What to call a NYT reporter of climate science?

February 13th, 2015 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

The title of Justin Gillis’ recent NYT article is an excellent tip-off of how bad environmental reporting has gotten:

What to Call a Doubter of Climate Change?

Now, as a skeptical PhD climate scientist who has been working and publishing in the climate field for over a quarter century, I can tell you I don’t know of any other skeptics who even “doubt climate change”.

The mere existence of climate change says nothing about causation. The climate system is always changing, and always will change. Most skeptics believe humans have at least some small role in that change, but tend to believe it might well be more natural than SUV-caused.

So, the title of the NYT article immediately betrays a bias in reporting which has become all too common. “He who frames the question wins the debate.”

What we skeptics are skeptical about is that the science has demonstrated with any level of certainty: (1) how much of recent warming has been manmade versus natural, or (2) whether any observed change in storms/droughts/floods is outside the realm of natural variability, that is, whether it too can be blamed on human activities.

But reporters routinely try to reframe the debate, telling us skeptics what we believe. Actually reporting in an accurate manner what we really believe does not suit their purpose. So (for example) Mr. Gillis did not use any quotes from Dr. John Christy in the above article, even though he was interviewed.

Mr. Gillis instead seems intent on making a story out of whether skeptical climate scientists should be even afforded the dignity of being called a “skeptic”, when what we really should be called is “deniers”.

You know — as evil as those who deny the Holocaust. (Yeah, we get the implication.)

He then goes on to malign the scientific character of Dr. Richard Lindzen (a Jew who is not entirely pleased with misplaced Holocaust imagery) because the majority of scientific opinion runs contrary to Dr. Lindzen, who is also a member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences.

Do I need to remind Mr. Gillis that the cause(s) of climate change are much more difficult to establish than, say, the cause of stomach ulcers? There is only one climate system (patient) to study, but many millions of ulcer sufferers walking around.

And yet the medical research community was almost unanimous in their years of condemnation of Marshall and Warren, two Australian researchers who finally received the 2005 Nobel Prize in medicine for establishing the bacterial basis for peptic ulcers, one of the most common diseases in the world.

Does Mr. Gillis really want to be a journalist? Or just impress his NYC friends?

The idea that the causes of climate change are now just as well established as gravity or the non-flatness of the Earth (or that ulcers are caused by too much stress and spicy food, too?) is so ridiculous that only young school children could be indoctrinated with such silly tripe.

Which, I fear, is just what is happening.

298 Responses to “What to call a NYT reporter of climate science?”

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  1. RW says:

    It is ridiculous, but Lindzen himself has said he doesn’t consider himself to be a ‘skeptic’, but instead a ‘denier’. In fact, he rejects the ‘skeptic’ designation because it assumes there is actually ample evidence in support of CAGW.

    • Bill says:

      Lindzen may have said that he is a denier of CAGW, but I believe he more commonly calls himself a skeptic. The ridiculous notion that many journalists and true believers constantly put out there is that skeptics are “deniers” who deny the planet has warmed at all and who deny CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and who deny that climate changes. You of course may find a few people who believe one or more of these things but that is not the norm. And there are many scientists like myself who simply know that it has been hyped and that the GCMs are too sensitive and need to be patched.

      • Gordon Robertson says:

        @Bill “…and who deny CO2 is a greenhouse gas…”

        Bill, I am not replying to be argumentative, I just feel we need to examine claims that are made in climate science that tend to stand as fact. The inference accompanying the term greenhouse gas is one such inference that is not backed by physics or chemistry. It stands alone as a peculiar term related to climate science.

        The article to which Roy refers is typical of assumptions made about science, climate science in particular. The people questioning scholars like Lindzen are normally not interested in his views on science, they are zealots out to banish free thought, or to shame people into retracting their thoughts on science.

        I am not denying the effect of CO2 with regard to infrared radiation I am questioning that the amount we have in our atmosphere has anything to do with significant warming or that it behaves remotely like a real greenhouse. I can understand the water in clouds, which can be modeled as a lake of water, having an effect, but not CO2.

        I think you’d be hard pressed to find a real chemist who is comfortable referring to CO2 as a greenhouse gas. There is no doubt that it absorbs infrared energy but calling that process a greenhouse effect is scientifically incorrect. The term ‘greenhouse effect’ is a supposition, not a fact.

        Even Lindzen calls the theory naive. He points out that convective forces have as much or more effect than radiative forces.

        The greenhouse inference is nothing more than a metaphor. There is no scientific proof that the atmosphere resembles a real greenhouse in any way.

        The warming process alleged by so-called greenhouse gases has never been demonstrated in reality. It’s all based on thought experiments featuring mainly a planet with no atmosphere, with the oceans conveniently ignored. Trenberth-Kiehl admitted they derived their radiation budget from theory, not from measurement.

        As I have tried to point out in other posts, all GHGs represent about 1% of the atmosphere. If there was no atmosphere, presumably radiation from the surface would be free to beam off directly into space. The greenhouse effect theory would have us believe that trace gases in the atmosphere can absorb enough of that immense surface radiative flux to slow it down, which is nonsense, or to radiate enough back to warm the surface to a temperature higher than it is warmed by solar energy.

        The latter theory is worth examining but the notion of GHGs as a blanket is so silly it is not worth the analysis. It should be immediately apparent that a blanket accounting for 1% of atmospheric gases would be threadbare.

        If there were no nitrogen or oxygen in the atmosphere, only the equivalent of the 0.04% of CO2 currently there, can anyone state with a serious face that the trivial amount of CO2 left would warm anything, or trap significant surface radiation?

        In the case of all CO2, which accounts for 0.04% of atmospheric gases, calling it a blanket is a bad joke.

        With ACO2 the joke gets worse. Based on a CO2 density of 390 ppmv, ACO2 makes up about 0.001 % of atmospheric gases. The amount allegedly gained since the Industrial era is part of the 0.04%.

        With regard to a real greenhouse, one with 100 panes of glass, you’d need to remove 99 panes to get the 1% effect claimed by the GHE and AGW theories.

        • Fonzarelli says:

          Yeah, i think that given that the ipcc has made a number of obvious mistakes, it’s not unreasonable to think that some of the more complex paradigms could be mistaken as well…

        • Aaron S says:

          I realize im late to this discussion and you may not get this question. But when you say ghg is 1% of atm how do you calculate that? Does it include water? Water is of course highly variable regionally. I have thought about an argument using scale of co2 before and agree i can find no experiments with measurements to show the effect at such low abundance (mythbusters does appear to raise temp with co2 as an isolated variable in a video but i can not find equivalent literature and their experiment is unclear how much was used and is sloppy). So im trying to learn about the theory

          • geran says:

            Aaron, here is a simple experiment that appears realistic. I haven’t done it myself, but it is so easy anyone could do it. If it performs as he indicates, and if everything is done scientifically, it would be a good demonstration.


            (PS to Gordon–great comment!)

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @Aaron S “But when you say ghg is 1% of atm how do you calculate that? Does it include water?”

            I have the figures tucked away in my mind and had to look up confirmation. Here is one:


            “The percentage water vapor in surface air varies from .01% at -42 °C (-44 °F)[26] to 4.24% when the dew point is 30 °C (86 °F)”.

            I have seen figures of 1% to 3% depending on the temperature and humidity. I have selected 1% as an average purely for convenience and I have seen that figure used.

            I am no expert nor do I profess to be an expert. However, if water vapour (not the water droplets in clouds) is regarded to be 1% of atmospheric gases then as a GHG, 96% of the 1% is water vapour.

            That can be attacked from different approaches but I have done a fair amount of reading in IPCC literature and if you learn to avoid the obfuscation you can dig out the figures.

            For example, in one review, the IPCC printed a graph with no explanation that showed the carbon cycle. In the small print below the graph they claim a +/- 20% error margin for carbon calculations. From the figures given in the graph, which I could find if you need it, anthropogenic CO2 account for 4% of natural CO2, which account for 0.04% of atmospheric gases.

            BTW…the US Department of Energy also ran a table based on the IPCC graph that showed the same figures. Under the current EPA, it seems to have disappeared.

            In the page before the graph, the IPCC acknowledge that ACO2 is a ‘small fraction’ of natural CO2 and it turns out to be a bit under 4% at a CO2 density of 390 ppmv.

            If the average water vapour is about 1% of atmospheric gases, the 0.04% of all CO2 becomes insignificant and you could claim that all GHGs represent about 1% of atmospheric gases.

            I don’t care if it’s 1%, 3% or 4%, my point is that a real greenhouse with 100 panes of glass would require the removal of 99 panes, 97 panes or 96 panes, depending on which percentage of GHGs you selected.

            It’s quite obvious that GHGs in the atmosphere would not make a very good greenhouse.

            The implication in the GHE is that GHGs act as a roof that traps IR. But that’s not how a real greenhouse works. The glass serves to block air molecules from rising as they heat from solar energy heating the soil.

            The heating in a real greenhouse occurs due to a lack of convection that is readily available in the atmosphere.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @geran Thanks for link,

            It has always seemed odd to me that N2 and O2 are claimed not to absorb infrared radiation. It is known that N2 absorbs IR in the near-infrared region so it could very well be absorbing direct solar radiation in the near-infrared.

            There seems to be a distinction being made between air molecules that absorb IR into their covalent bonds, causing them to vibrate harder, causing heat, and the IR that can be directly absorbed into an atom’s valence bands, causing electrons to move up to a higher energy band.

            I am wondering why that absorption is not considered. Either process should cause heating in the atom since energy levels have increased.

            Afterall, if a very hot piece of metal is brought close to a cooler piece of metal, radiation from the hotter metal will transfer heat to the cooler metal. The transfer is done by IR and there are no GHG-type molecules in play. If iron atoms can absorb IR into their valence electrons, producing heating, which can’t the same thing happen with N2 and O2 in the atmosphere?

            Here’s a link for you from two scientists who work in thermodynamics which gives a far better argument against the GHE and AGW theories.


          • Aaron S says:

            Thanks i do appreciate the response. I am not disagreeing; i am building a very simple model and the thing i dont get is energy input is not spread evenly across the earth… it is focused at the equator, seasonally wobbling. Water vapor is also highly variable depending on geography and circulation patterns. I have no idea how the bulk of ghg is modeled and cant find the literature to address this issue, but since absorption bands of co2 and wv overlap greatly and co2 is spread out more evenly (whereas wv is not) the greenhouse effect and the role of co2 should vary greatly regionally. Maybe im over thinking it, but the simple experiment has me thinking about this. Simply put in low latitude areas with high concentrations of wv (much more abundant and powerful ghg) like tropical rain forest, i dont see co2 as that significant whereas over a low latitude dessert it would be. Maybe one of the big fish could explain… like roy or christy but it may be that atm circulation plays a role… idk.

        • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

          Gordon: How can you say “I can understand the water in clouds, which can be modeled as a lake of water, having an effect, but not CO2.”? Are you implying that the IPCC is right in making out that water vapor warms by about 15% for each 1% in the atmosphere? Clouds increase albedo for a start. No empirical evidence supports any warming by water vapor. See the study in my paper on core and surface temperatures in all planets, linked from our group website.

          • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

            But thanks, Gordon – on reading that paper again I was reminded that the paper also cites …

            • Two books by the popular German meteorologist and sociologist Wolfgang Th¨une, entitled
            The Greenhouse Swindle (In German, 1998) [119] and Aquittal for CO2 (In German,
            2002) [120] tried to demonstrate that the CO2 greenhouse effect hypothesis is pure nonsense.
            • A book written by Heinz Hug entitled Those who play the trumpet of fear (In German,
            2002) elucidated the history and the background of the current greenhouse business [121]
            • Another movie was shown recently on Channel 4 (UK) entitled “The great global warming
            swindle” supporting the thesis that the supposed CO2 induced anthropogenic global
            warming has no scientific basis [122].
            • In his paper “CO2: The Greatest Scientific Scandal of Our Time” the eminent atmospheric
            scientist Jaworowski made a well-founded statement [12].

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @Doug…”Are you implying that the IPCC is right in making out that water vapor warms by about 15% for each 1% in the atmosphere?”

            I don’t agree with most things the IPCC claims and certainly not their views on water vapour. I think they are grasping at straws.

            The only reason I mentioned clouds is that Craig Bohren mentioned in his book on atmospheric radiation, that clouds are more like droplets of water than water vapour. I seem to recall him claiming that a cloud could be modeled as a tiny, thin lake.

            I don’t profess to have expertise in such matters. I simply cannot buy into the argument that 1% of atmospheric gases are responsible for raising the planet from a highly theoretical -19C to a theoretical +15C.

            BTW…my understanding is that clouds are not regarded as GHGs.

            As I have asked, if the 97% of atmospheric gases involving oxygen and nitrogen could be removed, leaving only GHGs, how much would that warm the planet?

            The thought experiment involving a rise in global average by 33 C does not go into a quantitative explanation of how that rise in temp comes from 1% of atmospheric gases. It presumes it, based on the generic question of what else could have caused it.

            The thought experiment has ignored the oceans and as Stephan Wilde has pointed out they represent a huge heat reservoir.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @Doug “…on reading that paper again I was reminded…”

            I think the Gerlich and Tscheuschner paper on the GHE and AGW is brilliant. I have not seen the problem attacked by qualified scientists in thermodynamics and they are both qualified in that field.

            I have seen two rebuttals and both lacked a clear understanding of the problem. The first by Arthur Smith, a physicist who has worked largely as a librarian, touched on one small part of the paper, yet alarmists have rushed to claim that debunks the entire paper. The Smith rebuttal has since been debunked by a third party.

            The second rebuttal was by Halpern et al, featuring Josh Halpern, who runs under the nym Eli Rabbett. Before G&T had a chance to respond I spotted the flaw in their argument. They had claimed G&T implied that energy transfer between two bodies only went one way. They were, of course, referring to infrared energy.

            The flaw in that argument is one you have referenced in several posts. IR contains no heat and heating cannot take place till IR contacts a real substance. Halpern et al had thought G&T were claiming that energy is transferred only in one direction but G&T were talking about heat, not IR.

            In other words, Halpern et al seemed to infer that IR is heat.

            In their rebuttal, G&T pointed out that Halpern at al had not defined greenhouse warming, which is true, and that applies to most arguments I have read on the subject. When people use the GHE model they presume it has been proved and fail to establish proof before presenting their arguments.

            I realize it would be impractical for all rebuttals to explain the underlying physics but in the case of the GHE, which is admitted by many to be only a metaphor, I think it is essential to supply proof. Otherwise you are creating an argument based purely on supposition, like with the AGW theory.

            G&T also pointed out that infrared energy cannot be summed and presented as heat. The net flow of IR between bodies is not a measure of heat transfer.

            I really wish more people from the field of thermodynamics would get involved and straighten out the climate scientists who are making rash claims about heat.

          • Gordon Robertson says:

            @Doug…something else just occurred to me.

            It is well known in thermodynamics that work and heat are equivalent. It needs to be made clear, however, that equivalent does not imply equality. Work and heat are measured in different units.

            It seems to be the same for IR and heat. IR is electromagnetic energy that emanates from atoms and molecules. The greatest source of EM in the universe comes from stars, as far as I know.

            The photon was defined for that very reason, in an attempt to particalize EM. Many people think photons are real particles but there’s no proof for that.

            As Einstein stated late in his life, many people think they know the answer to the wave/particle duality but that they are wrong.

            It just so happens that IR can raise the energy levels in an atomic bond or in an atom itself. Doing so makes the substance containing the atoms/molecules warmer, therefore IR can transfer heat. However, it is not heat itself. The heating comes from increases in the kinetic energy in atoms and molecules.

            An EM wave consists of an electric field with a perpendicular magnetic field. Heat has no such fields. EM has wavelengths and frequencies but heat does not.

            I have worked in electronics most of my life and in electronics electric energy can only be transferred from a higher potential state to a lower potential state. Transferring it in the opposite direction, as in a transistor, up a potential hill, requires external electrical forces.

            I don’t see why it should be any different with IR although I am unable to prove it at this point. It’s plain from the work of Clausius that IR is free to flow in either direction between bodies but that heat can only be transferred from a warmer body to a cooler body without compensation.

          • Kristian says:


            You say: Halpern et al had thought G&T were claiming that energy is transferred only in one direction but G&T were talking about heat, not IR.”

            And: “The net flow of IR between bodies is not a measure of heat transfer.”

            And: “IR can transfer heat. However, it is not heat itself.”

            Energy is transferred only one way between bodies in a heat transfer. That’s the ‘heat transfer’. The energy transfer is the heat transfer, Gordon. Be it conductive, convective or radiative. The ‘net’ of two opposing radiative potentials in a heat transfer is indeed the radiative heat.

            A thermodynamic ‘energy transfer’ is a very particular thing. It is always UNIdirectional between two bodies and it comes in two varieties only: as ‘work’ [W] or as ‘heat’ [Q].

            However, EM radiation is a strange thing.

            Try and read this and see what you think:


    • Phyte On says:

      Please provide the Link where Lindzen considers himself a denier of climate change! What utter rubbish. Nonsense.

    • AlecM says:

      The problem with Lindzen is that like all the major Atmospheric Scientists he was taught incorrect physics, probably by Goody. It came from Sagan who made 4 basic mistakes in the 1960s but because the opposition was Russian, prevailed.

      Lindzen believes in CAGW because he believes that ‘back radiation’ aka Downwelling Longwave Radiation is real when it is the Atmospheric Radiant Emittance, a potential energy flux.

      Only the vector sum of Irradiances (=Emittance for a collimated beam) is real net IR flux. Thus increased [GHG] content increases Emittance but decreases net surface IR.

      Us grizzled engineers taught proper physics know this but many decades of US students imagine that the S-B equation predicts an infinite supply of ‘photons’ when these are a subset of electromagnetic wave motion.

      The bottom line is that Lindzen is wrong. There is no Enhanced GHE (proven by the absence of any significant temperature fall from surface to adjacent ~30 m atmosphere). The non-enhanced GHE for all well mixed GHEs is near zero, controlled by the water cycle.

      It’s time to clear out the charlatans who created this modern version of the Phlogiston Hoax.

      • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

        Well said. I have pointed out in my March 2012 paper what you said that back radiation “decreases net surface IR.” However, I also explained why it does not and cannot reduce the rate of sensible heat transfers and evaporative cooling, and these rates can accelerate to compensate for slower radiative cooling.

        But far more importantly, it does not affect the supported temperature as discussed in the new 21st century paradigm shift in climate science in our group’s website now visited by over 5,000 in its first 6 weeks, more than 700 of them linked from Roy’s blog.

  2. Thanks, Dr. Spencer.
    I’d call Justin Gillis a denier of natural climate change. I’d call him an alarmist and a greedy would-be profiteer.

    • David Appell says:

      What is the evidence that recent climate change is “natural?”

      • Chuck L says:

        What is the evidence that it is not?

      • David Appell says:

        Andres called Justin Gillis “a denier of natural climate change.”

        That raises the question: what natural climate change?

        • Stephen Richards says:

          The changes that have occured in the past 4.500 million years.

          • Lewis Guignard says:

            Silly Stephen,

            The only climate change is that recorded in the last 65 years or so, you know, the change that can be attributed to man. Anything outside of that range is imaginary.

            But you just keep trying to be rational.

            Happy Valentines Day

        • MRW says:

          David Appell,

          Justin Gillis is NOT in Richard Lindzen’s league.Lindzen is a scientist with serious scientific street cred, and significant scientific publication and academic qualifications. Gillis has ZERO scientific background. He has no extensive training as a journalist of climate matters either. Here is his bio: http://news.uga.edu/releases/article/distinguished-alumni-award/

          Shame on you.

        • An Inquirer says:

          David, the historic way in science was that the person advancing the hypothesis bore the responsibility of the evidence. After all, it is very difficult to prove the negative. Therefore, we normally would have expected CAGW proponents to have the responsibility to prove that CO2 is causing dangerous climate change. Of course, we have observed that scientific modus operandi does not apply to the issue of Climate Change. (The way of science has been short-circuited, circumvented and ignored when convenient to do so by CAGW proponents.)

          In view of that, I will offer a few thoughts on the evidence that supports natural climate change as the dominant force in what we see. The overall theme is that
          Not much of what we see is unprecedented.

          1. Climate variation in the U.S. (and much of the world) was much more disruptive in the 1930s and 1950s. Droughts were much more severe; we have never returned to the # of lakes that dried up in that spell.

          2. There has not been an increase in heat waves.

          3. Hurricane intensity is actually down.

          4. Glacier retreat started at the end of the Little Ice Age. The retreat is actually slowing down now and in some places has reversed.

          5. Record high temperatures for states or nations are not being set to any significant degree.

          6. Claims of “hottest year ever” are based on adjustment process — not on actual temperatures measured. That adjustment process produces results that are not consistent with observed weather phenomenon.

          7. Antarctica has amazingly high ice extent — even more impressive because it extends much closer to the equator than the Artic ice ever did.

          8. Arctic ice has been up and down throughout history, and it is not in a death spiral.

          9. The list goes on and on . . . the list will not convince anyone who does not want to be swayed. But the preponderance of the evidence is that the climate that we are experiencing is more natural than not.

          BTW: I fully believe that the WMT is likely higher now than 50 years ago, but it may not be higher than 80 years ago, and more than likely it is lower than during MWP.

      • richard says:

        probably high. with most of the temp stations in urban areas and having a quality rating of 0 i doubt it has anything to with man made warming , or maybe as the quality is 0 maybe that is the only place there has been warming.


        e. population “values put on weather stations”

        ” urban warming is a phenomenon that the GSN would like to avoid, therefore more weight was given to rural or small towns.

        The value they give to Urban station quality is “0”

      • Sun Spot says:

        David Appledumb, as you are paid by the word to TROLL here you have no credibility .

        • @SunSpot, be charitable. Don’t assume Mr. Appell is a troll. He didn’t even make it clear that he disagreed. He only asked a question. And a good question at that.

          I used to believe the Al Gore fantasy, but that was before I became interested enough to investigate for myself. I used to be an enthusiastic supporter of the “Dark Side,” but didn’t know what I was doing. When someone was cordial enough to help me understand their viewpoint, I realized that I was wrong.

          We can win more friends and save the planet from insanity by being less self-concerned and less abusive of others.

          Using “Appledumb” is also not so nice. It reflects badly on you.

          Even if Mr. Appell is a Troll, wouldn’t it help other readers who are “confused” to find truth if you are more helpful than divisive?

          • Sun Spot says:

            Rod, read all of Appledumb’s comments on this thread then re-evaluate your perspective on the deliberate ignorance of this individual.

      • I think the question Appell is asking is what’s the chance that the behaviour of the natural world is natural?

      • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

        “What is the evidence” You’ll find it explained here: http://climate-change-theory.com complete with climate projections and physics that will blow your mind.

    • John Silver says:

      The word is propagandist, there are no journalists, that’s just propaganda.

  3. Mike Bromley the Kurd says:

    and it is the indoctrination of children that is most despicable and desperate

  4. RW says:

    I think the correct designation, BTW, is ‘CAGW denier’, i.e. Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming denier.

    Of course, the designation ‘climate change denier’ is totally ridiculous since the climate changes naturally no matter what.

    • RW says:

      And of course none of us deny that.

    • David Appell says:

      Except no scientists (that I’m aware of) uses the term CAGW. Because “catastrophic” is a word about values, not about the science.

      Or am I wrong?

      • Streetcred says:

        Let me get this straight … your alarmism has now moved from CAGW (Al Gore, your high priest) to Global Warming to Climate Change … and now you deny CAGW? You’re gripping it too tightly.

        • David Appell says:

          My question was, which scientists use the term “catastropic” when discussing AGW?

          • Bill says:

            No, they don’t. That is a term skeptics use (properly, I think) to highlight the differences between a realistic view of global warming and the way it often appears in abstracts of papers, but more often in the press releases by the university and in the media.

            Claims of impending catastrophe are heard all the time as are fairly drastic solutions.

            Using CAGW and terms like “lukewarmer” are ways of bringing attention to the real questions which are: 1. how much has it warmed, 2. how much of this is due to man, and 3. how rapidly might it warm in the future, 4. what are the costs and benefits of the warming and CO2 and what are the costs and benefits of the proposed solution.

            One side is trying to be realistic and the other is resorting to name calling and shutting down discussion. To be fair, I think more and more scientists are becoming lukewarmers and agree that the models need to be tuned down a bit. So I have hope that the discussion may become more civil. But, now that it is so politicized, the non-scientists in the media and on FB, and before elections may keep it nasty for awhile.

          • Phyte On says:

            Semantics. Dangerous. This or that might happen that would be really bad. It seems every AP article on this subject quotes some scientific study that some really bad things might happpen if we don’t get AGW under control. Are you just playing with semantics?

          • Hmmm… “catastrophic” – you mean words like “tipping points”, “uninhabitable planet” or just plain “catastrophic”.

            “Tipping points – the more we cross, the closer we get to the point of no return, where amplifying feedbacks create runaway climate change. In this possible future, the chaotic mix of rising sea levels, extreme storms, floods and droughts, would lead to ecological collapse, ultimately making our planet uninhabitable.”

            “According to Dr James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and one of the world’s leading climate scientists, we are far closer to this grim scenario than the public realises.”

            Or his reference to “Factories of death”.

            (Interview 2011.)

            Or how about:

            The next 50 years offer Sydney the last chance to avoid catastrophic climate change that would devastate south-eastern Australia, the scientist Tim Flannery has warned.” (Sydney Morning Hearld Inteview, 2004.)

      • rah says:

        No they don’t use the term CAGW from what I’ve seen but they do predict catastrophes due to climate change all the time in their papers and articles. The list of bad things they have claimed will happen that would be catastrophic for people or the economy due to climate change is so extensive and continues to grow so quickly that it is nearly impossible to keep up with it all. It is all truly insane and would be laughable if the media and the government were not echoing it all the time and using it for their own agendas. And then there is the phenomenon of the constant drum beat for blaming any severe or even slightly unusual weather on climate change.

        I remember reading a compendium of the medical quackery adds in Newspapers from the 1920’s and 30’s and laughing. I could not believe how people could be so ignorant and so misguided. But things like the Y2K and this climate change hysteria makes it clear we’re no smarter than they were and possibly worse! At least those suffering had an understandable motivation to try anything that might bring relief from their suffering. But what is the motivation for buying into this AGW crisis scam?

    • David Appell says:

      What does “catastrophic” mean?

      • RW says:

        It generally means large and significantly impacting, i.e. significantly more impacting than natural climate change. It also generally means denying that the feedback is 300% positive, i.e. those who think the net feedback is negative.

        • RW says:

          That is, in the context of what is ‘CAGW denier’.

        • David Appell says:

          Your answer just begs the question. What does “large” mean? What does “significant” mean.

          Large to whom?
          Significant to whom?

          • RW says:

            Large means significantly larger than natural variability, which the ice core data suggests easily ranges from 0.5C-1C or more per century.

            BTW, I do not accept your apparent premise. All climate change, whether natural or man caused (or some combination), significantly benefits some things and significantly hurts other things. This has been the case since the beginning of life on the planet and will continue to be the case from now until the end of time (i.e. the end of life on this planet).

            In such an ever changing, highly dynamic system, there is no way to accurately predict the net outcome of doing something or not doing something (i.e. perturbing it or perturbing it less). Nor is there any reason to believe doing something in such a system is any more risky than not doing something. All climate change benefits some and detrimentally affects others, and which has clearly been the case throughout all history.

          • RW says:

            It’s also foolish to fear warming since man has historically always feared cooling (and for good reason). Periods of warmth throughout history are associated with prosperity and life being easier and more prevalent, where as periods of cold are associated with life and survival being much more difficult and life being less prevalent. Moreover, CO2 is fuel for agriculture and the biosphere and biology in general likes warmth. We are the first generation of organisms that have ever feared a warmer climate, and it is spectacularly ridiculous and illogical. A push of the climate in the warming direction with the added benefit of increased plant growth is a wonderful thing we should embrace.

          • RW says:

            If anything, man’s added CO2 should be considered a slight amount of insurance against cooling. Add the benefit of increased plant fertilization, and added CO2 should be considered a precious resource we should take as much advantage of while it lasts.

          • John W. Garrett says:

            After eighteen plus (18+) years of no significant warming, you tell us.

            After 160 years of a highly fuzzy, somewhat dubious but supposed 0.6°C, you tell us.

            It doesn’t appear to be a planetary emergency even presuming that the cause(s) are determinable.

          • Tom Wehner says:

            David, as a published writer you should be aware that the meaning of the expression “to beg the question” is not the one you use. It has to do with logical fallacy and circular reasoning, used to avoid answering a question or to avoid providing a logical, agreed-upon basis for discussion.

          • Craig King says:

            Well it obviously means something to policy makers or they would not be trying to rejig the global economy by reducing “carbon” so as to ward off the cities drowning and the deserts expanding and humanity dying off because the world has been “destroyed”.

            I suspect you are just being clever with your question. If there was no “catastrophic” in the problem it would just be an academic exercise in knowledge seeking. Instead it is highly politicised and a very useful tool in social and economic management for those mainly on the left.

          • Appell is a troll and you’re just feeding him. He is a lonely unemployed obese man on a personal crusade to change the world. He sits in front of his computer all day, typing… He despises are non-believers and enjoys people wasting their energy arguing with him. He listens to no arguments himself and will be back next week repeating every debunked claim he has previously made, no matter how many times it’s been debunked.

      • gbaikie says:

        What does “catastrophic” mean?

        It mean anything the public needs spends trillions of dollar in order to avoid increasing CO2- because higher levels of CO2 would be damaging.

        Or the Montreal protocols were governmental solution to avoid a catastrophic result from a weaken ozone.

        For example:
        — FAQ 23. “Has the benefit of the Montreal Protocol been worth the cost?”

        “Yes. Several attempts have been made to investigate the economic impacts of the problem of a depleted ozone layer —

        “The benefits are the total value of the damaging effects avoided in this way. The total costs of the measures taken to protect the ozone layer were calculated to be 235 billion US (1997) dollars. The effects avoided world-wide, though far less quantifiable, were estimated to be almost twice that amount. ”

        According to this dubious analysis, we spent “235 billion US (1997) dollars” to prevent various harms or catastrophic
        effects. Or over 470 billion dollar of harmful results were suppose to have been avoided.

        Or say hurricane will cost a city and inhabitants 50 billion dollar and kill 20 more people than than if didn’t have the hurricane, that for the city is catastrophic.
        And if city spent say 5 billion dollars to build a sea wall and that reduced the damage to 20 billion and few less people dying, than the cost of the sea wall would justifiable, because in 10 or 20 year period one could expect such hurricane to occur.
        But if there isn’t a possibility of hurricane hitting a city
        and causing catastrophic result, then there no justification
        to spend 5 billion and make such a sea wall.

        So you build a sea wall, or build a walled city to protect against invading armies, because there would be catastrophe result that one is attempting to diminish the effects of. Not because you like to tax people and have governmental
        projects which increase the importance of politicians, and so they can funnel public funds to their cronies.

      • Will Janoschka says:

        “What does “catastrophic” mean?”

        Catastrophic means The self appointed Dr. David Appell is posting again!

      • Gunga Din says:

        Does culling kangaroos mean “death threats”?

        Just how high do sea levels need to rise before you consider the prediction (“projection” if you prefer)would be “catastrophic”?
        Have you forgotten what Hansen and others said should have happened by now if CO2 levels continued to rise?
        (Does Santa Clause need a lifeboat?)
        Where have the climate models said we should be if CO2 continued to rise?

        Is all you can do is ask questions to deflect honest inquires into the basis the theory (and what’s been done to the data) behind (CAGW, AGW, Climate Change, Weather Wierding, etc. Pick your label.) and what it really means?

        Please explain why I should pay more to heat my home because Obama is shutting down coal-fired power plants?
        (And please leave farm animals out of it.)

      • Phyte On says:

        Catastrophic means dangerous sea level rise in the next 100 years, more extreme weather events than ever before witnessed in the previous 100 years. In fact, I’ve even seen articles about mass migrations, famine, etc. as a result of AGW.

        • boris says:

          Folks who bother to read know that those predictions of catastrophe are nothing new and that the ‘BY THE YEAR” simply slips further and further into the future. For example: Gore and sea levels by the year 2000. Commoner and catastrophic crop failure progressively from the 1960’s. Ehrlich and world collapse from the consequences of “the population bomb” by the year 2000. The only real ecological studies demand science not speculation and to stop treating the biosphere as an extension of a PETA cause!

  5. geran says:

    “Most skeptics believe humans have at least some small role in that change…”

    When a train traveling at 60 mph hits a mosquito, does the train slow down? Well, that obliterated mosquito might have had more effect on the momentum of the train than all of mankind has on Earth’s climate.

    Just to keep things in perspective….

    • Massimo PORZIO says:

      I would use a car instead of a train, but you could be more realistic in your perspective 🙂

      Have a nice weekend.


    • David Appell says:

      “Well, that obliterated mosquito might have had more effect on the momentum of the train than all of mankind has on Earth’s climate.”

      What is your proof that today’s level of atmospheric CO2 — and those coming over the next decades — are safe?

      • geran says:

        I use computer modeling. I don’t believe in computer modeling for climate, but you do. So, you must believe my models, but I don’t have to believe yours.

        See how it works, now?

        • David Appell says:

          I asked for proof that today’s level of atmospheric CO2 — and those coming over the next decades — are safe.

          You didn’t provide that.

          • geran says:

            Okay–“Today’s level of atmospheric CO2, and those coming over the next decades, are safe.”

            That’s from my “climate model”, so that is all the “proof” you should need. (Oh, I also have a survey where 100% of those surveyed agreed with my climate model.)

          • David Appell says:

            Again you didn’t supply evidence.

            By now it’s clear you can’t.

          • geran says:

            Okay, live in your “DENIAL”.

          • David Appell says:

            No proof. (Not really unexpected.)

          • Massimo PORZIO says:

            sorry but your method is evidently too much polarized on the CAGW, despite what you try to write in this posts.

            Your question “What is your proof that today’s level of atmospheric CO2 — and those coming over the next decades — are safe?” is so silly that I would tempted to ask you “What is your proof that today’s level of atmospheric CO2 — and those coming over the next decades — are dangerous?”, both the questions have solution in the analysis of the past and analyzing the past and I’m sure you’ll write exactly what RW intended about catastrophism and you falsely faked to be unaware.

            Give it up David, have a nice weekend.


          • Bill says:

            Generally David, the null hypothesis is NOT what has to be proven. Occam’s razor says to take the simplest explanation whenever possible. So the starting place should be to understand natural variability first. Then, when you see that the “polar vortex” has come down into N. America many times in the last 100 years, you don’t then make claims that this is due to “global warming/climate change”. If there is evidence in the past 3,000 years of warm periods in the northern hemisphere (exactly what we have now), you don’t try to make a case that it is unprecedented and extremely dangerous.

            The recent hiatus and the dozens of papers in the major journals suggesting climate sensitivity is lower and that more heat than they thought may be going in to the oceans should give even you pause to consider the pause, David. 🙂

            When a new hottest year ever only shows up on a few of the temp. records, and only by 0.02 degrees (in some cases), and is not statistically significant, I don’t take that as evidence that now we know for sure it will warm 3-4 C in the next 85 years.

            Thankfully, the pause has given us another 15 years to carefully collect real data, try to fix the GCMs a bit (maybe stop using the ones with the poorest results), and try to really understand man’s effect on the planet and the best ways to address it.

          • Lewis Guignard says:


            Well let’s see. Plants are growing more vigorously.

            From that we can presume animals will have more to eat and so they will be better off.

            But let us get to the point: most of your questions should be considered rhetorical. Unless you actually think they are serious questions. In which case I suspect you need to get some medical attention.

          • geronimo says:

            What do you mean by safe?

          • Alan McIntire says:

            From Trenberth’s figures, the flux at earth’s surface averages about 490 watts per square meter, 390 in sensible heat , 78 in latent heat of vaporization, and about 22 in convection. The increase in Watts from a doubling of CO2 is supposed to be about 3.7 watts. Plug in that 3.7 watt increase to the 490 watts per square meter we already experience, and you get less than a 0.6C increase. All the estimated fossil fuel in the world can’t produce more than two or 3 doublings. It’s definitely safe.

          • My old philosophy teacher had a very wise saying. “The burden of proof is asymmetrical.” What he meant was, if you’re claiming X, i.e., X is dangerous, then the burden of proof rests on the person making the claim of danger. Nobody has to demonstrate that the claim is not true. The real world doesn’t work the way Appell wants it to be, but we already know all that.

      • Stephen Richards says:

        DON4T FEED THE TROLL. Let him talk to himself after all he obviously likes to read his own writing and listen to his voice

      • Phyte On says:

        What is your proof that today’s level of atmospheric CO2 – and those coming over the next decades – are catastrophic (above & beyond anything witnessed in prior decades)?

  6. As they say talk is cheap and that is all AGW proponents have done.

    What matters is what will the global temperature trend be going forward as shown by Satellite Data.

    Once this maximum of solar cycle 24 ends which it looks like it is finally in the process of doing we will start to know who is correct and who is wrong.

    My theory very briefly here, is the climate is on a two tier system. It has the slow moving climate cycles which have all been in a slow gradual cooling trend since the Holocene Optimum ,(punctuated with warm periods such as the Minioan,Roman,Medieval,Modern Warm Period, each one of these not quite as warm as the previous period).

    Superimposed on the slow moving gradual climate cycles are more rapid climate cycles such as solar variability which sometimes act in concert with the slow moving climate cycles and sometimes in opposition.

    Solar now acting in concert with the slow moving gradual climate cycles.

    The upshot is look for a global cooling going forward.

    Which should stop the cheap talk once and for all, of all of the AGW enthusiast.

  7. Johan says:

    Roger Pielke Jr. calls him an “Activist Journalist”, and I tend to agree


    • Alan Poirier says:

      Activist journalists. Activist scientists. All is now narrative. Scientists invent stories and journalists tell the stories. Cold, hard facts are secondary. If the data do not support the theory, it is not the theory that is wrong; it is the data. So temperatures are pounded and hammered, shaved and padded until they fit the theory. Never let facts get in the way of a good story. It’s what got Brian Williams into trouble; it will be what eventually undoes AGW. The average person is not stupid. They have something that is more useful than all the degrees in the world — common sense.

      • David Appell says:

        “If the data do not support the theory, it is not the theory that is wrong; it is the data.”

        Well, sometimes it is the data. As in UAH’s saga in the 1990s and early 2000s:


        Somewhat the same with the motivations behind the work of Cowtan and Way.


        • Every specific claim of the theory has failed testing so far. Polar amplification (both poles). Mid tropospheric hot spot. (Never found but once described as a “robust” feature of all climate models by Gavin in one of the older published papers on this topic.) Predicted global warming temperature trends way off target. (Forecasts not even remotely matching observations).

          The only thing you can say is that the planet has warmed a bit. That hardly vindicate the theory. The plant has been warming, on and off, for 300 years. If the only thing you can point to is some warming, that proves nothing at all. You might as well have flipped a coin. The planet can only do two things, cool slightly or warm slightly. Quote a joke, if that’s all the ‘evidence’ you have.

    • LA_Bob says:

      In the comments to the James Gillis article Dr Spencer links, David Appell said,

      “Planetary temperatures just don’t “rebound” on their own, like a bouncing ball…”

      What in blue blazes qualifies you to make such an extraordinary statement? How on earth would you or anyone else know?

      • Wendy Thompson says:

        Well said. About the only thing we can say is that warming would produce more water vapor, and thus more clouds shading the surface and increasing albedo. If total albedo were to increase from 30% to 31% then our group has calculated that there would be a cooling of at least 0.9 degree.

        But the main cyclic patterns in climate are not due to such compensating hormonal-type corrections here on Earth, but to straight forward planetary orbits from which we can determine climate trends retrospectively and in advance, even by hundreds or thousands of years, as here.

  8. BBould says:


    Does Mr. Gillis really want to be a journalist? Or just impress his NYC friends?

    Well said!

  9. Paul5460 says:

    As a two time visitor to Auschwitz touring under the aegis of a former Mengele twin, I greatly resent the term denier. Roy’s stomach ulcer analogy is particularly apt

    • David Appell says:

      The word “denier” was a perfectly good word before the Holocaust, and it means the same after.

      When people mean “Holocaust denier,” they put the word “Holocaust” in front of the word “denier.”

      When they don’t mean “Holocaust denier,” they don’t.

      • John W. Garrett says:

        Uh, huh.

        Do you really expect anybody to believe that?

        • Bart says:

          He, and they, wouldn’t be using it if it were innocuous.

          “If your enemy is angry, irritate him.” – Sun Tzu

          It’s not about science. It’s just a tactic in the effort to persuade the larger mass of people who know nothing of science, but want to cast their lot with the “strong horse”.

          • gbaikie says:

            Unfortunately for Dave, most people don’t care about “climate change” or global warming. As any opinion poll will indicate.

            And since no one can support dave’s silliness, he left flapping in the wind.
            So as the greatest advocates of climate change refuse to argument the issue, because silent is their only last best hope, Dave has failed to get the memo.
            Or since Lefties are hopeless narcissists, he got the memo
            but imagines he can turn it around.

  10. Bill says:

    Justin Gillis does not have the objectivity or integrity to even claim to be a “Reporter” let alone a “Reporter of Climate Science”.
    A true Reporter would not use his unearned platform to smear distinguished scientists like Lindzen.

    The only good thing is that the readership of the NYT rag is declining and the amount of people wasting their time reading Gillis is probably falling even faster. Gillis and his like will fade into irrelevance over time.

    • David Appell says:

      How did Gillis smear Linden?

    • Bill says:

      Oops, there are now two Bills commenting on this thread. I use my last initial W. on posts at other places but when I commented the first time here a few years ago I must have just used Bill. The Bill commenting on Justin Gillis is a different Bill. I have not read the NYT story so I have no idea if he smeared Lindzen or not other than a few people think he did.

  11. benpal says:

    Gillis writes: “The petition asks the news media to abandon the most frequently used term for people who question climate science, “skeptic,” and call them “climate deniers” instead.”
    Is it up to polls now to determine how to call people?

    “In other words, the climate scientists see themselves as the true skeptics” As if “climate scientist” designated a homogeneous group of people by a single characteristic. But of course he means only those “climate scientists” who are part of the consensus; all the others don’t count in.

  12. Planetary_Physics says:

    Climate does change. We (in our group of 6 with an understanding of physics) are not “Climate Change” doubters, skeptics or whatever. Earth’s temperature trends follow very closely the natural 934-year and superimposed 60-year cycles that are very clearly seen here and indicate long-term cooling after the year 2059.

    What we are is doubters of the amateur “fissics” promulgated by the likes of Hamsen and Pierrehumbert – science packed with glaring errors such as the obvious fact that, when calculating their 255K figure based on albedo of 30% (of which two-thirds is due to reflection by clouds) they still used the same albedo for their imaginary world without water vapor and thus without clouds. If the carbon dioxide had still been there, the radiating temperature without clouds (albedo 10%) would have been 16.5 degrees hotter than 255K. Just think of what that means! Not only would that radiating temperature without WV and clouds have been that much higher, but the temperature gradient would also have been steeper with the “dry” rate rather than the “wet” rate, and so the surface temperature would have been hotter still by about another 3.5 degrees over each Km in about 5Km down from the radiating altitude. So with this 17.5 degrees and the previous 16.5 degrees we have 34 degrees of cooling by water vapor, not something like 30 degrees out of their “33 degrees” of warming that is clearly spelled out on the IPCC website.

    • mothcatcher says:

      Planetary – can you give us some more on this? I’d like to follow your logic in a little more detail. Have you put this down somewhere for proper critique? Can’t follow for now…

      • Planetary_Physics says:

        Refer firstly to our group’s website, and, if you have a solid understanding of thermodynamics, then read the linked paper “Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures” written exactly two years ago – 15 Feb 2013. If you have a background in physics and understand the hypothesis you may wish to consider joining our group at present – the contact email is on the website.

  13. Alan says:

    Bill Nye is referenced as a climate scientist, so obviously they are setting the bar here pretty low. Meanwhile they are slamming Dr. Lindzen. Based on these sample points, the answer to What to call a NYT reporter of climate science? would be something along the lines of pompous ignoramus…

    • Norman says:


      Bill Nye studied mechanical engineering. He had some college level astronomy. Not sure if he took any courses on meteorology.


      He seems as if he may be a bright individual capable of learning climate science. I think he is more a media personality though and less concerned with the science, but that is just my opinion based upon what I have seen from him on this issue.

      • K_Naranek says:

        There is a video of Bill Nye somewhere on the internet in which he states he has no personal expertise in climate science. He basically stated he accepts information on the subject he receives from members of the Union of Concerned Scientists in whom he has confidence.

        • Alan says:

          The Union of Concerned Scientists doesn’t hide the fact that they are an advocacy group for AGW. Being an advocacy group, they are doing what they can to discredit people who don’t agree with AGW. Advocacy groups are fine as long as they don’t hide their motivations or silence dissent. Unfortunately, the UoCS does both.

          It doesn’t make it better when Bill Nye admits on some forum that he really isn’t a climate scientist, but only plays one on TV. Would you think he was credible if he was putting forth his theories on thermodynamics or quantum mechanics? If not, why give him a pass with AGW?

        • gbaikie says:

          “He basically stated he accepts information on the subject he receives from members of the Union of Concerned Scientists …”
          I always thought of Bill Nye as bit of clown, but I had no idea of the depth of his stupidity. But perhaps it’s union thing, and all the clowns are required to support their union.

      • Planet-Phys says:

        The errors Morman has made are summarized here. Have a good laugh.

    • David Appell says:

      When has Bill Nye ever called himself a “climate scientist?”

      • Alan says:

        The claim was that “Bill Nye is referenced as a climate scientist”. This is implied by using him as the first example of signers of the letter: “dozens of scientists and science advocates associated with the committee quickly signed it. They include Bill Nye, of “Science Guy” fame”.

        People would giggle if Bill Nye inserted himself into some bleeding edge discussion in the field of high energy physics. Why do they take him more seriously when he is talking bout climate science?

    • van says:

      pompous ass would be b better

    • mike restin says:

      Concerned scientist Bill Nye must be listening to the wrong members at the UCS.
      If I recall correctly, one Kenji Watts is member there that would have most likely advised Billy differently.

  14. Mike Gale says:

    Deniers, supports, fanboiz whatever… Those who think in these terms tend to be anti-scientists.

    Science is about doubt and working to disprove your current best model.

    With the politicisation of funding, reporting and the emission of most forms of hot air real scientists are facing extinction in areas where “public debate” exists.

    It would be cool to have a filter to just remove the anti-science from life. (The TV etc. would have prolonged periods of silence…)

  15. Gunga Din says:

    So, the title of the NYT article immediately betrays a bias in reporting which has become all too common. “He who frames the question wins the debate.”

    Or “He who writes the label has pigeon-holed the opposition.”

    Not as poetic but perhaps closer to what the MSM does.

    • David Appell says:

      Or “He who writes the label has pigeon-holed the opposition.”

      Wanna talk about labels?


      How about “scientific cleansing,” the pointed term some applied to the IPCC work of Ben Santer in the mid-1990s, during the Bosnia War with all its questions about ethnic cleansing, and the Nazi’s use decades earlier of “racian cleansing.”

      • geran says:

        I’m content with calling you “warmist”, but if you prefer one of the other labels, I would be supportive.

        • David Appell says:

          geran: That’s just the kind of hypocrisy I wanted to point out. Thanks for your help.

          • geran says:

            No problem. With such examples, my task was easy.

          • Bill_W says:


            Who started the name calling first? Never mind, we can both go back and find some
            really old blog posts to prove our point.

            I would say that their is really nothing wrong with terms like warmists and lukewarmer.

            They are simply short hand for where people fit on the spectrum of opinions on global warming. And even CAGW is simply an attempt to say that you agree that the planet is warming, that man probably plays a role but that one does not agree that it will be catastrophic. If you, personally, are not outraged by some of the nonsense that shows up in the mainstream media about water levels rising 100 feet and millions of climate refugees by 2017, then I don’t think we will ever agree on much anyway.

            There has been some alarmism, so calling a particular person an alarmist, if accurate, might be ok.

            Terms like denier and warmunist, on the other hand are clearly pejorative. And are meant to shut down debate. What is really harmful is when they are used to lump everyone who disagrees with you into a single category.

            At least warmista, and watermelon have some basis in fact. Many green activists also tend to be very “progressive”, to use a polite term in their political beliefs. Just as it is clear that many libertarians, being skeptical of most things, are also skeptical of the CAGW side of the global warming issue and are always skeptical of government solutions to most things.

            Denier, especially climate change denier, is really a ridiculous term. It matters exactly what one is denying. As someone said above, one could be a CAGW denier (I agreed with your earlier point that scientists don’t call themselves that). But the way it is used on FB and in the media is that anyone who doesn’t buy the whole kit and kaboodle (the settled science so to speak – yes I know most scientists won’t use that term either) is a denier on par with denying the Holocaust or denying evolution or denying the earth revolves around the sun. It is a way of ignoring anything someone may say that disagrees with you and painting them as beneath contempt.

            Many people one may call a “watermelon” would not disagree that they are in fact convinced that global warming is a serious threat and that they themselves lean to the left politically. So you are not misrepresenting their actual opinions. You are just using a term they may not like. Denier is not like that since it is not descriptive in the same way and those whom the term is applied to would not agree that they are denying good science, only the catastrophic interpretations.

            Denier and believer are religious terms and that is the problem with using them.

          • Streetcred says:

            You’re not pointing out “hypocrisy”. There’s no equating (holocaust) “denier” to any of those terms. You lot deliberately use the term to smear skeptics with the brush of holocaust deniers. Just as you smear Lindzen and others for once upon a time having had some minor funding from “Big Tobacco”, “Big Oil”, etc., when in fact the entire field that you attempt represent is funded by “Big Oil” and a host of self-interested sources including “BIG GOVERNMENT”. Do yourself a favour and parse this information from “Jimbo”: Long List Of Warmist Organizations, Scientists Haul In Huge Money From BIG OIL And Heavy Industry! http://notrickszone.com/#sthash.p9PWcf11.dpuf

      • Gunga Din says:

        I prefer “Manniquins”.

        But I’m not in the MSM so I’m not writing the labels.

      • David Johnson says:

        Sometimes it just has to be said. You sir, are a blithering idiot

  16. jim says:

    Here is one comment that the NYT refused to publish:

    Why don’t your true believers just show actual evidence that man’s CO2 is causing dangerous global warming?
    In order to do a proper job of this you need to:
    1. Explain what caused the Minoan, Roman & Medieval warm periods and why that cause is not the cause of the current warm period.
    2. Explain why the arctic warmed faster and more in the 1930s, with much less of man’s Co2 than it did in the 1990s with 6 times more man’s CO2 emissions.
    3. Explain why the last three warming rates (1860-1880, 1910-1940, 1975-1998) were statistically indistinguishable (pre Phil Jones BBC interview) although man’s CO2 emission increased by a factor of 50.
    4. Explain why the earth warmed for 22 years up to 1998, then stopped (or dramatically slowed) for the 16 years since them as man’s CO2 continued to increase.
    5. Explain why CO2 follows, not leads, temperature on all time scales and how a cause can follow its effect.

    • David Appell says:

      Jim (Karlock) wrote:
      “Why don’t your true believers just show actual evidence that man’s CO2 is causing dangerous global warming?”

      I’ve been asking you this for years on Oregon forums: What do you mean by “dangerous?”

      Dangerous to whom?

      You keep avoiding this question. And it’s not one science can answer — it’s a question about human values.

      • Bill_W says:

        Bjorn Lomberg and Roger Pielke Jr. have both written several books on
        different aspects of this that address your question David.

        • Lewis Guignard says:

          Don’t bring Bjorn Lomberg into this. His point of view is about improving the lives of the most humans at the least cost.

          Warmistas are attempting to ruin the lives of as many people as possible – damn the cost.

      • Jake says:


        I will restate Jim’s set of questions and remove the word “dangerous” from the introductory statement.

        Please provide answers.

        Thank you.

      • Phyte On says:

        Dangerous to humans, above & beyond what has been observed in previous decades/centuries.

  17. I am really sick and tired of these journalists, most of whom outright deny the pause and none of whom seem to have any qualification in science and so have no right whatsoever to be judging us on the science.

    So, let me make it clear. The Pause is the discrepancy between IPCC predicted warming and the actual warming we see (before upjustments). However, even after upjustments, all of the temperature records are closer to no net warming than the very lowest level of the IPCC warming in 2001. (0.14C/decade)

    So, the pause is real, it is undeniable science and so it is undeniable science that the climate predictions have scientifically failed. On the present evidence, they are invalid, the null hypothesis of natural variation wins. That is the science and it’s time deniers like these journalists stopped printing their garbage.

    • David Appell says:

      Your definiton of the “Pause” is not what is usually meant by it.

      And, in fact, there is no pause — just a slowdown, that, with the anti-Pause of the decade prior, averages out to the expected warming rate.

      Here are the warming in the last “18 years””

      UAH LT: +0.18 C
      RSS LT: -0.01 C
      GISS: +0.16 C
      HadCRUT4: +0.12 C
      NOAA: +0.09 C
      Cowtan & Way: +0.20 C

      ocean heat content, 0-700 m: +92 zettajoules (+0.32 W/m2)

      • geran says:

        Finally, he gets something correct——RSS LT: -0.01 C

        • David Appell says:

          RSS is clearly the outlier. Is there some reason to believe their number, when compared to all the others?

          • geran says:

            How about “accurate”?

          • David Appell says:

            What about “accurate?” How is their result any more “accurate” than anyone elses?

          • geran says:

            Satellite values are more consistent. Always measure same phenomena. Less chance for contamination. Radiosondes coincide.

          • David Appell says:

            How are satellite values “more consistent?”

            Over the last 12 months, UAH and RSS have differed by an average of 0.11 C.

            As Dr Spencer has written on his blog, RSS has to use a climate model in a part of their algorithm to correct for a declining satellite orbit.

            So what does RSS’s data mean, if the very thing they are trying to measure is included in their analysis?

          • geran says:

            To measure something, and have meaningful measurement for comparison, results are improved by always measuring the same thing, with the same thing. For example, it you wanted to take monthly measurements of a child’s height, to track growth, you might use a simple yardstick.

            One child, one yardstick.

            If you measure a different child with the same yardstick, error mounts.

            If you measure the same child with a different yardstick, error mounts.

            Satellites attempt to measure one thing, one way. Any errors, such as orbital changes, can then be easily detected. It’s the best system we’ve got, at this time.

      • Ross Handsaker says:

        “And, in fact, there is no pause – just a slowdown…”. I have been the same height for the past 57 years, but as each year passes my average height increases. Using David’s example, perhaps he believes I am still growing taller.

        • David Appell says:

          I have no idea what your (lousy) analogy is supposed to mean.

          And if you’re 57, your height has likely been decreasing for a few decades now.

          • Anthony Ratliffe says:

            David, Ross’ statement is a mathematical tautology, and that’s his point. Write down the series of numbers from 1 to 57, and calculate an average age for each sequential year, then you will understand. The average age goes UP each year, until serious old age related shrinkage offsets the initial youth related growth (in a mathematical sense).


          • Anthony Ratliffe says:

            David, Ross’ statement is a mathematical tautology, and that’s his point. Write down the series of numbers from 1 to 57, and calculate an average height for each sequential year, then you will understand. The average age goes UP each year, until serious old age related shrinkage offsets the initial youth related growth (in a mathematical sense).


          • Anthony Ratliffe says:

            (Third time lucky – sorry. There does not seem to be a way to edit or delete an old comment).

            David, Ross’ statement is a mathematical tautology, and that’s his point. Write down the series of numbers from 1 to 57, and calculate an average height for each sequential year, then you will understand. The average height goes UP each year, until serious old age related shrinkage offsets the initial youth related growth (in a mathematical sense).


      • Bill_W says:

        David, earlier on this post someone posted a link to Tamino’s graphs of
        some of Cowtan and Way’s data. (Ahh, I see it was you!)

        This shows that at least with this data and
        however it was adjusted and graphed – that the pause could indeed just be
        seen as a slowdown. It also shows that if you pick certain start years, you could view
        an even flatter region from about 1980-90.

        I have no problem with this graph, if viewed as just one of several temp. records. And you are right, one should not just pick GISS or RSS, depending on which view you want to promote.

        The interesting thing about that graph of C&W’s data is that whether viewed from 1980 to now or even ~1970, that over this 30 to 40 year period, the slope appears to be about ~0.1 degree per decade, which works out to ~ 1.0 degrees C per century. About 2-3 times smaller than the climate models predict. I would not ignore a 40 year trend. After all, that is actually getting into the realm that one calls climate.

      • Lewis Guignard says:


        Prove it’s a pause?

        Actually you don’t know but refuse to say so.

      • Eunice says:

        MODEL: IPCC5 (RCP8.5): 4.2C/century
        MODEL: IPCC4 Warming High: 4.0C/century
        MODEL: Hansen A: 3.2C/century ( since 1979 )
        MODEL: Hansen B: 2.8C/century ( since 1979 )
        MODEL: IPCC4 next few decades: 2.0C/century
        MODEL: Hansen C: 1.9C/century ( since 1979 )
        MODEL: IPCC4 Warming Low: 1.8C/century
        Observed: NASA GISS: ~1.6C/century ( since 1979 )
        Observed: NCDC: ~1.5C/century ( since 1979 )
        Observed: UAH MSU LT: ~1.4C/century (since 1979 )
        Observed: RSS MSU LT: ~1.3C/century (since 1979 )
        MODEL: IPCC5 (RCP2.6): 1.0C/century
        Observed: RSS MSU MT: ~0.8C/century (since 1979 )
        Observed: UAH MSU MT: ~0.5C/century (since 1979 )
        Denier: 0.0C/century

      • Phyte On says:

        So about 0.01 C per year of warming. In 100 years, we might see 1.00 C of warming. Or maybe, not. Doesn’t seem like a big deal to me.

        David, do you have a rough range how much warming we will see in the NEXT “18 years”? What is your prediction based on your understanding of the climate models? Next 18 years.

      • It gets pretty hilarious when back in 2007 we were all being told that the world could warm up by *as much as 12C* and we’d all die. Maybe setup a colony on Antarctica for a lucky fw. Now after 20 years we’ve got maybe 0.1C of warming which when factoring the measurement error, is not even statistically significant. And perfectly in line with a 300 year old warming trend. I guess when you’re desperate you’ve got to be happy with quoting these ultra small numbers. What a clown.

      • People, UAH and RSS report almost identical temperature. In fact, RSS tends to consistently report warmer temperatures than UAH.

        The only reason why there is a difference in the trend is because RSS calculated more warming than UAH exactly 20 years ago. The standard trick is to cherry pick start and end points and then claim something meaningful by misusing the context. Appell is a crank so he will play every devious (although childish) trick he can think up. Best never to accept anything he claims at face value as it has a low probability of being true to begin with. No point arguing with him about something that is not even true.


    • Gordon Robertson says:

      @Mike Haseler “I am really sick and tired of these journalists, most of whom outright deny the pause…”

      Awa ben the scullery for calling it a pause. 🙂

  18. Aaron S says:

    How about the stronger sun to climate connection via cosmic ray deniers? The research continues to support a stronger sun and the IPCC does not even consider the scenario. That is denial. At least show the impact of a stronger sun in a few of the models!

    • David Appell says:

      Average solar irradiance, over a solar cycle, has been declining since about 1950. Graphs here:


      • Aaron S says:

        Haha dave like usual you are wrong in a couple ways. First the biggest peak was the 1960 max and then it has slightly declined since then but u are a cycle early. Also the integral for SSN shows that the greater long term activity from 1950 until about 2000 was one of the greatest on record (as long as the isotope record goes back or about 9000 yrs and in ssn back beyond the 1700s) as reflected in sunspot number and cosmic ray production. The potential for a more active sun is absolutely ignored by the IPCC bc it ruins the CO2 story. I think you knowledge is about as extensive as the skeptical science web page… sorry dude. There is no excuse other than politics not to have scenarios with a more powerful sun in climate models. It is a valid hypothesis… u are the denier my friend

  19. nutso fasst says:

    School children are being indoctrinated by the National Park Service, including the “97% of climate scientists” tripe:


    Public schools will soon be supplied with “teaching materials” by the current administration:


  20. nutso fasst says:

    I tried to post this and it simply disappeared. I’ll try again with only the first link…

    Children are already being indoctrinated by the National Park Service, including the “97% of climate scientists” tripe:


  21. David Appell says:

    Roy wrote:
    “Mr. Gillis instead seems intent on making a story out of whether skeptical climate scientists should be even afforded the dignity of being called a “skeptic”, when what we really should be called is “deniers”.”

    That’s false.

    Justin Gillis goes to lengths to explain why he doens’t consider Pat Michaels or Richard Lindzen to be in the class of “deniers.”

    What he does say is, “It is perhaps no surprise that many environmentalists have started to call them deniers.”

    That’s understandable. Lindzen’s recent papers have made no real headway in the scientific literature. Nor have yours, Roy. That doesn’t mean you or he are “deniers,” or anything nefarious. Just that the consensus seems to be he and you aren’t right.

    By all means, keep fighting your science. Please. But it’s impossible to deny there are a class of bloggers, like Anthony Watts and Marc Morano, who simply are not interested in an honest (and open) discussion of the issues. THey have other goals.

  22. David L. Hagen says:

    The foundational problem is that Gillis equivocates between the political vs the scientific definitions of “climate change. See

    Scientific definition. Here is what the IPCC TAR says: Refers to a statistically significant variation in either the mean state of the climate or in its variability, persisting for an extended period (typically decades or longer). Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use.

    Political definition. Here is how the UNFCCC defines it : climate change is a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      @David L Hagen “…climate change is a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere…”

      The problem with such a definition is that it presumes a global climate to go with the global atmosphere. The suggestion is that humans are altering the atmosphere by adding CO2 in particular and that the atmosphere is responding by warming.

      That’s far too simple a definition to account for the diverse complexity of global weather/climate variations. Neither have they proved that a specific amount of warming causes a specific amount of climate change. And neither have they accounted for the past 17 years when no warming trend has been detected.

      In fact, according to John Christy there has been little or no warming the past 33 years. I stand to be corrected but as far as I can see, looking at the UAH graphs over that 33 years, we are only about 0.3C above the 33 year average.

      We’ve had two extreme El Nino’s in 1998 and 2010 to account for that.

      How much climate change can 0.3C cause?

      The term climate change as it is normally employed suggests a global climate that is changing. That’s absurd.

      If the atmosphere has been affected at all, why is there warming in certain locales in the Arctic and none on the Antarctic continent? Why is there little or no warming in a vast swath around and including the Tropics?

      Why do the Arctic warming locales keep moving? Why is the entire Arctic not affected? Why is there warming high on the Antarctic Peninsula, closer to South America, and none on the continent itself?

      There are far too many questions to investigate before anyone tries to define changing climates based on anthropogenic causes. And when they do…please…define the climate to which they are referring, not a globally-inferred climate.

  23. Streetcred says:

    Had to LOL, Gillis called Nye “a scientist” … now you know why Gillis and his bird cage poop paper are so clueless.

    • David Appell says:


      Gillis did not call Bill Nye a “scientist.” Here’s his sole reference to Nye:

      “They include Bill Nye, of “Science Guy” fame, and Lawrence M. Krauss, the physicist and best-selling author.”


      • geran says:

        Calling someone a “liar”, Davie?

        Pretty unwarranted attack and really only indicates you are seething with rage. You must be in “desperate” mode.

        Has your “belief system” failed you again?

        • geran says:

          Davie, since your credibility is at zero anyway, you won’t mind me pointing out one more of your “flaws”:

          “Late last year, he wrote a public letter on the issue, and dozens of scientists and science advocates associated with the committee quickly signed it. They include Bill Nye, of “Science Guy” fame, and Lawrence M. Krauss, the physicist and best-selling author.”

          Hint: Before you use the word “liar”, make sure you are not lying….

        • Streetcred says:

          No worries, Geran … he’s just an overgrown schoolboy, still thinks he’s the schoolyard bully hissing at his schoolboy ‘victims’. What a joke, a more immature mind I have yet to be acquainted with.

      • Sun Spot says:

        David Appledumb, you have no credibility here as you are paid by the word to TROLL.

  24. Chris says:

    If I understand CAGW correctly, those that believe, believe that temperatures rose slightly less than 0.5 a degree C in the first half of the 20th century – caused by unknown natural forces. Those unknown natural forces then ceased to have any effect (cooling or heating) on the climate for the second half of the 20th century for unknown reasons. Meanwhile temperatures started to rise caused by increasing CO2, causing slightly more than 0.5 degree C in the second half of the 20th century. Warming continued – except that unknown natural cooling forces kicked in – making the changes in the 21st century virtually indistinguishable from 0 even though warming was in fact accelerating.

    That mummer’s farce is only the beginning. They also believe that if you take poor and incomplete climate date, use it to calibrate an incomplete computer climate model, then the results will be accurate enough to make decisions on how billions of dollars will be spent – despite the computers models having what can only be described as vastly inconsistent results. (But you believe that averaging all the inconsistent results will produce the right result)

    You also believe it is OK to lie to promote your view, that it takes decades to disprove your theory – but you can immediately adjust your theory based on whatever new data comes to hand.

    Despite continuing to make failed predictions – your belief becomes stronger with every failed prediction, and as each month goes by where the thermometers don’t increase by the amount you expected, you somehow interpret this as accelerating warming.

    Personally I don’t see how anyone can really believe this.

    • dave andrews says:

      Couldn’t have said it any better, Chris. How any thinking person could not be skeptical of the “warmists” claims is beyond me. The mainstream media is pathetic.

    • Gordon Robertson says:

      @Chris “…temperatures rose slightly less than 0.5 a degree C in the first half of the 20th century – caused by unknown natural forces”.

      According to Syun Akasofu, who did pioneer work on the solar wind, it’s not such a mystery. In fact, I find his explanation makes total sense.

      Akasofu claims the planet cooled about 1C during the Little Ice Age which ended circa 1850. Since it began warming again, we have been warming at about 0.5 C/century.

      If he’s right, we should be back to normal, which would explain the lack of warming the past 17 years.

      • Planetary_Physics says:

        No Gordon. Unfortunately the AGW will be celebrating again for 30 years between 2028 and 2058 when there will be another 0.5 degree of warming, but after that there will be long term cooling that they will have to acknowledge by the end of the 22nd century.

        We have to convince the world that their physics is wrong before 2027.

        It’s all easily seen here where you can also read the physics which explains why water vapor causes there to be cooler surface temperatures, not warmer temperatures.

  25. Martin Grogan says:

    What science has failed to demonstrate with certainty:
    (1) how much warming is manmade
    (2) whether observed changes are unusual
    but Roy, you forgot:
    (3) how exactly is a warmer future (if indeed it happens) any kind of threat to mankind as opposed to a possibly benefit?

    • Lewis Guignard says:

      “but Roy, you forgot:
      (3) how exactly is a warmer future (if indeed it happens) any kind of threat to mankind as opposed to a possibly benefit?”

      The answer is simple – Miami and New York will flood. Tropical diseases, such as malaria, and other pests will migrate north. Agricultural lands and waters will change, and farmers will have to adjust.

      The benefits will outweigh the negatives. Longer growing season in the mid latitudes. Northern lands becoming habitable and usable for agriculture. What’s not to like?

      But this has never been the issue; it’s about control of your life. This is easily proven by going back 30 years to when the coming ice age was the scary story and controlling CO2 was the answer.

      Again, the entire argument for the warmistas is about control, everything surrounding that is methodology to enhance acceptance of that control.

      It’s going to get relatively cold here, better stoke up the wood burner.

  26. Bruce says:

    Why waste your time writing about these jackasses; they are predictable.

  27. Chris Hanley says:

    As nature continues to refuse to cooperate the rhetoric from the true believers is becoming more extreme and for some reason is directed at sceptics.
    Richard Lindzen in Quadrant Online back in 2009 put it well IMO:
    “And finally, there are the numerous well meaning individuals who have allowed propagandists to convince them that in accepting the alarmist view of anthropogenic climate change, they are displaying intelligence and virtue For them, their psychic welfare is at stake”.

    • Planetary_Physics says:

      Read my peer-reviewed paper linked from the website below that has been developed by our group of persons suitably qualified in physics… I have also published a book on the whole new 21st century paradigm in climate change science. So please visit our “Planetary Physics” group’s website http://climate-change-theory.com as it will blow your mind.

  28. Climate Weenie says:

    MODEL: IPCC5 (RCP8.5): 4.2C/century
    MODEL: IPCC4 Warming High: 4.0C/century
    MODEL: Hansen A: 3.2C/century ( since 1979 )
    MODEL: Hansen B: 2.8C/century ( since 1979 )
    MODEL: IPCC4 next few decades: 2.0C/century
    MODEL: Hansen C: 1.9C/century ( since 1979 )
    MODEL: IPCC4 Warming Low: 1.8C/century
    Observed: NASA GISS: ~1.6C/century ( since 1979 )
    Observed: NCDC: ~1.5C/century ( since 1979 )
    Observed: UAH MSU LT: ~1.4C/century (since 1979 )
    Observed: RSS MSU LT: ~1.3C/century (since 1979 )
    MODEL: IPCC5 (RCP2.6): 1.0C/century
    Observed: RSS MSU MT: ~0.8C/century (since 1979 )
    Observed: UAH MSU MT: ~0.5C/century (since 1979 )
    Denier: 0.0C/century

    If being a LukeWarmer means agreeing with the preponderance of observations over the models, then Halellujah, I’m a LukeWarmer.

    It should be noted that UAH-MT is closer to validation for ‘Denier’ than any other category.

    And it should be noted that the lapse rate change predicted by the models is falsified.

  29. ossqss says:

    Off topic, but prior drone question answered today.


  30. Gunga Din says:

    Dr. Spencer,
    Off Topic
    Sometimes when I click on a post, the post and the comments appear as different. The comments show up as a series of paragraphs with no “reply” option rather than as my desktop previously displayed them. I see at the bottom “Mobile Theme ONOFF” but when I click it, there is no change. Is that on my end or on your end?

    • Gunga Din says:

      A couple of typos.
      For clarity, I’ll try again.

      Dr. Spencer,
      Off Topic
      Sometimes when I click on a post, the post and the comments appear differently. The comments show up as a series of paragraphs without the “reply” option available rather than as my desktop previously displayed them. I see at the bottom “Mobile Theme ONOFF” but when I click it, there is no change. Is that on my end or on your end?

      • Massimo PORZIO says:

        Hi Gunga Din.
        It happens to my PCs too. The one I use now is Win7 OS based, while the other is a Win XP OS based.
        On both I use Chrome, but when this strange behavior started few weeks ago I also tried IE9 without any improvement.
        I still haven’t found when and why it happens.

        Have a nice day.


  31. michael hart says:

    “But reporters routinely try to reframe the debate, telling us skeptics what we believe. Actually reporting in an accurate manner what we really believe does not suit their purpose.”

    When I’m in a good mood, I can convince myself that it is usually not done out of malice. A healthy dose of stupidity and laziness is probably all they require, plus the imperative to get a ‘story’ out there. They have mortgages to pay, just like other people.

    Still,I agree, it is pretty irritating when someone else tells me what I am thinking.

  32. dp says:

    I did some background research on Gillis and learned he is primarily famous for being famous. I find no original research work in climate that he has performed and am amazed that his contribution to the topic is limited to repeating at length one side of the debate. How that makes him an expert is beyond my ken. I’m not able to assign him any more credibility in climate matters than I would my dog and far less than I credit my cat who truly does understand how warming relates to comfort.

    Rather than dwell on climate hysteria advocate Gillis is there somebody who actually has the creds to impartially discuss the issues and whose work we can actually respect? I’m honestly worn bare reading about journalists that fail at impartiality. I now accept that is not part of their job.

  33. Gus says:

    Whenever you look at people like Gillis and his silly NYT article, you’re looking right into the face of fascism. Make no mistake. The methods the likes of Gillis practice, their avoidance of any serious discussion of scientific issues involved in preference to stigmatizing their opponents, that’s pure Goebbels. This is how the Left and the Environmentalists operate today. It is hard, very hard not to feel revulsion towards these people.

    Of course, that the NYT, a once reputable newspaper, would likewise join in such activities, means the newspaper is little more than a leftist rag today.

    • Lewis Guignard says:

      Gus, I would go so far as to deny them the label environmentalist. They are often far from such. More like anti-human (except for themselves of course). Their agenda is control of industrial man, and man in general. Their methods are destructive of individuals and groups. So of course they don’t care about science, their method is to abuse science, copy Goebbels.

      It is simplicity itself to prove that industrialization has been a great boon to mankind. Further, as we become more advanced, the pollution associated with early industrialization is abated and we become more concerned about our actions on nature, which is where we are in the US today. China is just now beginning to be concerned and make efforts to clean up.

      The anti industrialists would have us starve in order that some smelt might live. We, pay attention here, are at the top of the food chain. But they don’t want us behaving as such. We’re all ‘equal’. Bull. Animals eat plants and animals. The strong survive. That is nature.

      What they preach is self hate for a species. They should be exorcised from the species.

      • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

        Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that it is not about saving the world from catastrophe but destroying capitalism.

        “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she stated recently.

  34. nels says:

    Have you seen the proof that CO2 change has no significant effect on climate?

    CO2 has been considered to be a forcing with units Joules/sec. Energy change, which is revealed by temperature change, has units Joules. Average forcing times duration produces energy change. Equivalently, a scale factor times the time-integral of the CO2 level produces the temperature change.

    During previous glaciations and interglacials (as so dramatically displayed in An Inconvenient Truth) CO2 and temperature went up and down nearly together. This is impossible if CO2 is a significant forcing (scale factor not zero) so this actually proves CO2 CHANGE DOES NOT CAUSE SIGNIFICANT AVERAGE GLOBAL TEMPERATURE CHANGE.

    Application of this analysis methodology to CO2 levels for the entire Phanerozoic eon (Berner, 2001) proves that CO2 levels up to at least 6 times the present will have no significant effect on average global temperature.

    • Planetary_Physics says:

      “Have you seen the proof that CO2 change has no significant effect on climate?”

      Yes I wrote that proof in the paper linked here along with the physics that proves the GHG water vapor cools, and the study which confirmed such.

      • nels says:

        The three paragraphs following the question are a shorter proof . . . and less controversial.

        • Planetary_Physics says:

          In that you limit “no effect” being only up to 6 times current levels, there is clearly something wrong. That would be 0.24% whereas CO2 has no warming effect even at over 97% on Venus. In fact, it has a significant cooling effect on Venus as you will realize when you understand my Feb 2013 paper (on planetary core and surface temperatures) linked from our group’s website now visited by nearly 5,000 in its first six weeks.

        • Planetary_Physics says:

          And, by the way, CO2 trends trailed temperature trends by about 800 years, so they did not go up and down together. All you can deduce is the well known fact that warmer temperatures lead to more release of CO2 from oceans.

          You cannot deduce anything at all about CO2 supposedly warming from any temperature data anywhere, any time, because we can prove with physics that it cannot warm, for the same reason that increasing water vapor does not lead to higher surface temperatures.

          • nels says:

            Neither of the above responses is relevant to the simple proof that CO2 change on earth has no significant effect on climate.

  35. Steve Fitzpatrick says:

    “What to call a NYT reporter of climate science?”

    That’s easy… a slimy worm.

  36. Wendy Thompson says:


    Roy, sadly you make it clear to silent readers on your blog (over 500 of whom have visited our group’s website) that you apparently do not believe in or adopt normal scientific principles and procedures.

    You obviously ignore the counter arguments which our group presents, any one of which proves the radiative forcing Greenhouse conjecture to be wrong.

    A genuine scientist would normally look into such refutations of his own conjectures, and indeed study carefully the physics explained therein and the empirical evidence provided which supports the opposing hypothesis.

    For example …

    (1) Pierrehumbert’s calculations of the 255K figure should have been 16.5 degrees higher for an Earth without water vapor and thus no clouds, for which we can assume albedo would be closer to 10% than the 30% used to calculate that 255K. Furthermore, the surface temperature would not have been the same as that at the radiating altitude because that was based on the incorrect assumption of isothermal temperatures instead of what is explained below.

    (2) Empirical evidence (based on 30 years of temperature and precipitation records from three continents) confirms that increasing the level of water vapor in the atmosphere above a region causes the mean surface temperature below to be cooler, not warmer by about 10 to 15 degrees for each 1% increase in water vapor, as the IPCC website implies.

    (3) Experiments have now proven that a centrifugal force field sets up a temperature gradient that equates with the theoretically derived value based on the quotient of the acceleration due to that force field and the weighted mean specific heat of the gases involved. So too does the force field of gravity do so in a planet’s troposphere, thus complying with the Second Law of Thermodynamics and enabling diffusion and convective heat transfers which have a propensity to restore thermodynamic equilibrium, and which thus enable us to explain why the surface temperatures are not supported by radiation, but by these sensible heat transfers.

    If anyone can point us to a valid refutation of any of these three points written by Roy, please do so.

    Doug, Jim, John, Lindsay, Alex and Wendy
    Planetary Physics group
    Website: http://climate-chamge-theory.com


    • Wendy Thompson says:

      Sorry. Typo: http://climate-change-theory.com

      Note the “Evidence” page and also read the February 2013 paper on surface and core temperatures for all planets and moons linked at the foot of that page. The website Home page contains a brief summary of that paper written two years ago.

    • MikeB says:

      The sad thing is not just that the whole bunch of you are insane but that none of you realise it.

      There is a press report today of a Saudi cleric who proved that the earth is stationary because otherwise planes couldn’t fly.

      I think he would make a good scientific contribution to your group

      • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

        Noted that you, MikeB, are not able to refute the physics here nor the evidence supporting it on the next page.

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

        • MikeB says:

          Doug, there isn’t any physics here or in anything else you write. That puts me at a great disadvantage because, as a physicist myself, I feel bound by certain rules, laws and physical principles established over centuries. I do not feel entitled to just make things up or choose random words from a scientific dictionary and arrange them is some fine-sounding random order.

          Sorry to be dismissive, but I anticipate that discussing your fake pseudo-scientific garbage would be as rewarding as debating the theory of evolution with an orangutan. It’s not going to work, and it might upset the orangutan.

          • Planetary_Physics says:

            So you chicken out, MikeB.

            I thought you would, because you demonstrate no understanding as to why isothermal conditions in a force field have unbalanced energy potentials and thus cannot be the state of maximum entropy. You thus simply cannot come to grips with the fact, now proven by experiment, that a centrifugal force, just like gravity, causes there to be a temperature gradient.

            Likewise you continue to use entropy equations in computations designed to convince those (like Norman) who don’t understand, that you know what you’re talking about, whilst all the time you yourself don’t understand the documented fact that the development of such equations very specifically assumes that changes in gravitational potential energy are insignificant.

            Just some of the overwhelming evidence for the hypothesis endorsed by five others with a physics background in our group is on the evidence page here.

            So, because you would be too embarrassed to have to admit your misunderstanding of thermodynamics, you chicken out with the predictable slur and not a single quote from the website that you can legitimately refute.

            I had the privilege of being taught by great physicists: Harry Messel, Julius Sumner Miller and Werner Von Braun (all on Wikipedia) and the understanding I gained has stood firm ever since those days in the early 1960’s.

            In your eyes physics is all about computations which you don’t understand half the time. You don’t think it’s physics if it’s not a mass of computations. Well, no-one pulls wool over my eyes.

            Q.1: What is the sensitivity to a 1% increase in water vapor?

            Q.2: What keeps the core of the Moon hotter than 1300°C?

            Q.3: What supplies the required thermal energy into the surface of Venus causing its temperature to actually rise from 732K to 737K during four months of sunlight?

            Q.4: Why is the core of Neptune about 7000°C whilst that of Uranus is only about 5000°C

            Q.5: Why is it hotter at the base of the nominal troposphere of Uranus than it is at Earth’s surface?

            Q.6: How does the required thermal energy get from the stratosphere of Uranus (where it is absorbed in the methane layer) to the lower troposphere and beyond?

            Q.7: Where is the term for molecular gravitational potential energy in any computations purporting to prove isothermal conditions in a vertical plane would be maximum entropy?

      • Planetary_Physics says:

        Come back MikeB when you have attempted to answer the seven questions I asked you in this comment.

        • MikeB says:

          I told you the monkey would get mad.

          However, at this point I think I must take Mark Twain’s advice…
          “never argue with a fool, onlookers might not be able to tell the difference“

          • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

            I’m not arguing MikeB. Our group is asking you (and Curt and Norman and anyone else) to answer these seven questions by midnight, February 22nd your time in the United States of Arrogance.

            Silent readers are watching and over 700 of Roy’s readers have visited our website which explains the breakthrough 21st century physics required to answer the questions, that physics being in my 18 page paper from two years back, dated 15 February 2013 and linked from the above website.

            Doug, Jim, John, Lindsay, Alex and Wendy
            Planetary Physics Group
            (New members with physics qualifications welcome from any country.)

  37. PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:


    Aaron – you’ll find everything of relevance explained here on the website being visited by over 800 per week. Feel free to ask any question quoting any of the text you don’t understand.

  38. Tim says:

    The New York Times is not alone. The current issue of National Geographic has a cover story that uses stereotypes to claim that skeptics deny the real science of climate change because they want to express their political identity. I am paraphrasing, but that is what I got out of it. There is no mention of any real climate science in the article, and no attempt to clarify the science or frame the debate between the two sides.

    • Lewis Guignard says:

      This is not the first time Nat Geographic has been PC on this subject. They are certainly in the rah rah group.

  39. Planetary_Physics says:

    Roy and silent readers will note that our friend MikeB did not answer the first question here and now he has seven questions which our group can answer with our hypothesis (and the evidence supporting it) but MikeB will evade answering because, in reality, he has no understanding of energy transfers in the tropospheres and sub-surface regions of planets and satellite moons.

  40. Planetary_Physics says:

    Physics can be used to prove both carbon dioxide and methane reduce the temperature gradient by inter-molecular radiation, just as does water vapor. Thus the thermal profile rotates downwards at the surface end and all these IR-active gases lead to lower surface temperatures, not higher ones. There is overwhelming empirical support for what is in our group’s website now visited by nearly 5000 in its first six weeks.

  41. Robert Clark says:

    Perhaps the believers in AGW should call the doubters “heretics”. That should get the point across.

    Bob Clark

  42. anng says:

    you hit a sore spot with the stomach ulcer example. My Mum spent the last 30 years of her life suffering from one while being told it was psychosomatic!

    Just stress, not real.

    And its now successfully treated as a bacterial infection.

    The experts were wrong about that …

  43. Norman says:

    Doug’s 7

    Q.1: What is the sensitivity to a 1% increase in water vapor?
    A.1: Do not know. One thing is known is that the Sahara Desert actually acts to cool the Earth and wet tropics warm the Earth. Not sure what purpose your temperature collection of warm and dry areas serve. You need to analyze radiation balance to generate a picture of what takes place.


    And also this link.

    Q.2: What keeps the core of the Moon hotter than 1300°C?
    A.2: Not sure but I have already provided a scientists theory on tidal forces.

    Q.3: What supplies the required thermal energy into the surface of Venus causing its temperature to actually rise from 732K to 737K during four months of sunlight?

    Q.4: Why is the core of Neptune about 7000°C whilst that of Uranus is only about 5000°C

    Q.5: Why is it hotter at the base of the nominal troposphere of Uranus than it is at Earth’s surface?

    Q.6: How does the required thermal energy get from the stratosphere of Uranus (where it is absorbed in the methane layer) to the lower troposphere and beyond?

    Q.7: Where is the term for molecular gravitational potential energy in any computations purporting to prove isothermal conditions in a vertical plane would be maximum entropy?

    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      Q.1: No it’s not “known” that wet tropics warm the surface because there is no valid study proving that. See the paper.

      Q.2: No, tidal forces don’t keep the core of the Moon hot. That’s wild guesswork by those “scientists.” You could find out what does in the paper.

      And I take it you couldn’t answer the other 5 questions either, even though you could have by reading the paper.

      • Norman says:


        Your 7 question test is completely stupid. No matter what someone shows or demonstrates you will reject it. You claim you are understand science but your response to the answers to your questions says you do not at all understand science or the process. You are of a religious mind set not science.

        Your answer to question 2 is totally stupid. There is a valid scientific explanation for the moon’s warm core other than yours and you call it wild guesswork and you state “No, tidal forces don’t keep the core of the Moon hot.” What scientific reasoning gives you this level of certainty to make such a claim?

        Your test is pointless you do not want any answers to the questions that do not support your pet theory. You are on an ego trip and could care less about science. You can convert a couple people here and there to your cult belief and be their savior but YOU are not a scientist in any way. You do not possess an open mind and I do not even see logical or critical thinking in your posts. Only religious zeal to push a theory.

      • Norman says:


        Your 7 question test is completely stupid. No matter what someone shows or demonstrates you will reject it. You claim you are understand science but your response to the answers to your questions says you do not at all understand science or the process. You are of a religious mind set not science.

        Your answer to question 2 is totally stupid. There is a valid scientific explanation for the moon’s warm core other than yours and you call it wild guesswork and you state “No, tidal forces don’t keep the core of the Moon hot.” What scientific reasoning gives you this level of certainty to make such a claim?

        Your test is pointless you do not want any answers to the questions that do not support your pet theory. You are on an ego trip and could care less about science. You can convert a couple people here and there to your cult belief and be their savior but YOU are not a scientist in any way. You do not possess an open mind and I do not even see logical or critical thinking in your posts. Only religious zeal to push a theory.

        • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

          No Norman, it is you who is religiously following the IPCC cult of fictitious fissics promulgated with the sole motive to obtain world control and to defeat capitalism.

          • Norman says:

            Doug Cotton,

            Where do you get the claim that I religiously follow the IPCC cult?

            Stating your theory is crap does not mean I follow IPCC. It just means I do not agree with what you write and told you where I believe your flaw is. Because it is science I want you to demonstrate with experiment that your view is valid. You go over and over about the Vortex tube. I think you are wrong in your understanding of how this works to heat and cool gas and sent you a long paper demonstrating your incorrect view but you rejected this man’s study. You have nothing but a couple of simplistic papers with no rigorous math (which I feel you are unable to perform despite your claims contrary…I can tell you honestly I can’t perform the math Curt is able to do but I won’t pretend I can and write and 18 page document with zero advanced math with a couple of simplistic equations).

            I would be hard pressed to find any valid physics document without rigorous mathematical proofs of the theory. You do not integrate the energy of the molecules to demonstrate how the kinetic and potential energy are exchanged.

        • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

          “What scientific reasoning gives you this level of certainty to make such a claim?” This paper.

      • Norman says:


        Your question was not about the surface it was about the sensitivity of 1% increase in water vapor. This does not apply to local surface heating but to the overall radiation budget and studies have been done to show the radiation balances. The radiation balance (energy in – energy out) for the tropics is positive. You should check up the actual radiation studies before you refute them but you won’t you are not a scientific researcher.

        The radiation balance of the tropics is positive, the overall radiation balance of the poles is negative, the radiation balance of the Sahara is negative. What does the radiation balance do if it is positive? It warms the earth overall. Maybe not in a given location but the overall effect is warming. A negative radiation balance causes overall (note that word please because in climate conditions air is moving around and taking spot locations does not give a good picture of anything on overall process) cooling.

        Sahara cools the Earth, Tropics warm the Earth.

        • Norman says:



          Look at the graph in the above link. Look at Africa. The Sahara desert is negative on radiation balance while the tropical wet region of Africa is highly positive. Other studies like this have been done you should look into them.

          • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

            Where is the correction for altitude, Norman? Nowhere. It’s cold at the top of Mt Everest more than half way up the troposphere, even though it receives probably more direct solar radiation in mid summer than do most places at sea level.

            Study the rigorous methodology in my study, as is documented at the end of the paper and stop cherry picking. I selected 15 locations from three continents and used 30 year mean temperatures and precipitation records. In any event, you have not demonstrated a sensitivity of about 15 degrees for each 1% of water vapor, as the IPCC claims imply.

            A desert with 1% water vapor above it is not 45 degrees colder than a rain forest with 4% water vapor above it, as the IPCC garbage implies it should be. Those who believe such “fissics” are very gullible indeed.

        • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

          Why the hell are you discussing radiative balance, when my study is discussing the actual temperatures in wet and dry regions? Local regions are affected by water vapor concentrations, because my study proves that is the case with statistical significance. Read it in Section 17 of the paper.

          If you really have read the paper Norman you would know that the new 21st century paradigm in climate change science very specifically proves that planetary surface temperatures are not primarily determined by radiation balance, because they are determined by the gravito-thermal effect and the associated “heat creep” process explains the necessary heat transfers. All the evidence on all the planets and moons points to this hypothesis being the correct one. You haven’t even discussed such evidence as is in the paper and the “Evidence” page of our group’s website.

          • Norman says:

            Doug your are a true moron incapable of rational thought. Radiation balance is all that matters if you want to know if something is warming or cooling. How simple can such a concept be that you are totally unable to grasp. I doubt highly you actually worked in any physics department teaching people. Your education of physics is selective reading of Wikepidea articles and misunderstanding everything they say.

            Get a logic grip!!! Radiation Balance what does it mean? Energy In- Energy Out. If the term is positive it will have a net warming effect. If zero it will keep things the same. If negative it will cool things. Your temperature study means absolutely nothing. It determines nothing about the effect of water vapor. You can see a clear image of radiation balance and you have zero ability to understand the concept. Why is this?

            You don’t have to keep promoting your own pages give evidence for your ideas from other sources like empirical data.

            I really hope you quit haunting Roy Spencer blog. Start a Church. You are far better preacher than scientist.

          • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

            “Radiation balance is all that matters if you want to know if something is warming or cooling.” Sure, like my body in a nice warm spa at 41°C.

            Get a grip yourself Norman. There are other heat transfer mechanisms affecting planetary surface temperatures apart from radiation. The Venus surface is not heated to 735K by the solar radiation reaching it, that being about 10% of what Earth’s surface receives.

          • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:



            Do you seriously think anyone is going to believe your wild conjecture (never anywhere stated in any physics literature such as that on Kinetic Theory) that only faster molecules go downwards and only slower ones go upwards. No one is going to believe someone like you promulgating such garbage. And to cap it all off, you don’t even know the standard expression for the gravitational potential energy of a mass m at a height h above sea level. Instead you try to bluff people into thinking that the water in a dam at the top of a mountain has no more gravitational potential energy than a similar mass of water lower down in a valley. Talk about crazy physics – boy, that takes the cake!



  44. sky says:

    The press has always been hard-pressed in reporting science accurately. That ineptitude has been evident in virtually every field for many decades. But what makes their present take on “climate science” so darkly ludicrous is the imputation that those who insist upon the most rigorous scientific standards are somehow denying physical reality. This farcical show should be made into a musical comedy on Broadway.

  45. PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

    Speaking as one who has been helping students understand physics for about 50 years, I have to tell you, Norman, that you really would fail an undergraduate physics exam with your strange ideas. Have you ever done such an exam? I’ve did a few in my ten years of tertiary education.

    Firstly, you wrote (on the January temperature thread) that you thought that only faster moving molecules move downwards and only slower ones move upwards. As I responded on that thread …

    “There is absolutely nothing in those standard assumptions in the Kinetic Theory of Gases which says anything remotely like your weird assumption that only the molecules which are moving faster go downwards and only those that are moving slower go upwards.”

    But you ignored that comment, even though it meant that your so-called “proof” that there could be isothermal conditions in a force field is totally wrong, being based wholly and solely on that false assumption. In contrast, my proof is correct about there being a gravito-thermal effect, and by equating PE gain with KE loss (or PE loss with KE gain) I end up in my calculations with the well accepted “dry adiabatic lapse rate” of -g/Cp which has g in there because gravity causes it.

    Then you express a weird idea that a dam up in a high mountain has no more gravitational potential energy than a similar dam down in a valley. Yuk! Even school-boy physics should have taught you better. When you’ve finished making electricity with the water in the top dam, try sending it down a pipe into the second dam. Come out here to Australia and look at the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme where they do just that.

    Finally, even though the Sun’s direct radiation does not have a hope of supporting surface temperatures in the Antarctic winter, you still think temperatures have something to do with radiative balance, when the only radiation for a couple of months is transferring thermal energy out of the surface.

    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      Some information on the South Pole referred to in above comments:

      Period of darkness over two and a half months. [source]

      Mean temperature in winter: -60°C [source]

      Why does it not cool down far more in two and a half months of total darkness? How do you calculate that -60°C from radiation balance, when the only effect of any radiation is to transfer thermal energy out of the surface? Not very balanced I would suggest.

      And, by the way, the Sun’s radiation cannot possibly raise the Antarctic temperature to the observed mean of -28.2°C in summer. That would require a mean flux of 204W/m^2 whereas the mean solar radiation absorbed by the whole global surface is only 168W/m^2.

  46. Norman says:

    Doug Cotton,

    Strange your heat creep fails at night when conditions are calm. As you have stated that wind or turbulence will mess up “heat creep” but on calm clear nights you lose heat creep and get an inversion.


    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      Yes, heat creep only happens when there is an inversion. You’ll be able to work out what happens at night (regarding the direction of diffusion and convective heat transfer) from the paper linked from the group’s website.

      That will also help you understand why the base of the nominal troposphere of Uranus is hotter than Earth’s surface, and answer the other questions correctly.

      Needless to say, your answers to the seven questions are all incorrect because you never read the paper and thus never faulted a single sentence therein. Neither has anyone else in the world been able to do so when it was on line for open peer-review, and is again now.

  47. Norman says:

    Doug Cotton,

    Check out this link page 30.

    Antarctic actually receives more energy than the Arctic during the six month daytime because the Earth is closer to the sun when the Northern Hemisphere is in winter.

    Antarctic receives 434 W/m^2 during its summer (December).

    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      Well the South Pole is not warmer than the North Pole – not by a long shot, despite all that extra radiation. Why Norman?

      Let me give you the answer, because it has nothing to do with radiative balance …

      “First, since Antarctica is a giant landmass, it receives very little heat from the ocean. In comparison, the Arctic’s icy cover is relatively thin and it has an entire ocean underneath it. While the water is anything but warm, it usually stays around 30° F, which is often significantly warmer than the air above the ice.” [source]

      Thank you, Norman, for providing a good example that helps you understand that radiation absorbed by a planet’s surface is not the primary determinant of the surface temperature.

    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      Yes, if they point their instruments towards the Sun that’s the radiative flux they read in one month of summer in Antarctica. But to get what the surface absorbs you have to start by deducting what it reflects off the ice. You also have to multiply by the sine of the angle of incidence, which is quite acute. In fact the surface temperature in Antarctica is determined primarily by that near the top of the troposphere from where strong downward winds convey air at that temperature (around -50°C) to the South Pole region from where it spreads out over the surface in all directions forming the Polar Easterlies that return the air as part of the polar cells in latitudes greater than 60° South.

  48. Norman says:

    Doug Cotton

    “Q.3: What supplies the required thermal energy into the surface of Venus causing its temperature to actually rise from 732K to 737K during four months of sunlight?”

    I can’t answer this one since I can’t find your source that states Venus temperature rises 5K during its daylight.

    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      The 5 degrees was mentioned in a 2003 issue of the journal Energy and Environment in Dr Hans Jelbring’s peer-reviewed paper about the gravito-thermal effect here. It really doesn’t matter by exactly how much a location on the equator of Venus cools in 4 months of darkness – let’s say it cools x degrees. Then it warms by x degrees in the sunlit period, but not because of solar radiation it receives, that being about 20W/m^2 at most. We know this because there is no evidence of global warming on Venus in the period since temperature records have been kept.

      So now answer the question, and also admit your error in your incorrect attempt to “explain” how the Second Law of Themodynamics could be violated by having isothermal conditions with maximum entropy and faster molecules always going downwards and slower ones always going upwards. /sarc

  49. Norman says:

    Doug Cotton,

    “Q.4: Why is the core of Neptune about 7000°C whilst that of Uranus is only about 5000°C

    I had already posted this link but it does answer your question so I will post it again.


    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      No it doesn’t, and you haven’t quoted a single sentence or page number in your linked document. All the data is there. You could easily spot check it, or do your own study, or find a similar study, which of course all the journal editors would censor.

    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      In your linked blog article the ill-informed author thinks Uranus is very cold – well I don’t consider the core temperature of 5000°C to be very cold, do you? I replied on his blog accordingly.

  50. Norman says:

    Doug Cotton,

    “Q.5: Why is it hotter at the base of the nominal troposphere of Uranus than it is at Earth’s surface?”

    Here is one possibility other than “heat creep”

    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      There is nothing in that reference which correctly explains how the required thermal energy gets down there. Besides, you are supposed to answer these questions in your own words with minimal verbatim quotes from cited references which support what you are saying. How many marks would an examiner give you for an answer like the above?

  51. Norman says:

    Doug Cotton,

    “Q.6: How does the required thermal energy get from the stratosphere of Uranus (where it is absorbed in the methane layer) to the lower troposphere and beyond?”

    The above link for Q.5 might be the same answer.

  52. Norman says:

    Doug Cotton,

    “Q.7: Where is the term for molecular gravitational potential energy in any computations purporting to prove isothermal conditions in a vertical plane would be maximum entropy?”

    I think we are still debating this one on an earlier thread. I totally disagree with your use of gravitational potential from top of troposphere to sea level. Reasons already given. You and your group laugh at my explanation but your laughter does not make it wrong. I am not sure you understand my explanation.

    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      The standard expression for gravitational potential energy for mass m at height h above sea level is as I used in the computations in Section 6 in the paper. Exactly the same expression appears in the physics website to which I linked you. You have nothing else to show it is incorrect, now have you? It is standard physics since the days of Newton. Was Newton wrong Norman?

    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      It would not be hard for you to look up an equation for entropy and notice that there are terms involving temperature but not any terms that could possibly relate to gravitational potential energy and at least have a g in them.

  53. Norman says:

    Doug Cotton,

    I have answered all 7 of your questions.

    • Massimo PORZIO says:

      Hi Norman,
      I’m not sure what Doug is arguing with his method of fixing the energy at the TOA, but IMHO maybe it could the same effect which is missing in the Kiehl & Trenberth 2009 Earth energy budget.
      I mean that in that famous graph I don’t see any reference to the work done by the Earth ground to keep the atmosphere gases up there.
      Our planet needs to continuously throw away the atmospheric components by its thermal vibration, that conversion of heat in work (the molecules fired up in the sky) is then returned to heat at the ground by their fall down.
      This mechanism of double conversion between heat/work and work/heat shouldn’t be so different from the radiated energy converted in molecular bending by the GHGs and re-converted in radiated energy returned to the ground. The only difference I see is that while the GHGs effect is limited in efficiency by the quantization in photons of the radiation, and the statistically returns of 50% of photons to the ground, in keeping the gases molecules up there, the whole energy is constantly returned to the ground.
      One could argue that the two conversions (of energy in work and vice versa), keep the energetic balance to zero; but IMHO this should mean that the atmosphere is a perfect perpetual machine, if that was true.
      I would like to know your opinion about the above, which of course is just a conjecture, I’ve no proof for that.

      Have a great day.


      • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

        Just read the paper Massimo if you genuinely want to know what’s going on for all planets and moons. Norman doesn’t even know the standard equation for gravitational potential energy for mass m at height h above a reference level, normally sea level.

      • Norman says:

        Massimo PORZIO

        Hi, my argument is that the molecules do not return to the ground from above and transfer this gained energy to the surface.

        As I pointed out to Doug on another thread. The amount of energy a molecule can gain or lose in standard atmosphere by moving in a gravity field is very small before hitting another molecule and losing or gaining energy at that point (93 nanometers at sea level pressure). There are millions of such “surfaces” even in a meter of air. I also demonstrated that those molecules being accelerated downward by the gravity field will give this energy to molecules in the layer just below that are being deaccelerated by gravity as they move upward leading to no yet change in energy. No net flow of energy down or up (isothermal). You see this state in the atmosphere (above troposphere) where no vertical motion is going on, the temperature becomes isothermal.

        Doug thinks K.E. exchange is what creates the lapse rate but physics says different.

        Here is a link:

        The reason for the lapse rate is because as the surface heats it warms the air above it making it buoyant and rises. As it rises it expands against the surrounding air and it takes energy to expand against this pressure so the molecules in the expanding parcel cool because their internal energy is used to expand against the surrounding air. You can test this by blowing on your hand. When you force the warm air of your lungs out through a small opening of your mouth it expands against the surroundings losing energy and cooling adiabatically.

        The reason the lapse rate corresponds to the gravity acceleration is because the gravity field is what determines the density and it is the density that determines how much air will expand and cool. You only get the lapse rate in atmospheric regions that are turbulent with convection going on.

        I have shown Doug that when radiation stops (night, Arctic, Stratosphere) the lapse rate starts to go away and the system moves an isothermal state.

        • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:


          To all, regarding Norman’s thought experiment, which is OK if understood correctly, rather than the way he interpreted it …

          At thermodynamic equilibrium (explained below) we have, say, seven layers in which the mean velocity of molecules is shown as per Norman’s example, from top (7) to bottom (1) …

          7: 470m/sec
          6: 480m/sec
          5: 490m/sec
          4: 500m/sec
          3: 510m/sec
          2: 520m/sec
          1: 530m/sec

          Each time a molecule moves up a layer it loses 10m/sec over the course of that passage, and so, when it collides its KE matches that in the next layer up. Likewise, when a molecule moves downwards it gains 10m/sec and so its KE matches that of the molecule it strikes at that lower level.

          Because KE matches at the time of the next collision there is no change in KE during the elastic collisions. This is of course what also happens in a horizontal plane so that temperature evens out in a horizontal plane because gravity is not affecting horizontal speeds between collisions.

          Now, because there is no change in KE in collisions, there is no heat transfer across any internal boundary, and so that state is thermodynamic equilibrium, because entropy no longer increases.

          Now we use mathematical induction, because we could obviously add a layer at the top with 460m/sec and it is all still valid. Hence we can extend it to the top of the troposphere, noting that temperatures all the way up are still well above absolute zero (0K) and so molecules do not run out of kinetic energy, since absolute temperature is proportional to molecular mean kinetic energy.

          Hence the state of thermodynamic equilibrium has a temperature gradient which can be calculated as in the paper.


        • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

          Uranus has had a few billion years to cool down to Norman’s unreal isothermal assumption, because it generates no significant internal energy and the only effect of solar radiation is to maintain the methane layer in the stratosphere at around a very cold 59K.

          But the troposphere of Uranus has a gradient around 95% of the calculated -g/Cp value, and that is not going to change in the next few billion years either – because physics is physics.

          The only reason it isn’t 100% of that value is because of the temperature leveling effect of a small amount of inter-molecular radiation. The same happens in all the tropospheres of every planet and satellite moon that has a significant atmosphere.

          • Norman says:

            Doug Cotton,

            You present an example that corresponds to your own pet theory of what thermodynamic equilibrium conditions look like.

            My version of 7 layers (as exist in atmosphere where no convection is taking place to move large groups of molecules from one atmospheric point to another…but the only transfer is conduction of molecules in a gravity field…These isothermal conditions do exist in all the planetary atmospheres as well as lapse rates)

            7: 500m/sec
            6: 500m/sec
            5: 500m/sec
            4: 500m/sec
            3: 500m/sec
            2: 500m/sec
            1: 500m/sec

            Now what happens in the gravity field.
            Top of 7: speed slowed by gravity to 499.999 m/sec
            7: Middle of level 500m/sec
            Bottom of 7: speed increased by gravity to 500.0001 m/sec
            Top of 6: The gravitationaly deacclerated molecules which were moving at 499.9999 m/sec collide with the accelerated molecules now going 500.0001 m/sec and after the average of exchange the average speed is now 500 m/sec
            Middle of 6: 500m/sec
            Near bottom of 6 molecules are accelerated by gravity to 500.0001 m/sec They collide with molecules moving upward from the center of level 5 (where they had been 500 m/sec) but have slowed to 499.9999 m/sec moving upward in a gravity field 93 nanometers.
            At the interface between level 5 and 6 the molecules exchange energy and the net result is a level where the molecules average 500 m/sec and this process goes on all the way down. No layer warms or cools.

    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      No you haven’t, Norman. The ones you tried to answer by just linking a whole article that you hoped might answer the questions also scored no marks as your answers contained not a single sentence of explanation written by yourself. In contrast I have written an 18 page paper that explains the physics which provides the answers for those who take the trouble to read and understand such physics, which is correct because it is based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

      I make no excuse for referring to my own paper in answering questions and explaining the physics. You need to study the diagrams and the detailed explanation in that paper, and you won’t understand the physics until you understand the heat creep diagrams. You also should read the evidence which supports the hypothesis.

  54. PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

    To Roy and silent readers:

    Norman doesn’t think gravitational potential energy for mass m at height h is mgh as is used in the development of the Ideal Gas Laws, which climatologists then use (in a clumsy roundabout way) to derive the so-called dry adiabatic lapse rate -g/Cp where Cp is the weighted mean specific heat of the atmosphere, incorrectly called the heat capacity by climatologists.

    So Norman wants to dispose of the Ideal Gas Laws and refuses to believe that the gravitationally induced temperature gradient is -g/Cp if I derive it directly from Kinetic Theory. I assume he thinks it is only that value if climatologists prove it using Kinetic Theory which is based on the same expression mgh for gravitational potential energy that I use and those who developed the Ideal Gas Laws used, and perhaps you learnt in your secondary school science classes.

    Now Norman also wants to dispose of the standard assumptions of the Kinetic Theory of Gases (as used by Einstein et al) and then he wants to add his own assumption that, instead of moving randomly after a collision, only the fastest molecules will move downwards, whilst only the slowest ones move upwards.

    So it seems Norman is pretty good at … well … inventing new physics which is not in accord with the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

  55. Norman says:


    Before you post things like “Now Norman also wants to dispose of the standard assumptions of the Kinetic Theory of Gases (as used by Einstein et al) and then he wants to add his own assumption that, instead of moving randomly after a collision, only the fastest molecules will move downwards, whilst only the slowest ones move upwards.”

    Will you actually read what I stated and understand it?? Can you at least try? You are engaging in a provocative mechanism because I disagree with you and you are hoping that no one read my post and will consider me foolish. This is a childish tactic and below your level so please stop and debate in the proper adult fashion. Can I ask this of you?

    Here is what I stated “The average speed of the molecules of this layer is 500 meters/second (around room temperature). For sake of clarity I am going to amplify the actual gravitational acceleration above what it would exist in a real situation.

    Say the 50% down moving molecules are accelerated by gravity to 510 meters/second. Likewise those rising up are slowed by gravity to 490 meters/second.”


    Do you know what I am saying, can you understand it before you think I am saying something I am not? Can you? Will you?

    • Tim Folkerts says:

      I don’t always agree with Norman, but he is much closer to correct most of the time. Just a few points that Doug will not be able to answer (other than handwaving)…

      1) DOUG says: “Norman doesn’t think gravitational potential energy for mass m at height h is mgh as is used in the development of the Ideal Gas Laws … ”
      GPE is NOT used! At one level, the Ideal Gas Law is simple an empirical result that agrees pretty well with nature over a wide range of circumstances. At a different level, the IGL can be derived from simple assumptions in Kinetic Theory, which does not deal with changes in altitude.
      The IGL derivation from kinetic theory would work JUST as well for a container of gas floating in deep space as it does for a container of gas sitting on earth.

      2) If Gravity explains the temperature within the moon, then the earth, with 4x radius and 6x gravity should be 24x hotter at the center. It is not.

      3) If gravity explains the gradient within the earth, why are there abrupt, sharp changes in the gradient? If it were some universal equilibrium condition that makes the core warm, then there should not be marked changes as you go deeper into the earth.

      4) Suppose a thermal gradient were the equilibrium condition. Then two different gases will have two different gradients. If columns of two gases are at the same temperature at the bottom, then they will be at different temperatures at higher altitudes. Thermally connecting the tops of the two columns (say with a metal bar running horizontally between them) will allow heat to flow from one gs to the other EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE IN EQUILIBRIUM at the same altitude. The possibility of heat flow is pretty much the definition of “not in thermal equilibrium”.

      5) Lift a container of gas in a sealed, rigid, insulated container. The gas inside will NOT cool even though the potential energy is decreasing.

      • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

        Tim Folkerts:

        Regarding your first point, I really can’t be bothered explaining why gravity affects density and pressure. If your container in space was filled with warm argon that we will assume does not radiate, then, if you opened that container the argon molecules would spread out as entropy increases, but they would not cool. How could they lose kinetic energy whilst in free flight in space, before striking any object?

        Then you write: “If Gravity explains the temperature within the moon, then the earth, with 4x radius and 6x gravity should be 24x hotter at the center. It is not.”

        Not correct, because the specific heat Cp increases considerably at hot temperatures as in the Earth’s mantle. There the temperature gradient -g/Cpis only about 1 degree per kilometer, whereas in borehole measurements in the outer 9Km of the crust it is about 25 degrees per kilometer. This also answers your third point. Your fourth point has been refuted in the “WUWT errors” page on our group’s website. There’s also further discussion in comments on Toy’s thread for January data.

        Regarding your 5th pathetic point, of course it won’t cool because you are supplying energy in the lifting process, and so the gas is not using its own molecular kinetic energy to rise, and thus not cooling. The very fact that you wrote that point indicates your complete misunderstanding of the physics involved, all of which is clearly explained in the paper I wrote two years ago.

        • Tim Folkerts says:

          Yes! Game, set, and match. My “pathetic point” applies equally to air rising and falling through the atmosphere. Whether my hand lifts the parcel of air or some other force lifts the parcel of air, your conclusion about no temperature change is correct. (Although I doubt you will be able to see past your biases).

          A (slowly, uniformly) rising parcel of air is NOT using its own energy to rise through the atmosphere! It’s known as “buoyant force” due to the pressure gradient!

          In a vacuum, I lifted the parcel with my hand doing work (and there is, as you agree, no change in temperature). In an atmosphere, I can lift a parcel with NO work from my hand because the buoyant force from the surrounding air does the work. So a rising air parcel — whether rising due to the force of my hand countering gravity or the buoyant force countering gravity — in either case the parcel is not providing the force. An EXTERNAL force (my hand or buoyant force) is doing work on the parcel as it rises. The work from that force equals the potential energy lost. KE can and will stay constant.

          Once this is recognized — using your OWN conclusion, no less — then rising air does not need to cool as it rises.

          • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

            Yes your statement …

            “Whether my hand lifts the parcel of air or some other force lifts the parcel of air, your conclusion about no temperature change is correct.”

            is quite correct in all such situations where energy is being added to the otherwise isolated system, Tim. But a force is not a source of new energy in itself, whereas a hotter surface can be, or a heated methane layer in the stratosphere of Uranus.

            Your discussion of parcels of air just has nothing whatsoever to do with my hypothesis in the paper, although it does confirm that the force in any type of vertical wind will not change temperatures either, so you can mention that to Stephen Wilde.

            You might also mention to Stephen that there is nothing that holds a “parcel” of air together except some form of wind or advection driven by an external energy source. In case you don’t know, molecules move in all directions between collisions at speeds of around 500m/sec. Individual molecules don’t “know” about buoyant force. All they know is that other molecules keep pounding into them, and if the KE of other molecules is more than theirs then they get hotter themselves, and if it is less they get cooler.

          • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

            Some basic physics Tim:

            If you apply a force F to a mass m that object accelerates and your force is doing work and thus adding energy (in the form of potential energy and/or kinetic energy) to the object, which could be a molecule. That energy has to have come from somewhere, and the original source in a planet’s troposphere is of course from the Sun’s energy.

            Now, I suggest you keep to discussing what you think is wrong in the actual hypothesis that I have explained in the paper, because that physics, based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics, has nothing to do with parcels of air rising and falling.

            Even climatologists and meteorologists do seem to know that there is a temperature gradient in the tropospheres of all planets. You have not explained why.

            We in the real world also know from the experiment with the vortex tube (discussed in our group’s website) that centrifugal force creates a temperature gradient. It makes no difference, Tim, whether the force is centrifugal force or gravity.

            (I’m loving this.)

          • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

            Sure “It’s known as “buoyant force” due to the pressure gradient! by climatologists with their limited understanding of physics. But it’s really driven by surplus new thermal (kinetic) energy as faster molecules drive slower ones away from the new heat source that is what is actually supplying the necessary energy for the observed slow advection.

            But the air often stops rising in calm conditions in the early predawn hours (when there is no insolation providing new energy and the extra heat of the previous day has dissipated) even though the temperature gradient and the pressure gradient are both still there.

            Then, if the normal gradient is, say, 7C°/Km and some new morning sunshine warms some air at 1Km altitude whilst the surface is still in the shade of a mountain, then the gradient may be temporarily altered to, say 4C°/Km. Now, instead of no flow of thermal energy, we get a net flow of diffusion and convective heat downwards until the temperature gradient is restored to the normal 7C°/Km based on water vapor content in that region. That’s what I call heat creep.

    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      Norman writes: “Say the 50% down moving molecules are accelerated by gravity to 510 meters/second. Likewise those rising up are slowed by gravity to 490 meters/second.”

      Sure, then the ones in the top layer will have slowed down to 490m/sec by the time they get there, and the ones going down will have accelerated and reached a speed of 510m/sec by the time they get to the lower level. So the lower level is warmer than the middle level, and the upper level is cooler than the middle level, just as I explained in the paper two years ago.

      And did you read what I wrote in response to the subsequent calculations in that comment in which your clearly implied that the downward ones already had a speed of 510m/sec whilst they were still in the middle horizontal plane. Likewise you implied the upward moving ones were already slowed to 490m/sec. The speeding up and slowing down takes place over the whole passage of their free path movement, as I explained two years ago in the paper that you refuse to read, let alone try to understand. I doubt, for example, that you could sketch the heat creep diagrams from memory without referring to the paper, website or book.

      • Norman says:

        Doug Cotton

        “And did you read what I wrote in response to the subsequent calculations in that comment in which your clearly implied that the downward ones already had a speed of 510m/sec whilst they were still in the middle horizontal plane.”

        No Doug, this is not implied in any way and you do not grasp the concept even at this time. No matter how many times or whatever method I attempt you do not understand the concept.

        What I said “Take any layer of atmosphere. With the large numbers of molecules you will average out that close to 50% are moving either up or down from the center of the layer.

        The average speed of the molecules of this layer is 500 meters/second (around room temperature). For sake of clarity I am going to amplify the actual gravitational acceleration above what it would exist in a real situation.

        Say the 50% down moving molecules are accelerated by gravity to 510 meters/second. Likewise those rising up are slowed by gravity to 490 meters/second.

        Now you take the downward moving molecules moving at 510 meters/second and they collide with the next lowest layer where the molecules are moving upward at 490 meters/second. After a bunch of collisions and energy exchanges a new layer of molecules is formed that now move at 500 meters/second. The gravity field had no overall effect on the temperature.”

        I clearly state this is an amplified effect for clarity. As I pointed out in another post the actual speed a molecule can pick up or slow down before it collides with another molecule and exchanges energy and direction in a collision is very slight.

        There are millions of mean-free path layers in air not just 3 but if you look at just a few layers you see gravity will have no effect on the energy of the molecules.

        Your money offer is meaningless to anyone who has responded to your posts, you would never pay no matter what someone wrote. If Curt or Tim Folkerts were to video and actual experiment with a long air filled tube and showed you an isothermal state in a vertical gravity field you would reject this evidence.

        Also Doug, please understand I am not against the presentation of a theory. I like to keep my mind open to new ideas and theories. Nothing wrong with you coming up with a new twist or a new idea. I do encourage this. I highly dislike when Roy Spencer writes a topic for comment we have to spend 500 posts debating with you on things that have nothing to do with the post. He was thoughtful enough to give you your own thread and still that was not enough.

        You belittle people like Curt or Tim Folkerts that actually have deep knowledge of these subjects and can understand the complex math derivations that come with it. No respect at all. I think Tim Folkerts may be an actual physics professor. I have a Chemistry degree and had a course in physics (many years ago) and and very rusty in the math. I am sure I make many mistakes along the way but I am willing to learn and keep an open mind.

        • Planet-Phys says:


          Yes Norman I have read your comments and summarized the main errors you have made here.


        • Planet-Phys says:

          “Say the 50% down moving molecules are accelerated by gravity to 510 meters/second. Likewise those rising up are slowed by gravity to 490 meters/second.”

          Sure, they will get down to 490m/sec by the time they reach the next layer up. And the others will get up to 510m/sec when they get down to the layer below.

          This is exactly the type of thing I described two years ago in the paper linked from http://climate-change-theory.com in which I discussed a vacuum cylinder divided in three with two removable partitions. Add dry air to the middle region, let it settle to the same temperature throughout, then remove the partitions. The air that moves up becomes cooler and that which moves down becomes warmer, and that’s how it then all stabilizes, because whenever a molecule moves up or down it exchanges PE and KE such that (PE+KE)=constant, and so there is a -g/Cp temperature gradient assuming it was dry air or perhaps pure nitrogen or argon. That gradient is derived directly by equating PE and KE as in the computations in the paper I wrote two years ago and you still haven’t understood.

          • Planet-Phys says:

            PS: The temperature gradient does not need “rising parcels of air” or “buoyancy forces” or wind or turbulence etc etc. It happens in a tall sealed and insulated cylinder as Roderich Graeff found in over 800 meticulously controlled experiments which you have no grounds for dismissing, because the outer shells actually had reverse gradients, being influenced by air in his underground laboratory which must have been warmed slightly from the top. And when the cylinders were inverted the new temperature gradient formed and was still cooler at the top with overwhelming statistical significance. If you think you can refute him, then go and inspect his equipment as did Lucy Skywalker.

        • Planet-Phys says:

          “Now you take the downward moving molecules moving at 510 meters/second and they collide with the next lowest layer where the molecules are moving upward at 490 meters/second.”

          Let’s assume that at equilibrium in any of the horizontal planes there is a mean speed (representing the temperature) and there is a normal distribution about that mean with standard deviation = 10m/sec. For example, the middle layer has a mean of 500m/sec and about 95% fall within the range 500±20m/sec. So we need to determine what the mean is in each layer. We will have thermodynamic equilibrium only when the speed of a molecule that is about to collide matches the speed of that it is about to strike.

          Why should I take your cherry picked molecules? There would be just as many downward (and upward) moving molecules at 490m/sec as there would be at 510m/sec in the middle layer before they start to move out of that layer. Likewise in the layer below, the mean would be 510m/sec but there would also be (at the sides of the distribution) just as many moving upwards at 520m/sec as moving downwards at 500m/sec. If would be much less probable that there would be any moving in any direction at only 490m/sec in the lower layer where the mean is 510m.sec. (That would be like 2 standard deviations from the mean compared with 1 SD.) And why would the downward moving molecule select an upward one to collide with anyway?

        • Planet-Phys says:

          Would you teach a dentist how to drill teeth Norman? Why is it that you think you can teach me physics when I am the one with qualifications, even having won a university scholarship because of my understanding of physics, and gained a very high position in the state in my school days – whilst you don’t even understand gravitational potential energy and you waste everyone’s time with at least the four major errors I have listed in today’s summary of your errors. I might even show you up in a hundred or two social media climate threads as a typical example of the mess climatologists make with physics and the calls to “authority” that people like you make to support the hoax that is robbing people, killing people and endeavoring to destroy capitalism. What’s your surname Norman? Show your face! Link us to your Facebook page.

          I will not tolerate false physics regardless of “authority” – do you get it Norman? Some of your statements are glaring examples of such. Don’t say I didn’t warn you weeks ago.

        • Kristian says:

          Hi, Norman. You say:

          “Now you take the downward moving molecules moving at 510 meters/second and they collide with the next lowest layer where the molecules are moving upward at 490 meters/second. After a bunch of collisions and energy exchanges a new layer of molecules is formed that now move at 500 meters/second. The gravity field had no overall effect on the temperature.”

          This doesn’t work.

          Your downward-moving 510 m/s molecules from the upper layer won’t collide with the upward-moving 490 m/s molecules from the lower layer. They will collide with the ‘average’ molecules at 500 m/s in the lower layer, while the upward-moving 490 m/s molecules from the lowe layer will collide with the ‘average’ molecules at 500 m/s in the upper layer. You see, you make it out as if there were an intermediate layer of some kind, between the two air layers in question, where the 510 m/s molecules from the upper layer and the 490 m/s molecules from the lower layer could collide and even out their energy, before moving on to their new ‘permanent’ layers. In reality, the lower layer would send an average batch of 490 m/s molecules to the upper layer, while the upper layer would equally send a batch of 510 m/s molecules to the lower layer.

          So you’re turning the real situation somewhat on its head, it would seem. And in doing so, you inadvertently support Doug’s idea of a thermal gradient at equilibrium.

          Which I’m sure wasn’t the intention.

          What would actually happen is rather this:

          In any layer of air, gas molecules are flying around at different speeds and hence at different energy levels. On average, the molecules in any such layer most likely to overcome the pull of gravity (which admittedly isn’t a particularly large one on individual molecules, but it is there) to the furthest extent, meaning, the ones who are statistically most likely to be able to reach furthest from the centre of gravity (call it a moderate form of ‘escape velocity’), would be the fastest moving ones, the most energetic ones. Leaving, on average, a disproportionate amount of less energetic molecules behind at lower levels.

          When these faster molecules reach their higher level, they have expended some of their kinetic energy getting there, against gravity, so are no longer necessarily more energetic that the slower molecules left behind in the lower layer. The statistical mean distribution of molecular energy up through the air column would thus be evened out.

          Same level of kinetic energy per mean gas molecule in all layers and consequently the same amount of bulk energy per bulk mass of air would ensure an isothermal atmospheric column at equilibrium.

          • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

            Thanks Kristian, but Norman will never agree he is wrong about anything. Below is a copy of a post I wrote onthe Blackboard nearly a year ago …

            Doug Cotton (Comment #126576)
            March 11th, 2014 at 2:45 am

            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 initial state …

            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 energy has transferred from a cooler region (KE=20) to a warmer region that was KE=22 and is now KE=23. The additional 2 units of KE added at the top are now shared as an extra 1 unit on each level, with no energy gain or loss.
            That represents the process of downward diffusion of KE to warmer regions which I call “heat creep” as it is a slow process that happens in which thermal energy “creeps” slowly up the sloping thermal profile. It happens in all tropospheres, explaining how energy gets into the Venus surface, and explaining how the Earth’s troposphere “supports” surface temperatures and slows cooling at night.

  56. PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:


    I remind you all that there is still a AU $5,000 reward* for the first in the world to prove with valid physics that the content of the paper linked on the Home page of our group’s website is substantially incorrect, and to produce a study showing water vapor warms by at least 10 degrees for each 1% in the atmosphere, as is implied by the IPCC.

    You may set out your proof in a climate blog in which I can respond. You will have to discuss the actual physics in the paper, in particular the heat creep diagrams, and provide empirical examples in support of your contrary hypothesis, that hypothesis applying also to temperature data from other planets and moons, notably Venus and Uranus. Send a copy of your hypothesis to the email address on our group’s website http://climate-change-theory.com

    Sufficient funds are held in a Paypal account ready for instant transfer to your account …

    Account Type: Premier Status: Verified Account Limits: View Limits
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    Available balance in AUD (primary): $8,626.95 AUD


  57. Norman says:

    Doug Cotton,

    Math in your linked paper:
    M.Cp.T = – M.g.H
    T/H = -g/Cp

    Holy Cow you really went to town with this derivation.

    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      Yes, that is all that is required. And you can’t fault it, can you. Hence you are wrong about isothermal conditions being the state of thermodynamic equilibrium. If you were right you’d have been frozen to death on this planet.

  58. Norman says:


    The example I gave with the 490 and 510 was an intentional high number of the actual process. The surface I am suggesting is not a real one like a solid table but it would act very similar. Air molecules near the surface can only move up or down a very small distance before striking another molecule, exchanging energy and direction. That means they can only accelerate or decelerate a very short distance in a gravity field. Any molecule moving up in a gravity field will slow down based upon the gravitational field strength, likewise any moving down will speed up. You just pick an arbitrary plane in the atmosphere and you will have around 50% of the molecules moving up from that plane and 50% moving down. Those moving up will slow down a bit, those moving down will speed up from the plane. I do understand in the real atmosphere the molecules of any given plane have a wide range of speeds with the temperature representing the average speed of the group but that would not matter. Any molecule moving down a gravity field will speed up and any molecule moving up will slow down. I oversimplified the whole thing for clarity sake. The molecules moving up from the arbitrary plane will all slow some but can only go a little distance before hitting molecules above them. I consider the surface planes to be the mean free path a molecule can move in a gravity field before it hits another molecule and exchanges energy with that molecule.

    • Kristian says:


      Yes, I’ve reconsidered. If you only stated your thought experiment a bit differently, that is, if you only moved your molecules up and down within the same layer of air, then it would actually turn out right.

  59. Norman says:


    I also read through Doug’s thought experiment about the K.E. and P.E. exchange. I strongly suspect that this is why his theory is not correct in how he defines his molecular P.E. and what I demonstrate with my surfaces argument.

    Here is an example of why I think he is wrong. If you have these special elastic boxes (where a bouncing ball inside will lose such little energy in hitting the sides it can bounce for years…making it similar conditions to the elastic collisions of molecules in the air). Say you have them placed at different elevations within a gravity field. You give each ball the same initial energy within each box and when you go to calculate the K.E. and P.E. of each ball in each box you can only use the distance the ball is able to travel within the box. If the ball hits the bottom of the box it has maximum K.E. when it reaches the top of the box it has maximum P.E. and minimum K.E. but the ratio of K.E. to P.E. is not dependent upon what location in the gravity field the box is located. The ball in the highest box will not have a greater P.E. than a box positioned at ground level. Doug is like adding the P.E. based upon the molecular position in the atmosphere while neglecting its free path distance.

    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      You still have not deigned to study the paper where you would have read in Section 6 …

      “Let us consider a thought experiment in which such a region of air of mass M all happens to move downwards by a small height difference, H in an atmosphere where g is the acceleration due to gravity. The loss in PE 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 [23] and this calculation yields the product M.Cp.T

  60. Norman says:

    Doug Cotton,

    I have come up with a thought experiment that can show clearly why your interpretation of molecular theory is not the correct one when it comes to P.E and K.E. of the atmosphere.

    If you have a long tube with just one elastic ball moving up and down in it (neglect friction make it more like molecules that can collide with no loss of energy to either molecule…perfectly elastic collision, not completely true but good enough for this presentation).

    Now your theory of “heat creep” is completely correct if the atmosphere where a single molecule or very very thin gas. If you take the elastic ball’s kinetic energy as its temperature (which correlates to temperature of a gas) it will indeed have its highest temperature at the bottom of the tube and be coldest at the top. A true thermal gradient. But you have neglected the surface condition needed to measure P.E.. If you lift an object in your house and drop it you don’t calculate the kinetic energy it will have based upon your current elevation in Australia compared to sea level. You measure the kinetic energy based upon how far the object can fall.

    Now in the first case of the tube your creep theory works well and explains the dynamics of an elastic ball moving in a tube in a gravity field. Now if you add another ball into the tube you have created a “surface” for the first ball. Now the first ball can only move half the distance in the gravity field before it encounters the other ball (moving at the same initial speed as the first). Suddenly your heating and cooling potential is cut in half. It will not move up as high and hence won’t be as “cold” as before and it won’t have as much distance to travel to pick up speed before it strikes bottom so will not be as “hot” as in the first case.

    Now if you keep adding more elastic balls to the tube all with the same initial speed you get to a condition where the first ball is moving up and down only very little in the gravity field so its cold and hot cycle is no longer a measurable state and all the elastic balls in the entire tube are moving nearly the same speed bouncing off one and other.

    I know you won’t understand this but I will keep trying to come up with a situation you can understand of why your use of potential energy is incorrect as you use it such that the molecules at the top of the atmosphere could potentially fall all the way down converting that energy to K.E. and hence an isothermal atmosphere is an energy contradiction to your world view. The strange thing is all planets have these regions of isothermal atmosphere.

    As to explain why Uranus has a gravity lapse rate as do all planets. If you have convection of any kind (regardless of the source of heat…be it sun or internal energy) the air parcels (not heated equally) will become less dense than the surrounding air and rise. The gravity sets the density of the atmosphere which determines the rate a parcel of air can expand. The expansion of the parcel expends energy in pushing the surrounding air (you can test this yourself by blowing on your hand, the air from your lips cools your hand because it is expanding…the expansion requires energy from the internal energy of your air which cools it). Any atmosphere with a convection zone will have a gravity lapse rate but it because that sets the rate a rising air parcel can expand and lose energy. It has NOTHING to do with heat creep or energy moving downward from above.

    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      I have “come up with a thought experiment” nearly a year ago and there was fruitful discussion thereof on The Blackboard. No one could prove it wrong, as you can read for yourself, and it had one of the authors from Skeptical Science tied in knots. It demonstrates how the temperature gradient forms and also how heat creep happens, and it is correct physics that is substantiated by empirical evidence documented in the website.

      If you wish to discuss the above four-molecule experiment, that’s good and in the interests of science. If you just want to have a narcissistic and assertive attitude here, never even looking into such things as this four molecule experiment, let alone discussing the argument and the calculations, then I’m not interested in being side tracked. You should be able to see strong similarities anyway, though I just get the calculations right, whereas you don’t seem to understand that molecules speed up or slow down in the process of free flight.

    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      What the hell does your thought experiment have to do with the heat creep diagrams in the paper? Are you seriously just guessing what you think the paper says ?!?!!??

    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      Now we have for Norman the joke of all hand waving jokes:

      Try moving your wet hand through still air which is not expanding. Your skin still cools because you are expediting cooling by sensible heat transfers (conduction, diffusion and evaporation) simply because you are not allowing the thin layer of air that has just been warmed by your hand to linger around your hand. Physics tells us that the rate of cooling by such sensible heat transfers increases as the temperature difference increases. So, by moving your hand away from the thin layer of air it has just warmed into cooler air you go back to having the original greater temperature difference, and so your hand cools faster than if you had stopped your hand waving and left it in the warmed air.

      Sorry, the cooling has nothing to do with expansion. No law of physics tells us a gas must cool if it expands. That’s another old wives’ tale of climatology. A gas cools because the mean kinetic energy of its molecules is reduced by whatever process reduces such. That’s the only generalization you can make.

      To silent readers: I just couldn’t resist describing that (literal) hand waving experiment.

    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      My refutation of Norman’s conjectures about the temperature gradient in the nominal tropopsphere of Uranus (where there is no surface at the base, no solar radiation there either, and no long-term cooling off or internal energy generation) is in the ‘Evidence’ page (already written weeks ago) that Norman could have read (if he so deigned) at http://climate-change-theory.com

    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      So how does a refrigerator work Norman? If you are influenced by climatology fissics you probably think it works because expanding air cools. Do you? Read here how it really does work because of changes in energy that are caused by phase change.

      When you run water over a block of ice it melts more quickly the faster the flow rate, even though the faster moving water is no hotter than the slower water, and is neither expanding nor being compressed. If the water is stationary, the melting is slower still. That’s why crazy things happen in the temperature and ice cover in the Arctic, because the rate of flow of currents under the ice varies and thus the rate of melting of the bottom layer of the ice varies.

      So too with your air rushing over the thermometer bulb – just as I explained about your puff of air onto your hand. You are reducing the reading of the thermometer, yes, by reducing the density of the air that would otherwise warm it. Take your thermometer up into the thermosphere where the KE of molecules can be much higher than that at the surface, but your hand won’t feel hot at night up there, shaded from the Sun, and nor will the thermometer read a high temperature.

  61. Norman says:

    Doug Cotton,

    I doubt there are any more “silent readers” on this thread.

    I hope you are not serious about your statement: “Sorry, the cooling has nothing to do with expansion. No law of physics tells us a gas must cool if it expands. That’s another old wives’ tale of climatology.”

    If your stand by it then I question if you ever studied physics anywhere but are just an Wiki nerd that learns it all in a day on the computer.

    You tried to make fun of me with the “hand waving” post. Too bad you are wrong dude. Very wrong. Hopefully you will corrct your thinking.

    Take a computer compressed air duster. Take out a dry thermometer and blow air on the thermometer (not only does the can get real cold) the thermometer temperature will drop drastically (several degrees in moments). The air in the can starts at room temperature. It does work in expanding against the surrounding air which comes at the expense of internal energy. The temperature of the gas cools. Try the test yourself before you comment. You will come to understand your understanding of physics is wrong and needs to be corrected. DO THE TEST and tell me now why does the thermometer cool? Why does room temperature gas drop the temp?

    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      The Ideal Gas Law tells us pressure is proportional to the product of temperature and density. It tells us nothing more and nothing less. What law are you using? The energy for the work does not come mostly from internal energy – it comes mostly from the food you ate that enabled you to apply force to a mouthful of air and thus accelerate that air and give it some momentum. Molecules only “cool” (lose KE) when they collide with others that have less KE than they had just before the collision. You need to learn to think microscopically.

      Now read my comments just written on the other thread (from here) to which I will some day direct hundreds of silent readers from hundreds of social media climate threads.

      • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

        And as I have pointed out many times, Norman, the temperature gradient still remains in calm conditions in the early pre-dawn hours, when there is absolutely nothing which can hold a “parcel” of air together, because molecules are moving in random directions at speeds of around 500m/sec. So it is totally irrelevant to be talking about parcels of air expanding or being compressed or doing work on the surrounding air that apparently has no parcels doing work on the original parcel.

        What happens is explained in the four molecule experiment which you stubbornly refuse to discuss and which uses the difference in gravitational potential energy, just as you have been instructing me to do – but I did in fact do nearly a year ago when I first wrote that four molecule experiment on the Blackboard blog.

        • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

          Imagine a thin horizontal open tube 1 meter long. There is a piston with its end plate located 1cm inside one end of that tube where the air temperature is 300K and the piston’s handle is extending out the other end. You cap the end that is 1cm from the piston plate and, using the handle, draw the piston plate back to the other end, thus expanding the air 100-fold. Does the temperature fall to 1% of 300K, namely 3K? Does it even fall at all? If it does, how do you work out by how much? How can you work out the temperature change (if any) if the air in an open horizontal tube expanded due to natural variations in pressure outside the tube?

    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      Norman – how about you also try to answer the question I asked Curt in this comment.

  62. PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

    Go back to this comment about a refrigerator, Norman.

    I learnt my physics originally in four years of full time study (under Prof Harry Messel and his team) in the early 1960’s. I have the benefit of not being brainwashed with the fiddled fissics of climatology which is about expanding cooling pockets of air, or all planetary surfaces being heated by direct solar radiation helped by about twice as much radiation from the colder atmosphere – fissics which fools politicians into thinking water vapor makes the surface hotter as it increases and forms more shading clouds – fissics which scares people about what 0.04% of carbon dioxide (mostly radiating from up in the mesosphere) could do to their sea-side mansions – fissics which assists the IPCC with their now-admitted goal to overcome capitalism.

    • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

      Footnote: A conventional mercury thermometer actually just “measures” the work which the surrounding air molecules can do to expand the mercury, and that small percentage of expansion is amplified by feeding the surplus mercury from the bulb into a fine capillary tube. The thermometer only gives correct readings if the density of the surrounding air is normal, because the instrument is calibrated with normal density air. You cannot expect far fewer molecules (having the same mean kinetic energy) to do the same amount of work as they collide with the bulb. However, as per Kinetic Theory, the real temperature of the air is not affected by density and is proportional only to the mean molecular kinetic energy. That’s physics, and you need to understand physics – as I have been saying to students for decades.

    • Norman says:


      “I learnt my physics originally in four years of full time study (under Prof Harry Messel and his team) in the early 1960′s.”

      If you paid any money for your education you should get a refund. You lack understanding of the 1st law. When a gas expands in a region already occupied by other gas it has to move the mass of the gas out to make room. This takes work!!

      Your explanations of expanding air cooling are worse than horrible. It is what a 5 year old might make up.

      When air expands against pressure it cools. I am really sorry you do not understand this most simple physics concept. You really are a dense one though.

      Every-time you post something you look dumber by the word count. No wonder PSI dumped you. You also have zero education in meteorology. Do you know anything at all that drives the weather? Cold air and warm air do not mix!! Say it again and repeat it. That is what generates weather patterns. That is why parcels exist. It is what a thunderstorm is. A warm moist parcel of air moving up and expanding causing cooling and condensation, the heat of condensation warms the air and it is able to rise further into the sky. You really need to go back to some basic education. I know you are around 60ish. Don’t act like your a cute 5 year old. It is not really amusing in the least.

      Expanding air cools. That is a fact you can argue it but experimental evidence (without a little boy explanation) demonstrates you are wrong and stupid if you continue along such dumb lines. I know you are doing this as a joke but it is hard not to react to it. You are a clever comedian. I almost take you serious until I think “he can’t be that lame of a brain”.

      • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

        The Ideal Gas Law tells us pressure is proportional to the product of temperature and density. It tells us nothing more and nothing less. If, for example, pressure is halved and density is halved then temperature would stay the same.

        All sorts of things happen due to weather. For example, convective heat transfer can be upwards or downwards or in any direction depending on weather factors.

        Gas molecules lose kinetic energy (and thus cool on a macro scale) under any of these circumstances (excluding reactions and phase changes) …

        (1) by radiation (if applicable)

        (2) by colliding with other molecules that have less kinetic energy than they do.

        (3) by conversion of some of their kinetic energy into gravitational potential energy as they rise.

        If none of the above happens, as may be the case if there is expansion in a horizontal plane into adjacent warmer regions, then no cooling happens. Try bursting a kid’s balloon filled with your hot breath and seeing if you feel cold air at the side of the balloon. Furthermore, see if the air from the balloon remains in some imaginary parcel. Such parcels disperse in calm, adiabatic conditions, and yet those are the conditions in which the temperature gradient forms for the reasons explained here.

        The temperature gradient (aka lapse rate) does not form as a result of any wind of any form that may appear to be keeping parcels of air together.

        Natural convection includes diffusion and advection (which is not wind and which is a very slow moving net movement of air) and the convection happens in all accessible directions away from a new source of thermal energy which has disturbed a state of thermodynamic equilibrium. This process is explained with the diagrams in the paper linked to the above website.

      • PlanetaryPhysicsGroup says:

        If you disagree with Wikipedia’s definition of “imversion” in meteorology, then edit Wikipedia, Norman. I don’t claim extensive knowledge of meteorology, thermodynamics being my specialty, but at least I know how they define an inversion. At the moment Wikipedia reads here

        In meteorology, an inversion is a deviation from the normal change of an atmospheric property with altitude. It almost always refers to a “temperature inversion,”

        So, if the normal environmental temperature gradient is, say, 7C°/Km and the surface is 10°C and the temperature is 7°C at 1Km altitude, then (noting that the normal temperature would have been 3°C) there is an inversion, even though the top temperature is colder than the surface. That is when “heat creep” occurs back towards the surface. Meteorologists know it happens, they just don’t know precisely how the process I have described actually works.

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