Letter to the dragon slayers

by Judith Curry

A letter from Grant Petty provides a fitting finale to our engagement with the skydragons.

If you somehow missed the previous Skydragon threads, check them out, they have generated thousands of comments:

http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/04/slaying-a-greenhouse-dragon-part-ii/
http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/04/slaying-a-greenhouse-dragon-part-iii-discussion/
http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/10/greenhouse-dragon-technical-discussion-thread/
http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/13/slaying-the-greenhouse-dragon-part-iv/

I continue to be cc’ed on some of the (voluminous) Skydragon correspondence, most of which I ignore, but I started seeing messages to and from Grant Petty. FYI, Grant Petty is a Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Wisconsin and author of the text A First Course in Atmospheric Radiation.   I have known Grant for decades, he does research in radiative transfer and remote sensing and is a superb educator and writer.

So I started paying attention to this thread of emails (which seem to have numbered in the hundreds).  I’ve counted 41 messages from Grant Petty since Oct 10, and there could have been several hundreds of emails from the various dragonslayers.  If you’ve followed the Skydragon threads, you can imagine the obtuseness, false accusations, deliberate misrepresentations, sophistry etc. that dominated these emails.  But Grant was doing a serious job in engaging with them, motivated by standing up for scientific principles.

The letter that I am highlighting here was stimulated by this statement from Joe Postma:

> In a large way, we are driven to do the research we do because of the
> myriad and countless other fraudulent claims, presumptions, and
> sophistries related to climate science.  It has become apparent to us
> that the errors extend to the deepest level of the science.

Grant’s letter is reproduced here with his permission.

Grant Petty’s letter

To all Slayers:

As one who has no direct professional stake in the science of climate 
change but who regularly observes my colleagues working hard and sharing 
ideas to understand real data and to add pieces to the jigsaw puzzle, I am 
quite confident that you vastly overestimate the role of fraudulent claims 
and fundamental errors in the science.  The nature of real modern science 
is that fraudulent claims don’t go undetected long, because too many 
people are working on pieces of the same giant jigsaw puzzle, and when 
pieces don’t fit, they look around for the reason.  And no one has any 
incentive to let others get away with bad science – on the contrary, 
science is very competitive when it comes to getting funding.  Do you 
realize that only a fraction of submitted proposals get funded, and that 
academic scientists’ promotion and tenure depend on their getting funded? 
Everyone’s goal is to show that they can find and patch shortcomings in 
the science and to answer the unanswered questions so as to improve their 
own standing.  Do you really thing it’s some old-boys’ club, everyone 
covering each other’s rear?  And do you really think climate scientists 
get rich promoting global warming?  Any moderately successful doctor or 
lawyer makes way more money than most climate scientists, at least in this 
country.

The models aren’t perfect; no one says that they are.  But they’re a 
damned sight more grounded in real science and physics than the naive but 
cocky “proofs” published in blogs by the self-taught, and the blanket 
unfounded assertions (“there is no two-way exchange of radiation because 
we say there isn’t”) that somehow passes for science in this group.

In each of your cases, I predict that one of two things is going to happen 
down the road:  (1) the gaps and contradictions in your own collective 
understanding of physical and climate science will become so evident that 
you can no longer ignore them, and you just might even feel a little shame 
at your roles in aggressively promoting misinformation and distrust of 
experts among those who aren’t equipped to tell science from 
pseuodoscience; or (2) you will close your eyes to that evidence forever 
and continue to be the conspiracy theorists who believe that you’re 
modern-day Galileos fighting the evil scientific establishment, and 
everything you see and hear will be forced to fit into that paranoid 
world-view no matter how divorced from reality it is.  And in your 
missionary zeal, you’ll drag real scientists into court and try to prove 
that they’re frauds and liars, costing them and their families time, 
money, and personal distress.  And in the end, you’ll succeed in proving 
that only in your own eyes, because most or all of them are actually just 
trying to do good science.  

Some of you have shown yourselves to be hyper-critical, even gleeful, in 
finding apparent fault with the intelligence and/or knowledge of others, 
including (or especially) those who actually spend their whole lives doing 
climate research. I hope to God that some of you, at least, learn how to 
be a little self-critical as well.

Good luck.

Grant

JC comment.  Grant was unaware of the previous skydragon threads at Climate Etc.  The skydragons continue to expect me to debate them, their preferred forum is a radio debate.  While I will never shut the door on skeptical challenges to the science and encourage contributions from those from different areas of expertise, this group beggars belief.   I will continue to (barely) follow Claes Johnson’s work to see if he is able to come with anything interesting or publishable.  IMO, this group has damaged the credibility of skepticism about climate change and provides a convenient target when people want to refer to “deniers” and crackpots.  So thank you Grant Petty for your engagement and independent assessment of this group.

1,410 responses to “Letter to the dragon slayers

  1. “The nature of real modern science
    is that fraudulent claims don’t go undetected long, because too many
    people are working on pieces of the same giant jigsaw puzzle, and when
    pieces don’t fit, they look around for the reason. ”

    Sure. Tell that to all the dead children who didn’t get vaccinated because of the bogus paper published in the Lancet about autism and the MMR vaccine.

    13 years.

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

    • Norm Kalmanovitch

      More importantly tell this to the millions facing starvation because their food has been taken away to be used as feedstock for biofuel production in support of this global warming folly.

      • More importantly tell this to the millions facing starvation because their food has been taken away to be used as feedstock for biofuel production in support of this global warming folly.

        As always, it is a multidimensional problem. We just so happen to have fossil fuel depletion (the Peak Oil problem) conveniently coinciding with AGW to create even more a mess of the situation than we can easily deal with. The global majority of biofuels are produced to deal with oil scarcity than due to AGW concerns.

      • We have a US Administration that is trying its best to push up the cost of energy; costing us not only money; but jobs, national prestige; and causing more poverty, anguish, starvation, and pain. What we need is an Administration and Congress that will let the oil and coal companies do their jobs and bring us cheap energy. The government could also fast-track small nuclear reactors, start a moon-shot type program for thorium-based energy, and facilitate the building of conventional nuclear power plants. Crying ‘peak oil’ just doesn’t get it anymore.

      • jim2

        While I have little problem with private companies taking moon-shot approaches to practical alternate energy programs such as the one you suggest (there certainly are many mature and large enough to invest in the risk and reap the rewards), you appear to be one-sidedly conflating misery’s causes and misery’s cures.

        I have no comment on the present or past US Administrations, the various lunacies of the various nominees and commentators in America have so muddied that ground as to make wading through it untenable.

        We, however, most certainly do not need government to ‘let the oil and coal companies do their jobs and bring us cheap energy’ by continuing to subsidize and give special priviledges to these private enterprises, which appears to be your subtext.

        This is not true cheap energy, but rather one of the most expensive ways when all impacts are accounted for to get energy to a nation possible.

        By creating an artificial barrier to entry to the energy market though the extremely high subsidies and infrastructure policies, governments put a drag on innovation, raise the price of competing energy (thereby lessening competition on coal and oil and driving up their prices), and introduce all the usual issues of churn and opportunity cost of a national revenue process to the energy sector.

        Shame on them, and shame on you for endorsing this pretend-ideological government interference in the private sector disguised as the ‘let them do their jobs’ creed of real economic principles. It is corporate communism of the worst sort.

        Stop taking tax from the income and retail spending of Americans and plowing it into coal mines and BP and Exxon and ADM’s pockets.

        An efficient economy benefits from the democracy of the marketplace, which can only be produced where government does not distort decisions by manipulating prices of goods.

        Further, every scarce resource it is possible to administrate effectively has a price placed on its private exploitation. This is the fundamental mechanism of Capitalism. It applies to bandwidth for cell phones and to land for farming and housing, licenses for hunting and fishing, utilities and mines.. everything. Except the carbon cycle.

        That loophole must be closed. It is the imperative of the market to fix a price for scarce resources, so their allocation will be efficient.

        The government is failing its duty to maintain an orderly and fair free market.

      • Gee Bart R. You are putting words in my mouth. Speak for yourself!!! I never said the government should give subsidies to oil and coal companies. I really don’t see how that would be the government getting out of the way and I question your understanding of English. I’m for the government not subsidizing any energy source other than nuclear. Nuclear needs some extra oversight due to the nature of the energy source and nuclear waste. Oil and coal companies can fend for themselves, but in their case the government needs to get out of the way and let them drill and dig where the resources are, and that includes fracking for shale oil and nat gas.

      • Jim and Bart,

        The merits of capitalism vs socialism is a diversion – not the issue.

        The question is whether or not AGW proponents have been addressing reality, as exposed by experimental data and observations, or hiding from reality.

        I am delighted that Professor Grant Petty is here and listed experimental data and observations below for him to address.

      • Bart you need to educate yourself to distinguish between accounting “tricks” available to all industries and specifically energy companies. Once you do that the so called subsidies melt away.

      • DEEBEE

        Bart you need to educate yourself to distinguish between accounting “tricks” available to all industries and specifically energy companies. Once you do that the so called subsidies melt away.

        Indeed, the subject of “accounting tricks” has been covered quite extensively in my education and experience, and not just those of corporations but also of governments.

        Any industry can lobby governments and fund candidates to obtain favors, can use its wealth and influence to make arguments it is too big to fail or will bring jobs and miscellaneous benefits to a regional voter base or see its agenda promoted through subterfuge and obfuscation.

        How does that make us anything but dupes to credit them with virtue?

        Examine the ratios of any other industry in comparison with the fossil fuel industry and its dependents for grants, gifts, remission of fees, expensing of taxes, bailouts, government guarantees, removal of protections from other resources and other interest groups, and the “accounting tricks” stand out like an infected middle digit offered in contempt to anyone who could have availed themselves of the same tricks but for the grace of self-respect and some shred of moral decency.

        Sure, other industries also have questionable and contrary practices. The weed of corporate capitalism takes eager root when greed and sloth infest the boardroom. However, the fossil industries have it down to a fine art, so habitually addicted are they to handout and relief, the winking eye of weak enforcement policy and friends in low places and high.

        Mathematics does not care one way or the other for self-respect or morality; the numbers at the cold bottom of the equation end up the same. Simply put, these “accounting tricks” distort the economy, and the stack of distortions coated in the grime of coal mines and tarred with the grease of oil wells and oilsands is a monument to serial stupidity of governments.

        We want our economy to run efficiently, we cut out the canker of greedy, short-sighted accounting tricks.

        In short order, once this accounting sludge is drained from the system, it will turn toward the natural health and vigor of a free market.

        That this just happens to mean runaway emission of CO2 in America, subsidized as an accident of this too cozy trickery, will fall from its spectacular levels of conspicuous consumption and waste to a less insane level makes it a climate issue. That so many co-opted accountants and pseudoeconomists still support theories of fiscal policy that excuse such prestidigitations of finance makes it a parallel to the skydragon cult.

    • So far it seems that none of the pieces fit the jigsaw very well. Most of the claims from 10 to 15 years ago have proved bogus – a short list

      the IPCC completely botched its forecasts for East African rainfall in claiming the Horn of Africa should expect more precipitation.

      Snowfall would be a thing of the past ?

      Millions of climate refugees because of rising sea levels?

      as an outsider looking in to me it seems to me that a portion of the climate scientists are honest. However they seem to be out shouted by the less ethical.

      Of the less ethical some genuinely think they are saving the world from itself, some believe going against the main stream will doom them professionally, and some blindly push false or unproven beliefs because their egos will not permit them to recognize they were wrong years ago, a very small percentage continue with the CAGW farce because of greed and for some for it is a combination of the above.

  2. “And do you really think climate scientists get rich promoting global warming?”

    No, but they get paid. Global warming is a ‘paying premise’ – see the inordinate number of research proposals beginning “To investigate the effect of global warming on….”

    • Yes, their motivation is as obvious in the first sentence as that in other even lower paid “professions”.

    • “see the inordinate number of research proposals beginning “To investigate the effect of global warming on….””

      Please define “inordinate”, and provide some examples of such proposals.

  3. Bruce: the autism paper was received with great scepticism by medical researchers and was quickly rebutted in the literature. The tragedy was that ignorant and prejudiced journalists hyped it to an outrageous extent and took it upon themselves to persuade parents not to vaccinate their children. The scientific process worked fairly well; the process by which science is communicated to the public failed disastrously.

    • 13 years for the Lancet to retract is not “quickly rebutted”.

      • Note too that it was The Lancet, which advertises itself as “the world’s leading general medical journal.”

      • Do you think that nothing happened during that 13 years? Numerous major studies were published, none of which supported the original claims. The flawed study was indeed quickly rebutted, long before it was finally retracted.

      • In 2004, 10 of the 13 co-authors signed a formal retraction.

        SIX years later, the Lancet retracted the paper.

        http://briandeer.com/mmr/lancet-retraction.htm

        Quickly? I don’t think so.

      • Bruce, you need to look up the words “rebutted” and “retracted.” The fact that a journal won’t “retract” a published paper in NO way means the paper wasn’t “rebutted” — or even shown to have been fraudulent, as was the case with Andrew Wakefield’s fraudulent vaccine study.

        Science is not held hostage by any single science journal editor. There are many examples of editors refusing to retract one of their discredited papers. Lancet’s editor, Richard Horton, to his lasting shame, took too many years to retract his colleague’s fraudulent study. But that in no way means the scientific community did not examine, rebut, and reject its claims long before the retraction.

        RW is absolutely right (and you are wrong). The science community trashed Wakefield’s paper in Lancet. The great harm was done by the “ignorant and prejudiced [and I’d add immoral] journalists,” who misinformed the public by pretending that Wakefield’s findings were credible when they clearly were not.

        Fortunately, there was one courageous, well-informed, and persistent journalist — Brian Deer — who pursued the truth until Wakefield’s fraud was finally proven. But Brian Deer is an exceptional journalist. Most of his colleagues have little commitment to finding the truth. They hide behind the cowardly dishonest and unethical practice of “balanced reporting.” The duty of honest journalists is to weigh the evidence for readers — not “balance” it. When evidence is overwhelmingly against the truth of a claim, attempts by reporters to “balance” the evidence is no different than lying.

    • Predictable that all the anecdotal observations will start to come out of the woodwork. The problem with an anecdotal view is that those of us that understand how science works know that the occasional fluke will happen and we learn how to deal with it. The rest think anecdotes actually prove something, and news organizations specialize in this point of view.

      • WHT

        Do you not think there may be a lesson to learn from the anecdotes and exceptions?

        Perhaps that scientists ought be more media savvy, more publicly active on policy, and quicker and more vocal to rebutt sloppy journalism, repetition of error and fraud, and devotedly activist against anti-scientific attitudes?

      • WHT

        Do you not think there may be a lesson to learn from the anecdotes and exceptions?

        Perhaps that scientists ought be more media savvy, more publicly active on policy, and quicker and more vocal to rebutt sloppy journalism, repetition of error and fraud, and devotedly activist against anti-scientific attitudes?

        Sounds good to me. I can only observe that the media likes to report on coincidences, freaks, and miracles, because that is what the public wants to hear about.

      • “”Fundamentally flawed”: that’s how a January 2001 report described ten research papers based on body parts taken from hundreds of dead children without their parents’ consent. Yet more than a decade on, Nature has learned, only one of those papers has been removed from the scientific record.

        The lack of action, even in what seems to be a clear-cut case, highlights the reluctance of institutions and journals to retract papers when the authors stand by the results.”

        http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110816/full/476263a.html

        “T]here were just 22 retraction notices that appeared in journals 10 years ago, but 139 were published in 2006 and by last year, the number reached 339. Through July of this year, there were a total 210 retractions, according to Thomson Reuters Web of Science, which maintains an index of 11,600 peer-reviewed journals.

        Meanwhile, retractions related to fraud rose more than sevenfold between 2004 and 2009, exceeding a twofold rise traced to mistakes, according to an analysis published in the Journal of Medical Ethics. After studying 742 papers that were withdrawn from 2000 to 2010, the analysis found that 73.5 percent were retracted simply for error, but 26.6 percent were retracted for fraud. Ominously, 31.8 percent of retracted papers were not noted as retracted”

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/12/the-newest-hockey-stick/

      • Again, Bruce, you confuse “retraction” with “rebutting” or even “discredited.” Bad science, bogus science, and even fraudulent science is being disputed, rebutted, and even discredited every day all over the world. “Retracting” a paper, however, is much harder to do — and often not necessary for the self-correcting process of science to work.

        After all, the discredited paper has resulted in the publication of many commentaries and other papers being published in more recent journals that point out the errors or falsehoods of the discredited paper for readers to see.

        It is wrong to claim that the scientific record can’t be corrected without retraction.

      • “26.6 percent were retracted for fraud”

        And those are the ones that got caught.

        Quit apologizing for fraudsters masquerading as scientists.

      • Bruce, I did no such thing. You should be ashamed for mischaracterizing my statement like this.

      • “It is wrong to claim that the scientific record can’t be corrected without retraction.”

        How many bogus/incorrect/fabricated papers are referenced by other papers.

        Retraction is ESSENTIAL. Scientists and Journals need to be shamed if Journals are so lacking in ethics they won’t retract fraudulent papers for 13 years.

        Peer review is a joke. Don’t make it worse.

      • I should nevertheless say that I believe every journal should have a policy — that is rigorously followed — for withdrawing papers that have been shown to be based on fraudulent research or that have been written by authors who had major conflicts of interest that they failed to disclose and which raise serious doubts about the integrity of the paper.

        The Nature News article Bruce quotes is an excellent article on the problem of journal editors who are betraying the public’s trust by hiding behind their policy of only retracting published papers upon request of their authors.

        But to claim that failure to retract a scientific paper is the same as failure to rebut or discredit it is just nonsense.

      • Venture capitalists regularly put their money behind groundbreaking studies from the top science journals. Their experience is that half to 2/3 prove to be incapable of replication. These are the studies which the academic researchers KNOW will be audited and replicated.

        Common sense tells us that studies which scientists never expect to be audited or replicated will have an even higher percentage of serious error.

  4. How can anybody damage the credibility of skepticism? I for one am not interested in abandoning one consensus for another. So skydragons or Watts or McIntyre or anybody else, they don’t speak for me just as Schmidt doesn’t.

    And either there’s a whiff of naivety in Grant Petty or climate science is truly made of angels. In magnetoencephalography in my times there were plenty of internecine wars among scientists, “preferred” papers, shaky claims accepted as truth by all, useless works carefully repeating the “consensus” etc etc. Hey it’s BECAUSE people are hungry for grants that promising but outlandish claims never get support, and the truly brilliant researchers travel in mobile homes to save on hotel costs.

    The skydragons might be a bunch of sad losers but Academy is definitely not focused on weeding out false claims. Some scientists are, only some.

  5. Forget MMR, think of the millions blamed for developing stomach ulcers because of their stressful lifestyles when it was bacteria instead

  6. As I have said, I am not a member of any group subject to group thinking,
    in particular not the slayers group. But I have engaged in a discussion with Prof Petty which is recorded on my blog under Downwelling Longwave Radiation DLR:
    http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com/search/label/DLR
    I expect Judy to read and give a comment.

    • At the risk of re-opening your debate here, you claim that even though we can detect Cosmic Microwave Background photons, these somehow have no heating effect when they are detected?

      • A microwave radiation detector magnifies input artificially possibly into a heating effect on the detector. That does not say that the Earth gets
        heated by the original microwave radiation without magnification. I have discussed this fact in connection with the heating effect of a microwave oven which also involves magnification as compared to blackbody heating.

      • The point is that any absorbed photon, whether in a detector or not (and there are CMB photons outside detectors too) has some heating.

      • Jim D | October 15, 2011 at 11:53 am | Reply

        “The point is that any absorbed photon, whether in a detector or not (and there are CMB photons outside detectors too) has some heating.”

        Absolutely 100% wrong!

        Heating is not the result of radiation but of thermalisation of electromagnetic radiation (photons).

        This is the source of your confusion. Absorption and emission of electromagnetic radiation does not necessarily lead to heating.

        Whether or not heating occurs following absorption and emission of photons, depends entirely on whether thermalisation occurs. Hence the laws of thermodynamics. If these laws are violated, no heating occurs.

        The concepts of the so called “Greenhouse Effect” hypothesis are in violation of all three laws of thermodynamics, hence the reason it still remains and always will remain an unproven hypothesis.

        Simply ignoring reality is not how you substantiate an hypothesis. It is however a great way to destroy your own credibility.

      • That’s your story, and you are sticking to it. You are fighting the wrong battle. The real problem with the CAGW bullcrap is the positive feedback assumption.

      • The real problem with the CAGW bullcrap is that its advocates insist that they can build engineering-grade models from one-time, non-linear, non-replicable, poorly documented historical temperature records, and some how “induct” what the global temperature anomaly will be 100 years from now.

      • Jim D, can you construct a device that harnesses the claimed “heat” of say 350W/m^2 or 400W/m^2 to do work the same way sunlight can be harnessed to do work?

      • It would be a strange material that could generate electricity from thermal IR photons that only have 5% the energy of light photons. None exist as far as I know. That doesn’t mean those photons don’t exist.

      • Yet the claim is that backradiation of 400W/m^2 is measurable.

        400W/m^2 24 hours a day is more energy that Phoenix gets from the sun in July.

      • If you don’t believe photons are measurable that is the problem you are having.

      • It would be easy. You just need cold stuff to heat. The colder the stuff
        the more efficient such heating could occur.
        Water requires:
        “Calorie is defined as an amount of heat required to change temperature of one gram of liquid water by one degree Celsius.
        1 cal = 4.184 J ”
        1 joules equals one watt second.
        So if you had a meter square and 1 cm deep you have 100 times 100 grams of water if heated by 1 C it equals 10,000 times 4.184 watts.
        With black backing and glass covering put in the Sunlight.
        At noon one has 1000 watts per square meter, so it should take 41,840
        divided by 1000 41 seconds to increase by 1 degree if it was 100% efficient at capturing all the sun’s energy. Solar water heater are around 40 to 60%.
        So start with water just above freezing, put in sun for 20 or 30 minutes and measure temperature difference of water.
        Repeat same thing at nite.

        Then repeat using water starting at same temperature as air temperature of the day and the nite.

      • Bruce,

        Do you believe that the consensus climate scientists made up radiative transfer for their own nefarious purposes? Are you not aware that others -physicists, engineers, et al-have known about how radiative transfer works, for a long time?

        http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/radiation-heat-transfer-d_431.html

        What makes you think that photons emitted by the atmosphere are any different than the photons that are emitted by the earth’s surface? Don’t the photons that are emitted by the earth’s surface contribute thermal energy to the gases in the atmosphere? Yet when the gases in the atmosphere emit photons in all directions, those photons that strike the earth have absolutely no effect?

        Bruce, like dollars, photons are fungible. Lets say the earth is sending $480 a day to the atmosphere, and the atmosphere is sending $280 dollars back to the earth. The earth is losing money, but not as fast as it would be losing it, if the atmosphere was not sending some dollars back.

      • Jim D,
        Google “infrared solar cells”.

        There are companies that make or claim to plan to make cells that can produce electricity from infrared.

        http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/intelligent-energy/scientists-harvest-solar-power-in-the-dark/4150

        http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4081226/Solar-cell-startup-taps-infrared-light

        http://www.jxcrystals.com/ThermoPV.htm

      • Don, interesting. Since materials are constantly bathed in these photons, it would be constantly electrified. Hard to imagine such a thing.

      • Don Monfort

        There seems to be a danger on counting the radiation twice.
        Take the simple case of the dry adiabatic lapse rate in a gravitational field.
        For Earth = – g/Cp.
        The bulk thermodynamics is represented by the heat capacity of air at constant pressure.
        This will include the radiative effects as well as the other methods of heat transfer.

        Any prospect of using backradiation for work always seems to be couched in language such as “exciting new prospect”.
        When a practical device utilizing the energy from a colder object using a hotter sink becomes available then Mann’s hockey stick might even be true.
        I won’t hold my breath on that one any time soon.

      • Bryan,

        Do you think that the photons emitted by the earth carry thermal energy, but the photons emitted by the gases in the atmosphere do not?

      • Don Monfort
        The hotter earth and the colder atmosphere both exchange photons.
        The warmer surface radiates more intensively at every wavelength and in addition emits higher frequency radiation that the colder atmosphere cannot match.
        The net radiative balance is what we call “heat” and it is always travels spontaneously from higher to a lower temperature as Clausius said.

      • Bryan, everyone would agree with this statement except the Dragonslayers who would object to your use of the word “exchange” that implies some photons do go from the colder sky to warmer earth.

      • Don, they plan to harvest the thermal energy from the ground.

        “One day, Novack says, these nanoantenna collectors might charge portable battery packs, coat the roofs of homes and, perhaps, even be integrated into polyester fabric. Double-sided panels could absorb a broad spectrum of energy from the sun during the day, while the other side might be designed to take in the narrow frequency of energy produced from the earth’s radiated heat.”

      • Jim D
        Postma certainly believes in photon exchange read any of his papers.

      • Bryan,

        Does back radiation from the atmosphere prevent the earth from cooling as much as it would in the absence of that backradiation, or doesn’t it? If your answer is yes, please explain it to Bruce.

      • Bryan, then Postma should argue that case with Claes and the others in that group. Seems has left their ranks on this point. It would be good to see Postma and Claes debate this out, and that way Postma will see the frustration of doing just that, having been on the obstinate side sometimes himself.

      • Don: “Does back radiation from the atmosphere prevent the earth from cooling as much as it would in the absence of that backradiation, or doesn’t it?”

        During the Little Ice Age something allowed the earth to cool more than usual (but not as much as between interglacials). Was there less backradiation?

      • I agree. The atmosphere acts as an insulator. Your money analogy is good to me.

        I usually point out that the drop in temperature caused by the radiation leaving is only partially compensated for by the “back radiation” caused.

        Insulation rather than heating. There are at least three of us now.

        Thanks.

      • Don,
        Your use of the money flow to illustrate this is excellent.
        Perhaps the fallacies of those who think deficit spending can be done indefinitely are similar to those that think we can insulate our way to a crisis.

      • Its just an accounting trick Don. What warms the earth is the sun. When the sun isn’t in the sky or is too low most of the day, the earth cools.

        The real question is whether the CO2 column is carried over each year and affects next years budget.

        The LIA says no.

      • Don’t be a dope Bruce. Explain why the photons emitted by the atmosphere do not carry thermal energy.

      • Don’t be deliberately thick Don.

      • Don Monfort | October 15, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Reply

        “Don’t the photons that are emitted by the earth’s surface contribute thermal energy to the gases in the atmosphere?”

        Not if the atmosphere is warmer than the ground from which those photons originate,

        NO.

        The 2nd law of Thermodynamics forbids it.

        By the same token photons emitted by cooler gases above a warmer land mass cannot cause heating through thermalisation either. Again the 2nd law of thermodynamics forbids it.

      • Don,
        Relying on grand conspiracies is just a distraction.
        If you cannot answer the question, just say so.
        Here is a question for you:
        When the Earth and atmosphere re-radiate the energy that ultimately comes from the sun, is that a reduction in or an increase of the energy in the Earth/sea/atmosphere system?

      • Don,
        Please disregard the comment. After re-reading your posts, we are largely in agreement.
        sorry. Lacis and Perry’s over use of conspiracy as a distraction is annoying.

  7. I agree with Dr. Curry’s conclusion, but I believe Dr. Petty is not making a statement that actually supports her conclusion effectively.

  8. Robert E. Phelan

    I’m sorry, but the combination of naivete and arrogance in Dr. Petty’s letter is astounding. Science is NOT simply a dispassionate search for truth, rather scientific theory is shaped by the world view and political aims of the scientists themselves. It took a half century for Piltdown Man to finally be recognized as a hoax, but it had so many defenders because there were elements of both self-aggrandizement and national pride in the discovery. Many climate scientists have hitched their stars to the climate science version of Piltdown Man.

    • Agree. He should read Kuhn.

      • He should read the Climategate emails.

      • He should read the Beano

      • I still make use of the summation by Oor Ernie’s dad in each week’s Knockout: “Daft, I call it.”

        (A North of England accent is essential.)

      • That too. Actually Climategate emails are a confirmation of Kuhn’s idea of prevailing paradigms and of paradigm paralysis: the inability or refusal to see beyond the current models of thinking. Thinking outside of the box, in this case CO2 (the knob), is not allowed.

    • per wikipedia, “Piltdown Man”

      “As early as 1913, David Waterston of King’s College London published in Nature his conclusion that the sample consisted of an ape mandible and human skull.[3] Likewise, French paleontologist Marcellin Boule concluded the same thing in 1915. A third opinion from American zoologist Gerrit Smith Miller concluded Piltdown’s jaw came from a fossil ape. In 1923, Franz Weidenreich examined the remains and correctly reported that they consisted of a modern human cranium and an orangutan jaw with filed-down teeth. Weidenreich, being an anatomist, had easily exposed the hoax for what it was.”

      It took 41 years after the hoax began for Time Magazine to publish the findings of forgery which had been kicking around the scientific community for.. 40 years.

      Sure, before the 1950’s the scientific community was much slower on the uptake all-in-all. However, now, Dr. Petty’s position is much more representative than is the opposite view.

      While there were on both sides of Piltdown the nationalism and glory-hounding — archeology of the time apparently attracted these faults more than most fields — and this obscured the science, how is it an example that proves for anyone which side is doing the obscuring now?

      Who have hitched their stars to the Piltdown of climate? Claes? Petty? Curry? Postma? Mann? Hansen? Lindzen? I’m not sure it’s a scientific or even worthwhile question to be asking.

    • Good comment.

  9. Norm Kalmanovitch

    The la Nina conditions currently developing in the Pacific will bring another cold year in 2012 similar to 2008 marking a full decade to the cooling trend that started in 2002. In 2002 global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels were 26,301.5million metric tonnes and in 2010 this has risen to 33,158.4million metric tonnes and current levels of fossil fuel consumption indicate this will be even higher when the total for 2011 is added up.
    Ten years of global cooling with rapiodly increaing levels of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels does not exactly constitute scientific validation for anthropogenic global warming, and with that atmospheric CO2 concentration rising for the past decade at a near linear rate of about 2ppmv/year this does not constitute any sort of scientific validation for the greenhouse gas theory which claims that increased CO2 concentration will cause discernable global warming.
    The debate about climate change has nothing to do with either global warming or CO2 but how the scientific community allowed a physically baseless hypothesis to be accepted as valid science and how this conjecture supported premise was allowed to, influence government action.
    Something is terribly wron when the President of the US believes that global warming is a serious threat because his scientific advisors have failed to tell him that there has been no global warming since at least 2002.
    The entire climate change issue has resulted from computer model projections of catastr4ophic global warming by year 2100 but computer models do not have any inherent temporal factors and are therefore incapable of making any long term or even short term predictions. In his 1988 Paper Hansen incorporated aerosol factors to have his model output match the cooling from the 1982 El Chichon Volcanic Eruption but he could not predict the cooling from the 1991 Mt Pinatubo Volcano because he had no way of including compensating factors for a future event.
    The model also failed to predict the 1998 el Nino temperature spike, the 2008 la Nina temperature low and the 2010 el Nino temperature spike, but most importantly the projection has failed to identify the current nine year cooling trend since 2002 that is concurrent with CO2 emissions far in excess of Hansen’s most dire predictions.
    At some point the scientific community must band together to save the integrity of honest scientific practice from this horrible ideological and political attack on the very foundation of proper scientific practice. The Slayers are trying to do this by exposing the violations of the first and second laws of thermodynamics which create energy out of nothing and use this energy to heat the globe to catastropic levels. It is with good sense that people refuse to debate the Slayers because their physical arguments are perfectly sound and there is nothing to debate.
    What should be done is to take the arguments of the Slayers and the arguments of all knowledgeable scientists and debate those misrepresenting science to the public to expose them for perpetrating this scientific fraud.

    • I think you’ll be surprised at global temps in 2012, and for that matter 2013 as well

    • Norm,

      The decadal global mean temperature has been increasing by about 0.2°C per decade since 1980.
      See trend at http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20110112/

      And, there is good reason to expect the same level of increase for the coming decade. Actually, we can expect more, since there is an increase in solar forcing as the solar radiation increases during the upswing part of the 11-year sunspot cycle, which we are now entering.

      Your points about climate models failing to predict El Nino and La Nina events are well grounded – that is part of the natural (unforced) variability of the climate system that current climate models are not able to predict.

      But your comment about the effect on climate by the Pinatubo volcanic eruption needs some clarification. It is quite true that in 1988 Hansen (or anybody else for that matter) was unable to predict the coming of the Pinatubo eruption.

      But when the Pinatubo eruption did occur in June of 1991, it soon became clear that this was a very large volcanic eruption with climate impact capabilities. In the few months following the eruption quantitative information began to emerge as to the optical depth of the volcanic aerosol accumulating in the stratosphere.

      Of the different climate models around at the time, the GISS GCM was flexible enough to conduct a real-time climate experiment with the Pinatubo eruption. Given the Pinatubo aerosol optical depth information, we were able to predict that this would cause a 0.5°C decrease in global temperature (and a couple degree warming of the lower stratosphere) with recovery to business as normal in about three years time (Hansen et al., 1992).
      See http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20110112/

      All this was corroborated by subsequent observations of global and stratospheric temperature – an excellent test and verification of global climate modeling capabilities.

      • Dr. Lacis,
        Perhaps you could elaborate on the 0.6 degree C temperature increase since 1980 you claim?
        That seems to conflict iwth Dr. Jones’ comment about no statistically significantwarming since 1998, among many others, including people in climategate e-mails looking for missing heating.
        Additionally, there seems to be missing hot spots in the troposphere.
        Your clarification on these topics would be greatly appreciated.

      • What do you expect, hunter? Lacis has an answer for everything, that one we know. Rationalizations are very human, you can find tons of Nostradamus followers to whom you can ask every kind of question, they will have answers too.

        There’s something interesting we should be asking Lacis though (tough chance we’ll hear much of an answer on this one): What kind of observation would make you change your mind about the need to cut CO2 emissions as soon as possible?

      • But, but…. the hypothesis of AGW is so all powerful and wonderful that NO observation could ever disprove it. That’s it’s strength! It explains everything! Hot and cold. Wet and dry. Frequent, small hurricanes. Infrequent, large hurricanes — you name it, AGW can explain it. Isn’t it wonderful!

      • All this was corroborated by subsequent observations of global and stratospheric temperature – an excellent test and verification of global climate modeling capabilities

        Indeed that the Giss models had fundemental problems in phase space was identified as problematic with the AO and the dynamic effects is well documented in the literature eg Stenchikov 2006
        (doi:10.1029/2005JD006286, 2006)

        That there is no uniqueness theorem for Volcanic peturbation is also a legitimate argument as chance be as chance does.The relaxation geometry ( the pullback measure and its component mechanisms are poorly undersood ) eg Stratospheric WV ,negative biological feedbacks such as SO2 into wetlands or Fe fertilization in the southern ocean eg S. Duggen et al.The role of airborne volcanic ash 2010

        By November 1991 the Pinutabo stratosphere aerosol plume had reached the southern latitudes ,a recent estimate of the mass deposition flux there being 9×10^-13 g cm^-2s^-1 at that time. If 1% of this flux was iron sustained for 3 months over the area of the southern ocean this would amount to roughly 4×10^10g iron. Given a typical carbon/iron molar ratio of 10^5 for phytoplankton in iron limited regions,this would enable additional new production of about 7×10^13 mol carbon .Such an increase would then give rise to the observed pulse of the order of 10^14 mol of oxygen into the atmosphere (Keeling 1996)

        http://www.biogeosciences.net/7/827/2010/

        That the experiments are solely experiements on the program generating them and not on the idealized NS fluid is well known Gallavotti 1994,and that the inability to handle singularities such as volcanics with observations as such,suggest either the Physics assumptions or the observations are incorrect eg the Krakatoa problem.

      • Norm Kalmanovitch

        I am not tyalking about a decadal average but the linear best fit trend of the past nine years since 2002.
        If you check the HadCRUT3 data fr4om the 2001IPCC TAR (the data was manually changed for the 2007 report to eliminate the observed cooling from 1942 to 1975 shown on the previous version and still shown on both GISS and NCDC) you will see a linear best fit cooling to 1910, warming to 1942, cooling to 1975, warming to 1998 (which I extended to 2002) and cooling since. There is no question that the Earth has been warmindg since the start of the 20th century but this is part of the natural recovery fromthe Little Ice Age. The warming and cooling cycles are superimposed on this overall warming trend with a full cycle of 65 years.
        If you look at http://www.climate4you.com under “global temperature” and click on the sub reference cyclic air temperature changes you will see a graph of HadCRUT3 filtered with a moving 50 year average. If these warming and cooling cycles did not exist this graph would show nothing but a steady increase and not the perfectly defined 65 yearm period cyclic configuration that it has.
        By the way the decadal average was used in the IPCC 2007 report because it was well known in 2007 that the Earth was already cooling so the only way to state that it was warming was to use the decadal average which produces a tiny bit of year to year warming.
        My point on Pinatubo is that the models are not programmed for factors which cause tyemperature changes such as volcanoes and the PDO so they can’t predict these any better than they can predict global temperature because they are not programmed to do so.
        The projected 2100 global temperature increase in the models is based on the assumption that the atmospheric CO2 concentration will increase at a greater and greater rate due ti increased CO2 emissions. This simply isn’t happening and the CO2 concentration is increasing at a more or less linear rate of just 2ppmv/year and at this rate by year 2100 the concentration of CO2 will be less than half of what the IPCC predicted for their models so there temperature predictions need to be cut in half!
        More to the point since CO2 concentration has been increasing at a steady rate and the linear best fit for global temperature is not showing any global warming propper scientific practice would dictate that the climate models are not valid and their predictions should be ignored.
        Essentially the continued support for the AGW conjecture is like going out in the pouring rain believing it is clear and sunny because that is what the forecast said!

      • “This simply isn’t happening and the CO2 concentration is increasing at a more or less linear rate of just 2ppmv/year”

        No, it’s accelerating.
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/compress:12
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/compress:12/derivative

      • lolwot

        You are right.

        Since the 1970s the longer term compounded annual growth rate of atmospheric CO2 level increase was around 0.43% per year, and around 0.48% per year over the past 10 years.

        The growth appears to be exponential, as you say.

        This is the CAGR that would be reflected in IPCC “scenario and storyline” B1, with CO2 increasing to around 580 ppmv by 2100 and postulated GMT around 1.2C higher than it would have been had CO2 concentrations been frozen at year 2000 levels.

        Max

        PS An exponential CO2 growth rate multiplied by a logarithmic CO2/temperature correlation should give us roughly linear increase in temperature, all other things being equal. But, as we have witnessed from the past decade’s lack of warming, “all things are not likely to be equal”.

      • Dr Lacis,

        Could you please explain / justify why GISTEMP data set is the only one showing:
        (1) such a significant warming trend over the past 14 years whereas all other data sets show limited warming or even cooling
        (2) year 2007 warmer than 1998

        plots here

        Observed evolutions since 1998
        HADCRUT3 : 0,41°C => 0,417°C i.e +0,007°C or +0,005°C/decade
        GISTEMP : 0,436°C => 0,591°C i.e +0,155°C or +0,113°C/decade
        UAH : 0,11°C => 0,202°C i.e +0,092°C or +0,067°C/decade
        RSS 0,277°C => 0,238°C i.e -0,039°C or -0,028°C/decade

        Starting from 2002 i.e removing super El Nino (1998) and following La Nina events, the pause in the warming, or even the slight cooling is more obvious, even according to GISS data :
        HADCRUT3 : 0,465°C => 0,390°C i.e -0,075°C/decade
        GISTEMP : 0,547°C => 0,555°C i.e +0,008°C/decade
        UAH : 0,161°C => 0,204°C i.e +0,043°C/decade
        RSS 0,288°C => 0,237°C i.e -0,051°C/decade
        plots since 2002

        Could you please also provide us with the reference of the verification & validation report of the GISS-E model you are referring to?
        As far as I know, and as already discussed on JC’s blog, none of the climate models, including GISS ones, has ever been formally validated, which is a clear violation of NASA standards, as well as of all engineering standards.

      • “such a significant warming trend over the past 14 years whereas all other data sets show limited warming or even cooling”

        They are measuring different regions. UAH and RSS measure the lower troposphere. HadCRUT and GISTEMP measure different areas of the Earth, neither are truely “global” in extent. On the overlap between them they agree.

        “year 2007 warmer than 1998”

        Same reason as above.

        “Starting from 2002 i.e removing super El Nino (1998) and following La Nina events, the pause in the warming, or even the slight cooling is more obvious, even according to GISS data”

        Removing the 1998 super el nino only solves one ENSO bias. The one left is that 2002-2007 is almost solid El Ninos and the period after that contains two strong La Ninas. So starting a trend from 2002 biases the trend cold, similar, but to a lesser extent, to starting a trend from 1998.

        2002 was also solar cycle maximum and the cycle after that went into a very long and deep minimum. So the period 2002- is biased cold by that too.

        All in all it’s remarkable how little cooling there is since 2002 if you think about it. But what would we expect given the world has been warming at around 0.15-0.2C/decade for decades.

        “As far as I know, and as already discussed on JC’s blog, none of the climate models, including GISS ones, has ever been formally validated, which is a clear violation of NASA standards, as well as of all engineering standards.”

        I don’t believe there is any such requirement. Someone’s been misapplying the rule book on that one I think.

      • lolwot,
        Yet the slope has been steadily decreasing !
        Slope in °C/decade when calculated since :
        (1970) 0,158 => (1975) 0,165 => (1980) 0,153 => (1985) 0,165 => (1990) 0,148 => (1995) 0,091 => (1996) 0,080 => (1997) 0,022 => (1998) 0,005 => (1999) 0,054 => (2000) 0,023 => (2001) -0,047 => (2002) -0,077 => (2003) -0,078 => (2004) -0,066 => (2005) -0,060

        And YES there are standards at NASA (as in all other fields of science and engineering) for validating models. And you are not supposed to use a model that is not validated.

      • funny how you stopped with 2005.

        Why not give the trend since 2006 or even 2007?

      • All this was corroborated by subsequent observations of global and stratospheric temperature – an excellent test and verification of global climate modeling capabilities.

        I’m not convinced that this is an accurate statement.
        Here is a study of your Pinatubo prediction that shows your models failed even after receiving the Pinatubo aerosol optical depth information.

        Even though you were invited to do so numerous times, you failed to engage the person critiqueing your study, which leaves me no choice but to believe the critique.
        Yet you continue to claim your models have some predictive powers?

  10. ” And no one has any incentive to let others get away with bad science – on the contrary, science is very competitive when it comes to getting funding.”

    I read this comment from Grant Petty’s letter right after I posted a comment on the week in review thread noting that Mann had reported funding for various projects totaling at least $5,982,700 as of December, 2009. That’s about $600,000 in funding per year since the publishing of the hockey stick.

    I would suggest that the self funded deconstruction of that CAGW icon by McIntyre and McKitrick did far more for science, and society, for far less.

  11. ‘IMO, this group has damaged the credibility of skepticism about climate change and provides a convenient target when people want to refer to “deniers” and crackpots. ‘

    I agree with this completely. And reading between the lines it seems that Grant Perry is a good example by seemingly conflating the sky dragon people with skeptics in general, which of course is a serious mistake. I found his defense of establishment climate scientists…if i’m reading him correctly, naive.

  12. As a lukewarmer, I have no problem with the basic premise of the greenhouse effect. That being said, I find the above email problematic on multiple grounds.

    “The nature of real modern science is that fraudulent claims don’t go undetected long…”

    What a silly thing to say. First, substitute incorrect for fraudulent, and we can talk. The writer seems to imagine we live in a Panglossian world of scientific knowledge, in which all current knowledge is correct. Tell me again about the cause of ulcers.

    “Everyone’s goal is to show that they can find and patch shortcomings in
    the science and to answer the unanswered questions so as to improve their
    own standing…”

    No – everyone’s goal is to get funding, get published and get tenure. If the best method to do so is to jump on the latest bandwagon, that that’s what happens. Patching shortcomings is irrelevant to the career-advancing process. Many scientists divide up their work into the smallest publishable units in order to squeeze the most papers possible out of it.

    “Do you really thing it’s some old-boys’ club, everyone
    covering each other’s rear? ”

    Please see the Climategate emails, where they boast of it.

    “And do you really think climate scientists get rich promoting global warming?

    Semi-strawman. Compared to taxi drivers and mailmen? Yes, getting rich. Getting rich in the sense of taking advantage in order to further ones’ career. And given the strain to attach global warming to papers that have only the slightest tangential connection to climate, SOME scientists obviously are tying their careers to the global warming bandwagon.

    “The models aren’t perfect; no one says that they are. But they’re a
    damned sight more grounded in real science and physics than the naive but cocky “proofs” published in blogs…”

    This is a classic example scientific self-justifiying. . Follow the logic: the models are better than the ravings of some nutters on blogs, therefore they are good enough to overturn the modern industrial word at a cost of trillions of dollars. The problem isn’t that the models are not perfect. The problem is that the models are utterly without verification for their purpose. On our timescale they are unfalsifiable, and therefore they are not scientific at all. The logic underlying the GCMs in the global warming debate is that they are the best we have, so we should trust them. The problem with the GCMs is that we have no reason to believe that they are sufficiently verified to be trusted. “The best we’ve got” is not synonymous with “good enough to be trusted to upturn the entire modern industrial civilization.”

    There was an excellent point to be made here. Unfortunately, this person not only failed to make it, he actually embarrassed those he claims to be speaking for.

    • MarkB: I’m a lukewarmer too and I have similar reservations to Prof. Petty’s letter.

      I would add that becoming a scientist or tenured professor today won’t make one rich by CEO or investment banker standards, but those are well-paid, prestigious positions with great benefits that are highly, highly competitive — much more on the order of becoming a Hollywood actor than becoming an engineer.

      Like Hollywood, science and academia require excellent networking and luck as well as talent and knowledge. Climate scientists, like Prof. Petty, dismiss that there might be substantial pressures to conform but this strikes me as disingenuous.

    • There is a way to check climate models. Examine the mathematical basis by which climate models suggest they can predict the future.

      Climate Models ALL assert that long term climate is more predictable than weather. This is the basic underlying premise of all climate models.

      What is the mathematical mechanism by which they suggest this is true?

      If they rely on the law of large numbers, then where is the evidence the law of large numbers applies to climate? The law of large numbers relies on a constant mean and constant deviation. Does the earth’s climate history support this statistically?

      If not, what is the underlying mathematical basis for suggesting that climate is more predictable than weather?

      If so, then what is the average temperature and deviation of the earth over the past 100 million? Is present temperature within these bounds, and what is the probability that current deviation is typical?

      • It is an energy argument. If you let less energy out, the surface gets warmer. Very simple to comprehend and quite self evident.

      • Nonsense. It is fundamental that energy in = energy out.

      • So if you reduce radiated energy out, it has to get warmer to restore it again. Please say you understand this part.

      • Jim D,

        If you reduce the energy out, does it mean that you also reduced the radiating temperature?

      • Edim, yes, that’s what happens when you add CO2 (Lindzen and even Postma have explained all this before). It radiates from a higher/colder average level.

      • Jim D,

        notice you say they EXPLAIN that it is radiating from a higher colder level. Why would we not have more radiation from the same levels as they are warmer? What is blocking those same levels?? There is some magic that happens to claim that we no longer get the radiation from the original levels when we also get more CO2 at higher levels providing more cooler radiation.

        As the atmosphere warms it also expands. i think NASA has provided us with hard data on this as it tends to add to drag on the satellites. If the atmosphere expands we have no magic blocking of the warmer layers radiating. This is a Climate Science myth they see in the models along with the non-existant hot spot and cooling stratosphere.

    • Rather more elequantly put than I could manage on a smartphone..

    • MarkB,
      Dr. Perry’s letter is simply misleading in in its approach.
      it is the reliance on strawman and red herring tactics by so many involved in supporting the AGW community that raises questions about the soundness of their science and even more personal issues.

  13. The slayers are not a group with a single agreed outlook on the details of the relevant science.
    Joseph Postma uses orthodox physics to arrive at his conclusions.
    Claes Johnston wishes to return to the causality of Maxwell and ditch the photon.
    However they share a belief that climate science as presently formulated is based on false science.
    This view is shared by a growing number of scientists particularly those with a background in physics
    Some suspect that the science is so far from any basis in reality as to constitute fraud.

  14. From Judith:

    IMO, this group has damaged the credibility of skepticism about climate change and provides a convenient target when people want to refer to “deniers” and crackpots.

    From Anthony Watts:

    From San Francisco State University another indication that nature is such a poor engineer that phytoplankton can’t adapt to a small change in ocean pH. But then again it is a closed lab experiment, not the ocean, and there’s those weasel words of “might”, “could”, and “may”.

    Who is providing a “convenient target when people want to refer to “deniers” as on the one hand, criticizing the climate scientists for not acknowledging uncertainty, and then on the other hand denigrating climate scientists for recognizing uncertainty?

    Why don’t you criticize this kind of poor and hypocritical analysis when it comes from pivotal players in the “skeptical” community, Judith? you apparently consider the “slayers” to be outliers in the skeptical community. Do you think that Anthony is also an outlier?

    You post comments at Anthony’s site (calling the attention of his readers to your blog), you welcome his comments at your site. Do you blame tribalism in the “climate science establishment” for Anthony’s denigrating recognition of uncertainty as “weasel words”?

    • Robert E. Phelan

      Joshua:

      If you think that sticking words like “might”, “could”, and “may” into an article that is graphically presenting yet another disaster scenario some how satisfies the requirement to recognize and address uncertainty…. it’s not that words fail me, they’re just inappropriate for this venue. They are serving exactly the purpose they were intended to, as you’ve magnificently demonstrated.

      • Robert –

        I don’t think that they are sufficient. I think that Judith’s basic point is a good one. All attempts should be made to specify uncertainty to whatever degree possible.

        On the other hand, derision of qualifications of certainty plays no helpful role in the debate, and is downright hypocritical when it comes from the same people who claim that that the “climate establishment” fails to acknowledge uncertainty.

      • Robert E. Phelan

        All attempts should be made to specify uncertainty to whatever degree possible

        So, why didn’t they, Joshua? It’s because those words are a rhetorical device that allow political apologists like yourself to proclaim that uncertainty is being addressed when in point of fact it is not. There is nbo hypocracy in pointing that out. Articles like the one you referenced are as much political propaganda as they are science.

      • So, why didn’t they, Joshua?

        I’m not exactly sure, Robert. It’s a good question. I could speculate about the answer (e.g., that the difficulty of specifying the uncertainty should not mean that speculation about potential harms from climate change is not warranted) and assume I need more information to be certain about my conclusions, or I could formulate a conspiratorial explanation in lieu of having their input.

        I tend to stay away from the later choice. But knock yourself out.

      • Robert E. Phelan

        Joshua | October 15, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
        “…or I could formulate a conspiratorial explanation in lieu of having their input…. I tend to stay away from the later choice. But knock yourself out.”

        Well, I was wondering if you would ever say it. Nice segue, but I said nothing about “conspiracies”. Another rhetorical device to ridicule and marginalize… after all, only kooks and nutters believe in conspiracies right? I prefer to think in terms of “social movements” – alliances of special interest groups that unite behind a common cause that also coincidentally promotes their special concerns. It’s amazing how the “solutions” , predating CAGW, that have been proposed by the Club of Rome, Green Peace, The Sierra Club, PETA, Open Society, and a host of others are also the solutions for global warming. They are all remarkably open and up-front about their agendas, but if you are referring to secretive and clandestine communications to suborn and subvert…. well, the climategate e-mails provide a fair amount of that. I’d dearly love to have the documentation behind Wolfgang Wagner’s resignation from Remote Sensing.

        Joshua, you know nothing about conspiracy and would probably have accepted the explanation for the Reichstag fire at face value.

      • GIGO as usual Joshua, I cannot speculate about whether the GI of GIGO applies to you. But there is no need for weasel words describing your analysis. It is surely the GO

  15. And here’s another question I’m curious about. A while back, if I remember correctly, you said something on the order of “no one in the room,.” or no skeptics that you know of, think that the climate isn’t warming. How do you think that squares with a recent polls that shows that some 55% of Tea Partiers think that the climate isn’t warming?

    Now, it seems that a fair amount of “denizens” might identify as Tea Partiers. Do you think that they are categorically differentiated from other Tea Partiers in that they are more informed about climate change, and thus they disagree with the majority of Tea Partiers with respect to global warming? But keep in mind, that the same poll also shows that Tea Partiers in general consider themselves to be well-informed about climate change (and that they don’t need more information to understand the issue). Also, please keep in mind that David H. has posted that it is documented that Tea Partiers are more informed about climate issues (he even went so far as to refer to the same poll that shows that the majority of Tea Partiers think that the globe isn’t warming).

    • Joshua

      What year-or decade-do you believe this warming started?

      Please bear in mind also that some parts of the globe have been cooling for the 30 years required to call it a trend.
      Tonyb

      • tony,

        Maybe I misunderstand something here. My understanding is that:

        (1) Judith thinks that a trend of global warming is unambiguous, and that only a tiny fractions of “skeptics” doubt that assertion – they only question the degree of the warming and the degree to which warming is attributable to anthropogenic variables.

        (2) Judith thinks that only a tiny fraction of “skeptics” doubt whether increased CO2 warms the climate – they only question the magnitude of the forcing.

        And it isn’t only Judith: I have read many times from other “skeptics,” that “skeptics” as a group, don’t doubt that CO2 emissions warm the climate, or that the climate is warming. I’ve been told that most “skeptics” only question how much the climate has been warming and the degree to which warming has been anthropgenically influenced.

        Now let’s look at how your question relates to item 1 and 2 I listed above:

        (1) You believe that in the least, there is some ambiguity as to whether there is a trend of warming. In fact, your question suggests that you think contrary to warming, the globe is cooling.

        (2) You question whether CO2 emissions do warm the climate – as undoubtedly CO2 emissions have increased, and so it isn’t a matter of degree of AGW that you’re questioning by asserting a cooling trend, but the very notion that increased CO2 warms the climate.

        I doubt that Judith would consider you to be an outlier, so allow me to speculate that one possible way to reconcile your opinion with Judith’s description of “skeptics” as a group might be that you believe that CO2 emissions do warm the climate, but that the forcing from increased CO2 is negated by a stronger forcing (towards cooling) from natural phenomena? Would that be accurate? If so, I would be curious to find out whether Judith considers such a perspective to be an outlier, or whether she thinks such a perspective is characteristic of a significant segment of the “skeptical” community.

        That would take care of point #2.

        But what about point #1? Even if you don’t question the basic physics of CO2 emissions as a forcing (but think that it is less manifest in current trends than other, negative, forcings), you still would seem to be an outlier in terms of how Judith has described the “skeptical” community (that they don’t doubt that the climate is warming) – and indeed, as how many other “sketpics” have described the “skeptical” community to me.

      • Joshua

        Good grief-just answer the question without your amateur analysis. I don’t want one of your £5 circular arguments. Here it is again;

        “What year-or decade-do you believe this warming started?”

        Please bear in mind also that some parts of the globe have been cooling for the 30 years required to call it a trend.”

        thanks very much in advance for a simple short answer to a simple short question

      • Tony, TOny, TOny. What makes you want to mess with the G of GIGO

      • “the 30 years required to call it a trend”

        Is that in fact correct? Isn’t climate described as weather averaged over 30 years? If so, 30 years is not sufficient to establish a climate trend. All you have after 30 years is a single point in climate space. No trend at all.

        After 30 more years you have a second point, so the minimum to establish a trend in climate is 60 years. You can’t use 31-59 years to establish a statistical trend in climate because the samples are not independent.

        So, after 60 years you have two points on the graph for climate. While this will show you a trend (a single line with a point at each end) it can hardly be called statistically significant.

        Climate science has 150 years worth of data and try and use this to predict climate. What they have is 5 points on a curve that is at 100 million point long, and they are proposing to predict the next 5 point from this?

      • Excellent point Ferd. The data time scale of climate is definitely not the same as for the weather. Now I am wondering how such averaging of localised weather conditions can realistically be applied to that of global climate? Any ideas anyone? To my mind weather situations around the globe (especially at the poles and at the equator) would seem to largely cancel each other out if global averaging is attempted.

    • Is climate actually warming?

      Over the past 80 years climate may well be warming, but what if we go back 8000 years? Isn’t the climate actually cooling?

      Doesn’t mathematics tell us that If the trend changes with the sample size, then it is not a trend at all?

      • So – it appears that ferd is also an outlier?

        At what point, mathematically, does a % of outlier perspective become large enough that it is no longer an outlier, but actually descriptive of an entire set?

      • I suppose I should also question at what point a % of outlier perspective ceases to be an outlier, but is properly considered to be descriptive of a notable (important? significant?) segment of the entire set?

      • 100,95,99,94,98,93,97,92,96,91,95,90,94

        The series above is similar to climate for the past 8000 years. By concentrating on the last point in the series, climate science concludes that the climate is warming.

        If you take a short enough sample you can find any trend you want in numbers to prove any point you want. Compare your earnings on a sunday to your earnings on a monday. From this you can forecast that by friday you will own the earth. Climate science 101.

      • Ferd,

        My take on climate change, if I may say at “human relevant” time scales, is that most important and dominant trend is around 8000 years. It’s COOLING. It’s cooling since the holocene inerglacial peak.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png

        It’s very likely that we won’t go higher than that peak for a very long time, 100,000 years maybe. So if anything, we are cooling. And I don’t mean 5, 10 nor 12 years, but 10 thousands years.

      • Fred 3.09

        I entirely agree with you, but its not us that make the rules about what constitutes a climate trend.

      • Edim, did you notice that 2004 is marked on that graph and is already warmer than the peak you say won’t be passed for thousands of years. Gives you pause, doesn’t it?

      • ferd –

        I understand your point.

        And my point is that while you say that there is no mathematically validated trend of warming, Judith has stated that she knows of almost no skeptics who hold such an opinion.

        Judith, meet ferd. ferd, meet Judith.

      • Jim D,

        Yes I noticed and I expected that question, to tell you the truth. Let’s accept that graph and that 2004 is warmer than the interglacial peak. I am not even close to be convinced, I think all the (pre)hystorical optimums are warmer than 2004. But like I say I accept the graph for the sake of argument. Now, what is the linear trend for 8 – 0 k BP, according to the graph?

      • Edim, that trend is consistent with the Milankovitch cycle that should favor more Arctic ice, but that just isn’t happening at the moment. Something else seems to be opposing it in the last century or so.

      • Jim D,

        So you agree that the linear trend for 8 – 0 ka is COOLING. Good.

        There’s always something either oposing or amplifying orbital variations/oscillations. At the moment we are in a very weak solar cycle and predictions are that another weak one is coming. That means a deeper solar minimum. We will be cooling for decades, if the predictions are on point.

      • Edim, you are not accounting for the relative strengths of these effects. Looking at paleoclimate, CO2 trumps orbital effects.

      • Jim D,

        Looking at paleoclimate I see orbital effects (or vatever is causing those variations at the timescale) trumping CO2. CO2 sits in the back.

      • Edim, if you are seeing that, you are not looking with your reading glasses on.

      • Exactly at the point it does and not one outlier before that.

  16. Richard Saumarez

    We are all human and fallible. I would regard the idea of a wide conspiracy amoung climate scientists to hide or manipulate data as preposterous. Since, we are capable of making mistakes, misunderstandings and being conservative in our thinking, it is possible that mistakes have been made and, I am sure, that these will not persist in the “acid-bath” of the test of a hypothesis.

    I would comment that a poisonous thread has been introduced into climatology because of the immense political importance of the conclusions of some of its community. I would add that the behaviour of some members of the community caused those scientists who work in other fields to raise their eyebrows, although this behaviour occurs in all fields of scientific endeavour. This naturally has no bearing on whether their conclusions are correct and from my perspective the jury is still out. I broadly agree with Professor Petty’s comments and I would hope that reason will eventually prevail.

    Nevertheless, increased taxation, the imminent risk of energy blackouts due to mandated renewable energy, the rapidly escalating cost of energy and the cost of biofuels in terms of starvation and ecological damage stem from the predictions of climate scientists. Some of the more vociferous advocates would like to see a transformation of society into a form that many, perhaps the majority of population, would be relectant to accept. They therefore have a duty to perform their work diligently to high professional standards and to abstain from statements that drive political actions that may impoverish us all. Due to the immense importance of their work, climate scientists must expect to be criticised from a scientific standpoint by people outside their field.

    As in all fields, there is good work and bad work. Those who do bad work may find that they are criticised by other scientists who have a greater knowledge of one particular field that underpins their work. This is a normal part of the scientific process and should not be regarded as hostile to the discipline as a whole rather, in my view, it should be embraced.

    Therefore, I think that the critics of climate scientists, should be met with logic, and curteous explanations that stem from a greater understanding of the subject as a whole. Those who react to reasoned criticism with unreasoned hostility and the denial of uncertainty do their boader community no service.

    • Richard,
      The conspiracy argument- depolyed by believers or skeptics is a waste fo time and distraction. Its use by AGW opinion leaders like Lacis or Perry to either attack skeptics, in the case of Lacis, or to distract from the reasonable argument taht large numbers of people can be wrong, are both demonstrations of a lack of seriousness on their part.

    • Richard,

      Sure thing –
      “I think that the critics of climate scientists, should be met with logic, and courteous explanations that stem from a greater understanding of the subject as a whole. Those who react to reasoned criticism with unreasoned hostility and the denial of uncertainty do their broader community no service.”

      But then we begin our courteous public discourse on the nature of the global climate change problem that we face with the likes of Senator James Inhofe, and Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher, Joe Barton, and James Sensenbrenner, among others who have proclaimed that “global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated”. This is a very auspicious beginning for a friendly discussion indeed.

      The same sentiment has been echoed by a string of conservative think tanks such as the Cato Institute, the Heartland Institute, the George C. Marshall Institute, among others. Be sure not to forget Fox News and its manufacturing of the Grand Climategate Conspiracy.

      I hope you don’t come to conclude that it is the climate scientists who are setting the tone of the public debate about the global climate change problem.

      • Andy, your statement assumes that all people who disagree with establishment climate science (e.g. such as represented by the IPCC) have the same reasons (motivation and substance) for disagreement as Inhofe and the Heartland Institute. The failure to recognize people with real concerns and questions (and often with valid points) on a variety of different aspects of climate science and policy and dismiss them as “deniers” and automatically lump them with Inhofe and Heartland is the source of the problem that we currently have. Continued efforts to improve communication of climate science won’t work until this is understood. And the continued lumping of all skeptics into the Heartland/Inhofe category and dismissing all disagreement and skepticism as fossil fuel funded tripe results in a huge backlash against the climate establishment.

      • The failure to recognize people with real concerns and questions (and often with valid points) on a variety of different aspects of climate science and policy and dismiss them as “deniers” and automatically lump them with Inhofe and Heartland is the source of the problem that we currently have.

        So – there is a singular source of the problem?

        The politicized aims of Inhofe and the Heartland Institute are not problematic? It isn’t problematic when McKitrick calls Wagner a “grovelling, terrified coward?” Ubiquitous broad-scale assertions of “fraud,” and a “hoax” to achieve socialistic aims with nary a concern about the deaths of millions (as you have no doubt read many times in these very pages) are not a source of problems?

        There is only one problem, and only one source for that problem?

        Are you “certain” about that, Judith? Do you have some quantification of your “certainty?”

      • Andy, your statement assumes that all people who disagree with establishment climate science (e.g. such as represented by the IPCC) have the same reasons (motivation and substance) for disagreement as Inhofe and the Heartland Institute.

        This is rather ironic, Judith – as some of your rather uniform characterizations of beliefs within the “skeptical” community w.r.t. the physics of CO2 emissions and whether or not the climate is warming are not consistent with evidence provided at your very own website.

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/15/letter-to-the-dragon-slayers/#comment-122562

      • So, Judith –

        This is not a problem?

        Jim Cripwell | October 15, 2011 at 3:53 pm

        I notice Andy Lacis is posting on the latest Climate Etc. thread. Let me accuse him of being a coward in simply running away from the discussion on this thread, which he started

        I have to say that I was shocked that you would dismiss McKitrick calling Wagner a “grovelling, terrified coward” as merely “intemperate” comments on a blog – and I would suppose that you would likewise dismiss this comment above from one of your “denizens,” but here’s how I see an illogic in your perspective.

        When someone like Andy invests enough effort to become an expert in the field of climate science, and because of how he interprets the science (or because he doesn’t answer the questions of one of your “denizens), is then called a “coward,” or a “fraud” who is perpetrating a “hoax” for the purpose of a socialist agenda to destroy capitalism without regard for the death of millions, I think it is unlikely that he would ever agree with your assessment that “the” problem is that he and other climate scientists over-generalize about how many “skeptics” are deniers. How would you expect him to respond to a “skeptic,” or those who associate with a skeptic, who characterizes Wagner as a “grovelling coward?” How do you expect climate scientists to respond to you when you dismiss McKitrick’s comment as merely an “intemperate” blog comment?

        I mean, really, what planet were you born on?

        I think more likely you’d have better success if you called out your “denizens” for their “intemperate” statements, or statements like McKitrick’s, and acknowledged the ‘problems” created by the political orientation of people like Inhofe and organizations like the Heartland l Institute, and after having done so, suggest to Andy that despite the validity of some aspect of his concerns, your think that his judgement of the motivations of all “skeptics” is overly broad.

        Certainly, such an approach might not be successful, but you might consider giving it a shot.

        .

      • Joshua

        You may have missed my response to your earlier extended non reply to my simple question. When do you think the warming started?

        tonyb

      • You may have missed my response to your earlier extended non reply to my simple question. When do you think the warming started?

        lol!

        I didn’t miss it, tony.

        I fail to see what my opinion about when the warming started has to do with whether or not Judith has incorrectly generalized about the views of “skeptics.”

        If you could explain the direct relevance, then maybe I would consider answering your question. (which, as I see it, was a “non-reply” to my comment about Judith’s incorrect generalization).

      • Dr. Curry,

        in response to your posted article, and Dr. Lacis up reply, we still see the science is evolving. (I am linking to a WUWT post, because I am lousy at finding the original paper.) These papers have some merit along the lines of Dr. Pielke’s research towards more then CO2 causes

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/14/new-science-field-paleoblameatology/

        the apparent anthro warming of the last century – http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/13/plant-trees-not-carbon-laws/

        So yes, some researchers do get famous and maybe rich, but I concur with your guest, that most just keep trying to do science. And Dr. Lacis, thanx for weighing in on your thread and this one, as you have a lot to offer to Dr. Curry’s denizens.

      • Joshua

        Instead of a long convoluted reply to a question i didn’t even ask why didnt you just give a two word answer- x years? Surely that is much easier?
        My question was in response to your comment:

        “And here’s another question I’m curious about. A while back, if I remember correctly, you said something on the order of “no one in the room,.” or no skeptics that you know of, think that the climate isn’t warming. How do you think that squares with a recent polls that shows that some 55% of Tea Partiers think that the climate isn’t warming?”

        You obviously believe the tea partiers think the climate isn’t warming which by inference means you do (as do I) We may differ as to when it started. So the simple question again-which is directly related to your response;
        WHEN do you think the climate started warming? To be helpful I will help you by writing most of the reply-you just need to fill i the missing part.

        “Thanks for your interesting question Tony. I think the climate started to warm around…”
        All you need to do is fill in the year or decade. See how helpful I am? :)
        tonyb..

      • Tony –

        I still fail to see the relevance of my opinion about the warming trend.

        I still can’t understand from your posts what you think the relevance is – but because I wouldn’t want you to think that I’m an obstinate person, I’ll answer your question anyway.

        I’ll go along with what Judith posted in the “What we agree on” thread:

        Dr. Eric Wolff:

        7. I think everyone in the room agrees that the climate has warmed over the last 50 years, for whatever reason: we saw plots of land atmospheric temperature, marine atmospheric temperature, sea surface temperature, and (from Prof Svensmark) ocean heat content, all with a rising trend.

        Judith:

        JC comment: there should be 100% agreement on the sign of the temperature change, although there is some room to debate the actual magnitude of the increase.

      • Judy,

        The public debate on global climate change is what is, and what it has become, and I don’t think that there is much that either you or I can do to change it. You can of course set the tone for this blog by deleting all those comments that contain the magic objectionable words that are perceived to be the problem. But that will have little effect on the climate debate at large. Besides, imposing censorship is probably not workable, or desirable.

        I am personally not troubled by the attacks on climate science, however heated or vehement. The science is strong enough to withstand all that is being thrown at it. What we know and understand about climate science will only be reinforced and grow stronger in the process.

        Real concerns about what we know, what we don’t know, and what we are doing about what we know and don’t know, whether expressed in a nasty strident tone, or stated more sweetly, are equally legitimate. Hopefully, all of these concerns will then be answered in an uncharged monotone.

        I have been trying to answer the science questions that have long been of interest, as clearly as I can. To be sure, I have included a few ‘terms of endearment’ to provide some perspective as to where we are in the ongoing climate debate.

        I don’t expect the tone of the ‘climate rhetoric’ to abate anytime soon. I rather imagine that the crescendo will tend to increase as more and more people become aware of the global warming problem, but don’t know enough of the science involved to reach what would be a ‘physics-based conclusion’. The public discord will likely die down in a couple of decades as global warming continues to intensify and its effects become more apparent.

        With respect to the climate problem, I am most impressed by the growing list of precise measurements that we will have available to bring to bear. We now have precise measurements of the greenhouse gas increases and satellite based altimetry and gravity measurements that amazingly can keep tabs on the sea level rise and on the polar ice sheet melting. Hopefully, these will soon be followed by GPS radio occultation measurements that will provide temperature profile measurements to better than 0.1°C above at the tropopause and above. And with concurrent measurements of water vapor, it would also be possible to get tropospheric temperatures with similar accuracy. There are also hopes of flying a precision polarimeter that will be able to measure aerosol properties an order of magnitude better than has been possible thus far. We can also hope for a similar order of magnitude jump in the precision of radiative flux measurements that would be able to verify the state of the global energy balance of the Earth.

        All in all, I don’t see any practical way to control on impact the tone of the ongoing climate debate. It is only when the ongoing intensification of the climate system response becomes too apparent to dismiss that the strident rhetoric will begin to abate. But given human nature, the strident rhetoric may well be replaced by something worse – recrimination.

      • Dr. Lacis: It’s not just your strident tone. When you go on about fossil fuel and Fox News conspiracies, and lump all your opposition into the same basket, then refuse to reconsider even when asked politely, you come across as a sloppy, close-minded thinker. I am sorry to be so blunt.

        I am not a climate scientist so I can’t assess the technical details. I buy the basics of global warming, but I do wonder how many places you and your colleagues may be nudging your conclusions towards your biases. In areas where I can assess your reasoning that seems to be the MO combined with a willingness to accept ends-justify-the-means shortcuts as in Climategate.

        Speaking for myself, I can’t trust scientists who behave as climate scientists have. In the absence of such trust, it looks like we will have to wait and see how the climate shakes out over the next decade or so. Whatever happens, I’m sure there will be plenty of recriminations to go around, if that’s any comfort.

      • It is what it is, and what it am, and what it will be. Did I get that right? Ah, the threat of recrimination. And you are not troubled by the attacks on climate science. Can anybody else sum it up any better?

      • Dr. Lacis,
        Rationalizing the continued use of “denier” is like an old racist rationalizing the use of “ni**er” for the African Americans he does not like.

      • I rather imagine that the crescendo will tend to increase as more and more people become aware of the global warming problem, but don’t know enough of the science involved to reach what would be a ‘physics-based conclusion’.

        I prefer an “evidence-based conclusion.” Evidence-based and physics-based are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but much of the “physics” is applied math — mathematical expressions partly fitting some data trends or simplified accounts of the events that happen, but they all have inherent inaccuracies. I have hammered on this theme for a while, and I do so again below, but the equilibrium assumptions are particularly suspect for a system that is so clearly never in equilibrium. There are “laws” or at least expectations that are based on spatio-temporal averages over long time spans and large regions, whereas everything that happens does its happening in a particular place, at a particular time, at a particular humidity etc, and the conditions are almost never close to the averages anywhere.

        Willis Eschenbach has written an especially good evidence-based blog report that should for everyone call into question spatio-temporal averaging: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/11/wrong-again/

        That does not imply that the models are necessarily wrong, but they are for sure dubious until they have been shown to be sufficiently accurate for any purpose. The physics-based forecasts are so far too inaccurate to be of any use for projecting (or planning for) 40 – 80 years from now. If the climate continues to diverge from model forecasts, of if the models require new compartments added (e.g. deep ocean) every 10 years or so, then the credibility of the models will continue to decline.

      • Judy, good grief, you post

        “The failure to recognize people with real concerns and questions (and often with valid points) on a variety of different aspects of climate science and policy and dismiss them as “deniers” and automatically lump them with Inhofe and Heartland is the source of the problem that we currently have.”

        Do you have any real concerns or valid points?

        Other than the IPCC has miscommunicated the level of uncertainty in their reports (they have not) or a series of unsubstantiated assertions of impropriety or fraud?

      • You know bob, Judith is really right about this. Climate science has a problem and denying it is not helpful. The reason you are losing the argument is a direct result of climategate and all the other scandals as well as the inability to answer real scientific questions. This nonsense from Hansen that scientists are being outspent by the evil fossil fuels industry with their public relations firms is simply preposterous. I see nothing on TV or radio from these alleged conspirators and a lot from the global warming establishment, which has very lavish PR efforts, such as that mounted by a very rich man named Al Gore.

        Just one point that is often missed of a scientific nature. In fact, the reason the models show a range of senstiivity of 1.5K to 5K is that if the feedbacks are positive (as the models all assume) then the CO2 sensitivity is very sensitive to the exact strength of those feedbacks. In other words, this is essentially an argument for almost irreducible uncertainty. It’s not insurmountable, but its a problem with the models. When someone like Andy says that the feedback is known to about 10%, its not credible.

        Another point, if feedbacks are indeed positive, why has there not been a runaway greenhouse in the past? You know, methane releases in response to higher temperatures, melting ice, increased release from the warming oceans? There must be negative feedbacks also that operate in the system.

      • Judith, You are exactly right on this. Andy, what you are doing is stereotyping. It’s a common political ploy and it only further polarizes any debate.

      • Be sure not to forget Fox News and its manufacturing of the Grand Climategate Conspiracy.

        Surely you are not denying the importance of the damaging information in the “Climategate” emails.

      • Climategate emails don’t count. They were “stolen”. We are not entitled to know what the climate scientists do with our money, behind closed doors.

      • Unless they revealed a crime. If they revealed a crime, then the “thief” may be entitled to a reward. Phil Jones was already judged guilty, but not prosecuted because the statute of limitations had expired. Whether “we” are entitled to know what climate scientists have done with “our” money has not yet been adjudicated; a VA judge has ruled that UVA must turn over some documents to be viewed in camera. I expect that much will be made public. Everywhere I worked, in industry and academia, I signed an agreement to abide by terms of use, which included not writing anything that would bring dishonor to the institution should it become public.

        In short, I think you are wrong. More importantly, the issue will be decided in court.

      • MattStat: Perhaps I’m reading Don Monfort incorrectly, but I believe I detect a tongue-like bulge in one of his facial cheeks. However, you are spot-on with:

        Everywhere I worked, in industry and academia, I signed an agreement to abide by terms of use, which included not writing anything that would bring dishonor to the institution should it become public.

      • Sorry Matt. I guess I should have stated that I was being sarcastic. I will try not to confuse you in future.

      • Oh. I missed the irony.

      • But then we begin our courteous public discourse on the nature of the global climate change problem that we face with the likes of Senator James Inhofe, and Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher, Joe Barton, and James Sensenbrenner,

        In my reading, this is usually preceded by the claim that this is a continuation of “the Republican War on Science” and the claim that they are all bought by “big oil”. Even in the journal Science, actually addressing the claimed shortcoming of data and models comes later, if at all. Or by an introduction to “agnotology”, and the assertion that skepticism is a form of cognitive defect. The word “hoax” would be unfortunate, except that interested parties are demanding the transfer of monies to themselves, their companies, their countries, the “victims of capitalism” and so forth.

      • Richard Saumarez

        Yes, I agree that the debate has become highly politicised.

        Nevertheless, I do believe that other disciplines can ask questions about the fundamentals of climate science (as in any other field) that require critical analysis.

        There is a wide range of opinions, many of which may lack substance, but I do believe that an open dialogue between scientists should be as open and as non-confrontational as we can achieve.

      • Andy –

        FWIW:

        I will agree with Judith in the sense that I think it is a “problem” to use the term “denier” too broadly, or to make overly broad assumptions about the motivations or reasoning of people who are “skeptical” of AGW.

        On one level, I think that it is a poor strategy for gaining wider public acceptance for your interpretation of the science. I would imagine that there are some people who approach the debate from an non-ideologically driven angle, and so characterizing anyone who is uncertain about the science as a “denier” is likely to be detrimental. Further, strengthening the sense of victimization of those who are ideologically inclined to reject AGW (as opposed to scientifically-inclined), i.e., “deniers,” is only likely to increase the determination of their “denialism,” They may be unreachable in any event – but I see no possible gain from increasing their sense of justification.

        But at that level, my criticisms are strategic in nature, and in that sense they are less important and mostly speculative.

        At a level that I feel is more important, an a personal statement of my reaction to the participants of different people involved in the climate change debate, I think that your broad categorization must, necessarily, be based on overly-broad judgement about the motivations of people that you don’t know at a personal level. You might make assumptions about the motivation of some by virtue of their overtly extremist political orientation – but even with them you have no real evidence of their motivations in the climate change debate. For others, you don’t even have that information to go on. At least in theory, and I would argue assuredly in reality, not everyone who isn’t convinced by what climate scientists say about AGW is a “denier.” When I see climate scientists make unfounded conclusions in that way, as someone who is not in a position to judge the technical merits of different positions in the debate, my confidence in what those climate scientists say about the science is undermined.

      • steven mosher

        Andy,

        If you would like to start a friendly discussion, let me suggest this.

        1. Climategate doesn’t change one bit of the science we know?
        can we agree on that?
        2. We can have a friendly discussion about the abuse of institutional
        power without calling each other names?
        can we agree on that?
        3. It’s important for climate science to be self policing and point
        out areas where we can improve methods, practices, and
        interactions with the public.
        can we agree on that?

        If we can agree on those three things, then we might be able to have a discussion on climategate. Because climategate is not about the science. Its not about global warming or big oil or socialism or right or left.
        It is quite simply about the behavior of a few limited individuals in a few limited cases. One side has overreacted and made it into a case of fraud, which it is not. And the other side has used those overblown claims to avoid doing some self policing.

        So, you want to have a friendly discussion? That would be great.

        There will be these topics.

        1. Best practices in graphical presentations
        2. Complying with FOIA law
        3. Following IPCC proceedures

        The word fraud is not allowed, the word lie is not allowed, no questioning of motives. Just a discussion of the facts and your advice on the best course of action for each of these issues.

      • steven mosher,

        The behavior of a few inconsequential individuals, in a few limited cases? LOL! Climategate was a look into the inner workings of the ‘team’, and they revealed why you will not have your honest discussion on the three topics that you listed.

      • Dont you find it instructive that they wont discuss even a circumspect look at the issues? I do.

        In fact, I think it is more damning that they refuse to discuss even the mildest characterization. I suggest you try my approach.

      • steven mosher,

        I first considered the possibility that you were merely trying to entice the poor sap into engaging. But that seemed a little too obvious. Would a famous climate scientist fall for that? They haven’t up to now. Anyway, your point has been made, and made again. They ain’t talking.

      • Climategate doesn’t change one bit of the science we know?

        Not so fast. I think I know what you’re trying to say; that it doesn’t change the physics. But “the science” is a lot broader than that, and the monkey business with hiding the decline does come under the heading of “the science”.

        Now if you’re saying that climategate didn’t reveal anything that you and Steve McIntyre and a lot of other people who were paying attention didn’t already know, I’ll buy that.

      • I am saying that mails dont change physics. They cant.
        Everything we discovered in the mails we knew before.
        what we found was undeniable proof.

      • For once Mosher I have to agree. Of course climategate didn’t change the physics.

        You never had the physics correct in the first place. Even the average man on the street always knew it was a fraud.

        Anyone who has bothered to apply logical reasoning to the “greenhouse effect” hypothesis will come to the same conclusion, that it is a nonsense.

        Anyone with half the sense they were born with is capable of understanding that the reason that the claims of the AGW pushers fail again and again is because they are based on nonsense.

        I heard a painter and decorator saying today,

        “even when it’s cold it’s global warming”.

        Jesus, the man on the street can see the writing on the wall but the deniers of reality in their taxpayer funded ivory towers refuse to accept it.

        That means you Curry and you Mosher, and every other self appointed wizard (dreamer) who thinks they can switch the pea under the thimble simply by mixing the terms thermalisation and radiation or even thermal radiation and electromagnetic radiation.

        Wake up!

        It’s over, the man on the street does not buy it. You cannot shove these people around with that “you don’t understand radiative transfer” crap. Your talking to people who depend on understanding such things for their daily survival.

        Heating engineers, plumbers, construction workers, electricians. People who can grasp reality perfectly well and know that you cannot create energy out of nothing. People who can understand that you cannot heat a warm room with cold air. Practical people who may not have PhD’s but are way sharper than your tiny minds can give them credit for.

        The man on street never did fall for your AGW and your so called “greenhouse effect” nonsense.

        The only fools who were ever taken in by this pseudo-science were the idiots who were pushing it. It’s called believing your own bullshit, or getting high on your own supply and it comes from spending way too much time having one way conversations with yourselves.

        Get over yourselves. The longer you drag this on, the worse it will be for you.

        The so called “greenhouse effect” violates all three laws of thermodynamics. Everything we experience in the natural world on a daily basis is governed by these laws. These laws are not derived from an unproven hypothesis, they are based on reality. They are truths.

        Just like the fact that gravity causes the apple to fall from the tree, these basic laws are not subject to endless debate resulting from circular arguments and every logical fallacy ever recorded. The three laws of thermodynamics are indisputable truths.

        The so called “greenhouse effect”, which violates of all three laws of thermodynamics, is an unproven hypothesis.

        Man on the street.

      • Steven Mosher

        “mails don’t change physics” – 100% correct

        Can “mails” reveal instances where the “physics” were biased, flawed or bent, and thus result in a subsequent “revision” (or “change”) in those “physics”?

        Very well imaginable.

        Has it happened in this case?

        ???????????

        (Tell me. You wrote the book, Steve).

        Max

      • opinions get heated…real scientists ask for data and experimental results and look at them dispassionately…however, in any generation, there are few scientists…- Bohr recognised Feynman as one in the 1940s , but who now counts as a real dispassionae scientist?

      • Dr. Lacis,
        Was it courteous when Hansen’s 1988 testimony was performed in a stage managed hearing room?
        Was it good manners to call for war crimes trials against skeptics or to call for stripping professionals of their licenses if they do not agree with AGW?

      • “… we face with the likes of Senator James Inhofe, and Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher, Joe Barton, and James Sensenbrenner, among others who have proclaimed that “global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated”. ”

        Sorry but I do recall the AGW side gladly hitching its wagon to Al Gore, a politician with no training in or understanding of any branch of the sciences, long before Inhofe, Rohrbacher, etc. got involved. This is a classic case of lying with dogs and getting bitten by fleas. Remember who first let the dogs in.

      • And who was too cheap to get them flea treatment.

    • Richard Saumarez

      One of the problems that I think scientists such as Dr Lacis should address is that some of the earlier predictions of climatology have been shown to be only partially correct.

      While, new measurement techniques, some of which appear to me to be miraculous, will undoubtedly improve models, one does have to remember that the models may still not be accurate (as opposed to correct).

      Given the massive transformation of society that climate science tells us essential, we have to ask how believable the predictions of models are and is it possible that the increase in temperature will be tolerable, even beneficial, argriculture will in fact flourish, sea level rises will be relatively modest and so on.

      There is a great deal riding on these models but I do wonder whether their physical basis is entirely sound and their predictions are so robust that society has to be transformed as radically as some people might think. The argument is not helped by some high profile climatologists making idiotic comments such as New York will be underwater, the Arctic is in a death spiral, Global warming will cause mass migration and so on, which have failed to happen. This hyperbole does not strengthen the case that global warming is a real threat in the mind of sceptical (as opposed to gullable) observers.

      (PS: I am a luke-warmer. I certainly believe in the effects of CO2, I am less certain about large positive feedbacks leading to tipping points)

      • Your postscript is illuminating and describes exactly my studied conclusions.

        Unless one is willing to say that current or future CO2 level increases will cause the earth to never have another ice age, then we are obviously biding our time until that happens. Are there climate scientists or modelers making this kind of prediction that I haven’t found?

        It is instructive that I have been unable to find any public information concerning how the current models have been used to examine when the next ice age will start. It’s obvious that only warming has been dealt with. Consequently, we have no predictions of the coming of the next event. This means the next ice age could start in 100 or 1000 or 10,000 years and climate science will have not dealt with how their current projected warming will affect the timing or severity. Policy decisions must take this into account yet not one famous climate scientist has dealt with the issue that I can find.

        Basically public policy is being driven by religious dogma that only talks about heaven and never thinks to deal with hell. I have concluded that if the models are unable to deal with the next age while at the same time dealing with current climate, then they are worthless for making policy decisions. Climate scientists should add disclaimers to their work that it must not be used to make policy decisions. I know this will knock the IPCC out of business, but so be it.

  17. All in all it seems this is the second time in a few days that Judith has allowed herself to be taken for a ride.

    When certain people speak, our host’s critical thinking shuts down. I suppose it happens to us all. With friends like these, etc etc

  18. Willis Eschenbach

    Judith, please tell me you don’t believe Petty’s child’s fairy tale about how wonderful science is. He says:

    The nature of real modern science is that fraudulent claims don’t go undetected long, because too many people are working on pieces of the same giant jigsaw puzzle, and when pieces don’t fit, they look around for the reason.

    And no one has any incentive to let others get away with bad science – on the contrary, science is very competitive when it comes to getting funding.

    That is colossally stupid, Judith. Surely you must realize that every single scientist doing shabby science and pushing a climate agenda has a huge incentive to let others get away with bad science. Look at the climate scientists’ response to people asking Mann for his data … did they stand up for good science?

    Nope. They bent over and spread their cheeks for bad science.

    Or look at the response of the climate science community to the horrendous science exposed in the UEA emails.

    Now look at how, following Petty’s claim, after Climategate the climate scientists jumped up by the dozen to not “let others get away with bad science” … NOT.

    Didn’t happen. Not a bit, not a taste, not a scrap of Petty’s bullshit about how all the scientists band together to quench bad science. Instead, Judith, you and the others refused to name a single name or to decry a single action. And now you want to claim that it’s all right, because Petty says science is self-correcting? Is that your final answer?

    It is particularly aggravating because I had actually hoped that the revelations in the emails would provoke the exact kind of reaction that Petty claims really happens. Instead, we got nothing. No blow-back. No honest, ethical scientists standing up to knock down bad scientists. Nothing, Judith, not a bit … and now you bring up Petty’s fantasy about how science works?

    For Petty to now claim that such things actually happen in climate science means that he is either

    a) absolutely clueless, or

    b) lying like a dog.

    Your choice.

    And Judith, for you to post such obviously pollyanna rubbish means that you are either

    a) not really thinking about what you are posting, or

    b) don’t really believe what you are promoting, or

    c) lying like a dog, or

    d) as clueless as Petty.

    I’m going with “a, not really thinking”.

    THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU POST, Judith. You are not doing your reputation any favors by agreeing with this kind of puerile feel-good nonsense. Petty’s claim that everything is just fine in climate science because the good guys will stop the bad guys is excrement, and you know that for a fact because you and the rest of the “good guys” are doing sweet Fannie Adams to stop them.

    w.

    • And Judith, for you to post such obviously pollyanna rubbish means that you are either

      Another alternative is that Judith has provided the author with an opportunity to have his opinion read and critiqued by a group with mostly enlightened views but diverse training and expertise.

      What you posted here was awful, but she let you post it without any claim that she endorsed or opposed it. Or, to put it another way, I liked my wording about their insufferable arrogance better than your wording. Judith didn’t endorse or oppose me either. Your post is written in the style of AGWers: anybody who doesn’t agree with me is either lying like a dog or clueless.

      Here endorsement was this: So thank you Grant Petty for your engagement and independent assessment of this group.

      It referred to a particular facet of many posts, directed at another group of skeptics who have bad arguments.

    • Willis,
      Being rude to our hostess is not going to help anyone do anything.
      Petty’s claims, are like many of Lacis’, childish and misleading. That does not make either of them and especially our hostess, liars.
      Wrong is wrong, and that is more than enough to explain the issues facing AGW.

    • “Instead, Judith, you and the others refused to name a single name or to decry a single action.”

      Ironically the two skeptic posters who replied to this complaint of yours have refused to decry Judith’s actions as you have.

    • Willis

      Or look at the response of the climate science community to the horrendous science exposed in the UEA emails.

      Thanks Willis. I agree with you 100%.

      The response was the greatest science whitewash of all times.

    • To be fair, there were scientists here and there who did stand up, and even resign professional societies over this conduct, and related issues. The real problem was that it wasn’t enough. The band tribe maintained control of the institutions, and the protesting scientists were shunned. But there were many who did stand up.

    • And Willis, I would say that absurd article in the last thread about what Steve Jobs would have been able to do for energy and climate is evidence that the answer is indeed “a) not really thinking about what you are posting”.

    • Methinks thou protests to much.

      It’s still warming, the ice is still melting, the oceans are still warming and your analysis of said ocean warming is fraudulent.

      And you know it.

      • It’s still warming, the ice is still melting, the oceans are still warming and your analysis of said ocean warming is fraudulent.

        Well, at least you got one out of three right.

        The ice is melting (in the Arctic, at least).

    • …every single scientist doing shabby science and pushing a climate agenda has a huge incentive to let others get away with bad science.

      Wow! So, it’s a massive conspiracy?

      Gee. I’ve never seen that theory before.

      lol!

      • Think outside of climate science for a minute… How many criminals turn in other criminals? Is it a massive conspiracy? No, it is self preservation. If I don’t rat them out, they wont rat me out.

        How is it that you miss some of the most obvious explanations? Oh, but I forget your need to take people out of context and read into their statements something other than what they clearly meant.

  19. And do you really think climate scientists get rich promoting global warming?

    James Hansen for one has gotten rich. Grant recipients earn above average salaries and grant success contributes to a positive decision on tenure (cf the tenure thread.)

    The nature of real modern science is that fraudulent claims don’t go undetected long, because too many people are working on pieces of the same giant jigsaw puzzle, and when pieces don’t fit, they look around for the reason.

    Cases of fraud have gone undetected for long periods of time. Examples, including descriptions of how much time and effort have to be redirected toward finding and proving the fraud, are published regularly in the journal Science. Others above have cited the thimerisol case. Whether the first “hockey stick” was actual “fraud” is hard to tell, but it was intentionally deceitful (which is why IPCC eventually removed it from their web page.) UVA and PennState, unlike George Mason U., are hindering an investigation into possible crime (including deletion of emails covered by FOIA) even as we discuss this.

    The models aren’t perfect; no one says that they are.

    The claim is often made that they are accurate enough to redirect enormous sums of money toward making energy even more expensive than it is, and to prohibit some forms of energy harvesting altogether.

    But they’re a damned sight more grounded in real science and physics than the naive but cocky “proofs” published in blogs by the self-taught, and the blanket unfounded assertions (“there is no two-way exchange of radiation because we say there isn’t”) that somehow passes for science in this group.

    That’s for sure.

    Some of you have shown yourselves to be hyper-critical, even gleeful, in finding apparent fault with the intelligence and/or knowledge of others, including (or especially) those who actually spend their whole lives doing climate research. I hope to God that some of you, at least, learn how to be a little self-critical as well.

    Let me gleefully point out that “they started it!” Calling skeptics “deniers”, calling for skeptics to be tried for crimes against humanity, etc. Expressing the desire to punch out an intellectual opponent and being happy when one died. Had they been humble from the start (had they gratefully welcomed Steve McIntyre’s efforts at identifying and correcting mistakes, and other efforts of the sort), had they not been so insufferably arrogant, they’d never have been pilloried for small errors.

  20. The Climategate emails clearly demonstrated that leading climate scientists were intentionally collaborating to paint a biased picture of climate, through manipulation of the system.

    Had these emails not been released, how would this have been detected? Except for the release of these emails a global agreement on CO2 would have very likely been signed in Copenhagen. Who knows what might have happened if Obama hadn’t had to rush away to beat the snowstorm approaching Washington and the US east coast. Even then, Cap and Trade passed the House and only failed in the Senate by the barest of margins.

    Except for an as yet identified individual who probably should be regarded as one of the greatest saviors in human history, the energy supplies for much of the world would now be controlled by the UN acting though the likes of Strong, Gore, and Goldman Sachs.
    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/9629

    Even now the US is saddled with an EPA endangerment finding that the EPA defends as “not having a significant impact on the economy”. Take a look at the US economy and judge for yourself the cost.

    • We already knew evrything of interest we found in the mails. the mails merely provided the proof and some interesting personal color

      • steven mosher

        the mails merely provided the proof [of skulduggery] and some interesting personal color

        As your book points out quite clearly…

        Max

    • Good link Fred.
      Its right in line with the Petty post.

      Grant Petty and Andy Lacis paint a picture of dedicated climate scientists working tirelessly to follow where the science leads.
      Any criticism of their strange habit of hiding and even falsifying the data is unfair.

      Why do Goldman Sachs and George Soros have very definite views on the effects of an increase in CO2?
      The answer of course is another scam to make money.

      In 2008 all the rating agencies gave AAA grade status to CDO’s.
      All the financial experts agreed that the new economic paradigm had abolished the boom and bust cycle.
      Vast numbers of PhD level employees from physics and maths (rocket scientists) dreamt up ever more esoteric bonds which were automatically granted AAA status.
      Cautious pension fund managers why doubted “the consensus” were sacked as their returns failed to keep up with the herd.
      Goldman Sachs sold CDO’s to the gullible fund managers and granted mortgages to anyone who could sign their name.
      Meanwhile Goldman Sachs ran a much bigger hedge fund for the smarter investors to short this GS self created bubble.
      Its reasonable to ask why the Goldman Sachs executives are not in jail after such obvious fraud?

      I see the questioning of the climate science elite in the same light as the questioning of the financial elite.
      If you value your pension fund and savings oppose the greenhouse gas scam and join the demonstrations against the Wall Street and similar elites.
      At present demonstrations and occupations are happening all around the world.
      A very healthy and sceptical process is happening.

  21. As long as you have Trenberth calling for a “new” null hypothesis regarding AGW, and the works of Mann and his glaring errors of the “hockey stick” that can’t be brushed aside without a serious look as to his intent, there will be a reactionary push against it. “To every action there is an equal an opposite reaction”. Grant Petty may have pure intentions, but he’s got to understand the “orthodoxy” has it’s shenanigans too.

  22. I am prepared to confidently predict that the next conference on Kyoto being held in Durban next month will not come to any agreement to extend Kyoto, or agree on any new treaty to curb CO2 emissions. We are going to consume that last barrel of oil, the last ton of coal, the last cubic foot of natural gas, etc. We are simply going to go on burning fossil fuels until we run out of them. CO2 levels in the atmosphere are going to go on rising at an ever increasing rate.

    Am I worried? Not in the least. The more CO2 we put into the atmopshere, up to say 1500 ppmv the better. There will be a negligible effect on global temperatures, and we will be able to grow more food.

    So, as I scientist, I am prepared to wait for the results of this “experiment”. We will see what happens to global temperatures in the future. And when the data is in, after another 20 years or so (I wont be around), I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that it will be impossible to detect any CO2 signal in the temperature data. One can have as many theories and hypotheses as one likes, but in the end the only thing that counts is the observed data. “To the solid ground of Nature, trusts the mind that builds for aye” William Wordsworth.

    • you mean as a reckless fool, not a scientist. A real scientist wouldn’t make such an embarrassing statement.

      • lolwot

        As an outsider in this conversation, it seems to me that Jim Cripwell has made a very sensible statement of his views, as a scientist who is rationally skeptical of the premise that added atmospheric CO2 will lead to climate disaster.

        You, on the other hand, have just resorted to an “ad hom” attack on Jim.

        Max

      • No Manic, lolwot didn’t “just resort” to an “ad hom” attack on Jim. He clearly criticized Jim’s “embarrassing statement.”

        The fact that Jim is not embarrassed by such an incredibly stupid statement is what makes him look like a fool in people’s eyes.

  23. I have yet to see a model of the diurnal cycle, and the effect that [CO2] has on the rates of heating and cooling.
    A hypothesis is designed to be tested, at least in science. Now, as photon recycling is the mechanism proposed for CAGW, one would expect a larger difference in the change of minimum temperature in the winter solstice compared to the summer solstice; as the nights are longer. So a CO2 driven change in nightly cooling would be much greater either side of the winter solstice than the summer solstice.
    Where is the data? Indeed, where have you actually looked of any data to test your models? Whave the rates of heating and cooling at the South pole changes over the last four decades? (No). Have you looked at the data? No.
    Why is the Ar/N2 ratio changing, when both these gasses are essentially inert?
    If you have so much faith in your models, why not define what failure would means?
    Why not state that we run each model, beginning for a year somewhere between 1940-1970 (chosen by someone like me), then run it 100 times, then the 95% confidence level of the output is CONVENTIONALLY calculated, and if the recorded temperature profile falls outside the 95% confidence level of the actual temperature, the model is scrapped and its writers are sacked?

    You have ‘faith’ in your models. Most scientists have little ‘faith’ in theirs. We normally use them to tell us what isn’t happening, not what is going to happen. Models are a very good way to show you that you system isn’t properly described, almost no one, ever thinks they provide predictive power.
    .

    • DocMartyn | October 15, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Reply

      I have yet to see a model of the diurnal cycle, and the effect that [CO2] has on the rates of heating and cooling.

      I hope to have one in a few months. If I am successful, I’ll submit it for publication.

      But I am glad you mentioned that, and I hope that more people become aware of this glaring deficiency. I have hammered on the inaccuracies entailed by the many equilibrium approximations, and this is the most glaring, in my opinion.

      Where is the data?

      There are lots of data that can be brought to bear on this question, and more are being accumulated. But the data sets are huge. This conference should be informative:
      http://ams.confex.com/ams/92Annual/webprogram/21PROBSTAT.html

      • Matt, am I correct in the view that the peak temperature of the diurnal cycle, over land, further from noon the more ‘wet’ the ecology?

        (Dr. Alan Batts of the Research Applications Laboratory has some nice stuff, here is an overview of his work
        http://www.rap.ucar.edu/projects/watercycles/resources/DiurnalTucson.pdf)

        I have always thought it useful to calculate the climate sensitivity for somewhere like Manaus, Brazil. At just 3° off the equator it give a nice range of input fluxes (Figure 7l-4:)
        http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/7l.html

      • Matt, am I correct in the view that the peak temperature of the diurnal cycle, over land, further from noon the more ‘wet’ the ecology?

        I don’t understand the question.

      • When does a location reach Tmax? Tmax appear to be reached in deserts near the time where light flux is highest.The greater the levels of water at the surface, the later in the afternoon the Tmax occurs.
        In grasslands it appears that much of the light flux is used to drive the liquid/gas phase transition of water, so Tmax occurs in the late afternoon. How much of this is due to plants I am not sure. I doubt if anyone has studied the diurnal cycle on a patch of grass, before and after, spraying it with paraquat.

      • DocMartyn, now I understand your point, and I am sure that I do not know the answer to the question of whether that is widely agreed. I think that more studies of hour-by-hour variation in the data sets that have hourly measures (like TAO) will be necessary.

        I think you are right that Tmax occurs later in the day for wetter surfaces, except when clouds form over the wetter surfaces and/or rain fall. But I don’t know.

  24. steven mosher

    Andrew,

    Thank you for your devotion to this. Ball, any human being, very human being, deserves better than O’Sullivan. He harmed Ball’s case, he harmed Ball. Please keep up the good fight against O’Sullivan

    If Scherr knows what he is doing he can make life very tough for Mann.

    • If Scherr knew what he was doing, would he employ a humbug like O’Sullivan as a legal consultant to help defend ball WITHOUT verifying whether O’Sullivan is licensed to practice law in British Columbia courts?

      If Mr. Scherr knows what he is doing, why did he ignore the information I sent him last May concerning Mr. O’Sullivan’s bogus claim of “more than 10 years of successful litigation in New York State and Federal 2nd District Courts” and still keep him as a “legal consultant” helping to defend Tim Ball?

      By hiring and then keeping O’Sullivan as a “legal consultant,” it appears Mr. Scherr has made life a lot tougher for Mr. Scherr — NOT for Michael Mann.

      Mr. Scherr claimed in their court filings that John O’Sullivan’s communications with Tim Ball and with his law firm are privileged because O’Sullivan has been engaged to provide legal services for Ball since February 2011. Mr. Scherr now has to provide satisfactory evidence that O’Sullivan is qualified to provide legal services within British Columbia.

      Mr. Scherr will have a difficult time convincing the Law Society of British Columbia that their records are somehow inaccurate, that Mr. O’Sullivan not only has a law degree, but that he is licensed to practice law in British Columbia. If he is unable to do that, Mr. Scherr may be found in violation of one or more of the Law Society of British Columbia’s rules regarding professional conduct of lawyers.

      Judging by Mr. O’Sullivan’s removal of his claim of being a Legal Consultant for Pearlman Lindholm, assisting in the defense of Tim Ball, from his LinkedIn profile last week, damage control is now underway. Unfortunately for Mr. Scherr and Mr. Ball, it may be four months too late.

      • You should learn to read. I said If.
        I don’t believe he does know what he is doing.
        If he did, he could make things difficult.

        Perhaps, you want me to explain to him how to do that?

      • And I repeated your “if” It is you, Mosher, who should learn to read. I’d be happy to have you go explain to Mr. Scherr how to defend Tim Ball in these libel suits. I believe he’s got an opening, now that John O’Sullivan has apparently “left the firm.”

    • Mosher,
      You’re entitled to your opinion, as is anyone else, but you and Skolnick have now been made to look very stupid being that the British Columbia Law Society dismissed all of Skolnick’s complaints against me as being totally unfounded.
      But don’t let independent investigations stop you libeling me. You carry on and if necessary, I will take my remedy in the courts and prove you to be the liar you are for aiding and abetting Skolnick in his defamations.
      You discredit yourself as an impartial observer by placing your faith in the judgement of Skolnick who is a proven liar who falsely claims to have a master’s degree, lied that he won two lawsuits he didn’t and was fired from his job at the AMA for false representation. Sadly, it is by your appeal to Skonlick’s ‘authority’ in these matters that you reveal your own ignorance and bias in backing proven lies written about me.

      • To see which one of us is the baldfaced liar, check what Mr. O’Sullivan says in the bio he just provided a link to, against what Tim Ball’s attorney, Mr. Michael Scherr, told the Law Society of British Columbia. Here are the society’s summary letters sent to me and to Mr. Scherr:

        http://www.aaskolnick.com/global_deniers/BC_LawSociety_4-nov311_Skolnick.pdf

        In his answer to the society’s questions whether Mr. Scherr knew O’Sullivan is falsely claiming to be an attorney employed by his law firm, Mr. Scherr stated [emphasis added]:

        “What I can say is that our firm did >not engage Mr. O’Sullivan to provide any services to our firm.”

        “Mr. O’Sullivan is engage by our client, not this firm.”

        “I was not aware that Mr. O’Sullivan was representing himself as a lawyer representing Dr. Ball in these actions.”

        “I took no steps to investigate Mr. O’Sullivan’s professional status.”

        Now compare Mr. Scherr’s statements with the bogus claims in the bio Mr. O’Sullivan has just drawn our attention to: [emphasis added]

        “John, a member of the American Bar Association (ABA) is currently litigating in two major climate science lawsuits, one of which involves prominent climatologists, Dr. Michael Mann versus Dr. Tim Ball. O’Sullivan also acts as a legal consultant for successful Canadian law firm, Pearlman Lindholm, Vancouver, Canada.”

        Note: Not a word of this is true. O’Sullivan is NOT a member of the ABA. He is not an attorney or a litigant involved in the suits against Dr. Mann and Dr. Weaver. The law suits are libel suits, not “climate science suits.” He is not a legal consultant for Pearlman Lindholm. In addition, Pearlman Linhdolm is not always successful. And it is NOT located in Vancouver, BC It’s in Victoria.

        In addition, he has never been licensed to practice law in New York, in U.S. Federal Courts, or anywhere else. And he has never published any articles in National Review of Forbes magazines.

        In summary, he’s a complete humbug.

      • ASSkolnick,

        how STUPID are you really?? Your highlight states that he claims to be a LEGAL CONSULTANT, NOT an ATTORNEY!!

        Yet you appear to be trying to say he is CURRENTLY CLAIMING TO BE WORKING AS AN ATTORNEY ON THE CASE!!

        Pull your head out man!! You are doing none of us any good, especially your self.

        By the way, when are you going to refute O’Sullivan’s accusations?

  25. Dr. Petty:

    Venus: No Greenhouse Effect

    Over the range of Earth tropospheric pressures, the temperature in Venus’s atmosphere at a given pressure is 17% higher than that in Earth’s atmosphere at the same pressure level, and this is due entirely and precisely to the difference in the two planets’ distances from the Sun, nothing else (that difference predicts a Venus/Earth temperature ratio of 1.176–due to an incident solar power ratio of 1.91, i.e., 1.176 = fourth root of 1.91–and 1.176 is in fact what the actual ratio is, outside of the Venus cloud layer). There is no greenhouse effect, of increase in temperature due to an increase in carbon dioxide (Venus has 96.5% CO2, to Earth’s 0.04%–more than 11 doublings of CO2, yet no effect beyond that just stated, due to the difference in received solar power). The observed temperature ratio means that the two planetary atmospheres are warmed precisely in accordance with their distances from the Sun , and nothing else–Venus’s atmosphere is warmed by 1.91 times the power that warms Earth’s atmosphere–even though most of the visible solar irradiation is reflected by the clouds of Venus. That means that the atmospheres are not warmed by visible radiation, they must be warmed (in the troposphere) by infrared radiation. In fact, they must be warmed by the SAME PORTION of the infrared radiation from the Sun, else the Venus/Earth temperature ratio wouldn’t be 1.176 so closely (implying a 1.91 Venus/Earth power ratio, which again is successfully and precisely predicted, solely from the ratio of their distances from the Sun). There is clearly NO GREENHOUSE EFFECT and NO ALBEDO EFFECT–there is simply no room for either, in the observed comparison of temperatures. Furthermore, this analysis also confirms what I was taught over 40 years ago as a physics student, that the proper boundary for substituting a blackbody for the Earth system, TO GET THE THERMODYNAMICS RIGHT, is outside of the atmosphere, not at the Earth’s surface where radiative physicists insist upon doing it.

    It is quite obvious that radiative transfer theory, while apparently good for adding up radiation components, is no good for getting the thermodynamics of the atmosphere right. And it should have been obvious to any competent climate scientist, or physicist interested in the “greenhouse effect”, 20 years ago when the Venus data was obtained by the Magellan spacecraft. So I am sorry, but you and Dr. Curry, and every other scientist defending the “consensus” on the existence of the “greenhouse effect” are simply incompetent, due to the definitive comparison of Earth’s Standard Atmosphere with the October 5, 1991 data from Venus (which tells us also that the Venus atmosphere must be always in its equilibrium state, as also confirmed by the fact that Venus’s dark side is just as hot as its sunlit side). For all the lessons you and every other interested physicist should have known since 1991, read both the above-linked article and the comments following it.

    • Norm Kalmanovitch

      One calculates the greenhouse effect from solar flux albedo and global temperature using well established constants. Calculations vary according to the parameters used but whatever the value for the greenhouse effect is calculated it has no effect on the planet because it is nothing more than a theoretical calculated value.
      In his 1981 paper Hansen calculates the Earth’s greenhouse effect to be 33°C. If you ask your local astrophysicist to calculate the Earth’s greenhouse today in all liklihood the value will be the same 33°C
      If you ask another astrophysicist who uses a different value for both the Albedo and the solar flux and comes up with the value 34.5°C it doesn’t mean that the global temperature will rise by 1.5°C to accomodate the new calculation. The greenhouse effect in proper scientific terms is nothing more than a theoretical calculatoin and while calculations are real they have no real effect on global temperature.
      The climate change issue is predicated on the physical effect that forms the basis for the theoretical calculation and this effect which is the temperature difference between the Earth with and without an atmosphere does not exist in reality because the Earth does have an atmosphere.
      One must remember that the enhanced greenhouse effect as depicted by the IPCC should cause a reduction in OLR directly proportional to increases in CO2 and the other so called greenhouse gases. 31 years of satellite measurement of OLR shows that no such enhanced greenhouse effect has occurred and if something stated to be as powerful as the enhanced greenhouse effect is stated to be then if it exists it should at least be detectable which it is not.
      Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the greenhouse effect is that the only variables used in the calculation relate to incoming solar energy as flux and albedo with CO2 concentration not even being included anywhere in the calculation!

    • “Venus’s atmosphere is warmed by 1.91 times the power that warms Earth’s atmosphere–even though most of the visible solar irradiation is reflected by the clouds of Venus.”

      That’s ridiculously thick. So he knows that most sunlight is reflected by Venus (leaving Venus absorbing less sunlight than the Earth), but then pretends Venus absorbs more sunlight than Earth anyway because it’s closer to the Sun.

      “That means that the atmospheres are not warmed by visible radiation, they must be warmed (in the troposphere) by infrared radiation. In fact, they must be warmed by the SAME PORTION of the infrared radiation from the Sun”

      Huh? what? venus is warmed by infrared radiation from the Sun.

      I like how he uses the word “must” several times for something so stupid.

      • “Venus’s atmosphere is warmed by 1.91 times the power that warms Earth’s atmosphere–even though most of the visible solar irradiation is reflected by the clouds of Venus.”

        -That’s ridiculously thick. So he knows that most sunlight is reflected by Venus (leaving Venus absorbing less sunlight than the Earth), but then pretends Venus absorbs more sunlight than Earth anyway because it’s closer to the Sun.-

        Put aluminum which has mirror-like finish- say 1/4″ thick by 12″ by 12″ in a vacuum with one side facing sunlight. Does it get warm?
        Have 3 foot square pieces: reflected finish, one painted white, and one painted black.
        Put them on the ground in direct sunlight. What is difference in temperatures?
        The Bond albedo of these objects should be around: 1, .9 and .1

        If the painted black aluminum is 50 C what will polished aluminum be?
        If air temperature is 20 C will the mirror like aluminum be close to 20 C? Will the white painted one also be close to 20 C?

        What if these are put in orbit around the earth- one side facing the sun and other side facing around 4 K of the universe. What is the kind difference between these in space environment as compared to your backyard or lab?

        The above is generally referring the hottest an object gets if expose to sunlight [an hour or so in the sun {noon sun}].
        A different question is how much heat energy is made- watts per second.
        A water solar heater would use coils which are black in color, what is the efficiency difference be if instead the coils were painted white?

        A black garbage bag with water in it, will heat up if put sunlight, if instead you use a clear plastic bag would it also heat up?
        If so at what difference of rate?

    • But we live near the ground

    • You said in comments:
      “The Venus/Earth comparison I have done does a lot to correct current theory, and this is another basic point. You will note that I did not include albedo in my calculation of the effective radiating temperature of the Earth, or of Venus, and there is no room for an albedo effect in my results. ”

      The Bond albedo seems to an important factor to climate scientists, I don’t think it has much affect on a planet’s temperature.
      If the moon’s surface was white instead of it’s near asphalt color, it would have a significant affect on the surface temperature, but what the white material was could have bigger affect than just it’s brightness or color.
      And if a planet has atmosphere it seems it would less affect.

      It’s my impression that Venus atmosphere is very transparent- more transparent than Earth’s atmosphere. Or if earth had 90 times it’s atmosphere the surface on earth would have darkness during “day time”.
      Whereas Venus probes showed diffused sunlight at surface of Venus.

      On earth at noon there is about 1000 watt per sq meter on the surface,
      and above Earth’s atmosphere it’s 1300 watts per square meter.
      So our transparent atmosphere loses 300 watts passing thru the atmosphere. If we had twice the atmosphere it seems we would instead have around 700 watts per square meter hitting the surface at noon.
      Since the sun comes thru earth’s atmosphere at different angles and thereby passes thru more of the atmosphere, one could measure exactly how much more atmosphere would affect the amount sunlight reaching earth.
      It seems if earth had so much atmosphere so that it was very dim at the surface during the day, rather cooler, earth would be warmer [and night would very similar temperatures at the surface as during the day].

    • Mr. Huffman, as the brilliant discoverer of the Lost Continent of Atlantis (you claim the space aliens, who came to earth 15,000 – 20,000 years ago to reshape our planet, moved it up to the Arctic Circle and disguised it as Greenland!), please explain to us why Mercury is so much colder than Venus.

      You’ve written that, “The temperature difference between the atmospheres of Venus and Earth is entirely and precisely due to their different distances from the sun, nothing else — not to the planetary albedo (Venus is covered by dense clouds that reflect much of the visible solar radiation, while Earth is not), not to the IR absorptive properties of the surface (Earth is 70% covered by deep ocean, Venus is solid crust), and above all not to the concentration of CO2 or any other IR-absorbing gas in the atmospheres.” http://objectivistindividualist.blogspot.com/2011/01/blackbody-radiation-and-consensus.html

      By your “reasoning,” Mercury — which is approximately 1.9 times closer to the sun than Venus — would receive approximately 3.5 times as much solar radiation, which would make it much hotter than Venus. In fact, Mercury would be so hot it would be glowing like a red dwarf star!

      But the innermost planet is NOT hotter than Venus — it’s more than 500 degrees F. colder!!! Mercury’s average temperature is 333 deg F (440 deg. K ) vs. Venus’ metal-melting 867 deg. F (773 deg. K).

      Such is the “astrophysics” of the discoverer of how our planet was shaped — not by natural forces acting over billions of years, but by the whims of aliens who came to earth less than 20,000 years ago to reshaped earth’s land masses in order to leave a message that only he has been able to decipher.

      Harry Dale Huffman dismisses the scientific evidence of the greenhouse effect of Venus’ atmosphere the same way he dismisses plate tectonics and other scientific theories that disagree with his crackpot discoveries about space alien gods coming to earth to teach the ancient Egyptians how to build pyramids, to rearrange the stars around us to leave us a message, and to make Australia look like an upside down “sheep dog.” http://www.lulu.com/items/volume_37/576000/576552/1/print/independent_confirmation2.pdf

      I invite others to look at some of his writings and tell us if they don’t think Harry Dale Huffman puts the kook in cuckoo.

      • “I invite others to look at some of his writings and tell us if they don’t think Harry Dale Huffman puts the kook in cuckoo.”

        It seems to me the idea that earth was formed 15,000 to 20,000 years ago, qualifies a kook in cuckoo.
        One thing is I would think one could narrow down more than 15,000 to 20,000 years, like 16,500 or something:).
        And I fairly certain earth has more less stayed the same rough shape for a few billion years, and lean towards the idea of the Moon being formed from a collision with earth somewhere around 4 billion years ago.
        And seems like a lot work to put all those impactors site all around the world- and dinosaurs, etc. I personally think that large impactors may have some effect upon tectonic plate movement- but haven’t looked into it.

      • Actually, Huffman doesn’t say the earth was formed 15k-20k years ago. He says just the land masses were shaped and moved around by gods who came to earth in UFOs 15,000 to 20,000 years ago — and stuck around to teach the Egyptians how to build pyramids.

        Just as he says climate scientists are all nincompoops, he dismisses the geologists of the world as “incompetent” for believing the childish fiction of plate tectonics. All of earth’s land masses were shaped, he says, not by natural geological processes over billions of years, but very recently by advanced space visitors to earth, whom are ancestors called “gods.”

        He claims all the geologists of the world who study plate tectonics are “incompetent,” since he has shown beyond a doubt that the plate tectonic theory is childish fiction. He has proven, he says, that 15,000 to 20,000 years ago, the entire earth was reshaped — not by natural geological processes that took billions of years — but by “advanced people” whom our ancient ancestors called “gods.”

      • “Actually, Huffman doesn’t say the earth was formed 15k-20k years ago. He says just the land masses were shaped and moved around by gods who came to earth in UFOs 15,000 to 20,000 years ago — and stuck around to teach the Egyptians how to build pyramids.”

        You didn’t read far enough [not that I fault you]:
        “In other words, if the expansion was done to deliberately transform
        a dodecahedron into a truncated-icosahedron–or to imply such a process–then the radius of the Earth would have been expanded from its initial value to 41.81/23.28 times that value, or approximately 1.8 times its original value. Since the Earth radius is now some 3,963 miles, its original radius would have been some 2,200 miles.”

  26. The most surprising thing about the apologists for failed academia is their belief that public money wasted on filing cabinets full of pseudoscience does not hurt anyone and in fact is a good thing because it gets us one step closer to the truth. Nothing could be further from the truth.

  27. J. writes: “I will agree with Judith in the sense that I think it is a “problem” to use the term “denier” too broadly, or to make overly broad assumptions about the motivations or reasoning of people who are “skeptical” of AGW.”

    Mighty decent of you. Dripping with condescension though it is. I love the quotation marks around problem and skeptical.

    Or should I say “love?”

  28. I understand where Prof. Perry is coming from, although I think his arguments are colored by an idealistic view of academic scientists. Others who have posted here amply refuted the notion that crank ideas cannot last long in the sciences, and there is no need to add more examples. And while I agree with Prof. Perry that the vigor with which some climate scientists promote their ideas is not part of a cynical get-rich ploy, this does not exonerate them, just as it did not exonerate academics who vigorously embraced eugenics in the early 20th century without being incentivized by a desire to get rich from it.

    I agree that “science by blog” leaves much to be desired, but on balance I think it is a good thing to see these issues being engaged even if the blogger isn’t being paid a salary from a research grant to do it. Unlike other areas of the sciences, climate scientists are bidding to drive public policy in a major way, so I think it is reasonable to see non-climate experts taking an interest in it. It also should be noted that many of the objections raised by so-called skeptics and denialists has been focused, very rightly in my opinion, on how the institutions of science have not lived up to the idealized roles that we wish we could join Prof. Perry in believing that climate science has been fulfilling.

  29. Consider Whitby, it is a seaside town inNorth Yorkshire, England. Whitby is at the mouth of the River Esk, and is on the steep sides of the narrow valley. It has very nice sharks teeth fossils. The met office has its temperature record from 1962 to the present.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/stationdata/whitbydata.txt

    i picked Whitby, more or less at random, but mostly because in Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’, it is here that the vampire come to England.

    Now we know that the Earth rotates and from Stefan–Boltzmann’s law we know that emissive energy is directly proportional to the fourth power of the black body’s temperature.

    So, this recycling of photons by CO2; what will it do?

    It will increase the photon recycling of long wave energy. Where will it have its greatest effect, Tmax or Tmin?
    Well Tmin of course. At night the rate of cooling is going to be far more influenced by reflected long wave radiation than will the peak daytime temperature.
    So, if CAGW is true, and results from photonic recycling, leading to an increase in the ‘global average’ temperature, then we can dissect the Tmin and Tmax, to find its sticky little fingerprints in Whitby; or anywhere else.

    In Whitby, since 1962, the average yearly Tmin has been rising by 0.0337 degrees a year.
    However, the Tmax has been rising by 0.0479 degrees a year.
    If you plot the yearly averaged Tmin vs Tmax you get a R2 = 0.795, quite respectable; but the slope is only 0.66.

    Tmax rises more quickly than Tmin

    So, the Skydragon has been puffing his magic fire in the day time, more than at night.

    Your Skydragon isn’t atmospheric CO2, not it is Tarmac, concrete and brick. We do have man-made warming, its called building stuff.

    I refute you hypothesis, and piss on your models. According to your hypothesis, Tmin should rise faster than Tmax., and you actually know this. However, even though you have both Tmin and Tmax datasets, you homogenize them, so as to get a pseudo-mean, that means you don’t have to address the thermodynamic/kinetic discrepancy.

  30. “In a large way, we are driven to do the research we do because of the
    > myriad and countless other fraudulent claims, presumptions, and
    > sophistries related to climate science. It has become apparent to us
    > that the errors extend to the deepest level of the science.”

    i would say that *part* of the problem is the news reports and climate spokepersons. That climate science is spun for political reasons- and some climate scientists are also involved.
    You have news reporters using science data for a story- and also climate scientists using media to get the story out.
    It my opinion that news reporters get science in general wrong, quite often- and this doesn’t have any to with “political” reasons, but just incompetence.
    Then you news reporters having the intention of “improving” their story which usually include wild speculations of various sorts.
    Then have another category of news reports which one call advocacy [climate stories are important]. New reporters involved with advocacy also are incompetence and spiced up to sell the story.
    One could imagine that if a news reporter was an advocate wishing to spread the news of the importance of dealing with AGW, they would be better informed, and provide accurate information but this isn’t the case.

    And the other category is climate scientists using the news to get the message out. This is selling something. They provide a story and they get
    whatever message they want out there. Perhaps they are selling a book, perhaps they want more public money spend, etc.

    So in summary we have the inaccuracy of the news/media.

    Other than just the news, we have the advocacy groups- organization dedicated to a cause. Advocacy groups are causes “requiring support” otherwise such groups aren’t created.
    Advocacy groups aren’t needed for science. Causes which may or may not involve science could exist, that isn’t the point. The point science doesn’t get disseminated by advocacy groups. It’s not how it works.
    So we have such persons as Al Gore involved with advocacy. And Al Gore
    is working with James Hanson, and Gore is selling AGW.
    Al Gore is spinning [which means being untruthful, exaggerating, or saying stuff in such a manner that seems true]. Al Gore isn’t a scientist. Al Gore isn’t honest. He is used car salesman/con artist/politican.
    When a Con Man get Noble Peace Prize, it raise eyebrows similar to when Yasir Arafat gets one.
    Giving Al Gore a peace prize may seem like a good idea to some people, but others find it troubling.

  31. I am lawyer and it seems to me one of the main reasons that climate scientists have such a poor reputation is because they haven’t endured a century of legal scrutiny in the way engineers, pharma businesses and medicos, those in the science sector, as it were, have endured such legal attention. Re Perry’s letter I think legal attention is inevitable given that climate scientists so often cross their lines of research into policy conclusions, as you’ve noted Prof Curry. They’ve come to the attention of lawyers because of their increasing hysterical claims (and Perry’s letter is hysterical in tone IMHO). The Italian litigation against the seismologists over the L’Aquila earthquake notices is the first I’ve heard of litigation against scientists. I think we can expect more and the more I think about it the more I think that’s a good thing. I do not consider Hansen Romm Mann Trenberth Jones Flannery Steffen Karoly hoeghe-Guldberg should be released from liability in negligence for their hysterical unsupported claims. (loss and causation are issues not suitable for a quick comment here).

    BTW, really enjoy this blog Prof Curry.

    • You are a lawyer and you’re talking about climate scientist having such a poor reputation? Seriously?

      Who next wants to take a whack at climate scientists? Any used car salesmen want to try?

      Perhaps WB might feel safer living under a totalitarian regime like the one that arrested, imprisoned, and even executed biologists for teaching genetics in the Soviet Union for half a century. Stalin believed the “scientific theories” of Russian charlatan Lysenko better fit the Soviet world view. As a result, Russians remained in the medical dark ages for half a century and millions starved to death because farmers had been forced to follow agricultural policies based on the charlatan’s “science.”

      Welcome to the New Lysenkoism, bought and paid for by the Koch brothers, Rupert Murdoch, and other corporate tyrants.

      • Good grief, Koch bros, Murdoch? Calm down. These are symbols of Ieftwing conspiracy theory. I am no Lysenko. I just want climate scientists to be as professional as engineers are today and in my opinion legal scrutiny will focus climate science attention on deliverable measureable objectivey true results, and away from models and alarmism.

      • “and in my opinion legal scrutiny will focus climate science attention on deliverable measureable objectivey true results, and away from models and alarmism.”

        Yes, Comrade, I agree. We should use the power of the courts to control scientists so that they serve the true interest of the people. Peer review should be replaced by judicial review. “Legal scrutiny” of scientists worked great for Stalin.

        You call yourself an attorney and yet you don’t seem to know why the rules of evidence in science are different from the rules of evidence in court. Like Stalin, you’d like scientists to do their work looking over their shoulder to make sure the police don’t come knocking on their door.

      • Andrew,
        You are a bit wound up.
        You seem to have shot your wad busting the sky dragons.
        And frankly ignoring the aparatchiks pushing AGW makes your work in busting sky dragons look a lot less significant.

    • Richard Saumarez

      I tend to agree with you. Power without responsibility.
      Certainly in the UK, we have politicians who BELIEVE in the green agenda because they had scientists explain it to them. Naturally, scientists are never wrong. Electricity prices have risen, fuel poverty is becoming much more common, certain individuals are making money hand over fist from renewable energy and the 3rd world is suffering the effects of biofuel policy.
      This stems absolutely from climate science. There may be no “mens rea” and stupidity is not, as far as I know, a criminal offence.
      However, if major policy decisions are made on advice that is uncertain and causes great economic harm and suffering, those who have given that advice have not discharged their responsibility to act professionally and to the highest standards.

      Having worked in clinical research, in a field with a capacity for disaster, I have been only too well aware of the need for safety regulation, transparent ethical procedures and responsibility for one’s actions. The spectre of liability hangs over medical researchers. While frustrating, it is there for the protection of patients and is necessary.

      If climate scientists wish to involve themselves in policy making, because of their expertise, they should carry responsibility for their mistakes.

  32. To Grant Petty

    you vastly overestimate the role of fraudulent claims
    and fundamental errors in the science.

    1) Has any one in the climate science community corrected IPCC’s wrong claim of “accelerated warming” in the fourth assessment report? Here is what the actual observation shows: http://bit.ly/nz6PFx

    2) Has any one in the climate science community corrected IPCC’s wrong prediction for a warming of about 0.2 deg C per decade in the fourth assessment report? The actual observation shows a COOLING of 0.1 deg C per decade: http://bit.ly/nz6PFx

    3) Has any one in the climate science community educated the public the oscillation in the global mean temperature between the upper and lower boundary lines are due to ocean cycles? http://bit.ly/nfQr92

    4) Don’t you think to claim a global warming rate of 0.16 deg C per decade from 1970 to 2000 to continue in to the future at a climate sensitivity of 3 deg C for CO2 doubling, instead of a long-term global warming rate of only 0.06 deg C per decade, giving a climate sensitivity of only 1.1 deg C (=3* 0.06/0.16) a fundamental error in the science? http://bit.ly/oI8dws

  33. To Grant Petty

    ON ADMITTING AND CORRECTING MISTAKES

    What is the observed exponential carbon emission growth rate that was forecasted to be 1.5% in Hansen et al., 1988?

    Scenario A assumes that growth rates of trace gas emissions typical of the 1970s and 1980s will continue indefinitely; the assumed annual growth averages about 1.5% of current emissions, so the net greenhouse forcing increases exponentially.

    The observed carbon emission curve is shown in the following graph.

    http://bit.ly/mBXivS

    From the above data, the approximate annual global carbon dioxide emission in G-ton from 1970 to 2007 = 3.67*4.3*e^(0.0164*(year-1970))

    As a result, the annual exponential growth rate is 1.64%, a bit higher than the 1.5% assumed by Hansen et al, 1988.

    CONCLUSION:

    The observed exponential carbon emission growth rate is about 1.64%, which was forecasted to be 1.5% in Hansen et al., 1988. As a result, among the three scenarios, scenario A is closer to the reality.

    Here is the comparison of the three forecasted scenarios with observation (GREEN).

    http://bit.ly/iyscaK

    Which climate scientist has attempted to correct this obvious wrong prediction?

    • Here:
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/Hansen-1988-prediction-advanced.htm

      “Had Hansen used a climate model with a climate sensitivity of approximate 3.4°C for 2xCO2 (at least in the short-term, it’s likely larger in the long-term due to slow-acting feedbacks), he would have projected the ensuing rate of global surface temperature change accurately.”

      • So even though emission were higher than scenario A, we have to pretend that we should really compare the real data to scenario B. However, had we stopped burning coal/oil in 1990, Hansen would be claiming credit for saving humanity.

        The lawyer above made some damned good points, I may not like the profession, but lawyers make damned sure that we, scientists, walk the line.

      • They weren’t higher than scenario A though. The fact that you deniers can’t even get basic facts right before you jump to conclusions speaks volumes.

      • lolwot

        Use your head, rather than making silly statements like:

        They [CO2 emission rates] weren’t higher than scenario A though. The fact that you deniers can’t even get basic facts right before you jump to conclusions speaks volumes.

        As Girma has pointed out from 1970 to today they were 1.64% of actual, while Hansen projected 1.5% for Case A. For the period 1980 to today they were even higher at around 1.7%.

        If you are going to claim something, check it out first and avoid silly statements like “you deniers can’t even get basic facts right”.

        Otherwise, you look real silly.

        Max

      • lolwot

        Do you seriously accept the “SkepticalScience” blurb you cited?:

        “Had Hansen used a climate model with a climate sensitivity of approximate 3.4°C for 2xCO2 (at least in the short-term, it’s likely larger in the long-term due to slow-acting feedbacks), he would have projected the ensuing rate of global surface temperature change accurately.”

        Go through the calculation yourself. Don’t rely on this site. John Cook often gets carried away with enthusiasm for the calamitous AGW cause.

        Hansen projected 0.9°C rise from 1985 to 2011 (= 0.35°C per decade) for Case “A” where he “assumed annual growth rate averages about 1.5% of current emissions”.

        The actual temperature change over this period was 0.4°C (0.15°C per decade).

        So Hansen was off by a factor of 0.9 / 0.4 = 2.25:1

        The actual emission growth rate increased from 1.5% in the 1970s and 1980s to 1.7% from 1988 to today, so the actual rate of increase was actually greater than that assumed by Hansen for Case “A”.

        So he was off by a factor of around 2.6:1, once correcting for this.

        But ”had Hansen used a climate model with a climate sensitivity of approximate 3.4°C for 2xCO2”, what global surface temperature would he have projected?

        Using the actual change in CO2:
        C0 = 345 ppmv (CO2 level in 1985)
        C1 = 390 ppmv (CO2 level today)
        C1/C0 = 390 / 345 = 1.130
        ln(C1/C0) = 0.1226
        ln(2) = 0.6930
        dT(2xCO2) = 3.4°C
        dT (proj 1985-2011) = 3.4 * 0.1226 / 0.6931 = 0.6°C

        So what “2xCO2 temperature response” did Hansen apparently use?

        = 3.4 * 0.9 / 0.6 = 5.1°C

        Ouch!

        Max

  34. lolwot

    Notice that Michaels erased Hansen’s Scenarios B and C despite the fact that as discussed above, Scenario A assumed continued exponential greenhouse gas growth, which did not occur. In other words, to support the claim that Hansen’s projections were “an astounding failure,” Michaels only showed the projection which was based on the emissions scenario which was furthest from reality.

    http://bit.ly/q7QESK


    Scenario A assumes that growth rates of trace gas emissions typical of the 1970s and 1980s will continue indefinitely; the assumed annual growth averages about 1.5% of current emissions, so the net greenhouse forcing increases exponentially.

    Actually, the observed CO2 emission growth of 1.64% emission is slightly MORE than scenario A of 1.5%. Are you saying current CO2 emission is less than that “typical of the 1970s and 1980s”?

    Pat Michaels:
    That model predicted that global temperature between 1988 and 1997 would rise by 0.45°C (Figure 1). Ground-based temperatures from the IPCC show a rise of 0.11°C

    Here is the data that shows an increase in temperature of only 0.11 deg C:
    http://bit.ly/nuE4df

    CONCLUSION

    Pat was right to say the observed global mean temperature change is more than four times less than Hansen predicted

    • think you need to actually read that skepticalscience piece, including the part following:

      “Hansen’s Scenario B has been the closest to the actual greenhouse gas emissions changes.”

  35. Dr. C wrote: “Andy, your statement assumes that all people who disagree with establishment climate science (e.g. such as represented by the IPCC) have the same reasons (motivation and substance) for disagreement as Inhofe and the Heartland Institute. The failure to recognize people with real concerns and questions (and often with valid points) on a variety of different aspects of climate science and policy and dismiss them as “deniers” and automatically lump them with Inhofe and Heartland is the source of the problem that we currently have. Continued efforts to improve communication of climate science won’t work until this is understood. And the continued lumping of all skeptics into the Heartland/Inhofe category and dismissing all disagreement and skepticism as fossil fuel funded tripe results in a huge backlash against the climate establishment.”

    He can’t hear you, and thus can’t, or won’t, respond to this in any direct way. By the way Dr. Lacis, I couldn’t find a response to Hunter’s courteous, respectful query re Jones (and many others) concerning the lack of statistically significant warming since ’98. Perhaps I missed it, because it seems a pretty easy question to response to. I’ll look again.

    Here’s another way of phrasing it: If the heats not missing, then why are they looking for it?

  36. SkepticalScience:
    Scenario A assumed continued exponential greenhouse gas growth, which did not occur.
    http://bit.ly/q7QESK

    It did occur as shown in the following graph, with exponential growth of 1.64%, a bit higher than Hansen’s Scenario A of 1.5% growth.

    http://bit.ly/mBXivS

    • Note that the CO2 emission equation gives excellent estimate for the actual observed emission of 30.6 Gt for 2010.

      CO2 Emission = 15.78 *e(0.164*(Year-1970)) Gt

      CO2 Emission for 2010 = 15.78*e(0.0164*(2010-1970)) = 15.78*e(0.656) = 15.78*1.93 = 30.5 Gt

      • Hansen et al. 1988
        “The range of climate forcings covered by the three scenarios is further increased by the fact that scenario A includes the effect of several hypothetical or crudely estimated trace gas trends (ozone, stratospheric water vapor, and minor chlorine and fluorine compounds) which are not included in scenarios B and C.”

        ‘Rhe global warming within the next several years is predicted to reach and maintain a level of at least three standard deviations above the climatology of the 1950′s’

        standard deviation 0.13 degC.

        ‘We conclude that, on a time scale of a few decades or less, a warming of about .4 degC is required to be significant at the 3 sigma level (99% confidence interval)’.

    • No it didn’t occur. You are not factoring in CFCs and other greenhouse gases. Hansen’s scenarios were not just about CO2. Reading the actual skepticalscience article first – where this is fully explained – would have helped you avoid making that mistake.

  37. Willis,
    While that was superbly written, as magnificent a polemic as I’ve read in quite a long while, I prefer to give J.C. the benefit of the doubt. I get angry at times myself at what seem unaccountable lapses, but I’ve come to respect the woman greatly. I get the increasing sense that she’s a confident enough person that she doesn’t feel impelled to explain every nuance of her position…..or if you prefer cover her own ass… every time she puts up a post.

    Of course giving someone like Lacis space does not automatically imply that she’s in agreement with him. In Lacis’ case, I’m certain she knew quite well what the general response would be, a response with which I’m guessing she’s pretty much in accord. She can’t very well invite someone to post then turn around and attack him. And why should she when she knew damn well the denizens would it for her?

    Regarding Grant Petty, I see nothing in her comments that look like a ringing endorsement of the man’s statements re climate scientists and the way science supposedly works. Dr. C, has made it quite clear as far as I’m concerned, that she’s disgusted with the actions of some climate scientists, and I doubt very much that she’s in agreement with Dr. Perry’s naive statements… beyond those directly bearing on the skydragon people

  38. Hat’s off to Grant Petty! Well said, sir, well said!

  39. Richard Dawkins does, he says, have a sneaking admiration for those creationist fundamentalists who don’t try to fudge the issue. For them Genesis is correct and modern science is wrong. They are sticking to their principles and for that, I suppose, they do deserve some, albeit grudging, respect. .

    It’s the same on the CO2 issue. If you accept that CO2 and other GHG’s are part of the natural GH effect causing some 33 degC of warming then surely it follows that increasing the concentrations will cause additional warming. The figure of another 3 deg C, for a doubling, looks quite reasonable by comparison, doesn’t it?

    So I guess what climate fundamentalists are saying is that they don’t want any fudging. The only way to give CO2 a clean bill of health is to deny that it, whether natural or man made, has any effect in the first place.

    • “Richard Dawkins does, he says, have a sneaking admiration for those creationist fundamentalists who don’t try to fudge the issue. For them Genesis is correct and modern science is wrong. They are sticking to their principles and for that, I suppose, they do deserve some, albeit grudging, respect. .

      It’s the same on the CO2 issue. If you accept that CO2 and other GHG’s are part of the natural GH effect causing some 33 degC of warming then surely it follows that increasing the concentrations will cause additional warming. The figure of another 3 deg C, for a doubling, looks quite reasonable by comparison, doesn’t it?”

      In comparison to creationist, I suppose it’s something one could associate with being sane.
      I respect any religious person, including Dawkins, but I have no respect creationism in terms of science- it’s pseudo science.
      But I believe Christians have better track record than Atheists in terms of doing actual science. But I don’t disrepect the atheists because there poorer record in this regard. Though I don’t accept there excuse of low numbers of atheists, other smaller minorities have done better.

      As for accepting doubling CO2 means 3 deg C, it seems likely average temperatures could rise 2-3 C some time in the future- if you give it couple centuries. And it seems polar caps could melt if given 1000 years or so.
      Co2 levels have risen to much higher level than doubling CO2 [by which meant 280 + 280 = 560 ppm. Though given enough time it could get as high as 400 + 400 = 800 ppm.
      But no one is claiming 3 C rise and 560 or 800 ppm within say 50 years- other some like Ted Turner:
      “Climatologists are predicting major droughts and rising temperatures
      Our reliance on fossil fuel, which is running out, is beyond dangerous
      On the path we are going now, within 30 years, most of the people on the planet will be dead
      It will be 8 degrees hotter within 30 years and not doing anything at this point will be suicide.”
      http://www.northfloridafarms.org/blog/ted-turner-most-humans-will-be-gone-within-30-years

      I am not making any plans of retiring and growing orange trees in Oregon.

      • I don’t know why Ted Turner thinks “humans will be gone in 30 years”. That’s not what climate scientists think. He doesn’t know what he is talking about.

        Just because Ted Turner is wrong (almost certainly !) , doesn’t mean that the IPCC have it wrong too.

      • The UN represents all sovereign nations, and was created by the most powerful, and righteous nation this world has ever had. It’s Infallibility
        is a given.

  40. I have posted a question to Judy about the Stefan-Boltzmann law used in climate science (which differs from the SB of radiative transfer in physics)
    on my blog
    http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com/2011/10/question-to-curry-about-stefan.html

    and I expect a response from Judy.

    • On your blog you say that radiation detectors “measure frequency”,

      “I explain there that an IR camera (infrared radiometer) directed to the sky measures the frequency of incoming light and computes by Wien’s displacement law the temperature T of the emitter”
      http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com/2011/02/judy-curry-and-backradiation.html

      Could you explain EXACTLY how this is done? I ask because Wien’s law relates to points on a Planck curve. If only frequency is measured, there is no other data available relating to any point on such a curve, which itself relates radiative flux and frequency.

      • Tony, the whole point is that the IR camera or thermometer (assuming it is not a microbolometer) measures frequency and computes temperature from that by WDL. After that any built in computations to determine radiative flux (using SBL) are prone to error. As the IR gadget probably assumes emissivity of 1.0 it can be way out if the emissivity of the atmosphere is only 0.2 for example.

        Claes is right in his deductions in Computational Blackbody Radiation” and you will find more reasons why on my ‘Radiation’ page at http://climate-change-theory.com

        There can be no other plausible mechanism by which the Second Law of Thermodynamics is validated for radiation. Imagine a hot body with low emissivity radiating less than a slightly cooler one. Net radiative flux could well be from cooler to warmer, but heat flow is the other way. Only Johnson’s Law (if I can call it that) provides the reason why.

        See also my post below …

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/15/letter-to-the-dragon-slayers/#comment-168732

  41. Michael Larkin

    Grant Petty,

    The Dragon slayer threads are what convinced me that the orthodox view that CO2 keeps the world warmer than it would otherwise be was correct. I remain sceptical, however, that anthropogenic CO2 is much of a problem because I’m not convinced that positive feedbacks are plausible. So I’m no great fan of the slayers, and neither am I a great fan of their rhetoric, which is every bit as bad as that of alarmists.

    That said, yesterday I downloaded and read Donna Laframboise’s book about the shenanigans that goes on at the IPCC, all meticulously referenced. It’s the first time I have fully grasped the iniquity of the process by which the report for policy makers is produced. The scientists may well have been measured and cautious in conclusions, but the report ends up glossing over uncertainty and being extremely biased and misleading.

    Okay – perhaps the scientists aren’t all a bunch of knaves and blackguards. But how many of them, fully aware of how the policy makers in various countries are being misled, are standing up to complain? Very few, and those that do so are the immediate target of vilification. And Donna’s research makes it quite plain that chapter leaders are seeded placemen who often have links with green activist groups. The whole thing is quite disgraceful, and yet the honest scientists you are talking about aren’t crying foul in droves.

    My friend, evil thrives when good men stand by and do nothing. The climate science community has a great deal to answer for, so forgive me if I don’t buy into protestations of innocence and integrity. They appear reluctant to bite the hand that feeds them and to value their iron rice bowls over virtues like those.

  42. I’m not convinced that positive feedbacks are plausible.

    Two possible PF mechanisms.

    1) when ice melts, it tends to be replaced by seawater or bare Earth. The albedo falls. More solar heat is absorbed, That means more ice melts .

    2) When the atmosphere warms slightly, more water evaporates. Water is a GH gas. Therefore the atmosphere warms even more.

    And you are saying that neither of these feedback mechanisms are even “plausible”? They both sound pretty plausible to me, although I would say that plausibility alone is only a starting point.

    • Again ignoring observations. Do you also think that warming is in the pipeline?

      Global temperature flattened at the highest CO2 “forcing”, just like it always does.

  43. “1) when ice melts, it tends to be replaced by seawater or bare Earth. The albedo falls. More solar heat is absorbed, That means more ice melts .

    2) When the atmosphere warms slightly, more water evaporates. Water is a GH gas. Therefore the atmosphere warms even more.”

    Global warming would cause these things to happen. Yes?
    We have had global warming for more than 150 year?
    Have we already seen this affect during the 150 years?
    Of the temperature rise to date how much has caused from this affect?
    If warming trend continues how much warming would expect from this factors in next 50 years?

  44. M. Larkin wrote: “My friend, evil thrives when good men stand by and do nothing”

    That was all well said sir. Line above made me think of Yeats’ chilling poem:

    “The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.”

  45. Michael Larkin

    Pokerguy:

    I wish I could claim the saying was mine, but I was paraphrasing this:

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

  46. To Grant and Judy: I have exposed the error in the derivation of the SB-law used in climate science in a new blog post

    http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com/2011/10/comparing-true-sb-with-false-sb.html

    and I await a reaction, since this post by Grant and Judy is about my criticism of the SB law of climate science. To first suggest critique of my work and then hide in silence when I meet the critique, is not reasonable.
    Come out and argue instead of resorting to only snipe shooting.

    • Claes, true to form, you set up a straw dog to knock down. The Stefan Boltzmann equation is the integral of the Planck function. No one calculates atmospheric radiative heat transfer using the Stefan Boltzmann equation (not since the 1960’s, anyways).

      • Thanks Judy, finally a little sign: Could you now please answer the following questions related to your statement that DLR/False-Sb is a straw dog:

        1. Do you agree with me that DLR should once and for all be removed from climate science?

        2. Do you agree with me that the Kiehl-Trenberth energy budget with DLR is grossly incorrect?

        3. Do you agree with me that climate scientists have invented a form of SB which does not have support in physics literature, and which in fact is false because it involves a violation of the 2nd law?

        4. Have you read an digested my derivations of Planck/SB without statistics of quanta?

        I appreciate prompt answers, which should be possible since you are now on line.

      • Claes Johnson,

        Do you believe that photons emitted by the atmosphere to space carry away thermal energy, thus cooling the earth system? And if you answer that in the affirmative, please explain why those photons emitted by atmospheric gases that strike the earth’s surface do not carry thermal energy.

      • I don’t know anyone who disputes the idea that things with mass and temperate radiate. That’s not the point. The point is, can radiation be emitted from a surface, absorbed, then re-emitted to come back to the surface and make it warmer than it was? This is necessary to support the warming argument–that we will experience higher and higher average temperatures and higher and higher peak temperatures. It baffles me that anyone with the slightest clue about thermodynamics would believe this, but they do.

      • Sorry, not temperate, temperature.

      • Ken Coffman,

        So you believe that you can add more of the bits that absorb/radiate to the atmosphere, without raising the temperature of the earth system? It don’t matter how much water vapor, C02, methane, etc. is in the atmosphere, it ain’t going to get no warmer. Conversely, if you take all that stuff out of the atmosphere, no change in temperature. Right? You are willfully ignorant.

      • Don, when you add a molecule to an air sample–that wasn’t there before–does the conduction and convection increase or decrease?

      • Ken,

        Nobody is saying that radiation returning to the surface by whatever means is making the surface any warmer than it would have been.
        But what can and does happen is that the “returning radiation” reduces the net energy flow from the surface, thereby stopping the surface from cooling as much as it otherwise would.
        Think of it this way: a single photon is radiated from the surface. The surface is now cooler by the amount of energy contained in that photon.
        That same photon is now returned to the surface, which is now ‘cooler’, so the surface absorbs it, and the absorption of that photon returns the surface to the same temperature it was before.
        No mystery, no violating of the 2nd law, nothing. It just works.

      • Which physicist claims thqt that the atmosphere is emitting IR photons?
        Not Einstein in any case. So who?

      • Oops, it seems I’ve accidentally left italics on

      • Claes,

        Are you denying that some gases in the atmosphere absorb IR photons?
        If you’re not then what do you imagine happens to them once they’re absorbed? If these gases do not also emit IR photons then how do you imagine the IR energy leaves the system at the TOA?

        If you’re convinced that we’re all missing some fundamental point, then how about explaining it with a few worked examples? Because it seems clear that your reasoning is being lost in the translation.

      • Peter,

        This is like talking to rocks. These characters have had this explained to them many times. They are committed to ignorance.

      • Oh, Peter, you are so close. CO2 can delay radiation to space by a long time, perhaps as long as a few milliseconds on average. Now, how does this tiny, immeasurable effect cause things like the following to happen?

        1. As northern countries warm, disease carrying insects migrate north, bringing plague and disease with them.
        2. As the temperature of oceans rises, so will the probability of more frequent and stronger hurricanes.
        3. Increased probability and intensity of droughts and heat waves.
        Although some areas of Earth will become wetter due to global warming, other areas will suffer serious droughts and heat waves.
        4. Economic consequences. Most of the effects of anthropogenic global warming won’t be good.
        5. Fires and wildfires. As the planet continues to warm, dry areas of land that are already susceptible to wildfires are likely to be ravaged by even more frequent and destructive episodes.
        from http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com

      • Ken, if you think I’m so close then you should have little difficulty in explaining the last little bit you think I’m missing.
        So why don’t you do just that, instead of setting up a whole lot of strawmen, as you’ve just done?

      • Claes, if you are looking for a scientist’s name associated with IR absorption and emission in the atmosphere, it would be John Tyndall (1820-1893). Also check out the subject of Infrared Spectroscopy which is a whole field of science devoted to this. You might find some people working on that in a nearby university physics department.

      • Jim, I have Tyndall’s Contributions to Molecular Physics in the Domain of Radiant Heat and I can’t find the place where he mentions “back radiation” from a rarefied gas increasing the temperature of the emitter to something greater than it started out. On the contrary, he mentions the delay in outgoing radiation as being like a “dam”. A dam, of course, does not add energy to a system–it only modulates the rate energy is dissipated in a system.
        I could be missing something and I’d be happy if someone was more specific about the effects of “back radiation” adding energy to a system instead of smearing Tyndall’s good name. I don’t see anything in Tyndall’s writing that contradicts what the Sky Dragon Slayers have to say.

      • Nullius in Verba

        “I can’t find the place where he mentions “back radiation” from a rarefied gas increasing the temperature of the emitter to something greater than it started out. On the contrary, he mentions the delay in outgoing radiation as being like a “dam”.”

        OK, let’s take the dam analogy and develop it.

        We pump water at a fixed rate into a narrow channel. The pressure of the water corresponds to temperature, and the flow rate of water corresponds to heat flux. A certain height of water builds up at the top of the channel, and hence pressure, that drives the water through the rest of the channel.

        Now we partly block the channel by putting a dam across it. The rate of flow in is the same, but the water level rises in order to get the extra pressure to force the same water flow past the extra resistance. The water leaning up against the dam exerts a pressure on it – so why doesn’t the dam move? The answer is that the dam is exerting a back-pressure on the water, opposing its flow. The two forces cancel out, the dam and the water in contact with it stay where they are, but the back-pressure from the dam is the ultimate source of the resistance to the flow that the extra pressure is needed to act against. However you look at it, the water level is higher as a result of putting the dam in place, even though the dam adds no additional water, nor forces water to flow upstream.

      • So far, I agree with you 100%, Nullius. Think of the original flow of the river before it was blocked. The dam could break and the temporary flow could be greater than the original flow, but the dam represents an additional loss in the system, it does not add any energy (or water, to maintain the analogy). The dam does not create any additional water. Conservation of “water” is observed.

      • Judy, I have posted my questions on my blog

        http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com/2011/10/curry-on-straw-man-of-false-sb.html

        and I expect a prompt answer about the straw dog you are speaking of.

      • Oh boy!
        “I expect a prompt answer about the straw dog you are speaking of.”

        Claes’ arrogance is only surpassed by his inability to follow anyone’s argument.

      • Claes Johnson,

        You go back to your blog and wait for her. She will be right over, when she gets back from church.

  47. I’ve been following the email exchanges with Dr. Petty and I appreciate his patience and the challenges he offers. If he wants to believe IR emissions from the surface get diffused into the atmosphere with a portion returning to the surface to make it hotter than it was (rather than temporarily warmer than it would have been for minority portion of a 24-hour cycle), that’s fine with me. However, I would love to see a portion of his skepticism applied to Kiehl/Trenberth’s global energy flows or to the idea that “greenhouse” gases increase our average surface temperature by 33C…and see where that leads us.

    • Ken, do you still stand by your colleague John O’Sullivan and his claims that he is a lawyer and an American Bar Association member, who has “successfully litigated for more than a decade in NY State and Federal 2nd District Courts”? That he’s an attorney hired to help defend Tim Ball in Mann’s and Weaver’s libel suits in British Columbia? And that he’s the author of two National Review climate articles? Or do you now agree he’s a shameless humbug?

      • I stand 100% with John on his analysis of climate science and global warming….he’s a very bright guy and thinks very analytically. Beyond that, I don’t know anything and my comments would be less than worthless. I don’t care about his resume–or your resume for that matter–and I think appeal-to-authority arguments on my side or your side or any side are a waste of my precious time, I like to talk about physics and ideas. I like John’s ideas. I don’t like yours. Fair enough?.

      • Ken, like most promoters of pseudoscience, you don’t understand the difference between an “appeal to authority” and an “appeal to honesty.”

        You have surrounded yourself with and are helping to promote people who lie about their professional and academic credentials and then pretend that their dishonesty is not relevant for examining their claims. That’s utter nonsense.

        People who falsely claim to have expertise and academic and professional credentials they don’t have cannot be trusted to tell the truth about anything.

        I think others may agree with me that your continuing to defend O’Sullivan, after his pathological lying about his academic and professional credentials has been exposed, is what makes your comments “less than worthless.”

      • Andrew if as you say John O’Sullivan’s qualifications claims are false then he joins a long line of such frauds.
        You are right to bring it to our attention.
        However you would be wrong to attach any substantial importance to his influence.
        He is a kind of “in your face” sort of guy, a bit like yourself.
        Climate Science seems to attract all sorts of folk like Al Gore and George Soros .
        You can even get a Nobel prize for spouting total rubbish – it is truly a very odd branch of science – perhaps unique.
        Grant Petty and Andy Lacis think its practitioners are no different to the other sciences.
        However claims of fraud are counterclaims are commonplace between practitioners.
        Is this normal science?
        Is refusing to divulge data normal science?
        Is cut and paste graphs like Mann’s hockey stick normal science?

      • Skolnick has been thoroughly discredited and shown to be a liar after the British Columbia Law Society investigated his allegations against me and determined that every one was utterly unfounded. The fact Dr. Curry permits Skolnick’s lies to remain published on her blog exposes her bias and lack of objectivity and fairness.
        But my colleagues and I are not in the least surprised being that Dr. Curry has shown the same lack of objectivity and inability to discern the truth when addressing our Slaying the Sky Dragon book.

      • The Law Society of British Columbia confirmed today that the complaint I filed against John O’Sullivan — not Michael Scherr — was not closed. It is still being investigated:

        “As we are in the midst of reviewing a complaint of unauthorized practice, we cannot comment specifically. … The Law Society investigates complaints of people who aren’t lawyers engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. These investigations are based on specific facts and circumstances. Where there is a question of public protection the Law Society seeks undertakings from unauthorized practitioners that they cease. If someone refuses to sign an undertaking we may seek an injunction from the courts.”

    • Ken,

      Couldn’t seem to reply up thread. It seems there are now a few of us pointing out the fact that when the Earth radiates, the temperature drops, and returning a portion of the radiated energy via “back radiation ” or whatever you want to call it, will not restore that drop, let alone raise it.

      The deniers of the the conservation of energy laws are gradually being backed into a corner. Good for you!

      • Well said, Ozzie. As time goes on, I have less and less respect for academia. As an engineer, I can’t just make up physics to suit myself. If I want to cool a semiconductor, I can’t wave my hand and invent a radiation modulator out of thin air.

        Yeah, boss, you see, the CPU will dissipate 10W, but it won’t get hot because I have a really efficient IR radiator that will cool it…all we have to do is evacuate the CO2 and methane from around the heatsink and the thermal resistance will go down and the die temperature will be reduced by by 33C.

        How you get from “slows the cooling rate by a few milliseconds” to “we’re melting the ice caps and we’re all going to die”? There are smart people who buy into this nonsense. They must really, really want to believe it. I can only shake my head with wonder.

      • Dear Ken Coffman,

        I am not really keeping count, but there are at least seven of us. Next step – world domination!

      • No, boss, you don’t have to dry out the humidity in the air. No wonder you couldn’t make it as an engineer and got bumped up to management. You see, water vapor is a “feedback” and CO2 is a “forcing” .The WV won’t know what to do if there is no CO2 or methane, so we can ignore it. Oh, if the thermocouple says the chip is getting really hot, you can ignore that too, I’ve got some elaborate models and simulation which show outstanding results. Don’t worry, boss, I have a storyline for everything brought up in the design review.

  48. Bryan says, “However you would be wrong to attach any substantial importance to his [John O’Sullivan’s] influence.”

    Oh, really. I suppose the title of this Dragon Slayer discussion (and all the previous ones) means the Dragon Slayer leader’s has had no influence on the debate. Good one.

    I suggest you do what Mr. O’Sullivan loves to suggest to anyone who questions his importance and influence: Google “John O’Sullivan” and “climate” and see how many blogs and web sites around the world publish and mirror his dishonest commentaries.

    The comfort that so many climate warming “skeptics” show toward having prominent humbugs like O’Sullivan and Tim Ball in their ranks makes their cries against “fraud” ring hollow.

  49. Andrew
    Ken is right to say that the physics is what people want to discus on this site.
    Claes Johnson and Joseph Postma have featured in three major threads.
    If you feel confident enough to challenge their conclusions you should enlighten us.
    I would be very keen for you to for instance find any fault in any of Joseph Postma’s three papers.

    • Bryan, when all the readers here take a vote and elect you and Ken to be their spokespersons, I’ll consider your claim to know what “people want to discuss on this site.”

      I can understand why you and Ken don’t want people discussing the dishonesty of the Sky Dragon Slayers. What matters more to me is what the public has a right to know — especially those who are considering the false and deceptive claims of the Sky Dragon Slayers.

      • Andrew
        I have already said that you were right to bring this point up.
        I think all the readers have “got it” and factored it into the “fraud file” of climate science.
        However if your only contribution is to endlessly repeat the same point it gets more than a little tiresome.

      • Let’s be clear, Andrew. I don’t care what you discuss. Say what you like. Write a book about it. Run a magazine ad. Run off at the mouth all day long. If you think that’s the best use of your time, then have at it. Get a megaphone. Type until your fingers bleed, it’s fine with me. Irrelevant, but fine.

      • Ken, you do see the obvious self-contradiction in your comment, don’t you? LOL!

      • Andrew,
        First, understanding the character of people pushing big ideas is important. Character impacts quality.
        Most skeptics agree that not only are the ‘sky dragons’ wrong, but that some of their leaders are dubious at best.
        Now how about putting some of your effort into say, the enrichment of Hansen, the qualities of Mann, or the games at Penn, UEA, Jones, etc.?

  50. Dr. Lacis,

    Looks like Katia in Iceland’s about to blow. Cold PDO (with accompanying stronger, more frequent la ninas), low solar activity despite recent uptick, high latitude volcanos going off left and right. It’s looking more and more like the brutal NH winters are going to continue for the foreseeable future…

    FYI, when Laki blew its top in the late 1700’s, another massive volcano in Iceland, the following winter the eastern U.S. was nearly 5 degrees C. below average. That’s some serious cold.

  51. Andrew Skolnick: The comfort that so many climate warming “skeptics” show toward having prominent humbugs like O’Sullivan and Tim Ball in their ranks makes their cries against “fraud” ring hollow.

    Sadly, if you have a point of view there is at least one nut-case and at least one charlatan who agree with you, and it is next to impossible to separate yourself from all the weeds. To make it worse, some of your honest friends are taken in by them. I agree with you that AGW skeptics should stop calling AGW promoters “frauds”, but then again, some of them are.

    • Matt, you can’t agree with me that “AGW skeptics stop calling calling AGW promoters ‘frauds,'” because I never said that. If there’s a AGW “promoter” who is a fraud, then he should be called on it.

      However, you better be sure your charges are true or you may wind up like Tim Ball, defending yourself in a defamation suit.

      “Next to impossible to separate yourself from all the weeds…”

      Oh, really? Simply making a public statement that you reject the opinions and claims of the humbug and his bogus academic and professional credentials would show that you’re not hiding among the “weeds.”

  52. Excerpted from ‘Gender differences in the academic world: a reflection’
    by Don Aitkin
    [ http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/15/gender-differences-in-the-academic-world-a-reflection/ ]

    ‘What has all this to do with any university, you might want to ask. My short answer is that the university, like all institutions in our society, has been largely defined in male terms, and thus as a Game. I am most conscious of this in an area in which I have spent a very long time: the business of research funding. Research grants schemes are all about winning, and great virtue comes from gaining a grant: one has a new and important entry on the c.v., promotion is greatly assisted, one can buy pieces of equipment for one’s own use or travel to distant places, one’s general status is enhanced. To me this is a classic Game. Since the research is being done with other people’s money you might think that there is an implied contract, and that the outcomes of the research will be scrutinised to see if the contract has been honoured. Not a bit of it. Those running such schemes usually have to be pressed into looking at outcomes at all. For the research community the outcome is tested when the peers in the peer review scheme decide whether or not to give the applicant another grant. One critic of the system has said mordantly that the only certain outcome of publicly-funded research is a further research grant application. After half a century in this system I have come to the view that it is fundamentally wasteful of money and ought to be replaced, but I do not have to tell you that it is fiercely defended, overwhelmingly by men, who are its overwhelming beneficiaries.’

    in refutation of Petty’s entire first paragraph….perhaps knocking out the underpinning of his entire letter…other than the part about ‘nutters’, of which there is no shortage on either side of the climate issue.

  53. Since Claes didn’t reply to my question above:

    He calls DLR a “fiction”
    http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com/2011/10/fiction-of-downwelling-longwave.html

    yet says above “A microwave radiation detector magnifies input artificially possibly into a heating effect on the detector” – if DLR doesn’t exist then just what is the detector detecting, magnification or not?

    If as he says on his blog “radiometers measure frequency”,just what are they measuring the frequency of?

  54. It is interesting to plot out the average temperatures of the planets

    http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4073/4944315517_34e68d4e1a.jpg

    This would seem to indicate that Venus is much hotter than would be expected just from its distance to the sun.

    Strong evidence for a GH effect?

    • IMO not. What is the temperature of Venus’ atmosphere at 1 bar height?

      • As self-selected spokesperson for eagles, bird people, balloonist, and all sky people, 2/3 an atm is more important for all.
        Why should we cling to tired old traditions of air conditions of the bottom dwellers.
        Minorities unite!
        2/3rds is a super majority!
        Down with the cave dwellers and the lizard people!

    • Temp,

      it could also mean that Venus is a young planet that hasn’t cooled off yet or had a catastrophic impact with another object in the somewhat recent past.

      For some strange reason our modern Consensus Science seems to like the Greenhouse theory even though their models cannot explain the temperature without even MORE assumptions such as large amounts of water.

      Don’t you love ASSumptions??

      By the way, you should read up on the actual physical science being done on Venus. Up to 60% of the heat retention in the lower atmosphere is currently being assigned to REFLECTION of IR from the cloud layer. Another ASSumption to make the models work as they cannot account for the large IR flux just below the clouds otherwise.

      In other words, they really don’t know at this point!!!

      • “it could also mean that Venus is a young planet that hasn’t cooled off yet or had a catastrophic impact with another object in the somewhat recent past.”

        And your evidence for this silly scenario? I mean other than that you read it in one of Velikovsky’s crackpot books?

        It could also mean that Venus is heated by campfires lit by Leprechaun gold miners (who abandoned Ireland during the Great Potato Famine). There is as much proof of this as there is for your “young planet” hit by another planet explanation that flies in the face of what we know about astrophysics.

        I expect you’re going to tell us that Einstein was a good friend of Velikovsky. And we’re supposed to say, Oh, then his crackpot theories must be right.

        The rest of your “argument” is another silly argument of ignorance: If scientists don’t know everything, they can’t know anything.

    • Nullius in Verba

      The temperature at the surface of Venus is higher because the atmosphere is very thick, and has high level clouds that radiate most of the heat to space.

      The heat from the sun balances the heat radiated to space at around the average altitude of emission to space. For Venus, this is in the thick clouds about 50-80 km above the surface. (Very little light gets through them to the surface.) Below this, the temperature increases as the turbulent atmosphere is compressed by increasing atmospheric pressure at a rate of about 8 K/km, giving a greater than 8*50=400 K temperature difference from the clouds. CO2 plays a role, but the basic reason for Venus being so hot at the surface is that it has a lot more atmosphere.

      This compression effect is the actual mechanism of the (badly named) greenhouse effect in a convective atmosphere. Backradiation certainly exists, but has little to do with it. They dragonslayers are wasting their time arguing about it.

      The number plotted for Jupiter is, in context, the wrong number. I think that’s the temperature at the level of the visible clouds. As you descend to the “surface”, the temperature again rises by compression, and Jupiter’s core is thought to be at around 35,000 K.

      Another good question to ask about Venus is why the night-side temperature at the surface is almost exactly the same as on the day side, even though the days are very long. What happens to the greenhouse effect explanation with no incoming shortwave radiation?

      High CO2 does have an effect on Venus. The temperature at the level where the pressure matches the Earth’s surface is significantly (but not dramatically) higher than on Earth. But the very high surface temperature combined with the high percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere there is not a good example to “prove” the importance of CO2.

      • Nullius in Verba says

        …..”This compression effect is the actual mechanism of the (badly named) greenhouse effect in a convective atmosphere. Backradiation certainly exists, but has little to do with it. They dragonslayers are wasting their time arguing about it.”……

        I would agree that the compression effect plays the major part in the 33K difference between surface and effective emission levels.
        Postma makes that very clear in his papers that this is his position.
        The dragonslayers confront the backradiation greenhouse theory because it seems to be the current IPCC paradigm.

      • Nullius in Verba

        Bryan,
        Yes, the dragonslayers confront the backradiation argument, but by trying to claim that it doesn’t exist instead of saying it exists and has no net effect under convection, they’re letting the dragons fly away unscathed.

        Just as I argue that the AGW proponents are not going to persuade sceptics with an incorrect back-radiation argument, so I would say that dragonslayers cannot fight believers with an incorrect back-radiation-doesn’t-exist argument. The result is sheer confusion.

      • “…the basic reason for Venus being so hot at the surface is that it has a lot more atmosphere.This compression effect is the actual mechanism of the (badly named) greenhouse effect in a convective atmosphere. Backradiation certainly exists, but has little to do with it.”

        This is one of the more idiotic explanations (and hardly more credible than the leprachaun lighting campfires explanation for Venus’ hellish temperature). I understand why deniers want to confuse compression with pressure. Any argument, no matter how false or silly serves the purpose of creating the impression of “scientific disagreement” in the minds of the public.

        Come on guys, this is fundamental science you were supposed to learn in the 6th grade. Compression produces heat, static pressure does not. And there is no any evidence that Venus’ atmosphere is being compressed. No any known force in the universe that would explain such a compression.

        Yes, the planet’s mostly CO2 atmosphere is under enormous pressure — about 95 times earth’s. But anyone who has ever held a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher in their hand, or other tank of compressed CO2, knows that it is NOT hot — even though the gas is compressed nearly as much as the atmosphere at Venus’ surface. The compressed gas is at ambient temperature because the gas is “compressed” — not “compressing.”

      • Andrew Skolnick
        ….”Come on guys, this is fundamental science you were supposed to learn in the 6th grade. Compression produces heat, static pressure does not. And there is no any evidence that Venus’ atmosphere is being compressed. No any known force in the universe that would explain such a compression.”……

        Andrew lets deal with the Earth first.
        The density and the pressure decrease very strongly due to the Earths gravitational field.
        For an adiabatic atmosphere a rising air parcel will find its temperature dropping to compensate for the expansion (PV work) done.
        This energy is stored in the atmosphere.
        A parcel on cooling at a high altitude will perhaps become colder than its surroundings and start to fall.
        The volume will be compressed due to the increasing pressure.
        The atmosphere is now doing work on the parcel.
        The internal energy of the parcels gas inside increases and consequently its temperature rises.
        The lapse rate measures this adiabatic effect.
        Meteorologists and a number of smarter climate scientists would agree with what I have just written.

      • Should read
        The density and the pressure decrease very strongly with altitude due to the Earths gravitational field.

      • Yes, Bryan, I can see why you want to switch the discussion to something else. Sheesh. I’ll cut to the bottom line. The temperature of Earth is not increasing because gravity is compressing our atmosphere. Period.

        The average atmospheric pressure on earth at sea level is about 29.92 inches of mercury or 14.7 pounds per square inch. While barometric pressure varies locally with changing weather, the average atmospheric pressure on earth at sea level has not changed since scientists began measuring it.

        The same goes for Venus.

        Even if you could greatly increase atmospheric pressure on earth or on Venus by dumping a huge amount of mass on it — to increase the planet’s force of gravity — or a huge amount of gas to increase the weight of the atmosphere, the heating effect would be temporary and the heat of compression would gradually dissipate into space.

        Next red herring?

      • Andrew Skolnick says

        …….” I’ll cut to the bottom line. The temperature of Earth is not increasing because gravity is compressing our atmosphere. Period.”…..

        Well Andrew because I know your background isn’t in science I tried to explain it as carefully as I could.
        Its standard physics, Nullius says much the same in his own way.
        Get a physics text book, look up the Carnot Cycle.
        It will explain what adiabatic expansion and contraction means.

        However, perhaps you mean that surface temperatures have not increased significantly in the last 150 years then I would agree with you.

      • “Well Andrew because I know your background isn’t in science….”

        Bryan, you really do seem to prefer falsehoods over the truth. If you got a nickle for everyone like this, you’d be a very rich man.

      • Andrew I thought you were a journalist.
        I could not expect you to have a deep grounding in thermodynamics.

        However if you claim to have a science background why, such appalling ignorance?

      • Andrew Skolnick,

        “The temperature of Earth is not increasing because gravity is compressing our atmosphere.”

        Red herring. The claim is, at least how I understand it, that Earth’s temperature (atmosphere at surface) is a thermodynamic state variable (intensive) and as such determined by other state variables (pressure, molar volume or density) according to the equation of state (ideal or real gas). It’s not an energy/heat balance argument. It’s not about heat of compression. Just thermodynamic state.

        Two red herrings:

        1) “temperature increasing”
        2) “heat of compression”

      • Pekka,

        Yes, you’re right that the Venusian atmosphere would be quite different without GH gases. Remove them and the clouds which NIV is referring to would probably be quite different, or even non-existent. That’s the same problem we have on Earth, you can’t just change one parameter in isolation. Change one thing and everything else changes with it.

        However, if the clouds somehow did end up being exactly the same and using the model NIV describes – IR opaque clouds 60km high – then the mechanism he is describing is essentially a GH effect. It is IR opacity which causes a GH effect and, it wouldn’t necessarily have to be caused by atmospheric gases. If clouds were more transparent to light coming in from the sun than they were to IR radiation from the ground then they too would set up, or contribute to, a GH effect.

      • Nullius in Verba

        Andrew, It’s actually the standard explanation. There’s a paper by Carl Sagan somewhere from back in the 60s where this is precisely the explanation used for the Venusian atmosphere.

        The driving force for compression is vertical motion of the atmosphere due to convection. The winds are incredibly strong and turbulent on Venus, and push gas vertically. Vertical mixing leads to compression and expansion, and when combined with diffusive mixing the result is a vertical temperature gradient called the adiabatic lapse rate.

        (Incidentally, it is technically incorrect to say that compression produces heat – the word “adiabatic” means “without heat”. Compression produces an increase in temperature, or internal energy, which is slightly different. That’s a technicality though – the use of “heat” for internal energy is an everyday usage that we all understand.)

        Static pressure, as you say, does not lead to a temperature gradient. Only vertical mixing due to convection (or other bulk motions of the atmosphere) can drive the changes in pressure that do.

        The adiabatic lapse rate is perfectly standard meteorology. No leprechauns required.

      • You know you truly have a gift for moronic arguments. You claim the enormous heat of Venus’ atmosphere comes from atmospheric convection. And where does the energy that drives atmospheric convection on Venus come from? Why, from the enormous heat of Venus’ atmosphere, of course.

        Have you considered applying for a patent on this mechanism? Oh, that’s right — the patent office will not grant a patent on any form of perpetual motion machine. I suggest you contact your Senators and Representative and ask them to appeal the Laws of Thermodynamics.

        Solar energy is the ultimate source of energy that drives weather on planets with an atmosphere. Atmospheres heat themselves only in the land of cuckoos.

        Unless you can show how some giant cosmic hand is continuing to heat Venus up by compressing its atmosphere, you should apologize to Dr. Sagan.

        Carl Sagan, bless his soul, would slap you silly for attributing such nonsense to him.

      • Nullius in Verba

        “And where does the energy that drives atmospheric convection on Venus come from? Why, from the enormous heat of Venus’ atmosphere, of course.”

        No. Not from the enormous heat of Venus’ atmosphere. I haven’t said that or anything like it. If you’re going to argue with arguments you just made up, do you really need me to be here?

        The energy comes from the differences in insolation between the day and night sides, and between equator and poles. A temperature *difference* is required to drive a heat engine.

        And if you’d care to wager your credibility regarding the Sagan paper, I’d be happy to look it up for you. Interested?

      • OK, I think I get it now, the “energy” which is heating Venus to an average temperature that is more than 500 degrees F hotter than Mercury, “comes from the differences in insolation between the day and night sides, and between equator and poles. A temperature ‘difference’ is required to drive a heat engine.”

        Oh, and what drives that “heat engine”? Why, the great heat contained in Venus’ atmosphere. The heat of Venus’ atmosphere drives the atmospheric convection and this convection heats the atmosphere making it more than 500 degrees hotter than the planet nearly twice as close to the sun.

        Which is why I urge you to send in your application to the U.S. Patent Office for the biggest perpetual motion machine in the solar system. Like everyone, they could use a good laugh.

        What a hopeless maroon.

      • Nullius in Verba

        “Oh, and what drives that “heat engine”? Why, the great heat contained in Venus’ atmosphere.”

        Having just corrected you and said that it is the differences in insolation that drive the heat engine, why would you say – again – that it was the heat content of Venus’s atmosphere?

        You appear to be arguing against something that is only in your own imagination. Sorry, I can’t help with that.

      • I’ll try just one more time to get you to explain where the heat comes from that drives the convection currents on Venus — which you claim is the source of heat that makes the planet more than 500 degrees hotter than Mercury (though Mercury is almost twice as close to the sun).

        You say Venus is heated by convection currents in the atmosphere and that the convection currents are generated by the temperature differences between the day and night sides and poles of the planets.

        And where does the heat come from that makes the day side hotter than the night side and poles?

        Would you finally answer this question and stop obfuscating?

      • Andrew you ask, what drives the system and of course the answer is the Sun
        However the Earth has several energy storage systems for storing the Suns energy.
        Of which the adiabatic atmosphere is just one
        The formula for the Dry Adiabatic Lapse Rate(DALR) is derived for the no convection condition.

        DARL = -g/Cp

        The DA lapse rate derived from thermodynamics is for still air.
        All that is required is heated base and cooling top and diffusion(collision transfer) can transfer heat along the gradient.

        The hydrostatic condition is also satisfied by constant vertical speed parcel of air.
        The meteorologists call this the neutral atmosphere and this condition is relatively stable.

        More usual however is the turbulent convective flow which will transfer heat at a faster rate.
        Meteorologists place more emphasis on the latent heat of vaporisation of water for the departure shown from DALR for the environmental or moist lapse rate than a radiative explanation.
        Evaporation and condensation is another storage system.
        Even during the DALR the CO2 must still be radiating but its effects are included in the bulk heat transfer quantities such as Cp.

        The Earth system has several storage systems and combined they can exceed the input energy from the Sun at a particular instant.
        An analogy would be a tuned LC parallel circuit.
        As Ken would know there is a much larger flow of energy between inductor(L) and capacitor(C )than the make up energy from the supply(Sun).
        A simpler example is a child on a swing being pushed.
        The KE and PE interchange energy of the child plus swing is much larger than the make up energy from the push
        For the atmosphere a parcel of air rising adiabatically in a gravitational field.
        The parcel will do work on the surrounding atmosphere so internal energy will be reduced and the temperature falls.
        At the TOA radiative losses cause the parcel to be denser than surroundings so the parcel now falls.
        The gravitational force effects now compress the parcel increasing internal energy hence raising the temperature of the parcel.
        Back at the Earth surface the parcel will have recovered most of its original temperature.
        This is no surprise because Gravity is a conservative force.
        This is just one example of an Earth energy storage system.
        Evaporation and condensation of water is another and so on.

        IPCC proponents seem to grant the “greenhouse gases” with the full credit for the 33K difference between the Earth surface temperature(288K) and the effective emission temperature of 255K

      • Nullius in Verba

        “I’ll try just one more time to get you to explain where the heat comes from that drives the convection currents on Venus”

        As Bryan says, from the sun. Stronger insolation at the equator and on the day side reduces the density, cooling to outer space on the night side cools the top of the atmosphere and increases the density. The resulting pressure difference drives circulation.

        Bryan,

        Thanks. Quite correct.

      • Nullius finally answers where the energy comes from that makes Venus so much hotter than Mercury — “From the sun.”

        So let’s try to follow his “thinking”: The sun heat’s Venus’ atmosphere, but heats it unevenly. The uneven heating creates convection currents (winds) that then heats the atmosphere much hotter than it would be be if heated by the sun alone.

        This may seem like magic, but only to people who care too much for the Laws of Thermodynamics.

        Nullius (and Bryan) won’t deny that Venus is more than 500 degrees F hotter than Mercury (which receives 3.5 times as much solar energy than Venus). But they explain this fact by claiming the sun heats Venus’ atmosphere unevenly, this uneven heating produces convection currents, and it’s these currents that heat the planet far above and beyond what the solar energy could do alone.

        Got it?

        Like Mercury and Earth, Venus is heated almost entirely by solar energy. It is utterly moronic to believe Venus’ atmosphere can adsorb solar energy and then magically use it to create a whole lot more energy than it receives from the sun.

        Venus receives only about 35 percent of the solar radiation Mercury receives and, because Venus’s albedo is almost 5 times higher than Mercury’s, it actually adsorbs only 1/9th the solar radiation that Mercury adsorbs.

        These schlemiels want us to believe Venus is more than 500 degrees hotter than Mercury because of convection currents — and here I thought all deniers are opposed to wind power.

        Yes sir, they say, the extra energy needed to make Venus so much hotter than Mercury comes from wind power — though they do concede that the energy that drives these convection currents comes from the sun.

        Obviously, somewhere on Venus, there’s a magician with a powerful magic wand, who with each wave of his wand creates winds that multiply solar energy like the sorcerer’s apprentice’s broom. Or more likely, somewhere on Earth, there’s a couple of guys with some very loose screws.

      • Andrew
        Perhaps you did not notice but I have not commented on Venus.
        The reason being there are for me too many unknowns.
        For instance it emits much more energy than it absorbs from Sun.
        This indicates that there must be significantly more geothermal energy on Venus than Earth.
        There is also significantly more atmospheric electrical activity(lightning).
        Its reasonable to suggest that the surface light on Venus has an atmospheric rather than a solar origin

        http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/tierra_hueca/esp_tierra_hueca_8e.htm

        Let me ask you a question!
        If you know so little about Earths atmosphere how come you claim to be an expert about Venus?
        I have an enviable reputation for accuracy.
        Why squander this by indulging in wild speculation.
        I hope we can agree that it would be wrong to jump to conclusions about Venus and then apply them to the Earth.

      • Nullius in Verba

        “Nullius finally answers where the energy comes from that makes Venus so much hotter than Mercury”

        “Finally”? I told you the first time you asked. You ignored what I said, and made up something about the heat content of the atmosphere to argue with instead.

        “The sun heat’s Venus’ atmosphere, but heats it unevenly. The uneven heating creates convection currents (winds) that then heats the atmosphere much hotter than it would be be if heated by the sun alone.”

        Well done!

        “This may seem like magic, but only to people who care too much for the Laws of Thermodynamics.”

        It’s exactly the same thermodynamics as a heat pump: such as a refrigerator. A fluid is pumped around a cycle being alternately compressed and allowed to expand. Expansion cools it allowing it to draw heat from its surroundings, compression warms it so it can expel the heat to its surroundings. The net effect is to pump heat from one place to another. (The inside of the refrigerator to the outside, or from the top of the atmosphere to the surface.) The power to do so is supplied externally – to the refrigerator’s pump/compressor in one case, by differential heating driving winds in the other.

        It’s not magic unless you also consider refrigerators to be magic.

        The adiabatic lapse rate is standard theory in meteorology, climatology, astrophysics, thermodynamics,…

        “It is utterly moronic to believe Venus’ atmosphere can adsorb solar energy and then magically use it to create a whole lot more energy than it receives from the sun.”

        All the energy comes ultimately from the sun. None is created. The internal energy of the hot atmosphere near the surface is a portion of the heat supplied to the daylit equator of Venus, concentrated into a smaller volume by wind-driven compression.

        I notice that you carefully didn’t take me up on the wager over the Sagan paper. Not sufficiently confident, were you?

        Anyway, for anyone else who might be interested…
        http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1967ApJ…149..731S

        Heh.

      • “For instance it emits much more energy than it absorbs from Sun.
        This indicates that there must be significantly more geothermal energy on Venus than Earth.”

        It seems unlikely there is more geothermal energy on Venus than Earth.
        One could have sudden occurrences- where the entire surface on Venus is lava but seems unlikely such event have occurred within a few million years- cratering indicate at least more 50 million. And seems unlikely Venus is just about to re-surface itself- it should have a lot volcanic activity prior to this.
        “The planet may have had a major global resurfacing event about 500 million years ago, from what scientists can tell from the density of impact craters on the surface. Even though there are over 1,600 major volcanoes on Venus, none is known to be erupting at present and most are probably long extinct. However, radar sounding by the Magellan probe revealed evidence for comparatively recent volcanic activity at Venus’s highest volcano Maat Mons, in the form of ash flows near the summit and on the northern flank.”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volcanism_on_Venus

        Of course there could be something unseen. Earth might not appear to very volcanic with poor observation. Most of earth volcanic activity is in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which is hidden by the ocean. But excluding the Mid-Atlantic Ridge the earth should still appear much more volcanic then Venus does.
        So I wouldn’t rule out volcanic activity heating the atmosphere, but to explain a large difference of incoming solar energy and outgoing seems
        way off.
        Earth has 174 petawatts incoming energy. venus might have at least twice this amount [or 4 or more times] to think that say 100 petawatt or more is added to outgoing energy seems unexplainable.
        It seems more likely that measured energy coming from the Sun and leaving venus is wrong.
        Where is this information. I have never heard of it before.

      • Nullius,

        if you research it you will find that the surface temperature of Venus is very consistent with little variation one would expect to find if it was due to insolation. The atmospheric temperatures below the clouds are similar in that there is little change from equator to pole or day to night hemisphere. These facts mean there is little chance that the energy from the winds are provided from differential heating and convection similar to earth. Additionally the winds are primarily in the rotational plane rather than toward the poles.

        If they were insolation/convection driven I would think they would be strong at the surface. They are weakest at the surface and high in the upper atmosphere and strongest in the middle atmosphere.

        This is another reason I keep telling these “experts” they simply don’t have enough information to model Venus. It simply does not fit the assumptions based on earth/mars/mercury. Atmospheric rotation, winds, is more like the gas giants.

      • Nullius,

        “The resulting pressure difference drives circulation.”

        This may actually be closer to reality, but, for different reasons. One of the strange things I ran across when looking for information on Venus is that the height of the dayside atmosphere is much lower than the nightside.

      • Nullius in Verba

        “if you research it you will find that the surface temperature of Venus is very consistent with little variation one would expect to find if it was due to insolation.”

        What makes you think it would be differences in insolation at the planet’s surface? Sunlight is absorbed and radiated at the cloudtops. Convection has to be driven primarily from the top.

        The deep oceans on Earth are also very uniform in temperature – again, because convection is driven from the top.

        And I already mentioned the conflict of the uniform surface temperature at the surface in connection with the usual “trapping” explanation. I’m well aware of it.
        http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/15/letter-to-the-dragon-slayers/#comment-123244

      • NIV,

        You can consider a GH effect to be caused by back IR radiation or you can consider it to be caused by the Earth having an effective radiative surface some 5km high. The lapse rate of 6 deg C/km ( the temperature drop you notice when you climb a mountain) means that the surface temperature is 30 degC warmer than the effective radiative surface. That’s the GH effect.

        Which is the right way of looking at it? I don’t think it matters. There is often two ways of looking at a particular problem which lead to the same answer.

      • Nullius,

        “What makes you think it would be differences in insolation at the planet’s surface? Sunlight is absorbed and radiated at the cloudtops. Convection has to be driven primarily from the top.”

        Except that convection is driven from the heating at the bottom on earth so, at least this part is not comparable to what we know. In the ocean we have downwelling at the poles due to changes in density both from temp AND in salinity. We have upwelling due to mechanical movement of surface waters by winds. Neither by itself would create the currents we know.

        You keep stating the wind speed on Venus is convection driven without explaining how convection can cause a planetary atmosphere rotation. Convection is vertical movement. We have a huge horizontal movement with little vertical movement on Venus similar to the gas giants?????

      • Nullius in Verba

        “Which is the right way of looking at it?”

        Simple test – consider a case where the back-radiation is immensely strong, but the adiabatic lapse rate is near zero. If the back-radiation explanation is correct, you ought to still get warming, yes?

        Well, a pool of water acts like a GHG for trapping radiation – water vapour is a GHG, all we’ve done is increase the density 20,000 times. So sunlight on the bottom of a pond should radiate upwards, and be instantly absorbed and re-radiated by the water above it. Each successive layer of water above that should do the same. I won’t repeat the argument here, but I recently had a long debate with Lucia on Collide-a-scape about the effect, where I showed that the back-radiation argument applied to water would cause the oceans to boil! Because the lapse rate in a liquid is near zero, convection prevents such a build-up.

        Second test – suppose the local environmental lapse rate is negative, as it is in the stratosphere. Then the lapse rate argument predicts that extra GHGs will result in *cooling*! I recall my amusement at Gavin of RealClimate getting into a *right* pickle trying to explain stratospheric cooling using back-radiation, and eventually having to admit defeat. It’s not easy! I also recently got my comments censored from Michael Tobis’s new climate site for bringing it up, too.

        What do you think? Back-radiation, or lapse-rate?

      • Nullius in Verba

        “You keep stating the wind speed on Venus is convection driven without explaining how convection can cause a planetary atmosphere rotation.”

        True. You didn’t ask that. And anyway it’s complicated – but basically it’s a cyclostrophic zonal flow in which the equator-pole pressure differential is balanced by the meridional component of the centrifugal force, in much the same way that geostrophic winds on Earth balance pressure differentials against the Coriolis force.

        But whatever. If you’re dead set on the winds on Venus being driven by immigrant leprechauns or wizards waving their magic wands, have it so. I think I’ve made a respectable effort at explaining myself.

      • Nullius,

        “And anyway it’s complicated – but basically it’s a cyclostrophic zonal flow in which the equator-pole pressure differential is balanced by the meridional component of the centrifugal force, in much the same way that geostrophic winds on Earth balance pressure differentials against the Coriolis force.”

        When you explain the technical terms you threw out above and include the energy source you will have offered an explanation. Until then you are arm waving like I do a lot. I am not using self reference when I tell you that “experts” don’t know where the energy comes from to drive the atmospheric rotation as opposed to your “winds”.

        Anyway, just give me a back of the envelope computation of how much pressure differential there would have to be to create the atmospheric rotation we observe on Venus and what maintains it without the temperature differentials!!!

      • Nullius

        I have read the Sagan article and it raises a number of questions.
        I read in one of your later posts that you’re in imminent danger of chronic blog fatigue.
        However perhaps you could comment on a previous disagreement that I have had with Pekka and Joel Shore.
        I contend that the dry adiabatic lapse rate is derived for the still air (no convection) condition.
        Convection itself is a closely related but not a necessary condition.
        (See bottom of page 13)
        In the absence of convection (still dry air) heated from the bottom and cooled at the top a temperature gradient would be set up and is in fact given by the DALR.
        The dry lapse rate can be satisfied by diffusion(molecular conductive heat transfer)
        This is what meteorologists call the neutral atmosphere.
        The neutral atmosphere can be quite stable.
        See page 31 and the residual layer.
        www-as.harvard.edu/education/…/ch2_brasseurjacob_Jan11.pdf

      • Nullius in Verba

        “I contend that the dry adiabatic lapse rate is derived for the still air (no convection) condition. Convection itself is a closely related but not a necessary condition.”

        It’s sort of like the boiling point of water being 100 C. The boiling point of water is still 100 C even when it is not boiling, and it is possible to heat water just to the point of 100 C without it actually boiling. But the point is that when you then add extra heat, no matter how much or how little, the temperature will be held at 100 C. It’s a boundary that you can push the liquid up against, and when so pushed, other considerations become secondary.

        Similarly, the adiabatic lapse rate sets a limit on the vertical thermal gradient that when pushed against is relieved by convection. It is, as you say, possible to push it to the boundary without convection taking place, but it requires a precise set of circumstances to achieve it – exactly the right amount of heating and cooling in exactly the right places. Too little and it will settle at a lower gradient, too much and convection will start. The reason the adiabatic lapse rate is so significant is that it is robust to a wide range of circumstances – once pushed beyond the point where convection will take place, the adiabatic lapse rate is the default, and known. Saying “convective” robustly guarantees a condition where it would otherwise be a delicate affair hard to recognise, just as the cookery instructions will say “boiling”, even though “at 100 C” would be sufficient.

        The two are so commonly used together – one a consequence of the other – that people think they mean the same thing.

      • Hi Nullius in Verba, talking of censorship, I see that you suffered at the hands of staunch CACC supporter Michael Tobis. I suffered the same fate on his InItForTheMoney blog “ .. Moderation is back on. Mr. Ridley is not welcome .. July 10, 2010 8:47 AM .. ” (http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2010/07/arrogance.html).

        Best regards, Pete Ridley

      • Nullius in Verba: You make a distinction I’ve glossed over when reading about Venus. So let me check that I’ve got it right.

        Venus is hot because it has a much thicker, denser atmosphere than earth, which traps heat, causing a greenhouse effect. It does not matter that the Venusian atmosphere happens to be mostly CO2.

        The CO2 greenhouse effect of the current climate change debate, in which CO2 traps infrared radiation, contributes little to the high temperature of Venus.

      • Nullius in Verba

        Venus is hot firstly because the part of the atmosphere that absorbs and radiates heat, and hence approaches the fairly moderate temperature appropriate to its albedo and distance from the sun, is the layer of clouds 80 km above the surface, and secondly because convective atmospheres commonly have a vertical temperature gradient called the adiabatic lapse rate that makes the surface far below that warmer by a fixed amount.

        I need to be careful about saying the CO2 doesn’t matter. In the current state of Venus’s atmosphere, its concentration doesn’t have a lot of influence, and it certainly isn’t the correct explanation for the surface temperature. But it does affect things somewhat above the clouds, and what would happen if there wasn’t any at all is a more complicated question that I’d prefer to avoid for the moment.

      • Hmm.

        Back at the CO2 Control Knob discussion, Dr. Lacis says:

        The greenhouse effect is real physics. Having an atmosphere containing an LW absorbing gas like CO2 will keep the surface temperature of the planet warmer than it would be if the surface temperature is heating only by the solar radiation that it absorbs.

        For Mars and Venus the LW absorbing gas is primarily CO2. On Earth there is also water vapor available that can amplify the greenhouse heating by CO2.

        Lacis follows that with a calculation of the CO2 greenhouse effect on Earth (without feedbacks) and adds, “Similar formulas could be derived for Mars and Venus.”

        To be sure the CO2 greenhouse effect can be calculated for Venus and presumably it makes the surface temperature somewhat warmer, but from what you say CO2 is not the real story of Venus’s extremely high surface temperatures (compared to the rest of the solar system).

        Furthermore, the scare stories that Venus suffered a “runaway greenhouse effect” and the Earth might experience a “runaway greehhouse effect”, therefore the Earth could end up like Venus due to AGW, are entirely beside the point.

      • The main lacking piece in your argument is hiding behind the words: convective atmospheres commonly have a vertical temperature gradient called the adiabatic lapse rate. That’s indeed commonly true, but not always. To be true it needs something that maintains convection throughout the layer that has the adiabatic lapse rate. It’s not at all obvious that heating at altitudes above or around 80 km would induce convection at low altitudes. Basically the adiabatic lapse rate is likely to be absent below the lowest altitude that’s heated. A smaller lapse rate causes stratification that stops effectively convection and thus allows the lapse rate remain smaller than adiabatic.

        The greenhouse effect is always an essential part of the mechanism that drives convection. Without GHE the lapse rate would always be less and convection minimal. Strong horizontal gradients would induce some circulation but without GHE there would not be enough free energy to drive convection to the extent needed for maintaining the adiabatic lapse rate of a thick troposphere.

      • Nullius in Verba

        “It’s not at all obvious that heating at altitudes above or around 80 km would induce convection at low altitudes. Basically the adiabatic lapse rate is likely to be absent below the lowest altitude that’s heated.”

        I agree, it’s not at all obvious, which is why I was avoiding the complication.

        I invite you to consider how deep convective circulation extends into the oceans on Earth. The top is heated near the equator, and cools near the poles. The denser polar water sinks to the bottom of the ocean, circulates equatorwards, and then rises again to flow across the surface polewards.

        Does the circulation only extend down as far as the sunlit layer, or deeper? How else is the deep ocean kept so cold, given that it is continually receiving heat input from the sun above and geothermally from the rocks below? What else could drive the global deep ocean circulation?

      • You know certainly that salinity is an important factor for the ocean circulation. It would be very different and possibly very weak without that specific effect that’s related to formation of Arctic ice cover during winters.

        If the circulation on Venus down from the main absorbing layers is driven at some moment by the colder polar regions, that’s likely to result in a lower atmosphere that does not follow the adiabatic lapse rate.

        Even the little solar radiation that reaches the surface helps in maintaining convection on Venus. That’s the only factor that I know to work that way. There may be others, but then their persistence must be explained as the most likely outcome would be a reduced lapse rate and stratification.

      • Nullius in Verba

        OK, I’ll put it another way.
        While it’s not clear to what extent convection would still occur on Venus without GHGs, you only have to check the wind speed on Venus to know that as things are, something *is* driving convection below the cloud layer at the moment. Quite vigorously, too. And the measured lapse rate matches the calculated adiabatic lapse rate.

        So would you agree that on Venus as it is in reality, the convective/adiabatic explanation is the better explanation for the current value of the surface temperature?

      • NIV,

        Venus is hot firstly because the part of the atmosphere that absorbs and radiates heat, and hence approaches the fairly moderate temperature appropriate to its albedo and distance from the sun, is the layer of clouds 80 km above the surface, and secondly because convective atmospheres commonly have a vertical temperature gradient called the adiabatic lapse rate that makes the surface far below that warmer by a fixed amount.

        What you are describing is essentially a GH effect. The effect of CO2 in Venus is at saturation levels. So yes, in a sense, the CO2 which in the lower levels of the Venusian atmosphere isn’t contributing to the overall effect. What matters is what happens on the effective radiation surface which you say is 80km high. Although this would vary according to the IR spectrum being measured.

        Similarly you could say the effective radiation surface of the Earth is 5 km high. Which is ~6 degC/km = ~30 deg C cooler than the surface. That again is the GHE.

      • Nullius in Verba

        “What you are describing is essentially a GH effect.”

        Yes. Exactly.

      • I most certainly do not agree that the Venus atmosphere would be to the least as it is without greenhouse gases.

        It’s remotely possible that they have their influence only in the upper part of the atmosphere, but there’s no possibility that they would not be essential in some part of the atmosphere.

        Convection maintains the adiabatic lapse rate, where it exists, but maintaining convection requires greenhouse gases. There are no other sources than the combination of solar radiation and greenhouse effect for free energy that would be even remotely sufficient.

      • Pekka and Nullius,

        I find it interesting that both of you failed to mention that at least some of the circulation of the oceans is driven by winds. In La Nina conditions wind pushes warm surface water west forcing colder water to surface to replace it. I would think that anytime there is a relatively steady wind similar conditions would prevail.

      • Nullius, temp, Pekka: Sorry to be bringing up the rear in this discussion, but to recap, as I understand so far…

        There are two greenhouse effects on Venus: one based on its thick, compressed atmosphere, the other based on the CO2-IR effect that we discuss in this blog with regard to Earth? And the interaction between them is complex?

      • Nullius in Verba

        “Convection maintains the adiabatic lapse rate, where it exists, but maintaining convection requires greenhouse gases.”

        I note your opinion.

        But I think it takes us too far afield. If we can get general agreement that the adiabatic lapse rate plays the major role when GHGs *are* available, I’d be very happy to move on to that question some other day.

        “I find it interesting that both of you failed to mention that at least some of the circulation of the oceans is driven by winds.”

        Some of it is driven by jellyfish swimming about, too. There are lots of contributors. But I was talking about the deep ocean circulation.

        “There are two greenhouse effects on Venus: one based on its thick, compressed atmosphere, the other based on the CO2-IR effect that we discuss in this blog with regard to Earth? And the interaction between them is complex?”

        Roughly speaking, the greenhouse effect in a convective atmosphere consists of two parts: the average altitude of emission to space settles at a temperature sufficient to radiate all the heat absorbed, and the temperature of all other altitudes are fixed in relation to it by the adiabatic lapse rate times the difference in heights.

        T_surface = T_emission + ALR*(h_emission – h_surface)

        T_emission is controlled by the amount of incoming sunlight, the planet’s albedo, etc.

        ALR is controlled by the force of gravity, the specific heat of the atmosphere, and on Earth, by the humidity.

        h_emission is controlled by the concentration of greenhouse gases, thickness of the atmosphere, height and thickness of Venusian clouds, etc.

        On Earth, increasing GHGs increases h_emission and hence the surface temperature.

        On Venus, (h_emission – h_surface) is very big because of the thickness of the atmosphere and the height of the thick light-absorbing/emitting clouds within it, which is why the surface is so hot.

      • Nullius,

        “Some of it is driven by jellyfish swimming about, too. There are lots of contributors. But I was talking about the deep ocean circulation.”

        And you think the deep ocean PUSHES the upwelling water up against the convective tendency of the colder water to sink?? And it does this purely on the sinking of the colder, more saline water at the poles??

      • I agree with Nullius on the description of the GHE in a convective atmosphere. The only issue that was not settled concerns the question on what’s needed to maintain the convection. Based on the above discussion neither of us has studied the issue sufficiently to have the best available understanding on that (I certainly don’t and the way Nullius expressed himself makes me think that he does’t either), but our preferred explanations seem to differ. What’s the level of certainty in the present scientific understanding of the Venus’s atmosphere is also unknown to me.

        Convection is driven by differences in the potential temperature, which is defined as the temperature that a parcel of atmosphere would have, when bought to a standard pressure by adiabatic compression or expansion. In a convective atmosphere the potential temperature at the lowest altitudes that solar radiation reaches is much higher than at the top of the atmosphere and also much higher than would be maintained by the radiative balance alone in absence of the greenhouse effect. Therefore those levels would cool, which would cause stratification and stop convection. Driving convection strongly enough to cancel this effect requires work, which must be produced by an “atmospheric heat engine”.

        Naturally we need the the strong downwelling radiation also at the Venus surface. The surface radiates IR according to the Stefan-Boltzmann law. Thus it would cool extremely rapidly unless it would be heated by essentially same power of downwelling radiation, as there’s very little solar radiation at the Venus surface. The downwelling radiation is the only significant energy flux to compensate for the energy loss involved in the emission. The downwelling radiation is that strong, because the lowest atmosphere opaque to IR and has essentially the same temperature as the surface. The greenhouse gases are thus totally essential for the surface temperature of Venus.

        Convection cannot heat the surface without the downwelling radiation from lowest atmosphere. Convection can heat the atmosphere even at low altitudes, but that requires something to drive the convection. There must be enough free energy production to compensate all dissipative losses of circulation. IR from the surface would also cause a similar loss at a high power, if the surface has a much higher temperature than the locations, which interact with it directly through radiative energy transfer. This loss is small, when the radiative energy transfer reaches only the lowest atmosphere of nearly the same temperature.

      • Nullius in Verba

        “And you think the deep ocean PUSHES the upwelling water up against the convective tendency of the colder water to sink?? And it does this purely on the sinking of the colder, more saline water at the poles??”

        Do I?

        I suppose you think that the weight of the salt in the top 1 m of water slowly frozen out over a period of 6 months is sufficient to drive vast currents half way around the world? You think that convergence zone winds blowing in towards the equator can drive ocean current towards the poles?

        You’re not nit-picking because you disagree, or don’t understand. You’re nit-picking to have something to say, to argue with. Ozzie was doing it just to be annoying. Andrew was doing it because he apparently had some sort of vision in his head of what he thought I believed, involving leprechauns, and couldn’t separate it from reality. Why are you doing it?

      • Nullius in Verba

        “I certainly don’t and the way Nullius expressed himself makes me think that he does’t either”

        I think it would be fair to say that I don’t have a good way of explaining it to make it clear, yet. As Feynman would have said, if you can’t explain it to a layman in non-technical terms, you don’t really understand it yourself.

        But given how the current much simpler debate has gone, I would expect it to be lengthy, convoluted, and argumentative, and I don’t have the energy at the moment to do it justice. I’d just get half way through and then abandon it unresolved. I’m sure there will be another opportunity.

        I appreciate the agreement on the initial point. Amongst (arguable) adversaries seeking out points of disagreement and weakness, we too often overlook giving feedback on where we do agree.

      • Nullius,

        Since you are claiming I am just being argumentative I would point out that you made a rather rude comment about jellyfish to attempt to make my comment sound silly.

        The question I believe was what causes currents and how does the ocean heat fluxes work. There were parallels being drawn between the atmosphere and the oceans. In the oceans convection cannot work the same as in the atmosphere as most of the heating is done in the top layer by the sun. I do not have all the answers or would try and explain them all just for you. What I did present is fact. If you think it is wrong state the case. Otherwise I will accept your concession that you were at least partially wrong.

      • Nullius in Verba

        It wasn’t intended to be rude – and probably no more so than suggesting I’d been neglectful not to say deep ocean currents were driven by wind as a way to make my comment that it was convection look silly. Jellyfish swimming up and down to the sunlit regions each day do actually play an important and previously unexpected role in deep ocean mixing, which in turn plays a role in propagating heat deeply enough into the water to drive convection.

        I will admit that in arguing with Andrew and others at the same time, who were being more than rude, some of the acerbic nature of those interactions may have spilled over into my other comments. If you found it so, I apologise.

        What I was saying is that there are lots of factors playing a role in driving ocean currents, including wind and salinity, but I would still contend that the only major energy source big enough to drive circulation on such a scale would be the heat differential. You objected that I failed to mention another factor. I simply pointed out that there were even more I was neglecting – I can’t mention them all.

        You say “In the oceans convection cannot work the same as in the atmosphere as most of the heating is done in the top layer by the sun.” I’m not sure what you mean by that. Obviously, it’s not exactly the *same*, since the physical arrangement is different, density, viscosity, compressibility, etc. are all different. Are you trying to say that in the oceans convection cannot work *at all* because most of the heating is done in the top layer by the sun?

        That seems to me to be to beg the question. The example was given to illustrate that convection is still possible (although far less efficient) with the temperature differential applied at the top. (Another way is to think of convection in reverse/negative: instead of concentrating on the warm fluid rising after being warmed, concentrate on what happens to the cold fluid after it has been cooled, sinking down from the top.) The same applies on Venus: the surface is at a constant temperature, while the temperature differential is at the cloud layer, and yet there are vast Hadley cells on Venus extending from the equator to 60 degrees of latitude, together with rapid high-altitude circulating winds below the clouds maintained by the high-altitude temperature differentials between equator and poles. It hardly seems fair to argue against examples intended to show that top-driven convection is possible by saying they can’t possibly be convection because they’re top-driven. At the least, you can’t expect me to simply accept that as sufficient.

        Do you have another reason for concluding that top-driven convection is necessarily impossible? Or was that not what you meant?

      • Nullius,

        mass convection similar to an atmosphere cannot work in the ocean as the upper layer is kept less dense by the heating. How do you get the warmer water down past the thermocline with convection?? The downwelling at the poles is convective due to cooling at the surface and the increase in salinity making the water denser than surrounding water. Upwelling has the problem that the water is denser than the water it seemingly replaces. To consider it to be pushed upwards by downwelling thousands of miles away simply is not credible. The forces spread and are not concentrated. Without the mechanical effect of the wind there would not be enough energy to bring that denser water to the surface against convective forces. It takes both plus the jellyfish and whatever else you wish to toss in. Here is an interesting page from NOAA:

        http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/currents/03coastal4.html

        It is also interesting as it claims downwelling alternates with upwelling on the west coast of the US based on the wind direction. They seem to separate the THC from the surface upwelling and downwelling caused by winds. As surface water goes down, then water must come up somewhere to replace it so their separation may only be to decrease confusion. Of course the THC is much slower than the surface flows. It also must include a much smaller area or would simply become too diffuse to be a coherent current at the slow speeds suggested. In fact, about a year ago a paper came out claiming to have observed small upwellings scattered over the central North Atlantic of water that was identified as having been recently part of the Arctic downwelling. This would seem to indicate that the THC is not quite as monolithic as thought and that inlets and outlets are varied along the general route. This then would indicate a more continuous mixing that would not keep all the heat, or CO2, down for 1000 years.

        http://blog.lib.umn.edu/mill1974/EGAD/022679.html

        Is an interesting blog post about British research on Arctic downwelling. They found that as the ice decreased the downwelling decreased. Of course, when the downwelling slows the surface current bringing warm water to the Arctic slows providing a natural feedback.

        So, is the hypothesis that the downwelling water isn’t as cold now as it was in the past caused by very slowly migrating very slightly warmer water to the depths on the back of the wind and convective pump? It would seem that this would cause a slight slowing of the currents as the differentials would be smaller. That should be measurable in the downwelling areas and not need deep measurements to prove or disprove. It might even be measureable in the upwelling areas. I wonder if anyone is doing the studies with fixed floats for more consistent measurements since the differential would be quite small. I would note that the THC was claimed to have slowed and in the last year or so sped back up. The question I guess would not be whether there can be changes in temperature of the deep oceans but whether they have a trend. The THC speed would make it seem that there was a small warming for a while that has now stopped.

        We still have the issue of how such strong winds can be driven on Venus. The lapse rate is close to the earth up to the clouds where it is about the same as the other planets by pressure. Again, the surface temperature only varies by about 1c. The surface winds are only about .3-1m/s. The atmospheric temperature is relatively stable with night and day very close and the most noticeable differences at the poles with the cyclones. It would appear that hot air is brought up from closer to the surface and would seem to qualify as a driver for the rotation. The issue here is that there simply isn’t enough area and energy involved to drive the entire atmosphere at equatorial speed of 540km/h at 65km height. Super-rotation does not pick up till about 10km height and is over about 95km height.

        http://www.imcce.fr/vt2004/en/fiches/fiche_n13_eng.html

        The last paragraph of this Venus paper talks about possible causes.

        http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/The_Unexpected_Temperature_Profile_Of_Venus_Atmosphere_999.html

        Had to include this article for yucks. They use the bicycle pump analogy to explain anomalously warm air pockets in the upper atmsphere. Figured to get a very small dig at those claiming that the pressure of the Venusian Atmosphere can’t heat the air!!

      • thermocline:
        “Most of the heat energy of sunlight is absorbed in the first few centimeters at the ocean’s surface, which heats up during the day, and cools at night (as heat energy is lost to space by radiation). Waves mix the water near the surface layer and distribute heat to deeper water, such that the temperature may be relatively uniform for up to 100 m (300 ft)

        The thermocline varies in depth. It is semi-permanent in the tropics, variable in temperate regions (often deepest during the summer), and shallow to nonexistent in the polar regions”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermocline

        Wave action is large factor. But it’s deepest in temperate zone during summer [are there more storms and wave action in the summer?]

        Photic zone
        “The photic zone or euphotic zone (Greek for “well lit”: εὖ “good” + φῶς “light”) is the depth of the water in a lake or ocean that is exposed to sufficient sunlight for photosynthesis to occur. The depth of the photic zone can be affected greatly by seasonal turbidity.

        It extends from the atmosphere-water interface downwards to a depth where light intensity falls to one percent of that at the surface, called the euphotic depth. Accordingly, its thickness varies widely on the extent of light attenuation in the water column. Typical euphotic depths vary from only a few centimetres in highly turbid eutrophic lakes, to around 200 metres in the open ocean.”

        So most of energy of sunlight reaches a few centimeter beneath the water, but visible light can reach down to 200 meter. So within the thermocline. One has significant amount of energy from the sun. Obviously, if sun angle is low this energy can penetrate to shallower depth, and if directly overhead can penetrate to deepest levels.
        Therefore in temperate zones when sun is at higher angle, it can reach lower depth and therefore increase the depth of the thermocline in the temperate ocean areas during the summer.

  55. I have exposed the incorrect derivation of the incorrect form of SB in yet another post

    http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com/2011/10/from-plancks-law-to-false-sb.html

    I have asked Grant and Judy for a reaction, because they started this post questioning my work. Sniper shooting from some hide out is not the idea of scientific debate: If you say something you should be able to stand up for your statement and not run away from responsibility. The discussion concerns a basic law of physics, SB, and my criticism that an incorrect form
    of SB is used in climate science, must be met sooner or later, because of its crucial role in CO2 alarmism.

    Come on now Judy: You have given up backradiation and since DLR = backradiation, your next step will have to be to give up DLR and thus the very basis of CO2 alarmism.

    My criticism will not disappear just because you hide and say nothing. If you run a blog criticizing my work, you have to meet my response by arguments and not just empty silence. Right?

  56. I will be happy to respond to any criticism if it is only articulated concisely and not hidden in many thousands of comments. What is the criticism? My derivation of Planck’s law? My conclusion that False-SB is not true?

    • It strikes me that sometimes there is a lack of comprehension between what a mathematician will accept as a proof and what as scientist will accept.
      I only pursued mathematics to the second year of a university course apart from some free standing modules.
      I remember that in mathematics it sometimes took 12 pages or so to prove what seemed to me to be the “bleedin obvious”.

      But of course the mathematicians were correct.
      When a gifted mathematician like Claes comments on equations he cannot be ignored.

      Physicists originally had only 3 laws of thermodynamics and overlooked what is now known as the zeroth law.
      When this was pointed out it had to be proved by experiment.
      The zeroth law is as usual quite awkward to fit into a greenhouse theory.
      Two objects are at thermal equilibrium(same temperature).
      What happens when you bring a third object close to the two?
      A clumsy greenhouse enthusiast would expect the temperature to rise due to the extra radiation.
      However a more skilled believer would be able to reconcile the theory with the reality that there is no change.

      • I should have made clear that the third object is at the same temperature as the original two.

      • Nullius in Verba

        It depends on whether the third object is at the same temperature as the background, and whether the heat being supplied to the system changes.

        For the two objects to be in equilibrium in colder surroundings, heat must be being constantly supplied to them from somewhere to keep them at a fixed temperature.

        If the third object blocks some of the heat from escaping, but heat is still being supplied at the same rate, then the supplied heat (not heat from the third object) raises the temperature.

        The backradiation from the new object is just a way of explaining what is meant by the escape of heat being “blocked”.

      • If you have two people starting out with $1000 each, and they are paying bills at the rate of $100 a month, then a third party comes along (who has about 300 bucks) and starts giving each one of the first two $10 bucks a month, their money will last longer. Case closed.

      • Don, how do you extend this analogy to the hazards of global warming? All the sudden we have $2,300 in the system. Then we have $2,400. Now we have out-of-control money growth. Soon we have $3,000 flying around killing endangered Polar bears and melting the ice caps where the average temperature is -50C. Then we hit a tipping point and there is $10,000. OMG! We need a government program.

      • I don’t extend the analogy to the hazards of global warming. I don’t have to believe in catastrophic global warming, just because I am willing to admit to the basic physics of heat transfer by radiation. You should try admitting it. It doesn’t hurt that much. And others, who are in the know, will then look upon you as possibly being rational.

      • I have to say, adding $300 from some source outside the system, then claiming it has some relevance to conservation of money in a system is a typical kind of accounting we see from global warming activists. It reminds me of atmospheric 340 W/m^2 as a source of energy contributing to surface warming in the Keihl/Trenberth energy balance diagram.

      • I was merely following the discussion that involved three objects, to illustrate a point on the basic physics of radiation heat transfer. I didn’t say that the third object (in the analogy, a person) came from outside the system. Let’s say that all the money originally comes from the Sun. If I was interested in wasting any more time on you, I would make an analogy with the velocity of money in an economy, but you wouldn’t understand that either.

      • Ken,

        “All the sudden we have $2,300 in the system. Then we have $2,400. Now we have out-of-control money growth.”

        Are you making fun of leftists and their economic plan or climate scientists?? 8>)

    • Claes

      http://xkcd.com/967/

      Perhaps you need to be American to understand the criticism?

  57. Grant Petty states (optimistically – and a bit defensively – IMO):

    “The nature of real modern science is that fraudulent claims don’t go undetected long, because too many people are working on pieces of the same giant jigsaw puzzle, and when pieces don’t fit, they look around for the reason.”

    This is arguably true for those “pieces of the giant jigsaw puzzle” that are visible today, but it takes a leap of faith to think that it is true for predictions made today for decades or even centuries in the future (as we see in IPCC reports).

    When can we see that the IPCC projections of up to 6.4°C human-induced warming over the 21st century “don’t fit”?

    Can we get a first clue when the prediction of 0.2°C warming over the first decade of the 21st century didn’t “fit”?

    Max

  58. kuhnkat says
    “If you research it you will find that the surface temperature of Venus is very consistent with little variation one would expect to find if it was due to insolation. The atmospheric temperatures below the clouds are similar in that there is little change from equator to pole or day to night hemisphere. These facts mean there is little chance that the energy from the winds are provided from differential heating and convection similar to earth. Additionally the winds are primarily in the rotational plane rather than toward the poles.”

    “A giant vortex at the south pole of Venus is actually a shape-shifter that changes form at least once a day, at times bizarrely taking on the appearance of a giant letter “S” or the number “8,” a new study reveals.

    Venus, the second closest planet to the sun, possesses giant, hot and essentially permanent vortexes of clouds whirling fast at its poles. These result from how Venus’ atmosphere circulates much faster than any other rocky planet’s in the solar system — the cloud-level atmosphere of Venus on average spins 60 times faster than the planet’s surface.”
    http://www.space.com/11325-venus-vortex-changes-shape.html

    I’ll repeat:
    “These result from how Venus’ atmosphere circulates much faster than any other rocky planet’s in the solar system — the cloud-level atmosphere of Venus on average spins 60 times faster than the planet’s surface.”

    Venus does rotate quite slow. Earth rotates at 1000 mph, so that is quite different than Venus. Rather figure out the mph of the wind. I see if another article about.
    “High velocity winds are known to spin westwards around the planet, and to take only four days to complete a rotation. This ‘super-rotation’, combined with the natural recycling of hot air in the atmosphere, would induce the formation of a vortex structure over each pole. But why two vortexes?”
    http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMYGQEFWOE_index_0.html
    That article has interesting thermal images. But still no speed.

    “Thermal infrared imagery from the Pioneer Venus spacecraft subsequently revealed an enormous depression in the cloud blanket at the North Pole. This relatively warm polar ‘hole’ was thought to be caused by downward movement of gases, rather like water flowing down a drain. However, detailed examination of the thick clouds and dense atmosphere over the South Pole had to wait until the arrival of Venus Express in April 2006.
    ….
    “The new observations, reported this week in the journal Science on the Science Express website, show that the vortex has a highly variable shape and internal structure. Images show that its morphology is constantly changing on timescales of less than 24 hours, as a result of differential rotation.”
    http://www.spacedog.eu/solar-system/venus/the-amazing-southern-vortex-of-venus.html
    Interesting bit while looking:
    “The amount of water vapour present today in the atmosphere of Venus would be enough to cover the planet with a 3-centimetre deep liquid layer. If we find out that heavy water – a trace of the original water – is massively present in the top atmospheric layers where it can more easily escape, than the amount of water in the past may have well corresponded to a layer up to a few hundred metres deep,” Bertaux concluded.
    http://www.universetoday.com/274/science-updates-from-venus-express/

    “”Although the air over the polar regions in these upper atmospheric layers on Venus was colder than the air over the equator in most measurements, occasionally it appeared to be warmer,” said Dr. Theodor Kostiuk of NASA Goddard. “In Earth’s atmosphere, a circulation pattern called a ‘Hadley cell’ occurs when warm air rises over the equator and flows toward the poles, where it cools and sinks. Since the atmosphere is denser closer to the surface, the descending air gets compressed and warms the upper atmosphere over Earth’s poles. We saw the opposite on Venus. In addition, although the surface temperature is fairly even, we’ve seen substantial changes – up to 54 degrees Fahrenheit (about 30 K change) – within a few Earth days in the mesosphere – thermosphere layers over low latitudes on Venus. The poles appeared to be more stable, but we still saw changes up to 27 degrees Fahrenheit (about 15 K change).” ”
    And finally:
    “This upper atmospheric variability could have many possible causes, according to the team. Turbulence from global air currents at different altitudes flowing at more than 200 miles per hour in opposite directions could exchange hot air from below with cold air from above to force changes in the upper atmosphere. Also, giant vortexes swirl around each pole. They, too, could generate turbulence and change the pressure, causing the temperature to vary. ”
    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/venus-temp20110926.html

    • gbalkie,

      Do you like the way there are few FACTS in their suggestions as to what MIGHT cause the winds?? 8>)

      • That’s science- it takes a while.
        “Venus Express (VEX) is the first Venus exploration mission of the European Space Agency. Launched in November 2005, it arrived at Venus in April 2006 and has been continuously sending back science data from its polar orbit around Venus. Equipped with seven science instruments, the main objective of the mission is the long term observation of the Venusian atmosphere. The observation over such long periods of time has never been done in previous missions to Venus, and is key to a better understanding of the atmospheric dynamics. It is hoped that such studies can contribute to an understanding of atmospheric dynamics in general, while also contributing to an understanding of climate change on Earth. The mission is currently funded by ESA through 31 December 2012.”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_Express
        So Venus Express in terms of getting scientific information has barely begun, and years after the mission is finished, the data will continue to be developed and analyzed.

  59. I said:
    “Earth has 174 petawatts incoming energy. Venus might have at least twice this amount [or 4 or more times] to think that say 100 petawatt or more is added to outgoing energy seems unexplainable.”

    I was guessing wrong. It about twice the solar energy per sq meter of earth and Venus is slightly smaller. So not “at least twice” but about twice or little bit less than twice. And certainly not “4 or more times”
    So around 300 petawatts.
    But if one talking about tens to hundreds of petawatt difference, interior heat of Venus is unlikely explanation.

    • gbalkie,

      The cloud layer makes a strong dividing line between the upper atmosphere and the surface. The surface of Venus only gets about 18% of the insolation of earth due to the reflectivity of the clouds and the absorption of the atmosphere.

  60. IMO, this group has damaged the credibility of skepticism about climate change and provides a convenient target when people want to refer to “deniers” and crackpots.

    In one way it’s helpful. It separates skeptics who are skeptical of the over-sell of certainty of the model and certain aspects of the science, vs those who think the whole thing is a flat out fraud.

  61. Nullius in Verba:
    “where I showed that the back-radiation argument applied to water would cause the oceans to boil!”

    Most of the ocean floor are inky darkness. But many lakes should boil.

  62. Dr Curry,
    I’m not so sure that someone claiming that climate models are “grounded in real science and physics”, whereas they are formally invalidated by comparison to observations, would deserve being called a scientist.
    And I’m not so sure he would deserve our attention.

  63. There still seems to be a lot of argument over the natural GH effect. I would say its all driven to the AGW issue and a desire to completely counter any argument that human CO2 emissions can possibly cause any further warming, and so making the world safe for unlimited expansionary capitalism.

    The natural GH effect has been known for over a hundred years now. Were there any significant objections to it before the AGW issue came to the fore in the late 80’s?

    • That is a good question, tempt. You might also ask why anybody would have given much thought to the issue, before hysterical alarmists started running around trying to shut down the World economy. It would also be interesting to know how many scientists were employed in the climate industry, before the big scare/big boom began.

      • “You might also ask why anybody would have given much thought to the issue…

        But, Don, that’s what true scientists do! They look at problems dispassionately. They are driven by a sense of inate curiousity. They don’t start thinking about an issue just because they think that it may have an effect on the price of petrol/gasoline!

      • tt, That must explain how the ‘green’ company that brought us the Gossamer Albatross with NASA help and our money, is now going to sell the US ARMY, kamikazes’ in a tube. If skeptics don’t get it, you can now get them… you will experience no collateral damage while you are using: Switchblade…

        http://www.avinc.com/resources/press_release/u.s._army_awards_av_4.9_million_contract_for_switchblade_agile_munition_sys

        Maybe we should put our Air Jordan’s, on now? Cold science for a cure.

    • Temp,

      GH theory was known for about 100 years. During that time it was advanced at least 3 times and refuted each time. It wasn’t until the 70’s/80’s that it became accepted by Climate Scientists and those not paying attention.

  64. temp,

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm

    This is an AGW centric history.

    They don’t even mention Wood’s experiment!!

  65. Ken Coffman | October 16, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    I don’t know anyone who disputes the idea that things with mass and temperate radiate. That’s not the point. The point is, can radiation be emitted from a surface, absorbed, then re-emitted to come back to the surface and make it warmer than it was? This is necessary to support the warming argument–that we will experience higher and higher average temperatures and higher and higher peak temperatures. It baffles me that anyone with the slightest clue about thermodynamics would believe this, but they do.

    It baffles me that anyone with a knowledge of thermodynamics would post what you do, but there you go perhaps you really don’t know much about thermo. Explain to me in your thermodynamics how an unshielded thermocouple in an open flame can measure a temperature of say 1500ºC and then when a radiation shield is added around it the measured temperature will increase. This is well established physics and is well understood, there are excellent NACA reports on the subject for example.
    So let’s have your answer, I fully expect that you will do what Claes Johnson did when I posed the same question to him, i.e. runa way and hide!

    • What is this radiation shield? Something that reflects radiation? Does it have any effect on convection? Is it something that absorbs radiation and achieves a higher temperature than the flame? If so, I would be very impressed. Good luck with that.

      • So you’re too lazy even to look it up!

        It’s a cylindrical shield that prevents the radiation from the hot Th/C interacting with the surroundings, the shield itself heats up to a temperature close to the original temperature of the Th/C. Because the Th/C is now exchanging radiation with the shield which is hotter than the surroundings (but not as hot as Th/C itself) the temperature of the Th/C increases to nearer the true temperature of the flame. Sometimes a second shield is used around the first which allows a further, but smaller increase in temperature. Temperature differences can be as much as 100ºC.

      • Phil, do you really expect to get Coffman or Johnson (or any of the Sky Dragon Slayers) to abandon one of their two key “debate” tactics: Ignore & Deny

        First, they’re ignore, then they’ll deny.

        And in between, they’ll interject a convoluted and disingenuous discussion of convection currents, adiabatic lapse rates, and how many angels can be compressed onto the head of a pin.

        It’s long been clear their goal is to not the change the minds of scientists, but to convince the public that a debate is raging over global warming among scientists.

        For almost half a century, the tobacco industry was able to get away with this scam using some of the very same “think tanks” and PR agencies that are now working to deceive the public about climate science.

        Trust me, Hades will freeze over before you get Ken Coffman to acknowledge why thermocouple shields are used and how they work. Acknowledging facts which refute their pseudoscientific claims is just not in the Sky Dragon Slayer’s play book.

      • Andrew
        Its really commendable for you to turn up in your spare time to this thread to learn some physics.

        However your day job is as an investigative journalist I believe.
        Well here’s a scoop for you.

        Over at WUWT they are running an item on how Al Gore faked a number of experiments for his recent TV presentation of Climate Science 101.
        You being a fearless seeker after truth will bring your own analysis to expose such fraud.
        Some unkind people will think that you wont bother because you are a party hack.
        Go on and prove them wrong.

      • Phil,

        Yes, I am too lazy to look it up. I also don’t see how blocking radiation from the hot or burning material causing an INCREASE in measured temps helps the AGW theory, but, I am dumb or uneducated or something.

        Would you mind giving us a link to the NACA report(s)?

      • I’m traveling and can’t invest any time in this at the moment. Please don’t feel any obligation to make this easy for me, Phil. There are interesting cases where things with large thermals masses and accompanying long thermal time constants can have increasing temperatures after a heat source is removed, but these cases conserve energy. Of course they do. I’m curious about this radiation shield…how its constructed, what it’s made of and the intended point of using it. But, don’t trouble yourself, Phil, when I get time, I’ll poke around and figure it out.

    • Phil says
      …..”Explain to me in your thermodynamics how an unshielded thermocouple in an open flame can measure a temperature of say 1500ºC and then when a radiation shield is added around it the measured temperature will increase. This is well established physics and is well understood, there are excellent NACA reports on the subject for example.”……
      Most people understand insulation.
      The shieding will produce an insulating effect.
      Heat will be impeded from leaving the area of the open flame.
      Remember that heat can travel by conduction convection and radiation
      If the amount of energy being produced by the flame stays constant but less escapes then the thermistors temperature must rise.
      The radiation shield should( if it is any good) have good radiative insulative properties .
      A “perfect” radiation shield would reflect all radiation landing on it back in the direction of the flame.
      It would not absorb any of the radiation landing on it!
      So this example does not advance the cause of a belief in a CO2 powered greenhouse effect.

      • No the shield doesn’t reflect the radiation at all, it relies on absorption and emission. Try again!

      • Phil you have not given a link to your radiation shield.
        You have left everyone trying to guess what (if anything) you are trying to say!
        I can assure you that a “perfect” reflector would not absorb any radiation.
        You will no doubt be familial with the perfect absorber the famous “black body” which also does not exist.

      • It’s not ‘my’ radiation shield it’s standard technology, just Google it, they’ve been around for decades!
        A thermocouple in a flame receives heat mostly by convection but cools via radiation and at the steady temperature convection and radiative loss are balanced.For a typical Th/C parameters the measured temperature in an open flame is about 100ºC low at a flame temp of about 1200ºC.
        Putting a cylindrical shield around the Th/C doesn’t affect convection but interposes a hot radiating body (preferably high emissivity) between the Th/C and the surroundings. Typically the Tshield will be `1300K rather than 300K, a factor of ~4X so the returned thermal energy will be about 256X larger so radiative loss is very much reduced and therefore the measured temperature will be much closer to the flame temperature. So the Th/C is hotter because it is receiving radiation from the cooler shield.
        All standard heat transfer, known to engineers and used by them for decades.

      • Phil,

        Thanks for the explanation as far as it goes. I would note that the TC still does not reach the temperature of the flames. The TC is warmed more with the radiation from the flames blocked and replaced with radiation from a solid surface which is exposed to more flame area than the TC and will be a more consistent black body form, meaning a wider range of frequencies. I would also point out that the shield apparently becomes the energy supply for the TC which has nothing to do with the atmospheric configuration. Taking the earth and surrounding it with a solid shell tells us little about the physics of a gaseous atmosphere.

        You have not described the orientation of the shield and how it is mounted and the coverage or the materials involved so it is impossible to research the specific properties so I have no idea of other issues. It is also impossible to know whether the increased absorption area of the shield is CONDUCTING to the TC through the mounts or just concentrating the energy from the larger absorption area of the shield.

        Again, a link please? How about a search string that will get it onto the first couple of pages of results?

      • Phil, you might as well give up. Bryan and the other deniers are not in any way bound by reality. Bryan and Ken will just respond with gibberish while utterly ignoring the physics of shielded thermocouples you’ve just explained.

        They’re not trying to convince scientists that they’re wrong. They’re only trying to convince the uninformed public that scientists can’t agree.

        The more you argue with them, they more they’ll brag how “scientists don’t agree” on the global effects of burning fossil fuels. And since they can’t agree, it would be recklessly foolish to devote any limited public funding to finding alternative energy. If you’re paying attention to public opinion polls, you would know that this well-funded strategy is working only too well.

      • Andrew
        why are you not trying to pin down Al Gore with his pack of fake experiments?.
        It appears more likely that you are a biased hack rather than a fair minded objective reporter.

        Don’t you think that Phil’s failure to come up with link to a particular radiation shield is rather odd?
        If you google “radiation shield” you get thousands of hits of all sorts.
        Which one is he talking about?

        Phil’s “radiation shield” apparently needs to be a very good absorber, so let it be a perfect black body.
        If you combine it with CO2 you can create a new improved class of thermos flasks .

        Old thermos flask technology
        Double glass concentric bottles with a vacuum between them and highly silvered reflective coating on the vacuum side of bottles.

        New IPCC approved technology (as above with these changes)
        Replace the vacuum with high pressure CO2
        Replace the silvered highly reflective coating with a perfect black body coating.
        Take out a patent on it and make a fortune.

      • Thanks Brya for illustrating my point.

      • I just want to hold their feet to the fire with their nonsense. Claes Johnson and his ‘new derivations’, if he can’t explain well established physics of radiation heat transfer which is used in practical devices every day then it’s not worth the paper it’s written on. When presented with the problem he just runs away and hides, the guy’s a charlatan and proves it when he ducks the questions.

      • “When presented with the problem [Claes Johnson] just runs away and hides, the guy’s a charlatan and proves it when he ducks the questions.”

        You noticed that too? I’m still trying to get him to explain how the atoms in a “black body” are able to “catabolize” and “anabolize” like living cells.

        The only explanation I’ve been able to get out of him is that he likes to “speak in parables.” Just like Jesus.

      • Phil,

        I would suggest that you not make disparaging remarks about people like Claes Johnson until you take the time to understand what the heck he is talking about.

        You might start with explaining to me exactly how an instrument that measures the BRIGHTNESS in frequencies different that the ones we are interested in is helpful in telling us anything about the amount of energy that is alledgedly absorbed by the surface from IR emitted by GHG’s.

        Maybe the ASSUMPTION of SB is built into the instrument?? Still doesn’t tell me how much fabled DLR there is or whether it is absorbed, reflected, eaten by the Cookie Monster on Sesame Street…

  66. Nullius in Verba

    “The point is, can radiation be emitted from a surface, absorbed, then re-emitted to come back to the surface and make it warmer than it was?”

    Like others, I have some difficulty working out what the problem is – but it’s like that with a lot of conceptual problems. They’re only obvious when you see it.

    I have little hope, but I’ll try a different approach. Collect a bucket of pebbles and sit down with two friends. One friend sits with the bucket, and throws them to you at a constant rate, one a second, say. You collect a few and then start throwing them away, the more you have, the faster you get rid of them, so if you have less than five you only throw one every two seconds, when you have ten you throw one every second, when you have thirty you throw away two every second, and so on. After a while, you should find you settle down with enough pebbles that you’re throwing them away as fast as you get them – ten, say.

    Now get your other friend to start catching half of them and throwing them back. He has no bucket of pebbles, every pebble he gets from you, so clearly you can’t be getting any extra pebbles from him. Every pebble passed between you goes both ways, for a net transfer of zero.

    The question is, with both of your friends now throwing pebbles at you, do you accumulate any more, until you can increase the rate at which you throw them away? If so, where do they come from?

    “This is necessary to support the warming argument”

    No, not really. As I keep saying, you can explain the greenhouse effect without invoking back radiation at all, and you can cite cases with significant back radiation and no greenhouse warming. It’s got nothing to do with it, arguing against it achieves precisely nothing, and it wastes a lot of time that could be better used attacking the areas where there are real weaknesses. Think of it as a decoy, if you like.

  67. Nullius, you have to add some features to your thought experiment to make it line up with the concepts of global warming. A few minutes thought would do it for you if your mind was open. For one thing, the bucket you’re taking stones from gets dumped out every evening…this is a reset condition. Rarefied gases don’t have any storage capacity compared to the heat sink and heat emitter that really matters, the oceans. There are lots of things wrong with your analogy, but never mind. If you want to believe a cold, rarefied gas can store (or block, or whatever) outgoing thermal energy and kick it back to the surface to make it warmer than it started, then have at it. Think about all the horrible things global warming is supposed to do, then try to figure out how a small modulation of cooling rate can cause these effects? You want to believe it? Don’t let me stand in your way.

    • Ken as I see it;
      On matters of substance Nullius has similar views about the thermodynamics of the troposphere to those of Jebling and Gilbert.
      Postma and Hans Schroeder also would find large agreement with his view that;
      1. The adiabatic atmosphere recirculates heat and is largely responsible for the 33K difference between Earth surface and effective emission level
      2. CO2 is IR active and plays a minor role in the troposphere, sometimes slowing down heat transfer and sometimes increasing it.
      3. Where CO2’s role is more significant is at TOA where it radiated to space.

    • Nullius in Verba

      “For one thing, the bucket you’re taking stones from gets dumped out every evening…this is a reset condition.”

      The bucket represents the sun.

      “Think about all the horrible things global warming is supposed to do, then try to figure out how a small modulation of cooling rate can cause these effects?”

      That’s an entirely different question.

      As I keep trying to say, acceptance of one aspect of climate science does not imply acceptance of all the others. I am a sceptic – I don’t believe in catastrophic global warming predictions – but I’m also a physicist and I’m not going to say the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist at all when it’s quite clear to me that it does. It’s badly named, doesn’t work the way they say, and the change in it is likely to be undetectably small, but it does exist.

      If there were people around saying you had to give all your wealth to the priests to stop the coming flood drowning the entire world, you’d be the person telling everyone that there’s no such thing as rain.

  68. This week the British Medical Journal, one of the world’s leading science publications, hosted an international conference on the health effects of climate change that was attended by 300 delegates from healthcare, the military, climate science, industry, business, and politics.
    The latest issue of the journal has an editorial by three leading economists plus a commentary by BMJ’s editor, Dr. Fiona Godlee, warning physicians and other health care professionals that the greatest threat to public health now comes from the effects of global warming.

    http://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d6789.full

    How on earth do we combat climate change?

    The greatest risk to human health is neither communicable nor non-communicable disease, it is climate change. Saying this, as I and others have started doing at conferences, seems to take a certain courage. We’ve been emboldened by clear statements from WHO’s director general Margaret Chan and from the Lancet (www.thelancet.com/climate-change). But this week, at a meeting hosted by the BMJ in collaboration with an extraordinary alliance of organisations (http://climatechange.bmj.com, doi:10.1136/bmj.d6775), it became clear that we are going to have to get braver still.

    Let me begin by acknowledging that putting climate change at the top of the list of things to worry about is hard when faced with the daily challenges of clinical care: supporting the family of a suicidal person, advising a woman with polycystic ovaries about the possible outcomes of a pregnancy, telling a young person he or she has maturity onset diabetes, or treating asylum seekers while under pressure not to do so.

    But to the top of your list climate change must go. The meeting of over 300 delegates from healthcare, the military, climate science, industry, business, and politics, heard frightening news that none of us want to hear, made more frightening by the measured way it was delivered. As Lord Michael Jay said in his opening remarks, there is no need for hype; the cold hard science is scary enough. Chris Rapley, former director of the Science Museum and head of the British Antarctic Survey, told us that “the science is overwhelming and settled.” His conclusions were unflinching: “Is the planet warming? Yes. Is it us? Yes. Does it matter? Yes. Must we do something about it? Yes.”

    To prevent catastrophic climate change, global temperatures will need to rise by less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100. At or above such temperatures, health and military experts painted a picture of economic and social breakdown, with death and disease on a massive scale caused by resource shortages, migration, and conflict (BMJ 2011;342:d1819). Business as usual will raise temperatures by 5°C. Even if all current pledges on carbon emissions are met, we will hit 4.3°C. The consequences of such global temperatures are unsurvivable. A statement released at the meeting calls for governments to aim for a safer, lower rise of 1.5°C by 2100. But how on earth to achieve this?

    Professor Hugh Montgomery of University College London, who instigated the meeting, concluded with stark honesty: “What can we do? I don’t know.” The UK’s Climate and Energy Security Envoy, Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti, agreed that there was no clear answer but that we now need to own the problem and the solutions, both as individuals and at an institutional level. “No more talk of them and us,” he said. The meeting concluded that we must give politicians the ammunition they need if we are to create radically different ways of living, and we must develop better narratives to articulate the health and economic benefits of tackling climate change. An editorial this week takes up the challenge.

    • The madness of crowds. Combat climate change? We might as well combat gravity. Or seasons. Or night and day.

      • … or smoking-related cancers, heart disease, birth defects, and emphysema, or HIV, or Measles, Mumps, Chickenpox, and other vaccine-preventable diseases,

        You’re right, it is a daunting challenge to combat such health problems when you have powerful industries financing opposition to change. It took the public health community a half century to prevail over the hired-gun “scientists” who were able to deceive the public into believing there was no scientific consensus on the deadly effects of tobacco on smokers as well as on the victims of second-hand smoke.

        Madness of the crowds indeed.

      • Climate changes by default. It’s the natural state of climate. It’s never stopped and it will never stop changing. We still don’t completely understand which factors drive the changes so we can’t know which way it will go if we try to change it intentionally. It’s mad to want to combat climate change. We might as well wanna combat seasons, like I said.

        We have powerful industries financing war on climate change and it’s just like the war on terror – crazy, stupid and senseless. When is the war on climate change over? When the climate stops changing? That’s never. You want perpetual war on climate change?

      • Where or where have we heard a spin like Edim’s before?

        “Climate changes by default. It’s the natural state of climate. It’s never stopped and it will never stop changing. We still don’t completely understand which factors drive the changes so we can’t know which way it will go if we try to change it intentionally. It’s mad to want to combat climate change. We might as well wanna combat seasons, like I said.”

        Oh my, how well he channels the double-speak of a tobacco industry flak some 40 years ago:

        “Cancer is a disease that arises from natural and largely unknown causes. Scientists still don’t fully understand how any cancer begins. We now know a lot about how to treat it, but we know next to nothing how to prevent it. It would be unwise to pass laws restricting the enjoyment of millions of Americans who choose to smoke based on guesses that have not been proven scientifically. They would force millions of Americans out of work with no reason to believe they would prevent a single case of cancer.”

        Anyone else here an echo here? Today’s well-financed deniers have taken the scripts used by tobacco industry flaks for more than 40 years and have just swapped a few words here and there.

      • Andrew,

        You’re the one who’s using Orwellian phrase Climate Change in order to spin (maybe not intentionally). AGW machine is well financed, by Big Oil too. Sceptics are mostly lovers of science and are disgusted by the pseudo-science. We disagree and that’s ok, but time will tell.

        “We’ve learned from experience that the truth will come out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature’s phenomena will agree or they’ll disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven’t tried to be very careful in this kind of work. And it’s this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the research in Cargo Cult Science.”

        Have a nice day

      • “You’re the one who’s using Orwellian phrase Climate Change in order to spin.”

        Hmmm. I can’t seem to find the scientific term “climate change” in Orwell’s great novels on dystopia. Oh, wait! It’s a joke, right?

        “The AGW machine is well financed, by Big Oil too.”

        LOL! I should have read the rest of your post. Funny one.

        “Sceptics are mostly lovers of science and are disgusted by the pseudo-science.”

        Ha,ha, ha, ha. Better stop or I’ll wind up wetting myself.

        You ever try stand up?

      • Andrew,

        I see you’re not being serious. It’s not a game. If you have any comments/questions, be my guest. I am not interested in LOL-ing.

      • Edim, you’re wrong again. I am very serious.

        You don’t seem to understand the use of satire any more than you understand the use of science. Satire is writing that uses irony, sarcasm, or ridicule to hold human folly and vice up to scorn. Don’t for a moment doubt that, when I scorn you, I’m being serious.

      • Andrew,

        You don’t sound serious at all. Do you want to combat climate change? Do you think humans should combat climate change? If yes, please confirm. Maybe I misunderstand.

    • Misunderstand? Edim, the fact that you ask this after I posted the British Medical Journal commentary on the unprecedented threat to world health from human-caused global warming shows you understand nothing.

      • The world has been gradually warming since 1600’s.
        In the last 150years the increase is about 0.7C.
        Since 1998 there has been no increase!
        Relax!!!

      • Bryan, that’s such a total and ridiculous lie even you know it’s false.

        As Dr. Curry (a co-author of the studies) just posted, the results of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Group studies were released today and they confirm that there’s been more than a 0.9 degree Centigrade increase in average land temperature across the earth over the past 50 (not 150) years and that the increase in the temperature curve has even steepened since 1998

        http://www.berkeleyearth.org/analysis.php

        Shame on you Pinocchio.

      • Yes, and I commented on that commentary. It’s bad. Propaganda full of wiesel words and Orwellian language.

        “But to the top of your list climate change must go. The meeting of over 300 delegates from healthcare, the military, climate science, industry, business, and politics, heard frightening news that none of us want to hear, made more frightening by the measured way it was delivered. As Lord Michael Jay said in his opening remarks, there is no need for hype; the cold hard science is scary enough. Chris Rapley, former director of the Science Museum and head of the British Antarctic Survey, told us that “the science is overwhelming and settled.” His conclusions were unflinching: “Is the planet warming? Yes. Is it us? Yes. Does it matter? Yes. Must we do something about it? Yes.”

        To prevent catastrophic climate change, global temperatures will need to rise by less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100. At or above such temperatures, health and military experts painted a picture of economic and social breakdown, with death and disease on a massive scale caused by resource shortages, migration, and conflict (BMJ 2011;342:d1819). Business as usual will raise temperatures by 5°C. Even if all current pledges on carbon emissions are met, we will hit 4.3°C. The consequences of such global temperatures are unsurvivable. A statement released at the meeting calls for governments to aim for a safer, lower rise of 1.5°C by 2100 (doi:10.1136/bmj.d6760). But how on earth to achieve this?”

        The science is settled? Cold hard science? Frightening news? Catastrophic? To prevent climate change? Death and disease on a massive scale? 5°C? Unsurvivable?

      • Edim, excuse me for saying so, but your baseless opinion is like a miasma, gaseous and of no benefit to anyone.

      • “the fact that you ask this after I posted the British Medical Journal commentary on the unprecedented threat to world health from human-caused global warming shows you understand nothing.”

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        Yup, epidemiology studies are one of the few areas that might be even more stupid and corrupt than IPCC Climate Science!!!

  69. kuhnkat | October 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    Phil,

    Thanks for the explanation as far as it goes. I would note that the TC still does not reach the temperature of the flames. The TC is warmed more with the radiation from the flames blocked and replaced with radiation from a solid surface which is exposed to more flame area than the TC and will be a more consistent black body form, meaning a wider range of frequencies.

    No, I was very clear the heating of the Th/C is primarily by convection from the flame not radiation!

    I would also point out that the shield apparently becomes the energy supply for the TC which has nothing to do with the atmospheric configuration.

    Really, so you agree that the hotter thermocouple is being heated by the cooler shield?

    Taking the earth and surrounding it with a solid shell tells us little about the physics of a gaseous atmosphere.

    You have not described the orientation of the shield and how it is mounted and the coverage or the materials involved so it is impossible to research the specific properties so I have no idea of other issues. It is also impossible to know whether the increased absorption area of the shield is CONDUCTING to the TC through the mounts or just concentrating the energy from the larger absorption area of the shield.

    That would be bad design, also the conduction would be from the Th/C to the cooler shield, the object is to get the Th/C to measure the temperature of the flame, radiation losses to the surroundings lead to errors of ~100ºC. The shield’s job is to reduce those radiative losses not to add new ones, I guess you think the engineers who design and work with these devices are stupid?

    Again, a link please? How about a search string that will get it onto the first couple of pages of results?

    Since you asked nicely here’s one to get you started, it describes single and double shields:

    http://fire.nist.gov/bfrlpubs/fire99/PDF/f99112.pdf

    • This paper describes the physical construction of the aspirated thermocouple systems…

      http://jfs.sagepub.com/content/26/6/509.full.pdf+html

    • I have admitted many times that I don’t think progressive activists are capable of of objective analysis…every thought in their head is polluted by the sure knowledge that humans are bad for the environment and the other canards of self-loathing.

      However, we can always keep trying…

      When the TC [Thermocouple] measures gas temperatures outside a flame, the sensor can be heated due to radiant energy transfer from a nearby flame. This will result in artificially high gas temperatures. In applications where the TC is in a flame, it may be subject to radiational cooling due to energy loss to cool surroundings if the flame is relatively thin.

      Since radiation is proportional to T^4, it is obvious that at high temperatures a thermocouple bead could be radiating much more energy that it is receiving. This is especially true when the surrounding environment is at a much lower temperature and not emitting radiation to the bead, which is common in fire environments. To compound the problem, a large radiant energy source is present as well. When the flame is in close proximity to the sensor it radiates energy that may increase the temperature of the bead
      significantly over that of the gas surrounding the sensor.

      –http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/67056.pdf

      If you think information like this supports the idea that IR radiated from the Earth’s surface can stimulate CO2 molecules, be “back radiated” and make the surface hotter than it already was, then I can only shake my head with wonder. Actually, I want you to keep believing your nonsense–it makes it easier for me to compete with you in the real world.

      • Ken Coffman’s reply to Phil’s thoughtful comment:

        I can only shake my head with wonder. Actually, I want you to keep believing your nonsense–it makes it easier for me to compete with you in the real world.

        People with holes in their head like Ken should avoid shaking their heads if they don’t want more of their brains to fall out.

      • Phil and Ken,

        The term aspirated thermocouple from your link was very helpful Phil. It helped me find a number of good papers with this highlight:

        “The gas flow over the shield and thermocouple increases convective heat transfer and brings both surfaces closer to the actual gas temperature.”

        Page two paragraph one in the PDF linked from here: http://fire.nist.gov/bfrlpubs/fire99/art149.html

        Apparently the radiative transfer doesn’t always overwhelm the other transfers on earth or in the literature. Phil, I probably won’t be the first person to caution you about people who use models.

      • “The gas flow over the shield and thermocouple increases convective heat transfer and brings both surfaces closer to the actual gas temperature.”

        Indeed, which is what I told you, and the Th/C is hotter than the shield, and the shield is hotter than the surroundings due to radiational losses.

        Apparently the radiative transfer doesn’t always overwhelm the other transfers on earth or in the literature. Phil, I probably won’t be the first person to caution you about people who use models.

        Who said that radiation was dominant? However the heat exchange between the Th/C and the shield is predominantly radiation.
        Your caution about the use of models is inappropriate in this case, the physics of our knowledge of convection and radiation, verified by experiment, is used to explain the observation. I asked Johnson and Ken to explain it using their alternative physics, so far no reply!

      • Phil,

        “Who said that radiation was dominant?”

        Indeed, you have me there. You simply stated that the temperature differential was due to radiation while not saying anything about how the convection would change anything.

        This still means that you need EMPIRICAL proof, instead of the video games, to show the net effect of the radiation increased by the change!!! You have not provided this and the paper I referenced concluded that it is the convective change that causes the temperature change.

        In other words, you misrepresented the situation with the assistance of models and witheld data like any good little climate scientist!!

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  70. Phil your link does not prove your point, whatever it was.
    The article you link to is a development of a new model hoping for a more accurate assessment of real temperatures.
    No tests were carried out to determine if this new model was an improvement or not.
    All the % error calculations were PREDICTED rather than measured.
    Call me old fashioned but I would have been much more impressed by an experimental method based on using the double and single shielded and unshielded thermocouples to measure known temperatures.
    To call Claes Johnson
    ” the guy’s a charlatan ” on the basis of that article is well OTT.

    Further the article uses several references to Schack.
    In their peer reviewed article Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner quote Schack as saying that the radiative properties of CO2 though significant at furnace temperatures can be ignored at atmospheric temperatures
    Falsification Of the atmospheric CO2 greenhouse effects within the frame Of Physics” by Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner; International Journal of Modern Physics B, Vol. 23, No. 3 (2009) pages 275-364.
    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf

  71. Phil,

    a quickie before looking at the link. I did not state the TC was heated ONLY by radiation. I was attempting to clarify that the TC was heated MORE when the radiation from the flame area was blocked and replaced by a grey body of different properties than the flame.

    This is why I need a link so can SEE the orientation of the components. I believe last time I suggested that changes in flow could be part of the issue, but, without actually seeing the configuration was just guessing.

    “Really, so you agree that the hotter thermocouple is being heated by the cooler shield?”

    Maybe. I also agree that a cooler magnifying glass can cause combustion by changing the DISTRIBUTION of the electromagnetic radiation and that Microwave ovens work at a COLD frequency. Think about it.

    • Kuhnkat, microwave ovens work by a completely different principle.

    • Please, the temperature of the magnifying glass is irrelevant the light it’s focussing is from a source of ~6000º. You’re barking up the wrong tree, read the paper. The radiation from the flame is negligible.

      • Phil,

        a 6000 degree source 1 AU distant. You do remember the BASICS in physics don’t you?? The primary issue of 6000 degree is the frequency distribution of the output since we are so far away.

        Peter317, microwaves work on RT principles. So does the magnifying glass. It turns out that the issues in the aspirated TC may NOT be primarily RT as claimed by Phil. See the paper I linked in my recent response to Phil.

      • Kuhnkat, microwave ovens work by dielectric heating, where the material to be heated is in the same order of magnitude of size as the wavelength of the radiation, as opposed to absorption and emission of radiation at the molecular level.

      • And there is no radiative transfer in a microwave??

      • Kuhnkat, Radiative transfer does take place, but it’s pretty much one-way.

      • Peter317,

        i am not sure what point you are trying to say. Could you please start over and reference where you agree or disagree with what I posted and state what point you are trying to make??

      • a 6000 degree source 1 AU distant. You do remember the BASICS in physics don’t you?? The primary issue of 6000 degree is the frequency distribution of the output since we are so far away.

        Yes I do, apparently you do not.

      • Well Phil,

        like Peter you have lost me. What is your area of disagreement again?

  72. You’re wasting your breath Phil. Bryan and Kumquat’s game is to deny, deny, ignore, and deny. Now that they used the magnifying glass and microwave oven cards, they’ll no doubt play a oven mitt, milk can, or even a rolling pin or roasted turkey leg distraction, just to shift the focus from a discussion of shielded thermocouples and how they clearly demonstrates one of the scientific principles behind the greenhouse effect.

    It’s just a big game to them of continuous obfuscation, denial, and deceit. You’ll NEVER get either of them to honestly discuss any scientific phenomenon relevant to global warming. That’s not at all what they’re here for. They’re here to loudly bang their verbal pots and pans together to make people think there’s a heated scientific debate going on in this kitchen.

    • Andrew are you for real!
      Hopefully you will keep up your appearances and certainly don’t dilute your take on sceptics and the big oil mega bucks narrative.
      Its particularly good when you comment on some details of science you seem to have a natural feel for the subject.
      Your creative take on the old fashioned fuddy duddy rules of thermodynamics is refreshing.
      I think that a Nobel prize is not too faraway even Al Gore got one for a lot less effort.

    • Andrew, what are you doing here, serious question?

  73. Bryan | October 20, 2011 at 11:27 am | Reply
    Phil your link does not prove your point, whatever it was.
    The article you link to is a development of a new model hoping for a more accurate assessment of real temperatures.
    No tests were carried out to determine if this new model was an improvement or not.

    Bryan, I provided one reference out of many available because one of the commenters here didn’t understand what a radiation shield was. I provided a clearly written paper with clear diagrams and clear equations describing the physics of the heat exchange of a working thermocouple in a flame. I find it amusing that posters like you with no scientific credentials feel qualified to second guess decades of work by scientists and engineers and think that they were too stupid to think of something that just occurred to you! We know that thermocouples measure too low, we know that the smaller the thermocouple and the higher the gas velocity the smaller the error. We also know what the effect of a shield is because we have done the experiments! One of the reasons I chose that paper is because it also has some good references to earlier work on the subject. Now stop being a jerk and read the papers.

    All the % error calculations were PREDICTED rather than measured.
    Call me old fashioned but I would have been much more impressed by an experimental method based on using the double and single shielded and unshielded thermocouples to measure known temperatures.

    Been done, read some of the references.

    To call Claes Johnson
    ” the guy’s a charlatan ” on the basis of that article is well OTT.

    That designation has been well earned by him by his previous behavior.

    Further the article uses several references to Schack.
    In their peer reviewed article Gerhard Gerlich and Ralf D. Tscheuschner quote Schack as saying that the radiative properties of CO2 though significant at furnace temperatures can be ignored at atmospheric temperatures

    If he actually said that then he’s wrong, but I wouldn’t trust anything from that junk paper.

    • Phil
      From your series of rambling posts it was very difficult to make out the point you were trying to make.
      Your extreme reluctance to give a link has not helped!

      The thermocouple is not a source of heat.
      It reacts to changes in temperature and so can be used to indicate the temperature.
      Of course radiation will affect the result.
      The SB equation can be used to quantify this.
      Postma uses the SB equation.
      Different designs will perhaps produce more accurate results.
      The radiation from each element as “seen” by the thermocouple will contribute to the overall reading.
      Nothing controversial here at all.
      And your point is????????.

      Now when you finally gave a link it was to a paper proposing a new model for reducing % errors in temperature readings.
      It may well have done so but we will never know because it was not tested by experiment.
      This seems to be a feature of climate science.
      There are currently several models being used to predict the effects of increasing CO2 on the planets climate.
      All of them are are a pointless waste of money since they are not bases on experimental science.
      They are little more than elaborate computer games.

      As to science credentials it would appear than mine are several orders of magnitude higher than yours.
      So Phil stop being such a plonker go and read some physics books.
      Perhaps after a few years of serious study you will be able to ask rational questions

      • From your series of rambling posts it was very difficult to make out the point you were trying to make. Your extreme reluctance to give a link has not helped!

        Bryan, please stop being so disingenuously idiotic. Phil gave you a link to a reference — which it appears you didn’t bother to read. And it’s not his posts that are rambling, but yours. His points were perfectly clear.

        The thermocouple is not a source of heat.

        Wrong. As Phil clearly explained to you, the purpose of thermocouple shields is to capture and re-radiate heat back to the thermocouple sensor to obtain a more accurate measurement of the temperature of the gasses being measured. Without a shield, the thermocouple sensor radiates a lot of the heat it captures from the gasses being measured, which causes it to yield an inaccurately low temperature. By capturing and re-radiating the lost heat back to the thermocouple, the shields help the thermocouple provide a much more accurate measurement.

        But I’m pretty sure you know this. You’re just pretending not to in order to deny what virtually every student of thermodynamics learns.

        It [thermocouple] reacts to changes in temperature and so can be used to indicate the temperature.

        Like duh! One of Bryan’s favorite rhetorical ruses is to obfuscate with the obvious that, while true, has nothing to do with the question.

        Different designs will perhaps produce more accurate results.

        Double duh!

        Now when you finally gave a link it was to a paper proposing a new model for reducing % errors in temperature readings.
        It may well have done so but we will never know because it was not tested by experiment. This seems to be a feature of climate science.

        And of course, Bryan is always ready to resort to the bald-faced lie — a much beloved tactic of climate warming deniers. As anyone can see in the study Phil cited, the author conducted an experiment and provided the data she measured:

        http://fire.nist.gov/bfrlpubs/fire99/PDF/f99112.pdf

        And it’s not “a paper proposing a new model for reducing % errors in temperature readings.” Bryan doesn’t even bother to read the studies he attacks. He doesn’t think he needs to since the ignorant he’s preaching to are not likely to check.

        He turns again to the bald-faced lie:

        There are currently several models being used to predict the effects of increasing CO2 on the planets climate. All of them are are a pointless waste of money since they are not bases on experimental science.

        Bryan plays his final card by thumping his breast and proclaiming his is bigger than Phil’s — ending with one last whopper:

        As to science credentials it would appear than mine are several orders of magnitude higher than yours. So Phil stop being such a plonker go and read some physics books.

      • Andrew I said

        …….”The thermocouple is not a source of heat.”……..

        You apparently disagree.
        Could you give me your definition of HEAT.

        To help you I will give you a few hints.
        Heat always moves spontaneously from a higher………………….to a lower …………..
        Never the reverse.
        Clausius and the second law of thermodynamics.

      • Bryan, don’t you get it? If you’re an academic or activist, you can invent your own science to serve the vital mission. You can block or trap radiation in thin air! You don’t have to constrain yourself with the real world agents of chaos like reflection, diffraction, absorption and diffusion. You don’t care about thermal masses, thermal time constants and thermal gradients. You can toss one pebble into the air and get two pebbles back…all day long. You can get pebbles back without tossing pebbles. It’s amazing!

      • Ken says, “You can get pebbles back without tossing pebbles. It’s amazing!”

        Only because you keep “shaking your head with wonder.”

        Ken, as I warned you before, people with holes in their heads should not shake their heads too much or all their rocks will fall out.

      • BTW, Ken, I don’t understand your contempt for academics, but at least it explains why you prefer to work for humbugs like John O’Sullivan and Tim Ball, who claim bogus academic and professional credentials.

      • Yes and in this case the heat flows via convection to the thermocouple which loses heat to its cooler surroundings, via radiation to the surroundings and back radiation from them giving a net loss of heat. When the surroundings are hot, as in the case of the shield, the back radiation is high and can even be seen by the naked eye giving a lower net loss and a more accurate measurement. All in agreement with the laws of thermodynamics and radiation.

      • Phil,

        too bad that the guys who wrote the paper I linked for you attributed the increase to convection and not radiation!! Do you only accept the work you LIKE?!?! Or do you simply ignore things like flow velocity and turbulence that is affected by shields like you are touting?

    • Phil,

      Please provide quotes and your explanations of what you believe is JUNK in the G&T paper.

      My understanding is that it was put together to kill all the MYTHOLOGY that had been popularized around AGW, NOT the basic science. The paper by Chris and friends attacked strawmen that G&T hadn’t built.

      Oh yeah, do you know where we can find English translations of the Shack work?? It would be very interesting to see the context around the statement that G&T reference. I don’t believe they invented it, so, there must be some reason for it which we may not be “getting.”

      One speculation I have is similar to the difference between CO2 here and on Venus. I believe on Venus the temp and pressure broadens IR response of CO2 quite a bit. It may be even more at combustion temps and pressues making its atmospheric response appear minor!!

  74. Hi Professor Curry, thanks for posting that tribute to the patience of Professor Petty for his efforts in those exchanges involving the “Slayers”. Despite the fact that it is impossible to make headway trying to debate intelligently with the “Slayers” Professor Petty persisted in presenting real science rather than the version offered by John O’Sullivan’s team. That was not a waste of his time because not all of the 32+ people involved in those E-mails are “Slayers” or members of their “association” PSI Scientific International (http://principia-scientific.org/). As discussed, the numbers involved seem to be dwindling. Those of us who want nothing to do with PSI very much appreciated Professor Petty’s expert contribution and you too deserve a vote of thanks for your contributions and your willingness to encourage discussion of “Slayer” pseudo-science on your thread..

    The E-mail exchanges on the subject of “Back Radiation” were started on 6th September by Roger Taguchi just after he had posted a comment on your “Physics of the Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect” thread (http://judithcurry.com/2010/11/30/physics-of-the-atmospheric-greenhouse-effect/#comment-108941). Slayers (and managers/directors of PSI as proposed in January) included in those exchanges were Tim Ball (Chairman), John O’Sullivan (CEO & Director), Allan Siddons – who wrote nearly half of the chapters in “Slaying the Sky Dragon” – (Director), Charles Anderson (Director), Joseph Olson (Director), Martin Hertzberg (Director) and Geraldo Lino. Also involved were Dr. Robert Knuteson, Professor Grant Petty and Chris Colose who joined in on 7th Sept. then you on 10th. plus four others along with Roger and me. Professor Petty contributed numerous helpful E-mails to that and subsequent threads.

    Even Andrew Skolnick had a mention in a later thread, with John O’Sullivan devoting six paragraphs to him on the 29th Sept. Joe Shore also joined in with contributions, but after a spurt of exchanges in the past week activity has now dwindled away. As you said to John on 9th October “ .. your dragonslayers are jumping ship .. ”, possibly as a result of the enlightenment provided by Professor Petty.

    Among the links that you provided in your “Physics of the atmospheric greenhouse (http://www.nada.kth.se/~cgjoh/ambsblack.pdf) effect” thread was one to Professor Claes Johnson’s “Mathematical Physics of BlackBody Radiation ” article. In Chapter 12 of that article Professor Johnson discusses in what he calls “A 2ND LAW OF RADIATION”. He says of this “ .. that radiative heat transfer is possible only from warmer to cooler .. ” and “ .. If A and B are two blackbodies in radiative contact, then A can be heated by B only if B has higher temperature than A. Radiation energy is transferred only from hotter to colder.

    I find this somewhat puzzling for two reasons. One is the reference to “radiative heat transfer” rather than radiated energy transfer. The other is because as a Radio & Electronics engineer implementing communications systems for offshore oil and gas platforms I never encountered a communications problem when exchanging energy (in the form of radio waves) between earth-stations and satellite transponders up in space. Neither did I have reports of problems when sending energy over optical cables at 1300nm (IR) from transmitters on one platform that was not hotter than the receivers at the other end on two other platforms 20km away. I did raise this point on 19th Oct. in the exchanges with the Slayers but no-one has responded so maybe one of the experts here can help me to understand what Professor Johnson is trying to tell us.

    In that thread you also linked to the Slayers’ book “Slaying the Sky Dragon”, which starts off with the extravagant claim “ .. Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory .. ”. The lead “Slayer” is renowned for making extravagant claims and lots are made on the web-site of their embryonic company PSI. The word “transparency” appears a lot on those promotional pages under the “About us” tab and some may think assume the those claims provide sufficient transparency about the organisation, but do they?

    Back in Dec/Jan. the motivation for forming the company was debated long and hard in about 200 “PSI & Due Diligence” E-mail exchanges and those E-mails provide the detail about the original plans for PSI that are outlined in “Slaying the Sky Dragon” Chapter 21 ““Legal Fallout from False Climate Alarm”” by lead Slayer John O’Sullivan.

    In the recent E-mail exchanges that you were privy to I tried very hard to get the “Slayers” to discuss that Chapter 21 and those “PSI & Due Diligence” E-mails but they remained tight-lipped. Are you interested in having that discussion here. I suspect that Andrew Skolnick is not the only one who’d be interested.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

    • It should be fairly obvious, but for some reason isn’t, that there is no party line with the dragons.
      Petty and Postma have less to disagree about than say Postma and Claes Johnson.
      Also the story that the dragons are funded by the billions of big oil dollars is obviously stupid tripe.
      We have a collection of individuals whose only common denominator is a firm conviction that IPCC science is almost fraudulent.
      The other sceptics groups are free standing and there is no sceptics manifesto.
      If climate science was normal science there would be no need for such a massive movement calling it into question .
      The various varieties of the Greenhouse Effect also have no common agreed bottom line.
      Nullius in Verba posting here has a version of the “greenhouse effect” is almost identical to Postmas “atmosphere effect”.
      Why have an e-mail debate?
      Lets get it out in the open where incorrect formulations can be exposed and plausible ones reinforced.

  75. Hi Bryan, ref. your comment on October 21, 2011 at 8:19 pm. what a surprise that you were the first person to respond to my comment (more on that later).

    There was an enormous flurry of several hundred E-mails on the subject of “John O’Sullivan’s specious claims” during 8th – 20th Oct. a subject that was started by Professor Petty with QUOTE:

    .. On Sat, 8 Oct 2011, JOHN OSULLIVAN wrote: “ .. of the so-called greenhouse gas effect) being that no such concept exists anywhere in the laws of thermodynamics. ‘Back radiation’ is now proven to be as unphysical and absurd an idea as suggesting there exists ‘back conduction’ or ‘back convection’ because energy, when measured as heat, can only move one way, from warmer to colder. You call our book .. ”

    I’ve been trying to avoid getting embroiled in this fruitless “debate”, but I can’t help but respond to the above claim. .. In short: The downward emission of IR radiation by the atmosphere — which this group calls “back radiation” — is both well documented and well understood. It is settled science and has been for more than a century.

    John O’Sullivan correctly asserts that thermodynamics forbids the spontaneous flow of heat from cold to warm, but he reveals a glaring misunderstanding by applying this statement to the ONE-WAY flux of radiation from one body to another rather than to the TWO-WAY EXCHANGE of radiation between two bodies. It is the NET FLUX (upward minus downward) that must obey the 2nd Law.

    Both Planck’s Law and the Stefan-Boltzman Law (the latter is just an integration of the former over wavelength) have been known for generations to accurately predict EMISSION (one-way) from a blackbody. Nothing in either formulation requires one to know the temperature of the body (if any) RECEIVING the radiation. And Planck’s Law was itself derived via thermodynamic arguments by a guy who understood the 2nd Law extremely well.

    John O’Sullivan’s statement is tantamount to a claim that neither Planck’s Law nor the Stefan-Boltzmann law is valid, a century’s worth of unambiguous experimental evidence notwithstanding. Please judge his “scientific” arguments with that fact in mind. UNQUOTE.

    Several hundred E-mail exchanges followed that one but it has all suddenly gine very quiet. I’ve received none since John O’Sullivan’s response to Joel Shore on “ .. 20 Oct 2011 16:20 .. Subject: Re: John O’Sullivan’s specious claims ..
    Joel, Is that really all the ‘evidence’ you have to prove the Slayers are “ideologically motivated”? Canadian, Joe Postma, describing an American as a “patriot” and your innuendo that our U.S. publisher may not be quite as PC as you about racial sensitivity? Wow .. ”.

    Joel had suggested on several occasions that the “Slayers” are ideologically motivated but I had raised the issue of political motivation in an E-mail on 8th Oct. with reference to a comment by Professor Curry (http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/04/slaying-a-greenhouse-dragon-part-iii-discussion/). I commented that QUOTE: .. it looks as though Professor Johnson listened to Professor Curry’s advice “ .. I am hoping that Johnson learns from this that if he wants his scientific arguments to be taken seriously, that publishing them in a politically motivated book does not help his credibility and does not motivate people to take his arguments seriously .. ”. Professor Johnson seems to have wisely dissociated himself from the “Slayers” and PSI UNQUOTE

    In John’s response (the one to which Professor Petty responded on the subject of “John O’Sullivan’s specious claims”) John said to me “ .. You call our book “politically motivated” – please elucidate as to what politics it supports .. You then seek to smear Chapter 21 of the book authored by me which addresses legal matters. .. the chapter was peer-reviewed extensively and is based upon first hand evidence supplied inter alia by esteemed NZ barrister, Barry Brill. .. For your information, Roger Sowell, a Californian lawyer and qualified engineer has kindly accepted our offer to review the book (plus my chapter) and will be providing his own review in due course. So what other due diligence do you suggest I now do to further prove your allegations baseless and biased? .. ”.

    I repeatedly attempted to get the “Slayers” to discuss this issue of political motivation using Chapter 21 of “Slaying the Sky Dragon” and the “PSI & Due Diligence” E-mails of Dec/Jan. as a basis but to no avail. In the spirit of transparency that is claimed to be so important to PSI I also tried to persuade the “Slayers” to discuss the issue on their PSI web-site but there were no takers.

    You say “ .. It should be fairly obvious, but for some reason isn’t, that there is no party line with the dragons. .. ” but there is more to politics than the party line. Also, there is more to any company than what is declared in its Mission Statement. Very few companies are formed with the sole objective of pursuing a “ .. good cause .. ” (http://www.gofundme.com/1v39s). On top of that there is the financial motive and the desire for recognition.

    The financial motive is hinted at repeatedly in the “PSI & Due Diligence” E-mails, with the words “money” and “pay” or their derivatives appearing rather frequently. Also, John said on 2nd January, two weeks before that appeal for charitable donations was made QUOTE: ..

    Personally, I have no time to not earn a living. I know from my own private conversations that my coauthors may also not have time to devote unpaid to setting up and running a charity .. The ‘Slayers’ project is first and foremost a commercial operation because, for all our hard work and endeavor, we wish to be paid .. ”. “ .. In the year of inception, 2011, our Chairman is Dr. Timothy Ball; our managers are John O’Sullivan (CEO), Hans Schreuder (CFO) and Rev. Philip Foster (Compliance Officer) .. ” (http://principia-scientific.org/about-us/why-psi-is-a-private-assoc). Note that clause “The ‘Slayers’ project is first and foremost a commercial operation” and the PSI executive comprises – “Slayers”.

    I would have hoped this important matter of financial incentives for its executives would be highlighted on the PSI web-site for all potential subscribers to see but I haven’t found it yet. It would be helpful if one of the PSI managers were to provide a link to where this is spelled out or why no statement is made about it. After all, as I indicated in my previous comment, it is claimed that “ .. Transparency is an important aspect of PSI .. ” (http://principia-scientific.org/about-us/principles-of-association). Maybe Ken Coffman can encourage one of the PSI managers to post a link or even the financial incentives here.

    In those recent E-mail exchanges with the “Slayers” I provided a link to John’s self-promotion on LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-o-sullivan/19/6b4/84a). John has updated his profile to now present himself as CEO and Legal Consultant at Principia Scientific International – very impressive if PSI was all that is claimed on the Web-site. As I pointed out recently to the “Slayers” the Web-site is presenting incorrect information and needs to be updated and I do wonder about those claims made by John in July that “ .. Postma and Nahle join long-standing GHE skeptics, Alan Siddons and Hans Schreuder as they prepare to formally launch a new global research association, Principia Scientific International (PSI) recruiting untold numbers of conscientious scientists sickened by endemic corruption within science .. ” (http://climaterealists.com/?id=8073).

    In an E-mail to the group on 30th September I suggested to John that “ .. you could consider replacing much of you latest PSI promotional material (which I doubt many find inspiring) with facts about the status of the organisation, e.g. confirmed membership list, outstanding applications (you know the kind of thing) so that your target market can understand the real picture .. ” but he didn’t take me up on that.

    You say “ .. The other sceptics groups are free standing and there is no sceptics manifesto. If climate science was normal science there would be no need for such a massive movement calling it into question .. ” but I hope that you are not referring to PSI with that “massive movement”. Very early in the “PSI & Due Diligence” E-mail exchanges I asked “ .. why start a new organisation when there is already in existence an international structure with the same objectives – The International Climate Science Coalition (http://www.climatescienceinternational.org/) .. ”. John’s response the question was “ .. Let me ask you this question: why have none of those organizations filed suit already? They are fearful perhaps? Lack of knowledge, expertize and commitment may be a factor. I’ve staked my reputation, sweat and own money on beating the AGW fraud in the courts-its the only serious game in town. My legal associates and I are ready and waiting to take the battle on. The navel gazing and hot air blowing around the blogosphere has gotten nowhere for years. I recommend you look here to see what my legal strategy has already accomplished:
    http://www.suite101.com/content/legal-defeat-for-global-warming-in-kiwigate-scandal-a294157 .. ”.

    I wholeheartedly agree with your “ .. Lets get it out in the open .. ”. Maybe Professor Curry will allow the discussion to take place here.

    Of course, as well as the politics there is a scientific discussion about the “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change” (CACC) hypothesis still to be had. You said that “The various varieties of the Greenhouse Effect also have no common agreed bottom line. Nullius in Verba posting here has a version of the “greenhouse effect” is almost identical to Postmas “atmosphere effect”. Why have an e-mail debate?”. I raised that same point with the “Slayers” concerning their extravagant claim to have caused “The Death of the Greenhouse Effect”. Alan Siddons’s response was QUOTE: .. I don’t know what you mean by “chosen version of the definition of the Greenhouse Effect.” We go by the consensus version, if it may be called that .. UNQUOTE.

    After posting my last comment here I had started another, which so far says QUOTE:
    I found Bryan’s comment of 17th October at 5:53 am interesting “ .. The zeroth law is as usual quite awkward to fit into a greenhouse theory. Two objects are at thermal equilibrium (same temperature). What happens when you bring a third object (at the same temperature) close to the two? .. ”.
    “ .. thermal equilibrium: .. the relationship between two isolated systems the states of which are such that no net transfer of energy would occur between them if they were connected by a diathermic wall. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/thermal+equilibrium).

    See http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/airplane/thermo0.html and http://www.newrelativity.net/Energy.Dynamics.pdf
    UNQUOTE.

    I’ll come back to that in a later comment (if Professor Curry allows me back) because after reading “Slaying the Sky Dragon” (not that I wasted any money buying it but managed to get a free copy from someone involved with the “Slayers”) I had the impression that most of them found it hard to draw a distinction between radiated and conducted energy.

    Before pursuing that topic I would like to ask to whom you are referring when you say “ .. We have a collection of individuals whose only common denominator is a firm conviction that IPCC science is almost fraudulent .. ”. If you are referring to the “Slayers” and their puny Principia Scientific International” association then I am interested to find out where you get your information from (other than from their own promotional web-site http://principia-scientific.org/).

    Best regards, Pete Ridley.

  76. Pete Ridley
    Thanks for your post.
    Before it arrived I was thinking up a response to the “changing minds” thread, your post concentrated my impressions.
    Judith’s blog is a good testing ground for the tumult of ideas around climate science.
    Anyone who participates with an open mind cannot but be helped by thoughtful comments from others.

    For my own part I have no links to any faction and just tell it as it appears to me.
    I am well left of centre in politics and it this contradicts the right wing climate sceptic stereotype.
    Central Scotland where I live has significant unemployment among former mining communities and other heavy industrial areas.
    This produces mental depression with attendant drug and alcohol abuse causing reduced health and decreasing lifespan.
    I became energised by the climategate e-mail exposure.
    It showed a seriously dysfunctional branch of science which also unfortunately was set on a course to recommend to governments policies that would effectively deindustrialise the advanced economies.

    I have a Physics degree and thought that I could perhaps say something useful so I revised my thermodynamics.
    As Bob Dylan says “in a hard rain” its important to “know your song well before you start singing”.

    You say…..
    ..”JOHN OSULLIVAN …wrote: “ ….‘Back radiation’ is now proven to be as unphysical and absurd an idea as suggesting there exists ‘back conduction’ or ‘back convection’ because energy, when measured as heat, can only move one way, from warmer to colder”……

    Is nonsense!

    All three exist and “back convection” with gravitational compression is the main cause of the 33K misnamed “greenhouse effect” as Postma and Nullius in Verba both say in their own way.
    However IPCC advocates it seems are only interested backradiation.
    This is because it provides the only link to the “pollutent CO2 and global warming”.

    Its unfortunate that climate science spokespersons seem to be non experts like John O’Sullivan, Al Gore , Chris Huine and Lord Monkton.

    On the other hand when John O’Sullivan says……
    ….”Joel(Shore), Is that really all the ‘evidence’ you have to prove the Slayers are “ideologically motivated”? Canadian, Joe Postma, describing an American as a “patriot” and your innuendo that our U.S. publisher may not be quite as PC as you about racial sensitivity? Wow .. ”.

    I have to agree with John.
    Joel Shore is himself highly politically motivated.
    The US publisher is certainly not PC but does that mean that we can disregard his climate science publications?

    You say…..
    “ .. Transparency is an important aspect of PSI .. ” (http://principia-scientific.org/about-us/principles-of-association). Maybe Ken Coffman can encourage one of the PSI managers to post a link or even the financial incentives here.”……
    I would agree.

    There is no doubt that there is a massive disproportionate allocation of funds in favour of the popularising the IPCC position as against a scettic critique.
    A sceptic organisation would need office and publicity staff and publishing would involve costs plus the usual trade mark up.
    The necessary professional back up people should be paid the going rate.
    University pay grades for actual hours worked and no more and so on.
    I would be very disappointed if unusual incentives were paid.

    Of legal matters I know nothing.
    Andrew Skolnick has made a number of serious allegations about John O’Sullivan.
    John has failed to respond which gives the impression that Andrew might be correct.
    If so the rest of the “Slayers” must consider what impression their organisation wish to create with the public!

    On the zeroith law of thermodynamics I was commenting on an example of something that had initially been assumed rather than tested.
    This was to support Claes Johnson position in that a similar assumption was being applied to two objects radiating individually as predicted by SB law.
    Is it unreasonable to say that in proximity they may interact collectively in a different way?
    Claes is on a unique mission to turn back the years and correct the Planck departure from determinism.
    I wish him well but regard the project as very much work in progress.
    He has taken a lot of abuse because of his stand on global warming.
    His difficulties at his university I feel is partly due to AGW zealots.

    Postma and Hans Schreuder have made a useful contribution to the debate.
    Postma gave a good defence of his paper here on Climate Etc.
    The only question that seemed to throw him was one put by Judith.
    That is it is not always acceptable to work backwards from the radiation intensity to derive a temperature.
    The other point where the Slayers seem pointlessly to depart from physics is the effect of insulation on a source that continues to be supplied with constant power.
    At times they appear to be saying that the source would remain at the same temperature.

    From what I have said it should be clear that I would support publication of all the recent material that you have posted about.

  77. Hi Bryan, ref. your comment on October 23, 2011 at 7:11 am. you raise some interesting points which fit neatly into what I was intending to talk about.

    I agree that Professor Curry’s blog “ .. is a good testing ground for the tumult of ideas around climate science. .. ” and she is to be commended for encouraging open debate between supporters and sceptics of the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change (CACC) hypothesis. She runs an extremely informative and well-read blog.

    John O’Sullivan, lead “Slayer”, CEO of and Legal Consultant at Principia Scientific International, does not always show Professor Curry or other scientists who dare to challenge the “Slayer” version of science the respect that they deserve. On the contrary, on 8th October in the “PSI & Politics” exchanges John said to me QUOTE: .. Your appeal to the less qualified authorities of Lord Monckton (a journalist) and Judith Curry (a geographer who admits little training, if any, in thermodynamics) only serves to further weaken your case (simply an unscientific appeal to authority rather than science) when laid alongside the scientific, engineering and mathematical credentials of the authors and supporters of the Slayers (23 with PhD’s) .. UNQUOTE.

    John then went on to say on 9th “ .. Unlike many of the Slayers, Curry admits she has no training in higher-level thermodynamics – key to comprehending the more arcane elements of climate. Monckton and Colose, I suspect have less still than Curry; while Professor Petty seems to be lacking in that department, too .. ”.

    John’s 9th Oct. outburst against Professor Curry in the “PSI & Politics” exchanges says it all really “ .. True to form you run liked a scared cat from debate hurling insults at those who challenge you. It hasn’t escaped notice that although you hosted a few discussions on your blog you were frequently conspicuous by your absence. Indeed, I recall nothing of note ever having been contributed by you in those discussions. When you did appear you were soon taken to task and grudgingly had to concede Claes was correct about back radiation and you abandoned this nonsense. Is that your definition of being taken seriously?
    As for recommending the Slayers submit to the climate science peer-review system – well, that’s broken and well beyond repair as everyone knows. So please don’t try that tired old dodge on us.
    As for your closed doors “professional meetings”, they also do nothing to expose the woeful incompetence you and your climate peers are so desperate to keep hidden. Frankly, you’re refusal to woman up and defend your ‘science’ is precisely why you and those discredited IPCC pseudo-scientists are treated as a joke among the wider scientific community .. ”.

    John must have been standing in front of a mirror talking to himself when he put that comment together.

    On 18th Sept. John said “ .. Curry goofed by posting on her blog that even her students could refute us. I wonder how – is she actually suggesting her students are better educated on the science than her? I know my co-authors are. Aren’t you smelling her brand of BS yet?
    So please man up on this or we may reasonably infer that ad hom and ignorance wins the day in the unscientific world of Ridley and Curry .. ”.

    You said “ .. Of legal matters I know nothing. Andrew Skolnick has made a number of serious allegations about John O’Sullivan. John has failed to respond which gives the impression that Andrew might be correct .. ”. At the end of September John and I discussed this matter of tight-lipped silences. During those exchanges I said “ .. I get the impression that Andrew Skolnick (and other like-minded individuals) might consider the claims made on the PSI promotional page “Principles of Association” (http://principia-scientific.org/about-us/principles-of-association) about the credentials of its principal founder are just another “ .. brand of BS .. ” (as you put it about Professor Curry). You claim on that page and in “Slaying the Sky Dragon” that you have “ .. litigated successfully for over a decade in government corruption cases in the New York State Court system and Federal Court (Second Circuit) .. ”. Andrew has challenged you on that but if it is true then I expect that you are aware of what is said in “Criminal Justice: Does Silence Mean Guilt?” (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,899502,00.html). Regardless that “ .. The decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States have, in effect, shattered the tacit-admission rule .. ” silence can still leave a strong suspicion of guilt in the minds of the lay public .. ”.

    One of my comments to John was “ .. You .. remain silent about the challenge that I issued regarding the “PSI & Due Diligence” E-mails and your academic and professional claims. .. In my E-mail of 18th Sept. I made a request that you persistently ignore “ .. will you provide:
    – access to all of the E-mails that we all exchanged during the December/January discussions about setting up PSI as a CIC. I’m happy for all of my E-mails to be made available to the public, how about you and the rest of those receiving this E-mail,
    – full substantiated details of your academic and professional training and experience .. ”.

    I followed up with QUOTE: .. Having said a fair bit about Andrew Skolnick and friends we are in danger of allowing ourselves to be dragged down a side-track away from the main issue of interest to me, PSI and transparency. You seem to be reluctant to take up my challenge that you make the “PSI & Due Diligence” E-mails available for public scrutiny on the PSI web-site and have remained silent on that. I suspect that many are suspicious of those who worship Harpocrates (http://www.whale.to/b/silence.html) .. UNQUOTE.

    Silence is not always golden.

    I don’t disagree with your QUOTE: .. IPCC advocates it seems are only interested (in) back radiation. This is because it provides the only link to the “pollutent CO2 and global warming” .. UNQUOTE. The IPCC is a highly politicised organisation, not a scientific one. I understand that the scientific content of AR4 WG1 had not been agreed when the Summary for Policymakers was published in March/April 2007 and the WG1 scientific report had to be aligned with the SPM rather than the SPM properly reflecting the scientific report. As you suggest, the objective appears to be to finger CO2 as a culprit, but I am of the opinion that this was for political, not scientific, reasons. (I expect someone to jump in shortly and accuse me of being a conspiracy theorist like Lyndon LaRouche.)

    You are of course correct that “ .. A sceptic organisation would need office and publicity staff and publishing would involve costs plus the usual trade mark up. The necessary professional back up people should be paid the going rate .. ” but the real question is what could the “Slayers” and PSI add that is not already available from organisations like The International Climate Science Coalition (http://www.climatescienceinternational.org/), The Centre for Research on Globalisation (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=section&sectionName=about) or the UK’s Science & Public Policy Institute (http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/). Similar points were discussed during the Dec./Jan. “PSI & Due Diligence” exchanges.

    As I said in my previous E-mail, John’s justification for trying to form another such organisation was “ .. beating the AGW fraud in the courts-its the only serious game in town .. ”. Slaying the Sky Dragon Chapter 21 and the “PSI & Due Diligence” E-mail exchanges in Dec./Jan. indicate that this may have been John’s original plan for PSI.

    On 15th Jan. John told the “Slayers” QUOTE: .. PSI IS NOT A LITIGATION MACHINE Pete’s opinion is that PSI will still be “construed as a political campaigning organisation.” On the issue of litigation, PSI is not pursuing a primary goal to litigate – to insist on making this unfounded assertion would also be defamatory to PSI once it becomes a legal entity .. ”. My response on 18th Jan included “ .. Without the objective of taking legal action against Governments/Agencies/individuals to court there appears to be little difference between CRG and PSI so why would PSI, constrained in this way, succeed where so many other groups of sceptical scientists have so far failed to get policy-makers to acknowledge that CACC has no sound science to support it? What extra benefits would another separate organisation like PSI bring to this “noble cause” that is not or cannot be better provided by giving support to established organisations? In my opinion this is simply fragmentation of effort when what is needed is a strong, unified international group .. ”.

    In my final E-mail of those Dec/Jan. “PSI & Due Diligence” exchanges I said “ .. In the first of my “PSI & Due Diligence” E-mails last year (Dec 30 2010, 08:52 PM) I quoted from the Executive Summary of my “Due Diligence” report QUOTE: Executive Summary “Self-praise is no praise at all”
    Although there is a plethora of boastful promotion material there are many unanswered questions about PSI’s structure, the relationships between and motivations of the principle individuals involved, its modus operandi and strategies. I find no convincing evidence that PSI will be anything other than a minor addition to the existing tally of international organisations of people who are sceptical of the doctrine that our continuing use of fossil fuels is leading to catastrophic change to the different global climates.
    UNQUOTE .. ”.

    Here we are 10 months later and it appears to me that nothing has changed excepting that the original group of founders, promoted as being “ .. a group of 36 respected international scientists and related professionals. Mostly we are the authors of ‘Slaying the Sky Dragon,’ .. ” (http://www.gofundme.com/1v39s) has dwindled, not grown. It looks as though Professor Curry was correct when saying on 10th Oct. “ .. Get a clue, your dragonslayers are jumping ship. .. ”.

    Moving away from the heavily weighted political side of the CACC coin to look at the science, you said that “ .. Postma and Hans Schreuder have made a useful contribution to the debate. .. ”. On 18th Oct. in the “ ” exchanges with the “Slayers” et al. I quoted some of Hans’s words of wisdom from “Slaying the Sky Dragon” QUOTE: .. Hans makes several interesting observations, such as “ .. Earth does not need a ‘blanket of greenhouse gases’ to keep it warm or protect it from the cold of space. The vacuum of space is the best possible insulator we could wish for .. it is a misconception that the earth’s temperature needs insulation to begin with .. ”(Page 190). He then goes on to apparently confirm that the Greenhouse Effect (as I understand it) does indeed exist (e.g. see Page 196) “ .. Or is it perhaps that a blanket prevents convection and thus your body can not freely dispose of its generated heat as in a real greenhouse with glass panes or plastic sheeting or metal sheeting or even a wooden shed. Stop or hinder convective heat loss and bingo, the cooling process is interrupted. No extra heat is generated, if only. It just takes longer for the same amount of energy to disperse itself. .. ” – although he fails to mention that energy is lost to space from the global system of geo/aqua/cryo/bio/atmo-spheres by radiation, not conduction or convection .. ”.

    Hans places great faith in his sixth sense, as indicated in a comment of his on 8th Jan. during the “PSI & Due Dilignce” exchanges “ .. My sixth sense has yet to be proven wrong .. ” but Atmospheric Physicist Professor Petty depends on science rather than intuition and seems less convinced than you are about Hans Schroeder’s contribution. In his response to that first Hans Schroeder quote from Page 190 he said QUOTE: ..

    This is a classic example of the common confusion among skeptics who conflate (deliberately or merely ignorantly) the completely different physical phenomena of thermal conductivity and radiative transfer. A vacuum is a perfect insulator when it comes to heat transfer via molecular conduction (collisions between molecules). No molecules, no transfer of thermal kinetic energy.

    A vacuum is a perfect conductor with respect to exchanges of EM radiation (emission and absorption of photons). No molecules, no scattering or absorption of radiation.
    A bizarre, but too common, variation on this confusion is that “if CO2 traps heat, why don’t they use it to make Thermos bottles?” The ignorance implicit in this kind of question is truly breathtaking.

    Anyone who doesn’t understand the vast difference between energy transfer via molecular conduction and energy transfer via radiative exchange really shouldn’t offer themselves as an authority on physics of any kind, period. ..

    UNQUOTE.

    Best regards, Pete Ridley

    • Peter, where can one find these “PSI & Politics” exchanges with John O’Sullivan you speak of?

      BTW, regarding what you say is my challenge to O’Sullivan’s claim of being an attorney who “litigated successfully for over a decade in the New York State and Federal 2nd Circuit Courts.” It is NOT my challenge or my claim. It is a fact — as you or anyone else can easily determine by checking to see if O’Sullivan is a lawyer licensed to practice in NY State — and by Googling for any law suits he may have “litigated.” There’s only one I could find. It’s the one he and his wife filed without an attorney (pro se) in 2009. It was tossed out in part because they submitted it unverified and unsworn — a blunder no lawyer would ever make:
      http://vertumnus.courts.state.ny.us/claims/html/OSullivan.2009-039-142.html

      Here’s where to search for people licensed to practice in NY courts:
      http://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/attorney/AttorneySearch
      You will find there’s a John F. and a John Patrick, but no John A. O’Sullivan.

      Hey Pete, you remember how you tried to defend O’Sullivan’s bogus claim of being a member of the American Bar Association (which would require his being an attorney licensed in the U.S.)? As a result of my complaints to the ABA and the Law Society of British Columbia, he has removed the false claim from his LinkedIn resume. In its place, he now claims to be a member of the “New York County Lawyers Association.” He may shortly hear from them, since I spoke with the membership director of the NYCLA and she says there is no John O’Sullivan in their list of members.

      I’m getting a big kick out of O’Sullivan’s fellow Sky Dragon Slayers trying to defend the shameless humbug. Earlier in this discussion, for example, Ken Coffman said he doesn’t “care about his resume,” because he likes “John’s ideas.” He calls my exposure of his colleague’s fraudulent credentials an “appeal-to-authority argument” and “a waste of time.”

      Good times.

    • Pete Ridley.
      Thanks for the reply.
      I had no idea that there was such colourful backstage banter between the players in the climate science series.

      There does seem to be a need to express the views of scientists and others who think that the CO2 driven greenhouse gas effect catastrophe is pseudoscience.
      This is at the one end of the sceptics spectrum
      However this is the position of for example Gerlich Tscheuschner Piers Corbyn Claes Johnson Hans Schroeder and Joseph Postma and others.
      This hard line group come at the problem from fundamental thermodynamics rather than say analyzing the temperature record.
      The problem is that they don’t agree on the precise details.

      The Joel Shore list of “approved” sceptic positions would include folk like Roy Spencer and would occupy the other end of the sceptic spectrum
      Normal science would allow the peer review process to filter the plausible versions through.
      But all sceptics agree that this is stacked against them.

      I cannot agree that Atmospheric Physicist Professor Petty always depends on science.
      Here you give a good example of him as a crude propagandist misquoting others to present a strawman to knock down

      ….”This is a classic example of the common confusion among skeptics who conflate (deliberately or merely ignorantly) the completely different physical phenomena of thermal conductivity and radiative transfer. A vacuum is a perfect insulator when it comes to heat transfer via molecular conduction (collisions between molecules). No molecules, no transfer of thermal kinetic energy. “….ect,ect

      Who from the list of hard line sceptics above would this apply to?
      Its just empty grandstanding to impress the bewildered.

      Perhaps PSI or something similar could be improved.
      However its undeniable that they have produced three papers by Joseph Postma that are a very useful addition to the debate.
      A recent post by Joseph Postma at the Jo Nova site said that he had an lengthy exchange of E-Mails with a prominent greenhouse advocate and promised an early release.
      All this is to be welcomed.