look at the Kodak digital camera, and got a shock. The price wasn’t $4,000 but $40,000. I’d misread it.

    I now own a Nikon D800E which not only cost less than 1/10th of that Kodak digital camera back in 1990, but is 10 times as efficient (approximately).

    I see no reason to expect that a similar trend could not take place with regard to solar electricity. The initial transformation from fossil fuels will be expensive, but the end result will be glorious.

    Three cheers for solar power!!!

    (I hasten to add that I have no invested financial interest in solar power companies, apart from the benefits of the solar panels on the roof of my own house.)

    Here are the Wikipedia references.

    “In the twelve months through December 2014, utility scale solar power generated 18.32 terawatt-hours (TWh), 0.45% of total U.S. electricity.”

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

    “Renewable energy in the United States accounted for 12.9 percent of the domestically produced electricity in 2013,[1] and 11.2 percent of total energy generation.[2] As of 2014, more than 143,000 people work in the solar industry and 43 states deploy net metering, where energy utilities buy back excess power generated by solar arrays.”

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

  39. Vincent says:

    I should also point out, in case anyone is confused by my analogy, that the sensor in a digital camera is also an electricity generator, of sorts.

    The sensor initially produces an analog electrical voltage as a result of the interaction between photons of light and the photon-sensitive pixels on the sensor. Such signals then undergo an analog to digital conversion so the camera can capture and process the image.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      Solar is good for heating water by sensible heat transfer (not by generating electricity) so it’s just great for warming your swimming pool. But, like wind power, it’s not always there when you want it. If the whole population went solar, feeding electricity back into the grid, can you imagine the problems on cloudy days, or when people are cooking their evening meals and trying to keep warm on winter nights?

  40. Vincent says:

    Doug Cotton says:

    “Solar is good for heating water by sensible heat transfer (not by generating electricity) so it’s just great for warming your swimming pool. But, like wind power, it’s not always there when you want it. If the whole population went solar, feeding electricity back into the grid, can you imagine the problems on cloudy days, or when people are cooking their evening meals and trying to keep warm on winter nights?”

    Now, Doug, let’s be sensible. As a Physicist you must be aware of the need for precision. Are you referring to the whole population of the world, or just the whole population of an isolated town or city?

    Let’s consider the whole population of Australia. Have you ever seen a weather forecast that predicts total cloud cover for the whole of Australia? I haven’t.

    Australia is in an amazingly good position to capitalize on the potential of solar power. We have lots of deserts scattered around the country, which are not occupied or serving any economic purpose. Most deserts most of the time are not covered with cloud. That’s why they are deserts.

    After the initial capital costs of building the infrastructure, including a network of HVDC transmission lines which stretch across the whole country, we could be assured of producing 10x (or more) the amount of electricity we need during daylight hours.

    The surplus could be exported to other countries along under-sea HVDC power lines, both East and West. Such countries could also transmit their surplus energy back to Australia when Australia is in darkness.

    Problem solved. Make me Prime Minister.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      Well I have seen predictions that most of Australia will be covered in darkness for, say, at least 8 hours at night. I certainly have seen the use of solar power in outback regions like the north of South Australia where it makes sense to charge batteries on roadside signs etc. But the vast majority of Australian homes would not have the solar power that they do were it not for considerable government subsidies which are a hidden cost of the carbon dioxide hoax. But I’ll enjoy my solar garden lights tonight. Just don’t plant a wind turbine anywhere near my home please, as the background noise causes all sorts of health problems.

      However, my forte is physics, and in particular the Second Law of Thermodynamics on which I have written two comprehensive peer-reviewed papers linked on the second page here and so, if you have any questions on the content therein, don’t hesitate to ask.

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        Anyway, private enterprise could work out whether it’s economical to use solar power versus coal or nuclear or whatever. It looks like NSW might be selling its electricity network after this Saturday’s elections, as has already happened in South Australia.

        Personally I see no advantage in reducing the use of coal yet, because there’s plenty under the ground. Tell me what advantage you see after you’ve read the papers linked on the second page here.

        • Lewis says:

          Doug,

          Private enterprise could do a lot of things if let alone to do them. People who go to work for government make decisions but don’t bear the responsibility for mistakes as private industry does. So they continue to make poor decisions, and you get to pay for them.

          This is the major problem with government, lack of personal responsibility.

          Vote NO – early and often.

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            Well there’s no “mistake” to be made in regard to climate once you realize that correct physics proves that IR-active gases like water vapor, carbon dioxide and methane in colder tropospheres cannot cause the warmer mean surface temperature of Earth, Venus or any planet to rise by day after it fell the night before.

        • Lewis says:

          Private enterprise could do a lot of things if left alone to do them. Government agents become involved and things become both more expensive and less efficient. The reason is that people in government are not held responsible for their decisions. So they make bad decisions, you pay for it, then they make more bad decisions. If they were individually held responsible, as people are in private industry, things would change. But people in government would cry foul, as they as trained to spend your money and when they want more money, raise taxes.

          Government should be limited to a few specific functions. We are way beyond that when scientists are threatened with fund withholding if they don’t toe the politically correct line.

          Anyway, Vote NO, early and often.

    • Massimo PORZIO says:

      Hi Vincent,
      it seems to me that you believe that solar is currently working,
      I have a patent on solar panels (honestly not about PV power generation efficiency, but I worked with them and I know something about what they can do and what they can’t, until today), so I can ensure you that we are far from the point which we can rely on PV panels for supply our economies.
      Please read my post above:
      http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/03/this-is-your-presidents-science-advisor/#comment-186321

      Note that it’s not a mere detail, it’s why today the PV panels don’t really reduce a single Joule of energy produced by the conventional “not renewable” energy source.

      Remember also that even in an Australian desert sunny day, the weather conditions highly changes the PV panels efficiency. Windy days are great for peak production because they keep the panels relatively cold, but summer sunny day with no wind and steady air heat up the panels and the efficiency falls inexorably.
      And what its worse is that if the panels are not loaded during the peak of energy production (contrarily to what most people think), the panels heat more reducing their efficiency consequently.
      Not to tell about the panels surface contamination by dust. The more difficult to remove is the thinner, which is almost invisible to the human eyes but it’s very “efficient” in degrading the panels efficiency.

      I’m 100% by Doug side on this “Solar is good for heating water by sensible heat transfer (not by generating electricity)”
      I’ve only a caveats: just be aware that you’ll get the hot water in hot days, when typically you need it less.

      Have great day.

      Massimo

      • Chris says:

        Keep your hands off my desserts Massimo 🙂

        • Massimo PORZIO says:

          Hi Chris,
          don’t worry I’m not in the energy production business, I just used PV panels for very particular scope, where the Sun was an unwanted noisy signal.
          Your des(s)erts are safe by my side 🙂

          I would be very happy if one day someone finally will make the PV panels useful to keep our planet cleaner.
          My true worry is about some subjects who blinded by ideology are ready to kill people in the name of Gaea.
          In last 20 years, here in Italy (in whole Europe isn’t different) we have switched almost all the vehicles from gasoline to diesel in the name of the less CO2 produced by diesel, completely ignoring that diesel exhaust are many time more pollutant and dangerous for the human health than gasoline.

          Enjoy your desserts… Take care of not exaggerate with them, you could put on weight 🙂

          Have a nice day.

          Massimo

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Massimo PORZIO,

            You stated:

            “My true worry is about some subjects who blinded by ideology are ready to kill people in the name of Gaea.
            In last 20 years, here in Italy (in whole Europe isn’t different) we have switched almost all the vehicles from gasoline to diesel in the name of the less CO2 produced by diesel, completely ignoring that diesel exhaust are many time more pollutant and dangerous for the human health than gasoline.”

            The other day I saw pictures from France. The photo-chemical air-pollution rivaled Beijing, it proved so bad. Apparently, the French now seem to like small roads, small cars and high opacity air. Likely they drive more Diesels as well. In the states, the high fuel standards bar several Diesel brands including Subaru boxer-style turbo diesels, which I’d be very tempted to buy for cost and other reasons. Definitely our air has not sunk so low as France’s yet.

            As to PV, since they only operate during the daytime and other power problems hydro-carbon fuels will likely always have a place. Economically only one rational solution exists and many countries already move in the direction of naturals gas. Increasing vehicles and regional power supplies rely on it since it’s clean, cheap and abundant. Thanks for your post and …

            Have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Massimo Porzio,

            Oh! I forgot to respond to the Gaea delusion. The enviro-psuedo science bug still resonates with far too many half-wits in places of power world-wide and the damage they may be allowed to do will prove enormously dangerous. One hears all the time about forgiving the perpetrators of past genocidal holocausts all the while socialists dream-up and execute new ones. Ever notice it has become PC to allow third world diseases like Ebola onto western shores, it’s supposedly hard to get. That’s why thousands contracted it in Africa at one point and likely still do, not that it will be reported. In a past post I quoted some English Lord and population control freek who wanted to be reincarnated as a virus to wipe out much of the planet. Well he didn’t come back as a bug but his followers seem to have caught the mass-murder bug. When the ongoing biological warfare against the west finally gets admitted to many will die, many will point fingers and few will likely care as long as someone else did the dying and a sufficient number will be cashing in at the bank.

            It never ceases to amaze me how willingly stupid people become to accept any lie that lines their pockets and covers naked aggression. One hears constantly about skeptics being funded by petro-dollars, yet Al Gore owned ( and may still own for all I know ) a large share of Occidental Petroleum and no one bats an eye. In his tome “Earth in the Balance” he supposedly sought $8-10 per gallon gas prices to reduce our carbon footprint and line his petro-pockets. Never mind that it wouldn’t even dent the increase in the atmospheric growth of CO2. Now who stands to benefit from high gas prices, certainly not the poor. The environment? If gas prices increase more will be produced. Could it be Big Al?
            Well have you seen his girth lately? The guy jets around the world burning the mid-night oil and any other petrol source he can find hectoring the planets minions to stop burning so much oil!!! Gotta laugh! How much petrol does it take to haul his ever increasing bulk around the planet? Save the Planet? Indeed, Al might eat it.

            Have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Massimo PORZIO,

            One other point (among many that could be made) about natural gas it has relatively low CO2. You would think it’s a winner apparently not for Europe. Gee, I wonder why (sarc)?

            Have a great day!

          • Chris says:

            Hi Massimo,

            Good to hear that you are leaving my deserts and desserts alone. (Where is that edit button!)

            It really puzzles me at times how it often seems that in order to save the world we need to destroy it first – and how little consideration is given to the possibility that the cure may well be worse than the problem.

            Chris

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Hi JohnKl,
            always nice read your posts which I almost always agree.
            Yes, natural gas could be a cleaner solution for vehicles, my only worry about that is the effective daily availability.
            The current gas availability has nothing to do with the gasoline and diesel one, and AFIK is not just a market question.
            By the way, methane combustion produces WV… It’s a GHG… Could it be worse than gasoline? 😉

            Have a great day.

            Massimo

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Hi Chris,
            “It really puzzles me at times how it often seems that in order to save the world we need to destroy it first – and how little consideration is given to the possibility that the cure may well be worse than the problem.”

            I fully agree, that’s my worry about the CAGW hysteria.
            Too many times I seen people doing stupid things just because in panic for supposed dangers.

            My opinion is that we could switch away from oil to some other (renewable?) forms of energies, but it should be done slowly giving the time to the technologies to mature and the economies to adapt.
            In my personal experience in other fields, abrupt changes always had led to catastrophic results.

            Have a great day.

            Massimo.

            P.s.
            Don’t worry about the edit button, being an Italian with a little knowledge of English, did you see what I did? 🙂

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            “someone finally will make the PV panels useful to keep our planet cleaner”

            What do you mean “cleaner” – collecting dust on the panels so that it doesn’t get up our noses?

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Hi Doug,
            “What do you mean “cleaner” – collecting dust on the panels so that it doesn’t get up our noses?”

            Yes, of course!

            😉

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Massimo PORZIO,

        You stated:

        “Windy days are great for peak production because they keep the panels relatively cold, but summer sunny day with no wind and steady air heat up the panels and the efficiency falls inexorably.”

        So, just when you stand to benefit from solar power the most the PV’s don’t work as effectively. In addition, compare them to a simple green plant. While PV cells absorb just about the entire light spectrum, being dark-colored, a small house-plant absorbs mainly in the red spectrum and reflects the blue and yellow spectrum appearing green, a much greater efficiency. It seems to me solar energy producers could increase efficiency much more if they concentrated more attention on photo-electric chemical potential than simply generating current.

        Thanks and have a great day!

        • Massimo PORZIO says:

          Honestly I don’t know whether the photoelectric chemical potential is viable or not, if I remember well I read that some experiments are in progress in some east coast institute of technology.

          Time will tell, let them work.

          Have a great day.

          Massimo

  41. Tom O'Reilly says:

    Dr Spencer;

    Thank you for your insight into John Holdren. But as you are aware, I’m sure, the “top meteorologist” in China, Zheng Guoguang, is now reportedly raising concerns about climate change as well.

    That is also probably a politically appointed position in China, so I would assume that he is voicing a new direction for that country on the climate change issue. Perhaps I may be reading too much into this, but do you believe that his comments are signaling some sort of a change in position for some reason?

  42. Noblesse Oblige says:

    You have a right to be scared. The inmates have taken over the asylum and are running amok.

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  44. dave says:

    “Science advisers” should be treated with extreme caution when they go beyond their strict areas of knowledge. Look at this quotation from Joule (of heat studies), in 1858:

    “I think some limit should be placed on the enormous consumption of coal by steamships which is rapidly exhausting our coal mines.”

    Or as W Churchill put it:

    “The expert should be on tap, not on top!”

  45. Vincent says:

    Massimo PORZIO says:
    March 24, 2015 at 3:16 AM

    “it seems to me that you believe that solar is currently working…….
    Remember also that even in an Australian desert sunny day, the weather conditions highly changes the PV panels efficiency. Windy days are great for peak production because they keep the panels relatively cold, but summer sunny day with no wind and steady air heat up the panels and the efficiency falls inexorably…..
    I’m 100% by Doug side on this “Solar is good for heating water by sensible heat transfer (not by generating electricity)”

    Hi Massimo,
    We are limited only by our imagination and energy supplies. The problems you talk about are engineering problems. I’m optimistic they can be solved if we wish to apply ourselves to the problems.

    If we can successfully land people on the moon, I think we should be able to work out how to efficiently clean dust from solar panels in a desert, and cool the panels for more efficient production of electricity, if that’s required. That’s not an insurmountable problem, surely!

    The point that you and Doug appeared to have missed here is the role of Ultra HVDC transmission lines in making solar power viable. I believe transmission losses can be as low as 2% per 1,000 km with the latest UHVDC technology.

    The distance between the East and West coasts of Australia is about 3,500 km. A UHVDC transmission line connecting Perth and Brisbane could have a total loss of just 7%. With additional conversion-to-AC losses, and perhaps other factors, let’s call it 10%. That’s damned good!

    There’s also a 2 hour time difference between Brisbane and Perth. During peak electricity consumption in Brisbane, around sunset when people are cooking their evening meals, it’s around 4 pm in Perth where the sun is still shining brightly.

    Another advantage of HVDC is that it lends itself to long underground and undersea transmission, which is difficult and even impossible with AC lines. There’s no insurmountable reason why New Zealand and the East coast of Australia could not be connected by undersea HVDC cables, and Southern India connected to Perth.

    As regards the potential of solar power, the sky’s the limit. Let’s get with it.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      I’m really not particularly interested in the economics of supplying electricity by various means. Why should I be concerned about such, any more than I am concerned about the method or cost of producing my TV set, my frig or my breakfast cereal? None of this stuff about electricity generation has anything what-so-ever to do with climate because carbon dioxide doesn’t, for the reasons here.

      If you people took the trouble to study some relevant physics, like the law of maximimum entropy production here (which I bet you haven’t a clue about) you could relax and enjoy life in a pleasant warmish climate which those in another 400 to 600 years or so will envy as they go through another Little Ice Age.

      • Vincent says:

        Doug,
        I really think you’ve got the wrong emphasis again. Your view is too narrow, which is perhaps understandable if you’ve specialised in Physics to the exclusion of other disciplines.

        There are two very powerful reasons why the alarm about AGW has been so effective. One, the effect that increasing droughts, floods and extreme weather events might have on one’s grandchildren.

        Two, the wars, conflicts and hardship that might result as fossil fuels continue to become more scarce, if we don’t find an efficient sustainable alternative. Wars are often a battle over resources.

        I tend to feel that many scientists who work in Climate Research Centres and who tacitly endorse the AGW principles, might not agree with the certainty of the conclusions, which are political in nature. But they probably rationalize to themselves that causing alarm might serve a good purpose if it motivates populations to accept a change towards renewable energy in order to avoid a future crisis of fossil fuel scarcity, that might affect their grandchildren.

        You, Doug, night feel quite certain that any change in climate will not be due to mankind’s emissions of CO2. But I suggest you cannot be certain how the climate might change in the future due to natural causes.

        Protecting ourselves against extreme weather events requires the same amount of energy regardless of the causes of those extreme weather events.

        Whatever our problems, we need energy and imagination to overcome them.

        • Doug   Cotton says:

          Yes Vincent I am “quite certain” about the extrapolation here (because of the compelling correlation in the past) and the physics which I use to prove carbon dioxide cools rather than warms.

          As to problems regarding shortage of fossil fuel, have you ever heard of nuclear power generation? And are you aware that agricultural production would diminish if carbon dioxide levels were lowered?

        • Doug   Cotton says:

          “Protecting ourselves against extreme weather events requires … “

          Assertive statement implying incorrectly that reducing carbon dioxide levels would protect us. Thus ignored, as I have already responded in the paper two years ago.

    • Massimo PORZIO says:

      HI Vincent,
      “We are limited only by our imagination and energy supplies. The problems you talk about are engineering problems. I’m optimistic they can be solved if we wish to apply ourselves to the problems.”

      AFIK following the NEMA report compiled by ABB, the current effective power transmission/distribution losses ranges from 6% to 8%, I didn’t find the transmission losses by itself in the report. My point is that probably most of those losses are located in the distribution part of the grid because it’s at lower voltage/higher current.
      The HVDC technology deals with the transmission efficiency only, and even if it increase by 5 times the efficiency, it should be quiet negligible for a well designed HVAC grid, ABB pushes the absolute vale of billions of kWh to be impressive but it’s stiull that 6…8%. By contrast the proposed DC/AC converter for the distribution in my opinion should introduce not only a greater loss than an AC/AC transformer, but it should be far less reliable than the same AC/AC transformer. Reliability is fundamental for the power grid.

      Anyways, I very like your optimistic point of view, I would be like you, but my former experience make me pessimistic.

      Have a great day.

      Massimo

  46. Lewis says:

    Doug,

    While I may not agree with or understand your physics, I like your conclusions and hope you are correct. Even a bit warmer would suit me. For instance, we haven’t had a frost in 2 plus weeks when the last predicted frost date is April 15. Plants are up etc. Trees are blooming, couldn’t be nicer unless it was.

    Low Sat is 35 +/- Paintball Saturday. You’re all invited.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      You’ll find it easier to understand if you actually read the website and perhaps a linked paper or two.

      • Lewis Guignard says:

        Doug,

        I don’t really care about the physics, I’ll let my son handle that (physics major) What I am curious about is general direction and historical occurrences: ice ages the warm intervals, like the one we’re in. My purpose has been to understand enough to make an intelligent decision about my position on AGW. For that I continue reading, but am not interested in taking the time to be a scientist. ( I own a trucking company)

        My hope is another ice age does not inflict itself upon us any time soon, but I begin to expect one. The earth doesn’t seem to be getting any warmer, even though some glaciers are still retreating. Good, let them retreat – more land to farm. Flood Miami – get rid of the Heat – CELTICS RULE!

    • tonyM says:

      David Appell says:
      March 25, 2015 at 12:11 PM

      I may be way over my depth here and would prefer Dr Spencer to comment. But you did ask for thoughts so I will comment.

      UAH tries to use reality as the standard of “fit.” The study you refer to relies on models; models which have failed all reasonable tests. Then there are the results of a host of radiosondes that do not show this relative heating according to the models’ predictions. Thus the paper, to me at least, has little relevance until such models fit reality. The same holds for Mann’s latest paper based on models.

      May I add that I have experience in a different field and when multiple iterations are allowed on what seems to be reasonable statistical data there mostly can develop a “runaway” effect even though ostensibly not programmed and even when abated using Stein’s paradox.

      In short it does not surprise me that if models are used to calibrate the data then that is the direction it will tend.

      It seems little different to infilling and homogenisation. But as I said, I may be way over my depth here and defer to better minds.

      • Massimo PORZIO says:

        Hi TonyM,
        for what it’s worth, I would write almost the same, I fully agree.

        Have a great day.

        Massimo

      • David A says:

        tonyM says:
        “UAH tries to use reality as the standard of “fit.” The study you refer to relies on models; models which have failed all reasonable tests.”

        Tony, that’s not my understanding. In the Guardian article, Stephen Po-Chedley says their correction is based on observations, and then compared to models:

        “We developed an observationally based diurnal cycle correction to remove the influence of satellite diurnal sampling drifts on long-term tropospheric temperature trends. This is important because other analyses (RSS and NOAA) used a model-derived diurnal cycle correction and questions have been raised about the validity of this bias correction. Trends from our work are in accord with trends from global circulation models and basic theory.”

        • tonyM says:

          David..
          I admit to not knowing their methodology. What exactly is ”
          our observationally derived diurnal cycle correction ?” We can all derive trends depending on what configuration we decide on.

          Some may be able to find trends in calibrated roulette wheel outcomes but, they are meaningless nevertheless.

          If we had a genuine “observational” correction we would not need models, which fail, to make a comparison.

          For example you believe we are warming; many including the IPCC statement suggest there has been a hiatus. Both could be claimed to represent the “trend.”

          I simply make the observation that models fail when compared to reality and are a meaningless reference point. I also make the observation that the radiosondes don’t agree with the tropical amplification. The IPCC report does not show it either. That is reality.

          According to the article UAH “attempt to use these satellites during periods when the diurnal drift is small.” That suggests that UAH does try to comply with reality.

          • David says:

            Tony, why don’t you read the paper to learn their methodology? Is that too much to ask before dismissing it?

            “If we had a genuine “observational” correction we would not need models, which fail, to make a comparison.”

            Po-Chedley et al say models agree with their observationally based data.

            “I simply make the observation that models fail when compared to reality and are a meaningless reference point.”

            That’s a blanket statement that means nothing without details.

  47. Vincent says:

    Interesting article, David, which highlights again the difficulties of being certain when the variables are so numerous and corrections to the measurements always have to be made.

    However, Dr Roy Spencer is more qualified to comment on the particular procedures mentioned in this article than I am.

    The three fundamental issues, as I see them in my own biased way, are:

    (1) Accurately identifying and forecasting the climate-change trend, which necessarily involves our understanding of all the major factors that contribute to any change in climate, both natural and human-produced.

    (2) Understanding the consequences and ramifications of such changes to climate on our lifestyles, which will be different for different regions of the planet and different cultures. (The Vikings were very pleased with the warming of Greenland about 1,000 years ago, so I’ve heard.)

    (3) In the light of such predictions and consequences, agreeing upon the most effective and efficient economic methods of tackling such predicted problems of the future, including a recognition of the potential benefits that any such changes to climate may bring, and the best way to take advantage of such potential benefits. (The carbon fertilizer effect, for example).

    Doug Cotton and his Physics group might be correct in their assertions that CO2 is not a ‘greenhouse’ gas. That’s definitely something we should take on board and try to clarify, but we need to know more. What about the long term effects of ocean acidification? Is this something we should be concerned about?

    What about the pollution and environmental damage, apart from the uncertain effects of CO2, that is associated with fossil fuel power plants and the mining of fossil fuels?

    What about the consequences of nuclear disasters? The greater the number of nuclear power stations that exist, the greater the chances of something going seriously wrong, as it did at Fukushima.

    Here’s my vision for the future. Just as the world is now connected via the internet and wi fi, we should work towards connecting it in terms of energy supplies via underground and undersea HVDC transmission lines.

    Surely in the long run, taking everything into consideration, it will be much more efficient to have a continuous stream of energy crossing 10,000 km of ocean in both directions, day and night, through undersea HVDC cables, than periodically loading oil or coal onto massive cargo ships which slowly make their way across the ocean in a most inefficient manner.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      “What about the pollution and environmental damage”

      .. from a tasteless, colorless and odorless gas? Please clarify how that causes what you claim.

      What uncertain effects? Physics is a very precise science. If you think you can devise some process that violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics, then what is certain is that you can’t.

      So please explain in detail how the necessary thermal energy gets down to the base of the Uranus troposphere from where it was absorbed in the stratosphere, and thus maintains temperatures there that are hotter than Earth’s surface. Explain it without violating the Second Law so as to indicate to me that you understand what I have written here because, if you don’t understand what is happening there, then you need to do so before you can expect to understand Earth’s system.

      • Norman says:

        Doug Cotton,

        You still have yet to provide an actual measured temperature of Uranus troposphere that is warmer than Earth’s surface besides the dotted line used from Wikipedia (which is a hypothetical not an actual measured value). The warmest measured temperature for Uranus troposphere I could find was 110 kelvin. If you have information that is solid please present it or stop using this as some actual fact. When you do this it is not good science and you lose credibility. Good science needs factual data to go with you statements. Please provide or stop using this as fact. I am not saying it is not a fact but I need solid evidence for it not your 20,000 repetitions of it. Repeating data thousands of times does not make it more true!

        • Doug   Cotton says:

          I don’t need the dotted line, so I don’t need extra measurements. The gradient from the radiating temperature (58±3)K to 110K is quite sufficient thanks. The undotted line for Uranus still represents a height far more than the height of the Venus troposphere – quite enough to prove there is a temperature gradient close to what I calculated. There are also measurements on Venus made by Russian probes dropped to the surface. And we have a fair bit of detail about Planet Earth. Then there are all those experiments that backup what I say, as discussed in some of over 820 comments on Roy’s February data thread, which should go down as history in which all attempted refutations of my hypothesis were well and truly rubbished. It seems this is the best of the remnants which Norman can dig up.

          You really are clutching at straws now, young Norman. You have no physics qualificcations; you have not read and studied what is in our group’s website and linked papers. You are just a side-line barracker, echoing the attempted refutations raised by your fellow promoters of the fraudulent fictitious fissics. And you ignore the fact that I have proved each and every such attempt either incorrect or irrelevant, as silent readers can see on the February data thread.

        • Doug   Cotton says:

          Norman, Roy and silent readers:

          I’ll give you an example of how people like Curt, Ball4 and Tim Folkerts think they can apply the laws of physics (including the equations) with complete disregard for the pre-requisites that are necessary for the law to be applicable.

          There was a lot of discussion and agreement among them that, in the Eight Molecule Experiment on that February data thread, my explanation was wrong because momentum was not conserved in this example subjected to the force of gravity. I was laughing under my breath at their ignorance of the pre-reqisite, but let me just quote from here

          Conservation of momentum is a fundamental law of physics which states that the momentum of a system is constant if there are no external forces acting on the system.

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            And besides, there’s another experiment in the three comments starting here.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            Yet another example of Doug’s misunderstanding. 🙂

            It is not gravity we were concerned about. We all know (even Doug!) that gravity causes slow, steady, easily understood changes in momentum as the particles move through the air due to the external force of gravity.

            The objection is that — in the instant of the collision and *independent* of the effects gravity might have — Doug’s model does not conserve momentum. Even if you turned off gravity or did the experiment on the orbiting space station or 3 light years from the nearest star, Doug’s model would not conserve momentum.

    • David A says:

      Vincent wrote:
      “The carbon fertilizer effect, for example.”

      This isn’t obviously a good thing, for many reasons:

      1) Higher CO2 means higher temperatures and changes to precipitation patterns, both of which affect plant life.

      2) “Higher CO2 tends to inhibit the ability of plants to make protein… And this explains why food quality seems to have been declining and will continue to decline as CO2 rises — because of this inhibition of nitrate conversion into protein.”

      – University of California at Davis Professor Arnold J. Bloom, on Yale Climate Connections 10/7/14
      http://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2014/10/crop-nutrition//2014

      “BLOOM: “It’s going to be fairly universal that we’ll be struggling with trying to sustain food quality and it’s not just protein… it’s also micronutrients such as zinc and iron that suffer as well as protein.”

      3) “Increasing CO2 threatens human nutrition,” Samuel S. Myers et al, Nature 510, 139–142 (05 June 2014).
      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v510/n7503/full/nature13179.html

      Abstract: “Dietary deficiencies of zinc and iron are a substantial global public health problem. An estimated two billion people suffer these deficiencies1, causing a loss of 63 million life-years annually2, 3. Most of these people depend on C3 grains and legumes as their primary dietary source of zinc and iron. Here we report that C3 grains and legumes have lower concentrations of zinc and iron when grown under field conditions at the elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration predicted for the middle of this century. C3 crops other than legumes also have lower concentrations of protein, whereas C4 crops seem to be less affected. Differences between cultivars of a single crop suggest that breeding for decreased sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 concentration could partly address these new challenges to global health.”

      4) A greener world lowers the planet’s albedo.

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi David,

        You present so much nonsense and my time proves limited. You assert without any serious empirical evidence:

        “This isn’t obviously a good thing, for many reasons:

        1) Higher CO2 means higher temperatures and changes to precipitation patterns, both of which affect plant life.

        2) Higher CO2 tends to inhibit the ability of plants to make protein… And this explains why food quality seems to have been declining and will continue to decline as CO2 rises — because of this inhibition of nitrate conversion into protein.”

        1) To the extent any warming can be proven to exist it HELPS plant life. Or do horticulturalists construct green houses for no reason?

        2) Prove it. Provide evidence that a plant nutrient CO2 inhibits a plants ability to make protein. Your pseudo-sciene links don’t prove anything. While many projections appear about what MIGHT happen little if any facts seem to be presented from what I’ve read. One article did suggest that over a given period protein percentages in wheat or some crops dropped 3%. This begs the question a percentage of what? The percentage of protein to total plant nutrients? If so, that seems laughable. AFIK No fixed absolute percentage or ratio exists that must be established between say protein and carbohydrates in plants and numbers can and do vary. General percentage yes but no fixed percentages. Moreover, if the climate warms and becomes more hospitable plants will likely store more fuels like carbohydrates and fats relative to proteins. Any excess protein often just gets broken down to fat or carbohydrate for storage. Btw, you might consider colder temps require HIGHER caloric and protein intake than WARMER climates because it requires much greater energy to survive by maintaining bodily functions and temperature for animals. Similarly with plants they may be required to utilize their own carbohydrate and fat stores to survive periods of lesser radiative input (i.e. the visible spectrum for plant growth and IR spectrum as well to help maintain internal plant temperatures. Further plant protein stores may dwindle during cold periods as they get used to maintain the plant and broken down as fuel for internal temperature control as well.

        For the record, poor land use practices exist throughout the world that lead to poorer plant nutrient content that has been declining for some time. CO2 has no proven causation, poor land, and agricultural practices have a long record in this regard.

        These argument doesn’t seem like a winner to me Dave. One has to ask why you seem to obtain such satisfaction trashing all things CO2 and or carbon? Why the animus toward carbon as an element? Did someone pour tar or pitch over your head as a kid? Just curious.

        Have a great day!

        • Lewis Guignard says:

          John,

          With your limited time, you made me laugh. Why? Because you are attempting to make a reasonable argument against an emotional belief – more accurately – religion.

          The religion states: any change is bad and smy change is attributable to AGW.

          So no matter what happens, good weather, bad weather, ice storms, pleasant days at the beach, more CO2, less CO2, whatever; it is the fault of AGW and it’s bad.

          It has to be this way else the religion fails. And, since so many are dependent upon the religion, either monetarily or emotionally, you will find they attack you if you disagree, especially if you have influence on the general population.

          In this, they are no different than the Terrorist Muslims. You snicker – do you not think the actions they promulgate, which cause the police to come are not terrorist actions?

          • David says:

            Lewis, you don’t cite any science either. This is a blog about science, not about rambling about “Terrorist Muslims,” et al. Your emotional response simply reveals your emotions.

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            Well the correct science is here and I sure do quote it.

        • David says:

          John wrote:
          “To the extent any warming can be proven to exist it HELPS plant life. Or do horticulturalists construct green houses for no reason?”

          Have you noticed the world isn’t a nice, controlled greenhouse where a gardner comes in every day and waters the flowers and picks the weeds?

          In the real world, more CO2 means higher temperatures and problems like drought. How well do plants do in drought?

          Re #2: I gave citations to papers, or to articles that cite those papers. Look them up.

          “CO2 has no proven causation”

          Again, I cited science. You have not.

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi David,

            You seem to never be at a loss for nonsense. You balked:

            “In the real world, more CO2 means higher temperatures and problems like drought. How well do plants do in drought?”

            Er…No! The warm period prior to the onset of the Ice Age (which we apparently still suffer from) allowed for the presence of Mammoths, Dyre wolves, Woolly Rhinoceros, innumerable animal and plant species etc. in regions far too cold to support such life now and from what I’ve read the presence of flora over just about the entire planet surface. Deserts as we know them today did not exist. Warm air not only holds more CO2 it holds more H2O as well allowing greater atmospheric transport of water over the surface of the planet.

            If you need proof consider the FACT that the Eastern U.S. proves covered in vegetation while the Southwest appears desert like. Why? Well it might have to do with the fact that the Atlantic ocean far exceeds the Pacific Ocean in temperature allowing storms and weather related phenomenon to carry water over the surface of the East coast and not the west. Once again I’ve provided empirical evidence to support my claims and apparently you provided simply paranoia.

            The reason we still experience extensive desertification remains the FACT that we remain in an ICE AGE! Which explains why the polar ice-caps remain and often expand despite seemingly never ending predictions that in 5 years if nothing is done they’ll disappear.

            You go on:

            “Re #2: I gave citations to papers, or to articles that cite those papers. Look them up.”

            The articles and claims from YOUR links I examined provided little if any data mainly projections. They claimed that some academics expressed concern about the possible reduction of protein in plants in the future, but I do not remember seeing any data supporting it yet. Indeed the claim regarding a 3% percent reduction in protein levels which I cited in the last post turned out upon re-examination to be a PROJECTION AND NOT FACT!!! Moreover, the only evidence I came across seemed to be the claim that nitrate production in wheat dropped when CO2 levels rose in 1996 if I remember correctly. Keep in mind other environmental factors could have caused the same reduction and I scanned no consideration of possible alternatives. To base a conclusion on such limited data seems to me LAUGHABLE!

            Btw, David if you can’t provide evidence for your claims you shouldn’t make them. What actual observations of protein reduction have you actually OBSERVED?!!! Or do you just accept any claim and/or speculation made by some academic without question? Astonishingly you state:

            “Again, I cited science. You have not.”

            Really? When did you do that? You provided links and made some assertions, true. When did you ever cite an empirical observation? Your links referenced the claimed observation of changes in NITRATE levels not proteins and made ASSUMPTIONS as to CAUSATION and possible future effects on protein levels. If you have more than this and/or if I missed something please let me know. Thanks again and…

            Have a great day!

            For the record, poor land use practices exist throughout the world that lead to poorer plant nutrient content that has been declining for some time. CO2 has no proven causation, poor land, and agricultural practices have a long record in this regard.

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi David,

            My apology I’ve examined further some of the links and they do have evidence of problems related to mineral absorption but I don’t see empirical evidence that atmospheric CO2 levels caused it I’ll examine more articles and report back later. Please ignore my previous sarcasm for now until I obtain more data. As of yet though I don’t see proof of a causal link, especially in regard to lack of mineral content in INDIAN grains given their LAND USE POLICIES AND POPULATION DIFFICULTIES.

            Have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi David A,

            Amazingly not long ago I read that while atmospheric CO2 levels prove fairly constant throughout the atmosphere inner city levels have supposedly been measured to reach as high as 1500 ppm. According to your imo pseudo-science links wheat is claimed to be one of the few crops adversely affected by rising atmospheric CO2 levels which supposedly attacks the plants ability to produce protein. Well if 400 ppm adversely effects wheat protein levels what would 1500 ppm do? Apparently not much if New York City should be believed. You see many urban agricultural sites exist there growing you guessed it WHEAT!!!

            http://www.cityfarmer.info/2008/10/12/urban-wheat-field-sprouts-on-streets-of-new-york/

            Don’t worry, apparently CO2 and wheat seem to be friends. Will you let the facts change your opinions or question academic claims? We will see.

            Have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi David,

            Just a few more FACTS. If for some reason you don’t seem to consider FACTS to be SCIENCE, but we’ll give you time.

            http://www.co2science.org/subject/u/summaries/phxurbanco2dome.php

            Have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi David,

            Just a few more FACTS. If for some reason you don’t seem to consider FACTS to be SCIENCE then measured atmospheric gas concentrations may not be a convincer.

            http://www.co2science.org/subject/u/summaries/phxurbanco2dome.php

            Have a great day!

  48. Vincent says:

    Doug Cotton says:
    March 26, 2015 at 1:53 AM
    “What about the pollution and environmental damage”
    .. from a tasteless, colorless and odorless gas? Please clarify how that causes what you claim.”

    C’mon now, Doug! You should know that CO2 is not the only by-product of burning fossil fuels. The smog and resulting health problems in China are not caused by the colourless and odourless CO2, but by a mixture of various noxious gases such as Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrous Oxides, Carbon Monoxide, as well as particulate carbon, and smaller amounts of mercury, lead and arsenic etc, which are quite poisonous, as I’m sure you know.

    In addition, there is further pollution and environmental degradation in the whole chain of extraction of coal, oil and gas from the ground, including the processing of it and the transportation of it to its final point of use.

    What an old-fashioned and antiquated form of industrial technology!

    Nuclear power obviously has great potential as an alternative form of energy, but has serious problems related to human competence. If we can’t trust climate scientsts to get it right on a matter such as CO2 being a greenhouse gas, why should we be able to trust other scientists to get it right in designing and locating a ‘safe’ nuclear power plant, especially when there are other, non-scientific decisions to be made of an economic nature, which might affect the long term safety of the plant.

    After that Fukushima incident I was amazed to learn that along that east coast of Japan there are numerous stone monuments showing the level of previous floods from tsunamis, and even carved inscriptions advising future generations not to build their houses below certain levels.

    Also, I imagine that those who are alarmed by the predicted effects of global warming and its effect on their grandchildren’s lives, would not want to leave their granchildren a legacy of huge quantities of nuclear waste to dispose of.

    What I suggest, Doug, is that now you have confirmed that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas, through the application of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, you should apply your brilliant Physicist mind to the technology of designing efficient, low cost and practical PVC material which can be pasted, like a flexible fabric, onto any surface.

    Imagine the benefits of that!

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      Well, Vincent, when you’re PM, spend some of the $100 billion a year being wasted on carbon dioxide on ways of processing and/or diverting such smog to safer regions, perhaps by pipeline to the depths of the ocean. That’s not a topic I’ve studied and it’s not what I’n wanting to discuss thanks. I’m sure there are many such issues some can hang their hat on, but I thought the head post had something to do with climate change.

      I do know a fair bit about nuclear power, but I won’t bore you with that either. It’s not a good idea to build plants near the ocean though.

      I’m sorry to hear of your mistrust of scientists. The problem in climatology is that the study of atmospheric thermodynamics needs a degree in physics, not a bit of first year stuff taught by pals participating in the fraud. The physicists get it right because it’s their specialty, but they were rarely consulted, and too many were busy with more esoteric pursuits and could not get funding for climate stuff.

      The obvious antidote for the fear instilled in those poor people (like the 99.999% who don’t understand thermodynamics and entropy) who were gullible enough to believe the alarmism is to publicly expose the fallacies in the physics until governments start to tell the UN where to go with their declared aim to destroy capitalism.

      As for inventions, well my grandfather’s brother Prof Frank Cotton was the one who invented the anti-gravity suit that saved many pilots’ lives, but I’ll stick to my gravity hypothesis which may save many lives in developing countries.

  49. Vincent says:

    Doug Cotton says:
    March 26, 2015 at 5:15 AM

    “The problem in climatology is that the study of atmospheric thermodynamics needs a degree in physics, not a bit of first year stuff taught by pals participating in the fraud. The physicists get it right because it’s their specialty, but they were rarely consulted, and too many were busy with more esoteric pursuits and could not get funding for climate stuff….

    As for inventions, well my grandfather’s brother Prof Frank Cotton was the one who invented the anti-gravity suit that saved many pilots’ lives, but I’ll stick to my gravity hypothesis which may save many lives in developing countries.”

    Doug,
    My understanding is that there about 30 or more major scientific disciplines involved in climate change. Physics plays a major role, but is not the only major discipline.

    Here are a few. I’m not sure if it’s a complete list.

    Climatology, Meteorology, Atmospheric dynamics, Atmospheric physics, Atmospheric chemistry, Solar physics, Historical climatology, Geophysics, Geochemistry, Geology, Soil Science, Oceanography, Glaciology, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, Ecology, Synthetic biology, Biochemistry, Global change biology, Biogeography, Ecophysiology, Ecological genetics, Applied mathematics, Mathematical modelling, Computer science, Numerical modelling, Bayesian inference, Mathematical statistics, Time series analysis.

    Congratulations for having a Granduncle who was an inventor. Perhaps you should try to outdo your Granduncle, and invent something even more significant than an antigravity suit, like a really efficient and ‘cool’ solar panel.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      The correct explanation of all planetary temperatures relies totally upon the correct understanding of thermodynamics. Meteorologists can study weather, but that’s not considered climate. Without a correct understanding of physics you don’t get off Square One. That’s why James Hansen got it all so terribly wrong, and Pierrehumbert et al lapped up his fallacious, fictitious fissics.

  50. Bob Weber says:

    To Doug Cotton:

    I’ve watched you badger cajole intimidate condescend ridicule irritate troll accuse antagonize and attempt to put down anyone who won’t go to your website and bow down to your assnine narcissistic behaviour.

    If your “brilliance” can’t understand human nature enough to realize you are turning people off and undermining whatever positive thing(s) you might have to say by your repetitive childlike behaviour, then I have to say, you are blinded by your own self-inflated ego.

    The issue at hand is what caused temperatures to go up and down over the past 160 years or so, and nowhere in your voluminous commentary on this website do you address this issue directly, simply, with brevity.

    Instead you taunt everyone, thinking apparantly that abusing everyone will automatically drive traffic to your site and get you one step closer to being a recognized divinity or Nobel laureate or whatever is floating your boat.

    If you cannot or will not state in a few simple statements what caused temperatures to rise by 0.8 degrees since 1850 or so, and how your supposed physics explains that, then you are nothing but a self-glorifying charlatan who has continually highjacked whatever thread you can for your very personal need for recognition.

    Dr. Spencer ought to simply ban you from posting here as far as I’m concerned, as you are a complete waste of time, something just about every other blog owner has already figured out.

    Let’s see what kind of narcisstic response you’ll attempt here. I’ll bet it’ll be something like “you don’t understand physics because you didn’t come to my site, so therefore blah blah blah”

    Put up or shut up & go away. What’s it going to be asshole?

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      “If you cannot or will not state in a few simple statements what caused temperatures to rise by 0.8 degrees since 1850 …”

      What makes you think I cannot or will not do so? I did explain that in my first paper on the Second Law of Thermodynamics that appeared on several websites in March three years ago. There’s also more about the natural climate cycles (and what probably causes them) on the current website and there are nearly 900 comments here on Roy’s February temperature data thread regarding the physics which refutes the greenhouse hoax, which silent readers may wish to wade through and see that I had valid responses to all objections to my hypothesis. The above-mentioned paper is linked on the second page (entitled “Evidence”) on that website.

      What is the sensitivity for a 1% increase in the most prolific “greenhouse gas” water vapor, Bob?

      • Bob Weber says:

        Once again you don’t address the central issues, and instead you wish to manipulate the conversation, again, by flipping back onto me a non sequiter question. If you can’t explain it in a few short paragraphs here wrt to temp increases since ~1850, you’re blowing smoke.

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        Once again you’re avoiding questions that are critical to anyone’s understanding of climate. See also the three comments here.

        You want it briefly, Bob?

        Gravity forms a temperature gradient in every planetary troposphere. That obviates the need for concern over greenhouse gases, which actually cool a little and cannot warm any planet’s surface.

        In that I am not into reproducing the necessary graphics here, including those on the website endorsed by our growing group of person’s suitably qualified in physics, and in the linked peer-reviewed papers, you will have to well in your ignorance of my hypothesis and its proof and consequences if you don’t deign to visit such.

  51. Vincent says:

    Bob Weber says:
    March 26, 2015 at 9:33 AM
    “To Doug Cotton:
    I’ve watched you badger cajole intimidate condescend ridicule irritate troll accuse antagonize and attempt to put down anyone who won’t go to your website and bow down to your assnine narcissistic behaviour.”

    Steady on, Bob.

    I don’t find Doug intimidating or antagonizing. He’s a bit repetitive in his message, but so are AGW alarmists. You seem to be engaged in an ad hominem attack, which is not at all scientific or appropriate on a scientific forum, in my opinion.

    • MikeB says:

      Vincent,
      If you have any scientific awareness at all you would have long ago realised that Doug Cotton’s ramblings are insane. He appeals to the scientifically illiterate.

      He and others like him are the reason that sceptics are called Deniers. Why proponents of climate change refuse to debate. He does immense harm to the sceptic point of view.

      Read what Anthony Watts has to say about him
      http://tinyurl.com/cy36zvm):
      “These folks are a scourge to other skeptics, because the warmers rightly point to them as examples of scientific quackery and then unjustly paint us with the same brush.”

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        I suggest you wade through some of my comments on the February temperature data thread (where about 900 comments must be some sort of record) and note how no one has proved my hypothesis wrong. You could start with the three latest comments from here.

    • Bob Weber says:

      You are entitled to your opinion, as am I. Check back through the many posts this year and you will see who is the master of personal attacks – his name is DC.

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        I attack invalid physics, not persons. Yes I might have a little laugh when they get their physics so wrong, but I do realize that 99.999% of people don’t understand entropy. Like Tim Folkerts who thought it would be zero when in fact it was a maximum.

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          It *is* amazing how many times Doug can be wrong … and yet be so sure he is right. 🙂

          I assume he is talking about a case we were discussing of a whole set of particles moving at the same velocity. I say (along with every physics textbook everywhere) that this is an extremely LOW entropy situation. The entropy is MUCH larger when the velocities are different (keeping total KE constant). The entropy is maximized when the velocities follow the MB distribution.

          RECAP
          * completely ordered (ie same velocity) = MINIMUM entropy
          * completely disordered (ie random velocity) = MAXIMUM entropy

  52. Lewis Guignard says:

    What’s the problem here? Doug has his own opinion, as do we all, which is easy enough to ignore. He seldom reduces himself to ad hominem statements, which is the main thing I take exception to.

    And, occasionally, he gets off track. Earlier in this string he said something I find I can agree with.

  53. Bob Weber says:

    The opportunity is open for any of DC’s synchophants to explain in a few simple statements what caused temps to rise since ~1850 according to DC’s “paradigm”. If he won’t or can’t do it, and if you believe him, you are just as free to take a stab at it here as he is. If you can’t or won’t, you’re blowing smoke here too.

    Why is it the big game among you to manipulate readers here into going over to his site? If there’s any merit to whatever he says, a clear message here will do the job, if he or any of you are up to it…

    I don’t care if he said a few things that we can agree on.

    Barack also says things occasionally that I can agree with, but that doesn’t interfere with me realizing that he behaves the same way towards “deniers” that DC is behaving towards the rest of us here: abusive & malicious.

    Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it. Clogging the blog here over and over again here is a waste of time.

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Bob Weber,

      You claimed:

      “The opportunity is open for any of DC’s synchophants to explain in a few simple statements what caused temps to rise since ~1850 according to DC’s “paradigm”.”

      While I’m not a sycophant, I do have a question for you. Since satellites capable of measuring global temperatures didn’t exist until 1979 imo no prior claim made regarding global temperatures can rationally be considered as empirically significant. Much of the satellite and surface data today is ADJUSTED often by reference to the other data-sets (i.e. satellite data may be adjusted in reference to balloon and and surface temp data and the reverse may be true). Without a data-set containing many reference points across the surface of the planet and not just a few temp monitoring stations or occasional ballon or aircraft reading, how do you put such faith in spotty historical data using obsolete equipment and of dubious reliability and methodology? Roy ran a post not long ago about how the historical data lacked consistency as to the time of day the measurements had been taken providing spurious temperature trends.

      A question for you would be why do you feel the need to explain temperature trends based on spotty, incomplete, inconsistent and incomprehensive data? Thanks, and …

      Have a great day!

  54. Dan Pangburn says:

    Doug Cotton –

    It is trivially simple, using only existing data and rudimentary math, to prove that CO2 has no significant effect on climate.

    Thus, the final conclusion of your work is correct. However, the very first equation in your paper is incomplete because it implicitly assumes that their is no radiation flux.

    The pressure gradient with altitude results simply from the weight of the atmosphere above the point of measure. The temperature gradient would be simply that from isentropic (adiabatic, reversible) expansion if not for radiation flux. The radiation flux results in the measured temperature being progressively higher with altitude than that calculated from isentropic expansion alone.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      What “very first equation” in which of my papers? What do you plan to add to make it complete? You will soon learn that, if you present such incomplete claims yourself I will pounce on them, especially if the laws of physics are violated by anything you claim would happen.

      Radiative flux is quite a different quantity than the flux of thermal energy which, in regard to radiation, is only ever transferred from warmer to cooler regions in accord with the Second Law of Thermodynamics, even for one-way radiation.

      Low frequency microwaves (similar to low energy radiation from very cold regions) do not warm anything by normal atomic absorption, for which the Stefan Boltzmann equation applies.

      The “weight” of molecules can only be “recognized” by an individual molecule by way of the effect upon it of the kinetic energy of molecules with which it collides. That said, Kinetic Theory can be easily applied to explain the equal (macro level) pressure from above and below that is characteristic of the state of thermodynamic equilibrium when the density and temperature gradients stabilize.

      The Second Law can be used to deduce that the state of thermodynamic equilibrium exhibits a temperature gradient in force fields like gravity and centrifugal force, and experical experiments confirm this. The Second Law also can be used to explain the formation of a density gradient. The pressure gradient is merely a corollary, because pressure is proportional to the product of temperature and density.

      • Dan Pangburn says:

        This equation:M.Cp.T = – M.g.H
        T/H = -g/Cp

        It is missing the radiation flux.

        Radiation is absorbed by ghg molecules and either emitted or spread to other molecules whether ghg or not via thermalization. It eventually gets transferred back via reverse-thermalization to ghg molecules for radiation to space.

        The equation says that the temperature change with altitude (lapse rate) is linear. Measurements on earth reveal that to be true enough at low altitude (water vapor releases energy by condensing to clouds) but declines rapidly above about 30,000 ft (about 9 km) when the water vapor runs out.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      PS – I agree (as in my paper, book and website) that radiation has a temperature leveling effect upon the gravitationally induced temperature gradient. That’s why the “wet” rate is less steep, and the thermal plot rotates down at the surface end and up at the top so as to maintain radiative balance with solar flux. That’s why water vapor cools.

      But until you understand the further development beyond this point that is explained in my hypothesis, you cannot account for such things as the energy flows in Uranus.

  55. Slipstick says:

    Doug Cotton – If there is no atmospheric greenhouse effect, please explain how lower stratospheric temperatures can decline while tropospheric temperatures increase (and, please, not a hand-waving, “it’s trivially simple”, response; that is the answer of a charlatan).

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      Easy. Already explained in my 2013 paper linked here.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      And your question is imprecise anyway. The whole troposphere? The lower troposphere? The upper troposphere? Day or night? Clear or cloudy? In the 30 years when the 60 year natural cycle is rising, or the current 30 years (from 1998 to 2028) when it is falling? In the ~500 years when the ~1000 year natural cycle is rising (like until the year 2059) or when it is falling after that for nearly 500 years?

  56. Dan Pangburn says:

    Slip – OK, this is how trivially simple it is:

    A forcing must act for a duration to produce a temperature change, analogous to speed must act for a duration to accumulate distance traveled. If the forcing varies, the cumulative effect is the time-integral of the forcing (or forcing ‘anomaly’)

    Apply that to the Vostok, Antarctica ice core CO2 level and temperature data and you discover that CO2 cannot be a forcing. Therefore, burning fossil fuels cannot have a significant effect on average global temperature.

    • Slipstick says:

      Dan – You are correct; in the “natural” climate cycle CO2 is not a forcing, it is considered a feedback. However, your conclusion does not follow. In the Vostok cores, CO2 varies between approx. 200 – 280 ppm. By burning fossil fuels we are now at about 400 ppm, far outside the “natural” range. This artificial input is the forcing.

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        The most prolific so-called greenhouse gas, water vapor, lowers the surface temperature by rotating the temperature plot downwards at the surface end. You know that. You choose to ignore the fact that the temperature of the surface cannot rise if the lapse rate is becoming less steep due to water vapor increasing.

        Water vapor thus has a negative feedback, as does carbon dioxide for the reasons explained in my hypothesis.

        • Slipstick says:

          Mr. Cotton,
          Thank you for the best laugh I’ve had all day. Following your logic, cloud formation would be impossible, since in gathering density, the water would spontaneously freeze and precipitate as snow. I hope you are also interested in chemistry, then we might see the revival of the phlogiston theory.

        • Slipstick says:

          By the way, I did read your paper. I especially enjoyed the statement “Water vapour and, to a much smaller extent, carbon dioxide radiate heat to higher levels (never transferring heat to a warmer region or surface) and so they
          reduce the gradient, and thus also reduce the surface temperature.” If that were true, one of the following must also be true, either IR photons behave entirely differently than photons of higher energies or you would be unable to see anything at a temperature lower than your retina. The cosmos in which your “correct physics” applies would be very difficult. Amongst all the physical processes that would not be possible, locomotion would be difficult to generate and, if you got moving, you would constantly be colliding with the invisible.

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            “either IR photons behave entirely differently than photons of higher energies”

            Of course. Do the long wave photons in your microwave oven warm those plastic bowls the way the Sun’s photon’s would?

            For the information you seem to be seeking read my 2012 paper on radiation.

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            I suggest you read the quote from Encyclopedia Britannica in a comment below, then pick up your reading on the main thread covering the physics and entropy issues (with over 900 comments) perhaps starting here. Please note that I only answer questions that refer to content in either our group’s website or the linked papers.

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            See also this paper by a professor of applied mathematics. If you dispute his computations you can argue with him on his blog. He writes …

            “11.13 Cordination Length

            Frequencies below cut-off will be absorbed and radiated as coherent waves, while frequencies above cut-off will be absorbed and transformed into internal energy in the form of incoherent waves, which are not radiated. High frequencies thus may heat the body and thereby decrease the coordination length and thereby allow absorption and emission of higher frequencies.”

  57. Bob Weber says:

    This comment from Dan Pangburn is a good example of how it should be done:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/01/09/two-new-papers-suggest-solar-activity-is-a-climate-pacemaker/#comment-1833061

    Dan’s sufficient yet short explanation is given with a link to the research, and with no bashing of people. What is interesting is no one bothers to argue with him, even Dr. S nor his synchophant, Ms. G***, while they’ll argue all day long with everyone else. Wonder why?

    I endorse Dan’s work, as I can confirm it using different techniques, as do a few others. Mr. Pangburn is no stranger to criticism either, as a quick web search turns up numerous attempts to question his credibility and work, going back many years.

    The real input driving climate change is solar variability.

  58. Doug   Cotton says:

    Dan’s work is effectively refuted in my hypothesis. There is also a page on our website WUWT errors” which refutes some other material published there. I note that you yourself have not refuted some recent comments by members of our group on WUWT – you’re slipping!

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      Reason: There is no explanation for the cycles in sunspot activity in that linked paper. They are not the fundamental cause, because natural cycles are regulated by planetary orbits in various ways. They have no explanation for the regulation of glacial periods either. I have all this, as well as the correct physics which explains the necessary heat transfers that in turn explain the observed temperatures on planets and satellite moons.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

       
       

      Roy and others please note:,

      Encyclopedia Britannica acknowledges that the temperature gradient remains intact in non-rising air.

      “The lapse rate of nonrising air—commonly referred to as the normal, or environmental, lapse rate—is highly variable, being affected by radiation, convection, and condensation; it averages about 6.5 °C per kilometre”

      This is hugely important and is of course what I have been saying. It is quite contrary to what Maxwell and Boltzmann said, though it is in agreement with Loschmidt’s gravito-thermal effect.

       

      The above statement in Encyclopedia Britannica confirms that the lapse rate is there anyway – it does not need to be created by rising, expanding, cooling, but non-existent “parcels” of air (as Maxwell and the AGW crowd claim) and thus their whole GH conjecture crumbles because back radiation just is not needed to raise the surface temperature – gravity has already done it,

       
       

  59. Dan Pangburn says:

    Slip –The point is, whatever you are using as a forcing, its effectiveness is not proportional to the magnitude of the forcing itself but is proportional to the time-integral of the forcing. A scale factor can be applied to account for the magnitude of the numbers.

    For your example, the amount of energy added to the planet in a year would be a scale factor times the difference between the CO2 level of that year and 280 ppmv. (Or, if log decline of contribution of each additional increment of CO2 is assumed, ln(CO2level/280)). The total amount of energy added for the period of study is the summation of the yearly additions. The total temperature increase is the total energy increase divided by the effective thermal capacitance.

    If you do this for the last 120 years or so and don’t include the sunspot number anomaly time-integral, you get R2 = 0.879 and claim, WOW, this is it. But include the sunspot number anomaly time-integral and you get an even bigger WOW at R2 = 0.9061. If you then exclude the CO2 effect, R2 = 0.9049, an insignificant decrease. Getting nearly the same R2 whether the influence of CO2 is included or not demonstrates that CO2 has no significant effect on climate. (The calculations include a simple approximation of the influence of ocean cycles.)

    Alternatively, do this for the last 150 million years or more (Monte Hieb’s graph at http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html ) when CO2 levels were higher than now and the temperatures at the beginning and end of the period of study could be the same. For the temperatures to be the same, the scale factor would need to be zero, i.e. the effect of CO2 on climate is not significant.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      It’s a lot easier just to prove water vapor and CO2 cool a little (rather than warm) by using correct physics as here rather than being bluffed by the false radiative forcing conjecture which ignores the Second Law of Thermodynamics, probably due to climatologists with little understanding of entropy not getting their physics checked in the first place.

      • Dan Pangburn says:

        Doug – Apparently you are not familiar with my stuff. It uses only reported average global temperatures (AGT) (to avoid bias, AGT from the three agencies that report data back far enough are ‘normalized’ to Hadcrut4), Brussels International sunspot numbers, and a simple approximation of ocean cycles. Radiative forcing is not used or needed to prove that CO2 has no significant effect on climate.

      • Dan Pangburn says:

        Doug – Apparently you are not familiar with my stuff. It uses only reported average global temperatures (AGT) (to avoid bias, AGT from the three agencies that report data back far enough are ‘normalized’ to Hadcrut4), Brussels International sunspot numbers, and a simple approximation of ocean cycles. Radiative forcing is not used or needed to prove that CO2 has no significant effect on climate.

        • Doug   Cotton says:

          Apparently you are not familiar with the website and linked papers endorsed by our group of persons suitably qualified in physics. You should find it interesting. New members are always welcome.

    • Slipstick says:

      Mr. Pangburn,
      I perused your monographs and, while they are very well written, I have more than a few misgivings about your methodologies, references, and assumptions. Rather than write out a litany, I refer you to the comments of a Chris Crawford on your May 2013 posting, who voiced many of the concerns I have with your work. I do have some additions, beyond those he mentioned.

      You do no cite references or derivations for many of the constants in your equation, beyond their units, and it appears you are simply massaging the values to make the curve fit.

      You contend that the influence of CO2 on the climate declines logarithmically with its proportion in the atmosphere. I tried to find a source for this assumption. All I could find is an argument comparing temperature anomaly to CO2 concentration. The “analysis”, and I use the term loosely, completely ignores all other factors, particularly the effects of SO2 and particulates, both of which developed nations began controlling in the 1970’s. Also, if your hypothesis is that the effect of CO2 in the climate is negligible, how can you use the climate to analyze the effect of CO2?

      All you’ve demonstrated is that solar irradiance is the primary driver of the climate and sunspot number is proportional to that irradiance. We knew that already. The fact is, solar irradiance has been declining over the last several decades and the global temperature continues to rise. There must be some other factor and the only one that has been identified, in decades of research, is greenhouse gases.

      • Slipstick says:

        One thing I forgot to mention, in your monograph on historical CO2 and global temperature, your contention is that because atmospheric CO2 lagged behind temperature in the pre-industrial climate, then an artificially raised atmospheric concentration of CO2 cannot drive global temperature. That does not follow; it is logically equivalent to saying that, because naturally occurring forest fires are the result of lightning or vulcanism, one moron with a match cannot start a forest fire.

      • Dan Pangburn says:

        Slip – I responded to Crawford’s comments as shown in the paper you referred to. That analysis has been refined as shown in a later paper linked to at the top of that paper. Significant findings are summarized there in Table 1 of the more recent paper.

        As described, the form of the equation results from application of the first law of thermodynamics (conservation of energy). The validity of the final equation is demonstrated by the high R2>0.9.

        Out of curiosity, I also tried a linear contribution from CO2. There was no significant increase in R2. It doesn’t matter how CO2 is expressed if it has no significant influence on climate,.

        All of those factors that you mentioned were considered, including any that no one has even thought of. They all, including any effect from CO2, must find room in the unexplained 9.51%. “…that the effect of CO2 in the climate is negligible” is a finding, not a hypothesis.

        Solar irradiance (TSI) is not the primary driver. It only varies ±0.05% so it can’t be. Even if TSI was a substantial forcing, its influence on average global temperature (AGT) would be according to the time-integral of the difference between the TSI .and the average TSI for say the last 1000 years. It’s just not enough.

        I made a simplistic assessment of low altitude clouds in another paper and discovered that AGT was very sensitive to changes in them. This finding, combined with Svensmark’s paper (and other work), showing the apparent influence that sunspots have on low altitude clouds, indicates a likely mechanism. Thus the time-integral of sunspot number anomalies is a proxy for solar influence, and when combined with an approximation of ocean cycles, provides an excellent correlation with measured AGT since before 1900.

        The AGT trend has been flat since before 2001. I monitor AGT reported by GISS, NOAA, HadCRUT, UAH and RSS and average them all

        The problem with all those decades of research is that they started with the assumption that Global Warming (which stopped before 2001) was caused by CO2 increase instead of searching for what else might be causing GW.

  60. Slipstick says:

    Mr. Cotton,
    Your hypothesis appears based entirely on fluid mechanics and conduction and utterly ignores quantum theory. Your remark about the bowl being heated differently by a microwave oven than the sun demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of absorption and transmittance spectra, central to the greenhouse effect. Apparently, your “correct physics” is stuck somewhere in the early 19th century.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      No my slippery friend, it is yourself who does not know precisely how the low frequency radiation gets through the opaque bowl in the microwave oven, and even quite a thick layer of such plastic. If you think it is normal linear transmission, then make your millions with this new and far safer “x-ray” machine, because you should be able to form x-ray type images of, for example, an embedded wire inside a sheet of such plastic. What really happens is the process that always happens when radiation from a cooler source (such as the troposphere) strikes a warmer target such as the Earth’s surface, as explained in my 2012 paper.

      So I have a question for you: Suppose you directed a focussed beam of such microwave radiation directly into a dry sandy beach at night so there’s no help from the Sun. Would it warm the sand, or pass down into the core of the Earth, or just precisely what would happen to that radiation and its energy? How about if, instead of sand, we have a 100 meter cubic block with a million cubic meters of the same plastic (as in those microwave bowls) and we directed the radiation towards the center of that block? What happens to the radiation and its energy? Will the block get warmed? If so, when will the warming stop? What equation or law of physics let’s you determine a final temperature in the block?

      Now, another few questions:

      As Roy Spencer knows, back radiation does not penetrate a water surface by more than a few nanometers. Why? What happens to its energy? Does it cause evaporation? Does it make that thin layer boil? If not, how come the flux of 324W/m^2 (about twice the 168W/m^2 of solar radiation into the surface) doesn’t cause the backradiation to penetrate water, whereas the lesser flux from the Sun penetrates maybe even up to 100 meters – usually at least 10 meters.

      The typical K-T, NASA and IPCC energy diagrams have net flux of 390W/m^2 into the surface which just happens to be the exact flux that we need to enter into Stefan Boltzmann calculations to get the 288K temperature which they tell us is the mean surface temperature, or maybe only 14°C. Now, that 390W/m^2 is based on, among other things, the Solar radiation (168W/m^2) absorbed by the surface. But 102W/m^2 of the thermal energy absorbed from that solar radiation goes straight back into the atmosphere via evaporative cooling, sensible heat transfer etc. However, the remaining 66W/m^2 only explains a temperature of 184.7K (about -88.5°C) so the AGW crowd adds 324W/m^2 of backradiation to get the magical 390W/m^2 in total.

      So my final question is, how does a layer between 1 meter and 2 meters depth in the ocean get warmed to around, say, 17°C when there is a little less than 66W/m^2 of solar radiation reaching it (most of which passes through that layer – this time by normal transmission) and none of the apparently very necessary backradiation doesn’t get within a meter of that layer?

      I have a totally different hypothesis that actually does give the right temperature and the balancing energy flows for Earth, Venus, Uranus, Neptune and other planets. So I was just wondering if you could give us (in your own words) your own personal, and well thought out hypothesis on this. Please don’t plagiarize from Pierrehumbert’s “gold standard” text, because I found a couple of rather major errors in his assumptions and calculations – to say nothing of the errors in the physics, which unfortunately ignores a law we in physics call the Second Law of Thermodynamics or, since 1988, some have more appropriately called the law of maximum entropy production, as here.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      PS. No my hypothesis has nothing to do with fluid mechanics, Bernoulli’s principle or whatever. The first paper (2012) about radiation (and the Second Law) necessarily uses some quantum mechanics, but the second Paper on the Second Law is based on Kinetic Theory. Why don’t you just read it? It’s just that I’m not going to reproduce it here, complete with the necessary graphics.

      • Slipstick says:

        Mr. Cotton,
        I should have said thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. Thank you once again for an excellent laugh:
        “it is yourself who does not know precisely how the low frequency radiation gets through the opaque bowl in the microwave oven, and even quite a thick layer of such plastic. If you think it is normal linear transmission, then make your millions with this new and far safer “x-ray” machine, because you should be able to form x-ray type images of, for example, an embedded wire inside a sheet of such plastic. What really happens is the process that always happens when radiation from a cooler source (such as the troposphere) strikes a warmer target such as the Earth’s surface, as explained in my 2012 paper.”

        What really happens is that the energy increases in materials with absorption in the microwave region while the radiation passes through other materials. In the example you cite, an image could indeed be formed using a suitable receptor. However, if your thinking in terms of a conventional microwave oven, the resolution would be very poor due to the wavelength of centimeters. You would be unable to resolve a wire embedded in plastic. You could locate the wire by using sufficient energy; the heating of the wire, which is opaque to microwave at these frequencies, would destroy the surrounding plastic.

        I did read your paper and it’s nonsense. Your understanding of physics and of climate is clearly limited. Other than for its amusement value, I have no reason to continue this discussion. Be well.

        • Doug   Cotton says:

          No Slip an image is not formed, because some of the radiation passes through in a random path involving trillions of trillions of pseudo scattering events in which none of the electro-magnetic energy gets converted to thermal (kinetic) energy. Some radiation comes back out on the same side it entered because of the random path. The same happens with back radiation striking Earth’s surface. It cannot help the Sun to raise the surface temperature to the observed levels, and the Sun’s radiation cannot do that either.

          No Slip there is not an abundance of “materials” heated by microwaves. Food is only heated in a specific frequency range that resonates with the natural frequency of water molecules it contains. The water molecules then warm the food by conduction. Name me some “materials” that don’t have water molecules but do get heated in your microwave oven. The plastic sure doesn’t as you can test with two identical bowls. Half fill one with water and place the other up-side-down on top forming a lid. The lid does not get hot, but the fully enclosed water does.

          No Slip there is absolutely no mention or use of fluid mechanics in my hypothesis, which proves to me that you have made no effort to read and understand such, as is explained here. Nor are any calculations required regarding the radiation received by a planet’s surface, as you would know because Uranus has no solar radiation or surface at the base of its nominal troposphere, where it’s hotter than Earth’s surface for the reasons explained in my hypothesis. So, because you don’t even know what my hypothesis is, you have no relevant grounds for refuting such.

          I developed that hypothesis from the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the Kinetic Theory of Gases, so which of these pillars of physics do you claim to be wrong, and what’s your explanation which can be used to calculate all troposphere temperatures in all planets? And what is the sensitivity for each 1% of water vapor in your hypothesis?

          • Slipstick says:

            Uranus has the coldest troposphere in the solar system.

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            The nominal Uranus troposphere is about 320K at its base. Further down the temperatures rise to about 5000K. The question you try to let slip, Mr/Ms anonymous Slipstick is “How does the required thermal energy get down from the stratosphere of Uranus (where it’s about 58K) to the base of the troposphere (320K) and on downwards? The answer can be deduced from my website, book and linked paper. Even my video (watched by over 2,650) describes the process about which Slipstick has no knowledge or understanding at all.

            Can you believe someone who writes that metal will be heated so much in your microwave oven that it would melt the plastic. Then he/she tries to slip out of the knot by referring to metal susceptors which still do not absorb the radiation at the atomic level and thermalize its energy in the same way that metal and everything else would get warmed by solar radiation, after thermalizing the electro-magnetic energy in that high frequency solar radiation. The energy in radiation is not thermalized in a warmer target with a temperature higher than the effective temperature of the source of spontaneous radiation.

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        Now every reader can prove with a simple experiment that Slipstick is wrong.

        Firstly set up the two plastic bowls in your microwave oven as described in my comment above – one inverted to form a lid and the bottom one half filled with water. Place a metal paper clip on top. Slipstick thought the metal would get so hot it would melt the plastic. Well, test it, because Slipstick was so sure of himself that he never bothered to test it – or anything pertaining to the AGW hoax. (He still can’t answer my questions either.) Run the microwave for a few seconds and then check if the clip is getting warm. Then run it for a minute (in which the water will get quite hot) and see if you can burn you fingers on the clip. The only warming it gets is via the water causing convection and conduction, which will be very little in a minute.

  61. Sun Spot says:

    Our advanced civilised existence is predicated on inexpensive abundant energy. Any foolish national leader or advisor that fails to pursue a national strategy of inexpensive abundant energy is a luddite and will harm our civilisation.

    • Slipstick says:

      And the most abundant source of energy is the sun. The contention that a combination of solar, wind, hydroelectric, wave motion, etc. cannot be cost competitive with fossil fuels is false; this is particularly true once you include the costs of accidents, pollution, and climate change mitigation. Consider if BP had invested 20 thousand million dollars (the price of more than 200 million barrels of oil) in “alternative” energy sources and infrastructure and efficiency improvements rather than in mitigation of the Deepwater Horizon accident.

      • Slipstick says:

        I am assuming that your abundant energy is derived from fossil fuels. If not, my apologies. If so, the use of the term “luddite” to describe someone who wants to replace 19th century energy sources with modern technology is ironic and amusing.

        Straying a bit from the topic, I recall someone recently complaining about the loss of jobs in the fossil fuel industry if we should make an effort to shift to “alternatives”. My response was, “What about the whalers, the peat and charcoal merchants, the blacksmiths and farriers, the wheelwrights,…”

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        And why should climatologists concern themselves with telling the world where they should get their energy supplies? Carbon dioxide has absolutely nothing to do with climate, and you can’t prove it could cause any warming what-so-ever. You think you can, but experiments with long wave radiation prove your thoughts are wrong Slipstick, as demonstrated here for all to see and test for themselves.

      • Sun Spot says:

        @Slipstick says: , Slippy your a Luddite windmills are regressive technology and solar cells simply aren’t up to the task of dense energy required for a 21st century civilization. Nuclear of all kinds is the gateway to our next level of civilized existence.

  62. dave says:

    “…leader[s]…luddite[s]…”

    Well, that is what you have got.

    Take the former and the present “Minister for Energy and Climate Change,” in the United Kingdom. For both, their formal education ended with a degree in POLITICAL HISTORY. They have zero knowledge of TECHNOLOGY.

    They do remember their indoctrination in CAGW. One boasted, “There is no serious voice in government which questions the climate science.”

    In a phrase, “they are more Catholic than the Pope.”

  63. Doug   Cotton says:

    And a reminder, Slipstick:

    Now that everyone can perform that experiment with a metal paper clip in a microwave oven, and thus prove you contention wrong about metal paper clips getting so hot they would melt plastic, may I just remind you that you have not answered all the questions in this comment above.

    Perhaps, your newly-learnt information about why the metal mesh on the inside of your microwave door does not get heated, nor the metal paper clip, nor a bent dipstick, Slipstick, nor any other “material” that does not have water that resonates with the frequency that the oven is designed to produce – perhaps what I’ve taught you so far will help you to answer those questions. If not, then you could do so if you read, studied and inwardly digested my hypothesis, which is supported by evidence from the real Solar System, not an imaginary and supposedly colder Earth without GH gases.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      PS: I repeat my final question to you anonymous Slipstick (from a comment above) before it slips through, but note the other unanswered questions as well in that comment and the calculation of the 66W/m^2 from AGW energy diagrams …

      March 29, 2015 at 5:48 AM

      How does a layer between 1 meter and 2 meters depth in the ocean get warmed to around, say, 17°C when there is a little less than 66W/m^2 of solar radiation reaching it (most of which passes through that layer – this time by normal transmission) and none of the apparently very necessary backradiation gets within a meter of that layer?

    • Slipstick says:

      I will comment on metal in a microwave oven. I am actually a bit relieved that you do understand how a microwave oven works. As to whether a metal (or any material) is a susceptor, converting microwave energy to IR, heats from internal currents or resonance, produces an electrical discharge, detunes the cavity and reduces efficiency, or is substantially unaffected is dependent on the material and size and shape relative to the shape of the cavity and the wavelength of RF used. Ever microwaved a product with a “browning” sleeve or sheet? The susceptor that’s heating ain’t water.

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        Browning sleeves are based on the phenomenon of reflection. Just as happens with the metal grill behind the glass, microwaves can be reflected by metal.

        The rest of your “fissics” is invalid despite your condescending tone which is water off a dick’s back to me.

        Do an experiment with whatever “material” you wish that does not contain water molecules, leaving a glass of water in the microwave oven but not in contact with the material. If the material warms, come back here and tell me by how many degrees in what time, what material it is, its dimensions and where I can purchase it (if difficult to obtain) so as to conduct my own experiment.

        • Doug   Cotton says:

          Sorry about the typo which should have read “water off a duck’s back.”

          Browning sleeves, and in fact all susceptors, have a metallized film or aluminium flakes. They are often included in the cardboard packaging of prepared food designed for heating in microwave ovens. The word susceptor comes from the property of susceptance used in electrical engineering.

          The principle is merely one of focusing the microwaves onto the food in which water molecules then warm the food and the susceptor by conduction and/or normal IR radiation.

        • Slipstick says:

          My remark regarding heating in the wire destroying the plastic was facetious. I do not know what the effect on the object would be at the energy levels required to induce sufficient currents in the wire to produce significant heating. I imagine the currents would vary immensely depending on the shape and orientation of the wire.

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            Slipstick and others:

            Microwaves don’t heat anything by normal atomic absorption. The Earth’s surface has clay, for example, and we make china, but low frequency radiation does not heat china that is at room temperature, as you can test in your microwave oven with an empty china bowl and a glass of water not in contact.

            If the microwaves are not at the right resonating frequency they don’t even heat water. Why should back radiation just happen to be at the right resonating frequency anyway?

            Back radiation does not help the Sun to raise the Earth’s surface temperature to observed levels, and the Sun cannot do so either with its direct radiation that is absorbed by the surface. It’s even more obvious on Venus, and on Uranus where there is no solar radiation or surface at the base of its troposphere. The whole greenhouse radiative forcing paradigm is wrong.

            If you want to understand when the electro-magnetic energy in radiation is converted to thermal energy in a target iff the Planck curve of the target is enveloped by that for the source, then read my 2012 paper linked from the “Evidence” page at http://climate-change-theory.com and the cited reference by a professor of applied mathematics wherein you will see the computations confirming his 21st century work on this subject. If you can fault his computations, get back to me.

            Meanwhile you have not explained how the necessary thermal energy gets down from the stratosphere of Uranus (where solar radiation of about 4W/m^2 is absorbed in a methane layer) to the base of the nominal troposphere where the mean temperature is about 47°C – hotter than Earth’s surface even though about 30 times further from the Sun. The explanation of downward heat diffusion and natural convective heat transfer (based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics) is in my website, paper and book.

            Nor have you been able to answer my question about the sensitivity for each 1% of water vapor in Earth’s troposphere.

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            And Slipstick – you have still not answered the question about that layer of water 1 meter below the surface in this comment.

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            And Slipstick, your sarcastic comment “either IR photons behave entirely differently than photons of higher energies “ is in fact quite correct, they do act differently, as you would know if you had read and understood the paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” I wrote over three years ago – linked from http://climate-change-theory.com.

            Even a one-way pencil of radiation will always obey the Second Law of Thermodynamics without having to consider any other such pencil.

            Every independent autonomous process in an isolated system must obey the Second Law of Thermodynamics and never cause entropy to decrease. Yes we can consider the net effect of two or more dependent processes – like water flowing up one side of a siphon provided that it flows further down the other side in that dependent process. But cut the hose at the top and then you have two independent processes.

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        All heating by resonance is irrelevant in regard to radiation in the limited frequency bands for carbon dioxide. It is highly improbable that substances in Earth’s crust would resonate with such weak radiation, some of it coming from regions with temperatures in the vicinity of -80°C to -90°C as are mostly only found in the mesosphere.

        In general, wherever the Earth’s surface is warmer than the air above, the only actual transfer of thermal energy (as distinct from the two-way flux of electro-magnetic energy in radiation) is a one-way process always from the warmer surface to the atmosphere. It is impossible for that process to boost the mean 168W/m^2 of solar radiation being absorbed by the surface. It is invalid to assume the back radiation (324W/m^2) can be added to a net 66W/m^2 (solar radiation less non-radiative heat transfers out of the surface) and that we can use the total of 390W/m^2 to get the mean surface temperature 288K in Stefan Boltzmann calculations. But that is what Hansen and Pierrehumbert assumed they could do.

        All that back radiation (mostly from water vapor anyway) can do is slow that portion of surface cooling which is itself by radiation. Back radiation cannot slow non-radiative cooling which does about two-thirds of the cooling, as in NASA net energy diagrams in my paper and book. These non-radiative processes can and will accelerate to compensate, and thus nullify the effect of slowing the radiative cooling. In any event, none of this alters the supported temperature (explained in my paper) and so the cooling still slows and often stops in the early pre-dawn hours as this supported temperature is approached. So the minimum temperature for the 24 hour period is not affected, and that is what is used in climate records.

        • Slipstick says:

          In your “correct” physics, how is it possible that I can perceive fluorescence from a room temperature object?

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            The absorbed light is often in the UV and the emitted light is in the visible spectrum, so you can see it. Microwaves are orders of magnitude longer than either. Modern microwave ovens operate at the frequency 2,450 MHz. Visible light is 430–790 THz.

            You have still not answered several questions. Your turn!

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            The fact that you even asked that question demonstrates your complete lack of understanding that fluorescent emission has nothing at all like a Planck Distribution and so the Stefan Boltzmann equation (based on the integral of the Planck function) is totally irrelevant.

            The temperature of the emitting body has nothing to do with the frequency of that emission because the original absorption was not thermalized into thermal (kinetic) energy in the first place. It is stored as electron energy represented by a step up in electron quantum levels. It is even possible for the emission to have higher frequency than the absorption in cases where two photons are absorbed and one photon with more energy than either is emitted. The emission can take place at a somewhat later time, by the way.

            All of the above is totally irrelevant to either of my papers.

            You still have several questions to answer.

  64. Dan Pangburn says:

    Doug C – Engineers, like me, apply physics to design new products. Each new product is an experiment. If the product works, the experiment demonstrates the validity of the physics used to design it. Many products, such as airplanes, cars, satellites, rockets, cell phones, power plants, etc. work. Engineers use ‘standard’ physics not ‘Doug Cotton’ physics.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      Dan

      There’s a $5,000 reward still not even attempted to be claimed by anyone in the world in the last 12 months (since my book was published) if you can prove my physics to be substantially wrong and produce a study with similar methodology to mine but which shows water vapor warms to the tune of at least 15 degrees per 1%, as is implied by the IPCC et al.

      The physics is based solidly on Kinetic Theory and the Second Law of Thermodynamics, so your hand waving attempted refutation is like water off a duck’s back. Put up or shut up! I have the empirical evidence that a force field produces a temperature gradient in all planets and moons, and even as with centrifugal force in lab experiments now done.

      Maybe you think you can answer the question about Uranus that Slipstick avoids even attempting to do so. It is a vitally important question in understanding the 21st century paradigm in climate science, which you obviously don’t have a clue about.

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        And, Dan, I have replied to your earlier comment in two comments from here.

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        “if you can prove my physics to be substantially wrong”
        Since you are the judge in this “contest”, and since you don’t understand the physics to begin with, it is pointless to try to prove you wrong.

        “produce a study with similar methodology”
        Why would anyone use a similar methodology, with basically all talk and no equations? Why would someone want to make up results (like Cp increasing by 25x to make the mantle temperature profiles match the desired results)?

        “which shows water vapor warms to the tune of at least 15 degrees per 1%, as is implied by the IPCC et al.”
        And finally, Doug makes the $5,000 offer impossible to win my claiming something counter-factual, then requiring people to prove it! There is no implication of a linear 15C/1% (and in fact is is false), so proving this is impossible. As with CO2, the impact of gaseous H2O in the atmosphere is highly non-linear. Any attempt to find a linear relationship like Doug wants will be fruitless.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      PS: Most engineers I know have little understanding of the thermodynamics pertaining to maximum entropy production with dissipating energy potentials. But when I explain it to them, they understand and agree with my hypothesis. Below is an endorsement by someone who, like myself, has qualifications in physics and nearly 50 years’ of post-graduate study and teaching in such.

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

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

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      Now, Dan Pangburn go back to this comment, and next time write with substance and answers in your reply, after you have read our group’s website and linked peer-reviewed papers.

  65. RW says:

    Doug,

    “As Roy Spencer knows, back radiation does not penetrate a water surface by more than a few nanometers. Why? What happens to its energy? Does it cause evaporation? Does it make that thin layer boil? If not, how come the flux of 324W/m^2 (about twice the 168W/m^2 of solar radiation into the surface) doesn’t cause the backradiation to penetrate water, whereas the lesser flux from the Sun penetrates maybe even up to 100 meters – usually at least 10 meters.

    The typical K-T, NASA and IPCC energy diagrams have net flux of 390W/m^2 into the surface which just happens to be the exact flux that we need to enter into Stefan Boltzmann calculations to get the 288K temperature which they tell us is the mean surface temperature, or maybe only 14°C. Now, that 390W/m^2 is based on, among other things, the Solar radiation (168W/m^2) absorbed by the surface. But 102W/m^2 of the thermal energy absorbed from that solar radiation goes straight back into the atmosphere via evaporative cooling, sensible heat transfer etc. However, the remaining 66W/m^2 only explains a temperature of 184.7K (about -88.5°C) so the AGW crowd adds 324W/m^2 of backradiation to get the magical 390W/m^2 in total.

    So my final question is, how does a layer between 1 meter and 2 meters depth in the ocean get warmed to around, say, 17°C when there is a little less than 66W/m^2 of solar radiation reaching it (most of which passes through that layer – this time by normal transmission) and none of the apparently very necessary backradiation doesn’t get within a meter of that layer?”

    This is all complete nonsense. That fact that only about 160 W/m^2 of the 240 W/m^2 entering the system from the Sun passes directly the surface does not mean the full 240 W/m^2 isn’t still acting to ultimately warm the surface. This is the only significant source of energy being ‘pumped’ into the system. The K-T numbers show 324 W/m^2 of downward LW, for which 102 W/m^2 of it is offsetting, i.e. cancelling, the 102 W/m^2 of non-radiant flux leaving the surface but not returned as non-radiant flux.

    The GHE effect is driven by radiative resistance to outer space cooling by radiation from the atmosphere. That is, the atmosphere, due to GHGs and clouds, is significantly opaque in the LWIR, thus much of the upwelling IR radiation from the surface and atmosphere acting to cool the system is absorbed by the atmosphere and subsequently re-radiated back downward toward the surface, thereby acting to warm. This fundamental driving effect resists the atmosphere’s ability pass the difference not instantaneously transmitted into space needed to restore radiative balance with the Sun at the TOA. The amount of LWIR passed from the atmosphere to the surface has little do this fundamental driving mechanism.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      “That fact that only about 160 W/m^2 of the 240 W/m^2 entering the system from the Sun passes directly the surface does not mean the full 240 W/m^2 ?

      Quite correct – as explained in our group’s website and my linked paper and book.

      Thank you for your interesting explanation as to how radiation does the job of transferring heat from cold to hot thus reducing entropy.

      There’s an alternative explanation I have provided in which the heat is transferred by increasing entropy, and I favor that one.

      I have never been able to find any physics text which supports the idea that you can add the 324W/m^2 of back radiation to the 168W/m^2 of solar radiation, take away the 102W/m^2 of other (non-radiative) losses (supposedly making the surface act like a black body when you do that subtraction) and then use the net total of 390W/m^2 in Stefan Boltzmann calculations to get the 288K figure for the surface temperature, that being the temperature of a perfect blackbody in outer Space receiving that radiation entirely from a hotter source.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      So, let’s use the full 240W/m^2 and just deduct the 102W/m^2 that comes back into the atmosphere by warming mostly nitrogen and oxygen molecules that collide with the surface, as well as sending some latent heat up into the clouds. That gives us 138W/m^2 net entering the surface, for which the perfect blackbody temperature is 222K which is about -51°C.

    • JohnKl says:

      “That fact that only about 160 W/m^2 of the 240 W/m^2 entering the system from the Sun passes directly the surface does not mean the full 240 W/m^2 isn’t still acting to ultimately warm the surface.”

      The essence of Doug’s HEAT CREEP THEORY!

      Have a great day!

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        You are most unlikely to “guess” what the hypothesis says. The discussion regarding radiation heating the surface has nothing to do with the hypothesis about what really happens and explains all energy flows. You can read more in the website http://climate-change-theory.com which is endorsed by our group of persons suitably qualified in physics.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      RW wrote: The K-T numbers show 324 W/m^2 of downward LW, for which 102 W/m^2 of it is offsetting, i.e. cancelling, the 102 W/m^2 of non-radiant flux leaving the surface but not returned as non-radiant flux.

      No it’s not. Back radiation is not supplying thermal energy for the outward conduction, convection and phase change energy: only the Sun can, but not necessarily by direct radiation into the surface. In fact hardly any of the required thermal energy on Venus, for example, comes from direct radiation into the surface.

      The 324 W/m^2 of back radiation is only a flux of electro-magnetic energy not involving matter. In contrast, thermal energy is kinetic energy in matter. Absolutely none of the electro-magnetic energy in any spontaneous radiation from a cooler source which then strikes a warmer target is converted to thermal energy (thermalized) because all the energy is just used immediately by the target as part of its quota of outward radiation as per its Plamck function. This is a resonating process explained in Sections 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of my peer-review paper published on several websites in March 2012. Note in particular the cited paper similar to this more recent one written 9 months after my paper. If you think you can prove myself and this professor of applied mathematics wrong, then show us your computations, or pinpoint errors in his.

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        https://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/molecular-radiation-and-collisional-lifetime/

        Not that I expect Doug to follow the discussion, but CO2 molecules do NOT simply re-emit the IR in some sort of “resonant” process. The molecules are much more likely to transfer the excess energy to surrounding molecules via collisions. The energy is indeed thermalized rather than re-emitted.

        Conversely, nearly all of the “quota of outgoing radiation” actually comes from energy absorbed by collisions with surrounding molecules.

  66. Dan Pangburn says:

    Doug – You said this “It is invalid to assume the back radiation (324W/m^2) can be added to a net 66W/m^2 (solar radiation less non-radiative heat transfers out of the surface) and that we can use the total of 390W/m^2 to get the mean surface temperature 288K in Stefan Boltzmann calculations.”

    We know that the average surface temperature is 288 K because we measure it. We know the emissivity is close to 1 (I think it is closer to 0.99) so, per the S-B law, the EMR emitted from the surface is 390 w/m^2. Saying that 324 W/m^2 was added to the net radiation to get to 390 appears to be implicit denial of the S-B law.

    Commercial vortex tubes (also called Ranque-Hilsch tubes) have been around for decades (invented in 1933), The design refinement to get to 2 K is, well, a refinement. Apparently your gravity causing temperature gradient is valid, at least qualitatively, but so is pressure from weight above and temperature from isentropic expansion to near vacuum of near space combined with radiation. I have no dog in this hunt.

    None of this needs to be proven to prove that CO2 has no significant effect on climate. That is done using only existing measurements and an understanding of the relation between math and physics.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      No, it’s an implicit statement of what the energy diagrams indicate, such as this one.

      Get out your calculator …

      Solar radiation into surface: 168W/m^2
      Back radiation into surface: 324W/m^2
      Sub total: 492W/m^2

      Less:
      Thermals: -24W/m^2
      Evapotranspiration: -78W/m^2
      Sub total: -102W/m^2

      NET TOTAL: 390W/m^2

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      None of this needs to be proven ?

      Well personally I found that I was not satisfied until I spent thousands of hours of researching and thinking about what must really be happening in all planets.

      As a result I have been the first in the world to explain the mechanism of downward heat diffusion and natural convective heat transfer which does the job that back radiation cannot do. That mechanism allows us to explain not only all temperatures (such as why the base of the nominal troposphere of Uranus is hotter than Earth’s surface) but also, and most importantly, how the required thermal energy actually gets there. You should read about it some day at http://climate-change-theory.com as over 7,500 have done since January, because it seems word is getting around.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      The confusion in the minds of the promoters of the hoax is that they think all photons have their electro-magnetic energy converted into kinetic energy (heat) even in a warmer target, such as when back radiation from the colder troposphere strikes the warmer surface. That fiction was dismissed by physicists a long time ago. You can see computational proof here, and unless you can pinpoint errors in those computations by a professor of applied mathematics, you have no case.

      An easy way to understand why those energy diagrams are garbage is to consider how that imply that the atmosphere amplifies energy.

      Input into atmosphere from Sun: 342W/m^2
      less amount reflected back to Space. -107W/m^2
      Net input from Sun: 235W/m^2
      (This has a Stefan-Boltzmann temperature 253.7K)

      Net energy out of base of atmosphere into surface:
      Solar: 168W/m^2
      Back radiation: 324W/m^2
      Total coming out of atmosphere: 492W/m^2

      Thus the energy out of the atmosphere is 209% of the energy into the atmosphere.

      Hence the atmosphere is indeed a wonderful machine that more than doubles the input energy. Or so the promoters of the hoax think.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      Go back to this comment.

  67. Doug   Cotton says:

    Consider this …

    What is pressure? It is the force applied by molecules colliding with others.

    What is the “weight” of the atmosphere above? It is the force applied by molecules colliding with others.

    The more molecules (that is, the greater the density) the more is the pressure.

    The more mean kinetic energy (KE) in the molecules (that is, the higher the temperature) the greater is the pressure.

    So pressure is proportional to the product of density and temperature – which is the Ideal Gas Law.

    Now, the density gradient stabilizes when entropy is maximized, as the Second Law of Thermodynamics says will tend to happen, because in that state we have no net transfers of energy or mass across any internal boundary.

    So, through any horizontal plane we must have equal numbers of molecules passing upwards as there are passing downwards. Furthermore, the mean KE of those passing upwards must equal the mean KE for those passing downwards. (Otherwise the pressure up cannot be equal to the pressure down.) Hence, because molecules gain KE in downward motion, they must have come from a cooler region above. Likewise, those losing KE in upward motion must have come from a warmer region below.

    Hence in the state of there being a stable pressure gradient there must also be a stable temperature gradient.

    The magnitude of the gradient is not actually important – just the fact that it is a state to which the Second Law says there will be a propensity to approach is all we need to confirm that downward heat diffusion and natural convective heat transfer (which is always only by molecular collision) will occur when there is excess thermal energy at the top.

    Here “excess thermal energy” (excess heat) means that the temperature is warmer (maybe due to new absorption of solar energy in the upper atmosphere each morning) but it is only warmer than it would have been in the state of thermodynamic equilibrium which is discussed above. Hence the temperature can still be colder than temperature further down, but heat transfers can and will occur downwards in order to restore that equilibrium state, because the now-higher temperatures temporarily cause greater pressure from above than from below.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      Footnote:

      It is that greater pressure away from the source of new energy which is what drives natural convective heat transfer. I emphasize “natural” because (as here) that process is not generated by any external force such as wind – it is only generated by the fact that there are unbalanced energy potentials. The Second Law of Thermodynamics is all about there being a propensity for such energy potentials to dissipate – as you can read at http://entropylaw.com which is an interesting site I discovered recently.

      So, the natural convection is always by way of the conduction-like process of kinetic energy being transferred in molecular collisions. When it is too slow to observe it is called “diffusion” and when it can be observed (albeit it very slow like in the “hot car in garage” here) it is called advection. The term “convection” embraces both in physics.

      It is this downward convection which supplies planetary surfaces with the extra thermal energy required to raise their temperatures by day, and it is not back radiation which cannot transfer any thermal energy at all from a colder troposphere to a warmer surface.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      In this process of natural convective heat transfer (“convection” for short) the rate at which thermal energy is transferred can be much faster than any net movement of molecules. It is rather like a row of people standing still in a row and passing bricks along that row.

      The process, as I said, has nothing to do with turbulence or wind of any form, wherein an external force drives a physical barrage of molecules.

      So, in the absence of wind, molecules just move about randomly between collisions, but, because they have mass, they are affected by gravity and, just like a ball rising or falling, gravity affects their velocity, and thus gravity affects their kinetic energy.

      But the important point is that there is absolutely nothing that will contain any particular group of molecules together in a “parcel” of air. Yes I know parcels exist on a macro scale due to clouds and various weather events, but these are all external forces (and boundaries) which do not exist in the idealized troposphere we are considering.

      So the whole concept of rising, expanding and cooling parcels is fictitious. There is no cooling due to such imaginary events. Cooling means that the average kinetic energy (KE) of molecules has been reduced. That can only happen at the molecular level by either of two processes …

      (1) A molecule transferring some of its KE to another one in a collision

      (2) A molecule losing some of its KE due to the fact that it is rising in a gravitational field and gaining molecular gravitational potential energy as a trade off for KE lost.

      When we equate KE loss with PE gain we find that the temperature gradient is the so-called “dry adiabatic lapse rate” as can be seen in the calculations in my paper linked from our group’s website http://climate-change-theory.com which I now recommend you all spend an hour studying.

      Finally, to explain the real world, we need to understand that inter-molecular radiation (mostly between water vapor molecules) has a temperature leveling effect, reducing the magnitude of that “dry” rate to the “wet” rate which is about a third less in magnitude. This creates an overall state of thermodynamic equilibrium in which there is extra thermal energy transferred upwards by radiation, but balanced by extra downward natural convective heat transfer.

      • Kristian says:

        Doug,

        So now you’ve simply moved on to another thread to spew your nonsense here instead, is that it?

        You say:

        “Cooling means that the average kinetic energy (KE) of molecules has been reduced. That can only happen at the molecular level by either of two processes (…)

        (2) A molecule losing some of its KE due to the fact that it is rising in a gravitational field and gaining molecular gravitational potential energy as a trade off for KE lost.

        When we equate KE loss with PE gain we find that the temperature gradient is the so-called “dry adiabatic lapse rate””

        This has been repeatedly shown to be physically impossible, Doug. You offer only frantic handwaving, misdirection and obfuscation in return. In order to be able to continue pushing ideas that you know are false.

        Let’s just quickly analyse your claim (2) above:

        An N2 molecule rises from the surface air layer (0 km) to the tropopause air layer (12 km).

        It will then gain a total of mgh = 5.47 x 10^-21 J worth of ‘gravitational PE’.

        At the same time, with a perfect g/Cp (DALR) temperature gradient, the air layer at the mean global tropopause level would be on average 117 K (9.75 K/km x 12 km) colder than the surface air layer.

        So the mean translational KE (three DOFs) of the N2 molecule in the surface air (at 288K) would be 3/2 kT = 5.96 x 10^-21 J, and in the tropopause air (at 171K) 3.54 x 10^-21 J. If you include its rotational KE (2 DOFs), which does not affect the molecular velocity and hence not the air temperature, the total (trans+rot) KE of the N2 molecule at the surface is 5/2 kT = 9.94 x 10^-21 J, and at the tropopause 5.9 x 10^-21 J. So the individual N2 molecule loses a total of 4.04 x 10^-21 J in KE when moving along the g/Cp from the surface air layer (0 km) to the tropopause air layer (12 km).

        There are no more KE DOFs available (at normal temps) for the single N2 molecule, Doug. And the g/Cp gradient determines (through the set temperature falloff rate) exactly how much the KE will be reduced.

        The N2 molecular GAIN in PE: 5.47 x 10^-21 J
        The N2 molecular LOSS in KE: 4.04 x 10^-21 J

        Your molecular PE+KE sum will not be equal.

        How is ‘gravitational PE’ replacing translational (and rotational) KE in a nitrogen molecule anyway? How does this ‘trade-off’ work?

        Molecular KE isn’t traded into gravitational PE, Doug. It is simply lost or gained. According to temperature. Gravity is a – within the troposphere, pretty much unchanging – external force acting on the air. It does not ‘suck’ more energy out of the air at 12 km than it does at the surface. Yes, if you lift the air from the surface to the tropopause, gravity will ‘charge’ the air with potential energy, but it will not do this by displacing molecular kinetic energy already contained within the air when it left the surface. It will transform the mechanical (ordered, macroscopic) kinetic energy that you apply to the air externally by lifting it.

        Macroscopic, ordered kinetic energy is transformed into macroscopic, ordered potential energy. An external force (your “push”) working against another external force (gravity’s “pull”).

        The internal (microscopic, disordered, “thermal”) energy [U] of the air lifting, however, is not touched by this process. An external, mechanical process vs. internal, thermodynamical processes.

        The only thing that can change the internal (thermal) energy of the air, is 1) direct heating (a transfer of energy as ‘heat’ [Q] to the air), and 2) a change in the strength of external forces (which would provoke a transfer of energy as PdV ‘work’ [W] to or from the air).

        2) is where the ‘adiabatic process’ comes in.

        The adiabatic process is fundamentally a thermodynamic process. It relates directly to a reversible loop of expansion (cooling by ‘work’ done by the air on its surroundings) and compression (warming by ‘work’ done on the air by its surroundings), made possible by changes in the external pressure acting on the air.

        The external force of gravity acting on the air does not change. It is always there, but it doesn’t change. The external force of pressure acting on the air does change. It is also always there, but to a highly variable degree.

        Moving from 0 to 12 km, the force of gravity acting on the air is reduced by a mere 0.35%, but the force of pressure acting on the air is reduced fivefold during the same ascent.

        Direct heating of the air comes from ‘heat transfers’ from the surface (conductive, radiative), from water vapour in the atmospheric column itself (latent heat of vaporisation released upon condensation), and from the Sun (radiative). Such heating promotes mechanical lifting of the air through the process of natural convection.

        You appear to confuse (as does Stephen Wilde) the mechanical process of ascent and descent of air with the thermodynamical ‘adiabatic process’.

        Well, the two are indeed intimately linked, connected by the expansion and contraction of the air. But the adiabatic process operating in our atmosphere is not in the lifting and falling of the air itself. That’s convection. The adiabatic process in our atmosphere is solely in the expansion and contraction of this air AS it lifts and falls.

        The adiabatic process, as per its definition, cools and warms the air by the performance of ‘work’ [W] by/on the air, rather than by the transfer of ‘heat’ [Q] to/from it.

        It just so happens that, in our atmosphere, the air will have to rise and fall for this process to occur. If you could somehow vary the external pressure on your specified sample of air through some other means, like in a piston, then you wouldn’t need to move it up and down the atmospheric column at all for the adiabatic process to work.

  68. Doug   Cotton says:

    Ball4 has just made the huge mistake of claiming that momentum is always conserved in an isolated system which is subjected to the external force of gravity. That is not the case when entropy is increasing within that system, as the Second Law says will happen when unbalanced energy potentials are dissipating, which they do because of the existence of that external force field, gravity.

    The issue is relevant to my discussion above as to how the temperature gradient evolves at the molecular level due to the force of gravity which of course alters the velocity (and thus the momentum) of molecules in flight between collisions. He thought he could prove me wrong by claiming that momentum would not change if there were a net movement of molecules as a result of gravity forming a density gradient when a horizontal sealed insulated cylinder is rotated from horizontal to vertical.

    I replied as below, so we are waiting a day pr two for his edit to stick on Wikipedia …

    Then go and edit this sentence on Wikipedia and get back only when your edit sticks.

    Conservation[edit]

    A Newton’s cradle demonstrates conservation of momentum.
    In a closed system (one that does not exchange any matter with its surroundings and is not acted on by external forces) the total momentum is constant.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      We are waiting a day or two for his edit to stick on Wikipedia …

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      By the way, there are now over 1,000 comments on that February temperature data thread, and all attempts to prove me wrong have been refuted with valid physics that is supported by extensive evidence. If you think you can find I comment that perhaps I have missed, please draw my attention to it and I will respond on this thread.

      See … http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/03/uah-global-temperature-update-for-feb-2015-0-30-deg-c/#comments

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        No … those comments repeatedly showed your results to have many and varied flaws. You simply misunderstand or choose to ignore what has been explained. 🙂

        • Doug   Cotton says:

          Assertive statements (like Tim’s here) without a single link to anything – or quote – or argument are ignored.

      • Norman says:

        Doug Cotton

        Now you are just stating falsehoods!! You say: “By the way, there are now over 1,000 comments on that February temperature data thread, and all attempts to prove me wrong have been refuted with valid physics that is supported by extensive evidence.”

        You have been proven wrong many times over but just change the subject or ask a question that has nothing to do with the content of the post. Also YOU DO NOT SUPPORT ANYTHING WITH EXTENSIVE EVIDENCE!

        You do zero tests on your own except microwave plastic bowls which has no real point to anything in any of the posts (maybe it makes you think of yourself as a brilliant research experimenter because you set up an elaborate experiment with microwave bowls and water).

        I proved to you that the 800+ water column tests are wrong as thousands of meters of ocean water do not support the experiment.
        You come up with some phony untested, unverified idea of intermolecular radiation between water molecules of the ocean water destroying the thermal gradient but these same radiations for some reason do not show up in the experiments you rave about. Really phony physics you peddle and on this thread you try to act like you soundly defeated the likes of Curt, Kristian and Tim Folkerts (currently Ball4) in reality you did nothing of the kind but ignored their points and moved into another direction.

        I think Curt couldn’t stand your unintelligent posts anymore so he dropped out. You think you presented superior argument when someone gets sick of your stupid responses and quits posting.

        You keep using Uranus nominal surface temperature as being warmer than Earth’s surface but NO PLACE have you provided support evidence for this position. You think repeating it and ignoring the question makes it a truth? I still see you repeating it over and over YET you still have not provided any proof that this is the case. Why do you do this and think you are a brilliant person .More like an ignorant egomaniac I would think. Provide evidence for your Uranus nominal surface temperature or quit using it as if it were an established fact!!!

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Norman,

          One internet site contained this piece of speculation:

          “The average temperature of the surface of Uranus is 49° Kelvin or -224° Celsius. What makes the planet so cold is that it has a low internal temperature. At its core, Uranus is only 5000° K, compared to Jupiter, which as a core temperature of 30000° K.”

          The fact remains:

          “The Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to have flown by Uranus. This happened in 1986 and it flew past the planet at a distance of around 81,500 km. This mission returned the very first close-up images of the planet, its ring system and its orbiting moons.”

          One may estimate atmospheric temperatures from emitted radiation, and one may attempt to estimate surface temperatures from mass/energy calculations but to know surface temperatures in the end one must OBSERVE and MEASURE them! Many on this website take the Venusian surface temperatures for granted but original calculations of it’s surface temperatures came out much cooler than observations and measurements by Soviet landing craft later proved them to be. Doug and others may claim this or that THEORY explains some observation like Venusian surface temperatures, but TO USE THEORETICAL CLAIMS OF UNOBSERVED URANUS SURFACE TEMPERATURES AS EVIDENCE TO PROVE A POINT SEEMS TO ME INEXCUSABLE. You’re right a little humility would work wonders here. When some may be tempted to think one brain-dead theory will explain everything it’s good to remember what Einstein once wrote.

          “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.” – Albert Einstein

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Norman,

            Just for the record, when I spoke of attempts to use one brain dead theory to account for all phenomenon I wasn’t merely referring to Doug’s construct. Doug’s theory however realistic or unrealistic remains so much conjecture. The repeated OBSERVED failure of climate models to account for OBSERVED TEMPERATURES even after frequent subsequent ADJUSTMENTS contains a much larger danger. That arrogant and ignorant political sharks in the IPCC and elsewhere will enforce regulations upon untold millions gullible enough to believe their treacle or not erasing centuries of legal protections ensuring their EQUAL claim to the Earth’s resources and likely their lives and property as well (or does anyone remember the food riots resulting from diversion of corn to Ethanol?). Further it would be all based on an empirically flawed if not completely unsupported, morally bankrupt carbon paranoia delusion. THIS REMAINS AN EXISTENTIAL THREAT TO EVERY SANE PERSON.

            Btw, the same line of logic also applies to Curt regarding testing and poor analogies. The claim made on other posts that a vacuum sealed centrifuge specifically designed to minimize friction, temperature gain and maintain the internal stability of it’s contents reflects atmospheric conditions on a planet simply imo reflects denial of empirical evidence.

            Have a great day!

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            Well JohnKl, you could also edit the Wikipedia article on Uranus and get back to me when your edit sticks.

            I’m glad you seem to think the estimate of the core temperature of Uranus at 5,000K is reasonably OK. So we do have a temperature gradient which you can’t explain.

            Your reference to the “surface” is to the temperature at the top of the atmosphere. In contrast I was talking about the temperature at the base of the nominal troposphere which is quite a different thing – about 350Km below the top of the troposphere. This is what Wikipedia says here and there are cited references indicated [ ] which you can read for yourself …

            Troposphere[edit]

            The troposphere is the lowest and densest part of the atmosphere and is characterised by a decrease in temperature with altitude.[1] The temperature falls from about 320 K at the base of the troposphere at −300 km to 53 K at 50 km.[2][17] The temperature at the cold upper boundary of the troposphere (the tropopause) actually varies in the range between 49 and 57 K depending on planetary latitude, with the lowest temperature reached near 25° southern latitude.[37][38]

          • Norman says:

            JohnKl

            I do agree with you on the IPCC models. The reason is that it is calling something science that is not. Models may or may not be good (they do have complex physics equations used in them, not random generators) but they must make many assumptions in the models because of the extreme complexity of the Earth’s climate system.

            Because one side is unscientific does not mean the counter (Doug’s untested speculations) is any better. What is needed is good solid experimentation. Doug claims he is a wealthy man but can’t come up with one test beyond bowls in a microwave? That is either a super lazy unmotivated scientist or a phony man who read some physics on the internet and now claims to be this super duper specialist in the field of thermodynamics but he publishes three papers with almost no math, what is up with that lazy behavior?

            I would like NOAA to get very precise measurements of Earth’s albedo. I do not think you can make any claims to the cause of Earth’s warming cycle without having this data available.

            Thanks for the comments and
            Have a Nice Day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Doug,

            You wrote:

            “I’m glad you seem to think the estimate of the core temperature of Uranus at 5,000K is reasonably OK. So we do have a temperature gradient which you can’t explain.”

            Personally, I don’t have an opinion regarding the estimates and could frankly care less. In fact, I called them SPECULATION. We will or may find out how reasonable they prove to be when someone somewhere builds a probe to explore the different layers of the Uranus atmosphere, til then it remains guess work bubba!

            Have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Norman,

            Thanks for the reply. You stated:

            “I would like NOAA to get very precise measurements of Earth’s albedo. I do not think you can make any claims to the cause of Earth’s warming cycle without having this data available.”

            To be truly accurate as possible, concerned scientists should do a full spectral analysis. Climatologists give the oceans a fairly high albedo, but the visible blue light spectrum reflected from the same proves to be higher frequency radiation than the absorbed yellow and red frequencies. Moreover, plants reflect the blue and yellow spectrum (highest frequencies) but get smacked with a high albedo figure as well. Whoever attempts such an analysis should ideally state the rationale behind their figures and it would be preferable if multiple calculations by different parties representing different interests/agendas could be carried out. In the end, the best way to get such answers would be to the best extent possible carry out one’s own analysis. Thanks and…

            Have a great day!

        • Doug   Cotton says:

          Assertive statements (like most of Norman’s here) without a single link to anything – or quote – or argument are ignored.

          He did not “prove” anything that refuted anything in my paper. His weak attempt with reference to water was refuted in Section 14 of the paper I wrote two years ago and he presented no counter argument.

          “Tests” are not the only evidence in support of a hypothesis. There is far more here and in Sections 10, 11 and 17 of the paper.

          Ball4 has been proven wrong because momentum is not necessarily conserved in an isolated system which is subjected to an external force field. If you also disagree with teh Wikipedia quote, then you, Norman, go and edit it and come back when the edit sticks. Likewise go and edit the Wikipedia article about the troposphere of Uranus where there are citations supporting what they say about the troposphere.

  69. RW says:

    Doug,

    “Thank you for your interesting explanation as to how radiation does the job of transferring heat from cold to hot thus reducing entropy.”

    It doesn’t. It simply resists the ability of the system to cool by radiation from the surface and atmosphere into space, thereby ultimately making or pushing the surface temperature higher than it would otherwise be.

    “I have never been able to find any physics text which supports the idea that you can add the 324W/m^2 of back radiation to the 168W/m^2 of solar radiation, take away the 102W/m^2 of other (non-radiative) losses (supposedly making the surface act like a black body when you do that subtraction) and then use the net total of 390W/m^2 in Stefan Boltzmann calculations to get the 288K figure for the surface temperature, that being the temperature of a perfect blackbody in outer Space receiving that radiation entirely from a hotter source.”

    It’s simply physics 101. In order for a surface of an object with an emissivity near 1 to be at a temperature of 288K, it must have a net of about 390 W/m^2 entering its surface, i.e. added to its surface, in order to replace the 390 W/m^2 radiated away as a consequence of its temperature dictated by the S-B law. This is a universal physical law, and is independent of specifically how the required 390 W/m^2 is replaced at the surface/atmosphere boundary.

    As stated above, the GHE is driving by radiative resistance to outer space cooling by radiation from the atmosphere, and not by additional warming by radiation from the atmosphere to the surface as you seem to think.

    • RW says:

      ‘driven by….”

    • RW says:

      BTW, the reason why the atmosphere passes more IR to the surface than it does out the TOA is primarily due to the lapse rate, i.e. temperature and thus IR emission decreases with height.

      The bottom line though is for the surface to be in balance at a temperature of 288K, all power (radiant and non-radiant) in excess of 390 W/m^2 incident on the surface must be exactly offset, i.e. cancelled, by power in excess of 390 W/m^2 flowing out of the surface. The key point is the surface emits 390 W/m^2 of radiant black body power as a consequence of its temperature (and emissivity), and all power in excess of 390 W/m^2 leaving the surface must be non-radiant, where as there are no such requirement for the proportions of radiant and non-radiant power incident on the surface from the atmosphere and Sun.

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        No the key point is that the promoters of the hoax try to convince us that the atmosphere delivers into the surface over 200% of the energy it receives at its top. (See calculations in my earlier comment.)

        You are also quite wrong in assuming you can add the flux from back radiation (which does not penetrate water like solar radiation does) to that solar radiation flux and use the total (less non-radiative losses) to get 390W/m^2 of net thermal energy input into the surface and the first few meters of the oceans.

        In a blackbody it is what is absorbed that determines temperature. What is emitted just enables measurement of the temperature attained by absorption. If you can’t explain the input, then you can’t explain the temperature.

        You cannot count the back radiation in that process because all that all of the two-way radiation between a warmer surface and cooler troposphere does is transfer thermal energy one way out of the surface. There is computational proof of this in the cited paper in my 2012 paper here.

        Your problem is that you have no knowledge of this 21st century breakthrough in understanding as to just how and why every one-way pencil of radiation obeys the Second Law of Thermodynamics, as must every independent natural process. If you disagree then go and argue with the professor of applied mathematics (cited in my paper) regarding his computational treatment and analysis of back radiation.

        Radiation into a planet’s surface is not the primary determinant of the temperature.

        What actually happens (and explains all such temperatures and energy transfers) is a totally different paradigm altogether, because solar radiation is quite insufficient to explain observed surface temperatures, as is very obvious for Venus. Not one watt of the back radiation from less-hot regions in the Venus troposphere into the surface can be counted when trying to explain the required energy input that actually raises the temperature of a particular location on the equator during 4 months of sunlight.

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        Go to this comment.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      You are quite right in saying “It simply resists the ability of the system to cool by radiation” which is what I also wrote in this paper three years ago.

      But I added that it does not slow that portion of surface cooling which is not by radiation.

      That cooling is over 100W/m^2 (according to AGW energy budgets) and that is somewhat more than the “net” transfer of thermal energy out of the surface by radiation. The non- radiative cooling can and does accelerate to compensate for, and thus nullify, any slowing by back radiation. But, even in that regard, carbon dioxide with its limited spectral lines is like a picket fence with most of its pickets missing, standing up against a torrent of full spectrum radiation from the surface.

      Then you contradict yourself. Back radiation just slows radiative cooling by supplying electro-magnetic energy (not thermal energy) which the surface uses as part of its Planck quota, rather than having to convert an equivalent amount of its own thermal energy. It does not supply thermal energy that can be added to the energy from the Sun in Stefan Boltzmann calculations. For a start, back radiation does not penetrate water by more than a few nanometers. What happens is in that paper.

      So what do you say is the sensitivity for a 1% increase in water vapor?

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      Go back to this new comment.

      • RW says:

        Doug,

        First of all, there is no such thing as ‘back radiation’, as that implies radiation from the surface absorbed by the atmosphere that is directly radiated back to the surface. The 324 W/m^2 simply quantifies the amount of downward LW emitted from the atmosphere that passes to the surface. Nothing more. While certainly a small portion of it might be true ‘back radiation’ as the term implies, it’s of no significance so far as the underlying physics driving GHE is concerned.

        “But I added that it does not slow that portion of surface cooling which is not by radiation.”

        I never said that it did. The amount of non-radiant flux leaving the surface, i.e. primarily the oceans, is generally temperature and surface type dependent. It has nothing to do with how the surface temperature, i.e. the surface energy balance, is physically manifested at the surface/atmosphere boundary. So I don’t get your point.

        “Radiation into a planet’s surface is not the primary determinant of the temperature.”

        Again, I never said it was.

        “In a blackbody it is what is absorbed that determines temperature. What is emitted just enables measurement of the temperature attained by absorption. If you can’t explain the input, then you can’t explain the temperature.”

        For the Earth’s surface, the input is simply the sum of the fluxes in and out where the additive superposition principle must apply to the effects of energy (and power) on the temperature of an objects surface:

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

        It’s dictated and quantified by the S-B law, and in thermodynamics is generally referred to as the ‘net energy gained’ or the ‘net power gained’.

        To the extent that more direct radiant flux from the atmosphere and Sun enters the surface than leaves the surface, it must be replacing non-radiant flux leaving the surface, but not returned (as non-radiant flux). The bottom line is any power in excess of 390 W/m^2 entering and leaving the surface must be net zero across the surface/atmosphere boundary, and the net rate, i.e. the actual rates joules are being added to the surface, is at the same rate they would be for a black body at 288K in a vacuum.

        • Doug   Cotton says:

          As explained in the cited peer-reviewed paper Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics (March 2012) and the cited paper Mathematical Physics of BlackBody Radiation (December 2012) with computations by a professor of applied mathematics, electro-magnetic energy in radiation from the atmosphere, which has frequencies less than the frequencies being emitted by a warmer surface, is not converted to thermal energy in the surface, and thus cannot raise the temperature.

          The only radiation that can do so is radiation that is from a hotter source (the Sun) and still has sufficient intensity (after attenuation due to distance, reflection, atmospheric absorption and the angle of incidence) to do so, as per Stefan-Boltzmann calculations.

          The mean solar radiation absorbed by the surface (168W/m^2) would only support a blackbody temperature of -41°C, but the surface is not a blackbody because it is simultaneously losing 102W/m^2 by conduction and convection from solid surfaces and liquid surfaces, plus evaporative cooling from liquid surfaces. So the 168W/m^2 is effectively reduced to 66W/m^2. To be sure there are tropical regions which, on clear days, receive considerably more than the mean solar radiation, but even those are not raised to the temperature of a blackbody receiving such flux. You have had plenty of time since 2012 to read, study and inwardly digest the above papers.

          It’s no use going on about how radiation from the atmosphere slows down about a third of the surface cooling (while the non-radiative cooling just accelerates to compensate anyway) when the only radiation which could raise the surface temperature in the first place (namely the Sun’s radiation) is nowhere near sufficient. What does happen on all planets is explained here whether it suits your agenda or not.

  70. Doug   Cotton says:

    Ball4 (on the February data thread) cites the well known and understood example of a skater (or dancer) starting to spin faster when she applies energy to draw in her arms or legs. To a reasonably good approximation, angular momentum is conserved and so the body (now with less effective diameter) spins faster.

    This is of course quite irrelevant to what happens in a vertical plane where gravitational potential energy varies and the force of gravity is also added to the opposing “equal and opposite” forces during a collision.

    Standard physics says Ball4 is wrong. It says momentum is not necessarily conserved in an isolated system if there is an external force. It only says momentum is conserved in a closed system, but in physics a closed system has no external force, and in fact only the whole Solar System gets close to being a closed system.

    His figure skater uses energy (derived from food) to pull in her arms or legs. I know because my 14 year old step-daughter (seen here) was awarded first place in dancing (for all ages) in the whole Sydney region, and I watch her practicing her turns at home. Besides that, the figure skater or dancer is acting primarily in the same horizontal plane (on a macro scale) and not, for example, jumping down to the nets below a high wire at a circus. When the one who is jumping accelerates due to gravity, velocity (and thus momentum) are increasing for the system which is just her body. The force of gravity is external to that system.

    So nothing in what Ball4 has said in any way disproves the fact that, whilst molecules are in motion between collisions, and entropy is increasing because of a net redistribution of both kinetic energy and mass, momentum can and will vary. During a subsequent collision with another molecule, momentum is conserved approximately only, because gravity does make the net opposing forces (during the collision) slightly unequal. The important point is that the difference in momentum after the collision tends to be less than the difference before the collision, and this is how and why there is a propensity for unbalanced energy potentials to dissipate (see http://entropylaw.com ) as maximum entropy (thermodynamic equilibrium) is approached with its associated density and temperature gradients.

    So the three-partitioned cylinder “experiment” in my paper (linked from our website) is certainly not invalidated just because momentum changes. That experiment (especially if modified by creating a vacuum in the top and bottom cylinders) very clearly demonstrates how a temperature and a density gradient form when the partitions are removed. The physics is watertight.

  71. Doug   Cotton says:

    Ball4 continues with his irrelevant example of a skater who’s altitude is not changing significantly. I replied …

    And in the three partitioned cylinder experiment in my paper momentum is redistributed with a net gain due to more molecules moving downwards than upwards, due to the Second Law of Thermodynamics which allows us to explain the formation of a density gradient. This is an irreversible process in which momentum increased in that isolated system that is subjected to an external force.

    What is it that you don’t understand about those words in Wikipedia “is not acted on by external forces” which are there for a reason? As I said, if you can prove there is no reason for those words and the reference to a closed system (which is only approximated by the whole Solar System) rather than an isolated system, then edit Wikipedia and come back when your edit sticks. Because it only relates to the whole Solar System (even then, only approximately) the concept of conservation of momentum in a closed system is next to useless in some practical considerations of real world systems (that approximate isolated systems but have external force) especially at different altitudes in Earth’s atmosphere.

    I did not claim that momentum is not conserved in an isolated system which is in thermodynamic equilibrium and thus has no net transfer of mass or energy across any internal boundary. Momentum does however change when new energy is added in a part of that system and is subsequently redistributed as entropy increases towards a new stable (maximum entropy) state of thermodynamic equilibrium with its associated density and temperature gradients formed by gravity.

    Until your edit sticks, Ball4, the subject is closed, because your skater in a (roughly) horizontal plane is nothing but a red herring.

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      Say Doug, how many edits have YOU tried at wikipedia?

      How many of them stuck for more than a few days?

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        I have several that have stuck for over a year until this day, but I’m not disclosing them because William Connolly will get onto them if he realizes they have implications against the greenhouse hoax.

  72. Doug   Cotton says:

    As a result of much research and thought about thermodynamics and radiative heat transfer (since my first degree in which I majored in physics under world-renowned professors in the 1960’s) I am firmly of the opinion that no one will fully understand atmospheric physics without thinking at the molecular level and applying the Kinetic Theory of Gases (as used by Einstein and others) and working from first principles.

    You will not hear of this approach in typical brief courses in that special brand of fallacious, fictitious fissics that is taught in pal-reviewed climatology circles. Such “fissics” is reiterated by RW, as if I were not aware of it.

    As I have said many times, when considering a so-called “ideal troposphere” (or a column of air in such) which is devoid of turbulence and wind of any form, there is absolutely nothing that can hold any so-called “parcel” of air together, and so you can’t say such is rising, expanding and cooling.

    In such an ideal atmosphere all heat transfer comes down to being the transfer (or sharing) of molecular kinetic energy during collisions. You then need to consider the effect of gravity which obviously forms a density gradient which becomes stable when entropy is maximized. Perhaps not so obviously, gravity does in fact also form a temperature gradient, as is more easily understood with the vertical partitioned cylinder with three compartments (with vacuums in the top and bottom compartments) in which, when the partitions are removed, molecules slow down when rising into the top compartment and speed up when falling into the bottom compartment. That bottom compartment also ends up with the greatest density as well as the highest temperature due to the fact that mean molecular kinetic energy is greatest.

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics is nature’s “law above all laws” and will always hold true. It tells us that, in an isolated system, entropy will increase until the state of maximum entropy is attained, and that state is, by definition, called thermodynamic equilibrium – which does not mean its temperature is homogeneous. We don’t have to express entropy mathematically to determine when a maximum is reached, because that maximum is always reached if and only if all unbalanced energy potentials are completely dissipated. This is well explained at http://entropylaw.com and so we just need to understand what actually happens. There will be no unbalanced energy potentials when there is no net transfer of matter or energy across any internal boundary. That concept enables us to know when, for example, the density gradient is stable: there will be equal numbers of molecules crossing each way over any internal horizontal boundary, as well as there being equal mean kinetic energy in those molecules coming from each direction. But, because gravity accelerates the molecules moving downwards, they must have originally had less kinetic energy in what must thus have been a cooler layer above. Likewise, those coming up to the boundary must have come from a warmer layer below.

    It is crucially important to understand that the temperature gradient represents the state of thermodynamic equilibrium, because then you can understand the “heat creep” diagrams in the website and my linked book and 2013 paper.

    Once you understand that some of the solar energy absorbed as thermal energy in a planet’s troposphere can make its way downwards (as it spreads out over the sloping thermal plane which is the equilibrium state) then you have the answer as to where the extra thermal energy comes from that can be added to any solar radiation that is absorbed by any surface in any planet. Radiation from a colder troposphere cannot explain the rising surface temperature during the planet’s daytime. We know the temperature rises, because it inevitably falls (by the same amount) in the night.

    This is obviously a totally different paradigm to the radiative greenhouse effect which is fictitious.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      Footnote: When I said all energy transfer is by molecular collision, this is because we are initially considering an ideal column of the troposphere (treated as being very close to an isolated system for all practical purposes) in which there is no radiation involved. This allows us to equate molecular kinetic energy gains and losses with molecular losses and gains in gravitational potential energy. That gives us (as in the book and paper) the so-called “dry” lapse rate (that is, temperature gradient) and from there we discuss what happens when radiating gases (mostly water vapor on Earth) are introduced. There can be inter-molecular radiation between such molecules at different altitudes, and this has a temperature-leveling effect which we observe reduces the magnitude of the gravitationally induced temperature gradient by about a third in Earth’s troposphere.

  73. Norman says:

    Doug Cotton,

    I checked the reference for Uranus nominal surface temperature from the Wiki page.

    Here is the article.
    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~atreya/Articles/1991_Microwave_Absorption.pdf

    You will note that these are only modeled temperatures and they are based on the assumption of convection and adiabatic heating. It the temperature where at such degrees at such pressure than if that air where to move down and compress it would heat to the 310 K you speak off. It is an assumption and model not an actual measured temperature. If you are so fond of models than why are you questioning the IPCC models. They must be 100% or do you just pick and choose which models you will accept as the truth and which to reject?

    You are a terrible scientist and should quit posting hundreds of comments that are off topic. JohnKl is correct. If you have no experimental evidence (your own please) you have a hypothesis a guess. If you want theory status or recognition do some REAL research and perform experiments and add to the body of scientific knowledge or just SHUT UP ALREADY!! You can post 10000 times 10000 and have unlimited time to do this but you can’t find the desire or time to do some real experiments or write up some papers with some actual math???

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      I did experiments over two years ago, Norman, that I published in climate blogs, such as in my backyard, measuring ground and air temperatures all through the night, confirming that, as expected, the supporting temperature (due to the gravitationally induced temperature gradient) does indeed slow the rate of surface cooling in the early pre-dawn hours. I also did experiments trying to detect any warming by back radiation at night. I have cited similar experiments by Prof Nasif Nahle regarding back radiation measurements. I have done experiments with microwaves, showing that they don’t heat anything except water, and yet they pass through plastic bowls and the like. I have also produced ample evidence pertaining to my study of temperature and precipitation records from three continents that showed water vapor cools. What have you done?

      Silent readers may wish to note that young Norman has no qualifications in physics and acts like a side-line barracker supporting his favorite commenters and doing little but writing comments such as the above with absolutely no physics or valid points that could in any way refute the correct hypothesis that I present, based entirely on the laws of physics.

      I don’t need evidence to refute the radiative forcing greenhouse conjecture when it does not even get off the ground by complying with the laws of physics.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      By the way, Norman, I have not referred to any “surface” temperature for Uranus. There is no surface at the base of the nominal troposphere of Uranus, as I have mentioned many times, and no direct solar radiation reaching down there. Whatever the temperature, it’s hotter than the top of the troposphere, and, as many others have shown for all planets, there is a temperature gradient in their tropospheres closely related to the quotient of the acceleration due to gravity and the weighted mean specific heat of the gases. There are pretty accurate temperatures measured for Venus. Maybe you prefer me to stick to that planet? Fine, tell me how the required thermal energy gets down to its (real) surface.

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Doug,

        Roy and others need to prove their conjecture that the atmosphere would be isothermal without GHG’s. Stick to the facts though the facts don’t agree with the GHG alarmist conjectures.

        Have a great day!

        • Norman says:

          JohnKl,

          The point is that the stratosphere has a 10 kilometer isothermal region. It is the place where little energy is absorbed by the atmosphere and there is no convection going on. Strange that as soon as convection stops the atmosphere becomes isothermal just as the oceans do after the solar heating from above can no longer penetrate. There is a lot of evidence of isothermal conditions in gravity fields (which also exist on all the planets). Doug has a pseudo conjecture to explain it but it is not very good.

          The facts of the greenhouse effect (not alarmism) is that if Venus or Earth surface are roughly black bodies (they are close) and the temperature is what it is, they radiate away vast amounts of energy. If something does not return the energy they will cool rapidly until they reach an equilibrium temperature that is equal to the energy going in and going out.

          Even with Doug’s heat creep theory, how can it be fast enough to sustain Venus surface which is radiating away 16,000 watts/meter^2 based upon tested values of the Steffan-Boltzmann equation for blackbodies. Something has to resupply the energy that is leaving or the surface cools.

          I know a thermos works and it redirects IR leaving a hot fluid back into the fluid and it stays warm for several hours.

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            Don’t worry Norman. I have all the Venus energy flows calculated and balancing. I realize it is beyond your ability to even understand with your denial of downward heat diffusion and natural convective heat transfer, so I won’t publish the figures here.

            What explanation do you have as to how you think the required extra thermal energy gets into the surface of Venus to actually raise its temperature a little during the day? You’re not allowed to assume heat creep, so you’ll find yourself stumped of course, but it may help you to learn some thermodynamics. But then, I do realize that one can lead a horse to water but can’t make him think.

            Now I’m on holidays!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Norman,

            Thank you for the post. You state:

            “The point is that the stratosphere has a 10 kilometer isothermal region. It is the place where little energy is absorbed by the atmosphere and there is no convection going on. Strange that as soon as convection stops the atmosphere becomes isothermal just as the oceans do after the solar heating from above can no longer penetrate.”

            The region from the Stratopause upward a few (not 10) kilometers does approximate isothermal conditions, but remember that region and stratosphere in general has plenty of tri-atomic or larger gas molecules ( labeled “greenhouse” gasses ) in them. So in fact isothermal conditions can exist with or without so called green house gasses. A 10 kilometer region just above the Mesopause in the Thermosphere also approximates isothermal conditions. Btw, INCREASING CO2 and other “greenhouse” gasses has lead to extensive COOLING in the stratosphere and somewhat in the upper Troposphere.

            You go on:

            “The facts of the greenhouse effect (not alarmism) is that if Venus or Earth surface are roughly black bodies (they are close) and the temperature is what it is, they radiate away vast amounts of energy. If something does not return the energy they will cool rapidly until they reach an equilibrium temperature that is equal to the energy going in and going out.”

            Well, I understand the greenhouse theory. Your last statement seems odd in that the atmosphere at any given moment proves to be in balance. The presumption of stability seem to me an illusion. Some get alarmed that planetary temps should change but evidence exists that planetary temps do not have to maintain some steady state they change over time. The effect of GHG’s on earth proves to a temperature leveling one. The Earth’s surface proves much COOLER than the lunar surface and orbiting artificial Earth satellites. The current atmosphere primarily COOLS the surface during the daytime and helps maintain warmer temperatures at night. Tri-atomic gasses play an important role in this regard. Which I will attempt to explain more about later should I have time.

            You then state:

            “Even with Doug’s heat creep theory, how can it be fast enough to sustain Venus surface which is radiating away 16,000 watts/meter^2 based upon tested values of the Steffan-Boltzmann equation for blackbodies. Something has to resupply the energy that is leaving or the surface cools.”

            You should realize the 16k w/m^2 does not represent the normal “black body” temperature of an object in the Venusian orbit. Mercury has a much closer solar orbit and receives much more incoming solar radiation than Venus’s ~2465 w/m^2 but LESS than the amount Venus radiates away. Imo, the green house theory cannot begin to explain the energy required to create such a flux. However, the enormous mass of the Venusian atmosphere (93 times the Earth’s) with similar adiabatic lapse rate as the Earth’s sure can. The energy required to lift such a massive atmosphere did not come merely from the ~2465 w/m^2 incoming solar radiation alone. The geology of the planet proves unavoidable here and neither you nor Doug can ignore if for long. We’ll discuss more later.

            Have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Norman,

            One correction to my post. The region from the Tropopause upward 10km does also have a region that approximates isothermal conditions. This region as I mentioned has plenty of tri-atomic or larger gasses aka “greenhouse” gasses.

      • Norman says:

        Doug Cotton

        If there is any convection in the tropospheres of any planets than it has already been explained by physics as the result of expansion and compression of air. Rising air expands and cools (doing work on the air around it) and it is based on the gravity potential not because of heat creep but because warm air rises because of density differences which are based on the gravity of a planet.

        • Doug   Cotton says:

          That comment Norman just displays a complete and utter lack of understanding of what natural convection is. I am not talking about forced convection. Natural convective heat transfer is entirely by molecular collision and the direction depends entirely on that which increases entropy. You know nothing of this physics, so I don’t know why you dabble in it.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      And the fact that you talk about air parcels moving down and compressing and warming, Norman, just proves to all of us that you did not even read my comment to which you are replying. Try reading the above comment now.

  74. RW says:

    “The mean solar radiation absorbed by the surface (168W/m^2) would only support a blackbody temperature of -41°C, but the surface is not a blackbody because it is simultaneously losing 102W/m^2 by conduction and convection from solid surfaces and liquid surfaces, plus evaporative cooling from liquid surfaces. So the 168W/m^2 is effectively reduced to 66W/m^2.”

    It doesn’t really matter that only 168 W/m^2 of solar power entering the system passes straight to the surface, as there is a total of 235 W/m^2 entering the system — all of which is acting to ultimately warm the surface, though not all directly. If you add in the 67 W/m^2 of post albedo solar power absorbed by the atmosphere and include it as part of the 324 W/m^2 of downward LW, the system is balanced.

    You don’t seem to understand that the complexities of the thermodynamic path itself that manifests a net of about 390 W/m^2 added at the surface while about 240 W/m^2 enters from the Sun and leaves at the TOA is independent of the fundamental mechanism driving the GHE.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      RW: That is precisely what I do understand, and I totally agree with you that thermal energy absorbed in the atmosphere from incident solar radiation does indeed help support surface temperatures. It even supports crust and mantle temperatures, much to your surprise no doubt, but you could read why if you so deign to here where you will see the correct explanation of downward heat diffusion and natural convective heat transfer.

      • RW says:

        Doug,

        Let me rephrase:

        You don’t seem to understand that the complexities of the thermodynamic path itself that manifests a net of about 390 W/m^2 added at the surface while about 240 W/m^2 enters from the Sun and leaves at the TOA is independent of the fundamental mechanism driving the radiatively induced GHE.

  75. yonason says:

    Excellent article over at Zombietime.

    See also here.

    Those tell me all I need to know, that Holdren is a very dangerous man.

    • JohnKl says:

      Not just Holdren, the entire gaggle of climate change paranoids proves immensely dangerous.

      Have a great day!

  76. Slipstick says:

    Doug Cotton,
    I have been trying to puzzle out a logically consistent framework for your fantasy physics and the only consistency I can find is in its internal contradictions.

    You contend that the greenhouse effect is not possible because it somehow violates the second law (it does not, at least in the real world) and that gravity is “pulling” energy to the surface. If that is true, then the temperature inversion in the stratosphere (the mechanism by which the inversion arises in your physics you do not explain) should preclude thermal transfer out of the atmosphere, especially given the gradient induced by gravity.

    To overcome this, you invent the fiction of “heat crap”, excuse me, “heat creep”. Your explanation for this is that the gravitational field somehow overcomes your exclusion by second law principle. The difficulty with your explanation is that the P.E. of your frame is dependent on gravity. When you rotate the frame to “level the playing field” so that diffusion can occur, the gravity vector rotates right along with it; any gravitational effect on the system remains unchanged.

    I could go on, but I will leave you with one final thought, whether a given photon is absorbed by a molecule is dependent only on the wavelength of the photon, the geometry of its incidence, and the state of the molecule. Whether the photon is produced thermally or electronically is irrelevant, as the photon carries no such information.

    Be well.

    • RW says:

      Moreover, there is just no getting around the fact that emitted photons cool and absorbed photons warm.

    • Slipstick says:

      Oh, and the temperature gradient in the troposphere of Uranus? That’s several hundred Bar and the greenhouse effect.

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Slipstick,

      You claimed:

      “You contend that the greenhouse effect is not possible because it somehow violates the second law (it does not, at least in the real world) and that gravity is “pulling” energy to the surface.”

      Gravity does PULL energy to the surface. It acts centripetally upon matter and matter comprises phenomenon, motion and ENERGY! If you don’t believe me ask Einstein.

      Have a great day!

      • Slipstick says:

        JohnKl,
        Of course, gravity does affect matter and the distribution of energy, but not at the magnitude Mr. Cotton contends. He has proposed gravity as the explanation for the varying temperature gradients in the atmospheres of Earth, Venus, and Uranus and that the greenhouse effect does not exist. I was commenting on that hypothesis and the clearly flawed supporting arguments.

        Take care.

  77. Norman says:

    JohnKl,

    Hi again. The isothermal condition in the Stratosphere may be 10 kilometers (I have seen 10 km on some sights). This sight does not get enough detail but it is isothermal at least 8 km if not more.

    http://www.braeunig.us/space/atmos.htm

    12000 meters to 20000 meters is isothermal. Radiation emission in this region would not affect an isothermal state since the radiation from the triatomic molecules in this region would be emitted and absrobed equally maintaining a balance. This area totally disproves Doug’s Heat Creep 100% but he does not understand it. There is no convection here so Heat Creep should dominate and this area should have a warmer bottom than top (why doesn’t the inbalance between P.E. and K.E. work here? With a dry adiabatic rate of 9.8 K/km (not much water here) the temp difference of this layer should be around 78 C from top to bottom definately not isothermal! Doug’s hypothesis fails to explain this or the ocean isothermal conditions.

    On Venus. I have read Hans Jelbring’s hypothesis of atmospheric mass causing greenhouse effect. Problem with this is what happens to the 16000 watts/meter^2 emitted by the surface. If you accept this conjecure it could explain a planet’s surface temperature but could not explain the lack of radiation being seen past the atmosphere. If you had a small asteroid with Venus’s surface temperature (no atmopshere) you could measure a 16000 watt/meter^2 flux off that body. It would be a super bright IR source till it cooled off. Something is redirecting that radiation so that it is not leaving the atmosphere of Venus or you would see a super bright IR object when you view it outside the atmosphere. I do not think any theory works to explain this but radiation redirection. You do not see the super bright IR emitted from Venus surface because it is redirected.

    I do enjoy talking with you. 10,000 times more pleasant than with closed mind (sealed shut) Doug Cotton!

    You have yourself a nice day!

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      There is a heck of a lot of convective heat transfer in the isothermal tropopause for the reason you would understand if you took the trouble to understand my hypothesis, which you have not done. I have already explained that some of the large amount of energy absorbed in the stratosphere makes its way by convection to the troposphere via the “valley” of the tropopause which, incidentally, has a curved temperature profile on most planets.

      What I wrote to Slipstick just now about drawing the heat creep diagrams from memory is something you should also try. This is my method of teaching, based on five decades of helping undergraduates to understand physics by thinking rather than memorizing equations and forgetting the prerequisites for such equations to be application. Climatology fallacious fictitious fissics is full of such oversights.

      • Norman says:

        Doug Cotton,

        Enjoy the Holidays.

        You make stuff up and that is what you call proof! Bad science, really bad. You are not a scientist.

        What is this reverse convective heat transfer? I think only conduction will move downward in a gravity field you know because of density differences. Convection results from heating causing expansion of liquids or air that will rise because they weigh less in a gravity field than the surrounding water or air.

        Here is an explanation of convection.
        http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/thermalP/Lesson-1/Methods-of-Heat-Transfer

        Please take the time to read it, you may learn some real physics that you did not seem to learn while attending a formal Univeristy class.

        What mass movement of air is taking place in the Stratosphere besides the Jet Streams that are narrow and exists in only certain locations and are horizontal air motion not vertical. I do not know about these convection motions in the Stratopshere so I need evidence for them.

        From you most favorite source of scientific knowledge (not textbooks) Wikipedia:

        “with warmer layers above and cooler layers below, makes the stratosphere dynamically stable: there is no regular convection and associated turbulence in this part of the atmosphere. The top of the stratosphere is called the stratopause, above which the temperature decreases with height.”

        Can you read? Do you just have a bunch of your junk science on your computer that you cut and paste like a google monkey? Your source says there is NO REGULAR CONVECTION. Do you understand the meaning of this statement? Your physics is such poor quality you think you are winning some debate with people it is only because you cannot or will not try to even understand their points.

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

        In your world of untested make-up what you want science you can never be wrong because you just make stuff up and it is truth. You have a godcomplex of the highest degree. You believe what you think is created reality. Wake up you are not God!

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Norman,

      Thanks for the kind words and responding to my post. In a previous post you expressed interest in the approximately isothermal regions of Earth’s atmosphere. From my understanding these apparently isothermal regions form just above the Tropopause, Stratopause, Mesopause and the Thermopause if I remember correctly. This means it occurs precisely at the region where the lapse rates reverse. For example, in the Troposphere temperatures COOL as when ascends in altitude until the Tropopause at which point temperatures appear to remain unchanged for a few kilometers and then WARM as one ascends in the Stratosphere. When one crosses over the Stratopause again temperatures seem to remain unchanged for a few kilometers then COOL again as one ascends the Mesosphere. The reverse happens again upon crossing the Mesopause. The following links illustrates the point well.

      http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/7b.html

      These thermal atmospheric alterations require some change in energy with altitude and one must consider the Earth’s magnetic field in all of this. You should research this further because it seems much more complex than you or Doug seem to have taken account of. Moreover, when comparing planets one must consider the uniqueness of Earth. In fact, many planetary bodies other than the Earth don’t even have a magnetic field. This consideration must be taken into account when analyzing the loose evolving conceptualization of CLIMATE.

      Have a great day!

  78. Doug   Cotton says:

    I haven’t read what you people have written in the last day or so, as I’m on holidays, but below is an addition to the Wikipedia Talk page on The Second Law of Thermodynamics …

    Editor Douglas Cotton, it should be noted, gained a university scholarship and degree in physics in the 1960’s and has written two comprehensive peer-reviewed papers and a book about the Second Law, and developed an hypothesis pertaining to all planetary core and surface temperatures that is soundly based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the Kinetic Theory of Gases as used by Einstein and many others. (For details and links to the papers see http://climate-change-theory.com )

    Application to pressure, density and temperature gradients in force fields

    The Second Law can be used to explain and quantify density, pressure and temperature gradients in force fields, such as are empirically observed in experiments with centrifugal force, and of course observed in all planetary tropospheres and even in borehole measurements in the outer 10km of Earth’s outer crust. These temperature gradients represent the state of thermodynamic equilibrium with maximum entropy, which is of course what the Second Law says will evolve. In short, energy potentials have dissipated when the mean sum of molecular kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy is homogeneous at all altitudes. The density gradient stabilizes when there are equal numbers of molecules passing up and down across any horizontal plane, and also, the mean kinetic energy of those molecules is equal for those coming from above and those from below. Since pressure is proportional to the product of density and temperature, these two conditions ensure pressure is the same from above and below each horizontal plane, and so there is stability which is characteristic of maximum entropy. But the conditions make it clear that molecules in flight between collisions as they cross any horizontal plane must have had less kinetic energy at a higher level and more kinetic energy at a lower level. This leads to us understanding that the temperature gradient is the state of thermodynamic equilibrium. It also allows us to understand that, if new thermal energy is absorbed in a troposphere which is in thermodynamic equilibrium with a temperature gradient, then that new energy will spread out in all accessible directions over the sloping thermal plane, with some heat diffusion and natural convection downwards towards warmer regions and the surface. This obviates the need to “explain” heat transfers into the surface by radiation from a colder atmosphere, which would of course violate the Second Law. Such heat transfers can only happen by heat diffusion and natural convective heat transfer (involving kinetic energy transfer in molecular collisions) because of the action of gravity upon individual molecules whilst in flight between collisions.

    Clausius statement is a corollary only in horizontal plane

    From the above discussion we see that the Clausius “hot to cold” statement is really only a corollary of the Second Law which is only applicable in a horizontal plane. That should not surprise anyone, because the equation used for entropy in the proof of that statement has no term for gravitational potential energy.

    Independent processes, not participating systems

    The text ought to read “in every independent process” and not refer to the “sum” in “participating systems.” Such participating systems would have to be dependent, and so, in effect, they comprise a single independent system. For example, consider the two sides of a siphon which could be considered two dependent systems or one independent system. The Second Law explains why water can flow up one side of a siphon provided that it flows down further on the other side. If you cut the hose at the top you then have two independent systems.

    Entropy maximized by fastest route

    As discussed at http://entropylaw.com new understandings (since 1988) include the fact that entropy will be maximized by the fastest available route. They draw an analogy with a warm log cabin in the snow, wherein it will cool through whatever windows or doors are open and allow the fastest overall rate of cooling.

  79. Doug   Cotton says:

    Article

    TEMPERATURE GRADIENT CAUSED BY GRAVITATION

    Chuanpingliao

    International Journal of Modern Physics B (Impact Factor: 0.46). 01/2012; 23(22). DOI: 10.1142/S0217979209052893
    ABSTRACT Thermodynamic deduction and experimental results both demonstrate that gravitation causes temperature gradient in an adiabatic system, i.e., gravithermal effect: The higher altitude the lower temperature.

    Source: http://www.researchgate.net/publication/263879139_TEMPERATURE_GRADIENT_CAUSED_BY_GRAVITATION

    • Slipstick says:

      This is not news. Richard Tolman’s paper ‘On the weight of heat and thermal equilibrium in general relativity’, cited in the paper you cite, was published in 1930. (Tolman’s paper is available, free for non-commercial use, from Cal Tech’s library website.) The effect, while certainly real, is grossly insufficient to cause the atmospheric temperature gradients observed on Venus, or on Earth, for that matter. I note that, in your paper, you make no attempt at calculation as to what the magnitude of the effect of gravity might be, simply blithely assert that it ‘splains everything. Conjecture does not qualify as scientific theory.

      By the way, regarding the graph of “astrological climatology” in the header of your website, in the period your graph covers, the maximum temperatures prior to the last half of the twentieth century are believed to have occurred between 950 and 1100 A.D., at least a century before the nearest peak in the curve. Also, the so-called ‘Little Ice Age’ started around 1250 A.D., while the curve is still near its peak. I do not know if there was any significant vulcanism that may have affected temperatures during this period, so my Eyeball Mk I analysis is far from definitive, but any correlation between your graph and actual historical temperatures seems more than a little dubious. It might helpful if you took an average of various historical temperature reconstructions over the period and overlaid it on the curve shown.

      Be well.

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        You provide no link regarding the incorrect dates you quote, hence they are ignored. My information is quite different, but it is conceivable that there could be a time delay of perhaps 60 years before the effect registers on Earth. That would give us an extra 60 years of warming before the next ~500 years of cooling. So what? There are 934 year and superimposed 60 year cycles which are also well recognized in analysis of climate data. Considering all the possible combinations of two such intervals, I suggest this correlation is compelling.

        The calculations of the temperature gradient are in Section 6 clearly entitled “Quantification of the Thermal Gradient” and listed in the CONTENTS at the front here.

        As usual, you are talking nonsense and never present a single counter argument to the correct physics I present based firmly on the Second Law of Thermodynamics. If you have some other hypothesis, then it is ignoring that law and what it does in creating density, temperature and pressure gradients.

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        And Slipstick Tolman’s paper has nothing what-so-ever to do with the effect I am talking about, which is a result of the maximum entropy production indicated by the Second Law.

        You really do display a complete lack of understanding of my hypothesis, which has nothing to do with relativistic effects. You rambled on accusing me of not calculating the temperature gradient in my paper, which I most certainly did, and have also done in comments on the February data thread. That thread, by the way, had over 1,000 comments, some of which probably answer any future attempts at refutation, so I will just link you.

        And you claimed the gradient was not steep enough, but in fact is too steep and has to be watered down by water vapor.

        This just shows me that you gave the paper nothing but a cursory glance. To test your understanding, draw the heat creep diagrams complete with labelled axes. Only you will know if you get it right, but if you don’t, then that proves you have not taken the trouble to understand the key point of the paper.

        I seriously doubt that you could explain what is in my hypothesis to anyone, let alone pinpoint any error in the physics discussed. Hence you are not yet in a position to even start to look for possible refutation, and you are just wasting my time answering questions you could have answered if you had spent an hour reading, studying and inwardly digesting the content.

        All your “refutation” is nothing but hand-waving, much like Norman’s and Tim’s. Ball4 tried, but never read my comments in detail, and so kept making points that I had already refuted. So too does Tim with his much repeated reference to water, and others to the tropopause – all of which I have refuted in the paper and in several comments which just get ignored. It’s your loss, not mine.

        • Slipstick says:

          How is pointing out that your “heat creep” is fundamentally self-contradictory hand-waving? Hand-waving is ignoring the evidence or argument.

          It is you that ignores any evidence or argument, no matter how well documented, supported, or reasoned, contrary to the edifice of nonsense you’ve constructed to justify a climate controlled by the motions of the planets, a signal vanishingly small in effect on the atmosphere. Any “refutations” you present are simply a reiteration of the nonsense, ad nauseum.

          For example, your belief that the greenhouse effect is not possible because thermal photons will not act on a molecule of a higher temperature than the molecule that produced them; that it somehow violates the Second Law. That would be necessary if gravity was to be the dominant non-solar forcing of the climate; but it’s not true. If that was true, how did two radio astronomers in New Jersey detect the cosmic microwave background, blackbody radiation at about 2.7 K, with equipment operating far closer to Earth ambient temperatures? I doubt very much that the question will even register in your mind.

          The climate is not made up of ideal gases and pure liquids at thermal equilibrium; it is a dynamic, chaotic system, with somewhere in the neighborhood of 10^50 moving parts, and LWIR spewing in all directions. The cow is not a sphere. Heck, the Earth isn’t even a sphere.

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        Slipstick, congratulations on pointing out yet another classic example of Doug’s methodology. When faced with a challenge, he googles the topic, finds SOMETHING that seems to support his position, and hopes he is right (or that no one will no the difference).

        * Vortex tubes have gradients …
        ** but they are not equilibrium situations

        * Cp increases in solids as temperatures go up ..
        ** by not by orders of magnitude as he would need to fit his theory in the mantle

        * Centrifuges have huge centripetal accelerations …
        ** but don’t get extremely hot on the edges.

        * a fascinating new-fangled centrifuge produced very cold streams of particles as they spiral up toward the center …
        ** but the particles inputted are not in thermal equilibrium and the centrifuge is doing work on the particles to slow them down, so it is DOUBLY not in thermal equilibrium.

        * yes, momentum is affected by external forces like gravity …
        ** but that does not solve the error in his model where momentum is not conserved.

        * yes, individual particles lose energy as they rise …
        ** but only above-average-energy particles can get to the higher layers, leaving the average KE in upper layers constant. (* see next post)

        * yes, there is a relativistic temperature gradient due to gravity …
        ** but this is due to gravitational redshifting and time dilation — effects that are miniscule for earth.

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Tim Folkerts,

          Minor correction:

          * Centrifuges have huge centripetal accelerations …

          Ehr, no! Centrifuges do not typically accelerate toward the center, they accelerate at any given point tangential to the arc of spin. Some like Doug continuously label this Centrifugal force but there exists no such thing.

          ** but don’t get extremely hot on the edges.

          Typically yes, because most prove designed with great effort to avoid friction (HV centrifuges often act in a near vacuum)and maintain internal stability and identical relative motion of it’s contents. However, change the parameters to avoid such restraints, as typically found in the atmosphere, and the picture changes dramatically.

          Have a great day!

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            “Ehr, no! Centrifuges do not typically accelerate toward the center, they accelerate at any given point tangential to the arc of spin. Some like Doug continuously label this Centrifugal force but there exists no such thing. “

            That is wrong in so many ways!
            * Ehr, yes, the tubes in a centrifuge DO typically (ie whenever the machine is spinning) accelerate toward the center. Otherwise they would keep moving in a straight line and smash into the walls of hte container.
            * They accelerate tangentially only when “spinning up” or “spinning down”. The majority of hte time during operation, they would be spinning constantly, with NO tangential acceleration.
            * Tangential acceleration is never (correctly) called centripetal acceleration. The two are perpendicular. This would be like calling “horizontal acceleration” “vertical acceleration” instead!
            * There does exist centripetal force (when you are observing from an inertial reference frame). There also exists centrifugal force (when you are observing from a rotating reference frame).

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

            “Typically yes, because most prove designed with great effort to avoid friction …
            The point is that Doug’s theory would have hot bottoms to the tubes even with no friction from the bearings and no air resistance while spinning while spinning at constant speed. This effect is not seen.

            But in the context of this discussion, the ends of the tubes have HUGE accelerations toward the center!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Tim Folkerts,

            Tim you only compound error upon error. Allow me to address each one.

            “That is wrong in so many ways!
            * Ehr, yes, the tubes in a centrifuge DO typically (ie whenever the machine is spinning) accelerate toward the center. Otherwise they would keep moving in a straight line and smash into the walls of hte container.”

            No Tim! By definition a centrifuge means “away from the center.” By contrast centipetal means “toward the center.” As you yourself noted either container walls, a rod or a physical device prevents the contents from smashing against the wall because they are being flung away from the center of the device!

            “* They accelerate tangentially only when “spinning up” or “spinning down”. The majority of hte time during operation, they would be spinning constantly, with NO tangential acceleration.”

            I never claimed a centrifuge accelerated it’s contents during the entire operation of spin.

            “* Tangential acceleration is never (correctly) called centripetal acceleration. The two are perpendicular. This would be like calling “horizontal acceleration” “vertical acceleration” instead!”

            I never claimed tangential acceleration was the same as centripetal acceleration, just the opposite! Read my statement.

            “* There does exist centripetal force (when you are observing from an inertial reference frame). There also exists centrifugal force (when you are observing from a rotating reference frame).”

            I never claimed CENTRIPETAL force doesn’t exist. I claimed CENTRIFUGAL FORCE didn’t exist. Gravity acts CENTRIPETALLY. None of the other three forces Elecgtro-magnetic and strong and weak nuclear forces act centripetally. So given current understanding of natural forces CENTRIFUGAL FORCE DOESN’T EXIST!

            However, believe it or not astronomers claim the universal expansion accelerates. So in the end a centrifugal force may exist.

            Have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Tim Folkerts,

            Btw, I agree with your statement regarding frame of reference and whether or not a force acts centipetally or like a centrifuge. However, my statement had to do with general forces of nature.

            Thanks and…

            Have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Tim Folkert,

            Correction to my post. My statement should have read:

            “None of the other three forces Elecgtro-magnetic and strong and weak nuclear forces act centrifugally.”

            Have a great day!

        • bwdave says:

          What does thermal equilibrium ever have to do with anything related to any temperature in Earth’s atmosphere?

          The closest thing we might ever see would be steady state (like in the vortex tube or centrifuge examples), and that would be local and temporary.

          From a macro perspective, Earth could be described as a non homogeneous regenerative heat exchanger between heat by Solar radiation and space.

          The input is received in varied concentration by an ever changing portion of the rotating sphere and is redistributed by mass flows, conduction and radiation, and emitted in all directions from the sphere.

          Earth is not a perfect emitter, Therefore the temperature will be higher than a perfect emitter of the same radiation would be. Also, heat gained in the input must be at a higher temperature than the eventual output.

  80. Doug   Cotton says:

    Continuing from this comment …

    Because we know from the above proof (using Kinetic Theory and the Second Law of Thermodynamics) that the environmental temperature gradient (about -7C/Km) is the state of overall thermodynamic equilibrium (taking into account radiation as well) then we know that the main direction of heat diffusion and convective heat transfer is …

    (a) upwards when the algebraic value of the gradient is less than -7 (for example -11C/Km) such as happens on a clear day above solid surfaces where the Sun can raise the temperature above that supported by the normal (environmental) temperature gradient. It is then that we get fast convection that cools the surface, usually in the late afternoon and early evening.

    or …

    (b) downwards when the algebraic value of the gradient is greater than -7 (for example -3C/Km or zero, as in the tropopause, or positive values) such as happens in a temperature inversion wherein there has been excessive heat input in higher regions like the stratosphere, or the top layer of the oceans and the thermocline below. There are many instances where the rate of new absorption over-rides the slow process that normally forms the density, temperature and pressure gradients following, it being the process described in statements of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    Of course the downward heat diffusion and convective heat transfer that we can now prove exists by using the laws of physics (as others have also realized, such as in the article linked in my last comment) supplies the necessary thermal energy and, more importantly, has enabled the build up of the whole temperature profile from the anchor point in the atmosphere down to the core – over the life of the planet.

    In effect, thermal energy has been permanently trapped by gravity under the sloping thermal profile (so to speak) and the support of surface temperatures has nothing to do with any direct solar radiation received for just a few hours in the day. If the whole Earth was cold (in the absence of Solar radiation) then, if you “switched on” the Sun it would not get anywhere near heating the whole system in a day. What is happening is rather like hot water in a bath tub that is keeping the walls of the tub at a similar temperature below the water line. We don’t need to know the flux of thermal energy each way at the interface of the wall and water, and nor do we need to know such at the interface of the atmosphere and the surface. This explains, for example, how the top meter of the ocean surfaces are kept hot, because it is not by direct solar radiation that nearly all passes through that first meter, and it is certainly not by radiation from the colder atmosphere which does not enter the water more than a few nanometers.

    Hence it is quite irrelevant to discuss energy balance, because the temperature is not a result of direct solar radiation into the surface, and nor is it a day-by-day occurrence, which is just as well because it would have been extremely cold here today without us seeing a glimpse of the Sun all day. Luckily “heat creep” raised the temperature somewhat above the overnight minimum even without any direct solar radiation because of cloud cover over the whole state.

  81. Doug   Cotton says:

    Once again I remind you that physicists have known since the 19th century that the temperature gradient in a force field like gravity is what the Second Law implies will evolve as the state of maximum entropy is approached, for which physicists give the name thermodynamic equilibrium.

    It was when it was realized that temperatures would not be isothermal in the absence of IR-active gases, that the promoters of the hoax made every effort to publish attempted refutations, but all were flawed as explained in this page. On that page you will also see a link to a comment that is worth repeating, noting the reference as to how this physics has apparently been forgotten.

    The comment reads …

    BigWaveDave March 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Tim Folkerts:

    You asked: What qualifications do you have to judge a disagreement between PhD physicists on issues of fundamental thermodynamics?

    I have been earning a living as an engineer specializing in cutting edge technology for very large scale thermal energy transfer processes and power systems for close to 40 years. My credentials include BS, JD and PE, and I have four patents.

    As for my qualifications to engage in argument with PhD’s, I have many times been part of and have led teams with PhD team mates. I was also married to a PhD for 20 years.

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

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      Two MORE mistaken conclusions.

      * One physicist in the 19th century “had known” a temperature gradient would evolve …
      ** but several others “had known” no temperature gradient was predicted.

      As is the case in scientific disputes, further discussion ensued. In the intervening century, it has become clear that isothermal fits with standard physics, while g/Cp (as an equilibrium solution) has fallen by the wayside. We can also find smart, well educated scientists who have held that aether exists, that thermodynamics can be explained by caloric, and that time proceeds at the same rate in every reference frame. That doesn’t mean we should ignore subsequent research.

      *Yes, there is “radial temperature gradient created by pressurizing a spherical body of gas by gravity” (it heats the cores of planets and stars as they form …
      ** but that does not keep the cores warm forever.
      Here we have simple “appeal to authority.” And when that “authority” is an anonymous guy on the internet, there is no authority at all. Just Doug having to fish back three years to find *somebody* who wrote something that supports his unconventional (to be kind) conclusions.

  82. Doug   Cotton says:

    We get confirmation that the physics is correct by calculating the magnitude of the dry gradient, as is done in both my paper and book. We do so by recognizing that, because (PE+KE)=constant, we can equate the KE loss with PE gain.

    Sp please see my paper (or book) for these calculations which do in fact give the same result for the temperature gradient that is well recognized, namely the quotient of the acceleration due to gravity and the weighted mean specific heat of the gases.

    Hence we can calculate that the “dry” gradient for Earth would be about -9.8C°/Km and this would raise the surface temperature too much, in fact to at least 25°C. Fortunately the temperature leveling effect of inter-molecular radiation between IR-active gases reduces the magnitude of the gradient, as it is well known is what happens with water, and hence lowers the supported surface temperature.

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      That belongs in the list of Doug’s misapplied reasoning, too. 🙂

      *We get confirmation that the physics is correct by calculating the magnitude of the dry gradient
      ** even though the atmosphere is NOT an isolated system, with energy in at the bottom and out at the top, which would create a lapse rate WHETKER OR NOT DOUG’s HYPOTHESIS IS RIGHT.

      Thus, this neither confirms nor denies his ideas.

      • Norman says:

        Tim Folkerts,

        Doug does not believe that rising or falling air will cool or heat. There are no air parcels moving around that will cool or heat as they vertically move as per Doug. He does not see a lapse rate based upon this proven and well known physics (he can even test it himself) that expanding air will cool and that is true even horizontally or down. I think I have explained that to him several times but he believes me to be an idiot for thinking this. Even though the entire science of meterology is based upon these facts and is used in predicting severe weather, he will still not think it is correct physics.

        The really funny one is he is completely opposite in his understanding of wet adiabatic lapse rate. He thinks the wet air cools more because of it emitting radiation and cooling the air mass. The reality is opposite. The lower lapse rate of the wet adiabatic is because the condensing water vapor is releasing energy into the rising air and warming it so that is is actually cooling less than the dry air.

        You will not get through to Doug unless he reads a meterology textbook and goes “Oh my God! I am a true idiot, it actually works with the surface warming air above it, the air expands and gets less dense so it starts to rise in the surrounding air. As it rises it pushes against the less dense surrounding air and does work in expanding against this surrounding air and hence cools as it rises and it rises until its temperature and density are the same as the surrounding air. If it has water vapor the water vapor will condense and release heat in a phase change. This heat will cause it to cool less so that the lapse rate is lower and it does not cool as fast in rising”

        Since Doug does not have understanding of meteorolgy it is the same as talking to a brick wall. He will never grasp how wrong he really is. But I like your compilation of his poor reasoning ability.

        • Doug   Cotton says:

          Doug does not believe that the stable temperature gradient is not the state of thermodynamic equilibrium in an isolated system subjected to a force field, because experiments prove him right, as does the validity of the Second Law of Thermodynamics which is used to prove the hypothesis.

        • Doug   Cotton says:

          The issue of latent heat release is discussed in the paper and it is shown why this myth of meteorology is not at all the primary cause, and empirical evidence proves my point in regions where no such release is taking place and yet the “wet” temperature gradient is observed. Besides, what happens near the top of the troposphere? It would need more latent heat release up there than further down, now wouldn’t it? So where is all the extra water vapor up there?

          Your problem is that you don’t question that with which you are brainwashed. When I attended lectures by Prof Julius Sumner Miller in the 1960’s he taught me to ask “Why is it so?” – a lesson I will never forget.

        • Doug   Cotton says:

          Since Norman does not have understanding of thermodynamics it is the same as talking to a brick wall. He will never grasp how wrong he really is.

          • Norman says:

            Doug Cotton

            Doug where do you come up with this stuff? How much garbage do you constantly have to make up to prove how goofy you are? You make claims with ZERO evidence, no facts, no backing data and worst of all no math!

            You claim “and empirical evidence proves my point in regions where no such release is taking place and yet the “wet” temperature gradient is observed.”

            Here is what the experts in the field say (something you are not!)

            http://courses.washington.edu/atms212/Week4.pdf

            Please read: “in a dry atmosphere
            the temperature drops
            10°C per km of altitude”

            What empirical source proves your point?

    • Norman says:

      Doug Cotton,

      You repeated this concept “Fortunately the temperature leveling effect of inter-molecular radiation between IR-active gases reduces the magnitude of the gradient, as it is well known is what happens with water, and hence lowers the supported surface temperature.”

      I am looking for inter-molecular radiation in water as you claim it is well known. Let me know the source of this information so I can update my knowledge files. I can’t find anything to support your statement at this time (not saying it is not true but would like some evidence for it).

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        Water molecules radiate regardless of how close they are to each other. Even the promoters of the hoax know that. They just think water vapor warms by about 15 to 25 degrees per 1% in the atmosphere. Empirical evidence proves it cools. What do you say is the sensitivity to a 1% increase in water vapor?

        • Norman says:

          Doug Cotton,

          Where is your evidence of this. I have only read that the surface of a solid or liquid radiates. If you have a solid sphere of material or a tank of water the radiation will only be emitted by the surface of these objects. Air is much different as the molecules are not linked and connected. I am not saying you are wrong here I am asking for some proof of your claims. A link to some webpage that explains how these intermolecular radiations in liquid water work.

  83. Tim Folkerts says:

    Maybe (oh please, I hope so) this paper will shed the needed light: “On a paradox concerning the temperature distribution of an ideal gas in a gravitational field”
    https://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/s-velasco.pdf

    Let’s start with what is sure to be Doug’s favorite line: “in a gravitational field the average molecular kinetic energy decreases with height.” It would seem like clear support for Doug .. unless you actually bother to read the paper.

    The line before this hints at the correct understanding: “for a finite adiabatically enclosed ideal gas”. Yes, the paper is discussing adiabatic conditions, but the number of particles makes a huge difference. The line right afterwards completes the thought: “Then the question now is: under what conditions the Coombes and Laue explanation of the formulated paradox can be applied? The answer is clear:
    in the thermodynamic limit” with the number of particles going to infinity but the average energy per particle remaining constant.

    Equation (8) exactly produces Doug’s results for a linear drop in temperature with altitude … for a system consisting of a single particle!. IF the particle has a total energy E0, then the PE is E0 at the top of hte arc, and the KE is E0 at the bottom of the flight Good to know Doug got that right.

    But with two particles, occasionally the collisions would give most of the energy to a single particle, and it could go up to twice has high as before. The result turns out to be a linear drop at 1/2 the original rate.

    Get up to 8 particles (like in one of his models), and the particles can go much higher still (with a lessened temperature gradient. Get up to a million particles, and the gradient is (for all intents and purposes) gone.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      Oh here we go again citing that Velasco, Román and White paper that I refuted years ago because of their incorrect understanding and their use of enthalpy when they should have considered entropy instead, as the Second Law of Thermodynamics clearly implies.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      Now, Folkerts, use your pathetic argument in a horizontal plane and you have just proved that diffusion of nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere (as entropy increases) does not lead to a homogeneous mixture, and you have also proven wrong the Clausius “hot to cold” statement of his corollary of the Second Law that you learnt in school-boy physics but did not realize only applies in a horizontal plane. Well at least it did until you just proved Clausius wrong about that. /sarc

      I have already replied to your above conjecture on the February temperature data thread somewhere in among the 1000 or more comments there.

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        “Now, Folkerts, use your pathetic argument in a horizontal plane and you have just proved that diffusion of nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere (as entropy increases) does not lead to a homogeneous mixture”

        WWWhaaaaaaattt??

        How it the WORLD do you get from my position that ‘collisions make things as random and disordered as possible’ to ‘that would prevent molecules from diffusing’ ???

        How it the WORLD do you get from my position that ‘collisions make things as random and disordered as possible’ to ‘that would move heat from hot to cold’ ???

        I have to say, those are about the craziest of your unsupported claims to date.

  84. Doug   Cotton says:

    TF writes: But with two particles, occasionally the collisions would give most of the energy to a single particle, and it could go up to twice has high as before.”

    Nonsense. During molecular collisions there is a statistical probability that the difference in velocity will decrease. That’s why Clausius got it right – at least in a horizontal plane. How far up a molecule moves depends on when and where it collides with the next one. The eight molecule experiment is extended by mathematical induction to the whole troposphere.

    What I write is correct physics, whether it suits your agenda in promulgating the hoax (and protecting your income I suspect) or not. I have no such pecuniary interest being a semi-retired millionaire..

    And you haven’t even come close to refuting the partitioned cylinder experiment in my paper, nor the explanation using the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Nor have you refuted the explanation of the temperature gradient that is done on a macro scale (any number of molecules) after explaining why the Second Law of Thermodynamics enables us to understand the density and pressure gradients. The Kinetic Theory of Gases then enables us to deduce from that understanding of the stable density and pressure gradients (which are of course the state of maximum entropy) why the temperature gradient exists at the macro level, without even thinking about small numbers of molecules. You’ll find that explanation in another comment I have written here, and you’ll find experiments with centrifugal force confirming the temperature gradient here. There are also other published documents explaining such, and many physicists since the days of Loschmidt have realized he was right, as BigWaveDave explained to you personally three years ago on WUWT.

    You demonstrate no understanding of maximum entropy production, and you cannot answer “What is the sensitivity to a 1% increase in water vapor?” and nor can you explain the coincidences issue on all planets which makes the odds of the greenhouse conjecture being right as less than one chance in 100,000,000,000,000,000,000.

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      During molecular collisions there is a statistical probability that the difference in velocity will decrease.

      Nonsense. Once enough time has come to pass, the systems will stop evolving (ie has maximum entropy ie is highly disordered ie follows the MB distribution). At this point, velocity is increasing as often as it is decreasing. Otherwise the systems would leave the MB distribution, heading toward a situation with less randomness and more uniformity (ie lower entropy).

      * “The eight molecule experiment is extended by mathematical induction to the whole troposphere”
      ** incorrectly, as the paper referenced earlier shows.

      * “you’ll find experiments with centrifugal force confirming the temperature gradient here” …
      * but those experiments are NOT thermal equilibrium and involve work done by the centrifuge on the gas molecules.
      Read the actual paper, Doug. Better yet, contact the authors (if you dare) and see if they agree with your interpretation of what is happening in their experiment.

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        Of course the experiments are not “thermal equilibrium” and I never use term because thermal equilibrium is totally different from thermodynamic equilibrium which the Second Law is all about, and which every natural process in an isolated system approaches.

        • Doug   Cotton says:

          And why, in a vortex cooling tube, is the radial temperature gradient (formed as entropy increases) actually measured as being greater in magnitude (ie, a bigger temperature difference) near the start of the tube where the air or gas is injected than it is at the other end?

          • Norman says:

            Doug Cotton,

            I thought you were off for holidays? Anyway the reason for the cold air at the start of the tube where the air is injected is because it is compressed air and it expands rapidly and cools as it enters the tube. This is what causes the cooling aspect. The heating is a little more complex and I do not totally understand the dynamics (something about stagnation). I think I would have to take a course in fluid dynamics to get this one.

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            It’s that damn climate change – pouring with rain all over the state.

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            No, you would have to take a course in thermodynamics, and try to understand the Second Law of thermodynamics. My point is the temperature difference is greatest, because that is where the centrifugal force is greatest before there is some dispersion and slowing due to friction further down the tube. External forces create a temperature gradient. How much would a bit of cold air cool by “expansion” in just a few millimeters? Down to -50°C as in a vortex tube, or perhaps down to -272°C in a centrifuge machine? Do you even know that if some air expands into a region of warmer air then it warms?

            Now try the question for all isothermalists like yourself and continue to demonstrate to all the silent readers that you have no valid understanding of thermodynamics and nothing more than a bit of school-boy physics. What makes you think you are qualified to debate advanced post-graduate and 21st century physics not even in the textbooks yet?

          • Norman says:

            Doug Cotton,

            You may be old but you should go back and retake your thermodynamics class because you are clueless. You say what makes me qualified to debate? The answer is I can reason, think, research and learn. You are unable to do any of these so that makes me much more qualified than you. You are so goofy.

            Here is the article you should read, learn, think and reason but since you do not have such capabilities it won’t matter.

            http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Yunpeng_Xue/publication/223010652_A_critical_review_of_temperature_separation_in_a_vortex_tube/links/02e7e5303f41aea354000000.pdf

            What does the author say Doug? “sudden expansion can be expected to be the most important
            role in the temperature drop”

            This individual does what you are not capable of. He performs actual math calculations and shows adiabatic cooling from rapid expansion is more than enough to cool the air.

            If you really learned ANY thermodynamics you would know this concept. You did not check on it when you became a google monkey pretending to be a physicist (which you are not and never were).

            Game over Doug, you know you have no degree in physics. The physics you learned is from internet searches.

            Evidence. You can’t do complex math. You are ignorant of 90% of established physics.

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            Answer the eight questions starting here, and start to think for yourself, rather than cherry picking authors who are Isothermalists to do the thinking for you, whilst ignoring the many who know Josef Loschmidt was right.

            I quote BigWaveDave yet again …

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

            It seems you author was one of those who has “forgotten or never learned.”

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        How do I get to “the position … ” Tim? As in this comment.

        I have you tied in knots because you have denied or overlooked the Second Law of Thermodynamics, just as did Maxwell and Boltzmann and the other authors whose authority you call upon without thinking through the issue of unbalanced energy potentials that are just so blatantly obvious in isothermal conditions that I have all but written off your competency in understanding thermodynamics.

        If it weren’t for the fact that I have had to explain thermodynamics over the years to so many of my students who (like you) convert the word “disorder” into meaning just about anything they choose, I would have lost patience with you long ago, Tim Folkerts. Do you want to learn, or don’t you, because you can’t answer the question for Isothermalists, now can you?

        Also read the comment with italic quotes about the issue of order or disorder, because, as I suspected, you have no correct understanding of entropy. I suggest (as I have before) that you read, study and inwardly digest that website http://entropylaw.com which I only found myself recently.

  85. Doug   Cotton says:

    And why is the surface temperature of Venus lower (and the temperature profile less steep) than it would be if the carbon dioxide below the absorbing clouds were replaced with an IR-inactive gas having the same specific heat as the existing atmosphere that has over 97% carbon dioxide? There’s no issue of latent heat making the “wet” rate less steep on Venus. Inter-molecular radiation between carbon dioxide molecules does so, thus preventing the temperature profile building up from the anchor point to over 900K instead of around 732K to 737K as measured.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

       

      A QUESTION FOR ALL ISOTHERMALISTS (YES THAT’S YOU)

      How does a fixed location on the equator of Venus acquire the necessary extra thermal energy to rise in temperature from about 732K to 737K over the course of the four-month-long sunlit period? The only transfers of thermal energy by radiation between the surface and atmosphere are always outwards from the hotter surface to the less hot troposphere, day and night. The Sun’s radiation getting through to the surface is less than 10% of what Earth’s surface receives, and that would not “heat” even a blackbody to any temperature above about -130°C, not even in a billion years. That location does cool again by about 5 degrees during the Venus night. So, if the Sun’s radiation were switched off somehow, the whole planet would easily cool by hundreds of degrees in just a century or so. But it will not even cool by 10 degrees in the next billion years if the Sun’s energy keeps on radiating at current levels, warming it back up each day after it cooled by night, just as happens on Earth and all planets and moons. But the Sun’s radiation can only raise the temperature of regions that are less than about 400K, according to Stefan Boltzmann calculations, and so how does that absorbed energy high up in the atmosphere then get to the surface?

  86. Doug   Cotton says:

    Tim Folkerts writes “Nonsense” in reply to my correct statement: Mi>”“During molecular collisions there is a statistical probability that the difference in velocity will decrease.”

    I repeat: he wrote: “Nonsense.”

    So he has just denied the well know fact that temperatures tend to level out in an isolated sealed and well insulated long thin horizontal cylinder of gas that started out with hotter gas at one end, because temperature is proportional to the mean square of the velocities of the molecules, and he denies that there will be a leveling out of those velocities and thus the resulting kinetic energy.

    I read no further into his comment, because he was gonged out at that point.

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      “So he has just denied the well know fact that temperatures tend to level out in an isolated sealed and well insulated long thin horizontal cylinder of gas …

      This is getting comical to the point of absurdity. If he wants to think that may statement does not lead to uniform temperature, well I won’t be able to convince him otherwise.

      There is this small, eternally-hopeful part of me that thinks Doug is teachable and will actually learn some thermodynamics. (and of course, he seems to think the same of me LOL). And since neither of us is likely to concede we are the clueless one, I guess the readers will have to decide. Those who know thermodynamics have decided long ago ….

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Tim Folkert,

        It could be both of you and everyone else will prove clueless in some field of knowledge. You held up fairly well accept especially when it came to CENTRIPETAL FORCE!

        Have a great day!

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        Let’s try again:

        (1) The mean kinetic energy of molecules at the hot end of that sealed horizontal cylinder is higher than the mean kinetic energy at the colder end in the initial state. Do you agree – yes or no?

        Well, yes was the correct answer.

        (2) Kinetic energy that determines temperature is translational molecule energy, and thus related to the square of molecular velocity. True or False?

        True is the correct answer.

        (3) I stated that the “difference in velocity will decrease” referring to the mean velocities of numerous pairs of molecules before and after they collide. True or False?

        (4) If the differences diminish we are indeed seeing dissipation of unbalanced energy potentials, which by definition implies that entropy is increasing. True or False?

        (5) Entropy will stop increasing when those energy potentials are all dissipated and we thus have thermodynamic equilibirium. True or False?

        If you answered true to the last three questions then my initial statement is not nonsense, as you claimed it was. Perhaps I should remind you that I don’t write nonsense.

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        Let’s try again:

        (1) The mean kinetic energy of molecules at the hot end of that sealed horizontal cylinder is higher than the mean kinetic energy at the colder end in the initial state. Do you agree – yes or no?

        Well, yes was the correct answer.

        (2) Kinetic energy that determines temperature is translational molecule energy, and thus related to the square of molecular velocity. True or False?

        True is the correct answer.

        (3) I stated that the “difference in velocity will decrease” referring to the mean velocities of numerous pairs of molecules before and after they collide. True or False?

        (4) If the differences diminish we are indeed seeing dissipation of unbalanced energy potentials, which by definition implies that entropy is increasing. True or False?

        (5) Entropy will stop increasing when those energy potentials are all dissipated and we thus have thermodynamic equilibirium. True or False?

        If you answered true to the last three questions then my initial statement is not nonsense, as you claimed it was. Perhaps I should remind you that I don’t write nonsense.

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          The problem here, Doug, is that you keep changing the circumstances.

          When you first said “difference in velocity will decrease”, it was in response to a thought experiment with exactly two molecules with a fixed total energy (not a large number of particles with a per-existing temperature gradient). In this case, you are wrong. Collisions can bring the two closer to a single speed, or can concentrate the energy, making one more faster and the other slower.

          “If you answered true to the last three questions then my initial statement is not nonsense, as you claimed it was. “
          This is even MORE nonsensical than the first comment. Your first comment was wrong in the original circumstances. Now you are trying to fix that error by after-the-fact pretending we were talking about a tube with a temperature gradient.

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

          This is logically like …
          ME> Look at the blue car (pointing to a blue car).
          YOU> Nonsense, that car is red.
          ME> No, it is clearly blue

          The next day
          YOU> See, it IS a red car (after repainting it over night). You were wrong about the color yesterday and I was right.
          ME> [[Facepalm]]

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        Now, turn the cylinder to a vertical position.

        (6) Is it not true that something will happen, namely some extra molecules will move downwards – more than move upwards?

        (7) Is this not how the density gradient evolves?

        (8) But if there is any net movement of mass or energy across any internal boundary then the initial state was not thermodynamic equilibrium. True or false?

        Well, if you answered “false” it’s just because you don’t understand this thermodynamics, and http://entropylaw.com may help you on that.

        And if you answered “true” then we have proved that it was “not thermodynamic equilibrium.” QED.

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          You baffle me, Doug. Of COURSE when the horizontal tube is turned sideways, the interior is not in equilibrium. You write as if you have just lead us all to some new understanding.

          So we know that uniform density and uniform temperature is not equilibrium. That is what you have proven.

          Equivalently, non-uniform density and/or non-uniform temperature must hold in equilibrium. Maybe just one; maybe both — your ‘proof” as stated can’t distinguish. You need more to determine the new equilibrium. I know you THINK you have shown that BOTH must be non-uniform, but 99% (or more) of hte people who have studied the issue disagree with you. Your “proofs” don’t convince anyone with a background in thermo or stat mech.

          Time to up your game. rather then repeating the vague “no unbalanced energy potentials” write out your thoughts in precise mathematical language. Because until you can do that, you won’t convince the people who can and have.

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            Hence the 8 molecule experiment represents a valid simplification if we do the iterations applying the restriction that the difference between the KE of molecules about to collide will always be less after the collision. That is exactly the same as the temperatures leveling out in the horizontal plane at the macro level. The individual molecules thus represent what will in fact happen at the macro level, and the M-B distribution is irrelevant.

            You have not addressed all points. The vertical cylinder was not in thermodynamic equilibrium because there was an unbalanced energy potential at the top with more mean PE per molecule than below. Only when mean (PE+KE) is homogeneous do we get maximum entropy which by definition has no unbalanced energy potentials. Such a state has a temperature gradient.

            So you got this question wrong in that you did not address all 8 points.

            So stop wasting my time, because the physics I present is correct and you will never prove the Second Law (on which it is based) to be wrong.

  87. Doug   Cotton says:

    The law of entropy, or the second law of thermodynamics, along with the first law of thermodynamics comprise the most fundamental laws of physics. Entropy (the subject of the second law) and energy (the subject of the first law) and their relationship are fundamental to an understanding not just of physics, but to life (biology, evolutionary theory, ecology), cognition (psychology). According to the old view, the second law was viewed as a ‘law of disorder’. The major revolution in the last decade is the recognition of the “law of maximum entropy production” or “MEP” and with it an expanded view of thermodynamics showing that the spontaneous production of order from disorder is the expected consequence of basic laws.

    The key insight was that the world is inherently active, and that whenever an energy distribution is out of equilibrium a potential or thermodynamic “force” (the gradient of a potential) exists that the world acts spontaneously to dissipate or minimize. All real-world change or dynamics is seen to follow, or be motivated, by this law. So whereas the first law expresses that which remains the same, or is time-symmetric, in all real-world processes the second law expresses that which changes and motivates the change, the fundamental time-asymmetry, in all real-world process. Clausius coined the term “entropy” to refer to the dissipated potential and the second law, in its most general form, states that the world acts spontaneously to minimize potentials (or equivalently maximize entropy), and with this, active end-directedness or time-asymmetry was, for the first time, given a universal physical basis.”

    (Source: http://emtropylaw.com )

    An isothermal state in a vertical plane in a gravitational field very obviously has unbalanced energy potentials, because molecules at higher heights each have more mean gravitational potential energy than those below, and that difference is not offset by any change in kinetic energy which represents temperature. So that state is not the state of thermodynamic equilibrium. So this will move away from that state until the sum of mean molecular kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy is the same at all altitudes in a non-radiating ideal isolated column of the troposphere. If you then introduce radiation, it will lead to a difference state of thermodynamic equilibrium with a less steep temperature gradient. QED

  88. Doug   Cotton says:

    <b?Lesson Number 107 (or thereabouts) for Tim Folkerts:

    The Maxwell Boltzmann distribution is only what happens in strictly isothermal conditions at the micro level. At the macro level all that matters is that the temperature is proportional to the mean kinetic energy per molecule.

    I have shown why an isothermal state in an isolated system in a vertical plane in a gravitational field is not the state of thermodynamic equilibrium, and I have proved and quantified the temperature gradient in the state of thermodynamic equilibrium in such an ideal isolated system (with non-radiating gas) that is subjected to an external force field and in which momentum is thus not conserved.

    For you to call upon the M-B distribution (which only strictly applies in an isothermal region) to “prove” that isothermal conditions would extend in a vertical plane over the whole troposphere is just a circular argument begging the question.

  89. Norman says:

    JohnKl,

    From your post above on the state of the Earth’s atmosphere. I do not think the magnetic field will have much effect in the stratosphere. It has a lot of effect in the ionosphere. Magnetic fields do not have much effect on most air molecules because the electronic structure is stable. They will effect the motions of ions, electrons or protons.

    The isothermal conditions in our atmosphere exist in the regions where basically nothing is going on. No energy input, no convection and then it will do what Maxwell claimed. Become isothermal, the energy within this calm area will even out from top to bottom and become isothermal similar to the oceans (mainly isothermal except in the areas that are receiving energy).

    I would like to see more ideas on the topic but it does look as simple as I make it. If you have convection going on you get a lapse rate because rising air expands and cools and sinking air compresses and warms. Stop convection and addition of energy and the isothermal state develops and remains. The region of the stratosphere where UV energy is absorbed by ozone gets fairly hot and conducts downward gradually cooling as it moves away from the source of the heat.

    You can have radiating carbon dioxide in this region and it will still become isothermal because all the energy of this air mass is reaching maximum entropy with no regions hotter or colder (when such regions occur you get wind formation and energy transfer until the area is balanced. The troposphere is not at equilibrium because of the energy that enters the system from the sun.

    If you want to find the isothermal conditions forming in the troposphere you can go to polar regions when the sun is gone for months. Air can get very stable and start to move to the isothermal condition.

    http://curry.eas.gatech.edu/currydoc/Curry_JAS40.pdf

    Have a nice day.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      No, Norman – there is a lot of downward convection whenever the temperature gradient is isothermal, or anything less steep than the normal environmental temperature gradient, as I have explained many times, and proved in the paper using the Second Law of Thermodynamics. There’s quite a flood of sensible heat transfer from the hot stratosphere down through the tropopause and into the troposphere on any planet.

      Now how about you attempt to answer the above question for all Isothermalists like yourself. There’s nothing like an examination question to test your understanding – rather like an experiment, Norman.

      How are you getting along learning about the Second Law of Thermodynamics and maximum entropy production?

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        You see, Norman, where you wrote “reaching maximum entropy with no regions hotter or colder” you were mistaken, because a isothermal conditions in a vertical plane are not the state of maximum entropy in a gravitational field and you cannot possibly prove they would be, because molecules at greater heights each have more gravitational potential energy than those below. It’s not hard to understand Norman. Climb a ladder and you gain potential energy. Fall off it and you lose what you gained.

  90. Norman says:

    Doug Cotton,

    You use the isolated concept of one molecule (one body falling off a ladder). Tim Folkerts linked to a detailed paper that you just flatly rejected. You could not grasp the math presented and so did not consider the points made.

    Doug Cotton what do you mean by “there is a lot of downward convection?” in you post above. Convection is a large scale motion of molecules. It is not the same as diffusion or conduction.

    Writing this in your own paper with no equations no supporting evidence “There’s quite a flood of sensible heat transfer from the hot stratosphere down through the tropopause and into the troposphere on any planet.” Does not make this a factual statement.

    I now know you do not even know the difference between conduction and convection or what supports them. You just throw words around to try and sound like you know something when you really are quite clueless.

    Please read this link 10 times so you are not sounding so ignorant of physics you might convince a few people of your junk science that way but when you use conduction and convection improperly all the time in your posts it makes all your credibility flush down the stool.
    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/heatra.html

    Convection: Mass motion of molecules!! There is almost no convection in the Stratosphere.

    Really easy experiment for you to do to demonstrate to yourself the lack of physics understanding and how your thought process is disconnected with the real world. Since you are rained out and stuck at home. Take a heat lamp and put it over a pot of water and see if convection currents will develop in the water when you heat it from above instead of below. Let me know what you find.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      That’s right – I flatly rejected it because I could pinpoint the error in their physics. No one pinpoints errors in my physics.

      • Norman says:

        Doug Cotton,

        That is your basic behavior. You make claims that you know math but you do not provide evidence that you do. The web page you link to is a general description for people who want to understand something that do not have degrees in math or physics. Simplified for the average. If you write a physics paper with some new idea that goes against established physics it would require detailed math to completely describe what you are stating.

        I can make a claim I have walked on the moon. Does that make such a claim true? Your formal papers should describe your hypothesis (which won’t become a theory without a lot of experimental evidence and it should come from you directly) in math language so people reading it can use your equations to calculate the effect and determine if it is valid.

      • Norman says:

        Doug Cotton,

        Large numbers of people have pinpointed errors in your physics many times. They have long lists of several errors and illogical arguments you present. They have also shown how if one part of your logic is correct it negates another.

        You reject empirical science and can pinpoint errors in the understanding of convection?? But you won’t try to induce convection in a pot of water with a heat lamp situated above the water huh? You need medication because you are lost from reality.

        Again you make claims with zero evidence to back it up. Goofy man you are. The more you post the more the so called SILENT READERS will see how really strange and warped your physics is. You flatly reject the known physics of convection. That will get even your best supporters to leave your cult of junk science. Why don’t you present this idea to the one physics person that gave your book a good review. I am sure if you said you flatly reject the understanding of convection he would consider you a complete idiot!

        You are one really goofy person.

      • Slipstick says:

        “No one pinpoints errors in my physics.” That actually made me laugh out loud. Thanks, Mr. Cotton.

  91. Norman says:

    I am starting to think “Doug Cotton” is an advanced bot developed by the real person as an experiment to see how long it took for bloggers to realize the truth. The highly repetitive nature of this poster, the lack of real physics and not changing at all when the evidence suggests you do. He does not post like the other people on the blogs. If you read Doug Cotton’s post on other blogs they are almost identical and this spans for years. The real Doug Cotton maybe tweaks the program or adds a couple posts once in a while to throw the posters off. Advanced bots will take words or concepts from a post and try to make it sound as if a real person was responding. Bot Cotton.

    • Slipstick says:

      Not a bot, just a belief system. What I find interesting is to try to reconstruct how the belief system arose, the motivation and “logic” of the system, and to find the errors within the system. Errors, such as omissions, misapplications, hypotheses as evidence, and internal contradictions, must exist if the system uses evidence from reality but reaches conclusions that differ substantially from reality.

      • Slipstick says:

        Note that is generally futile to attempt to persuade or dissuade someone with a well developed belief system. All you can do is point out the errors in their beliefs in the hopes that anyone observing the conversation, who is not particularly sophisticated in the subject being discussed, is not misinformed by the errors.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      Yo wouldn’t have a clue as to what “real” physics is. You judge it by the number of integral signs or whatever. So superficial!

      • Slipstick says:

        Here’s an example of real physics: Two radio astronomers in New Jersey detect the cosmic microwave background, blackbody radiation at about 2.7 K, with equipment operating far closer to Earth ambient temperatures. If the second law of thermodynamics precludes interactions of thermal photons from a lower temperature with matter at a higher temperature, how is this possible?

        Here’s another: The Earth is rotating as it moves through space. This means that any gravitational effect on the atmosphere, say by the position of the other planets in the solar system, is negated approximately 12 hours later.

      • Norman says:

        Doug Cotton,

        Not superficial goofy! The math is a precise language to describe things in much finer detail than normal language allows.

        You can make the general statement gravity attracts all matter. What can you do with this? Maybe not jump off a cliff but you can’t use that statement to engineer or build things. You need the language of math. Only a person who does not understand math would try to cover their ignorance with a statement “so superficial!”

  92. Massimo PORZIO says:

    Hi Tim Folkerts,
    some posts above you wrote: “But with two particles, occasionally the collisions would give most of the energy to a single particle, and it could go up to twice has high as before. The result turns out to be a linear drop at 1/2 the original rate.”
    I’m not sure I fully understand what you mean, anyways if I get it right, do you ever played the billiard?
    A billiard player well knows what happen when one ball bumps against one other of the same size (or mass).
    Here is the point:

    http://physics-animations.com/Physics/English/par_txt.htm

    Those examples are made in a frictionless world without any gravitational field.
    The very same happen to the atmospheric gas molecules, in fact the friction is missing because it’s exactly the energy exchange we are talking about. The only difference with those examples is that the gravitational field impose a constant energy reduction as the molecules run upward.
    It’s true that a upper molecule can run higher than it was running getting additional energy from a molecule below, but that lower molecule must had more KE, and in the bump the lower molecule losses exactly the same KE it released to the upper molecule. So the upper molecule reaches exactly the height that the lower molecule reached if this last didn’t bump any other molecule at all, and the lower molecule stops its vertical run exactly where the upper molecules stopped if the bump didn’t happen, only this way the conservation of energy applies correctly.
    This principle is valid for all the number of molecules you add to the system. Otherwise you create energy.

    Have a happy Easter.

    Massimo

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      Massimo, look at the 2-D collision in Section 2. One moving ball hits a stationary ball, and both move off with less KE than the initial ball.

      But because there is no friction and the collision is elastic, the whole thing works just as well in reverse. If those two balls were moving the other way, they would collide, leaving one ball stationary and the other with all the KE from from both balls.

      • Massimo PORZIO says:

        Hi Tim,
        I’m not sure, is the collision you are referring to the one shown in 2nd animation?
        If yes, as explained there, it happen because the moving ball has a greater mass of the stationary one otherwise the the first ball stops.
        But even if you imagine the first ball not stationary, which is already running to the right at a speed lower than the second ball, when they bump together the first ball accelerate by the very same quantity the second one decelerate.
        So, I still don’t understand what you mean in you original statement “But with two particles, occasionally the collisions would give most of the energy to a single particle, and it could go up to twice has high as before. The result turns out to be a linear drop at 1/2 the original rate.”
        Because both the balls reach the original maximum heights, just exchanged each other.

        My point is that no matter the number of molecules in the system, the averaged final displacement should be so that for any height the averaged KE is the same but constantly decreasing as the height is increasing.

        Have a nice day and happy Easter,

        Massimo

        • Doug   Cotton says:

           

          WHY CENTRIFUGAL FORCE PROVES THAT GRAVITY ALSO WILL FORM A TEMPERATURE GRADIENT.

          In a centrifuge machine the magnitude of the radial temperature gradient increases as the revs increase, and reduces as it slows down. There is no Sun heating the outside wall and causing upward “parcels” of gas to rise, expand and cool. It all happens at the molecular level (as in an ideal calm troposphere) and it is happening because entropy is increasing to a maximum wherein there would be no unbalanced energy potentials. This is happening because centrifugal force (like gravity) acts on the paths of molecules in flight between collisions. It is because these forces curve the paths of molecular motion that the density gradient forms also as that state of maximum entropy is approached, which is what the Second Law of Thermodynamic says will happen.

          It’s not hard to understand …

          (PE + KE) = constant

          The detail is covered in this comment and the paper linked from http://climate-change-theory.com that’s now had over 7,730 hits since January 8th because word is getting around that it’s correct physics.

          You will never, ever prove the physics wrong, so give up and stop wasting my time, because you don’t know what is in the paper (which you never quote) and all your red herrings about high energy molecules and isothermal tropospheres prove absolutely nothing, for I have fully explained what is happening.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            “It’s not hard to understand … (PE + KE) = constant”

            If it is not that hard, then …

            1) Present evidence that “the magnitude of the radial temperature gradient increases as the revs increase”. Give numbers as to the size of this effect for specific machines with specific samples at specific RPMs.

            2) Present evidence that this gradient persists as the machine spins at a constant RPM. (There *should* be a gradient as the machine first spins up. Doug’s model says the gradient would remain after hours of spinning; standard models say the gradient would regress back toward zero.)

            3) Calculate the PE change from the outer end of a spinning tube to the inner end of the tube.

            4) Calculate the change in temperature expected for this change in PE.

            5) Finally, show that your calculations for Delta(T) in (5) agree with the experimental Delta(t) from (2).

            If you can do that, then I will start to take your theory seriously. Come on … you are the one who says its not that hard.

  93. Norman says:

    Tim Folkerts,

    In a post above you requested Doug Cotton write out his thoughts in mathematical language. Good luck with that. That is why I am convinced he never studied physics at a higher level. In one post when I made this request he believes that physics papers put the detailed math in to “impress” the lesser minded. I told him “No Doug, it is a precise and calculable language”. He does not put math in his papers because he can’t. He does not understand itergal calculus and can’t work with it. When you link him to actual physics papers with math he makes a passing comment like “that has already been refuted”…never explaining the refute or where the math is wrong. He is a true phony complete and total. I am not a physics major but I can understand it, I have not worked with the math for many years but I would not reject a physics paper without at least trying to understand the math.

    I am amazed you are still trying to work with him. I like your car painting analogy above.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      Go to this comment.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      He does not understand itergal [sic] calculus”

      Sure – he’s just been teaching it to students since the 1960’s. You can’t even spell it.

      There are all the computations I need in the paper and in the paper “Mathematical Physics of BlackBody Radiation” upon which computations (with plenty of integral signs) I based the first of my two papers on the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

      How many calculations do you see here: http://entropylaw.com ??? I suppose you think it’s not physics, whereas in fact it is describing major breakthroughs in the understanding of entropy, which I had also worked out independently before reading that site.

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        Oh, and I also wrote Mathematics tutoring software which has sold over 1,000 copies to students throughout the country here, covering up to First Year University level calculus.

  94. Norman says:

    This post should have followed your phony claim that you understand math.

    Doug Cotton,

    That is your basic behavior. You make claims that you know math but you do not provide evidence that you do. The web page you link to is a general description for people who want to understand something that do not have degrees in math or physics. Simplified for the average. If you write a physics paper with some new idea that goes against established physics it would require detailed math to completely describe what you are stating.

    I can make a claim I have walked on the moon. Does that make such a claim true? Your formal papers should describe your hypothesis (which won’t become a theory without a lot of experimental evidence and it should come from you directly) in math language so people reading it can use your equations to calculate the effect and determine if it is valid.

  95. Norman says:

    Doug Cotton,

    It is probably a good thing that you post so much garbage and bad physics as the more you post the more people will see how goofy your mind is and soon no one will respond to your posts on any blog. You still get responses because real science minded people want to help you. The more you post the more people see you are not interested in learning anything or seeking to understand (which is what a real scientist would be motivated by), the less likely they will be to respond which I will be done with very soon. The temptation is to tell you to quit clogging threads (primary reason I responded some threads back) but that does not work so well.

    You may be a nice person and good man but you are one absolutely bad scientist. Closed mind, illogical, unreasoning, unwilling to experiment, does not know higher level math, rejects any article with math in it because he can’t understand it and does not want people to know this, these are not the traits of science. My highest objection to you is you pretend to be a scientist but are not and so many do not know the process of science they might start to believe your trash.

    I still hope you had a Happy Easter!
    As JohnKl says “have a great day!”

  96. JohnKl says:

    Hi Norman, Doug, Tim, Curt, Massimo PORZIO, Gordon Robertson and everyone else,

    Have a Happy Easter and a great day!

    • Massimo PORZIO says:

      Hi JohnKl,
      thank you!
      Happy Easter to you too (and all the others here of course)

      Massimo

  97. Norman says:

    Thanks JohnKl,

    I am having a great Easter. Weather is beautiful and nature is coming back to life after the long winter!

  98. Doug   Cotton says:

    I suggest you all read this comment to Norman who has no qualification in physics, and it shows. It’s quite likely that others have similar misconceptions about convective heat transfer, and that is probably the root cause of your failure to understand how and why it can go downwards.

    DOWNWARD HEAT DIFFUSION and CONVECTIVE HEAT TRANSFER provide the NECESSARY additional INPUT of THERMAL energy that is needed to explain the surface temperatures of all planets with significant atmospheres, because it is the gravitationally induced temperature gradient (the state of thermodynamic equilibrium) which causes the surface temperature to be hotter than the planet’s effective radiating temperature that maintains radiative balance with Solar insolation. RADIATION from the colder troposphere DOES NOT SUPPLY ANY THERMAL ENERGY to the surface WHAT-SO-EVER. The reason is in the paper “Mathematical Physics of BlackBody Radiation” which has all the computations you all want. The radiative flux coming out of a planet’s surface is NOT a flux of thermal energy: it is electromagnetic energy only some of which is converted to thermal energy only in a colder target.

    • Norman says:

      Doug I have far more physics qualifications than you, that is true.

      You claim the downward convective heat transfer. What do you mean by this? Convection occurs when you heat the bottom of a gas of liquid in a gravity field and an less dense material forms rising and then you have cooler material sinking to replace the material moving upward (which heats up and rises and is again replaced by cooler material above and so it goes).

      Do you have jet trails where you live so you can watch them? There is objective evidence you can witness to destroy your ignorant physics. Look at a jet trail (persistent type). They will stretch across the sky. The trail will expand and if in an air current, move horizontally. If convection were taking place in the stratosphere where the contrails form you would see it destroyed by upward and downward moving air. This is not seen IN ANY contrails to date.

      Convection destroys your theory completely!! It is a really dumb idea based upon nothing and sustained by nothing except your endless mindless repetition. Convection is a process that requires surface heating. Gas heated in the atmosphere from above (as you propose) would have no downward convection. The heated gas would be less dense and would not move downward. Because the troposphere has convection (evidence you you that you can witness…cloud formation, warm moist air rising and cooling causing condensation and a visible cloud out of invisible water vapor).

      Yes Doug, convection is the reason your junk science needs to be towed to the landfill and buried. I really have a hard time believing you actually have people who studied physics in your group. They must have slept during the lectures and were D students.

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        Your hand waving and guesswork is not physics. The explanation you need to read, study and inwardly digest starts with my summary below and continues with the linked website and peer-reviewed papers. You never did explain the energy flows on Venus, whereas I have, and likewise for Uranus, Earth’s troposphere and outer crust. You cannot explain the temperatures in these planets, whereas I have, supported by a study and experiments which you thought I had never done, but have been in the website, climate blog comments and my papers all along.

  99. Doug   Cotton says:

    All of the above about radiation is discussed and explained in my 2012 “review” paper on radiated energy linked on the evidence page at http://climate-change-theory.com and it is that paper which had the primary aim of disproving the radiative greenhouse hoax. That paper (being of a review nature) did not require new computations, because it referred to the work of the author of the paper cited above, he being a professor of applied mathematics.

    Then, in the second paper (February 2013) on core and surface temperatures I presented the hypothesis which explains all such temperatures on all planets and satellite moons, that hypothesis based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics. None of you understands that this law is about maximum entropy production by the fastest route. The state of maximum entropy is usually attained by the dissipation of unbalanced energy potentials. (Probably the only other form of entropy maximization relates to the chemical diffusion process in which different gases mix homogeneously, so this is also as a result of the Second Law, just as is the density gradient.)

    The Second Law is about far, far more than the simplistic “hot to cold” corollary you learnt in school-boy physics (which only applied in a horizontal plane) and that is why you are all confused, because you intuitively apply it to a column of air in the troposphere and thus think that column would tend to become isothermal. It does not do so. It tends towards having the environmental temperature gradient with a stable density gradient. That pinpoints where you are mistaken, and I suggest you now read http://entropylaw.com and also read, study and inwardly digest the website and linked papers.

  100. Doug   Cotton says:

    SUMMARY of what you need to learn:

    Natural convective heat transfer is a conduction-like heat transfer process involving molecular kinetic energy in gases which is passed on in collisions to other molecules. It is only ever driven by unbalanced energy potentials and may be strong enough to cause a slow net movement of molecules that may be discernible at the macro level and is called advection. Natural convection is altogether different from forced convection (forced advection) which involves turbulence and wind of any form.

    Natural convective heat transfer (convection) …

    (a) establishes isothermal conditions horizontally

    (b) establishes a temperature gradient vertically

    (c) may move in any direction away from a heat source

    (d) does not form “parcels” in the gas

    (e) does not require expansion or compression

    (f) ceases when unbalanced energy potentials dissipate.

    There has been all along an example of convective heat transfer in an experiment I conducted in my garage and described on this website that first appeared January 8th 2015 and has had over 7,750 visitors since then.

    Radiation carries electro-magnetic energy. If the source is hotter than the target, and the intensity after attenuation due to distance is greater than that emitted by the target, then (and only then) will some of the electro-magnetic energy in a one-way pencil of radiation be converted to thermal energy. The quantification of the transfer of thermal energy (as in my 2012 paper linked from the above website) is represented by the area between the Planck functions of the source and target. The rest of the radiation resonates in the target and its energy is used for some of the target’s quota of electro-magnetic radiation as per its Planck function. That avoids the need for the target to convert some of its own thermal (kinetic) energy, and so it cools more slowly. However, the rate of other cooling by non-radiative processes is not affected by incident radiation such as the above.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      Understanding and Learning from the Eight Molecule Experiment

      The Eight Molecule Experiment helps you understand both the formation of the temperature gradient (even in an insulated sealed vertical cylinder) and downward convective heat transfer, such as when the top quarter of the gas in the cylinder is heated a little, but not above the temperature at the base.

      When molecules collide there is an average propensity for the one with greater momentum to give some of its momentum to the other. This average propensity (over trillions of trillions of collisions) is represented by each molecular path and collision in the Eight Molecule Experiment if we simply impose the condition that the difference in kinetic energy (KE) will diminish in each collision. I suggest you ensure that the difference decreases by at least one unit when using typical figures such as were suggested in the above linked comment.

      I very strongly recommend that you all do several iterations of the Eight Molecule Experiment. With each collision you can randomly make up the subsequent split of kinetic energy, but you should ensure that the difference reduces by at least one unit if possible. For example, if a molecule starts downwards with 108 units of KE and gains 6 units due to acceleration by gravity, then it has 114 units just before colliding with a molecule at the lower level that has, say 109 units. So the total is 223 units and the difference is 5 units. We could assume that the new split of that 223 units might be 113 and 110 because that has a lower difference (3 units) than the original 5 unit difference.

      After you have reached thermodynamic equilibrium in your iterations you will find that the mean kinetic energy for the two levels differs by the six units that are gained or lost in each path due to the difference in gravitational potential energy between the levels. But, because of the influence of gravity, this means that those that came from a higher level must have had less KE up there, and those that came from a lower level had more down there. So it’s actually quite easy to understand why this state has a temperature gradient which (in “ideal” dry non radiating gas) can be calculated as in my paper to be the quotient of the acceleration due to gravity and the mean specific heat of the gases.

      Now, alter that state of thermodynamic equilibrium by adding more KE to the top level, but not making the mean greater than that at the lower level – perhaps about half way between. Then do more iterations and you will see that the lower level rises in temperature (mean KE) due to the downward convective heat transfer, as in that example of the Eight Molecule Experiment.

      Footnote:

      Note that in natural convective heat transfer (which in physics includes both heat diffusion and natural advection by definition, but not wind) the “front” of heat spreading out in all accessible directions from the source will travel far faster than the very slow barely detectable net bulk movement of molecules. This is because molecules move at around 1700 Km/hour but their random motion means that they often back-track. See the garage experiment at http://climate-change-theory.com and see if you can detect the net movement perhaps with very light paper suspended near each door. This will help you see just how slow the net movement is. The heat movement can go right through clouds without discernible significant movement of the clouds.

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        Doug, it is amazing how you can cling to false ideas in the Collisions do NOT tend to average out the KE.

        * Theoretically, it is easy to find specific collisions where KE gets MORE unequal.
        * Theoretically the distribution of KE will approach something like the MB distribution, with particles gaining or losing energy with each collision randomly. They NEVER approach a distribution where all are equal.
        * Using simulations, like these is is easy to see that ~1/2 of the collisions decrease the difference and ~ 1/2 increase the difference. If you were right, there would never be any especially slow or fast molecules in theses simulations.
        http://www.falstad.com/gas/
        http://employees.oneonta.edu/viningwj/sims/kinetic_molecular_theory_s.html
        You can even start the 1st with uniform speeds and watch the random distribution develop!

        “I very strongly recommend that you all do several iterations of the Eight Molecule Experiment. “
        So do I. you can watch it happen in the first simulation above. You can even turn on gravity. You will see that the top has FEWER particles, but the top still has a significant fraction of FAST particle.

        Clearly many iterations does NOT mean cold, slow molecules at the top. 🙂

        • Doug   Cotton says:

          If you were right, Tim, we can chuck out the Clausius corollary of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which corollary is always correct in a horizontal plane on Earth in the absence of forces other than Earth’s gravity.

          I am only discussing the macro state. The mean KE approaches a limit wherein there are isothermal conditions in a horizontal plane, but a radial or vertical temperature gradient in a force field, such as is clearly evident for centrifugal force, and clearly evident in the troposphere of Uranus where no solar radiation or heated surface is the cause thereof – just molecular collisions. Read (1) to (8) in the two comments above more carefully!

          You admitted that temperatures even out in a horizontal cylinder as per the Clausius statement. Hence mean kinetic energy tends to even out in the collisions which bring that about. The same happens in a vertical plane – why wouldn’t it? The difference, however, is that molecules accelerate or decelerate between collisions when there is any variation in their height. This changes their kinetic energy and momentum* and so, if there were isothermal conditions, they act like molecules from a warmer region when they “warm up” as they move down and strike a molecule at a lower level, and they act like ones from a cooler region when they move upwards. It’s not hard to understand.

          * Momentum is not conserved in an isolated system that experiences an external force. Momentum is only conserved in a closed system (which by definition does not experience an external force) and just about the only thing approximating a closed system is the whole Solar System.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            “I am only discussing the macro state. “
            No, you aren’t. You have been discussing individual particles.

            If you want to discuss the macro state, then you have to discuss the average properties over a macroscopically large region, ie a “parcel of air”. And what happens as this “macroscopic parcel” rises? Well, gravity does negative work on the parcel (ie it gains potential energy). But there is also a buoyant force doing positive work. The pressure at the top is less than that pressure at the bottom, exactly counteracting the gravitational force (in equilibrium conditions anyway). So if you “drop” a parcel of air, it does not fall! It’s “neutrally buoyant”.

            This is probably the answer to your vague “no unbalanced potentials”. On the macro level, the gravitational potential is balanced by the “pressure potential”. Nothing is unbalanced. Life is good.

        • Massimo PORZIO says:

          Hi Tim,
          Since I already played that simulator:

          http://www.falstad.com/gas/

          And I setup it for simulating a GHGs free atmosphere, and I get exactly what me an Doug are telling about the non-isothermal profile, would you please tell me how do you set it?

          Thank you.

          BTW, I remember you that, in a former post some month ago, I already pointed out that the simulator fails to show the instantaneous KE of the molecules with the colors because it updates the values only at the single molecule bump against something, so those those molecules that you see colored as they were “hotter” they are not that instead, they just received their energy far down in the simulation area and have just run a longer path without bumps.

          Have a great day.

          Massimo

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            Thanks Massimo for pointing out such an obvious point to Tim. He needs such things pointed out – over and over again it seems. You will find that he will continue to bring up that graphic in many future blog comments, just as he brings up the M-B distribution and the two cylinder example and the momentum conservation issue and his favorite climatology-influenced papers over and over again without ever heeding when people like BigWaveDave, yourself or myself or standard physics documentation prove him wrong.

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Hi Doug,
            as always said, I’m not entitled to establish if your “heat creep” works for justify those added 33K, I know very little about the atmospheric physics.
            Anyways if (I repeat if) their GHG back radiation works to heat the ground and contribute to that temperature offset, they should also consider the big amount of energy needed to keep the whole gases up in the sky. Because the energy/work/energy conversion process is the same. With the “little” difference that in this last case it’s not just an offset (because the work is discretized by the photon trapping in the molecules), but a multiplier of the Sun heating effect because that is not discretized by the molecules count. The hot the ground is the higher the molecules go, and more energy is exchanged on the ground interface. If it exist, (I repeat, if) this was a real Sun heat amplification effect, and the very same should apply to the seas water thermal expansion process, which is an another gravitational driven energy/work/energy conversion.

            Have a great day.

            Massimo

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            Massimo,

            I am not sure what you are seeing. Whenever I turn up gravity, I see a pretty uniform distribution of colors from top to bottom.

            “the simulator fails to show the instantaneous KE of the molecules … “
            Yes, the colors are only updated during collisions. Particles moving upward “look warmer than they are” but particles moving downward “look cooler than they are”. Overall this will basically average out.

            “… they just received their energy far down in the simulation area”
            You can also increase the particle count if you are worried about long mean free paths. Then even the particles at the top can only move short distances between collisions. But they still have their share of “hot” particles” — particles that did NOT come from great distances below.

            Furthermore, this is actually another argument AGAINST Doug. Only high energy particles could possibly have made it that high anyway. Low energy particles from lower levels would have gotten pullled back by gravity before even rising that high.

            So try a screen capture and count the particles of various colors at various altitudes and see if you can find a significant trend. You could try a count if the density too.

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Hi Tim,
            If you want to simulate a planet atmosphere, you must turn on the heater at the bottom border too, I hope you did it.
            That’s necessary because the bottom must be the only place where the molecules exchange their KE.
            But, more important, if you don’t want to simulate the Maxwell experiment instead of a free atmosphere, you must trim the heather to get a very low heating rate so that the molecules don’t bump the ceiling of the simulating area.
            In that case, if you wait for the system stabilize, you’ll see that the bottom particles are not only more dense than the top one, but they are far most more rapid in movements because of their higher KE.
            More, the upper few molecules which approach (but don’t touch the ceiling), clearly reduce their KE during their upward run since at certain moment they stop their vertical run at all and after they regain KE during their falling back down.
            Remember Maxwell tube experiment had a ceiling, and doing that it looks like there is no thermal gradient at all in the tube, this in both case the tube is made of a perfectly thermal insulating material or made of a perfect thermal conducting material.
            Even if it was a great scientist in my opinion Maxwell did it wrong that time.

            Have a great day.

            Massimo

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            Massimo says “If you want to simulate a planet atmosphere, you must turn on the heater at the bottom border too, I hope you did it.”

            I disagree for THREE reasons.
            1) The “heater” is not really a heater. A “true” heater should give the particle a random amount of energy consistent with the MB distribution for a give n temperature. This heater gives the SAME energy every time.
            2) If we wanted to simulate a planet’s atmosphere, we would need a “cooler” at the top. This is not present, so there is no way to simulate a real atmosphere anyway.
            3) most importantly, we are trying to simulate *Doug’s* hypothesis that a *thermally isolated* system would develop a temperature gradient. Hence there should be no inputs nor outputs to the system.

            “In that case, if you wait for the system stabilize, you’ll see that the bottom particles are not only more dense than the top one, but they are far most more rapid in movements because of their higher KE.”

            I STILL don’t see this. The ones at the bottom certainly have more collisions and I suppose this might give an illusion of higher speed. But if you freeze the display and look at the colors, the distribution looks pretty uniform all over.

            “More, the upper few molecules which approach (but don’t touch the ceiling), clearly reduce their KE during their upward run since at certain moment they stop their vertical run at all and after they regain KE during their falling back down.”
            Why exclude those that hit the top? If you do this you are purposely excluding all the high energy particles, so of COURSE the remaining ones will be low energy, cool particles. The theory should work whether you are at the top with a “lid” or at the top with no lid, or in the middle.

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Hi Tim,
            “1) The “heater” is not really a heater. A “true” heater should give the particle a random amount of energy consistent with the MB distribution for a give n temperature. This heater gives the SAME energy every time.”
            I agree, I didn’t see that detail, but despite what you believe it doesn’t change anything because the MB distribution doesn’t depend on the Planck’s body excitation of the molecules but it depends on the chaotic distribution of the molecules in gas. What it changes after the molecules have distributed is the mean temperature per horizontal layer.

            “2) If we wanted to simulate a planet’s atmosphere, we would need a “cooler” at the top. This is not present, so there is no way to simulate a real atmosphere anyway.”
            I don’t Agree. We are talking about a supposed GHGs free atmosphere, so all the energy finally exit to the outer space from the ground level. Setup which complies well with the heather at the bottom.

            “3) most importantly, we are trying to simulate *Doug’s* hypothesis that a *thermally isolated* system would develop a temperature gradient. Hence there should be no inputs nor outputs to the system.”
            I don’t know what Doug is talking about, I still writing (as I always did) about our atmosphere, but without any GHG and without any other possible superimposed effects such as the thermosphere heating.

            “Why exclude those that hit the top? If you do this you are purposely excluding all the high energy particles, so of COURSE the remaining ones will be low energy, cool particles. The theory should work whether you are at the top with a “lid” or at the top with no lid, or in the middle.”
            This is very important instead. Because if you don’t set the simulator for that condition, you never see the whole atmospheric profile. As I told you before, it is like simulating a little part of the vertical profile, doing exactly the very same Maxwell tube experiment.
            Its is obvious for me that if you take an arbitrary vertical piece of atmosphere, you could be lead to believe that it is isothermal. But the simple fact that if you set a very big quantity of molecules, then set the gravity at maximum and set the heather to allow the upper molecules to stay close but not touch the ceiling, you set the simulato to simulate the whole free atmospheric path for the molecules, so you don’t simulate any spatial constrain other than the one fixed by gravity, do you get the point?
            So, with that setup, you can see the bottom layers molecules very fast moving and those upper molecules stop their vertical run (zeroing the KE in that moment) and restart their run backward to the heather. This happens despite the MB distribution, and it will happen even if the heather at the bottom was a Plank’s black body. Because with an high density of molecules at the bottom, the MB redistribution completely voids the kind of thermal source just few layer below.

            Thank you for consider my posts.

            Have a great day.

            Massimo

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Uhmmm…
            I just discovered that I wrote “heather” instead of “heater”.
            Sorry, be patient I’m Italian.

  101. Doug   Cotton says:

    You see, Tim and others, all along (as with all climatology “science”) you continue to ignore the implications of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, about which I have written two comprehensive peer-reviewed papers which are correct in what is explained therein. As a result of extensive post-graduate study specifically in the field of thermodynamics, I could be considered a world expert, for there’s little, if any, that I don’t understand about that law and the manner in which entropy increases and is maximized. I could easily give a two or three hour lecture just on the Second Law and maximum entropy production, and much of the content would include what I have been recommending you read at http://entropylaw.com just for starters. You don’t think that mean kinetic energy levels out because you disregard the fact that the Second Law says it will on a macro scale.

    You think isothermal conditions would be stable in a vertical tropospheric column, but you ignore the fact that there would be unbalanced energy potentials (more mean molecular gravitational potential energy at the top) and because of these energy potentials we know (from the Second Law) that the isothermal state would not be the state of thermodynamic equilibrium. It’s as straight forward as that to prove you and other promoters of the hoax wrong, because you all ignore the Second Law.

    “The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations — then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation — well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.

    —Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

  102. Doug   Cotton says:

    In the paper Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures I explained the temperature gradient using a thought experiment involving a vertical cylinder divided into three compartments with removable partitions. A refinement is to assume that the top and bottom compartments start out as vacuums and there is warm gas at, say, about triple the normal pressure in the center compartment. When the partitions are removed the gas expands and, in the top compartment, there has been a loss of mean KE (cooling) because all the molecules there had to do work against gravity as they moved upwards, whereas in the bottom compartment they all gained KE and so the bottom compartment became warmer. If a group of molecules (sufficiently large to determine temperature at the macro level) somehow moved between any two compartments without intermediate collisions, they would get back to having the same KE as the ones in that compartment, and so there is thermodynamic equilibrium (because temperatures would no longer change) and the temperature gradient is thus stable. Of course there are intermediate collisions, but the amount of KE that, on average, moves between compartments is the same regardless of whether there are no collisions or trillions of collisions that pass on KE like a baton in a relay race.

    Now, suppose you artificially warm the top compartment (using an inserted electric heating element) to the same temperature as the middle one. (Everything would have to be on a huge scale, perhaps several hundred meters high, for you to measure temperature differences.) Then, if you think about it, the same temperature gradient will evolve eventually, but with a higher overall level. Hence some heat transfer would have to occur downwards and even into the warmer compartment at the bottom. That’s heat creep.

  103. Norman says:

    Lord have mercy!

    Doug are you a computer animated bot? You act like you are not a real person that can take in information, reflect on it, maybe reconsider. You just repeat the same material over and over and over. Just as a bot would do.

    You are completely wrong in your understanding of convection so it is impossible for me to discuss ideas with you. Also you are not even close to an expert in any field of physics so don’t pat yourself on your own back. If you want to demonstrate some expert ability mathematically describe your hypothesis. You won’t and can’t because you are a bot and not capable of reasoned thinking.

    How do you define convection and where do you get this definition from. Are you so powerful that you take a word and rewrite the definition to suit your needs?

    I certainly hope you tire of haunting Roy’s blog soon.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      You are just so brainwashed by the climatology / meteorology “fissics” and their weird idea that turbulence (like wind) forms the temperature gradient, when we know full well that if a warm wind blows across a valley and then up a hillside, its air remains almost as warm near the top, and nowhere near as cold as it would be if it had got there by natural convection which is what I measured in my experiment on the Home page at http://climate-change-theory.com and what physicists define as natural convective heat transfer which includes heat diffusion, but does not include wind of any form.

      Have you done that experiment yet, Norman?

       
      Now read the next and final comment just below …

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        “if a warm wind blows across a valley and then up a hillside, its air remains almost as warm near the top, and nowhere near as cold as it would be if it had got there by natural convection”

        This is just TOO easy!

        1) EXPERIMENTALLTY: Such cooling is frequently observed in nature. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foehn_wind
        2) THEORETICALLY: I can uses Doug’s own words here: “It’s not hard to understand … (PE + KE) = constant”. If the wind did not cool, it would violate the very conservation of energy rule that Doug has been touting all along. 🙂

      • Tim Folkerts says:

        “if a warm wind blows across a valley and then up a hillside, its air remains almost as warm near the top, and nowhere near as cold as it would be if it had got there by natural convection”

        This is just TOO easy!

        1) EXPERIMENTALLTY: Such cooling is frequently observed in nature. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foehn_wind
        2) THEORETICALLY: I can uses Doug’s own words here: “It’s not hard to understand … (PE + KE) = constant”. If the wind did not cool, it would violate the very conservation of energy rule that Doug has been touting all along. 🙂

        • Doug   Cotton says:

          Absolute total misunderstanding is displayed here. Föhn winds (to use the correct German* spelling) are initially caused by adiabatic processes that are to do with the air losing moisture. This is totally irrelevant to the issue of normal winds blowing across a hot valley and then being redirected up a mountain slope because there’s nowhere else to go.

          Likewise winds at the top of the troposphere that are approaching the South Pole from all longitudes take cold air at about -50°C straight down to the Pole and then spread out over the surface to become Polar Easterlies. And that is why the South Pole is at about -50°C also, whereas the poles on Venus are at very similar temperatures to the equator because there are no such downward winds and horizontal heat diffusion and convective heat transfer spreads the thermal energy uniformly around the Venus globe.

          And you still don’t understand that (PE+KE)=constant when the gain or loss in PE is due entirely (100%) to the molecules’ own translational kinetic energy being traded with gravitational potential energy. If wind supplies the energy, then its own KE is not used and it does not cool. Nor will air in a sealed vacuum flask cool if you take it for a drive up a mountain in your vehicle, because the fuel in your car supplies the energy that gives the molecules their extra potential energy.

          This is just so basic, Tim, that you astonish me with your lack of understanding. You have no “feeling” for the physical world, especially not at the molecular level.

          I remind you that you have already been proven wrong, as in the comment here about unbalanced energy potentials.

          * Any German silent readers can read our website in German here.

          • Tim Folkerts says:

            Pretty good Doug. You actually seem to be progressing. You have overlooked the idea that the wind *is* the air. There is no “separate” supply of energy like a car.

            Here we have a parcel of air (say 1 kg) with a combination of bulk kinetic energy (KE), gravitational potential energy (PE) and microscopic KE of the molecules (U).

            E = KE + PE + U

            Basically, we are describing Bernoulli’s Principle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernoulli%27s_principle#Compressible_flow_in_fluid_dynamics

            You seem to be thinking that we can take the bulk KE and simply turn it into PE with no change in U here. That won’t happen here.

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            We are considering an “ideal” isolated system, Tim. No mass (like wind) can enter an isolated system. There is no wind in the three compartment cylinder, for example. I don’t care whether it’s wind (which is driven by a force that is external to the isolated system) or a fan blowing the air: none of any such forced convection gives rise to the temperature gradient, which evolves as molecules move at around 1,700 Km/hour – far faster than any wind. The molecules have to use their own internal kinetic energy – you know the stuff – it’s in the translational degrees of freedom.

            That’s what determines the temperature of a gas – the mean translational kinetic energy of molecular motion between collisions – not the bulk kinetic energy of mass movement as in wind.

            Take a trip in a small plane without air-conditioning. Does the cabin air get warm as the plane accelerates down the runway? No, because bulk movement has nothing to do with temperature. That’s why your vacuum flask of dry air does not cool by about 4 degrees when you take it up a 500 meter mountain. Try it! You have a heck of a lot of understanding of physics to catch up on, Tim.

            You really do have no comprehension of the Kinetic Theory of Gases and what I am talking about. It might be time to read the website and linked paper, which was on line two years ago.

            Natural heat diffusion and convective heat transfer forms and maintains the temperature gradient in a force field. Forced convection (like wind) destroys it.

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            Whilst this and the comment above are to Tim, our friend Norman would do well to heed what I am saying here.

            PS: So, Tim, I hope you now realize just how far off the track you were in discussing Bernouille’s Principle. The temperature gradient has absolutely nothing to do with bulk fluid dynamics. As I said, it really is time you read what my hypothesis is actually saying, rather than just assuming you know, because you don’t have a clue. Where would bulk fluid dynamics play a part in the three compartment cylinder? You have not correctly refuted that either. And you still have no explanation by which you can correctly determine temperatures in planetary tropospheres and any surfaces at the base thereof. In contrast, I do have such.

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            Now go to this comment which was written over 12 hours before yours and which would have avoided your embarrassment at barking up the wrong tree, Tim, if you had but read it first.

          • Doug   Cotton says:

            Sorry that comment link should have been this one.

  104. Doug   Cotton says:

     

    Do you get it yet, all of you?

    You are proven wrong by the fact that an isothermal state would have unbalanced energy potentials due to the extra molecular gravitational potential energy. So the Second Law tells you that such a state is not thermodynamic equilibrium.

    “if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.”

  105. Doug   Cotton says:

    Footnote: A quote from (real) physics …

    “Heat transfer physics describes the kinetics of energy storage, transport, and transformation by principal energy carriers: phonons (lattice vibration waves), electrons, fluid particles, and photons.[1][2][3][4][5] Heat is energy stored in temperature-dependent motion of particles including electrons, atomic nuclei, individual atoms, and molecules. Heat is transferred to and from matter by the principal energy carriers. The state of energy stored within matter, or transported by the carriers, is described by a combination of classical and quantum statistical mechanics. The energy is also transformed (converted) among various carriers. The heat transfer processes (or kinetics) are governed by the rates at which various related physical phenomena occur, such as (for example) the rate of particle collisions in classical mechanics. These various states and kinetics determine the heat transfer, i.e., the net rate of energy storage or transport. Governing these process from the atomic level (atom or molecule length scale) to macroscale are the laws of thermodynamics, including conservation of energy.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      And another …

      “The latter process is often called “natural convection”. All convective processes also move heat partly by diffusion, as well.”

    • Doug   Cotton says:

       
      If any silent reader needs more explanation …

      Whatever you choose to call the heat transfer process, the process which sustains the temperature gradient (as the state of thermodynamic equilibrium, which it is) involves the transfer of molecular kinetic energy during molecular collisions, and the gradient forms because molecules in free flight between those collisions gain or lose kinetic energy and thus, at their next collision, act just the same as molecules that came from the same horizontal plane with the same kinetic energy that they now have.

      At the macro scale there is a propensity for temperature (kinetic energy) to level out in such collisions, this being a direct consequence of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. So, if a molecule gains KE as it falls, its effect is exactly the same as any other molecule with the same KE striking the target molecule. On average, if it has more KE it will have a warming effect.

      The only way things stop warming and cooling is when thermodynamic equilibrium is attained. Then, and only then, will molecules that are about to collide have, on average, the same KE. This means if they came from above then they came from a cooler region, or if they came from below they came from a warmer region, slowing down as they rose and did work against the force of gravity.

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        This process is exemplified in the three compartment cylinder “experiment” which I explained over two years ago in my February 2013 paper, but which others here choose to ignore.

        Firstly, read my comments April 1st and April 6th above (by searching “compartment”) for the details. What happens is that in the initial state (when the partitions are first removed) there are unbalanced energy potentials which then start to dissipate. But we know a stable density gradient will evolve and that is when net molecular movement across any internal boundary ceases because the gradient is stable. In other words, there are no unbalanced energy potentials left, and so we have maximum entropy. Clearly the process is not reversible (because entropy cannot decrease) and so we have a case of thermodynamic equilibrium with an associated density and temperature gradient which formed at the molecular level. And because it is stable, it could happen anywhere in any isolated system without any rising parcels or expansion or whatever.

  106. Doug   Cotton says:

    On April 1st and again on April 6th I wrote about the three compartment cylinder, and no one has correctly refuted it to my knowledge.

    It is obvious that the air which expands into the top compartment becomes cooler than the middle compartment (as all molecules gain PE and lose KE) and the air which expands into the bottom compartment becomes warmer than the middle compartment (as all molecules lose PE and gain KE) and so we have a temperature gradient formed at the molecular level.

    QED

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      Let me start with an analogy.

      A block sits on the end of a level plank (but otherwise isolated from the rest of the universe). Everything is allowed to sit until the temperatures are uniform. At this point the system is in thermodynamic equilibrium — nothing wants to change further.

      I perturb the system by lifting the end plank with the block on it. The block slides to the bottom of the plank, with friction warming the block as it moves. The block comes to rest at the bottom.

      Is the system now in thermodynamic equilibrium? No! It may be in mechanical equilibrium now, but the block was warmed by friction as it settled to the bottom. Entropy has increased, but it is not yet at a maximum.

      We need to wait some ADDITIONAL time for thermal equilibrium. The block will cool and the plank will warm until the whole thing is once more at a common temperature. Only now is entropy maximum and true thermodynamic equilibrium achieved.

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

      When the gas cylinder is perturbed, the same steps must be considered. INITIALLY, the gas will settle toward the bottom end; the bottom will be warmer. This process increases the entropy.

      However, we again need to wait some ADDITIONAL time for the final state with maximum entropy to be reached. I know Doug has a hard time understanding, but the final state will indeed be isothermal. This increases entropy even above the state he thinks is the maximized entropy. 🙂

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        No, when the temperature gradient has formed we have maximum entropy, fullstop. There are then no unbalance energy potentials, so there is nothing to make the process start out in reverse.

        The isothermal state has unbalanced energy potentials in a vertical plane, with more PE per molecule at the top. I have taught you this many times, but you are unteachable.

        Any molecules which go back to the center compartment are replaced with others going the other way. Otherwise the density gradient (and thus the pressure gradient) would not be stable, but they are stable.

      • Doug   Cotton says:

        You are describing two separate processes, with a time delay on the second that had started, but not finished when the first finished. This is totally irrelevant to the three compartment cylinder. In that cylinder the gas expands once only until it attains the “right” density gradient which is then stable. It did so as entropy increased to the maximum within the constraints of the system. In this cylinder there is no subsequent modification to the constraints, and no other co-existent process as with the cooling in your example. In your example the “isolated system” would also have to include the surrounds, so maximum entropy was not attained at the end of the first process of sliding and then stopping.

  107. Norman says:

    Bot Cotton you get dumber with each post and wear your ignorance so proudly. I do not know who you get to believe what you say but keep posting and even the few will see the goofy things you claim.

    Complete goofy and totally wrong when you say wind going up a mountain will not cool. You claim this idiotic statement that is easy to disprove “when we know full well that if a warm wind blows across a valley and then up a hillside, its air remains almost as warm near the top, and nowhere near as cold as it would be if it had got there by natural convection”

    http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Atmosphere/clouds/formation_mountains.html

    You know how your moronic mindless statement is easily disproved? Goofy Bot Cotton, it is condensation! Cloud formation over mountains demonstrates your complete lack of understanding of anything. How can you keep posting stuff when you know nothing at all of physics. Now I doubt you even took physics in high school. As I think you are not even a real person but a complex computer program that Doug Cotton laughs when he sees all the responses. Goofy and mindless are what you post over and over!!

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      I’m not reading past the first sentence in childish comments like this. Personal slurs are water off a duck’s back.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      Next time, Norman, do the experiment before you put your foot in it. Take a vacuum flask of dry air up a 500 meter mountain and see if it gets about 4 degrees colder. It won’t. How could it? Your problem is that you expect modern 21st century breakthroughs in physics (such as are in my two peer-reviewed papers) to condone the deliberately fiddled fissics of climatologists who have a political agenda to destroy capitalism, as has now been publicly admitted. And they are using one molecule of carbon dioxide in every 2,500 other air molecules to fool the politicians and the gullible public like Tim and yourself with no understanding of the physics of the real world. Frankly I feel sorry for you.

      • Norman says:

        Doug Cotton,

        Bot Cotton you never stop amazing me on how scientifically illiterate you are (to be expected since bots don’t read).

        The air in a vacuum flask will not expand so why would it get colder? That is a goofy mindless experiment that will prove nothing so why did you propose it? The problem with your intellect is the conspiracy driven view. You can’t understand real physics because you assume all textbook physics is based on some agenda to destroy capitalism.

        Doug why do clouds form? This is not a hard question for you to answer. Why do clouds form on the windswept side of a mountain? Can you understand the concept of this link?
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rain_shadow

        Empirical evidence of vast amounts is against you not just climate physics. I think you really need to go back and study some material before posting again. Your ignorance is legendary!

  108. Norman says:

    Bot Cotton (goes as Doug Cotton or Planetary Physics), ]

    Do you have even the slightest understanding of how clouds are formed? You do not believe air parcels heated at the surface rise. How do you explain clouds?

    Do you ever wonder how this happens?
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=36518

    If you can’t guess clouds are the empirical evidence proving that air heated by the sun warms the surface which then heats the air above it causing it to expand and get lighter than the air around it. The denser air fills in the volume left by the ascending air. Now this air mass has water vapor in it but you do not see it. Why? It is too warm and is not at the condensation point. If expanding air does not cool and condense the water vapor than what the heck are clouds?

    Your reasoning is so poor don’t go against a 5th Grader, they know more than you about the most simple physics phenomena like cloud formation. Your theory belongs in the trash barrel. Take your papers and put themn in the recyle bin, they will do more use there than someone reading the junk you think is good physics.

    Game over Bot Cotton. Your program has run its course.
    For the real Doug Cotton. Time to reprogram your Bot and launch on some other topic and see how many people you can fool with it.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      You make a fool of yourself, Norman, by just clapping Tim from the sidelines, even when he makes huge blunders such as assuming I am talking about macro KE and PE when it is blatantly obvious from my paper (and the 8 molecule experiment) that I am talking about micro (molecular) KE and PE which is a component of the internal energy U in Tim’s expression “E = PE + KE + U” in this comment. His PE and KE are constant in the cylinder once thermodynamic equilibrium is attained, but his U should have been shown with its components of micro PE and KE (plus other internal energy) and that micro (PE+KE) is what is then homogeneous.

      If you understand the Kinetic Theory of Gases Norman, then you should have picked up that error by Tim. Instead you carry on about the totally irrelevant issue as to how clouds form at the macro level. You would do well to study the Wikipedia article on Kinetic Theory which, by the way, still contains a contribution I made as a Wikipedia editor over two years ago.

      My time is better spent discussing these matters in Wikipedia talk pages, as I have been doing, and occasionally making changes to the main articles, some of which have stuck for over two years now. At least in that arena we get serious scientific discussion without interruptions like your childish comments on this thread.

      So I’ll sign off from this thread, and future comments will be directed to Roy himself (as on more recent threads) because it is his incorrect assumptions of isothermal conditions which motivated my writing in his blog in the first place.

      Sooner or later Roy needs to realize that such assumptions imply violations of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, a subject that I have studied extensively and about which I have published two comprehensive peer-reviewed papers that have never been correctly refuted by anyone in over two years.

      Douglas J. Cotton B.Sc.(physics), B.A.(economics), Dip.Bus.Admin
      (Sydney and Macquarie Universities 1963 to 1972)
      Retired part-time physics and mathematics educator
      and now private researcher in planetary physics.

    • Doug   Cotton says:

      Footnote:

      Here is a copy of a typical comment by myself on Wikipedia talk pages …

      I agree that the article is fundamentally flawed. The explanation of the temperature gradient (which does not need a special misleading name “lapse rate”) should be carried out using the Kinetic Theory of Gases. That theory can be used to understand the Ideal Gas Law used here. However, it is unnecessary to introduce that law (with the implication that pressure is involved) because, as we see later in the derivation of the dry rate, pressure cancels out. All we need to do is to understand that the temperature gradient evolves as the state of thermodynamic equilibrium with maximum entropy and thus no unbalanced energy potentials. When that state evolves at the molecular level in an isolated system (even in a sealed insulated cylinder) we must have a homogeneous sum of micro (molecular) mean kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy per molecule, assuming no other internal energy changes. Hence we can deduce that there is a temperature gradient, because molecules exchange kinetic energy (KE) and gravitational potential energy (PE) when in flight between collisions, and temperature is determined only by the mean kinetic energy of the molecules. For a downward moving molecule, for example, we only need to equate potential energy loss with kinetic energy gain. That KE gain is equivalent to the energy needed to raise mass m by a temperature change dT. The potential energy loss over height dH is -m*g*dH and so we equate this to KE gain of m*cp*dT (where cp is the specific heat at constant pressure)and we get the temperature gradient dT/dH = -g/cp. The main fallacy in the article’s roundabout derivation is the assumption that a parcel of air somehow clings together as an entity which does work “pushing out” the air above. Only wind and weather conditions could hold some air molecules together to some extent, but we are excluding such wind (and forced convection) in this consideration of an isolated system. The assumption begs the question because it assumes that the density gradient has already formed. What if a horizontal sealed insulated cylinder were rotated to a vertical position. Which comes first, the density gradient or the temperature gradient? In fact they both evolve simultaneously as entropy increases towards the state of maximum entropy when both the density and temperature gradient become stabilized. The molecules do not “do work” against the other molecules in air above that is already less dense. Instead they do work against gravity as they rise at about 1,700Km/hr in their normal inter-molecular flight between collisions. Thus they lose kinetic energy as they gain potential energy. At thermodynamic equilibrium molecules that are about to collide have, on average, the same kinetic energy, and so there is no further net transfer of energy across any internal boundary. Likewise there is no net transfer of mass, and so we have equal numbers of molecules with the same mean kinetic energy passing up and down through any horizontal plane. Since pressure is proportional to the product of temperature and density, we have equal pressure from above and below at that horizontal plane. We can understand the density gradient on the basis that gravity causes a slightly greater propensity for molecules to move downwards rather than upwards, and so, with equal numbers crossing a horizontal plane, there must have been greater density below and less density above. We understand the temperature gradient because, when the cylinder was rotated from horizontal to vertical, there was some net movement of molecules downwards to form the density gradient and, at the same time, gaining kinetic energy that makes the lower regions warmer. Finally, we understand natural convection as occurring whenever there is a new source of thermal energy which disturbs a previous state of thermodynamic equilibrium, because then there will be a propensity for that new thermal energy to spread out in all accessible directions away from the source of new energy. Douglas Cotton

  109. Doug   Cotton says:

     

    You are both proved wrong as explained in this comment, because you continue to ignore entropy considerations, which cannot be ignored because the Second Law says so.

    (1) You have not correctly explained the necessary energy flows on Earth, Venus or Uranus.

    (2) You have no alternative hypothesis which you can use to calculate the Earth’s mean surface temperature, without making the completely false assumption that radiation from the cold atmosphere adds thermal energy to the surface, supposedly helping the Sun to raise the temperature of the ocean surface layer, say 1 meter deep. Sadly for you, the radiation from the atmosphere does not penetrate that surface layer, as even Roy Spencer knows. And most of the Solar radiation passes right through that first meter and only “warms” much colder regions in the depths. But all the back radiation and solar radiation is added together in those energy diagrams to get 390W/m^2 and thus “explain” the 288K temperature using Stefan Boltzmann calculations.

    (3) How are you going to explain the fact that the Uranus troposphere has a temperature gradient that is supported by downward heat diffusion from the only source of new energy, the methane layer in the much colder stratosphere?

    You know nothing of relevance either of you, and Tim displayed his complete lack of understanding with his claims about wind at the top of a mountain. This just shows how he has not even thought about the swapping of PE and KE in the eight molecule experiment.

    Nor can either of you refute the three compartment cylinder experiment. Your understanding of Kinetic Theory is woeful, both of you.

    Good luck with your promoting of the hoax. I give it until about the years 2022 to 2025 before it is completely quashed by the valid physics which I and several others now agree upon.

  110. Doug   Cotton says:

    Both of you, go back to this comment and the following one.

  111. Tim Folkerts says:

    I must say, Doug keeps things entertaining.

    * He insists that others don’t understand basic textbook physics, then complains that basic textbook physics is wrong anyway.

    * When problems are pointed out in the 8 molecule thought-experiments, he says that ‘strictly speaking’ the model is for eight ‘parcels’. When problems are pointed outwith how he treats parcels, he reverts to discussing 8 individual particles.

    * He repeatedly attacks strawmen like “making the completely false assumption that radiation from the cold atmosphere adds thermal energy to the surface”. Radiation from the the atmosphere simply slows the escape of thermal energy from the surface.

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

    Basically his whole argument comes down to “unbalanced potentials”. Until he can define (clearly, precisely, mathematically) what all constitutes a “potential” in his thinking and how to calculate the degree to which is it “unbalanced”, there is really no way to engage him in further rational discussion.

    • Norman says:

      Tim Folkerts,

      Maybe you have learned that logical or intelligent discussion is not possible with Doug Cotton. He will probably lure some unsuspecting sap into his dark hole of nonsense and then claim he has tied his opponents into knots (though in the real world he looks like a complete moron with zero understanding or knowledge of physics save reading a few Wikipedia page articles and other random searches).

      He never did earn a degree of physics at a real University. I like that you request some solid math to go with his speculations and musings but you will never see it from him. He is a phony poser and his lack of math skill is all the evidence needed to determine this. He wrote three physics papers with no math. No wonder PSI dropped his sorry butt, they could see he was a phony.

      One thing about Roy Spencer Blog I like is he does allow this to continue (thousands of posts later). On Skeptical Science if you do not exactly go along with the view of John Cook you get banned. Real Climate puts contrary views in the borehole. I would rather have a Doug Cotton peddle crap physics than have a lot of contrary views banned or deleted. Full spectrum is far superior to the closed mindedness of the AGW true believers.

  112. Norman says:

    Doug Cotton,

    You state: “If you understand the Kinetic Theory of Gases Norman, then you should have picked up that error by Tim. Instead you carry on about the totally irrelevant issue as to how clouds form at the macro level.”

    Are you telling me clearly that you have zero clue on how clouds form? The issue of cloud formation is totally relevant to your claims and conjectures. You do not believe air parcels (with water vapor) are warmed by the Earth’s surface, rise, expand and cool to form clouds. Since you do not believe this completely established science fact then how do clouds form in your current understanding of atmosphere dynamics? If you can’t explain how clouds form than you should stop posting your nonsense. But you can’t do this, I see you are already spreading the crap science on the threads above.

    • Doug Cotton says:

      I’m telling you clearly that you have no understanding of what is in my hypothesis or the laws of physics referred to therein. Of course I know how clouds form, but that is irrelevant because I am not talking about water vapor when discussing the troposphere of Uranus for example, which has no surface at the base or any solar radiation reaching down there.