Phunny Physics

by Judith Curry

Newtons Laws of Expertise and the 4th Law of Thermodynamics.

Some entertainment for Sunday

William York has a clever article entitled Climate change violates one of Newton’s laws.  Excerpts:

The claim that the science debate over cimate change is settled violates the most important of Newton’s Laws. This violation is not of the famous Laws of Motion but of a little known set of derived bylaws, Newton’s Laws of Experts, a major contribution to understanding social dynamics.

Newton’s Laws of Motion may be simply stated as:

  • First Law: every object persists in its state of rest or uniform motion unless acted upon by an external force;
  • Second Law: the rate of change of momentum is directly proportional to the applied force; and
  • Third Law: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

The bylaws, Newton’s Laws of Experts, are as follows:

  • First Law: every expert persists in his state of rest or opinion unless acted upon by an external grant;
  • Second Law: the rate of change of opinion is directly proportional to the applied grant; and
  • Third Law: for every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.

The First Law of Experts is well known and can be demonstrated in countless universities, institutes and research bodies. First, the need to appear relevant to the wants of society means engagement in the great issues of the day. This has been brought on by well intentioned but misguided policy that assumes innovations, financial, technical or other, spring fully developed from academic research and national needs should determine the areas of research interest.

The second and much more worrying influence comes from the coupling of politics to science. If this is coupled to saving the planet and giving rise to a better world then there is a resonance between politics and academia.

As a result governments, often subject to marginal politics, have created opportunities for endless grant applications for any research perceived as relevant to these issues. It is often the case that the envisaged research was not aimed at the target set by the government, but simply represents the dressing-up of a proposal in a way which would attract the grant.

This discussion leads to the Second Law of Experts. There is no doubt that large grants, leading to the establishment of new institutes, departments or divisions, have the effect of moving experts into positions where they will represent these new initiatives. The lifetime of these organisations is subject to the continuous feeding from grants, so there is every incentive to emphasise the importance and relevance of the research, thus providing strong and positive feedback.

The Third Law of Experts is one that is most commonly encountered in the Law. Expert witnesses are frequently called by both sides for explanations. So, rather than experts advising the bench, each side presents the most favourable explanation that helps its own case.

Where are the experts speaking against the position that climate change is caused by human activity? They are scarcely to be seen or heard at this time. Within the academy, one expert will not willingly place himself between another expert and a grant-giving body, unless he has immunity from subsequent retribution.

And finally, I spotted this one on Twitter:

“The fourth law of thermodynamics” @pkedrosky  The amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.

303 responses to “Phunny Physics

  1. TonyB –
    Before you start worrying about all the radiative effects of volcanic CO2, you should view the broader picture.

    The several hundred million tons of CO2 that volcanic eruptions may be injecting into the atmosphere is indeed a large number – probably more than what the entire fleet of trucks in the UK could handle. But this is scarcely a drop in the bucket when compared to what humans are contributing to the level of atmospheric CO2.

    Examine the numbers that the fossil fuel companies are publishing. The fossil fuel companies like to keep track of who is the top producer producing what, and how much. Their recent figures show that the current extraction of coal, gas, and oil is about 10 gigatons of carbon equivalent per year.

    Few people bother to estimate what a gigaton of coal might look like, or how many trips might be needed to haul a gigaton with their pickup truck. A cubic meter of water weighs one ton, and coal is not that much denser than water. So, a gigaton of coal (being one billion tons) would constitute a cube of coal 1 km on a side. For perspective, that is 10 football fields to the left, 10 football fields to straight ahead, and 10 football fields straight up in the air. The fossil fuel companies are extracting 10 such cubes of carbon from the Earth each year. And, the humans burn up every bit of those 10 cubic km of carbon to keep their civilization going.

    When carbon burns, one molecule of oxygen is replaced by one molecule of CO2. The atmosphere contains about 200,000 ppm of oxygen. Burning the 10 cubic km of carbon converts about 5 ppm of oxygen into 5 ppm of CO2.

    Within a few decades, about half of the 5 ppm of CO2 that is being added to the atmosphere each year gets absorbed by the ocean and the biosphere, leaving an increment of about 2.5 ppm that the atmospheric CO2 is observed to be rising by.

    Keep in mind that the Earth is finite in all respects. Fossil fuel extraction at the rate of 10 cubic km/year cannot continue indefinitely. Nor would you want the Earth’s oxygen level to keep going south at the rate of 5 ppm/year.

    For some, a few hundred ppm of atmospheric CO2 may seem like small potatoes – how could that possible affect the temperature of the very massive climate system? For that you have to be looking at the relevant physics and chemistry. It might take a ton of strychnine to kill an elephant if you are trying to accomplish the deed by bashing in the skull of the elephant, whereas a single drop injected into the bloodstream would be more than sufficient.

    People simply fail to look at the most basic of radiative physics in assessing the impact of atmospheric CO2 on global surface temperature. Why waste the time effort looking for bogus physics effects that simply don’t exist, or at best, are just not relevant?

    • Time For An Ob

      People simply fail to look at the most basic of meteorology in assessing the impact of atmospheric CO2 on global climate.

      Turns out derivatives of temperature, not global average are what’s important.

      Who knew?

    • How many gigatons of carbon is emitted by preventing the opening of a generation of nuclear power plants, I wonder.

      • It's strange that any discussion with a contrarian about climate science invariably ends up being about economics. Why is that?— There's Physics (@theresphysics) July 4, 2014

      • “Why is that?”

        Because when CAGW warmists talk about climate :science,” what they are really talking about is economics/politics.

        Stop trying to use your “science” to justify government takeover of the global energy economy, and skeptics will leave you to yourselves.

        Andy Lacis, for instance, to my knowledge has no experience or training in economics or politics. Yet he consistently argues that we have to decarbonize the energy economy.

        Radiative physics is only one small part of the science.

        When Lacis becomes an expert on clouds, water vapor, oceanic heat storage, aerosols, programming GCMs, measuring and adjusting surface temps, and paleo-climate; then maybe I’ll care what he says about what might happen over the next 10 to 20 years (but not the next hundred, because no one knows that). (Of course, I would love to see his predictions 10-20 years ago of the current “pause”….)

        And science is only one part of the CAGW debate.

        When he becomes an expert on “real world” economics, political strategy, cost benefit analyses, and global relations (can’t do anything without China, Russia and India), then maybe I’ll care about what he says on policy.

        That’s why whenever you all try to pass of your guesses and assumptions off as hard science (in this case, the assumed irrelevance of volcanoes on CAGW), we bring the discussion back to the real issue.

      • Wow, talk about ways of reducing carbon output on a mass scale and now I have some secret agenda that only WHT can see. No doubt using multivariate regression against my other comments.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: It’s strange that any discussion with a contrarian about climate science invariably ends up being about economics. Why is that?

        It is hardly strange: many discussions of climate science by consensus scientists soon turn to proposals to redirect 10s of trillions of dollars into third-rate energy production schemes, in a big hurry. Consider, for example, the recent AAAS-sponsored and scientist-written document “What We Know”, and subseqent letters published in Science magazine and letters to AAAS members by Alan Leshner..

      • WHT: I assume it’s because some would rather argue policy than science. Science is hard. But anyone can have a political opinion.

      • Ha ha ha! So I guess people aren’t allowed to have the political opinion that if the choice is between the destruction of the oceans and the climate, or the small risk to relatively tiny areas of the globe, that the risk to tiny areas is better.

        This, I guess, makes me a denier.

      • claimsgu%y | July 7, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
        beecause some would rather argue policy than science. Science is hard. But anyone can have a political opinion.

        The problem, claimsguy, is that the ‘experts’ and the science they produce is corrupt and biased, since it is all paid for Big Government seeking to get even bigger.

    • Andy,

      Can you provide a different example of a microscopic amount of matter affecting a much larger **IN**-organic system?

      (I know the radiative physics arguments are out there and make sense within the consensus frame of reference.)

      But when I started to question what I knew of the science (as someone who had subscribed to AGW previously) this is one of the first places I got hung up. I kept trying to visualize PPM in my head, and ask how it could work that such a seemingly minute amount could have such an oversized effect.

      I just had this same discussion with a friend. His first example was how can LSD have such a profound effect, measured in micrograms. The next was bacterial poisoning. I pointed out that bacteria reproduce exponentially. Then I asked him for an inorganic system, not a biological one. The best example he could come up with was a dropper of hypothetical dye changing the color of a hypothetical “large body of water.”

      Or is the Earth in fact a quasi-biological system, as maintained by Lovelock & Margulis (at least in one variant of Gaia Hypothesis)?

      By the way, I just read your 1981 paper w/Hansen. Seems to be a favorite target of skeptic deconstructions. But noted that you accounted for a bunch of things way back then, like delays in warming effect, counter-intuitive growth of sea ice, etc. So I’m scratching my head once again. Curious journey.

      • Just try answering my own question:

        Catalysts?

        I’m not a chemist, so I don’t know the answer to the lowest known ratio of a catalyst to a reactant. Tried googling it but didn’t get any clear indication. I’m sure there are techies out there who know that off the cuff. But I’ve heard people on this blog claim that chemical engineers cannot conceive .O4 amount of anything driving a chemical reaction.

        Of course that’s chemistry not radiative physics. So maybe the analogy doesn’t hold.

        Then you’ve got the analogy from chaos theory, Lorenz’ butterfly. Sensitive dependence on initial conditions. But in climate change we’re talking about an incremental addition to a quantity of CO2 that naturally oscillates from 180 to 280 (within the current resolution of ice cores anyway?).

      • Rhyzotika –
        Nitrogen, oxygen, and argon comprise well over 99% of the atmospheric composition. All three of these gases are transparent to long-wave thermal radiation. This means that they can neither absorb nor emit thermal radiation. With nitrogen, oxygen, and argon in the atmosphere there would be zero greenhouse effect.

        On the other hand, water vapor and CO2 have many strong radiative absorption transitions in the infrared (as do also ozone, CH4, N2O, and a variety of CFCs). The typical lifetime of these infrared radiative transitions is on the order of a millisecond.

        If the water vapor and CO2 molecules were able to sit unperturbed for longer than a millisecond, they would simply re-emit the same photon that they had absorbed earlier. But in the Earth’s atmosphere, the typical collision time between air molecules is less than a millionth of a second. This means that the energy of H2O and CO2 molecules gets “thermalized” by the thousands of collisions with nitrogen and oxygen molecules before the H2O and CO2 molecules get a chance to radiate.

        That is how the radiative energy in the radiation field and the kinetic thermal energy of air molecules is transferred and equalized. There is a fairly detailed description of how all this works in my 2013 paper that was published in Tellus B, available from the GISS webpage at http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/la06400p.html

      • David Springer

        A Lacis | July 6, 2014 at 3:57 pm |

        “Nitrogen, oxygen, and argon comprise well over 99% of the atmospheric composition. All three of these gases are transparent to long-wave thermal radiation. This means that they can neither absorb nor emit thermal radiation.”

        Did you get your physics degree out of a crackerjack box? ALL matter with temperature above absolute zero emits thermal radiation. Fercrisakes Lacis you’re phucking unbelievable.

      • David Springer

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

        Thermal radiation is electromagnetic radiation generated by the thermal motion of charged particles in matter. All matter with a temperature greater than absolute zero emits thermal radiation.

        FAIL. EPIC FAIL.

      • One answer is that 99.5% of the atmosphere’s molecules have no effect on infra-read radiation. O2, N2 and argon are the most abundant, but it takes triatomic molecules to have the kind of vibrational modes that can interact with IR photons. Once you take this 0.5%, 90% it is water vapor, but CO2 is the next most important part of this fraction, and ozone, methane and some other trace gases contribute too.

      • David Springer

        Tiny fractions of adulterants cause large changes in material characteristics. Paint a 2000 kilogram automobile white. Then add a few grams of black pigment to the paint to make the paint dark. Paint another car with the dark paint. Compare surface temperature of each car on a sunny day. The argument that CO2 can’t have a significant effect because of small relative concentration is an argument made by the stupid.

        “The two most common elements in the uniververse are hydrogen and stupidity.” ~Harlan Ellison

        .


      • Can you provide a different example of a microscopic amount of matter affecting a much larger **IN**-organic system?

        Simples. Deposit a small amount of nonvolatile thin oil on a body of water to create a slick. This slick can prevent a significant amount of evaporation from occurring.
        http://science.slashdot.org/story/03/11/02/050223/evaporation-prevention-using-molecular-blankets

        And it really does not matter if you find something wrong with my counter-example. Physics is a wonderfully varied science that can describe a multitude of different phenomena — and if you have trouble understanding some part of physics, you probably have to ask yourself if it is just you.

      • Kevin Lawson

        That’s the problem you obsess about physics, but seem to have no understanding of biology, geology, or chemistry. The interaction of complex systems behaving in a chaotic manner that are impossible to model is ignored Anything you don’t understand you blame on CO2. Inconvenient data is ‘adjusted’ to conform to computer models. When temperatures stopped rising annually, it moved to decadal averages to maintain a trend. Science can’t account for 50% of CO2 in the system, 98% of which is naturally occurring, yet tiny increases will fry the planet. If what you believe is true life would never have taken hold in the first place and Earth would be as lifeless as Mercury, Venus or Mars

      • Springer, how effective do you think pure oxygen and nitrogen are as a black body? Answer: not at all. Not everything is a black body, and many things like these gases don’t radiate at all in the thermal wavelengths. They just can’t create and absorb those photons with their molecules that have such limited degrees of freedom.

      • Springer, being a fan of Wikipedia you might look at
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emissivity
        where it says
        “The major constituents of the atmosphere, N2, O2, and Ar, do not absorb or emit in the thermal infrared.”

      • David: I’m taking an MIT Open Courseware Course on Quantum Physics where they teach that particles ARE waves, that the state of a particle can be determined from the wavelength.

      • rls – They actually are wavicles.

      • David
        Quantum Physics teaches that particles ARE waves, that the wavelength of a particle determines its state.

      • Jim2: Like the name. It’s a relief also that I didn’t say anything stupid. Are wavicles a factor in climate theories?

      • Sure – molecules are resonant at specific wavicle frequencies.

      • Beryl is colorless in its pure mineral form; it becomes emerald with very low levels of chromium. With manganese the beryl is morganite, pink, and with iron,you get aquamarine.
        The levels of transition metals needed are about 1:1,000,000.

      • John Carpenter

        “Nitrogen, oxygen, and argon comprise well over 99% of the atmospheric composition. All three of these gases are transparent to long-wave thermal radiation. This means that they can neither absorb nor emit thermal radiation.” – A. Lacis

        “Did you get your physics degree out of a crackerjack box? ALL matter with temperature above absolute zero emits thermal radiation. Fercrisakes Lacis you’re phucking unbelievable.” – D. Springer

        Springer, ir radiation absorption and emission or lack thereof comes under the heading of settled science. What Andy is saying is homogeneous dimer molecules like O2, N2 and H2 are not infrared active molecules. They are not able to absorb or emit ir energy. They lack an oscillating dipole moment. Without an oscillating dipole moment, there is no way for the ir energy to interact with the vibrating molecule when their frequencies are in resonance. In addition, they are symmetrical and by group theory selection rules, their vibrational motion is inactive. Again, this is long ago settled science, decades and decades ago settled science. Text books upon physical chemistry and physics and group theory text books by the hundreds settled science. Try to understand even just a little bit of the physics Andy is speaking of before revealing yourself as an epic fail.

      • John Carpenter, does Kirchhoff’s law of thermal radiation apply to N2/O2 and N2/O2/CO2 gas mixtures? One would assume that if adding CO2 to a N2/O2 gas mixture it will increase the absorbance of IR and also the emission of IR, unless of course Planck’s law doesn’t apply to magic gasses like CO2.

        “For an arbitrary body radiating and emitting thermal radiation, the ratio E / A between the emissive spectral radiance, E, and the dimensionless absorptive ratio, A, is one and the same for all bodies at a given temperature. That ratio E / A is equal to the emissive spectral radiance I of a perfect black body, a universal function only of wavelength and temperature”


      • David Springer | July 6, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
        Did you get your physics degree out of a crackerjack box? ALL matter with temperature above absolute zero emits thermal radiation. Fercrisakes Lacis you’re phucking unbelievable.

        The symmetries of those diatomic molecules prevent the absorption (and therefore emission) of infrared. No net change in the dipole moment during vibration of homonuclear molecules such as O2 and N2.

        So it is up to you Springer to show how the dipole moment can change or be induced in O2 and N2 with infrared excitation

      • David Springer

        ALL matter with a temperature above absolute zero emits thermal radiation. Nitrogen is matter. It has a temperature above absolute zero. Hence it radiates.

      • David Springer

        @WHUT & Carpenter

        Thermal radiation results from charge acceleration as well as dipole oscillation. All atoms contain charged particles in motion. Interatomic collisions result in changes in kinetic energy of those particles i.e. charge acceleration. This is fundamental electromagnetic theory. You boys need to study up on it. This is why all baryonic matter in motion (i.e. has a temperature above absolute zero) emits thermal radiation.

      • verytallguy

        Dave Springer,

        You’ve obviously got a lot of expertise in spectroscopy and radiative heat transfer.

        What’s the relative contribution of CO2, N2 and O2 to the total radiative emission from the atmosphere to space?

      • Assuming that CO2 is dispersed in the atmosphere couldn’t the radiation be described as a massive array of IR interferences?

      • David – while I generally agree with your comments, I disagree with the comment re: black pigment in paint and cars in sunlight, likewise the comparison of the effects of a small amount of Co2 on climate and the effects of small dosages of poisons on organisms. For discussion sake, let’s characterize a can of paint, the painted cars, climate and organisms as “systems”. I would further characterize the climate system as a massively complex, chaotic, non-linear, open, coupled system made up of 5 separate subsystems each with their own set of complexities, and all being affected by externalities like the sun, polarity, gravity, cosmic rays, and who knows how many unknown unknowns.

        A can of paint, and cars painted with that paint, share few if any of the same characteristics. They are non-complex, non-chaotic, closed, simple, static systems where it is easy to predict what will happen when making simple changes to those systems. So, let’s add just a little variability to the cars in sunlight by simply rolling down the windows. That will likely reduce the temperature difference between the black and white car. Let’s add one more variable, like a moderate breeze – that will likely reduce the difference even further, as would the occasional cloud. Just 3 simple externalities will have an effect on the temperature differences of the cars.
        Likewise with organic “systems” compared to the climate system. Organic systems, like climate, are complex, but that is pretty much where the similarities stop. Organic systems tend to be highly structured, non-chaotic closed systems. Poisons tend to operate by destroying some essential part of the structured system causing a breakdown in the system unless some antidote is administered. As for viruses, those too are living organisms that feed, grow, multiply and spread throughout the host organism. Co2, unlike viruses, does not feed, grow, and multiply on it’s own, is in fact a necessary element of the climate system and makes green things grow faster, larger, bear more fruit/flowers while using less water.

        To suggest that ANY single variable/element can act as THE control knob in a system as complex and chaotic as climate with all the incalculable interactions between the various subsystems, externalities and unknown unknowns – much less a variable that makes up .04% of just one component of that system, and further, that it is really just man’s contribution of roughly 3% of that .04% that is really acting as the control knob, as the warmists suggest – is, in a word ludicrous.

        To suggest that we are smart enough to build models that effective control for every single variable and all the interactions between the variables in our climate system such that we can then simply adjust the Co2 control know to make predictions, is hubris at best.

        So, while Co2 can be shown to radiate heat in a lab, the effect of human combustion of fossil fuels contributing roughly 3% of the .04% of the atmospheric Co2 levels will have, as I think you and others here have stated, a measured effect indistinguishable from zero.

      • John Carpenter

        Springer, gas molecules like N2 and O2 will not absorb or emit ir radiation through vibrational modes. That is what Lacis is saying. Those molecules are ir inactive for vibrational absorption or emission of radiation. This is settled science. Group theory of molecular vibrations is settled science. Science that can be demonstrated in controlled laboratory conditions every single day. Its so settled, no one questions it. The whole field of ir spectroscopy sets its foundations on the the rules described in Group theory. Translational kinetic energy is not vibrational energy. You will not detect N2 or O2 or H2 vibrations in an ir spectrum. They cannot absorb or emit ir radiation through vibrational modes. Unlike CO2 or H2O which have ir active vibrational modes and are the primary molecules in the atmosphere that can do this. See HITRAN ir absorption spectra of the atmosphere. If you are designing an atmospheric model with molecules that absorb or emit ir energy, N2 and O2 would not be modeled as absorbing or emitting ir energy through vibrational interactions with electromagnetic radiation. CO2 and H2O would be modeled. You took an off the mark shot at Lacis and in the process revealed yourself as someone who has never studied molecular spectroscopy or the quantum physics that governs it.

        Oh yeah.. duhh… cuz you’re a computer programmer.

      • David Springer

        Lacis didn’t say infrared radiation. He said thermal radiation and so did I. If you don’t know the difference you should probably bow out too.

      • David Springer

        @John Carpenter

        Lacis didn’t say infrared radiation. You said infrared. Lacis said thermal radiation and so did I. If you don’t know the difference between infrared radiation and thermal radiation you should definitely bow out.

      • David Springer

        @John Carpenter and VeryTallGuy

        Keep in mind that a gas with a temperature is the average temperature of an ensemble. There is a Boltzman distribution of temperatures of individual molecules around the average. Thus if I have a liter of O2 at STP some number of O2 molecules in there are at the O2 emission temperature. Likewise if I illuminate it with a continuous blackbody spectrum some number of photons in the continuous spectrum are at the absorption frequency.

        You boys all act like you forgot the definition of temperature and continuous blackbody spectrums. Is that pretty much what’s going on?

      • nutso fasst

        Even if adding 1 gram of black pigment to 2500 grams of white pigment makes a significant difference in reflectivity, mixed white and black pigments coating a surface are not a good analogy for mixed gases.

      • How about dopants in semiconductors, you dopes.

        Why are words appearing on my screen when I hit these keys?

        A small amount of impurities is all it takes.

      • Barnes – Thx for your addition at the tail end there. I know my physics suxx, and I’m a newbie in this climate debate, but your POV about the infernal hyper-networked complexity of the climate system makes more intuitive sense to me than the CO2 control knob paradigm.
        On top of what you described, I would add another layer – that the Earth as a whole is a far-from-equilibrium system, and is constantly in a process of DOING WORK – instilling order out of incident energy. Which, to me, explains the infamous energy imbalance at TOA. That’s what you would expect to be there. A permanent energy imbalance, because some of the energy is always being stored and transduced into other forms.
        I also like Michael Ghil’s idea about CO2 playing a variable role depending on how close a climate regime is to flipping into a new state or attractor.
        Although it is interesting to hear some of the other examples of physical impurities affecting a bigger system.

      • nutso fasst

        “Why are words appearing on my screen when I hit these keys?”

        Your computer lacks a relevancy checker.

      • If it were me, I’d be very shy about publicly telling one of the world’s foremost authorities in atmospheric radiative transfer that he was clueless, if I myself didn’t understand the first thing about the subject, as David Springer is so well demonstrating. But for some people, confidence is almost perfectly anti-correlated with actual knowledge.

        If David Springer believes that N2/O2 exert a strong greenhouse effect on Earth, then he should probably publish his claims in a quantitative fashion or shutup. A first step would be to identify the areas of absorption and emission as seen from space in an Earth emission spectra (e.g., http://climatephys.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/upwelling_toa12.jpg).

        One first clue would be to understand that gases are horrible blackbodies, unlike most solid or liquid surfaces on the planet (at least within the infrared range, which is basically interchangeable with thermal radiation when we’re speaking about things operating at Earthlike temperature regimes).

      • Nitrogen and oxygen absorb and emit blue and violet light – technically thermal radiation. You just need to define your terms a little more closely.

      • David Springer

        @Ellison

        Yup. Thermal radiation is not bound to any frequency range. All matter with temperature above absolute zero emits thermal radiation.

        @Colose

        O2 and N2 are not significant greenhouse gases. Thanks for asking.

        @VTG

        Good question. I’m still looking for a satisfactory answer. Keep in mind CO2 helps to heat the troposphere and helps to cool the stratosphere so the ratio varies with altitude.

      • verytallguy

        Dave Springer

        It would still be great to have your answer to

        “What’s the relative contribution of CO2, N2 and O2 to the total radiative emission from the atmosphere to space?”

        thanks in anticipation


      • If David Springer believes that N2/O2 exert a strong greenhouse effect on Earth, then he should probably publish his claims in a quantitative fashion or shutup.

        This is the way that Springer “publishes” his findings:


        https://judithcurry.com/2012/08/11/week-in-review-81112/#comment-228378
        I have a bullhorn and sometimes insult them as they pass by for entertainment purposes.

        A neverending source of humor is this blog’s comments section.

      • verytallguy

        Dave Springer

        Lacis said:

        All three of these gases are transparent to long-wave thermal radiation. This means that they can neither absorb nor emit thermal radiation

        Your response to Lacis:

        FAIL. EPIC FAIL.

        My question as a result:

        What’s the relative contribution of CO2, N2 and O2 to the total radiative emission from the atmosphere to space?

        Your response:

        Good question. I’m still looking for a satisfactory answer. Keep in mind CO2 helps to heat the troposphere and helps to cool the stratosphere so the ratio varies with altitude.

        David, this is confusing. You appear very certain that Lacis is wrong, but equally you appear unable to offer an alternative answer? Can you at least give a rough guess? How significant is the N2 and O2 emission to space compared to CO2?

        A few alternatives:

        a) Zero (Lacis)
        b) Insignificant (80%)

        What do you think?

      • David Springer

        Lacis wrote “This means that they can neither absorb nor emit thermal radiation.”

        I objected. All matter emits and absorbs thermal radiation according to Planck’s law. That includes all gases. A cloud of N2 will eventually come to equilibrium with a radiation field bathing it. These concepts are important to understand in astronomy and cosmology. Einstein was the first to describe gases in radiative fields in 1917 introducing the key concept of spontaneous emission. This 2005 article in Physics Today does a good job IMO of describing it along with stimulated emission

        http://cua.mit.edu/8.421/Papers/Kleppner%20Physics%20Today%202-05.pdf

        “Rereading Einstein on Radiation”

        Indicate you have read and can follow along with the above article. This will clear up any confusion about non-greenhouse gases not being able to emit and absorb thermal radiation i.e. the mistaken notion that an atmosphere without greenhouse gases would not be able to cool itself by thermal radiation.

      • David Springer

        @ VTG: Lacis said that N2 and O2 at temperatures above absolute zero do not radiate at all? Zero? See if he’ll tweet it. LOL

      • verytallguy

        Dave Springer

        I’ve read the paper you linked to, thank you. I’d need to sit down with pencil and paper to fully work though it all and ensure I’ve really understood.

        I think I get your point, but to avoid confusion it would really help if you could just state your best estimate of the realtive contribution of N2/O2 and CO2 to total emission from the atmosphere.

        Andy Lacis says zero, you disagree – but how much?

        I don’t understand why you won’t give your calculation or at least rough order of magnitude estimate, which I guess you must have in order to so strongly disagree with Lacis?

      • David Springer

        Your question is complicated by the fact the atmosphere doesn’t need to radiatively cool without the radiative heating provided by greenhouse gases present. So probably the best answer is that CO2 radiates as much as it absorbs. So do the other non-greenhouse gases. But it doesn’t absorb anywhere near as much as H2O.

        Roy Spencer, one of the world’s foremost experts on electromagnetic wave propagation through earth’s atmosphere, does a good job of describing the hypothetical conditions which would evolve if we had a pure N2 atmosphere including no water vapor.

        http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/12/what-if-there-was-no-greenhouse-effect/

      • verytallguy

        Dave Springer

        Sorry, still don’t understand your opinion on the best estimate of the relative contribution of N2/O2 and CO2 to total emission from the atmosphere.

        Andy Lacis asserted zero, which you characterise as an “EPIC FAIL” (your caps!)

        Please help.

        Using your expertise, with which you can be very confident Andy Lacis is wrong, can you help with the right answer, or at least an estimate.

        Otherwise it’s baffling why you think his answer is such an “EPIC FAIL”

        Can you see the point?

      • David Springer

        Did you get Lacis to confirm that he meant to say “N2 and 02” do not radiate at all? I think he mispoke. He’s definitely wrong. They do indeed have radiant thermal emission like all matter with a temperature above absolute zero.

      • I would agree that it most likely approaches zero, quite someways along that asymptotic edge that rides, almost, but not quite. And that it bounces back and forth. Swallowed up by the gravity pressure balance monster that can turn energy to mass and mass to energy. And spit out any which way it feels like at the time. The variations in which we are working really hard to quantify, while waiting for physics to explain the root cause.

        :-)

      • verytallguy

        Dave Springer

        the best answer is that CO2 radiates as much as it absorbs. So do the other non-greenhouse gases. But it doesn’t absorb anywhere near as much as H2O.

        OK, great, we’re getting towards a qualitative ranking.

        H20>CO2, yes?

        where do N2 and O2 fit vs those two?

        Quantitative would be even better if possible

      • Pierre-Normand

        David Springer wrote: “Roy Spencer, one of the world’s foremost experts on electromagnetic wave propagation through earth’s atmosphere, does a good job of describing the hypothetical conditions which would evolve if we had a pure N2 atmosphere including no water vapor.”

        The only bit relevant to the current dispute in Specer’s post seems to be this: “Well, notice that what we are left with in this thought experiment is an atmosphere that is heated from below by the ground absorbing sunlight, but the atmosphere has no way of cooling…except in a very shallow layer right next to the ground where it can cool by conduction at night.”

        So, Spencer is agreeing with Lacis. Thermal radiation from O2 and N2 isn’t even worth mentioning in the context of discussing the radiative properties of the atmosphere.

      • verytallguy

        David,

        it’s a pity that you chose not to answer the question.

        As you’ve chosen not to back up your abusive response to Andy with any facts, I’ll give you my explanation of Andy Lacis’s post.

        Andy wrote

        All three of these gases are transparent to long-wave thermal radiation. This means that they can neither absorb nor emit thermal radiation.

        It seems very clear from this, to me at least, that “thermal radiation” in this context means radiation thermally emitted from the surface of the earth, and was not an attempt to overturn Einstein.

        It is, in this context – as I guess you’re fully aware, having declined to answer the question – entirely correct. O2 and N2 do not indeed, emit or absorb radiation in the longwave thermal region.

        Could I suggest you post an apology to Andy for your abusive and unwarranted remarks. I quote to remind you:

        Did you get your physics degree out of a crackerjack box? ALL matter with temperature above absolute zero emits thermal radiation. Fercrisakes Lacis you’re phucking unbelievable

        and

        FAIL. EPIC FAIL.

        You clearly have a lot more to learn from Andy than he has from you. Not least how to conduct a civil discourse.

      • David Springer

        I’m not about to apologize for correcting Lacis. The bottom line remains that O2/N2 thermal emission is non-zero. So is it’s infrared absorption and emission. There is no such thing as an ideal gas in nature. There is no such thing as a perfect black body in nature. There is no such thing as perfectly transparent in nature. There is no such thing as a perfect reflector in nature.

        Write that down and shove your indignation up your as s.

      • verytallguy

        David

        The bottom line remains that O2/N2 thermal emission is non-zero. So is it’s infrared absorption and emission.

        It is remarkable that you continue to insist that O2/N2 infrared emission is non-zero whilst being unable to put any figure on what it actually is. Or to put it more succinctly.

        He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense

        Put up the data which quantifies the relative contributions of O2, N2 and CO2 to radiative emissions. How difficult can that be? Andy Lacis says zero for O2 and N2, based on their measured IR spectrum.

        Your bombastic style merely serves to reinforce the lack of substance in your writing.

    • Andy,

      Can I have your permission to make a post (or two) out of this comments?

      If you have a chance, I’d like you to check a related argument:

      https://judithcurry.com/2013/10/10/the-stadium-wave/#comment-403155

      Thanks!

    • David Wojick

      Unfortunately, according to the fourth law, responding to Andy’s long winded post would take an order of magnitude longer post.

    • Kevin Lawson

      If you believe that I presume you think there is some supreme being say that’s it I’m not going to photosynthise any more, I’ m just going to sulk if you pump anymore in and stop the process. This planet at the start had an atmosphere of largely of CO2 Ammonia and Methane with no standing water. Geologic, chemical and ultimately biological agents created the planet we inhabit today and the DNA that has provided the biodiversity upon it. Looked at like that a marginal increase in CO2 is not going to destroy the planet as we know it, as it didn’t in the past

    • “Somewhere on earth, on land, one-quarter of all our carbon emissions released through fossil fuel emissions is disappearing,” said David Crisp, a senior research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “We can’t identify the processes responsible for this. Wouldn’t it be nice to know where?” – Last link on the recent Open Thread.

      It would be nice if the missing 25% could be reduced to 10%.

      • David Springer

        It’s 50% not 25%. Mistakes like that reinforce Feynman’s characterization that science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.

    • A Lacis: by the time we have to worry about oxygen levels we will be out of fossil fuels and unless we invent a battery we will be worrying about nuclear waste and learning Tibetan as sea level rises.

    • David Young

      Andy, I’m not sure what you are responding to, but I don’t think anyone of substance here disputes the greenhouse effect. As you well know, the question is the feedbacks and the sensitivity. My views here are well known in that I believe simpler models may be more accurate than GCM’s which no offense to your work are in my view merely qualitative tools and have no hope of providing quantitative guidance. This is obvious from the justifications such as they are given by GCM advocates. As Climate of Doom observed they really all boil down to “every time I run the model, I get a reasonable looking climate.” That’s the best your new boss Gavin had for me 4 years ago, and he seems to have nothing better now. That’s qualitative and not very meaningful scientifically.

      There is a big difference between a change of 1 degree C and 4 degrees C and that is where climate science needs to be focusing. It seems by any reasonable standard, the last 30 years of focus on GCM’s have been a manifest failure as the range for climate sensitivity has not narrowed since then according to the IPCC. If I were a climate scientist, I would ignore the distraction of people who don’t believe the greenhouse theory as they are a small minority and address the main failure of my profession by any means possible.

      The focus on this small group of marginal people shows a peculiar obsession that is odd to say the least.

    • David Springer

      Radiative physics doesn’t apply so much at the surface, Andy. Latent energy transfer dominates the surface heat budget. You know that. Why do you keep acting like you don’t?

      • Radiative physics certainly applies at the surface, but no one (Andy, myself, or anyone else) said that radiation is the only component of the surface energy budget. The surface budget must close just like the top-of-atmosphere balance does at equilibrium, but the surface temperature will still be dragged along by the top of atmosphere energy budget. In this sense, CO2 acts to warm the climate from the top down, even though the CO2 molecules are absorbing radiation emanating from the surface. But the entire basis for the greenhouse effect is the presence of an opaque substance acting in a column with a temperature difference between the layers lower down and the layers aloft.

        To first-order, evaporation and sensible heating act to wipe away surface-lower troposphere temperature gradients. One cannot define a temperature at any point in the column with latent heating alone, without appealing to radiative transfer.

      • David Springer

        Latent transfer DOMINATES the surface heat budget. Read harder. Say you disagree. I dare you.

      • David Springer

        You and Lacis should probably bow out. It can’t look good for you physics boys to get your asses handed to you by a computer scientist.

      • David Springer

        Actually Chris, let me take you to school. A greenhouse history lesson. Fourier, usually credited with the first formulation of the greenhouse effect, described it with the ocean. Water is transparent to shortwave and opaque to longwave. The same characteristics that distinguish nitrogen from CO2. Oh my god. Fourier speculated that the same effect probably exists in the atmosphere but that there weren’t sufficient data at the time to say more about it.

        Fourier, Burgess translation, 1824, pgs 141 & 142, American Journal of Science and Arts

        link to google books scan of the original article: http://tinyurl.com/lllwkvw

        General Remarks on the Temperature of the Terrestrial Globe and the Planetary Spaces.

        This distinction of luminous and non-luminous heat, explains the elevation of temperature caused by transparent bodies. The mass of waters which cover a great part of the globe, and the ice of the polar regions, oppose a less obstacle to the admission of luminous heat, than to the heat without light, which returns in a contrary direction to open space. The pressure of the atmosphere produces an effect of the same kind: but an effect, which, in the present state of the theory, and from want of observations compared with each other, cannot be exactly defined.

        So how much of the ballyhooed 33C greenhouse warming is done by the transparent body called the global ocean with differential impedence to shortwave and thermal radiation, Chris? Andy? Anyone? Bueller?

        I’ve been asking for years. No one has provided a satisfactory answer. Be sure to show your work supporting your answer, whatever it is. Good luck.

      • David Springer

        Chris Colose | July 6, 2014 at 5:02 pm |

        “I’m shaken.”

        It’ll get worse as time goes on. Being wrong in a subscription science journal that few people read is one thing. Doing it on a blog where your folly is catalogued, indexed, and searchable is quite another. Hope you get tenure real soon cause you’re going to need it.

      • David Springer

        http://tinyurl.com/mwqeffm

        Direct link to page 4 where the part of Fourier I quoted is found in Google books scan of Journal of American Science and Arts. The link I gave before is to page 1 of Fourier’s article.

      • > I’ve been asking for years.

        Teaching by asking questions, Big Dave? How socratic of you. I hope your response does not rest on positing intelligible forms, for only Chuck Norris may have the power to posit them and he doesn’t care much.

      • I hope I can get a refund from your schooling system.

        But in any case, it’s not a terrible question to ask (if I understood correctly) why the oceans don’t exert a greenhouse effect, as I think Fourier thought (even though he recognized that temperatures decreased rather than increased with depth).

        The answer involves the incompressibility of liquid– namely that a well-mixed state of water is basically isothermal, not increasing with depth as is the case in a planetary atmosphere. You don’t even need a surface to have an atmospheric greenhouse effect (on a planet like Jupiter for example, any point along a T(p) curve within a convecting layer will be higher than it would be if its atmosphere were totally transparent to thermal radiation).

      • Wow. The oceans are heated from the top and the atmosphere from the bottom – determined by the optics of the medium.

        The 33 degrees is determined as the difference between an effective radiating temperature and the measured mean temperature of the planet. This mean temperature might be the same if the oceans weren’t a heat store – I so rarely bother with hypotheticals – but the relatively moderate variability we enjoy is the result of ocean heat stores.

      • David Springer

        re; atmosphere heated from the bottom

        Generally speaking but not precisely.

        The lion’s share of atmospheric heating occurs when water vapor condenses and releases latent heat of vaporization. This generally occurs at altitude not at the very bottom.

      • Chris Close, “You don’t even need a surface to have an atmospheric greenhouse effect.”

        Very true. But if you are relating the magnitude of a greenhouse gas effect to a “surface” you need to know what “surface” you are dealing with.

      • “Chris Colose

        The surface budget must close just like the top-of-atmosphere balance does at equilibrium,”

        When was the system at ‘equilibrium’ oh great one. Give me a date, day, month and year.

        Pathetic.

      • Time For An Ob

        “the surface temperature will still be dragged along by the top of atmosphere energy budget.”

        I would think so.

        But it is interesting that in the tropics, RF calculations indicate a deficit at the surface and surplus at the tropopause which seems to imply increased stability. So for the region of the tropics ( which is half the surface of the earth ), the process of ‘dragging temperature’ is not radiative, nor would one think, convective. It must be that the overall surplus of tropospheric energy, mixed by the general circulation. Not too many examples of the general circulation moving energy downward, though I do understand the notion of tropospheric surplus which can only be balanced by radiance.

      • “…but the surface temperature will still be dragged along by the top of atmosphere energy budget…”
        When you put a blanket up there, it’s going to have an effect. A budget is an accounting. Accounting it is not the thing, but representation of the thing. A recording of it. A balance sheet or an income statement is the result of bottom up process with every dollar effecting the final statements. I can grant that 3 or 4 significant digits is close enough to be within 1% of the correct answer. If we don’t have almost all of the required information for a bottom up approach, we can make assumptions. At that point we start to say quite loudly that we’ve made these assumptions so that the users don’t think they have a higher level of assurance about the accuracy of the statements than really exists. So it might be helpful to ask if the TOA budget was derived using a top down approach with material (ones that matter) assumptions?

      • David — You post a lot. Could you provide your background on Dr. Curry’s Denizens section? Tx.

      • David Springer

        re; surface temperature dragged along by TOA imbalance

        Total energy in the system is dragged along by TOA imbalance. The largest energy reservoir by far is the ocean and OHC doesn’t increase or decrease uniformly from top to bottom. Surely you are by now aware that, according to ARGO, OHC is increasing faster below 700m than above and that is how an ostensible TOA imbalance of 0.5W/m2 has not resulted in any significant surface heating over the past 17 years or so i.e. the hiatus or pause or whatever you want to call it. Were a TOA imbalance of 0.5W/m2 to persist for 100 years and be evenly distributed throughout the ocean volume it would result in an SST increase of only 0.2C.

        Clearly the rate at which TOA imbalance diffuses into and through the global ocean is key to how much and how quickly global average surface temperature will rise over any given span of time. Failure to anticipate the faster than expected diffusion into the deep ocean over the past decade or two is pretty compelling evidence of inadequate understanding of how the ocean responds to TOA imbalance.

        The focus on radiative energy transfer will not answer the vital questions on a water world. If the earth were a dry rock and its atmosphere composed of only N2, O2, and CO2 you’d have a good handle on it but the earth is pretty phucking far from a dry rock without condensing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

    • Andy

      Thanks for your graphic description which presumably is a reply to my comment to you on the other thread.

      Tonyb

    • A. Lacis

      “People simply fail to look at the most basic of radiative physics in assessing the impact of atmospheric CO2 on global surface temperature.”

      As curator of an ancient art form: “the trace gas radiative transfer model” I congratulate you for your persistence in keeping such objects of art in the public eye. Through all of the failures of models, predictions, speculative heat disappearances, you soldier on. Abrupt climate change, clouds, ocean currents, stratospheric ozone, sun cumulative energy outputs, etc., nothing new dampens your enthusiasm for hammering what should have been true, into collectable pieces. Micro point paintings using the individual hairs from the tail of a squirrel as a paint brush comes to mind, used at one time in Pakistan to illustrate books and now replaced by camera ready computer generated graphics. Yet, I digress.

      “The fourth law of thermodynamics” @pkedrosky The amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.”

      I presume, that in you efforts to preserve for all time something that is rapidly becoming a historical footnote, you still enjoy a bit of notoriety amongst the Ban-The-Bomb Baby Boomers (BTBBBs) whose millions and billions of dollars have been made on speculative purchases of coal and oil. The science seems to have passed BTBBBs by, the lingering effects of psychedelic experiences of a younger age I presume.

      Millions and billions of dollars propping up the Sun-Set Science Groupies (S-SSGs), soon I predict, to be observed to be a drag on our economy. High cost of energy and the harm that such costs entails.

    • ” A Lacis | July 6, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Reply

      TonyB –
      Before you start worrying about all the radiative effects of volcanic CO2, you should view the broader picture.”
      _____
      The Human Carbon Volcano (HCV) vastly dwarfs the amount of carbon put out by natural volcanic activity by several orders of magnitude. Generally, the carbon cycle is balanced enough such that the amount of carbon put into the atmosphere by all sources is equal to the amount taken out through natural feedback processes. On occasion, the carbon cycle is unbalanced due to some externally forcing event. When more carbon is put into the atmosphere than can be drawn out (such as during the PETM event of massive long-term volcanism), CO2 levels rise and the climate warms. When more carbon is taken out than put it, CO2 levels fall and the climate cools. Currently, the HCV is not unlike the massive volcanism of the PETM in that it is overwhelming all natural feedback processes and CO2 levels are rising at the fastest pace ever seen in the geological record. The kinds of rapid warming and climate changes seen during the PETM would be a logical expectation if the HCV continues. The interesting question is also will the HCV include a rapid methane rise as well. It seems likely as methane is now rising faster (as a percentage basis) than CO2.

      • Rgates

        Your link to the oppo article on the other thread was pay walled.

        I am well aware of the respective contributions by volcanos and by humans.

        My point about volcanic emissions is that the amount attributed to them has grown exponentially in recent years. If, as appears likely their contribution remains understated I am sure you will agree the carbon balance budget needs to be revisited . Soil also probably needs revisiting as regards the co2 locked up in it.

        I have never at any time claimed that human and volcanic emissions were at parity
        Tonyb

      • Tony said:

        “I have never at any time claimed that human and volcanic emissions were at parity.”
        ____
        I did think so. Current volcanic emission of CO2 are miniscule and essentially irrelevant to the overwhelming HCV emissions. Even during the PETM, it took extended volcanic eruptions on a massive scale that were extensive but not of the kind to eject significant stratospheric sulfates so as to cause cooling. Current HCV rates of carbon emission into the atmosphere is estimated to be 100-150 greater than even those massive PETM eruptions 55 million years ago. Hence, when it comes to moving carbon from the lithosphere into the atmosphere and ocean, the term Human Carbon Volcano is more than appropriate.

      • Tony, my first sentence in the last post– I honestly meant to say: “I did NOT think so.” Sorry about that.

      • Mr. Gates, have you trademarked the term ‘Human Carbon Volcano?’ If not, some manufacturer of medication for digestive problems may just wander off with it.

        As a back-up, you might consider Human Carbon Big Bang. But you might talk to Sheldon and Leonard first.

      • @ Tonyb

        I read somewhere that at least 75% of all volcanic activity takes place under the sea, which would seem reasonable given the relative area of land and sea.

        In estimating natural sources of CO2, are the undersea emissions included?

        And, since the undersea CO2 is injected directly into the ocean, does it stay there or does it eventually make its way to the atmosphere?

    • Don Monfort

      Oh my, 10 gigatons of that carbon stuff per year. We must be burning up. But no, we ain’t. What is the pause excuse du jour, andy?

      Can you use your math skills to figure out for us how many windmills and solar panels it would take to replace that 10 gigatons of carbon fuel, andy?

      • I’d like to know how much carbon goes into the minerals, manufacture, transport, installation, supplementing and, ultimately, dismantling of the windmills and solar panels.

        Seems you need that good Aussie black coal for just about everything. Big Green likes to complain about using coal to make cheap toys in China. How come they don’t object to using coal to make their expensive toys in China?

    • A Lucis, you miss a fundamental point; prior to the large scale burning of fossil fuels the bisosphere was at steady state with respect to carbon influx, from volcanic sources, and with respect to carbon efflux, from the mineralization of ,mostly biotic carbon.
      The higher the rate of CO2 influx is, the greater the normal, background, rate of carbon mineralization. The idea that CO2 generated from burning fossil fuels will raise the atmospheric concentration of CO2 for centuries, as represented by the Bern model, was already ridiculous.
      As we discover that influxes, and thus effluxes, are far higher than had been assumed, the less long term the perturbation of the system is imposed by human generated CO2.
      Still, you can state that all carbon mineralization is due to rock weathering and look like a towering intellectual.

    • Keep in mind that the Earth is finite in all respects.Not exactly. The earth g
      has an unending infinite supply of sunshine that turns the CO2 back into fossil fuel. It”s a cycle.

    • The emissions of co2 from volcanoes might be small potatoes compared to fossil fuel burning, but the increased emission of co2 from volcagenic soils under the greater number of sunshine hours of the later half of the C20th isn’t.

      Just a pity OCO2 is late on the job to measure it, but I expect we’ll see the result of increasing cloud cover in a slowing of the co2 rise as well as reducing temperature soon enough. Mind you, given the mounting evidence that the figures are being bent, we might have to rely on anecdotal evidence like icebergs in the great lakes in June (yes, really! even though NSIDC cliamed they were all gone in early May), in order to ascertain what’s really happening.

      The databenders are wrecking climate science.

    • Matthew R Marler

      A Lacis: People simply fail to look at the most basic of radiative physics in assessing the impact of atmospheric CO2 on global surface temperature.

      Not I!

      I look at the basics of radiative physics and ask follow-up questions about details, including details entailed in non-radiative physics My favorite questions to date: (1) if, as Chris Colose wrote in the earlier thread, Willis Eschenbach’s graphical analysis of cloud cover and temperature is basically correct, does that not make a reasonable case that cloud cover increases can be expected to prevent future warming from future CO2 increases? (why or why not?); (2) if doubling of CO2 concentration produces an increase of 3.7W/m^2 of downwelling LWIR, what will be the effect of that increase on the non-radiative transfer of heat from the surface to the upper troposphere over the 85% or so of the Earth surface that is non-dry (e.g., increases in thunderclouds?); (3) if the effect of downwelling LWIR on non-radiative transfer has been underestimated, does that not imply that the temperature change to be induced in the future by doubling of CO2 concentration has been overestimated? (Why or why not?); (4) how much would the Earth would have warmed after the end of the Little Ice Age due to all the processes independent of CO2?

      As far as I can tell from reading to date, these are among the many lacunae, holes, liabilities and cavities in the knowledge base; obviously relevant to public policy debate.

      There are many more. If you examine the energy flow diagrams in the Trenberth and Fasullo and other publications, it is pretty clear that the effects of CO2 changes on those energy flows are not well known. The energy flows need to be separated.by season, time of day, and region of the Earth in order for the climate effects of changes in CO2 concentration to be appreciated.

      • Because the net effect of clouds – whilst still one of the major sources of uncertainty in relation to climate sensitivity is likely a positive feedback

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v505/n7481/full/nature12829.html

        Even if future work finds this not to be so and the the effect is negative it is almost certainly marginal.

        In the meantime the basics of radiative transfer continues to work. try reading the science – it does wonders

      • Matthew R Marler

        Mark: try reading the science – it does wonders

        There is more to “the science” than one journal article, and more to “the science” than the basic radiative physics.

        The ideas that cloud change is a positive feedback and small are not strongly concordant with the evidence. “Small” needs some elaboration, since the hypothesized temp effect to a doubling of CO2 concentration is less than a 1% increase in mean absolute temp. That could clearly be blocked by a “small” increase in daytime summertime cloud cover, or increased by a “small” increase in nighttime wintertime cloud cover.

      • Indeed – lots more science – most of which supports the idea that the impact of clouds is “small” in terms of the radiative heat imbalance brought about by increased GHGs. Typicaly deniersville rubbish to quote temperature changes in terms of absolutes (Kelvin) – laughable – what matters (in terms of atmospheric temperature) is that what has been a relative stable global mean is now changing.

        You might also consider that atmospheric temperature is just one of many indicators of the global heat imbalance (ice mass loss being another obvious one that continues apace)

      • Matthew R Marler

        mark: Indeed – lots more science – most of which supports the idea that the impact of clouds is “small” in terms of the radiative heat imbalance brought about by increased GHGs. Typicaly deniersville rubbish to quote temperature changes in terms of absolutes (Kelvin) – laughable – what matters (in terms of atmospheric temperature) is that what has been a relative stable global mean is now changing.

        The Kelvin scale is most appropriate to assessing the effects of heat imbalances. In radiative physics, for example, the rate of energy radiation is seldom taken as proportional to degrees C or F to the 4th power, but Kelvins.

        The “small” effect of the clouds on temp may be “larger than” the important CO2 effect on the change in mean temp.

      • Except that it isn’t larger as the evidence is showing

    • I took the liberty to quote you there, Andy:

      http://planet3.org/2014/07/06/but-volcanoes/

      Andy Skuce distilled it in a tweet:

      Thanks!

      • Willard, the latest estimate is about 600 million; and this is likely to get higher. As I stated above, this number is very important in the estimation of the residency time of hCO2.

      • > [T]his is likely to get higher.

        Where does your “likely” comes from, Doc?

        Speaking of residency time, I’m sure you’d like to help improve that page:

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-residence-time.htm

        Thanks!

      • If volcanic emissions were significant in a climate context, we’d see notable spikes in CO2 following some of the largest historical eruptions. Those who think volcanoes will compete with human activity should try to point out eruption periods using only the Mauna Loa curve.

    • Readers might be interested in this bit of analysis about heat generation in the climate models:

      They add the atmospheric Irradiance aka ‘back radiation’ which can do no thermodynamic work, 333 W/m^2, to SW energy thermalised in the atmosphere, making 571.5 W/m^2. By mistakenly applying Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation at ToA** they apply in the ‘two-stream approximation’ a negative 238.5 W/m^2, leaving the 333 W/m^2

      40% increased heating raises atmospheric temperature and humidity. According to a 2010 report by G L Stephens, the models offset the former using ~30% extra low level cloud albedo in hind-casting, leaving the raised humidity, claimed to prove ‘positive feedback’.

      It is possible these coordinated mistakes were random, but I doubt it. The models have no predictive capability. Atmospheric processes reduce CO2-AGW to near zero.

      **Only possible for a grey body; the atmosphere is semi-transparent to IR with OLR coming from three main zones, ranging from 0 to ~20 km altitude.

    • Dr. Lacis:
      You cannot have a climate science just for yourself and a few other climatologists around you. Climate science has to agree with engineering, atmosphere, and other science disciplines as well. That is why no one believe you. There is no radiative forcing between air layers in engineering or atmospheric science. In fact the lapse rate equation, which is a good equation, is an equality between enthalpy and potential energy of an air parcel, no radiation terms exist in the equation. Then how come your radiative physics does not exist in engineering textbooks or the atmosphere? You, respectfully, have to go back to the drawing board and think of this nonsense of radiative physics conveniently written for you and few others like you. Do not assume that the public is stupid!

  2. Reblogged this on Centinel2012 and commented:
    Good post and it fits perfectly.

  3. Large grants tend to correlate with the overlap of least certainty and most impact of the research areas. This is why climate change is now a prime area, and thanks to the vocal skeptics, especially in the political arena, the perception of uncertainty is promulgated which helps to fund more research. That is not to say there aren’t valid uncertainties. Regional impacts are far from certain.

  4. Time For An Ob

    Related – I was reviewing Wallace and Hobbs ( from the early 1980s ) and came across this:

    “Many of the fundamental questions concerning the nature and causes of climate change are still largely unresolved because of our incomplete quantitative understanding of many of the physical processes that enter into the global energy balance and for lack of definitive observational data on which to test various theories. Under such circumstances it is far easier to propose new climate change hypotheses than it is to substantiate or disprove old ones.”

  5. “Phive Decades of Physics Phun” was the title of a supposedly serious astrophysics lecture at the 2004 Eighth International Symposium on Nuclei in the Cosmos in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

  6. Danley Wolfe

    York says towards the end of the article (not shown in Curry’s post), “However Newton’s Laws are eternal and immutable. The violation of the Third Law will be only temporary as slowly scientific observation and understanding will get the better of the present situation…it is a firm conclusion that the climate change debate is distorted in its presentation and that its alleged scientific conclusions are unsound. Only when the Third Law is satisfied will we finally understand.” Basically saying that true science will win out in the end over policy/social science.

    That is a road that I am not willing to take. If the policy makers via the IPCC and all the other advocate backed organizations have their way we will trade and tax carbon out and otherwise (Obamawise) regulate it out of existence leaving Gaia beautiful greeny clean and life is wonderful forever after. And if that happened and the earth does not continue to warm – for any reason – even if we find that the scientific attribution of carbon cause and effect was wrong:
    – just as Thomas Malthus was wrong in his forecast of food shortages,
    – just as Paul Erhlich was wrong in his forecast of overpopulation
    – just as the Club of Rome was wrong in all their predictions,
    – just as Decca records was wrong (saying to Brian Epstein) ” following an audition by the Beatles in 1962…”We don’t like your boys’ sound. Groups are out. Four-piece groups with guitars, particularly, are finished.”
    – just as Byte magazine editor Edmund Dejesus was wrong in 1998 saying “Y2K is a crisis without precedent in history.”
    – just as Popular Mechanics was wrong in 1949 when it said “…computers in the future may way as little as 1.5 tons.”

    Point is once the policy action is taken, like most policy actions it’s difficult to turn back And even if temperature stopped increasing but for reasons other than AGHGs, the climate advocacy will cry “aha, we were right, I told you so.”

    • @ Danley Wolfe

      “Point is once the policy action is taken, like most policy actions it’s difficult to turn back And even if temperature stopped increasing but for reasons other than AGHGs, the climate advocacy will cry “aha, we were right, I told you so.””

      A point that I have made often. The critical reason for implementing ‘climate change policies’ immediately is for that precise reason: so that when warming pauses or cooling occurs–as it inevitably will–the claim can and will be made: ‘See! Our first, tentative policies, which the denialists tried to stop, are working just as predicted. That proves that we have to ‘double down’ and get serious.’ And they will.

  7. A fool can ask a thousand questions in the time it takes a wise man to answer only one. (Don’t know who said it.)

  8. ‘If as suggested here, a dynamically driven climate shift has occurred, the duration of similar shifts during the 20th century suggests the new global mean temperature trend may persist for several decades. Of course, it is purely speculative to presume that the global mean temperature will remain near current levels for such an extended period of time. Moreover, we caution that the shifts described here are presumably superimposed upon a long term warming trend due to anthropogenic forcing. However, the nature of these past shifts in climate state suggests the possibility of near constant temperature lasting a decade or more into the future must at least be entertained.’ https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/kswanson/www/publications/2008GL037022_all.pdf

    Things go well beyond simple radiative physics. I am sure that Tony understands the relative contributions of volcanic and anthropogenic emissions. Of course we might add these to soil and vegetation emissions to see an increase in emissions that is of the same order as anthropogenic emissions. .

    Enough links or I will go into moderation. But we might wonder what the the contribution to surface warming between the 1976/1977 and 1998/2001 climate shifts was from oceans and clouds. And how much of the hiatus is cloud caused in step changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation.

    e.g Wong et al (2006) – Reexamination of the Observed Decadal Variability of the Earth Radiation Budget
    Using Altitude-Corrected ERBE/ERBS Nonscanner WFOV Data

    and Palle and Laken (2013) What Do We Really Know About Cloud Changes over the Past Decades?

    And so how much of the CO2 variability was quite natural.

    e.g. Margret Steinthorsdottir (2013) – Stomatal proxy record of CO2 concentrations from the last termination suggests an important role for CO2 at climate change transitions

    Indeed whether current CO2 levels are unprecedented in the Holocene.

    As Swanson and Tsonis say at the top – these decadal modes persist for decades. Climate shifts – and we may anticipate several this century – show the likelihood of non-warming over decades. Nor is it at all guaranteed that the next shift will be to yet warmer conditions. If we presume that solar signals are amplified through the system – the next shift is to yet cooler matching evident millennial patterns.

    It is evident as well that temperature changes in climate shifts can be large – making a nonsense of pretensions to prediction.

    There is no certainty in simple physics – but uncertainty comes – as I keep saying – at the risk of an inherent climate instability.

    The solutions are non-solutions. Actions that have a primary justification in social and economic development – but with environmental benefits that emerge as a consequence. Things such as diesel particulates and brick kilns – well in hand – efficient solid fuel cook stoves and restoring carbon stocks in agricultural soils fits the bill. Health services, education and access to family planning are critical elements in a comprehensive social and population policy. As is energy innovation if there is a sincere desire to change energy production.

    It is all at present derailed by simple but inadequate physics, green overreach and global warming groupthink obsessives who can’t possibly entertain the idea that the planet isn’t warming for decades at least.

  9. JudithCurry
    I’m in moderation again.
    The dog ate my homework.

  10. PLEASE:

    Re Newton’s Laws.

    I think it possible they can be applied in the following manner.

    If we treat ourselves as a static object, and then consider our motion in space, you will find we are always going in 3 circles, several times, of varying dimension. The universe “flings” everything in a slightly outward roiling motion attributed to the balanced forces of the “Big Bang” and gravity.

    Within this framework, every galaxy is a “bubble” of “reduced entropy”, that as a whole, is moving slightly less in an outward spiral, and slightly towards the next closest, largest, most gravitational object. One that has less overall “entropy” than the universe, but slightly more than the closest, smallest, independent “bubble of lower entropy”, which in turn is being “pulled” towards it.

    Within the “bubble” of “reduced entropy” that is the milky way, there is a pair of black holes that represent the barycentric vacuum, balancing the increased density bubbles within it’s “sphere of influence” against the pull of the universal entropy level surrounding it.

    Then within the galaxy, the is galactic spin, roil, and “push/pull” creating the arms, and counterbalanced by huge balloons of charged gases above and below the center of the milky way, very much resembling the basic orbital shape of the hydrogen atom, when viewed as electron distribution charts.

    And then within the heliopause, there is another “bubble of reduced entropy” yet again, in the form of the sun, and the solar system. With a donut shape, and an intake and exhaust clouds, created by the sun’s magnetic belts, as the “rips” in “entropy” roll over them. The heliopause is 38,000,000,000 km diameter, and the solar system is traveling 26 km per hour relative the local interstellar cloud.

    So with all the pushes and pulls that are constantly travelling in waves, through space, in a massive 3 dimensional “jitter”, when assessing anything we have to recognize we live in the “jitter”. It’s pattern is the hydrogen atom. It is the shape of gravity, that is counterbalanced by the barycentric/entropy-less vacuum of non-mass, non-energy, in the center of the earth.

    Looking at the satellite “images” from Nasa’s GRACE mission, the pattern of waves, ripples, nodes, hot spots, and the oscillation back and forth, that is obviously an interference pattern, has to be produced internally, in order to be so pattern oriented. If it was purely external influence, it could not be patterned thus. Interference pattern more likely comes from “bounce” the midpoint between the surface of the planet, and the very center of the planet, leaving a hole in the middle, that is balanced in size, against the pushes and pulls of the universe, against the mass that stay’s within the earths “bubble of influence”, basically, the megnetopause, the moon, the atmosphere, the water, and the cloud of charged particles that would exist above and below us, if they didn’t intermingle, and/or, get blown away by the solar wind.

    So I read on a web site, that one of the top ten mysteries, is how gravity works. But looking at the shape provided and the scientific american as being the shape of the universal gravity wave. It would be the logical shape to represent earths internal “gravity mirror”. Or the “bow shock wave”, of the universes gravity, bouncing back from itself. And this “bow shock” rolls around inside the earth. The earth influenced balance point, with a shell rolling around it.

    It bounces back the universal gravity wave. On the surface feels the “mirror” of that effect. That “jitter” and “fight against it” are a universal fact. We live within those many vectors of momentum, as does all mass in the universe. And we always have to remember everything we percieve, is feeling that same “jitter”.

    See the spiral within a spiral, within a spiral, within a spiral, that both you and the earth are on, and remember that any calculations, observations, deductions, must keep that in mind.

    I can’t consider gravity a great mystery, which is where I think physics is flawed, which in turn enables the flaw that is CO2 based global warming.

    Newton’s law’s extend down to the constant 3 dimension “roil” that you truly live within.

    Which is why light manifests in the form it does, because in order to be perceived, it must journey, and in ding so, removes one straight line vector of motion, from within the shape of jitter, which is the distribution pattern of electron orbits, and becomes perceived as the wave pattern we see it as.

    That’s some “Phunny Physics”, and a bloody nose to physics which is currently, through negligence, allowing climate change fears/actions to feel “enabled”.

    When Einstein said that “time bends”, he may have meant the “balance of entropy”. And been correct. And clocks are not measuring, changes in “time”, but rather are riding the “balance” between faster and slower.

    Which begs the question if time can go faster and slower, implying an increase in entropy, con’t it be viewed instead as having to be balanced out by the increasing sphere of proportional influence on surrounding matter. The outward spread of “sphere of influence” is the counter balance to the outward spread of “drag”, or “effort to slow”. But in the reduction of experience of time, is a counterbalancing increase in the distance needed to “travel” to continue to exist. A universal balance between increased and decreased “entropy”, providing the perception of the dilation and strethching of time, when really, it is counterbalanced by a stretch and decline in ability to transmit gravity.an inability to transmit change in entropy. It is the bowshock of universal existence.

    So there is no “time dilation”, per say. There is only existence as perceived, on the edge of that balance between stop and go. Balanced by mass potential, and existence itself, within it’s frame of reference. Time isn’t bending. The bow shock mirroring universal existence, is slipping backwards a few notches. In 24 hours, if slips backwards 38 ms worth. We can calculate and quantify the jitter, in terms of the existence on the most prevalent single unit piece of existence, the hydrogen atom. and we will be able to calculate the speed of one rotation. We will recognize this “speed” of “rotation of existence” grows and shrinks, farther and closer to existence.

    Phnunny Physics, bu please look at GRACE imagery and sunspot records, magnetic fluctuation records, and compare the pattern of ripples and waves on the surface of the earth, and ask yourself have you ever seen them before, do you see them as ripples in “speed of existence”. Increase and decrease of “entropy”. Imagine them “rolling around the world” constanly, like rollers on a massager, or the rollers on the conveyor belt at the beer store. They are the mirror image of the earths internal mirror image of the universe’s universal pull, with interference patterns arriving from in proportion, from surrounding bodies of mass.

    Earth is on a massage table, with a constant “mirror” of entropy/non-enthropy, rolling around it in waves/counterwaves.

    Think of climate as being within that balance, and CO2 becomes a lot less considerable. because increased heat is constantly, instantly balanced against an increase in mass in the same system. Cut in half and put in the recycling bin. Becoming instantly important, and instantly gone. The Earth “slips” a few notches, or it doesn’t. But the earth is the earth, and not a battery, it is a mirror, as is existence itself, against the backdrop that is universally recognizable as non-existence. If one is not keeping up with the jitter in the same frame of reference, one is screaming through it in startling contrast.

    Roller coasters, jet planes, and bungess jumping, as examples. :-)

    Nuff said. Hope someone follows.

    Cheers,
    Phunny Physics. :-) I like that !!!

    • David Springer

      Crank alert!

      • There is a ways to go before the Springer Greenhouse Liquid (GHL) theory is out-cranked.

      • Springer Greenhouse Liquid (GHL) theory…
        Let’s switch to ice. Can it store heat? If the ice warms because of sunlight, I’d say yes.
        “Around March, as the air warms and the sun gets more intense, the snow melts, allowing light to penetrate the ice. Because the ice acts like the glass in a greenhouse, the water beneath it begins to warm, and the ice begins to melt From the Bottom. – “http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/climate/summaries_and_publications/ice_out_description.html
        The amazing lakes of Minnesota that in winter freeze over to keep the fish alive with enough warmth.

      • ragnaar is an accountant from Minnesota.

        You are embarrassing the state. You do know that the UofMinn teaches a class in limnology — or at least it did when I took the class.

      • WebHubTelescope:
        And if I hear local Weatherman Paul Douglas say the phrase global weirding one more time I am going to ask for your help in enlightening him.

      • Paul Douglas is a genius.


        He founded EarthWatch Communications in 1990, which created weather visualizations for the films Jurassic Park and Twister. He made a cameo appearance in a weather center scene in the latter. He also co-founded Digital Cyclone in 1998. The company creates weather applications and supplies content for wireless devices under the My-Cast brand name. Douglas sold Digital Cyclone to Garmin in 2007 for $45 million.

        Try to enlighten him out of his $45 million.

      • melting ice will have some interesting properties. If you consider that hot water freezes faster than cold water, then it would be plausible to expect a “stretching” or “accelerating” effect in the opposite direction during melting. Might relate to opening a super cold bottle of pop, or the glacial melt and refreeze that occurs almost instantly as shifts change the pressure being exerted on super cold ice that is almost water.

        I saw a video with some guys playing around with very pure water that was cooled to -24 and did real neat tricks.

        so I do wonder about seeing ice as a “heat” store. in a way. related to pressure on it.

      • WebHubTelescope:
        I can’t yet get genius and global weirding into the same sentence.

  11. Above said, because I don’t know if as clear an explanation of gravity and the holes it creates and balances out against, has been said??

    could be wrong.

    • David Springer

      It created a hole between your ears.

      Can’t be wrong.

      • You may be right. It may be wrong. But presumption begets a backlash, bigger than the embarrassment of making an effort to perceive things at their core and failing to manage to get it quite right. So I’ll voice my thoughts.

        I suggest that the shape of the universal gravity wave (it is a red and blue sphere that is a double spiral with an offset in the middle. a phase change, if you will), is also the shape of the smallest common denominator in space. And that it’s clockwork like mechanical motion creates a universal jitter, is the medium light energy sails through, and that within, jitters of “gravity” radiate out from the biggest, attracting the smallest, in donuts of decreasing entropy.

        I haven’t heard a more plausible explanation of sub atomic physics, or the universe that I agree with. Which alternative do you propose? I am sure you have a strong opinion and are not the type to chirp from cheap seats with no clear knowledge of the matter.

        step up. whattya got. how does gravity work?

        :-) There’s the pitch.

      • Gravity is the distortion of space/time.

        The rotating planet drags along the fabric of space/time.

        Although the relevance to climate is strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven.

    • we know that gravity travels in waves, (things radiating straight-line outwards in a sphere have to be waves in order to exist. Otherwise they break a law, by becoming more than they were, as they expand in a sphere. so everything either has to dissipate/grow thinner. Or be a wave.

      Waves have “other halfs”, in order to exist. Electro Magnetism.

      What is the answer to “what is the other half of the gravity wave”, given current quantum physics knoweldge? if anyone knows?

      • Alistair:

        I don’t know the answer to your question. However, are not gravity waves made in space/time. So the crest of the wave is space/time bunching together and the trough part would be space/time being stretched out.

        Of course, this would change your relative mass, length and time from peak to trough.

      • Here are a couple of things I know, and a couple of things I think….

        If you google image search for “our inflated universe” scientific american
        and look for a picture of a red-blue-blur ball, that is a two directional spiral, with a phase change in the middle. It is the “detected” shape of the oscillation of the “universal gravity wave”.

        I think this translates into the pattern of “push”/”pull” change, that any given point “feels” at any given point. And in it are contained the desire to “roil”. That is roll in two vectors. And this desire creates surface tension, hadley cells, orbits, the shape of hydrogen atoms ,convection, etc. Everything’s desire to spin and roll. Fold back on itself. Gravitate towards, and spin away.

        So I think there should be a layer towards the middle, that represents a balance point, inside of which gravity decreases as you approach true center, of the earth. The “balance point” then should be a mirror of this shape, counter-rotating against it. Chewing in energy from the poles, and pushing it out again at the equator. Oscillating back and forth against the push-pulls of the moon, the sun, the planets, the milky way, and the universe, in varying degrees or phases of push/pull, as they are approaching, or moving away from us, relatively.

        This pattern on the surface observed by GRACE mission, correlated with information we have about gravity, the earths magnetic field, and the impact of the suns magnetic field, should prove this to be the case

        would be a natural result of such a “mirror” effect within the earth. Another explanation based on known potential phenomena, I am not aware of.

        GRACE data maps available Here to see ripples, phase changes, etc in the pattern of gravity on earth. I suggest viewing monthly anomalies, and viewing using a smoothing radius of 25km.

        http://geoid.colorado.edu/grace/dataportal.html

    • We have put some emphasis on credentials here, and I freely admit I am not a credentialed physicist, or anything of the sort.

      But I am a past member of MENSA, which is a qualification of it’s own, a recognized “troubleshooter” re professional references on linked-in, with a “visual conceptualization” ability at the 99.7th percentile, and have a vast variety of exposure to different technological environments.

      I suggest the shape of the gravity wave is going to be found to be the defining factor in the way things work, more than any other piece of evidence that will be provided. The mathematical calculations that can and will be derived from it, will explain things that are currently considered significant mysteries.

      It has painted itself across our planet, plain as day, for us to recognize, now that we have found it. It’s shape is the “mudpuppy” of Darwin’s evolutionary theory. The Rosetta Stone of physics, and thereby climatology.

      Regardless of the transfer mechanism (gravity, or an Aether), the shape of the push-pull it creates, when rolled forward through time, is universal. The shape of the hudrogen atom, is directly related to the shape created from the math of this sphere.

      Crackpot thinking, perhaps, but the likes of David Springer, so quick to spout off, believe in a physical construct of the universe, that allows for time to bend, and 4 magical, unexplained forces.

      I suggest the shape of the gravity wave, provides the clue to dispelling the need for the four “fundamental forces”. That all nature can be explained mechanically.

      Just because Springer can’t see what is possible, and therefor perceive it is likely, he can go ahead and call me a crackpot.

      He will have to wait for someone else to tell him he is incorrect, before he will believe he is. That will be embarrassing for him, or if it doesn’t happen, for I. But I won’t have to be embarrassed, because I made an effort. Either way his contribution to the conversation was “crackpot”. :-)

      Hardly seems a well thought out response from a mind, supposedly in a position to judge. Just sayin. :-)

      Someone out there, may see the logic. Be able to piece together the shape, and the impact of a universal oscillation shaped in that shape. And relate the ripples from the GRACE satellite.

      Some people can’t look at the series of photos that provide the visual backdrop of evolution theory, and see it for what it is proof of, either, and believe Darwin to be a crackpot. lol. How smart are they??

      Cheers,
      y’ all.

      :-)

  12. Rud Istvan

    It was supposed to be phunny physics. Most of the above comments commit two sins. Off topic, and not funny. And along those lines, Lacis should read Santer’s latest volcanic aerosols paper from Susan Solomon’s group at MIT. Explains perhaps 15% of the pause. Meaning Lacis’ models are still falsified by Santer’s own criterion using RSS.

    In a late afternoon back on line effort to get this thread back on thematic track, I would offer that there is not only a parallel to Newtons Laws, there is a parallel to Einstein’s General Relativity. To wit: the politically heavier the subject matter object, the more space-time and information are distorted. Of course in addition to merely stating the obvious, there is a ‘subtle’ dig here on Shannon’s information theory and the Hawkins black hole information issue. On which Hawkins has backed down, but only on time scales that probably exceed the future duration of the universe. The old virtual particle pair ‘partial evaporation’ quantum weirdness trick.
    To paraphrase Feymann, who famously said quantum physics was just weird, main stream climate science is also just weird. Virtual warming, missing heat, extremes that aren’t, temperature histories that change over time. Just weird phunny physics.

  13. The second law of expertise’s just too cynical. When I was a paid scientist, people used to ask me how I liked my work. I usually replied that it was great to be paid to do work that I would have done for nothing. Sone of my colleagues were of similar mind. Uncovering the secrets of nature provides an enormous adrenaline boost and should not be ignored when considering scientist’s motivation. In view of current drug laws is that also a bit cynical?

    • Danley Wolfe

      It seems that most people accepted York’s comments as tongue in cheek albeit with a (negative) twist of lemon as pertaining to the climate consensus / advocates. Though critical comment / lack of appreciation from the latter is not a surprise. As for some of York’s statements I do object:

      Sam Goldwyn borrowed this quotation from Niels Bohr, but Bohr was said to borrow it from a fellow Dane who was a cartoonist; said cartoonist also was likely not the origin of the quote.

      Yogi Berra also famously stole and used this same quotation – most of his profound quotes were stolen – why he was able to come off as such as crude Bronx intellectual (oxymoron).

      Maybe talking about Climate science, Yogi Berra also said “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”

      That seems appropriate for the consensus’ present sleight of hand to explain away the 16 year hiatus in global temperatures as “expected and part of their theory … si no problemo.” Fair enough, I propose we allow this to be tested by waiting another 10 years to see if the observations actually will in fact come back in line with the predicted trendline, or whether the theory is a theory with holes after all (I didn’t say black holes). Not denying or supporting effects of AGHGs on “observed” (underscore) global land/sea temperature trends. [I certainly accept the Tyndall-Arrhenius effect as physical principle]. However, this is not a closed system but an open system and many other things are going on that are not well understood in the attributions underlying the consensus prediction.” “No wait,” the consensus say, “there is no time left and now is the time to act!” Hmmm, smells like some Spam in my fridge just went bad, or is that just politics at work. To which response – “what possible reason could there be to not allow a real test of the theory in order to really test the theory?” [And understand those pesky missing variables.]

      Or, as Mr. Berra also famously once said “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice; however, in practice there is such a difference.”

  14. In a complex world of flux, it’s comforting to have the rigid, simplistic, almost Byzantine certainties of CO2 science. Especially for a generation born with a joystick in hand. Everything just works.

    Why, one can even dial in the desired climate with taxes and a funny kind of rigged trading scheme. But you also need lots of whirlygigs and solar panels…though science is yet to calculate how many football fields they’d cover. (For you lay types with visualisation problems I like to talk in football fields.)

    • I picture a world covered with massive whirly twirlies.. Acre upon acre upon acre given over to these gigundous monuments to green folly.. Forests decimated, picturesque fields destroyed, birds sliced and diced, all to the delightful accompaniment of a an incessant, low toned thrum.

    • Lots and lots of football fields required fer whirligigs and solar
      panels to meet today’s energy requirements, mosomoso.

      According ter Matt Ridley * in ‘The Rational Optimist,’ fer the
      US’ current power demand of 10,000 watts fer each of its 300
      million inhabitants yer’d need solar panels the size of Spain
      or wind farms the size of Kazakhstan. Now that’s jest fer the
      US so some calculations required ter cover the rest of us
      and convert it into football fields.

      Somethin’s gonna hafta give, … football … cricket … world
      soccer?

      * See his Chapter fittingly entitled ‘The release of Serfs.’
      I like that.

      • Well, you just could change the rules for football and make everybody duck when a windmill blade came by.

        Might have to redefine ‘penalty kick.’

  15. Lacis says..”People simply fail to look at the most basic of radiative physics in assessing the impact of atmospheric CO2 on global surface temperature. Why waste the time effort looking for bogus physics effects that simply don’t exist, or at best, are just not relevant?”

    This self-delusion turns up all the time…just before they junk basic physics and invent their own that makes the deep ocean hide the missing heat without disturbing the top 700m or telling us that a warming ocean is a heat sink rather than a source or give us 13 separate reasons why the current unpredicted, unexpected hiatus happened while denying the most obvious one; that CO2 is not a climate driver, just a very minor feedback.

    Yes sure try to tell us that Antarctic cooling, a stratospheric cooling pause for 19 years, a global heating pause for 17 years and no ocean warming since accurate records replaced abject guesswork are all just “not relevant” rather than 4 separate clear refutations of manmade warming. But of course if these results were as the alarmists expected then Lacis et al. would tout them as proof of manmade warming. You can reject basic logic and science methods all you like but it is still very obvious BS to objective observers.

    My question is why waste everyone’s time and money on trying to pretend that 0.6K temperature rise per century, none of which happened in response to the large slug of CO2 we just recently added, is even a problem at all? Is it perhaps that without the scare your job would not even exist? Wake up and smell what you’re shoveling! Then you might find that some of that rejected, unknown or assumed to be unimportant physics is the real climate driver.

    • I always thought the ocean served as a heat sink as long as the ocean´s bulk temperature was colder than the surface´s and the surface temperature was increasing. Isn´t it evident that as the surface warms the ocean heat sink will tend to absorb more heat, and that if the surface cools then the ocean releases heat? I realize this is a broad generalization, but I sure hope I didn´t get it wrong.

  16. Tom Lehrer was funnier – but then, TL was one of the funniest people ever born. I never tire of “New Math” and “The Periodic Table.”

    Back on topic, politics is a constant process of jostling (or worse, in some unlucky countries) about who gets to drive the bus. I agree with Gary M when he says that people like Lacis should butt out of politics and policy, in which they have no expertise whatsoever above that of any other interested citizen. While scientists with a barrow to push can often find gullible or cynical politicians to run with, that doesn’t make what they do right or useful.

    One of the things that has emerged from the whole CAGW debacle is how politically naive and ignorant most scientists are. This is not surprising, as the only politics most of them ever encounter is academic backbiting. Also, they fail to realise that politics and policy is just as specialised and difficult to excel in as their particular area of work.

    Having once criticised Pekka for assuming that policy is just whatever someone’s opinion might be, I was pleased to see on a thread a few days ago that he has made an effort to learn some of the basics – in this case the one (which Faustino especially has been educating readers here about) that policy instruments should be focused on a single objective, although framers should be cognisant of the effect on other objectives. I tips me hat, Pekka. If only other scientists did a bit of study of complex topics about which they have no training before shooting off their mouths.

    BTW, that just about brings you up to my training in physics, which ended in high school, so don’t get carried away! :) But you are already streets ahead of the “we must decarbonise at all costs” crowd.

    • > I agree with Gary M when he says that people like Lacis should butt out of politics and policy, in which they have no expertise whatsoever above that of any other interested citizen.

      Exactly. Everyone should all butt off from politics. Let’s leave all this to the specialists of politics and policy. Which may or may not include Johanna. And GaryM.

      It’s all in Weber anyway.

      • willard,

        I believe the message Johanna and Gary M convey: experts in science shouldn’t speak as experts in policy. The concept of “over-reach” comes to mind; a “bridge too far”; saying more than you know; “Sound and fury signifying nothing; making yourself sound important when in reality…you’re just an average Joe. In my neck of the woods this seems to invoke the Peter Principle: people will be promoted until they reach their position of incompetence. Climate scientists seem to reach their level of political incompetence more quickly than in most policy influencing sciences. As their incompetence becomes more manifest, their science seems to follow their downfall.

        Egos during failure seem to evoke the worst in us.

      • > experts in science shouldn’t speak as experts in policy.

        Andy Lacis speaks as Andy Lacis, Johanna speaks as Johanna. GaryM speaks for all the conservatives. And I am a ninja.

        If you have any question, feel free to ask.

      • RiHoo8,

        Absolutely. I didn’t really say Lacis should butt out of politics (although that was the tone). I don’t think anyone should. Everyone has a right to a say in policy. I just see no need to pay any particularly greater attention to Lacis, on the general theme of CAGW, than anyone else. Appeals to authority are one thing, but no one is an authority on the entire issue of CAGW.

        My gripe is with the condescending, know-it-all tone of people who claim to be experts in fields in which they are not. It is in fact Lacis at the start of this thread who is effectively telling others to butt out of the debate – in the case above, Lacis telling TonyB to butt out on volcanoes because of the “broader picture.” (The broader picture being exactly why TJA then responded regarding nuclear power in response to Lacis immediately before my comment.)

      • willard,

        I only speak for conservative principles (yes we actually have those), not “conservatives” or Conservatives.

      • willard, the weakness of your position is superbly illustrated by your need to misrepresent what I said.

        You fudged politics and policy, and claimed that I was somehow denying scientists their democratic rights. Codswallop.

        Politics, in democracies at least, is about convincing voters that you and your policies are worth voting for.

        Policy development and implementation is a different animal, which involves multidisciplinary skills being brought together to address a defined question.

        Scientists very rarely understand much about either – which is why, when the CAGW gravy train hits the buffers, and their careers and grants come to a grinding halt, most of them won’t know what hit them.

        This is already happening in Australia, where thousands of bureaucrats and scientists who tied their fortunes to it are out of a job. They are in shock, because they feel entitled to taxpayers’ money as they were “saving the world.”

        Fools. Anyone who giveth can take away. Welcome to reality.

      • johanna,

        Here’s hoping the US can catch up to Australia, AO (after Obama).

      • > You fudged politics and policy,

        Here’s what you said, Johanna:

        I agree with Gary M when he says that people like Lacis should butt out of politics and policy

        Please tell more about fudging politics and policy.

        Can’t you read your own damn words, policy undercover?

      • Gary, didn’t see your comments till after I posted, but I agree, and sorry if willard’s obtuseness made it seem that I was speaking for you.

        Of course scientists have the same rights as anyone else to lobby about public policy – but what they don’t have is any expertise outside their own subject. They usually don’t get that policy is a balancing act, not a one-way street, and that we can’t let a single source of data control the entire process.

        Imagine a legislature full of professional scientists! Now, that would be a real catastrophe, much worse than the ones that some of them routinely predict. It would take months to end the arguments about office allocation, biscuits (cookies) in the tea-room, and how much more money the country should borrow to lavish on them and their pet projects. Shudder.

      • > I only speak for conservative principles […]

        They must have given you the right on their death beds. But you can certainly stand for conservative principles. Right next to their beds. Anyway. Next time I see the word “Conservatives” as a subject of one of your sentences, I’ll nudge.

        The universe of discourse is expanding. Must be the new laws of blog thermodynamics.

      • johanna,

        “Imagine a legislature full of professional scientists! Now, that would be a real catastrophe….”

        The only thing worse would be a legislature full of lawyers…which is what we in the US are unfortunately stuck with. :-)

        The following is attributed to Thomas Jefferson:

        “”If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour?”

      • willard,

        In that context, I guess you see me as the spokesperson for progressives as well. And you speak for skeptics.

        After all, when one says “X believes,” he isn’t being descriptive, he’s being a proxy. Got it.

        It’s that kind of insightful analysis that really sets you apart.

      • > In that context, I guess you see me as the spokesperson for progressives as well.

        On the contrary, GaryM: you’re the opposition to all the progressives in all the possible worlds, including those made of straw. By the power that grant me my worship of Chuck Norris, I hereby declare you the official opponent to any progressive entity, force or phenomenon in the known and unknown multiverses.

        As you can see, the hierarchical development of authority follows the same development (I almost slipped and said “progress”) as the Weberian tripartition:

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

        It was about time that we, Denizens, rationalize and legalize our mutual statute.

      • > the hierarchical development of authority

        the hierarchical development of blogging authority, that is.

      • johanna | July 6, 2014 at 10:55 pm |
        “This is already happening in Australia, where thousands of bureaucrats and scientists who tied their fortunes to it are out of a job. They are in shock, because they feel entitled to taxpayers’ money as they were “saving the world.” ”

        Let’s hope that johanna is more circumspect in policy development than in blog commenting.

        I’m pretty sure we don’t have thousands of scientist out of work suddenly.

        If we did, then what a dismal prospect that would be.

        And how utterly loathsome that anyone would think to celebrate such an act of short-sighted stupidity.

        Maybe we really are the stupid nation?

      • Willard: Would you consider that “blogging authority” is best described in the terms of tribal authority? Where tribal leaders get their authority, and can lose it, from the tribal members. To my knowledge, in the tribes, there is no hierarchical development; it is charismatic authority all the way.

      • > Would you consider that “blogging authority” is best described in the terms of tribal authority?

        No, rls. I consider that this “tribe” meme is an insult to a social structure that proved its worth through history, and sometimes still do. Here’s one that produced most of the best marathoners in the history of running:

        “There are 17 American men in history who have run under 2:10 in the marathon,” Epstein says. “There were 32 Kalenjin who did it in October of 2011.”

        http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2013/11/01/241895965/how-one-kenyan-tribe-produces-the-worlds-best-runners

        Blogging authority is the end result of the race to credibility, which belongs to the socialization process. You’ll observe the same process in a school yard. A school educator I know told me that the 4th graders were the worse.

        In all fairness, she never read Judy’s.

      • Willard; Didn’t know that the word was derogatory. Read about tribalism in a scholarly report several years ago, with no such connotations to the word.

      • Willard: “a social structure that proved its worth through history, and sometimes still do”. What name do you give to that social structure?

      • I’d call a tribe a tribe, rls:

        A tribe is viewed, historically or developmentally, as a social group existing before the development of, or outside of, states. Many people used the term “tribal society” to refer to societies organized largely on the basis of social, especially familial, descent groups (see clan and kinship). A customary tribe in these terms is a face-to-face community, relatively bound by kinship relations, reciprocal exchange, and strong ties to place.

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

        The concept is colonialist, which is a problem. But that’s not the one I underline. What I find problematic is that playing the “tribal!” card misidentifies to nature of the process. The underlying accusation is “you’re such a conformist!”. The connotation is that the person is not enlightened or rational or worse.

        The alternative is that all human beings follow the same developmental path. The very phenomenon that we use to criticize scientific straw men can be applied right here, reading Judy’s. Social identity starts with positing an asymmetry between in and out-groups:

        In what has been dubbed the Positive-Negative Asymmetry Phenomenon, researchers have shown that punishing the out-group benefits self-esteem less than rewarding the in-group.[35] From this finding it has been extrapolated that social identity theory is therefore unable to deal with bias on negative dimensions. Social identity theorists, however, point out that for ingroup favouritism to occur a social identity “must be psychologically salient”, and that negative dimensions may be experienced as a “less fitting basis for self-definition”.[36] This important qualification is subtly present in social identity theory, but is further developed in self-categorization theory. Empirical support for this perspective exist. It has been shown that when experiment participants can self-select negative dimensions that define the ingroup no positive–negative asymmetry is found.

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

        As Joshua might say, same ol’, same ol’.

        Hope this helps,

        w

      • Thank you Willard.

    • Science tells you how many ppms of CO2 we need to cap at. Policy tells you how to get there. The dividing line is that simple.

      • Not a credible objective allayed with an unfeasible policy.

      • “Science tells you how many ppms of CO2 we need to cap at.”

        Funny, “science” told us we would be so much warmer today than we are today, and for the last 17 years, based on our current ppms of CO2.

        So is the error in radiative physics, feedbacks, unknown forcings, or just general hubris?

      • For example, even most skeptical scientists would likely agree that 500 ppm is better than the burn-it-all 1000 ppm. This speaks to having limits because with anything less than 1000 ppm set as the ideal, you have to leave known coal resources in the ground, let alone not search for new ways to extract fossil fuels.

      • Simply not real on several grounds. CO2 is the smaller part of the problem – and the carbon emissions are best addressed by technological innovation rather than government targets.

      • “For example, even most sceptical scientists would agree …” says who? Proved where? Which scientists?

        willard has, shall we say, a unique view of the scientific method.

      • Whhops, the ever reliable Jim D said it. Apologies to willard.

      • I would like one of those congressional committees to ask their skeptical scientists if they would prefer 500 ppm over 1000 ppm. I think the answer would be obviously the lower value, especially if you promote uncertainty as a leading factor in your thinking.

      • Jim D, i think those estimates you discuss could use a slight clarification. There may be significant errors underlying the position staked out by public figures such as Cristiana Figueres and climate scientists who ascended to climate wonkdom and became political scientists (I´m thinking of Michael Mann, for example). For example, they have a tendency to treat all fossil fuels the same, thus lumping natural gas, oil, and coal in the same group.

        However, things aren´t that simple. Natural gas is much more emissions efficient than oil and coal. Also, current technology makes natural gas the perfect companion for wind power deployment. There seems to be a lot of natural gas available to tap, but let´s face it, the supply isn´t endless.

        Oil, on the other hand, isn´t as “nice” as natural gas, but it´s clear we are running out of oil. I´d rather not get into a peak oil discussion here, let´s just say that privately held oil companies can´t find enough oil to keep their production rates from declining. So the idea that private oil companies must somehow be forced to keep their oil in the ground isn´t sensible.

        Coal, on the other hand, seems to be plentiful, it causes more emissions per energy unit generated, and it has some side issues such as soot and other particulates, including aerosols which may actually be cooling the planet.

        So when you discuss the issue, you would get more credibility from serious people if you disagregate the fossil fuels. This of course requires a bit more fine grained knowledge about their respective emissions and resource positions, without falling into the typical enviromentalist urban legends.

        Finally, and I mention this more as a question than a statement of fact, why would we expect the amount of CO2 being sequestered by the natural carbon cycle to remain fixed at about half of emissions year after year? And why would we be assumed to be completely unable to implement geoengineering in the future? Is there a basic law of nature which stops us from researching how to enhance carbonate formation in the ocean?

    • johanna, well said. Willard, I understand, as you should if you paid attention over the years, that Johanna does have an extensive policy development background. I don’t know if GaryM does, but IMHO he shows a good understanding of policy and his posts are consistent with what i consider – as a policy expert – to be good policy.

      Two threads ago, Judith remarked of the World Bank’s proposals “IMO this approach makes a lot of sense.” Many of the responses in a good thread were from people who have/seem to have good policy backgrounds, and they showed the flaws in the WB’s suggested approach. As should be clear, I have a very high opinion of our hostess, but I think that that thread showed, as does this one, that climate scientists without a good policy background should be very wary of venturing into the policy field. Just as I am wary of commenting on climate science per se as opposed to the policy issues related to it.

      • verytallguy

        Faustino,

        Today you state

        I am wary of commenting on climate science per se

        Your recent missive to “The Australian”, quoted by yourself on an earlier thread:

        This is the only sensible approach, giving the absence of warming since 1998, continued uncertainty about the processes which drive weather and climate, and a failure to demonstrate that there will be net costs if warming resumes. We know that anti-emissions programs to date have had high costs but will not affect future climate, and we know that, whatever projections have been made of the future, it has always surprised us.

        For clarity those parts which are comments on climate science per se are emboldened.

        I make no comment on the accuracy of your understanding of the science, but writing letters to national newspapers does not seem a “wary” approach to me.

      • Yes, well … I’m not commenting on the processes, physics and relationships involved in climate. I’m commenting first, on what seems to be clear data on warming from the main sources used by modellers, second on the issue of uncertainty, which seems to have been clearly demonstrated in many fora, then a general comment about our capacity to predict the future and the nature of “the future” as historically demonstrated. In order to devise and assess policies, you need to have some view of the present and impending situations, as I have in that excerpt. I’ve also made the point (in various places) that whether or not the Earth resumes arming, there are policies which will serve us better than those adopted to date and proposed by those who believe that dangerous warming will occur – that’s not dependent on my view of the science.

        In addition, letter-writing is something of an art, whereby you encapsulate a position or view in a brief and accessible manner in order to get across a particular point. I seem to be quite successful in this. To take a different view, as a non-climate scientists, I’d need to have convincing evidence as to the likelihood of warming, that the net impacts would be significantly negative, that the projected warming and costs were robust rather than uncertain, and that particular measures were the best means of dealing with prospective warming. About 26 years ago, I started taking an interest in potential CAGW as a matter of concern, and suggested a role for economic analysis in assessing potential costs and benefits (not welcomed by then warmists). I’m still not convinced, but I don’t take a position on the impact of CO2 etc per se, on arguments as to stadium waves, solar impacts, tipping points etc, both because of my relative ignorance and because I don’t think that they call for different polices than those I advocate.

      • verytallguy

        Fasutino,

        I’m not commenting on the processes, physics and relationships involved in climate.

        But you very clearly are!

        “an absence of warming since 1998” is presumably your personal assessment measurement of warming as it is in strong disagreement with the scientific consensus.

        “continued uncertainty about the processes which drive weather and climate” is very obviously a comment on the understanding of processes involved in climate

        “whatever projections have been made of the future, it has always surprised us.” is a comment on how robust future projections are, again an assessment of the science.

        These are very obviously assessments of the science, and are largely at odds to the scientific community (other than perhaps the third).

        I agree your letter writing technique is excellent; it’s instructive that you need to make assessments of the science at odds with the consensus of scientists in order to make your points on policy effectively.

      • Dear Faustino,

        As far as I’m concerned, Johanna made two elementary reading mistakes in that thread alone. She accused me of a confusion she herself made and confused me and Jim D. Her outstanding background as a bureaucrat is shining through the screen, so much I had to wear sunglasses as we speak.

        Her authority is all she had against what Andy says, and exploits it in with a proficiency that even Weber’s foutain pen could never have produced, had he lived and ghost written to this day without pause.

        Did someone mentioned “pause”?

        ***

        From pseudonymity comes great power. From great power comes great responsibility. As above for Spiderman, so below for Johanna.

      • Faustino, the best option may be to have a policy to control emissions known to cause more warming as the planet warms. I believe it´s a near certainty additional greenhouse gases do elevate surface temperatures.

        A variant of this policy could ignore the cost impact of higher temperatures, and focus only on ocean health issues as well as sea level rise. The cost issues associated with sea level rise may be easier to quantify.

        This would isolate the debate over discount rates. That´s a policy issue and the type(s) of discount factor(s) to be used are debatable.

    • @johanna: Also, they fail to realise that politics and policy is just as specialised and difficult to excel in as their particular area of work.

      Right. As everyone knows, the Nobel Prizes for politics and policy command the same respect as for those for physics and chemistry.

      In contrast the Nobel Prize for economics is not the real thing, and moreover is awarded for the “dismal science”.

      Let’s hear it for the geniuses who excel in the specialised and difficult areas of politics and policy.

      Johanna, you can start the ball rolling with a list of names of their most prominent geniuses. Can you name one who is smarter than you?

  17. My comment seems to be lost in space.

  18. One thing to remember is that the ‘equilibrium’ temperature of the Earth is roughly 15,700,000K. I arrived at this number using climate science physics, one simply calculates the ‘equilibrium’ position of the planet Earth, and one finds that it should be in the center of the solar system, not orbiting it, and as we all know there is a star at the center with an average internal temperature of 15,700,000K

    Chris Colose and Andy Lucis have an equilibrium level of one testicle and one ovary each.

  19. ‘It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.’
    Douglas Adams

    It is simply not true that policy has a single dimension. A comprehensive social and development policy – for instance – has 16 ‘Focus Areas’ at least covering a wide variety of social, economic and environmental needs.

    e.g. http://watertechbyrie.com/

    Each of those has any number of potential responses – which quickly grows into a wildly unwieldy wish list without common accounting for costs and benefits in a broad social, environmental, scientific, cultural and economic framework.

    Out of this we might get a dozen ‘phenomenal’ goals – a benefit cost ratio greater then 15 – that are achievable within the limits of scarce resources.

    Perhaps that’s what Johanna meant?

    • ‘It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.’
      Douglas Adams

      Ironically, the shape of the gravity pattern of earth is called the “Pottsdam Potato”. Who’s this Douglas Adams guy?

  20. In summary,

    Blessed are those who go in circles . . For they shall become wheels.

  21. Pingback: But Volcanoes | Planet3.0

  22. We see that some of the denizens here have a visceral personal response to actual scientists like Lacis and Colose, even when they explain basic ideas on radiation and convection that Judith would have agreed with.

    • Imagining that simple radiative physics explains climate is crank science – as is shown by tons of real science.

      And I’ll take Chris’s superficial and tendentious views on the deep convective threshold not terribly seriously if it’s OK with Jim.

      • When confronted with Willis’ intuition vs. textbook science that any atmospheric science undergrad major learns, I’d at least recommend that you work through the physics a little before dismissing the latter as superficial.

      • I barely read blog science – but you would find if you bothered that I did link a couple of peer reviewed references.

        e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/deepconvectionthreshold_zps971b5926.png.html

        ‘Perhaps the most important of these parameterization uncertainties is that due to moist convection. Dynamical upward transport by convection removes excess heat from the surface more efficiently than longwave radiation is able to accomplish in the presence of a humid, optically thick boundary layer, and deposits it in the upper troposphere where it is more easily radiated to space, thereby affecting the planetary energy balance. Drying and moistening of the atmosphere by convection regulates the vertical profile of atmospheric water vapor and thus determines how much is transported horizontally. Furthermore, convection influences where clouds form and dissipate, thus affecting the planetary albedo and potentially giving rise to cloud and water vapor feedbacks that determine the global climate sensitivity to anthropogenic forcing.

        Mapes et al. (2006) argue that moist convective variability can be understood in terms of three basic convective structures, or ‘‘building blocks’’ (Fig. 1). During suppressed conditions when the boundary layer is capped by a significant inversion and/or the free troposphere above is dry, shallow and midlevel-top (‘‘congestus’’) convective clouds that
        heat and moisten the lower troposphere are most common. As the atmosphere humidifies and destabilizes, deep convection is eventually triggered, heating the entire column, while shallow clouds continue to be present. Finally, under the right environmental conditions, individual deep convective cells organize into mesoscale clusters with extensive stratiform rain regions and anvils that primarily heat the upper troposphere through mesoscale updrafts and latent heating but cool the lower troposphere as falling rain evaporates.’ http://rsmasclimate.wikispaces.com/file/view/DelGenio_SG11.pdf

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Mapes2006_zpse6418665.png.html

        Both humidity and destabilisation of the atmosphere is related to sea surface temperature and when deep convection is triggered conveys heat to the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. Forming at the same time dispersed cloud that shades the surface.

        Now perhaps you should address yourself to the difficult questions.

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/07/06/phunny-physics/#comment-605134

      • I am in moderation for too many links I presume.

        I barely read blog science – but you would find if you bothered that I did link a couple of peer reviewed references.

        e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/deepconvectionthreshold_zps971b5926.png.html

        ‘Perhaps the most important of these parameterization uncertainties is that due to moist convection. Dynamical upward transport by convection removes excess heat from the surface more efficiently than longwave radiation is able to accomplish in the presence of a humid, optically thick boundary layer, and deposits it in the upper troposphere where it is more easily radiated to space, thereby affecting the planetary energy balance. Drying and moistening of the atmosphere by convection regulates the vertical profile of atmospheric water vapor and thus determines how much is transported horizontally. Furthermore, convection influences where clouds form and dissipate, thus affecting the planetary albedo and potentially giving rise to cloud and water vapor feedbacks that determine the global climate sensitivity to anthropogenic forcing.

        Mapes et al. (2006) argue that moist convective variability can be understood in terms of three basic convective structures, or ‘‘building blocks’’ (Fig. 1). During suppressed conditions when the boundary layer is capped by a significant inversion and/or the free troposphere above is dry, shallow and midlevel-top (‘‘congestus’’) convective clouds that
        heat and moisten the lower troposphere are most common. As the atmosphere humidifies and destabilizes, deep convection is eventually triggered, heating the entire column, while shallow clouds continue to be present. Finally, under the right environmental conditions, individual deep convective cells organize into mesoscale clusters with extensive stratiform rain regions and anvils that primarily heat the upper troposphere through mesoscale updrafts and latent heating but cool the lower troposphere as falling rain evaporates.’ http://rsmasclimate.wikispaces.com/file/view/DelGenio_SG11.pdf

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Mapes2006_zpse6418665.png.html

        Both humidity and destabilisation of the atmosphere is related to sea surface temperature and when deep convection is triggered conveys heat to the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. Forming at the same time dispersed cloud that shades the surface.

      • Now perhaps you should address yourself to the difficult questions.

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/07/06/phunny-physics/#comment-605134

      • David Springer

        @Ellison

        Excellent.

        +many

      • David Springer

        @Colose

        It wasn’t Eschenbach’s intuition. It was Eschenbach’s presentation of ARGO observations. Did you even bother looking at them?

        Can you look at that histogram and still say with a straight face that something radical happens at an SST of 30C? If so you’re either dishonest or stupid or both.

      • David Springer

        @Colose

        It wasn’t Eschenbach’s intuition. It was Eschenbach’s presentation of ARGO observations. Did you even bother looking at them?

        Can you look at that histogram and still say with a straight face that something radical does not happen at an SST of 30C? If so you’re either dishonest or stupid or both.

      • This has already been explained in the open thread. On the off-chance you’re actually interested in learning something, several references were here: https://judithcurry.com/2014/07/05/open-thread-16/#comment-605204

        Not surprisingly, you not only failed to comprehend my arguments (if you did, you’d know that I don’t dispute the SST histogram) but rather respond with obligatory conspiracy theories and ideas that have not been vetted in the literature…naturally, your fellow denizens have herded like badgers with your ritualistic insults, only confirming Andy’s opening paragraph here.
        https://judithcurry.com/2014/07/06/phunny-physics/#comment-605257

        What is most amusing in all this are those who seriously think that it is the few people here actually interested in setting the record straight (as opposed to having our ideologies validated by other clueless people) who have engaged with ad homs.

      • ‘The ascent of air in deep convective clouds is a spontaneous free buoyant process, which occurs when and where there is conditional instability and a sufficiently vigorous low-level circulation to lift air to its level of free convection (LFC). Of course there are uncertainties in precisely defining instability and LFC, chiefly involving mixing and microphysics. Still, with modern numerical atmospheric modeling capabilities, we could surely get started on mapping the relevant physical regime. What are the quantitative sensitivities of convective cloud ensembles to their environment?

        These sensitivities are the final building blocks we lack for solid theories of a wide variety of important large-scale convection-dependent phenomena, and for physically realistic parameterization. They can be expected to be rather delicate: tropical cloud buoyancies are comparable to the error range of many measurement systems, and to the ambiguities of parcel theories of cloud buoyancy. Nonetheless, the observation that deep convection is a buoyant phenomenon is unambiguous. It does not seem profitable to begin by declaring, as equilibrium theories do, that nature’s entire range of variability in buoyancy-related quantities is negligible, compared to some imaginary scenario (e.g.Fig. 5). Natural buoyancy variability may be beyond our capacity to measure accurately or sample adequately, but it contains important information about cause and effect that is
        essential if we are to gain a predictive understanding of the atmosphere.’ http://www.rsmas.miami.edu/users/bmapes/pagestuff/Activation_control.pdf

        Deep convection transports energy into the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere where it is more easily to space. In a warming world – if it warms – we might expect a broadening of the tropical and an enhancement of deep convection. Quite simply a broadening of Hadley Cell circulation that is a negative feedback for warming. The significance of this is little understood but interesting nonetheless.

        e.g. http://accessimulator.org.au/staff/hnguyen/publications/LucasEtal_WIRES_FINAL.pdf

        Colose however seems to have gone off the deep end into invective and intellectual intransigence. Sad to say this seems par for the course.

        He has still failed to address the more significant questions and is possibly not capable.

      • David Springer

        Excellent response again, Ellison.

        Colose the Faithful and Lacis the University of Iowa Wunderkind have “CO2 control knob on the brain syndrome” which, like blinders on a cornhusker oxen, makes the larger processes on a water world largely inconsequential to their restricted view of the world.

    • Don Monfort

      Has cc graduated?

    • nottawa rafter

      When Lacis and Colose dispense with the ad homs and invectives and conduct themselves more professionally, I will be more inclined to take them seriously. My reaction to both of them is the same as my laying in pre-op waiting for brain surgery and my surgeon enters singing a Michael Jackson hit, doing the moon walk and high fiving the nurses. The confidence level tends to drop.

  23. Climate science also seems to obey the Calculus of Vituperations in addition to these laws.

  24. There is a whole cohort of very highly opinionated, scientifically highly credentialled, very vocal and verbally elbow wielding denizens here on Judith’s blog.
    So it’s a good place to ask a question if one is looking for answers.
    Providing of course that one can sort through some of the opinionated crap that passes for facts in some alarmist instances.

    The almost complete and abject failure of the climate alarmists and their models to actually correctly predict anything at all relating to the global
    climate after some 25 years of research if we take Hansen’s infamous Congressional meeting in 1988 as the starting point for climate alarmist research, has been well documented in numerous places including here.
    .
    The complete failure of climate alarmist science in just about every field it has forced it’s way into is becoming increasingly obvious and the totality of avoidable costs, individually for the poor,as well as socially, politically and economically for society that climate alarmist science has imposed on our global and national societies is horrendous and only now is just beginning to be totaled up.

    So I pose the following question to all these highly opinionated, highly vocal, highly credentialled denizens of Judith’s blog, a question i have asked on other forums and to which I have yet to receive an answer.

    After 25 years of very expensive, ever expansive publicly funded climate research, could somebody somewhere please point out one single example where climate science as currently practiced has been of ANY visible, perceivable or useful and useable benefit at any level to our national and global societies and industries ?

    • “Green” technology crony socialists, progressive academia, progressive politicians and progressive bureaucrats have been making out like bandits. Who would have published Pachauri’s trashy novel or paid to see Al Gore’s idiotic movie if not for CAGW “science.”

    • You probably won’t think of it as a benefit or may not have noticed this effect, but many fossil fuel reduction policies, extending to fuel and energy efficiency and how nations plan to produce electrical power in the future have directly followed from the climate alarms raised since 1988. People are no longer ignorantly burning dirty fuels, and are questioning the wisdom of future dirty sources like tar sands while looking seriously at alternatives. This would not have happened without the connection between the futures of fossil fuels and global climate that some are still trying to deny in vain.

      • “People are no longer ignorantly burning dirty fuels …” – but I thought that your problem is that they are, more than ever?

        I must say that the use of “dirty” and “ignorantly” tell us a lot more about your mindset than you might wish. Why, despite having been a white-collar worker in clean, rich cities all my life, I feel like an honorary redneck! And proud of it!

      • There was a level of ignorance before 1988 that today only persists in some circles, although I think it is just feigned ignorance to be fair. Anyway, this extra knowledge connecting CO2 emissions and future climate has already informed policies in many countries and local governments. It is not yet fast enough, but it is happening, like it or not. This was in answer to the question about whether the science has been useful in any way already.

      • And, in each of the last two years in the UK alone, 25,000 people have died due to “fuel poverty” caused specifically by YOUR assumptions and projections about “clean energy” that is actually woefully too expense, and too unreliable.

        YOU (your policies) have increased the world’s economic troubles, pains, and miseries the past 6 years with YOUR demands and projections about a demand for increased energy costs that lead immediately to deaths and injuries of millions each year due to poor food, no water, no sanitation, no sewage treatment, no roads, no irrigation, no transportation, no rails, no canals, no dams, no bridges, and no lights, power, and electricity. Billions more suffer because of your policies.

        Between now and 2100, we face 86 years of deaths as you try to avoid a natural future of beneficial warmth and increased productivity. For what? Your papers and your prestige and your paycheck from grants from your politicians who demand more control over the world’s energy? You gain. The world suffers. And the world’s temperature is NOT affected by the misery your demand be inflicted on the innocents.

        Have you no shame? Have you no regrets about the harm YOU are causing with YOUR policies?

      • Fossil fuel use of all types including coal are increasing at a rapid pace world wide.
        Percentage wise the use of coal is slowly falling but tonnage used for power generation and cement and steel and aluminum production is going up.

        Where ever there has been an introduction of the so called renewable energy generation systems of wind and solar it has led to a very significant decrease in the reliability of power supplies. the rapid complication of ensuring a stable power supply, a large and for some, no longer affordable increases in energy costs, the creation of severe biological consequences with the wholesale destruction of bats in particular plus severe bird kills which are all still mostly hidden by the wind industry if personal anecdotal information from within the wind industry is correct. Plus the fact that there is little or NO reduction in fossil fuel generator capacity. wind and solar do not replace fossil fuel generation, as that has to be maintained at and close to previous levels to cater for power needs when the unreliable, unpredictable wind and solar generation systems go off line or fail or just don’t produce much power.

        Consequently with the dramatic decrease in efficiency of fuel burn in the standby fossil fuel generators there is sweet FA practical reduction in CO2 emissions with the introduction of wind and solar power generation systems particularly when the energy costs of the producing and building the so called renewable energy systems are added to the grossly inefficient running of the ready to go to full generation capacity in minutes, fossil fuel powered standby generators which in many cases must be kept running at low or zero power generation to be able to come on line in minutes when the so called renewable energy systems fail to produce power ,

        If power generator owners and governments had decreed that the most inefficient and most unreliable, most costly power generation systems that could be conceived to generate power for our modern civilisation were to be the norm then the so called renewable energy systems of wind and solar along with highly inefficient fossil fuel burning idling generators as standby’s when the renewables fail to produce power then it is doubtful that a more hopelessly inefficient and unreliable system could be devised for a civilisation that depends so utterly on having dead steady, totally reliable, at call power every second of every day to run that civilisation’s entire very sophisticated structures

      • Some people might prefer China’s urban climates which are prime examples of runaway coal. Even China doesn’t and plans to do something about it. These are things of the past that are not worth clinging to. Modern cities, transportation and new energy are the growth industries now, not to say they can replace coal tomorrow, but that is the trend in the developed world who also are leading the way in the required technology advances. Even a stop-gap of nuclear energy is an available option if needed. Sensible planning does involve thinking ahead of consequences. The easy route isn’t always the best one.

      • RACook, there is no excuse for fuel poverty when the UK energy industry makes so much profit. This seems to be an issue with having a Conservative government who won’t help the poor people out. However, I only read up on this now, so I don’t really know why the government lets that happen. The normal number of UK winter deaths is more than 20000, mostly among the elderly, so it is hard to judge what the fuel poverty number is.

      • They are not ignorantly doing it.. now they do it with full knowledge that it wont cause much of a problem

      • “This seems to be an issue with having a Conservative government who won’t help the poor people out.”

        Progressives in the UK implemented their CAGW-based energy policies. But it is conservatives fault that the resultant, inevitable, completely foreseen impacts on energy as far as scarcity and cost, are the fault of the current conservatives.

        I, surprisingly, agree. Not because they “don’t care about the poor,” but because they are too cowardly to undo what the progressives have done. This is the problem with “me too” progressives who cal themselves “conservatives” like the British “conservative Party.. They rob voters of a real choice, and end up getting conservatism blamed for their impotent efforts at “conservative” central planning.

        It’s not surprising that a default progressive like Jim D doesn’t understand economics. It is tragic that “conservative” leaders throughout much of the west don’t.

      • Don Monfort

        Jimmy says China plans to do something about runaway coal that is making the air in their cities toxic. Their plans are big. Spread the pollution misery around:

        http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/theres-a-coal-base-in-china-the-size-of-la

        “But China isn’t just relegating its dirty coal-fired power plants to the outskirts of society; for years, it’s been building 16 unprecedentedly massive, brand new “coal bases” in rural parts of the country. There, they won’t stifle China’s megacities; they’ll churn out enough pollution to help smother the entire world.”

        Why don’t you spend some time on Chinese blogs, jimmy. Harangue them for a while. We are not the problem.

      • Jim D, it wasn’t the conservative government which brought in these policies.

      • Don Monfort

        Here is another sample, jimmy. Description for but one of the huge ongoing projects:

        “It’s projected to finally be finished by the end of the decade, when it will produce a jaw-dropping 30,000 MW of power, sucking down 100 million tons of coal every year in the process. And it’s just one of over a dozen such sprawling operations.

        As such, Ningdong does a fairly good job of epitomizing China’s grave threat to the global climate system. A recent paper in Nature Climate Change noted that if all of the coal-to-gas plants get built, they’d produce 21 billion tons of CO2 alone. The Washington Post’s Brad Plumer puts that in context: “The entire nation of China produced 7.7 billion tons of carbon-dioxide in 2011.” Put simply, China’s on a path to produce an unholy amount of carbon pollution.”

        They have big plans, jimmy dee. Are you going to stop them?

      • That’s a good point.

        Especially if you consider that China has a billion plus people who suffered a generation of oppression worse than just about any other in history.

        They had their art and culture stripped from them, and their backbreaking toil cheapened to the point of casual disposal. From within themselves, they inflicted/enabled/believed necessary to endure, a transition from corrupt local governments to a corrupt regime, with no interest in the peoples happiness, done in the name of the peoples equality, and success through enforced co-operation and societal control.

        There must be a backlash of enthusiasm to create, and desire to prosper and live as they see others living, that is unstoppable. The way the baby boom was a direct response to the ending of the second world war, there is a generation undergoing release from a dictators horrible grasp.

        I read once, that with “genius” defined as the top 1% of a populations intellect base, it must be realized that in China alone, there are currently living over 10,000,000 geniuses.

        Sooner put up a mosquito vs a locomotive.

        Provides the same odds.

      • David Springer

        re; ignorantly burning dirty fuels

        Yeah, but it was the US “Clean Air Act of 1964” which marked the beginning of the move to curb that practice not the imbecilic focus on so-called anthropogenic global warming which began 25 years later. CO2 isn’t “dirty”. It’s plant food and quite harmless to humans in any conceivable well mixed atmosphere concentration attainable through fossil fuel combustion.

        I’d tell you to write that down but you’re evidently ineducable so writing it down would just be a waste of paper.

      • Mr ROM: oil production is barely increasing. It seems to have reached a near plateau level about 7 years ago. Statistics are masked by increases in gas liquids, biofuels, and synthetic gains.

        The current near plateau condition can also be tracked by the refinery runs (oil fed into the refineries). Those are nearly flat. This figure is increasingly difficult to obtain from open sources. Oil companies also tend to mask the emerging problem by using oil equivalents rather than listing oil by itself. Watch out for that little “e” they add to their units when you study this topic.

      • @ RACookPE1978

        Thank you; about time someone said it.

    • Like the song says, “Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About”.

  25. Phony facts and phony physics. And “phunny” politics to boot. That seems to be the common thread that keeps the vast majority of denizens here happily bemused so long as they have the forum to themselves to bloviate and amplify their self-deception about their perceived non-existence of global climate change without having anyone coming in occasionally from the outside to set the record straight.

    For those who might have thought otherwise, I don’t do politics, and I don’t do policy. I have been doing atmospheric physics research for several decades, and we report our research findings on global warming exactly as we find them. If that happens to make some people unhappy, I don’t see that as a cause for alarm.

    When clueless politicians (who have primarily been Republicans) make false proclamations that climate science is a fraud and a hoax, then there clearly is a need to speak up and state the facts. It is not a good idea to let outright lies and falsehoods to go unchallenged.

    Perhaps I should be more sympathetic to those not understanding what global warming is really all about, but at times it is pratically amusing to see how some of the local denizens go floundering about while trying to make sense of their misunderstandings of both fact and fiction.

    Don’t forget that there are two components to the ongoing climate change. There is the steady increase in global warming due to the increasing greenhouse effect due to increased CO2. There is also a natural variability of the climate system (about a zero reference point) that produces El Nino and La Nina effects arising from changes in ocean circulation patterns that can make the global temperature increase or decrease, over and above the global warming due to CO2.

    Failure to properly account for the different contributing factors can lead to confusion. The GISS climate model (Hansen et al., 1992) did quite well in predicting the decrease in global temperature (and increase in stratospheric warming), and the subsequent recovery to normal, due to the 1991 Pinatubo volcanic eruption.

    The temperature record over the past century is also explained quite well by the changes in radiative forcings over this same time period (Hansen et al., 2007). Why not try reading the published literature on the findings of climate science. That would make you better informed than listening to the repeated nonsense that is so pervasive here.

    • David Springer

      Nice handwaving there Andy. Wake me up when you boys get your toy climate models to stop overheating. LOL

    • Let’s talk about the Antarctic sea ice extent, Andy, while there is still some ice left to talk about, shall we. 2 ,000,000 million square kilometres more than average. Breaking the anomaly record for the last 34 years.
      Do not forget there are more than two components to the ongoing non climate change. The earth’s atmosphere is not responding to the increased CO2 as you have claimed. And yet you are stuck on natural variability. The vague, remote, distant lontana of a idea that you just might be wrong on the earth ‘s ability to cope by increasing cloud cover with higher temperatures seems beyond you.
      I will give you a little hint to help. The amount of extra heat stored at the surface layer of the ocean wanting to get out is cubed. This means that every 2 degree potential rise in temperature of the surface layer causes an 8 fold rise in the amount of water vapor release hence buckets more clouds and massive albedo reflection keeping the temperature from riding. Use your skills, recognise the truth and come over to the dark side.
      TM angech

      • Angech, you know a lot about ice, by the sounds of it….

        I am thinking the accumulation and loss of ice in antarctic should go in about 23 year cycles. is that the situation?

    • A Lacis, on the other hand, some climate scientists do wear funny hats. For example, not too long ago I read about the controversy which arose over Michael Mann’s “False Hope” in Sciam. I had read the article when it came out and dismissed it as a fairly poorly written piece, flipped the pages and went on reading the magazine.

      But when the controversy heated up I went back to check the article. And I concluded it was indeed a poorly written propaganda piece (if you want to know why feel free to contact me). When you sail alongside such company there’s a possibility some consider you by inference to be flying the wrong battle flag.

    • Andy Lacis writes as poorly as James Hansen.

      • David Springer

        They’re both products of the University of Iowa physics PhD program which explains a lot of things.

    • For God’s sake – an off the wall diatribe from Lacis.

      Despite his decades of honest brokering of the science it seems fundamentally incorrect.

      Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

      It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

      Let’s have a closer look at ENSO variability over the Holocene.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ENSO11000.gif.html?sort=3&o=245

      Moy et al (2002) present the record of sedimentation shown above which is strongly influenced by ENSO variability. It is based on the presence of greater and less red sediment in a lake core. More sedimentation is associated with El Niño. It has continuous high resolution coverage over 12,000 years. It shows periods of high and low ENSO activity alternating with a period of about 2,000 years. There was a shift from La Niña dominance to El Niño dominance some 5,000 years ago that was identified by Tsonis (2009) as a chaotic bifurcation – and is associated with the drying of the Sahel. There is a period around 3,500 years ago of high ENSO activity associated with the demise of the Minoan civilisation (Tsonis et al, 2010). It shows ENSO variability considerably in excess of that seen in the modern period.

      ENSO is part of a climate system that shifts at multi-decadal to much longer timescales. Thus we have presumably some warming from greenhouse gases that can’t effectively be distinguished from a backdrop of large and abrupt shifts in a dynamically complex climate system. Thus – the expectation of non-warming at least for decades in the current cool multi-decadal mode and the likelihood of several climate shifts this century with unpredictable timing and scope for change.

      It seems very difficult to get past decades of wrongness.

      Pragmatic and practical to what is after all an inherently unstable climate system is another matter.

      http://watertechbyrie.com/

  26. China , India and those still to come will clean up their air and their environment just like the english did after the great killer smogs of the 1950’s.
    And as the English have done and as the Chinese and the Indians and etc will still do, they will use coal, lots of coal plus gas and oil for power generation until some capitalist somewhere with a very good idea on how to reduce costs and still make a fortune comes along and devises / discovers or restructures an old technology or a new power generation technology that is more efficient, lower cost, more profitable, just as reliable as fossil fueled, those coal, oil and gas generators

    Perhaps it will be Fusion or even that far outlier, Cold fusion technology.

    The English got rid of wind power in the 1600’s at the start of the Great Industrial revolution as they learnt to tame and use steam power with coal as the fuel source.
    They got rid of the three thousand year old wind power as fast as they could for damn good reasons, it only was of use for power if you didn’t have anything else.
    Now the western climate alarmists are so damn dumb that they think that somehow wind has got more reliable after 400 years of getting rid of wind power for the very reasons of it’s abysmally low and completely unpredictable and unreliable power output in what was an industrializing society.
    And solar.
    They think you can run a 24 hours a day civilisation on a sometimes 6 to 8 hours of unpredictable and unreliable solar energy per day.

    And my question remains unanswered;

    After 25 years of very expensive, ever expansive publicly funded climate research, could somebody somewhere please point out one single example where climate science as currently practiced has been of ANY visible, perceivable or useful and useable benefit at any level to our national and global societies and industries ?

    • Wind and solar energy become more feasible with energy storage technologies, so you may want to look at it from a more current perspective than what they did centuries ago. Things have changed since then, and still are. Necessity is the mother of invention, and if you consider how far we came in 50 years, you would be more optimistic that this can significantly progress in the next few decades to where you won’t recognize it. Cleaner air is a side-effect that will also come from improved transportation, and China’s fuel efficiency plans are at least as ambitious as the ones in the US. This is a tangible benefit, along with not relying on resources that are running out anyway, and which many advanced nations would have to import.

      • No one objects to technological innovation or cleaner environments – e.g. http://watertechbyrie.com/2014/06/30/black-carbon-a-health-and-environment-issue/

        What we object to is subsidies for energy production of any type.

      • Indeed. With wind and solar power, we end up paying outrageously high prices for our energy, while wealthy landowners are lining their pockets.

      • Dream on, Jim D.

        Billing taxpayers and consumers for your dreams is not policy – it’s just legalised theft.

        Do you not think that whoever invents a viable means of storage for the output of windmills and solar arrays will not become fabulously rich overnight? Of course they will. Are people trying? Of course they are.

        So, get your hand out of our pockets in the meantime.

      • see:

        “It's strange that any discussion with a contrarian about climate science invariably ends up being about economics. Why is that?”— There's Physics (@theresphysics) July 4, 2014

      • it isn’t crazy to recognize that prosperity and lifestyle are linked to cost of living. with that said…

        “When you are the only sane person, you look like the only insane person.”
        Criss Jami

        economics is the most valid concern. public contentment is a close second.

      • storing cheap clean green power,

        is neither cheap nor clean nor green.

      • You can trust these guys to get both the science and economics wrong. It is a very odd mindset.

        Technological innovation leads to low energy costs – subsidies – and we include for fossil fuels – leads to high costs, market distortions and lower productivity. Lower productivity has impacts on people at the margins.

      • @ Alistair Riddoch

        Jerry Pournelle is fond of making the following, accurate, observation:

        ‘Cheap, plentiful energy is the key to freedom and prosperity.’

        Is it completely coincidental that EVERY progressive policy related to energy/climate change has the obvious side effect, if not the stated objective, of RAISING the cost of energy and/or REDUCING its supply?

      • money elects…. societal satisfaction re-elects??

      • People have to remember that the replacement of fossil fuels is proposed to be a multi-decadal transition. It won’t happen tomorrow, and don’t think of today’s technologies being static when envisaging what will happen. There will be other energy sources coming online as they become viable costwise over the next few decades, and by the end of the century fossil fuels could be almost completely replaced. The motivation is there.

    • @ ROM

      “……..devises / discovers or restructures an old technology or a new power generation technology that is more efficient, lower cost, more profitable, …..”

      Don’t forget: those discoveries will STILL have to cope with massive opposition from these folks, who are apparently behind the drive to ‘Stop Global Warming!’.

      ”Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”
      Paul Ehrlich,
      Professor of Population Studies,
      Author: “Population Bomb”, “Ecoscience”

      ”A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States. De-Development means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.”
      Paul Ehrlich,
      Professor of Population Studies,
      Author: “Population Bomb”, “Ecoscience”

      ”Complex technology of any sort is an assault on the human dignity. It would be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy, because of what we might do with it.”
      Amory Lovins,
      Rocky Mountain Institute

      ”Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
      Maurice Strong,
      Founder of the UN Environmental Program

      There are seemingly endless similar quotes from a variety of ‘Environmentalist Leaders’, but you get the idea: a replacement for fossil fuels that provides cheap, abundant energy will NOT be greeted with open arms by the greens/progressives (but I repeat myself). They will ‘go to the mats’ to block it, just as they do with EVERY potentially useful energy source. And, given their track record, will probably succeed.

  27. Addendum; Everything I see in climate alarmist science is, after 25 years when one would think after the hundreds of billions spent on climate research there would be huge benefits already appearing, is always sometime in the future as in the excellent “future will do this or that” examples just above .
    Climate science has no ability to contribute anything to society except predictions, none of which have come to fruition even after 25 years and some hundreds of billions of dollars spent on research.
    None of those predictions are useable here and now nor have made the slightest positive contribution to society now have they any indication of making any contribution to society as they are all still just predictions and hoped for’s..
    Like China will do this or that or india or somebody else will do this or that or as the result of the [ unpredicted statistically non existent ] global warming.

    All that climate alarmist science has ever promised is fear and hopelessness and utter depression of the human spirit for the future.
    Nothing positive and uplifting to the human spirit has ever come from climate alarmist science

    After 25 years of close to a trillion dollars of treasure being expended, thousands of avoidable deaths from hypothermia related health problems amongst the elderly, the destruction of entire industries and large parts of some national economies, science, very expensive science at that has been sent down an innumerable number of dead end paths and rabbit holes in pursuit of the unpredictable non existent global warming and it’s totally failed predictions of catastrophes always still to come but which never do.
    Political parties, scientific societies, whole sectors of the publicly funded MSM, all have being corrupted and doing their utmost to destroy freedom of expression and opinion by censoring when it clashes with their leader’s and the climate alarmist adherents dogma and catastrophe fixated beliefs.

    Nowhere in climate science after 25 years and a few hundred billions of dollars of research can I discern where there have been any significant and useable benefits to any society in any perceivable or useful way.

    • Can’t see what ain’t there. Sensible point.

    • +++++++++++++++++++++++

    • @ ROM

      Pretty well sums it up.

      Aside from making it possible for a bunch of progressive nomenklatura to ‘live the good life’, an additional bunch of ‘connecteds’ to become extremely wealthy as part of the ‘self-licking green/progressive government/climate_science ice cream cone, and funding a bunch of totalitarian thug governments around the world to close the money laundering loop, every empirical impact of ‘climate policies’ on the average Joe has been negative.

    • Seriously? Try a little evidence (it works wonders).

      1) around 3/4 of the funds you claim go into “Climate Research” actually goes into energy research – but it’s common for the Big Carbon funded shills to misrepresent this

      2) The amounts you talk about PALE in comparison to the ANNUAL amounts spent globally on fossil fuel subsidies

      http://www.iea.org/media/weowebsite/energysubsidies/ff_subsidies_slides.pdf

      There are none so blind as those who cannot see

  28. Perhaps the Phunny Science of the Climate Debate, is the failure of the pyschology world to notice that currently, worldwide, society has leaned towards, self doubt, self loathing, and megalomania.

    Turned away from self confidence, believing we are of good intent, and justified in existing.

    And in leaning towards believing we are significant, and capable of harm, we hang ourselves with an economic noose, causing a wave of “survival of the economically fittest” that will bounce around the world for generations.

    The people with the power to understand the human psyche need to get us on the couch, before it is too late.

    :-)

    • Alistair: I was surprised earlier on the rebuke you received regarding gravity waves/anomalies. I wonder if it is beyond reason to relate climate change to atmospheric pressure and atmospheric pressure to gravity waves?

      • Hi RLS, thanks.

        Rebuke: no worries, I can take it.

        I think some people are stuck thinking of gravity as straight down.

        But when you are standing beside a mountain, the mass of the mountain matters.

        Gravity is a sphere of collected vectors of pull coming from every direction.

        That calculation is redone for every point in space (meaning ANYWHERE, not meaning “outer space”), constantly, as varying pulls come from all the objects in motion universally, in the time frame that we receive them.

        It’s a tough nut, conceptually.

  29. You call youtself a serious scientist trying to bring balance to the climate science and you publish this utter tripe??

    Shameful

    Why not another law – the law of “spreading misinformation funded by special interest rent seeking monopolies desperate to protect their profits against the reality of science that shows their practices cause harm”

    I suspect it is a much more powerful “law” than the above tripe

    • Mark: Did you read it? It was simple; after 25 years of grants and contributions to the Mann Mayhem, there have been no results. All the predictions of catastrophe have not happened, all the money has been misspent, down the Solyndra hole. There were no comments supporting any subsidies; suspect that most skeptics would support the elimination of all subsidies.

      • Yes, I did read it. Your spurious sarcasm language aside the increase in knowledge about climate science over the last 25 years has been truly impressive (for example our understanding of how the increased heat retention gets moved around the planetary system). The fact that you cannot see this speaks more to your lack of understanding of the science involved.

        I have no problem with focusing the debate on the current uncertainties in the science – which a reputable scientist that Curry claims to be would do – but this tripe shows a colour of anti-science denialism that is truly shameful

      • Increased knowledge in all science is inevitable but the misleading predictions of catastrophe were not helpful to good science. How much good scientific research will get done when there are claims that “the science is settled”?

      • Strawman (I presume you know what that is?). There were no scientific claims of catastrophe UNLESS we do nothing and continue to emit GHGs (and therefore increase planetary heat retention) like there is not even an issue.

        On the other hand Hansens original predictions of how much warming there might be have been fairly accurate – and early predictions of ice loss an underestimate

        In addition the basic science has “been setlled” to the extent that any science (e.g. evolution) has been settled – and no reputable scientist has claimed to the contrary. All reputable scientists in this area know and acknowledge that there remain uncertainties with respect to climate sensitivity (how warm, how fast in response to a given level of GHGs) – indeed that’s where most of the research is going – along with a better understanding of the speed of impacts (e.g. ice loss).

      • @rls “Increased knowledge in all science is inevitable but the misleading predictions of catastrophe were not helpful to good science. How much good scientific research will get done when there are claims that “the science is settled”?”.

        I thought that was excellently put.

        I believe that any effort to refute global warming based on observations, will fail, in light of fear of the potential.

        I believe the onus is on science, specifically physics, to gain an understanding that is irrefutable, and provides a causal justification for the oscillations in temperature that we perceive.

        Anything less will be unable to unravel the seed of doubt that has been planted.

  30. Re comment by A Lacis

    I believe the estate of carbon added to the atmosphere is too small.

    Assuming 10 gigatons of elemental carbon is contained in the CO2 combustion product, your figure for CO2 production should be roughly 7 ppm before taking into account the carbon sinks.

    The measurement of ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere.refers to mass, not volume. So you can make a better estimate by sticking to mass all the way, not converting to volume.

    I used 5 X 10^15 metric tons for the mass of the atmosphere and 36.7 gigatons as the contribution of CO2. (The CO2 equivalent of 10 gigatons of carbon is 44/12 * 10 = 36.7 gigatons.)

    I used 44 as the gram molecular mass of CO2, 32 as the gram molecular mass of O2, and 12 as the gram atomic mass of carbon, ignoring the isotopes.

    • verytallguy

      It’s in ppm by volume not mass

      The concentration of carbon dioxide is given in units of parts per million by volume, also abbreviated �ppmv.� (For the more scientifically inclined: ppmv is the same as what chemists call the �mixing ratio� of a mixed gas, in this case the ratio of carbon dioxide molecules with all other air molecules, because equal volumes of gas at equal pressure hold equal numbers of molecules.

      http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/virtualmuseum/rotary/keeling_curve/01.shtml

  31. Sorry “estate” should read “estimate”.

  32. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Summary of this Thread  Demagogic denialists “roll coal” on science-respecting thermodynamical analysis.

    Judith Curry, surely your theory-minded students have zero respect for science-denying faux-conservative yobbos??

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  33. Reblogged this on vuurklip and commented:
    Hehe!

  34. Pingback: These items caught my eye – 7 July 2014 | grumpydenier

  35. 1218 listed stations at USHCN and no one knows how many are real, and no one cares. So sad.
    Due to the silence on this issue it is probably less than 600 but then you only need 1.

  36. It is clear that there are many misconceptions about non-equilibrium temperatures fields. This paper serves to expose and identify them with specific reference to the measurement of climate change. They may be summarized by the following points, which are treated in detail later in the paper:
    1. Sums or averages over the individual temperatures in the field are not temperatures. Neither are they proxies for internal energy.
    2. Temperatures from a field (individually or averaged) neither drive dynamics nor thermodynamics. Instead, dynamics is driven by gradients and differences, in temperatures and other variables.
    3. A global spatial average cannot be an index for local conditions, otherwise nonlocal dependence (i.e., ‘‘thermodynamics at a distance’’) for local conditions would be required.
    4. The utility of any global spatial average of the temperature field as an index for global conditions has been presumed but not demonstrated.
    5. It is easily demonstrated that different spatial averaging rules over temperatures can have contrary trends in time (i.e., some increase while others decrease in time) when the two fields being compared have range-overlap, as they do in this context. This is demonstrated here in a basic example and subsequently with actual atmospheric temperature-field observations.
    6. No ground has been provided for choosing any one such statistics over the rest as the one proper index for global climate.
    7. If there are no physical or pragmatic grounds for choosing one over another, and one increases while the other decreases, there is no basis for concluding that the atmosphere as a whole is either warming or cooling.

    (Christopher Essex, Ross McKitrick, Bjarne Andresen. Does a Global Temperature Exist? J. Non-Equilib. Thermodyn.  2007  Vol. 32  No. 1)

    • Wagathon, that sounds like good and sensible stuff.

      One source of variance that is outside the control of either the earth or the sun, is the current density, charge, and relative speed, of the local interstellar cloud, as processed by the sun’s heliopase, and magnetic/gravitational attraction.

      As the sun processes this energy and uses equatorial ejection to balance it’s core, and the heliopause, the planets can affect the timing of the release, but not the over-riding quantity.

      And in doing so, tip the balance of direction of trend, on earth.

      Taking the earths magnetopause into account, there is no evidence that carbon changes the amount of energy contained within it. Which it would have to, in order to affect or control temperature.

      • Feynman andRuzmaikin (1999) found that, “the intensity of cosmic rays incident on the magnetopause has decreased markedly during this century,” i.e., the twentieth century (and also that, “the pattern of cosmic ray precipitation through the magnetosphere to the upper troposphere has also changed.”

  37. Hmmmm Update on thoughts pertaining to the fluctuations in Earth’s gravitational field. (if your gonna go, go big!).

    I’ve heard lots of people convinced of the ocean heat’s importance, hat’s off, I think so too. Here is why…

    The GRACE gravity anomaly maps, show a clear relationship between an inner “gravity balance point” and external gravitational fluctuation patterns.

    (NOTE: the shape of the periodic change, I believe is a way of putting it, is shaped like a double spiral ball, with a blurry lump down one side. It is displayed in an article called “Our Inflated Universe” in Scientific American.

    But in the GRACE maps, the oceans are all white. Like they display no anomalies. This would make sense if they turn the varying gravitational fluctuations into tidal energy because water always wants to be level. This extra energy would heat the ocean, like stirring a pot of water does. And there is more ocean than land. Oceans are a gravity to heat converter, I believe.

    To know whether there is an oscillation in the gravity field of earth, in relation to the sun, even inside the magnetosphere, I refer you to the “mystery” left behind, in what is dubbed the most famous failed experiment. Michelson and Morely were looking for variation in the speed of light, and found none. But running the experiment day or night, demonstrated a skew/stretch of the wave, in one polarity, or another.

    I then refer you to the gravity anomalies, shown in the GRACE maps, and as ocean warming proponents, consider whether a theory such as that would bolster the arguments that your mathematics already seem to show.

    Hoping that can help.

    Showing warmists to be wrong, will never work. The cause of the fluctuation in temperature, must be fully explained, and proven true, in order to rid humanity of the burden of CO2 vilification. If indeed the quantity and control of other forcings are found to be that significantly more important.

    Further, cause to show direct relationship between magnetism, gravity, and ocean churn, provides plausible reason to believe there could be a causal relationship producing more carbon at higher temperature because of increased bacterial ocean life. If gravity/magnetism drives climate, drives natural CO2, CO2 concerns become even more fully deflated.

    If it is a false cause, then the sooner the better!

    Cheers,
    Alistair

  38. John Brooks

    Well I’m not a scientist and I have issues with the IPCC reports and predictions but I also believe that humans are impacting our environment in more ways than just CO2 emissions.

    Maybe these “Scientists” should recheck their figures because the computer simulations have been proven incorrect. I would like for there to be graph showing world population growth vs climate change figures. The real facts are that the population of humans on this planet have grown way too fast and there lies the real problem. Less humans means less Polution.

    Let’s get real and agree that the current population of 7.5 billion people is not sustainable and that is where the real issue lies.

    • David Springer

      Why isn’t 7.5 billion sustainable? Get real with the answers. No handwaving.

      • @DS: Why isn’t 7.5 billion sustainable? Get real with the answers. No handwaving.

        7.499999999 billion is sustainable without Springer

    • Controlling birth rate is less actionable a thought than changing the level of CO2 in the air. It doesn’t work. When society starts telling people how many kids they are allowed to have, they get upset. And existence says that our population increase, isn’t just natural, it is also optimized for expansion and in nature that seems to be the surest way of surviving.

      Reproduction, migration, and adaptation are our “special gifts”. And we do them well. Ice ages have come and gone across North America, and we didn’t bat an eyelid, back then. We just got it done.

    • David Springer

      John Brooks answer to why 7.5 billion is not sustainable: crickets chirping

      C’mon Johnny. Surely your local chapter of the Church of Misanthropy has a dogma to address why the 7.5 billion is not sustainable.

    • @ John Brooks

      If 7.5 billion is NOT sustainable, what population do you consider to BE sustainable, how time critical is it for the human race to achieve a ‘sustainable’ population, and what ‘population policies’ would you recommend toward achieving sustainability within the required time window?

  39. _Systemantics_ by John Gall is much better, less juvenile.

    Get the earliest edition. He kept adding to it without improving it.

  40. That last post gave me an idea for a “Phunny Physics” comedy sketch….

    Imagine if you could reach back in time, and grab a native North American from 10,000 years ago, and bring him to an IPCC meeting.

    Where this guys Grandfather used to play in fields, the glacier has now thickened to 150ft. All the orchards and fishing wiers destroyed. Their homes brushed away by advancing ice. They’ve moved of course, but their new life is not as easy. Things not as “normal”, or familiar. Having to learn new local fawnage, and animal patterns, in order to be able to put away enough food for the winter. In their hand dug cold cellar. With thei home made tools, and clothes, and shelter.

    Bring that guy, forward in time. And drop him in one of the UN’s IPCC meetings, where all these guys with cars, tanks, jets, microscopes, telescopes, electricity, artificial preservatives, greenhouses, vehicular transportation, the internet and steel construction, (you know, people like us) were whining and complaining about the temperature changing .01 degrees. He’d laugh himself silly!!

    OK. The guy with 10,000 years less evolution, technology, information, and production ability, would laugh at the fears and the perceived plight, of US.

    Rolling on the floor, laughing his backside off. Uncontrollable fits and bouts.

    And he could laugh at both sides.
    “You believe what”??
    “You let them spend all your money because they believed what”??

    Oh, he’s back on the floor, laughing again.

    Just sayin. :-D

  41. Now there is a much bigger crisis than the lost heat in the ocean.

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/missing-light-crisis-something-amiss-universe-1456091

    Scientists discover they can’t find the light switch.

  42. The fourth law of thermodynamics” @pkedrosky The amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.

    From which follows The Fifth Law of Thermodynamics :

    Any response to a blog comment violates the Law of the Conservation of Energy

  43. WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | July 6, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
    It’s strange that any discussion with a contrarian about climate science invariably ends up being about economics. Why is that?— There’s Physics (@theresphysics) July 4, 2014

    Not strange at all – he who pays the scientist calls the tune.

    Governments are always looking for more reasons to tax and control us, and governments are the ones that finance climate science. So they selectively pick the science that supports their objectives.

    Since this point is doggedly avoided in order to reinforce the deceit, and so give this skewed science the false image of dispassioned objectivity, it needs frequent restatement by those actually interested in getting to the truth.

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