Uncertainty in observations of the Earth’s energy balance

by Judith Curry

This lack of precise knowledge of surface energy fluxes profoundly affects our ability to understand how Earth’s climate responds to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases. – Graeme Stephens et al.

An update on Earth’s energy balance in light of the latest global observations

Graeme L. Stephens, Juilin Li, Martin Wild, Carol Anne Clayson, Norman Loeb, Seiji Kato, Tristan L’Ecuyer, Paul W. Stackhouse Jr, Matthew Lebsock and Timothy Andrews

Abstract.  Climate change is governed by changes to the global energy balance. At the top of the atmosphere, this balance is monitored globally by satellite sensors that provide measurements of energy flowing to and from Earth. By contrast, observations at the surface are limited mostly to land areas. As a result, the global balance of energy fluxes within the atmosphere or at Earth’s surface cannot be derived directly from measured fluxes, and is therefore uncertain. This lack of precise knowledge of surface energy fluxes profoundly affects our ability to understand how Earth’s climate responds to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases. In light of compilations of up-to-date surface and satellite data, the surface energy balance needs to be revised. Specifically, the longwave radiation received at the surface is estimated to be significantly larger, by between 10 and 17 Wm−2, than earlier model-based estimates. Moreover, the latest satellite observations of global precipitation indicate that more precipitation is generated than previously thought. This additional precipitation is sustained by more energy leaving the surface by evaporation — that is, in the form of latent heat flux — and thereby offsets much of the increase in longwave flux to the surface.

Citation:  Nature Geoscience 5, 691–696 (2012) doi:10.1038/ngeo1580 [link]

The punchline of the paper is this Figure, which is essentially a re-do of the Kiehl and Trenberth figure:

 

Am I surprised by any of this?  Not at all.  Circa 1993-2003, I was working on determining the ocean surface energy balance (tropics, global ocean Arctic Ocean).  I am actually impressed by the relative low magnitudes of the uncertainties and imbalances achieved by Stephens et al.; these are much lower than anything I was able to come up with in my previous papers, even for regional analyses.
JoNova has post on this [here].  Excerpt:
.
This paper rattles the whole table of key numbers, with empirical results. It puts core numbers into a new perspective, numbers like the 3.7 Watts per square meter that a doubling of CO2 is supposed to add to the surface budget.

The models are hunting for imbalances and build-ups in planetary energy. But according to the observations, the longwave (infra-red) energy coming onto the earth’s surface, the infamous back radiation, is 10 – 17 W/m2 higher than in the famous Trenberth diagram from 1997. So the models are trying to explain tiny residual imbalances, but the uncertainties and unknowns are larger than the target. The argument that “only the forcing from CO2 can fill the gap in the models” is not just argument from ignorance rhetorically, but factually too.

Another major implications is that water is churning up and falling out of the sky faster than the experts thought. The Earth’s evaporative cooler is lifting more water, taking more heat, and dumping that heat in the atmosphere. At the top of the atmosphere heat is radiating off the planet to offset the radiation coming in. On the water planet, it really is all about water.

JoNova’s post aptly describes a rational skeptics response.
In terms of the irrational skeptics response (i.e. KT diagram is wrong and there is no greenhouse effect, a la Skydragons), I direct your attention to this additional paper.
.
The Global Character of the Flux of Downward Longwave Radiation
.
Graeme L. Stephens, Martin Wild, Paul W. Stackhouse Jr., Tristan L’Ecuyer, Seiji Kato,  and David S.Henderson
.

Abstract. Four different types of estimates of the surface downwelling longwave radiative flux (DLR) are reviewed. One group of estimates synthesizes global cloud, aerosol, and other information in a radiation model that is used to calculate fluxes. Because these synthesis fluxes have been assessed against observations, the global-mean values of these fluxes are deemed to be the most credible of the four different categories reviewed. The global, annual mean DLR lies between approximately 344 and 350 W m−2 with an error of approximately ±10 W m−2 that arises mostly from the uncertainty in atmospheric state that governs the estimation of the clear-sky emission. The authors conclude that the DLR derived from global climate models are biased low by approximately 10 W m−2 and even larger differences are found with respect to reanalysis climate data. The DLR inferred from a surface energy balance closure is also substantially smaller that the range found from synthesis products suggesting that current depictions of surface energy balance also require revision. The effect of clouds on the DLR, largely facilitated by the new cloud base information from the CloudSat radar, is estimated to lie in the range from 24 to 34 W m−2 for the global cloud radiative effect (all-sky minus clear-sky DLR). This effect is strongly modulated by the underlying water vapor that gives rise to a maximum sensitivity of the DLR to cloud occurring in the colder drier regions of the planet. The bottom of atmosphere (BOA) cloud effect directly contrast the effect of clouds on the top of atmosphere (TOA) fluxes that is maximum in regions of deepest and coldest clouds in the moist tropics.

Stephens, Graeme L., Martin Wild, Paul W. Stackhouse, Tristan L’Ecuyer, Seiji Kato, David S. Henderson, 2012: The Global Character of the Flux of Downward Longwave Radiation. J. Climate25, 2329–2340.
.

JC comments

First, kudos to Stephens et al. for producing a very important analysis, which has clearly required a great deal of effort and was made possible by the new satellite data products.  Providing justified uncertainty estimates on these numbers is an important step forward.

So what are we to make of this in terms of climate models and attribution of 20th century warming?  Stephens et al. compare their analysis with the CMIP5 model simulations:

Models are commonly tuned to the TOA, so direct comparison of TOA fluxes provides little insight into model performance. As the surface solar flux is also correlated to the TOA reflected solar flux, that flux is also not entirely free of ‘tuning’ effects, so a direct comparison with estimated surface solar flux also has to be interpreted cautiously. The remaining surface fluxes, however, are completely uncoupled from the TOA fluxes and comparison with observations reveals important insights about model energy balances. The model fluxes given in Fig. 1 are expressed as a multi-model average and a range indicated by maxima and minima fluxes of the model ensemble. The inter-model global mean fluxes lie within the uncertainty of the observed values, and the global mean downward longwave surface fluxes taken from climate models generally lie at the low end of the uncertainty range of the estimated fluxes as noted in other studies. It is also notable that the model latent heat fluxes are closer to the new revised flux. Although model and observations broadly agree in the global mean, important regional biases exist in the modelled energy budgets that are not conveyed in global mean statistics.

Note, concluding that climate models are incorrect because of this new analysis of the global heat budget is NOT justified.  The Kiehl-Trenberth diagram is not used in climate models in any way, and mainly has been used as a conceptual aid.  The CMIP5 models actually agree better with the Stephens et al. analysis than with earlier analyses.  That said, the Stephens et al. analysis highlights the uncertainties in our ability to observe and simulate the global mean surface energy balance.

The really interesting issue is the variability:  regional and temporal.  I hope that this data set will be used in future studies that addresses these issues.

Moderation note:  This is a technical thread, keep your comments relevant and on topic.

610 responses to “Uncertainty in observations of the Earth’s energy balance

  1. Probably quite on topic. Graeme Stephens lecture at AGU meeting 2011. I found it very interesting

    http://vimeo.com/33321693

    • David Springer

      “This additional precipitation is sustained by more energy leaving the surface by evaporation — that is, in the form of latent heat flux — and thereby offsets much of the increase in longwave flux to the surface.”

      I figured that out a year ago. Mosher and Eschenbach went apoplectic at the thought of it and said it couldn’t be true and that I didn’t understand the physics. Someone doesn’t understand the physics but it ain’t me who doesn’t understand.

      I’ve tried to explain it a million different ways it seems. Nothing makes sense until this simple concept is understood and accepted. DWLIR drives up the evaporation rate of water. This simply lowers the lapse rate from ground to cloud deck and raises the lapse rate from cloud deck to top of atmosphere. The height of the cloud deck rises about 100 meters for every CO2 doubling.

      Combine this with the fact that clouds in toto have a negative feedback and all observations fall into place. There’s no missing heat. There’s no mystery behind “the pause”. There is simply a maximum sensitivity to CO2 that is limited to about 1.1C per doubling at the earth’s surface and even that only reaches the limit over a dry or frozen surface where the hydrologic cycle can’t transport the extra energy through latent means to the cloud deck.

      • If it is that simple, why don’t you wrap it up in a mathematical formulation and present that?

        Answer: You won’t because you know it will be ripped to shreds. Rhetoric is so special, just like the Church Lady of Intelligent Design.

      • It is hard to explain the simple given all the FUD in the climate science system?

      • David Springer

        Why? I’m already on record with it. The internet doesn’t forget and climate behavior itself will prove me right or wrong eventually. I don’t think I’m the first with the hypothesis in any case.

      • Delusional. No one remembers somebody’s rhetorical assertion. If you actually had some math to go with the word salad you would have something substantial.

      • Steven Mosher

        I see your anti pyschotics havent kicked in. When you actually have any equation any result anything that can actually be checked (besides your sanity) let us know.

      • David Springer

        I’m satisfied waiting to see if I’m right. Another 10 years, hopefully I live that long, ought to suffice. Not that long if I’m wrong. If it’s closer to a zero sum game with CO2 than anyone thinks then the negative side of the AMO will be evident starting now. The previous thirty years is just about defined by the super El Nino in 1998. One super La Nina or just a change in bias for a few decades in favor of La Nina and that’ll wipe out warming since 1979, which is to say almost all warming since the beginning of the industrial revolution (as if we know precisely, like I said I only trust the satellite record when it comes to global average temperature).

      • Steven,

        G. L. Stephens et al. acknowledge one (1) of many problems with modern climatology predictions in Nature Geoscience 5, 691–696 (2012):

        “Climate change is governed by changes to the global energy balance. At the top of the atmosphere, this balance is monitored globally by satellite sensors that provide measurements of energy flowing to and from Earth. By contrast, observations at the surface are limited mostly to land areas.

        There is another (2) more serious problem before long energy reaches the “the top of the atmosphere”: The Sun is a variable star !

        Please take the time to look at the data and report here:

        http://www.bitsofscience.org/solar-activity-sunspots-forecasts-6402/

        Then tell us why we should assume that Earth’s climate is immune to natural and poorly understood variations in the Sun itself.

        Thank you for your patience,
        - Oliver K. Manuel
        Former NASA Principal
        Investigator for Apollo.

      • Steven Mosher

        David, you cannot possibly be right because you’ve never said anything that comes remotely close to a testable proposition. Ever.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        David Springer,

        The notion that increases in CO2 could possibly be a “zero sum game” is neither logical nor does it follow from basic physics or the data. The longer term natural response to increased CO2 (increased rock weathering from a more active hydrological cycle) indicates quite plainly that the Earth system does not respond to increased CO2 as though it were a “zero sum game”. The key issue for the natural feedback repsonse is that it takes thousands of years to reduce CO2 via the rock weathering process and as such, the sudden influx of CO2 overwhelms the natural sequestration process. No matter how you slice it though, increasing CO2 is hardly a “zero sum game”.

      • I enjoy your give and take with the boys, but what do you think overall about the Stephens paper?

      • My question was meant for Steven

      • David Springer

        R.Gates

        Ultimately it must be a zero sum game. Conservation of energy (1st law of thermodynamics) stipulates that the earth radiate the same amount of energy it receives from the sun (discounting very small other sources like gravitational friction, radioactive decay, residual heat of formation, and so forth). CO2 does not create energy nor does it destroy energy. It is therefore essentially a zero sum game.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        David Springer,

        Increasing CO2 is not a “zero sum game” as it raises the equilibrium temperature of the planet. Climate change is what happens on the way to that new temperture and given that CO2, methane, and N2O continue to rise and it could take quite some time to reach a new equilibrium temperature once they stop rising, we’ve got quite a long way to go upward.

        Your zero sum game concept is pure nonsense and everyone who reads it needs to know.

      • David Springer

        You’re still confused Gates and it’s still a zero sum game. Recall that the signature of greenhouse warming is a warmer troposphere AND a cooler stratosphere. All CO2 does is raise the temperature of one surface and lower it somewhere else in compensation. That’s a classic zero sum game.

        Now MY contention, and what Graeme Stephens states in the abstract of this paper, is that surface temperature raised by CO2 isn’t usually the surface of the dirt or the ocean but the surface of the clouds. This perfectly reasonable and in fact is unavoidable if DWLIR increases evaporation when the illuminated surface is a liquid water surface.

        I understand that’s going to suck something awful if it turns out that an arrogant non-scientist asshat like me gets it right. In fact I play the asshat just to increase how much it sucks for you when you finally figure out I was right. .

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Steven Mosher, is his claim wrong, though? Did he in fact make that claim back then and you ridiculed the idea itself ?
        That seems to me what Springer’s assertion is.

      • David Springer

        Big talk from an anonymous coward. If do a google scholar on my name it comes up with hundreds of citations to the work. Obviously webhubcolonoscope doesn’t. I’d bet your real name, whatever that is, doesn’t come up either. Yet you lecture me on how to improve my name recognition. Incredible.

      • David Springer

        Same applies to you Mosher except, since you aren’t anonymous, I already know you’re a zero.

      • Oh yeah, we all know you are a huge name in Intelligent Design circles.
        That is indeed an impressive achievement.

      • Webster, “Oh yeah, we all know you are a huge name in Intelligent Design circles.”

        Great contribution Webster, you are an Ad Hom among Ad Homs

      • WEB,

        You have been hitting the Intelligent Design note for awhile. Ain’t it time to switch it up a bit and go with the cancer thematic? (Or maybe Big Oil.)

      • David S.

        You wrote the following:

        Recall that the signature of greenhouse warming is a warmer troposphere AND a cooler stratosphere. All CO2 does is raise the temperature of one surface and lower it somewhere else in compensation. That’s a classic zero sum game.

        OK. But aren’t you admitting that extra CO2 causes a warming of the troposphere, which is the very thing that everyone is concerned about?

        BTW. For the record, I am a skeptic of the alarmist wing of climate science, but not dismissive of the potential problems that this warming could cause.

      • son of mulder

        David, Your hypothesis doesn’t sound unreasonable to me but has there been a measurable, steady increase in the cloud deck since CO2 started to rise?

      • David Springer

        I have no bloody idea. It’s an untested prediction of my hypothesis that DWLIR from GHGs have little effect where there is liquid water on the illuminated surface available for evaporation. The latent energy in the inherent in the increased evaporation and precipitation will raise the air temperature when condensation occurs. A basic tenet of atmospheric physics is that the atmosphere is heated by rain. So if we have extra energy in the system which is released at the cloud deck the air at that altitude will be warmer than otherwise. This will in turn reduce the adiabatic lapse rate and rising water will then have to rise higher than before in order to cool adiabatically to the dewpoint and form a cloud. Hence the cloud deck rises. At least that’s the way I see and I’m fairly confident it will be borne out by further observation exactly like what Stephens published in GeoScience.

      • “Hence the cloud deck rises”

        Higher clouds are one of the mechanisms for positive cloud feedback.

      • son of mulder

        Lolwot, does your assertion that “Higher clouds are one of the mechanisms for positive cloud feedback” take account that, under David’s hypothesis, the latent heat released, when precipitation forms, would all be greater and higher and hence a smaller percentage component would return to the surface in downwelling radiation?

        With all the money going into climate science someone must have tracked global cloud deck height, surely?

      • son of mulder

        lolwot, Thanks, I’d seen the link before but it is not in the context of Dave’s hypothesis. It does not specifically consider that the characteristics of lower clouds, when raised higher by additional CO2 may retain the characteristics of the original lower clouds as regards the trapping and reflecting of heat.

      • Hang in there, David! Although none of us recognized it at the time, the Climategate emails of late Nov 2009 revealed a cancerous growth on government science that had flourished out-of-sight on government research funds for sixty-four years (2009-1945 = 64 yrs). Here’s the rest of the story:

        http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-1736

        I deeply regret that I could not decipher this puzzle earlier.

        With deep regrets,
        Oliver K. Manuel
        Former NASA Principal
        Investigator for Apollo

  2. Correct me if am wrong. All of theses Downwelling Long wave Radiations come from the models and they are not observed or measured at surface.

    • they are measured a local locations on the surface of the earth, and these local measurements are used to verify the radiation transfer models, see my previous post:
      http://judithcurry.com/2010/12/05/confidence-in-radiative-transfer-models/

      • Dr. Curry,
        I read in detail the principle of operation of the AERI instrument used to measure the upwelling and downwelling infrared radiations for the ARM program. The instrument is not a lot better than the one designed by Dr. Roy Spencer see the link below:

        http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/10/hey-school-teachers-those-greenhouse-effect-experiments-are-junk/#comments

        These instruments cannot measure infrared radiations from a colder body such as the atmosphere because their housing has to be cooled close to zero degrees Kelvin. Otherwise they will read the infrared radiations emitted from the instrument itself.
        In order to prove that the atmosphere backradiates infrared radiations to the surface, the infrared thermometer has to have a design similar to the infrared telescopes, which are cooled close to zero degrees Kelvin using liquid helium. These telescopes show no signs of infrared backradiations from the atmosphere.
        I am afraid that we have built a large body of climate science based on incorrect experiments.

      • I communicated with the designer, fabricator, and user of an AERI instrument used in the ARM Program. Here are the main points:

        1) The instrument measures equal radiations day and night for wave lengths longer than 5 microns.
        2) At night some of the measured radiations come from the instrument itself.
        The calculate radiations from the instrument to the IR detector is around 200 W/m2. Therefore, at night, the measured backradiations are from the instrument itself and not from the atmosphere. Infrared astronomy, which is very accurate in measuring the downwelling infrared radiations, shows no IR backradiations from the atmosphere at night.
        Obviously we made a mistake in interpreting the data measured by the AERI instrument. Anyone is more than welcome to conduct her/his own investigation, and I would be pleased to provide contact information to save time.
        The concept of backradiations inherently adds energy to the atmosphere from nowhere, which is impossible. It is approximately equal to heating the atmosphere by 70 degrees centigrade above that of the surface. This is a huge energy term, in the order of 3.7E23 Joules, incorrectly added to the energy equation of the earth.
        We must discontinue using the concept of backradiations and move on to another that makes physical, scientific, and mathematical sense.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      You are wrong. There have been hundreds of thousands of measurements of downwelling long wave made over the years.

      • Are we sure they were not measuring radiations from the surroundings or the equipment itself? Infrared telescopes are cooled close to zero kelvin to prevent these radiations? Did you do the same? And how come infrared telescopes do not detect backradiations from the atmosphere?

      • Steven Mosher

        Jesus nabil. we have been measuring downwelling IR for decades.
        In defense we do it so that up looking sensors can be tuned to differentiate between target and non target.

        You are wrong. That’s ok, there are many other reasons to be skeptical pick a good one, not the lame one you’ve mistakenly latched onto

      • Steve Mosher,
        I really want to believe you but I cannot. 333 W/m2 of back radiation can roast a chicken in the open at midnight . Have you ever roasted a chicken this way?

      • Nabil,

        It’s called backradiation because it more or less compensates for the radiation from the body itself. Your cold chicken emits all the time about 400 W/m^2. Without the backradiation it would freeze rapidly in open air in spite of the warming that it gets from below.

      • David L. Hagen

        Nabil
        A gas absorbs and then radiates equally in all directions etc.
        Differentiate between gross and net radiation. I think you have been looking just at “net” rather than both “gross” and “net” radiation.
        Roy Spencer shows how you can test/verify this with a simple hand held thermometer without requiring the ultra high quality cooling you mentioned.

      • David L. Hagen,

        Thank you for the link. Here is another:

        http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/10/hey-school-teachers-those-greenhouse-effect-experiments-are-junk/#comments

        Take a look at this latest greenhouse gas experiment by Dr. Roy Spencer. I read every comment, and, of course, participated in the discourse as you will find. These experiments are crude and not refined enough to proof the existence of backradiations. I understand that there are some exchange of radiation between the surface and clouds and some particles entrained in the atmosphere. But there is no mechanism to drive any radiations exchange between the clear and clean atmosphere and the surface, because the atmosphere and the surface are in an intimate contact. Only conduction and convection are expected between two masses that are in an intimate contact.

      • Steven Mosher

        Nabil.

        you also need to look at the specific wavelength that terrestrial IR telescopes work at. Very very narrow. of course we used to fly them at very high altitudes ( in planes ) so that they were above the contaminating influence of back radaiation from water vapor.

        Ask an IR astronomer. GIYF. then come back abd thank all of us who corrected you and find a better skeptical argument.

      • Steven Mosher,
        I have read quite a bit about infrared astronomy and did ask an IR astronomer already.

      • Nabil,

        A volume of gas is not a body. Each molecule in gas is almost totally independent. It’s also important that they collide often, but by far most of the time they are not in contact with any other matter. Thus even with your logic there’s nothing to prevent them from emitting radiation to surface or to other points in the gas. They are not in any closer contact with surface than are the clouds.

        It may be fair to say that two molecules that are really in contact like neighboring molecules in solid or liquid cannot transfer energy by radiation. At least one would need a very different description for radiation to describe that. As soon as there is a clear gap radiative energy transfer is certainly possible.

      • Dear Pekka:
        I respectfully have to disagree with you. I am a chemical engineer and I make a living out of dealing with gas and vapor mixtures. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is part of a homogenous air mixture and acts as such. When carbon dioxide absorbs radiations, it is the atmosphere as a homogenous mixture that absorbs the radiations. They do not behave as a heterogeneous and independent entities.

      • Nabil,

        I have noticed that your views are not at all the same as those of our extreme skeptics (you seem to agree that CO2 warms in some way), but on this point you are amazingly stubborn. Several people have given here as many valid and sufficient arguments using both empirical observation and more theoretical considerations to show that you err – with no effect.

      • Pekka,
        Carbon dioxide is the cause of the present global warming and past climate change. This is a fact based on the earth’s past record, present observations, and mathematics. What I am contesting is the suggested way with which carbon dioxide warms the surface by backradiations. There must be another way that make physical, scientific, and mathematical sense. And, I do not find the existence of the greenhouse gas effect or not as an important matter. What counts at the end of the day is the climate model itself, and the models based on the backraditions concept have not done us any good.

      • Nabil,

        Why would we need another way. Thousands of well educated physicists and atmospheric scientists understand well and accept fully the standard explanation. All it’s basics is thoroughly tested also empirically. What else is needed?

        By the above I don’t mean that there were not much that’s not known as well like details of cloud formation etc. These difficulties have their obvious reasons which have nothing to do with the nature of backradiation.

      • Steven Mosher

        Ok Nabil.

        What part of the IR spectrum do most ground based IR telescopes work in?

        What are the major IR windows? what does it mean to have an IR window? why would you locate these telescopes on mountains and in antarctica?

        What parts of the Ir spectrum are opaque? why?

        Have you ever used HiTran? do you know what it is?

        why is the figure 4 microns important

        In short. For IR astromony you have to select those parts of the spectrum ( sub 4 micron ) where sky transparency is high and where sky brightness is low. These are the transmission windows.
        Earth radiates to the atmosphere outside this window and
        GHGs, like water and C02, operate outside this spectrum.

        ######## sort reading list
        http://www.arm.gov/measurements/irradlwbbdn
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared_astronomy
        http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/cosmic_classroom/ask_astronomer/faq/radiation.shtml
        http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/cosmic_classroom/ir_tutorial/irwindows.html

        “The Earth’s atmosphere causes another problem for infrared astronomers. The atmosphere itself radiates strongly in the infrared, often putting out more infrared light than the object in space being observed. This atmospheric infrared emission peaks at a wavelength of about 10 microns (micron is short for a micrometer or one millionth of a meter).

        So the best view of the infrared universe, from ground based telescopes, are at infrared wavelengths which can pass through the Earth’s atmosphere and at which the atmosphere is dim in the infrared. Ground based infrared observatories are usually placed near the summit of high, dry mountains to get above as much of the atmosphere as possible. Even so, most infrared wavelengths are completely absorbed by the atmosphere and never make it to the ground.

        From the table below, you can see that only a few of the infrared “windows” have both high sky transparency and low sky emission. These infrared windows are mainly at infrared wavelengths below 4 microns.”

      • Pekka,
        “Why would we need another way. Thousands of well educated physicists and atmospheric scientists understand well and accept fully the standard explanation. All it’s basics is thoroughly tested also empirically. What else is needed?”

        Thousands of scientist is not enough for the climate issue. All of the scientist of the world has to accept the science. Please do not confuse the warming issue with the science. Virtually all of us agree that there is global warming. Most of us agree that the warming is caused by humans. But only a minority, or your thousands, accept the climate science. You see, what made this world a better place is the democracy of the science. It is across the borders and everyone had an equal weight and say on the scientific matters. Not with the climate science, however. Only a minority, or your thousands, accept the present climate science. This is unacceptable and not enough and we can do better than that. We are 7 billion people on this earth and we can solve any scientific issue including the climate science by allowing the democracy of the science to take its course.

      • Pekka Pirilä

        That’s just my point. The science is really well established on these basics. I referred first to physicists for two reasons: Being one of those I’m most confident on that. The other reason is that for phycisists, in particular, the basic science is much more familiar than the specifics of atmospheric science.

      • David L. Hagen

        Nabil
        While you are using macro thermodynamics etc as a chemical engineer, you appear to have missed the elementary particle physics/physical chemistry and experiments on gases, radiation, convection, conduction and latent heat and related statistical mechanics.
        Re: “When carbon dioxide absorbs radiations, it is the atmosphere as a homogenous mixture that absorbs the radiations.”
        Confused. Each type of atom absorbs and radiates uniquely as was experimentally measured and can be calculated using Line By Line (LBL) models and as documented in the HITRAN data base. See:
        The effects of different HITRAN versions on calculated long-wave radiation and uncertainty evaluation Lu, Peng; Zhang, Hua; Jing, Xianwen, Acta Meteorologica Sinica, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp.389-398
        Both O2 and N2 are involved as well as CO2 and other conventional greenhouse gases.
        Then combine that with conductive, convective and latent heat transfer.

        “Back radiations, in the radiation energy equation between two surfaces, do not exist in practice”
        You are confusing radiation with electricity. Photons act differently from electrons. With photons you have to measure or calculate the gross fluxes and then sum to the net fluxes. The net flux is similar to some of your statements, but NOT the gross fluxes.
        Study the derivations of the Planck blackbody radiation curve.
        Study the Line by Line thermal radiation models.

        We have directed you to experiments, evidence and physics. You now have the burden to prove your assertions to the contrary. Ultra accurate thermal radiation instruments are available. Study the state of the art at the National Labs. e.g., NIST <Physics Radiation Thermometry.

        If you won’t dig into the foundational graduate level physics/physical chemistry, we can’t help you further.

      • David Springer

        Nabil get your head out of your ass.

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

      • This is an interesting alternative “visualization” of atmospheric effect from an excellent site. Perhaps you may find this useful Nabil Swenden.

        http://scienceofdoom.com/2012/07/23/how-the-greenhouse-effect-works-a-guest-post-and-discussion/

      • Pekka, Davids, and dalyplanet.

        Unlike politics, where the majority wins, science must have 100% agreement. Physicists alone are not enough. All what it takes is just one person and one observation to make a theory collapse. Have you ever roasted a chicken in the open at midnight? If there were 340 w/m2 of backradiations, I would roast a chicken, boil a pot of soup, and make me a nice cup of coffee. But we no that this is impossible. Further, with 340 w/m2, the solar energy production would be available 24/7. We do not have that and they store solar energy during the day to provide electricity at night. Take a look at this link:

        http://36-214.bluehost.com/globalwarming_plugins/forum/forum_viewtopic.php?2626

        Using the solar ovens at night, you get iced water instead of coffee and frozen chicken instead of roasted one. Where are the backradiations?

        I suggest that you repeat your backradiations measurements using a cooled infrared thermometer close to zero degrees Kelvin to eliminate the radiations from the housing of the thermometer and surroundings. Select a clear nigh after a nice rainy day to wash out the dust from the atmosphere. Point the thermometer to a dark spot at night away from the stars. Record your data and let us talk again. I am positive that we will have a discussion where backradiations are not mentioned.

      • David L. Hagen

        ReNabil
        Re: “If there were 340 w/m2 of backradiations, I would roast a chicken,”
        That is patently false since there is about similar radiation outwards resulting in very little NET radiation.
        It is the NET radiation that can roast or freeze the chicken, not the In and Out if they are similar.
        Look at the phenomena of freezing water by radiation in the desert when ambient temperature is greater than freezing. Conversely an atmosphere with high humidity but no clouds at the same temperature would have alot more downwelling radiation and the ground would not get nearly as cold.

        Re: “Unlike politics, where the majority wins, science must have 100% agreement.”
        What do you mean? Distinguish the scientific method, the number of scientists, and alarmists.
        Galileo was one against 1000 Aristotelians. Yet his model prevailed.
        Albert Einstein’s relativity was initially strongly objected to, but it proved more accurate than Newtonian physics.
        See Albert Einstein

        “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment may at any point prove me wrong’.

        “Egal wie viele Experimente ich auch durchführe, nie wird eines davon einen endgültigen Beweis für meine Theorie liefern können; ein einziges Experiment allerdings könnte diese jederzeit widerlegen.”

        literal english translation:
        “No matter how many experiments i conduct, never will one of them offer a definite proof for my theory; whereas a single experiment could disproof it anytime.”

      • David L. Hagen,
        I can funnel the incoming backradiations into a solar oven chamber and prevent the radiations from leaving, just like we do with solar ovens in daytime. If there were 340 w/m2 of backradiations, I should be able to roast a chicken at midnight. But there is not.

      • Put on some IR googles at night and you’ll see people glowing very warm. Now try funneling that energy using a solar oven to cook a chicken.

        You can’t? Does that mean the googles are lying?

        Sunlight is highly directional. You can’t focus IR emitted from the atmosphere (or from people) because it’s diffuse. The whole environment is emitting it, including whatever oven you build.

      • “I can funnel the incoming backradiations into a solar oven chamber and prevent the radiations from leaving”

        I’m afraid not. You can do that with a solar oven because the heat source, the sun, is very much hotter than you need to cook your chicken.

        But the temperature of the heat source for your chicken is much lower, its just ambient temperature. And that’s not high enough to cook your chicken.

      • ” And how come infrared telescopes do not detect backradiations from the atmosphere?”

        They do.

      • Lolwot, Tempterrain,
        Energy is energy. 340 W/m2 can cook a chicken. The microwave oven is about five times this energy. So it should be doable had backradiations existed.

        Are you suggesting that infrared telescopes measure 340 W/m2 of infrared backradiaitons from the atmosphere? Please reference a paper?
        I can tell you for sure that if the the infrared telescope really measure 340 w/m2 of backradiations from the atmosphere, then infrared astronomy would not have existed. This astronomy is based on detecting minute amounts of infrared radiaitons from the universe. These minute radiations would be undetectable in the presence of 340 W/m2 of backradiaitions. Either infrared astronomy is false or, with all due respect, backradiations are false. They simply cannot coexist.

      • Yes that amount of power can heat a chicken, but only if the chicken wasn’t radiating the same amount of energy !! So the net power transfer is zero.
        It the first law of thermodynamics that says the chicken can’t get heated this way..

      • “Put on some IR gogles at night and you’ll see people glowing very warm. Now try funneling that energy using a solar oven to cook a chicken.”

        Dear Lolwot,
        No, It is not possible to roast the chicken by funneling the radiation coming to the IR goggle from people because the energy is too small. People and IR goggle are at about the same ambient temperature and we have to level the field. If you increase the temperature of people by about 70 degrees centigrades, the energy exchanged between people and IR goggle would be about 340 W/m2. You can roast a chicken at 70 degrees centigrades easily.

        I am not contesting the fact that the observed surface warming due to climate change is not coming from the atmosphere-It is indeed. But there has to be a mechanism other than backradiations. The concept does not make thermodynamic sense. External energy is required to transfer backradiations from the cold atmosphere to the warmer surface. The sun has paid its utility bill once and cannot pay again for the backradiations. So where is this additional external energy, other than the sun, that causes heat transfer from the atmosphere to the surface? The only answer left is the work of gravity. Please thing of it.

        We have seasonal atmospheric waves every year, or potential energy variations. I believe that we have the same for climate change. The upper atmosphere is presently cooling. With its cooling, there is a reduction in the volume of the atmosphere and compression. This compression is the external potential energy that transfers heat from the atmosphere to the surface.

      • David Springer

        Nabil,

        You cannot concentrate electromagnetic radiation to heat anything hotter than the source of the radiation. A limitation of solar collectors (either lenses or mirrors) is they cannot heat anything hotter than the surface of the sun. Once something attains that temperature the net radiation goes in the opposite direction and you’d be heating the sun instead of the sun heating the object. Word.

      • David Springer

        P.S. You can’t concentrate diffuse light. You need a point source. The sun is a point source. The atmosphere isn’t.

        So there’s two physical impossibilities in roasting a chicken with downwelling longwave.

        1) The source of the radiation has a temperature of barely room temperature so even if was a focusable point source you couldn’t heat anything hotter than the source.

        2) Diffuse light cannot be concentrated. That requires parallel rays.

        All matter with a temperature above absolute zero radiates. The atmosphere is above absolute zero and is no exception.

        I think you’re a troll at this point.

      • Dear Pekka,
        The concept of backradiations simply creates energy from nowhere, which is impossible. External energy other than the sun is required to drive backradiations from the colder atmosphere to the warmer surface. The climate energy equation has to be corrected one way or another. Otherwise, very expensive regulations will be incorrectly enacted based on a wrong energy equation.
        I see no reason why the equation cannot be fixed, as long as the “democracy” of the science is allowed to take its course. Thank you.

    • Nabil you are not wrong.
      Back-radiation and the big amount of calculated absorption comes from software using two-stream heat flow formulations.
      If you compare in a single slab model two-stream heat radiation with one-stram heat radiation, it turns out that the slab absorbs in the two-stream formulation twice the amount as compared to the one-stream formulation.
      One-stream heat flow formulation has been used in the following link:

      http://www.tech-know-group.com/papers/IR-absorption_updated.pdf

      The outgoing LW surface flux is 58 Watt/m^2 of which 16 into the atmosphere and 52 through the window.
      The link shows also 100Watt/m^2 from evaporation and thermals in total out of the surface 168 Watt/m^2.

      • That particular factor of two is an error in your model. You just drop the other half erroneously. The factor of two is restored, when you correct the error in your own thinking. You can do that keeping to your choice of looking at net energy transfers only rather than gross transfers.

        All correct results can be derived also by the “one-stream” model but that gets unnecessarily cumbersome (and increases perhaps also the potential for making errors like missing that factor of two that you have made).

        Scientists prefer the two-stream approach, because it’s much more practical and also physically more complete when the situation is considered without fixation to the 19th century (and older) formulation of classical thermodynamics. Classical thermodynamics remains valid but its language is really confusing on these issues as it contradicts natural everyday thinking and as it’s based on the outdated idea that the inner workings of heat transfer can never be observed. For radiative heat transfer the photon fluxes in each direction can be measured and are real. There’s no reason to forbid considering them separately.

      • I am afraid not to agree with you.
        In a one slab model the ground plate receives q, it is sending q to the slab and the slab is sending it to outerspace.

        What you and IPCC wants to sell is:
        the groundplate gets q from the sun, the backradiation is giving another q , that makes 2q according to you, which is send to the slab which absorbs it and next sending one q of the 2q back and the other one of the 2q to outer space.

        When you are reading the paper, it is said that the two formulations give the same temperature distribution, but the two-stream for heat formulation gives spurious absorption, for a one slab model 2q instead of q, and for a stack of N slabs the slab the slabs absorb (N-i+1)q in the two-stream formulation and in the one-stream formulation all plates in the stack absorb one single q.
        Conclusion: avoid the two-stream heat flow formulation!
        One you apply the one-stream heat flow formulation to the standard global and annual mean atmosphere you get as LW upward surface flux 68 Watt/m^2 of which 52 through the window and a mere 16 Watt/m^2 into the atmosphere.
        The model gives also the possibility to define the flux due to thermals and to evaporation: 100 Watt/m^2. In total 168 Watt/m^2.
        And the model also indicates the SW absorption in the atmosphere 72 Watt/m^2. In total the Outgoing Long wave Radiation: 240 Watt/m^2

      • As long as you get the same results as other correct calculations I wouldn’t say that your physics is wrong. Neither should you say that the others are wrong.

        The main stream description is internally fully consistent and it has been found to use concepts in a way that’s suitable for further refinement that’s needed in real life scientfic work. If you don’t want use the same concepts that’s your choice, but you cannot condemn others when they the one they have found to be good and of practical value. You cannot expect that the whole community would care about your preferences.

      • Dear Pekka,
        The concept of backradiations simply creates energy from nowhere, which is impossible. External energy other than the sun is required to drive backradiations from the colder atmosphere to the warmer surface. The climate energy equation has to be corrected one way or another. Otherwise, very expensive regulations will be incorrectly enacted based on a wrong energy equation.
        I see no reason why the equation cannot be fixed, as long as the “democracy” of the science is allowed to take its course. Thank you.

      • Nabil, “The concept of backradiations simply creates energy from nowhere, which is impossible.”

        No, the concept of back radiation is just confusing. Since energy is flowing from the surface to space, the “back radiation” is basically nothing more than the voltage drop across the atmospheric resistor and that is perfectly fine.

        The confusion is what part of the voltage is due to energy flowing from the surface and what part is due to energy flowing into the surface absorbed by the atmosphere from other sources. The new “Cartoon” shows that there is much more energy in the atmosphere due to other than the resistance of the atmosphere to OLR “current” flow.

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/11/back-radiation-more-of-same-non-sense.html

        Who was it that said any circuit could be simplified to a battery and resistor equivalent?

      • Captdallas,
        What added to the confusion is the mixed opinion of our forefathers of thermodynamics relative to the mathematical backradiation term in the radiation heat transfer equation between two surfaces. They did not have the tools that we have today and we can measure backraditions if they exist. So far, the measured backradiations were done by crude methods that do not qualify to make a conclusion. The experiments must be repeated using infrared telescopes. Based on my research, infrared telescopes are the only equipment that qualify to do the experiment because they are cooled close to zero degrees Kelvin and radiations from the surroundings and equipment housings are minimized. The infrared telescopes do not detect 340 w/m2 of backradiations from the atmosphere, which is in agreement with the laws of thermodynamics. Therefore, backradiations do not exist in theory and in practice.

      • Nabil, Actually Angstrom made temperature compensate DWLR measurements a hundred years ago and found that we get “nearly” as much energy from the atmosphere as we do the Sun. The question has always been how much of that energy in the atmosphere is due to CO2.

        Since the accuracy of direct measurement is still pretty iffy, Angstrom’s results were mighty impressive to me.

      • Nabil,

        Just check the facts before you continue to make baseless claims about IR telescopes. This is just the first hit I had in Google

        http://www.ipac.caltech.edu/outreach/Edu/ground.html

        Here you can read how important it’s to select right wavelengths, operate high up in areas of minimal moisture and to also make corrections for the radiation from atmosphere.

        The IR astronomers have exactly the same understanding of atmospheric IR as have other scientists.

      • Pekka, Captdallas2,
        I still have not seen 340 W/m2 of backradiations measured at night. Can you reference a published paper in a scientific journal?

      • Nabil, “I still have not seen 340 W/m2 of backradiations measured at night.”

        Not to an accuracy of better than +/- 20 Wm-2, Heck, the average surface temperature accuracy is only +/- 1 degree and that is optimistic.

        It is much easier to calculate what it should be, the average Tmin effective radiant energy minus 20Wm-2 +/- about 10 Wm-2.

      • The second Stephens et al paper (J. Climate paper) contains a table that lists 18 separate estimates for all sky DLWR. The estimates fall in the range 324 – 350 W/m^2. Two surface-based databases are included in the data. These are described:


        Two surface-based databases established at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology are also incorporated into the observational estimate given in Table 1. The data come from the Global Energy Balance Archive (GEBA; Ohmura et al. 1989) and Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN; Ohmura et al. 1998) surface observations. The GEBA database provides worldwide measured energy fluxes at the earth’s surface and contains monthly mean values of the various surface energy balance components. The BSRN database includes DLR measurements at high temporal resolution (minute values) with the highest possible accuracy at selected sites in different climate regions. Although the best-documented
        component in GEBA is the shortwave downward radiation (Gilgen et al. 1998), this database also contains a limited number of sites that provide DLR measurements as reported by Wild et al. (1995, 2001). Wild et al. (1998, 2001) combine data from a total of 45 GEBA–BSRN observation sites with information onmodel and reanalysis biases to derive a value of 345 W/m^2. The individual measurement uncertainty of the BSRN fluxes is approximately 5 W/m^2, although the uncertainty assigned to the global flux composite is much larger than this individual measurement error due to additional unknown representiveness errors.

        These databases are most directly based on measurements as far as I can judge. While you may argue on the accuracy of the data they confirm directly the approximate value as roughly 340 W/m^2.

      • ” Pekka, Captdallas2,
        I still have not seen 340 W/m2 of backradiations measured at night. Can you reference a published paper in a scientific journal?”

        Pekka,
        Above, I am quoting myself and sorry for the inconvenience. What I meant is that I still have not seen 340 W/m2 of backradiations measured at night using Infrared telescopes. Can you reference a published paper related to infrared astronomy showing 340 w/m2 of backradiations at night. Infrared microscopes are accurate because their housing is cooled close to zero Kelvin. Many question the backradiations measured at night using the crude infrared thermometers such as the ones that you have cited.

      • Back radiation has not been measured.
        A frequency signal is measured, by means of a Wien displacement it is converted into a temperature signal Theaven and next by means of Stefan Boltzmann converted to a signal sigma*Theaven^4 which has dimension Watt/m^2. But it is not heat flow!
        If such a radiation signal hits a surface with a temperature Tearth>Theaven
        the signal informs the earth to send q=sigma*(Tearth^4 -Theaven^4).
        But the quantity sigma*Theaven^4 never has been in the heaven!
        See the article of Douglas Cotton:
        http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/doug-cotton-radiated-energy-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/

      • Nabil,

        You may find from the quote that measurements have been made with high temporal resolution (minute values). That must cover nighttime as well. I cannot tell more. It’s clear that night-time average DWLR is a little lower than day-time average, but not by very much.

        You started by arguing that 340 is totally impossible. Now you seem to be considering small deviations from that. That’s progress.

      • JWR,

        Have you initiated an orchestrated attack to distribute false physics there at PSI or why do we see all these cross-refrences of your small circle..

      • I showed you with the example of a one slab model, that two-stream heat flow formulation shows indeed the correct temperature disrtribution but a spurious absorption and therefor it should be avoided.
        I gave you results from a one-stream heat flow, giving coherent results.
        Zero back-radiation and an atmospheric absorption which is an order of magnitude smaller then IPCC papers based on the two-stream heat flow formulation:
        http://www.tech-know-group.com/papers/IR-absorption_updated.pdf

        In that paper, the only one where radiation and “other mechanisms than radiation” is dealt with, the LW surface flux is 68 Watt/m^2 of which 52 trough the window and 16 Watt/m^2 into the atmosphere.
        The paper shows that the contribution from evaporation and thermals has to be 100 Watt/m^2. And the contribution from SW absorption by aerosols, ice crystals etc 72 Watt/m^2. All together 240 Watt/m^2.
        The paper also indicates that for a doubling of CO2 the surface temperature increases 0.084 K.
        Then is showing up the argument, but back-radiation has been measured.
        That is not true. I give to Nadim a link where everything is written down in a scientific way, and then your world is falling apart!
        Do you want to discuss openly? Then discuss the paper of Douglas Cotton.

        http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/doug-cotton-radiated-energy-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics/

      • I have argued enough with Doug Cotton as I have with others who cross refer each other at PSI.

        None of you has shown anything worth more attention. It’s positive that you get the right results from your calculations, which has not been true for any of the others from PSI, but why don’t you accept that the mainstream does it also totally correctly. As the results match as far as you tell, the difference can be only in the interpretation of some internal variables.

      • Pekka,
        If you say now yourself that indeed back-radiation is an internal auxillary variable to which no physical meaning should be given, then we agree.

        Jef Reynen

      • Pekka,
        I communicated with the designer, fabricator, and user of an AERI instrument used in the ARM Program. Here are the main points:

        1) The instrument measures equal radiations day and night for wave lengths longer than 5 microns.
        2) At night some of the measured radiations come from the instrument itself.
        When you calculate how much are the radiations from the instrument to the IR detector, you will find that it is around 200 W/m2. Therefore, at night, the measured backradiations are from the instrument itself and not from the atmosphere. Infrared astronomy, which is very accurate in measuring the downwelling infrared radiations, shows no IR backradiations from the atmosphere at night.
        Obviously we made a mistake in interpreting the data measured by the AERI instrument. You are more than welcome to conduct your own investigation, and I would be pleased to give you contact information to save you time.
        The concept of backradiations inherently adds energy to the atmosphere from nowhere, which is impossible. It is approximately equal to heating the atmosphere by 70 degrees centigrade above that of the surface. This is a huge energy term, in the order of 3.7E23 Joules, incorrectly added to the energy equation of the earth.
        We must discontinue using the concept of backradiations and move on to another that makes physical, scientific, and mathematical sense.

      • David Springer

        Back radiation is a red herring. Net radiation is all that matters. KT shows back radiation because the numbers big and makes it look like long wave infrared is a major factor in surface heat budget. It isn’t except where the surface is dry. If there’s water available to evaporate then convection is the big Kahuna.

      • David Springer

        That said, all matter with a temperature above absolute zero radiates. The atmosphere is matter. It radiates. It radiates in all directions. It radiates towards the earth. Back-radiation is real. It’s just inconsequential because the earth is radiating back towards the atmosphere at the same time at (usually) greater power because the surface is warmer than the atmosphere. The net longwave radiation is all that matters but the number for the net is so small that if the climate boffins use it casual observers instantly note that evaporation and convection is the dominant mechanism for surface cooling. Can’t have that when you’re trying to frame the debate about CO2 which slightly modifies the already minor role of radiative cooling at the surface.

      • “That said, all matter with a temperature above absolute zero radiates. The atmosphere is matter. It radiates. It radiates in all directions. It radiates towards the earth.”
        David Springer,
        The above statement is not true for the atmosphere and surface in theory and in practice. Because they are in an intimate contact with each other. Only convection and conduction heat transfer is expected from two masses that are in an intimate contact with each other such as the atmosphere and the surface.

  3. Simple question from curiosity. Is the work the energy does on the planet not make it past significant figures and thus excluded from the graph? Eg, the heat moves air and water, expands solids, is used in bio-chemical transformations etc.

    Or is that where the surface imbalance mostly goes?

  4. David Springer

    “This additional precipitation is sustained by more energy leaving the surface by evaporation — that is, in the form of latent heat flux — and thereby offsets much of the increase in longwave flux to the surface.”

    I figured that out a year ago. Mosher and Eschenbach went apoplectic at the thought of it and said it couldn’t be true and that I didn’t understand the physics. Someone doesn’t understand the physics but it ain’t me who doesn’t understand. :-)

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Citation? If you are going to take my name in vain, at least have the guacalotes to link to the actual discussion …

      w.

      • Steven Mosher

        I think he missed his meds.

      • David Springer

        Certainly. Took me a couple minutes to find it. I’ll send you a bill.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/24/what-the-best-data-actually-says/#comment-777770

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Perhaps I’m dense, but I see nothing about evaporation and latent heat flux in your citation … so I fear I still don’t understand your point. Your citation has no relation to your current claim.

        w.

      • David Springer

        “Perhaps if you hadn’t petulantly dismissed me when I explained the physics to you about why and how the ocean rejects downwelling FIR you wouldn’t be surprised by this finding.”

        Which part of “how the ocean rejects downwelling FIR” do you not understand?

        Here is one of the earlier articles.

        Radiating the Ocean
        Posted on August 15, 2011by Willis Eschenbach

        Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

        Once again, the crazy idea that downwelling longwave radiation (DLR, also called infra-red or IR, or “greenhouse radiation”) can’t heat the ocean has raised its ugly head on one of my threads.

        My name appears 94 times in the comments of that article.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/15/radiating-the-ocean/

        Has your memory always been this bad or is it senile dementia?

      • David Springer

        What, no response from Eschenbach after I linked to a whole damn article he wrote on WUWT in an apoplectic fit over me mentioning in one of “his” (actually one of Tony Watts’) threads that downwelling longwave has little effect on ocean temperature. Amazing. Amazingly senile and juvenile at the same time. That’s old Willis for ya.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        David Springer,

        Increased greenhouse gases reduce the rate of heat flux from ocean to atmosphere, thereby increasing ocean heat content. The notion that DLW would heat the ocean to any depth beyond the skin layer is a red herring that fake-skeptics (aka denialists) like to toss out there to distract and confuse. Net energy flow is always from ocean to atmosphere, with greenhouse gases acting to alter the thermal gradient between the two and thus reduce the rate of energy flow from ocean to atmosphere. Why don’t you take your red herrings and cook them up with some fresh Tisdale psychotropic cherries and have a feast.

      • R. Gates, how do GHGs do that? The surface is free to cool by evaporation and convection. On the other hand, GHGs increase emissivity at TOA. On the face of it, the net effect is cooling.

      • Edim,

        The most important effect of GHG’s is to reduce OLWR at TOA. That’s due to interplay of absorption and emission and has been explained everywhere where the GHE is explained beyond the most extreme simplification.

      • Pekka says:

        “The most important effect of GHG’s is to reduce OLWR at TOA. That’s due to interplay of absorption and emission and has been explained everywhere where the GHE is explained beyond the most extreme simplification.”

        Well, I’m not buying it Pekka. In a new steady state (after an increment in atmospheric CO2/GHGs), the OLWR at TOA must be exactly equal to the incoming solar energy (dU = 0, a steady state). The cooling at the surface is the ‘knob’ and radiative cooling is only 32% of the total surface cooling flux (165 W/m2, evaporation is 88, radiation 53 and convection 24 W/m2). The OLWR at TOA is important too – it consists mostly of atmospheric radiation (~90%) and only ~10% direct surface radiation. The atmosphere can only cool by longwave radiation to space and supposedly only GHGs (and clouds) can do that to any significant amount.

      • Edim,

        You have always the option of avoiding sources of learning and keeping on denying the facts.

      • ya, Willis not only did he miss his meds it looks like his reading comprehension course wore off.

      • Edim said:

        “The surface is free to cool by evaporation and convection. On the other hand, GHGs increase emissivity at TOA. On the face of it, the net effect is cooling.”
        _______

        First, the rate of cooling from GHG’s at the TOA is small compared to the rate of absorption/emission in the lower troposphere simply because the density of the molecules is so small at the TOA. Yes, you get a bit more cooling from the small increase in GHG molecules, but the effect is tiny compared to what is being absorbed and emitted near the surface.

        Speaking of near the surface. What increased GHG’s do is alter thermal gradient between ocean and atmosphere. Wiith the thermal gradient (i.e. the control nob for heat flux from ocean to atmosphere) being less steep, then heat flows less readily from ocean to atmosphere. A consequence of this would be the expectation that ocean heat content would be steadily increasing and large effect woiuld be seen in the polar region (especially the north pole first, followed by the south pole later due to their different dynamics). So the additional heat in the ocean both accumulates there but also is advected to the poles, where we would expect to see significant climate change first–and indeed we are.

      • “First, the rate of cooling from GHG’s at the TOA is small compared to the rate of absorption/emission in the lower troposphere simply because the density of the molecules is so small at the TOA.”

        R. Gates, look here:
        http://science-edu.larc.nasa.gov/EDDOCS/images/Erb/components2.gif

        The total terrestrial cooling flux radiated to space (longwave) is only 9% direct surface radiation, 91% is atmospheric radiation. That’s GHGs.

      • David Springer

        Well Gates, it’s not just me and Stephen Wilde that is arguing that DWLIR doesn’t warm the ocean nearly as much as was assumed and instead makes more rain. Now Graeme Stephens and a long distinguished list of co-authors say the observations confirm that hypothesis. Cry about it. You were wrong and so was a whole raft of others who you wrongly presumed couldn’t possibly all be wrong. Turns out they were. Tough luck, buddy.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        David,

        Except I’ve never said that DWLWR warms the ocean (except the skin layer), and you, unfortunately have missed the entire concept of how GHG’s alter the thermal gradient between ocean and space. The net flow of energy is from ocean to atmosphere. Repeat that please…the net flow of energy is from ocean to atmosphere. Thus…DWLWR does add warm the ocean directly. What happens is that the heat flux from ocean to atmosphere is reduced as the concentration of GHG’s in the atmosphere increases. When you put a jacket on your body, the jacket does not actually warm the body, even though it does in fact emit DWLWR back toward your skin. What the jacket ultimately does is alter the thermal profile between your body and the cold air outside the jacket so that your body stays warmer by losing heat less rapidly.

      • David Springer

        Heat flux from ocean to atmosphere is not reduced by GHG’s Gates. Again you miss the point. There are three heat flux channels. Please write these down:

        1) radiative
        2) sensible
        3) latent

        Adding greenhouse gases restricts the radiative channel. Write that down.

        If there is water free to evaporate the energy trapped by the restriction in the radiative channel leaves via the latent channel. The latent channel involves no increase in surface temperature which is why it’s called latent.

        If there is not water free to evaporate the surface temperature rises which forces the trapped energy out through both the sensible channel and through the atmospheric window.

        Write all that down and read it over and over until it sinks in.

      • Skeptical Gates, “…and thus reduce the rate of energy flow from ocean to atmosphere.”

        By how much ?

      • By the amount required by the energy balance of atmosphere.

        The heat capacity of the atmosphere is small in comparison with annual energy flows. Thus it must balance over longer periods. One part of that is the balance at TOA, another that over continents. What’s left unbalanced will automatically be balanced over oceans where the temperature differentials will settle at those levels that correspond to the required energy flows.

        It’s not necessary to know what each of the component is to know what the balance is.

        The largest uncertainty in that approach over periods of several years is probably in albedo variations which affect directly the balance at TOA.

      • Pekka, “By the amount required by the energy balance of atmosphere.”

        Evasive, the correct answer is FIIK. One degree of ocean surface warming would produce ~ 3.2 Wm-2 of additional latent cooling. Water vapor is also a greenhouse gas with a broader spectrum than CO2. The average radiant layer of the atmosphere is between -23 and -30 C per the cartoon up above. If you happen to own property in the -23 to -30 C degree isotherm, you can say 1.5C degrees. I don’t live in that particular Isotherm.

      • No. It’s not evasive. It’s extremely difficult to determine the exact temperature and moisture profiles at low altitudes over the oceans but it’s fully known that they will settle at a state that’s consistent with energy balance.

        That knowledge allows for drawing many important conclusions.

      • I disagree, it is evasive because “until equilibrium is restored.” implies you know what the actual equilibrium value would be. The problem is complex. There are multiple thermodynamic layers to be considered along with the interact between those layers. Stating anything other than FIIK, followed by “but it could be..” is evasive.

        Now if you would like to break from the climate meme mode, What is the actual average SST?

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Oceans have been gaining approximately 0.5 x 10^22 Joules of energy (down to 2000 meters, with more at greater depths but uncertainty is far greater as well) for the past 50 years. Some of this energy is being transported both to the Arctic and deeper waters of the Antarctic. The effects on the Arctic are readily apparent, with the earliest and most visible signs of climate change.

      • R Gates, “Oceans have been gaining approximately 0.5 x 10^22 Joules of energy (down to 2000 meters, with more at greater depths but uncertainty is far greater as well) for the past 50 years. ” From ~ 1816 to 1900, 84 years, the oceans were cooler than they were in 1945. What was the energy imbalance during those 84 years and how many joules of energy had to be restored?

      • R. Gates

        Any data prior to ARGO on ocean heat content are suspect. Since ARGO was commissioned in 2003 the upper ocean hasn’t warmed at all (ARGO data showed cooling – Willis’ “speed bump”, but this got “corrected” to show no change).

        So we really don’t KNOW whether or not the overall ocean heat content has really risen as you say or not.

        Just another one of those many “uncertainties”.

        Max

        PS I’d say it’s probably logical that the ocean DID warm in the 1980s and 1990s, when the atmosphere also did, but less likely that it has in the 2000s, when the atmosphere has shown slight cooling.

      • Capt. Dallas,

        It’s totally normal in very many fields that the details near interface are difficult to determine but there’s no doubt that intensive variables like the temperatures settle at such values that a local balance is obtained. Sometimes the lack of knowledge of the details is of no consequence in others it’s a more significant limitation.

        I would say that this is an intermediary case, where a part of the difficult-to-estimate variables are of importance. That is related to the new results of the Stephens et al paper concerning the balance between radiative heat transfer and evaporation. The amount of evaporation is of interest because that affects the atmosphere over a larger range of altitudes and is certainly linked to cloud formation as well.

      • Pekka, “That is related to the new results of the Stephens et al paper concerning the balance between radiative heat transfer and evaporation.”

        Stevens estimates are not than much different than the estimates made a year ago by a semi-retired fishing captain. Trenberth’s Energy Balances are and have been a joke. The 95% confidence levels are a joke. What skeptics want is for scientists to quit pissing down our legs and saying it is raining.

      • The Willis speed bump was a mistake. There is no speed bump. It never existed.

        It now exists in one place: Max’s imagination.

        Willis sent a preliminary graph to Pielke Sr of the OHC of the upper ocean that shows warming.

      • David Springer

        Cap’tDallas, water doesn’t not have to increase in temperature in order to evaporate faster. That helps but it’s not strictly required. Phase transitions occur with no change in temperature. A pound of water and a pound of water vapor at exactly the same temperature carry a hugely different amount of energy. Water completely absorbs LWIR in the first few microns. All it does is cause a phase transition in the topmost molecules with no increase in temperature. In fact it robs more energy from the liquid than what was there to begin with hence the topmost millimeter of the ocean surface is actually about 1C cooler than the water below it. This cool skin layer can be broken up by breaking waves so there is some small amount of warming from DWLIR but it isn’t much. The cool skin layer reforms within ten seconds of any turbulence which mixes it downward. That’s pretty fast. It’s a powerful effect and it dominates the ocean/atmosphere interface.

    • David L. Hagen

      Springer
      May I encourage you to take Robert Essenhigh’s detailed thermo SS model and adapt it to quantitatively show your model.
      Paper No.03F-44: Western States Section Combustion Institute Meeting: Fall (October) 2003
      Prediction from an Analytical Model of: The Standard Atmosphere Profiles of Temperature, Pressure, and Density with Height for the Lower Atmosphere; and Potential for Profiles-Perturbation by Combustion Emissions, Robert H. Essenhigh

      Or see the published journal article.

      I think that may be give you a good thermodynamic model to adapt.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        David L. Hagen, thank you for the link to the Essenhigh paper.

      • Essenhigh’s analysis is based on an analytically solvable model that is known to be inaccurate (and Essenhigh tells that in his papers). The model is quite reasonable and better than most (if not all) other analytically solvable models. Most of the results seem to be qualitatively reasonable and offer some additional insight in the physics of the atmosphere. They are, however, so dependent on the known errors made in the initial assumptions that no results can be assumed to be quantitatively correct.

        The main erroneous assumption is that the atmosphere is assumed to be gray, i.e. the dependence of the absorptivity on the wavelength is not taken into account. Such on error must be made to make the model analytically solvable. Similar assumptions are made in the simpler models presented in textbooks like Pierrehumbert’s Principles of Planetary Climate which has a 16 page chapter on gray atmosphere models before discussing more realistic cases.

      • David L. Hagen

        Pekka
        Essenhigh’s method is not limited to “gray”. In his published paper he points out:

        Numerical closure is not yet complete, with only one parameter at this time not independently calculated but not required numerically for validation of analytical closure. This is the value of the group-pair (kp)o representing the ground-level value of (kp), the product of the effective absorption coefficient and concentration of the mixed gases, written as a single parameter but decomposable into constituent gases and/or gas bands. Reduction of the experimental value of (kp)o to values of k for a comparison with relevant band data for water and CO2 shows numerical magnitudes substantially matching the longest wavelength bands for each of the two gases. Allowing also for the maximum absorption percentages, R°, of these two bands for the two gases, respectively, 39% for water and 8.5% for CO2, these values then support the dominance of water (as gas and not vapor) at about 80%, compared with CO2 at about 20%, as the primary absorbing/emitting (“greenhouse”) gas in the atmosphere.

        That could be refined by adding a Line By Line (LBL) evaluation of the absorption as a function of composition giving (kp)z varying with elevation. However, how do you see that making much change in the method or the results?
        Ferenc Miskolczi using full LBL sees little impact on the global optical depth due to CO2 variations using numerous actual radiosonde profiles.
        THE STABLE STATIONARY VALUE OF THE EARTH’S GLOBAL AVERAGE ATMOSPHERIC PLANCK-WEIGHTED GREENHOUSE-GAS OPTICAL THICKNESS

        Both Essenhigh and Miskolczi’s methods point out by implication that the major changes are likely to be due to clouds, not CO2. The CO2 uncertainty is relatively small compared to the very large uncertainty in clouds.

      • David,

        His statement is not that strong. There are definitely fundamental limitations of that type in the approach. I looked at that earlier but don’t remember all the details. They are written in a comment I wrote on this site, almost certainly in a exchange of comments with you.

        If I remember correctly one of the basic problems was also that the relative concentrations of H2O and CO2 could not depend on altitude, which is a serious source of error.

        Miskolczi’s early papers were really terrible and full of errors and later ones too obscure to raise any interest after those really bad papers.

      • David Springer

        I’ve seen how long it takes and the slim odds of success at the end of the road to get a contrarian pal reviewed article published. If it promised a payday of some sort I might be interested but it doesn’t. Nor am I even the first.

        What needs to be done is a well controlled real experiment in a lab not more academic woolgathering math in trade rags. That kind of academic sloth is what made climate science the mess it is today. I described the experiment to undertake and linked to the tunable 2-14 micrometer infrared lasers that can demonstrate the response of a body of water to DWLIR. Someone who stands to benefit will get around to doing it. In the meantime I’m not really interested in more than being able to point back into internet archives someday and say “Told ya so”.

      • What would you expect to learn from such an experiment? Most of the uncertainties are due to real world factors that cannot be brought to laboratory. The impression that I get from your few words is that very little new could be learned from that.

      • David Springer

        Pekka, what would you expect to observe if you shot say a cubic centimeter of water at 10C with a 1 watt 5 micrometer laser for period of time? A rising water temperature or a rising evaporation rate?

        I expect to see no rise in water temperature but rather a reduction of water volume as evaporation rate is driven higher. In fact I wouldn’t be surprise if the water got cooler as its volume was reduced.

      • David,

        IR does not penetrate far in water. At 5 um it penetrates only a small fraction of mm. Therefore directing a IR laser beam on the water surface will warm only a thin surface layer. As heat conduction is so low the bulk of water remains practically unaffected. Warmer surface leads to more evaporation – but only by the amount that corresponds to the increase in temperature of the surface. Evaporation increases as much as it would increase by heating the whole water volume to the same temperature that is obtained in the experiment you describe.

        If the result is as I describe above the experiment teaches us nothing. It it’s something else then I have neglected something in my reasoning.

        The situation is very different from real ocean surface because in real oceans the surface remains colder than the layers immediately below. There will always be some convective mixing. Therefore what happens at the surface does affect layers below much more strongly than conduction alone can produce. Even if I erred somehow on the laboratory experiment it remains true that the situation in real ocean is so different from that experiment that learning about real oceans by such an laboratory experiment is extremely unlikely and indirect at best.

  5. Well, the heat exchange at the Earth’s surface (land and water) is the major knob.

    • I like the energy budget. Net longwave surface cooling is 53 w/m2. Latent is 88, convection 24 w/m2. It’s an evaporator.
      http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/stephens2.gif

      • Steven Mosher

        Now you just need to understand that the final knob controls the release to space. GHGs. It matters little how energy re arranges itself from the deep ocean to the surface up through the atmosphere, the final control is the rate at which the energy leaves earth via radiation. More GHGs, means a earth that cools more slowly than it would otherwise. Re arrange the deck chairs however you like, that’s your final system characteristic that matters

      • “More GHGs, means a earth that cools more slowly than it would otherwise. ”

        How much slower? An extra 1 minute at night? An extra 1 hour?

        How about in the winter? An extra week? An extra day?

        Please quantify.

      • Decided to take you at your word…

        “Re arrange the deck chairs however you like,”

        More GHGs, means an earth that cools more quickly than it would otherwise.

      • David Springer

        You don’t understand the paper. A surface temperature must rise somewhere. It doesn’t have to be at the surface of the planet. It can be the surface of clouds instead. Duh.

      • Yes, the so-called GHGs release the atmospheric energy to space. The surface is free to cool by evaporation and convection.

      • Seven Mosher

        Re arrange the deck chairs however you like the CAGW Titanic just hit an iceberg.

        Glug, glug!

        Max

      • If GHG’s absorb more effectively, then they emit more effectively, don’t they? Wouldn’t that lead to more efficient cooling?

      • David Springer

        Max, GHGs intercept upwelling LWIR and yes they do emit as efficienctly as they absorb. The crux is that they reemit in all directions. If they only emitted upwards there would be no greenhouse effect.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Steven Mosher: Now you just need to understand that the final knob controls the release to space. GHGs. It matters little how energy re arranges itself from the deep ocean to the surface up through the atmosphere, the final control is the rate at which the energy leaves earth via radiation.

        1. Because of the several flows of energy to the upper atmosphere already, doubling CO2 probably increases the rate of transfer of energy to space whether the surface warms or not.

        2. It does matter how the energy re-arranges itself. If the surface and lower troposphere are hardly affected at all, then AGW does not matter, even if it occurs.

      • David Springer

        The radiative release to space is generally from the surface of clouds not the surface of the earth or ocean. Cloud tops get warmer in response to increased GHGs above them but who the f*ck cares unless you live in the clouds? I mean literally live in the clouds not just figuratively. I understand many people just like you do figuratively live in the clouds.

      • David Springer

        MattStat/MatthewRMarler | November 5, 2012 at 10:09 pm |

        2. It does matter how the energy re-arranges itself. If the surface and lower troposphere are hardly affected at all, then AGW does not matter, even if it occurs.

        ———————————————————————————

        Bingo! Someone give Matt Marler a cigar please.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        “It does matter how the energy re-arranges itself. If the surface and lower troposphere are hardly affected at all, then AGW does not matter, even if it occurs.”
        _____

        Seriously. At this point are we really talking this kind of nonsense? The greatest concentration of GHG is in the lowest parts of the atmosphere (i.e. the troposphere) and is also where the greatest atmospheric warming effect will be. But it is not the direct warming of the troposphere by increased greenhouse gases that is the most important effect, but rather that this warming acts to alter the thermal gradient, making it less steep between ocean and space (the ultimate source and drain of the energy flow). GHG’s slow down the rate of heat flux from ocean to atmosphere, and thus, the oceans accumulate energy. The vast majority of warming of the Earth from increasing GHG concentrations has gone into the ocean, and indirectly, into parts of the cryosphere.

      • David Springer

        No Gates. Increased GHGs do not slow the transfer of energy from ocean to atmosphere. Evaporation rate rises and the energy transfer rate rises through that mechanism with no change in surface temperature. Stephens et al assert this is now an observed fact not a hypothetical. You were wrong. I was right. Get used to it.

      • No J Martin that is not how it works.

        GHGs concentration determines the altitude at which earth radiates to space. If there were no atmosphere, the earth would radiate from the surface ( or slighly below the surface, depending). But we have an atmosphere that is relatively ( not completely) opaque to IR. That means,
        the earth will reradiate to space at a given altitude, called the ERL.
        The ERL ( effective radiating level) is that altitude at which the concentration of GHGs is such that energy escapes freely to space.

        This concentration is fixed by physical law. When you add more GHGs the altitude at which this concentration occurs goes up. The earth system then radiates at a higher altitude. Raise the concentration of GHGs, that altitude moves up and the earth radiates from a higher location.

        Since we have a negative lapse rate this means the earth is radiating from a higher and colder place. fundamental physics tells you that a colder object radiates more slowly than a hotter object. By shifting the ERL up, then GHGs slow the rate at which energy leaves earths system.

        At the surface the reaction, over time, will be to increase radiation in the filtered frequency. That is, put out more IR.

        So, you get a decrease in the rate of energy lost at the ERL and the only way to restore balance is to increase rates at the surface. How that evolves over time ( re arranging deck chairs, short term storage in the ocean) is interesting but over long time scales the systematic reaction to slower rates of release at the top is increased in IR at the base.
        in short, warming.

      • If GHG’s absorb more effectively, then they emit more effectively, don’t they? Wouldn’t that lead to more efficient cooling?

        No. The GH gas molecules absorb radiation, IR photons, from the ground but then they re-radiate them in random directions. So only half of the photons are re-radiated in the outward direction.

    • Edim,
      You think like an engineer, and this thinking is unacceptable in the climate science. Physicists are more trustworthy I have been told earlier on this thread.

      The climate models have in their energy equation missing an important energy term-the potential energy of the atmosphere. There can be no correct climate model without considering the potential energy of the atmosphere. The physicists assume that the atmosphere is transparent to the solar radiations and inactive in the energy balance of the earth. And this is the biggest mistake in the climate models.

    • When you evoke the image of turning a knob are we being treated to the Evil Eye of Hot World Syndrome and hearing clues from a ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ about the superstition and ignorance of global warming alarmism or is it a glimpse of the Al Gore the wizard of AGW behind the green curtains madly pulling levers and turning knobs to keep the global warming hoax alive that we see here?

  6. The temperature of earth has been well bounded for ten thousand years. Every time it gets warm enough to melt Arctic Sea Ice it then snows enough to cause cooling. Every time it gets cold enough to freeze the Arctic Sea Ice, the snow stops and the sun warms the earth. A manmade fraction of a trace gas cannot be more than a noise in this process. LOOK AT THE ACTUAL DATA! The manmade greenhouse gases control a tiny fraction of the heat balance of earth. This is so far inside the uncertainties that it really cannot be considered seriously as anything that matters.

  7. On the water planet, it really is all about water.

    YES!

    • David Springer

      Yup. That’s what I been sayin’.

    • No. It is all about the radiative balance at TOA. See Mosher above. It’s about the balance between radiation leaving the climate system at TOA and energy entering the climate system at TOA. Imbalance causes energy to accumulate in the climate system, which essentially means in the global ocean. This is, exactly as observed. See Levitus et al. (2012).

      This is basic climatology. It is astonishing that some commenters here feel confident enough to dismiss the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change yet do not understand the most basic concepts.

      • Energy leaving the system (ignoring the solar reflected part) is mostly (90%) atmospheric radiation. The so-called GHGs release the atmospheric energy to space. The bulk of the atmosphere cannot radiate significantly.

      • You haven’t got a clue.

      • You gotta be more specific. I think I described the consensus position. What are you skeptical of?

      • My point is: what does your comment have to do with mine?

      • David Springer

        There isn’t enough egg at Tyson Farms to cover the faces of your and your buddies. It won’t be long now. I suggest you read Stephens paper however many times it takes until the implications sink in. DWLIR, where there is water free to evaporate, cause more precipitation not a temperature increase. The increased rate of evaporation and convection, with no change in surface temperature, reduces the adiabatic lapse rate. The rising water vapor then must rise higher before adiabatic cooling can cause condensation. The cloud deck gets higher. About 100 meters per CO2 doubling is what I believe will be discovered. So where there was formerly cold dry air the increased GHG puts a warm cloud there instead. Therein, at the cloud top, is the warmer surface. Your primary mistake is in thinking it’s the earth’s surface that must increase in temperature in reponse to increased GHGs. That’s true for dry land but where there is water free to evaporate the surface that gets warmer is the cloud deck.

        Go tell Stephens et al he is wrong. He agrees with me, it’s published in Nature GeoScience, so I’m just going to refer you to him. I’m sure he can explain it better than I since he’s a high brow atmospheric physicist whose occupation is explaining such things to his inferiors like you.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        [COMMENT: Drop the attitude, it makes you look like a rabid beaver on crack. I disagreed with your claims. That's science, doesn't make you right. Also, take your never-ending obsession with how DLR can't heat the ocean elsewhere. This blog is for science, not science fiction. I'll snip it next time, along with any wingeing about my policy. There's lot's of places to discuss your fantasy about DLR, but here is not one of them. -w.

        PS—no, that's not a mouse in my pocket, I'm just glad to see you ...]

      • So how did we get past climate variability? Whence the MWP, under only a slight change in TSI and volcanic aerosol loading?

        Known climate behaviour is clear evidence that the climate system is moderately sensitive to changes in radiative forcing. These will – must – include changes in RF from GHGs. It is very simple and obvious and you haven’t thought this through.

      • To be clear, the above response was to David Springer.

  8. Joachim Seifert

    I know, the “uncertainty meme” is Judys great insight…..
    but, flying in the “uncertainty direction” does not provide a
    solid fundament for assessing the climate questions…. this is
    fact and everybody on the blog definitely feels uneasy about the direction
    of arguments. and feels somehow lost… this is the misery…..[bloggers:
    if this is not true, contradict me.please.}…
    What we need is a solid fundament, onto which we build our climate
    knowledge….
    I suggest http://knowledgeminer.eu/eoo_paper.html….. and from there
    on we do not go in circles and guessworking about the effect of
    atmospheric micro-drivers
    Analyzing the climate, means to concentrate on macrodrivers….all
    this talk about ozone, cloud cover, PDO, AMO, aerosols, solar magnetism
    etc pp… does not enlighten but confuses the discourse because non
    of those “drivers” can be made visible in Holocene temp records….
    this is all purely esoteric “palavers under the monkey bread tree”…
    Please get back to a solid ground……JS

    • What is wrong with uncertainty?

      I’ll take rational doubt over irrational confidence any day.

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      Joachim Seifert: flying in the “uncertainty direction” does not provide a
      solid fundament for assessing the climate questions….

      I disagree. I think it makes sense to learn what we need to know before we act. And that requires in advance that we recognize when we don’t know it.

  9. Why am I not surprised that the noise of uncertainty in this research is drowned out by the certainty of the noisiest of certain alarmists.

    That surface uncertainty dwarfs the CO2 doubling effects by the looks of it. Obviously a rich area for future research…

  10. Dr. Curry, if you would care to take the red pill, here is a comprehensive view of the latent and renewable energies of the geobiosphere along with man’s contributions through nonrenewables, all summed in terms of solar energy units. If you really want to take a systemic view of the earth’s energy balance and what the human economy contributes to it, this is it.

    http://www.enst.umd.edu/tilley/emergy/EmergyFolio1Introduction.pdf

  11. David Springer

    “The Kiehl-Trenberth diagram is not used in climate models in any way, and mainly has been used as a conceptual aid. ”

    The model should reproduce the diagram if it’s working right. The KT diagram is measured not theoretical.

    • Steven Mosher

      Hmm not measured. It’s estimated from a variety of data sources as the authors explicitly point out. These estimates depend upon models. Physics models. So, its never simply the case that you are comparing ‘models’ with “data’, especially when satellite products are involved.

      • David Springer

        No, it’s actually measured not obtained from first principles in physics.

      • David Springer

        Well, there’s estimates around the edges. I suggest you read this chapter of this physical oceanography text. The chapter’s first illustration is the K&T diagram and how it’s obtained is described in the chapter.

        Standard stuff. I’ve referred to this dozens of times over the years, implored everyone to read and understand why it is what it is, and you still don’t know it. Amazing.

        http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter05/chapter05_01.htm

        FAIL

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        David Springer, thank you for the link to that textbook. Somehow I missed it when you put it up before.

      • David Springer

        Link to the textbook which is also available for D/L in pdf format.

        I took undergraduate Oceanography and Marine Biology in college over 30 years ago. The text above is introductory physical oceangraphy for oceanography graduate students so it not really light reading. Chapter 5 is the critical one for understanding the heat budget and is where you should devote whatever time it takes to understand the regional variations in heat budget components – SWIR, LWIR, sensible, and latent. It’s absolutely unavoidably critical.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        David, thanks for the link to the book. I downloaded the 2008 edition.

      • Had it before and lost it Thanks for the book link.

      • David Springer

        My pleasure, gentlemen.

      • Steven Mosher

        Estimates around the “edges” Springer you do not know what you are talking about.

        These are ESTIMATES, not observations. They rely on modelling.

        http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/aboutus/staff/kiehl/EarthsGlobalEnergyBudget.pdf

        “State-of-the-art radiative models for both longwave
        and shortwave spectral regions were used by
        KT97 to partition radiant energy for both clear and
        cloudy skies.”

        “KT97 estimated all of the terms but
        adjusted the surface sensible heat estimate to ensure
        an overall balance at the surface. At the TOA, the
        imbalance in the raw ERBE estimates was adjusted
        to zero by making small changes to the albedo on
        the grounds that greatest uncertainties remained in
        the ASR (Trenberth 1997).”

        “KT97 was written at a time when there was a lot
        of concern over “anomalous cloud absorption.” This
        expression came from observations (Stephens and
        Tsay 1990; Cess et al. 1995; Ramanathan et al. 1995;
        Pilewskie and Valero 1995) that suggested that clouds
        may absorb significantly more shortwave radiation
        (approximately 20–25 W m−2) than was accounted for
        in model calculations (such as the models employed
        by KT97). Since then both radiation observations and
        models have improved”

        See that MODEL CALCULATIONS.. not observations, David.

        “Major recent advances in understanding the
        energy budget have been provided by satellite data
        and globally gridded reanalyses (e.g., Trenberth
        et al. 2001; Trenberth and Stepaniak 2003a,b, 2004).
        Trenberth et al. (2001) performed comprehensive
        estimates of the atmospheric energy budget based
        on two first-generation atmospheric reanalyses and
        several surface flux estimates, and made crude estimates
        of uncertainty.”

        Reanalysis “data”.. See that! guess how you get reanlysis data?
        you run a model.

        “The result is a revised
        and slightly larger value for the global OLR than
        in KT97. However, even bigger changes arise from
        using CERES data that presumably reflect the improved
        accuracy of CERES retrievals and its advances
        in retrieval methodology, including its exploitation of
        MODIS retrievals for scene identification.”

        Do you know how scene retrieval works in MODIS? I thought not.

        “Other estimates of radiative and surface fluxes
        have been derived using satellite data, including
        those made by the ISCCP (Rossow and Duenas 2004;
        Zhang et al. 2004) and CERES (Loeb et al. 2000, 2007,
        2009; Wielicki et al. 2006) groups. Zhang et al. (2004)
        produce the ISCCP-FD version of radiative fluxes
        based upon ISCCP cloud data and other data in an
        advanced radiative code.”

        Do you understanding what an advanced radiative code is?
        I’ll keep it simple. Its a physics model applied to raw data to produce a modelled data product. Not an observation. A modelled data product.

      • David Springer

        Ah. So by “modeled” you mean in the same way the raw instrument record is modeled by SHAP and TOBS to obtain the BEST temperature data series.

        LOL

        Got it! Thanks.

      • David.

        You claimed that KT was observation.
        I corrected you and pointed out that the diagram was estimates based on data and models.
        Rather than cite KT, you provided a link to some unrelated nonsense.
        So, I cited KT for you and because you cant read I pulled out relevant sections where they clearly explain the reliance on modelling.

        Rather than admit you were wrong, which everyone can see, you
        bring up TOBS and SHAP.

        TOBS, of course relates to changes made to USHCN data as does SHAP.
        you dont understand either of those pieces of code.
        let me explain SHAP.
        When a station moves from being at sea level to being at 1000 feet
        The temperature changes. You understand lapse rate.
        SHAP, adjusts for this change.

        BEST, does not use data that has been adjust by SHAP or TOBS.
        Sorry. fail.

        In fact, this fall at AGU we will explain why you dont need to do these adjustments if you use krigging and the scalpel.

  12. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    If the surface emits 398 W/m^2 at 288K, and if 3.7 W/m^2 increases the mean temp to 289K, and if the rate of emission from the surface is proportional to T^4, then the increased emission from the surface will be 5.6 W/m^2, more than the “forcing”, hence a negative feedback.

    And that is just with one of the energy transfer processes. CO2 will probably increase the absorption of incoming solar radiation, and will probably increase the rate of radiating energy in the spaceward direction from the upper atmosphere.

    What we really need for a precise calculation of the effect of CO2 on any of these is the complete spatio-temporal distribution of all the energy flows, not the spatio-temporally averaged values. Nevertheless, this “back of the envelope” calculation is no less worthy than the “back of the envelope” calculations based on an assumption of “equilibrium”.

    • The precise value 3.7 W/m^2 is not really relevant for surface energy balance. It is an estimate for the imbalance at top of troposphere following a sudden doubling of CO2 concentration assuming further that stratosphere has time to reach a new balance but troposphere doesn’t change at all.

      The immediate effect of that is to start warming both the troposphere and the surface. Thus only part of that affects the surface energy balance. When the troposphere has warmed, the 3.7 W/m^2 is not true any more at tropopause. Thus we cannot conclude that the surface energy imbalance would have that value after the troposphere has reached a stationary state. The surface energy imbalance is then equal to the tropopause imbalance but the common value is not any more 3.7 W/m^2.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Pekka Pirilä: The precise value 3.7 W/m^2 is not really relevant for surface energy balance.

        I agree. Indeed, the figure 3.7 W/m^2 is derived from the theoretical equilibrium, in a system that hasn’t ever been and will not for thousands of years at least ever be in equilibrium.

        What we need to know are:

        1. What is the increase in the rate of outgoing LWR caused immediately by a doubling of CO2 concentration, before the surface warms?

        2. assuming that the surface warms, at what temperature does the negative feedback from the warming surface counter the increased downwelling LWR?

        I think that for each we need to know the spatio-temporal distributions of the energy flows, not their aggregated mean values.

        The case has been put different ways, but consider the Earth system and the observation network as an instrument for detecting CO2, analogous to a biological assay or medical diagnosis: the effect of doubling CO2 is way below the limit of detection for the instrument.

      • The more common way of telling that knowing the value of 3.7 W/m^2 is not enough is to tell that the feedbacks are unknown.

        The uncertainties in the surface energy balance are strongly linked to the uncertainties in the feedbacks. Both are projections of the deficient understanding of the details of atmospheric physics. New empirical data on the surface energy balance provides new or modified constraints for models of the atmosphere.

  13. “The Kiehl-Trenberth diagram is not used in climate models in any way, and mainly has been used as a conceptual aid.” True. Since the K&T diagram is full of errors and overstates confidence, what concept is it portraying?

    • David Springer

      KT of course isn’t accurate enough to sum up the heat flows and determine there’s a watt missing on the outgoing side at TOA. It’s got the numbers in the right ballpark and take home point from it is that thermals (conduction) are the most resistive path for absorbed energy to leave the surface, radiation is the second most resisitive path (upwelling FIR), and latent heat dominates the surface energy budget accounting for up to twice the net transfer by radiation.

      These are established by measurement at many locations and extrapolated into global averages. The text book reference I made has the data sources used which date back to the mid-1960’s.

      Once again:

      http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter05/chapter05_06.htm

      This the old K&T from 1996 which in turn was, in part, a reanalysis of much older data.

  14. Stephen Wilde

    I’ve been saying much the same (amongst other things) since 2008 and building it into a reasonably coherent general climate overview.

    The fact is that the proportion of incoming solar energy retained by the earth system at any given moment is dictated by atmospheric mass and surface pressure.

    The primary energy reservoir in the case of Earth is the oceans.

    Whenever any other factor seeks to disturb that baseline energy content then the system response is always negative and works via a reconfiguratrion of the atmospheric circulation.

    The permanent climate zones then shift latitudinally (or vary in size and intensity relative to each other) as necessary to regulate the outgoing energy flow thereby maintaining system energy content.

    Solar and oceanic variations make noticeable (to us) changes such as those from Roman Warm Period (and before) to Dark Ages to Mediaeval Warm Period to Little Ice Age to date.

    Extra CO2 from human emissions is dealt with in exactly the same way but the effect would be miniscule compared to the observed natural climate zone shifts. Maybe a latitudinal shift of a mile or so from human influences compared to 1000 miles from natural influences.

    The mediating process for Earth is latent heat energy transfers from the phase changes of water via the hydrological cycle. Other planets would work around the physical properties of other atmospheric components such as CO2 phase changes on Mars.

    Thus extra human sourced CO2 on Earth retains solar energy for a little longer but the climate zone shift resulting from an energised water cycle speeds it up again for a zero net effect on system energy content.

    Note however that most if not the overwhelming majority of the observed CO2 increase may not be from human causes at all but from a temperature sensitive change in the natural sea / air CO2 exchange as per Murry Salby’s suggestions. Solar and oceanic variations both work naturally to influence the basic energy exchange. Sometimes they work together and sometimes in opposition to each other.

    I do not consider the ice core record or the isotope proportions to be sound evidence to the contrary given the uncertainties inherent in those parameters.

    • Steven Wilde said:

      “The fact is that the proportion of incoming solar energy retained by the earth system at any given moment is dictated by atmospheric mass and surface pressure.”

      _____

      Incorrect. The majority of the incoming solar energy retained by the Earth system is retained by the ocean part of the Earth system with specific properties of the ocean at various depths dictating how and how much of that energy is being retained. The global ocean is the largest non-tectonic reservoir of solar energy on the planet. The energy in the atmosphere is far less. As a “cap” on the ocean, sea ice of course must be put into the mix of solar energy retention in the Earth system, with it serving both to block solar energy from entering the water below, but also to prevent energy it from leaving.

      • David Springer

        You don’t understand what Wilde wrote. How much heat could the ocean hold if atmospheric pressure was zero?

        None, of course. It could not exist as a liquid. Atmospheric pressure determines the temperature range at which water can remain a liquid and it also sets up a variable stage for H2O partial pressure which in turn throttles evaporation rate.

        You’re dense. You should STFU and learn for a change.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        I read it quite clearly, and thought it was clear why he was wrong. It is not simply atmospheric mass or surface pressure that dictates how much energy the ocean’s hold. This gross misstatement of the physics of ocean energy retention and heat flux back to the atmosphere and eventually to space should not go unchallenged. He would like to think that greenhouse gases and their properties play no role, and of course he’d be wrong.

      • Ever heard of Europa?

      • David Springer

        No sorry. Wilde is right in the context I described.

        1) Atmospheric pressure determines the temperature range in which water can exist as a liquid.

        2) The partial pressure of water vapor then throttles evaporation rate.

        3) Evaporation and convection are the primary channel by which heat leaves the global ocean.

        Which if any of these physical facts did you want to contest?

      • The partial pressure of water influences the rate of evaporation, the overall atmospheric pressure is irrelevant because water does not boil in oceans.

      • David Springer

        Of course it’s relevant Pekka. Evaporation rate rises with any decrease in pressure if all else is held constant. Evaporation and boiling are very different physical processes. Write that down.

        This encyclopedic knowledge and your ignorance of it doesn’t speak well to your education.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evaporation#Factors_influencing_the_rate_of_evaporation

        “Pressure Evaporation happens faster if there is less exertion on the surface keeping the molecules from launching themselves.”

        Duh.

      • Evaporation and boiling are very different physical processes. Write that down.

        You are telling that to me based on my above message???

        Wiki is sometimes a good reference, sometimes it’s not. In this case it’s not. That sentence does not make sense.

        There’s a very small effect that’s related to diffusion of water molecules very near the surface where diffusion is the dominant transport mechanism. With higher pressure the diffusion is slowed down. That affects the rate of evaporation a little. That’s, however, not significant at the level implied by Wilde. On that scale it’s much closer to truth to forget the whole effect.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Stephan Wilde,

      1) The majority of the CO2 increase since around 1750 is most certainly from human activity– mainly the burning of fossil fuels. Of this there is no doubt and Murray Salby, despite his other insights, is wrong on this point.
      2) You seem to have ignored the rapid changes we are seeing in the ocean where you at least admit, the majority of solar energy is stored. Your simple approach to the gross effects of increasing greenhouse gases in a simplified atmospheric model seem to ignore the primary effect of increasing greenhouse gases which is that of slowing down the rate of heat flux from ocean back to space. This is of course revealed in the increases we’ve seen in ocean heat content, but also in the warming of both Arctic waters as this heat is being transported there, and also the warming of deep Antarctic water. See http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2012/20120320_antarcticbottomwater.html

      • I’d like an explanation of the epistemology by which you concluded that your point (1) was true. More specifically, I’d like to understand why you believe that the atmospheric concentration of CO2 is not controlled by dynamic sinks, but, rather, entirely by emission.

        No catch. Maybe there’s a good answer, but I’ve never gotten anyone to give me one before. So I thought I would ask.

      • qbeamus,

        The rate of CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere is a function of the rate of emission minus the rate of sequestration in the oceans and biosphere. Emission has been exceeding sequestration by about 1 – 2 ppm on an average annual global basis for quite some time. The natural feedback mechanisms such as rock weathering cannot keep up with the rate of emission from anthropogenic activity. It is, for lack of a better metaphor, a human-caused CO2 “volcano” that has been going off slowly for many centuries now, pulling carbon from the lithosphere and depositing it into the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere, where the hydrosphere and biosphere sequestration cannot keep up with the rate the carbon is being deposited into the atmosphere.

        Also, what strongly must be considered in this whole mix is the rapid increases we are seeing in methane and N2O. These increases are also anthropogenic in origin and should be considered in the whole mix of the external forcing on the climate system. All these greenhouse gases, in addition to warming the atmosphere, have a primary function of slowing the rate of energy flow from the oceans (the Earth’s largest heat sink) to space, where that energy will become part of the unusable heat energy of the universe, furthering entropy and following the path of time’s arrow.

      • @R. Gates:

        I guess I could have been clearer. I’ve heard these *assertions* before; what I have not heard was any explanation for the evidence that supports them. If you (or anyone else) has a good understanding of that evidence–which I assume does exist–I would appreciate it. Whether that evidence is compelling, merely persuasive, or deeply flawed, I would at least like to understand the reasoning. So far, I’ve never heard anything to persuade me that that it is anything more than an unsophisticated (if reasonable) assumption. On the other hand, I have heard it at least asserted that, on the geological time scale, CO2 follows temperature, and would therefore appear to be the dependent, rather than the independent variable, notwithstanding the underlying physics of the greenhouse effect. Because, I gather, this is not a popular front in the political wars over AGW, googling has been unproductive. (Perhaps it is simly that my Google-Fu is weak.) In any event, I’ve seen enough of climate science that I am no longer willing to take unsupported assertions at face value.

      • Well Lurker, if you spent less time watch Faux News and more time reading history books you’d know that the first beginnings of the Industrial revolution were in about 1750, and about that time CO2 emissions from humans began to significantly exceed what their own natural bodies would produce from respiration. Of course, even further back in time humans began to alter atmospheric chemistry through agriculture, and other means, but 1750 is about when we can see the beginnings of industrial activity affected GHG levels.

        Pull yourself away from Faux News for a few minutes and pick up a real history book and you’d be amazed at what you might discover…

      • “On the other hand, I have heard it at least asserted that, on the geological time scale, CO2 follows temperature.”

        That’s not all. It also does so on the short time scale of the Mauna Loa record.

        Warm up buffered bicarbonate solutions and they release CO2. This was known long before the first Infrared measurements were taken. But apparently, if the consensus is to be believed, all the recent increase in heat (if it is real), has apparently caused no release of CO2 from the oceans, because the consensus says it is anthropogenic in origin.

        It doesn’t fly with me.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        qbeamus,

        You might like to start here:

        http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/110.htm#351

        And study this graph:

        http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/fig3-4.htm

        And then go here:

        http://www.sciencemag.org/content/326/5958/1394.abstract

        and here:

        http://www.bgc.mpg.de/service/iso_gas_lab/publications/PG_WB_IJMS.pdf

        It’s a lot of reading my friend, but make the effort and then we’ll talk. Human burning of fossil fuel is the cause of the majority of the increases in CO2 over the past several centuries. There is absolutely no doubt on this point…unless our entire understanding of physics is suspect, and after watching us flawlessly place a rover on Mars earlier this year, I really really respect our understanding of the basic laws of physics.

      • lurker, passing through laughing

        R. Gates,
        You silly jerk, I do not watch “faux news” or even Fox News. It is always nice when petty bigots like yourself work to stand out more clearly by making huge assumptions and having pet names for news organizations that challenge their ignorant bigotry.
        You are so stupid on so many levels… you are one of the reasons I picked my posting name.

      • I do not know exactly what is your question and to whom.
        But I do understand that you have problems with the CO2 issue.
        I do too.
        I wrote a paper with calculations where I proofed that the error in IPCC is, that they use the two-stream software for heat flow. That gives spurious absorption, which IPCC tried to compensate with back-radiation.
        I give more details in:
        http://www.tech-know-group.com/papers/IR-absorption_updated.pdf

      • Does anyone else think that the links Gates provided show that he seems to think they show? I confess this stuff is done in the unnecessarily dense language that scientists seem to prefer, so maybe I’m failing to appreciate the argument, but all I see is a description of CO2 concentrations over time–nothing that shows the underlying evidence for what is driving that concentration. In fact, they seem to acknowledge that CO2 is being sinked out of the atmosphere. Which seems to me to demand inquiry into what controls the rate of that sinking. But I don’t see that inquiry addressed anywhere.

      • lurker, passing through laughing

        Now the original sin goes to 1750, according to Gates.
        Wow.
        Next we will see the AGW believers derive the true age of earth from the CO2 story of Genesis.

      • See post above…(this post occurred earlier that you might have guessed, just like anthropogenic GHG emissions).

  15. Spencer, et al., demonstrated that TOA variations cannot be understood apart from understanding the variations in cloud cover that Spencer refers ti as a confounding ‘nonfeedback, internally generated radiative forcing.’ (See e.g., Spencer RW, Braswell WD. On the diagnosis of radiative feedback in the presence of unknown radiative forcing, 2010)

  16. “This additional precipitation is sustained by more energy leaving the surface by evaporation — that is, in the form of latent heat flux — and thereby offsets much of the increase in longwave flux to the surface.”

    The above quote from the Stephen et al paoer is precisely what I have been saying in my own theoretical paper on climate change (see my website above). The earth’s oceans and the latent heat of evaporation constitute a built-in air conditioning system for the entire planet. The exact opposite happens when precipitation occurs and the two effects do not cancel because the latent heat of condensation escapes high in the troposphere where it is more readily radiated into space.

    The other point my paper makes is that it is the vibrational modes of the CO2 molecule that enable it to absorb large amounts of heat, nitrogen and oxgen do not have these modes at atmospheric temperatures. But quantum thermodynamics tells us that the amount of heat absorbed or reradiated as long wave flux is limited so must be included in calculations.

    • David Springer

      Alexander Biggs | November 5, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Reply

      “The exact opposite happens when precipitation occurs and the two effects do not cancel because the latent heat of condensation escapes high in the troposphere where it is more readily radiated into space.”

      Exactamundo!

      But it’s worse than that. The greenhouse gases between the surface and the cloud now act to restrict the downwelling radiation from the warm cloud from reaching the surface.

      I have referred to latent energy transport as “drilling straight through the densest layer of greenhouse gases like they weren’t even there”.

  17. Judith Curry

    Another nail in the CAGW coffin.

    Sounds like the key comment is the one by Doug Hoffman on JoNova:

    “What this means is that all current climate models are based on bad assumptions. And because the raw output of those models do not reproduce the actual state of the environment, climate modelers have applied “adjustments” to get the numbers to work out. The result is that climate models are both fundamentally wrong and have been wrongly adjusted”

    Conclusion: Tiny differences between inaccurate estimates of large numbers are meaningless, especially when the numbers have been massaged.

    [BTW, it was not too hard to see from the earlier K+T and K,T +F cartoon depictions that the numbers had been massaged to get the desired result. This new study simply confirms it.]

    Max

  18. Berényi Péter

    I am not going to pay $32 right now for reading the Graeme Stephens et al. paper, so would anyone having access to it kindly explain how they could come up with a 0.6 ± 0.4 W/m² imbalance at TOA? This quantity is not a measured one for sure, because there is some 6 W/m² discrepancy between incoming SW and outgoing LW fluxes as measured by satellites. Which means the (unknown) systematic error is an order of magnitude larger than their error bar. If we can get over with this tiny little riddle soon, I may consider risking the money.

    The other gem is the very concept of upwelling vs. downwelling thermal radiation. I know it is a climatescientish thing, but in fact it never makes sense.

    There is of course radiative heat exchange, always unidirectional, from hotter to colder heat reservoir. The only figure that makes sense (based on their data) is a radiative heat loss of 52.4 ± 10.3 W/m² from surface to the rest of the universe (atmosphere, outer space included), assuming their errors are independent. It should be contrasted to a 122 ± 12.2 W/m² heat loss by other means. However, most of this radiative loss escapes immediately to space through the atmospheric window (~40 W/m²). The rest is absorbed in the first few meters of (mostly humid) air, then proceeds upward by other means until it reaches the upper troposphere.

    Why is it not advertised widely, that only about 10% of raindrops make it to the surface, the rest re-evaporates in midfall, vapor rises, then it is re-condensed into droplets, while the latent heat captured below is released at a higher elevation? This is how the environmental lapse rate comes about.

    If radiation is thermal, then stuff is supposed to be already thermalized, i.e. it is not about energy going back and forth, but about heat moving between reservoirs, by whatever means, even radiatively.

    Who in her right mind would calculate heat conductivity of a metal rod by subtracting thermal energy flux going from its cold end to its hot one from flux going the other way? Let’s not play games, please.

    • Because if you don’t do it that way, there is no way to make it seem like CO2 is a harmful pollutant.

    • David L. Hagen

      Berényi Péter
      Re: “There is of course radiative heat exchange, always unidirectional, from hotter to colder heat reservoir.”
      See comments above to Nigel.
      Distinguish radiative heat fluxes from rod conduction. They are very different. The NET fluxes are similar to your description, NOT the GROSS fluxes that need to be netted.
      In the winter, compare standing next to an outside window and then next to the wall. You will experience a major difference in the “back” radiation and consequently in the net heat transfer.

      • “In the winter, compare standing next to an outside window and then next to the wall. You will experience a major difference in the “back” radiation and consequently in the net heat transfer.”

        The window is colder than the wall.

        The rate of heat transfer between you and the wall is slower than that between you and the window. That is in no way the same as the wall causing you to heat up.

        This is also a useless example because your body produces heat internally. In your example, you’re not considering one surface which is warmed by a radiant source (the ground), which then warms something colder (the atmosphere), and in both examples it is incorrect to argue that the colder body causes the warm body to increase in temperature.

        A reduced rate of cooling is not the same as a negative rate of cooling.

      • A reduced rate of cooling for a body (or a system) means a warmer body (or a system). You can warm a room by closing an open window.

      • Here’s an experiment from a heat transfer textbook:

        “Open the freezer door to your refrigerator. Put your face near it, but stay far enough away to avoid the downwash of cooled air. This way you cannot be cooled by convection and, because the air between you and the freezer is a fine insulator, you cannot be cooled by conduction. Still your face will feel cooler. The reason is that you radiate heat directly into the cold region and it radiates very little heat to you. Consequently, your face cool perceptibly.”

        Now if you turn your face to a warmer region, but still colder than your face (a wall for example), your face will warm again.

      • “A reduced rate of cooling for a body (or a system) means a warmer body (or a system). You can warm a room by closing an open window.” ~Edim

        You are not raising the temperature with that mechanism, you are reducing the rate at which the temperature decreases.

        Your examples regarding your face “warming” due to the presence of a wall is absurdly flawed.

        1. It ignores how your body actually detects temperature variations.

        2. It is phrased in a vague enough manner that one could erroneously conclude there was an increase in temperature rather than a reduced rate of cooling.

        Get an insulated box of some sort with one open side and place a thermometer inside.

        Point the open face at a warm surface until the thermometer reads higher than room temperature.

        Now open the freezer and perform the experiment you described with your face and the freezer/wall.

        Then reset the thermometer to above room temperature and perform the experiment again with the wall.

        At no point will the thermometer ever read higher than it did while being heated directly by a radiant source above room temperature.

        It should show a lower reading when pointed at the freezer compared to the reading obtained from the wall. This does not mean the wall made the thermometer warmer, as it was only warmer in comparison to the freezer, not the initial conditions.

      • David Springer

        Max™ | November 6, 2012 at 2:29 am | Reply

        “A reduced rate of cooling is not the same as a negative rate of cooling.”

        Differential cooling rate still results in a temperature differential. Only pedants and ignorati are bothered by the difference when the end result is the same.

      • Max, this shouldn’t be controversial at all. If you reduce the cooling rate, the temperature will increase, compared to the temperature before the reduction in cooling rate. I cannot believe such basics can be controversial. If your heating rate is constant and you reduce the cooling rate (closing the window, more insulation…), the room temperature will increase, or you can reduce the heating rate (fuel consumption) and have the same temperature.

      • “Max, this shouldn’t be controversial at all. If you reduce the cooling rate, the temperature will increase, compared to the temperature before the reduction in cooling rate. I cannot believe such basics can be controversial.” ~Edim

        You’re assuming an internally heated source for some reason. You’re also assuming the process involves thermal insulation.

        “Differential cooling rate still results in a temperature differential. Only pedants and ignorati are bothered by the difference when the end result is the same.”~David Springer

        I am definitely a pedant (go go gadget aspergers!) but we can leave the ignorati stuff out, thanks.

        The reason the difference matters is because it is being claimed that reducing the rate of cooling can lead to a higher temperature than the input should produce.

        When this is brought up directly it is dismissed as absurd, rightfully so, but when you claim your face is heated by the warm wall and is not heated by the cold window, you’re misrepresenting what is happening.

        Your face cools less when exposed to the wall, and cools more when exposed to the window.

        Neither of those examples are the same as your face being warmed by say, a fireplace.

      • Berényi Péter

        “Distinguish radiative heat fluxes from rod conduction. They are very different.”

        No, they are not. If you increase temperature of the heat reservoir at the cold end of the rod but leave that of at the hot end unchanged, average temperature of the rod will go up. So what?

        So called “back radiation” is not a genuine heat flux, it is an artefact. You can only measure it with an instrument directed upwards, having an internal heat reservoir that is artificially held at a very low temperature. But then the flux is not between atmosphere and surface, but between atmosphere and the internal heat reservoir of your instrument.

        You can infer vertical radiative heat flux from measurents performed by this instrument in both directions (up vs. down), but that does not mean these fluxes are still present when the instrument is removed.

        You can similarly infer distance between two far away objects lying on the same line of sight by measuring your distance from both, then subtracting the two quantities. But then, has their distance anything to do with your location? If it has, you have not measured anyting. If it has not, then distances between you and the objects are only part of the measurement procedure, not genuine properties of the system on which mesurements were performed.

      • I understand your point and agree on much of it. There’s, however, a perfectly valid reason for handling radiative heat transfer in the atmosphere as it’s handled. Basically the reason is that many quantitative calculation can be made correctly and most simply using that approach. Using the standard approach of atmospheric physicists one can calculate the emission from a volume of gas and further from that the radiation flux at any point without knowledge of the locations where each photon will end. In your approach nothing can be calculated without specification of both ends.

        When there are several fundamentally equivalent descriptions working scientists prefer that one that suits best for quantitative analysis and that is what’s done here.

        My personal view is that the same approach is also intuitively most easy to apply for many issues that come up, while the one that you prefer is intuitively better for some other issues. It’s worthwhile to understand both descriptions and use both in spite of the fact that applying two parallel languages may confuse those with more lacking understanding. (Most of them would not be any better served by either one alone.)

      • Berényi Péter,
        My answer is more directly linked to your earlier comment than the above which discusses a little different (although related) issues.

      • Berényi Péter

        @Pekka Pirilä “Using the standard approach of atmospheric physicists one can calculate the emission from a volume of gas and further from that the radiation flux at any point without knowledge of the locations where each photon will end.”

        That may be true as long as mean free path of photons is long compared to distances involved. However, IR optical depth of the atmostphere averaged spatially and over the thermal spectrum is substantially larger than 1 (~1.87), therefore that condition does not hold. Moreover, distribution of Tyndall gases taken together is very far from uniform, which means their average concentration only puts an upper bound on IR optical depth, the lower bound being indeterminate. Under these circumstances you need to have a very detailed representation of said distribution in order to be able to calculate anything. A coarse grid, used by computational models, would never suffice.

      • Berenyi,
        I would revert the argument and say that your approach is preferred as long as only radiation of short mean free path is considered. By short I mean so short that the temperature difference over the path is also small. As soon as longer mean free paths are present even for a significant fraction, the other approach is better applicable for practical calculations and therefore preferred.

      • David Springer

        Berenyi, if you place a warm object between a hot object and a cold object the cooling rate of the hot object will be decreased. Equalization will still happen of course but it will take longer. If the hot object’s lost energy is being replenished then its equilibrium temperature will be higher than it would be if the warm object were not interposed. The earth’s surface is being replenished by the sun. Interposing a warm atmosphere between the warmer surface of the earth and the 3K background temperature of the cosmos will result in a higher equilibrium temperature for the surface. This requires a differential rate of energy transfer through the atmosphere which is what greenhouse gases do through transparency to shortwave radiation and opacity to longwave. It the atmosphere transferred radiative energy equally in both directions it would not raise the surface temperature. This much is settled science based on first principles. Arguing that it isn’t settled science is ignorant.

      • Berényi Péter

        @Springer – “This requires a differential rate of energy transfer through the atmosphere which is what greenhouse gases do through transparency to shortwave radiation and opacity to longwave.”

        I prefer to call them Tyndall gases, because, first, they have nothing to do with a greenhouse, and second, John Tyndall was the first who performed detailed measurements on IR absorptivity of gases (and found, correctly, that it was water vapor that held the high seat in the atmosphere). But proper terminology is just that, can make things easier to handle, but it is not all-important.

        Now, it is pretty clear if you increase average IR optical depth of the atmosphere, while both SW reflectivity (albedo) and optical depth (transparency) are left unchanged, surface temperature should increase to some extent. It is not a point up to debate and never was.

        However, neither is it the proper question to ask. The great political hullabaloo is not about optical depths and reflectancies after all, but about carbon dioxide (and to a lesser extent methane, along with some anesthetics), that is, well mixed atmospheric components, having high IR absorptivity in a narrow band of the thermal spectrum, while their absorptivity averaged over the entire thermal band is minuscule compared to that of water vapor.

        So, the questions to ask are these:
        If you increase optical depth in several narrow IR bands, what happens to
        1. average IR optical depth?
        2. average SW optical depth?
        3. albedo?

        The answer is not straightforward at all to any of these questions and computational climate models are the least capable to shed light on them. If you bear with me for just a few minutes longer, I’ll explain why.

        Far the most important Tyndall gas in the atmosphere is water vapor, no one dares to deny this fact. However, it is seldom advertised, that water vapor is not a well mixed gas, just the opposite. Its distribution is fractal-like, with fractal dimension well below 3, with considerable regional variation (it tends to decrease poleward). There are very good reasons it should be that way. Specific humidity of an air parcel is determined by its history, that is, by its temperature the last time it’s got saturated. In other words, it has nothing to do with its current temperature, except it has to be higher. Now, as you surely know there are turbulent flows called winds in the atmosphere all the time, moving an air parcel around in 3D. And as its elevation changes, so does its temperature, adiabatically. But turbulent flows do an even more important thing to an air parcel in this process. They distort it, in a very specific way. An originally bulky parcel develops into a mesh of ever finer threads, intermingled with other threads from other parcels with very different history and specific humidity.

        The upshot is, that average specific humidity over a region only gives an upper bound on IR optical depth due to water vapor, with a lower bound far below it, basically determined by the ill understood water vapor continuum. Between those values the atmsphere, so to speak, is free to choose any value of average IR optical depth, even with the same average specific humidity, by varying fractal dimension of its distribution slightly.

        Relation between average specific humidity and average IR optical depth is not measured and never was. If it were, it would most likely be found entirely chaotic. Neither is fractal dimension of water vapor distibution measured. And these things are never represented in computational models either, because scale invariant properties of fractals can’t be captured over a coarse grid (resolution being severely limited by available computing power).

        So, the main argument of warmists, water vapor amplification falls. Without it no well mixed Tyndall gas is capable to raise average IR optical depth much. What is worse, it is very likely, that if one puts an obstacle into the flow, that is, makes the so called IR atmospheric window slightly narrower (by widening the carbon dioxide absorption band), actual atmospheric flows would rearrange themselves, on all scales, to compensate for the loss of IR transparency. As soon as less heat can escape directly from surface to space (to a heat reservoir held strictly at 2.725 K), convection gets more vigorous, producing more extremely dry air at cloud tops. But what goes up, should come down, eventually, and by turbulent flows, contributes to the all encompassing fractal, punching a bit more very transparent windows in it.

        Therefore, even if it were true, that the upper troposphere is warming and its relative humidity stays constant (i.e. its average specific humidity increases), nothing would follow from this purported fact about average IR optical depth. It could either increase, decrease or remain the same, it is an (almost) independent variable. (However, multidecadal databases of weather balloon measurements strongly indicate, that average relative humidity does decrease in the upper troposphere, even if this fact is dismissed as measurement error by team players.)

        As for points 2. and 3., we only have to remember, that water vapor has another inconvenient property. It is inclined to get condensed and form clouds. Mostly on scales not represented in computational climate models, one should add. And as it does so, changes both reflectivity and SW transparency of the atmosphere a lot. I am sorry to say, but we have no long term global records of either, so experimental verification of any claim at this point in time is utterly impossible.

        This is where we stand now. We do know that carbon dioxide concentration has increased during the last half century (by 23.3%). But we do not have the slightest idea, how average IR and SW optical depth or planetary albedo have changed. Without these quantities, it is quite impossible to say anything definitive about changes in the Tyndall effect, except that the atmosphere does have ample capacity to compensate for carbon dioxide induced increase of IR optical depth if it chooses so. An imperceptible and quite immeasurable scale invariant rearrangement of flows is sufficient to do so.

      • David Springer

        Berényi Péter | November 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm |

        “I prefer to call them Tyndall gases,”

        Tyndall called infrared “calorific rays”. For consistency shouldn’t you prefer that too?

        I kind of lose interest when someone wants to use his own new phrases. This was no exception.

        And I certainly don’t need a lecture on John Tyndall’s work. I read the book and can, off the top of my head, describe how he constructed and operated his lab setup for measuring the properties of calorific gases.

        ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…..

      • Berényi Péter

        @David Springer | November 11, 2012 at 7:03 am |
        “ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…..”

        The terminology is introduced on John Nielsen-Gammon’s Climate Abyss in The Best Ever Description of the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect. You may go back to sleep now.

    • Berényi Péter

      Just to illustrate how ridiculous it is to claim a radiative imbalance of 0.6 ± 0.4 W/m² at TOA, let’s consider changes in heat content of the climate system.

      What is actually measured, is the average temperature of the upper 700 m layer of oceans. It went up by a full 0.1°C in the last 57 years (since 1955). Now, there is not much heat reservoir on the planet other than the oceans. If there is a radiative imbalance at TOA, more than 90% of heat gained has to show up as temperature increase there.

      True, there is also the deep ocean, water mass below 700 m, whose temperature lacked regular measurments until very recently. But from what we know, it is safe to infer that more than 60% of heat is stored in the uper 700 m, the rest only trickles down slowly by turbulent mixing.

      Using these figures we get an upper bound on average imbalance at TOA during the last half century, and that is 0.2 W/m². The value provided by Graeme Stephens et al. (0.6 ± 0.4 W/m²) barely touces it from above, error bar included. Which means it must be a wild exaggeration at best. Worst case scenarios are skipped here for the sake of sanity.

      As 200 mW/m² is in the same ballpark as geothermal heating (80 mW/m²) and ocean heat content measurements of course have their own error bars, this imbalance is effectively indistinguishable from zero.

      Which means it is not justified to set up a proposition like “there is a measurable flux imbalance at TOA”, because the null hypothesis (“tehere is no imbalance”) can’t be falsified based on measurements we have.

      It does not mean there can’t be a tiny imbalance over several decades, but it does mean that we have no idea how much it is except it must be tiny indeed.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        0.5 x 10 ^22 Joules per year is a reasonable estimate for how much energy has been stored just in the top 2000 meters of the global ocean over the past 50 years. One must then account for the additional energy that has been advected to the polar regions via ocean currents, with it going to warm the deeper Antarctic water and of course to both warm the Arctic ocean, but also to melt the sea ice, the majority of which rests under the surface in the water.

      • Berényi Péter

        A reasonable estimate of annual heat storage in the upper 2 km of oceans for the last 50 years is 0.43×10²² J/year. See the NOAA NODC OCL Pentadal heat content product.

        Volume of water in the upper 2000 m is 6.64×10¹⁷ m³. Heat needed to warm up a cubic meter of water by 1°C is 4.2×10⁶ J. Therefore the upper 2 km of oceans is warming at a rate of 0.0015°C/year (needs 370 years to warm up by 1°F). This warming can be produced by a 267 mW/m² radiative imbalance at ToA (~4 times the geothermal flux), which is 0.11% of the heat flux radiated away to space.

        Considering the fact, that decadal scale fluctuations of Earth’s albedo are at least an order of magnitude higher than that, this stabilility is just amazing.

        In the same half century atmospheric CO₂ content increased by 22.2%, which is 29% of a doubling. If doubling CO₂ provides a 3.7 W/m² primary forcing and it is amplified threefold (to 11 W/m²) by an allegedly positive water vapor feedback, average forcing in the last 50 years would have been 1600 mW/m², six (6) times higher, than the observed value.

        There is no way any substantial heat storage capacity was left out from this calculation. Water masses below 2000 m are very cold everywhere. Should any warming occur there (by vertical turbulent mixing, driven by tides & winds), buoyancy increases and they get replaced by cold & dense water masses downwelling in polar regions. This downwelling alway occurs somewhere along the ice edge (where salinity happens to be the highest), because density of sea water (unlike that of fresh water) is highest just above freezing. It means temperature of downwelling water is determined by the freezing point, not “climate”, as long as there is ice in contact with water anywhere. Please note, it is not a “negative feedback”, but a true regulator on abyssal temperatures, effectively preventing heat storage there.

        The upshot is forcing from CO₂ doubling is overestimated five or sixfold by the IPCC mean value of 3°C/doubling for equilibrium temperature. Which means it is closer to 0.5-0.6°C, implying a strong negative feedback somewhere in the system, utterly unrepresented in computational climate models.

        The other thing is, that equilibrium temperature alone does not tell us much about the rate of warming to be expected, one also needs a time constant attached to the equilibration process. The extremely slow rate of warming in the single major heat reservoir of the climate system seen above suggests a multi century time constant, which means warming from CO₂ must be absolutely negligible (in the range of a couple of tenths of centigrades) on century timescales.

      • Peter,

        I’ll accept your estimate of .43 versus my .5. They are reasonably close and certainly not off by a factor of 10 or 100 as could be the case. What I don’t accept is your estimate as to how much heat is being stored at even deeper levels of the ocean. There are indications that this could be substantially more than you seem to want to credit. See:

        http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/southern-ocean-climate-0228.html

        or here:

        http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2010JC006601.shtml

        So I think the general scale of the what could be considered “missing” heat is not even close to as severe as what you are making it out to be. However, having said that, I’ve looked at enough Earth’s energy system models and studies to know that there is indeed, some unaccounted for source of heat uptake or release– the infamous “missing heat” issue. I think the scale of this missing heat is not as enormous as you would posit as much more has gone into the oceans than you would allow, but still, there is some (perhaps on the order of 0.2 w/m^2 or so). One avenue I am personally looking into is the issue of how much energy is lost during a sizeable Sudden Stratospheric Warming event, which now occur every few years, usually in the NH, though some do occur in the SH. These are large scale, planetary events, that certainly involved a great deal of energy being lost from the Earth system, though as of yet, I’ve not found anyone to give me even a rough approximation as to how much.

      • Berényi Péter

        You argue on temperature of the freezing water but that’s only part of the issue, the other part is the volume. Your argument cannot say anything on that and is therefore totally without merit.

        I have no strong views on the change in heat content of deep oceans, I say only that your argument doesn’t say anything about it.

      • David Springer

        The mixed layer of the ocean is 10% of its volume. There isn’t any turbulence that reaches beyond the mixed layer. The depth where turbulence ceases is what establishes the depth of the mixed layer. Energy transfer betweent the mixed layer and the bulk of the ocean below it occurs by conduction (slow) and more importantly by the oceanic conveyor belt (speed variable and not well known). The oceanic conveyor belt is basically warm water from the tropics flowing along the surface towards the poles where it cools and sinks then returns to the tropics along the bottom. No one really knows how quickly or slowly the conveyor belt works to overcome stratification. I know one thing, with 90% of the global ocean at a constant 3C if the the mix rate increases very much it’s gonna make the surface really cold really fast and woolly mammoths will return as a staple food item for northern Europeans.

      • Berényi Péter

        What you say is correct, more or less, but has one major flaw. The so called “conveyor belt” (more correctly: MOC – Meridional Overturning Circulation) is not a heat engine. It is not driven by temperature and/or salinity differences between different water masses. If you bring the surface of a water mass at rest in a gravitational field into contact with two heat reservoirs at different temperature (that’s what happens to oceans between tropics and polar regions), that never induces any macroscopic flow in the fluid. It is a sad fact, readily testable under lab conditions.

        Therefore, the usual fairy story about the Great Conveyor Belt can’t be true, not to mention pretty images depicting it, scattered all over the net (and “scientific” magazines).

        Cold, dense, salty surface water can only sink to the bottom if its density exceeds that of the water masses already there. If not, it simply stays afloat. Therefore, no matter what temperature/salinity distribution you start with, the abyss gets saturated in the long run, the denser the water the deeper it could be found. At that point all overturning grinds to a crawl.

        And the engine of our oceans certainly had time enough.

        The only way to keep deep overturning circulation up indefinitely, is either by heating it from below or to move heat down from surface to bottom where it is available while removing (some) salinity from there.

        Now, geothermal heat flow (~100 mW/m², averaged over the bottom) is much too small a heat source. Heat conductivity of water is absolutely insufficient to move heat down at rates required, while diffusivity of salts is even lower (by some 2 orders of magnitude).

        Resolution of the enigma comes from the realization, that large scale overturning is driven by pure mechanical energy input. That’s what I mean by saying it is not a heat engine. It does not convert temperature or concentration gradients into mechanical motion, but it is the other way around. Its mechanical energy output is negative.

        Mechanical energy driving large scale circulation comes from two different sources, with roughly equal weights. One is tidal breaking, the other is internal waves generated by surface winds. Both processes lead to deep turbulent mixing at some continental margins of difficult geometry and/or over rugged bottom features, where internal waves are broken and part of their mechanical energy is dissipated into vertical turbulent flows. This mixing process is rather intermittent and occurs only in restricted regions, mostly over the Southern ocean.

        This is the process that moves heat down and dilutes bottom waters, making room for more polar water to sink.

        However, it is quite easy to see, that heat content at depth can never be increased this way as long as there is ice in contact with water anywhere over the face of Earth.

        Density of sea water (unlike that of fresh water) is highest just before freezing, so water starts to sink somewhere along the ice edge (where its density happens to be the highest). The exact location can and does vary, most importantly between North and South. But the overall rate of downwelling, integrated globally, is determined by the mechanical energy input described above, not by temperature, evaporation or such.

        Highest possible density of sea water at low perssure is not determined by climate, but it is an intrinsic physical property. Which means water sinking to replace abyssal masses somewhat diluted by deep turbulent mixing has an average heat content by volume in a very restrictes range, entirely determined by phisics. Therefore the very presence of global sea ice margin serves as a temperature regulator for the deep ocean.

        As no climate projection, not even the wildest ones dare imagine the complete disappearence of all ice in contact with water (winter included!) under the curent configuration of continents, this regulator is expected to keep working as usual even into the distant future until plate tectonics happens to intervene.

        Therefore no heat can accummulate in the abyss. Q.E.D.

      • David Springer

        I didn’t say the global conveyor belt was a heat engine but it’s certainly driven by temperature differentials directly or indirectly. Without temperature differentials there’d be no salinity change as ice wouldn’t be forming or melting so even that is indirectly temperature-driven. And some very large surface currents are driven by winds and winds are created by temperature diffentials in the atmosphere so wind driven ocean currents are indirectly due to temperature changes as well.

        It’s hard to take you seriously at this point.

  19. Hey, folks – these are the very same models that are cranking out the dire predictions projections of our climate way off in the year 2100, which we are supposed to actually believe and even drastically reduce our quality of life in order to avoid (and they can’t even get today’s energy balance right?).

    Ouch!

    Max

  20. When JoNova says, The effect of CO2 forcing “is lost in the noise of uncertainty,” we are hearing what statisticians (like McShane and Wyner) have been telling us for a long time now–i.e., there is absolutely no signal in the data.

    • Wagathon

      It’s also essentially what Judith Curry has been telling us (in a gentler fashion and still leaving the door cracked open that there could be a signal):

      “Anthropogenic climate change is a theory whose basic mechanism is well understood, but whose magnitude is highly uncertain.”

      [In testimony to a US congressional committee in 2008]

      Max

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        manacker, quoting Dr. Curry: “Anthropogenic climate change is a theory whose basic mechanism is well understood, but whose magnitude is highly uncertain.”

        I would suggest that the only parts of the “basic mechanism” that are well understood are the emission/absorption spectra of H2O and CO2. How the mechanisms of heat flow through the system are changed by changing the CO2 concentration are mostly not known. That is in addition to the fact that their magnitudes are not known.

        Consider for example Hadley cells, which are part of the mechanism by which energy is transferred from the Equatorial region to the Arctic region. What is the effect of doubling CO2 concentration on the rate of transfer of energy through the Hadley cells?

      • Max,

        I see you’re quoting Ms Judith.

        I’d like to quote Dr Curry:

        “skepticism about climate change is no longer focused on whether it the earth is getting warmer (it is) or whether humans are contributing to it (we are).”

  21. This seems strange: “Note, concluding that climate models are incorrect because of this new analysis of the global heat budget is NOT justified.  The Kiehl-Trenberth diagram is not used in climate models in any way, and mainly has been used as a conceptual aid.”

    You seem to be saying that the modeling community has always known that the KT diagram was false but never said so publicly. What you are calling a (mere) conceptual aid has been central to the AGW publicity machine, much like the hockey stick. Something is not right.

    • ” Something is not right.” Nah, it is just ducky. K&T blew their budget by about 20 Wm-2, claimed a surface imbalance of 0.9 Wm-2 +/- 0.18 Wm-2, made a “minor adjustment” to include a missing 18Wm-2 which required changing the imbalance to about 0.8 Wm-2 +/-0.54 Wm-2 and this paper indicates the surface imbalance is about 0.6 Wm-2 +/- SEVENTEEN Wm-2. Perfectly post-normal

      Remember, we still have a warming trend from 1997 of 0.034 C +/- 0.011 (95% confidence).

    • David Springer

      It’s not false it’s just got margin of error much larger than the few watts of surface forcing that’s ostensibly anthropogenic in origin. It’s ridiculously not accurate enough to add up the surface budget and make a determination that TOA incoming is a watt greater than TOA outgoing. It’s a great cartoon for showing the general nature and gross ratios of global average heat budget components. The details, measurement data sets, and regional distributions extrapolated therefrom are here:

      http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter05/chapter05_01.htm

      • So instead of being false it is simply not known to be true? In this context I would say that this false confidence amounts to a falsehood. It is a case of funny numbers. Ridiculously not accurate enough sounds about right given that we are talking about policy decisions worth trillions of dollars. That cartoon has been widely used as precise evidence, a scientific claim.

      • David Springer

        No. It’s ballpark correct. Don’t play stupid. It’s unbecoming.

      • David Springer

        KT could be perfectly correct at any instant in time. It doesn’t speak to how the ratios between the different components in the energy budget change with changes in greenhouse gas concentration. Stephens found that the ratio changes with more energy leaving the surface though the latent channel as GHG concentration increases. Increased flow through the latent channel does not require an increase in surface temperature as do radiative and thermal channels.

  22. Joe's World(progressive evolution)

    Judith,

    Three areas NOT in consideration in this is planetary tilting, pressure differences and velocity differences.
    http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/guest/lalonde-joe/world-calculations.pdf
    http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/guest/lalonde-joe/world-calculations-2.pdf
    Also misses land altitudes to sea level differences…

  23. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    Consider a few other flows>

    1. 75 W/m^2 out of 340 W/m^2 of incoming radiation from the sun is absorbed in the atmosphere. Doubling the CO2 concentration will increase the amount absorbed. By how much? In the upper atmosphere there is more CO2 than H2O, with the ratio of H2O to CO2 increasing as you go down closer to the surface. So the amount of solar radiation that is absorbed could be increased of 5% – 10% : 3.75 W/m^2 up to 7.5 W/m^2. These figures need to be sharpened, but they show that the decrease in downwelling energy could be greater than the hypothesized 3.7W/m^2 “equilibrium” increase of downwelling LWR that is the response to warming. That is, it is reasonable to expect that the first effect of doubling the CO2 concentration would be to cool the Earth surface.

    2. 112 W/m^2 of energy is carried to the upper atmosphere by dry and wet thermals then freezing water. Assuming that the rate of this transfer is a superlinear function of surface temp (perhaps proportional to T^4 like emission, or only T^2), the increase could be 1% of this, or 1 W/m^2. Like the increase in upward radiation, this is a negative feedback to the warming effect of CO2 (if there is any.)

    3. I am puzzled by the “Clear-sky emission” 266.4 W/m^2, which seems redundant with the 239.7 W/m^2 “outgoing longwave radiation” , but is the sum of 239.7 and 26.7 which is labeled the “Longwave cloud effect”; unless the latter is 3 and 26.7 is unlabeled.

    4. Radiation from the atmosphere is 239.7 W/m^2 to space and 319 W/m^2 to Earth surface. Whatever the true values are, doubling the CO2 concentration of the entire atmospheric ought to increase those two values by the same amount, since the gas molecules emit in all directions. Notice that 75 + 24 + 88 + 395 = 582 W/m^2 flows into the upper atmosphere. Increasing the radiation upward and downward by 2*3.7 = 7.4 W/m^2 is only about a 1.2% change in the outward radiation from this flow of energy. But the net effect ought to be a cooling of the Earth system, since the outgoing radiation increases.

    Taken altogether, we have, presuming these flow figures to be sufficiently accurate:

    a. Doubling the CO2 concentration will increase the net flow of energy out of the Earth system whether the Earth surface warms or not;

    and

    b. if the downwelling LWIR increases and increases the surface temperature, the increasing in upwelling energy from radiation and convection will be greater than the increase in downwelling LWIR if the Earth surface warms even 1 K.

    None of these figures can be precise, even if the flows are calculated precisely, because they are based on means, whereas the spatio-temporal distributions of the flows are needed. I shall be interested to read improved estimates of the effects of CO2 changes on the energy flows in the coming years.

    A while ago Prof Curry posed the question: What is the most important question in climate science with respect to AGW? I propose that the most important question is: How does doubling the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere affect the energy flows in the climate system?

    • Joe's World(progressive evolution)

      How does doubling the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere affect the energy flows in the climate system?

      Hmmm…
      Is it heavier than water?
      Does it block solar radiation?
      Does it movement or have energy on it’s own?

    • I have seen your argument presented similarly Matt. The discussion considered the effect of the narrowing or reduction of Trenbarths described 40w direct window against your and others conclusion as you expressed in point 4 above, that the two values may or should change the same amount but perhaps the window reduces.There was no conclusive conclusion drawn there. What are your thoughts?

    • MattStat,

      On point 1. Adding suddenly CO2 has a very small effect on absorption of solar radiation, because CO2 has a significant effect only around 2 um where the radiation intensity is low. The influence on IR that reaches the Earth surface is larger as the average level of emission is reduced and some some of the gaps in the spectrum made narrower.

      4. Your conclusion that up and down radiation intensities change by the same relative amount is wrong. You neglect the role of increased absorption in the atmosphere which is after all the main reason for the whole GHE. When you throw aside the main effect you naturally make totally false conclusions. Taking both absorption and emission into account and remembering the lapse rate we see that radiation up is decreased while radiation down is increased.

      • Pekka, “On point 1. Adding suddenly CO2 has a very small effect on absorption of solar radiation, because CO2 has a significant effect only around 2 um where the radiation intensity is low.” That 75 WM-2 absorbed in the atmosphere would emit in a spectrum based on its temperature. That Absorbed energy would be impacted by additional CO2. Since most of that 75 WM-2 is absorbed by water vapor and clouds, CO2 could reduced the impact of atmospheric solar absorption on the surface by increasing upper level convection.

      • That point was on the immediate response before any temperatures have had time to change or any changes initiated in convection. The only things that are allowed to change are the CO2 concentration, the radiation levels, and the derivatives of temperature.

        The question being considered is: What are the sudden changes in these derivatives?

      • That answer would require a different layered modelling approach. By considering a CO2 a point source, there would not be a uniform increase in lapse rate since the average altitude of CO2 impact is more uniform than water vapor. You would get zonal impacts with the Sudden Stratospheric Warming type events, since CO2 would also reduce the rate of horizontal heat transfer, downard impact of atmospheric solar absorption and tend to block its own impact, the models would have to consider discrete layers and latitudinal “walls”. In other words, the distribution of energy matters.

      • That address is totally insensitive to issues like that you mention. You don’t restrict your thoughts to the genuinely initial reactions but start to think what happens later. Those effects come when the temperature has already changed. They grow initially in second order with time since the sudden increase in CO2, not in first order. Here I discuss only the first order effects.

      • Pekka, “You don’t restrict your thoughts to the genuinely initial reactions but start to think what happens later.” That would be because I have been through this dozens of times. With initial impact gradually increasing to ~3.7 Wm-2 lost in +/-17 Wm-2 of uncertainty, the initial impacts are indeterminate. What can be estimated, is the time frame for determining a longer term impact.

        It is like estimating fluid flow through a pipe or trying to model every potential turbulent eddy that may occur in the fluid transfer, it is what ultimately happens that matters.

      • That finally matters but concepts can be defined making specific assumptions for various purposes and questions may be asked that have a specific but limited relevance.

        One of these questions is, what happens initially referring only to effects that start to develop immediately and linearly in time. Such a question was discussed here. Such questions are often discussed because they can be answered with less information and because answering them may be useful as starting point for further analysis. Two people may also better figure out, how far they agree when they proceed in small steps.

      • Pekka, “Two people may also better figure out, how far they agree when they proceed in small steps.” That is entirely true. So for small steps I have recommended considering CO2 as a point source in a simple model to illustrate the major points. That suggestion is lost in the minutia.

        I have recommended using energy envelopes to nest isolated systems to illustrate the major points that needs to be considered. That is lost in the minutia.

        I have pointed out not only that K&T miss 18 Wm-2 but where they missed the 18 Wm-2, that is lost in the minutia.

        Sometimes it is just best to step back and take a fresh look at the problem.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Pekka Pirila: That point was on the immediate response before any temperatures have had time to change or any changes initiated in convection.

        I agree.

        What we have are a variety of rates. The sea surface temperature changes slowly. The Land surface temperature changes rapidly. The atmospheric absorption and emission change as soon as the CO2 change, and the temperature of the region of the atmosphere that absorbs incoming solar radiation heats up much more rapidly than the Earth surface, so there might be little additional error in treating it as instantaneous.

      • CO2 absorbs so little solar energy that other effects dominate.

      • Pekka, “CO2 absorbs so little solar energy that other effects dominate.” Of course, water vapor absorbs most of the solar. That energy, after absorption by water vapor, would interact with CO2. According to the graphic, 75 Wm-2 of solar are absorbed, 31% of the total atmospheric absorption versus 22% by water vapor AND CO2 interacting with OLR. That places the TOTAL radiant portion of the GHE at 22% with water vapor responsible for at least 1/2 of that absorption.

        That is the impact of the Stevens and gang paper. GHGs contribute ~ 22% of the total atmospheric effect, latent is a larger contributor, solar is a larger contributor, sensible is a larger contributor, they all are stealing more of CO2s thunder.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Pekka Pirilla: Adding suddenly CO2 has a very small effect on absorption of solar radiation, because CO2 has a significant effect only around 2 um where the radiation intensity is low.

        According to the flow diagram, 22% if incoming solar radiation is absorbed in the atmosphere. When you say “very small effect”, can you quantify that?

        Your conclusion that up and down radiation intensities change by the same relative amount is wrong. You neglect the role of increased absorption in the atmosphere which is after all the main reason for the whole GHE.

        Please put up a better computation. Downwelling and TOA to space IR increases 3.7, upwelling increases 5.5 IR plus 1 (thermals), downwelling and TOA to space then increases by ??? Based on this flow diagram, CO2 doubling can’t raise Earth surface temperature by very much.

      • I have not checked the numbers but from graphical representations that can can be found all around it’s clear that CO2 plays a very small role in the absorption of solar radiation. Much of the absorption concerns UV with ozone as a major factor. For near IR water vapor dominates in the absorption. Rayleigh scattering is also important in diverting direct radiation.

  24. Lance Wallace

    Plazaeme (first comment)–

    Thanks for the link to the excellent December 2011 lecture by Stephens. He makes a very significant point that relating “climate sensitivity” to temperature may be an ill-posed problem, since the clouds act on the heat budget directly by albedo, radiation emission, and indirectly by changes in precipitation, which can not necessarily be related in a linear fashion to a change in temperature. So even though progress is being made in understanding clouds, the uncertainty bounds on “climate sensitivity” do not change over time, suggesting wrongly that no progress is being made.

  25. What does this new information mean in terms of change in the expected value of climate sensitivity and the uncertainty of it?

    • Steve Milesworthy

      Expected values for climate sensitivity are mostly derived from paleoclimate. So virtually no change.

      The change in the model estimations would presumably depend on something like the change in the feedbacks related to these model errors, which I guess will be small. Not least, because if they were large, a) the authors would have recognised the issue and b) CMIP5 models are apparently better than earlier models in this respect yet are giving similar amounts of warming (I think…).

  26. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    So the models are trying to explain tiny residual imbalances, but the uncertainties and unknowns are larger than the target.

    It is good to get that into the peer-reviewed literature. Maybe the message will be noticed.

  27. Willis Eschenbach

    Steven Mosher | November 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Reply

    Now you just need to understand that the final knob controls the release to space. GHGs. It matters little how energy re arranges itself from the deep ocean to the surface up through the atmosphere, the final control is the rate at which the energy leaves earth via radiation. More GHGs, means a earth that cools more slowly than it would otherwise. Re arrange the deck chairs however you like, that’s your final system characteristic that matters

    Thanks, Steven. Since the variable that folks consider to be of interest is the surface temperature, it indeed matters how you “arrange the deck chairs”. You can have the same deck with the same sun shining down, but if you move the deck chairs into the shade you’ll find that the surface temperature will be much cooler …

    w.

    • The analogy of a greenhouse as a stand-in for the real world is the AGW Theorists’ original sin. It cannot get any better after that.

    • One would think that with more molecules radiating into space we would get more outgoing radiation.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        David Wojick: One would think that with more molecules radiating into space we would get more outgoing radiation.

        That is consistent with the understanding of the mechanism that is supposed to create CO2-induced warming of the planet. There is a tremendous flow of heat into the upper atmosphere. There is no good reason to assume that doubling the concentration of CO2 increases radiation *only* in the downward direction.

      • Of course the radiation from any specific altitude increases in all directions with more CO2, but less and less of that escapes as more is absorbed by the upper layers. The net effect is a reduction in escaping radiation.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Pekka Pirilla: The net effect is a reduction in escaping radiation.

        “Escape” from the atmosphere is bidirectional. If more CO2 implies less escaping, then the reduction in escaping ought to be bidirectional as well. You have proposed an understanding in which the net effect of doubling CO2 is to warm the atmosphere in between the Earth surface (where warming increases upward transfer more than downward) and TOA (where warming increases radiation to space.)

      • And yet Mosher says “…the final control is the rate at which the energy leaves earth via radiation. More GHGs, means a earth that cools more slowly than it would otherwise.”

        I interpret this to mean that the “rate at which the energy leaves earth via radiation” is actually reduced with more GHGs. It is the plain meaning of what he says, yet is seems quite wrong.

        But I have observed both before and here that this topic is fraught with confusion. I do not believe that there is a single ”understanding of the mechanism that is supposed to create CO2-induced warming of the planet”. On the contrary there seem to be many different supposed understandings.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Willis,

        Hotter weather balanced by more cloudy days would also matter. Global temperature is an interesting and illustrative metric, but it is not the be all and end all.

        Matthew

        Of course radiation from a given blob of atmosphere increases in all directions as the concentration of CO2 rises. But so does absorption.

        As a result, the increased upward radiation is counteracted by the increased absorption in the levels above.

        The levels above, however, are colder. So while they absorb as much radiation, they do not emit as much radiation.

        In essence, the extra CO2 makes the atmosphere foggier in the infrared meaning that from space you can see less deep into the atmosphere and therefore you see (on average) colder layers of the atmosphere.

      • CO2 decreases immediately radiation to space and warming cancels ultimately that effect.

      • Matt, that is the most frustrating part of their definitions and top down or bottom up only logic. CO2 is a bi-directional offender, it would block DWLR as well as OLR. The where never gets considered, just “a higher and colder place”.

      • David,

        There is one understanding among climate scientists and physicists who have looked carefully at the issue.

        There are innumerable erroneous claims of all nature.

      • Yes more CO2 blocks radiation in all directions. That’s part of the theory. That leads to less radiation escaping to the space and and more hitting the surface of Earth. Both are consequences of that when combined with the negative lapse rate (colder at higher altitude).

      • Pekka, “Yes more CO2 blocks radiation in all directions. That’s part of the theory. That leads to less radiation escaping to the space and and more hitting the surface of Earth. ”

        So now for our initial state, we have ~9 Wm-2 Solar, 10 Wm-2 Latent, 7Wm-2 Sensible or roughly 26Wm-2 more of the energy absorbed in the atmosphere that may be at or above that higher colder place. We also have that same 26Wm-2 that did not originate with GHE horizontally limited by CO2. Depending on the “where” the CO2 ERL is initially, the location and source of the atmospheric energy could be blocked by CO2.

        Now we are at the next step. With GHGs contributing only 22% of the energy in the atmosphere, then next impact of a doubling of CO2 would have to be less than before using the dated Trenberth estimates.

        You can add it up, 75 Solar, 88 latent, 24 Sensible and 53 GHG equals 240 Wm-2. With the atmospheric window closer to 20 Wm-2 instead of 40 and GHG contributing only 22%, TCR is 1.24 C with the likelihood of a higher ECS reduced and totally dependent of the OH uptake time constant which could be millennia.

      • Capt.Dallas,

        The only place controlled by radiation is the top of the troposphere (and up from that). Within the troposphere as well as at the surface radiative heat transfers has it’s share but stability conditions make convection fill all gaps. Latent heat transfer is linked with convection as moisture is carried by the same air flows.

        That’s the reason for the fact that the control knob operates at TOA as Steven Mosher wrote in on message.

        The throttle is there, energy fluxes at lower altitude settle to what’s needed. The (real) lapse rate is the other essential factor, and albedo third as it influences also directly the energy balance at TOA.

      • Pekka, you claim that “There is one understanding among climate scientists and physicists who have looked carefully at the issue.”

        I do not believe this is true. I am seeing many independent explanations that appear inconsistent, going all the way back to the first zero feedback sensitivity post a year or so ago. It would be a wonderful issue tree project to explore these apparent inconsistencies but I doubt anyone will fund it. Pending that my conjecture is that the GHE concept is incoherent in the sense that there are many inconsistent versions in play.

        My own view is that the GHE works by increasing the time length of the random walk each quantum of energy takes from the time it enters the earth system until it leaves but I have seen no one make this case.

      • Pekka, “The only place controlled by radiation is the top of the troposphere (and up from that). Within the troposphere as well as at the surface radiative heat transfers has it’s share but stability conditions make convection fill all gaps.”

        Approximately 20% of the surface of the Earth has the same radiant conditions as the top of the troposphere. The Antarctic all year and the Arctic half of the year are radiant sinks. Where water vapor concentration is less than 400 ppm, CO2 has a major radiant impact. Based on the Paper, the radiant impact is effectively at ~ -26C degrees which may be the upper troposphere or your back yard.

      • David,

        People have varying views on how to explain the phenomena to make them supposedly easier to understand, but there’s no disagreement on the actual physics. Scientists like Linzen, Christy, etc. agree with main stream at this level. Where they have differing views is on feedbacks.

      • Capt.Dallas,

        I agree that high latitudes differ from the standard simplified description. The temperature profiles are not controlled there in the same way by convection. Such deviations must be taken into account, but don’t change the general understanding.

      • Pekka, “Such deviations must be taken into account, but don’t change the general understanding.” Or lack of understanding :)

        When I noticed the problems with mixed phase clouds, tropical ozone depletion, SSW events, I started thinking that there is more wrong than just a simple analogy. The prolonged solar minimum will tell the tale, but I am sure that some scurrying in climate model circles is in the offing.

      • Most of the explanations that can be presented in reasonable amount of space or for non-specialists in any amount of space are gross simplifications.

        A rare explanation that’s is totally valid is on the analysis of radiative heat transfer given a full description of the state of the atmosphere. For the TOA energy balance it’s necessary only to check how the opacity at each wavelength and the actual temperature profile determine the emission out of atmosphere at each location. The only significant uncertainty in such a calculation concerns the accuracy of the description of the state of atmosphere (which was assumed given based on observations).

        Such a calculation can be repeated changing only the CO2 concentration. The difference of the two cases is not as sensitive to the detailed description of the atmosphere as the absolute calculation of one case. The result for doubling is the number 3.7 W/m^2 with an uncertainty of 5% or so.

        All this is conceptually rather easy to explain without a need to simplify. But then I don’t know whether there are any other things about global warming where the same could be stated.

      • Pekka, I don’t have any problem with the 3.7 Wm-2. the big issues are what are the true initial conditions, the normal range of internal variability and the time constants of normal variability. You are starting a complex problem form an unknown state. The modeling approach used makes too many assumptions that are really not required using comparative models from different frames of reference.

        It is not the physics, it is the guys playing with the assumptions and ignoring the data.

      • By my previous message I wanted to emphasize two points that seemed to be lost in this thread:

        – The fundamental physical process of GHE is well understood
        – The place where the rate of warming is controlled at any moment is TOA. The fluxes at other levels react rapidly to what happens there, because fluxes at other levels include convection and latent heat transfer. The factors that operate at TOA are not determined by local conditions as convection is but by the whole atmosphere with every detail having only a small influence.

        Then we come to the factors that do determine the balance at TOA. The most uncertain factor in that are clouds which influence strongly the albedo and significantly also outgoing IR. That’s where the scientific fight is going on. The skeptics among climate scientists propose the climate sensitivity is rather low due to increasing albedo while the main stream believes that the overall effect of changes in cloud cover is positive and adds to other positive feedbacks.

      • Pekka, in the first place the TOA does not exist. If it does it has, by definition, no molecules. I am surprised that you cannot see how scientifically incoherent these explanations are. But then you are not an expert on confusion.

      • David,

        TOA means some layer above troposphere. What altitude above the troposphere is chosen changes some details but all essentials are independent of that.

        There’s nothing incoherent in my latest message. The earlier are in a sense somewhat incoherent because they involve major simplifications which are not the same in each case.

      • In that case, Pekka, shouldn’t the term be “effective radiating altitude”, or something along those lines?

      • Max,
        Effective radiative altitude is a parameter than can be used to characterize the final outcome. When the total OLR has been determined a further simple calculation can be made to find out an altitude that would give the same OLR if all radiation would originate at that single altitude. That’s the effective radiative altitude.

      • Indeed Pekka, and that altitude is in no way the top of the atmosphere. Temperatures actually rise above the effective radiating altitude for a portion of the stratosphere, drop through the mesosphere, and then spike in the thermosphere… though in the latter case the low density makes it difficult to properly compare to temperature in a dense atmospheric fluid like we are swimming in down here.

      • Max,

        The main interest is normally on what happens on surface and in troposphere. The influence of stratosphere must be taken into account and that’s done also in practice even when it’s not discussed explicitly. The fundamental difference between troposphere and stratosphere is that convection plays a very important role in the troposphere while the stratosphere is stratified, stable and without vertical convection (that’s an idealized picture but correct for this argument). From this follows further that the only important energy transfer mechanism within the stratosphere is radiative.

        The altitude of tropopause is determined by the condition that radiative heat transfer leads to a stratified atmosphere above that particular altitude. At lower altitudes it would result in a higher lapse rate than is stable against convection, thus convection is initiated (and we are in troposphere by definition).

        The temperature profile of the stratosphere is thus determined by equations that include only radiative effects, most importantly absorption of UV by ozone and both emission and absorption of IR by CO2. The effect of downwards IR from stratosphere must be taken into account in considerations of the upper troposphere, and that’s done in every analysis.

        Because the stratosphere is so thin, it’s effect on the energy balance of the Earth is limited, the layers still higher up have practically no influence on the whole. Looking at the temperatures only may be misleading when the atmosphere is very thin.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Pekka Pirila: Yes more CO2 blocks radiation in all directions. That’s part of the theory. That leads to less radiation escaping to the space and and more hitting the surface of Earth.

        I get that more CO2 implies more absorption. How that makes more hitting Earth and less radiation in the opposite direction is the mystery.

        Consider the upper, thinnest, coldest 0.1% of the CO2 mass. You double the mass of CO2, double the amount absorbed of the upwelling radiation from below, yet you do not double the amount radiated upward. How is that possible?

        CO2 rapidly mixes, and each 0.1% layer doubles in concentration. Each layer doubles the amount of radiation receive from the layers above and below it (up to the maximum, in case a layer absorbs all the inflow), and doubles its radiation in both directions (again subject to the restriction.) How this doubling of CO2 throughout all the “layers” of the atmosphere results in a net increase of flow in only 1 direction requires more explanation than you have given.

        (I defined the hypothetical “layers” as having equal CO2 mass, which means that they are not of constant thickness or equal thickness, when “thickness” is measurable in meters.)

        – The fundamental physical process of GHE is well understood
        – The place where the rate of warming is controlled at any moment is TOA. The fluxes at other levels react rapidly to what happens there, because fluxes at other levels include convection and latent heat transfer. The factors that operate at TOA are not determined by local conditions as convection is but by the whole atmosphere with every detail having only a small influence.

        In that case, tell us again how doubling the concentration of CO2 at the TOA does not double the rate of radiation into space.

        As I wrote above, you have described a mechanism that possibly “traps” more radiation in the atmospheric layers between the Earth surface and TOA, but not a mechanism that can increase net radiant flow in one direction only.

        Back to my original point, now expressed as a question: based on the Stephan et al mean energy flow diagram, can you hypothesize the quantitative effect of CO2 doubling on each mean energy flow? I think that is the most important question in AGW work. That is in addition to the question of whether there will be increased cloud cover as well as faster water and energy circulation through the evapotranspiration/precipitation cycle.

      • MattStat,

        I present the argument in a little simplified form, but the idea is fully applicable to the real case.

        Looking from above at the atmosphere at a fixed wavelength close to 15 um the atmosphere is opaque and the more opaque the more CO2 we have. The more opaque the atmosphere is the closer to the top the points are that we can see, i.e. the higher is the point of origin of the radiation that reaches us. Because the temperature decreases with altitude the intensity is the lower the higher up is the origin of the radiation. The CO2 high up in the atmosphere blocks the stronger radiation from further down from reaching us and replaces that by the less strong radiation that it emits. Therefore more CO2 means less radiation up from the atmosphere.

        At the bottom the situation is reversed. Again the atmosphere gets more opaque with more CO2 but now the part of the atmosphere nearer to us is lower, not higher. Therefore it’s temperature is higher and it radiates more. Now CO2 blocks weaker radiation and replaces that by stronger one and more radiation hits the surface.

        Inside the troposphere the number of photons emitted grows proportionally to the concentration, but the mean free path is shorter with an inverse proportionality. That makes the radiation level stay almost unchanged. It would be exactly constant if the atmosphere were isothermal, but with the temperature gradient there may be a very small dependence on the CO2 concentration also inside the troposphere far from both limits. The intensity depends on the local temperature and is thus the smaller the higher up it’s observed. That leads to a little modified way of understanding the changes in radiation exiting up or down.

        Due to the higher opacity the radiation that escapes up represents a weighted average of a range predominantly higher up with more CO2. The radiation that hits the surface is similarly weighted more strongly towards the very lowest altitudes. This makes the radiation up decrease and the radiation down increase with increasing CO2.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Pekka Pirila,

        Very good. Now, how about the argument that, at a surface increase of 1K, the change in downwelling is offset by the change in upwardly radiated and upwardly transported energy?

        What effects does the doubling of CO2 have on the other energy flows?

      • MattStat,

        That was about what happens initially over a very short period. Beyond that I just refer broadly to many of my other comments on this thread where I have argued that only the energy balance at TOA is easy to understand and interpret.

        The net energy flux at surface cannot deviate much from that at TOA when averaged over longer periods because the heat capacity of atmosphere is too low to make that possible. How the total net flux is formed at surface from it’s components cannot be predicted before everything else about the atmospheric processes is also predicted. It depends so strongly on all feedback mechanisms that operate on the relevant time scales. Therefore the empirical data collected by Stephens et al provides useful material for testing atmospheric models in cases where they have not been tested sufficiently otherwise. (Weather forecasting has provided many relevant tests for models that are used also for this purpose.)

        The relationship of the surface temperature to that of upper troposphere is simpler as that is determined by the lapse rate.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Pekka Pirila: Beyond that I just refer broadly to many of my other comments on this thread where I have argued that only the energy balance at TOA is easy to understand and interpret.

        I recognized that, but at any time the energy flows are not balanced, they only average out, approximately, over long time spans and over the whole Earth. The equilibrium radiative balance model has limited accuracy for predicting what changes in the flows will result from doubling CO2, and hence what will happen in any places or any times, or spatio-temporally averaged over short time spans, such as a human lifetime.

        I think that your downward/upward LWIR flow model is incapable of handling both the amount of non-radiative heat transfer into the upper atmosphere, and the result of heating the Earth surface. If I am right, then I expect to see much more work on modeling the actual heat flows and the changes induced in them by CO2 concentration changes.

        I think that the next step might be for me to represent this flow diagram as a compartment model, with about a thousand equi-mass layers of the atmosphere, or maybe only 9. My back of the envelope computation suggests that the actual effect of CO2 is below the limit of the current measurement network to detect.

        If someone else has already carried out such an elementary extension of the flow model, I hope a reader here will direct me to it.

      • One might think that, and indeed, in the mesosphere higher CO2 levels are indeed radiating more energy out to space. The problem is that the vast majority of CO2 molecules are in the lower troposphere where they serve to alter the thermal gradient between the the oceans (as Earth’s largest non-tectonic energy repository) and space. As CO2, methane, and N2O increase in the lower troposphere, the thermal gradient between ocean and atmosphere becomes less steep, less heat flows from ocean to atmosphere to space and Earth’s energy system is set to “accumulate”. Once the greenhouse gas concentrations stop growing, after several decades the system will reach equilibrium, and energy in will once more equal energy out.

      • Gates, your explanation appears to differ significantly from Pekka’s and Mosher’s, which also differ from one another.

      • David and R. Gates,

        My understanding differs, indeed, at some points significantly from what R. Gates has written in recent messages. I don’t think that they are fully correct.

        In typical situations CO2 cannot affect much the thermal gradients or differentials within the troposphere as changes in convection cancel effectively the changes that radiative heat transfer would cause without this cancellation. There are, however, significant effects in situations where convection is not effective like at high latitudes and there in particular during winter.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Wojick,

        If I write a description of the Queen, and you write a description of the Queen, and the descriptions differ, does that mean the Queen doesn’t exist?

        The physics of the greenhouse effect is roughly encapsulated in the equations used in atmosphere models. Qualitative descriptions of such greenhouses can be useful as teaching tools or to make explanations between scientists who share the same jargon more concise. But they can be misleading or can be used to mislead. As someone who thinks about education, I thought you would have understood that.

      • Steven Mosher

        Huh. I agree with everything Pekka says. If you find a difference, rely on Pekka. pretty simple

      • It’s unavoidable that comments written rapidly to a net discussion contain errors even when they are written by knowledgeable people.

        Referring to climate models as a source of knowledge has also its problems both because few people can study what they are and because the models cannot be built only on well known equations of physics but are dependent on less transparent parameterizations as well.

        Good university textbooks are a better reference. They have been written carefully and have few outright errors. Going through them tells that there are limits on what can be presented even in graduate level textbooks. Understanding the content of any good textbook is, however, to to remove serious misunderstandings.

      • Pekka, Text book is a good Idea. Do you think Dr. Curry would donate one to Trenberth?

        As you say, clouds are a major part of the uncertainty. Trenberth blew 20 Wm-2 that was absorbed by clouds that the Gang thought went through open atmospheric window which spectral broadening of CO2 would close creating quite a bit of warming. . strike one

        Trenberth also underestimated latent and sensible heat. The increase in latent and sensible from his assumed initial conditions would be part of the quite a bit of warming that was in store with CO2. Strike two

        This paper and a growing number of papers tend to indicate that the upper “compromised” part of the IPCC estimated range for a doubling is more and more unlikely every day and frankly that the head honchos of Climate Science are alarmist _______( fill in your desired derogatory term).

        Since you are indicating that the models are not related to the Earth Energy Budget, that these little faux pas are meaningless in the grand scheme of things, perhaps you would like to expand on model tuning and energy leakage?

        Exactly at what point is FIIK the correct answer instead of the meme that Earth is going to hell in a hand bag because of CO2, more than any other thing man or nature has come up with?

    • I guess that’s a perfect example of being “wedded to a theory!”

    • Steven Mosher

      “folks” may consider the surface temperature to be of interest, I do not.
      Neither does Peilke. Sure, it’s the variable everybody likes to talk about because it ‘makes sense’ to us. But you know well that temperature really isnt the variable you want to be looking at.

      Bottom line. If you raise the opacity of the atmosphere, earth cools less rapidly. Has to.

      Everything else, how the deck chairs re arrange, is interesting. But if you have a theory that explains the surface should cool ( one way to rearrange the chairs) knock yourself out and prove it.

      • Mosher I think you are simply stating what you believe incorrectly. The earth does not cool more or less rapidly, because it does not cool at all.

        What happens is that the quanta of heat stay in the system longer, from the time they enter until they leave. My analogy is that the number of people in a bank goes up if the lines get longer, but nobody is trapped in the bank. People just do not get out as quickly as they do when the lines are shorter.

        But of course this ignores feedbacks and other forcings, as always. I suspect that both your “cooling” and your “has to” are oversimplified (reductionist) abstractions, as always. You are talking about something that somehow has to be going on “inside” no matter what else happens. This is to confuse method, which isolates theoretical subsystems, with reality, which does not.

      • Steven Mosher

        When you add GHGs to the atmosphere you raise the ERL.
        since we have a negative lapse rate this ENTAILS that radiation will escape from a higher colder place. That entails a slower rate of cooling.
        If the earth radiated directly from the surface ( no atmosphere) that would entail a faster rate of cooling. check out the moon.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        David W:

        Do you agree or disagree with the following statement, and why or why not?

        “The net effect of increasing GHG’s in the atmosphere is to alter the thermal gradient between the ocean (as a heat source) and outer space (as a heat sink). The net effect of the alteration is one of making the thermal gradient between the two less steep, such that the energy flow is reduced, thereby warming the oceans, and indirectly, other parts of the Earth’s non-tectonic energy system.”

      • R. Gates,

        I disagree with your statement. More GHG’s in the troposphere has the effect of making the thermal gradient more steep as more GHG’s acts as stronger impediment for radiative heat transfer trough shortened mean free path. (Perhaps your “steep” is the inverse of my steep.)

        That results, however, under typical conditions in more convective instability and increased convection that brings the lapse rate to where it was. The total energy transfer is again what it must be to maintain the stationary average state of the atmosphere. The troposphere cannot restrict heat transfer as more convection is always possible.

        The basic mechanism of GHE is not that of any change in the lapse rate within the troposphere but a change in the upper end of the altitude range, where the lapse rate is present.

        There are also some local changes in the lapse rate. The lapse rate is increased by more CO2 in areas where the troposphere is safely on the stable side (like in Arctic winter). In tropics the lapse rate is reduced by more latent heat transfer, but this is a feedback, not direct effect.

      • Steven M said:

        ““folks” may consider the surface temperature to be of interest, I do not.”

        ___
        I actually find it to be of great interest, but not for what it tells us about how much energy is accumulating in Earth’s energy system (for surely the oceans and cryosphere are far better for that), but in telling us what setting the “energy accumiulate” nob is set to. The flat near surface temperatures over the past decade tell us that the “energy accumulate” nob has been holding fairly constant, and indeed, ocean heat content and cryosphere have both told us the same thing…energy contnues to accumulate in the Earth system at a very steady rate upward.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Bottom line. If you raise the opacity of the atmosphere, earth cools less rapidly. Has to.”

        Just some comments brought on by and by my thoughts to move toward a more uniformly molecular view of the processes in the global energy balance.

        Your comment of opacity is a clarifying moment. And from my perspective it seems that an across-the-board (multiple processes) key to opacity is in the myriad of cross sections. One might say that the happy-hour photons wander thru an atmosphere loaded with bars aka scattering centers throughout its extent. It is as simple as that.

        A focus on scattering processes in time and space also speaks to the appropriateness of surface temperature as a measure a little. Energy accumulation/holdup occurs thru out the atmosphere (focusing atmosphere here) and not just the control surface for some arbitrary chunk of the atmosphere–granted that processes may be non-uniformly distributed but they are is throughout the volume.

        I guess my point is that I wonder if some conceptual cohesion might be had by considering the sum (all) possible evolving paths of a ‘solar’ photon entering the TOA ala a propagator approach, as an complement to the usual compartmental model for the energy balance.

      • “brought on by and by ” gack!

      • Closure — I looked a little older CE postings on RT. Thinking about it, while a propagator approach as an approach to communicating the physics is interesting to me (and informative), it likely would not contribute anything substantive beyond RT models–and its seems that the issue is people understand radiation physics or they do not; if they don’t understand it then mental constructs and analogues are used. (And there is where the confusion creeps in.) Oh, well.

      • What if you use the deck chairs as bracing?

        That’s what any sailor would do. Plug the leak.

    • David Springer

      Willis Eschenbach | November 5, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Reply

      ” You can have the same deck with the same sun shining down, but if you move the deck chairs into the shade you’ll find that the surface temperature will be much cooler … ”

      Good one. So you’re basically saying if Mosher was sitting in the sun and became overheated he’s too stupid to move his chair into the shade.

      On this point we agree. Mosher’s an imbecile.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        David Springer | November 11, 2012 at 7:27 am

        Willis Eschenbach | November 5, 2012 at 10:45 pm

        ” You can have the same deck with the same sun shining down, but if you move the deck chairs into the shade you’ll find that the surface temperature will be much cooler … ”

        Good one. So you’re basically saying if Mosher was sitting in the sun and became overheated he’s too stupid to move his chair into the shade.

        On this point we agree. Mosher’s an imbecile.

        No, I’m not “basically saying” that in any shape or form. You are saying it, and then you are trying to stuff your words into my mouth.

        Mosher may be wrong, as we all are at times, but he is as far from being an “imbecile” as a man can get. So on that point, as on many other points, you and I do not agree in the slightest.

        w.

  28. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    JoNova posts “The longwave (infra-red) energy coming onto the earth’s surface, the infamous back radiation, is 10 – 17 W/m2 higher than in the famous Trenberth diagram from 1997. So the models are trying to explain tiny residual imbalances, but the uncertainties and unknowns are larger than the target.”

    JoNova’s thermodynamical reasoning is incorrect. To appreciate this, reflect upon a parallel (and similarly incorrect) reasoning:

    An Incorrect Thermodynamic Reasoning  “During the 19th century, the absolute zero of temperature was known only to very rough accuracy (many tens of degrees). Therefore, 19th century claims of thermometric observations accurate to 1/100 of a degree are false.”

    The point is that accurate experimental observation of small changes in temperature (or energy, or any other physical quantity) does not necessitate absolute accuracy of the measurement.

    • Fanny

      Fact of the matter is that a very tiny difference between two fairly inaccurate but much larger numbers is a meaningless figure. This is especially true when the numbers are massaged in order to get a “plug number”.

      That’s the point here.

      Max

    • The whole idea that this paper is supposed to explain the “tiny residual target” seems to be wrong. The papers of Trenberth, Fasullo, and Kiehl did’t try to do that, and it seems obvious that neither does this paper.

      Both look at the individual energy flux components at TOA and at the surface and use the smallness of the residual as a constraint. A constraint is not something that can be explained, and that should be understood by everyone reading the papers. (I don’t have access to Nature Geoscience. Thus my comment is speculation for what applies to Stephens et al, but the paper of Trenberth et al makes the point explicitly.)

      • Pekka

        You appear to miss the salient point here.

        Explain to me how tiny differences between inaccurate large numbers, which have then been manipulated in order to arrive at a “plug number” are in any way meaningful.

        Thanks.

        Max

      • It’s known reliably that the flux imbalance is small (well less than 2, but probably positive). Otherwise strong warming or cooling would be apparent to everyone. That’s the only relevant fact for these descriptions. Nothing else would change significantly compared to error bars, if the constraint set by the imbalance would be modified within it’s range of uncertainty.

        You might argue that the value should be shown in some other way as it’s external input to the analysis, not part of that. For the external input they use the values considered best by (main stream) climate scientists. What else should they use?

        As I started above, practically nothing else would change if they used the value 0 or some other small value like the 0.9 of TFK rather than 0.4, but 0 is not the most likely value and perhaps 0.9 is neither with present knowledge. Leaving the value open would not make sense as it is a strong constraint based on it’s guaranteed smallness.

      • Joe's World(progressive evolution)

        Pekka,

        Those values are generated strictly for a model and in NO way adjusted to an ACTUAL orb.

      • Pekka

        Let’s say (since we are unable to measure it) the “null” hypothesis is that the TOA imbalance = “null” (zero).

        Happy with that?

        Max

      • That would certainly been an alternative for those drawings. The imbalance could be forced to zero and what’s known about it’s size discussed separately.

        It’s clear that many people do think that those papers contain analysis that tells something new about the size of the imbalance while they actually just pick the value from some other source like Trenberth et al from a climate model based analysis of Hansen et al (2005).

      • Thanks, Pekka.

        It was apparent to me that the K,T+F value of 0.9 W/m^2 was based on “plugging in” a round-up of Hansen et al. 0.85 W/m^2, which he got by a long, circular reasoning process and a round-up from 0.8 W/m^2.

        The new TOA value of 0.6+/-4.0 W/m^2, or surface value of 0.6+/-17.0 is another “plug” value, so meaningless (even before considering the error margins)

        Summa summarum: we don’t know what the TOA (or surface) imbalance is.

        What we DO know, is that the average atmospheric temperature at the surface has increased in the 1980s and 1990s and remained static (or even cooled slightly) in the 2000s.

        From that, one could “backcalculate” the imbalance at the surface over these periods.

        Problem is, we have no good figures on the ocean temperature prior to ARGO measurements in 2003, and these have been readjusted, corrected and massaged so much that they are suspect – after showing net cooling they now show no net change.

        So let’s assume there was no change in ocean temperature since 2003, while the atmospheric surface temperature has shown slight net cooling since 2003.

        That’s not much data – only 9 years worth.

        But it is probably safe to say that there has been no net positive imbalance at the surface over the past 9 years, and quite possibly a slight negative net balance.

        But WE REALLY DON’T KNOW – DO WE?

        Max

      • Joe's World(progressive evolution)

        Pekka,

        A great deal of science is speculation.
        Theories or ideas that do NOT get to the meat of the matter and yet are published incomplete and added upon.
        This has generated vast errors that are NOT being corrected.
        This system then BREEDS ignorance…

    • The issue is that IPCC uses software with the two-stream heat flow concept giving rise to spurious absorption, although the calculated temperature distribution is correct.
      Have a look to the one-stream heat flow concept as a comparison to the two-stream heat flow:

      http://www.tech-know-group.com/papers/IR-absorption_updated.pdf

      You will be astonished:
      – no back-radiation
      – atmospheric absorption not 350 Watt/m^2 but an order of magnitude lower

      The ouygoing LW surface flux is 68 Watt/m^2, of which 52 trough the window and 16Watt/m^3 towards the atmosphere.
      In such correct radiation computer programs and the measured temperature distribution defined by surface temperature and environmental lapse rate, the unbalance in the radiation balance indicates the necessary mechanisms other than radiation: thermals and evaporation and SW absorption of incoming sun light.

      • I read the whole treatise and missing from the argument is any mention of photon wavelengths, frequencies or wave numbers. If one does not consider how the photonic spectrum fits in, of course one can generate nonsense results.

        Most fake skeptics have some gap in their understanding or
        science background that leads them down these rabbit holes.

  29. Fan

    You seem to have had difficulty understanding what the Stephens et al. study is really telling us. Let me see if I can help you out. The paper concludes:

    “For the decade considered [2000-2010], the average imbalance is 0.6 = 340.2 − 239.7 − 99.9 Wm2 when these TOA fluxes are constrained to the best estimate ocean heat content (OHC) observations since 2005 (refs 13,14). This small imbalance is over two orders of magnitude smaller than the individual components that define it and smaller than the error of each individual flux. The combined uncertainty on the net TOA flux determined from CERES is ±4 Wm2(95% confidence) due largely to instrument calibration errors12,15. Thus the sum of current satellite-derived fluxes cannot determine the net TOA radiation imbalance with the accuracy needed to track such small imbalances associated with forced climate change11.

    (To make it easier for you to understand), a blogger named Doug Hoffman on JoNova summarized it as follows:

    “What this means is that all current climate models are based on bad assumptions. And because the raw output of those models do not reproduce the actual state of the environment, climate modelers have applied “adjustments” to get the numbers to work out. The result is that climate models are both fundamentally wrong and have been wrongly adjusted”.

    IOW, the models are wrong, the 3.7 W/M^2 for 2xCO2 is wrong, the IPCC CAGW premise and the model projections of future climate changes from AGW are based on bad assumptions.

    Other than that, everything is still OK.

    You can actually rejoice, because there is no longer a sound basis to fret that the world is coming to an end because of human CO2 emissions.

    Max

    • Joe's World(progressive evolution)

      Max,

      These types of calculations are based on “we know EVERYTHING and you know nothing” assumptions.
      Vast areas have been ignored as being trivial to the temperature data collecting and adjusting.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Manacker, if the age of the universe is uncertain within ±500 million years, how is it that we can predict (very accurately!) when the football games will start this weekend?

      As for time reference-points, so for energy-balance reference-points, eh?   :)   :)   :)

      • Fanny

        The “age of the universe” has absolutely nothing – nada – rien – zilch – to do with the discussion here.

        Nor do the “football games”.

        Changing the subject to evade the pain?

        Grow up.

        Max

      • Latimer Alder

        @AFOTBS

        Relative vs Absolute

        Consider the difference between ‘tomorrow’ (relative) and ‘7th November 2012 (+4,500 million +/- 500 million years)’ (absolute)

      • David Springer

        Sometimes you show up and find the game was cancelled. Thank God the universe doesn’t work like a football game, eh dufus?

      • We can predict when the game will start very accurately because the time is calibrated to a value that we know very accurately–GMT. If the game started at (to use the proper analogy) [beginning of the universe]+2*[average life of yellow main sequence star], then we’d probably miss it.

  30. Joe's World(progressive evolution)

    Judith,

    Funny how you follow the money and it usually leads back to the government. Whether a “independent” company receives subsidies or grants or the researcher.

  31. I have sent the e-mail below to Graeme
    **********************************
    Hi Graeme – Excellent new papers that you have authored as Judy posted on today!

    My only comment is that you write

    “Climate change is governed by changes to the global energy balance.”

    This is too narrow based on such assessment reports as

    National Research Council, 2005: Radiative forcing of climate change: Expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties. Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects on Climate Change, Climate Research Committee, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Division on Earth and Life Studies, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 208 pp. http://www.nap.edu/openbook/0309095069/html/

    where it is written

    “Despite all these advantages, the traditional global mean TOA radiative forcing concept has some important limitations, which have come increasingly to light over the past decade. The concept is inadequate for some forcing agents, such as absorbing aerosols and land-use changes, that may have regional climate impacts much greater than would be predicted from TOA radiative forcing. Also, it diagnoses only one measure of climate change—global mean surface temperature response—while offering little information on regional climate change or precipitation. These limitations can be addressed by expanding the radiative forcing concept and through the introduction of additional forcing metrics. In particular, the concept needs to be extended to account for (1) the vertical structure of radiative forcing, (2) regional variability in radiative forcing, and (3) nonradiative forcing.”

    “Climate change” is more accurately defined as

    “Climate Change is any multi-decadal or longer alteration in one or more physical, chemical and/or biological components of the climate system”

    as I posted on in

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/the-need-for-precise-definitions-in-climate-science-the-misuse-of-the-terminology-climate-change/
    I am going to post this also on Judy Curry’s weblog in case you chose to respond there.

    Best Regards

    Roger

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      rpielke: My only comment is that you write

      Dr Pielke, I would appreciate it if you would review my comments on changes in heat flows induced by a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration, and tell me what you think.

      I believe that a coherent account of the *changes* in heat flows induced by *changes* in CO2 is lacking. If you know of such accounts, I would appreciate it if you would provide references.

      By way of introduction, here is my public LinkedIn profile:

      http://www.linkedin.com/pub/matthew-marler/15/21b/9a9

      I appreciate your attention.

  32. One of the key findings in this new research is the offsetting increase in precipitation. That finding per se is not new (e.g Wentz et. al. Science 2007, Lindzen testimoney to British Parliament 2012). But here we have an explicit, better measured, reduced uncertainty radiative balance underlying the observation. It is an underlying explicit reason for substantially less actual equilibrium climate sensitivity than the GCMs produce. This was argued (but without the new supporting data) in the ECS discussion posted here previously, and in the climate chapter of forthcoming The Arts of Truth. The new information should enable further substantial refinement of climate sensitivity estimates.

    • The paper is not about global warming or about changes duo to CO2 but about the state of energy flows at a certain moment. Therefore your conclusions are not supported (nor contradicted) by the paper.

      • David Springer

        Yeah I was going to point out this is just a tiny snapshot in time. When you think about it in a geological time frame the 33 years of global temperature with the precision and resolution needed to even start evaluating global energy budget is just a tiny snapshot in time too.

        Last I knew we couldn’t even get satisfactory agreement between methods of measuring global average albedo better than +-3% and have virtually no record of it because there’s no proxy for it. Now a 3% albedo change, represented in the paper by Stephens in fig 1 http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n10/full/ngeo1580.html SWout

        That’s plus or minus about 10 watts that might be reflected or might be absorbed by the ocean. And then someone tells me they have measured a 0.5W imbalance at TOA? You gotta be shittin me.

      • David Springer

        Yeah I was going to point out this is just a tiny snapshot in time. When you think about it in a geological time frame the 33 years of global temperature with the precision and resolution needed to even start evaluating global energy budget is just a tiny snapshot in time too.

        Last I knew we couldn’t even get satisfactory agreement between methods of measuring global average albedo better than +-3% and have virtually no record of it because there’s no proxy for it. Now a 3% albedo change, represented in the paper by Stephens in fig 1 http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n10/full/ngeo1580.html SWout

        That’s plus or minus about 10 watts that might be reflected or might be absorbed by the ocean. And then someone tells me they have measured a 0.5W imbalance at TOA? You gotta be sh!ttin me.

  33. David Springer

    dennis adams | November 5, 2012 at 6:23 pm |

    “I enjoy your give and take with the boys, but what do you think overall about the Stephens paper?”

    No surprises here or anything I disagree with. I’ve not seen the entire paper. The best science I’ve seen Curry post in a while. The psycho-social political and (unbelievably enough) linguistic pap gets old after a while.

  34. David Springer

    I’d sure like to hear Stephens reconcile this Denver Post article he wrote just a bit less than four years ago with the paper published in GeoScience in the OP.

    http://www.denverpost.com/commented/ci_11803879

    In the newspaper article he hits all the proper notes, makes all the gratuitous references to CAGW memes expected by the usual suspects, then this paper in OP pretty much says there’s a huge error in surface heat budget because DWLIR evaporates far more water than they thought and thus DWLIR increases from GHGs doesn’t cause much warming.

    Like duh. I’ve been saying exactly that for over a year. It’s built into the physics of that miraculous molecule H2O. Sensitivity to CO2 wherever there is water free to evaporate is very small. In environments where there is little water available for evaporation CO2 has the maximum no-feedback GHE of 1.1C per doubling.

    If the surface is frozen then the hydrological cycle is pretty much shut down and CO2 becomes a significant factor. A damn welcome factor too when it means milder winters and longer growing seasons right where people want milder winters and longer growing seasons. There’s very little not to like about anthropogenic global warming especially when one considers the “pollutant” driving it is no pollutant it’s plant food.

    • This is the crux. It is not denying any physics to say that man’s 2% addition to the global carbon cycle could easily have a negligible or benign effect. Or, heaven forfend, might even be good for us. Arhennius certainly thought the latter but then that’s when scientists were optimistic by nature. He didn’t anticipate pessimistic enviro-fanaticism breaking out like a bad rash all over Earth sciences. One day they might realise that using fossil fuels actually saves our forests from destruction.

      • It’s not a 2% addition to the global carbon cycle. It’s a 100%+ addition to atmospheric CO2 and a 50%+ increase in hydrogen ion concentration in the upper ocean.

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        where are those pesky ions hiding?
        lol indeed.

      • For the uninitiated reading this – apparently the IPCC says that Earth is like an overflowing bathtub that can only absorb 1% of the extra 2% we add to the carbon cycle. Though in truth that extra amount we add is less than the error in the measurements but arithmetic is not the strong suit of the IPCC. The 100%+ addition and 50% increase in H+ concentration were of course just fabricated. Lolwot is projecting into the future. But even that projection only is dangerous if we believe the computer models have adequately simulated natures climate system – which we know they don’t and if we assume that CO2 is the driver of world temperature – which is a far-fetched notion with no real evidence for and lot’s of evidence against. This post is about one way we know our assumptions are too pessimistic. There are many more ways. Lotwot likes to imagine the missing heat is masked by a manmade cooling. Occams razor says there is no missing heat because the hypothesis is wrong.

        Lolwot I bet you were just as worried about the acid rain scare, the millenium bug, the BSE scare. Or countless other simplistic ideas that nature and facts belied including the old new ice age scare of the 70’s and the new new ice age scare (shutting down of the gulf stream) of the 90’s. At some point you may, if you are lucky, see a pattern emerging of media-hungry scientists with little concern for uncertainties in their gross assumptions. When a real catastrophe comes no scientist ever seems to manage to predict it. Meantime relax with the optimistic notion that maybe global warming staved off the coming ice age.

    • Has Dr. Curry commented on your theory of the surface tension layer acting like an IR-opaque saran wrap covering the oceans which essentially reflects the energy back up as water vapor?

    • “then this paper in OP pretty much says there’s a huge error in surface heat budget because DWLIR evaporates far more water than they thought and thus DWLIR increases from GHGs doesn’t cause much warming.”

      Except the last part was not said.

  35. lurker, passing through laughing

    So the science is not settled. At all.
    All those claims that the consensus must be correct because infrared switches work, etc. etc. etc. as Cheech and Chong would say, “up in smoke”.
    What a hoot.

  36. The greatest news of all times came out today: On Mars we have
    the atmosphere with 95% CO2…. which is, compared to Earth with 392 ppmilion, having an about 200 times stronger CO2-effect?? It is so hot on Mars……No wonder, the Martians were all doomed with such a high percentage of CO2….they all got roasted to the bones….
    A good thing that Hansen, Mike Mann and Al Gore are still up in arms to save us from doom and gloom….They all deserve a statue right on Times square, all three intertwined together… as the monument of theThree Saviours of the World …. lets start collecting the money…..I will do the designing…..JS

    • 1% of Earth’s atmosphere contains 200x as much Co2 as 1% of Mar’s atmosphere.

      • To Lolwhot: We get all roasted by the CO2 and not roasted by the
        N2 nor by the O2…..keep this in mind…..N2 and O2 are uninteresting, they exist but wontn roast us…..the heat comes from doubling CO2 by the order
        of 3.7 W per doubling…. and pull out you pocket calculator : 95% CO2 are
        a lot of 3.7% doubling times 200 times……we are all doomed with those
        200 times CO2-doubling figures…..the Bible says its the time of reckoning,
        it only depends on the 200 times CO2 doubling…and we will roast [but not the ones, who will be saved from CO2-roasting…The Lord will exempt
        a few good sceptical guys but all Warmists will burn to the bone…JS

      • Mars atmosphere only has about 10x as much CO2 as Earth’s.

  37. Chief Hydrologist

    Any system that does work will tend to the production of maximum entropy. In the Earth system – all (almost) incident energy will be reemitted. In the earth system there are many and complex energy pathways that modify simple energy equilibria considerations. However, the principle remains that in a warming (or cooling) a warmer (cooler) atmosphere will restore the conditional energy equilibrium at TOA.

    Equally – the oceans have an energy equilbria that it tends to move towards. Warming is a function of incident energy, a warmer ocean will tend to release more to energy to the atmosphere in the ways that it can to reach a thermal equilibrium with the atmosphere at the boundary.
    Certainly there is more water vapour in a warmer atmosphere and that in itself has implications for evaporation. There is less evaporation in more humid conditions. The nonequilibrium Earth system tends towards maximum entropy production and equilibrium. That the oceans and atmosphere tend to equilibriate says nothing about the source or cause of the initial warming (cooling).

    While there is more water vapour in the warmer atmosphere – a simple physical principle – the evidence on increased precipitation is not there. This recent study is an interesting crossover of biological methods – the analysis of variance – to hydrology. It suggests that rainfall hasn’t changed in extent but in geographical distribution. This is consistent with all we know about changing patterns of SST.

    http://www.climatescience.org.au/content/179-aerosols-affect-rainfall-variability-more-greenhouse-gases

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2012GL053369.shtml

    Just BTW – while the energy pathways at the surface are horribly uncertain the change in flux at TOA (flux anomalies) is far more certain and can tell us interesting things about the global energy budget.
    As in this graph purloined from Norman Loeb – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=CERES_MODIS-1.gif

  38. One tries to produce K&T diagrams which are precise and it is claimed that they correspond to measurements.
    Others have already made the remark that the biggest error is the fact that K&T diagrams are calculated by software based on the two-stream formulation for heat flow. Also the measurements are probably interpreted by the same software based on two-stream heat flow.
    That formulation give spurious numbers for absorption in the atmosphere which is then corrected by back-radiation.
    It is easy to implement one-stream heat flow computer programs for the radiation mechanism.
    Completely different K&T diagrams result.

    Global and annual budget of heat flow of the planet.
    space reflected incoming outgoing
    SW solar radiation LW
    103 343 240
    ↑ ↓ 188—→↑ ←—52
    atmosphere ↑←reflection-80 ↓ ↑ ↑
    atmosphere ↑ ↓ window
    atmosphere ↑ ↓–72 absorption–→ ↑ window
    atmosphere ↑ ↓ ↗ ↑ window
    atmosphere ↑ ↖ ↓ ↗ ↑ window
    reflection ↖ ↓ ↑ ↑ window
    23 ↖↓ thermals+evap ↑ window
    Surface 168 ↓ 100↑ 16↑LW 52↑LW
    sum = 68

    The LW outgoing surface flux is 68 Watt/m^2, of which 52 escapes through the window, and only 16 Watt/m^2 enter the atmosphere where the heat is absorbed and re-emitted and eventually absorbed again: in total 23 Watt/m^2 is the amount of absorption in the atmosphere.
    The one-stream implementation enables to define the necessary mechanisms, other than radiation, from the mismatch in the radiation balance, for a temperature distribution defined by the surface temperature and the environmental lapse rate.
    The flux due to mechanisms other than LW radiation is found to be 172 Watt/m^2, of which 72 is the absorption by the admosphere including aerosols, ice crystals etc. , of incoming SW radiation by the sun and 100 from thermals and evaporation.
    The only in put to the program is:
    Surface temperature, in this case 288 K
    Outgoing Longwave Radiation =240
    Emission coefficient, taken as eps =1
    Environmental lapse rate ELR=- 6.5K/km
    More details
    http://www.tech-know-group.com/papers/IR-absorption_updated.pdf in

  39. Sorry Judith but when you say this: “JoNova’s post aptly describes a rational skeptics response. In terms of the irrational skeptics response (i.e. KT diagram is wrong and there is no greenhouse effect, a la Skydragons)”

    I have to shake my head.

    If you want a rational skeptics response on the matter I would opt to take someone like Steven Mosher’s take. Jo Nova’s take is very close to the conclusion you warned about:

    “Note, concluding that climate models are incorrect because of this new analysis of the global heat budget is NOT justified.”

    Surely you can spot that Nova’s post is trying to spin the study to imply the “forcing is lost in uncertainty”, as if ir means the CO2 forcing doesn’t exist just because observations aren’t accurate to measure energy imbalances to tenths of a wm-2.

  40. Willis Eschenbach

    David Springer | November 5, 2012 at 9:52 pm |

    “Perhaps if you hadn’t petulantly dismissed me when I explained the physics to you about why and how the ocean rejects downwelling FIR you wouldn’t be surprised by this finding.”

    Which part of “how the ocean rejects downwelling FIR” do you not understand?

    The ocean “rejects” downwelling infrared radiation? I don’t understand any of that claim at all. Let’s see … regarding the interaction of radiation with matter, we have absorptivity, and reflectivity, and transmissivity … and now you are saying that there is also “rejectivity”?

    David, the ocean absorbs about 170 w/m2 from the sun. It radiates about 390 w/m2. In addition, it loses about 70 w/m2 to evaporation (latent heat) and about 30 w/m2 by conduction/convection (sensible heat)

    If, as you say, the ocean “rejects” the downwelling infrared, that leaves us with the ocean gaining 170 w/m2 from the sun, and losing about 490 w/m2 from radiation/conduction/evaporation.

    Now, you may have noticed that the ocean is not frozen … I say it’s not frozen because there’s about 320 w/m2 of downwelling infrared energy that is absorbed by the ocean. As a result, the ocean is much warmer than it would be without that downwelling energy.

    So what do you claim keeps the oceans from freezing? Remember, you have to explain away an imbalance of 170 w/m2 in, minus 490 w/m2 out, which equals a constant loss of 320 w/m2. At that rate, the ocean would soon be frozen solid.

    So where do you say the ocean is getting the energy to keep it from freezing? It’s far too large an imbalance (320 w/m2) to be an uncertainty error. It’s not geothermal, that’s measured in tenths of a watt per square metre at best.

    So why isn’t the ocean frozen? Where is the energy coming from that keeps the seas from freezing? I’ve given you my answer … so what is yours?

    Steven Mosher | November 6, 2012 at 12:52 pm |

    ya, Willis not only did he miss his meds it looks like his reading comprehension course wore off.

    Steven, you do understand that you are backing David’s contention that the ocean “rejects” downwelling infrared, don’t you?

    More to the point, descent into personal attack and insult is generally a good indication that the person making the attack doesn’t have any valid scientific arguments.

    So, if you find any citations that show that the ocean “rejects” infrared as David claims, let me know.

    And if you have no such citations, then why are you being so snarky?

    w.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Upon re-reading, I see I may have misinterpreted Mosher’s comment as being directed at me. If I was in error, Steven, you have my humble apologies and complete retraction.

      Reading comprehension … measure twice, cut once, as my father impressed on me. Mea culpa.

      w.

      • That’s pretty funny. When Willis thought it was an insult against him, it was an indication of invalid science.

        As soon as he realized the insult was directed to Springer, apologies and a complete retraction were forthcoming.

        Ya’ just gotta love the blogosphere.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Thanks, Joshua. Perhaps I was not clear. I still think Mosher’s attack, no matter whom it was aimed at, was an invalid ad hominem, that is to say, a meaningless attack based on the person rather than the ideas.

        However, it would have been churlish for me to mix that in with my apology. Sorry for the lack of clarity.

        w.

    • “David, the ocean absorbs about 170 w/m2 from the sun. It radiates about 390 w/m2.”

      If the oceans radiated 390 watts per square meter, in one day it would radiate 390 times 24 hours. Which is 9360 watts or 9.3 kw hours.
      In terms of thermal solar energy this is more energy than is available anywhere on the surface of Earth. In Germany the average is about 2 kw hours per day. And best places on Earth, such as: Southwest US, Australia, Sahara desert one can get on average 7 kw hours per day.

      In terms of harvesting solar energy it’s better to have constant supply of energy as compared to 1/4 of the day in which one gets most of the energy. So therefore 390 watts for 24 hours is better than 1560 watts for 6 hours.

      So if one could harvest say 10% to 20% of this 390 watt, one have a far superior form of energy than normal PV solar panels which harvests 10 to 20% of solar energy [thermal solar harvests about 60% of solar energy in the form of heat [hot water]- rather than electrical power].
      So what is wrong with the world’s scientists and engineers?
      Why not use this fabulous source of energy?

      • how do build a machine that can absorb IR but not emit it?

      • IR broadly could called waste heat. One can not build any engine which has no waste heat- doesn’t emit any IR.
        So you can’t build engine that does not emit IR, but you build engines that emit less IR- it would generally be a more efficient engine.
        A very efficient engine in terms not producing much waste heat is not necessary a good engine. But if engine produce a lot of power and has the least waste energy that could be a good engine.
        Any electrical car would have a low amount waste heat, if you don’t include it electrical power production- or power production happens to have low waste heat.
        Another example of low waste heat could be if you use cryogenic stuff and use basically waste heat. So one use liquid air would example.
        Again if want include the making of the liquid air- there is some waste heat generation associated with this. But in sense, makers of cryogenic air are also using waste heat- but only in a sense. They use evaporation cooling. They compress air and chill it mostly with evaporation cooling.
        Or a lot of their waste heat is in form of water vapor. this water vapor is created at room temperature [not steam].
        Or compared to coal plant making electrical power, it has low waste heat.

        I guess the best example of using waste heat are heat pumps.
        Anyways, low energy sources can generate power. But 390 watts per square meter, like I said, is has more energy density than solar power.
        And it would better than solar power even if it had same energy density, because it’s a constant source of power.
        But I am not the one saying oceans emit 390 watts per square meter.

      • gbaikie,

        But I am not the one saying oceans emit 390 watts per square meter.

        When you are ready to say that and when you understand how natural and unavoidable that is, then you have learned a little.

      • “gbaikie,

        – But I am not the one saying oceans emit 390 watts per square meter. –

        When you are ready to say that and when you understand how natural and unavoidable that is, then you have learned a little.”

        But I what to learn a lot.

        I seems pretty obvious to me that human body radiates less energy than compared to total energy a human body generates. The main ways a human body sheds heat is thru evaporation and conduction/convection.
        Or a human body in a spacesuit in space and in darkness, needs to shed heat other than from passively radiating it- you need a cooling component/unit as part of space suit. And they all have them.

        The ocean is similar. It sheds more energy thru evaporation and conduction/convection as compared to amount it radiates. Therefore the amount an ocean radiates must be lower than the amount energy it receives from the Sun.
        What needs to be learned, here?

      • Willis Eschenbach

        gbaikie | November 6, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Reply

        “David, the ocean absorbs about 170 w/m2 from the sun. It radiates about 390 w/m2.”

        If the oceans radiated 390 watts per square meter, in one day it would radiate 390 times 24 hours. Which is 9360 watts or 9.3 kw hours.
        In terms of thermal solar energy this is more energy than is available anywhere on the surface of Earth. In Germany the average is about 2 kw hours per day. And best places on Earth, such as: Southwest US, Australia, Sahara desert one can get on average 7 kw hours per day.

        gbaikie, thank you. You are right that the amount radiated is more than the “thermal solar energy available anywhere”. However, it is not more than the total radiation absorbed by the surface, which includes the absorbed downwelling longwave radiation (DLR).

        If you leave out the downwelling longwave radiation, all you are left with is the sun. At that point, it looks like the radiation far outweighs the incoming energy.

        But that’s only because you have neglected the 320 w/m2 of downwelling longwave radiation. David Springer claims the ocean “rejects” the DLR. I say the ocean, like the land, absorbs and of course subsequently emits that 320 w/m2 of DLR.

        Note that the global 24/7 global average solar radiation is 170 w/m2. On a 24 hour basis, that’s about 4 kw-hrs per day.

        Regards,

        w.

      • David Springer

        Not just me. The author of the paper that is the subject of this OP. The primary author, Graeme L. Stephens, is no skeptic either and is a distinguished professor of atmospheric physics at Colorado State. I suggest you pay attention to him and keep in mind I told you this first over a year ago and you dismissed it as if you understood the physics and concluded it wasn’t possible. You were wrong. I was right. Now the data is proving it.

        From the Stephens paper abstract:

        “This additional precipitation is sustained by more energy leaving the surface by evaporation — that is, in the form of latent heat flux — and thereby offsets much of the increase in longwave flux to the surface.”

        Got that? Evaporation offsets much of the increase in DWLIR. Exactly what I explained to you and exactly what you denied. Piker.

      • No the author of the paper does not agree with you. The diagram shows the oceans absorbing 345.6wm-2 DLR. That’s actually slightly more than the Trenberth diagram. The new diagram has evaporation at 88wm-2 whereas the previous one was 78wm-2.

        When the paper says “Evaporation offsets much of the increase in DWLIR.” it refers to this increase. It is not claiming that an increase in DLR (eg as caused by global warming) will be offset by an increase in evaporation.

        Needless to say people’s confusion about how Graeme L. Stephens accepts AGW is because people are wrong that Graeme L. Stephens paper supports skepticism of AGW. It doesn’t. Not in the slightest.

      • Have a look on
        http://www.tech-know-group.com/papers/IR-absorption_updated.pdf
        and you will see that back-radiation is impossible.
        Look to the example of your “iron greenhouse”!
        Two-stream software as is used by IPCC gives rise two spurious absorption, although the calculated temperature distribution is correct.

      • Why do we get all these papers that claim to prove that something is impossible when it’s easy to measure and observe?

        When something that does exist is proven impossible the only reasonable conclusion is that the proof is nonsense – and that’s also the right conclusion.

      • “But that’s only because you have neglected the 320 w/m2 of downwelling longwave radiation.”

        Yes, but was focusing the most intense source of energy, but 320 w/m2
        is also a respectable amount. So the total harvest-able energy [if this was correct] is 390 + 320, so 710 watts per square meter. And 710 watts per hour for 24 hrs in a day. Giving such imaginary source, as being 17,040 watt hours. Or about 17 kw per day.

        If one capture 10% of this energy, Earth would need no other energy source. This is more energy than the solar energy available on Lunar surface- which more twice the amount per square meter of solar energy available on Earth.
        This would be like making a workable fusion reactor- the promise of unlimited and cheap energy. How the Energy Department which spends billion dollars researching fusion, has not address this *obvious* source of unlimited energy requires vast conspiracies to explain.

    • Ok, I notice lots of talk about comparing a 170 W/m^2 value with a 390 W/m^2 value.

      I know points along the equator receive somewhere around 460 to 500 W/m^2 per day and average temperatures wind up in the 300 K range for 460 W/m^2 radiated.

      I wonder if the same sort of relationship holds for other locations?

      • Max, “I wonder if the same sort of relationship holds for other locations?”

        Pretty much. Between latitude 30N and 30S, there is 50% of the surface of the Earth with 52% of the total oceans surface area. That 52% of the oceans receives an average “day” energy of 1000Wm-2 with diural about 500 Wm-2. All of the oceans receive about 500Wm-2 Peak with 250Wm-2 average diurnal.

        So the pool gets more than 170Wm-2 on average and has a minimum energy of about 309 Wm-2 or it is not pool anymore.

      • Isn’t averaging the input over the whole day incorrect?

        Watts are joules/sec already. Averaging it over a day would reduce the intensity of the radiation unrealistically, wouldn’t it?

        Having only the day side receiving 500 W/m^2 is not the same as having both day and night side receiving 250 W/m^2.

      • Max, “Isn’t averaging the input over the whole day incorrect?”

        Only averaging over the whole day would be incorrect. You should consider peak and average at the least with RMS a good idea.

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/11/back-radiation-more-of-same-non-sense.html

        Something like that is a simple way to look at it.

      • I think that’s why I like to use the Moon as an example, it illustrates how absurd the idea that the ground only receives 170 W/m^2 actually is.

      • “Ok, I notice lots of talk about comparing a 170 W/m^2 value with a 390 W/m^2 value.

        I know points along the equator receive somewhere around 460 to 500 W/m^2 per day and average temperatures wind up in the 300 K range for 460 W/m^2 radiated.”

        170 W/m^2 is averaged over 24 hours. And you only have about 6 hour a day with fairly intense sunlight. So the average energy of sunlight between 9am and 3 pm globally is about 170 times 4. Or about 680 or at around 600 watts per square meter.
        Or the Earth disk area times 4 is spherical area. So top of atmosphere is
        1360 watts per square meter. If you average it [which I think crazy, but this what is done], you get 340 W/m^2.
        And from the 340 W/m^2 other factors such as average cloud coverage, and average scattering, etc, is subtracted, with result of 170 W/m^2.

      • Yeah, averaging doesn’t make any sense.

        The planet doesn’t get a constant 170 W/m^2 from all sides, that is an absurdly low amount of energy, which would require some sort of unrealistic fudge factor to explain the observed temperatures.

  41. AGW propaganda has little or nothing to do with Earth’s changing climate, and everything to do with establishing a one-world police state under the UN, like Russia under Stalin, in order to hide the powerful Force [1] in cores of heavy atoms, some planets, stars, and galaxies that:

    i.) Destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Aug 1945, and

    ii.) Made our elements, birthed the world, and still sustains the Sun, our lives, and Earth’s changing climate.

    World leaders will not succeed in hiding the Force [1] that powers the cosmos and causes the universe to expand [2]: Their efforts to do after establishing the United Nations on 24 Oct 1945 have wrecked havoc on society worldwide and are doomed to fail.

    http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-1710

    With deep regrets,
    - Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo
    Nuclear/Space Science

    References:

    [1] “Neutron repulsion” (The force world leaders tried to hide after it destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Aug 1945), The Apeiron Journal 19, 123-150 (2012): http://tinyurl.com/7t5ojrn

    [2] “Is the Universe Expanding?” The Journal of Cosmology 13, 4187-4190 (2011): http://journalofcosmology.com/BigBang102.html

  42. 21st Century global mean temperature for GISS, HADCRUT3 and HADCRUT4
    http://bit.ly/Ttz7O1

  43. I see that even Pekka Pirila, a distinguished scientist, has failed to appreciate my earlier point about the significance of surface atmospheric pressure in setting the net energy cost of a given amount of evaporation.

    Along with many others he seems to think that pressure only affects the boiling point.

    It doesn’t.

    It also affects the amount of energy required to break the bonds between water molecules in order for evaporation to occur at all.

    Thus at zero surface pressure any water present on a planetary surface will just drift off into space evaporating away with almost no additional energy needing to be added. In that case the latent heat of vaporisation will be close to but not at zero. The surface temperature can be as close to absolute zero as is the temperature of space and the additional energy required is simply drawn from the temperature of space in so far as it is above absolute zero.

    At one standard atmosphere (1 bar) the amount of energy required to achieve evaporation is more than 5 times the amount of energy required to break the bonds between the water molecules as compared to the amount of energy required at zero pressure. That is the latent heat of vaporisation on Earth.

    At 2 standard atmospheres the amount of energy required to achieve a breaking of the molecular bonds would be doubled relative to that required at 1 bar and so on.

    So, the surface pressure affects the net energy cost of a given amount of evaporation (the ratio between the energy required to induce evaporation and the amount of energy absorbed in the process of evaporation when it occurs) and thus the surface pressure limits (or throttles) the amount of extra evaporation that can be provoked by a given amount of extra energy input from an external source such as a nearby sun.

    The effect of a higher surface pressure is therefore to increase the energy that must be acquired by a body of water on a planetary surface for each unit of evaporation that then occurs within the water cycle on that planet.

    The higher the surface pressure the higher the temperature of the water (in terms of energy retained from the solar input) that must be achieved before a thermal equilibrium can be reached.

    That is how the equilibrium temperature of the Earth’s oceans is achieved and maintained. It is set by surface pressure for any given level of solar input and the speed of the water cycle varies to maintain equilibrium despite any changes other than a change in surface pressure.

    And of course on Earth the water temperature controls the air temperature.

    I described the issue in more detail here:

    http://climaterealists.com/attachments/ftp/TheSettingAndMaintainingOfEarth.pdf

    The implication is that if more CO2 molecules in the air do indeed slow down the rate of energy loss to space then the throttling effect of surface pressure on the energy cost of a given amount of evaporation will simply ensure that the equilibrium temperature is maintained via an increase in evaporation and a faster water cycle speeding up the rate of energy flow again to negate any effect on the energy content of the system as a whole.

    Now if that were all that goes on then I would be concerned about more CO2 in the air because a faster water cycle would involve shifting climate zones and thus climate change even if the system energy content remains stable.

    However we have observed that solar and oceanic variations naturally achieve climate zone shifting of 1000 miles or so latitudinally which would dwarf any such shifting caused by more human CO2.

    The evidence for such natural shifting on such a scale is the observed changes in global air circulation between MWP and LIA and LIA and today and between glacial epochs and interglacials.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Wow the wack jobs are really out in force today. More CO2 increases the average internal energy of molecules in the atmosphere. This happens almost instantaneously and there is no lag. The idea of forcing is that is that CO2 suddenly doubled in the atmosphere – at the temperature of the surrounding mass – would produce and imbalance at TOA of about 3.7W/m^2. As the atmosphere as a whole warms the imbalance disapears. In reality the molecules emitted are by no means at room temperature – but I wont go there.

      Evaporation is the result of many factors – wind speed, humidity, surface area exposed and vapour pressure especially.

      ‘Zheng et al. next analyzed the relationship between the PET values and temperature, wind speed, solar radiation, and vapor pressure, and to some extent, they solved the paradox in their study area. Vapor pressure (water in the air) has been increasing while solar radiation and wind speed have decreased; all three of these trends can cause the decrease in PET, irrespective of what’s happened to the temperature in China. The authors conclude “In this study, however, we found that increasing temperature indeed led to the increase of panevaporation, but this effect was offset by changes in other climate factors. The decreasing wind speed and solar radiation and the increasing vapor pressure resulted in the decrease of panevaporation in the HRB.” And finally, they state “The increasing mean temperature in the HRB could have resulted in the increase of panevaporation; however, this effect has been offset by a decrease of wind speed, a decrease of solar radiation, and an increase of vapor pressure in this region. Wind speed was the dominant factor in decreasing panevaporation in the HRB.” http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2010/05/11/pan-paradox/

      Evaporation has indeed been declining mysteriously for many decades – only more recently seeing a turnaround.

      And global rainfall has not changed. Only the spatial distribution of precipitation – which is not entirely unexpected.

      http://www.climatescience.org.au/content/179-aerosols-affect-rainfall-variability-more-greenhouse-gases

      http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2012GL053369.shtml

      Wilde is guaranteed to have a data free narrative.

      Only data matters and not the idiotic narratives. Show some science and data if you can Wilde – I am entitled to think you an idiot otherwise.

    • Stephen,

      You are totally wrong. The pressure has a negligible effect on the energy required to break the bonds of a water molecule in the liquid. By negligible I mean that it’s not strictly zero but too small to be observed at all unless the pressure is raised really high, i.e. to tens of atmosphere. The very small effect would result from the increase in the density of water and from the interaction of water molecules with N2 and O2 molecules. It’s really safe to neglect all these minuscule effects.

      The boiling point is another matter because at that point evaporation starts to occur also inside the liquid, not only at the surface.

      I comment on some related issues here

      http://judithcurry.com/2012/11/05/uncertainty-in-observations-of-the-earths-energy-balance/#comment-264784

      • Stephen Wilde

        Pekka said:

        “The pressure has a negligible effect on the energy required to break the bonds of a water molecule in the liquid.”

        The pressure has NO effect on the energy required. I never said that it did. More energy available means more bonds breaking not more energy required to break each bond. The energy required to break each bond is what it is regardless.

        What does change is the ratio between the energy required to initiate the break and the energy taken from the surrounding environment in latent form when the bonds do break.

        At zero pressure the latent heat taken up is near zero. At 1 bar of atmospheric pressure the latent heat taken up is over 5 times that required to initiate the break.

        At higher pressures it is even more.

        That is what makes the difference.

        At a given level of solar input the proportion of the incoming energy retained by the water is related to the surface pressure which determines the ratio between the energy required to cause the break and the energy taken up when the break occurs.

        The higher the pressure the more incoming energy converts to latent heat and the less incoming energy there is left over to cause breaks in the bonds. Less evaporation thus occurs at higher pressures at a given temperature and so the energy content of the water has to rise in order that evaporation can increase enough to achieve equilibrium between energy in and energy out.

        Surface pressure thus determines the temperature that the water must reach to achieve equilibrium with incoming solar energy.

        Between sea surface and tropopause evaporation and convection are in complete control and adjust as necessary to ensure that from tropopause upward (or rather from the effective radiating height upward) radiation out always equals radiation in.

        The adjustment operates via global air circulation changes that are always a negative system response to either warming or cooling influences other than changes in surface pressure at a given level of solar input.

        The scenario is further complicated by the fact that albedo changes from solar and oceanic variations will themselves alter the amount of energy entering the oceans over time.

      • What does change is the ratio between the energy required to initiate the break and the energy taken from the surrounding environment in latent form when the bonds do break.

        At zero pressure the latent heat taken up is near zero. At 1 bar of atmospheric pressure the latent heat taken up is over 5 times that required to initiate the break.

        What are you talking about? What is the latent heat taken up? It doesn’t seem to be anything known to physics: The word is well known, but I cannot see any connection between your text and what “latent heat” means in physics.

        The rest of your text is equally remote from real physics. Just an incomprehensible mixture of words taken from physics texts but without any real meaning.

  44. The “CO2 is a pollutant” side has won, and we skeptics have a rough road ahead. Keep fighting for the truth: Climate sensitivity is not 3 deg C, but only about 1 deg C. Also the warming globe also contributes to the observed increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1978/derivative/compress:12/normalise/plot/uah/compress:12/normalise

    Increase or decrease of CO2 concentration is caused by ENSO. If you have more frequent El Nino, the CO2 Concentration must reduce.

    • Sorry, La Nina

    • Girma observes:

      The “CO2 is a pollutant” side has won, and we skeptics have a rough road ahead. Keep fighting for the truth: Climate sensitivity is not 3 deg C, but only about 1 deg C

      1/ As a UK citizen, I am delighted by the US election result. This view is also generally held within the EU.

      2/ Climate sensitivity cannot be ~1C as this would be in direct conflict with known climate behaviour from internally forced interannual variability to orbitally forced glacial terminations.

      Increase or decrease of CO2 concentration is caused by ENSO. If you have more frequent El Nino, the CO2 Concentration must reduce.

      This is a serious misrepresentation. ENSO is a cause of interannual variation in CO2 levels; anthropogenic emissions drive the multidecadal upward trend.

      • BBD

        How wrong you are when you write that “climate sensitivity cannot be ~1C”.

        ERBE and CERES observations (L+C 2009,2011; Spencer 2007) tell us that climate sensitivity may well be below 1C, despite what the model estimates may say.

        Recent “lack of warming” despite unabated CO2 emissions and concentrations reaching record levels do not support a high climate sensitivity.

        It is not really known what the climate sensitivity REALLY is.

        It could be ~1C. It could be slightly lower. It could be significantly higher.

        You don’t know what it is, BBD.

        But to say that it cannot be ~1C is downright stupid.

        Max

      • To assert that CS can be as low as ~1C is downright stupid Max.

        Climate sensitivity cannot be ~1C as this would be in direct conflict with known climate behaviour from internally forced interannual variability to orbitally forced glacial terminations.. When I find myself forced to repeat myself in bold, it worries me. I wonder if the other person is stupid, or simply isn’t thinking about what has been said.

      • Max, It is no use trying to talk science to BBD. “There is not so blind as he who will not see.” You and I know what is meant by “empirical data”, and this real data gives a strong indication that the true total climate sensitivity of CO2 is indistinguishable from zero. But BBD will never admit that there is any such evidence around.

      • Cripwell

        You have topped your recent virtuoso display of incomprehension and bias with this:

        this real data gives a strong indication that the true total climate sensitivity of CO2 is indistinguishable from zero. But BBD will never admit that there is any such evidence around.

        You can be sure I will never admit such a thing because no such evidence exists. Go on – list a few published, widely accepted studies for me. Let’s see some of this ‘evidence’.

        There is, however, a large body of work that points to sensitivity to 2 x CO2 being somewhere in the region of 3C. Work which, as we know, you cannot even be bothered to read when it is held under your nose.

        You aren’t in any position to post nonsense like the above. That you do not recognise this says it all.

      • BBD you write “You can be sure I will never admit such a thing because no such evidence exists. Go on – list a few published, widely accepted studies for me. Let’s see some of this ‘evidence’. ”

        You are correct; positive evidence does not exist. I am talking negative evidence. No-one can find a CO2 signal in any modern temperature/time graph. Despite the fact that CO2 levels in the atmopshere are rising dramatically, and have been for some decades, this is having no effect on global temperatures. That is what the proponents of CAGW will not admit. There are all sorts of hypotheses which “prove” that adding CO2 must cause global tempertatures to rise, but it is not happening.

        I cannot prove that some time in the future a CO2 signal will not emerge, but in the meanwhile, until there is modern empirical evidence that CO2 is affecting global temperatures, I see no reason to believe any of the hypiotheses that claim to show that increased levels of CO2 has a dramatic effect on global temperatures.

        How long do we need to wait for a CO2 signal to emerge, and when no such signal occurs, do we conlcude that no signal is ever going to appear?

      • Jim Cripwell

        No-one can find a CO2 signal in any modern temperature/time graph. Despite the fact that CO2 levels in the atmopshere are rising dramatically, and have been for some decades, this is having no effect on global temperatures.

        This is simply not true. Why then is the rise in GAT since the 1970s inexplicable unless GHG forcing is included in the mix?

        Then there’s the equally inexplicable increase in OHC since the mid-C20th. Unless we accept the scientific consensus that GHG forcing is the main reason why energy is accumulating in the global ocean (Levitus et al. 2012).

        What you are saying is demonstrably incorrect.

        How long do we need to wait for a CO2 signal to emerge, and when no such signal occurs, do we conlcude that no signal is ever going to appear?

        More of the same. See Hansen, Sato & Ruedi (2012) where you will find this pretty picture and the following explanation:

        “Climate dice,” describing the chance of unusually warm or cool seasons, have become more and more “loaded” in the past 30 y, coincident with rapid global warming. The distribution of seasonal mean temperature anomalies has shifted toward higher temperatures
        and the range of anomalies has increased. An important change is the emergence of a category of summertime extremely hot outliers, more than three standard deviations (3σ) warmer than
        the climatology of the 1951–1980 base period. This hot extreme, which covered much less than 1% of Earth’s surface during the base period, now typically covers about 10% of the land area. It follows that we can state, with a high degree of confidence, that extreme anomalies such as those in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011 and Moscow in 2010 were a consequence of global warming because their likelihood in the absence of global warming was exceedingly small. We discuss practical implications of this substantial, growing, climate change.

        There is the emerging signal. Look at Panel A. NH land summer (JJA) extremely hot outliers (>3σ) have increased from 1% land area to 10% land area relative to the 1951 – 1980 baseline.

        We could go on to discuss the otherwise baffling ice mass loss from the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. Then there’s the summer Arctic sea ice decline and permafrost melt at high NH latitudes. And so on.

        Which brings us back to this:

        Despite the fact that CO2 levels in the atmopshere are rising dramatically, and have been for some decades, this is having no effect on global temperatures.

        You really cannot make statements like this and expect to be taken seriously. Thirty years ago, perhaps. But not any more.

      • BBD, you write “You really cannot make statements like this and expect to be taken seriously. Thirty years ago, perhaps. But not any more.”

        I am completely serious. If there is a CO2 signal, then there is proof that the change in the rate of rise of global temperatures was caused by adding CO2 to the atmosphere. When this is true, it is trivial to calculate total climate sensitivity. That is how much does temperature rise as a result of the additional CO2 in the atmopshere. There is no measured value of total climate sensitivity in any of the references you have provided; nor is there any proof that any rise in temperature which you have quoted was caused by additional CO2. You must remember that no-one has any idea of what all the various natural variations in temperature are. Any of the observagtions you have quoted could have been caused by unknown natural variations. You have no proof that they were caused by CO2.
        The fact of the matter is that global temperatures have been rising ever since temperatures have been measured. See http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/MidSummer-MidWinter.htm. Since around 1850 the picture for global temperatures is seen at http://bit.ly/V19Im8. There is no discernable change in the rate of rise of global temperatures. The rate of rise has been around a steady 0.06 C per decade. If global temperatures are going to get to excessive values by the end of this century, then at some point these temperatures must rise at a rate greater than 0.06 C per decade for a prolonged period of time. This has not happened yet. And there is no sign that it is happening now. The recent pause in the rise of global temperatures is simply a return to the rise of 0.06 C per decade, after a short rise above this figure at the end of the 20th century, which was wrongly ascribed to CAGW.

        As I say, this is not positive evidence; it is negative evidence. I cannot prove that there is no CO2 signal. I just cannot find one, and no-one has measured total climate sensitivity. Sorry. There is no discernable CO2 signature in any modern temperature/time graph.

      • There is no discernable CO2 signature in any modern temperature/time graph.

        This was rubbish the first time you said it. If you wilfully reject evidence and explanation – and you do – you will remain isolated by ignorance and incomprehension. Which you are.

        I’ve wasted enough time on this.

  45. Damn, California is doomed to bankruptcy now and savers are the suckers.

  46. CAGW is now alive and well, and that light you see at the end of the tunnel…is the economic freight train coming at us with no brakes.

    If Obama can’t get cap and trade through the House, he will enact it by EPA regulation and executive order. Not to mention the end of the use of coal, and the slow strangulation of the oil and gas industries.

    Those of you who pine for decarbonization of the US economy are probably about to see how it really works.

    • Say, Gary –

      Any thoughts on how gullible and naive you were in believing in your conspiracy theories about how the pollsters were rigging their polls to throw the election to Obama?

      lol!

      • Joshua

        Just listrening to the Obama verbiose acceptance speech after listening to Romneys concession speech. If Romney had made more like that he might have won.

        Your nation seems deeply divided with the popular vote evenly split betweeen two substantially dfferent ideologies one of which -the winner- seems determined in piling up debt.

        Any ideas as to how the nation can be reconciled?

        tonyb

      • tonyb,

        ISTM that to the extent that the two parties represent substantially different ideologies this is only because the Tea Party element within the GOP has become more influential in recent years.

        If you compare their more mainstream elements I don’t think there is any fundamental ideological difference at all. If you looked at some of the things Romney has said and done in the past there wouldn’t be much between him and a lot of Democrats, but he has had to move to the right to appease the more extreme elements on the right of his party.

      • tony –

        see response on the more appropriate thread.

      • David Springer

        climatereason | November 7, 2012 at 1:45 am | Reply

        “Your nation seems deeply divided with the popular vote evenly split betweeen two substantially dfferent ideologies one of which -the winner- seems determined in piling up debt. Any ideas as to how the nation can be reconciled?”

        Gridlock, baby, gridlock! The House of Representatives, called “The People’s House” because representatives are apportioned strictly by population, is controlled by Republicans. Spending is controlled by the House with consent from the Senate. If the House refuses to spend no spending takes place.

        Unfortunately for the House Republicans they don’t have a majority without a sub-group of Republicans who are Tea Party members. So the Tea Party can block whatever goes against their principled position of no new taxes and no new spending. As a result of the gridlock the infamous “fiscal cliff” is the law of the land beginning in January 2013. The fiscal cliff is composed of huge mandatory spending cuts in all discretionary programs and expiration of Bush tax cuts so there’s more revenue to pay for non-discretionary spending. This was deemed so painful for both sides that they’d be forced to come together in a less drastic compromise. We’ll see. They have precious little time left to reach a consensus. Fiscal cliff here we come. Gridlock baby. It’s not the optimum solution but one way to stop unsustainable deficit spending is to fail to reach an agreement over what spending should be authorized.

      • One thing would be for people to admit that both sides have been totally dedicated to running up debt.

        Expanding the Navy, for instance, is being totally dedicated to running up debt.

  47. “The Kiehl-Trenberth diagram is not used in climate models in any way, and mainly has been used as a conceptual aid.”

    Maybe not. But the structure of all mathematical models starts out as some sort of conceptual model. If the structure starts out wrong, no amount of fiddling with parameters will make it right. The modelling team must have started out with an agreed block diagram something like Trenberth’s.

    The Stephen et al model does not handle the latent heat of condensation correctly. Condensation usually occurs high in the troposphere, not from the ocean’s surface as shown in their diagram. Consequently that heat can escape more readily into space. Latent heat of evaporation cools the surface as they acknowledge, but the two effects do not cancel.. See my website at: http://members.iinet.net.au/~alexandergbiggs .

    • “The modelling team must have started out with an agreed block diagram something like Trenberth’s”

      Not at all. Values in the model are calculated from the emergent behavior of small scales rules. Nothing like how the Trenberth diagram is generated.

    • Most of the condensation occurs actually at rather low altitudes. Starting from 25 C the saturated vapor pressure drops to half at 14 C, to a quarter at 4 C, and to 1/10 at -8 C. With an environmental lapse rate of 6 C/km we reach that at 5.5 km altitude.

      To take a further example. At -30 C the saturation pressure is only 0.38 millibar. That makes the H2O concentration about the same as the concentration of CO2 at sea level. In the uppermost troposphere we have less H2O than CO2.

      Oversaturation is normal but allowing for that raises the altitudes only little.

      • Pekka, “To take a further example. At -30 C the saturation pressure is only 0.38 millibar. ”

        Yep, kinda like a transition from near radiantless to radiant dominate thermodynamics. Some might even consider that the effective radiant layer of water vapor. I hear there are people that use tricks in non-equilibrium thermodynamics and define such as “thermodynamic boundary layers” where they model one side as near radiantless and the other as pure radiant. Reduces the need to solve some of those pesky Navier-Stokes equations.

        Of course they have to “define” entropy for each model which is a bit of novel concept for the linear no threshold masses to accept.

      • David Springer

        Pekka Pirilä | November 7, 2012 at 6:24 am | Reply

        “Most of the condensation occurs actually at rather low altitudes. Starting from 25 C the saturated vapor pressure drops to half at 14 C, to a quarter at 4 C, and to 1/10 at -8 C. With an environmental lapse rate of 6 C/km we reach that at 5.5 km altitude. ”

        Correct. What you fail to mention is that water vapor is by far the dominant greenhouse gas and when the water vapor is mostly gone the atmospheric window opens wide and restriction of radiant emission largely vanishes except for whatever narrow bands the wisps of methane and CO2 in the thin air above 15,000 msl can accomplish.

        You’re not clueless but you just don’t succeed in creating an accurate big picture. There’s always some important element you manage to leave out like in this case that the greenhouse effect is almost non-existent in the current atmosphere sans water vapor. Duh.

      • I admit my failure to describe all atmospheric physics in a single message.

      • David Springer

        Mentioning that water vapor is the major greenhouse gas doesn’t take up much space.

      • Right, but I assume that most have already heard about that.

      • David Springer

        Most haven’t made the leap from understanding that water is responsible for most of the greenhouse to water vapor being mostly gone at the upper surface of the cloud deck. Most haven’t made the connection that evaporation is the major mechanism cooling the surface of the earth and the heat is carried insensibly aloft to the cloud deck where it is released and above which the radiative path is wide open. Most aren’t aware that the water vapor below the cloud deck inhibits DWLIR from the bottom of the cloud making the heat transit a one-way street. Most aren’t aware that if more evaporation and condensation occurs as a result of increased non-condensing greenhouse gases that the cloud deck where the increased DWLIR is released is warmer than before so the water vapor has to rise higher in order to condense which raises the cloud deck. Most aren’t aware that end result is a higher effective emission altitude but not a colder one because the environmental lapse rate is decreased below the clouds.

        This has been my position for over a year. Graeme Stevens et al 2012 confirms it. Write all this down as many times as it takes you to build a working mental model of it. Thanks for playing. Better luck next time.

        Write all tha\\\

      • David Springer

        When it rains it pours. The confirmations just keep on a comin’.

        How sweet it is!

        BOOYAH. Cloud height falls during “the pause” in global warming.

        http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2012/2011GL050506.shtml

        GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 39, L03701, 6 PP., 2012
        doi:10.1029/2011GL050506

        Global cloud height fluctuations measured by MISR on Terra from 2000 to 2010

        Key Points•MISR measures global effective height with an annual sampling error of 8 m
        •Regional height changes correlate well with ENSO showing global teleconnections
        •Decreasing global cloud heights suggest negative feedback over the last decade

        Roger Davies

        Department of Physics, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

        Matthew Molloy

        Department of Physics, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

        Self-consistent stereo measurements by the Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) on the Terra satellite yield a decrease in global effective cloud height over the decade from March 2000 to February 2010. The linear trend is −44 ± 22 m/decade and the interannual annual difference is −31 ± 11 m between the first and last years of the decade. The annual mean height is measured with a sampling error of 8 m, which is less than the observed interannual fluctuation in global cloud height for most years. A maximum departure from the 10-year mean, of −80 ± 8 m, is observed towards the end of 2007. These height anomalies correlate well with the changes in the Southern Oscillation Index, with the effective height increasing over Indonesia and decreasing over the Central Pacific during the La Niña phase of the oscillation. After examining the net influence of Central Pacific/Indonesia heights on the global mean anomaly, we conclude that the integrated effects from outside these regions dominate the global mean height anomalies, confirming the existence of significant teleconnections.

      • David Springer

        Davies & Molloy (2012) is evidence that slight changes in cloud height are driven by the SOI. It says *nothing* about negative feedbacks to GW:

        These height anomalies correlate well with the changes in the Southern Oscillation Index, with the effective height increasing over Indonesia and decreasing over the Central Pacific during the La Niña phase of the oscillation.

      • David Springer

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickmichaels/2012/02/10/an-unsettling-week-for-global-warmings-settled-science/

        Now it appears that cloud tops are lowering, a totally unforeseen cooling feedback on carbon dioxide-induced warming. Writing in Geophysical Research Letters, University of Auckland’s Roger Davies and Matthew Molloy conclude this could be a “significant measure of a negative cloud feedback to global warming”.

        The average global cloud height is linked to the average global temperature—generally, the higher the average cloud height, the higher the average surface temperature, and vice versa. The tie-in is related to the height in the atmosphere from which clouds radiate infrared radiation to space. The higher up they are, the cooler they are, and they dissipate less radiation, which means the surface stays warmer.

        Wow. The data staring them in the face and they just don’t get it. Their thinking is just too twisted by decades of belief in a CO2 boogeyman.

        The lowering clouds are a response to “the pause” not a cause of it. And the cloud tops aren’t warmer. The cloud tops are the same temperature. The lapse rate changed.

        The cause of de pause is something else. I’d bet on a combination of quiet sun and cyclical changes in ocean/atmosphere circulation. Most of the global ocean is a relatively constant 3C. That’s not a heat store it’s a cold store and if that bottom water manages to start mixing up faster it can get awfully cold awfully quick on this third rock from the sun.

      • Most aren’t aware that the water vapor below the cloud deck inhibits DWLIR from the bottom of the cloud making the heat transit a one-way street.

        What is this supposed to tell?

        When water vapor stops the DWLIR from the clouds from reaching the surface it replaces it by more of the same, because it’s warmer than the cloud.

        Perhaps most people don’t know all what’s correct in your list but then most people don’t know much else about the atmosphere anyway. People who have a reasonable general understanding of the atmosphere know mostly also those things.

        In addition nothing essential has changed from what Trenberth and others have been telling. A correction by about 10 W/m^2 is just a rather small detail that changes nothing of essence.

      • Pekka, “A correction by about 10 W/m^2 is just a rather small detail that changes nothing of essence.”

        What? There is nearly 20 Wm-2 change in the atmospheric window, 10 Wm-2 in latent, 7 Wm-2 in sensible and 8 Wm-2 in solar atmospheric absorption versus a project 3.7 Wm-2 with now a +/- 17 Wm-2 uncertainty in internal variability.

      • Concerning the numerical value I had in mind the evaporation where the change is 8 W/m^2 from TFK (2009) and DWLR (change 13 W/m^2). Some of the other numbers differ a bit more, but even so nothing changes in basics.

        I have still difficulties in interpreting some of the numbers of the Stephens et al graph. The full text would surely help but I don’t have that.

      • Pekka, One of the biggest changes is the 20 Wm-2 atmospheric window energy from the surface which K&T finally got around to correcting in their most recent (2011?) paper, 2009 is way out of date. That has major implications on the cloud feed back uncertainty.

        Perhaps Doc Curry will do a side by side comparison :)

      • David Springer

        BBD

        I guess you don’t have access to GRL behind the paywall. I found a direct the concluding paragraph in Davies & Molloy 2012. Read it and weep. And do better homework next time. My emphasis.

        In full recognition of the limitations of the data, here is how Davies and Molloy conclude their paper, in their own words:

        Finally, we note that the climate data record of [effective cloud height] anomalies may ultimately indicate a measure of long-term cloud feedback that may be quite separate from the correlations discussed above [i.e., correlations with El Niña/La Niña]. Ten years is unfortunately too short a span for any definitive conclusion, as the linear trend in global cloud height of -44 +/- 22 m over the last decade is partly influenced by the La Niña event, and may prove ephemeral. The difference between the first and last year of the decade, not directly affected by the La Niña event, is -31 +/- 11 m. If sustained, such a decrease would indicate a significant measure of negative cloud feedback to global warming, as lower cloud heights reduce the effective altitude of emission of radiation to space with a corresponding cooling effect on equilibrium surface temperature. Given the precision of the MISR measurements, we look forward to the extension of this climate data record with great interest.

      • David Springer

        BBD

        I do disagree with their conclusion however. The lowered cloud height is a response to cooling not a cause IMO. Something else is the cause of the pause. My strong suspicion is it’s a combination of a quiet sun and entering a net cooling phase in multidecadal ocean circulations, the AMO in particular which one can see easily enough in the instrumental land record from 1880. AMO was kind of predictable. It was a gamble when I first bet on it in 2007 but the odds were, IMO, way in my favor. Only a chump would’ve bet against it, chump.

      • David Springer

        Pekka Pirilä | November 8, 2012 at 11:13 am |

        “When water vapor stops the DWLIR from the clouds from reaching the surface it replaces it by more of the same, because it’s warmer than the cloud.”

        Wow. You really need to take a course in meteorology.

        Write this down:

        The atmosphere is heated by rain.

        Cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds are generally warmer than the air beneath them. When the lapse rate is reversed like this we have what’s called an unstable atmosphere. These rain-producing clouds are the visual hallmark of an unstable atmosphere.

      • Capt.Dallas,

        I have the J Climate paper but not the Nature Geoscience paper. Thus I don’t know their basis for the value of atmospheric window, but might well be just the latest Trenberth value. The J Climate paper which seems to describe most of their original work does not mention this number. The later paper appears (lacking access to the full text) to be an attempt to combine their work with numbers from other sources.

      • D&M are hand-waving David, and it’s very obvious:

        Ten years is unfortunately too short a span for any definitive conclusion, as the linear trend in global cloud height of -44 +/- 22 m over the last decade is partly influenced by the La Niña event, and may prove ephemeral.

        You are just another contrarian grasping at straws. And as usual, you haven’t thought this through. A significant net negative cloud feedback would result in an insensitive climate system. But we know the climate system is at least moderately sensitive because it exhibits strong interannual variability.

        A low climate sensitivity is incompatible with this observed behaviour. It would also have flattened out all C20th variability, and all millennial variability including the MWP/LIA, and we’d be stuck in an ice age because an insensitive climate system couldn’t deglaciate under orbital forcing either.

        You really do need to *think more* and crow less.

      • Pekka,

        This is a pretty good overview of many of the issues.
        http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/fileadmin/staff/stevensbjorn/Documents/StevensSchwartz2012.pdf

        They also mention the 20Wm-2 issue of K&T which I noticed a couple of years ago. In fact, that is what got me started on the non-equilibrium Thermo kick.

      • thanks for this link

      • David,

        You make one statement. I respond to that. Then you jump to something else. How could I have anticipated that.

        (Actually I shouldn’t address the above to you as you know it already. I have noticed how you like to play games whenever you have a chance.)

    • David Springer

      Alexander Biggs | November 7, 2012 at 1:10 am | Reply

      “Condensation usually occurs high in the troposphere, not from the ocean’s surface as shown in their diagram. Consequently that heat can escape more readily into space.”

      Water vapor in the atmosphere drops precipitously above the cloud layer. Water vapor is the main greenhouse gas. Therefore above the cloud layer the atmospheric opens wide and radiant emission is largely unrestricted. The so called effective emission altitude is mid-troposphere which is, not surprisingly, where most of the clouds stop forming too.

      • David , “The so called effective emission altitude is mid-troposphere which is, not surprisingly, where most of the clouds stop forming too.”

        Exactly. Since CO2 is pretty well mixed and H2O is not, you would have cross over of each molecule’s “effective” emission altitude. I believe that would cause a non-linear sensitivity to CO2.

      • I’m not certain what you are aiming to, but the difference between the altitude profiles of H2O and CO2 does enhance the warming caused by additional CO2. That makes a larger part of the 15 um absorption peak significant for the warming as absorption by water vapor does not block that effect in the high troposphere.

      • Pekka, “I’m not certain what you are aiming to, but the difference between the altitude profiles of H2O and CO2 does enhance the warming caused by additional CO2.”

        That gets back to the “envelope” modeling used in non-linear thermo. You have an ~ -30 C all gas Effective Radiant Layer. You are trying to determine the impact of one of the gases. If the the gas in question does not share any of the radiant spectrum of any of the other radiant gases, simple. Since CO2 share bands with H2O AND H2O is condensable you need to find a way to seperate the impact of CO2 from H2O in all possible states.

        If the “Effective Radiant Layer” of CO2 alone is above H2O, no problem. If the Effective Radiant Layer of CO2 is below H2O, no problem. If it crosses over, then you are where we are at, with more than just a cloud uncertainty but also with H2O as a mixed phase gas uncertainty. CO2 would tend to enhance heat retention or heat loss, depending on its interaction with all phases of H2O.

        This was part of the 18Wm-2 missed by K&T. There is one atmospheric window but two surfaces.

  48. LPTL,

    Oh, come on give, Oliver a break. You guys need to stick together if you are going to overturn the consensus ;-)

    You’re probably just a bit grumpy that the election didn’t go your way.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      OK – so who broke the thread this time? Springer – was that you?

      • David Springer

        I don’t know but I’ve been told that Chief Hydrologist is so butt ugly he can break a thread by just looking at it.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        What was that springer? Aren’t you the one Watts called a rabid beaver on crack? Cracked me up. Don’t you know that all Australians are ruggedly handsome?

      • David Springer

        That was Eschenbach. Watts has more class than that.

  49. I see a lot of people saying “yes, back-radiation”
    I see others say “no, there is no back-radiatio”
    Back-radiation and the big amount of atmospheric absorption is due to the two-stream heat flow concept in IPCC software, which gives the correct temperature distribution but spurious absorption.
    I implemented a one-stream heat flow computer program.

    http://www.tech-know-group.com/papers/IR-absorption_updated.pdf

    The LW surface flux is 68Watt/m^2, of which 52 through the window and a mere 16% going to be absorbed in the atmosphere and in part re-emitted again to higher colder layers in the atmosphere.
    The program gives 100 Watt/m^2 out of the surface due to evaporation and thermals. In total out of the surface 168Watt/m^2.
    The program gives 0.0 back-radiation.

  50. Chief Hydrologist

    Democracy has spoken and I wish Obama and the US well. America is the crucible of a great experiment in human freedom and it is critical for humanity as a whole that the experiment prosper.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      WTF is your problem? The US system is a representative democracy such as is fairly common. I think you are certifiably insane.

      And although the popular vote is close – it seems more likely that Obama will win that as well.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      It is lucky we have Springer, Wilde and the webster to balance out the crazies – otherwise they would all be Australian. It is really an anti-Americanism isn’t it? You hate America and love China and secretly go all gooey at the thought of the China century? Because America will get its comeuppance? You really are an idiot.

    • lurker, passing through laughing

      Chief,
      The problem is that last night’s results are going to make a good outcome of that experiment highly unlikely.

      • Hunter

        I suggest that you are getting ahead of yourself. You don’t really know how Obama will govern for the next 4 years or how the republicans will act in response. Is it possible that both will act differently, at least for a while; and may do what is good for the country for the next two years until the race for the 2016 president starts?

      • David Springer

        What’s good for the country is the very strong medicine coming up in January i.e. deep across-the-board mandatory discretionary spending cuts and tax increases to raise enough revenue to fund non-discretionary spending.

        Tough times ahead. Better some pain now to save the Union than an immense amount of pain later when it collapses under the cumulative burden of gargantuan deficit spending.

        Every child born in the United States today has as his or her inheritance an instant share of the national debt which amounts to some $250,000. That’s obscene. It’s child abuse. It’s Obama.

      • Suddenly I’m really scared. My country is certain to collapse unless we do exactly what David Springer says. Oh my gawd, fix it now by doing exactly what David Springer says.

        $250,000 per kid, and all because of Obama. I accept that the unchallenged arithmetic is child abuse and is all attributable to Obama. This is not the place for skepticism. It really is not. It’s a national emergency and we should shoot first and sweep the questions under the rug later.

      • lurker

        One can always be optimistic and hope that Obama, no longer in “campaign mode” will become Obama in “create a positive legacy” mode (as many second-term presidents have done).

        This would mean a shift to the center, “reaching across the aisle”, with greater emphasis on energy independence and less on global warming.

        Or one can be pessimistic and simply say “a leopard doesn’t change its spots”, IOW Obama2 = Obama1.

        But I think we’ll have to wait and see how it really plays out.

        Max

    • Well said Chief, and I second those sentiments.

    • Chief

      Agree 100%

      Max

  51. Are there *any* left-leaning ‘sceptics’? Or is this thread a representative sample demonstrating that ‘sceptics’ are universally of the right?

    • BBD

      Rational skepticism is the foundation of modern science (Feynman). Don’t believe this has much to do with politics, per se.

      But, then again, CAGW as promoted by IPCC is a politically driven concept, which only uses “science” to foster a political agenda, IOW “agenda driven science”..

      But to answer your specific question: Yes. There are “left-leaning skeptics”.

      Max

      • Manacker

        But, then again, CAGW as promoted by IPCC is a politically driven concept, which only uses “science” to foster a political agenda, IOW “agenda driven science”..

        This is a baseless and rather silly conspiracy theory invariably associated with right-wing ideologues of limited perspective and therefore not worth wasting time over.

      • BBD

        You write:

        “This is a baseless and rather silly conspiracy theory invariably associated with right-wing ideologues of limited perspective and therefore not worth wasting time over.”

        Let’s cut through the polemic BS in that statement.

        This has nothing to do with conspiracy.

        It is a simple fact that IPCC was set up specifically to determine what “negative impacts” humans could be having on our climate and what to do about it.

        No “negative impacts” = no need for IPCC to continue existing.

        Is it any wonder that IPCC has concluded that there are overwhelmingly “negative impacts”?

        This is not “conspiracy”, it’s simple existentialism for IPCC.

        Max

      • Self-serving rubbish. See WG1. You are a persistent time-waster Max. It’s getting boring.

    • BBD,

      There are few, but climate “skepticism” does seem to be overwhelmingly a phenomenon of the right (or at least a particular strand of right wing opinion). That’s not to say that being right wing necessarily makes someone a “skeptic” – many right wingers clearly are not, but it does seem to work the other way to a large extent.
      You can see this here in the UK – skepticism is pushed pretty much exclusively by right wing publications, eg the Mail, Telegraph, Express, Spectator and all of the most prominent skeptics I can think of, ie Delingpole, Lawson, Mad Mel Phillips, Booker, Monckton etc. are associated with the right. Remember Martin Durkin, who made that dodgy documentary for Channel 4? He popped up in some forum the other day going on about how AGW was a leftist plot.

      • andrew adams

        It was somewhat of a rhetorical question but thanks for the detailed response.

        In fact I’m uncomfortably familiar with the ‘sceptical’-political alignment in general and in the UK in particular but life is full of surprises. You will recall that Ben Pile came up through the whole Living Marxism/Spiked left-with-a-captial-L background, yes? Now, imagine if Ben was effectively working for UKIP? Surely impossible?

        Well… see what Leo Hickman recently exhumed.

        This falls into the ‘you couldn’t make it up’ category, does it not? It seems a warped, antipathetic ideology makes for strange bedfellows. And even stranger back-channels.

      • BBD,

        Sure, my reply was more for the benefit of others reading – I’m sure there was nothing in my reply you didn’t know already.

        I don’t really see the LM/Spiked crowd as part of the mainstream Left in this country, and taking contrarian stances on issues such as AGW is pretty typical of them, so Ben Pile’s “skepticism” doesn’t surprise me. Having said that I wasn’t aware he was working with UKIP – most amusing!

      • Thought you’d see the funny side…

      • David Springer

        BBD

        Some right wingers are skeptics but many are not. A normal distribution in other words. Left wing skeptics are very rare on the other hand. An abnormal distribution. This reveals that climate alarmism is a defining political position for the left and that’s it’s just an informed opinion on the right with, as you might expect of a complex scientific question, a lot of confusion over whether it’s true or not because the science is only settled amongs left-leaning scientists. Unfortunately the university system is dogmatically left-leaning among the faculty and that tends to rub off the most on members of the student body who hang around long enough to receive a PhD. The leftmost among those never leave the university environment and become sheltered academics who can’t see very well beyond their own cloistered community where mutual reinforcement, a vitual orgy of back patting, convinces them they are the masters of the universe. It’s both sad and comedic when viewed from the outside by the real masters of the universe. ;-)

      • David Springer

        andrew adams | November 7, 2012 at 8:38 am | Reply

        “There are few, but climate “skepticism” does seem to be overwhelmingly a phenomenon of the right (or at least a particular strand of right wing opinion).”

        Another way of describing it is that climate alarmism seems to be overwhelmingly a phenomenon of the left.

      • David,

        But as I said above (and you also agreed in your reply to BBD) many people on the right are not “skeptics”. So while I agree that people on the left are certainly inclined to accept what you call “AGW alarmism” (or what I call the mainstream scientific view), that view isn’t overwhelmingly associated with one political viewpoint in the same way that AGW “skepticism” is.

      • There’s another factor.

        People on the left are not necessarily less skeptic about science but they react to their skepticism differently. They don’t worry as much about government intervention. They don’t necessarily like it but they are more ready to accept it. On the right the general opposition to government intervention combined with skepticism leads to what’s so visible on the net.

      • Just to remind those of you who have probably never encountered an actual left-wing ideology, left does not automatically mean “fan of big government”, horizontal power structures are superior to vertical ones in my opinion. What passes for “left-wing” positions in the US nowadays is still a good ways right of center.

      • David Springer

        No Andrew. The left is almost monolithic in composition – alarmists to the last man-jack among them. The right is diverse with alarmists and skeptics alike. It then follows that alarmism is dogma to leftists and open to debate on the right. Unless of course you think the left is composed only of intellectual giants who, every last one of them, is scientifically infallible. Which seems more likely, the left is composed of dogmatists or scientific geniuses? ;-)

    • “Are there *any* left-leaning ‘sceptics’? Or is this thread a representative sample demonstrating that ‘sceptics’ are universally of the right?” ~BBD

      I consider Feynman a personal hero, and lean so far to the left I can’t tell who won last night from all the way over here, I’m guessing corporations won, but that’s just a hunch.

      I am of course skeptical of any political influences on science, and favor honest doubt over comfortable beliefs any day.

      • Then why do you use HadCrappy3/4 as proof there has been a 15-year pause when no such pause exists on GisTemp? You’re possibly fooling yourself because you are ignoring empirical data that indicates you may be wrong.

        Why do you persistently write posts indicating Josh Willis’s “speed bump” has not been completely withdrawn? Looks to me like you want to ignore that Josh Willis has erased the speed bump. Why? Maybe you actually want to fool yourself. Your hero is not alive and cannot address these issues. There is no way to know what he would say about your tactics.

      • JCH

        You are being a little unkind about HadCRUT4 ;-)

        Here it is, compared with GISTEMP on a common 1981 – 2010 baseline.

        Just in passing, look at the difference in decadal trend if you truncate the series at 2008 compared with the full series trend:

        1975 – 2008 decadal trend:

        HADCRUT4 0.19C
        GISTEMP 0.18C

        1975 – present decadal trend:

        HADCRUT4 0.17C
        GISTEMP 0.16C

        Quite the eye-opener, isn’t it? Who’d have thought that four years could make so much difference? Or put another way, that contrarians were reading so very, very much into two strong La Niña right at the end of the record?

      • Was that reply meant for someone else, JCH?

      • David Springer

        I use the satellite record. That’s really the only instrument network that can pass the giggle test when it comes to having the precision and global coverage to take the earth’s temperature in the lower troposphere for tracking trends of hundredth’s of a degree per decade.

  52. I’m with you, Beth.

  53. The crucial division between right and left I’d say, is that
    of economic liberalism in its original meaning of free trade
    versus progressives’ big government. When it comes to
    political and social freedoms the lines are less distinct. On
    some issues you can even end up with left and right bedfellows,
    so to speak.

    • Beth

      How true.

      In a multi-party system(like Switzerland) there is less polarization, and occasionally the left leaning “young socialists” will team up with a “right” leaning party to launch a referendum initiative.

      It always amazes me how “social issues” (gay marriage, contraception, abortion, etc.) become so important in US politics, when they are hardly political issues in most other countries.

      But I’d agree with you that the biggest threat a democratic society faces is the erosion of personal freedom in the name of “progress” (as defined by the ruling class), where “progress” usually involves increased government power and control, more regulations, etc.

      Max

  54. tempterrain

    No doubt that the US electoral college system for electing the president/VP is based on history and is archaic. It enables a very tight popular vote lead (or even defeat) to be trumped by a lead in electoral votes.

    But that is the system that the US voters apparently want, or they would change it.

    More disturbing to me (as seen from Switzerland) is the polarization (and gridlock) caused by the US two-party system and the power grab by the executive branch to push through initiatives which the legislative branch does not support. In nations with a “democratic culture” (as opposed to banana republics like Venezuela) executive “power creep” occurs slowly but surely. This has been happening in the USA, even before the current administration.

    The US citizen does not have the democratic “fall back position” of the Swiss, who can call for a national referendum on issues where the government is out of touch with the voters. This process slows down “progress” (but, then again, not everything, which the “ruling class” considers “progress” is in the interest of the general voter).

    Back to our topic, it will be interesting to see how the second Obama administration will approach the (imagined) global warming problem and (real) energy challenge the USA faces.

    Will the (kill fossil fuels) “ideologues” triumph over the (drill, baby, drill) “pragmatists” (as they have so far)?

    In the opinion of several economists, the USA is standing before a major shale oil + gas boom, which could make the nation energy independent and even a net major exporter of petroleum derivatives within 5 years and last for many years to come.

    This immense added wealth represents a major opportunity for the new administration to “get in on the action”, balance the budget, pay down the national debt, remake America the global economic power it once was, etc.

    Will Obama be astute enough to grab this opportunity in a pragmatic bi-partisan way, becoming one of the “great Presidents” along the way, or will he continue to let the “ideologues” set his energy agenda?

    Let’s see.

    Max

    • Max, “The US citizen does not have the democratic “fall back position” of the Swiss, who can call for a national referendum on issues where the government is out of touch with the voters. This process slows down “progress” (but, then again, not everything, which the “ruling class” considers “progress” is in the interest of the general voter).”

      In the US we call that “gridlock”. Generally, when politicians are not able to pass anything because of “gridlock” the economy flourishes. The minority of the Senate can “filibuster” to force a 2/3 majority vote instead of a simple majority on any legislation, “gridlocking” the system which is kinda like forcing politicians to actually think before they act. The worst thing for business is “progressive” ideas that get passed when there is a clear majority in both houses, since there will be some change that will impact business, but no clear message what that will be, businesses go on hold and look for places to outsource if need be or diversify as needed to avoid punitive taxes.

      The “progressives” who have the worst case of NIMBY possible, would rather ban or over tax things “they” feel might be harmful to “their” vision of Utopia than assume the responsibility of dealing with the realities of life.

      I am sure that is only a US kinda thing, though.

  55. The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

    In scanning the crowd at Romney’s concession speech, the lack of diversity was painfully and pitifully obvious. In scanning the crowd at Obama’s victory speech (which was brilliant and without TelePrompTer by the way) I saw the true face of the diverse country America is. It is obvious that for the Republican Party to really be viable they’ll need to reinvent themselves and appeal to more than white, evangelical, and conservative voters. But now this petty bickering need to end as we’ve got big problems to solve…

  56. Max,
    Yes “social issues’ seem very important in US politics.
    Geographically in the south, covering several states,
    fundamentalist religions have a strong influence on
    politics, promoting very conservative social values.
    http://www.theatlanticcities.com/politics/2012/03/real-boundaries-bible-belt/1617/

  57. Pekka:

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

    When the bond between water molecules is broken the energy absorbed from the local environment by the vapour is more than 5 times the energy required to induce the breaking of the bond for a net cooling effect. There is a transfer of 4 fifths of the energy involved to latent heat which does not register on thermometers until it condenses out again at a much higher level.

    At 1 bar pressure the multiple is more than five times and with increasing pressure it gets larger.

    Evaporation occurs constantly in the absence of 100% humidity even without the addition of any extra energy so at any given time evaporation is controlling the rate of energy flow from ocean surface to air and thence to tropopause.

    The higher the pressure the more energy is required by any ongoing evaporation and the less evaporation can occur for a given energy input. Thus the equilibrium temperature of the water must rise solely as a result of pressure.

    • Pekka, I think the problem you are having with my terminology lies with the phrase ‘energy required to induce evaporation’.

      That is not the same as the energy required to complete the phase change since evaporation is a continuous ongoing process at any pressure or temperature.

      So, since the process is always ongoing, many molecules are always on the cusp of evaporating even without the addition of extra energy.

      Thus the addition of any extra energy however small will bring forward the timing of the evaporation of individual molecules.

      It is that small amount of extra energy which just tips the water molecules into evaporating earlier than they otherwise would have done that I regard as ‘inducing’ the evaporative event.

      In any event evaporation under pressure must require more energy than evaporation at zero pressure because the necessary energy input must offset both the physical bonds between the molecules plus the reinforcement of those bonds from the pressure under which they are placed.

      Evaporation at zero pressure requires only enough energy to just break the bonds but evaporation at 1 bar requires over 5 times as much.

      • Stephen,

        What happens in evaporation can be fully understood only in quantum mechanics. In QM the process of evaporation cannot be described as you do. In QM the processes are more on the on-off nature and less of gradual change.

        Higher pressure of a gas means only that there are more gas molecules in each volume of gas. The molecules are still almost all the time so far from each other that they do not interact, they just move around as free particles that collide every now and then with each other and also hit the surface. With more pressure these collisions are a little more frequent. That’s the only way the pressure enters. It’s essential to understand that the atmosphere is essentially empty space with molecules far apart. There’s approximately 1000 times more space per molecule than in liquid at atmospheric pressure.

        The evaporation of one molecule occurs when it happens to receive so much energy from collisions with neighboring molecules in the water that it breaks the attractive bonds. The gas around has very little to do with that at all normal pressures. Only at very high pressures start the gas molecules get so close to each other that interaction with neighboring molecules has any significant effect.

        The pressure affects the evaporation only through the fact that the released H2O molecule hits a gas molecule a little sooner (on average). That slows down the diffusion of H2O molecules out of the surface. As long as they are very close to the surface they may bounce back in a collision and attach again to the liquid. This effect of pressure is, however, small. Nothing comparable to what you have mentioned.

      • David Springer

        Evaporation rate, energy, temperature, pressure, are all experimentally confirmed you ignorant poseur. Quantum physics my ass. What a dork.

      • Springer uses every fallacious argument in the book.
        Pekka, as far as I can tell, has never used one, apart from suggesting to read some physics references.

        The latter wins every time.

      • Springer has probably never been close to UHV equipment in his life.

        Entertaining to watch a poseur like Springer get tripped up by physics that is second nature to some of us.

      • Stephen Wilde

        Pekka

        Thank you for your polite and considered responses but I am still of the opinion that for some reason I am not getting the point across.

        As I see it there is a substantial difference between:

        i) The energy cost of evaporation at zero pressure when the latent heat of vaporisation is simply the energy required to heat the same volume of water to a boiling point that would be very little above absolute zero.

        and

        ii) The energy cost of evaporation at 1 bar atmospheric pressure when the latent heat of vaporisation is over 5 times the energy required to heat the same volume of water from 0C to Earth’s surface boiling point for water of 100C as per the Wikipaedia article.

        At 2 bars atmospheric pressure the latent heat of vaporisation would be even higher..

        I cannot see why you consider that effect of pressure to be small.

        I don’t exclude the possibility that I have got something fundamentally wrong but as yet I don’t see it.

        You said:

        “The evaporation of one molecule occurs when it happens to receive so much energy from collisions with neighbouring molecules in the water that it breaks the attractive bonds”

        but that ignores the excitation effect of continually incoming daytime solar irradiation which is at its maximum within the evaporative region a few microns deep at the water / air interface and energy from the temperature of the air above the water surface (often misleadingly termed back radiation) which is present throughout the night.

        and ignores the fact that at zero pressure water would evaporate away to space without any collisional activity at all simply because the space between molecules would expand freely until all the water became vapour.

        I suspect that the incoming solar radiation acting on molecules constrained by gravity (pressure) vastly magnifies the effect of pressure on the energy value of the enthalpy of vaporisation.

        After all, what we are considering here is the balance between incoming and outgoing solar radiation and not a system in stasis.

        Your point about collisional activity being the sole or primary cause of evaporation would only be correct in the absence of excitation of the molecules from an external source of energy yet still constrained by gravity (pressure).

        But we know that is impossible because in the absence of excitation of the water molecules by solar energy the water would freeze to the surface as a solid and no collisional activity could occur.

        Anyway, the events in the troposphere between sea surface and tropopause will always reconfigure the global air circulation so that at the effective radiating height energy in always matches energy out over time.

        It is negative adjustments in the air circulation within the tropospheric envelope that maintain system equilibrium and have prevented the loss of our liquid oceans for 4 billion years.

        In the process the effective radiating height rises and falls as necessary but the effective radiating height does NOT rise to a colder region as usually proposed. Instead the effective radiating height remains at the same temperature such that when it rises the temperature at that new height becomes fractionally warmer than it was before the rise in height.

        Furthermore the rising and falling of the heights is not uniform at poles and equator hence the latitudinal sliding to and fro of the climate zones beneath the tropopause as a negative system response to any warming or cooling effects other than changes in surface pressure at any given level of solar input.

        Much of this may be too much for many to absorb at this stage but I put it on record for future reference.

      • Stephen,
        Zero pressure is not a case to compare as that requires an empty space with no material. Lowering the pressure low enough to initiate boiling has major effects, but we are far from that.

        Solar radiation penetrates well below the surface and influences it only by heating a rather deep layer of water. Even long waveleghth IR penetrates to depths of thousnds of molecules and has its influence only through warming.

        In few cases a gas molecule hitting the surface may help evaporation but in almost all cases the energy comes from other molecules of the liquid. Sometimes one molecule happens to receive enough energy for breaking the bonds.

      • Evaporation in situ usually is driven by high entropy photons supplied by insolation and backradation, rather than by chance collisions with other molecules There is relatively little of it at night. Despite the superdramatic illustration of radiation in the (nearly net-zero) exchange with the atmosphere in simple “budget” schematic, evaporation from the oceans is the principal means of true heat transfer, outstripping radiation and convection combined.

      • But John that’s only good for 5-6 miles then radiation is what picks up the slack. Does this affect cloud perhaps though.

      • John S,

        The water molecules at the surface do not have any special property that would make them interact essentially more strongly with the photons that hit the surface than molecules inside water do. As any layer of molecules absorbs only a tiny fraction of incoming photons (about 1/1000 of thermal IR, less than 1/1000000 of solar) the energy transfer from photons to molecules cannot explain significant part of the evaporation. The rate of evaporation is about 20% of incoming radiation in terms of energy, i.e. hundreds of times more than what IR photons can induce directly and perhaps a million times the direct influence of solar radiation.

      • David Springer

        WebHubTelescope | November 7, 2012 at 6:32 pm |

        “Entertaining to watch a poseur like Springer get tripped up by physics that is second nature to some of us.”

        Mistakes are second nature to you. Let me remind you that the new satellite observations Stephens reports:

        Moreover, the latest satellite observations of global precipitation indicate that more precipitation is generated than previously thought. This additional precipitation is sustained by more energy leaving the surface by evaporation — that is, in the form of latent heat flux — and thereby offsets much of the increase in longwave flux to the surface.

        I what I described over a year based on my knowledge of the physics of water and DWLIR.

        Successful prediction is usually the hallmark of someone who understands the physics. That’s me. I’d like to say I’m sorry you’re an imbecile but I’m not at all sorry about it. Kings have kept clowns like you around for entertainment since time immemorial.

      • Springer doesn’t understand the most basic thermal activation laws of physics — increased temps lead to increased evaporation, and because of the saturated water cycle, more precip.

      • ” Pekka Pirilä | November 8, 2012 at 3:59 am |

        John S,

        The water molecules at the surface do not have any special property that would make them interact essentially more strongly with the photons that hit the surface than molecules inside water do.”

        Water molecules are constantly leaving and entering at surface boundary- if there more leaving rather then enter at the surface, you have evaporation.

        There should be a number of factors which are involved. One is there relatively high concentration of water vapor in this boundary region [if you have wind this strips this high concentration from region, and creates more evaporation [and cooling the surface of water].
        So if believe greenhouse gases add any heat, then this layer boundary should heated due to concentration of greenhouse gases- instead a region only molecule thickness one is involve region which it could cm or more in which any net heat increases one should get more evaporation
        For water molecules to leave surface, they need energy. They get energy from warm water, but they also should be able to absorb directly from radiation.
        It seems if water molecule absorbs energy under surface, it transfers this to molecules around it [heat], but if at surface it could receive the energy it needs to become gas molecule and directly leave the surface.
        One would also never have a perfectly flat surface, one has to have roughness at molecule level, giving you more surface area for solar energy to interact with.

        Also warm water rises, any water warmed beneath the surface will make it’s way to the surface and force of this convection will add turbulence.

      • Wilder argues physics like a greasy lawyer would argue physics, all rhetoric and no fundamental math or empirical evidence.

      • Pekka Pirilä | November 7, 2012 at 12:52 pm It’s essential to understand that the atmosphere is essentially empty space with molecules far apart. There’s approximately 1000 times more space per molecule than in liquid at atmospheric pressure.

        The evaporation of one molecule occurs when it happens to receive so much energy from collisions with neighboring molecules in the water that it breaks the attractive bonds. The gas around has very little to do with that at all normal pressures. Only at very high pressures start the gas molecules get so close to each other that interaction with neighboring molecules has any significant effect.

        More idiot fisics from AGWScienceFiction – this time that the atmosphere is empty space and the gases ideal and not real.

        There’s no no sound in your world Pekka..

        ..which is probably why you can’t hear what I’m saying.

      • Myrrh,

        I would be worried if I ever would agree with you on something related to physics.

      • Pekka,

        I’m not suggesting any special molecular properties, but addressing the observed in situ variabilty of evaporation in the face of variable macroscopic environmental factors. In equatorial doldrums, where SST has precious little diurnal variability, one finds nevertheless a very pronounced datime peak in evaporation rate. This is scarcely explained by your academic suppositions. For more realistic theoretical treatment, I suggest Brutsaert’s: “Evaporation into the Atmosphere.”

      • John S. http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/oceans/science-focus/modis/MODIS_and_AIRS_SST_comp.shtml

        The skin temperature of the ocean is pretty interesting. There is a much larger gradient in the first few millimeters in daytime and calm conditions.

      • There’s nothing surprising in the observation that evaporation is stronger during the day.

        The (net) evaporation depends strongly on the relationship between surface temperature and moisture level of the near surface atmosphere. Rather small changes in these factors may change the rate of evaporation essentially. The radiation from the sun does certainly cause such changes. The change in the skin temperature need not be large to have a significant effect. The transport of moist air from the immediate surface is also influenced by small changes in the temperature. These are real natural effects, what else is needed?

      • From the reference of Capt.Dallas we see that near IR does not penetrate deep. Much of that is absorbed in the topmost mm. That heats the skin during the day and leads to more evaporation.

        Visible red light penetrates just a little further (centimeters) but blue light has a penetration depth of tens of meters in purest ocean water.

      • I doubt there’s any danger of that happening Pekka, you are firmly fixated by the AGWScienceFiction memes so that you can’t see the absurdity of your empty space atmosphere is as the same absurdity you believe that the Sun gives off very little heat..

        You need to get back to traditional physics about the heat and light from the Sun to understand me, here’s a start:

        http://www.globio.org/glossopedia/article.aspx?art_id=37
        Sun Power
        Eight minutes after it shines out from the Sun’s surface, the Sun’s energy reaches Earth in the form of light and heat waves. Except for nuclear energy, all of the energy on earth comes from the Sun’s energy.”

        In traditional physics of the real world we get light waves and we get heat waves from the Sun, that these are different from each other. We’ve known since Herschel that the great heat waves we get from the Sun are invisible and since Herschel our measurements are more exact and we have delineated near infrared as non-thermal, as light and not heat, so thermal infrared is the description of the electromagnetic wave of heat, which is what thermal means. We know the heat waves we feel as heat from the Sun are direct, beam, thermal infrared, longwave infrared. We cannot feel shortwave light.

        So, we still have the great heat waves from the Sun Herschel discovered were invisible, but which you believe don’t exist.

        How can I take you seriously as a scientist when you don’t even know the Sun radiates great heat which we know, in traditional science, is what heats up matter here on the Earth’s surface?

        We, in traditional science, know what light waves from the Sun are good for, not only for sight as Tyndall dismissed light when he followed Herschel to discover for himself the great power of the invisible thermal infrared heat from the Sun, but importantly for all life on Earth, light is good for photosynthesis. We know that light converts to nerve impulses in sight and to chemical energy in photosynthesis, to sugars, and not to heat energy. We know that light from the Sun isn’t capable of moving the whole molecule of matter into vibration which is what it takes to heat up land and water and us. We know that light from the Sun doesn’t have the great power of heat from the Sun to cook the land and water at the equator which is what it takes to get our great wind and weather systems. So, you’re obviously living in a different world from us.

        And now you say “It’s essential to understand that the atmosphere is essentially empty space with molecules far apart.”, which means that you have no sound in your world besides having no heat from the Sun. And you don’t understand what I’m saying because you have no idea what the molecules of our atmosphere really are.

        If you knew what our atmosphere was you would know what I was talking about. You don’t realise how absurd what you are saying is in real physics because the text books you use are different from those used in traditional physics which knows and still teaches the difference between light and heat from the Sun, which still teaches that our atmosphere is real gas and not the AGWSF “ideal gas which has no volume or attraction or weight and is not subject to gravity being imaginary hard dots of nothing zipping at great speeds through empty space under their own molecular momentum bouncing off each other in elastic collisions and so thoroughly mixing that they can’t become unmixed”. That’s why you don’t have convection, as you don’t have sound.

        Your atmosphere only exists in an imaginary lab in an imaginary container. You have taken out Van der Waals as you have taken out Herschel. As you have taken out the Water Cycle and taken rain out of the Carbon Cycle – your imaginary carbon dioxide defies gravity though it is heavier than air in the real world and accumulates for hundreds and thousands of years in your empty space because it has no weight and no attraction to water because it’s your imaginary non-existant ideal gas.

        If you ever do come to agree with me, if you step back through the looking glass, where you can think any amount of impossible things before breakfast, into the real physical world around us which has properties and processes because we know the differences between things, then you too will be seeing how absurd you sound now saying there is no heat from the Sun and no sound in your world.

      • “Pekka Pirilä | November 8, 2012 at 5:51 pm |

        From the reference of Capt.Dallas we see that near IR does not penetrate deep. Much of that is absorbed in the topmost mm. That heats the skin during the day and leads to more evaporation.

        Visible red light penetrates just a little further (centimeters) but blue light has a penetration depth of tens of meters in purest ocean water.”

        What found interesting is:
        “The actual thickness of the skin layer depends on the local energy flux of the molecular transports, which is usually less than 1 mm thick and can persist at wind speed up to 10 m/s.For stronger winds, the skin layer is destroyed by breaking waves. Observations indicate that the skin layer can re-establish itself within 10 to 12 seconds after the dissipation of the breaking waves (Ewing and McAlister, 1960; Clauss et al., 1970).”

        I was going mention surface tension as factor another post, but I was uncertain of the speed which involved with it. Above seems to answer this, it must be somewhere around a meter per second.

        As far graph of reference of Capt.Dallas, most of the Sun’s energy is between 1 and 2 µm. With Near infrared starting at around .75 µm and it appear from graph that the amount of “absorption” peaks somewhere around red visible light, and drops during the point of beginning near infrared, then later climbs steeply peaking before 2 µm [or 2000 nm].
        The article is about the three instruments, which are passively receiving the signal which they are measuring [they aren't sending a signal- like a radar].

        “The AIRS uses wavelengths from 3.75 µm to 13 µm for surface properties retrievals, which have penetration depths ranging from ~100 µm to ~10 µm”.
        So penetration is the depth they are seeing- where they getting most of their signal.
        So if instead they were using different instruments, detecting around 1700 nm they would see to depth of mm. But this not the same as saying that 1700 nm from the sun only reaches to mm depth.

        So the majority of energy from the sun- the visible and near infrared energy from the sun which reaches the ocean surface should reach more than a meter below the water- with diffused blue light reaching 100 meters under the water.

      • David Springer

        Of course you are correct Stephen. As atmospheric pressure falls partial pressure of all the gases in it fall in direct proportion. A lower partial pressure of water vapor raises the evaporation rate. When atmospheric pressure falls to zero the evaporation rate becomes explosive. These idiots won’t acknowlege reality. Their internal models of reality are all they believe and if observation disagree the observations must be wrong. Welcome to climate zealot science.

      • Stephen Wilde

        Thanks Dave.

        I’ll stop banging my head on a wall here and await further developments.

        Many recent papers including the one being discussed here are going my way.

        I currently have the only viable hypothesis that describes global climate change in broad terms in such a way as to comply with all known observations and basic physics.

      • The partial pressure of water vapor does not follow automatically the full atmospheric pressure. It’s controlled by other factors like SST.

      • Pekka, “The partial pressure of water vapor does not follow automatically the full atmospheric pressure. It’s controlled by other factors like SST.”

        Temperature, surface area and partial pressure. Surface wind velocity is a major factor because it impacts all three.

      • No disagreement on that.

        SST determines the partial pressure immediately above the surface, winds are the main factor in transporting the moisture out of that very thin layer. The evaporation proceeds only as fast as the moisture is transported off from the immediate neighborhood of the surface.

      • A stellar example of the Gish gallop as only a veteran of intelligent design wars can produce.

        The non- clueless among us know what you are up to Springer and it ain’t gonna work at this level.

      • All hypothetical garbage by Springer and delusional thinking by Wilde.

        What is the average global barometric pressure at sea level and how has that changed over the years?

        Talking the globally estimated average value here.

        It’s not like we are arguing with morons here, but skilled practitioners of rhetoric who want to twist and bullrush their way through an argument to achieve their underlying objective to raise the overall level of FUD.

        And then the truly clueless like gbaikie drop in to make it even more like a circus.

      • Webster,”What is the average global barometric pressure at sea level and how has that changed over the years?”

        If the Earth were a billiard ball with a true average temperature, average barometric pressure and average saturation vapor pressure , that would make sense. It’s not so it don’t.

        Pressure differentials are what drives weather and persistent pressure patterns drive climate, PDO, AMO, NAO etc. Since there is quite a bit of new research showing that there can be persistent patterns of centuries and longer, “global” averaging appears to be a Faux Pas.

      • “Pressure differentials”

        Pressure differentials integrate to zero.

        \int{dp}=0

      • Consider an academic educator like Curry who has to grade a hundred or so students in a typical year. Out of that bunch, not everyone will have the correct answers and more than a few will present answers to homework assignments and exams that will contain imaginatively ridiculous arguments.

        The key thing to note is that Curry (or more likely her teaching assistants) will not expend any extra effort to understand these ridiculous arguments. They simply get passed back to the student with a failing grade. To even acknowledge someone like Wilde or a Sky Dragon, or the 40+ other wackos who hang out here is a waste of effort.

        In contrast, to the agenda-driven polemicists in this comment area, this churn is exactly what they want. They desire to see the level of FUD increased, because that is what attracts all the other pseudos and fakes and conspiracy theorists.

        BTW, the 40+ number increases daily. If you haven’t noticed, you have another clown that jumped in to the fray elsewhere in this thread.
        http://judithcurry.com/2012/11/05/uncertainty-in-observations-of-the-earths-energy-balance/#comment-265128

      • WHT,

        You are perfectly right. What Wilde writes is double folly. His proposal that the pressure would change significantly is the first one and the idea that a pressure change would make a difference even if they did occur is the second.

        This site has been met by a new invasion of people with their own theories of physics, some of them have been here also earlier, some are new. The theories are all equally worthless. (A new phenomenon to me is that some of them have started to argue with each other rather than only against main stream views.)

      • Pekka wrote:

        ” (A new phenomenon to me is that some of them have started to argue with each other rather than only against main stream views.)”

        This is actually a good thing. I think the relentlessness of commenters such as Myrrrhh and a few of the SkyDragons are coaxing the skeptics out of their shells.

        So its a good thing, but with a caveat.

        What the fake skeptics really want is benign argumentation, not the over-the-top spew that Myrrhh engages in. To me, it all looks the same, for example Myrrhh is no different than the Chief, but to the agenda-driven skeptic, the level of skepticism has to be kept in check. It is very important for them to hold the line and believe that only moderate levels of FUD is all it takes to align the populace against scientific advancement.

  58. Although an algebraically closer flux density balance is drawn in this new schematic than by K&T, the fundamental disconnect between between insolation available for thermalizing the surface and the surface emissions continues to perplex many in the ensuing discusion. Much confusion arises from the failure to distinguish properly between true heat transfer (a conservative process) and local radiative intensity (a nonconservative one)in the atmosphere. In this connection it should be noted that any supposed LWR exchange that produces the net upward transfer indicated here would nearly balance insolation, this tells us nothing about the realism of the magnitude of oppositely directed fluxes in the radiative exchange. And few seem to realize that that pyrgeometers do not measure those fluxes directly; they are inferred from the net flux sensed (typically +/-10W/m^2) by the sheltered thermopile. Thus the question of the intensity of backradiation and its physical basis at any atmospheric level remains very much open.

  59. No Chief, all Australians are not ‘ ruggedly handsome.’
    I fer one am not. )

  60. Is this a bad time to ask which “greenhouse gases” other than CO2 are increasing, and one presumes, as a direct consequence of the ascent of homo sapien on the world scene?

  61. Another piece of junk science article when there is backradiation as a major component of the energy budget. The back radiation measurements were just the Earth radiates its absorbed energy back to the space.

  62. Lets s see, C02 has increased around 100 PPM since man has been pumping plant food into the atmosphere, right. Is that 100 PPM caused by man or about 3% or 3PPM? If 97 % is natural then why are we worried about mans paltry 3%. So if C02 raises the temperature and it rains in Spain, can we we really pick out mans contribution.

  63. David Springer

    Steven Mosher | November 7, 2012 at 12:41 am |

    “Since we have a negative lapse rate this means the earth is radiating from a higher and colder place. fundamental physics tells you that a colder object radiates more slowly than a hotter object. By shifting the ERL up, then GHGs slow the rate at which energy leaves earths system.”

    Unfortunately for your fairy tale the lapse rate isn’t fixed. Water vapor modifies it. The effective emission altitude is higher (about 100 meters per CO2 doubling) but not colder because the increased water vapor in the atmosphere lowers the environmental lapse rate.

    I’ve said the lapse rate changes about a million times. Stephens confirmed it by saying there’s far more evaporation and precipitation than modeled:

    Moreover, the latest satellite observations of global precipitation indicate that more precipitation is generated than previously thought. This additional precipitation is sustained by more energy leaving the surface by evaporation — that is, in the form of latent heat flux — and thereby offsets much of the increase in longwave flux to the surface.

    Got that, Mosher? It’s observed not modeled. The models you so love are wrong. I described the fault at least a year ago. Stephens 2012 confirms I’m right. Deal with it.

    • First you describe the lapse rate feedback. You are right, it does exist. But then who would disagree?

      Stephens et al do not provide any new data on environmental lapse rate. They do tell that the earlier estimates of evaporation, rain, and downwelling radiation have been somewhat low. So what?

      How does this change of estimates justify your conclusions?

      How was earlier understanding of atmosphere dependent on the earlier numbers and how do these new numbers modify the understanding?

      I do agree that the new numbers should lead to some modifications in the climate models. That change affects probably mainly the weakest part of the models, i.e. the parameterization of the processes of evaporation and condensation as well as cloud formation which is directly linked to that.

  64. The WE/DS argument could be solved by resolving the confusion between heat and light. Beam heat from the Sun is capable of heating the water in the ocean, waste heat can’t do this work.

    It takes intense heating of land and water at the equator to give us our great equator to pole winds and dramatic weather, by the differential heating of our heavy, voluminous, fluid real gas atmosphere subject to gravity of mainly nitrogen and oxygen and variable amounts of water, as hot air rises and cold air sinks displacing this.

    We feel thermal infrared as heat, we can’t feel near infrared or visible or uv, these are not thermal.

    Therefore, what we feel from the Sun as heat is thermal infrared.

    If you don’t have this beam heat in your models, then you don’t have heat from the Sun.

    If you don’t have this beam heat from the Sun which is thermal infrared, and which is not reflective/colour/near infrared nor visible nor uv, then you don’t have any weather in your models.

    If you don’t have any weather in your models, you don’t have any climate in your modelled worlds.

    In other words, neither of them anything about which they’re arguing.

    • David Springer

      Go away.

    • It’s a nasty job, but someone has to keep pointing out that only non-scientists and the brainwashed, and the brainless, say there is no heat from the Sun reaching us.

      Thermal comes from the Greek, it means of heat. In traditional science the invisible infrared that Herschel discovered is divided into thermal and non-thermal, the non-thermal is called Reflective. Heat and Light energies from the Sun are completely different from each other. Thermal infrared is heat energy, it is the Sun’s heat energy radiating to us and reaching us in 8 minutes which heats the Earth’s land and oceans.

      This is simply real world physical fact. It falsifies the claims of the AGWScienceFiction energy budget.

      30.How Long for the Sun’s Heat to Reach Earth?
      How long does it take heat created on the Sun’s surface to reach Earth? Is it the same as the speed of light?
      Heat is transmitted through conduction, convection, and radiation. The heat that reaches us from the Sun is infrared radiation, which travels at the speed of light. So, it takes about 8 minutes for it to reach Earth from the Sun.
      Dr. Louis Barbier
      http://helios.gsfc.nasa.gov/qa_sun.html#part

      The AGWSF energy budget is science fiction because its fisics is impossible in the real world.

      If you were really a scientist you wouldn’t be so dismissive after all the information I have given you all.

      What you have in common is that you have been so confused by these these fake fisics memes that you know longer know the difference between fact and fiction in the nuances you argue about.

      Does Pekka understand why there is no sound in his world? No, no more than you who think a rebuttal mentioning “lasers” proves me wrong.

      There are probably millions of pages on the net on the subject of OPTICS – find me one which which goes into the detail of how visible light from the Sun heats land and water.

      Just one.

      You can continue to ignore that no such page exists, you can continue to ignore that in real world physics water is a transparent medium for visible light, it is not absorbed on the electronic transition level let alone capable of moving water molecules on the the bigger vibrational level, but I have to assume that others without your closed unscientific mind could be reading this. So why don’t you go away until you can come back with a full and detailed description from OPTICS of how visible light from the Sun moves the molecules of matter on Earth into vibration which is what it takes to heat up matter. Go do your own research if you insist on defending this fake fisics that visible light from the Sun heats the land and water of Earth.

      I’m the one making the challenge, which you appear to be non-science minded in your failure to grasp what that means.

      Whether you think what I post from real physics is real fact or not, that I have posted contradictory information is what should alert the real scientists among you, though so far I haven’t seen any evidence of there being any here of those mindlessly regurgitating AGWSF memes..

      So for the benefit of any real scientists reading this post.

      Here are some contraditions to AGWSF fisics.

      We know the difference between Reflective, light, and Thermal, heat, as for example here:

      “Common misconceptions about “Infrared Photography” are that even though EMR (Electro Magnetic Radiation) in those wavelengths are sometimes labeled as part of the “visible” spectrum, these wavelengths cannot be sensed by our eyes and are NOT IN ANY WAY associated with heat.
      Standard filament light bulbs, like a glowing white hot metal rod, emit thermal infrared wavelengths and are a good source of radiate heat (Thermal Infrared) but not a very efficient source of visible light (the percentage of visible white light emitted by a filament light bulb, based its temperature, is very small compared to the percentage that is given off as invisible thermal energy that does not help us see).”
      http://www.geog.ucsb.edu/~jeff/115a/remote_sensing/remotesensing.html
      AGWSF fake fisics memes are both deliberately and mindlessly inserted into pages, for example here from wiki which was, and still is being, interfered with by Connolly and others:

      “Since energy doesn’t disappear, what happens with a fluorescent light bulb is that it dumps almost all its energy into a few wavelengths while a light bulb dumps a lot of its energy into heat”.

      And,

      “But the tungsten filament of an incandescent light bulb is at a much higher temperature (roughly 3000 K or about 5000 degrees F), causing it to emit mostly visible light.”

      This last is simply not true, an incandescent light bulb emits around 5% visible light, light, and 95% thermal infrared, heat.

      The fake claim that an incandescent lightbulb radiates mainly visible light, when further up the page the correct information has been given, is a deliberate fib, a sleight of hand obvious only to those who know it’s wrong.

      As I’ve said, I’ve given lots of contradictory physics, anyone here who chooses to ignore such examples and as the following prove themselves to be non-scientists, and not worth listening to..

      NASA has changed its teaching on the difference between heat and light from the Sun.

      Here from traditional teaching and its change to AGWSF fake fisics memes:

      NASA original page teaching previously well known traditional real world physics to children: http://science.hq.nasa.gov/kids/imagers/ems/infrared.html

      From this NASA page:

      “Near infrared” light is closest in wavelength to visible light and “far infrared” is closer to the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The longer, far infrared wavelengths are about the size of a pin head and the shorter, near infrared ones are the size of cells, or are microscopic.

      Far infrared waves are thermal. In other words, we experience this type of infrared radiation every day in the form of heat! The heat that we feel from sunlight, a fire, a radiator or a warm sidewalk is infrared.

      Shorter, near infrared waves are not hot at all – in fact you cannot even feel them. These shorter wavelengths are the ones used by your TV’s remote control.

      Infrared light is even used to heat food sometimes – special lamps that emit thermal infrared waves are often used in fast food restaurants!”

      compare with:

      NASA page now teaching that thermal infrared doesn’t even reach us!: http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/emspectrum.html

      “Electromagnetic radiation from space is unable to reach the surface of the Earth except at a very few wavelengths, such as the visible spectrum, radio frequencies, and some ultraviolet wavelengths. Astronomers can get above enough of the Earth’s atmosphere to observe at some infrared wavelengths from mountain tops or by flying their telescopes in an aircraft.

      http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/Images/introduction/emsurface.gif
      http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/dict_ei.html#em_waves [link from em spectrum page]:

      infrared
      Electromagnetic radiation at wavelengths longer than the red end of visible light and shorter than microwaves (roughly between 1 and 100 microns). Almost none of the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum can reach the surface of the Earth, although some portions can be observed by high-altitude aircraft (such as the Kuiper Observatory) or telescopes on high mountaintops (such as the peak of Mauna Kea in Hawaii)”.

      Anyone here who continues to ignore what this is showing should seriously consider doing something else with his life, because this proves there used to be a different teaching at NASA, real traditional teaching that we get both light waves and heat waves from the Sun, and these are different from each other.

      • David Springer

        What’s the difference between a blue photon from the sun and a blue photon from a laser, dopey?

  65. Stephen Wilde

    For the record I did not say that global atmospheric pressure changes significantly.

    I said that atmospheric pressure sets the energy cost of a given amount of evaporation by varying the ratio between the amount of energy required to induce an evaporative event and the energy taken from the local environment by that evaporative event.

    That is not any new idea of mine. It is long established physics whereby evaporation has long been known to have a net cooling effect.

    Is it denied that evaporation has a net cooling effect ?

    Whatever the atmospheric pressure may be, averaged globally, that sets the energy cost of a given amount of evaporation for the climate system as a whole and thus determines how warm the oceans must become before they can achieve equilibrium between solar energy in and longwave energy out.

    That warmth of the oceans then determines the average global temperature of the air.

    Nothing new, nothing speculative, just well known physics applied to the global energy budget in a way which has the potential to invalidate some favoured illusions.

    I note the resort to abuse that inevitablt follows an inability to adequately counter my point.

    I am surprised at Pekka.

    • Stephen,

      What is your point of discussing very different pressure levels if you don’t think that there are significantly different pressure levels?

      I have already explained that your second point is wrong. Atmospheric pressure does not influence “the energy cost of evaporation”.

      The escape of molecules from the surface of liquids is a very local phenomenon. Pressure of gas is not local in that way. Pressure is proportional to the rate of hits of molecules of gas to the surface, but each hit is a separate event when considered on microscopic scale. Pressure affects only their frequency not any other property like average energy of the hitting molecule. The energies of the hitting molecules are similar to the kinetic energies of molecules in the liquid. Each of the water molecules on the surface is influenced much more often by the neighboring molecules of the liquid than by gas molecules that hit the surface. Therefore by far most cases where a molecule escapes are energized by molecular collisions within the water.

      The energy required to release a molecule from liquid water is determined by the attraction that water molecules exert to each other. it’s a property of liquid water and is almost totally independent of the pressure.

      • “The energy required to release a molecule from liquid water is determined by the attraction that water molecules exert to each other. it’s a property of liquid water and is almost totally independent of the pressure.”

        Then please explain why the enthalpy of vaporisation is over 5 times greater than the energy required to heat the same volume of water from freezing point to boiling point when the pressure is 1 bar at Earth’s surface.

        A change in pressure changes the multiple because the energy required to heat a volume of water from freezing point to boiling point is less when pressure reduces and more when pressure rises.

        You are aware that at the top of Everest water boils at less than 100C aren’t you ?

        How can pressure alter the amount of energy required to heat a volume of water from freezing point to boiling point yet by your account then fail to also alter the ratio of the enthalpy of vaporisation to the amount of energy required to heat the same volume of water from freezing point to boiling point ?

        That variable ratio gives rise to a varying energy cost of a given amount of evaporation and that energy cost is clearly dictated by surface pressure.

      • I don’t see the logic behind your question, but your observation is very natural in light of what I have explained. The main reason is in the strength of the attractive interaction between water molecules. Breaking that takes a lot of energy. The pressure has little influence on that.

        That boiling point varies with temperature is another matter. Don’t mix so different issues. The pressure doesn’t alter rapidly the energy needed to evaporate a fixed amount of water, but the boiling point changes because less evaporation is required for boiling at lower pressure. (Boiling starts when the saturation pressure of water vapor equals the air pressure).

  66. It seems the problem is not solved yet. H2O seems like a very important ‘knob’ that ‘regulates’ the surface cooling rate, at the surface by evaporation and higher up by longwave thermal radiation to space.

    Furthermore:

    – If one accepts the correlation between the temperature and CO2, then it’s clear that the global climate shifts from warming to cooling at the highest CO2 concentrations, and from cooling to warming at the lowest CO2 concentrations. What kind of a positive forcing is that? In 2012 we’re having the highest atmospheric CO2 since the MLO measurements began and the climate is plateauing and IMO shifting to cooling (solar mostly IMO).

    – AGW started significantly in (very roughly) 1960, almost everybody agrees on both sides, anything else would be implausible. When I look at the development of the linear trends, I see nothing anthropogenic, without postulating that the natural trends changed when AGW started, so overall no change. That’s very unlikely!

    Here, the 15-, 20- and 30-year linear trends compared to the 50-year trends:
    http://i1159.photobucket.com/albums/p623/Oefinell/15yrLR.jpg
    http://i1159.photobucket.com/albums/p623/Oefinell/20yrLR.jpg
    http://i1159.photobucket.com/albums/p623/Oefinell/30yrLR.jpg

    Where’s the beef?

    • Someone else made those graphs (thanks), but after some checking they seem correct to me. I think other temperature series would give similar curves.

  67. Stephen Wilde

    Pekka said:

    “The main reason is in the strength of the attractive interaction between water molecules. Breaking that takes a lot of energy. The pressure has little influence on that.”

    The pressure of the atmosphere must be added to the strength of the attractive interaction and both must be overcome by the addition of energy if evaporation is to occur.

    The pressure of the atmosphere forces the molecules together more tightly than does the attractive interaction alone.

    The higher the surface pressure the more energy must be added to achieve a given amount of evaporation.

    In order for the oceans to reach thermal equilibrium there needs to be sufficient evaporation (acting with various other energy transfer processes) to match energy into the ocean with energy leaving the ocean.

    A higher pressure causes a higher proportion of the incoming solar energy to be used to fuel any given amount of evaporation whch causes a reduction in the amount of evaporation that can be derived from the available solar input.

    That reduction in total evaporation will result in a warming of the oceans until thermal equilibrium is regained.

    So, with a higher atmospheric pressure the oceans must accumulate more energy and become warmer in order for enough evaporation (and other processes) to occur to enable thermal equilibrium to be achieved.

    The thermal equilibrium of the oceans (and short term variations of it) controls air temperatures and greatly influences the sizes, positions and relative intensities of the permanent climate zones.

    Thus does atmospheric pressure set the initial thermal equilibrium of the oceans around which variations can occur over time as a result of various destabilising influences, including human CO2.

    The radiative properties of the air alone are not significant since the ocean / air energy exchange is in absolute control and it is set by atmospheric pressure. Only the mass of the atmosphere matters. Changes in composition become irrelevant unless they also affect atmospheric mass save that changes in composition can affect the air circulation pattern.

    However it is clear from the changes observed from MWP to LIA to date as a result of natural solar and oceanic variations that the scale of any effect on the air circulation pattern from human CO2 is miniscule.

    The critical point one must then realise is that the air circulation changes in the troposphere are always a sufficient negative response to any destabilising influences whether natural or human induced. Otherwise there would be no liquid oceans after 4 billion years of huge natural upheavals and potentially catastrophic impacts.

    The one advantage to me of your wrongheaded comments is that it is helping me to create more persuasive verbal formulations.

    • Stephen,

      First. Why you return to discussion of the influence of higher pressure after you told that you don’t think that the pressure changes much?

      There’s no pressure on individual molecules, pressure is a macroscopic variable that cannot be applied on molecular level. The escaping particle is not affected by any pressure. In rare cases it may be hit by a molecule of gas but that’s rare and that does not add to the energy taken to release the molecule from the liquid.

      Pressure affects the density of liquid water but so little that it’s of no consequence.

      Higher atmospheric pressure does not influence the amount of energy used in evaporation of certain amount of water. It affects indirectly (very) little the rate of evaporation but the energy consumed changes by the same ratio as the amount.

      The ocean-atmosphere interface is complex but then: That’s not the best place to understand the influence of GHG’s. The best place is at TOA and upper troposphere. The surface energy balance just adjusts automatically to what happens high up.

      So far you have not got any more persuasive, you have just repeated the same misconceptions time after time almost unmodified.

      • Stephen Wilde

        “Why you return to discussion of the influence of higher pressure after you told that you don’t think that the pressure changes much?”

        It doesn’t change much but the pressure present determines the ease or otherwise by which evaporation can occur. If the pressure were zero then evaporation of the whole body of water would be pretty much instantaneous. Higher pressure restrains evaporation and the higher the pressure the greater the restraint.

        “There’s no pressure on individual molecules, pressure is a macroscopic variable that cannot be applied on molecular level.”

        Of course there is no pressure on individual molecules but we are considering many molecules in a group with attracting forces between them. If one then subjects that group of molecules to pressure such as at the bottom of an atmosphere then more energy will be required to separate them.

        We can easily consider the behaviour of water molecules in the vacuum of space as compared to water molecules on the surface of the planet. The former will immediately move apart, evaporating instantly. The latter will not. The difference is due solely to pressure.

        “The surface energy balance just adjusts automatically to what happens high up.”

        No it does not.

        The surface energy balance responds to solar heating of the body of the water and internal variations of the water. If that results in an energy imbalance between the sea / air interface and the effective radiating height then the air circulation in between reconfigures to alter the energy flows and eliminate the imbalance.

        I think your primary error could be in thinking that the surface energy balance has no flexibility of its own. In fact it is highly variable and relies upon the circulation of the air above to match its variability with whatever else is going on at the effective radiating height (which is separately influenced by a top down solar effect on the higher atmosphere).

        Natural climate change is simply the interplay between the top down solar and bottom up oceanic influences as the atmosphere constantly reconfigures to eliminate imbalances however caused.

        The effect of CO2 being unmeasurable as against the natural variations

    • ” Stephen Wilde | November 8, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Reply

      Pekka said:

      “The main reason is in the strength of the attractive interaction between water molecules. Breaking that takes a lot of energy. The pressure has little influence on that.”

      The pressure of the atmosphere must be added to the strength of the attractive interaction and both must be overcome by the addition of energy if evaporation is to occur.

      The pressure of the atmosphere forces the molecules together more tightly than does the attractive interaction alone.

      The higher the surface pressure the more energy must be added to achieve a given amount of evaporation.”

      Not sure what to make of any of this. It requires a lot of energy to evaporate a gram of water. 2,270 kJ/kg or 2270 joules per gram.
      Burning a gram of gasoline: about 48,000 joules
      “energy obtained by burning gasoline which gives about 11.5 calories per gram ”
      http://www.iki.rssi.ru/mirrors/stern/stargaze/Senergy.htm
      Also it should noted gasoline is one component involved, the oxygen needed is a more massive component of chemical reaction. So you include the oxygen component mass it’s less joule per gram- somewhere around 14,000 joules per gram of gasoline and oxygen.
      So evaporated water has 2270 joules per gram, less than 1/6th of energy of gasoline- but perhaps more than one might expect. But also Earth is water planet and there is a lot water vapor- in the big sky and big Earth.

      But 2270 joules isn’t much and particularly if talking smaller quantities than a gram- a 1/10th of gram and on the road to getting down to molecules of water.
      And water evaporates at -150 C. Most people would not regard -140 C as an “energetic environment”. Or a place with calm clear skies with the sun out and environment being -140 C must have pretty weak sun- well beyond Mars.
      Room temperature water exposed to vacuum is explosive. How it explodes exactly, is something I would like to see. Things like 5 C water as compared to 30 C water. What is like spraying it from a hose. Etc.
      It explodes and some of the water freezes- few things do that.
      Fun.

      The thing about vacuum vs pressure, depends on how much water is already in the pressurized gas. Very dry air will act different than dry air.
      Dry air which is cold but windy could evaporate a lot of ice- the air has a lot energy even though may it below -50 C. It’s the mixing of drier air, rather than force of the wind [a 30 mph wind is insignificant compared to the 400 m/s [864 mph] molecular velocity].

  68. Can anyone tell me which day of the year and at what time of the atmosphere is in thermal equilibrium with the sun and space?

    • Dec 21 1111 UTC and it only lasts for 24 hours.

    • The climate system *tends* toward radiative equilibrium but never gets there. Nobody suggests that it was in, or will be in this idealised state.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It happens all the time at transitions between planetary warming and cooling and vice versa.

        The instantaneous rate of change is dS/dt – where S is the global energy storage. It can be positive – negative or zero.

        dS/dt = Energy in – Energy out

        I think Capt Dallas was making a joke.

      • I was responding to DM, not capnD. DM doesn’t seem to understand the irrelevance of his question despite explanation, and you have not helped.

      • I have sort of noticed that the temperature and solar input cycles over 24 hours.
        So BBD, during the 24 hours that make up Nov 9th 2012 the input and output of radiation onto the Earth and from the Earth must exactly balance. What times of the day will these two points occur?

  69. David Springer

    gbaikie | November 8, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Reply

    “Room temperature water exposed to vacuum is explosive. How it explodes exactly, is something I would like to see. ”

    It’s 90C not room temperature and it explodes long before a vacuum is reached but… here ya go:

    • David Springer

      Well beat me like a paper doll. That’s not evaporation it’s boiling.

      I’m usually so careful to discriminate between the two, too.

    • Nice video.
      Notice how quickly the water cooled from 90 C to about 60 C.
      Notice it wasn’t very good vacuum.
      Since it basically stopped boiling and temperature was around 60C,
      we know about the pressure it achieved- about 200 Torr:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Water_vapor_pressure_graph.jpg
      1 torr = 0.0193367747 pounds per square inch
      times 200 is about 3.8 psi.
      Mt Everest is about 1/3 of atm or 4.9 psi. And 35,000 feet is
      about 3.4 psi. So higher than Mt Everest and lower than 35,000′.

      Mars atmosphere’s pressure is around the pressure on Earth at
      about 100,000 feet. Or roughly, 1/100th of Earth’s sea level pressure.
      So exposed in Mars’ atmosphere it would more rapidly boil and reach around 5 C before it slowed down boiling. Or 90 C water on Mars wouldn’t boil but explode- especially when considering the lower gravity.
      Did you notice some of green water that spilled out of container when was rapidly boiling? Less gravity would result more this jumping out of the container- and creating more surface area.
      The Moon is much better vacuum than Mars, and with such a vacuum would be similar to Mars but any temperature liquid water boils- so water has freeze. And it requires significant energy to freeze water [therefore more energy to gained for more evaporation/boiling- or exploding:)
      Fun.

      • David Springer

        Yes. A more fun experiment is one I did a few years ago. I made a room temperature moonshine still that can reduce a bottle of cheap wine into a bottle of grape juice and a snifter of brandy in a few minutes.

        For a heat source I used a common handheld hair blow dryer. For a cold source a bucket of ice water. For a vacuum source a water venturi. For pressurized water for the venturi a kitchen faucet.

        Basically, take two wine bottles, one full of wine the other empty. Take two rubber stoppers one with one hole the other with two. Put the two hole stopper in the empty bottle and the one hole stopper in the full bottle. Connect the two bottles together with a short length of copper tubing and connect the other hole in your two hole stopper to the venturi. Immerse the empty bottle in the ice bath. Point the hair dryer at the full bottle. Turn on the tap. The venturi will give you a decent vacuum in just a minute or two. Close the vacuum inlet off on the venturi as you only need to draw the air out of the system at startup.

        Now your wine bottle will be happilly boiling away at room temperature and 140 proof brandy will be collecting in the empty bottle. You need just enough heat from the blow dryer to keep the full bottle at room temperature as it will be trying to evaporatively cool itself from the evaporating alcohol inside it. After about 15 minutes you’ll a bottle of denatured wine and a few shots of brandy both very drinkable.

        Keeping everything at room temperature is critical to the process as high temperatures will cause chemical reactions that impart off flavors to the denatured wine. The goal was to produce a drinkable denatured wine as well as a drinkable distillation product using common household materials to build it. The venturi is the only thing you can’t pick up at the local hardware store. It’s about $13 from Amazon.

        Cheers!

      • David Springer

        I take that back. I had to go to my local home brew supply store to get rubber stoppers with holes in them. Hardware stores typically don’t carry them.

        http://www.austinhomebrew.com/

  70. David Springer

    @Pekka “The Weasel” Pirila

    From Stephens 2012 abstract:

    “This additional precipitation is sustained by more energy leaving the surface by evaporation — that is, in the form of latent heat flux — and thereby offsets much of the increase in longwave flux to the surface.”

    Which part of that don’t you understand?

  71. The following is an analogy to the earth’s energy balance. This is nothing new, but to balance the recent spate of craziness, might as well go over it again.

    Consider a run-of-the-mill PC that operates on a CPU which runs somewhat hot. The designers of the PC long ago realized that a heat sink attached to the CPU will prevent the chip from over-heating. The CPU uses the incoming energy to do computations, but the by-product heat has to get dissipated, otherwise the core will get cooked.

    The first analogy is that the metal heat sink attached to the CPU is the earth’s connected ocean. It’s good that we have such a heat sink because it does moderate the climate. Anyone that lives along a coast understands this natural behavior.

    The PC designers also realized that the heat sink can only dissipate so much energy before the temperature of the attached heat sink itself will rise until it matches the temperature of the CPU. That is bad news, so the designers figured to attach some large “fins” on the heat sink such that it could convect some of that energy away from the core and towards the inside volume of the PC.

    The second analogy is that the fins of the heat sink act similar to the upwelling of the ocean’s current. The upwelling siphons some of the excess heat away from the ocean’s surface towards the deeper layers. This is a slow diffusional process.

    Next thing that the designers of the PC realized is that the fins could only do so much. The local environment would heat up until it matched the temperature of the fins of the heat sink, and once again the possibility of over-heating of the CPU could occur. So they decided to attach a fan near the heat sink which would blow fresh air continuously on to the fins, thus keeping it cool. An outlet vent was punched into the PC’s case, forcing the hot air out and away from the PC, running continuously 24/7. For big CPU or server farms, more exotic devices such as chillers, evaporative spray cooling, etc are also used. Yet, these all have the same effect as to siphon the excess heat away from the point at which it can do damage.

    Problem solved, and the computer industry thrives.

    The third analogy to the earth’s energy balance is that there is no analogy. The problem for the earth is not solved like it is for a PC. The earth does not have an outlet valve, save for the infrared radiative vent provided by the gray-body that we all live on. We do not have a fan at our disposal that we can attach to vent away excess heat that we generate from infrared trapping GHGs. Due to the laws of radiative physics, the only way to dissipate extra heat is to raise the temperature of the radiating body. That means that the surface will heat upon detecting an energy imbalance until it reaches a new steady state determined by the spectral radiating properties of the atmosphere. How much this temperature will increase is the uncertainty in the title of the top-level post.

    So all this talk of pushing energy around by latent heat, pressure differentials, evaporation/precipitation, etc. is essentially the same as expecting a PC to operate without a fan or other mechanism. Moving thermal energy around the inside of the PC will not help until a release valve is designed to vent the excess heat. Any engineer that would propose such an internal heat dissipation mechanism would get fired from Dell (or some other PC maker) real quick. The other engineers would laugh at him as he got booted.

    Unfortunately, we can’t design the rather obvious thermal relief valve for the earth like we can for a PC. All the crazies with their alternate theories can’t explain this fundamental fact away.
    .

    • “The earth does not have an outlet valve, save for the infrared radiative vent provided by the gray-body that we all live on.”

      Yes, the so-called GHGs are the Earth’s radiative vent.

      • So Edim claims that a PC will cool its surroundings, just like greenhouse gases cool the atmosphere. That’s what a rank contrarian does, arguing the opposite to the facts as stated, no matter how ridiculous the contrary argument sounds .

        To Edim, gravity pulls objects upward, water freezes when it gets hot, and the sun is made of iron.

      • “Nice projecting.:”

        BTW, I make no bones about being one of the few voices in a potential 7 billion people that could comment on this site should they have the chance to. Your voice doesn’t matter, just as my voice doesn’t matter. What matters is trying to get the fundamental physics down correctly and perhaps finding unique ways of expressing the physics. That is a property of the collective storehouse of scientific knowledge.

        Whenever I come up with some good ideas or find something interesting that Pekka or Mosh or others have to say, I will squirrel that away and consider using those thoughts elsewhere. This one-way dialectic exchange of thoughts is really only helping myself out by strengthening my arguments, and perhaps a few others that are willing to learn and advance the state of the knowledge.

        It may sound arrogant, but you Edim are nothing more than a punching bag for real physics arguments. You really ought to read up on why the effective application of scientific knowledge is frowned upon
        http://markcoddington.com/2012/10/31/nate-silver-journalism-politics-knowledge-epistemology/

        “They don’t just have a problem with how he knows what he knows, but with how he states it, too. Essentially, they are mistaking specificity for certainty. To them, the specificity of Silver’s projections smack of arrogance because, again, their ways of knowing are incapable of producing that kind of specificity. It has to be an overstatement.

        In actuality, of course, Silver’s specificity isn’t arrogance at all — it’s the natural product of a scientific, statistical way of producing knowledge. Statistical analyses produce specific numbers by their very nature.”

        The end result is that people would rather “prove” their theories based on the thoughts of a cultish band of skeptical villagers, rather than rely on staid scientific knowledge.

        The point is that you haven’t begun to explore the true meaning of projection.

        Where is Willard to provide his analysis? This is right up his alley.

      • Web, I agreed with you. Since ~90% of the terrestrial longwave cooling rate is atmospheric radiation (direct surface radiation only ~10%), it’s the so-called GHGs (and clouds) that cool.

      • Not really, you are making claims with no scientific basis whatsoever and instead playing word games. You are like a little toddler that walks around saying “No” to everything. The thing about toddlers is that they eventually grow out of this stage. It’s frankly embarrassing to witness an adult acting out like you are.

      • Edim, statistically you are a flicker of noise. What are there, almost 7 billion people on the planet? And why should it be any surprise that one person out of that 7 billion decides to live out the fantasy of discovering scientific truth by the principles of rhetorical hand-waving?

      • Nice projecting. Again, you said:

        “The earth does not have an outlet valve, save for the infrared radiative vent provided by the gray-body that we all live on.”

        I agree and add that 90% of that infrared radiative vent is atmospheric radiation and that’s GHGs (and clouds). That’s all.

      • Edim

        Yeah. The GHGs (and clouds) act as an “outlet valve” to control LW cooling.

        But there is also a very effective “inlet valve” in clouds that reflect incoming SW radiation.

        And the IPCC climate models don’t yet know how these work (see Graeme Stephens, Roy Spencer, et al.).

        In reflecting on the “missing heat” of the current “lack of warming”, Kevin Trenberth suggested that this may be reflected out to space, with clouds acting as a natural thermostat.
        http://judithcurry.com/2011/01/07/wheres-the-missing-heat/
        http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88520025

        Still a lot of “uncertainty” regarding the role of clouds, although IPCC models estimate that they cause a strongly positive feedback, conceding that “cloud feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty”.

        Max

      • You really overlook the fact that in my PC energy balance analogy, the temperature changes due to unbalanced energy flows can easily reach a hundred degrees.

        In the case of the earth’s climate, all we are talking about is a shift of a few degrees. The final effect is very subtle, but fake skeptics such as yourself refuse to admit this fact. You will go through heroic measures to ascribe the behavior to some bizzare theory.

      • Webster, “You really overlook the fact that in my PC energy balance analogy, the temperature changes due to unbalanced energy flows can easily reach a hundred degrees.”

        No, your simple PC energy balance analogy is just a simplistic analogy. In fact, nearly everything about Climate Science that is discussed is simplistic analogies. With a small change of a degree or so expected and uncertainties of +/- 17 Wm-2 in the Stephens budget, simplistic and overly confident estimates based on simplistic analogies and reasoning just don’t cut it.

      • “No, your simple PC energy balance analogy is just a simplistic analogy. In fact, nearly everything about Climate Science that is discussed is simplistic analogies. With a small change of a degree or so expected and uncertainties of +/- 17 Wm-2 in the Stephens budget, simplistic and overly confident estimates based on simplistic analogies and reasoning just don’t cut it.”

        No, it is basic physics that you will never accept, as we have come to expect. Laws of thermal behavior scale from the microscopic to the macroscopic and beyond that just fine. You probably never took physics courses, but as someone like Pekka can attest, physics educators pride themselves in teaching first-order approximations to their students. Classic textbooks in this regard wer Charles Kittel’s Introduction to Solid-State Physics and Reif’s book on Statistical and Thermal Physics. Those who loved these texts, argued for all the first-order approximations that Kittel and particularly Reif used to present the fundamental concepts. Everyone that was weaned on these kinds of references takes pride in being able to convey concepts in as concise and simple, yet accurate, way as possible. In a sense, this is exactly opposite to the technical word-salad mumbo-jumbo that the Captain engages in.

        What we are looking at is a slight energy imbalance caused by GHG’s that slow down the emission of infrared radiation from the earth’s atmosphere. To compensate for this slowdown, the temperature of the earth’s surface will eventually increase, as it then supplies more and higher energy photons that can statistically punch through the GHG shield.

        This is a very small and subtle effect, causing a temperature change of just a few degrees on the earth;s surface. This temperature change is larger on land, which is farther away from the thermal properties of the ocean’s heat sink. BTW, the slow diffusional uptake of thermal energy by the ocean’s volume is a significant rate limiting step which prevents the ocean from acting as an ideal heat sink.

        The fake skeptics will trip and fall all over themselves to try to explain away a shift in a few degrees that will statistically happen in the aggregate, somehow ignoring the very real effects based on a doubling or tripling of the earth’s atmospheric concentration of CO2, and increases in methane, and other GHGs. Not forgetting the albedo changes and potential concurrent increases in atmospheric H20 as a GHG. These are basic forcing functions and side effects that can not be totally compensated for, of which a complete compensation would be in violation of thermodynamic concepts of energy flow and entropy increase anyways.

        All your alternate theories cannot escape this physics. Captain, Edim and others will continue to move the deck chairs around, vainly trying to create overly complex scenarios for why the temperature won’t rise or the thermal energy won’t accumulate.

    • Ok wait, the surface “detects an energy imbalance” and “heat” upon doing so until the “energy imbalance” is corrected to “a new steady state determined by the spectral radiating properties of the atmosphere”, this is your position, Web?

      You then go on to call others crazy because they don’t think radiation determines temperature, which your own analogy shows: computers aren’t cooled much by radiative heat transfer, they are cooled by conduction, convection, advection, and evaporative processes.

      What’s funny in particular is that you used the words “moving thermal energy” and heat without seeming to grasp that heat = movement of thermal energy.

      A computer that reduces heat transfer with the environment will burn out, fans and fins are ways to increase heat flow.

      Here’s a suggestion, before you deride others for being crazy or uninformed, don’t make statements like “Due to the laws of radiative physics, the only way to dissipate extra heat is to raise the temperature of the radiating body.” I know you meant “to dissipate extra thermal energy”, but I’m not sure if you know you should have phrased that “the only way to dissipate extra thermal energy in a vacuum…” or not.

      • “You then go on to call others crazy because they don’t think radiation determines temperature, which your own analogy shows: computers aren’t cooled much by radiative heat transfer, they are cooled by conduction, convection, advection, and evaporative processes.”

        The problem that you fake skeptics can’t face is that there are only four fundamental forces that exist in the universe. There is (1) gravity, (2&3) the weak and strong nuclear forces, and (4) electro-magnetism. The latter, in the form of radiating photons, is the only way for the earth to compensate for a significant non-latent energy imbalance.

        True, the PC has all these other mechanisms to vent heat and that is my point. All the earth has is the final EM radiative effect to maintain an energy balance. We would all love to siphon away the excess heat, but due to the vacuum of the outer space we can’t.

        “Here’s a suggestion, before you deride others for being crazy or uninformed, don’t make statements like “Due to the laws of radiative physics, the only way to dissipate extra heat is to raise the temperature of the radiating body.” I know you meant “to dissipate extra thermal energy”, but I’m not sure if you know you should have phrased that “the only way to dissipate extra thermal energy in a vacuum…” or not.”

        BTW, heat IS thermal energy. Thanks for helping to further illustrate how crazy the crazies are. If your intent was to trip me up, I should let you know that I spent years plugging leaks on UHV systems on the order of 10^12 Torr — so you don’t need to lecture me on the strong thermal insulating properties of an ultra-high vacuum chamber that the earth resides in :) :) :)

        BTW, if you are so smart Max-copyright-symbol, why don’t you directly attack the 40+ climate clowns that post alternate theories here, instead of going after some trivial ambiguity in what I wrote? Is it because it is against your underlying agenda? Ha ha, you betcha.

      • “The problem that you fake skeptics can’t face is that there are only four fundamental forces that exist in the universe. There is (1) gravity, (2&3) the weak and strong nuclear forces, and (4) electro-magnetism. The latter, in the form of radiating photons, is the only way for the earth to compensate for a significant non-latent energy imbalance. ”

        What is a fake skeptic?

        My background is physics and mathematics, and strictly speaking I would say there are one, two, or three fundamental forces; electroweak, strong, and gravity, depending on how progress is made towards a unified field theory. One could further take issue with the description of gravity as a force or geometrical effect, both can describe the same effects so it’s ultimately a phenomenonological question.

        There is still no reason to eliminate supersymmetric models as of yet, and that carries the possibility of further force carriers being discovered.

        Moving on, would you be so kind as to define “non-latent energy imbalance” for me?

        “BTW, heat IS thermal energy. Thanks for helping to further illustrate how crazy the crazies are.”

        No, heat is the transfer of thermal energy, heat is a process. No need to get insulting, if your argument is sound you can make it without attacking anyone.

        “If your intent was to trip me up, I should let you know that I spent years plugging leaks on UHV systems on the order of 10^12 Torr — so you don’t need to lecture me on the strong thermal insulating properties of an ultra-high vacuum chamber that the earth resides in”

        My intent was to point out a bit of sloppy language use, which according to the experience you just said you have, you should definitely know is sloppy usage.

        “BTW, if you are so smart Max-copyright-symbol, why don’t you directly attack the 40+ climate clowns that post alternate theories here, instead of going after some trivial ambiguity in what I wrote? Is it because it is against your underlying agenda? Ha ha, you betcha.”

        That’s a trademark symbol, I noticed several sites allow certain symbols in names so while Max is almost always taken, adding a trademark symbol is not, and it works well since my last name has a T and m in it anyways.

        I’m not interested in pointing out the same holes in the flavor-of-the-weak theory which everyone else has pointed out, I am aware of the issues in those models, as are many others. I have no agenda beyond helping others learn, I certainly didn’t choose to be a teacher for the money.

        Attacking others over a preference for one model or another is unhelpful, and I don’t see much difference between someone who talks about a surface “detecting an energy imbalance” and someone who uses their own misunderstanding of the laws of thermodynamics as “proof AGW is wrong”.

        It’s nothing personal, you said some things which were phrased in a vague or incorrect manner, I pointed them out, no need to get upset.

      • No need to get fake angry as I can see you are responding with the typical flair of a rhetorical BS-artist. I brought up the four forces because that is the consensus thinking and only the delusional wacko skeptic or agenda-driven fake-skeptic would try to go beyond this and dream up some other path to energy transfer. All forms of energy transfer that inhabit our everyday lives comes about from these forces acting along a path. No need to talk about superstring theory unless you want to further muddy the waters and spread FUD, which is also the hallmark of the fake-skeptic.

        “Moving on, would you be so kind as to define “non-latent energy imbalance” for me?”

        The typical equations of continuity and detailed balance contain partial differential elements. The divergence of flow contains both a spatial term and a temporal term.
        \frac{\partial\phi(\mathbf{r},t)}{\partial t} = \nabla \cdot \big[ D(\phi,\mathbf{r}) \ \nabla\phi(\mathbf{r},t) \big]

        When heat disappears in one spatial position it will pop up some other place. That is continuity of flow and the idea of detailed balance. When latent heat such as in a phase change is considered, the equations have to account for this as well. It’s not like it can’t be done, one just needs the sophisticated tools to work the detailed balance bookkeeping. Check the title of the top-level post.

        “I’m not interested in pointing out the same holes in the flavor-of-the-weak theory which everyone else has pointed out, I am aware of the issues in those models, as are many others. I have no agenda beyond helping others learn, I certainly didn’t choose to be a teacher for the money.”

        Not everyone else is pointing this out. Only a very few.

        “Attacking others over a preference for one model or another is unhelpful, and I don’t see much difference between someone who talks about a surface “detecting an energy imbalance” and someone who uses their own misunderstanding of the laws of thermodynamics as “proof AGW is wrong”.

        It’s nothing personal, you said some things which were phrased in a vague or incorrect manner, I pointed them out, no need to get upset.”

        I think your fallacious argumentation approach is the argument by dismissal or the argument by selective reading. Nice try, you know exactly what is going on, but whatever.
        .

      • “No need to get fake angry as I can see you are responding with the typical flair of a rhetorical BS-artist. ”

        Wow, that is super helpful.

        “I brought up the four forces because that is the consensus thinking and only the delusional wacko skeptic or agenda-driven fake-skeptic would try to go beyond this and dream up some other path to energy transfer. All forms of energy transfer that inhabit our everyday lives comes about from these forces acting along a path. No need to talk about superstring theory unless you want to further muddy the waters and spread FUD, which is also the hallmark of the fake-skeptic.”

        Consensus thinking? What? No, it’s an observation that there are four forces, it’s known that two of them merge into a single force at certain energies, it is expected that a third will join the first two at even higher energies, and it would be aesthetically satisfying if gravity joined the rest.

        You’re awfully angry, chill out.

        “That is continuity of flow and the idea of detailed balance.”

        See, it’s not hard to be helpful and answer a question directly without getting insulting, I wanted to know what you meant by the term, you explained it, now if only you could get past the urge to treat it as “us vs them” on this issue.

        For clarity, I wasn’t sure whether or not you were speaking of a particular equilibrium state, or just a book-keeping type of balance, and I see you meant the latter.

        As for the rest, you seem to assume I have a certain position I consider “right” and other positions I consider “wrong” and have decided that since I engaged you about your position I must consider you to be wrong and myself to be right.

        Then you extrapolated that to mean I consider everyone you disagree with right, but let me clear that up for you and anyone else who may read this.

        None of us are right, not me, not you, not the random theorycrafters, none of us. So in situations like this, the most we can do is try to be less wrong than we were before.

  72. Stephen Wilde

    It is well known that water exposed to a vacuum rapidly converts to vapour without the addition of any extra energy.

    The reason for that phenomenon is that as pressure is reduced towards a vacuum the amount of energy required to fuel the evaporative process falls below the amount of energy already stored within the water so as to keep it in liquid form rather than as ice.

    That simple incontrovertible fact is absolute proof that the energy cost of evaporation falls with reducing pressure and rises with increasing pressure.

    It follows, inevitably, that I am right and Pekka is wrong.

    The implications for the climate debate are as stated in my earlier comments on this thread and in my article from some time ago that I previously linked to.

    AGW theory is thereby killed stone dead because more GHGs cannot affect equilibrium temperature but only the air circulation above the surface and even then not to an extent discernible as compared to natural oceanic and solar variations.

    • Lowering the pressure low enough water evaporates but that does not happen without energy being taken by evaporation. The resulting gas is much colder than the liquid was before evaporation started unless heat is added to the system to compensate for the energy of evaporation.

      It’s time that you start to learn some real physics rather than continue to invent your own in your imagination.

      • Stephen Wilde

        “Lowering the pressure low enough water evaporates but that does not happen without energy being taken by evaporation”

        Of course. That is implicit. But the amount of energy needed by evaporation is pressure dependent.

        The resultant gas is colder than the previous liquid because the energy of evaporation was taken from the liquid and diffused into the cold of space.

        The energy was released because the reduction of pressure in turn reduced the amount of energy needed to fuel the evaporation to a value below the amount of available energy in the water.

        When it gets cold enough any remaining liquid water turns into ice but if the pressure is still declining one gets to the point where the energy required for evaporation is even less than the energy which is contained in the ice so then the ice sublimates directly to vapour until it is all gone.

        In the end one just has water vapour molecules floating about in space at the temperature of space with all the previous stored energy having been distributed to the cosmos.

        Only pressure had enabled the water to retain its energy in the first place.

        Obviously the energy cost of the evaporative process is directly linked to the prevailing pressure and you are wrong as wrong can be.

        Are you really a professional scientist ?

      • I believe that it’s time to leave this discussion and give turn to every interested reader (if there still are any) to find the answer from other sources.

        Short comments to the above as my last contribution to this thread.

        “Lowering the pressure low enough water evaporates but that does not happen without energy being taken by evaporation”

        Of course. That is implicit. But the amount of energy needed by evaporation is pressure dependent.

        Wrong at the implied level

        The resultant gas is colder than the previous liquid because the energy of evaporation was taken from the liquid

        Right

        and diffused into the cold of space.

        ?

        The energy was released because the reduction of pressure in turn reduced the amount of energy needed to fuel the evaporation to a value below the amount of available energy in the water.

        It was released because entropy increases in evaporation when pressure is low enough. Entropy is not the same as energy.

        When it gets cold enough any remaining liquid water turns into ice but if the pressure is still declining one gets to the point where the energy required for evaporation is even less than the energy which is contained in the ice so then the ice sublimates directly to vapour until it is all gone.

        Right

        In the end one just has water vapour molecules floating about in space at the temperature of space with all the previous stored energy having been distributed to the cosmos.

        The temperature will be the temperature of the gas (not space) and it remains with the gas (not cosmos).

        Only pressure had enabled the water to retain its energy in the first place.

        Only pressure made liquid stable as it made the entropy of the liquid lower.

        Obviously the energy cost of the evaporative process is directly linked to the prevailing pressure and you are wrong as wrong can be.

        Are you really a professional scientist ?

        I have retired.

      • I add a more direct answer for the reason that evaporation occurs when pressure is low. The entropy is a correct answer, but more directly:

        The number of molecules exiting the liquid does not depend on the pressure, but the number coming from gas to liquid is proportional to the pressure. The ratio of these determines the net flow of molecules.

  73. Stephen Wilde

    Pekka said:

    “The number of molecules exiting the liquid does not depend on the pressure, but the number coming from gas to liquid is proportional to the pressure. The ratio of these determines the net flow of molecules.”

    The net flow of molecules is therefore pressure dependent.

    Isn’t that what I am saying ?

    I said:

    “Only pressure had enabled the water to retain its energy in the first place.”

    Pekka replied:

    “Only pressure made liquid stable as it made the entropy of the liquid lower.”

    Isn’t ‘making the liquid stable’ the same as ‘retaining its energy’ ?

    • My comment was incomplete. The pressure I was referring to is the partial pressure of H2O, not the overall atmospheric pressure. That it’s so should have been obvious from the further text.

      You have been claiming that the amount of energy taken in evaporation of a fixed amount of material depends on pressure. It doesn’t.

      • The discussion has got confusing because you bring in totally irrelevant issues related to very low overall pressure and boiling. I don’t know whether you do it by purpose to confuse or whether you cannot yourself stick to relevant issues.

        The overall pressure at the ocean surface is always far above the boiling point as I did write many comments ago but that didn’t stop you from keeping on confusing on that point. Is that because you are a lawyer?

      • Springer always advises to “write that down”. So I did and looking at my notes I see that Springer is a former Marine drill sergeant and Wilde is indeed a lawyer with no credentialed scientific background.

        Correct that, once a marine, always a marine, and so that explains why Springer the drill sergeant feels a need to boss people around.

        Btw, I write these facts down in the field guide to climate clowns

        http://tinyurl.com/ClimateClowns

        Write that link down!

      • Well a reduction in pressure reduces the temperature at which water will boil so it must be the case that less energy is then required to cause it to boil.

        An increase in pressure raises the temperature at which water will boil so it must be the case that more energy is then required to make it boil.

        If pressure is removed altogether then no energy at all needs to be added.

        A change in the boiling point is relevant because such a change also affects the amount of evaporation to be expected from a given amount of energy input at every temperature short of the boiling point.

        So the issue of boiling is indeed relevant and the situation of very low pressure, far from being irrelevant is a good illustration of the general principle.

  74. http://judithcurry.com/2012/11/05/uncertainty-in-observations-of-the-earths-energy-balance/#comment-265743
    November 9, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Thermal comes from the Greek, it means of heat. In traditional science the invisible infrared that Herschel discovered is divided into thermal and non-thermal, the non-thermal is called Reflective. Heat and Light energies from the Sun are completely different from each other. Thermal infrared is heat energy, it is the Sun’s heat energy radiating to us and reaching us in 8 minutes which heats the Earth’s land and oceans.

    30.How Long for the Sun’s Heat to Reach Earth?
    How long does it take heat created on the Sun’s surface to reach Earth? Is it the same as the speed of light?
    Heat is transmitted through conduction, convection, and radiation. The heat that reaches us from the Sun is infrared radiation, which travels at the speed of light. So, it takes about 8 minutes for it to reach Earth from the Sun.
    Dr. Louis Barbier
    http://helios.gsfc.nasa.gov/qa_sun.html#part

    The AGWSF energy budget is science fiction because its fisics is impossible in the real world.

    [I have given a longer example from NASA on the link]

    Anyone here who continues to ignore what this is showing should seriously consider doing something else with his life, because this proves there used to be a different teaching at NASA, real traditional teaching that we get both light waves and heat waves from the Sun, and these are different from each other.

    Deal with it.

    This is simply real world physical fact. It falsifies the claims of the AGWScienceFiction energy budget.

  75. Let me bring this out as a new thread. BBD, at November 8, 2012 at 4:58 pm writes “This is simply not true. Why then is the rise in GAT since the 1970s inexplicable unless GHG forcing is included in the mix? ”

    Having slept on this, let me examine this statement in more detail. My translation of what BBD is said is something like this. If we assume that the models have captured all the intricacies of how the atmopshere works, then the only explanation that we can conclude from the models is that the observed rise in global temperatures must have been caused by the additonal CO2 in the atmosphere. If this interpretation is correct, then the key is the assumption that the models represent accurately the real world. Is this true?

    I suggest, to the contrary, that the the assumption is not proven. Amongst the miriads of approximations which modellers are forced to make in order to make the models possible, is clouds. We do not know whether climate drives clouds or clouds drive climate. My understanding is that models assume that climate drives clouds; in other words a change in climate causes a change in clouds. However, there is an alternative hypothesis, put out by Henrik Svensmark, that clouds drive climate; extraterrestrial GCRs cause a change in the amount of cloud, and this causes a change of climate.

    Now Roy Spencer has estimated that a change of as little as +/- 2% in cloud cover is enough the account for all the changes in GAT that have ever been observed. We cannot measure cloud cover to anything like this accuracy, and even if we could we would not know what causes the change in cloud cover. So the assumptiuon that models accurately portray what is happening in the real atmopshere is clearly unproven. So the explanation that the only reason for the observed change in GAT is due to additional CO2 in the amtosphere is unproven.

    • Having slept on this, let me examine this statement in more detail. My translation of what BBD is said is something like this. If we assume that the models have captured all the intricacies of how the atmopshere works, then the only explanation that we can conclude from the models is that the observed rise in global temperatures must have been caused by the additonal CO2 in the atmosphere. If this interpretation is correct, then the key is the assumption that the models represent accurately the real world. Is this true?

      As in my post above, their energy budget is falsified – because they have successfully hidden the real beam heat energy from the Sun which actually can and does heat land and oceans in order for them to pretend the Sun has nothing to do with rising temps by attributing all increase in measurements to “rising carbon dioxide levels and backradiation/blanketing from greenhouse gases”.

      Here’s an example of how this science fraud is used, from Skeptical Science:

      “An enhanced greenhouse effect from CO2 has been confirmed by multiple lines of empirical evidence. Satellite measurements of infrared spectra over the past 40 years observe less energy escaping to space at the wavelengths associated with CO2. Surface measurements find more downward infrared radiation warming the planet’s surface. This provides a direct, empirical causal link between CO2 and global warming.”

      The AGWSF claim, because they say “no longwave infrared reaches the Earth from the Sun/the Sun doesn’t produce any”, is that all measurements taken are therefore “downwelling from the atmosphere as a result of greenhouse gases”.

      This paper might be of interest here:

      http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2010JD015343.shtml

      JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 116, D10104, 13 PP., 2011
      doi:10.1029/2010JD015343

      Trend analysis of surface cloud-free downwelling long-wave radiation from four Swiss sites

      Key Points
      •Significant increase of cloud-free downwelling long-wave radiation
      •Consistency of corresponding temperature and humidity trends
      •Indication for a long-term change in high-level clouds”

      This is deliberate science fraud in all the models, how can they then be accurate?

      The rest of their pretend fisics basics is likewise science fraud. I’ve given details previously.

  76. “WebHubTelescope | November 8, 2012 at 8:11 am |

    All hypothetical garbage by Springer and delusional thinking by Wilde.

    What is the average global barometric pressure at sea level and how has that changed over the years?

    Talking the globally estimated average value here.”

    The quick answer is the average global barometric pressure, should depend upon the mass of the Atmosphere of Earth.

    But it’s quite possible that if one measured global barometric pressure, you would not be *accurately* measuring the mass of the Earth’s atmosphere.
    Measuring the global average barometric pressure and the average global temperature have similar problems in terms of accuracy. And this doesn’t just mean we can’t make accurate instruments- there are numerous problems associated with arriving at accurate global average. And these types of issues have not been addressed regarding average global temperature and therefore it’s just as likely not be addressed if some attempt is made in measuring global average barometric pressure.

    But If you don’t need much accuracy it would be quite easy. And major factor could involve a consistent way to measure it [something we failed to do in terms average global temperature]. But you need more than this if needed a very accurate measurement- and again it doesn’t necessarily involve extreme precision regarding the instruments.

    With all that said, would the actual mass of Earth atmosphere change much? Or would the mass of the Earth’s atmosphere change by billions of tons in terms a yearly timescale?
    One could easily guess in terms of trillions of tons over year periods, there probably is not much change in the average value.
    On scale of billions of tonnes, an AGWer could see the added carbon in the CO2 emission as adding mass to the atmosphere. And 2 ppm yearly rise in the average global CO2, is equal to about 16 billion tons of CO2, and so this is several billion tonnes in carbon. Also one could look monthly/seasonal variation and see much more than 2 ppm of CO2 in terms of fluctuation/variation is involved.
    But in terms Earth’s atmosphere mass, CO2 is probably a small component. Water vapor has not changed, much, over the years- but “not changed much” could be vast amount in terms of mass if one concerned rather trivial amounts of billion of tonnes in the atmosphere.
    And then we things like water droplets that make clouds. The total amount of rainfall global in a year gives an clue of the mass involved.
    But not an answer in terms of atmospheric mass. So google: “global total of rainfall cm”. And one gets this:
    http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2008/VernonWu.shtml
    Which cites 5 answers, which range from: 4.23 × 10^14 m^3 to 5.73 × 10^14 m^3. And cubic meter is a ton. So first number is 423 trillion tonnes. So when the water of the clouds was in the air, it was adding to Earth’s atmospheric mass. One could get very crude number by dividing days of year into 423 trillion tonnes so about a trillion tonnes of liquid water in the air, and therefore added to global Atmospheric mass. Or again very roughly, an increase of global cloud cover by 1% is about 10 billion tonnes.
    And water probably biggest variable, but there lots of other things, like dust/smoke and life related mass. And amount entering and leaving Earth isn’t well known but probably comparatively a very small factor.

    “It’s not like we are arguing with morons here, but skilled practitioners of rhetoric who want to twist and bullrush their way through an argument to achieve their underlying objective to raise the overall level of FUD.

    And then the truly clueless like gbaikie drop in to make it even more like a circus.”

    I would have thought Webbie would been in a happier mood, due to Obama having 4 more years.

  77. I know that I’m a little late, but if someone happens to read this, I hope he/she can help me out with this, because as a layman, I don’t completely get what this paper actually says.

    Let me start out with a little story: When I first heard about the hypothesis that the sun was the main culprit in 20th century warming, I thought that this would be a rather simple thing to test/refute.
    If global warming was caused by greenhouse gasses, that would mean that the same energy comes in, but less gets out, therefore the earth would radiate less heat and appear cooler from space.
    If on the other hand the sun was the cause, more energy would come in and simultaneously more energy would get out, so it would appear hotter from outside.
    Since we do have satellites monitoring this kind of thing, I figured that this should be easily addressed, even if we don’t know all the mechanism within the atmosphere as we’re only looking at it like a black box. But apparently it’s not as easy, since I never found any data on this.

    So here are my questions:
    1) Is my assumption correct, that this is how one could potentially test for greenhouse vs. sun warming?
    2) Is the article in this blogpost saying that the uncertainty in the data is so large, that we cannot possibly get an answer as to whether or not the earth radiates more/less heat?

    • Thomin,
      1) Is my assumption correct, that this is how one could potentially test for greenhouse vs. sun warming?
      Yes, but..
      2) Is the article in this blogpost saying that the uncertainty in the data is so large, that we cannot possibly get an answer as to whether or not the earth radiates more/less heat?
      Not that we can’t possibly get an answer, just that the better data is too short to know if we do have a reliable answer. The “real” accuracy of the TOA satellite data after some pretty intense statistics, is about +/-1 Wm-2. The estimated TOA imbalance is about 0.6 Wm-2 +/- 1 realistically. The average variation in TOA imbalance is about +/- 8.0 Wm-2 and there is only about a decade of reliable data.

      Since the Sun’s impact has a lag or lags, you would need a data set long enough to reasonably determine most of the significant lags. Because of the possibility of several longer term ocean overturning lags, ~15 years, ~27 years, ~60 years, ~150 years, ~1430 years, ~4300 years, ~5800 years, it can be a challenge finding a level of confidence that is realistic.

  78. Pingback: Getting ‘Cooked’ by Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Global Warming | Watts Up With That?

  79. David Springer

    Conservation of energy (1st law of thermodynamics) stipulates that the earth radiate the same amount of energy it receives from the sun (discounting very small other sources like gravitational friction, radioactive decay, residual heat of formation, and so forth).

    This is a mis-representation of the law of conservation of energy. Energy is conserved under all conditions. No matter what is the extent of storage, transport and method of transport, and intra-conversion among the various forms of energy ( thermodynamic, potential, kinetic ).

    The law of conservation of energy does not imply that the hypothesis of a radiative energy transport balance between incoming and out-going thermal energy at the top of the atmosphere must obtain. That’s actually backwards; if the radiative balance is attained, then the law of conservation of energy ensures that the incoming and out-going radiative energy are equal.

    Note, however, that because the sub-systems internal to the Earth’s climate system are not at balance relative to energy interchange at the interfaces between subsystems, and not at uniform energy content within sub-systems, the hypothesis that a radiative energy balance at the TOA is attainable has deep implications relative to the Earth’s climate system as a whole.