Vitaly Khvorostyanov responds

by Vitaly Khvorostyanov

Some replies to and comments on the remarks by WebHubTelescope and others, written in response to the blog post Thermodynamics, Kinetics and Microphysics of Clouds.

Einstein used to say: “The physics is a drama of ideas”. A good example here is Bose-Einstein (B-E) statistics. When Satyendra Nath Bose wrote a short paper in 1924 on his statistics and submitted to the “Philosophical Magazine”, the reviewer wrote very negative review, and the journal rejected the paper. Perhaps, it would never be published, but fortunately, Bose was a fighter. He sent the paper to Einstein with request to publish it in “Zeitschrift für Physik”. Einstein examined the paper, organized a positive review, translated himself from the English into the German, wrote his own paper on this topic, but with another derivation, and asked the journal to publish both papers together. So, they were published and we have since then Bose-Einstein statistics. This example shows how difficult sometimes is the destiny of research, which becomes later commonly accepted. It seems, our attempt to slightly generalize the nucleation rate in classical nucleation theory with B-E statistics also meets counteraction from some audiences.

Most comments on Curry’s blog on the book by Khvorostyanov and Curry are positive, constructive and friendly, we greatly appreciate them. The most critical is a series of comments by WebHubTelescope (WHUT) aka Paul Pukite, who criticized application of Bose-Einstein (B-E) statistics for nucleation rates at low temperatures. This initiated a substantial discussion, which took much time of busy people. After this discussion, Paul Pukite wrote a 1-star comment at Amazon site.

To clarify the situation and to respond to the criticisms by WHUT and Paul Pukite, we must emphasize at once the following. Even the Table of Contents of the book shows that the basis of our consideration is the Boltzmann statistics traditionally used in classical nucleation theory (CNT) and having the form exp( -E/kT). The title of section 8.2.1. is “Application of the Boltzmann Statistics”. The title of section 8.3.1. is “Nucleation rates with the Boltzmann distribution”. Here, the nucleation rates and crystal concentrations are derived with the Boltzmann distribution for the polydisperse aerosol and are used in all calculations of homogeneous nucleation in this book. Possible extensions of CNT with B-E statistics are only briefly outlined in 2 short subsections, 8.2.3 and 8.3.2 (half a page each), where B-E statistics is considered as a possible candidate for generalization at low T (the reason for this is explained below). However, we emphasize that these sections 8.2.3 and 8.3.2 with Bose-Einstein statistics are NOT used in any calculations in the book. All calculations of the homogeneous nucleation processes in this book, all parcel model simulations, and analytical parameterizations for the cloud and climate models in this book are based on Boltzmann statistics described in Sections 8.2, 8.3.1. All calculations and parameterizations of heterogeneous nucleation and deposition in Chapters 9 and 10 are also based ONLY on the Boltzmann distribution. Consideration of deliquescence and efflorescence in Chapter 11 is also based on the Boltzmann distribution. Bose-Einstein statistics in never used in this book, beyond brief mentions in sections 8.2.3 and 8.3.2! Dan Hughes confirms this in the comments to the previous thread by searching using the Kindle version of the book.

Now, it should be clear to all who have been following this on Judith’s blog that the criticisms by WebHub and Paul Pukite are inconsistent and irrelevant to this book.

This  discussion initiated by WebHub and Paul Pukite took a lot of time and distracted the community from discussion of the things that are really important and new and are synthesized in this book. For several decades, ice nucleation was parameterized based on empirical data as functions either of temperature T or saturation ratio Sw, the attempts to combine these dependencies were rare and not successful. The authors of this book derived for the first time the expressions for the critical radius rcr and critical energy DFcr of the ice germs with simultaneous analytical dependencies on the temperature, saturation ratio, external pressure, and finite size of the freezing particle. Using these equations along with nucleation rates from 8.2, 8.3.1 (based on the Boltzmann distribution), this allowed:

  • to suggest the first simple analytical (not empirically based) equations for ice nucleation;
  • to perform much more precise calculations of ice nucleation at varying T and Sw;
  • to derive many previous empirical parameterizations (seemingly unrelated) from CNT and to express their parameters via physical constants and aerosol parameters; after all, these seemingly unrelated  parameterizations appeared to be the close relatives of one family;
  • to find thermodynamic constraints for the previous empirical parameterizations; some of them appeared to be in conflict with thermodynamics in some domains of their applications;
  • to find for the first time the analytical expressions for the critical temperatures and humidities of freezing;
  • to find a simple quantitative relation between the solution and pressure effects in nucleation;
  • to find a separable analytical representation of the nucleation rates and crystal concentrations by T and Sw;
  • to integrate this separable representation by time and to obtain ready parameterizations for the large- scale models (GCMs) as a substep process;
  • to find the diffusion and kinetic limits of this parameterization, which allows to study effects of pollution on microphysics and optics of crystalline and mixed-phase clouds;

All of this is described in detail in Chapters 8, 9, and 10, and all this was done with Boltzmann distribution, not with B-E statistics.

And now, after this general clarification, we will respond in detail to the criticisms by WHUT. To give precise replies point-by-point, we use the style as in replies to the referee in the journal: we cite WebHub’s statement and then our reply follows.

1) WHUT: “So right there in Section 8.2.3 is a bad description of statistical mechanics.”

Reply. This is a wrong and misleading statement. There is no description of statistical mechanics in sections 8.2.3 and 8.3.2 – not at all; all the derivations and description of the 5 main statistics are given in Chapter 3. At the beginning of Chapter 8, in sections 8.2.1 and 8.2.2, the traditional derivations of the classical nucleation theory (CNT) are given for the nucleation rates based on the Boltzmann statistics. In these short sections 8.2.3 and 8.3.2, (half a page each) are simply given equations of the classical nucleation theory (CNT), with suggested possible modification by using Bose-Einstein (B-E) statistics instead of the traditionally used Boltzmann statistics. These are just briefly outlined as a subject for further possible verification in the experiment or theory, but are NOT used in any calculations in this book.

Why did we come to this idea? We worked together for almost 2 decades on ice nucleation, and our experience here is reflected by papers cited in the book by Khvorostyanov and Curry. Many hundreds numerical experiments and comparisons with experimental data were performed with various sets of parameters. Unfortunately, despite almost 90 years of developments of CNT since 1920s, the values of parameters are still uncertain. This is especially true for the surface tension s. It is known that surface tension decreases with decreasing temperature, the rate of decrease is different in different sources, but it is known that at low temperatures (can be around Tlim of -70 to -100 C), s becomes very low, even for pure water without surfactants, and may become even negative in some extrapolations to the low T, which prevents calculations at these T. Since the critical energy of activation DFcr ~ s3, the enery DFcr also becomes very small (or negative), and eventually can become comparable to or smaller than kT, so that DFcr ~ kT or DFcr < kT. However, Boltzmann statistics requires a condition DFcr >> kT. Thus, we come to a dead end: calculations of nucleation become impossible below Tlim with Boltzmann statistics although many cirrus clouds may form at these T (especially in the tropics), polar stratospheric clouds, playing important role in ozone depletion, noctilucent and mesospheric clouds form at even lower T (see Chapter 4 in the book).

So, we have a situation when clouds form at very cold temperatures, but we cannot calculate crystal nucleation rate at these T because of inapplicability of the Boltzmann statistics and cannot simulate these clouds. This situation is not characteristic of only our work, but is a common problem for many researchers who try to deal with low T.

What to do? Wait for another 50-90 years when the new data on s, latent heat, etc, will become available at low T? But there is no hope that any reliable data will be available in the near future, because experiments are usually limited to -38 to -40 C and are difficult or impossible at lower T (“No Man’s Land”, see Chapter 4), and the available theories of water at low T are still incomplete, proceed slowly, and does not provide reliable values of s. The only way to solve the problem now was to try another statistics, valid at low T. A possible candidate is the Bose-Einstein statistics, valid to very low T, even close to 0 K. It is more general than the Boltzmann statistics and includes it as a particular case at sufficiently high T. We just outlined it, but did not develop in detail and did not use in this book. This is a suggestion that can be verified or rejected by any researcher who has appropriate experimental or theoretical tools at very low T. But the use of B-E statistics at low T cannot be rejected until it is proven that it leads to the wrong results. To our knowledge, such data at very low T are absent. Therefore, criticisms by WHUT and Paul Pukite is pure speculation based on nothing.

2) WHUT: “Bose-Einstein stats are more general than Maxwell-Boltzmann stats”

Reply. This is again a misleading statement, WHUT mixes water with oil. The Maxwell and Boltzmann statistics are substantially different (see Chapter 3). The Maxwell statistics is formulated in terms of velocities and used usually in cloud physics for evaluation of the kinetic vapor fluxes around a growing drop or crystal (Chapter 5). The Boltzmann statistics is formulated in terms of the energies and is used here for evaluation of the nucleation rates and nucleated crystal concentrations (Chapters 8, 9, 10, 11).

3) WHUT: “Yes, Bose-Einstein stats are more general than Maxwell-Boltzmann stats, but it doesn’t apply to the kinds of particles you are talking about. Instead, in the case of Boltzmann should be if anything a simplification of Fermi-Dirac statistics which forbids two particles from occupying the same state.”

 Reply: According to the Correspondence Principle, we always have a right to replace in some equation a more particular expressions with a more general expression that includes the previous expression as a particular case, if the necessary conditions for such generalization are satisfied. Of course, application of B-E statistics should be done with caution. There are 3 major requirements here: a) the particles should behave as an ideal gas with weak interactions; b) the particles should have integer spin; c) as the B-E statistics was derived for sufficiently simple, or “elementary” particles, the particles should be “elementary enough”. Consider these conditions in more detail.

a) The water vapor molecules are considered in CNT as an ideal gas, thus, the first requirement is satisfied.

b) We hypothesized applicability of B-E statistics to the water vapor molecules because they have integer spin and can be considered as some analog of bosons, for which B-E is applicable. Application of B-E statistics requires that particles have integer spin. Responses to WHUT were given on Curry’s blog on 4-5-6-7 September by Carrick, Pekka Perilla, Judith, Tomas Milanovic and several other people, with corresponding references, both from the theory and optical and other measurements (including the paper with rigorous quantum mechanical calculations by Konukhov et al., the link was given by Carrick). Water vapor can be considered as an ideal gas and represents usually a mixture of “ortho-water” and “para-water” in the ratio 3:1, although this ratio can vary at various conditions. In ortho-water”, the hydrogen spins are parallel, so that the molecular spin is s= 1 h (h is the Planck function). In “para-water”, where the hydrogen spins are anti-parallel, the spin of the molecule is zero, s = 0 h (see e.g., Born, 1963; Landau and Lifshitz, Quantum Mechanics, Wikipedia, etc). Thus, in both cases, the spin of the molecule is integer, and they should behave as bosons, therefore B-E statistics is applicable to them. But Fermi-Dirac (F-D) statistics, as WHUT hypothesized without any justification, is inapplicable.

c) “Elementary” particles. One could think that an “elementary particle” is simpler than a water molecule consisting of 3 atoms. Note first that derivation of the B-E or F-D statistics is rather simple (see Landau and Lifshitz, v.5, Statistical physics, or Chapter 3 here) and does not consider internal structure of the particles. Then, how elementary are “elementary particles”? The present day Standard Theory of elementary particles counts more than hundred particles, described by the symmetry group SU3xSU6xU1. In particular, there are more than 64 mesons that have integer spin and are bosons (most famous are pi-mesons, elementary quanta of the field of strong interactions in atomic nuclei, analogous to photons in electromagnetic interactions, Higgs boson for gravitation, etc), and many particles with half-integer spin, which are fermions, like proton, neutron (building atomic nuclei), and many similar barions. These “elementary particles” are composed of 6 types of quarks, which have spin s= 1/2 h, electrical charge of 2/3 or -1/3, and many other quantum numbers (charm, strangeness, color, etc.). For example, proton and neutron consist of 3 quarks, therefore have spin s = 1/2 and are fermions. A meson consists of a quark and antiquark, therefore their spin is integer and they are bosons. Besides, each such “elementary” particle may include an unlimited number of virtual “sea” quarks, antiquarks and gluons (particles with spin s= 1 h and zero mass), which help to “glue” these quarks together. Therefore, each “elementary” particle consists of many or of unlimited “more elementary” sub-particles. Until about 1964, the elementary particles were considered as really elementary. In 1964, Gell-Mann and Zweig suggested that the elementary particles are not so elementary, but are composed of quarks. Gradually, and especially around 1980, an elementary particle’s status as indeed elementary—an ultimate constituent of substance—was mostly discarded, and they are considered now as consisting of many sub-particles.

However, neither Bose-Einstein statistics nor Fermi-Dirac statistics were changed, they are still applied in their old forms to these “elementary” but very complicated particles, composed of many sub-particles, as these B-E and F-D statistics were applied before. Now, if to compare just described structure of an “elementary particle”, a huge monster consisting of many sub-particles, and our poor small beautiful water molecule, consisting of only 3 particles (atoms), in some sense, the water molecule may look simpler, and can be considered as an “elementary particle”. Thus, all requirements a), b) and c) are satisfied and we can apply to water molecules B-E statistics. Why not? Therefore, we have chosen B-E statistics as a possible natural generalization for CNT for the boson-like water molecules.

4) WHUT: “There is a phenomenon known as Bose-Einstein condensate which describes atoms (not photons) taking on Bose-Einstein statistics, but that requires special laboratory conditions using Helium and at very low temperatures. If you think that is happening with ice crystals or water droplets in the atmosphere, I don’t know what to say but stand incredulous. These particles don’t have integer spin, despite what you say in the book.”

Reply. Bose-Einstein condensate has nothing in common with real condensation. As was emphasized by Landau and Lifshitz (v. 5, Statistical Physics, 1958a, section 59, Degenerate Bose Gas, footnote at the end): “The phenomenon of accumulation of the particles in the state with lowest energy e =0, is often called “Bose-Einstein condensation”. However, we can talk here only about “condensation” in the momentum space, “and no any real condensation does not occur, of course”. That was exact citation.

Meanwhile, in our book, we consider real condensation and deposition. WHUT does not appear to know the difference between the formal term “Bose-Einstein condensation” with no condensation, and the real condensation processes.

5) WHUT: “If you indeed think that B-E statistics applies to condensation and deposition, you really should place a citation in your book. Good luck finding one!”

Reply. In the literature on the atmospheric physics and nucleation, we did not find any use of B-E statistics for evaluation of nucleation rates — Boltzmann statistics is always used. It is clear why: since the very beginning of development of CNT in 1920’s, CNT was applied to the processes at not very low T, when DFcr >> kT and Boltzmann statistics is valid. Only during the last few decades, the studies of very cold clouds began, when this condition may become invalid and generalizations may be required. We also use Boltzmann statistics through this book in all calculations. The problem why we turned to B-E was explained above: at T below some -70 to -100 C, the existing parameterizations of surface tension, and of critical energy give very low or even negative values, and Boltzmann statistics becomes inapplicable. If such a citation existed, we, of course, would use the existing methods with or without B-E, and would not “invent a bicycle”. Thus, if in the future, B-E statistics will appear to be valid for nucleation at low T, the first reference will be this book. If somebody can supply us with such reference, we would appreciate it.

6) WHUT, September 4, 2014 at 2:15 pm. “Bose-Einstein statistics only applies to particles like photons. I can see what you are trying to do — torturing an equation to extract a prefactor. But it is based on the completely wrong premise, which is applying Bose-Einstein statistics to matter incorrectly. Water particles don’t have integer spin.”

Reply. a) Bose-Einstein statistics applies not only to photons, but to all particles with integer spin, i. e., to all bosons. As mentioned above, there are more than 64 types of mesons (pi-mesons of nuclear forces, Higgs boson present everywhere and giving inertia to all bodies; K-mesons, etc., gluons with spin s =1h). B-E statistics is applied to all 64 mesons and to all other bosons.

b) “I can see what you are trying to do — torturing an equation to extract a prefactor.”

Reply. Did WHUT actually read the book? We are not “torturing equations” to extract a prefactor in sections 8.2.3 and 8.3.2 with B-E statistics, there are not any prefactors in these sections with B-E. The prefactors for the nucleation rate are derived earlier in section 8.2.3 for deposition, and in section 8.3.1 for freezing, both are based on Boltzmann statistics.

c) “Water particles don’t have integer spin.”

Reply. It was explained above (and earlier in the blog by Carrick, Pekka Pirilla, Judith, Tomas Milanovic and several other people) that both ortho-water and para-water have integer spin of 1 and 0 respectively, both are integer, and, as Pekka Pirilla wrote: “normal water molecules are bosons, not fermions”.

7)  WHUT: Paul Pukite (aka WHUT) wrote a review of the book on amazon.com, called it “Easy to find glaring errors”, claimed that the book “creates an activation dependence that trends as kT, where T=Temperature, instead of the accepted Arrhenius-rate law exp(-E/kT)” and warned climate modelers that the use of the results from this book may be harmful for climate models, they give wrong temperature dependence due to use of B-E statistics, modelers “should beware” of that danger.

Reply.  As was explained above, possible generalizations with B-E at very low T are only briefly outlined in the book, but never used. All calculations in the whole book were made with Boltzmann statistics, exp(-E/kT) (which Pukite erroneously prescribed to Arrhenius), but with new equations of Khvorostyanov and Curry for the critical radii and energies as described above. The ice nucleation rates are not described by the “Arrhenius-rate law exp(-E/kT)”. Numerous theoretical and experimental works described in this book (including the authors’ works), show that the temperature dependence of ice nucleation rates is substantially different from the simple exponential law, exp(-E/kT), cited by Pukite, is much more complicated, and this temperature dependence is different under different conditions in clouds. Thus, this comment of Paul Pukite is beyond misleading, both for potential readers, and for Amazon.

Summary: We appreciate all of the discussion of the book, but are very sorry to see the discussion hijacked by a focus on a fairly inconsequential few paragraphs in the book about B-E statistics.  We look forward to your further comments, questions and critiques.

JC comment:  This is a guest post, please keep your comments on topic and relevant.

 

 

409 responses to “Vitaly Khvorostyanov responds

  1. Wow, that was the biggest takedown of WebHubTelescope (WHUT) aka Paul Pukite I’ve seen in a long time. Hope that he will be kindly apologizing and revising his erroneous 1 star review ;-)

    • I’ve just checked amazon.com, Paul Pukite’s review has been removed. I greatly appreciate that action, and I look forward to further constructive discussion with WHUT on the blog.

      • Good for webby.

      • Matthew R Marler

        curryja: I’ve just checked amazon.com, Paul Pukite’s review has been removed.

        Good for him.

      • Seems more likely to have been removed by Amazon for breaching rules.

      • I believe it was flagged as inappropriate and taken down.

        Reviews are not intended as a forum to express displeasure towards one of the authors, and it’s obviously impossible to review a book you haven’t read.

      • Actually, the only simple way to remove an amazon.com comment is for the author to delete it. The more complex way is to make a case that the comment is inappropriate, I imagine that is not straightforward.

      • Kudos to WHUT in any case for his recent constructive comments.

      • There is a rule on attacking authors – which would seem to have been breached – and Amazon seems to routinely remove reviews as evidenced by interweb chatter.

        Moreover – webbly seems an unlikely candidate for unilaterally backing down.

      • Try to assume the best, that he reconsidered and took it down after buying a copy :)

      • I assume webby took it down. I assume Judith took her review down. Both appropriate actions.

      • Judith:

        The more complex way is to make a case that the comment is inappropriate, I imagine that is not straightforward.

        There’s a place where you rate the review, where you can flag it as “inappropriate”. That brings up a pop-up window that allows you to state the reasons why you are flagging it as inappropriate.

        Amazon won’t remove reviews simply for being critical, but they have a good track record at requiring that the reviews be fair.

      • Don:

        I assume webby took it down. I assume Judith took her review down. Both appropriate actions.

        It’s my understanding that Judith’s post would have been removed in any case because it contained a link to her blog and because she is linked to one of the authors accounts, and thus be viewed as promotional.

        I was wrong about one thing though—you can write an acceptable positive review without reading the book. I found an official acknowledgment from Amazon on that.

      • I deleted my own comment after I saw Pukite’s review disappear.

      • The cleansing effect of daylight, here visible. Bravo.

    • “But what is light really? Is it a wave or a shower of photons? There seems no likelihood for forming a consistent description of the phenomena of light by a choice of only one of the two languages. It seems as though we must use sometimes the one theory and sometimes the other, while at times we may use either. We are faced with a new kind of difficulty. We have two contradictory pictures of reality; separately neither of them fully explains the phenomena of light, but together they do.” ~Albert Einstein and Leopold Infeld (The Evolution of Physics)

  2. Extremely detailed response that hopefully will lay this pseudo-issue to rest.

  3. Paul Pukite-

    Paul wrote- “since I am an expert on nucleation and deposition in materials science, I was checking to see how good the science is.”

    My response- Notice how someone with actual knowledge of a topic does not reference Wikipedia as substantiation of their points? LOL

    • Indeed, The “since I’m an expert” intro struck me as pretentious and probably an indication that he isn’t. An impression that turned out to be accurate.

      Rob Ellison: “Moreover – webbly seems an unlikely candidate for unilaterally backing down.”

      That is also my impression. Fair game if he did but it does not fit with what I’ve seen of Mr. Pukite here. Neither dies it fit with someone who make such an unnecessarily destructive move based on only having half an idea what they were talking about.

      Posting one or two ill-informed comments on a blog it one thing, actually going out to post negative reviews on a major retail outlet is well out of order.

      I’m glad it’s been resolved anyway. congratulations to Vitaly and Judith, this seems like a milestone reference work in one of the key uncertainties in climate modelling.

  4. Thank you Vitaly! An outstanding rebuttal to the stuffed shirt that does not use his real name.

  5. I’m glad that has been resolved. Now if we could get to the process of those informed on the topic creating cliff notes for the rest of us that would be greatly appreciated. Congratulations on the book Judith and Vitaly.

    • You requested a Cliff Notes version. Here is one.

      All this micro physics stuff takes place on scales several orders of magnitude smaller than present GCM smallest ‘finite element’ grid cells.

      And always will, since as the grid cell size collapses ( meaning more computation cycles per time step) the time step intervals also must become shorter. Smaller scales need faster resolutions. So the computational burden goes up roughly squared. The resulting computational resolution problem is an intractable power law. iPCC AR5 WG1 7.2.1.2 ff SOD said so.

      In the colloquial here, there ain’t no future supercomputer that can handle this new book’s cloud micro physics. Cause it’s micro physics… And if CMIPx GCMs cannot do clouds, they cannot do the important cloud feedbacks. So are and always will be unfit for climate projection purpose. As was sort of admitted by final AR5WG1 chapter 9 summary: “The simulation of clouds in climate models remains challenging.” QED.

      More eloquent versions of this comment are in my forthcoming book on energy and climate. Threaded through several essays on climate models, clouds, and equilibrium sensitivity. Available in perhaps 8 weeks.

      • Dpo post the publication, I’ll be looking for it :-)

      • Thanks Rud, most helpful. Many of us appreciate your comments and posts even when we don’t always engage. I am looking forward to reading your book!

      • I partially disagree. For example, weather forecast models can’t resolve turbulence, either of the dry or moist variety – both extremely important physical processes which affect the weather. Instead, they parameterize these processes. These parameterizations must be partially successful, since weather forecast models have more predictability with them than without them. Similarly, climate models are not likely to be useless because they attempt to include unresolvable processes, though less predictable to the extent that a model outcome depends on this process. As with all models, you should think of them as having some statistical usefulness for some purpose rather than “right’ or “wrong”. The real problem with climate models, as opposed to weather forecast models, is that it is hard to construct tests of their statistical predictability on the timescales of anthroprogenic climate change, so that the accuracy of these parameterizations on these timescales is hard to assess. A more familiar example to some physicists is BCS theory, a very successful theory of superconductivity which replaces the actual pair potential with a crude parameterization, but which still has significant predictability.

  6. Thanks for this. As a physicist, I ignored WHUT’s comments, as they seemed completely irrelevant. The issue is not that water molecules are fermions (they are not) but rather that the temperatures are far too high to seriously consider using B-E statistics. The book only claims that B-E statistics would be appropriate as a limiting case, which is true but probably not very useful.

    The entire flap has been useful, however, as a measure of WHUT;’s scientific credibility. To my mind, he has none left.

  7. “Higgs boson for gravitation”

    Excuse me??? For what?… Gravitation? No way!

    • I assume that he is referring to the Higgs mechanism explaining the origin of the masses of the fundamental particles. However, as you point out it does nothing to explain how gravity works.

      Furthermore, most of the mass in the observable universe is *not* generated by the Higgs mechanism. It comes from quark motion and their interactions via the strong force . And this is not very well understood.

    • I have bookmarked this – haven’t completely absorbed it though,

      http://www.higgs-boson.org/

      They do seem to link the Higgs boson to curvature of space and gravitation. I will have salt available when I get into it more.

      • That link is a summary of someone’s speculative idea.
        The theory that the Higgs mechanism explains the mass of the fundamental particles has been tested and found to, so far, correctly describe nature. The speculative idea in the link hasn’t.

    • I looked up the “quark motion and their interactions via the strong force”.

      Most of the mass of the nucleus (almost all of it) comes from the strong force. The theory is that the strong force compresses the nucleons and the “excess” strong force (for lack of a better description) from the difference between the compressed and uncompressed size, diluted by the size of the atom (which is much larger than the nucleus) bleeds out of the atom as gravity. This means no graviton.

      The higgs association is that it is a tensor field which gives particles inertia and another tensor field attaches to the inertia to give gravity.

      I’m not sure if the two theories are complementary or partially in opposition.

      • The Higgs field gives the fundamental particles (i.e. those which have no apparent substructure) mass. This means that the quarks pick up their masses this way.

        Most of the observable matter in the cosmos is provided by nuclei. If one would consider the quarks in a nucleus and add up their masses then it becomes clear that they account for several per cent of the mass of the nuclei. The rest comes from the strong force.

        Higgs theory of mass generation and the strong force have nothing to do with each other in this respect.

        I teach postgraduate courses in advanced particle physics so I’m confident of my facts here.

        Unfortunately the author of this blog entry has made a few errors when discussing particle physics (Higgs -> gravitation being only one of them).

  8. Oh, by the way: Bose-Einstein statistics are observed on atoms all the time. The superfluidity of helium is a result of B-E statistics; superfluid He-4 is a Bose-Einsten condensate. A He-3 dilution refrigerator only works because of B-E statistics. Superconductors are B-E condensates of quasiparticles.

    It is doubtful that H2O molecules in a cloud, even at what are described as low temperatures (-70 to -100 C) will behave as a B-E condensate; more likely van der Waals forces start to dominate. But regardless, WHUT does not understand B-E statistics.

  9. Interesting –

    This discussion initiated by WebHub and Paul Pukite took a lot of time and distracted the community from discussion of the things that are really important and new and are synthesized in this book… We appreciate all of the discussion of the book, but are very sorry to see the discussion hijacked…

    So, scientists responding to technical criticisms of their science are a “distract[ion]” and “hijack[ing].”

    And just think of how much might have been accomplished without all that “distraction,” eh?

    I wonder if Judith agrees with that? Sounds a bit like some of the responses from the “climate community” that Judith objects to.

    Oh well, same as it ever was.

    • Joshua

      You defend someone who wrote their analysis based on wikipedia and then wrote a highly negative review without ever having read the book???

      Isn’t that an indication of your bias against Judith???

      • Tribal combat. It wouldn’t occur to anybody in the alarmist tribe to repudiate such behavior, just distract.

        Although, to be fair, I learned a fair amount from some of the papers I went through looking for potential applications. So maybe the ” took a lot of time and distracted the community from discussion of the things that are really important and new and are synthesized in this book…” is a little one-sided.

      • Rob –

        ==> “You defend someone who wrote their analysis based on wikipedia and then wrote a highly negative review without ever having read the book???”

        I’m beginning to sense a pattern here – whereby you mischaracterize my perspective?

        I didn’t “defend” WHT. What I did was criticize Vitaly’s reasoning.

      • Actually, I added that closing paragraph. But Vitaly was frustrated to see the discussion of the 720 p book hinge on 2 para’s that had little relevance to the overall book.

      • ==> “Actually, I added that closing paragraph. ”

        I stand corrected. Apologies to Vitaly for criticizing him for the “hijacking” comment (I did wonder why someone not familiar with blog discourse would have included that term – but it wasn’t apparent to me that he didn’t write the summary).

        But it is amusing that you consider discussion of the technical merits of scientists’ science in a blog amounts to “hijacking” – given that in other contexts, you embrace discussion of the technical merits of scientists’ science in a blog as being the antidote to antiquated scientific practice.

        Well. There is always that…er….um…eh…selectivity thing, isn’t there?

      • Vitaly took 4 days of his time to prepare a response (all this took a number of hours of my time also). Was that a good use of his time? Well, it was necessary to counter the amazon.com review.

      • I stand corrected. Apologies to Vitaly for criticizing him for the “hijacking” comment (I did wonder why someone not familiar with blog discourse would have included that term – but it wasn’t apparent to me that he didn’t write the summary).

      • hmm. Some innocuous word seems to have tripped the blog moderation algorithm. I wait a bit and see if it clears before trying to find the offending word.

      • > Actually, I added that closing paragraph.

        You should have put it in your own closing section, Judy.

      • I also made a substantial number of edits in markup which VK approved. He suggested this be a joint reply from us, but I thought it more appropriate that the response was directly from him.

      • You should stfu willard

      • curryja | September 8, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
        “Was that a good use of his time? Well, it was necessary to counter the amazon.com review.’

        To ‘counter’ it?

        An Amazon review??

        The offending item has been deleted, expunged, censored (!!).

        Victory declared.

      • ­> You should stfu

        Because Judy only put words in Vitaly’s mouth? In our case, it’s no big deal. In some other cases, this is suboptimal. In others, it’s actionable. I’ve seen people lose their editing job over this.

        This is a very simple point. The point is also incontrovertible. As long as the point stands, I won’t push it.

        Let’s see how the professional reception will turn out, shall we?

      • They are longtime collaborators and co-authors, willy. Co-authors, willy. Yin and yang. Or Cheech and Chong, if you prefer.

        Why don’t you emulate webby and try to clean up your act. It’s sad to see educated, intelligent and otherwise decent and honorable guys like you and webby degrade yourselves fighting these climate blog wars. I think webby is showing signs that he is redeemable. Give it a shot.

      • Piggybacking is one thing, Don Don. Fabricating is another.

      • You are fabricating, willy. How low will you go?

      • Joshua’s only purpose is to waste time (and space), so for him it’s mission accomplished.

      • Dennis –

        ==> “Joshua’s only purpose is to waste time (and space), so for him it’s mission accomplished.”

        Please don’t forget that I have other purposes also – to “derail” and “distract.” Those purposes are very important to me, and dropping off 50% of my purpose in life is a cruel blow.

      • derail and distract are subcategories of wasting time, but lets not nit pik. Wait a minute……

    • I have no idea whether Vitaly is an AGW ‘skeptic’ or not. I imagine that he doesn’t pay much attention to the issue.

    • Repudiate what behavior?

      The review?As for me, I don’t have a tribe, you may have noticed the occasional criticism of “skeptics”. But your constant failure to criticize, or apply your ankle-biting to certain people, identifies them as your tribe. Then when you get involved in any conversation that involves them, you become equally culpable with them if you don’t repudiate repugnant behavior.

    • Judith, “I have no idea whether Vitaly is an AGW ‘skeptic’ or not. I imagine that he doesn’t pay much attention to the issue.”
      You just defined a true scientist, wittingly or otherwise. Time to grow up Joshua.

    • It was a distraction because it was trivial, irrelevant, misguided and opportunistic harping. Reminds me of Joshua with a thin veneer of eccentric science.

      It was simply not a valid complaint pursued endlessly for the goals of denigration of the other. Bad faith in other words – but pointing this out is in Joshua’s little world some sort of pop psychology failure to not point it out. The usual faux sanctimonious claptrap in other words.

    • Maybe she needs to talk to the editor in chief of this blog and beg to keep her job.

      • Maybe Denizens should just accept that this was suboptimal and move on.

        Vasily says something quite equivalent earlier anyway, so Judy’s “but those were my words” is not that relevant anyway.

        Much time of busy people indeed.

    • –So what, then, explains the characterization as “distraction” and “hijacking” if not for a subjective and defensive stance on Vitaly’s part?–

      One see the “distraction involved” as being largely related to a blog dialogue. Or it’s different than normal verbal communication.
      Or I think if one had telephone conversation one “could” resolve it quicker.
      So “distraction” is the amount of work [hours of time] needed to resolve a relatively simple matter. Or if the amount hours require were actually connected to the body of the work [important] then it would not be regarded as distraction- as seen as something is needed to be done [and helpful possibly in terms improving the book].

      • The webbly is still lurking in the back catalog making odd noises about bosons not forming condensates at room temperature and of equations that don’t behave if you don’t evaluate all of the terms.

        i.e. that the nucleation rate is proportional to 1/(e^50 – 1).

        The nucleation rate is actually reliant – inter alia – on changes in activation and critical energies.

        Which can be evaluated using the expressions found here – http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/12/9275/2012/acp-12-9275-2012.html – but are probably not equal to 50.

        Boltzmann – and indeed Bose-Einstein – distributions can be viewed as purely statistical constructs in a process that might be expected to involve velocity and energy distributions. Bose-Einstein has been used – for instance – in ecology, network theory, evolution…

        ‘A Bose–Einstein condensate is therefore a quantum phenomenon characteristic of boson particles. Nevertheless, a similar type of condensation transition can occur also in off-equilibrium classical systems and in particular, complex networks. In this context, a condensation phenomenon occurs when a distribution of a large number of elements in a large number of element classes becomes degenerate, i.e. instead of having an even distribution of elements in the classes, one class (or a few classes) become occupied by a finite fraction of all the elements of the system.’

        Ever seen pure, supercooled water nucleate?

        Cool aye?

      • Nice video. If you want to see a Bose-Einstein condensate, nothing simpler, look at a laser beam.

      • Tomas Milanovic

        Thanks for the post Vitaly.
        A pity that you spent so much time on an issue that was recognised by most as irrelevant anyway.
        I would just like to propose an alternative and shorter comment on the following :

        According to the Correspondence Principle, we always have a right to replace in some equation a more particular expressions with a more general expression that includes the previous expression as a particular case, if the necessary conditions for such generalization are satisfied.
        Of course, application of B-E statistics should be done with caution. There are 3 major requirements here: a) the particles should behave as an ideal gas with weak interactions; b) the particles should have integer spin; c) as the B-E statistics was derived for sufficiently simple, or “elementary” particles, the particles should be “elementary enough”. Consider these conditions in more detail.

        To a).
        Weak intermolecular forces are a necessity. This condition is self evidently satisfied for an ideal gaz.
        However even for real water vapor, the van der Waals forces are very weak compared e.g to the electronic bond forces (about a tenth) so that this condition would be approximately satisfied.

        To b)
        The wave function must be symmetric by exchange of particles. It is immediate to show that this condition is satisfied by bosons while fermions have an antisymmetric function from where Pauli’s exclusion principle follows.
        Of course a water molecule is a boson thus the symmetry condition is satisfied.

        To c)
        There is no condition on “elementarity”.
        However highly composite particles like atoms and molecules need a supplementary verification.
        Indeed if the Hamiltonian of the molecule can be expressed as a sum of Hamiltonians relating to each degree of freedom, then the total energy of the molecule is a sum of energies of every degree of freedom.
        For instance if H = H(transl) + H(vibr) + H(rotation) + H(electronic) then
        E = E(transl) + E(vibr) + E(rotation) + E(electronic).
        Obviously in this case the molecule will behave like a single particle (E,H) and the partition function will be derived like for a single particle.
        This condition means that intramolecular degrees of freedom interact weakly and is satisfied for most molecules like H2O (or CO2 for that matter).
        By the way if this condition was not satisfied, the energy equipartition theorem would be invalid and there would be much more annoying consequences than only the trivial question about B-E distribution.

        As a), b) and c) are satisfied for the H2O molecule, it follows that the energy distribution will follow B-E statistics.
        Of course in classical domain B-E distribution reduces to M-B distribution so that doing the calculation with B-E or M-B will give the same result anyway.
        Yet for low temperatures M-B breaks down and it is legitimate that you suggest that the correct B-E distribution should be used instead.
        Of course whether this gives interesting results or not will only be known when these calculations will be done and the right temperature domain better defined.

  10. Judith said;

    ‘We appreciate all of the discussion of the book, but are very sorry to see the discussion hijacked by a focus on a fairly inconsequential few paragraphs in the book about B-E statistics. We look forward to your further comments, questions and critiques.’

    We have at times over the last couple of days seen here a more contrite, humble and altogether more engaging Paul Pukite, in sharp contrast to his alter ego WHT.

    Lets hope he maintains his more pleasant personality on his return here. Scathing Yes. Unpleasant? No need.

    A 1 star review for a couple of inconsequential few paragraphs is neither professional, necessary or polite. Over to you Paul/Webby

    tonyb

    • TonyB, seconded.
      The inconsequential WHT critique plus this detailed technical reply also demonstrate why this medium is rapidly replacing pal reviewed paywalled journals.
      Mann, Hansen, Trenberth, Dessler, Marcott, England, and many others… beware WHT fate.
      The birds combusted by the Ivanpah solar facility in California are known as ‘streamers’ for the smoke trails they leave as they plunge to Earth, incinerated by a ‘renewable’ facility built at great public expense because of your nonscience. (Pun intended.) Ponder the consequences of your junk science touted since decades. Ponder your ad homs as the pause has falsified all you projected. (Our hostess, co-author of this new book, is ‘anti-science’ because she testified to Congresw on the uncertainty monster you all and the IPCC deny exists.) It will not end reputationally well for you. Deservedly so. Let this be a beginning.

  11. Matthew R Marler

    Thank you Vitaly for this point-by-point rebuttal.

    • Matthew

      It was an excellent, well phrased, interesting and very informative reply. I may be forced to buy the book, although how much I will understand remains to be seen

      Tonyb

      • Matthew R Marler

        Tonyb: I may be forced to buy the book, although how much I will understand remains to be seen

        the book’s web page at Amazon has full displays of many pages. It is, you might say, intense.

    • I enjoyed the thread Matthew, even if it may seem to be a waste of time to some (including Vitaly). I appreciated your efforts to clarify and define the central issue. Perhaps some others (whose names shall remain anonymous) could become more effective and respected contributors if they could think more before hitting SEND?

  12. All the scientific detail was way above my head, but three sentences jumped out at me:

    1. “we cannot calculate crystal nucleation rate at these T because of inapplicability of the Boltzmann statistics and cannot simulate these clouds.”
    2. “possible generalizations with B-E at very low T are only briefly outlined in the book, but never used.”

    So, we have a “don’t know” situation.

    3. Paul Pukite warned that “use of the results from this book may be harmful for climate models”.

    Climate modellers are already deluding themselves by thinking that calculating the interactions between small slices of space and time can give accurate results over several decades. They would be lucky to go more than a few days. Given that we’re in a “don’t know” situation here anyway, the delusion is extreme – the harm has already been done by the climate modellers themselves.

    IPCC Report (AR4) Box TS.8 : “Although the large-scale dynamics of these models are comprehensive, parametrizations are still used to represent unresolved physical processes such as the formation of clouds and precipitation, ocean mixing due to wave processes and the formation of water masses, etc. Uncertainty in parametrizations is the primary reason why climate projections differ between different AOGCMs.”
    IPCC Report (AR4) 1.5.2 “[Senior and Mitchell (1993)] produced global average surface temperature changes (due to doubled atmospheric CO2 concentration) ranging from 1.9°C to 5.4°C, simply by altering the way that cloud radiative properties were treated in the model. It is somewhat unsettling that the results of a complex climate model can be so drastically altered by substituting one reasonable cloud parametrization for another, thereby approximately replicating the overall intermodel range of sensitivities.

    And this isn’t the only don’t know” area in climate science, there are heaps of them noted in the IPCC report.

  13. folks

    Ignore dwarf number 1

    • You mean the runt?

      • any thread technical enough to bring in Carrick, Paul_K, Tomas, Pekka, is one that runts should steer clear of.

      • and the runt is at it again.

        Fundamentally Web did on a techncial thread what the runt does on other threads. Find a nit quickly and de rail the conversation.
        now, I’m no expert in nucleation and deposition. And Even I could see that the section of the book he homed in on wasnt central. and could see that the claims were hypothetical ( one tool stops working, we consider B-E)

        So, you get the ask the question why the nit picking?

        My experience with nit pickers

        A. They really DO know their stuff and they care about detail. These folks
        will rarely over estimate the importance of their nit.

        B) They dont know their stuff, and they want to use the nit to
        1. draw attention to themselves
        2. Attack the author/teacher/authority
        these folks will often over estimate the importance of nits.

        Games nit pickers play: they generalize from nits. For example
        they say things like
        1. I picked a station by chance
        2. I picked a chapter that touched on my expertise
        3. I found this in the first paragraph

        And then they argue that since they found mistake number one, so quickly or so easily that the rest of the material is crap.

        I get this all the time. Runt ” I looked at station X, its wrong. therefore they are all suspect. ” I contrast that with say Robert Ways approach
        “hey steve, i looked at 100 stations in labrador and I have a question about a couple that dont look right”
        one is an expert. the other is a runt.

      • ‘mixing oil and water’. What the frack?
        ================

      • The nit the runt’s radar detected on this thread amounted to two words: “distraction” and “hijacking”. I am sure that if the runt had any sense of self-awareness, he would call that ironic.

      • Fundamentally Web did on a techncial thread what the runt does on other threads. Find a nit quickly and de rail the conversation.

        It started with that, then went on to the review.

        So, you get the ask the question why the nit picking?

        IMO it’s more than that, much more. The “tribe” these people belong to has a political agenda. Our hostess is a major pain in the neck in struggling (“Jihad”) for that agenda, in that she is already a recognized expert in the subject (climate), and strongly questions the political motivations conclusions without being overly critical of the real science.

        So now, she’s co-author of a book having a good chance to become the major foundation for future cloud modelling. Think what that does to her position as an “authority”. And remember that for this tribe, there’s no such thing as real science (think Lysenko), there’s only what you can achieve in the argument. Remember the meaning of “dialectic” in dialectical materialism.

        This isn’t the end of it. There will be many more attacks, based on more “scholarly” criticisms. Somebody with the PhD’s will write an article, pal reviewed, then the attack dogs will blow it up into major smear jobs. Again, and again, and again.

        The goal will be to allow discrediting any new modelling based on new work in this book, any use of this book as a reference, anything else that could undercut the “settled science” used to support their agenda since Kyoto.

      • Ak
        I think you go too far. How can I put this.
        There are certain styles of attack and certain tools of attack. These styles and tools are more fundamental than tribal Alliance. Ordinarily Web doesn’t pick up the tools and style that Joshua does. But in this case he did. Didn’t work very well.

        If you spend your time watching people respond to text then it’s easy to see the patterns. There ain’t new
        Patterns.

      • “Games nit pickers play: they generalize from nits. For example
        they say things like
        1. I picked a station by chance”

        That was not nice

      • WHT spent the last 10 years cheerleading catastrophe preppers on the peak oil site oildrum.com. I know because someone in my family insisted I go look at the site from time to time over the last decade.
        I don’t think you realize how important it is that they aren’t wrong again. They just can’t be. Not again. Everyone except them is an idiot. They must be. Everyone who is clearly not an idiot is corrupt. They simply must be.
        It’s sad and really fascinating. Picture talking to someone the day after the world was supposed to end. You don’t know what to say and they’re mumbling that of course they were right, it’s just a momentary setback.
        But this is a technical thread and I have no clue if he’s right or not about the book ( which I suppose makes me a runt too.)

      • Grumpy makes an appearance

      • Now that I look at it
        Moe, Larry and Shemp are all here.
        Waiting for Curly.

        Could be the name of a play

      • No, I’m dopey you idi0t.

      • Well, the whole thing is academic since applying B-E statistics would get you to a feature size the models will never hit in our lifetime. My understanding is the current model feature size is on the kilometer scale so nucleation would not be addressed.

        As far as the station temperatures… Looked at an Australian station where they pretty obviously padded the temperatures 0.8°C during station moves compared to nearby unmoved stations.

        Perhaps if the record was frozen at 2010 or the latest point data was complete – the stations could addressed station by station and correct for moves and other issues by kriging from nearby class 1 stations, using modern 24/7 data from the site to correct TOB, etcetera. Historic data is dead and should not be a moving target.

  14. Incredible that our Josh is showing up in this thread with more gibberish. Is he a masochistic or what? Does he really enjoy making a fool of himself in front of everybody??

    • Not surprised in the least. The man has no shame. Since Joshua doesn’t have the technical expertise, or the intellect, or the wit, or the passion, or indeed any quality of mind or spirit to make a positive contribution, he settles for blowing things up.

      I appreciate Judith’s patience and her policy of openness. But if there’s any one individual who deserves banning from C.E, it’s Joshua.

      • Tamino is Hansen Bulldog
        Joshua is Anders Chiwawa

      • 원숭이 엉덩이는 빨개

      • Interesting Mosh…think (or translate.google thinks)…I’ve of something something eerily different but similar in Chinese…monkeys are always moving their houses.

        comment on moshism and not beyond….

      • Sorry Mosh, vision giving out for the day or channeling translate.google. … I’ve heard of something eerily different but similar in Chinese —

        monkeys are always moving their houses.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        A little later Steven will be at his inscrutable, Moshochistic best.

      • “I appreciate Judith’s patience and her policy of openness. But if there’s any one individual who deserves banning from C.E, it’s Joshua.”

        Nonsense, Joshua is a vital part of the Climate Ect. experience. No matter how great the wonders and attractions, a circus still needs it’s clowns.

      • Mosh

        Thanks for the follow-up! I guess google flushed it. Google translation is an interesting experience.

      • looks like it got flushed.. haha

        the phrase is ” a monkey’s butt is red” which is a line from a currently
        popular K Pop song ( red)

        the line makes no sense until you understand that the line is also from a traditional children’s song about comparing things.

      • Yeah. I was surprised to see your response…wrote mine quickly, posted, and you were gone in the interim. Strange translation…

      • ya.

        빨간색

        is the usual translation for red, but Im told by my friends that it literally means red color as 색 means color which seems redundant to me.
        any way, when I first saw the video I took the lyric as a form of self deprecation on the part of the artist, only to find out that they had inserted themselves into this traditional childrens song.

        so a comparison which I had taken as self deprecating was in fact
        not.

        http://onehallyu.com/index.php?/topic/88359-explanation-of-the-monkeys-butt-is-red-part-and-all-the-monkey-imagery-in-hyunas-red/

        http://www.criticalkpop.com/2014/07/mv-of-month-hyuna-red.html

        There is a certain absurdist quality and slouching toward camp, and the hat tip to busby berkeley.. delightful.

      • think about the word germane.
        that is all

  15. Classical nucleation theory provides an approximation of nucleation rates in a parcel of air. It hardly rises to the level of a fundamental law. It appears loosely based on the idea of velocity distributions in a parcel of air and needs tweaking for a whole lot of other factors. Hence the extension.

    Focusing on BE statistics is focusing on the wrong issue – and in webbly’s case it was done in bad faith in support of tribal allegiances. It exists merely to denigrate on the basis of any opportunity to spread confusion however ill founded. Discourse is displaced by denunciation. It reveals a fundamental dynamic of the climate war rather than elucidating any significant issue in science.

  16. It’s good to have the response. It should be clear to all by now that the issue was not central for the book, but might have some connection to future research to be done somewhere.

    A few details of the answer seems a little inconsistent with what some of us (myself, mwgrant, perhaps others) have written in the previous thread, but there’s no need to repeat the points here.

    Being forced to relearn issues that I have forgotten long ago is a benefit of this kind of threads for me. (I didn’t even remember, how many textbooks on QM I have still in my bookshelf.)

    • Pekka, I appreciate your engagement on this

    • Pekka: “…there’s no need to repeat the points here.”

      You are a scholar and a gentleman.

    • Pekka, you and Carrick were superb. Then Vitaly’s post… all good stuff.

      As for differences…I expect differences. Often that is a matter of perspective or missing (or picking up) on a detail, being the expert or being the less-than-novitiate on the topic ;o) For sure being forced to delve into subjects that were very important to me four decades ago was a great exercise—I’ve thrown away most of my books a few years back, sigh.

      • mwgrant, “I’ve thrown away most of my books a few years back, sigh.”

        I lost mine in a storm surge along with a few other things. Saved the guitar though :)

      • “I lost mine in a storm surge along with a few other things. Saved the guitar though :)”

        With a name like captdallas I was already picturing you with a cape and cowboy hat. Now with this new info all I can picture is El Kabong :)

    • ‘The Maxwell statistics is formulated in terms of velocities and used usually in cloud physics for evaluation of the kinetic vapor fluxes around a growing drop or crystal.’

      Of course it is. The velocity distribution is required for this and getting into questions of theoretical particle physics just confuses the issue.

    • Pekka, in the end, I think this model has to be viewed purely as a phenomenological model.

      Such models need to be judged on their ability to make useful descriptions of how a system behaves and its semi-quantitative predictions rather than on how strong their theoretical underpinnings are.

      Think “harmonic oscillator” and how often that mathematical model gets used and reused in physics.

      if my understanding is correct, the assumption of a B-E distribution is mainly utilized to motivate other phenomenological expressions. It is conceivable that the “real” distribution might have the same leading terms as the B-E distributed expanded to low order, with the interaction terms appearing in higher order.

      I’ve ordered my copy of the book (hardcover) so I’ll have a chance to look at this.

      • ‘… in the end, I think this model has to be viewed purely as a phenomenological model.’

        Not phenomenological – and the term empirical is better – if based on fundamental principles. Say velocity distribution of molecules in a volume.

      • Rob, “Not phenomenological – and the term empirical is better”

        I am not sure why you make that distinction. Mechanistic or phenomological are the two choices I would think.

      • Empirical and deterministic – call it what you will. A phenomenological model is empirical – and classical nucleation theory is not.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Carrick: Pekka, in the end, I think this model has to be viewed purely as a phenomenological model.

        In table 8.1, the “germs” (also called “embryos” in the text) of the nucleation for several critical energies and critical radii are computed to have from 43 to 12496 water molecules in them. Section 8.2.3 opens with “The previous distribution of the nucleation rate was based on the Boltzmann distribution of the g-mers.” I think that supports your view.

      • Carrick,
        Vitaly explained, how unlikely it is that good empirical data would become available in foreseeable future. That might mean that some further theoretical studies are the most promising approach at this point.

        The phenomena being considered involve rather small numbers of molecules. Thus direct simulation of some sort might be an alternative, but a full dynamical simulation is probably still computationally far too heavy. Vibrational excitations might play a role in those simulations, and they might involve B-E statistics. I cannot imagine any other mechanism for getting B-E statistics in the calculations, but perhaps that’s just lack of imagination.

      • Pekka:

        Vitaly explained, how unlikely it is that good empirical data would become available in foreseeable future. That might mean that some further theoretical studies are the most promising approach at this point.

        As you know, in phenomenology, one of the utilities of writing down such hypothetical relationships (really just “conjectures”), is to allow you to explore the parameter space of the conjecture. This allows you to determine whether there is any intersection between the conjectured relationship and experimental observations. In turn that can guide future measurement campaigns.

        Conjectures that have no testable aspects of course aren’t very interesting. Still, it’s useful to have a catalog of these “not useful” , when seeking to improve theory (it helps to know what has been tried).

        For the work that I do in atmospheric physics, the breakdown of the continuum approximation is typically the biggest issue encountered (think upper mesosphere and thermosphere). But there is just too little overlap with this area and my background (which started out as high energy physics also by the way), for me to have much of value to say about the best approach here.

        If the purpose of monographs is to stimulate conversation on physics at the margins of what we currently know, this book has already succeeded in that respect.

      • Carrick,

        Those ten years I was active in elementary particle physics, the work I was involved in (at CERN, Argonne (near Chicago), and Helsinki) was called multi-particle phenomenology. That was theoretical physics, but we were following closely new experimental results. Our task was to extract information from the very complex empirical results taking advantage of the limited theoretical knowledge that existed about such reactions. Often we compared the results with the predictions of a few phenomenological models or tried to determine the parameters of these models.

      • Pekka, I can’t put my finger on it at the moment, but there is at least one example of phenomenology in high energy physics where they start with an expansion of known to be correct fundamental physics, assume the same functional form for a problem that can’t be formally treated (yet), and then fit the coefficients of the function to data. (And yes it works.)

        I think there is a similar atmosphere to what Vitaly is trying to do in these sections of his and Judith’s book..

  17. Rob:

    Empirical and deterministic – call it what you will. A phenomenological model is empirical – and classical nucleation theory is not.

    I think that depends a lot on the field you are in. As far as I know, there aren’t crisp definitions for these terms. Here is my two cents, which I think is support by linguistic analysis of the words, but your mileage may vary:

    Generally as I’ve seen the term used in physics, a “phenomenological model” is one that is geared to describe “phenomena”, and may or may not be based on more fundamental assumptions. The utility of such a model depends on the degree to which it is useful in describing measurements and other phenomena associated with a physical system under study: Hence “phenomenological” model:.

    The qualifier refers to the focus of the model rather than to how the model is developed.

    The other type of model would be a “theoretical model”. Such a model might describe the underlying physics, but may or may not be consistent with observations.

    While it may seem ridiculous to a layperson with zero modeling experience to have a model that may not be consistent with observation, you often don’t need good theoretical models to be good phenomenological models.

    Rather they allow the assumptions used in more phenomenological models to be tested rigorously (are the assumptions consistent with the underlying physics).

    I like to think about theoretical models (in some cases) as describing the “set of possible universes based on a set of physical laws”, and a good theoretically based phenomenological model as the intersection of that set of possible universes with the constraints given by observation.

    As I view it, these two terms are largely independent from the other classification scheme that Rob Ellison refers to, which is (these are my definitions):

    Mechanistic models are models that are developed using fundamental principles.

    Empirical models, often referred to as “statistical models”, are models developed solely from observations.

    I find these to be not very satisfactory divisions, as there are many “semi-empirical models”, that is models that are a hybrid of mechanistic and empirical models.

    As I would use it, a phenomenological model could be “mechanistic”, it could be “empirical” or it could be “semi-empirical”.

    Some fields (biology, sociology, psychology, economics) lack a fundamental underpinning and so the distinction between theoretical and phenomenological models is lost on them. As a result, you do see people describing empirical models as phenomenological models, but really I think this is an understandable confusion of terms on their part, and not a useful redefinition of terms.

    • Interesting. A common language can be a real barrier at times. I was under the impression that Phenomenological was attempting to model the empirical without adherence to fundamentals and mechanistic was attempting to model the empirical using fundamentals. Then you branch into statistical, theoretical etc. Live and learn.

      • Here’s the wiki definition, which seems consistent with how I use it>

        The term phenomenology in science is used to describe a body of knowledge that relates empirical observations of phenomena to each other, in a way that is consistent with fundamental theory, but is not directly derived from theory.

        It’s my impression, the usage of the word as you use it comes from ecology originally, but I see it as a confusion of terms.

      • Capt, that was my understanding as well, if you have model that describes a process, but you don’t understand or cannot describe what is going on, then it is phenomenological.

        Modern drug dosages are based on an estimate of body surface area, rather than body weight. Drug function,metabolism, excretion and distribution have little to do with the amount of skin you have, but the phenomenological formula works rather well for calculating an individuals dosage.

      • DocMartyn, I was careful to point out that in your field they don’t make the distinction. In mine, typically they do.

      • Carrick, I just wanted you to know that in my field biologists are supposed know and use the classical meaning of empirical and phenological, however it does tend to be a refuge for those not happy with math.

      • Don, all I can say is I can point to places on the web where my meaning of the term “phenomenology” gets used, and other places (in a more limited domain) where your meaning is used.

        As far as I can tell the division follows the lines that I’ve outlined. I was addressing Pekka at the time, so I presumed he would interpret the usage of “phenomenology” in the way that I used it. I would expect most physical scientists to use the term as I’ve used it.

        (I’m not sure why Rob Ellison thinks that a model is a type of theory. Perhaps there is an area in science or engineering where this is established practice, or perhaps he’s just confused.)

        Capt. Dallas “A common language can be a real barrier at times. ”

        Yes that is true. An interesting and related anecdote is the biohazard symbol:

        The biohazard symbol was developed by the Dow Chemical Company in 1966 for their containment products.[2] According to Charles Baldwin,[2] an environmental-health engineer who contributed to its development: “We wanted something that was memorable but meaningless, so we could educate people as to what it means.” In an article he wrote for Science in 1967,[4] the symbol was presented as the new standard for all biological hazards (“biohazards”).

        This is implicit recognition of the need to have the new symbol not be confusable with an existing one. A common language can be a barrier indeed (one that could get you killed in this case).

    • ‘For example, we find the following definition in the Concise Dictionary of Physics: Phenomenological Theory. A theory that expresses mathematically the results of observed phenomena without paying detailed attention to their fundamental significance.’ Wikepedia

      A theory that is expressed mathematically is a model.

      As silly as it sounds to a layman – this does not apply to classical nucleation theory. Long winded obfuscation involving redefining terms notwithstanding. Is there – for instance – a mechanism that is not deterministic?

      There is theory and observation – derivation from fundamental physical principles or relationships based on observation. There is no other way to real science – and fundamentally both should lead to validation through prediction and observation.

      • Models are different things than theories.

      • A theory that is expressed mathematically is a model.

      • Here is one reference. I’ll leave to people to read (I don’t see any easy place to cut and paste), but basically (and in my words):

        You can develop a theory from a model, or a model from a theory.

        A theory is a specific set of hypotheses, and may include one or more model, and is used to form predictions that allow the theory to be tested.

        Models are frameworks for making calculations or predicting an outcome. They can be entirely empirical or they can be motived by establish theory, or again a hybrid of the two.

        There are purely quantitative models and there are purely qualitative models, and again hybrid models that combine categorical information with numerical information.

      • Here are a couple of concrete examples:

        Electricity and magnetism is obvious a theory. When we find corrections to this theory we have a new theory, not a different version of the old. There’s no “E&M 2.0”, instead there is “quantum electrodynamics”.

        A program written to compute simulate magnetic fields is a kind of model. It is obviously not a theory. If you find errors in the model, that makes it an “inexact model” not a “falsified theory”. These model errors get corrected in maybe the next version of the software, but it’s considered the same model, just a different version.

      • ‘This discussion initiated by WebHub and Paul Pukite took a lot of time and distracted the community from discussion of the things that are really important and new and are synthesized in this book. For several decades, ice nucleation was parameterized based on empirical data as functions either of temperature T or saturation ratio Sw, the attempts to combine these dependencies were rare and not successful. The authors of this book derived for the first time the expressions for the critical radius rcr and critical energy DFcr of the ice germs with simultaneous analytical dependencies on the temperature, saturation ratio, external pressure, and finite size of the freezing particle. Using these equations along with nucleation rates from 8.2, 8.3.1 (based on the Boltzmann distribution), this allowed:…’

        Unless you are defining phenomenological as not based on observation – this this is not the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution of molecular velocities in an ideal gas. If you are then this is a matter of definition – possibly one not widely held.

        .

      • Cloud and temperature can be modeled without a theory of cloud – this is the empirical approach.

        It can be modeled with maths that mimic the physical processes -the deterministic approach. This latter is based on theory.

        Can we mix the 2? Don’t see why not but why does common sense fly out the window to be supplanted by pontificating on intangibles?.

        It needs a reality check – the proposal extension of the classical cloud nucleation model is based on theory. This makes it deterministic, mechanistic, whatever. It is about the reality of physical cloud microphysics. Which seems a fascinating topic on which I am under informed – despite my background in hydrology. On the other hand – it dawned on me pretty quickly that fundamental particles into which the universe divides – bosons and fermions – were not really the point.

        Defining phenomenological models as empirical, semi-empirical and deterministic broadens the definition beyond the point where the term retains any meaning at all. I hate it when that happens.

      • Rob, if you want to argue for other uses of the words, and you want me to take your comments seriously, I’d suggest you provide references to your preferred meanings. I have tried to do so on my part, but you seem to have selectively ignored that.

        I don’t doubt they exist wrt phenomenology, but I seriously doubt that you’ll get many agreeing that model = theory.”

        I’ve already pointed out though, that phenomenology means a very different thing that what you interpret it to be, and provided a reference.

        Again from the wiki,

        The term phenomenology in science is used to describe a body of knowledge that relates empirical observations of phenomena to each other, in a way that is consistent with fundamental theory, but is not directly derived from theory.

        I differ slightly from their interpretation, but not in any great way. I would say you could have a phenomenological model that is built on empirical observations (not theory driven at all).

        Their definition is clearly at odds with your preferred one, because you seem to be arguing that phenomenological is a synonym for empirical.

        (From a linguistic perspective I really don’t get why people try to gete two distinct words to mean the same thing…)

        I haven’t used the term deterministic to this point. The opposite of deterministic is “probabilistic”, rather than “empirical “. So this is again another axis for describing models, which is generally orthogonal to the others:

        theoretical ⬄ phenomenological
        mechanistic (fundamental) ⬄ empirical (statistical)
        deterministic ⬄ probabilistic

        I’m just not sure why it would be useful to shoehorn what are clearly different concepts into just two possible eigenstates.

        You could have a deterministic empirical model for example (when the error bars are small enough they can be ignored—this does happen). Or you could have a probabilistic one (this is more common I think). Generally empirical models are phenomenological ones, which is where I think the confusion comes in. But it’s a case of “all X are Y” does not imply “all Y are X”. Just because (nearly) all empirical models are phenomenological, doesn’t mean that all phenomenological models are empirically based.

        Anyway I’ve run this into the ground. Moving on.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Rob,
        Thank you for bringing the serious, main topic back into play after a long sssion of my dick his bigger than yours.
        Clouds are vitally important to the present, early stage of development of GCMs.
        Here we have a chance to learn from a new book that has a pedigree.
        And so many people fail to rise above petty argument & trite comment.
        Shame.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Rob,
        The Dictionary of Physics mention makes one think that effort would be saved if phenomena rather than miscellaneous, mildly anomalous features were selected. Phenomena are not so common and are arguably more important than anomalies.

      • ‘The term phenomenology in science is used to describe a body of knowledge that relates empirical observations of phenomena to each other, in a way that is consistent with fundamental theory, but is not directly derived from theory.’

        This is very similar to the definition I gave originally. We have certainly seen this run into the ground – red herrings everywhere

        All to avoid the obvious conclusion that the extension to classical cloud nucleation theory is not based on empirical observations – but is evolved from theory. It is not phenomenological as Carrick claimed – and all of this astonishing obfuscation was in response to my simple statement that it was not.

        Using words to confuse meaning for the sake of vanity just adds to the morass of triviality.

    • I have read a couple of philosophers of science make the contrast between “tidy French” and “practical English” approaches, and am reminded here of that jokey way of speaking.

    • This book by Nancy Cartwright might interest some of you who are concerned with fundamental versus phenomenological…

      http://joelvelasco.net/teaching/120/cartwright-How_the_Laws_of_Physics_Lie.pdf

      • Matthew, if you see a model as a tool for making a calculation and a theory as a tool for making falsifiable predictions, then you can have a model that is essentially a theory and vice versus.

        So yes, there can be a huge overlap.

        But sometime there is virtually none, like with software that calculates magnetic fields associated with different magnet configurations that can be used as a tool to create predictions for a theory, or quantum electrodynamics which is a theory that can be used to develop other theories or models.

        Even given the possible entanglements, I do see a good purpose in separating the two concepts.

      • NW,

        Just finishing up Jim Baggott’s Farewell to Reality. I found Smolin’s Trouble with Physics slow out of the gate. You might be interested…it reads well.

      • mwgrant, “it reads well” refers to Baggott or Smolin?

      • NW, Sorry I meant Baggott reads well. I’ve had Smolin for a time but (to me) it is a little unfocused, drags and strays into problems with physics education. (I’ve gone back to sections there after getting thru the material in Baggott.)

        I read a library copy but think I will order it.

        In the spirit of the blog-post I did find a little, tiny error in a footnote but it did not put me off — it was the kind of distracted slip you would expect to get in a survey course lecture. :O)

      • That Cartwright book, at least in its intro, reminded me of Samuelson’s characterization of what he called Friedman’s “F-twist”: Not only are good positive theories unrealistic in their assumptions, but the more unrealistic these assumptions are the better the explanation they provide. Cartwright seems to be making a similar claim when she says that fundamental physics theory is false because it explains (and I suppose that it explains because it is false.)

    • Matthew R Marler

      Carrick: Mechanistic models are models that are developed using fundamental principles.

      Empirical models, often referred to as “statistical models”, are models developed solely from observations.

      I find these to be not very satisfactory divisions, as there are many “semi-empirical models”, that is models that are a hybrid of mechanistic and empirical models.

      I agree with you there.

      Afterward you try to distinguish between “model” and “theory”, but I find that not to be a satisfactory division either. No matter how many words are thrown into the definitions to separate them, the categories always overlap.

    • Carrick

      Can you put this matter into context for those of us not versed in what seems to be a highly technical discussion?

      How important is this very narrow area of research, and this minor dissent in a 700 page work, in the greater scheme of things-in this case that of climate science in general and clouds in particular?

      For example, whilst physicists might get very excited about the Higgs boson the rest of us see the world continuing just as before. So in that sort of context, is what you are discussing IMPORTANT to EVERYONE or just important to a select few who like arguing about the finer detail of such things? Will the world continue just as before, with no one really noticing this discussion in a tiny area of the blogosphere?

      Thanks.

      tonyb

      • Tony,

        Right now those two chapters change nothing in existing understanding. Their purported message is that there may be situations, where B-E statistics gives more correct results than M-B statistics, but they do not tell, what those cases really are – or that they ultimately exist at all.

        No practical calculation that anyone is doing presently or in immediate future is affected by those chapters.

      • tonyb, really short version–I believe this is a side excursion from the main elements of the book. I think the discussions about Bose-Einstein gasses are irrelevant, this has nothing to do with that. It’s a “reality-based” guess at the correction to the Maxwell-Boltzman distribution.

        I don’t imagine that the extensions they are proposing would be used any place on the earth, except in extreme environments where the continuum approximation probably starts breaking down anyway.

        So for anybody wanting to practically model climate on the Earth (one of the stated uses of this book), you can practically ignore those sections.

        I think people might notice this discussion, more because of the technical interest of the questions raised originally by WHUT than because of its possible impact on the utility of this monograph.

      • Carrick and Pekka

        Thank you for your reply to me. I have enjoyed the high quality of the input from both of you but had suspected this part of the discussion has been a bit of a red herring in context to the rest of the book and climate science in general..

        tonyb

      • I don’t imagine that the extensions they are proposing would be used any place on the earth, except in extreme environments where the continuum approximation probably starts breaking down anyway.

        I can’t agree (from my amateur’s perspective). AFAIK thunderstorms often reach conditions where these conditions hold. Not only that, but under those conditions there’s a good deal of (pseudo-adiabatic) up and down, offering all sorts of opportunities to concentrate surfactants originally obtained from aerosols, gaseous pollution, and combinations of those, variously modified by intense sunlight. Especially considering that the top surface of a hot tower, and probably many thunderstorms in temperate latitudes, is both subject to intense sunlight during the day, and exactly the place where mixing with ambient air takes place, often leading to downdrafts with adiabatic heating and evaporation.

        Seems to me proper modelling of those storms would likely offer much better parametrization for GCM’s and other large-scale models.

    • Just a note on “empirical” models.

      While “statistical” models are perhaps the most evident example, it would seem the scaling laws are models that fall into the category. Here I am in particular thinking about those found in phase transitions and critical phenomena–where normal physics has difficulties. These are just too important to be outside classification. But still one cannot go down the tree indefinitely. Maybe a take-away here is that the depth of the classification really should reflect the intended use and perspective of the classification.

  18. pokerguy | September 8, 2014 at 7:16 pm
    “I appreciate Judith’s patience and her policy of openness. But if there’s any one individual who deserves banning from C.E, it’s Joshua.”
    I do not agree with WHT’s views but I will defend his right to express them a little bit.
    It is extremely good that he has stirred up so much controversy that an article had to be written in rebuff, even if there was little to rebuff.
    The explanations offered above help clarify the work that was done and enabled the authors to do a critique of their own work as looked at by outsiders.
    I think that that has been extremely helpful all round apart from his putting up a negative review, though even bad publicity is better than none at all.
    Gang tackling WHT with Don, Mosher and CaptainDallas has got to hurt.

    Joshua is, well, funny, at times. He gets on everyones goat by making us aware of our biases and taboos .
    Anyone who gets too upset at him is just falling for his game. Having divergent opinions,chucking a bit of mud gently, banter it’s called, is part of vigorous enjoyable debate.

    • Hey I made one comment on the thread. Carricks got a publication record that should have given pause to anyone one who wanted to jump into the fight

      • On which ‘fight’ subject? As our hostess has often pointed out, it is a wicked problem. No singular expertise suffices. IMO including yours.

        Please do get back on the BEST regional expectations adjustment to your station 166900. You posted on another thread that it was just statistics, presuming my there comment was illiterate. Well, I have passed Ph.D generals in statistics and econometrics–and then ‘wisely’ chose a different career. Learned too much about academia and you all to want to cohabit.

        So please explain again how BEST got a warming regional expectation for Amundsen Scott research station 166900 (the South Pole literally) when the nearest comparable is McMurdo, 1300 km away on the coast and 2700 meters lower? Your last reply simply asserted I was statistically illiterate. Perhaps. But geography is geography.

        You have provided a delightful footnote now indelibly written into an essay on the many historical temperature data adjustments for the forthcoming book, going final to the publisher this week. You should be glad only a footnote, rather than the more aggregious NOAA, GISS, HadCRU, BOM, NIWA adjustments documented in the main text of that essay, When Data Isn’t.
        Still time to modify it if BEST has a cogent explanation for its algorithmic goof at the South Pole, and for your ad hom reply.
        If you want to go off line, Judith can surely arrange. She reviewed this essay but I asked her not to post it as she has 11 others from the book.

      • Rud, give them a break. 1300 km seems like a long way, but it’s really only 800 miles.

      • Don, thanks. Your conversion made my day.

      • You are welcome, Rud. I suggest you use that in your book and attribute it to Mosher. I am pretty sure I saw that in a comment of his on 166990 :)

      • huh,
        Rud, you are illiterate.
        The expectation is based on latitude and and altitude.
        It will, it must, get certain local areas wrong.

        Under the following conditions.

        A) where distance from coast ( typically captured by longitude in most
        formulations ) strongly influences the climate. Typically this influence
        is a seasonal one.. so you see the effect showing up in particular months.

        B) where the local geography is prone to cold air drainage or katabatic winds. Again the effect is seasonal.. This can be handled but only by
        going to much much higher DEM resolution.. hard to find for the south pole.

        If you want the whole list of conditions read Hengl.
        http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00704-011-0464-2/fulltext.html

        But I will make it simple for you. ( see equation 1 )

        The temperature at any given location can be divided into a deterministic
        component, the climate, and a random component, the weather.

        If you look at the variables that determine the temperature you will see that we only regress out altitude and latitude. To get the global average “correct” that is all you need. Put another way, these two variables will explain over 90% of the variance. Of course there will be, there must be certain local areas where your estimate is high, and other areas where it is low. IF you are interested in only the local detail, then you use a different method. You might choose to run at a higher resolution and tackle the temperature inversion problem ( grids will be sub 1 km ).

        Or if you have areas where the air samples are widely disperse or missing ( arctic or antartica ) then you can pull in satillite data to
        make better estimates.

        Even when you do this, you will still find certain areas to be very challenging:

        Hengl again:

        Combined Global Surface Summary of Day and European Climate Assessment and Dataset daily meteorological data sets (around 9000 stations) were used to build spatio-temporal geostatistical models and predict daily air temperature at ground resolution of 1 km for the global land mass. Predictions in space and time were made for the mean, maximum, and minimum temperatures using spatio-temporal regression-kriging with a time series of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 8 day images, topographic layers (digital elevation model and topographic wetness index), and a geometric temperature trend as covariates. The accuracy of predicting daily temperatures was assessed using leave-one-out cross validation. To account for geographical point clustering of station data and get a more representative cross-validation accuracy, predicted values were aggregated to blocks of land of size 500×500 km. Results show that the average accuracy for predicting mean, maximum, and minimum daily temperatures is root-mean-square error (RMSE) =±2°C for areas densely covered with stations and between ±2°C and ±4°C for areas with lower station density. The lowest prediction accuracy was observed at high altitudes (>1000 m) and in Antarctica with an RMSE around 6°C. The model and predictions were built for the year 2011 only, but the same methodology could be extended for the whole range of the MODIS land surface temperature images (2001 to today), i.e., to produce global archives of daily temperatures (a next-generation http://WorldClim.org repository) and to feed various global environmental models.

      • Rud Istvan | September 8, 2014 at 11:28 pm |
        “So please explain again how BEST got a warming regional expectation
        Good question.”
        Steven Mosher | September 9, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        “The expectation is based on latitude and and altitude.
        It will, it must, get certain local areas wrong.”

        [Wow! translates as Rud is right]

        “Under the following conditions.
        A) where distance from coast strongly influences the climate. Typically this influence is a seasonal one
        B) where the local geography is prone to cold air drainage or katabatic winds. Again the effect is seasonal”.

        Rud
        Steve wrote two comments some time ago stating that it was an inviolable basic law of physics that adjacent areas are more likely to be similar in conditions than ones further away.
        He now back-flips totally by claiming that this is not correct to suit his mates [Cowtan] and saying “It will, it must, get certain local areas wrong.”
        Now it is more than latitude and and altitude.
        but when other conditions interfere [ie need to be accounted for] like currents and mountain/valley air flows it just means you have to note them and explain them and take into account the areas are adjacent but reflect different microclimes but still follow the rules and will still pair up alright.
        Not adjust the temperature of an unknown bit of the Arctic 1000 Km away [he did mention station sparsity] to an area which has no relevance.
        Otherwise know as C and W Rigging.

      • “Steve wrote two comments some time ago stating that it was an inviolable basic law of physics that adjacent areas are more likely to be similar in conditions than ones further away.
        He now back-flips totally by claiming that this is not correct to suit his mates [Cowtan] and saying “It will, it must, get certain local areas wrong.”

        wrong.
        you dont even get it.

        When you have say 8 variables that explain the local climate and you regress out the 2 most important ones, you WILL leave some structure in the residuals. the point is this structure is trendless. so it doesnt effect the global trend, but if you look at local detail you will find patches where its too high or too low. you must.

      • Steven Mosher,

        In response to someone else, you wrote –

        “But I will make it simple for you. ( see equation 1 )

        The temperature at any given location can be divided into a deterministic
        component, the climate, and a random component, the weather.”

        My understanding is that climate is the average of the weather, which you state is a random component in any case.

        By replacing your word climate with the commonly accepted short definition that it is the average of weather, your statement then becomes –

        “The temperature at any given location can be divided into a deterministic component, the average of the weather, and a random component, the weather.” This appears to be nonsensical. The temperature at any given location is what it is. Nothing more, nothing less.

        Making up temperatures where none exist, by supposedly calculating what they would have been if you had actually measured them, seems fairly pointless. Indeed, what is the point? Has any of this supposed science actually benefitted anyone apart from those involved in its promotion?

        You may claim that your calculations show that the world is warming. So what? When? How much? Where? What are the specific consequences? You haven’t a clue, and neither has anyone else!

        So your claim that you make something simple for someone, implies that you are smarter than them, and that they cannot comprehend the complexity that you deal with so adroitly.

        Talk about Dumb and Dumber! Save it for politicians and climate scientists!

        I believe someone stated that you can’t fool all the people indefinitely – but this may have escaped your notice. The alleged climate science lobby certainly believe they can. Maybe their salaries depend on promulgating unsubstantiated assertions, for all I know.

        In the meantime, maybe you could concentrate on making up deep sea temperatures showing that the ocean is making up for the non increase in real temperatures previously used to justify wasting billions of dollars to remedy a non existent problem. Difficult problem solved by calculating non existent temperatures! How hard can it be?

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Mosher is talking about estimating the temperature. Not determining the actual temperature. The latter can’t be done. The former is a best guess kind of deal. Mosher’s BEST guess may not be your cup of tea. Everybody is entitled to a guess.

        You have to remember that the kriging thing is used successfully in mining. They drill a hole and assay the core. If it’s got some good gold content, they know they can mine within a 1300 KM radius of the hole and make good money :)

      • Mosher texted me that I have made an exaggeration. Mosher has reminded me that 1300 km is only 800 miles.

      • Do you use TeX megafont at Best? Just curious.

      • Don Monfort

        “You have to remember that the kriging thing is used successfully in mining. They drill a hole and assay the core. If it’s got some good gold content, they know they can mine within a 1300 KM radius of the hole and make good money :)”

        You have to find the right investor(s).

      • All here on this sub thread , many thanks. I have lightly revised the essay per your comments above thread. BTW Mosher, your twice allegation that I am illerterate is simply refuted by this reply. See, I can write and read. Perhaps you meant only statistically illiterate, in which case you are refuted by the book essay you attacked without having read. Mon ami, never a good strategy to attack blind in the dark.

        Many thanks for the denizen comments above that have helped sharpen the edge of that essay’s commentary. Worked almost as well as asking if Judith would post. She has read and commented on it, but I specifically requested that this one not be considered for a guest post.
        I apologize if the ebook intro does not credit you all for your subsequent contributions . Infeasible except as a general acknowledgement. Please know, there is still a heartfelt personal thanks, albeit late thread. To you also, Mosher, for confirming the footnote.

    • angech, I try not to join in with ppl who are personally abusive toward Joshua (FOMT is another matter, heh heh), but I do think that his comments are most tedious and predictable. He should be given little web buttons that say simply “tribalism!!” and “motivated reasoning!!” and let’s not forget “same ol’ same ol'”

      With such an arsenal he could make all one or two word comments whenever he cannot resist scratching his itch.

  19. “6) WHUT, September 4, 2014 at 2:15 pm. “Bose-Einstein statistics only applies to particles like photons. I can see what you are trying to do — torturing an equation to extract a prefactor. ”
    What an interesting choice of word, torturing.
    or phrase, as in “torturing data”.
    Where have I heard that before?
    And why would a warmist use it?
    WHT, lucky her name is Judith and not — [Suzanne or Mann]

  20. Can I ask an ignorant physics question?

    Is there a difference in the way you need to treat water of you compare 16O and 17O water; given that 17O has a nuclear spin of 5/2?

    • Spectroscopically, certainly.

      • I ment along the lines of Fermions or Bosons; is 16O water comprised of Bosons and 17O water from Fermions?

      • Sorry, yes….

        The (1H)2 (17O) is a fermion.

      • Pekka, can you tell me how physicist define ‘identical’?
        I only ask because we could create a cylinder of supercooled He, and yet the atoms at the top and the bottom of the cylinder are in different positions in the Earths gravity well and moving, due to the Earths rotation, at different velocities.
        I have no problem in there being two chemically identical protonated water clusters, in a ice particle consisting of 1.1 million water molecules.
        What I don’t get is what physicists mean by identical.

      • Two particles are identical in QM, if switching the two makes no difference to the overall state – except that the sign of the wave function gets inverted, if the particles are fermions.

        Two molecules are identical, if they contain the same isotopes and their internal states are equal. Thus orto and para molecules of H2O are not identical as being orto or para is an internal state.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      DocMartyn wonders “[about spin-statistics relations in physical chemistry]”

      An early (and seminal) book upon this topic is Adalbert Farkas’ Orthohydrogen, Parahydrogen and Heavy Hydrogen (1935), which begins with the fundamental observation:

      “The parahydrogen molecules have antiparallel nuclear spins and even rotational quantum numbers, while the orthohydrogen molecules possess parallel nuclear spins and odd rotational quantum numbers.”

      Practical consequences  The slow conversion of liquid-orthohydrogen to liquid-parahydrogen in rocket fuel-tanks releases sufficient energy to largely vaporize the liquid hydrogen fuel … hence scrupulous care is taken to catalytically convert orthohydrogen-to-parahydrogen when fueling liquid-hydrogen rockets.

      Do similar quantum dynamical mechanisms act in regard to (for example) ortho-H20 and para-H20? And similarly in C13-labeled biological molecules. Yes, and these relations play a substantial role in hyperpolarized MRI imaging. However, in liquid water the interconversion of ortho-H20-to-para-H20 occurs on time-scales of seconds (rather than hours or days as in liquid hydrogen), thus these quantum entropic considerations are *not* crucially important in (e.g.) water-based biological metabolics and cloud physics.

      It is a pleasure to answer your questions, DocMartyn!

      \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}

      • I know about both electron and nuclear spin and spin/spin interactions; I have used epr, nmr, ENDOR and even used ESEEM to show that we had a water to hydroxide transition for a Mn(Mg) ion in cyctochrome oxidase using 14N and 15N cyanide.
        What I was trying to understand was how the addition of a neutron, giving rise to a nuclear spin, can change the properties of a molecule w.r.t. Fermions/Bosons and thus Bose-Einstein statistics (of which I am happily ignorent).
        Given that the room temperature concentration of 17OH2 is 19mM, you are always going to have a mixture of Fermions and Bosons until you get down to droplets of around a few thousand molecules where you will have heterogeneous populations.Bose-Einstein statistics

      • Doc,
        Some parts of QM are really surprising and alien to the view of reality we form based on direct observations.

        The influence of one additional neutron in the nucleus is strong in the case of superfluid helium. He-3 is really different from He-4 when the temperature is around 2 K or less. That difference is mainly due to the difference between a boson and a fermion.

        The same effect applies, in principle, to other sets of identical atoms and molecules as well. H2O is different, when the oxygen atom is O-17, not O-16. The difference between ice crystals formed from these two varieties of H2O is, however, almost solely due to the different masses of the isotopes, while the property of being a boson or being a fermion is likely to be too small to observe.

        The difference between fermions and bosons becomes observable when the QM eigenstates of the multiparticle system determined forgetting the fact that the particles are non-identifiable contains to a significant degree a mixture of the states where particles A and B appear in the original order and where their order is switched. For bosons contributions of these two orderings add up, for fermions they must be subtracted from each other. Therefore having two particles in the same state is enhanced for bosons, but forbidden for fermions. Both differ from the case of identifiable particles.

        In quantum mechanics tunneling of the particles through a virtually impossible state is allowed. Thus a tunneling phenomenon, where two H2O molecules switch position in ice lattice is allowed in principle. This possibility leads to the difference between bosonic ice and fermionic ice. The frequency of this kind of tunneling event is, however, so extremely small that the influence on the properties of ice is totally negligible.

        The only situation that I can imagine, where two or more water molecules can coexist under conditions where they can really interchange their places (or states) is the case of dimers in free space (perhaps also trimers, ..). Dimers in free space can rotate and the allowed rotational states are different for bosonic and fermionic H2O dimers.

        Helium is different, because the interaction between two He atoms is so weak that He stays liquid down to temperatures where the quantum nature of the atoms makes a difference. The small mass of He helps also, while being a molecule rather than single atom has an opposite influence for H2O. These are, however, quantitative factors that determine the quantitative outcome, not fundamental.

      • One more Pekka; 7Be decays by electron capture and you can change the decay rate by have strong ligands.
        Would the nuclear spin state differences between 35Cl (3/2) and 36Cl (0) make a difference to the decay of 7Be, in BeCl2?

      • AFOMD,

        I really think you are making up nonsense, but I am sure you will correct me if I am wrong. Firstly, the need to separate the two types of hydrogen when fuelling would appear to be silly, if the only reason is to prevent heat being liberated as one form spontaneously converts to the other.

        Any gas created from the normal vaporisation of the liquid is vented, normally. Obviously, measures are taken to ensure that the quantity of fuel is adequate, by supplying more liquid to replace that which has evaporated.

        Your reference contains the following –

        “At 20.3 K, the conversion releases more heat (532 joules per gram) than is required to vaporize the liquid (453 joules per gram), so that liquefied normal hydrogen evaporates completely on conversion to parahydrogen-even in a perfectly insulated container-a situation Dewar did not foresee. The vaporization loss during the conversion at 20.3 K amounts to about 1 percent of the stored liquid hydrogen per hour, a loss much too high to be tolerated in practical applications.11″

        I see that NASA obviously have access to that most wondrous Warmist artefact, the perfectly insulated container. Even more wondrously, the perfectly insulated container contains an orifice which allows gaseous hydrogen to escape, but not any energy, otherwise it would not continue to be a perfectly insulated container.

        I apologise for suggesting you are making up stuff. As I have heard said ” You couldn’t make this up!”

        But there it is. Time for you to engage the Warmist spin drive – change the subject, provide an irrelevant and misleading analogy, call on the Quakers, the Pope, or maybe even the Mann who knows all, to justify your information free answer to the words you wrongly ascribed to DocMartyn.

        Maybe you assumed his grasp of the English language was abysmal, so that you had to create a question you thought he should have asked. I certainly appreciate the effort you put into thinking for others.

        You may save yourself the effort of thinking for me if you wish. The choice is yours of course, but I have no questions for you. As an Unbeliever, I find many things to Unbelieve. You may believe that the Earth is flat, the Earth is warming, that all humans are created equal, or any number of things that people of your persuasion seem to be attracted to.

        I find contentment requires little effort on my part. I realise you may find my professed contentment repugnant or even sinful, but as you may have already realised, my concern as to your opinions approaches zero.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Doc,

        I cannot tell, how much the 7Be decay rate in BeCl2 differs between pure 35Cl, pure 36Cl, and the mixture. There’s surely some difference. The difference in the mass of the Cl nucleus is very likely the main factor in that, the nuclear spin enters at some level, but for nuclei this heavy the difference must be really minimal. Even the influence of the nuclear spin is probably mainly due to the magnetic moment of 35Cl rather than boson/fermion difference.

      • Conclusion Denialists should give warmists more credit for the astounding math-science-and-technology achievements of warmism!

        Well, I certainly will give you credit for inflation!.

  21. John Carpenter

    I have to say this whole episode has been a pleasure to read and watch unfold. So I have to disagree with Judy that it was a distraction. I understand she and her co-author had to spend time writing a clarification, however, the result has been a better understanding of the reason why B-E statistics could be considered under the right conditions where Maxwell-Boltzman can’t. The readers of this blog have benefitted greatly by this excursion. And as an extra bonus, WHT scored an own goal. LOL!

    • This is not right. Maxwell-Boltzmann used for molecular velocities in the vicinity of a droplet. Apparently it fails in certain regions of a solution – and Bose-Einstein is proposed as an alternative in those regions.

      Bosons and fermions are not relevant at all – so there has been a huge song and dance about it on all sides. All of it misguided. Webbly’s own goal is just more obvious.

      • Maxwell-Boltzmann (is) used…

      • I don’t know about Physicists, but Arrhenius-plots for reaction rates are often performed by physical Chemists.

        I have only ever done one. The results were a beautiful straight line until the temperature approached the freezing point of the solvent (methanol, ~176K). Viscosity changes seem to be the usual explanation.

        The behaviour of liquid water can fairly be said to always be more complex than the rest of the world, and ‘worse than you thought’. I don’t trust a model that assumes an Arrhenius/Eyring rate law in the vicinity of the freezing point of water.

      • I don’t trust a model that assumes an Arrhenius/Eyring rate law in the vicinity of the freezing point of water.

        Even worse than that, AFAIK, water droplets are often supercooled to temps under -40C, often as low as -60C.

  22. Well if nothing else Web stimulated a debate in real time, that for most of us is a first view of, and provided incentive to scramble and look into the subject at hand. It was very instructive for me.

    • I found many papers that discussed applying the state of change (liquid too gas etc) to BE but none in reverse. That is other than the paper I linked showing the presence of BE (for up to one minute) in high temperature.

      • Interesting. One of the potential uses could be mixed phase clouds where an ice to liquid change occurs with decreasing temperature. Just a guess on my part of course, but persistent mixed phase clouds are curiosities.

      • Agree with your comment, although am still struggling to make the math intuitive. Until that happens, I know I don’t really understand it. So admittedly am still a bit unsure. But strongly inclined to trust our hostess, who does.

  23. Kind of funny to hear Joshua carping, when all Mann would have had to do to, for instance, to shut up McIntyre would be to respond point by point in a similar manner.

    Imagine how much time that would have saved him in the long run. Of course, that assumes he could do it.

    • + 1,000,000.
      If ANY of the AGW crowd would point by point any of their data, arguments, assertions, assumptions, etc. But who wants to actually be held accountable? Just believe my model, er, data, would ya?

    • +1
      Mann can invent/misapply statistics at will, as long as it is for the cause.

  24. Arguments like this prove American society has more to fear from academia than Christianity. The science research establishment has an active interest in preventing science from working.

  25. I think that Dr. Curry’s comment that Vitaly Khvorostyanov spent four days responding to this is a good example of why progressives use such diversionary tactics.

    It takes minutes to post some distractive comment, and hours to respond coherently, particularly on such a technical topic.

    It’s normally like Muhammad Ali’s rope-a-dope tactic against George Foreman. You get your opponent to exhaust himself throwing punches at your arms, while expending no effort and never exposing your head. (I am not a denier! I am not paid by big CO2!)

    Except in this case Khvorostyanov appears to have scored a knock out punch to Pee Wee Herman’s jaw with his first swing.

  26. I pity Mr Khvorostyanov and Ms Curry for the time they spent in addressing uninformed nonsense from WHUT. I have seen many a time he says things that are quite wrong (particularly the ones on modeling) and ignites an unnecessary brouhaha. I get the feeling he gets pleasure watching people scramble to answer his nonsensical misdirections. It is sometimes tempting to answer this crackpot. But, I am reminded of what George Bernard Shaw said:
    “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it”.
    Even if he had been right, it is most likely a broken clock being right twice a day than his “expertise” with 20+ papers on 3rd rate publications. An average phys post-doc of his apparent age I have come across has to publish way more and probably in decent publications/conferences. I guess in this case the authors had to respond to avoid the Amazon rating.

    But that said, I would have thought Ms curry would have familiarized herself and internalized the contributions from Mr Khvorostyanov, even if she isn’t the originator of those ideas in the papers. I understand there are joint papers where you are not really the originator or the expert on some ideas within that paper. You let someone else write those sections. I have done the same. But I am surprised she didn’t have enough grasp on these topics to directly address these issues with WHUT. You cant always rely on the co-authors to come and address the comments every time a crank does something nasty on a retail site.

    What a humongous waste of time for everyone involved. I do think this crank enjoys it immensely.

    • Entertaining again.

      Who would have thought that the denizens and Judith would be so happy that a crticial comment (an Amazon book revew – oh, the inhumanity!) is erased. Think of the free-speech implications!!

      Moreover, the response to an errorneous critique. How instructive it has been. Is this the new standard?

      Whatever will Judith do with Rud’s posts?? Delete them?

      • Have you monkeys bothered to consider that webby may have asked that his nasty and inappropriate comment be removed? That would have been the right thing for him to do. Since neither one of you clowns have a clue about the issue, you should, as Mosher recently admonished the other monkey, stfu.

      • Did you read my comment on the main post about keeping the comments relevant? Vitaly tried reading the comments, but found most of them off topic and incomprehensible. I deleted about 20 of the most pointless off topic comments. If you want to bicker, do it on week in review.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Judith Curry complains “Vitaly tried reading the comments, but found most of them off topic and incomprehensible.”

        Observation  In skepticism as in science, what matters is not the weakest science-and-skepticism, but rather the strongest science-and-skepticism.

        Questions  What critiques of your work do you and Vitaly consider to be the strongest? Still more importantly, what topics should future textbooks on cloud thermodynamics, kinetics and micro-physics address? In particular, what new opportunities for young researchers are associated to the recent (incredible! and accelerating!) advances in classical, quantum, and hybrid simulation capacities, both macroscale and microscale?

        The world wonders!

        \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}

  27. “and no any real condensation does not occur, of course”

    This clause has such a jumble of negatives and non-English grammar that it is painfully meaningless.

  28. What a wonderful encapsulation of the climate wars.

    First we have the obsessive overplaying of details (BE! BE I tell you! Nonsense!), in this case over a couple of pages out of 700 and before anyone could possibly have digested the whole book.

    Then the vituperation (Amazon review)

    The densely argued riposte.

    Victory is declared on both sides, although no-one has moved from their original positions.

    The meta-analysis follows (your tribe! you wouldn’t do it to one of your own!)

    Conspiracy ideation based on libertarian economics starts to abound (“The goal will be to allow discrediting any new modelling based on new work in this book, any use of this book as a reference, anything else that could undercut the “settled science” used to support their agenda since Kyoto”. Priceless. Someone should tell Lewandowsky.)

    Plus the hallmark of this blog, incivility and insults (runt! you whiny girl!!)

    And all this over a rather obscure (sorry Judith not meant to be an insult, but we all know this isn’t going into the Amazon top 10) textbook.

    I feel for Vitaly.

    I bet Willard has enjoyed it.

    • ==> “(runt! you whiny girl!!)”

      My favorite part.

    • Not as much as your comment, Very Tall. Please don’t tell Carrick that we’ve criticized one another, he might get the wrong impression.

      Since you mention textbooks, I might as well declare that I’m against textbook teaching, unless the textbook has been written by the teacher and that it comes with the course. This goes for any textbook, including Raypierre’s. If we go that route, we might as well go with underpaid, part-time lecturers all the way down. Oh, wait.

      This point matters more to me than this round of ClimateBall ™.

      • The previous comment was in response to Very Tall’s “I bet Willard has enjoyed it.”

        By “that route”, I was referring to textbook teaching.

        More on that topic:

        This is my third year at San Diego State, and up until now there have only been a handful of concepts that I’ve never understood from my academic courses. I don’t understand conic sections from algebra. I definitely don’t understand Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave” from world history. But the hardest concept to wrap my head around was why a class syllabus would list a “required textbook” that I’ll hardly ever use?

        I want to clarify something first. When I say that I’ll hardly use the textbook, I don’t mean I’m neglecting my student responsibilities and not reading the assigned material. I mean there’s nothing of importance that I can learn from the book that isn’t already covered in lecture. I also mean that the class will only require a few chapters from the textbook.

        http://www.thedailyaztec.com/48369/opinion/avoid-the-scam-of-hardly-required-textbooks/

        An interesting chart:

        Source: http://abovethelaw.com/2014/08/professors-the-cause-of-and-solution-to-the-great-textbook-scam/

        Institutions should realize that we have the Internet and that LaTeX is 30 years old.

      • I’m not sure why I would be surprised there. The issue is over prominent climateball players. It just seems odd to red flag Judith for a minor glitch when you have flagrant and repeated fouls being ignored from Mike of State College.

        I like the comment about textbooks, as long as we generally restrict ourselves to “cutting edge” courses. As you can imagine, classic physics courses like E&M and mechanics/statics are well served by standardized textbooks. When I teach on aspects of my own research, there’s no text book anyway (because of the cross-disciplinary nature of my work).

        But is this a textbook or a monogram though? One writes monograms for other reasons besides their use in classrooms.

      • I’d like to see it as a monogram.

      • We need to be patient, Michael.

      • But is this a textbook or a monogram though?

        Does it have exercise questions?

      • naq,

        Thanks, I needed that.

      • AK:

        Does it have exercise questions?

        Nope.

  29. Vitaly,

    Three points:

    First, you wrote:
    >Higgs boson for gravitation …

    I think you mean “for mass.”

    You also wrote:
    >The Maxwell and Boltzmann statistics are substantially different …

    I understand your explanation, but in English-language publications, what you call “Boltzmann statistics” are often credited to both men as “Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics.” Indeed, I would take that to be the norm, though I have never looked into it carefully. I think the rationale may be that Boltzmann applied to the kinetic energy distribution of a gas gives the Maxwell statistics.

    You also wrote:
    >We hypothesized applicability of B-E statistics to the water vapor molecules because they have integer spin and can be considered as some analog of bosons, for which B-E is applicable. Application of B-E statistics requires that particles have integer spin.

    And

    >“Elementary” particles. One could think that an “elementary particle” is simpler than a water molecule consisting of 3 atoms. Note first that derivation of the B-E or F-D statistics is rather simple (see Landau and Lifshitz, v.5, Statistical physics, or Chapter 3 here) and does not consider internal structure of the particles.

    This and your following discussion is, of course, correct, and WHT was wrong to think that composite particles cannot be bosons.

    However, reading between the lines of what he wrote, I think WHT’s intuition was that water molecules are just too big and clunky to be in the same bosonic state without their internal structures becoming relevant – i.e., the electrons of one molecule interacting with the other. My guess is that that is probably true in the case of water condensation. This question has bothered me in general about B-E condensates for years, and I have never seen a simple, clean way to handle it: I imagine that some of the experts on B-E condensates have worked it out. I think that somehow it has to do with how close in physical space (vs. momentum space) the bosons are. Anyway, I would not be dogmatic about this, since I am just not sure.

    As I indicated in the previous post, I got my Ph.D. in elementary-particle physics.

    By the way, elementary-particle physicists have a lot of trouble trying to get across your point that “elementary” is relative. People want to absolutize the concept.

    As annoying as WHT may have been, I think he was trying to get at some real issues, but did so ineptly.

    Dave Miller in Sacramento

    • Dave, who actually knows the physics: “As annoying as WHT may have been, I think he was trying to get at some real issues, but did so ineptly.”

      Now if webby would apologize for that nasty Amazon review, this could all be wrapped up nicely.

      • Well, yeah. My point was just that, while I found WHT in all this to be as annoying as everyone else found him to be, he was not as bad as a lot of what you see on the Web (maybe some of us on our bad days!). And, I think he may have had a legitimate question but managed to turn himself down a cul de sac.

        Dave

      • I got your point, Dave. It’s a good point. And it comes from a guy who knows his doo-doo and doesn’t seem to be an axe grinder. You have credibility. Like Pekka and few others here (they know who they are). That’s why I quoted you. I hope you stay with us.

  30. I find when attacked that it’s just an opportunity to restate and rephrase your argument.

    Maybe it’s different if your argument isn’t easy to defend.

  31. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Three Lessons Regarding Cloud Thermodynamics,
    Kinetics and Microphysics

    ———–

    Lesson 1:  The Millikan Oil-Drop Lesson

    Are oil-drops bosons? Or fermions? Whatever one’s views in this regard, drops with even/odd numbers of electrons necessarily have alternating quantum statistics. Observation:  Oil-drop experiments observe no such boson/fermion alternation in dynamical behavior. Reason: Oil-drops interact strongly with each other and with surrounding air molecules; this environment is sufficiently noisy as to entirely masks quantum statistical effects.

    Conclusion  Quantum statistical considerations are largely irrelevant to cloud-drop kinetics and microphysics.

    ———–

    Lesson 2:  Ilya Prigogine’s Unhappy Relegation

    Josiah Willard Gibbs’ 19th century physics taught us that entropy relations govern the direction of a reaction (e.g., when do cloud-droplets evaporate? when do they accrete?). Ilya Prigogine led a school of 20th century physics that sought a greater goal: to determine the rate of reactions from entropy considerations. Although Prigogine won a Nobel Prize for this effort, nowadays this thermodynamical program is generally regarded as failed.

    Conclusion  Thermodynamical considerations are only marginally relevant to rate-parameters in cloud-drop kinetics and microphysics.

    ———–

    Lesson 3:  Lessons from the 2014 Field Medalists

    Where should we seek to obtain a mathematical understanding of rate relations in regard to cloud thermodynamics, kinetics and microphysics? This is a very active area of mathematical research, and the Simon’s Foundation’s Quanta Magazine particularly spotlights the work of Artur Avila (dynamical chaos), Martin Hairer (crystal growth), and Maryam Mirzakhani (dynamical cycles).

    Conclusion  Young climate-science researchers are well-advised to broaden their mathematical foundations, with a particular emphasis on atomic-level dynamical simulations, with a practical view to a first-principles computationally predictive understanding of rate coefficients.

    ———–

    Overall Summary  Regrettably there is at present *NO* single textbook that provides a unified presentation of the necessary mathematical elements for quantitatively understanding cloud thermodynamics, kinetics and microphysics … as is *ALWAYS* the case for cutting-edge research!

    Best wishes for enjoyable reading and creative research are extended to all Climate Etc readers!

    \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}

    • Matthew R Marler

      a fan of *MORE* discourse: Thermodynamical considerations are only marginally relevant to rate-parameters in cloud-drop kinetics and microphysics.

      Maybe yes, maybe no. I generally agree that rates are not computable from equilibrium considerations, a problem with understanding climate change based on the equilibrium models. But K&C make a case that they are more than “marginally relevant” to rate-parameters in cloud-drop kinetics. Is there something in K&C that you would specifically like to quote and critique? Perhaps section 8..3.3 and and its figure 8.2 comparing calculations to measurements?

    • Thanks for the link to the discussion of Prigogine’s work. Again and again, I tried to make sense of his stuff. I finally decided that maybe the fact that I couldn’t make sense out of it was Prigogine’s fault, not mine.

      Dave

    • “Fluid Tests Hint at Concrete Quantum Reality

      For nearly a century, “reality” has been a murky concept. The laws of quantum physics seem to suggest that particles spend much of their time in a ghostly state, lacking even basic properties such as a definite location and instead existing everywhere and nowhere at once. Only when a particle is measured does it suddenly materialize, appearing to pick its position as if by a roll of the dice.

      This idea that nature is inherently probabilistic — that particles have no hard properties, only likelihoods, until they are observed — is directly implied by the standard equations of quantum mechanics. But now a set of surprising experiments with fluids has revived old skepticism about that worldview. The bizarre results are fueling interest in an almost forgotten version of quantum mechanics, one that never gave up the idea of a single, concrete reality”

      http://www.simonsfoundation.org/quanta/20140624-fluid-tests-hint-at-concrete-quantum-reality/

      Why bouncing droplets are a pretty good model of quantum mechanics
      http://arxiv.org/abs/1401.4356

      • David Springer

        FWIW I’ve always been a fan of Bohmian Mechanics. The Copenhagen Interpretation is a classic (pun intended) example of groupthink.

      • Doc,

        Natalie Wolchover does a good job of fairly summarizing the history. When I was a student four decades ago, we were told that von Neumann had proven that Bohmian mechanics was impossible: I looked into it for myself, and, like many physicists of my generation, found out that what we had been taught was wrong.

        The important issue with Bohmian mechanics is: “They also claimed that it combines less elegantly with special relativity. ” Bohmian mechanics violates Einsteinian relativity at a maximal level in terms of the “hidden variables.” However, this violation can be proven to be completely undetectable experimentally!

        That bothers most physicists: if the principle of relativity is really maximally violated at the hidden variable level, then why is nature so cleverly arranged that we can never detect the violation experimentally?

        Another problem is that the “pilot wave” exists not in three-dimensional space, but in 3N dimensional space where N is the number of particles present. This does not greatly bother me, but it does make the theory less intuitively appealing.

        By the way, Ed Nelson of Princeton and I myself have both developed alternative realist theories to Bohmian mechanics (mine never published): our theories have the same odd features as Bohmian mechanics, although we had both hoped to avoid the problem with relativity (this is why I never published mine). The detailed mechanics of my and Nelson’s theories are quite different from Bohm’s: it is interesting that there seem to be several realist alternatives to standard QM.

        Personally, I think we are all missing something crucial, but of course I do not know what that is.

        Dave Miller in Sacramento

  32. This initiated a substantial discussion, which took much time of busy people.

    For instance our hostess, who has a post on Murray Salby in preparation that the perps have good incentive to want delayed. Perhaps while they work up more scurrilous and lagomorphous attacks that have nothing to do with the science of his case.

    Mosher is perfectly correct that this type of distracting attack isn’t really Webdummy’s forte. ” Didn’t work very well. “ My guess is that the new book is an important target, with the collateral goal of delaying the post on Salby.

    While we wait for the science, interested readers may, for background, want to peruse Jo Nova’s original discussion of the sabotage by somebody at Macquarie University, and their response. Links to discussions about the NSF report foundational to so many of the “scurrilous and lagomorphous” attacks may be found above. Professor Salby’s response makes good reading, although he mostly confirms what I guessed reading the NSF report. An excellent example of how bureaucratic sabotage can be used to smear somebody without any (AFAIK) actual proof of wrongdoing.

    • Web does much better making a case. By that I mean he does better when he is creating and explaining his own stuff. His persona is better, and he really does seek to understand.

      being an attack dog and a distractor is a different skill.

      hmm one can observe that there are two types ( broadly speaking)
      problem creators and problem solvers. or rather that people tend to excell at one more than the other..

      so, he got a bit off the rails. dont we all on occasion? I dont think
      one needs to create any narrative beyond that.

      I cant count the times a fustration at work ( damn code is running too slow…) will result in me saying something stupid on the internet.

      opps.. shit crashed.. brb

      • hmm one can observe that there are two types ( broadly speaking) problem creators and problem solvers. or rather that people tend to excell at one more than the other..

        I wonder which category you’d put me in? (I know how I’d classify myself.)

        Seriously, I’ve made a long career of solving problems, but experience has taught me that if I write a program (develop a system) to solve the “tip of the iceberg” of the problem the business manager brought me, I could easily end up building ten times the system during acceptance testing, on the fly, without initial planning or budgeting. So I (want to) go looking for more: digging up the rest of the problem before trying to build the solution.

        But I suppose people who don’t see the connection could easily see me as one of the “problem creators”.

        Of course, it also depends on how the “problem” is defined. Digging up problems with “the settled science” and the models it depends on (both computer and mental/semantic) might be seen as “creating problems” to people in a hurry to get on with their proposed solution.

        But if the problem is defined as “a bunch of people wanting to rush through their economic/political agenda on the basis of ‘the settled science’,” then the very act of “digging up problems with ‘the settled science'” represents part of a (hopeful) solution.

  33. “This discussion initiated by WebHub and Paul Pukite took a lot of time and distracted the community from discussion of the things that are really important”

    Pretty much sums up any of Webby’s ‘contributions’ to a discussion.

  34. While Eli generally agrees with A Fan, there is some life left in non-equilibrium thermo. The basic problem is that physics on the nano-scale is time reversible, on the macro scale not. This is called Loschmidt’s paradox. So one asks can violations of the second law occur on the micro scale, and indeed they can and they have been observed. Prigogine lead the way in thinking about these things. Stuart Rice is another name that occurs, but there has been real progress in the field, and there will probably been interesting experimental observations given our new found ability to image the atomic scale. So Eli demurs there.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Eli Rabett: So one asks can violations of the second law occur on the micro scale, and indeed they can and they have been observed. Prigogine lead the way in thinking about these things.

      Thank you for a good comment.

      The truly mysterious thing about the second law, imho, is that it was discovered/formulated on Earth where the continuous influx of energy powers local entropy reduction everywhere you look (e.g. plant photosynthesis, neuronal development.) There is an interesting discussion of the use of entropy as “time’s arrow” in the book “Physics and Chance” by Lawrence Sklar.

      • A better way of putting it is the second law isn’t applicable on micro scales. It only applies to significant populations. It doesn’t get ‘violated’ on micro scales; it’s just outside of it’s domain.

        Needless to say, there’s a problem with drawing a clear line.

    • Similar issues have come up in connection with black holes.

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

      That an apparent violation of the second law can be observed at nanoscale seems totally natural to me. Whether a temperature can really be defined under those conditions is another question. The same is true also for pressure.

      Making the time span longer changes the situation as does increasing the volume considered.

      • Prekka, temperatures can be defined for ensembles of nanoscale particles, but not for individual particles, which is a nice way out of the hole.

      • Eli,

        Do I understand your comment as saying:

        The effect does not occur for ensembles that have a well defined temperature.

        That sounds reasonable to me.

      • Prekka,

        Eli thinks it is stronger than that. It would be pretty hard to imaging an ensemble that does not have a well defined temperature.

      • Looking at the abstracts of the empirical PRL paper (Wang et al) linked in the Nature news article tells about fluctuations observed in individual histories. Making an ensemble out of those appears certain to wipe out the violation of the second law.

        The earlier paper (Evans et al) tells about what one would expect to see in such an experiment.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Eli Rabett observes [rightly] “Physics on the nano-scale is time-reversible, on the macro scale not.”

      A natural mathematical link between (microscopic; time-reversible) quantum dynamics and (macroscopic; time-irreversible) thermodynamics is provided by Onsager’s Reciprocal Relations, which in turn is macroscopically grounded in Onsager’s Regression Hypothesis — that links reversible microscopic fluctuations to irreversible macroscopic relaxation — which in turn is microscopically grounded in the quantum theory of completely positive maps of Lindblad form.

      Very regrettably, at present no single textbook provides an integrated, rigorous-yet-practical exposition these three topics. As a result, students have to put the pieces together for themselves … which is a no bad test of one’s in-depth understanding of these topics!

      Rightly did Vladimir Arnol’d observe:

      Every mathematician knows that it is impossible to understand any elementary course in thermodynamics.

      Conclusion  The Khvorostyanov/Curry textbook shares with hundreds of other textbooks dealing with thermodynamics and kinetic theory, the defect that no mathematician can understand its presentation!

      \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}

      • Matthew R Marler

        a fan of *MORE* discourse: Rightly did Vladimir Arnol’d observe:

        Every mathematician knows that it is impossible to understand any elementary course in thermodynamics.

        Conclusion The Khvorostyanov/Curry textbook shares with hundreds of other textbooks dealing with thermodynamics and kinetic theory, the defect that no mathematician can understand its presentation!

        Is K&S elementary?

        I would be interested to know the context of the Arnol’d quote. I think the part that is hard to understand is the claim that the elementary thermodynamics is about something in the observable world. Someone (Einstein?) said of Boltzmann that when you listened to his lectures he seemed to have a deep understanding of the subject of thermodynamics, but on reading his lectures he seemed not to be able to put it into words.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Matthew R Marler “I would be interested to know the context of the Arnol’d quote”

        Request by Marler, response by FOMD!

        @inproceedings{Arnold:89, Author = {V.
        I. Arnold}, Booktitle = {Proceedings of the Gibbs
        Symposium: Yale University, May 15-17, 1989},
        Editor = {Caldi, D.G. and Mostow, G.D.},
        Organization = {American Mathematical Society and
        American Institute of Physics}, Pages =
        {169--180}, Title = {Contact geometry: the
        geometrical method of {G}ibbs's thermodynamics},
        Year = {1990}}
        

        [from the Introduction] “Every mathematician knows that it is impossible to understand any elementary course in thermodynamics. The reason is that thermodynamics is based—as Gibbs has explicitly proclaimed—upon a rather complicated mathematical theory, on the contact geometry. Contact geometry is one of the few `simple geometries’ of the so-called Cartan’s list, but it is still mostly unknown to the physicist (unlike the Riemannian geometry and the symplectic or Poisson geometries, whose fundamental role in physics is today generally accepted).”

        Not for nothing was Lars Onsager’s course known to graduate students as “Sadistical Mechanics”!

        \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}

      • Thanks Fan. Your post is solid gold.

        Cheers.

  35. Given that water vapor interactions and water vapor surface interactions are dominated by the strong dipole moment of the molecule and that the atmosphere where there is substantial water vapor is not much colder than 230K, why was there any consideration of Bose-Einstein behavior in the book? (oh yeah water comes in ortho and para flavors which makes the whole discussion even less to the point)

    • Eli,
      You have probably not read all the discussion of both threads.

      Everyone (or almost everyone) who has written technical comments on the issue seems to agree that it’s irrelevant that normal H2O is a boson. The question of orto and para molecules is also beside this point in my view, and probably most agree on this as well.

      What’s less obvious is, whether such vibrational excitations have a role, whose statistics is of significance bringing in the B-E statistics common to all vibrational modes. A more remote possibility is that some other relevant phenomenon follows B-E statistics as well.

      I consider all that highly speculative – and also unlikely, but perhaps it is possible.

      • Prekka, yep, Eli has limits.

        But are you talking about the phonon excitation in the solid or liquid aerosol, or vibrational excitations in the molecule? In the later case they are probably too high frequency to be activated at low temperature, in the former case, the system is too disordered (ice is not a perfect crystal in the wild). Plus which you have the nucleation issue, ice crystals, or water droplets do not form alone, you need a cloud condensation nucleus which itself requires some excellent chemistry involving sulfuric acid and amines.

      • Eli,
        I have tried to think about many alternatives for states that might have a role in nucleation. A well formed crystal is not the first thing that I have in mind. A limited number of water molecules might allow for some more exotic alternatives both in very early stages of crystal formation and for reactions that originate in supercooled very small droplets.

        As I already wrote, I don’t consider it likely that B-E statistics would be important in any practically important calculation, but it’s good to have an open mind when new ideas are developed. Those chapters seem to be about speculating on new ideas that need still more than a little refinement.

      • Pekka

        “I consider all that highly speculative – and also unlikely, but perhaps it is possible.”

        I am curious. Why you say “unlikely”, i.e., what is the factors leading you to that particular assessment? Some observations involving other processes? Risk aversion because of the highly speculative nature at this time? Something else?

        (For me it is probably risk aversion–sort of a “these things never pan out, particularly when I have so little experience with it.” But that does not lessen interest in the problem.)

      • Prekka,

        In that case we are talking about water dimers, trimers, etc. These are exceedingly floppy, full of low frequency vibrations and hindered rotations, and so the density of states is huge and BE would never apply, even if it applied to water molecules which is no slam dunk either.

      • Eli, why do you think that water, rather than hydrated protons, form the core?
        You get rather stable protonated water clusters using electrospray, including the magic (O21H43)+

        http://www.psc.edu/science/2005/jordan/

      • For the reasons that the Finns have pretty well shown this in the natural world and with their help this has been the outcome of the Dane’s CERN boondoggle

      • Eli,

        My main message was that the fact that normal H2O is a boson and doesn’t really matter for any practical case.

        I brought up the dimers in open space as that’s a case where two H2O molecules can share the same state. In addition to the high density of states due to the low energy vibrational modes also the density of states of the relevant rotational modes is high. Therefore it’s not particularly important that bosons exist in symmetrical states and fermions in antisymmetrical, but even so it’s at least possible to have states where the boson/fermion difference counts.

      • Pekka:

        I consider all that highly speculative – and also unlikely, but perhaps it is possible.

        If it involves the phonon sector, B-E conceivably could be involved.

        In that case, though, I think the motivation provided by Vitaly would be wrong.

      • In liquid water? You joke. In frozen ice, here is a hint, it is not a perfect single crystal and the surface is a den of disorder with vapor adsorbing and desorbing.

      • Eli, they were discussing ice crystal nucleation.

      • The presence of a boson peak associated with phonons in supercooled water droplets is probably relevant too. You need to read the literachur and get yourself caught up.

      • for some reason posted at top level…

        Carrick, Pekka

        I think that one can feel pretty comfortable that phonons in have been observed in various forms in the temperature regime of interest near the Widom line. There is of course the question of what if any role they may play in ice formation. Furthermore, look at phase diagrams it seems clear that a lot of other physics is going on–adding to uncertainties is to relative importance of different processes to the ice formation problem. For example, one might/should think of phonons being involved with the dissipation of latent heat in phase transitions that are occurring. However, more direct processes may be the major actors–thinking of papers by M.Perl’man and others working on latent heat from the perspective of quantum electrodynamics. I suspect that in some respective these programs are still a little out of the mainstream and considered in in the pipeline, but even at this point it suggests to me that the relevance of quantum aspects to the problem is more a matter of who is saying it and who their audience is. There is a balance in which in thinking about these phenomena one has to hold on to and work with the the present ideas but reach for the future.

        From Vitaly’s and Judith’s perspective I like the characterization, “much ado about nothing.” That seems appropriate at the moment and neither conflicts with nor detracts from what may be coming down the pipeline. (Regardless of vantage point some people are having a good time.)

      • Housekeeping: I was a little sloppy. In higher order transitions the latent heat is zero. (Phonons still arise as a result of change to states with long-range order in transition.) Reference to latent heat above was too restrictive.

    • we get his is Texas too

      • Yes, did you notice how the forming clouds were sucked in as predicted by some random Russians (last year’s blogoversary”)

      • Always have to be nasty, eh Eli?

      • Observant.

        FWIW that year Eli was in the mountains where there were strong updrafts and one could actually see vapor condense in front of his ears. In every case the expansion implicit in the release of latent heat occurred and the suck that the random Russians drove everyone crazy about was not to be seen.

      • Mountains imply orographic uplift and this is not the same as the rainforests under discussion by – were they Russian? Doesn’t seem likely.

        The use of the third person for the first person pronoun is always vaguely disconcerting – a breach of grammatical etiquette. Being a little loose with the facts on top of this doesn’t give confidence.

      • Keep an eye on the pea, Ellison, as Steve M. would admonish.

    • Carrick, Pekka

      I think that one can feel pretty comfortable that phonons in have been observed in various forms in the temperature regime of interest near the Widom line. There is of course the question of what if any role they may play in ice formation. Furthermore, look at phase diagrams it seems clear that a lot of other physics is going on–adding to uncertainties is to relative importance of different processes to the ice formation problem. For example, one might/should think of phonons being involved with the dissipation of latent heat in phase transitions that are occurring. However, more direct processes may be the major actors–thinking of papers by M.Perl’man and others working on latent heat from the perspective of quantum electrodynamics. I suspect that in some respective these programs are still a little out of the mainstream and considered in in the pipeline, but even at this point it suggests to me that the relevance of quantum aspects to the problem is more a matter of who is saying it and who their audience is. There is a balance in which in thinking about these phenomena one has to hold on to and work with the the present ideas but reach for the future.

      From Vitaly’s and Judith’s perspective I like the characterization, “much ado about nothing.” That seems appropriate at the moment and neither conflicts with nor detracts from what may be coming down the pipeline. (Regardless of vantage point some people are having a good time.)

    • Due diligence says one comment. The Kumar pater linked by Carrick looks at the nature of so-called boson peaks. Note that the term ‘boson peak’ is very specific, referring to observed anomalies in the densities of vibrational states in amorphous solids.

      Also I just noticed Perl’man should have been Perel’man.

  36. David L. Hagen

    Vitaly & Judith
    Compliments on showing how to present a thorough scientific review.
    Best wishes on furthering your theory of ice nucleation when faced with such “limited” experimental data.
    That would be a good dissertation for some aspiring researcher seeking to “boldly [research] where no one has gone before” in an experimentally challenging task.

  37. Neutron-Powered High-Side Sideways Racer

    Given that comments on short sections (a total about 3 pages out of about 728 pages) of a book that the commenter has not read makes the commenter look stupid, why do those commenters continue to comment?

    Especially so because the Bose-Einstein distribution is actually used in the book. But none of the commenters can identify the application and where it appears.

  38. David Springer

    But the science is still settled, right?

  39. Unfortunately Web Hub ys a victim of his own imagination. Fir example, he is convinced that there is a conspiracy among ‘oz’ scientists to pervert climate theory. It would be nice if there were because that would liven up the debate a bit. Web hub is entitled to his opinions, but yje best way to deal with them is to ignore them.

    Nucleation in clouds has to be tackled because the micro-climate in clouds is of such importance to climate, but buried in the quarks I would like to see more evidence of increased absorption of IR energy. It seems to me that a molecule can only absorb more energy, either by kinetic energy or lvibration, the latter requires a heavy particle and only the neutron meets the bill. Yes, H2o is a powerful absorber of IR, but the IPCC pins the entire blame on the CO2 molecule.

    • You raise two issues, but you appear to think there is only one.

      The first is the issue of water vapor as a greenhouse gas. The answer is that while water vapor absorbs IR, it’s presence in the atmosphere is controlled by the temperature of the surface (evaporation) and the atmosphere (condensation). Moreover, water vapor is not well mixed and the concentration is strongly dependent on altitude because of the lapse rate. Water vapor is a feedback not a forcing, but it is a greenhouse gas.

      Perhaps an example, if you change the water vapor mixing ratio, nothing happens to the CO2 mixing ratio. OTOH, if you change the CO2 mixing ratio, the water vapor concentration follows as the surface and the atmosphere warm or cool in response

      The second issue is your rather word salad model of how a molecule absorbs energy and converts it into kinetic energy. The answer is that for IR photons, the absorbed energy of the photon is converted into vibrations which are motions of the nuclei of the molecule relative to each other. When this molecule comes within some picometers of another molecule that energy may be transferred by collision through interaction of the dipole or induced dipole moments of the two molecules (they never actually touch) to rotational, or vibrational excitation of the collision partner or kinetic energy of both. Collisions at atmospheric pressure occur on the order of a tenth of a nanosecond. V-T transfer to N2 or O2 takes ~10usec so it is not that efficient but there are lots of collision.

      • David Springer

        “Perhaps an example, if you change the water vapor mixing ratio, nothing happens to the CO2 mixing ratio. OTOH, if you change the CO2 mixing ratio, the water vapor concentration follows as the surface and the atmosphere warm or cool in response”

        Incorrect. Changing the water vapor mixing ratio changes CO2 sources and sinks.

      • Not damn much.

        Argument by assertion. Most of those sinks/sources are biological, capable of being strongly influenced by tiny changes in moisture/precipitation. Sometimes.

        Basically, you don’t know.

      • ‘Water vapor is a feedback not a forcing’

        Thus dies climate science as a science.

      • Thank you, Eli, for your reply. I don’t know the relative contributions of H2o and CO2 to global IR absorption, but there seems to be no such doubt in the IPCC’s consensus.But closing down fossil fuel is easier said than done,
        so it is important that this ambiguity be resolved, Of course clouds vary so much regionally, but satellite images should be able to give a reasonably accurate figure for their total effect. But for those aspiring to better regional forecasts. we need to understand clouds better.

  40. Poor little sensitive dears got distracted, my heart bleeds.

  41. ‘For several decades, ice nucleation was parameterized based on empirical data as functions either of temperature T or saturation ratio Sw, the attempts to combine these dependencies were rare and not successful. The authors of this book derived for the first time the expressions for the critical radius rcr and critical energy DFcr of the ice germs with simultaneous analytical dependencies on the temperature, saturation ratio, external pressure, and finite size of the freezing particle. Using these equations along with nucleation rates from 8.2, 8.3.1 (based on the Boltzmann distribution), this allowed:

    ◾to suggest the first simple analytical (not empirically based) equations for ice nucleation;
    ◾to perform much more precise calculations of ice nucleation at varying T and Sw;
    ◾to derive many previous empirical parameterizations (seemingly unrelated) from CNT and to express their parameters via physical constants and aerosol parameters; after all, these seemingly unrelated parameterizations appeared to be the close relatives of one family;
    ◾to find thermodynamic constraints for the previous empirical parameterizations; some of them appeared to be in conflict with thermodynamics in some domains of their applications;
    ◾to find for the first time the analytical expressions for the critical temperatures and humidities of freezing;
    ◾to find a simple quantitative relation between the solution and pressure effects in nucleation;
    ◾to find a separable analytical representation of the nucleation rates and crystal concentrations by T and Sw;
    ◾to integrate this separable representation by time and to obtain ready parameterizations for the large- scale models (GCMs) as a substep process;
    ◾to find the diffusion and kinetic limits of this parameterization, which allows to study effects of pollution on microphysics and optics of crystalline and mixed-phase clouds… ‘

    There has not been a single comment that addressed the multifactorial aspects of droplet and crystal growth. Much discussion of Bose-Einstein on some fundamentally superficial level but not a clue about the difference between homogenous and heterogeneous nucleation (well done Eli). Much simplistic pontificating on bosons and fermions but not the slightest attempt to understand how energy and velocity distributions might be reflected in nucleation rates. The tenacity to persist in self important fluff and so little attempt to broaden the discussion. .

    All in all – such a rare display of self indulgent claptrap.

  42. This is a most fascinating topic. All these years worrying about the amount of rain that fell, how it flowed through drainage networks, or how this changed with changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation. Not a thought about microphysics.

    I have been reading a little on surfactants – http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140225/ncomms4335/pdf/ncomms4335.pdfhttp://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/2008JAS2720.1

    This is a whole new world – thanks Judy – thanks Vitaly.

    • From the abstract of your second link:

      Whereas the hygroscopic growth regime below 95% RH is insensitive toward the surface tension σ, σ has a large influence on the activation, increasing with decreasing particle size. This implies that a cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) closure, connecting particle hygroscopic growth to activation, has to account for an influence of the examined substance on σ of the particle, especially for smaller particles in the size range from 50 to 100 nm. A simple estimate showed that a lowering of σ by only 10% can cause a change in the activated fraction (i.e., in the cloud droplet number concentration) of at least 10%–20%. Where organic molecules are present in sufficient concentration to reduce σ, surface tension may be an important factor in determining the activation of aerosol particles to cloud droplets.

      Therefore:

      Primary biological aerosol particles in the atmosphere: a review by Viviane R. Després, J. Alex Huffman, Susannah M. Burrows, Corinna Hoose, Aleksandr S. Safatov, Galina Buryak, Janine Fröhlich-Nowoisky, Wolfgang Elbert, Meinrat O. Andreae, Ulrich Pöschl, Ruprecht Jaenicke Tellus B 2012, 64, 15598, DOI: 10.3402/tellusb.v64i0.15598

      Surfactant Behavior in Atmospheric Aerosols by Allison Nicole Schwier Dissertation 2012

      • I’ve been dipping into a book on Biological Soil Crusts. Several interesting thoughts. Some (transcribed) excerpts:

        One of the most significant impacts of anthropogenic activity is land-use change; Kates et al. (1990) estimates that almost 50% of the ice-free terrestrial land surface has been transformed or utilized by humans. The direct impact of humans on disturbance regimes and local biogeochemical cycles will most likely override any direct effects of changes in atmospheric chemistry ([ref.]). Land-use change is widespread in the arid and semiarid regions where most biological soil crusts are found. These regions are home to 35% of the world’s population ([ref.]) and use is rapidly increasing due to increased need for food production in areas formerly regarded as unsuitable for this purpose, water development, and increased population pressures ([ref.]).

        With disturbance, lichens and mosses are replaced by cyanobacteria. recovery of the lichen and moss component can take decades to centuries ([refs.]) This decrease in crust cover and change in species composition will have direct effects on rates of soil erosion […] [my bold]

        Thus producing a substantial, and well-evolved “memory” to the overall eco-climate system. Biological innovations, both anthropogenic and otherwise, combine in potentially highly nonlinear ways with local climate changes to produce extensive changes to aerosol production: both amount and type. And the progress of those changes can cover “decades to centuries” of differences in response to annual weather variations.

        Similarly, loss of crust cover increases soil loss from wind erosion (Chap. 25). Soil particle movement is initiated at lower wind speeds when crusts are disturbed or absent. Lichen-moss crusts on both silt and sandy soils have 2-130 times more resistance to soil erosion than cyanobacteria-dominated crusts on the same soils, and sediment production is increased up to 35 times when well-developed crusts are disturbed ([refs.]) [my bold]

        Thus showing how changes to land use/ecosystems can combine with climate change to produce potentially huge “feedbacks” to climate, based on the ability of different aerosols to produce different responses by cloudy air to any specific temperature/humidity regime.

        Not to mention the ability of such changes in aerosol production to effect changes to the biological carbon pump in large parts of the ocean, sterile except for the effect of windblown nutrients (especially phosphorus and iron).

        The capacity of windblown pollen and other spores from better watered areas to affect the evolution of cloudy air regimes is obvious. Personally, I hadn’t realized how important the role of the micro-scale ecosystem was in controlling aerosol production in arid areas.

      • Yet you defined all nucleation earlier as heterogeneous. What’s with that?

      • Curious George

        I have always wondered how a Mean Time Between Failures for disk drives is established – it is in years or decades for a product 6 months old. Answer: statistics of components. Are we there with biological soil crusts?

      • Are we there with biological soil crusts?

        Probably not. The fact that changes to the constitution of “biological soil crusts” can cause changes to “wind erosion” is hardly the same thing as having parametrized models for changes to aeorsol load as a function of weather, properly validated by research, and suitable for inclusion in GCM’s.

        Pending that availability, we can pretty much know that GCM’s are leaving out a number of potential “feedback” loops, both positive and negative. “Feedback” loops with potentially “decades to centuries” of memory. This, in turn, says something about their ability to simulate real climate on that time-scale.

        Lack of ability, that is.

    • There is a huge literature.

  43. “This discussion initiated by WebHub and Paul Pukite took a lot of time and distracted the community from discussion of the things that are really important”

    Another day. Another example of sceptic hypocrisy.

    Now, if a scientist had made such a statement in regard to sceptics the sceptics would be out screaming blue murder and play the purer-than-pure card, telling us that it’s a “scientist’s job” to respond to criticisms and not to attack those making criticisms, because you know criticizing is part of science and should if anything be recognized and thanked.

    But in this case we see sceptics don’t have a problem with the idea that sceptics can waste scientist’s time.

    This continues an age old pattern of hypocrisy by sceptics. Because sceptics are rarely put in certain situations (they don’t have time to waste for example). This gives them leave to make up rules for others which they know they won’t need to abide to themselves.

    A good recently example would be the wailing about “free speech” and Steyn being sued. As if all these sceptics really believe that calling someone a fraud in public is free speech. I mean hardly anyone in the real world thinks that, what’s the chance that so many such people would just happen to be climate sceptics?

    Of course it’s so easy to take up ridiculous defences like that when you aren’t in that position.

    Lo and behold on the fleeting occasion when sceptics have felt publicly slighted they haven’t hesitated to threaten lawsuits. We even had Watts last week fantasizing that sceptics would initiate lawsuits over cartoons! The all important “Free speech” didn’t even enter his head apparently. I wonder why.

    Now I think if Watts or Curry were called frauds one day in a national newspaper, I think they would consult lawyers. That’s just my opinion of course, but I find it absurd to imagine they wouldn’t. And I would further bet the sceptic community would be highly supportive of such legal action. I certainly doubt ‘free speech’ would be uttered at all.

    Basically all I am saying is I see right through you guys.

    • Markus

      Let me know when you and another write a 700 page long highly technical book and I’ll read a couple of paragraphs online, take them out of context with the rest, exaggerate their importance and then write a rubbish review for all to see on what I have ‘found.’

      With any luck I can also then tie you and your collaborator up in knots for four days into the bargain whilst refusing to directly confront the point by point rebuttal
      tonyb

    • You are making a false dichotomy. It presupposes that the skeptics (Curry) do equally as the alarmists do in complaining about having to deal with dissent. In this case she was simply pointing out the distraction of dealing with an assertion based on an incorrect review of the material that characterized a postulate, that as a possible solution could comprise in part, with the whole of the science presented in the book. Unlike the alarmists whose tactics consist of censorship, ad hominem or distortion, they did in fact allow the discussion and presented a detailed rebuttal under which you were allowed to make your assertion. It’s easy to see right through you guys.

      Curry has been subjected to possibly libelous charactization by the very same serial litagator and choose not to sue. So your innuendo as to a future scenario is based on the opposite of what has so far transpired. You seem to be delusional in your rationalizations.

      • Ordvic thank you for this. I provide a forum here for people to criticize whatever they want (including me). I can’t possibly respond to everything. Specifically with regards to something that I publish in a journal or some other academic press, I will respond to critiques. As VK and I have done so in this instance. That does not necessarily mean that we enjoy all such response exercises and find them good uses of our time.

      • ordvic –

        ==> “In this case she was simply pointing out the distraction of dealing with an assertion based on an incorrect review of the material that characterized a postulate, that as a possible solution could comprise in part, with the whole of the science presented in the book.”

        Why is it a “distraction” to respond to scientific criticism – criticism of a sort that quite a number of people highly educated in the related science have said that they learned from thinking about the criticism and discussing it? Why is it a “distraction” to respond to a criticism that was of a nature sophisticated enough that it took some four days of work to respond?

        At any point, Judith and her co-author could simply have ignored the criticism if they felt it a “distraction.” They chose not to do so. Their choice. If they felt that discussing the issue was a waste of their time, time not well-spent, they could simply have ignored the issue and everyone would have gone about their lives unaffected. The criticism was in a blog comment, for god’s sake, and in an on-line review at Amazon. At most biggest impact would have been, perhaps, slightly fewer sales of a book on a relatively arcane topic.

        The whole notion of “distraction” is hypocritical, because it is a reversal of the typical “skeptical” argument about what “pure science” looks like. It also isn’t logically coherent – as the notion of “distraction” used confuses cause-and-effect, It lacks accountability – as it plays the victim for actions taken that were entirely volitional.

        Perhaps Judith should put away the hankies and put on her big boy pants.

      • Neutron-Powered High-Side Sideways Racer

        Why is it a “distraction” to respond to a criticism that was of a nature sophisticated enough that it took some four days of work to respond?

        In the sprint of the original ‘scientific criticism’ in which commenters commented on material in a book that they had not read, mis-representation continues to abound. It did not take four days of work to respond. Instead, there were four days of elasped wall-clock time. And unlike the commenters, the authors’ ensured that they completely understood the scientific issues before responding.

        For how long must the already many times over corrected mis-representations continue.

      • The alternative, Joshua, is to dismiss all the auditing sciences, as a mere distraction not worth any serious people’s time.

        Tough choice.

      • joshua, “The presumption is that the authors, having been the ones who wrote an authoritative resource, should have understood the scientific issues from the jump. Why should they then take four days of effort to understand the scientific issues, then, unless indeed, the criticism was of value w/r/t questioning the related uncertainties?”

        The “scientific” issue was posted in a blog comment which had a large number of comments. Typically, a “scientific” issue would be mentioned in an email, snail mail or peer reviewed paper of some sort. When the “scientific” issue was made via a “review” of the book on Amazon that would possibly need to be addressed.

        On the blog, Curry did respond and mentioned that a more complete response from her co-author would be coming.

        I am sure it could have been handled better on both sides. Do you think only one side has issues?

      • joshua, the “review” followed a blog comment declaring a fatal issue. It is not like webster had a small issue since his cockroach approach eliminates the possibility of a “small” issue.

      • > For how long must the already many times over corrected mis-representations continue.

        The audit never ends.

        One does not simply put a speculative section in a textbook to teach in Mordor.

      • Josh and Willard,

        Actually I read what I said, that was an abbreviation of the criticism, several times before posting. I could have probably written what you said in response to myself. In my first post on this thread I said I thought Webs criticism was useful for discussion purposes and that I learned from it.

        I do think that your responses are a bit of a straw man argument. These scientists (I call them scientists) released their material in a book that took years of research. Web comes along and attacks the scientific value based upon a reading of a postulate that was never used in their research material. He made a challenge for anyone to find a paper related to any other scientists proposing such a perposterous postulate. I did in fact find such a paper that found the presence of the B-E condensate in high temperatures that lasted over a minute. I posted the link. I also said I found many papers that were applying phase transition to B-E but not the reverse. I have since found a paper that seemed to do the reverse but only had the abstract with the rest behind paywall. As B-E occurs in a phase transition, I would think it obvious to look at similarities of other phase transitions even though the mathmatics in B-E statistics don’t necessarily apply to other higher temperature transitions. This scientist said he looked for papers and found none but chose to reference it as a possible partial means for solution for that problem anyway since there is no current mathematics to do it. I guess one could argue that he shouldn’t think outside the box. Sorry a bit of a sidetrack but it sets up what I’m trying to get across.

        Having worked so hard to produce this material only to have it unfairly characterized, I submit, would be a distraction. You don’t think that Judith feels that way in descrbing the whole affair? I would also submit it is a pretty mild response. She did not call Pukite ‘that a-whole, low down, son of tricky dicky. She simply said it was a distraction. I don’t think you even have to be in her shoes to see it was a genuine feeling she expressed about the whole matter.

        I guess I’ll have to remember not to use the D word in future.

      • > I do think that your responses are a bit of a straw man argument

        Please produce what you call my “argument”, ordvic. Use quotes. Then comment.

        Show me it’s just not another empty editorial to make it about me.

      • ordvic –

        Apparently I’ve been singled out as being not “relevant” if I discuss that issue on this thread (you know, being a whiny girl runt and all). So you’ll have to head over here:

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/09/06/week-in-review-26/#comment-626542

      • Willard,
        I actually agree with you that saying ‘oh this skepticism is beneath me such a distraction’ and the bits about auditing. However, they did take it seriously and made their rebuttal. There’s the strawman. It maybe a bit peevish on Judys part to say it was a distraction but it seems that in her view it was since it was a mischaracterization of their work in her view.

      • I agree, Ordvic. It’s easy to dismiss a criticism as a waste of time. In the context of a blog discussion, it’s even trivial. This is inside baseball all the way down. If you use that excuse, what will you say when others will use it against your own concerns?

        Here’s a more elegant way to solve that rhetorical problem:

        In short, I think Moore, Parent, and Uscinski have done a valuable service by publicizing the interesting and important work of Dan Kahan, and I think they’d do even better if they would avoid oversimplification.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/08/22/no-all-americans-are-not-created-equal-when-it-comes-to-belief-in-conspiracy-theories/

      • Willard and Joshua have a real talent for making mountains out of mole hills.

      • The problem with “points” made by Willard in particular, is that he cherry picks some quotes or articles that make his point. And his point usually has nothing to do with climate science. In order to determine if his point is valid or not, one must search out and read reams of material to ensure Willard’s point isn’t taken out of context, if the study or studies involved are well designed, as well as a myriad of other possible details. I usually just, sometimes at least, read his posts and shrug. I neither believe nor disbelieve most of what Willard posts.

        And I’m not going to spend my precious time searching for and reading material that is only tangentially related to the science.

        In my view; energy and policy are worthwhile subjects, but even then I won’t chase all leads.

      • FYEO, jim2, another good trick is to identify disagreements:

        The big difference here is that Krugman explicitly says there have been changes since the 1980s, i.e., that many influential Republican leaders became associated with conspiracy theories during the Clinton years and stayed that way, with no corresponding conspiratorial shift among influential Democrats. Bernstein doesn’t specify dates but my impression is that he holds the same view.

        In contrast, Parent and Uscinski identify conspiracy theorizing as coming from “out-of-power elites” so they might agree that Republican leaders believed in conspiracies during the Clinton and Obama presidencies but that Democratic leaders similarly believed in conspiracies during the Bush years.

        Nobody is claiming that there is something conspiratorial about conservative elites that is unique and lasting, not if you define “lasting” as lasting back before 1992.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/09/03/belief-in-conspiracy-theories-what-do-the-data-say/

        Then Gelman goes on to explain how P&U’s data does not support their claim.

        ***

        If you persist, I will quote the post-scriptum, jim2. Then I will quote some other sources on that story. As you may suppose, it’s a good idea to play with a full hand. Just in case.

        You get your ad Homs, I get to promote a good story. Ain’t life wonderful?

    • markus said “As if all these sceptics really believe that calling someone a fraud in public is free speech.”

      You have your facts wrong.

      Steyn called Mann’s hockey stick graph “fradulent” – he never called Mann a fraud.

      I think most people would say that there is a big difference from calling a graph fraudulent and calling a person a fraud.

      Some might even say calling a graph, which tacks on actual temperature readings to a smoothed proxy reconstruction, fraudulent is an opinion (and the truth).

      Hopefully, the lawsuit will grind to its conclusion and we will see whether calling a graph fraudulent is defamation or not.

      I happen to believe that what Steyn said in his opinion piece was not defamation.

      Markus – I seems like you are biased.

      I see right through you.

    • markus – the difference is that no FOIA request was necessary to get a response from K-C.

      All this fuss about what skeptics do is kind of beside the point, isn’t it? Merely nitpicking that distracts from the discussion of what’s important … :)

    • Matthew R Marler

      markus: A good recently example would be the wailing about “free speech” and Steyn being sued. As if all these sceptics really believe that calling someone a fraud in public is free speech.

      fwiw, Steyn applied the adjective “fraudulent” to the “hockey stick”, after the IPCC had removed it from their website because is was fraudulent.

      You understood, didn’t you, that WebHubTelescope’s initial claim was false?

    • Probably due to those xray glasses you ordered from the back of your comic book.

  44. It is a well known fact that water vapor are many “gases”, and that there are transitions between the different states.
    http://www1.lsbu.ac.uk/water/vibrat.html
    I have not seen this reflected in the blog world before. All states have different radiational properties. There are vater vapor, undercooled water vapor. water droplets, undercooled water droplets, ice crystals from water droplets, and ice glass directly from vapor, and perhaps some more states. How these states are formed and how stabile they are, must have some effect on the atmosphere energy balance, and on temperature gradient, and on OLR. I think it is good to have this discussion, and that there is some progress to have this book. Even if I cannot follow the calculations and theories.

  45. Scott Basinger

    I really enjoyed the discussion in this post. Most of the comments have been on-topic, civil, technical and devoid of sniping. It’s almost like people remembered to behave as professionals.

  46. Willard, “The alternative, Joshua, is to dismiss all the auditing sciences, as a mere distraction not worth any serious people’s time.

    Tough choice.”
    Why you and Joshua feel the need to intervene on a technical thread that is hopelessly beyond your ability to comprehend is an enigma. Maybe not though, if your real goal is achieved. The only tough choice is the one that should be made by Judith – namely to devise a way to prevent the both of you from derailing thread after thread with your “obtuse motivated reasoning school boy” antics. We see right through your elbow patches, Ole Willy.

    • I have been deleting a number of their posts. I encourage those of you that are interested in a foodfight to head over to the thread at And Then There’s Physics. WHUT is now over there, along with Joshua and Willard. Thankfully Pekka is also over there for adult supervision.

      • Thanks for that.

        Fraudulent graphs versus serial climiate denialist is a great subject w/o all the foodfight from nasty trolls. How you are so patient.
        Scott

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        Judith,
        A commenter over there wrote:
        “Actually I can’t seem to figure out the educations of most of the folks over there. But obviously Judith Curry is in with good good company. (I hope here contract work with oil and gas are going well.)”

        It seems to me that if you in fact have no contract work with oil and gas companies, you should consider a defamation suit against ATTP unless they agree to take down that (and many other) false statements about you routinely made at that blog. The UK does no have the Sullivan (public figure) limitations like teh States. BTW, the level of invective, hostility, and obnoxious disdain at that site makes any skeptical site seem pretty laid back. Talk about shrill!

      • I have one contract with an oil/gas company, and one contract with a regional power company and one contract with a natural gas trading group, and a contract with another weather service provider that has many energy contracts.

        This issue came up on twitter. Someone from UKMO said that the biggest customer for weather information is the energy sector. Which is by far and away true.

        So all this is beyond stupid. All this stupidity in trying to criticize me makes WHUT look like a relative genius.

      • You’re right, Bob: we should let serious people ghostwrite, speculate about pet theories in a textbook, and use the “it does not matter” defense. The Auditor had some nice things to say about the “it does not matter” move. But I will abide by Judy’s implicit request.

        Sometimes, all you got to do is ask.

      • Matthew R Marler

        willard(@nevaudit) You’re right, Bob: we should let serious people ghostwrite, speculate about pet theories in a textbook, and use the “it does not matter” defense.

        1. Who was a ghost writer?

        2. Why the objection to scientific speculation?

        3. Was there a pet theory?

        4. The defense was “It was not used in the rest of the derivations” (not simply “it does not matter”, though in fact it does not matter) against a charge that “it” was being presented as the truth.

        You have not read any of the book or any of the technical comments, have you?

        I think that we have probably beaten this horse to death, but at least you could use accurate language if you want to continue.

      • > 1. Who was a ghost writer?

        Judy:

        Actually, I added that closing paragraph.

        ***

        > 2. Why the objection to scientific speculation?

        While I’d forego textbooks altogether, I’d rather prefer that textbooks are textbooks. If the speculative section (or sections, chapters, etc.) was (were) unnecessary, omission would be at no loss for the reader. A footnote leading to citation where that pet theory is developed might have been preferable.

        ***

        > 3. Was there a pet theory?

        Is that a rhetorical question?

        http://tdn.academia.edu/VitalyKhvorostyanov

        Search for “ice nucleation”.

        ***

        > 4. The defense was “It was not used in the rest of the derivations” (not simply “it does not matter”, though in fact it does not matter) against a charge that “it” was being presented as the truth.

        It might be tough to know exactly what was “the” charge. I thought Web threw just about just anything against the very idea behind that pet theory. Quotes might be nice here.

        Nevertheless, the defense “it does not matter” is implied by “it was not used in the rest of the derivations”. That “it does not matter” seems to be the take-home of many Denizens: search for “relevant” on this page.

        ***

        Interestingly, here’s the first hit:

        Now, it should be clear to all who have been following this on Judith’s blog that the criticisms by WebHub and Paul Pukite are inconsistent and irrelevant to this book.

        This defense is a bit stronger than the “it does not matter” defense, although it implies it. But Vitaly’s claim follows from a “it does not matter” defense, and nothing else:

        Even the Table of Contents of the book shows that the basis of our consideration is the Boltzmann statistics traditionally used in classical nucleation theory (CNT) […] The title of section 8.2.1. is “Application of the Boltzmann Statistics”. The title of section 8.3.1. is “Nucleation rates with the Boltzmann distribution”. […] Possible extensions of CNT with B-E statistics are only briefly outlined in 2 short subsections, 8.2.3 and 8.3.2 (half a page each), where B-E statistics is considered as a possible candidate for generalization at low T (the reason for this is explained below). However, we emphasize that these sections 8.2.3 and 8.3.2 with Bose-Einstein statistics are NOT used in any calculations in the book. […] Bose-Einstein statistics in never used in this book, beyond brief mentions in sections 8.2.3 and 8.3.2!

        Also note that the emphasized sentence seems at odds with what we can find in the textbook itself:

        Another application of the Bose-Einstein distribution for ice nucleation will be considered in chapter 8 and 9.

        That’s, I believe, on p. 55 of the textbook.

        ***

        I have no idea why you ask these rhetorical questions, MattStat. But thank you for asking them. If you have any other question, please feel free to ask. I get the feeling that serious people like you ought to ask more questions to kids like me. Or you can wait for Pekka to return.

        If he could bring more candy, that would be nice. And a pony too. I love ponies.

      • Willard, I do believe you are still enjoying yourself. Tsk Tsk.

      • It’s the ” Quantum of Supersaturation” thread Willard.  It may be YOLT. 

      • Ole Willy, thank you. You are are kind and gentle sole, at least for a elbow-patch wearing schmuck.

      • Thanks, Bob. Dudes abide. Speaking of whom, I just noticed this:

        What to do? Wait for another 50-90 years when the new data on s, latent heat, etc, will become available at low T?

        Regarding AGW, I think MattStat suggested we do exactly that.

        Please don’t tell Vitaly.

      • “I’d rather prefer that textbooks are textbooks”
        What group are you aiming at? School textbooks will deal with known knows, but some areas, say astronomy or physics, will state what isn’t known.
        At university level you have a duty to point out the limits of the knowledge in the field. Humility is also useful, as most university level biochemistry text books of the 00’s are wrong with respect to gene number, gene control mechanism and human evolution; the writers were mistook the ‘consensus’ view for truth.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Willard(@nevaudit): I have no idea why you ask these rhetorical questions, MattStat

        they were not rhetorical questions. Your use of “ghost writer” for someone who clearly stated that she had rewritten a part of what was written by another named author is at best idiosyncratic.

        “the” charge. was the unsupported claim that the B-E statistics had been inappropriately proffered in place of the Boltzmann distribution. That the B-E statistics had been so inappropriately used was refuted by showing that they had not been used in the rest of the book.

        I guess “pet” theory for 2 half page selections in a 730 pp book, selections not used anywhere else, is vague enough to be nonrebuttable. However, K&C is a research monograph that may be used as a text book in advanced courses, and as a reference for active researchers; it is one of the perfect places for informed speculation. You are not going to read the book anyway, independently of the B-E sections, so your opinion on the proper formatting is hardly important.

      • Matthew R Marler

        willard(@nevaudit): I think MattStat suggested we do exactly that.

        For the record, there is another statistician who calls himself “MattStat”, one of the reasons that I dropped that as my alias. Assuming you were referring to me, you are half right about what I have written. I have advocated enhancement of flood control and irrigation works. The recent flooding in Kashmir and Pakistan illustrate the need. I think that Californians will suffer a great deal for building wind farms and solar farms instead.

      • > At university level you have a duty to point out the limits of the knowledge in the field.

        I’d rather call this a handbook. Here’s one:
        http://www.hbcpnetbase.com/

        ***

        > Humility is also useful, as most university level biochemistry text books of the 00’s are wrong with respect to gene number, gene control mechanism and human evolution; the writers were mistook the ‘consensus’ view for truth.

        They are also wrong in computer science, philosophy, and chess opening theory. I would contend, instead of psychologizing that state of affairs, that a textbook is deprecated as soon as it appears, and that the whole publishing model may very well be deprecated. If a teacher relies on a textbook to provide an university level course, students are wasting their money. What’s on a textbook should be online somewhere.

        Here’s something that beast any textbook:

        https://projecteuler.net/

        To learn kung fu, one must do kung fu.

      • Thanks for the comments, willard. Very interesting.

      • > Your use of “ghost writer” for someone who clearly stated that she had rewritten a part of what was written by another named author is at best idiosyncratic.

        Judy’s declaration was post hoc, Matthew. This declaration was done to cover for Vitaly, whom authored the editorial, and thus bears the responsibility of having these words under his name. Joshua’s criticism would still remain valid even if you remove that paragraph altogether, as Vitaly’s ennui is well represented in other paragraphs.

        Considering the innocuousness of these fumbles, I don’t think I should seek a more precise term, as I fear it would introduce unnecessary corrosion to what’s already vituperative. Absurdities should be tasteful.

        Anyway.

        I did not want to push that peanut, but consider Vitaly’s justification: B-E was not required for his derivations. Shouldn’t this apply to everything that follow them. After all, conclusions are not required by the premisses…

        This point matters because Vitaly clearly argued that some conjecture was needed to solve the problem he wants to solve. In that case, perhaps his B-E conjecture is only conjectural, but he feels that *some* conjecture is needed. Does he consider alternatives?

        In any case, it does seem to me that Vitaly needs to choose between saying that his two sections are required reading, or not.

      • Willard
        “If a teacher relies on a textbook to provide an university level course, students are wasting their money”
        It depends; a biochemist needs a working knowledge of immunology and an immunologist needs a working knowledge and biochemistry. Teaching immunologists from a biochemistry textbook and biochemists from a immunology textbook, probably 1/16 of their degree load is quite reasonable.
        An Introduction To Experimental Design And Statistics For Biology Paperback by David Heath is 20 years old and is still a to go for.

      • Agreed, Doc. There’s nothing wrong in using textbooks to, say, pick good textbook examples. I should made clearer that I was referring to the practice of handing students textbooks and then washing one’s hand over the curriculum.

  47. Interesting link–e.g.,

    I’m a meteorologist. What makes you think I can predict the future? ~Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon

  48. Despite our own skirmishes, I salute WHT for deleting the comment. Maybe not be so fast to pull the trigger next time?

    • Did webby say that he deleted the review? I asked him a couple of times and he wouldn’t answer.

      • He got a lot of down votes on his review at Amazon. At least 97% :)

        I think Amazon may have deleted it. Maybe automatically, given the number of thumbs down votes.

    • I don’t know that WHT did delete the comment. That is an assumption on my part. Over that ATTP, he’s still trying to cast the B-E section in a bad light, presumably in a (vain) attempt to salvage some pride.

      • I assumed he deleted it, until I asked him a couple of times and he didn’t reply. Now I assume that I was wrong in assuming he had the decency to do the right thing.

  49. I loved the point by point rebuttal of WHT’s hack job. That had to leave a few marks on his derrière.

    • jim2

      Has WHT been on this specific thread to rebut the rebuttal point by point?

      I looked earlier but the thread has grown and I don’t really want to have to go through it all again to see if he has appeared

      If he hasn’t rebutted it why not if he believes his case is good?

      tonyb

      • I haven’t seen where WHT responded further on this topic, other than on the ATTP blog. And there I haven’t seen him address the various points either.

      • no rebuttal from WHUT, instead WHUT has gone over to ATTP to continue sniping

      • Pardon my ignorance but what is ATTP?

      • And Then There’s Physics???

      • WHUT has gone over to ATTP to continue sniping

        Sort of honest for sniping:

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/sometimes-all-you-can-do-is-laugh/#comment-30988

        Her idea of applying the full Bose-Einstein statistics treatment on water is so unusual an argument that I panicked and incorrectly blurted out that a water molecule doesn’t have integer spin. In retrospect, I should have said that it was irrelevant.

        Wayback

      • I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that novel approaches surprise WHT to the point he panics?

      • After the panic wore off, webby made up the cover story that he was joking about the water molecule spin thingy. Poor thing.

      • But why did he panic? Because a potentially revolutionary new idea might upset his “settled science”?

      • Actually, we have stubbed our toe on a theme among the Hockey-Team-ish climate scientists, as well as their guard dogs.

        They often deride skeptics for not spinning up a “theory” of their own. They call out skeptics for using words like “seems” or “might” and such. It’s as if they truly don’t understand that some don’t believe they possess the final knowledge of climate science. They see the lack of such a theory as a fatal flaw.

        I would contend it is a mark of honesty to admit one simply doesn’t know. Or to allow that some uncertainty associated with a given statement is acceptable.

        Viewed in this light, and given that WHT was shocked to see an idea out of the mainstream of cloud theory, I suppose I now understand why he was so taken aback. He isn’t used to seeing a new idea. I suppose. It would seem.

      • Matthew R Marler

        AK, quoting WebHubTelescope: Her idea of applying the full Bose-Einstein statistics treatment on water is so unusual an argument that I panicked and incorrectly blurted out that a water molecule doesn’t have integer spin. In retrospect, I should have said that it was irrelevant.

        It’s a start, I suppose.

      • Brain farts happen all the time. Its just easier to admit it and move on IMO. I have noticed a tendency for many academics to resist admission of any errors so assume that egotism, particularly for males, continues to be problematic.

  50. At the nucleation stage of cloud formation, quantum mechanics could very well come into play. Quantum effects are seen in metal clusters consisting of 3 to 10’s of thousands of atoms.

    Water molecules also form small clusters the properties of which are shaped by quantum mechanics.

    Cloud formation occurs at the fuzzy boundary between macro and micro physics.

    This means that the non-classical approach taken by K-C is entirely appropriate and there might be other quantum effects that could come into play in nucleation.

    • There is a difference between quantum effects and ensemble statistics. Where quantum effects will play a role is in the kinetics of the situation. The discussion here is about equilibrium thermo.

      Or the difference between saturated vapor pressure and relative humidity.

      • Eli, “There is a difference between quantum effects and ensemble statistics.”

        Isn’t there an attempt to bridge quantum mechanics and thermodynamics?

        “A thermodynamic ensemble is a specific variety of statistical ensemble that, among other properties, is in statistical equilibrium (defined below), and is used to derive the properties of thermodynamic systems from the laws of classical or quantum mechanics.” From wiki
        Statistical Equilibrium

        or is that like last century?

      • and the title of the book is?

        Thermodynamics, Kinetics and Microphysics of Clouds

      • The discussion here is about equilibrium thermo.

        Even with cloud droplets 30(or more)°C below their triple point?

      • Eli Rabett,

        You wrote –

        “There is a difference between quantum effects and ensemble statistics.”

        Indeed. I am pleased you appreciate there is a difference. Is this supposed to compensate for your apparent confusion as to whether the discussion here is about equilibrium thermo (your words), or the difference between saturated vapour pressure and relative humidity?

        Are you a Warmist, by any chance? Your comment appears semi literate, grammatically odd, and largely incomprehensible to me.

        What is it you are trying to say?

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Captn dallas asks: Isn’t there an attempt to bridge quantum mechanics and thermodynamics?

        Yes, but it takes a long time

        More seriously, the statistical mechanics of quantum systems has been studied and understood for a quite a while. Water clusters are an area of much more recent interest (Google Rich Saykally). They are fascinating and floppy but what is going on here is just hand waving.

        The basic point Eli is trying to make is that cluster formation is much more likely to be kinetically controlled than thermodynamically controlled. If you wish another simile cluster formation is the weather and thermodynamics the climate. Also as far as cloud formation goes you need sulfuric acid and some amines

      • Eli, ” Also as far as cloud formation goes you need sulfuric acid and some amines.”

        You need something and based on the kind of weak hint at BE applying, I imagine one of the two has seen something where some version of BE statistics might have some use. Personally, I could think of other options just to fit available data in special cases, but I didn’t take that career path.

    • I march to the beat of my own drummer.

  51. John Smith (it's my real name)

    Dr. JC
    despite the food fight, I learned a few things from this post and comments
    One thing is I’m not going spend much time on ATTP
    Thanks – stay strong
    I really enjoy tuning in

    • John

      ATTP . It used to be called ‘wotts up with that’ so you will see that it tries to counter sceptical claims. It seems rather irrelevant and a poor substitute for science sites such as Real climate.

      Generally Bishop Hill has some interesting items that often lean towards the political. Andrew Monford-the Bishop- sometimes writeS for the GWPF so he can’t be considered that objective but if you don’t visit there at present I think you will find it interesting

      Watts up with that itself is worth frequenting as there are some jewels amongst the sometimes trivial but with around 6 new articles a day you need to be selective.

      Tonyb

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        tonyb
        haven’t gone to GWPF because I understand they have corporate leanings (although one’s associations does not nullify the validity of their argument … didn’t that used to be a liberal notion?)
        the Real Climate reaction to Judith’s “50-50” post came across to me as a hyperbolic ad hominem rant wearing a science costume … but I’ll keep trying

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        well … reread it
        perhaps not hyperbolic … somewhat contorted… a rant disguised, yes
        just a little personal … ad hominem, overstatement on my part

  52. From the article:

    Atmospheric new-particle formation affects climate and is one of the least understood atmospheric aerosol processes. The complexity and variability of the atmosphere has hindered elucidation of the fundamental mechanism of new-particle formation from gaseous precursors. We show, in experiments performed with the CLOUD (Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets) chamber at CERN, that sulfuric acid and oxidized organic vapors at atmospheric concentrations reproduce particle nucleation rates observed in the lower atmosphere. The experiments reveal a nucleation mechanism involving the formation of clusters containing sulfuric acid and oxidized organic molecules from the very first step. Inclusion of this mechanism in a global aerosol model yields a photochemically and biologically driven seasonal cycle of particle concentrations in the continental boundary layer, in good agreement with observations.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/344/6185/717.abstract

  53. Per a comment from a physicist elsewhere:

    For Bose-Einstein or Fermi statistics to apply the particles must be “indistinguishable” in a quantum sense – they must have overlapping wave functions, the de Broglie wavelengths associated with their temperatures must be close to or more than the inter-particle spacing. The oldest example of something like this is what happens with helium when it becomes a superfluid (though it’s more complicated than the ideal single-particle Bose-Einstein statistics case) which is around 2 K. For water, about 5 times as heavy (and with more complicated internal degrees of freedom), anything comparable would have to start happening well under 1 K. And that’s for molecules close together in liquid or solid form – in the atmosphere as a gas the interatomic spacings would be much larger and so the applicable temperature range would be that much smaller again (with a square factor – at 10 times the average spacing of water in ice, the temperature would have to be 100 times less than the 1 K estimate).

    What are the coldest temperatures we’re looking at for nucleation in the atmosphere? -100ºC (173K)? Whatever it is it sure as heck ain’t milliKelvins. I think this gives an idea why sometimes all you can do is laugh.

    • Kevin I believe the post covers the issue of mistaking Bose-Einstein condensate for condensation of water.

      • captaindallas – the post never calculates the temperature at which the B-E statistic would be valid for water. That temperature would be in milliKelvins; a couple hundred degrees lower than the nucleation temperatures of interest.

      • The measure of a statistical construct is the fit to data and not harking to inapplicable applications of particle physics regardless of the name applied. It is not a Bose-Einstein condensate therefore the statistics don’t apply is a weirdness of physicians – and wannabe physicians.

        Here’s a nice intro to the ideas.

        I doubt that many of these wankers actually understand more than that and simply repeat it in as self important a manner as possible.

      • Kevin, “the post never calculates the temperature at which the B-E statistic would be valid for water. ”

        No, it didn’t calculate it or say it WOULD be valid for water. It mentioned that it COULD, “It is known that surface tension decreases with decreasing temperature, the rate of decrease is different in different sources, but it is known that at low temperatures (can be around Tlim of -70 to -100 C), s becomes very low, even for pure water without surfactants, and may become even negative in some extrapolations to the low T, which prevents calculations at these T.”

        Since most water is unlikely to be pure, Tlim could be higher. So they are proposing that B-E MAY be useful in the range where Boltzmann is less accurate. Actually, Rob had an excellent comment on the subject.

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/09/06/week-in-review-26/#comment-626549

        So if B-E can be used to fill the gap, great. If not, they go into a variety of other options using Bolzmann in the actual text book that few so far (including me) have read.

    • Given how thoroughly this issue has been discussed on this and the preceding thread, I sure wish people coming in to comment, would read some of it first. This has been hashed over and decided to not be relevant..

      If you can’t comprehend the discussion, you probably don’t need to be posting as if you did. That just makes you a bit of a poser.

  54. Rud-

    Consider a chapter in your next book about reading carefully before spouting off hypocritically about ad homboread After you get done read Bob’s post again.

    Too funny.

  55. Vitaly’s (c) reply to WHUT (3) has a strong parallel in Economics. The “agent” in Economics can be defined, at its most basic theoretical level, as “that which obeys revealed preference theory.” The commonest examples in applied theory are firms or individuals, but if you stick individuals taken to be agents into an arbitrary game that is a firm, the firm will not necessarily inheret the property of agency (that would only occur for a highly restricted class of firm games). Similarly a “unitary model of the household” treats the collection of individuals in the household as a single agent. But you can also treat the individuals that make up that household as separate agents in a household game, and this (usually) gives you very different behavioral properties of the household (now not an agent).

    In the last two decades we also have seen a flowering of “divided self” models of the individual. Here the individual ceases to be an agent: Individuals are instead the behavioral consequence of a game between multiple agents within the individual. That turns out to be a fruitful explanatory move in some respects.

    It seems to me that Vitaly is saying that the answer to the question “What’s an elementary particle?” is very like the answer to the question “What’s an agent?” and the answer in both cases is “Whatever the applied theorist finds fruitful for explanation.”

    • I contain multitudes.

      The big problem with “the firm as game” is that different firms appear to be different games, unlike different water molecules which (as far as I know) obey the same known laws. If there are underlying uniform laws that explain the diversity of observed firm-level games we are pretty far from understanding them.

      Just started reading a book about Honda by a business journalist (he got unprecedented access–they’re usually very quiet). Despite the usual problems of interpretation, it’s pretty clear that “the game” at Honda works quite differently from how it works at Toyota, despite clear similarities in many of their operational practices. And Cusumano wrote a book years ago showing substantial differences between Toyota and Nissan. So even in the relatively circumscribed world of Japanese auto companies we can see behavior-relevant differences in how they behave and evolve and how their internal “games” play out. Finding generalizations that would also apply to Google and McDonald’s and EADS and Nordstrom will require some retreat to broad, general predictions and/or a minute and massive drill down into the widely varying micro-micro conditions that might allow both specificity and wide applicability.

      • I like behavioral heterogeneity! It makes life more complex for both theorists and empiricists, but it opens doors as well.

      • Since just about everything in management theory and strategy is about heterogeneity across firms, industries, etc., we like it too. But it functions as both an unsatisfactory explanation (firms perform differently because they behave differently!) and a refractory thing to be explained (firms behave differently because…they start differently and there’s path dependence…no wait, symmetry breaking…no wait, there’s weak selection pressure so they just do whatever…no, wait…). So we have a wonderful set of important problems to solve and a discouraging shortage of robust, powerful theory and methods to solve them.

  56. The threading has been totally Pukited.

  57. Curious George

    Thanks to all contributors to this post for making abundantly clear how much we don’t know yet. Long live Polar Bears and Emperor Penguins

  58. Threading broken again..

  59. From the article:

    Abstract
    In the present paper, we formulate a statistical mechanical framework of amphiphilic self-assembly that allows a proper understanding of surfactant self-association processes on the basis of an occupation number formalism. In this model, amphiphilic molecules in solution can occupy different levels of well-defined energies corresponding to aggregates of different aggregation numbers. Due to its definition, the occupation number of a level can only take values which are proportional to the level aggregation number, thus giving rise to a modified version of Bose–Einstein statistics. In this new level-filling scheme an adequate statistical foundation of conventional micellization thermodynamics can be attained, the occupation of the different levels being controlled by the monomer chemical potential (View the MathML source) in the conventional manner. The implications of the new statistics on fluctuations of the number of monomers in the different aggregation levels are analyzed. Particularly, an analogy is seen to exist between the cooperative process of micellization in self-assembling clusters and Bose–Einstein (BE) momentum condensation of molecules in the energetically most favored aggregation level. Finally, micellar growth is also a matter of study in the new formalism.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0927775707004128

  60. From the article:

    Effect of Drop Concentration.-Equilibrium in gaseous systems depends upon the partial pressures or concentration of the various species present. This dependence upon concentration comes in through the dependence, mentioned above, of the entropy of the drop, considered as a gas molecule, upon the concentration. Liquid water may be considered as having the classical number of degrees of freedom per molecule which contribute to its enthalpy and entropy. In the liquid drop, however, considered as a gas molecule, three of these degrees of freedom must be assigned to translation and three to rotation of the drop as a whole, and these contribute more to the entropy than does the average degree of freedom. The contribution of the free surface energy to the free energy per mole of the liquid drop varies inversely as the radius of the drop and becomes negligible in 1 u. The contribution of the entropy of the drop qua gas molecule diminishes as the inverse cube of the radius, and, while this contribution depends upon the concentration, all these terms become negligible at 1 u radius. For practical purposes, therefore, drops of 1 u radius may be considered as a continuous liquid phase with a normal vapor pressure. In addition to the contribution to the absolute entropy, the translational degrees of freedom involve the concentration of the drops through the term -R In Pn, where Pn is the partial pressure of the drops considered as gas molecules. This comes about because of the Bose-Einstein statistics which must be applied.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC534167/pdf/pnas00736-0019.pdf

  61. This is not off topic at all, honest.

    The Discovery of the Compton Effect

    http://www.aps.org/units/fhp/newsletters/fall2013/pais.cfm

  62. Here are the stats from quantum state distributions at 260K.

    Here is the first Bose-Einstein condensate ever seen – other than lasers.

    http://patapsco.nist.gov/imagegallery/retrieve.cfm?imageid=193&dpi=300&fileformat=jpg

    http://patapsco.nist.gov/imagegallery/details.cfm?imageid=193

    Is the confusion of the two a deliberate and unprincipled campaign of confusion and misdirection aimed merely at discrediting Judy? An utter lack of substance – not unusual for webbly – combined with his run of the mill insults and malicious abuse and absurd boasting – is compounded in this case. He then runs off to the blogospheric echo chambers – unlike here dissent is not permitted – of the warmisphere to boast of bearding the dragon in her den, to cast aspersions on her professional achievements and to hint at perfidious sources of income. With a cheer squad of Willard and Joshua. What a surprise.

    All this is a new and utterly repellent low for webbly. He has avoided this post through cowardice – he has nothing of any substance to say and would rather skulk in the background making scurrilous insinuations. Don’t bother coming back webbly – you will never live this down.

  63. Web grasping for points by ranting off-topic ??
    Suuuuurely not.

  64. There are some things you only get to see once

  65. Water Vapor Feedback and the Global Warming Pause
    September 10th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

    We know that water vapor is the main atmospheric gas which reduces the Earth’s ability to radiatively cool in the infrared (IR). And, unlike CO2, water vapor varies tremendously due to a variety of processes.

    […]

    But for many years I have advocated the view that water vapor feedback on the long time scales of climate change might not be positive. Clearly, something is causing the current “pause” in global warming. The three most likely causes of the pause (in my view, not prioritized) are: (1) increasing cloud reflection reducing the solar input, or (2) decreasing water vapor (and maybe cirrus clouds) in the upper troposphere increasing the infrared output, or (3) an increase in ocean mixing sequestering extra heat in the deep ocean. Or, some combination of the three.

    […]

    Basically, the bottom line is that it’s the processes controlling upper tropospheric water vapor which have the biggest impact on the IR cooling rate of the Earth.

    […]

    So you can have large increases in lower tropospheric vapor, but a small decrease in upper tropospheric vapor can completely negate the resulting water vapor feedback.

    […]

    The important thing to understand is this: the largest control of water vapor feedback is the efficiency of precipitation systems, which controls how much water vapor is detrained into the upper troposphere. This process is what controls the humidity of the atmosphere on a clear day…that clear air is being forced to sink by rising air in precipitation systems, and its humidity (and thus its influence on the IR cooling rate of the clear air to space) can also be traced back to microphysical processes in precipitation systems.

    […]

    While climate models can be tuned to produce the average amount of water vapor in the upper troposphere reasonably realistically, we do not understand how precipitation efficiency changes with warming, and so the physics cannot currently be included in climate models for the purpose of predicting climate change.

    […]

    On the subject of this uncertainty, a 20-year old paper by Renno, Emanuel, and Stone (1994) concluded:
    “The cumulus convection schemes currently in use in GCMs (general circulation models) bypass the microphysical processes by making arbitrary moistening assumptions. We suggest that they are inadequate for climate change studies.”

    And just remember that “detrainment”, the process by which cloud droplets are distributed into dry air and evaporate, often takes place at extremely low temperatures, and can involve very high concentrations of surfactants and other pollutants.

  66. At AT’s, Dave asked an interesting question:

    Everyone makes mistakes: why can’t you just say “Ooops!” and own up to the fact that what you said […] was untrue?

    http://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/fraudulent/#comment-31525

    Dave also claims to be “one of the people on Judy’s blog who pointed out that the B-E statistics were probably irrelevant to H2O condensation” (?).

    If Dave could ask his question to Vitaly too, that would have been nice.

    Many thanks!

    • “Dave also claims to be “one of the people on Judy’s blog who pointed out that the B-E statistics were probably irrelevant to H2O condensation” (?).”

      B-E would probably be irrelevant to H2O condensation or nucleation. If it is useful, it would more likely apply to whether H2O condensates or nucleates in a temperature range from 0 to -43 C degrees (possibly lower). Njcleation or condensation would be the squirrels and ratio c/n would be the nuts.

      There are quite a few papers coming out on the impact of super cooled liquid H2O at temperatures between -10 and -40C impacting the relative humidity of the atmosphere above that layer of super cooled water. If you are trying to model the atmosphere, using RHice instead of RHwv improves the performance.

      If someones happens to be interested in the “scientific” aspects, B-E is an interesting suggestion. If someone happens to interested in squirrels, B-
      E could be a big bushy tail.

    • Willard, just is case you get curious, mixed phase clouds have a tendency to be liquid topped, When there is nucleation in the super cooled liquid top, the nucleated particles tend to precipitate out of the bottom of the liquid layer. This effectively dries the atmosphere above the liquid layer, a significant negative feedback the GHGs.

      For your reading list,

      http://www.met.reading.ac.uk/~gc903759/phd/ABarrett_Thesis.pdf

  67. Tomas Milanovic

    Thanks for the post Vitaly.
    A pity that you spent so much time on an issue that was recognised by most as irrelevant anyway.
    I would just like to propose an alternative and shorter comment on the following :

    According to the Correspondence Principle, we always have a right to replace in some equation a more particular expressions with a more general expression that includes the previous expression as a particular case, if the necessary conditions for such generalization are satisfied.
    Of course, application of B-E statistics should be done with caution. There are 3 major requirements here: a) the particles should behave as an ideal gas with weak interactions; b) the particles should have integer spin; c) as the B-E statistics was derived for sufficiently simple, or “elementary” particles, the particles should be “elementary enough”. Consider these conditions in more detail.

    To a).
    Weak intermolecular forces are a necessity. This condition is self evidently satisfied for an ideal gaz.
    However even for real water vapor, the van der Waals forces are very weak compared e.g to the electronic bond forces (about a tenth) so that this condition would be approximately satisfied.

    To b)
    The wave function must be symmetric by exchange of particles. It is immediate to show that this condition is satisfied by bosons while fermions have an antisymmetric function from where Pauli’s exclusion principle follows.
    Of course a water molecule is a boson thus the symmetry condition is satisfied.

    To c)
    There is no condition on “elementarity”.
    However highly composite particles like atoms and molecules need a supplementary verification.
    Indeed if the Hamiltonian of the molecule can be expressed as a sum of Hamiltonians relating to each degree of freedom, then the total energy of the molecule is a sum of energies of every degree of freedom.
    For instance if H = H(transl) + H(vibr) + H(rotation) + H(electronic) then
    E = E(transl) + E(vibr) + E(rotation) + E(electronic).
    Obviously in this case the molecule will behave like a single particle (E,H) and the partition function will be derived like for a single particle.
    This condition means that intramolecular degrees of freedom interact weakly and is satisfied for most molecules like H2O (or CO2 for that matter).
    By the way if this condition was not satisfied, the energy equipartition theorem would be invalid and there would be much more annoying consequences than only the trivial question about B-E distribution.

    As a), b) and c) are satisfied for the H2O molecule, it follows that the energy distribution will follow B-E statistics.
    Of course in classical domain B-E distribution reduces to M-B distribution so that doing the calculation with B-E or M-B will give the same result anyway.
    Yet for low temperatures M-B breaks down and it is legitimate that you suggest that the correct B-E distribution should be used instead.
    Of course whether this gives interesting results or not will only be known when these calculations will be done and the right temperature domain better defined.