Christy & Emanuel have A Conversation on Climate Change

March 4th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

“A Conversation on Climate Change” was held in the UAH Chan Auditorium last evening in front of a standing room only audience. UAH professor John Christy (aka “my boss”) and Prof. Kerry Emanuel (MIT) answered questions posed by the moderator, noted economist Russ Roberts. The event was hosted by the UAH College of Business Administration.

Kerry Emanuel, Russ Roberts, and John Christy have A Conversation on Climate Change, March 3, 2014.

Kerry Emanuel, Russ Roberts, and John Christy have A Conversation on Climate Change, March 3, 2014.

The discussion focused on how much the world has warmed, whether severe weather has gotten worse, how much consensus exists in the climate community, and what should be done about the problem.

John Christy emphasized that all of the 100+ climate models have over-predicted warming in the tropical troposphere, by at least a factor of 2, and this was supposed to be the most obvious manifestation of global warming as predicted by climate models.

Kerry Emanuel emphasized the strong consensus in the climate community that adding CO2 to the atmosphere will cause warming, that the details of that warming remains uncertain (much of the heating has gone into the ocean), and that at least the possibility of catastrophic climate change compels us to act through energy policy.

Christy’s view was that we have the moral obligation to allow access to inexpensive energy by the world’s poor, a view which Emanuel also supported.

The “debate” was very well received by the audience. It will appear in a week or two as an EconTalk podcast, part of a series that Russ Roberts hosts.

336 Responses to “Christy & Emanuel have A Conversation on Climate Change”

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  1. It’s good that John Christy (aka “your boss”) and Kerry Emanuel agreed that we have the moral obligation to allow access to inexpensive energy by the world’s poor.
    This is good news.

    • Threepwood says:

      I’d be willing to bet that for Emanuel ‘inexpensive energy for the poor’ has some sort of contorted political definition- involving massive government subsidies to help the wealthy buy electric sports cars and solar shingles, thus nobly offsetting the imaginary future ‘expense’ of carbon dioxide on the poor

    • David.App says:

      Energy use has negative externalities as well as positive benefits, and the former can be quite substantial. Generating power with fossil fuels creates more damage than value-added, according to Yale economist William Nordhaus in a 2011 paper:

      Muller, Nicholas Z., Robert Mendelsohn, and William Nordhaus. 2011. “Environmental Accounting for Pollution in the United States Economy.” American Economic Review, 101(5): 1649–75.

      To summarize that paper’s findings: for every $1 in value that comes from coal-generated electricity, it creates $2.20 in damages.

      Total damages: $70 billion per year (in 2012 dollars) in the US.

      Petroleum-generated electricity is even worse: $5.13 in damages for $1 in value.

      The National Academy of Sciences estimates that fossil fuel use causes damages of at least $120 B/yr to health and the environment in the US:

      “Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use”
      National Research Council, 2010

      If you really want to help the poor, make the rich (like everyone here) pay for their pollution. A carbon tax-and-dividend would return more than they pay to 60% of Americans (those who lose out are those who fly alot, own more than one house, etc.); on a global scale it would most help the world’s desperately poor, who are also the ones most vulnerable to climate change.

      • yonason says:

        Switching to “renewables” is not the answer?

        It seems that, due to a heavy dose of reality, Spain agrees.

        Also, it sounds like your “expert” Nordhaus is more propagandist than objective scholar, as this article shows.

        Finally, CO2 is not a pollutant. Just ask the plants.

        • David A. says:

          There a lot of economic factors that have affected a country like Spain. That hardly means dirty energy doesn’t do harm.

          Nordhaus is one of the most respected climate economists on the planet. (Contrarians liked him just fine back when he was opposed to cap-and-trade.)

          The Institute for Energy Research is a front organization for the fossil fuel interests of the Koch brothers:

          CO2 is a pollutant (as the US Supreme Court has ruled); in excess quantities it causes undersirable effects such as excess warming, droughts, ocean acidification, etc. You’ll notice there are no plants on Venus, where the CO2 content is huge.

          • yonason says:

            “CO2 is a pollutant (as the US Supreme Court has ruled)”

            LOL! That is a legal, not a scientific ruling, based on false claims by Leftists like yourself, and dishonest “scientists” lying to protect their grant money, voted on by a mostly Leftist court to advance a political agenda.

            Maybe next, they can revoke the law of gravity. Get real.

            Venus is a red herring, totally irrelevant. Stay focused, David A., and address the facts. CO2 is essential for life on earth, and quite a bit more of it would not only not be harmful, but beneficial.

          • David A. says:

            Yes, it’s a legal ruling, based (of course) on scientific arguments.

            Plants already had plenty of CO2 before us. CO2 alters temperature, precipitation, soil moisture, etc., which can harm plants and plant tissues. There is already evidence that warming is counteracting the CO2-fertilization effect for some major crops:

            “Global scale climate–crop yield relationships and the impacts of recent warming,” David B Lobell and Christopher B Field, Environ. Res. Lett. 2 (2007) 014002 (7pp)

            Besides, weeds are plants too, which complicate agriculture. More plants (greening) also changes the albedo in a positive feedback.

            The CO2/plant situation isn’t nearly as simplistic as people like you try to make it — hence my Venus comment.

          • yonason says:

            “Yes, it’s a legal ruling, based (of course) on scientific arguments.”

            No. It’s based on advocacy and pseudo-science. Judicial standards of “proof” aren’t the same as scientific standards. The fact that you use a court case to support your “science” shows how desperately you lack any scientific facts.

            “Plants already had plenty of CO2 before us.”

            Actually, they were and even now still are near starvation (as one of my previous links clearly showed). Cut CO2 in half, and plants would begin to die, and then so would we. Increase CO2, and we’ll have more food to eat, and more areas of the planet will be habitable.

            CO2 is simply not a pollutant.

            Your David B Lobell and Christopher B Field, Environ. Res. Lett. 2 (2007) reference is yet more nonsense as shown here.

          • D. App says:

            As if plants weren’t doing well before the Industrial Revolution. Comical.

            The Supreme Court used good judgement in following the science that shows CO2 is a pollutant in excess quantities. It’s an important ruling that has helped give the EPA the power to address some of the US’s extremely excessive emissions.

          • Aaron S says:

            The decline in CO2 crossed a threshold in the late Miocene that gave grasses an advantage over trees and transitioned the global mid latitude from Miocene Savannah to open grassland. This transition drove our arboreal ancestors out of the trees and led to the bipedal lifestyle with big brains we are today and caused the larges extinction since the dinosaurs. But yes we are currently at the bottom of the CO2 curve through geological time… it is hard to imaging the increase of CO2 from 0.04 to 0.1% would generate a catastrophic event but you never know in a non-linear system. I do wonder what happens over 0.05% CO2, which is about the threshold that grasslands emerged… that could be a significant change to the global ecosystem if suddenly we went back to Savannahs.

            This concept is well published:

            Also, there are science and nature papers.
            Off course this does involve evolution so this is where I diverge from Roy- obviously.

          • jim says:

            David A.,
            Can I presume you are the David Appel, famous climate alarmist who has yet to show any actual evidence that man’s CO2 is causing dangerous global warming, instead you resort to attacking the messenger and accusing people of taking oil company money (like the CRU “scientists” did).

          • Doug Cotton   says:

            Yes David A.

            Maybe you should remember that in another court of law, Michael Mann was not able to produce any evidence to support his case against Tim Ball – not even to save paying a million or so in costs. If you are going to “report” on one case, how about the other?

            You are welcome to “review” my book late April when available – I can’t stop you, but don’t underestimate how I’ll tear your “review” to pieces, because what is in the book is factual, and what is in IPCC literature is false.

            In another comment you’ll find a positive review of my book by a retired physics educator.

            Then go back to this new comment.

      • NoFreeWind says:

        I live in eastern Penna, down wind of big coal using states, including my own. Why do I look at the state pollution data and find no real measurable pollution except for the very large cities where there are no coal plants?

      • MikeR says:

        I presume you know that while Nordhaus is a respected economist, plenty of other respected economists disagree with him. For instance, Bjorn Lomborg’s group has four economists with Nobel Prizes, and they consistently conclude that global warming mitigation returns pennies on the dollars.
        I’m not an economist, I don’t think you’re an economist. Why are you quoting the one who says what you like?

    • David.App says:

      Nordhaus also shows, in his recent book “The Climate Casino” (pg 174) that the first 15% cutback in worldwide CO2 emissions actually SAVES money, by increasing energy efficiency.

      He says a similar conclusion holds for the US as well.

      • jim says:

        Yeah David,
        you can save a lot of money by letting people freeze in the dark because they cannot afford both food and your high energy prices.

  2. Aaron S says:

    Tides come and go… I feel the tide turning on the perception of certainty regarding AGW…. Not that co2 doesn’t warm but is it a major driver or a second order variable in the climate system? I think we will know so much more in the next decade, and in my opinion as the sun’s activity continues an inactive phase we will see cooling… Excited to keep an open mind and watch the data.

  3. RW says:

    Thanks for the report. I’ll be interested to see this.

  4. Eliza says:

    Cant wait to see February’s global temps anomaly here of course. Betting on a big drop

  5. ed says:

    I expected a big drop in the Jan anomaly as well and it did not happen. My prediction is the Feb anomaly is about the same as Jan .290.

  6. “Kerry Emanuel emphasized the strong consensus in the climate community that adding CO2 to the atmosphere will cause warming, that the details of that warming remains uncertain (much of the heating has gone into the ocean), and that at least the possibility of catastrophic climate change compels us to act through energy policy.”

    Hmmm, yes the first part may be partially true. There is, as far as I can make out, a consensus in the “Climate Community” that adding CO2 to the Atmosphere will cause warming.

    The rest may be headed for my personal dust bin. – I would like to see the full discussion thou before I say much more. However even I “believe” that it is possible for CO2, and other GHGs, to cause some warming, but I cannot say that I “believe” in what I sometimes call “Svante’s Miracle” – a term which is better known as “Back radiation” (Br)which was popularized by a paper written by Svante Arrhenius back in 1895, or there about.
    Ok, there is not any problem there cause if there is energy radiation from an object (a) which then is absorbed by object (b), then there must also be radiation back from b to a. But I am being hard put to find any proof of this happening in “Real Life” (RL). There are – as far as I can see – no experiment(s) to prove this theory, i.e. that “Infra Red” (IR) radiation can cause one, two or more objects to increase their “Heat-content” (HC).

    Many of those (people) who claim there has been experiments done to prove the success of IR Br will mention John Tyndall’s experiment on CO2 back in 1859 (that is after they have understood that warming CO2 kept in a closed glass jar with what is known as an “Infrared Lamp”) is an experiment that proves that conduction works.)

    However Tyndall proved not that CO2 absorbed heat from a heated (to the boiling point) pot of water but he in fact proved that CO2 blocked the path of IR radiation. His “Thermopile” could not “see” the “Hot Pot” through the CO2 trapped in his tube. I am not going to explain the whole Tyndall setup here as this posting will become too long by far.

    And there is something else I can accept; CO2, just like water vapor (H2O), keeps the energy (from the Sun) trapped in the Earth’s surface for longer, thus making the surface a bit warmer. CO2’s “opaqueness” was also proved by Iain Stewart in The BBC’s “Earth, The Climate Wars”.

    The traditional “IR Back Radiation Theory” on the other hand cannot be proven – because it does not exist.

    Can you, with a body temperature of approx. 37º C, increase the temperature readings on an ordinary quick-silver/spirit thermometer just by standing next to it? – Does a cow standing in a field increase the temperature of the ground below her belly? – Well it must do for if the ground/surface can warm from IR radiation from CO2 molecules in the air then – – – – – and did the surface not cool down at all when it radiated away its energy in the first place?

    • Scott Scarborough says:

      The answer is yes. The cow does heat the ground under its belly. In-fact, even after the cow moves, its effect on the ground can be sensed with an infra-red camera (for a few minutes). Of couse that would be in still air.

      • Chic Bowdrie says:

        Scott, you would be assuming the ground temperature was colder than the cow’s belly. If the ground temperature had previously been warmed by the sun to a temperature greater than the cow’s belly, the ground would cool as shade tends to do.

        • David A. says:

          No, he doesn’t. The photons emitted by the cow’s underbelly strike the spot underneath it regardless of that spot’s temperature. The photons don’t know what the spot’s temperature is.

          Those photons carry energy, which, if they’re not reflected, they deposit into the spot. The spot thus gets warmer than it would otherwise be without the cow, and it, in turn, radiates more energy.

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Chic Bowdrie is right indeed, because if the cow is not transparent to the sun rays (which I suppose it’s not), the below cools “as shades tends to do”.

            The only way the below can warm is having the cow’s belly radiating an EM flux higher than the sun one.

            Have a nice day


          • D. App says:

            It depends on silly factors like the time of day and the angle of the sun…. In any case, the important point is that the radiation from the cow’s underbelly makes the spot beneath it warmer than it would otherwise be.

          • Bart says:

            “The photons emitted by the cow’s underbelly strike the spot underneath it regardless of that spot’s temperature.”

            And, photons from the spot on the ground strike the cow’s underbelly. In equal number if they are the same temperature and emissivity, but favoring one or the other if there is a differential in these.

          • David A. says:

            Yeah. So what?

          • Bart says:

            So, the spot on the ground will not be heated by the cow’s belly if it is already hotter than the cow’s belly.

          • David A. says:

            So, the spot on the ground will not be heated by the cow’s belly if it is already hotter than the cow’s belly.

            The spot on the ground will be heated by the cow’s belly. Period.

            The belly emits photons. Photons carry energy. Energy causes warming.

            If the rate of energy deposition is greater than the spot’s rate of cooling, it will warm absolutely.

            Pretty basic physics.

          • Bart says:

            Basic in Bizarro World, perhaps. Pretty much dead wrong here on Earth.

          • David A. says:

            A heat lamp held above the ground will warm the ground.

            So will a cow’s belly, for the same reason.

          • Bart says:

            A heat lamp is at greater temperature than the ground. A cow’s belly may not be. If the ground is hotter than the cow, the cow’s belly will get hotter, and the ground will get colder.

            This is really basic stuff. I think you are under a misconception that you are defending the greenhouse theory with this bovine example. You are not. This is not how the greenhouse theory works. And, you are badly damaging your brand by insisting on equating the two situations.

            There, you have the Sun, which is much hotter than the Earth. There, it is a matter of how the GHG modulates the energy being received and transmitted. But, the heat flow is still always from the hotter object, being the Sun, to the colder object, being the Earth and its atmosphere.

          • Bart says:

            …and, from the hotter object, that being the Earth and its atmosphere, to the colder object, that being the cold of deep space.

          • David A. says:

            It doesn’t matter whether the heat lamp is at a greater temperature than the ground — it will warm the ground.

            The heat lamp doesn’t know what the ground’s temperature is — it just emits heat. And that heat (photons) doesn’t know what the ground’s temperature is — they just travel. And when they impact the ground, those not reflected are absorbed, and since they have energy IS warming.

            WHo lives in a world where heat lamps know the temperature of all the objects around them? Not me.

          • David A. says:

            But, the heat flow is still always from the hotter object, being the Sun, to the colder object, being the Earth and its atmosphere.


            Not only his this a sad misunderstanding of the 2nd law of thermodynamics — which, I’ll remind you, only applies to ADIABATIC systems — it obviously violates conservation of energy.

            The Moon heats the Earth too, even though it is at a lower average temperature.

          • Bart says:

            You’re hopeless. But, do please continue. It makes the job of pointing out the holes in the AGW argument easier.

          • David.A says:

            Do you deny that a heat lamp held above the ground will warm the ground beneath it?

          • Bart says:

            If the ground is hotter than the lamp, certainly. Why don’t you take a heat lamp into a volcano and demonstrate it to yourself?

          • Ivan Toman says:

            What you just said is that if you have a body A with T=400K and then you bring close to it body B with T=100K, then T of body A will become higher because of presence of body B that radiates energy and body A picks it up? Well, think again. Then if you still think it is true, it would be time to go back to learn some basics first.

          • Bart says:

            What who just said? Certainly not I. Your point is the one I am trying to make to D.A.

          • Ivan Toman says:

            David said. I don’t know how to properly reply on actual message this message system. You’re right on that, but as I explained in another post, the story ground-cow really depends on what cow replaces – the air. If cow is hotter than air then it will create warmer patch on the ground, and if cow is colder then air it will make colder patch.

        • Bart says:

          No, it depends on precisely on what Chic Bowdrie says it depends – a positive temperature differential between the cow and the ground.

          • David A. says:

            No, it doesn’t. Emitted photons have no idea what the temperature differential is — they just carry energy from one place to another.

          • Bart says:

            Yes, it does. You cannot just look at one side of the equation. There is a two way flow. It is only when there is an imbalance between the flows that energy migrates.

          • Bart says:

            net energy, that is.

          • David A. says:

            Nope. Emitted photons have no idea what the temperature differential is. Their rate of emission does not depend on it. Nor does their rate of absorption.

          • Bart says:

            This is too stupid for words. Not worth any more of my time.

          • JohnKl says:

            Dave A,

            Prove that photons even exist. Planck & Einstein gave up on the concept years ago.

            In any case, the WAVE energy radiated from the initial generating body cannot raise the temperature of a receiving object higher than that of the transmitting one. Hence no HEAT transfer. If the temperature of the receiving body exceeds that of the transmitting body, the receiving body will accept the energy from the transmitting one but in any finite period of time the receiving body already emits a greater quantity of energy than the transmitting body. Therefore, given the net loss of energy, the temperature or HEAT content of the receiving body will not increase. This must be true by the FIRST AND SECOND LAWS OF THERMO-DYNAMICS. Psuedo-physics not withstanding.

            Have a great day!

          • David A. says:

            Planck & Einstein gave up on the concept years ago.

            Dead wrong. The existence of photons is utterly unquestioned among today’s physicists. We all rely on them every day in many, many ways.

            There are some real crackpots here….

          • David A. says:

            In any case, the WAVE energy radiated from the initial generating body cannot raise the temperature of a receiving object higher than that of the transmitting one. Hence no HEAT transfer.

            Wrong. The wave/particle has no idea what the temperature difference is. It is emitted, it travels, and it is absorbed.

            (And it doesn’t matter whether you call it a particle or a wave.)

            The predictions of electron-photon interactions, from the theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED), are the most precisely verified predictions in any sciene, anywhere, such as for the g-factor of the electron.

            In no way do those predictions, or the observations, depend on the temperature of the emitter or of the absorber.

          • Bart says:

            “In no way do those predictions, or the observations, depend on the temperature of the emitter or of the absorber.”

            Just wow.

            You’ve gone over the deep end, David. Time to pull yourself back in.

          • David A. says:

            Try to pay attention.

            The emitting object temperature determines its outgoing spectrum, and hence the number and frequency of the photons it emits.


            The interaction of a photon and an electron does not depend on the temperature of the object the photon came from, or that the electron came from.

            The highly precise predicdtions of QED prove this.

          • Bart says:

            Ah, so now, at least, temperature does affect the emitter. At least we got that far.

            So, please do explain to us how you determine which object is the emitter, and which is the absorber? This should be fun…

            Note to the wise: when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

          • David.A says:

            So, please do explain to us how you determine which object is the emitter, and which is the absorber? This should be fun…

            Sad. The the emitter is the object the photon leaves.

            Or are you confused because any object can be both an emitter and an absorber at the same time??

          • John K says:

            David A,

            My apologies, you are correct in regards to Einstein and Planck. Some time ago I (mis)read information that lead me to believe they had questioned and changed their minds regarding their theories/models later in life. Apparently on rereading it that didn’t happen. Again, my apologies.

            Have a great day!

          • David A. says:

            Thanks John K.

          • Bart says:

            “Or are you confused because any object can be both an emitter and an absorber at the same time??”

            Ah, so temperature does affect them both. Very good. Now, if one is at a higher temperature than the other, what happens to the photon flux between them? If you can answer this one correctly, you should be able to reason out your error for yourself. I’m getting kind of tired of giving remedial instruction.

          • Ivan Toman says:

            Bart and David, now I read all posts, you’re both wrong. I have a sense that in your arguing you’re ignoring few important things.

            Let’s state problem this way. We have a ground and a cow. Let ground temperature without cow is constant and equals 40°C. Without having cow hang there, we fist must ask ourself why ground temperature is CONSTANT if it radiates energy? It is because, and only because, there is equal amount of energy coming in somehow (radiation from Sun, most probably, but to exclude cow-blocking-sun effect, let’s say that this energy comes from deep soil layers toward surface by conduction, so equal amount of energy comes from below as radiates to atmosphere and space and T of surface is constant).

            Air directly above ground receives energy from ground and it becomes equally hot. Let’s say lowest air layer has also temperature 40°C. It is pretty much safe to assume if we can agree to say that there is no air motion.

            Now, Cow comes. Cow’s belly has temperature 30°C, which means 10°C lower than ground surface. The question is, will ground below cow’s belly start to rise, stay the same, or start to decrease? Remember, no Sun there, so cow will not block any incoming radiation.

            The answer is – it real situation it depends, but in described situation it will decrease. It depends on what?! It depends on WHAT COW’S BELLY REPLACES. Cow’s belly replaces air that had temperature 40°C and that radiated back to ground same amount of heat as ground radiated to air! If ground and air had same temperature, there is no net heat exchange and no temperature change. But now cow came and above ground isn’t anymore matter with temperature 40°C, but now is matter with temperature 30°C, so temperature balance is disrupted and heat starts to flow. It flows, from ground toward cow’s belly, because ground is warmer. This process warms up cow’s belly and cools down ground.

            However, in real world situation, it could happen that there was air flow and so lowest layer of air might not have temperature of 40°C but 25°C. If ground temperature is still constant during that condition, and cow now comes and replaces that air, now we have warmer matter ove ground than before. This means, that heat flow from ground (40°¢) to something above it (before was air, 25°C, now is cow, 30°C) will become slower because of less temperature difference between ground and matter above, and if ground was able to sustain constant temperature before, now it’s temperature will rise, because it’ heat loss will reduce due to reduced temperature difference.

          • Bart says:

            Ivan, you and I are not in disagreement.

          • Doug  Cotton   says:

            Radiation is not the primary determinant of planetary tropospheric temperatures, as is blatantly obvious on Uranus and Venus also.

            It is the now-proven existence of the gravito-thermal (temperature) gradient that evolves spontaneously at the molecular level which sets the supporting temperature at the base of a planet’s troposphere. It’s hotter than Earth at that base of the nominal troposphere on Uranus, but there’s no significant solar radiation reaching it, no significant internal energy release and no surface.

            For a detailed explanation see this comment.

          •  Doug  Cotton   says:

            David A is incorrect in saying assertively from his imaginings that “The interaction of a photon and an electron does not depend on the temperature of the object the photon came from, or that the electron came from.”

            See “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” for my reasons why.

        • John K says:

          David A,

          You quoted me:

          “In any case, the WAVE energy radiated from the initial generating body cannot raise the temperature of a receiving object higher than that of the transmitting one. Hence no HEAT transfer.”

          and declared:

          “Wrong. The wave/particle has no idea what the temperature difference is. It is emitted, it travels, and it is absorbed.

          (And it doesn’t matter whether you call it a particle or a wave.)”

          and later stated:

          “The emitting object temperature determines its outgoing spectrum, and hence the number and frequency of the photons it emits.


          Apparently, you also require a lesson in reading comprehension. I never claimed the wave/particle had any idea what the temperature difference is. However, the emitter’s temperature determines the outgoing FREQUENCY and thus per Planck it’s ENERGY! Therefore, the frequency/energy emitted cannot raise the temperature of the receiving object above the temperature required to generate the same frequency/energy lest you violate the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics.

          A simple example will illustrate the point. Take a universe consisting of only two identical iron cylinders (or whatever metal you choose so long as the two objects have identical composition and just to make it simple identical mass and volume). Cylinder (A) has an initial temperature of 200 deg F and the other cylinder (B) a temperature of 100 deg F. (B) generates IR radiation at a given frequency and (A) generates IR at the same AND HIGHER FREQUENCY. In any finite time period (A) generates MORE ENERGY than (B). The energy (B) generates can do no more than replace a fraction of the energy lost by (A) at the SAME FREQUENCY. In addition, (A) will loose additional energy at HIGHER FREQUENCIES. Therefore, in any finite time period (A) will always loose energy and thus lower temperature over time despite (B)’s presence.

          Will (B)’s presence add to (A)’s energy and thus slow temperature loss at the frequency (B) radiates? Yes. However, again in any finite time period (A) will still loose energy and thus cools. (B)’s presence doesn’t in any finite time period RAISE (A)’s temperature! QED, YOU’RE WRONG!!!

          Have a great day!

          • Doug  Cotton   says:

            John K and David A.

            This issue is explained in great detail (based on new findings in 21st century physics) in my peer-reviewed paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” published on several websites (including P S I where you’ll find it in the Publications menu) just about exactly two years ago.

            The “recognition” by the target is due to a resonance process, just as a bridge may collapse when it “recognises” soldiers marching in step with its natural resonating frequency.

            You should not base your understanding of radiative transfer theory on imagined concepts of photons like little hand grenades dumping thermal energy into everything they strike. They do not violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and so low frequency (low energy) IR photons from a cold atmosphere do not penetrate even 0.01mm below the surface of a water body and warm it down there, whereas IR from the Sun (about 48% of its radiation) does penetrate the ocean quite significantly.

            Radiation from A to B is a complete, one way independent process, just like the one way process about which the second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium—the state with the maximum possible entropy. If you can prove that radiation can violate the Second Law, edit Wikipedia and win a Nobel Prize.

          • Doug  Cotton   says:

            Please also see my comments starting here below.

  7. Werner Brozek says:

    RSS dropped by 0.1 from January to February. Of course that does not mean UAH will do so as well, but that would be my best guess for now.

  8. David.App says:

    Bart Verheggen makes a pretty good case that your recent graph of model vs observed results is misleading, for two reasons: using only 5-year running averages, and re-baselining the figure:

    Your graph badly needs to be peer reviewed.

    • Aaron S says:

      David the grapg in the article you cite is an order of magnitude more misleading than roys bc it shows a perfect match for so long before the models were let go to predict. It biases the entire perspective bc the vast majority of the data is simple curve matching and the failure to predict is the issue. If I were to make a model of course it would match existing temperature records… The problem arose when they were tested and have next to no correlation w actual temperature data.

      • D. App says:

        Models aren’t “curve matching.”

        When and if Christy & Spencer’s graph ever passes peer review, it can be brandished all over the world as evidence. Until then, it’s just a blog post, no better than the other blog posts that have called it misleading.

        • Bart says:

          You can brandish the “peer review” club all you like. We are only too aware of how that process has been corrupted.

        • David A. says:

          If there is anything to Christy & Spencer’s graph they will submit it for publication, like all scientists do. Let’s see if it passes muster.

          Of course, pontificating on a blog and in the WSJ is so much easier.

          • Bart says:

            The Climate Mafia have left few alternatives. The Church in the Middle Ages similarly squelched debate. Plus ca change…

          • David A. says:

            Peer review is the first benchmark for any serious scientific work. Not unchecked blog postings that the gullible will eat up, not the WSJ.

            (Obviously, Christy picked the WSJ for a reason — he knew it wouldn’t question him on unpublished science.)

          • Bart says:

            Not any more. Peer review is dead. You guys killed it.

          • David A. says:

            Nope. But I do understand how it’s convenient for you to pretend otherwise.

          • Bart says:

            And, likewise, for you to pretend all is well in the peer review community.

          • David A. says:

            Really? So what is wrong in the peer reviewed literature?

          • Bert Walker says:

            David A. says:

            Really? So what is wrong in the peer reviewed literature?

            A:Publishers withdraw more than 120 gibberish papers

          • Doug  Cotton   says:

            What’s wrong with any of the literature based on a radiative forcing concept? Answer: the assumptions on which that literature is based. The peers teach themselves wrong assumptions and generation after generation of climatologists are brain washed and never think for themselves.

            See my comments starting here below.

      • Aaron S says:

        Yes models can be curve matching, which is why they match perfectly up until they are let go and then fail at the first neutral phase in temperature. Exactly how many peer reviewed papers have you published David A? I do have a few under my belt… so if you want to know about the process I will gladly share. When I published in line with the CO2 proponents papers were easy to get through review, but the first time my data (like Roy’s) led me to believe CO2 was not the primary driver- then things got more interesting. Publishing about the sun’s role in climate change is a different beast all together bc the band of brothers in the CO2 community have a total lock down on the field. I had a EPA scientist as a reviewer and he basically said the sun is not a factor. It is absolutely absurd to consider alternative scenarios in their mind. Here is a paper you can take a look at if you like- this was the transitional paper for me bc the presence of solar cycles in the spectral analyses of Lacustrine varves made me realize how powerful the sun is in the system (although this example is a regional system rather than global it is obvious the sund forces climate).

    • If that is what Bart is claiming then he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Besides, you don’t peer review a figure like that. It’s a simple plot of existing peer-reviewed data. Geez.

  9. Dear Dr. Spencer,
    I still wonder how Emmanuel an Christie still drive the CO-2 car for global warming and other consequences.
    There is in the peer reviewed literature about a year old, an article “The Phase relation between carbon dioxide and global temperature” of O.Humlum et al. 2013, Global and Planetary Change, p.51. This article shows very clearly that the yearly CO-2 changes follow the ocean Surface temperature with a phase lag of up to one year. After reading this paper carefully there is no room for anthropogenic CO-2 causing the warming.
    I send you, Dr. Spencer, a copy of that paper less than two weeks ago. Please read it!

  10. Stephen Richards says:

    It’s amazing how these idiots grab hold of every global warming fashion that comes along.

    Trenberth decided that he had to hide the heat which isn’t there so put it somewhere where it isn’t measured and every clown jumps on it. Nutticelli and Kook come up with a totally flawed consensus of 97% and every man and his dog jumps on it. Then the little sheople like appel come running along behind. Amazing !!

  11. The sun is the main driver of the climate, and I think everyone would agree that there is some threshold change in our sun which would exert an influence on the climate, either through direct means or secondary means, or both.
    This leaves us with two very important questions which I believe have yet to be answered.

    They are how variable is the sun really ,and what thresholds of solar variability are needed either through direct means or secondary means or both to have a significant impact on the climate?

    I gave the parameters I think are necessary and I also stated I think they occur during times of prolonged solar minimum periods and refer to the MAUNDER and DALTON MINIMUMS as examples.

    I also think the strength of the earth’s magnetic field can either compound solar effects upon the earth’s climate or moderate them.

    The best combination for a significant cooling in my opinion are a combination of weak solar and earth magnetic fields, over a prolonged period of time.

    • Aaron S says:

      I agree and in a decade we will have an answer. I have a data proxy where I look at the tropical pacific temperatures used for enso and correlate it w sunspot count and over the last 50 years there is a positive correlation between the sunand temperature of pacific surface w a 6 year lag in the smoothed data. The point is as we leave this weak peak and start the schwabe minimum phase there could be a slight delay… But the data says we should start cooling. This is one of the great natural experiments that is exciting to follow.

  12. My above post makes much more sense and is where the discussion of climate should be, but for now the climate community at large is not even close.

    They are for the most part all on the WRONG track and this will come back to haunt them if sub-solar conditions overall continue and the sun goes back to very quiet conditions post this current solar cycle 24 maximum.

    It is simply amazing how far astray climate science has gone.

  13. yonason says:

    Whenever I see such a “conversation,” my BS-antennae start to twitch. I listen to what’s said, and look for things like the stark contrast between the following statements…

    “Kerry Emanuel emphasized …. that … the possibility of catastrophic climate change compels us to act through energy policy”

    Compare that with…

    “Christy’s view was that we have the moral obligation to allow access to inexpensive energy by the world’s poor, a view which Emanuel also supported.”

    The problem? — Acting “through energy policy” and allowing the world’s poor “access to inexpensive energy” are mutually exclusive.

    That is self-evident to anyone who actually looks at how the poor suffer under current “energy policies,” as for example turning food into fuel. See also here.

    Emanuel can either advocate for government intervention, which will harm the poor by depriving them of employment, energy and nourishment, or he can advocate for helping them. He can not honestly do both.

    • David A. says:

      Regardless of the world’s poor, the world’s rich (viz. everyone here) are wealthy enough now to pay for clean energy.

      Using the poor as excuse for the inactions of the rich doesn’t fly.

      • yonason says:

        So, you really don’t care about the world’s poor at all. So, let’s redirect to what you want us to see as the “real” issue, the “greedy rich.”

        And your Socialist “screw the rich” b.s. is what “doesn’t fly.” Everyone who’s ever tried that model has met with failure, and the harder they try, the more they fail. But where free market economies exist, people are healthier, more literate and have more opportunities.

        BTW, how would you define “actions of the rich” that you think would help? Perhaps squandering their money on more useless environment destroying bird abattoirs?

        See also here.

        • David A. says:

          Stop the red herrings — of course I care about the poor.

          Nor is this about “screw the rich” — it’s about making people pay for their own crap.

          Would you allow the rich to pollute your water, just because it’s cheaper than building sewage systems? To dump their trash in your front yard, because it’s cheaper than subscribing to a garbage pickup service?

          I doubt it. So why should they — or anyone — be allowed to pollute the atmosphere for free?

          • yonason says:

            “Would you allow the rich to pollute your water, just because it’s cheaper than building sewage systems?”

            If I didn’t have a decent Conservative government protecting me from them, I would have no choice.

            Now, lets turn this around. Would YOU allow some whacko enviro-fraud crony-capitalist parasites came and force a noise polluting and health hazardous wind-farm on you, just to enrich themselves at your expense with the subsidies taken from your taxes by a rogue socialist government? Oh, wait, you wouldn’t have even a hope of stopping it.

            So, why are you supporting the rich jerks who want to impose their bogus agenda on us for their own personal gain?

            To paraphrase you, “So why should they — or anyone — be allowed to destroy the environment, kill countless birds and bats, noise-pollute, derive the poor of the world of a future, and have me pay them to do it?”

          • yonason says:

            Oh, and did you (David A.) deliberately miss my point about the world’s poor in my first comment?

            What I was doing, as should be obvious to anyone paying attention, was to show that Kerry Emanuel was talking out of both sides of his mouth, calling his integrity into question.

            But you ignored that, and tried to redirect. I played your little game, and now I’m done for a while.

          • David A. says:

            I didn’t ignore your point. I just didn’t think it was a good one.

            There’s simply on logic to statements like

            Acting “through energy policy” and allowing the world’s poor “access to inexpensive energy” are mutually exclusive.

            It contains a host of assumptions, mostly about bad actors, and also some bad science. (There are doubts, as I wrote about above, the “inexpensive energy” is the same thing as “cheap energy” — dirty energy carries large negative externalities, which must be factored into any analysis.)

          • yonason says:

            “There’s simply on logic to statements like

            Acting “through energy policy” and allowing the world’s poor “access to inexpensive energy” are mutually exclusive.”

            The “matter of logic” is that he could say two contradictory things, and expect us to take him seriously from then on.

            And, no, it isn’t a matter of “logic” that those are contradictory things, it’s a matter of empirical fact, which is much stronger.

          • D. App says:

            They’re not at all contradictory. Actually, they’re so general they could mean almost anything. So general that there’s no logic at all to your interpretation of them.

          • yonason says:

            PART 1 – (due to # of links)
            I repeat. He supports two mutually contradictory things. THAT contradictory support is what is illogical, and downright immoral given the consequences.

            I also repeat. I’m not just relying on logic to prove his stands are contradictory; I’m relying on the empirically verifiable fact that govt., backed eviro-scams are hurting the poor (also the environment, but that’s another can of worms).

            see here

          • yonason says:

            PART 2 –
            Continuing with some of the evidence, see also

            And, echoing your “regardless of the world’s poor,” greenies realize that something will have to give, and I think we all know what (who) they will treat as expendable.

            The harm they are causing is just beginning to come to light and while the full extent won’t be know for years, but when the results are in, the verdict will not be in favor of the greens.

            You cannot support government enforced “sustainable” environmental policies that are not only not sustainable, but harmful, and still claim you want to help the poor.

          • David.A says:

            What two mutually conflicting things??

          • John K says:

            Hi David A,

            You assert:

            “Nor is this about “screw the rich” — it’s about making people pay for their own crap.”

            Pay to whom? For what crap? Certainly particulate emissions, VOC’s etc. may cause problems. However, you have yet to prove human CO2 emissions harmed anyone. In fact, given the larger than expected increase in agricultural production (often called the GREEN REVOLUTION) coincident with increased CO2 emissions and supposedly increased temperatures during an ICE AGE (as I’ve shown before). Who will compensate the emitters for the ADDITIONAL ATMOSPHERIC PLANT FOOD AND SUPPOSEDLY WARMER LIFE SUPPORTING TEMPERATURES?

            Have a great day!

          • yonason says:

            “David.A says:
            March 4, 2014 at 9:28 PM

            What two mutually conflicting things??”

            You can’t help the poor by robbing them blind, which is what all these govt., sponsored scams do, as I have shown in the links I’ve provided. You support one, you have to reject the other.

            Help the poor = reject “sustainable” (in name only) energy scams.
            Chase after wind, ethanol, carbon indulgences = screw the poor.

            Can’t have it both ways.

            (Are you really that dense, or are you just pretending to be because you can’t defend the indefensible?)

      • NoFreeWind says:

        You have it all backwards. Rich people are the ones who will own the wind turbines and solar panels. They will be the ones getting richer. That is what this is all about, not some dream about clean energy that is 2-10x more expensive than traditional. It just seems clean when looking at it, because all the dirtiness is produced during the manufacturing of these gizmos. Mining rare-earth minerals and making steel and concrete is not clean.


    Solar Flux avg. sub 90

    Solar Wind avg. sub 350 km/sec

    AP index avg. sub 5.0

    Cosmic ray counts north of 6500 counts per minute

    Total Solar Irradiance off .015% or more

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

    IMF around 4.0 nt or lower.

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

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

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

  15. I posted the solar criteria I think will cause a significant climate impact.

    This is clear cut, and can be falsified or proven by seeing what kind of climate response the earth may or may not have when these parameters are approached.

    This is direct and to the point ,no spin, which is what we hear constantly from those who promote AGW.

  16. David A. IF IF IF the solar criteria is met and sustained which has NOT happened yet. Then we will see.

    I can be wrong on two counts

    Count one, the solar conditions I call for do not come to be ,and worse(count two) if the solar conditions I call for do come to be but the climate does not respond.

    However I am only wrong on the climate forecast if solar conditions I call for occur and the climate does not respond the way I have forecasted.

    • David A. says:

      I see. So you’re only wrong if you’re wrong. That’s helpful.

      Except that you’ve been hawking your the-sun-will-cause-cooling idea on this blog for years how, always saying “time will tell.” It hasn’t happened yet.

      • Aaron S says:

        The sun is in a short term maximum and the conditions for cooling will likely be crossed in the minimum phase. It’s a composite curve Comprised of short term and longer term cycles… The longer term has decreased and the higher frequency is at a max… So time is required until we see the impact. It’s like sales at jc penny’s… They are dropping and low relative to the long term average but they still spike during Christmas above the mean.

        • D. App says:

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

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

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

          • Bart says:

            Yes, just as changes in CO2 are not strong enough to drive significant warming. You have to tack on positive water vapor feedback to get that.

            But, that putative positive feedback applies to any warming input. So, at the very least, to be consistent, you need to multiply your estimate by a factor of 3 or more.

            And, then you need to start considering other amplification factors, e.g., that of Svensmark.

          • David.A says:

            Yes, feedbacks happen, as the paleo record shows — you don’t get the right answers if you ignore them.

            And they’re happening now, such as the increase in atmospheric water vapor and the ice-albedo feedback.

            There is not sufficient evidence to say the Svensmark hypothesis is happening — it’s still a hypothesis, with several unproven steps in its proposed mechanism.

          • Bart says:

            Positive water vapor feedback is likewise merely an hypothesis.

          • David A. says:

            Positive water vapor feedback is likewise merely an hypothesis.

            Ever heard of the Clausius-Claperyon equation?

          • Bart says:

            Ever heard of petitio principii?

          • David A. says:

            Yes. Equations trump your linguistics. Warmer air holds more water vapor.

          • Bart says:

            Epistemology trumps your equations. You are proceeding under the fallacy of overgeneralization. You have to prove that the effect is dominant in the specific situation at hand.

          • David A. says:

            Gobbelygook. Warmer air holds more water vapor. This is intuitive, but if you want to calculate the amounts, see the Clausius-Claperyon equation (if you can do the math).

          • Bart says:

            Gibberish. You’re just flinging out effects which occur under specific conditions, and insisting they hold under any conditions.

          • David A. says:

            Not general conditions. Warmer air holds more water vapor. Just because you don’t know the Clausius-Claperyon relation doesn’t mean some of us don’t.

          • Bart says:

            Must be why it’s so humid in the desert.

            Honestly, David, are you a real person? Or, a bot programmed to spew out disconnected techno-jargon?

          • David.A says:

            You mean a desert like Antarctica?

            Deserts are dry because they receive little rainfall, and are usually far from the sea.

            That hardly invallidates the Clausius Claperyon relation, which is a fundamental finding of thermodynamics. Warmer air has a higher vapor pressure of saturation.

            Or are you now so deluded you think you have overthrown all of classical thermodynamics?

          • Bart says:

            So, warmth alone isn’t enough to increase water vapor. Thank you for making my point.

            You are a long, long, way from proving that there is a positive water vapor feedback. In fact, you haven’t even started down the path.

          • Doug  Cotton   says:

            Whatever you think happens, empirical data from 30 years of temperature and precipitation records from three continents has been used (in a study I did being published in April) to prove with statistical significance that more moist inland tropical regions are cooler than drier regions at similar altitudes and latitudes in their hottest month when the Sun passes nearly directly overhead.

          •  Doug  Cotton   says:

            D. App.

            You cannot correctly calculate surface temperatures using the S-B equation. Consider the surface of the ocean – let’s say the first 1cm of its depth which is almost totally transparent for UV, visible and IR form the Sun. So all that energy is mostly passing straight through 70% of Earth’s surface. And the radiation from colder regions of the troposphere does not even enter the water, and its energy is temporarily used to raise an electron between energy states, then re-emitted immediately. The electro-magnetic energy in the back radiation cannot transfer thermal energy even to 1mm below a water surface, but the Sun’s IR (48% of its total flux) sure can.

          •  Doug  Cotton   says:

            No D.App, I just use the Second Law of Thermodynamics which states that “the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium— a state depending on the maximum entropy.”

            That state is isentropic, and an isentropic state in a gravitational field has a thermal gradient due to the extra gravitational potential energy at higher altitudes. And when we have a thermal gradient already there, we don’t need to conjure up a GH conjecture to explain it.

            My question is, what physics are you using to back up the false assumption that there would be isothermal tropospheres on all planets in the absence of radiating gases?

        • Aaron S says:

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

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

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

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

          Also, the frequency of solar CME, which vary with solar activity are disregarded as affecting Earth’s climate, and that is a total unknow.

          So yes the models do a half baked attempt to control for the sun, but reality is we don’t know much about its impact.

          I also love how the Dalton and Mounder minimums are disregarded when they correlate nicely with cool earth conditions.

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

          • Aaron S says:

            David A, by the way here is a good review of some of my work: Perhaps you could read up on the greater field… I will gladly share the literature I have with you because I can tell your a smart individual and I bet if you look at the data it will change your perspective. Let me know and I will put a bunch of links to relevant peer reviewed literature up here.


          • Fonzie says:

            Aaron, thank you much for your brilliant comments. I always enjoy reading them…

          • Doug  Cotton   says:

            You cannot validly apply the S-B equation to Earth’s surface because it acts nothing at all like a true black or grey body.

            The surface layer (say 1cm thin) has all the molecules needed (and far more) to influence climate temperature measurements in the water surface or the first 2m of the air in which we stand. Well over 99.9% of incident solar radiation striking the oceans passes straight through the transparent 1cm thin surface layer, which thus absorbs less than 0.1% and so has effective absorptivity <0.001.

            Now go and work out the Venus surface temperature using the fact that less than 20W/m^2 of incident solar radiation strikes that surface, and so any back radiation from that new solar energy would also be <20W/m^2.

      • Bart says:

        Conversely, The AGW lobby has been telling us the Earth was going to warm in the 21st century. It hasn’t happened yet.

        • David.A says:

          The world sure has warmed this century — look at the widespread ocean warming taking place:

          That doesn’t happen without a reason….

          Even the thin sliver of the surface is on the same trendline since 1975:

          • Bart says:

            But, is it your reason? There is no evidence to confirm it. This is a flail.

          • David A. says:

            It’s the same reason that’s been causing warming up to 2000 — the excessive buildup of CO2 and other anthropogemic GHGs in the atmosphere.

          • Bart says:

            No, that is not the reason. That is an ex-post facto flail.

          • David A. says:

            Because you live in a fantasyland doesn’t mean we all do. The fact that GHGs cause warming has been known for many decades. No one — least of all someone like you — has shown otherwise.

          • Bart says:

            It is a long jump from “all things being equal, GHGs should produce some warming” to “GHGs are producing catastrophic warming.” No one — least of all someone like you — has shown it to be true.

          • David A. says:

            Where did I use the word “catastrophic?”


            Fact is, I didn’t. It’s not a scientific term, it’s one of human values. Until you define it, it has no scientific meaning.

          • Bart says:

            Significant, then. Use whatever word you like. There is no indication it is any big deal.

          • David A. says:

            2 C of warming is certainly a “big deal.” It’s 1/3rd of an inverse ice age. Occurring in such a short time period, it’s even more of a big deal.

          • Bart says:

            Begging the question again. The usual. Bor-ing.

          • David.A says:

            What was the last +2 C warming human civilization survived?

          • Bart says:

            Begging for more. There is no indication, as of right now, that any warming has taken place due to increasing CO2. You have zip, zilch, nada, no evidence at all.

          • yonason says:

            Still at it, I see, DavidA.

            “The world sure has warmed this century — look at the widespread ocean warming taking place:


            That doesn’t happen without a reason….

            But, whatever reason it is (try ‘the sun’), it’s NOT due to CO2.

            Oh, and as to “widespread warming,” a lot of it is simply due to data manipulation.

            I don’t know if you have this great resource, but reading it about a decade ago is what made me realize that the wild claims made by warmists were wrong, and not only wrong, but often deliberately maliciously wrong.

          • yonason says:

            OK, gotta go, but here’s one more quickie on “ocean warming”

            It’s source? I’m putting my money (what I have left after they’re done stealing it) on the vivid paranoid imagination of warmists.


          • Doug  Cotton   says:

            Well said yonason.

            I have proved that it is the gravito-thermal gradient and a process of downward diffusion (with some advection) that determines the supporting temperature at the base of a planet’s troposphere, as is blatantly obvious on Uranus. For more detail see this comment and consider reading my book late April.

          •  Doug  Cotton   says:

            All the world’s a stage, not an ocean. I don’t see what you see in sea surface statistically significant sliding trends.

  17. Regardless of the world’s poor, the world’s rich (viz. everyone here) are wealthy enough now to pay for clean energy.

    Using the poor as excuse for the inactions of the rich doesn’t fly.

    Who is “everyone here?” Does it mean every citizen of the U.S.? Don’t laugh, there are some in the AGW Consensus crowd who believe all U.S. citizens are rich in comparison to the poorest in the world. When I first saw this assertion being bandied about at some “progressive” blogs, I decided to spread the good word and tell some homeless people in downtown Atlanta what they apparently didn’t know; that they were rich. They didn’t smile, thus proving that being rich and being happy are not necessarily the same thing. Despite their wealth, many of them asked me for a dollar to help support their wealthy Ripple habit. I obliged just as I do when I pay my taxes each year so some more wealthy people can support their wealthy Ripple habit.

    So David, let me ask you. What about China and Russia and India? Have you spoken with them yet? When you do, and I’m sure you will, what if they tell you to go jump in a lake, which I suspect they might, or worse? What do you do then? Should we nuke them if they don’t? You’re asking the U.S. to dehydrocarbonize, but how will that turn out if the other developed nations don’t? I think we know how it would turn out, and that makes me very suspicious of your intentions. Are you a Chinese spy, David? The Chinese would like nothing more than to convince the citizens of the U.S. to self-pauperize whilst they walk in and buy the country up, lock, stock and two smoking barrels.

  18. As I have said Dr. Spencer takes the right approach when it comes to climate because he does not rule anything in or out.

    He considers CO2 and does think it has some kind of an impact,(but more limited) which I respect when it comes from a source such as himself.

    I on the other hand believe in the greenhouse gas effect but think it is in response to climate change, in contrast to promoting climate change.

  19. Four good arguments against AGW theory.

    1. CO2 follows the temperature does not lead it.

    2. Temperatures have remained constant for 15+ years despite CO2 increasing.

    3. Antarctic sea ice is at record highs or close to it.

    4. If one goes back in past history and looks at the past 2000 years or so one will find temperatures as high or higher then today while CO2 concentrations were less.

    Roman warm period for example.

    • David A. says:

      3. Antarctic sea ice is at record highs or close to it.

      There may be problems with the data models:

      “A spurious jump in the satellite record: is Antarctic sea ice really expanding?” I. Eisenman et al, The Cryosphere Discuss., 8, 273-288, 2014

      Your other points aren’t worth the effort.

      • Bill Marsh says:


        You really need to read the entire abstract before you make a claim of refutation. In the abstract itself the authors state

        “our analysis does not definitively identify whether this undocumented change introduced an error or removed one, the resulting difference in the trends suggests that a substantial error exists in either the current dataset or the version that was used prior to the mid-2000s”. That and I would not accept that a paper that reaches a conclusion including the words ‘raise the possibility that … may … ” (“The results of this analysis raise the possibility that this expansion may be a spurious artifact of an error in the satellite observations”) is sufficiently strong to refute existing observations. Raising a ‘possibility that there may be an error somewhere, but we don’t know where’ is significantly different than ‘there is an error in the current readings that refutes claims of an increase in Antarctic sea ice cover’.

        Did you mean ‘data models’ in the statistical sense? Pretty sure you meant that although the casual reader could interpret that to mean you think the satellite observations are ‘data models’.

        I have no wonder as to why you think Mr Holefield’s other points ‘aren’t worth the effort’.

    • David A. says:

      2. Temperatures have remained constant for 15+ years despite CO2 increasing.

      Maybe for RSS LT. Not for UAH LT. Nor for surface temperatures; in fact, they are on the same trendline since 1975, with just the typical oscillations around that trend:

      • Bill Marsh says:

        Actually the RSS trend is now 17 years 6 months (the actual trend is -03C/decade which is, of course, not statistically significant. UAH has a similar trend although it is not as long.

        Citing land surface temps only is mixing apples and oranges.

        Given that there are now multiple papers by ‘reputable’ Climate Scientists like Gavin Schmidt, et al that are claiming to explain the reason for the ‘pause’, I think arguing that there is not one is outdated.

        • David A. says:

          What, exactly, is UAH’s trend, including autocorrelation? I calculate that their LT dataset shows 0.19 C of warming over 17 yrs 6 mths.

          The uncertainty, of course, depends on how you calculate it, and how you interpret it. So let’s see your calculation of it.

          And, you know, this kind of slowdown has happened before:

          Warming resumed then. It will again — physics says it has to.

          • Bart says:

            No, you say it has to. When you assert that physics says it has to, you are begging the question.

          • David.A says:

            Bart, when are you going to prove something? Or prove anything?

            You make a lot of assertions, but never prove any of them. Too tough?

          • Bart says:

            Look in a mirror, and ask the question again.

          • David A. says:

            Yes, physics says warming must continue. And it’s not even very complicated physics, either. Certainly it’s not controversial physics — just basic quantum mechanics. Just like it had to cause warming in 1975, and 2000, and all the other times in between when you would also have denied it just as you are doing now.

          • Bart says:

            “And it’s not even very complicated physics, either.”

            Funny, you toss that off as if it is supposed to make your case more compelling, while to my ears, it makes it less.

            Science is hard. If it were all obvious truths, we’d have had it all wrapped up in a tidy package centuries ago.

          • David A. says:

            It’s not that hard. The laws of radiation and radiative transfer have been known now since about 1950. And the basic laws have been known for about a century. They’re easily grasped (if you can do the math), and their application to climate is straightforward (and is also decades and decades old).

          • Bart says:

            As I say, my confidence in your judgment drops every time you say that. My guess is, you are not active professionally in applied technology. Nature is obstreperous, is the first rule. Getting it to obey textbook rules is always a challenge. Guys who shrug off its complexity, and assume it will behave as they want it to the first and every time, either get nudged out to areas where they can’t do any harm, or go on to be at the focal point of some huge disaster down the road.

          • David A. says:

            My guess is, you have never taken an advanced physics course, nor studied the laws of radiation transfer. Which, by the way, are how several of our modern technologies work. But then you strike me as an engineer, and know how they all like to pretend they know physics.

          • Bart says:

            You guess wrong.

          • David.A says:

            If you took a course, you obviously didn’t learn much from it. Because you exhibit none of that knowledge here…. My guess is you couldn’t handle the math, right? That’s what usually trips people up.

          • Bart says:

            Wrong again, tiny brained one. Let me know when you finish your little tirade.

          • Doug  Cotton   says:

            Go to here (and following comments) DA.

      •  Doug  Cotton   says:

        Give up David. Planetary surface temperatures are set by pre-determined thermal profiles in their tropospheres. Explain data for Venus and Uranus in any other valid way before you keep touting the false fissics of radiative forcing shining through the transparent ocean surface.

  20. David A. says:

    Cold N. Holefield says:
    Who is “everyone here?” Does it mean every citizen of the U.S.?

    No. The truly poor should be getting subsidies anyway, including for (clean) energy.

    I pay for 100% green offsets from my power company. It costs me an average of $2.02/month.

    A carbon tax-and-dividend, where all revenue collected is distributed back on an equal per capita basis, would, in the US, mean 60% of Americans would receive more than they pay. So it would help allevaite poverty.

    Those who receive less than they pay are the big carbon emitters — mostly people who fly a lot, and who live in more than one house. But then they should be paying more, since they emit more.

    • Brad says:

      Wait, paying $2.02 a month to your power company makes you Green? If we all paid $2.02 to our power companies a month would that make the US population Green? If our real life carbon footprint remained the same but paid @2.02 then we could sleep better at night because the power companies would be planting trees with that money.

      • David A. says:

        Yes, paying $2.02/month to my power company makes my electricity green. (Offsets shift the cost of emission reductions to places they are more affordable.)

        You’ll have to check your own power company’s policies.

        • Brad says:

          Well David, I’m sure glad the $24.24 a year you pay to your power provider off sets all the CO2 emitted which powers your lights, computer, heat, AC, stove, refrigerator and so on and so on. Rest easy son, rest easy.

        • David A. says:

          Yes, I’m glad too. See how easy it can be?

  21. o Scott Scarborough says on March 4, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    “The answer is yes. The cow does heat the ground under its belly. In-fact, even after the cow moves, its effect on the ground can be sensed with an infra-red camera (for a few minutes). Of couse that would be in still air.”

    = = = = = = = =

    Try to do your measurements while the cow is standing there (quite still) Scott. And when you do, do try to remember that “Radiation” happens at the speed of light. – Ok.
    So the said warming from radiation may not happen at the speed of light, but the ‘energy transfer’ does.

    When I did this particular experiment, the darned animal shat on the ground, not only once – but twice and I would have given up (puked) but that, of course, would have added more heat to the ground, or surface, – So please Scott – look for cows that are of the “static” type

  22. stevek says:

    So in a nutshell Christy’s argument is based on observation and Emanuel’s based on consensus. Interesting.

    • David A. says:

      Of course, the consenus is also based on observations.

      How exactly do you think scientists decide between competing hypotheses, if not by observations?

      • Jake says:

        No David … the consensus is based on predictions that have failed miserably, yet the consensus still plod on, cows chewing on their cud. You can go ahead an use the modified graph put forth by the folks who continue to grasp at straws. Their graphs still show failure, maybe less miserably, but remaining in the miserable range.

        See how I wove the whole cow thing back in? Damn I’m funny.

        • David A. says:

          No David … the consensus is based on predictions that have failed miserably

          Pure bull. Scientists believe what they believe because the evidence leds them to it.

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            Please David:

            “Scientists believe what they believe because the evidence leds them to it.”

            IMHO If it was as you “believe” they should not “believe”, they should profess their knowledge.

            Don’t you?

            Have a nice day.


          • Jake says:

            David David David … C’mon man, you folks are caught up in a real issue here. Can I provide you the basic concept behind the scientific method?

            1. You developed a theory …..

            2. IT FAILED (most science does, don’t feel badly about it)
            due to new observations.

            3. At this point you should develop a new theory … what we may call re-hypothesize …. BUT YOU PEOPLE REFUSE! Well, actually, you don’t. You come up with new side-theories while you cling to the original. The general public still hasn’t bought in, and all the while you spin your wheels. Behaviors aren’t changing.

            And now I’ll steal from Braveheart ….

            “And many years from now, while lying on your deathbed while cheap energy is still being burned, would you trade all of these days for just one chance of being RIGHT?!?!?!?”

          • David A. says:

            What theory failed? How??

          • David A. says:

            Jake, what you don’t seem to understand is that the greenhouse properties of CO2 (etc.) are among the BEST known parts of the science.

            Indeed, it’s the part most amenable to raw, basic physics.

            But how all that extra heating plays out is the difficulty. The climate system is extremely complex.

            You are mistaking problems of the latter with problems of the former. That’s not justified, scientifically.

  23. Threepwood says:

    “To summarize that paper’s findings: for every $1 in value that comes from coal-generated electricity, it creates $2.20 in damages.

    Total damages: $70 billion per year (in 2012 dollars) in the US.

    Petroleum-generated electricity is even worse: $5.13 in damages for $1 in value.”

    Yes that industrial revolution was clearly a severe blow to economy and standards of living worldwide, can’t wait for that return to medieval wind/sun reliance!

    • David A. says:

      Do you have better figures? No.

      The Industrial Revolution did very good things. Its pollution did bad things.

      And now that pollution does more good than bad. We are +150 years since the Industrial Revolution, and our technology has advanced enormously.

      So why are we still burning a 19th century fuel for power? One that causes more damage than value-added?

      • Threepwood says:

        Wind turbines are a 19th C technology also. One which routinely kills far more wildlife every single year than a gulf oil spill for a tiny fraction of the energy output at vastly higher cost

        electric cars pre-date the combustion engine which made them obsolete over 100 years ago. Solar panels have been around half a century and still can’t compete economically

        And since then, yes fossil fuel technology has advanced enormously

        It has revolutionized the world, bringing light to the darkness, mobility, industry, food (the green revolution) and modern materials and technology to the masses- and I hope this continues.

        over the same period ‘alternative’ energy remains ‘alternative’ If it had ever worked, it wouldn’t be ‘alternative’ anymore. despite massive subsidy and research, wind and solar’s biggest contribution to society has been novelty garden ornaments.

        • D. App says:

          Let’s see your numbers.

          Compare bird kills from wind turbines to bird kills from buildings; from cars; and from habitat destruction.

          • Bart says:

            Red herring. The birds killed by windmills are particularly rare and vulnerable. We are threatening them with extinction over an OCD rejection of icky oil and bad science.

            How ironic that environmentalists of yesteryear rushed to save them from the effects of DDT, while those of today joyously revel in their destruction.

          • David A. says:

            Let’s see your numbers, Bart. Time to put up some facts.

          • David A. says:

            116 golden eagles annually.

            What about all the other species of birds — how many of them are killed by buildings, cars, and habitat destruction?

            How many golden eagles are killed annually by habitat destruction?

          • Bart says:

            “The same studies reveal that other protected birds of prey are being killed in even larger numbers, along with thousands upon thousands of smaller birds. Moreover, as Save the Eagles International and Iberica 2000 data demonstrate, Altamont Pass is the rule, not the exception—which portends species extinctions in coming years.

            Wind facilities also damage agriculture by killing vast numbers of protected bats that are attracted to turbines. Because bats are slow reproducers and are already declining in numbers due to white-nose syndrome, the turbines represent a very serious threat. The World Council for Nature has warned that the decimation of these insect-eating animals will have far-reaching consequences for agriculture: crop losses, higher food prices, increased use of pesticides and impaired human nutrition.”

          • David A. says:

            Notice how you avoided a good piece of the question: how many birds are killed by buildings? By vehicles? By habitat destruction?

          • Bart says:

            I avoided nothing.As I told you up above, this is a red herring argument of yours.

            Rare raptors are not being killed by buildings or vehicles in large numbers. As for habitat destruction, what do you think erecting enormous cuisinart towers in their nesting and hunting grounds is?

            Which part of ‘Applied across wind farms throughout the western U.S., this suggests death tolls that some independent conservationists have called “unsustainable”’ did you not understand?

          • David A. says:

            Like I’m supposed to think that YOU suddenly have great concern for birds??

            What a joke. You’re nothing but an opportunist who finds the bird argument suddenly useful. While ignoring the huge impact habitat destruction has had on those very same species.

            That makes you a fake.

          • Bart says:

            A) red herring, again

            B) We keep several birds in our home. I have a lifelong love for birds of all kinds. I am furious at the destruction of the most magnificent creatures on Earth. I am even more furious that it is being done for a fake environmental cause, and a pittance of intermittent energy which will never, ever make any sizable dent in our energy needs.

          • Bart says:

            “…which will never, ever make any sizable dent in our energy needs.”

            But, don’t just take it from me, folks. Take it from the Godfather of AGW, James Hansen himself:

            “The asymmetry finally hit me over the head when a renewable energy advocate told me that the main purpose of renewable portfolio standards (RPS) was to “kill nuclear”. I had naively thought that the purpose was simply to kick-start renewables. Instead, I was told, because utilities were required to accept intermittent renewable energies, nuclear power would become less economic, because it works best if it runs flat out. What to do when the wind is not blowing? The answer was: have a gas plant ready as back-up. In other words, replace carbon-free nuclear power with a dual system, renewables plus gas. With this approach CO2 emissions will increase and it is certain that fracking will continue and expand into larger regions… Yes, a few scientists assert that renewables alone are sufficient, a position that gets applause. As for me, I would prefer to stick to science and tend my orchard.”

            The guy likes nuclear, and recognizes “renewables” are a pipe dream. That actually partially redeems him in my view.

          • David.A says:

            Wow, you keep birds in your house. How horrible for the birds, having to live caged up all the time instead of being allowed to be free.

            You’re not a bird lover, you’re a bird hater.

          • David.A says:

            I am furious at the destruction of the most magnificent creatures on Earth.

            I don’t believe that in the least, otherwise you wouldn’t keep birds in cages. And you’re be “furious” about the far larger number of birds being killed by other means:

            “Collisions with buildings kill 97 to 976 million birds annually; collisions with high-tension lines kill at least 130 million birds, perhaps more than one billion; collisions with communications towers kill between 4 and 5 million based on “conservative estimates,” but could be as high as 50 million; cars may kill 80 million birds per year; and collisions with wind turbines killed an estimated at 20,000 to 37,000 birds per year in 2003, with all but 9,200 of those deaths occurring in California. Toxic chemicals, including pesticides, kill more than 72 million birds each year, while domestic cats are estimated to kill hundreds of millions of songbirds and other species each year. Erickson et al. (2005) estimate that total cumulative bird mortality in the United States “may easily approach 1 billion birds per year.”

            Clearly, bird deaths caused by wind turbines are a minute fraction of the total anthropogenic bird deaths–less than 0.003% in 2003 based on the estimates of Erickson et al. (2005). [National Research Council, May 2007]


          • Bart says:

            Red herrings galore. We’re not talking about general birds here, Skippy. We’re talking about the rare and endangered ones who inhabit the regions where the eco-crucifixes get installed.

        • Bart says:

          “Extrapolated over the 25-year life of the facility, this means up to 2,900 eagles were killed at Altamont alone. Applied across wind farms throughout the western U.S., this suggests death tolls that some independent conservationists have called “unsustainable.” Indeed, the number of active eagle nests around Altamont Pass has plummeted, and recent studies have reported golden eagle population declines in two other California turbine areas.”

  24. David A. says:

    Andrew Dessler:

    “Skeptics McNider and Christy try to wear the mantle of Galileo in the pages of the Wall Street Journal. Alas, to do so they must first stop making silly mistakes. Peer-reviewed comparisons between data and models show that the models do a good job of simulating the observations. McNider and Christy’s non-peer-reviewed comparison showing poor agreement requires flagrant cherry picking. In the end, like most scientific outliers, their ideas are destined for the dustbin of science.”

  25. Dan Murray says:

    David says the cow’s belly will add heat to the ground no matter the ground temperature. If that were true, would not all the pastures have burst into flames by now?

  26. D o u g    C o t t o n   says:

    We don’t need the excuse of assumed carbon dioxide pollution to justify spending some of the humanitarian aid money we give the third world on cheap, or rather “inexpensive” energy production. Cheaper than coal?

    I have shown with valid physics and an empirical study (being published in April) that all the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere actually cools by perhaps less than 0.1 degree and certainly has no warming effect what-so-ever.

    If you wish to debate me on this, please first read all my comments from this one on that thread ..

    • David.A says:


      Where will your paper be published?
      If it’s not in a vanity press, can I get a review copy?
      Write me, and I’ll give you my address:

      [email protected]

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

        The book “Why it’s not carbon dioxide after all” is coming out (via Amazon and Barnes & Noble) before the corresponding paper perhaps later this year. You will get a good enough idea of much of the content from the comments on the linked thread, where you are welcome to debate (with valid physics) the points raised therein.

        • David A. says:

          How can I get a review copy? I’ve reviewed books for Salon, The Portland Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, and other outlets.

          Again, write me.

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

            I wouldn’t give you a review copy in a pink fit. Your knowledge and understand of the thermodynamics of planetary atmospheric, surface, crust, mantle and core temperatures is no better than the average climatologist’s. As I said, read my comments on the linked thread and argue there if you dare. I don’t want to repeat it all on this thread.

          • David.A says:

            I’ll put my qualifications up against yours any day.

            I think you’re afraid to give me a review copy, Doug.

          • Doug Cotton   says:

            What counts is your understanding of thermodynamics and radiative transfer theory, including advances in these areas in the 21st century, not maximum qualifications on bits of paper. Einstein knew that.

            Maybe you can learn something from BigWaveDave who wrote this two years ago …

            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.

  27. Dan Murray says:

    David A. says:
    March 4, 2014 at 1:07 PM
    No, he doesn’t. The photons emitted by the cow’s underbelly strike the spot underneath it regardless of that spot’s temperature. The photons don’t know what the spot’s temperature is.

    Those photons carry energy, which, if they’re not reflected, they deposit into the spot. The spot thus gets warmer than it would otherwise be without the cow, and it, in turn, radiates more energy.

    My limited understanding of physics says that the above statement is in error. A 90 degree cow cannot in my world warm 100 degree ground to 105 degrees. no matter how long the cow stands there.

    • Bart says:

      See above. It’s a 2-way balance.

      Too bad it doesn’t work the way David says it does. Every home could have a cow standing around feeding it free energy.

    • David A. says:

      A 90 degree cow cannot in my world warm 100 degree ground to 105 degrees. no matter how long the cow stands there.

      The actual numbers depend on a lot of factors.

      But the spot on the ground will be warmer because a cow is standing above it, than it would if the cow wasn’t there.

      The cow radiates energy. It is a heater. Would a heater above the ground warm the ground?

      Of course. The ground will be warmer than it if the heater wasn’t there.

      Otherwise it would be a violation of conservation of energy.

      • Bart says:

        The ground is also heating the cow. How can you not get this? Are you really this dense?

      • David A. says:

        Of course the ground heats the cow. I never said it didn’t.

        Eventually (usually quickly) they come into equilibrium.

        • Bart says:

          How can they come into equilibrium if, as you say, the cow is always heating the ground?

          By your words, if the ground is 100 degF, and the cow is 90 degF, and the ground cannot get any colder, then where are they going to equilibrate? 100 degF? 110 degF? 120 degF? What’s the upper limit?

          Look, David, just admit you got caught up in trying to defend something you weren’t actually defending anyway, and let it go. We will all note your zeal, and to what reckless limits it drives you, and move along.

        • David A. says:

          How can they come into equilibrium if, as you say, the cow is always heating the ground?

          How do ANY objects come into equilibrium?

          • Bart says:

            Fine. Don’t take my advice. Better for me. Better for all of us.

          • David.A says:

            Asking again, because you avoided the question: How do ANY objects come into equilibrium?

          • Chic Bowdrie says:

            The warmer one cools and the colder one warms until they are both at the same temperature. You are out-numbered something like six to one. Therefore, it’s a consensus. Settled science. A cold body doesn’t increase the temperature of a warm body.

      • yonason says:

        In the absence of any other source of heat, the ground under the cow cannot get hotter than the cow.

        Cattle farmers are naturally concerned with more practical matters, like the heat of their animals, in order to protect them from heat stress, than with that of the ground under them.

        It’s a matter of priorities. Cattle give milk, and the ground doesn’t. Only a greenie wants us to worry about irrelevant details. Even a cow has more sense, as it has knows to lay down on the ground or in mud in order to cool off, without fretting about how much it is thereby raising the ground temperature.

    • D o u g    C o t t o n   says:

      The electro-magnetic energy in radiation is not converted to thermal energy in the target if the source of spontaneous emission was at a lower temperature than the target. The temperature difference is “detected” by virtue of what frequencies (and amplitudes) resonate in the target. This is explained in my peer-reviewed paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” published on several websites in March 2012.

      • David A. says:

        Baloney. The emitted photons have no idea of the temperature difference. They are just photons, carrying energy. When they are absorbed, the absorbing body takes up their energy, and warms.

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

          No it doesn’t.

          Physicists know that the incident radiation from a cooler source undergoes resonant (or “pseudo”) scattering if the source was cooler and hence incorporates in its Planck distribution frequencies which resonate with the target.

          That’s all on the other thread and in my paper written two years ago, so I’m not explaining it again here.

          • David.A says:

            Physicists know this? Really?

            What is the equation the describes the scattering amplitude of a photon emitted by object 1 at temperature T1, off an electron at temperature T2, where T1 < T2?

      • bob droege says:

        According to the standard model, a photon only has three pieces of information, one for its wavelength, and two for the direction it is traveling.

        No more information is available which is what your theory requires.

        “The temperature difference is “detected” by virtue of what frequencies (and amplitudes) resonate in the target.”

        This is absolute rubbish, if you had data to support it, you would be the vanguard of a scientific revolution.

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

          I have written a peer-reviewed paper “Rradiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” (March 2012) and more recently done a comprehensive empirical study which supports this and is being published as an Appendix in my book in April.

          Now, come over to the other thread where all this has already been explained. Argue with me there if you dare, but not until you’ve read all my comments on that thread.

          • David.A says:

            Doug, you don’t write papers. You write a few pages that can’t ever get published anywhere, so you pretend they are “papers” with earth shattering results.

            Honestly, I feel sorry for you. You clearly like science, but don’t have what it takes to do it for real. So you’ve constructed a fantasy world where you’re a genius and everyone else is clueless.

            Thst is very sad.

          • bob droege says:

            so how much information can a photon carry?

            Does it know where it came from and better yet, can it predict the future?

            The answers are no it doesn’t and no it can’t.

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

          “vanguard of a scientific revolution”

          Yes, my book will be that.

          • bob droege says:

            Based on one paragraph above, I’ll pass.

            Post something coherent that agrees with the standard model and I might change my mind.

            On reading your book, that is.

  28. Dan Murray says:

    David, you comment above on peer reviewed articles while you lack the comprehension of basic physics available to a junior high school student. My apologies to you good scientists on these threads.

  29. D o u g    C o t t o n   says:

    Considerations pertaining to the well known fact that back radiation from a cooler atmosphere slows that portion of surface cooling which is itself due to radiation, bear very little relevance to climate once you understand the paradigm shift to the truth of the gravitationally-induced thermal gradient and the temperature support mechanism whereby all air molecules slow the rate of sensible heat transfer as the temperature gap at the surface-atmosphere interface narrows, as happens in the early pre-dawn hours.

    • David A. says:

      Finally! You finally admit that radiation from the atmosphere slows the rate of cooling of the surface — that is to say, it warms it.


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

        Finally, David? If you care to read my paper written two years ago “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” you will find I said the same then. I always use valid physics, my friend.

        But you can’t prove it leads to higher surface temperatures, because it is not radiation which is the primary determinant of planetary surface temperatures.

        Now run along big David and read my comments on the other thread. In general, I will only respond to comments that discuss thermodynamics and radiative heat transfer in somewhat more detail than you seem capable of explaining.

  30. RW says:

    David A.,

    You say: “Yes, physics says warming must continue.”

    No it doesn’t, but I can see you really believe this, which clearly tells me your level of knowledge and the degree with which you have thought this through is quite limited. All the ‘basic physics’ says is the added CO2 should ‘push’ the climate (to some degree) in a warming direction. In other words, it should elevate the surface temperature above what it would otherwise be. This does not mean the surface must warm. It could just cool less.

    Here is a list of the many other things the data and evidence is telling us:

    1. CO2 lags temperature in the ice core paleoclimate data, and the lag is significantly longer when temperatures are falling. This is exactly the opposite of what would be expected if CO2 was any significant driver of the temperature increases from the glacial to interglacial periods.

    2. The relationship between water vapor concentration and temperature is the opposite of what one would expect from positive feedback from water vapor. That is, above the current global average temperature, on average as the water vapor concentration increases more and more, the temperature increases less and less, as illustrated here:

    3. The power densities gain ratio of globally averaged surface emitted radiation to post albedo solar incident solar radiation is only about 1.6, where net positive feedback of 300% requires a gain ratio of more than 4.8 (at 287K, the surface gains a net of about 385 W/m^2 and about 239 W/m^2 enters from the Sun; 385/240 = 1.6, and +3.3C from a baseline of 287K requires +18 W/m^2 of net gain; 18/3.7 = 4.86).

    4. During much of the last interglacial period, temperatures were 3C higher than they are today with far lower CO2 levels.

    5. Dating way back into prehistory 100s of millions of years ago, CO2 concentrations were often several multiples higher than today, yet temperatures never went way up or out of control (i.e. past a tipping point), and full blown ice ages still occurred.

    6. The absorption spectrum of CO2 is already mostly saturated, which means it takes a huge amount of added CO2 just to get a slight increase in total net absorption. That is, on the logarithmic scale, it has already reached the point significantly diminished returns.

    7. The 3.7 W/m^2 of total net absorption increase per CO2 doubling is only a theoretical measurement taken from ‘nominal’ GHG concentrations. (i.e. it is not the equivalent of a laboratory measurement). This means there is no guarantee that the total absorption will actually increase by 3.7 W/m^2 (or even increase at all).

    8. The amount of temperature increase in the last 30 years is inconsistent with net positive feedback acting on the climate, even if the added CO2 is the primary cause of the warming.

    9. During the last interglacial period, for over two thousand years it was about 3C (or more) warmer than today, yet Greenland and Antarctica did not melt (if they did we wouldn’t have ice cores dating back to and past that time).

    10. Biology likes warmth and added CO2 drives plant growth which is the primary fuel for the entire biosphere, as well as fuel for agriculture which helps feed the world’s population (far too much of which is still starving).

    • D o u g    C o t t o n   says:

      ” All the ‘basic physics’ says is the added CO2 should ‘push’ the climate (to some degree) in a warming direction.”

      No. Physics at the forefront of modern understanding of thermodynamics can be used to prove that all the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere cools, but only by less than 0.1 degree. But this is explained in many comments in the thread I linked above, so please read them first, or wait for my book late April.

    • RW says:


      But the accepted theory is that the effect should warm and not cool. If in reality the total absorption increases, the system and ultimately the surface should have to warm by at least some amount to re-establish equilibrium with space. I know you don’t accept this, but these basics are quite well established. I don’t find your arguments convincing, sorry.

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

        Yes, well I’ve proved the accepted theory wrong in my book “Why it’s not carbon dioxide after all” which is obviously seen as a threat to people here with a pecuniary interest in maintaining the status quo.

        Read the comments on the other thread and answer the question there “What is the sensitivity to a 1% increase in water vapour above a given region?”

        Then find data (if you can) that confirms that a rain forest with 4% WV above it is at least 20 degrees hotter than a dry desert at similar altitude and latitude but with only 1% WV above it. In fact the rain forest is cooler.

        My study results are referred to in the other thread, so please read the comments there as I don’t wish to test Roy’s patience with more comments on this thread.

        • RW says:

          “Then find data (if you can) that confirms that a rain forest with 4% WV above it is at least 20 degrees hotter than a dry desert at similar altitude and latitude but with only 1% WV above it. In fact the rain forest is cooler.”

          I’m not surprised. Evaporative cooling is very strong in rain forests, and largely generates a lot of the clouds and weather in such regions. The net effect of cloud cover is also to cool when the surface is snow and ice free, and which is certainly the case in tropical rain forests.

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

            Well it’s not just rain forests and deserts in my study. It’s also everything in between. It’s based on 30 years of temperature and precipitation data from various locations on three continents.

            But, if you wish, consider increasing the water vapor content of the whole global atmosphere to 4% and you’ll have a cooler planet. Do likewise (percentage wise) with carbon dioxide and you’ll get another 0.1 degree of cooling. Not quite what the GH doctor ordered, now is it?

            So what if WV slows radiative cooling?

            All the other cooling by sensible heat transfer merely speeds up to compensate, for reasons explained in my book. Besides, it is nitrogen and oxygen molecules down at the base of the troposphere (in the 2m where we measure temperature for climate change calculations) that is doing most of the slowing of surface cooling because the rate of conduction slows as the surface approaches the supporting temperature, as it does in the early pre-dawn hours on most calm nights.

          • RW says:


            You don’t seem to understand that water vapor and clouds are interconnected. They can’t be arbitrarily separated from one another. Water vapor acting alone in the absence of clouds would warm, but the combined net effect of the two is to cool. The reason why parts of the earth with greater water vapor are cooler is because evaporation is the fuel for cloud cover, and the combination of evaporative caused and cloud caused (from solar reflection) cooling is greater than the increased IR opacity from increased water vapor.

            Desserts have very little cloud cover on average and very little evaporative cooling (since there is little to no water to be evaporated).

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

            There are more involved reasons why WV cools, and why CO2 also cools. These are outlined in comments on the other thread and explained in detail in my book. You don’t need to teach your grandmother to suck eggs.

            If you don’t wish to read the other thread (or my book in late April) then you will not learn about all this.

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

        The “accepted theory” relies 100% on a totally false attempt in 1985 to discredit the gravitationally-induced thermal gradient. This is discussed on the other thread, so again I ask you to look there, as requested in my first comment on this thread above.

        • RW says:

          What are you referring to? I understand the lapse rate is established to be largely due to the constraint of gravity.

          •  Doug  Cotton   says:

            Not just “largely” but totally determined by the quotient -g/Cp where Cp is weighted mean specific heat (and modified by intermolecular radiation) even on Uranus where there’s no Solar radiation at the base of its nominal troposphere, and no surface and no heat flow from the core thousands of kilometres below the nominal surface.

            Temperatures are determined from the level with radiative balance near the TOA on Uranus, and they build up from the TOA downwards, following the pre-determined gradient – nothing to do with lapsing, and nothing to do with the 5,000K core cooling off – which it isn’t because the Sun’s energy will maintain its temperature while ever it shines.

    • David.A says:

      This does not mean the surface must warm. It could just cool less.


      Man, I’m not even going to engage you on such foolishness. Please, take a basic class in climate science, or read a good textbook, like from William Ruddiman or Ray Pierrehumbert.

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

        Then explain in detail with valid physics and energy flow diagrams just precisely how the required extra thermal energy gets into the surface of Venus in order to raise its temperature by 5 degrees from 732K to 737K during the course of its 4-month-long day. If you try to claim radiation is involved, then provide S-B calculations that agree with those temperatures. (This means you need an extra input flux of about 450W/m^2 somehow originating from the 20W/m^2 of incident solar radiation at the surface. (All the carbon dioxide absorbs the rest that is not reflected.) But see the discussion of this on the other thread first.

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

        And when you’re done, consider Uranus which has been shown not to have any significant net energy loss and not to be still cooling off. The base of its nominal troposphere is hotter than Earth, yet no significant solar radiation penetrates that far through 350Km of atmosphere, and of course there’s no surface there to absorb the non-existent solar radiation or cause the non existent upward advection that is supposedly to blame for the nearly perfect “dry lapse rate” based on the usual quotient of the acceleration due to gravity and the weighted mean specific heat of the gases. See if your school-boy understanding of the greenhouse hoax helps you out on Venus or Uranus.

        But, as I said, all this has been explained in many detailed comments I have written on the other thread.

      • RW says:

        David A.,

        You’re actually saying it’s not possible for the Earth to cool if CO2 is being added to the atmosphere? That it must warm?

        BTW, I have Ray’s book. I suggest you try to apply some objective reasoning. The basic physics does not dictate that the Earth must warm. The theory only really establishes that the Earth should be pushed in warming direction.

  31. D o u g    C o t t o n   says:


    In this comment you will see a link to another document saying exactly what I first wrote in my paper which first appeared in November 2012 about how the temperature gradient is the equilibrium state, and extra energy disturbing the equilibrium can cause heat transfer from cooler to warmer regions. I believe the author and I came to the same conclusion quite independently.

  32. David, it’s all becoming clearer and my blog is on the trail. I didn’t realize until now that you’re also ajumste (janet, adequatio and asoka) over at Kunstler’s blog. At least that’s what my peer-reviewed models tell me. I will be updating my initial blog post, which is actually the blog thesis, today with new information. Carcosa is only a state of mind. Thank You For Smoking, David Naylor.

    After you David, Doug will be next up.

    • That’s ajmuste, not ajumste. Damn dyslexia!

    • D o u g    C o t t o n   says:

      You may wish to included Teofilo C. Echeverria (author of the above linked paper) because it appears that he and I were the first in the world (back in late 2012) to work out what’s really happening in planetary atmospheres in regard to the process of “heat creep” which explains …

      1. Why Earth’s atmospheric and surface temperatures have nothing to do with carbon dioxide or radiative greenhouse hoaxes, and why water vapour cools.

      2. Why the thermal gradient in Earth’s crust is over 25K/Km, but this reduces to about 1K/Km in the mantle.

      3. Why the core of the Moon is hotter than the surface ever is.

      4. How the required energy gets into the surface of Venus, the troposphere and below in Uranus, and into all planets and satellite moons throughout the universe.

      5. Why planets in our Solar System are not still cooling off, but instead are being kept warm by the Sun.

  33. McPherson is on the road again…he just got done with an Extinction Tour in the Northwest and posted about the success of his Message of Doom in that area. He also tauntingly posted this YouTube. Pretty sick, if you ask me. Is he a gag? I understand this as noir satire.

  34. Threepwood says:

    “Let’s see your numbers.

    Compare bird kills from wind turbines to bird kills from buildings; from cars; and from habitat destruction.

    many more are killed by buildings, cars, power lines which wind turbines would need many more of yes, though they obviously don’t single out the large rare ‘protected’ raptors like turbines do-
    Did anyone rush to compare birds killed from the Gulf spill?

    Point being; between birds killed anecdotally by accident in a single event- and many more birds killed routinely every year in the name of eco-friendliness..

    why is one ‘the greatest environmental catastrophe of all time’ and the other not even worth mentioning and even given a specific waiver to legally do so with no penalty? Couldn’t possibly be anything to do with the billions in available shakedown cash now could it? For the government- stealing from alternative’s would be stealing from themselves.

  35. DAVID A , how about you making the following prediction. By the end of this decade how much higher do you feel the global average temperature will be? Secondly what level of concentration of CO2 gas will be present in the atmosphere at that time? I assume your prediction will be tied to the co2 concentrations you feel will be present going out into the future.

    I will send my prediction and solar criteria once again.

    • D o u g    C o t t o n   says:

      It will be slightly cooler until 2027 or maybe even 2029. I predicted this in August 2011 – see the newer thread on February data.

  36. Salvatore Del Prete says:

    March 4, 2014 at 12:32 PM


    Solar Flux avg. sub 90

    Solar Wind avg. sub 350 km/sec

    AP index avg. sub 5.0

    Cosmic ray counts north of 6500 counts per minute

    Total Solar Irradiance off .015% or more

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

    IMF around 4.0 nt or lower.

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

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

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


  37. David is in denial that CO2 does not follow the temperature in spite of all the graphs of past temperatures and CO2 concentrations showing this to be true.

    Even the graph Al Gore used showed this.

    David is in denial that RECENT past warm periods were as warm or warmer then today despite lower C02 concentrations then today. Ice core data amongst other data shows this to be true.

    ON another note if CO2 is now the MAIN driver of climate due in large part to mankind, what is your explanation for rapid abrupt past climate changes, such as the Younger Dryas or the 8200 year ago cold period?

    What caused those climate changes David?

  38. Andrew says:

    As usual a handful of commenters hijack the discussion, and the actual topic goes undiscussed.


  39. RW post 8:43 pm March 4, quite good. Thanks for that post.

  40. Did not work I wanted to show a temp. graph.

    • Massimo PORZIO says:

      D. App says:
      “It depends on silly factors like the time of day and the angle of the sun…. In any case, the important point is that the radiation from the cow’s underbelly makes the spot beneath it warmer than it would otherwise be.”

      It depends on the cow temperature, if it’s higher than the air the ground below heats up otherwise it doesn’t.

      But the first case happen only if the cow is alive and so it’s an heat source. Nothing to do with your supposed green house effect.

  41. James says:

    Despite some 258 posts, no one has determined the most obvious conclusion which is politicians and governments cannot and will not “fix” any climate issue through increased taxation and higher energy prices. All they will do, is enrich the governments and use that money to gain more power over people since that is what politicians do.

    I also find it interesting that those who are firmly entrenched in the alarmist side refuse to accept the fact that the predictive models on which all this climate fear, and it is fear, is based upon are so far off compared to the actual data. Excuses galore come up for why it is happening. We hear the oceans have absorbed it but the oceans would be much warmer if they were absorbing the amount of heat the models had predicted vs. actuals. Then we hear other excuses made. What you don’t hear is that the models are probably wrong which is being proven out. I’ve worked with computer models for 30 years and if our models were this far off, they would be considered invalid. In the global warming alarmism case, excuses are made for them.

    One should then ask why are these excuses made? Easy answer to that, follow the money. A lot of money preaching fear, doom and gloom. Scientists have tied themselves to politics in this case and to keep the money flowing from the halls of power to them they will say what is politically expedient to get that money these days.

    The simple fact is there is a huge problem with the predictions made versus the actual data being recorded. Remember, global warming wasn’t even an issue until the early 80s. In the 70s, global cooling was the big issue of the day. So for about 35 years global warming alarmism has been the order of the day. Only problem is about half that time there has been no real warming.

    • Doug Cotton   says:

      Of course the models are way out, because their assumption of isothermal conditions in the absence of GH gases is the very foundation of the models, and that foundation has collapsed.

      The gravito-thermal gradient exists on all planets and is now a proven fact, both theoretically and empirically.

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

      As I have explained elsewhere, Graeff was in error in his assumption that the thermal gradient should be multiplied by the number of degrees of freedom of the molecules. As a consequence of his incorrect calculations, he thought it might be possible to construct a perpetual motion machine.

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

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

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

  42. D o u g    C o t t o n   says:

    Yes James.

    The IPCC, Lewis and Crok, Roy Spencer et al are wrong because their basic assumptions are wrong.

    They need a paradigm shift in their thinking, because planetary temperatures are not controlled by this imaginary radiative forcing concept which I debunked two years ago in my peer-reviewed paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics.” Temperatures are set by the gravito-thermal gradient (modified by inter-molecular radiation) both above and below any planetary surface.

    When a photon from a cooler source strikes a warmer target, that target “recognises” that this photon has the same characteristics of photons which it can emit. It has exactly the right frequency (thus energy) that is required to cause an electron in the target to move up between two quantum energy states. But the process is immediately reversed, and a new identical photon is emitted as part of the target’s “quota” as per its Planck function. So the target does not need to convert some of its own thermal (kinetic) energy to electron energy (then to a photon) and so it cools more slowly as a result of the back radiation, as we all know.

    But non-radiative processes can increase their rate of cooling to compensate for slower radiative cooling.

    Furthermore, most slowing of surface cooling (and cooling of the 2 metre high surface layer of the troposphere where we measure climate) is caused by slowing of conduction into nitrogen and oxygen molecules.

    Have you ever wondered why the temperatures don’t keep falling at a rapid rate all through the night when upward convection almost ceases? It’s due to the fact that the “environmental lapse rate” is a state of thermodynamic equilibrium in which the non-radiative processes have a propensity to form a -g/Cp thermal gradient, but this is reduced (usually by no more than about a third) by the temperature levelling effect of inter-molecular radiation. For example, on Uranus the -g/Cp gradient of about 0.76K/Km is reduced to about 0.72K/Km by radiation between just a small percentage of methane molecules, whereas on Venus it is reduced more like 25% by carbon dioxide, which thus leads to a significantly lower surface temperature on Venus. On Earth it is reduced mostly by water vapour which reduces the insulating effect of the atmosphere by inter-molecular radiation, just as it reduces the insulating effect between the panes of double glazed windows as it helps energy leap-frog across the gap at the speed of light, overtaking the far slower diffusion heat transfer.

    And it is because of all this that we actually have evidence that the gravito-thermal gradient exists, and thus the greenhouse conjecture is demolished and there is zero (warming) sensitivity to carbon dioxide. It actually cools by a mere 0.1 degree at most.

  43. D o u g    C o t t o n   says:

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

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

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

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

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

  44. Doug Cotton   says:


    In reply to some comments above, the sensitivity calculations are wrong because the assumptions are wrong.

    Planetary surface temperatures are determined primarily by the autonomous thermal gradient (aka lapse rate) which evolves spontaneously at the molecular level in their tropospheres. This gradient does not require any surface warmed by direct solar radiation, or any upward rising advection, or any internal energy generation or energy release through cooling.

    If the height of Earth’s troposphere were, say, 10Km more than it is, then the mean surface temperature would be in the vicinity of 30 to 40 degrees warmer than it is. You will not get that “answer” using GH radiative forcing conjectures, so they are wrong. Yet you need look no further than Venus and Uranus to see examples of temperatures at the bases of their tropospheres.

  45. Doug Cotton   says:

    It is not the energy in the oceans which controls climate because there’s far more energy there than in the atmosphere.

    Valid physics tells us it’s the other way around. It is the atmosphere (all the troposphere in particular) that autonomously comes into radiative balance with incident solar radiation, because the whole Earth+atmosphere system is what acts similar to a blackbody – not the surface, which is mostly transparent wherever there’s water.

    The thermal gradient (aka lapse rate) evolves spontaneously due to gravity acting at the molecular level, and so the whole thermal profile in the troposphere is pre-determined.

    Now, it doesn’t matter that the atmosphere holds far less thermal energy than the ocean. All that matters is what happens when molecules at the interface of the air and water collide. That “evens out” the temperatures and it is (eventually) thermal energy absorbed in the atmosphere that “creeps” up the (sloping) thermal plane and into the ocean. Of course the Sun adds some energy to the oceans, but its radiation passes almost entirely through the first 1cm of the surface and so its radiation is not determining the surface temperature – the troposphere is doing that by non-radiative diffusion and conduction.

    Similarly, the Sun is not affecting the Venus surface temperature much with its direct radiation that is barely 20W/m^2, but that surface is over 730K. So exactly the same happens enabling energy to get into the Venus surface (by diffusion and downward convection) and this non-radiative process causes its temperature to rise during its 4-month-long daytime.

    Planetary atmospheric, surface and even sub-surface temperatures are not controlled primarily by so-called greenhouse radiative forcing. That is why it’s not carbon dioxide after all.

  46. Great article. I’m experiencing some oof these isdues as well..

  47. Doug Cotton   says:

    So Roy, when are you going to stop believing these guys like Christy and Emanuel? Take the time to read my book, from which I quote excerpts below …

    Essentially the concept dates back to somewhat primitive experiments conducted in the nineteenth century, but soundly rebutted in the mid twentieth century by several eminent scientists who explained that carbon dioxide and water vapour could do nothing but cause cooling. However, from around 1980 a relatively small group of climatologists rekindled the idea, supposedly supporting it with what amounts to totally invalid and misunderstood physics.

    The level of water vapour varies between about 1% and 4% and so it is by far the most dominant “greenhouse gas” with about 25 to 100 times as many molecules as there are carbon dioxide molecules. It is a relatively simple matter to show, as in the Appendix, that regions become cooler as the level of water vapour increases, but climatologists would have us believe the exact opposite.

    But it gets worse. We can assume that when climatologists applied the SBL they then realised that the amount of energy shown as entering the surface was nowhere near enough to explain the actual observed temperatures for the surface. If they applied the same concepts to Venus there would be only 2% to 3% entering the surface and a far greater discrepancy between calculated and observed temperatures.

    So, somewhere along the line, someone got the idea that we needed to explain the “33 degree” difference as being due to back radiation, which they claimed doubles the amount of radiation going into the surface.

    How have so many scientists been so misled by this conjecture that radiative forcing supposedly warms a planet’s surface well beyond any temperature that direct Solar radiation could achieve? Perhaps it is because of a growing mentality that all we need is a bit of First Year university physics to grab a formula and that, without understanding the limitations and prerequisites, we can just plug values into that formula and get right answers.

  48. Doug Cotton   says:

    So, Roy, if you want to prove climate is sensitive to CO2, the first thing you have to do is prove the gravito-thermal gradient can’t exist, even though it’s obvious in the Uranus troposphere. You need to prove that the state of maximum entropy could be isothermal, with more potential energy per molecule at the top. Then you have to prove that, despite this total energy gradient there are somehow no unbalanced energy potentials. Go to it! You’ve got an uphill battle.

  49. Doug Cotton   says:


    Roy, Christy, Emanuel and anyone interested in atmospheric thermodynamics.

    The mid-19th century Clausius statement has been discarded by physicists because, for non-radiative processes, it strictly only applies in a horizontal plane. Currently Wikipedia reads …
    The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium—the state with the maximum possible entropy.

    The state of maximum entropy has to be isentropic, and an isentropic state exhibits a thermal gradient in a gravitational field because the sum of kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy for each molecule would be homogeneous.

    Graeff was good with his experiments but admitted to little formal education in physics. He mistakenly multiplied the -g/Cp gradient by the degrees of freedom, and this led him to believe he had possible perpetual motion, which was wrong of course. People often quote the Verkley paper published 2004 and I have reviewed it here.

    Whether you like it or not, the gravito-thermal gradient does evolve and I have studied the evidence and the theory on it probably more than anyone else in the world. It is the “trillion dollar question” and I have answered it comprehensively and cogently, complete with diagrams and calculations in my book.

  50. Doug Cotton   says:


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

    So, consider the following thought experiment, starting with …

    Molecules at top: More PE + equal KE

    Molecules at bottom: Less PE + equal KE

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

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

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

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

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

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

    So we now have

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

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

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

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

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

    Consider two more collisions like the first.

    We start with

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

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

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

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

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

    Note that the original gradient (with a difference of 4 in KE) has been re-established as expected, and some thermal thermal profile. It happens in all tropospheres, explaining how energy gets into the Venus surface, and explaining how the Earth’s troposphere “supports” surface temperatures and slows cooling at has transferred from a cooler region (KE=20) to a warmer region that was KE=22 and is now KE=23. The additional 2 units of KE added at the top are now shared as an extra 1 unit on each level, with no energy gain or loss.

    That represents the process of downward diffusion of KE to warmer regions which I call “heat creep” as it is a slow process in which thermal energy “creeps” up the sloping

    See also:

  51. Doug Cotton   says:

    There is discussion now on Lucia’s blackboard where I have just posted the following comment …

    I have produced the proof, but there is over 20 pages of it in my book “Why it’s not carbon dioxide after all” and the production process will still take until late April, even though the text was finalised well over a month ago.

    Your discussion of the radiating height is countered in the book. All the necessary calculations are therein, and there is plenty of empirical data both from Earth and other planets which all gels with the hypothesis.

    It’s not hard to follow the four molecule explanation above. In the book there are also diagrams that may help understanding.

    I’m not going to argue over such clear cut issues as to what the Second Law says. No modern version says anything about heat only transferring from hot to cold. The four molecule thought experiment above shows why things are different in a gravitational field, but you must remember that only meticulous experiments like the 800 done by Roderich Graeff will demonstrate the small temperature differences in a lab.

    Once you understand the concept of “heat creep” (downward diffusion against the temperature gradient) then you find you can answer the four questions posed above. Otherwise you can’t.

    And when you understand how the energy in the lower troposphere “supports” the surface temperatures, then you will see the light and realise carbon dioxide just extends the warmth of the day maybe by a few seconds, but actually lowers very slightly the supporting temperature – and that’s what matters, as is so obvious on Venus which, by the way, is quite a bit cooler because of all the carbon dioxide.

  52. RW says:


    If you expect anyone to take your claims seriously, you first need to get some basic manners. The way you present yourself is so eccentric, brazenly rude and disrespectful, a rational person is justified dismissing your ideas solely on the basis of how you present yourself. You’re lucky Roy is so tolerant, as it’s not his nature to sensor anyone, but you are taking advantage of him and his site.

    • Doug Cotton   says:

      Yes, anonymous RW, well how about the way Anthony Watts presents himself with his childish “play” about me buying pizzas?

      Yes, these people make me angry because they are propagating the CO2 hoax and deceiving governments into paying them and the public into worrying about what they “predict” – without allowing counter viewpoints to be expressed, which at least Roy, Judith Curry, JoNova and now Lucia do allow. I’m not even allowed right of reply on Watts’ thread that is about me. Frankly, that thread is close to being defamatory.

      Maybe you should look more closely at the disrespect deliberately displayed in the very comments to which I am replying. I guess I can’t help giving them back a bit of what they dish up. It’s a common ploy, when climatologists can’t counter my physics, that they resort to personal slurs. But, over three years of writing on climate threads, I’ve got to be able to recognise their ways, and just what they really do understand about physics, if much at all.

      Rather than climatologists and others with a pecuniary interest in maintaining the status quo, I’m more interested in persuading physicists throughout the world, and those teaching physics such as the one I quoted who spoke positively in a review of the text of my book.

      • RW says:

        What is the link to the Watts thread?

      • Doug  Cotton   says:

        I’m sure you can use Google if you wish to read Watt’s defamatory remarks about myself. I was obviously wrong in thinking a “right of reply” is in the true spirit of advancing science. I am being careful on all climate blogs to just reply to people who ask questions of me or express incorrect physics in their comments.

        The truth of the matter, regarding Roy Spencer is that I genuinely want to help him see the error in Item 6 in his “Misunderstood” article.

        I am not concerned about people disputing my hypothesis – that is OK in the spirit of a genuine seeking of what’s true and what’s not. But it is the defamation that Watts publishes which is what’s not OK.

        In regard to the physics, at least five others well qualified in physics are now strongly supporting the existence of the gravito-thermal effect, and my book presents a wealth of empirical evidence here on Earth and throughout the Solar System which confirms its existence beyond reasonable doubt.

        This is the new paradigm based on two significant advances in 21st century physics, namely a better understanding of radiative heat transfer and associated resonance processes, and also this rapidly growing acceptance of the gravito-thermal effect. The latter was explained in my 10 minute video recorded in December 2012 and, with the recent publicity I got on WUWT, there have been about 300 views of that video in March, compared with about 50 a month in earlier months.

        • RW says:

          So you’re theory is that the primary way energy is transferred from the atmosphere to the surface is by conduction/diffusion?

        • Doug  Cotton   says:

          My hypothesis is as explained and verified in over 20 pages in my book.

          But you are welcome to answer the questions I’ve asked, such as how does sufficient energy get into the Venus surface in order to raise its temperature 5 degrees during its 4-month-long daytime? You might also care to explain (and show calculations for) the thermal gradient in the nominal Uranus troposphere. (Don’t crib the answers in my earlier comments.)

          • RW says:

            But how much radiant energy passes from the Venus atmosphere to the Venus surface?

          • Doug  Cotton   says:

            Do you mean “How much thermal energy is transferred by (one-way) radiation from the colder Venus atmosphere to the hotter Venus surface, thus decreasing entropy?” Each independent process in nature does not decrease entropy, so I have no answer but zero.

            Maybe you should do some S-B calculations for 732K and 737K, the latter being about 450W/m^2 extra. Then do your energy transfer budget and explain why temperatures are what they are.

          • RW says:


            “Do you mean “How much thermal energy is transferred by (one-way) radiation from the colder Venus atmosphere to the hotter Venus surface, thus decreasing entropy?””

            No. How much radiant energy (i.e. power) passes from the atmosphere to the surface on Venus?

          • Doug  Cotton   says:

            RW (and others with little understanding of radiation):

            Do you understand the difference between electron energy in a molecule and the molecule’s kinetic energy spread evenly among its translational, rotational and vibrational degrees of freedom?

            What exactly is radiant power? It is nothing more than electro-magnetic radiation which may in some cases do nothing more than cause an electron to change to a higher energy state, and then that electron is free to drop back immediately to the lower former state emitting an identical photon (electro-magnetic energy) out again.

            If the radiation resonates with the target, this is what happens. All you get is this resonating process and the resonant scattering I described in great detail two years ago in my peer-reviewed paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” published on several websites and easily found on Google.

            Physicists now call resonant scattering “pseudo scattering” but it is the same process that Prof Johnson demonstrated in his “Computational Blackbody Radiation.” Go argue about it with him on his blog if you wish.

          • RW says:

            Let me rephrase the question:

            How much radiant energy (i.e. power), if any, passes from the atmosphere to the surface on Venus?

          •  Doug  Cotton   says:

            What is it that you call “radiant energy” … ?

            If it is electro-magnetic energy, then none remains in the surface. It is only temporarily converted to electron energy, then back out as electro-magnetic energy.

            If you are asking about apparent transfers of thermal energy, none can pass from a colder atmosphere to a warmer surface by way of radiation because entropy would decrease in such an independent one-way process. It can only do so by conduction, and only provided that it is restoring thermodynamic equilibrium with maximum possible entropy.

            You have no idea what the new 21st century paradigm shift will be in climate change science.

        • Doug  Cotton   says:

          The most fundamental mistake in the IPCC “explanation” of their greenhouse conjecture is the assumption of isothermal conditions in the absence of water vapour and radiating gases in the troposphere. Such a state is not the state of thermodynamic equilibrium with the maximum possible entropy. So the Second Law of Thermodynamics (which states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium— a state depending on the maximum entropy) is telling us that the isothermal state is not the norm.

          This abstract outlines my paper upon which my book “Why it’s not carbon dioxide after all” (April 2014) is based.

    • Doug  Cotton   says:

      RW, if people like Skeptical Science team member Neal J. King expect me to take their claims seriously, then they had better present valid physics, not the garbage wherein they try to convince readers that many molecules don’t even have enough translational kinetic energy to move upwards by 68 nanometres – see this comment and the following ones.

  53. Mark W. says:

    I’ve been working my way through the 115 page paper (title copy/pasted below) that was published in 2009.
    It’s been awhile since I worked through so much math but I find it useful and somewhat stimulating. I’ve come to a conclusion of sorts, which may or may not change, that any alarmisim or even any policy that directs public (tax)money towards “countering the effects” of a changing climate can either be:
    A)a stupid move
    B)an agenda (for private/profit) drive to support special interests.
    No one I know denies a changing climate – there’s 4 billion years of history. How presumputious that groups of so called “experts” who have been proven to manipulate data, falsify records, cherry pick findings and distort the truth think they know that they have the answers. My opinion is that they will stick to their belief in the fairy tale until the funding for such “research” goes the other way.
    It’s time for some honesty and integrity to rise to the top. Politicizing science and calling it “settled” will do more damage to the planet and society both now and for generations to come than any type of gaseous plant food.

    “Greenhouse gasses” are not proven to have any effect in the dynamic system of a planets biosphere. Matter of fact, in the paper they disprove the notion. Correlation and causeation are discussed – correlation does not equal causeation. History, data collection, analysis and the fact that there no calculations to determine the average surface temperature of an planet are brought to light.
    The work was peer reviewed by a number of sources, the data was reviewed, replicated, critqued and found to be reproduceable. The author(s)conclude with:

    “4.3.3 Conclusion
    A statistical analysis, no matter how sophisticated it is, heavily relies on underlying models
    and if the latter are plainly wrong then the analysis leads to nothing. One cannot detect and
    attribute something that does not exist for reason of principle like the CO2 greenhouse effect.
    There are so many unsolved and unsolvable problems in non-linearity and the climatologists
    believe to beat them all by working with crude approximations leading to unphysical results
    that have been corrected afterwards by mystic methods,
    flux control in the past, obscure
    ensemble averages over different climate institutes today, by excluding accidental global cooling
    results by hand [154], continuing the greenhouse inspired global climatologic tradition of physically meaningless averages and physically meaningless applications of mathematical statistics.
    In conclusion, the derivation of statements on the CO2 induced anthropogenic global
    warming out of the computer simulations lies outside any science.”

    Here’s the paper – you do the math.

    Falsification Of
    The Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effects
    Within The Frame Of Physics
    Version 4.0 (January 6, 2009)
    replaces Version 1.0 (July 7, 2007) and later
    Gerhard Gerlich
    Institute fur Mathematische Physik
    Technische Universitat Carolo-Wilhelmina zu Braunschweig
    Mendelssohnstrae 3
    D-38106 Braunschweig
    Federal Republic of Germany
    [email protected]
    Ralf D. Tscheuschner
    Postfach 60 27 62
    D-22237 Hamburg
    Federal Republic of Germany
    [email protected]

    • Doug  Cotton   says:

      Mark and others:

      Below is a comment I have just posted on Lucia’s Blackboard in response to a common thought experiment attempting to disprove the existence of the gravito-thermal effect that is obvious in all planetary tropospheres.

      The “argument has been put to me several times and is obviously yet another attempt among climatologists to rubbish what is of course a very threatening postulate, because it smashes the greenhouse.

      The argument … does not display a correct comprehension of Kinetic Theory, or indeed the manner in which molecules move and collide.

      If a perfectly isentropic state were to evolve then all molecules in any given horizontal plane would have equal kinetic energy, and of course equal potential energy, just as after the first two collisions in the 4 molecule thought experiment above.

      Now, the direction in which a molecule “takes off” in its next free path motion just after a collision is random – rather like what happens with snooker balls.

      So two molecules with equal KE set out in different directions after the collision, but there is no requirement that they must have more KE to go upwards. They don’t travel far anyway. It’s not as if any one molecule goes up a matter of several cm before colliding with another, for example. In fact, they nearly all travel in a direction that is not straight up or down.

      At thermodynamic equilibrium (as you can see in the 4 molecule experiment) when any molecule has an upward component in its direction, it loses KE that is exactly the amount of energy represented by the difference in gravitational potential energy between the height of the molecule it last collided with and that of the next molecule. With the thermal gradient in place, the next molecule it strikes will have KE that is less than the one it last struck, and its own KE will have been reduced to exactly the same KE that the next molecule already has.

      So, at thermodynamic equilibrium all collisions involve molecules which had identical KE before the collision, and so they exit the collision process still having the same KE which is the mean KE for all molecules in the horizontal plane where the collision occurred.

      Now, for a small height difference, H in a “closed system” where g is the acceleration due to gravity, the loss in PE for a small ensemble of mass M moving downwards will thus be the product M.g.H because a force Mg moves the gas a distance H. But there will be a corresponding gain in KE and that will be equal to the energy required to warm the gas by a small temperature difference, T. This energy can be calculated using the specific heat Cp and this calculation yields the product M.Cp.T. Bearing in mind that there was a PE loss and a KE gain, we thus have …

      M.Cp.T = – M.g.H

      T/H = -g/Cp

      But T/H is the temperature gradient, which is thus the quotient -g/Cp. This is the so-called “dry adiabatic lapse rate” and we don’t need to bring pressure or density into the calculation.

    • Doug  Cotton   says:

      And today’s comment on Lucia’s thread …

      Neil, Lucia and others: This thread is rapidly becoming the most important one ever seen in any climate blog, because it is addressing the trillion dollar question, was Loschmidt right?

      Graeff admitted to having little formal education in physics. He made a huge mistake which I am surprised you did not pick up, Neil, in that he incorrectly multiplied the standard -g/Cp gradient by the degrees of freedom, and because of that thought he had found potential perpetual motion. However, you would have to admit that, since he did find a gradient in virtually all his 850 experiments, the probability of isothermal conditions is infinitesimal.

      Now, let’s please agree that the second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium — a state depending on the maximum entropy.

      Hence, an isothermal state is not what will evolve in a vertical plane in a gravitational field. I leave it to you to prove your case, because what you are claiming is that the isothermal state would have no unbalanced energy potentials (so that no further work could be done) and of course it does have unbalanced additional gravitational potential energy at the top, as I have proved with mathematical induction applied to the four molecule thought experiment. The assumptions of Kinetic Theory include gravity affecting the molecules.

      Furthermore, let’s consider Venus. Its surface only receives less than 20W/m*2 of direct solar radiation – about a tenth of what Earth’s surface receives. The “runaway greenhouse” explanation is complete and utter rubbish. Physicists know that the second law applies to a single independent process and that, during that process, entropy never decreases at any point. Hence, radiation from a cold atmosphere cannot raise the temperature of the hotter Venus surface. Physicists know that such radiation is “pseudo scattered” as I explained in my peer-reviewed paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” two years ago. Yet the Venus surface temperature does rise by about 5 degrees during its four-month-long day, namely from about 732K to about 737K.

      The rising Venus surface temperature simply cannot be explained by radiative forcing. Even the difference in the required radiative fluxes for 737K and 732K is about an extra 450W/m^2 and yet the only difference between day and night (when it cools by 5 degrees) is the extra 20W/m^2 of solar radiation reaching the surface after carbon dioxide has absorbed most of the insolation. During its daytime, the Venus surface must be receiving energy absorbed in the atmosphere from incident solar radiation and then transferred by downward “heat creep” which is non-radiative diffusion and advection (convection if you like) as is explained in the four molecule experiment above.

      Likewise, you cannot explain temperatures in the Uranus troposphere unless you understand that “heat creep” sends some (or most) of the energy downwards in the day, and radiation sends it back out of the troposphere at night on all planets.

      The “heat creep” process is restoring thermodynamic equilibrium in accord with the Second Law of Thermodynamics. It does not violate the Second Law: rather it is a corollary of the Second Law. It must happen. You have no other plausible explanation.

    • yonason says:

      Good paper.

      I haven’t read it in a couple of years, but a couple of things I recall are that:

      1 – light from the sun contains a bit less than 50% IR already. I.e., the IR is not solely from visible light striking the earth and being re-radiated as heat.
      2 – the models that give a “resistance” for certain heat transfer phenomena are not realistic, since atmospheric physical processes don’t obey the same mathematics, and are not quantifiable.
      3 – something about validity of “average temperature” given the fact that radiative heat transfer involves differences in the fourth power of the respective temperatures.

      Anyway, …oh, what the heck… I’ll look it up…

      here’s the link for anyone who wants to see it for themselves.

      Thanks, Mark W. for reminding me about it.

  54. Doug  Cotton   says:

    Readers can see my article on the 21st century paradigm shift here and I shall only answer genuine questions pertaining to such.

  55. Doug  Cotton   says:

    This now explains precisely how and why the greenhouse radiative forcing conjecture fails to explain reality.

    We start with the second law of thermodynamics which states that “the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium— a state depending on the maximum entropy.”

    To think of entropy as a “degree of randomness” can often lead to misunderstandings. The main concept is that isolated systems progress towards thermodynamic equilibrium, that being the state wherein entropy is maximised within the constraints of the system of course.

    Conversely, entropy can be described as “a measure of progressing towards thermodynamic equilibrium.”

    This way we have no ambiguity or conflict between the Second Law and the concept of entropy.

    Note also that thermodynamic equilibrium is a state which has “no unbalanced potentials (or driving forces), within the system” It also embraces thermal equilibrium and people should note that thermal equilibrium does not imply isothermal conditions, just no transfer of kinetic energy across a boundary.

    But, if we start with isothermal rows of molecules (say, 68nm apart in altitude) we see the top row losing kinetic energy and the bottom row gaining kinetic energy as molecules go up and down across the boundary between the rows.

    So the isothermal state was not in thermal equilibrium, and thus not the state of thermodynamic equilibrium. The Second Law implies that will change. It only stops changing when, in the absence of inter-molecular radiation, the difference in gravitational potential energy between the rows equals the difference in kinetic energy. Then, and only then, do we have thermodynamic equilibrium. Not surprisingly, entropy is homogeneous and so there are no unbalanced energy potentials that would lead to further increases in entropy.

    Yes, you must include gravitational potential energy in all this, because thermodynamic equilibrium also includes mechanical equilibrium, and that means no net movements of more molecules going downwards than upwards. Obviously the external force of gravity does affect the kinetic energy distribution, leading to the gravito-thermal gradient which I consider thus proven by induction from the four molecule thought experiment.

    Furthermore, it is confirmed by data from throughout the Solar System.

  56. Doug  Cotton   says:

    The big debate continues and SkS physicist Neil J. King is tied in knots, making a very obvious mistake today.

    Here’s my reply awaiting moderation on Lucia’s Blackboard – you see it first here ….

    Neil: I don’t buy your “that a single molecule interacting elastically with a gas of like molecules will not, on the average, gain or lose momentum or kinetic energy.”

    Perhaps on average it won’t gain or lose KE if it happens to come back to the initial height, but while ever it is at higher altitudes it will have less KE (and more PE) and at lower altitudes it will have more KE and less PE.

    The assumptions of Kinetic Theory (which I encourage you to study more closely) include these two …

    “Except during collisions, the interactions among molecules are negligible … their dynamics can be treated classically.

    “Because they have mass, the gas molecules will be affected by gravity.”

    It seems you are just leaving out any effect of gravity acting on the molecules during free path motion between collisions. The effect of gravity is the very thing we are investigating, and that is the very reason why the mean kinetic energy at lower levels is greater than the mean kinetic energy at higher levels.

    Don’t forget, we see the -g/Cp gravito-thermal gradient very clearly in the Uranus troposphere. Furthermore, you cannot explain how the Venus surface warms from 732K to 737K without the “heat creep” process of downward diffusion and advection towards warmer regions.

    You misunderstand that the two levels in the four molecule experiment are such that there are no intermediate collisions. If there had been I would have said so. The spacing could be about the mean free path of air molecules, which I’ve mentioned elsewhere.

    In #126854 your (a) is countered by the induction process (extending it to the whole troposphere) and also by the fact that, just about whatever trajectory the molecule has between collisions, there will be a vertical component in the vector (plus or minus) and the corresponding interchange of KE and PE will of course be based on the difference in height between the two collisions which marked the beginning and end of the free path motion. Surely you can understand how this leads to different mean KE at different heights. Clearly KE tends to homogeneity only in horizontal planes, so the old (replaced) Clausius (hot to cold) statement only applies in such horizontal planes. In a vertical plane we must have homogenous (PE+KE) or otherwise there are unbalanced energy potentials, and so we would not have thermodynamic equilibrium if there were such unbalanced potentials. It’s not hard to understand.

    In your (b) there are no such things as molecules native to that altitude. They all move randomly all over the place. The “altitudes” are only about 68 nanometres apart. Kinetic Theory assumes elastic collisions. Maybe the averaging of KE is not precise, but the one with more KE ends up with less than it had, and the one that had less ends up with more than it had. Diffusion in a horizontal plane ends up with homogeneous KE after multiple collisions. So, in the long run (at thermodynamic equilibrium) the thin horizontal regions have homogeneous KE, but KE varies between these horizontal regions such that mean (PE+KE) per molecule is constant.

    In your (c) your concept of “visitor” is missing the mark. There is no distinction between molecules other than the fact that, on average, they end up with less KE at higher altitudes than lower altitudes. As you can see in the 4 molecule experiment, thermodynamic equilibrium is only established when there is no further possible net transfer of KE up or down. That can only happen when the thermal gradient is established. When it is, then you can select any two molecules and you will find that the difference in their PE equals the difference in their KE such that (PE+KE)=constant for all molecules. So if one then moves towards the other, when it collides its KE equals that of the molecule which it struck.

    The molecules that have any downward component in their velocity vector always lose PE and gain KE so they are always warming molecules. The ones that have any upward component are always cooling molecules. You seem to have missed this point. Once you accept this point you should easily understand how and why the thermal gradient evolves spontaneously, because the Second Law tells us the system will evolve towards thermodynamic equilibrium with maximum entropy, and thus no unbalanced energy potentials.

    If there is still the possibility of any net KE transfer across any internal boundary, then we don’t have thermal equilibrium, let alone thermodynamic equilibrium.

    Remember, you can’t do without the gravito-thermal effect if you are trying to explain why the thermal gradient in the outer 9Km of Earth’s crust is so unexpectedly steep that it is about 270C at 9Km in the German KTB borehole. Try extrapolating that to the core of the Earth if you don’t realise that the specific heat is far larger in the hot mantle. Nor can you explain temperatures in the Uranus troposphere, or why the Venus surface warms by 5 degrees. Just try!

    However you look at it, a temperature gradient starts to form, and the system has no propensity to revert to isothermal conditions. To do so would be reducing entropy.

    So, Neil, to pinpoint your misunderstanding, you say ” for every event that would bring about cooling at level z or heating at level 0, there is an exact inverse visit that cancels the effect.”

    No there is no “exact inverse effect.” An inverse effect would be a molecule from 0 to z supposedly bringing about warming at level z, and one from z to 0 bringing about cooling. How would that happen, Neil?

    You seem to be just making the point that the first two effects neither create or destroy energy, or vary the total KE. Of course they don’t, but KE is redistributed, and the top row loses some while the bottom row gains the same amount of KE until thermodynamic equilibrium is achieved. Only then is there no further net change in KE at each level, and so only then is there thermal equilibrium with no net KE across the boundary, meaning no heat transfer at the macro level between the two thin horizontal regions represented by the rows of molecules.

  57. Doug  Cotton   says:

    Neil King from the Skeptical Science team has been unable to fault the physics in my derivation and proof of the existence of the gravito-thermal effect. I presume no one else from the SkS team can do so, even though about 1 in 6 of them have qualifications in physics, including John Cook.

    So I think that just about wraps it up as cogent proof, because no one from Judith Curry, Jo Nova, The Air Vent, WUWT, DrRoySpencer, Australian Climate Madness, Clive Best, Bishop Hill, Stoat-Connelly, Open Mind, The Lukewarmer’s Way or any other climate blog has been able to prove wrong the answer to the trillion dollar question, namely that the Loschmidt gravito-thermal effect is a reality..

    Hence the greenhouse conjecture is debunked once and for all.

    Are there any last minute challenges?

  58.  Doug  Cotton   says:

    Roy, this is very important, because I will quote your own error about isothermal conditions in my official complaint to Australian authorities and the Government Ombudsman.

    Below is my latest comment (still awaiting moderation) on Lucia’s Blackboard in the thread about my “heat creep” hypothesis …

    So it’s time for you to resign from the Skeptical Science team, Neil King,

    You have failed to show any fault in my four molecule proof by mathematical induction of the existence of the gravitationally induced thermal gradient.

    You quite incorrectly misled readers into thinking there were somehow balancing molecular movements, implying that for every downward movement that caused warming, there would be another downward movement that would cause cooling, and vice versa for upward movements. That would be like saying that for every stone you drop which accelerates, there would be another you could drop which would slow down.

    Hence, in failing to disprove the existence of the gravito-thermal effect, you also failed to prove the existence of isothermal conditions in the absence of so-called greenhouse gases.

    Hence you failed to prove that there is any 33 degrees of warming from an isothermal state supposedly due to greenhouse gases.

    Hence you failed to debunk my hypothesis which itself debunks the radiative greenhouse effect conjecture, and which can explain all measured and estimated temperature data in the atmospheres, surfaces, crusts, mantles and cores of all planets and satellite moons in our Solar System.

    In contrast, the greenhouse radiative forcing conjecture (supported and actively promulgated by SkS) fails to enable any explanation of temperatures on other planets and also on Earth.

    Consequently the right and honest thing for you to do is admit your mistake, explaining to John Cook and all SkS team members that you now believe, based on sound physics, that planetary surface temperatures are not controlled primarily by incident radiation, but by the supporting temperature at the base of their tropospheres, which temperature is pre-determined by the solar intensity and the autonomous thermal gradient in the troposphere that evolves because of the force of gravity acting on molecules in free flight.

    This comment will be posted on at least ten climate blogs where most of this critically important discussion of the “trillion dollar question” has been duplicated. I may also use it as part of my formal complaints to Australian authorities and the Government Ombudsman here.

  59.  Doug  Cotton   says:

    Lucia showed her true colours by deleting all my comments today and leaving Neal King with the last, but obviously wrong, word. Need I say more about the bias in her blog?

  60.  Doug  Cotton   says:

    And Roy is not much better – see this comment.

    • RW says:

      He’s letting you post/say virtually anything you want here.

    • RW says:

      And you didn’t answer my question above.

      •  Doug  Cotton   says:

        Please link the question you mean. I’m not re-reading the whole thread, but I know I’ve answered some that I’ve noticed. I’m only here to discuss the physics, as no one pays me to repeat experiments like Graeff’s.

  61.  Doug  Cotton   says:

    Roy Spencer is of course just as wrong.

    Roy has not even aver attempted to justify his assertive statement that there would be isothermal conditions in an atmosphere without GH gases. Roy could not come any closer to explaining it than did Neil J. King from the Skeptical Science team. Here’s what I replied in a new attempt to get Lucia to accept her error and Neil King’s.

    No Neal J. King You have made a serious (and obvious) mistake. You wrote …

    “However, my view on that is that, if there are an equal number of visitors from level 0 to level z as there are from level z to level 0, for each “cooling” visitor from 0 to z, there is an equally “cool” native (or visitor) at z, that goes down to level 0.”

    If you have a ball bouncing (under the influence of gravity) it always accelerates towards the ground when it is going downwards. Likewise all (not half) of the molecules going from the higher level “z” to the lower level “0” also accelerate so that all of them are warming molecules, arriving at “0” with more kinetic energy than what they had when the left “z.” So there is no “equally ‘cool’ native (or visitor) at z, that goes down to level 0.”

  62.  Doug  Cotton   says:

    In answer to questions above …

    Thermal equilibrium is not necessarily an isothermal state. The whole concept is based on there being no more net heat transfer across a boundary, that boundary being either between two touching bodies, or even an imaginary boundary (or multiply boundaries) within the system.

    Thermodynamic equilibrium requires thermal equilibrium and other forms of equilibrium also, the main thing being that it is a state of maximum possible entropy with no unbalanced energy potentials. It is not appropriate or correct to try to ascertain when it occurs using enthalpy instead of entropy. That’s where Verkley et al went wrong in 2004.

    An isothermal state has unbalanced energy potentials in a vertical plane because of the additional gravitational potential energy at the top. That’s all you need to know in order to realise it is not a state of thermodynamic equilibrium.

  63.  Doug  Cotton   says:

    Wikipedia as it should read at last …

    The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases in the course of every spontaneous (natural) change.

    In other words: over time, differences in temperature, pressure, and density tend to even out in a horizontal plane, but not in a vertical plane due to the force of gravity. For example, density and pressure do not even out in a vertical plane, and nor does temperature because gravity acts on individual molecules, and this means molecular kinetic energy interchanges with gravitational potential energy in free path motion between collisions.

    Entropy is a measure of progression towards the state of thermodynamic equilibrium which has the greatest entropy among the states accessible by the system. In a vertical plane in a gravitational field, thermodynamic equilibrium exhibits a non-zero gradient in pressure, density and temperature, each being less at the top of a planet’s troposphere.

    The most common wording for the second law of thermodynamics is essentially due to Rudolf Clausius:

    “The entropy of an isolated system not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium.”

    There are many statements of the second law which use different terms, but are all equal. Another statement by Clausius is:

    Heat cannot of itself pass from a colder to a hotter body.

    This, however, is strictly only correct in a horizontal plane where the state of thermodynamic equilibrium has uniform temperature. When that state exhibits a thermal gradient in a vertical plane, then temperature inversions can occur in which the upper, cooler region is warmer than normal, even though cooler than lower regions. In such instances there can be heat transfers from cooler to warmer regions because such transfers are increasing entropy and restoring thermodynamic equilibrium. This is how energy absorbed in the cooler Venus troposphere is transferred into (and warms) the surface.

    An equivalent statement by Lord Kelvin is:

    A transformation whose only final result is to convert heat, extracted from a source at constant temperature, into work, is impossible.

    The second law is only applicable to macroscopic systems. The second law is actually a statement about the probable behavior of an isolated system. As larger and larger systems are considered, the probability of the second law being practically true becomes more and more certain. For any isolated system with a mass of more than a few picograms, the second law is true to within a few parts in a million.[1]

    A simple stylized diagram of a heat pump’s vapor-compression refrigeration cycle: 1) condenser, 2) expansion valve, 3) evaporator, 4) compressor.


    In a general sense, the second law says that temperature differences between systems in contact with each other tend to even out and that work can be obtained from these non-equilibrium differences, but that loss of thermal energy occurs, when work is done and entropy increases.[2] Pressure, density and temperature differences in an isolated system, all tend to equalize (in a horizontal plane) if given the opportunity. A heat engine is a mechanical device that provides useful work from the difference in temperature of two bodies.

  64.  Doug  Cotton   says:

    Roy, the centrifugal experiment demonstrates the thermal gradient

    Read about the Ranque-Hilsch Vortex tube and note that it generates a huge force of about 10^7g which, in the 1cm radius (10^-5Km), using Cp=1 gives a temperature difference of 10^7/10^5 = 100 degrees. The observed results are of this order of magnitude, which means the Loschmidt gravito-thermal effect seems the most probable explanation.

    •  Doug  Cotton   says:

      Actually I should correct those calculations. 10^7g is about 10^8 because g=9.8. Now I know that then gives 1,000 degrees and the quoted range is 250 degrees, but the factor of 4 in the difference is not unacceptable because of all the variables involved, especially the fact the g force is much less in the central tube. So we would expect that the mean g force might indeed be between 10^7 and 10^8.

  65.  Doug  Cotton   says:

    To pinpoint the main problems that are often apparent in climatology false, fictitious, fanciful fissics …

    (1) Temperature is the independent variable. Temperature is only changed if there is a physical addition or removal of kinetic energy which causes the mean kinetic energy per molecule to vary.

    (2) Altering density does not necessarily alter the mean kinetic energy per molecule, and nor does altering pressure.

    (3) The Ideal Gas Law tells us that pressure is proportional to the product of both temperature and density.

    (4) Gravity affects density, obviously, and (via the gravito-thermal effect) it also affects temperature by a different process.

    (5) In a planet’s troposphere, pressure is merely the end result of the gravitational processes which increase both temperature and density independently. It is not pressure that maintains the lapse rate and the higher temperatures at lower altitudes. It is gravity affecting density and temperature gradients.

    (6) There are still some people who seem to think that reducing the enthalpy of a system necessarily reduces the temperature. If all you do is remove some of the gas without altering the mean kinetic energy of the remaining molecules, you do not alter temperature. Likewise if you increase the density, temperature does not necessarily have to increase. In fact, temperature decreases if you pump in much colder gas.

    So, you do not have to involve pressure or density in your calculations of the thermal gradient which occurs at thermodynamic equilibrium. You just equate KE gain with PE loss, using the fact that KE gain is the energy required to raise the temperature of mass M by dT and so, using specific heat Cp we get M.Cp.T. Gravitational potential energy is of course M.g.dH where dH is the height differential. So …

    M.g.dH = -M.Cp.dT

    Thermal gradient: dT/dH = -g/Cp

    So remember, gravity controls the temperature gradient (aka lapse rate) in any planet’s troposphere, and energy is “trapped” for the life of the planet under the pre-determined sloping thermal plane. This provides a supporting temperature for every layer of the troposphere and the surface itself. Yes the Sun makes Earth’s surface a bit hotter during the day, but the supporting temperature stops the surface cooling anywhere near as much as it would otherwise do at night, and this helps the Sun to warm it to a higher temperature the next day, because it has limited hours in which to do so. Climate has nothing to do with radiative balance, radiative forcing, greenhouse gases or back radiation.

  66.  Doug  Cotton   says:

    The whole concept of radiative forcing supposedly causing the heating of planetary surfaces is based on totally false assumptions relating to there supposedly being no gravito-thermal effect. There is, and no one can explain temperatures in other planetary tropospheres if they think that the gravito-thermal gradient does not form as thermodynamic equilibrium is approached. This is what the Second Law of Thermodynamics tells us will happen.

    Whatever you think happens, will not happen if it involves decreasing entropy and thus violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    The Second Law holds everything together in that it applies to all forms of energy transfer, not just heat transfer. There can be only one state of thermodynamic equilibrium. There are not other processes that then determine density and pressure gradients, because these also have to be involved in the mechanical equilibrium which is an integral part of thermodynamic equilibrium. (Thermal equilibrium is far less all embracing. There are separate pages on Wikipedia which you could read to understand the differences.)

    Now, what is happening in all planetary tropospheres is that they evolve spontaneously towards thermodynamic equilibrium. Of course they never quite get there due to weather conditions, but the important issue is that they evolve towards it with entropy increasing, never decreasing.

    As tropospheres evolve towards thermodynamic equilibrium, gravity is setting up not only a density gradient, but also a thermal gradient. After all, there are just molecules up there and all they “know” is that gravity is pulling them downwards. But they have sufficient kinetic energy to “bounce” back upwards, even continuing to transfer kinetic energy when they are near the top of the troposphere. While ever they have any temperature (above 0K) they have kinetic energy.

    As gravity is forming the density and temperature gradients, pressure gradients follow as a corollary, because pressure is proportional to the product of density and temperature, where temperature is proportional to the mean kinetic energy per molecule.

    Pressure is caused by molecules striking a boundary (or surface) and so it doubles when density doubles and it also doubles when absolute (K) temperature doubles. But the important thing to remember is that pressure is the result of changes in density and temperature – it is not the cause of temperature changes, because it does not supply energy. High pressure at the base of a troposphere is not what is maintaining the high temperature – it’s the other way around. Nor does extra density necessarily increase the mean kinetic energy per molecule upon which temperature depends.

  67.  Doug  Cotton   says:

    Christy and Emanuel don’t correctly understand radiative heat transfer.

    Because the Second Law of Thermodynamics has to (and does) apply to thermal energy apparently transferred by radiation, back radiation from a cooler atmosphere does not penetrate water surfaces, even though such surfaces are almost completely transparent to the infra-red radiation that makes up about 48% of the incident solar spectrum. If back radiation were to penetrate and warm the water beneath the surface, this would be a violation of the Second Law, despite what climatologists teach climatologists about so-called net effects.

    Radiation one way is a completed independent process, and cannot be combined with any other process in order to derive a “net” result. You cannot have entropy decreasing in any such natural (spontaneous) process. You cannot justify a decrease in entropy just because entropy may increase more in some subsequent independent process.

    I was probably the first in the world to publish in March 2012 a comprehensive explanation as to why the apparent transfer of thermal energy by radiation is in fact a one-way process, with the amount being transferred corresponding to the area between the Planck curves.

    The rest of the radiation is common to both the Planck function for the warmer source and the Planck function for the cooler target. It is this radiation which undergoes what I called “resonant scattering” but others were starting to call “pseudo scattering.”

    This process involves photons raising electrons between energy states, but then the electro-magnetic energy (that became electron energy, but not kinetic energy) is immediately re-emitted as part of the target’s Planck function, because the target can indeed radiate that frequency and intensity. Hence the target uses less of its own molecular kinetic (thermal) energy and so its radiative cooling rate is slowed. However, non-radiative cooling is not affected and can indeed accelerate to compensate.

    Anyway, this is how and why the Second Law of Thermodynamics applies to radiation. So back radiation never transfers thermal energy to a warmer surface. Thus it cannot raise the maximum temperature to which the Sun’s radiation can heat a surface.

    In any event, it doesn’t work that way, and you need to understand the whole new paradigm relating to temperatures that are supported by the tropospheric thermal profile, the gradient for which is formed by the gravito-thermal effect.

  68. RW says:

    I finally heard the ‘conversation’. Not bad, though nothing really new or revelatory.

  69.  Doug  Cotton   says:

    This is where we can pinpoint the key error in the radiative greenhouse conjecture promulgated by NASA, the IPCC et al …

    In the energy budgets (such as NASA’s here) they combine “Sunlight absorbed + IR back radiation” with components of 47.9% and 100% respectively. In other words, they are assuming that there is not only a warming effect from back radiation, but it is also just over twice the warming effect of the Sun. Hence, somehow the atmosphere supposedly multiplies the effect of the Sun by more than a factor of three.

    Now, they actually need to work with this combined amount of radiation (147.9% of incident solar radiation at top of atmosphere, or more than double the 70.3% that is not reflected) because that’s the only way they can get a realistic surface temperature when they use the total radiation figure in the Stefan-Boltzmann equation.

    However, the Stefan-Boltzmann equation is based on the assumption that the target (in this case the internal surface) acts as a true black or grey body which is not transparent to radiation and can only have its temperature raised if the radiative flux is sufficient and the source is hotter than itself, because otherwise entropy would decrease.

    Sadly about two-thirds of this combined radiation comes from a much colder atmosphere, and so doesn’t count in the process of raising surface temperatures.

    And even more sadly, the real surface that we are talking about, and which affects our temperature records, is a thin layer of less than 1 centimetre in depth which, for about 70% of Earth’s surface, is water. That 1cm thin layer of water is almost completely transparent, unlike a black or grey body, so most of the solar radiation (the only radiation that can warm) is passing straight through that thin layer. The weak back radiation doesn’t make it past the first molecule it strikes, from which it is immediately re-emitted.

    What it is really being warmed (to a much lower mean temperature) is the ocean thermocline which (as you can see here) extends quite a few metres beneath that one centimetre thin surface layer, and has a mean temperature roughly 8 to 10 degrees cooler.

    So if you get a gut feeling there’s something wrong in the NASA calculations, let me assure you that you are right.

    • RW says:


      There is nothing inherently wrong with the NASA calculations. Or at least nothing that violates the 2nd Law.

    •  Doug  Cotton   says:

      Of course there is “something wrong with the NASA calculations” because they apply S-B when they should not.

      If you have a black metal ball just under the surface of some water, and the Sun is shining on it through the water, raising its temperature, where is the simultaneous reverse radiation from the submerged ball going back to the Sun?

      Radiation can be one-way. But the one-way radiation from a colder atmosphere is not going to raise the temperature of that ball – not even by a trillionth of a degree, because it doesn’t get past the surface of the water. Nor will it affect its rate of cooling that night.

    • RW says:

      The molecular density of water is far, far greater than that of the air just above the surface. So much so the S-B equation wouldn’t apply since the dominant source of energy transfer from the black metal ball to the water is by collisions.

      The bottom line is the S-B equation at the surface of the Earth isn’t an issue. Don’t forget that the energy balance at the surface is just the sum of the fluxes in and out where additive superposition must apply to the effects of energy and power on the temperature of a system. If the surface radiates about 390 W/m^2 in the steady-state, this power must be replaced, otherwise the surface will cool and radiate less (or warm and radiate more).

      Indeed much of the direct radiant power from the atmosphere to the surface is just replacing non-radiant power leaving the surface, but not returned — making it net zero energy flow across the surface/atmosphere boundary. You also have to consider there are multiple energy inputs to the atmosphere. There is post albedo solar power absorbed by the atmosphere, non-radiant energy flow from the surface to the atmosphere, and radiant energy flow from the surface to the atmosphere. However, when you sum up the all of the effects, there is about +150 W/m^2 of net gain at the surface which has its ultimate origin in radiative induced effects. Specifically the absorption of upwelling IR acting to cool that is absorbed and re-radiated back downward, which is itself not tied really in any way to the amount of IR power passing from the atmosphere to the surface.

  70.  Doug  Cotton   says:

    Oh, and tell Christy and Emanuel there’s no greenhouse effect on Venus either.

    It cannot be substantiated with standard physics that the surface of Venus is kept hot by radiation from the colder carbon dioxide atmosphere.

    In fact the surface temperature rises by about 5 degrees (from 732K to 737K) during the four-month-long day and so this requires an input of thermal energy, which cannot be coming from the colder atmosphere because, if it were, entropy would be decreasing.

    Venus cools by 5 degrees at night, and so it could easily have cooled right down over the life of the planet if the Sun provided no insolation. So we can deduce that it is energy from the Sun which is gradually raising the temperature of the Venus surface during those four months of Earth time. But less than 20 watts per square meter of solar radiation gets through to the surface because carbon dioxide actually absorbs incident solar radiation.

    If one tries to explain the 5 degree difference with Stefan-Boltzmann calculations for radiation, there is a difference of about 450 watts per square meter just between the two temperatures 732K and 737K, and so this is not supplied from the direct solar radiation which is only about one tenth of that which reaches Earth’s surface.

    Hence there is no scientific basis for assuming that direct radiation to the surface is the cause of the high surface temperatures on Venus.

  71. Doug Cotton says:

    The straight forward fact is that simple physics proves there is no greenhouse on Venus. This is the thin edge of the wedge, Roy. You need to see that Earth is supposedly operating under different laws of physics than Venus is. Supposedly, according to climatology, that is.

    Soon we will be reading about the Zeroth, First, Second and Third Laws of Climatology:

    0: Listen to zero physicists

    1: Remember you are number one authority

    2: Radiation transfers thermal energy two-ways even if it only goes one way itself, like the Sun’s radiation heating the ocean thermocline.

    3: The Earth’s atmosphere multiplies the Sun’s energy by three.

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