Statistician debunks Gore’s climate linkage to the collapse of the Mayan civilisation

http://www.myanmars.net/myanmar-history/mayan-civilization2.jpg

Mayan ruins in Guatemala.

This is an email I recently received from statistician Dr. Richard Mackey who writes:

The following appeared on Gore’s blog of Nov 19, 2008:

Looking Back to Look Forward

Looking Back to Look Forward November 19, 2008 : 3:04 PM

A new study suggests the Mayan civilization might have collapsed due to environmental disasters:

These models suggest that as ecosystems were destroyed by mismanagement or were transformed by global climatic shifts, the depletion of agricultural and wild foods eventually contributed to the failure of the Maya sociopolitical system,’ writes environmental archaeologist Kitty Emery of the Florida Museum of Natural History in the current Human Ecology journal.

As we move towards solving the climate crisis, we need to remember the consequences to civilizations that refused to take environmental concerns seriously.

If you haven’t read already read it, take a look at Jared Diamond’s book, Collapse.”

This is a most curious reference.

It means that Gore is advocating the abandonment of the IPCC doctrine and barracking for the study and understanding of climate dynamics that ignores totally the IPCC/AWG doctrine and focuses on all the other variables, especially how climate dynamics are driven by atmospheric/oceanic oscillations, the natural internal dynamics of the climate system and the role of the Sun in climate dynamics.

Brian Fagan in Floods, Famines and Emperors  El Nino and the fate of civilisations  Basic Books 1999, shows that the Maya collapse, whilst having complex political, sociological, technological and ecological factors, was largely driven by the natural atmospheric/oceanic oscillations of ENSO and NAO.  The book is one of three by Brian Fagan, Prof of Anthropology UC Santa Barbara, that documents how natural climate variations, ultimately driven by solar activity, have given rise to the catastrophic collapse of civilisations.  The book has a chapter on the Mayan civilisation which collapsed around 800 to 900 AD.

Here are some quotes from his book:

“The “Classic Maya collapse” is one of the great controversies of
archaeology, but there is little doubt that droughts, fuelled in part
by El Nino, played an important role.”

“The droughts that afflicted the Maya in the eighth and ninth
centuries resulted from complex, still little understood atmosphere-
ocean interactions, including El Nino events and major decadal shifts
in the North Atlantic Oscillation, as well as two or three decade-long
variations in rainfall over many centuries.”

“Why did the Maya civilisation suddenly come apart?  Everyone who
studies the Classic Maya collapse agrees that it was brought on by a
combination of ecological, political, and sociological factors.”

“When the great droughts of the eighth and ninth centuries came, Maya
civilisation everywhere was under increasing stress.”

“The drought was the final straw.”

“The collapse did not come without turmoil and war.”

Brian Fagan describes how the ruling class (the kings had divine powers, they were also shamans and there was a vast aristocracy and their fellow-travellers that the tightly regulated workers toiled to maintain) encouraged population growth beyond what the land could carry; how the rulers enforced rigid farming practices which were supposed to increase food production and the ruler’s incomes but had the effect of undermining farm productivity and diminishing the quality of the poor soils of the area.  When there were heavy rains the soil was washed away.  In times of drought the soil blew away.

More quotes from Brian Fagan:

“The Maya collapse is a cautionary tale in the dangers of using
technology and people power to expand the carrying capacity of
tropical environments.”

“Atmospheric circulation changes far from the Maya homeland delivered
the coup de grace to rulers no longer able to control their own
destinies because they had exhausted their environmental options in an
endless quest for power and prestige.”

Gore says that we should use our understanding of the Maya collapse help us solve the climate crisis, noting that “we need to remember the consequences to civilizations that refused to take environmental
concerns seriously”.

Given what we know of the Maya collapse, what is Gore really saying?

He is saying that we should take all the IPCC/AWG publications and related papers to the tip and bury them there and put all our efforts into the study and understanding of the reasons for climate dynamics that address every theory except that of IPCC/AWG doctrine.

Specifically, we should understand as well as we can how climate dynamics are driven by atmospheric/oceanic oscillations, the natural internal dynamics of the climate system and the role of the Sun in climate dynamics.

In an overview of his work Brian Fagan concluded:  “The whole course of civilisation … may be seen as a process of trading up on the scale of vulnerability”.  (Fagan (2004, page xv)).

We are now, as a global community, very high up on that scale.

Allow me to quote a little from my Rhodes Fairbridge paper because of its relevance to Brian Fagan’s work and what Gore is really trying to say, but can’t quite find the right words.
(My paper is here: http://www.griffith.edu.au/conference/ics2007/pdf/ICS176.pdf ).

“In his many publications (for example, NORTH (2005)), Douglass North stresses that if the issues with which we are concerned, such as global warming and the global commons, belong in a world of continuous change (that is, a non-ergodic world), then we face a set of problems that become exceedingly complex.  North stresses that our capacity to deal effectively with uncertainty is essential to our succeeding in a
non-ergodic world.  History shows that regional effects of climate change are highly variable and that the pattern of change is highly variable.  An extremely cold (or hot) year can be followed by extremely hot (or cold) year.  Warming and cooling will be beneficial for some regions and catastrophic for others.  Brian Fagan has documented in detail relationships between the large-scale and
generally periodic changes in climate and the rise and fall of civilisations, cultures and societies since the dawn of history.  The thesis to which Rhodes Fairbridge devoted much of his life is that the
sun, through its relationships with the solar system, is largely responsible for these changes and that we are now on the cusp of one of the major changes that feature in the planet’s history.  As
Douglass North showed, the main responsibility of governments in managing the impact of the potentially catastrophic events that arise in a non-ergodic world is to mange society’s response to them so as to
enable the society to adapt as efficiently as possible to them.
Amongst other things, this would mean being better able to anticipate and manage our response to climate change, to minimise suffering and maximise benefits and the efficiency of our adaptation to a climate that is ever-changing – sometimes catastrophically – but generally predictable within bounds of uncertainty that statisticians can estimate.  At the very least, this requires that the scientific community acts on the wise counsel of Rhodes W Fairbridge and presents governments with advice that has regard to the entire field of planetary-lunar-solar dynamics, including gravitational dynamics.

This field has to be understood so that the dynamics of terrestrial climate can be understood.

References:
North, D. C., 2005. Understanding the Process of Economic Change
Princeton University Press.
Fagan, B., 2004.  The Long Summer.  How Climate Changed Civilization.
Basic Books.”

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271 thoughts on “Statistician debunks Gore’s climate linkage to the collapse of the Mayan civilisation

  1. “It means that Gore is advocating the abandonment of the IPCC doctrine and barracking for the study and understanding of climate dynamics that ignores totally the IPCC/AWG doctrine and focuses on all the other variables, especially how climate dynamics are driven by atmospheric/oceanic oscillations, the natural internal dynamics of the climate system and the role of the Sun in climate dynamics.”

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t get this statement. Seems like a GIANT leap to say that Gore is advocating the abandonment of anything, least of all IPCC doctrine.
    The book referenced in the blog is Collapse…here’s an excerpt from a review:
    “While it might seem a stretch to use medieval Greenland and the Maya to convince a skeptic about the seriousness of global warming, it’s exactly this type of cross-referencing that makes Collapse so compelling. –Jennifer Buckendorff ”

    Seems to me that the Gore blog entry is just adding more ammo from a different angle to the rest of the political garbage he spews.

    It’s early, I haven’t had enough coffee…so what did I miss here?

    JimB

  2. Well, I’ll try to help here JimB. The IPCC has concentrated, by mandate, on anthropogenic change to climate, and rather than study regional microclimate changes, which do occur, they’ve fastened on CO2 as the main agent of climate change. It is becoming obvious that they are wrong. The climatic events around the collapse of the Mayan civilization were pretty clearly not anthropogenic, instead were from natural cycles. So any lessons to be learned from the Mayans have to do with regional land use changes. Gore is just a complete fool. He’s the Gorebellied Fool.
    ==================================

  3. JimB,

    I’ve only had one cup of coffee, but I think I get it. The Mayan collapse is being attributed to climate change brought about entirely by natural climate variability. So we need to better understand the causes and dimensions of natural climate variability. This is an area of research that largely began to be ignored after the mid 1990’s, where it took a back seat to research focused on anthropogenic induced climate change.

    Basil

  4. Kim,
    Thanks…I got that.
    The link I don’t get is that somehow Gore is abandoning the IPCC. All the blog post said to me was Gore saying “See what happened to the Mayans when THEY ignored the impact of climate change???”

    I guess what I’m saying is it seems to me the author is making a link that just isn’t there…much the same as Gore does with C02 ;*)

    JimB

  5. I am not convinced that Gore either understands or cares about such events, nor expects the average person on the street to even read about them. Most will just repeat that “Al Gore says….”

    I think he is just raising the drumbeat level of his “The sky is falling” bleat.

  6. I tried to find the paper but coudn’t. IIRC, part of the collapse was assumed anthropogenic. During the large drought periods, they used irrigation. This culture http://www.anthrosource.net/doi/abs/10.1525/aa.2002.104.3.814 was a water monopoly civilization. There was a theory of salt intrusion “900 A.C., at which time the Maya collapse removed the market for its salt”. The theory was that due to extensive monocrop agriculture and irrigating with water that salt had been added, the Mayans worsened their annaul harvest each year. This is an old paper, when biologists were exploring monoculture crops and desert irrigation. I don’t know how well it stood the test of time.

  7. As Douglass North showed, the main responsibility of governments in managing the impact of the potentially catastrophic events that arise in a non-ergodic world is to manage society’s response to them so as to enable the society to adapt as efficiently as possible to them. Amongst other things, this would mean being better able to anticipate and manage our response to climate change, to minimise suffering and maximise benefits and the efficiency of our adaptation to a climate that is ever-changing – sometimes catastrophically – but generally predictable within bounds of uncertainty that statisticians can estimate.

    Nobody could [or should] disagree with the above. Unfortunately, it appears in the context of:

    The thesis to which Rhodes Fairbridge devoted much of his life is that the sun, through its relationships with the solar system, is largely responsible for these changes and that we are now on the cusp of one of the major changes that feature in the planet’s history. […] At the very least, this requires that the scientific community acts on the wise counsel of Rhodes W Fairbridge and presents governments with advice that has regard to the entire field of planetary-lunar-solar dynamics, including gravitational dynamics. This field has to be understood so that the dynamics of terrestrial climate can be understood.

    Linking these two statements is unfortunate because the problems with the second one would tend to diminish the importance of the first one. We have gone over the lack of scientific value of the planetary influence ‘theory’ already and need not repeat the nauseating arguments. This is a sad comment on the state of science literacy among a segment of the public, and carries its own alarmist overtone [“we are now on the cusp …”]., very sad, indeed.

  8. If Mayan land use policies were destructive, then that could be considered anthropogenc. They didn’t change the climate, but they made themselves vulnerable to changes that took place.

    If we embark on a massive cap and trade carbon sequestering effort, we may experience the same end result.

    I wouldn’t call Gore a complete fool. He has a collected whole lot of money. The folks that follow him may be complete fools.

  9. Perhaps Gore has begun to walk away from an argument he is realizing he can’t win. It reminds me of rats and sinking ships.

  10. Jim B

    “It means that Gore is advocating the abandonment ….”

    …is not what Al Gore means, but it is what he says. His reference deals with known climate oscillations and that the government should prepare for them. Today that is: global cooling.

    I suspect that Al doesn’t understand the difference.

    (Moderator: I snipped my own ad hominem attacks on Al.)

    Regards,

    Steamboat Jack

  11. I think that what Gore is doing is drawing a parallel between our climate crisis and the Mayan demise due to their not reacting properly to their changing environment. He seems to be saying that if we do not seriously respond to our climate crisis, which he claims is driven by rising levels of CO2, we will suffer the same fate as that experienced by the Mayan.

    I think he is using this study to reinforce his AGW message; he is not abandoning or changing his position.

  12. kim (07:13:17) :
    So any lessons to be learned from the Mayans have to do with regional land use changes.

    And regional land use changes are clearly not due to planetary alignments, either.

  13. I have to say it again…. cocky arrogance !!!
    did he say anything about the no sun spots? NO!
    algore will be the reason that we collapse.
    breathe deeply exhale and repeat……

  14. Al Gore wrote a very good book in 1992 ‘ Earth in the balance’ in which he gathered together lots of evidence of previous civilisations collapsing through climate change or made numerous references to warmer periods than today. Like the UKS own Dr Iain Stewart he then chose to ignore his own proof that these things happen naturally, by making a leap towards saying that next time we could cause collapse through our excessive use of co2. It was a most curioius thing to do, rather like reading an Agatha Christie ‘whodunit’ that fingered the eventual murderer as someone who hadn’t even been mentioned in the book!

    I respectfully suggest people take a long hard look at the work of Ernst Beck who has demonstrated that co2 levels pre Keeling rose and fell beween around 280 and 400ppm. Having checked out his work myself from a historic perspective, the ice core readings look increasingly dubious and the hypotheses that co2 has never been higher increasingly threadbare.

    TonyB

  15. “Leon Brozyna (08:59:52) :

    I think that what Gore is doing is drawing a parallel between our climate crisis and the Mayan demise due to their not reacting properly to their changing environment. He seems to be saying that if we do not seriously respond to our climate crisis, which he claims is driven by rising levels of CO2, we will suffer the same fate as that experienced by the Mayan.

    I think he is using this study to reinforce his AGW message; he is not abandoning or changing his position”

    This is exactly the point I was attempting to make.

    The author of the article claims that the blog post signifies a radical departure in Gore’s support of the IPCC. Nothing in the blog post says that.

    The blog post amounts to nothing more than Good Ol’ Al saying “And see what happened to THEM when THEY didn’t pay attention to climate??? SEE???”

    JimB

  16. I agree with Leon.
    Gore is saying we have to adapt to climate change by mitigation. He actiually (foolishly) believes we can act pre-emptively. Only by massively cutting CO2 can we avoid the doomsday like the Mayan Empire. What a joke!

    Quite honestly, the Mayan collapse had nothing to do with climate change. It was most likely due to the Mayan’s inability to respond to climate change because of bad economics and political corruption. Their system was weighted down by government, and it no longer could function when faced with a challenge.

  17. Leif (09:01:12)

    Oh, yes, I agree. I should have also said we might be able to learn political lessons from them.

    And then……what about that Mayan Calendar? Kidding.

    JimB. (07:33:10) I think the point is that this latest business about the Mayans is inconsistent with the IPCC idea that CO2=AGW, and he’s not bright enough to realize it. Either that or he does realize it but from past experience thinks the press and people are too stupid to catch him at his fool’s game. He is either a fool, or a cynic.
    ============================================

  18. A well-governed society can adapt easily to any moderate Holocene-type climate change while corrupt, dysfunctional societies collapse…sometimes even by themselves without the help of nature. Look at the USA today! Or the Soviet empire.

  19. It`s interesting to note, too, that Cahokia and the Mississippian culture began declining around 1250 and collapsed completely shortly after 1400-in harmony with the end of the Medieval Warming Period and subsequent Little Ice Age.

    What Gore is unwittingly doing is admitting defeat; the climate change was not caused by human activity but by natural cycles.

  20. There is a big difference with the Modern Civilization and the Maya. However,I am more worried about a collapse within-i.e. short-sighted policies that do not take into account external changes.Like the current low solar cycle la Nina,etc.That Gore may be,shall we say, projecting his feelings here.He may realize that the Jig is up,and not know how he really feels :)

  21. On the one hand there is a whole pigpile out there who have terrible things to say about Beck.

    But OTOH the dang proxies seem to show no increase whatever in CO2 levels during WWII, a period in which every fossil fuel a.) was fanatically acquired, and, b.) went up in smoke, and then some, plus around a hundred cities for good measure.

    So regardless of the validity or non-validity of Beck, I must also cast a jaundiced (soot-caked) eye at the proxies. I also wonder just how “raw” those proxies are. If one can adjust an NOAA asphalt-horror surface station warmer, what can one not do to an innocent Antarctic ice core?

  22. TonyB
    “…evidence of previous civilisations collapsing through climate change…”

    Rubbish!
    Rubbish!
    Rubbish!

    Societies collapse because of corrupt dysfunctional governments. Let’s not make for excuses for incompetent leaders and government.
    “Ohhhh…it’s the climate’s fault!!”
    Screw that!

  23. Societies have been able to thrive during climate change even with the simplest of technology. Societies fail because of mismanagement.

    Now get that in your heads!

  24. Financial collapse has already arrived. Our governments and leaders managde that all by themselves just fine, without the generous help of climate change.

    What Gore needs to do now is to somehow convince the public that the current financial collpse was caused by climate change.

  25. Certainly the Maunder and Dalton Minimums can be considered natural cycles. Due to our huge population growth we are just as vulnerable as the Mayans. If a catastrophe such as another Maunder or Dalton Minimum befalls us we’re going to suffer a huge die off. The northern hemisphere will no longer be the bread basket of the world since the temperatures will plunge and grain and livestock will no longer be able to use the land.

  26. Gore will be linked to the collapse of the American civilization.

    US ready to climb into hot seat on climate change

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081127/sc_afp/unclimatewarmingus_081127030629

    WASHINGTON (AFP) – Nations around the world are hoping the United States is set to come in from the cold and take a leading role in the fight against climate change as President-elect Barack Obama prepares to take office.

    “It’s a very exciting time. It’s a moment we have been waiting for, many of us, for some period of time; we intend to pick up the baton and really run with it,” Democratic Senator John Kerry told reporters, as he prepared to head to international climate change talks in Poland. (Note: Flying in his wife’s Gulfstream 5; 5,176 gallons of JP 4 per fill-up)

    Obama has been “very, very clear that after eight years of obstruction and delay and denial, the US is going to rejoin the world community in tackling this global challenge,” he added.

  27. I just started to look into the CO2 measurement and Ernst Beck’s work.
    Are there other scientist who came to a similar conclusion in his paper he talked about 90,000 indirect measurements and CO2 concentrations following the temperature over the last hundred years.
    When he is correct we maybe see a drop in CO2 concentration soon as well.

  28. “Either that or he does realize it but from past experience thinks the press and people are too stupid to catch him at his fool’s game.”

    It absolutely chokes me to say this, but it could be the first time I’ve agreed with Gorey on anything.

    The media, and most people, are indeed too stupid to catch him at anything.

    As realists, we have to master the 30 second sound bite.

    JimB

  29. It is futile to try to figure out what Algore means at any time. He is the comsumate snake oil salesman, he doesn’t know what is right nor does he care. He depends on the average joe’s ignorance and short attention span to grab the spotlight, say something that sounds like it might be scientific, rake in a few more dollars and high tail it off to his next opportunity to do the same.

  30. ““It’s a very exciting time. It’s a moment we have been waiting for, many of us, for some period of time; we intend to pick up the baton and really run with it,” Democratic Senator John Kerry told reporters, as he prepared to head to international climate change talks in Poland. (Note: Flying in his wife’s Gulfstream 5; 5,176 gallons of JP 4 per fill-up)

    Obama has been “very, very clear that after eight years of obstruction and delay and denial, the US is going to rejoin the world community in tackling this global challenge,” he added.”

    Amazing that Kerry is from a one party state, and hasn’t picked up any baton here in Massachusetts, where there’s been NO “delay and denial” for him to deal with. He and Kennedy have both made sure the Cape Cod wind farm couldn’t go forward though.
    Apparently, according to the residents of Cape Cod, wind energy is NOT enviromentally friendly, as they’ve come up with all sorts of reasons that this is a terrible idea.

    JimB

  31. Pierre

    I suggest you actually learn some history before shouting rubbish!

    Many societies can adapt-look at the Byzantine empire from 386 to 1453. Their climate references show numerous climatic changes which they adapted to through better irrigation or withdrawing from certain areas that were no longer compatible. However some were brought down by it- severe weather helped to cause the collpase of the Western Roman Empire and the demise of the Vikings wasn’t due to poor government-they had nowhere to go when the sea lanes started to close up again.

    We should learn from history not pretend it hasnt happenmed because it suit our political viewpoint.

    If you want to learn some history read this remarkable 1872 book by British Chemist R Smith. Numerous references to co2 readings as high as todays are made. We also know temperatures in the past were as high or higher than today.

    http://www.archive.org/stream/airrainbeginning00smitiala

    Its all historic fact and though the IPCC might try to rewrite it and Michael Mann might say ‘the MWP is an outdated concept’ there are those of us who have bothered to study the past.

    TonyB

  32. The parallel between the Mayan civilization and now is that rigidity of government processes and prescriptions prevented (prevents) appropriate adaptations to unforeseen climate changes.

    In the present, the IPCC’s dogma of CO2 reduction to the exclusion of all else is, and will be, rigidly adhered to at the expense of simple and rather obvious mitigation steps, such as stockpiling food.

    Remember, mitigation is a dirty word in the IPCC scheme of things. Primarily because mitigation means we wait and see what actually happens.

    Otherwise, I wouldn’t read too much into what Al Gore says. Logical and coherent thought processes are not his speciality. You only have to watch An Inconvenient Truth to see that.

  33. I wonder what the Weather in Poland’s going to be like? Hope the De-icers work well on a G-V…
    I think they are a ‘Hot’ wing if not mistaken…

  34. I should have made my point clearer.

    The parallel with the Mayan civilization is the rigidity of the IPCC dogma and its CO2 reduction precription will be the direct cause of a civilization-wide climate crisis, should one occur.

    All it would take is one large volcanic eruption causing a Year Without A Summer and planet wide famine.

  35. The point of all of this ought to be to teach us some humility first over all else. We think of the Mayans as primitive, but in their time they were as advanced a society as there was to be found considering that Europe, from which most of us are sprung, was enduring the so-called Dark Ages. That is not to say I agree with Gore’s brand of humility. Quite the opposite. I agree with Jim when he said: “All the blog post said to me was Gore saying “See what happened to the Mayans when THEY ignored the impact of climate change???” I find myself in close agreement. People will not take out of that book or his blog that he is abandoning IPCC warmist ideology, but rather it is just more of the same alarmism using history as a backdrop for a simplistic argument: the end of modern society because greedy humans ignored the principles of nature and caused their own destruction, just like the Mayas did Gore would say. Somehow I doubt they were putting a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere such as we today are alleged to be doing. Furthermore I see some deeper things in this line of thinking.

    Gore and the IPCC advocate State control over the economies of the world to chisel their ideology onto the face of human civilization – to remake it into the image that they see fit. Yet this was exactly the downfall of the Mayas. We may have a more ‘scientific’ world-view than they did, that is certain, but for all that we still do not understand the complexities and subtleties of our own planet. That is the humility to which I first refer, and the one which Gore and the IPCC, in their rush to reform the world according to their own ideology, chose to ignore or to wear falsely. In their pride, they purport to be our saviors whilest ignoring anyone who would gainsay them and their so-called evidence.

    This “Mayan argument” is just more of the same: give in and let us take over and guide you on the path of ecological salvation. Well, like the others here, I am not buying into that. I would rather die free than live as a slave, even a well treated slave, any day of the week. Give me liberty, or give me death! The spirit of the American Constitution is that government is a necessary evil to restrain the evils of man, to try to liberate and encourage the good things in men that lead to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” That is not something that Gore or the IPCC hold at the center of their ideology, and thus is perhaps among the best reasons for rejecting it.

  36. Leif Svalgaard (07:52:54) :
    We have gone over the lack of scientific value of the planetary influence ‘theory’ already and need not repeat the nauseating arguments.

    Time is the best argument since nothing can be proved or disproved at this point. I’m hopeful that one day there will be a good model for the sun.

    Here’s some links that show the “wobble” talked about previously:

    http://tycho.bgsu.edu/~laird/cp_images/wobble.html

    http://history.nasa.gov/SP-419/s2.3.htm

    http://astro.unl.edu/naap/esp/centerofmass.html

    It’s obvious the Sun experiences velocity and acceleration changes. It’s not obvious as to effect – but no sunspot recovery yet…

  37. It is quite obvious why the Mayan civilization died out!

    As a scholar of Scottish history I am an expert.
    We had history, real history, long before the Mayans.
    We beat up the Romans!!

    The Maya sociopolitical system decreed green taxation, which began the move towards total deforestation allowing more “green” corn to be grown.
    Yellow corn caused flatulence and was deemed environmentally unacceptable. The Mayan traders speculated in the corn market and ended up with toxic corn. The Mayans were then forced to reduce their Corn footprint. Town cries read out doom and gloom narratives every night to ensure that everyone felt equally guilty. Maybe not everyone the green corn eaters could sit back and smile, knowing that their belief was right.

    With further taxation the Mayan corn market was doomed to fail causing the Mayan sociopolitical systems to step in and save the Corn Banks. Mayan environmentalist were overjoyed and longing for the day when yellow corn production would be finally over.

    The green market -GM- thrived, using corn offset. Yet production was low and deforestation continued. Yellow corn production was given over to green corn, yet yields fell and a famine was forecast.

    This forced the populous to pay the High Priest extra so that they could increase their individual corn footprint.

    The High Mayan priests blamed the populous.
    “It is all your fault, you need to reduce your corn foot print!”

    The greens vandalised yellow corn production with the blessing of the High Priest Nasagoddard the second. “These yellow corn eaters are criminals, they are committing crimes against Mayans”. Well yellow corn production ceased and the Mayans die out.

    So what about the High Priest and his sociopolitical advisers,? Well they did very well. Most had 5 houses with private luxury jetties while offsetting their yellow corn allowance. Eventually they changed course and blamed everyone, well not exactly everyone.

    But by then it was too late.

    I hope that you didn’t think that I made all this up??

    Happy St Andrews Day.

  38. I think the key response to climate change is adaptation.
    To try and pick the cause e.g co2 +AGW is the most expensive ridiculous fraud ever thrown at the taxpayer. It most probably is a combination of solar, ocean oscillations, enso plus more or less volcanic activity, but to try and single out athropogenic GHG’s is just gross stupidity when there is so little evidence to reinforce the argument.
    If we are suffering from drought, fire or flood we must adapt and carefully spend our scarce funds on an obvious problem not this nonsensical, delusional rubbish of trying to change the climate.
    Spencer’s team can’t find positive feedback to co2 or a hot spot over the tropics using the best technology available so where is the proof?

  39. Satanic Gas
    Ray Evans

    Carbon is the sixth element in the periodic table. It is unique among the elements in the vast number and variety of compounds it can form. With hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and other elements, it forms a very large number of compounds. There are close to ten million known carbon compounds, many thousands of which are vital to organic and life processes. Carbon is essential for life.

    As we now see in the Commonwealth government’s Green Paper, Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, and newspaper sub-headings (“Carbon’s a diabolical foe”—Australian Financial Review) carbon is now being demonised by the media and by ministers of the Crown.

    How did we get to a situation where fantasy has triumphed over reality?

    http://www.quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2008/9/satanic-gas

  40. Leif Svalgaard (10:19:28) :

    This is slightly OT but much of this thread seems to be so. I’m trying to understand the atmospheric greenhouse effect (AGE). I don’t know the physics well enough to follow a detailed physical explanation, but can usually follow the logic pretty well. I know that CO2 absorbs reflected radiation, but I don’t understand why it would re-radiate that energy rather than conduct the energy to other cooler gases.

    There is a method to my maddness. I should think that if the process were well enough understood, then it should be possible to calculate the point at which CO2 saturation would occur?

    Thanks

  41. Once again, we all know what it is…

    What we (at least I), seem incapable of is convincing others what it is, and what it’s doing.

    And I’m still surprised at the inference that Dr. Richard Mackey makes based on the blog.

    Oh well. Time to paunder the…oh wait… ;)

    JimB

  42. Alphajuno (13:23:40) :
    Time is the best argument since nothing can be proved or disproved at this point. I’m hopeful that one day there will be a good model for the sun.
    The physics involved has been known for more than 300 years, so time will clearly not sway you from your error.

    It’s obvious the Sun experiences velocity and acceleration changes.
    The Sun is in free fall and feels no forces. The Earth goes around the Sun and is being accelerated all the time, yet there is no effect from this. The space station and astronauts are in free fall and therefore feel to forces. A man in a falling elevator accelerates towards his doom, yet feels no force [until he hits the floor]. Etc, etc, etc. There is no need to find a mechanism to create effects when no forces are felt [except the minuscule tidal forces].

  43. Gilbert (14:23:12) :
    I’m trying to understand the atmospheric greenhouse effect (AGE). I don’t know the physics well enough to follow a detailed physical explanation, but can usually follow the logic pretty well. I know that CO2 absorbs reflected radiation,

    AGE is well understood. It has only a little to do with CO2. Most of AGE is due to water vapor. The mechanism is quite simple: The Earth’s surface radiates heat it got from the Sun back into space, some of that is absorbed by a greenhouse gas, e.g. H20, which re-radiates that right away in a random direction, half upwards into space where it is lost, but the other half downwards back to the Earth where it heats the surface again.

  44. Just the idea that Al Gore almost made it to President of the United States!
    Here is another former candidate: “America is back as a leader on the issue of climate change and will press ahead with policy changes that address environmental and economic challenges that are now interlinked, according to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)

    http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=39958

    Kerry remains a fool, according to Heliogenic Cimate Change.

    http://heliogenic.blogspot.com/2008/11/kerry-remains-fool.html

    Considering that the new President elect, an even bigger fool, is cut out from of the same wood as Gore and Kerry makes one wonder about the future of us all.

    Is there an epidemic of foolishness going on?

    Could it be that these guys have different plans for us?

    http://green-agenda.com

  45. One of the main food sources for the Mayan empire was a nut called the Ramon nut. It has about 19% protein and more importantly it has all the essential amino acids unlike corn or beans. You can live on it.
    It grows on a major rainforest tree that can produce food for over 100 years. It’s destruction by wind or drought would put a major dent in the food supply of the cities.
    Most of the Ramon nut trees produce fruit once a year but the trees around Tikal they produce fruit twice a year. It would seem the Mayans were breeding this food source to flower twice a year.

    Cities without food quickly depopulate. City folks would have a hard time finding food so they would steal it from those who could, creating strife and open warfare.

  46. No doubt some ancient cultures suffered collapses through climate change or ecological collapse. What the modern world has, and the ancients lacked, is shipping. Food and water can be moved cheaply from A to B. Nuclear power plants can drive desalination plants. We cannot control climate or weather. We can easily adapt to this adversity, when it occurs.

  47. Leif Svalgaard (15:17:07) :

    I don’t think you’re disputing that the sun speeds up and slows down due to planetary influence. What’s preventing the gas and liquid in the sun from accelerating at different rates? I think we’re only envisioning different frames of reference. I agree with you if the frame of reference is the sun. I disagree if the frame of reference is the barycenter. I think the sun has to orbit the barycenter, right?

    Tidal forces are a different discussion.

  48. Alphajuno (19:55:28) :
    I don’t think you’re disputing that the sun speeds up and slows down due to planetary influence. What’s preventing the gas and liquid in the sun from accelerating at different rates?

    If you are in car that changes speed and direction, your head and your feet feel the changes the same way: your head does not go one way and your feet another way [at least mine don’t]. This is under the assumption that they feel any forces at all. You don’t seem to grasp that in free fall they don’t feel any forces. So, going along with your pseudo-science [which is actually silly to do] one could ask: what causing then the gas [there is no liquids] in the Sun to accelerate at different rates? Gravity works on a body as if all the mass was concentrated at a single point, the center of gravity. Or do you deny that as well? Good ole Wikipedia reminds you that: “The center of mass of a system of particles is a specific point at which, for many purposes, the system’s mass behaves as if it were concentrated. […] In the context of an entirely uniform gravitational field, the center of mass is often called the center of gravity — the point where gravity can be said to act”. Tidal forces [which we agree to omit] results from the gravitational field not being uniform across a body. Omit tidal forces is tantamount to accepting a uniform field.

  49. The policies as espoused by Al Gore if taken to their conclusion would be to the world what Soviet Farm Collectivization was to the Ukranians.

  50. Powerful editorial opinion from the mainstream print media from Australia’s only daily (from the Murdoch stable):

    Science must always be contested – even climate change

    “IF climate change is real — and “if” is the operative word — every aspect of the phenomenon needs to be picked over and analysed with the utmost rigour. It is too important for anything less. But in parts of the community, rigour and climate change have become mutually exclusive terms.
    “Distressingly large numbers of people have elevated climate change to something verging on a fundamentalist religion. True believers draw comfort from endlessly repeating the dogma to each other. Those who demand proof are shunned as heretics.
    “This approach might be fashionable, but it is dangerous. It is a reversion to a pre-enlightenment mindset that rejects the essence of the scientific method. And without the mental toughness of science, any public policy on climate change will have all the effectiveness of burnt offerings.”

    Unthinking dogma
    The Australian – 29 November, 2008

  51. Peter,

    Yes, we do have shipping, and so we are indeed better able to adapt. But that does not make us invincible either. Much like we saw this past summer, when there was plenty of food, is that one can be priced right out of it. When you have numerous other factors like the cost of gasoline, or the cost of electricity, that forces the asking price up, demand will drop. We also have the credit markets to consider too. This is a tad hyperbolic, but there are about a thousand ways we could all die, which we could do precious little about, and it is a wonder we are not all dead already.

    Doubt me? Consider this. There is a super-volcano in Yellowstone Park in the northeast corner of Wyoming. According to the best scientific information available, it is overdue for an eruption. That could be alarmist propaganda (not AGW alarmist, but just in general), but then it might not be. I cannot see a reason why anyone would want to say it were it not true. However, all that aside – whenever it does explode and if we are all around for it – it will take out most of the food production in the Mid-West, and what it will release into the atmosphere in terms of gases and dust (leading to global darkness) I do not like to think. At that point, all the Big Brown trucks in the world are not going to help anyone. Minor crises we can handle. We can entrap ourselves in crises too such as with the food panic of this past summer. But also, when Nature decides it is our turn, there will be nowhere to run.

    Like I said, it is amazing we are not all already dead.

  52. Tony,
    You wrote:
    1. “Many societies can adapt-look at the Byzantine empire from 386 to 1453.”
    Really! That’s exactly what I was saying too. Climate does not bring down societies. Mismanagement does. Good management allows you to adapt to adversity.

    2. “…severe weather helped to cause the collpase of the Western Roman Empire and…”
    You use the word “helped”, but the root cause of the fall of the Roman Empire was in the end MISMANAGEMENT, a failure to adapt. Using your logic, you are saying the Roman Empire was being run just fine until they had a spell of bad weather. This is utter nonsense. It’s like saying my roofless house was just fine – until it started to rain!

  53. Concerning Greenland:
    “The demise of the Vikings wasn’t due to poor government-they had nowhere to go when the sea lanes started to close up again.”
    Also nonsense. It was a bad management decision to set up camp at the edge of a glacier…like the so many fools today who decide to built big homes on beachfronts in the Southeast.

    You can’t blame moderate climate change like that we’ve seen during the Holocene for destroying societies. The fall of societies was precipitated by mismanagenent and corruption – failure to adapt.

    Unfortunately, many political leaders today are blaming climate change for hardships, when in fact the blame lies squarely on their utter incompetence. Now you know why “climate change” is such a popular topic with these political buffooons – it provides excellent cover for their failings.
    Yup! Just blame everything on climate change!
    Anyway, thanks for your impressive history lesson. I am awed by your knowledge.

  54. The key with Gore is his assertion that we are not adapting. “We have to act now!”
    But for Gore adapting means mitigation. The guy actually thinks we can stop climate change. Thus I think he’s nuts.
    In fact, what Gore proposes to rescue the world, would actually lead to its demise.

  55. And what he proposes is being energetically pursued by the numerous idiot world leaders. How sad.

  56. “The Earth’s surface radiates heat it got from the Sun back into space, some of that is absorbed by a greenhouse gas, e.g. H20, which re-radiates that right away in a random direction, half upwards into space where it is lost, but the other half downwards back to the Earth where it heats the surface again.”

    Sorry for asking a possibly dumb question – but I’m fairly good at it, for I’m just a luthier AND an ex-green party tool & activist… ;)

    Now, I do understand that the CO2 molecules “react” with certain wavelengths of light and that results in (not very much) heat – but what puzzles me is that how can these tiny, fairly rare molecules – and while most of them are quite high up in the air – further heat the surface of the planet – for isn’t heat supposed to go up rather than down?

  57. I think that what Gore is doing is drawing a parallel between our climate crisis and the Mayan demise due to their not reacting properly to their changing environment. He seems to be saying that if we do not seriously respond to our climate crisis, which he claims is driven by rising levels of CO2, we will suffer the same fate as that experienced by the Mayan.

    The problem is that Gore can’t even demonstrate that a crisis is actually occurring, so he has to manufacture one.

  58. Bobby Lane (02:18:14) :

    … Consider this. There is a super-volcano in Yellowstone Park in the northeast corner of Wyoming. According to the best scientific information available, it is overdue for an eruption. That could be alarmist propaganda (not AGW alarmist, but just in general), but then it might not be.

    Do you have a link or name behind that “best scientific information available?” The USGS spends lot of time studying Yellowstone’s many hazards and what appears to me to be very good scientific information in Preliminary Assessment of Volcanic and Hydrothermal Hazards in Yellowstone National Park and Vicinity says this on page 28:

    Although the probability of a large caldera-forming eruption at Yellowstone is exceedingly small, it is exceedingly difficullt [sic – I can find typos in anything!] to make a defensible quantitative estimate of that probability. As there have been three such eruptions in about the past 2,100,000 years, there are only two intereruptive periods from which to gauge any additional possible interval between the third and a potential fourth such event. The first interval, between the Huckleberry Ridge (2.059±0.004 Ma) and Mesa Falls (1.285±0.004 Ma) caldera-forming events, was 774,000±5700 years. The second interval, between the Mesa Falls and Lava Creek (0.639±0.002 Ma) events, was 646,000±4400 years. A statement, widely repeated in popular media, regards such eruptions as occurring at Yellowstone “every 600,000 years” with the latest eruption having been “600,000 years ago”. This is commonly taken to imply that another such eruption is “overdue”. Such a statement is statistically indefensible on the basis of the extrapolation of two intervals. (Even the simple arithmetic average of the two intervals is 710,000 years, not 600,000 years). From the line of reasoning outlined here, the probability of a fourth large caldera-forming event at Yellowstone can be considered to be less than 1 in a million, below the threshold of hazards interest unless future premonitory phenomena, probably more severe than those recorded historically in caldera systems around the world (Newhall and Dzurisin, 1988), were to be recognized.

    Please, please, please spend the extra few minutes to verify “common knowledge” before presenting it here as “best scientific information.” WUWT and its readers is highly regarded because of the quality of its posts, and that requires verify that “facts” are factual.

    BTW, an extra few seconds of checking would disclose that Yellowstone is in the northwest corner of Wyoming and adjacent parts of Montana.

  59. Freezing Finn (03:33:27) :
    how can these tiny, fairly rare molecules

    H2O is not that rare

    and while most of them are quite high up in the air – further heat the surface of the planet – for isn’t heat supposed to go up rather than down?

    The heat from the Sun goes down. Radiated heat goes in the direction of the radiation, up, down, sideways, …

  60. ‘If Mayan land use policies were destructive, then that could be considered anthropogenc. They didn’t change the climate, but they made themselves vulnerable to changes that took place.’

    It would be instructive to read Roger Pielke, Sr on this subject.

  61. ‘Tidal forces [which we agree to omit] results from the gravitational field not being uniform across a body. Omit tidal forces is tantamount to accepting a uniform field.’– Leif S.

    Recommended reading (not for Leif, but for laymen): Richard Feynman’s essay in __Six Easy Pieces__ on why there are two tidal cycles per day and not one.

  62. What should the Mayans have done to stop the climate change? Did they fail to sacrifice enough humans or perhaps they sacrificed the wrong humans?

    I understand that this thread is about Mayan adaptation during climate change, but Al Gore is going beyond adaptation by demanding that we prevent the climate from changing in the first place. He is not admitting that the climate will change and we must adapt. The AGW crowd is trying to sell us on the idea that human prosperity is to blame for global warming and we must make drastic sacrifices to stop the warming. Some of the sacrifices include humans, though there will be no formal ritual that I am aware of.

  63. One of the flywheels of history in Eurasia has been the periodic eruption of nomadic peoples out of the Great Plain of the interior into ‘the sown’, the agriculturally-based societies from China , through India and the Middle East to eastern Europe. It is not difficult to imagine that sudden climatic shifts, producing, e.g. extended droughts in pasture-lands, might have been a crucial factor in these Volkerwanderungen (am I missing an umlaut?).

  64. Hi Pierre

    I suggest you read Gibbons rise and fall of the roman empire plus more contempoprary accounts. The Romans were outflanked by german tribes who managed to cross over frozen rivers and attack from the rear.

    http://www.roman-empire.net/articles/article-016.html

    This was a relatively short interlude of climate change but rendered them a blow from which they never fully recovered. However hundreds of years earlier they had managed to maintain control of their empire during a warm period by traversing high level passes that are largely impenetrable today because of ice.

    The Vikings set up in what was a perfectly logical place at the time because of the shletered anchorage and the availability of cultivable flat land .

    Not twenty miles away from my home is a bronze age camp that was placed pefectly logically at 1600 feet altitude-logical that is until the climate cooled!

    Similarly the Medieval dwellers close by farmed the same contour pefectly satisfactorily for 400 years until the cklimate took a turn for the worse and they were forced down the hills into the more marshy land at the bottom- a proces that took thirty years-each year they musty have thouight they would be able to return to their previous fields.

    The Dogger neolithic people used to inhabit an area just to the east of Britain in the north sea now called the dogger bank-today it is completely under water. When they first started farming in the area it was a perfectly logical place to be. Nothing to do with poor government but a sensible decision correctly taken that was later to cause problems as the climate changed.
    Hindsight is all very well but at the time these people were doing the right thing.

    However I agree with your comment;

    “The key with Gore is his assertion that we are not adapting. “We have to act now!”
    But for Gore adapting means mitigation. The guy actually thinks we can stop climate change. Thus I think he’s nuts.
    In fact, what Gore proposes to rescue the world, would actually lead to its demise.”

    To say that all climate change caused problems is untenable, to say that climate change is only due to poor government is also untenable. However I think in large part we can avoid the mistakes of the past as we have a much better understanding of what is going on around us. The trouble is we need to ensure we are on our guard and looking in ALL directions. IF the sun stays inactive and IF we were to have another cold spell I think we are vulnerable
    as we are looking towards the consequences of a warm spell and it would take decades before we realised we were now looking at a different problem

    Warm spells have rarely caused humans trouble-in fact our great civilsationsa from mesopotamia onwards have initially thrived in them. It is cold I fear much more than warmth!

    TonyB

  65. If you want a really fast way to see what happens when too much is taken from climate resources, check out the results from cloud seeding experiments.
    The expected behavior is that of a predator in a school of fish. After catching a few quick meals, the school of fish parts away from the predator.
    You get enhanced precipitation the year of seeding, but the following 2 years you get less than normal, so that the end result of 3 years is a loss of average precipitation.
    That’s not an encouraging result, but the experiments continue nevertheless at scale, with disastrous consequences imminent.

  66. Leif Svalgaard: “The heat from the Sun goes down. Radiated heat goes in the direction of the radiation, up, down, sideways, …”

    If you light a match – most of the heat goes up, less goes sideways, yet a lot less goes down, not?

    Now, why would heat radiated by a CO2 molecule behave differently?

    “H2O is not that rare”

    Well, in the atmosphere even H2O is relatively rare – nevertheless, I was talking about CO2 – not H2O… but thanks anyway. ;)

  67. Freezing Finn (09:21:14) :

    Leif Svalgaard: “The heat from the Sun goes down. Radiated heat goes in the direction of the radiation, up, down, sideways, …”

    If you light a match – most of the heat goes up, less goes sideways, yet a lot less goes down, not?

    No. Heated air is convected upwards, to be sure. Radiant heat (IR and visible light) goes “up, down, sideways, …”

  68. It is interesting that Gore is blaming the Mayans’ improper use of their environment for their own demise. We should remember that Mayans are Native Americans, who according to “progressives” are, unlike Europeans, holistic thinkers who are inseparable from and have profound respect for their environment.

  69. Freezing Finn (09:21:14) :
    Well, in the atmosphere even H2O is relatively rare – nevertheless, I was talking about CO2 – not H2O

    Well, you started by asking about greenhouse gases in general, and the greater amount of the greenhouse effect is due to H2O, not CO2.

  70. Arthur Glass (06:55:31) :
    why there are two tidal cycles per day and not one.
    This was known already by Newton, and can be expressed in a few lines of text: The center of the Earth is closer to the Moon than the ‘backside’ [as seen from the Moon], hence is being pulled away from the water back there. Anyway, planetary tides on the Sun [and on the Earth, too] are negligible.

  71. Freezing Finn (09:21:14)

    If you light a match – most of the heat goes up, less goes sideways, yet a lot less goes down, not?
    Now, why would heat radiated by a CO2 molecule behave differently?

    You’re confusing convection with radiation heat transfer. In a column of gas or fluid the molecules at the bottom are packed tighter than the top. When you heat a molecule it expands and so has less mass per volume. The cooler molecules have a greater mass per volume and are pulled under the warmer molecule by gravity.

  72. Leif Svalgaard : “Well, you started by asking about greenhouse gases in general…”

    No, I asked about CO2 only.

    And I know my English isn’t perfect, but it ain’t that bad either… ;)

    Ric Werme: “Heated air is convected upwards, to be sure. Radiant heat (IR and visible light) goes “up, down, sideways …”

    So, whereas a fire (radiating heat “up, down and sideways”) heats the air around itself making the air go upwards – radiant heat from a CO2 molecule does not heat the air around itself – instead – the radiant heat results in heated air later/some place else?

  73. Freezing Finn (12:24:12) :
    So, whereas a fire (radiating heat “up, down and sideways”) heats the air around itself making the air go upwards – radiant heat from a CO2 molecule does not heat the air around itself – instead – the radiant heat results in heated air later/some place else?

    A fire does not heat the air around it. The radiant heat is absorbed by the surroundings which in turn radiate heat that heats the air. Example: on top of a tall mountain that great fire in the sky beats down through the air, but the air may be freezing cold, nevertheless [or on a winter day in Finland].

    And the real greenhouse gas is H2O. It is the one that keeps the Earth 30K warmer than it would have been without an atmosphere. Forget CO2, it is but a minor player.

  74. Ric Werme,

    Ah, I humbly stand corrected and retract my statement. All the same, that is an example of but one of the possible threats. And a one in a million chance, while statistically tiny, is not a denial of that possibility. However, I will take this as a caution that I should do better research in the future.

  75. Freezing Finn

    So, whereas a fire (radiating heat “up, down and sideways”) heats the air around itself making the air go upwards.

    No! Convection forces the gas to rise. Radiating atoms don’t cause other atoms to do anything other than to excite them into a higher state of activity. In the absence of gravity they go no where. The IPCC’s reports are flawed because they only deal with a static model. At the atomic level radiation forcing does exist but on earth it’s transient and not cumulative.

  76. Leif Svalgaard says:

    And the real greenhouse gas is H2O. It is the one that keeps the Earth 30K warmer than it would have been without an atmosphere. Forget CO2, it is but a minor player.

    Oh, Leif, you AGW denier, you!

    However, I do like your turn of phrase.

  77. Leif,

    What effect would small changes in the rotational speed of the sun have on the coriolis effect/force? Could changes in the degree of coriolis effect work synergistically with tidal forces?

  78. I will add, however, that the invalidity of my example – if proven true over time – does not negate the validity of my main point. There is and has been no human system of civilization that is immune to the catastrophes of Nature. We are more advanced and may have some advantages, and may thus be able to overcome obstacles that previous civilizations could not, but that does not exempt us. In fact, in a time where economies are ever-increasingly tied together, a regional catastrophe that does not affect the globe physically can still do plenty of damage economically.

    We have grown up in a period that has been moderately friendly to human civilization, and in particular the American form of it. We have had to overcome a lot of little things in that time, globally speaking, from tsunamis to major snow events at times/places and lots inbetween. There is much we can do to combat those kinds of things and to overcome them. But we still have a very active planet. The whole point is that despite our technological advantages over the Maya, we are just as open to a collapse (and here I speak in general fact, I am not trying to spread alarm, so please do not take it as such) as they were. If it does happen, however, it will probably be in large part due to our politics, much like the Maya, which will just exaserbate the effects of negative climactic influences to the point of causing a crisis.

    I do pay particularly better attention to political trends and their ecomomic interactions than I do researching the likelihood of caldera eruptions (full disclosure: victim of a Discovery Channel special I was there. I should know better and will from now on.) or getting directions correct (northeast v northwest). All I guess I mean is that we too are not immune from making political decisions that, when combined with natural factors, will contribute to serious disasters on a global scale. All of our technological advances have not made us any more immune to making mistakes inherent in being human.

  79. Stephen Garland (16:49:31) :
    Could changes in the degree of coriolis effect work synergistically with tidal forces?

    First, the tidal forces are too weak to have much effect, and for a change in the coriolis force we must first have a change in rotation, and where would that come from? All parts of the Sun partake equally in its orbital motions such as to cause no change of rotation, so, no, I would not think there could be any synergy there. And do we need planetary effects to cause the solar cycle? I think not, as we have enough dynamo theories that claim to do that.

  80. Leif Svalgaard (12:46:59) :

    “And the real greenhouse gas is H2O. It is the one that keeps the Earth 30K warmer than it would have been without an atmosphere. Forget CO2, it is but a minor player.”

    Sorry Leif without CO2 H2O wouldn’t do squat!

    REPLY: Phil. REPLY: Your statement is absurd. CO2 is not dependent on the presence of H20 for absorption or emittance of IR. – Anthony

  81. Phil said: “Sorry Leif without CO2 H2O wouldn’t do squat!”

    REPLY: Your statement is absurd. CO2 is not dependent on the presence of H20 for absorption or emittance of IR. – Anthony

    But that’s not what I said Anthony, H2O is dependent on the presence of CO2 though, which is what I said.

    REPLY: Phil, I don’t see how you could possibly make this claim. H20 as water vapor is not dependent on the existence of CO2 in our atmosphere. – Anthony

  82. Phil. (18:35:26) :
    Leif Svalgaard (12:46:59) :

    “And the real greenhouse gas is H2O. It is the one that keeps the Earth 30K warmer than it would have been without an atmosphere. Forget CO2, it is but a minor player.”
    Sorry Leif without CO2 H2O wouldn’t do squat!
    REPLY: Phil. REPLY: Your statement is absurd. CO2 is not dependent on the presence of H20 for absorption or emittance of IR. – Anthony

    Anthony, don’t you have this backwards? H2O would absorb even without CO2.

    REPLY: Yes my point exactly, sorry for the phrasing. – Anthony

  83. Phil said: “Sorry Leif without CO2 H2O wouldn’t do squat!”

    REPLY: Your statement is absurd. CO2 is not dependent on the presence of H20 for absorption or emittance of IR. – Anthony

    But that’s not what I said Anthony, H2O is dependent on the presence of CO2 though, which is what I said.

    REPLY: Phil, I don’t see how you could possibly make this claim. H20 as water vapor is not dependent on the existence of CO2 in our atmosphere. – Anthony

    Because H2O is not a permanent gas, as the temperature drops the vapor pressure drops, as the vapor pressure drops the GH effect of the water drops etc. Not to mention with the ice age that would engender and the corresponding effect on the albedo. A habitable climate of earth isn’t sustainable without permanent GHG, water vapor can’t do it on it’s own.
    So yes water vapor is dependent on the existence of CO2 (and others like CH4).

    REPLY: Hmmm I’m not convinced that if CO2 and other GHG’s were removed that water vapor would eventually fail to sustain. Citation? – Anthony

  84. > REPLY: Phil, I don’t see how you could possibly make this claim. H20 as water vapor is not dependent on the existence of CO2 in our atmosphere. –

    Perhaps he’s trying to say that without CO2, Earth would be so cold that most of the H2O would condense and there wouldn’t be enough water vapor to be a useful GHG.

  85. Leif and Ric

    When a GHG molecule absorbs an IR photon it is thermalised, raising the temperature of the molecule

    When this same molecule then emits IR is this IR emission packing the same punch as it absorbed or is it determined by the new temperature that the molecule has reached?

    Does a GHG molecule always emit after it absorbs or is some shared with the surrounding non GHG molecules?

  86. Thanks Leif, for all your comments.

    I am not a physicist and I do find the theories linking planetary effects with changes to climate attractive. Leif, I accept your judgement that the changes to solar activity are too low to be the main factor in any correlation (I have enjoyed the debate).

    However, is it possible that the planets modify the earth’s climate through their influence on the Earth’s rotational speed and the subsequent development of atmospheric, oceanic, and possibly surge tectonic cycles?

    Stephen.

  87. Stephen Garland (20:51:29) :
    However, is it possible that the planets modify the earth’s climate through their influence on the Earth’s rotational speed and the subsequent development of atmospheric, oceanic, and possibly surge tectonic cycles?

    For the same reasons as for the Sun, I’d say the answer is no. In a sense, it is the other way around: the climate influences the Earth’s rotational speed. Warmer air expands and the atmosphere swells and, as an ice skater outstretching her arms, the Earth slows down.

  88. Ric Werme (19:32:12) :
    Perhaps he’s trying to say that without CO2, Earth would be so cold that most of the H2O would condense and there wouldn’t be enough water vapor to be a useful GHG.

    When the Earth was young and had perhaps a hundred times as much CO2, that CO2 was the dominant GHC and prevented H2O freezing out. But now, that the temperature is high enough to sustain water vapor, the roles are reversed. Why are we discussing this? Isn’t all this clear already? If not, how can one debate AGW at all without having even the basics down?

  89. Phil said:
    “Because H2O is not a permanent gas, as the temperature drops the vapor pressure drops, as the vapor pressure drops the GH effect of the water drops etc. Not to mention with the ice age that would engender and the corresponding effect on the albedo. A habitable climate of earth isn’t sustainable without permanent GHG, water vapor can’t do it on it’s own.
    So yes water vapor is dependent on the existence of CO2 (and others like CH4).

    REPLY: Hmmm I’m not convinced that if CO2 and other GHG’s were removed that water vapor would eventually fail to sustain. Citation? – Anthony

    It’s called the Clausius-Clapeyron equation:
    ln(P2/P1) = -∆Hvap/R * (1/T2- 1/T1)
    ∆Hvap=40.7 kJ/mol for water
    Water has a vapor pressure of 24 mmHg at 25ºC
    Check it out.

  90. Phil. (19:17:33)

    Because H2O is not a permanent gas, as the temperature drops the vapor pressure drops, as the vapor pressure drops the GH effect of the water drops etc.

    There is no such thing as a permanent gas. The states of gas, liquid and solid are the product of heat and pressure. You are also wrong about the GH effect of H2O. When the sun heats the ocean it is in effect warming a liquid gas. When water vapour rises it can absorb black body radiation in exactly the same way as it does in it’s liquid state. It is the same for CO2. Nether rely on each other for for their absorption qualities.

  91. Ok – I’m starting to “see” the (heat-radiating, invisible) light here – I think… ;)

    And just to make sure I’m not imagining it; the radiant heat does not heat air as such – it’s the other, more solid objects that absorb the radiant heat first – and which then heat the air around the objects…

    Am I getting somewhere?

    But yes, I “understand” – and as much as I’m able to, of course ;) – that H20’s role is far greater than CO2’s in the “greenhouse effect” phenomenon – it’s just that the name “greenhouse effect” seems somewhat misleading to me, for the atmosphere really isn’t much like a greenhouse, is it?

    Oh, and thanks for your patience, folks! I do feel like a baby trying to learn to walk – well, for a second time, I’d say.

    What I mean is that it’s over 20 years since my last physics lessons in high-school and all I can remember from that is the class room, barely + what (some) of my classmates looked like – and well, especially the girls… ;)

    Now, as funny as that may seem – I’m starting to believe that the school system – even here in Finland – is meant to dumb the majority of people down and for a purpose. After all, dumbed down “sheeple” are easier to control, let alone brainwash.

  92. TD wrote :

    When a GHG molecule absorbs an IR photon it is thermalised, raising the temperature of the molecule

    When this same molecule then emits IR is this IR emission packing the same punch as it absorbed or is it determined by the new temperature that the molecule has reached?

    Does a GHG molecule always emit after it absorbs or is some shared with the surrounding non GHG molecules?

    You must understand the most important thing which is the LTE (Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium) because it explains (almost) everything .
    At least as far as radiation only goes .

    If you consider f.ex 2 species CO2 (non energized) and CO2* (energised) , the condition of LTE says that their numbers stay constant all the time .

    So when CO2* emits IR and becomes CO2 again , it emits with the “same punch” because it needs to “cool down” by exactly the same amount as it “heated up” first place .

    Btw it is better to speak of energy instead of temperature .
    While there are 4 sorts of molecular energy – translationnal , orbital , vibrationnal , rotationnal – there is generally one temperature , namely the one your thermometer shows .
    So speaking of increase of temperature of a molecule can be interpreted very differently depending on what kind of energy varied .
    In the case of molecular interaction with IR radiation only the vibrationnal and rotationnal energy levels are concerned .

    GHG molecules do all of 4 things at the same time .
    – absorb IR energy
    – emit IR energy
    – transfer energy to surrounding molecules by collisions (whether they are GHG or non GHG)
    – receive energy from surrounding molecules by collisions (whether they are GHG or non GHG)

    In equilibrium the rates of all these changes are constant and the temperature is constant and well defined .

    This is however a very simplified partial view – in reality the fact of having LTE for radiation purposes doesn’t help much because what matters is the TE (Thermodynamic equilibrium) and this one doesn’t exist for the Earth’s atmosphere .
    In the reality the gases are our of equilibrium , move , conduct and transfer energy by convection what is a very complex , not yet solved problem .

  93. Thank you TomVonk for the explanation of cO2* emission, it helped a lot with my image of CO2

    With LTE I would have thought that the point of IR absorption, was that by absorbing the IR, LTE was disturbed moving however minutely to a new slightly higher LTE.

    As you can see I am having a problem seeing LTE as something that maintains itself.

    Or are you saying that IR is IR, and collision is collision, and the two do not interact (CO2* does not become CO2 by collision).

    CO2* at the surface (15C) has the same energy difference as CO2* at 30,000ft (-60C)

  94. Freezing Finn (02:10:01) :

    Ok – I’m starting to “see” the (heat-radiating, invisible) light here – I think… ;)

    And just to make sure I’m not imagining it; the radiant heat does not heat air as such – it’s the other, more solid objects that absorb the radiant heat first – and which then heat the air around the objects…

    Am I getting somewhere?

    By Jove, I think you’re getting it! (Note to self – leave out references to Jupiter on threads where the word barycenter was uttered.) If the atmosphere were perfectly transparent, sunlight would pass through it with no effect. Light would be absorbed by the ground which would heat the air and convection would tranport the warmed air upwards and heat much of the troposphere.

    Ditto with the match flame, except heat due to combustion heats the plume of hot gas and radiation heats the surface area illuminated my the flame.

    Now to really twist your mind (and I haven’t twisted my head around this as much as I’d like), if we had color vision in the infrared portion of the spectrum, then all the gasses that absorb part of the the spectrum, I think that’s most of them, would have different colors. When a gas absorbs part of the spectrum, the energy absorbed is either reradiated, turned into heat, or a bit of both.

    But yes, I “understand” – and as much as I’m able to, of course ;) – that H20’s role is far greater than CO2’s in the “greenhouse effect” phenomenon – it’s just that the name “greenhouse effect” seems somewhat misleading to me, for the atmosphere really isn’t much like a greenhouse, is it?

    Right, a real greenhouse works by being the equivalent of heated ground and the glass traps the convection. The glass does absorb some IR, but it radiates quite a bit from the outside surface. There are some high-efficiency glasses with dichroic filters that let sunlight through, but reflect long wavelength IR, but even there the main role is to keep heated air from blowing and floating away.

  95. Phil said:
    “Because H2O is not a permanent gas, as the temperature drops the vapor pressure drops, as the vapor pressure drops the GH effect of the water drops etc. Not to mention with the ice age that would engender and the corresponding effect on the albedo. A habitable climate of earth isn’t sustainable without permanent GHG, water vapor can’t do it on it’s own.
    So yes water vapor is dependent on the existence of CO2 (and others like CH4).

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    When the Earth was young and had perhaps a hundred times as much CO2, that CO2 was the dominant GHC and prevented H2O freezing out. But now, that the temperature is high enough to sustain water vapor, the roles are reversed. Why are we discussing this? Isn’t all this clear already? If not, how can one debate AGW at all without having even the basics down?

    Phildot & Leif, that’s speculation, although perhaps a reasonable first-assumption. No one yet knows for sure what the climate of a hypothetical earth w/o any non-water-vapor GHGs would be, especially w/the complications regarding ice and clouds. You can plug varying CO2, CH4 & H2O values into HITRAN & get results, but that’s a model, not reality.

  96. Leif Svalgaard (21:59:30) :
    For the same reasons as for the Sun, I’d say the answer is no. In a sense, it is the other way around: the climate influences the Earth’s rotational speed. Warmer air expands and the atmosphere swells and, as an ice skater outstretching her arms, the Earth slows down.

    Would this be negligible? How would this affect rotational speed as compared to land positions, tectonic motion, thermal expansions of the ocean (another climate influence), planetary and lunar gravity influence? My instincs tell me that the distribution of mass in the atmosphere will not appreciably affect the angular inertia of the Earth, but I have never thought through the calculations.

  97. Leif Svalgaard

    When the Earth was young and had perhaps a hundred times as much CO2, that CO2 was the dominant GHC and prevented H2O freezing out. But now, that the temperature is high enough to sustain water vapor, the roles are reversed. Why are we discussing this? Isn’t all this clear already? If not, how can one debate AGW at all without having even the basics down?

    When the earth was “young” it was a baking hot blob of magma. Gases didn’t condense because gravity was not powerful enough to allow it. As the earth cooled so condensation could occur. CO2 didn’t stop water from condensing but rather water condensed first.

  98. Focusing upon Al Gore is misplaced. He is a paid propagandist, the mouthpiece, for an international cabal.

    This cabal is led by George Soros and Maurice Strong, and some other like minded plutocrats, who stand to profit from the total regulation of energy production and utilization. The cabal also includes UN bureaucrats, NGOs like WWF and Greenpeace, and numerous useful idiots in various governments globally. Collaborating scientists and research institutions have been corrupted into willing accomplices of the AGW conspiracy.

    World domination of every aspect of human life is their objective. To date they have had enormous success. The scope of the corruption and fraud being used to promote AGW cause is amazing. We are witnesses to evolution of governance into human domination described in 1984, Brave New World and the Animal Farm.

    The activities of this and similar blogs are essential to inform the public about the massive fraud that is perpetrated in the name of saving the planet. I applaud Anthony, Steve McIntyre, Roger Pilke Sr and Jr, and the many scientists whose research and publications will educate the public. This process is underway and will end in repudiation of the AGW conspiracy and rejection of those who promote it.

  99. Seems to me there is a lot of confusion of the physics involved.

    TD (19:54:24) :

    Leif and Ric

    When a GHG molecule absorbs an IR photon it is thermalised, raising the temperature of the molecule.

    No. It is not “thermalized”, whatever that means. The molecule goes to a higher excited state, i.e. it absorbs the energy and hoards it, like a pitcher catching a baseball and holding it. By conservation of momentum, a bit of the energy is transferred to the motion of the molecule in total, thus widening the energy level of the excited state, but affecting very little the “temperature” of the GHG gas .This excited state is not stable and will decay with an electromagnetic characteristic timing.

    There is no measurable “new temperature”. Temperature is a statistical measure of the kinetic energy of the whole molecule, and radiation is not transferred to the kinetic energy of the molecules ( except a bit by conservation of momentum).

    When this same molecule then emits IR is this IR emission packing the same punch as it absorbed or is it determined by the new temperature that the molecule has reached?.

    It is almost the same punch except diffused by the small kinetic energy transfer due to momentum conservation.

    It will emit within the decay width the same energy, again losing a bit because of momentum conservation, so probably thia photon that fits the CO2 spectrum will not be absorbed by a CO2 again from loss of resolution.

    Does a GHG molecule always emit after it absorbs or is some shared with the surrounding non GHG molecules?.

    The state is unstable and it will always emit within 10 to the minus sixteen seconds ( characteristic electromagnetic time). Other molecules, H2O particularly, which have wide absorption bands might reabsorbe something a CO2 spewed, etc. This does not change the temperature of the gases ( except minimally due to momentum conservation and subsequent deterioration of energy level widths).

    What does all this lingo mean?

    Take a quiet windless cloudless night, and let us use water, H2O to illustrate the “greenhouse” misnamed effect. If the humidity is low by two in the morning there may even be a frost. That is why deserts are so cold at night. If the humidity is high, the night is pleasant and warm ( depending on the latitude, at least warmer than it would have been without the humidity). This is because in the first case the ground radiates heat ( infrared ) at a brisk rate, while in the presence of high humidity the rate is delayed by the ping pong played with the infrared radiation and the dispersed H2O molecules. That is why if you take the average temperature for this day you will find it higher if there is humidity and lower if there is not.
    It is not a blanket, it is a matter of tackling the photons. GHG are efficient it delaying and lengthening their path for the infrared photons thus delaying the cooling of the air and ground.

    Now CO2 and other green house gases can add to this effect by the percentage of extra possibility of capture and radiation as the photons try to squirm their way into space. Their percentage is small, maybe 3 or 5 % of the effect. If you look at the absorption spectra you get a feel for this. Anthropogenic CO2 is another 3% down, i.e. 0.05*0.03=0.0015 of the effect.

    These are the numbers we are asked to believe will create runaway warming.

    Now why, if such a feedback were possible, we are not already boiling because of the increase in humidity every day over the oceans when the sun shines, is a mystery.

  100. Old Coach (06:31:25) :
    My instincs tell me that the distribution of mass in the atmosphere will not appreciably affect the angular inertia of the Earth
    Not only the distribution of mass with altitude, but also that due to winds and circulations. There is a clear annual cycle in the length of the day of about a millisecond:

  101. beng (06:16:36) :
    Phildot & Leif, that’s speculation, although perhaps a reasonable first-assumption.
    The Sun was 35% dimmer back then and there were no life to help sequester the CO2 in limestone and chalk, so we may be allowed to make educated guessed.
    MartinGAtkins (06:45:16) :
    When the earth was “young” it was a baking hot blob of magma. Gases didn’t condense because gravity was not powerful enough to allow it. As the earth cooled so condensation could occur. CO2 didn’t stop water from condensing but rather water condensed first.
    Your physics is a bit muddled here [‘beng’ may have something to say about your speculation here…]. The critical issue is what the relative ‘mixing ratios’ [i.e. atmospheric concentration] of the two gases ended up being, say, a billion years after the formation of the Earth, when it was still young but no longer a molten blob.

  102. On one of the threads here this past week, the Climate Prediction Center’s December outlook was cited. Remember how warm it was biased (it is, after all, a probability scheme and not a forecast)? Take a gander at the Revised Version.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/30day/

    This is not a revision; this is from scratch!

    Isn’t there a global warming algorithm built into most models that would tend to bias the model toward a warm solution? Then when reality is no longer co-operating: AO and NAO tanking like the S&P 500, PNA positive, QBO westerly(or is it easterly?) etc.etc., attention must be paid and it’s back to the drawing board.

  103. CO2 didn’t stop water from condensing but rather water condensed first.

    CO2, of course, does not condense, if ‘condensation’ is the phase change from gas to liquid; rather it passes directly from gas to solid (dry ice) and vice-versa.

  104. ‘My instincs tell me that the distribution of mass in the atmosphere will not appreciably affect the angular inertia of the Earth.’

    Atmospheric Angular Momentum.

    I love rolling those syllables on my tongue.

  105. Leif–

    Speaking of instincts, mine whisper to me that when the AAM is easterly, i.e. exerting a force counter to the rotation of the earth, especially at the equator, it would slow down the velocity of rotation. Then, by the law of conservation of momentum, there would be an effect in the atmosphere itself.

    Isn’t this related to the Quasi-biennial Oscillation?

  106. Leif Svalgaard (10:30:19) :

    Old Coach (06:31:25) :
    My instincs tell me that the distribution of mass in the atmosphere will not appreciably affect the angular inertia of the Earth
    Not only the distribution of mass with altitude, but also that due to winds and circulations. There is a clear annual cycle in the length of the day of about a millisecond:
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NasaNews/ReleaseImages/20030305/AngularMomentum.jpg

    OT
    Leif, I was not aware of this annual cycle. Do you remember of a recent paper that claimed that the sun cycle was affecting the decay rates of various isotopes? A millisecond is substantial. Maybe that is what they are measuring!!

  107. Leif Svalgaard (10:30:19) :

    Old Coach (06:31:25) :
    My instincs tell me that the distribution of mass in the atmosphere will not appreciably affect the angular inertia of the Earth
    Not only the distribution of mass with altitude, but also that due to winds and circulations. There is a clear annual cycle in the length of the day of about a millisecond:

    OT
    Leif, I was not aware of this annual cycle. Do you remember of a recent paper that claimed that the sun cycle was affecting the decay rates of various isotopes? A millisecond is substantial. Maybe that is what they are measuring!!

  108. Arthur Glass (11:29:55) :
    Isn’t this related to the Quasi-biennial Oscillation?
    The QBO does influence the rotation, as do many other things [except planetary tides].

  109. Anna V says at the end of a very fine exposition of what is going on:

    These are the numbers we are asked to believe will create runaway warming.

    As always, the Devil is in the details.

    Do you have the skill to create a simulation that shows us the steady state behavior with and with out CO2 and then allows us to perturb the CO2 levels and see what happens?

    BTW, what is a good and accessible text that deals with this stuff?

  110. Leif,
    The graph you posted looks to be a comparison of the angular momentum of the atmosphere and the variation of angular period. The angular momentum of the air mirrors the angular speed of the Earth. If the atmosphere fluctuations were causing the annual variation in rotational speed, I would expect the angular inertia of the atmosphere to be inversely related to this speed, and the angular momentum of the air to remain constant. If angular momentum of the air is changing with Earth’s speed (which is how I am interpreting the graph), then this would indicate that the change in earth’s speed is dragging the atmosphere with it, and not the other way around.

  111. anna v it seems like you’re contributing to the confusion!

    Many things in your piece are wrong but this is way out:

    Does a GHG molecule always emit after it absorbs or is some shared with the surrounding non GHG molecules?.

    The state is unstable and it will always emit within 10 to the minus sixteen seconds ( characteristic electromagnetic time).

    The emission characteristic time is way more than you suggest, depending on the state, ~100 microsec. The characteristic collision time is ~0.1 nsec, many times faster so collisional quenching is the dominant mode of de-excitation in the troposphere. These lifetimes have been much studied in connection with the CO2 laser

  112. Old Coach (12:59:28) :
    If angular momentum of the air is changing with Earth’s speed (which is how I am interpreting the graph), then this would indicate that the change in earth’s speed is dragging the atmosphere with it, and not the other way around.
    This is actually another can of worms. There is general agreement that the atmosphere is responsible for ~90% of the observed changes of the length of the day [thus not the other way around], but the whole subject is complex [and has its own share of fanciful and pseudo-scientific speculation – including, of course, that AGW ‘is doing it’, http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/planetearth/longer_days_020212.html ].
    Google ‘angular momentum atmosphere length of day’ to get a load of stuff on this.

  113. Phil says:

    The emission characteristic time is way more than you suggest, depending on the state, ~100 microsec. The characteristic collision time is ~0.1 nsec, many times faster so collisional quenching is the dominant mode of de-excitation in the troposphere. These lifetimes have been much studied in connection with the CO2 laser

    It would be much appreciated if you could provide links for these things.

  114. a very impt easily demonstrated effect of co2 and fossil fuel can be determined by plotting IPCC co2 and human carbon emissions from oak ridge. the xls file is here

    http://www.box.net/shared/z0vhl74uxy

    we would have to at least double the rate of co2 emissions to move global co2 by 60 ppm. NO matter what man does, mother nature will buffer the effect, and already has if you look at the data.

  115. Thanks anna v, if you think this is confused you should have seen me earlier.

    So humid air is kept warm or rather cooling is slowed by the IR bouncing (absorb/emit) around taking longer in its eventual escape to higher levels and to space.

    A single tap dripping does not release much water but a million dripping taps.

  116. This site: Understanding CO2 Lasers would seem to suggest that the Devil is really in the details.

    It would seem that energy transfer from CO2 to other gases in the atmosphere is only permitted when there are matching (quantized) energy states that can be reached. That is, CO2, if giving up energy, must drop to one of its lower states, but the energy transferred must match a jump to a permissible state in the species it collides with.

    Also, it seems like N2 cannot radiate away the energy it has picked up so … things could get interesting.

  117. It is good to see that the email about Gore and the Mayan collapse I composed in some haste has generated such a useful debate on WUWT.

    It seemed to me that if the Gore enterprise took the advice on the Gore blog seriously, namely the advice to:
    As we move towards solving the climate crisis, we need to remember the consequences to civilizations that refused to take environmental concerns seriously.
    then Gore enterprise would, as I suggested, take all the IPCC/AWG publications and related papers to the tip and bury them there and put all their efforts into the study and understanding of the reasons for climate dynamics that address every theory except that of IPCC/AWG doctrine.
    Specifically, the Gore enterprise would proceed to understand as thoroughly as possible how climate dynamics are driven by atmospheric/oceanic oscillations, the natural internal dynamics of the climate system and, maybe, the Sun.
    Of course this won’t happen.
    The Gore enterprise and the IPCC are primarily political and ideological entities. Science is at best incidental but mostly irrelevant. Look how long the Vatican took to correct its grievous error in relation to Galileo. That could be a bench mark for turning around the IPCC/Gore enterprise. In addition, the scientific method has become seriously corrupted in the process as Golem (see here http://tinyurl.com/5w7f75 ) has become yoked to that gigantic enterprise. Golem is being well feed by the yoking and might not ever be freed or ever want to be freed.
    One purpose of my email was to state that we can learn form the way past civilizations and societies have managed their adaption to climate dynamics, drawing on scholarship like Brian Fagan’s and the economic theories of Douglass North and the institutional economists. The Gore/IPCC enterprise won’t, anymore than the Vatican could come to terms with the scientific advances of Copernicus, Galileo and Newton. And for the same reasons.

  118. Richard Sharpe (15:24:09) :
    Phil says:

    The emission characteristic time is way more than you suggest, depending on the state, ~100 microsec. The characteristic collision time is ~0.1 nsec, many times faster so collisional quenching is the dominant mode of de-excitation in the troposphere. These lifetimes have been much studied in connection with the CO2 laser

    It would be much appreciated if you could provide links for these things.
    Well it’s mostly the sort of information you find in textbooks but here’s a couple of links:

    John Houghton, CommentlSpectrochimica Ada Parr A 51 (1995) 1391-1392

    “For absorption and emission of radiation to couple with the kinetic energy of the molecules and hence with the thermal regime it is necessary for the collisional de-activation time of the molecular vibrations to be very much shorter than the radiative lifetime. This is the case in the lower atmosphere where conditions known as local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) apply. At the much higher levels where there are fewer collisions, much of the solar energy absorbed by carbon dioxide molecules is radiated by fluorescence and is not effective in heating the atmosphere.”

    For a web accessible source:

    http://www.laserk.com/newsletters/whiteTHE.html

    “The important lifetimes in the CO2 laser are practically all determined by collisional phenomena. The radiative lifetimes vary from a few milliseconds to a few seconds, whereas the mean free time between molecular collision is of the order 10 to 100 nanoseconds.”

    Note that these collision numbers are for pressures ~20 torr and therefore longer than at atmospheric pressure (see kinetic theory of gases).

  119. MartinGAtkins (01:55:41) :
    Phil. (19:17:33)

    Because H2O is not a permanent gas, as the temperature drops the vapor pressure drops, as the vapor pressure drops the GH effect of the water drops etc.

    There is no such thing as a permanent gas. The states of gas, liquid and solid are the product of heat and pressure. You are also wrong about the GH effect of H2O. When the sun heats the ocean it is in effect warming a liquid gas. When water vapour rises it can absorb black body radiation in exactly the same way as it does in it’s liquid state. It is the same for CO2. Nether rely on each other for for their absorption qualities.

    About time you read up on some physics! In the absence of CO2 more of that ocean would be ice.

  120. Arthur Glass (11:20:02) :
    CO2 didn’t stop water from condensing but rather water condensed first.

    CO2, of course, does not condense, if ‘condensation’ is the phase change from gas to liquid; rather it passes directly from gas to solid (dry ice) and vice-versa.

    Just like water below 0ºC!

  121. In the long-running records dept:

    http://www.boston.com/news/world/europe/articles/2008/12/01/historic_center_of_venice_flooded/ says:

    Highest tide in 20 years floods historic Venice [AGW not blamed!]

    City officials said the tide peaked at 61 inches (156 centimeters), well past the 40-inch (110-centimeter) flood mark, as strong winds pushed the sea into the city.

    It was the fourth highest tide since 1872, when the city started keeping records. The last time Venice saw such high waters was in 1986, while the all-time record was 76 inches (194 centimeters) in 1966.

  122. Phil. (19:18:55) :
    About time you read up on some physics! In the absence of CO2 more of that ocean would be ice.
    This is almost vacuous as it stands. The issue is how much? 0.0000000000000001 %, 0.0000001 %, 0.01 %, 1%, 10%, 90%?

  123. The Mayan civilization collapsed due mainly to long drought and mismanagement of land. I don’t think this is a particularly brilliant idea from Mr. Gore, although I defend 95% of what Gore says and does…. droughts happen even without climate change though and many civilizations have not managed land well.

    Also, the Mayans have not disappeared. There are still hundreds of thousands of Mayans alive and well in Central America to this day, and many of them (I have met some) are environmentalists trying to save the forests in Belize and Guatemala. So you could say they had a chance to learn their lessons from the past, but we won’t have that chance, because what we are doing is far worse and world-wide.

  124. Phil. (13:26:20) :

    anna v it seems like you’re contributing to the confusion!

    Many things in your piece are wrong but this is way out:

    “” Does a GHG molecule always emit after it absorbs or is some shared with the surrounding non GHG molecules?.””

    ” The state is unstable and it will always emit within 10 to the minus sixteen seconds ( characteristic electromagnetic time). ”

    The emission characteristic time is way more than you suggest, depending on the state, ~100 microsec. The characteristic collision time is ~0.1 nsec, many times faster so collisional quenching is the dominant mode of de-excitation in the troposphere. These lifetimes have been much studied in connection with the CO2 laser

    Thank you for the correction , thats why I put “order of” :though I fell far off of “order” still, the state is unstable. Thanks for the laser link.

    The atmosphere is not a laser.

    Vibrational and rotational temperatures are interesting for physicists but have little to do with the temperature measured with the thermometers and discussed as AGW.

    What you are suggesting to my simplified exposition is that a CO2 molecule will transfer its excitation energy to an N2 molecule as kinetic energy of the N2 molecule? If the energy of the infrared photon is not turned into kinetic energy of the whole molecules the thermometer temperature does not change.

    Compton scattering of the infrared will do it, (transfer of part of the energy of the infrared photon as kinetic energy to the whole molecule) but that does not pick GHG labels and heats the air democratically.

    I would be interested if you made a similar broad brush exposition of how you see the green house gases keeping the heat. The laser analogue is intriguing.

  125. The whole thing is nonsense.

    Like the one about how lead pipes caused the fall of Rome (acretion coated the pipes and protected those where they had lead pipes in the first place).

    Unending hordes and scads and waves and swarms of Barbarians, anyone? Goths, Mr. Rico, zillions of ‘em. The west lasted a hundred years longer than it should have, and if Aurelian had lived, who knows? And the East endured (more or less) for a thousand years.

    The only time I ever heard of a major civilization actually going devo without some kind of intense outside (human) pressure was the original Indus Valley civ (the Sarawak River simply dried up and the place fell apart and reverted to its previous state).

  126. The following is an extract I did on historical cold and warm periods over at Climate Audit a few months ago;

    I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert … Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.
    —”Ozymandias,” Percy Bysshe Shelley

    The civilisation of Akkad-2000bc. Lines taken from the curse of Akkad

    For the first time since cities were built and founded,
    The great agricultural tracts produced no grain,
    The inundated tracts produced no fish,
    The irrigated orchards produced neither syrup nor wine,
    The gathered clouds did not rain, the masgurum did not grow.
    At that time, one shekel’s worth of oil was only one-half quart,
    One shekel’s worth of grain was only one-half quart. . . .
    These sold at such prices in the markets of all the cities!
    He who slept on the roof, died on the roof,
    He who slept in the house, had no burial,
    People were flailing at themselves from hunger

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

    Around ten civilisations are generally thought to have perished due to climate change-some undoubtedly already weakened by other events. They include the Vikings and in ancient times the Egyptian Old Kingdom, The Moche, Anasazi and of course the Akkadians who are quoted above. I have been to what is thought to be the centre of Akkadian civilisation close to Baghdad and also Babylon. The latter reminded me very much of Ozymandias. It is quite sobering to see great civilisations completely vanished.

    TonyB

  127. anna v:
    ” The state is unstable and it will always emit within 10 to the minus sixteen seconds ( characteristic electromagnetic time). ”

    Phil.:
    “The emission characteristic time is way more than you suggest, depending on the state, ~100 microsec. The characteristic collision time is ~0.1 nsec, many times faster so collisional quenching is the dominant mode of de-excitation in the troposphere. These lifetimes have been much studied in connection with the CO2 laser”

    anna v:
    “Thank you for the correction , thats why I put “order of” :though I fell far off of “order” still, the state is unstable. Thanks for the laser link.

    The atmosphere is not a laser.”

    Indeed not but the reason for the study of the natural radiative lifetimes doesn’t change the values.

    anna v:
    “Vibrational and rotational temperatures are interesting for physicists but have little to do with the temperature measured with the thermometers and discussed as AGW.”

    That’s not what I’m talking about.

    anna v:
    “What you are suggesting to my simplified exposition is that a CO2 molecule will transfer its excitation energy to an N2 molecule as kinetic energy of the N2 molecule? If the energy of the infrared photon is not turned into kinetic energy of the whole molecules the thermometer temperature does not change.”

    That’s exactly what happens, during the radiative lifetime of the excited state it will endure ~10^5 collisions, more than enough to deactivate the excited state and share the energy with the colliders, predominantly N2 & O2.

  128. Some of the posts above on “climate change” conflate the planet’s overall climate [by which the AGW contingent means the planet’s temperature] with local climates.

    For example, the Sahara was once green and fertile, but local conditions changed. And the Mayan civilization collapsed due to drought, not because of land use changes, which may have been incidental, but which were not the reason for the collapse of the Mayan civilization. In fact, local climate change is a natural constant.

    I would also like to ask Shelly T. to justify the statement, “…what we are doing is far worse and world-wide.”

    The U.S. has cleaned up its environment, and did so before the “Green” movement had any influence. People live longer and healthier lives. Almost all pollution emissions are history. What are we doing now that is ‘far worse and world wide’?

    Phil.:”In the absence of CO2 more of that ocean would be ice.”

    Leif beat me to it, but I’d like to see you quantify your statement above. More to the point, if atmospheric CO2 were 300 ppmv rather than 387 ppmv, how much more of the ocean would be ice?

  129. I was responding to this, which is clearly incorrect.

    Leif Svalgaard (12:46:59) :
    “And the real greenhouse gas is H2O. It is the one that keeps the Earth 30K warmer than it would have been without an atmosphere. Forget CO2, it is but a minor player.”

  130. Smokey–
    It’s true that in principle, Phil should quantify. However, in practice, we all know this is difficult.

    If the question is: All other things being equal, does more CO2 lead to warming, the answer is yes. Is there enough CO2 for the effect to be non-negligible: yes. All other things being equal, if there was half as much CO2, would the temperature of the earth drop? Yes. It would drop somewhat, even if there was H2O in the atmosphere. Would the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere drop: Almost certainly. The maximum absolute humidity drops as air temperature drops.

    Would lessened water vapor lead to less trapping of heat due to water vapor itself: Yes. (Note: Water vapor is distinct from clouds or the reflection due to surface ice.)

    All these sensitivity questions can be explored with “Daisy World” type simulations. Yes, it’s a model. But qualitatively, this is the way things must behave given things that are quite well known and which apply widely in many, many fields. (Let’s face it: the absolute humidity as a function of temperature is not going to suddenly deviate from the level in Engineering handbooks just because someone is running a climate model!)

    But actually quantifying the effect on the real earth? That’s difficult.

    Approximations in convective parameterizations and cloud parameterizations, ice albedo etc. could make it very difficult to get the feed back corrects, and the actual warming is strongly dependent on the feedback. Even if the physics are understood, predicting the magnitude of forcing is difficult. (And not just because we don’t know when volcanos erupt!)

    These difficulties are qualitatively the exact same sort of difficulties we have running engineering models! Sure, an engineer might not be worried literally about clouds condensed from water, but there are “clouds” of coal dust in furnaces etc. Weird “microscale” features and the non-linear nature of the conservations equation for momentum make everything difficult. (BTW: I use microscale as small relative to the scale of the installation you are modeling but large compared to molecular scales.)

    The stuff Phil is posting is basically correct. Equally obviously, he is not going to be able to quantify in a comment at a blog. (The GCMs are the attempts to quantify the effect. The current versions may be able to provide accurate estimates– or not. The proof of accuracy is in the comparison to data. )

  131. Phil.

    About time you read up on some physics! In the absence of CO2 more of that ocean would be ice.

    At no time did I mention the effects of CO2 on oceanic ice formation. To requote my self.

    There is no such thing as a permanent gas. The states of gas, liquid and solid are the product of heat and pressure. You are also wrong about the GH effect of H2O. When the sun heats the ocean it is in effect warming a liquid gas. When water vapour rises it can absorb black body radiation in exactly the same way as it does in it’s liquid state. It is the same for CO2. Nether rely on each other for for their absorption qualities.

    Now I could be wrong but could we do better than “About time you read up on some physics!”?

  132. Arthur Glass

    CO2, of course, does not condense, if ‘condensation’ is the phase change from gas to liquid; rather it passes directly from gas to solid (dry ice) and vice-versa.

    Liquid Carbon Dioxide Pump delivers high-pressure operation.

    July 31, 2008 – Able to pressurize carbon dioxide up to 10,000 psi at flow rates from 0.01-24.0 ml/min, self-contained SFT-10 utilizes dual sapphire syringe pump technology and can perform in standard constant pressure mode as well as optional constant flow mode. Peltier (thermoelectric) technology makes it possible to achieve high pressure without external cooling bath; chiller maintains temperature at pump heads low enough to ensure CO2 remains liquid.

    http://news.thomasnet.com/fullstory/547486

  133. Phil. (06:49:37) :
    I was responding to this, which is clearly incorrect.
    “And the real greenhouse gas is H2O. It is the one that keeps the Earth 30K warmer than it would have been without an atmosphere. Forget CO2, it is but a minor player.”

    Lucia (06:52:55) :
    If the question is: All other things being equal, does more CO2 lead to warming, the answer is yes. Is there enough CO2 for the effect to be non-negligible: yes. All other things being equal, if there was half as much CO2, would the temperature of the earth drop? Yes. It would drop somewhat, even if there was H2O in the atmosphere. Would the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere drop: Almost certainly. The maximum absolute humidity drops as air temperature drops.

    Clearly removing the CO2 would drop the temperature and therefore the amount of H2O by some amount, but once that drop has been accomplished things would stabilize and we would end up with an Earth perhaps 5 degrees cooler [to be generous to the AGW crowd], which still leaves H2O to account for 25K of greenhouse effect, hence H2O is still the dominant GHG. In fact, it does not matter which tri [or more] -atomic gas is present as long there is one [or two]. Also consider Lucia’s example and assume that there was some warming [ocean fluctuations, even – God forbid – the Sun], then more water vapor would be produced and that extra H2O would raise the temperature even more until a new equilibrium is obtained without the need for CO2 [not forgetting that some extra CO2 may also be driven out of solution by the warming]. So, at any time H2O is dominant, as long as you don’t increase CO2 by one or two orders of magnitude. The physics of the GHG warming [the 33K over the no-atmosphere temperature of 255K] does not depend on which tri-atomic gas is present, as reading up on the physics would show.

  134. Leif says:

    Also consider Lucia’s example and assume that there was some warming [ocean fluctuations, even – God forbid – the Sun], then more water vapor would be produced and that extra H2O would raise the temperature even more until a new equilibrium is obtained without the need for CO2 [not forgetting that some extra CO2 may also be driven out of solution by the warming]. So, at any time H2O is dominant, as long as you don’t increase CO2 by one or two orders of magnitude. The physics of the GHG warming [the 33K over the no-atmosphere temperature of 255K] does not depend on which tri-atomic gas is present, as reading up on the physics would show.

    However, that seems to ignore the special properties of H2O that CO2 does not have. To wit, that it condenses into clouds, and thus can block insolation, and that it transports large amounts of energy around as it undergoes phase transitions, and that it transports energy around from one place to another in its liquid phase.

  135. Following up on my own comment:

    However, that seems to ignore the special properties of H2O that CO2 does not have. To wit, that it condenses into clouds, and thus can block insolation, and that it transports large amounts of energy around as it undergoes phase transitions, and that it transports energy around from one place to another in its liquid phase.

    The really interesting questions, it seems to me are:

    Given that the temperature response to CO2 is logarithmic and the negative feedback provided by clouds, is there any possibility of a thermal runaway?

    Secondly, to address the issue that Brendan seems so fond of, would humans go extinct if average temperatures rose by say 3-5K? (Says he, tongue firmly in cheek).

  136. Richard Sharpe (09:04:28) :
    “So, at any time H2O is dominant, as long as you don’t increase CO2 by one or two orders of magnitude. The physics of the GHG warming [the 33K over the no-atmosphere temperature of 255K] does not depend on which tri-atomic gas is present, as reading up on the physics would show.”

    However, that seems to ignore the special properties of H2O that CO2 does not have. To wit, that it condenses into clouds, and thus can block insolation, and that it transports large amounts of energy around as it undergoes phase transitions, and that it transports energy around from one place to another in its liquid phase.

    Those special properties make H2O an efficient ‘thermostat’ of the climate, but has nothing to do with the basic greenhouse effect [the 33K added to 255K]. What H2O does is to introduce negative feedback into the system that helps prevent runaways.

  137. This is how I understand the relative importance of CO2 vs. H2O as GHG’s.

    CO2 is an important GHG and contributes to earth temperatures in the range of concentrations up to about 200 ppm. The narrow absorption bands of CO2 with the logarithmic (rapidly diminishing) GHG effect above 200 ppm concentrations result in man’s minuscule CO2 emissions having of negligible effect on the climate.

    H2O, having abroad spectrum infrared absorption spectrum is the dominant GHG. H2O, because it is so prevalent and exists in both liquid, aerosol(clouds) and vapour phases is much more complex to model. AGW modelers apply hypothetical positive feedback factors to the small theoretical forcing due to increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration in order to achieve their predictions of catastrophic global warming. I understand that their hypothesis is that the slight warming due to CO2 concentration increase results in more H2O vapour in the atmosphere, thus amplifying the effect of the CO2 increase. These hypothetical feedback factors are derived from the supposition that recent warming is entirely due to man’s emissions of GHG’s. Even more conjectural are the alleged “tipping points” of Hansen and Gore. Until we know more, I would rely on Occam’s Razor which leads me to the hypothesis that H2O stabilizes the earths climate through negative feedback mechanisms.

  138. Richard Sharpe (09:15:11) :
    Given that the temperature response to CO2 is logarithmic
    This is only over a limited range. Imagine that the response was truly logarithmic, so that a doubling of CO2 would increase T by [say, 2K, but any number greater than 0K would do], then a halving would decrease T by 2K, another halving would decrease by another 2K, and 100 halvings by 200K, so it seems that removing CO2 [infinitely many halvings] would result in a infinite delta T.

  139. Robert Austin–
    Some of what you write is correct. But you are mistaken on some points.

    These hypothetical feedback factors are derived from the supposition that recent warming is entirely due to man’s emissions of GHG’s.

    At least some, if not the majority, of assumed positive feedbacks have a firm basis in physic. For example, the fact that warm air holds more moisture than cold air is not derived from the supposition that recent warming is due to man. (Certainly, no one sizing a dehumidifier thinks this assumption arises from the supposition that recent warming is due to man.) Also, the spectral properties of CO2 or H2O are not derived from the supposition that recent warming was due to man. ( That’s why Phil’s discussion of the behavior or lasers above applies. The spectral properties of CO2 are the spectral properties of CO2.)

    That said: There are many parameterizations (aka. approximate descriptions of physics) in models, and these parameterizatoins are often not tightly constrained by known physics. There is enough that is unknown to permit one to doubt predictions or projections of models. At a minimum, the standard should be: provide quantitative compare the predictions with a critical eye describing flaws or strengths in a balanced way.

    The difficulty is that, for some reason, quite a few people seem to want to criticize those aspects of the science on which there is greatest agreement: the radiative physics of CO2 and/or H20. Unlike Leif, I don’t know how much the temperature would drop if we halved CO2– but we both agree it would drop. CO2 matters enough that doubling or half, should, in the long run, make a noticeable difference to the earth’s climate. Of course, noticable is not necessarily catastrophic– but that possiblity can’t be excluded either.

  140. It ain’t necessarily so,

    It ain’t necessarily so.

    There ain’t no reliance on climatic science

    As far as all honest men know.

  141. Phil.

    There is a lot of fuzzy logic in this:

    “That’s exactly what happens, during the radiative lifetime of the excited state it will endure ~10^5 collisions, more than enough to deactivate the excited state and share the energy with the colliders, predominantly N2 & O2.”

    What exactly do you mean by “deactivate” in quantum mechanical terms?
    The GHG is in an excited state, pregnant with a photon of a specific energy, a quantum. It cannot give up that energy by rubbing or bouncing against other molecules. That energy will be given off piecemeal. That is what a quantized state means. Thus I cannot see what the collisions have to do with the case.

    The infrared photon coming out of the GHG in deactivation will be of the same energy it came in and the only mechanism I see of giving kinetic energy to other molecules is by successive compton scatterings after it comes out.

    I read the link you provided: http://www.laserk.com/newsletters/whiteTHE.html

    It elaborates a bit more but in no way it makes clear how a quantum state becomes a classical collisions case.

    I think that in the AGW models there is confusion between quantum and classical quantities and properties. This is one of them.

  142. Lucia

    The sensitivity of a black-body earth is 0.21 K/(W/m2)
    The sensitivity of the grey-body earth as we observe it today is 0.30 K/(W/m2). The difference from what I understand is mainly caused by water in it’s various forms, a few other ghgs and surface reflectance. If the insolation increased by 3.7 W/m2 the temperature would rise 1.1 degree C because the 0.30 sensitivity is that of equilibrium, after all the feedbacks, and the minor change of 1.1 degree (compared to the 33 degree already there) can not change the sensitivity much.
    Why then will 3,7 W from a CO2 doubling be totally different, giving a 3 degree rise? (IPCC)
    Not through feedbacks, the 0.30 K/(W/m2) is what we are observing, with feedbacks included.

  143. Leif says:

    Richard Sharpe (09:15:11) :
    Given that the temperature response to CO2 is logarithmic
    This is only over a limited range. Imagine that the response was truly logarithmic, so that a doubling of CO2 would increase T by [say, 2K, but any number greater than 0K would do], then a halving would decrease T by 2K, another halving would decrease by another 2K, and 100 halvings by 200K, so it seems that removing CO2 [infinitely many halvings] would result in a infinite delta T.

    Thank you for reminding me that I should not elide important parts of the argument.

  144. Lucia says:

    The difficulty is that, for some reason, quite a few people seem to want to criticize those aspects of the science on which there is greatest agreement: the radiative physics of CO2 and/or H20. Unlike Leif, I don’t know how much the temperature would drop if we halved CO2– but we both agree it would drop. CO2 matters enough that doubling or half, should, in the long run, make a noticeable difference to the earth’s climate. Of course, noticable is not necessarily catastrophic– but that possiblity can’t be excluded either.

    Lucia, how much weight should we give to that possibility, and how much comfort can we derive from that fact that it hasn’t happened in the past. See for example:

    Carbon levels in the past where there is evidence of CO2 levels being something of the order of 5 times todays levels (ie 2 doublings) only some 300MYA …

    Given that we have evidence that higher CO2 levels are not going to cause the thermal runaway that the AGWers claim, I think that their extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, not arm waving, and ten more years of research, during which time I believe we will get a definitive answer, is not going to cause even one doubling in CO2 by man’s hand.

  145. anna v (12:12:32) :
    Phil.

    There is a lot of fuzzy logic in this:

    No fuzzy logic on my part, some misunderstandings about quantum mech. on your part though.

    “That’s exactly what happens, during the radiative lifetime of the excited state it will endure ~10^5 collisions, more than enough to deactivate the excited state and share the energy with the colliders, predominantly N2 & O2.”

    What exactly do you mean by “deactivate” in quantum mechanical terms?
    The GHG is in an excited state, pregnant with a photon of a specific energy, a quantum. It cannot give up that energy by rubbing or bouncing against other molecules. That energy will be given off piecemeal. That is what a quantized state means. Thus I cannot see what the collisions have to do with the case.

    The infrared photon excites a transition from a lower rovibronic state (v=0, j=n) to a higher state (v=1, ∆j=0,±1), that takes a single quantum of light. However, there are many intervening rotational states with a small energy separation compared with the 667 cm-1 vibrational separation, so collisions can deactivate one quantum of rotational energy at a time (there are no selection rules for this process). Think of it as jumping onto a second story and climbing back down a ladder on step at a time.

    The infrared photon coming out of the GHG in deactivation will be of the same energy it came in and the only mechanism I see of giving kinetic energy to other molecules is by successive compton scatterings after it comes out.

    See above.

    I read the link you provided: http://www.laserk.com/newsletters/whiteTHE.html

    It elaborates a bit more but in no way it makes clear how a quantum state becomes a classical collisions case.

    I think that in the AGW models there is confusion between quantum and classical quantities and properties. This is one of them.

    Not on my part!

  146. Leif Svalgaard (20:15:06) :

    It’s actually pretty amazing that I thought of the car analogy too. What might be more apt is to consider a glass of water with ice that you are holding as you are driving around. Is everything moving the same? Have you experienced that sensation in your stomach after near free fall like on a roller coaster. Not everything moves together – if they aren’t attached rigidly. The Sun moves due to the planets. The Sun is made of gas and plasma (“liquid” is a simplification) and it all acts accordingly (not uniformly I hypothesize) when changes direction occur.

    This is the telling formula for center of mass: xcm = (m1x1 + m2x2 + m3x3 +… )/(m1 + m2 + m3 +… ). The distance of the planetary masses (all other things equal) makes the solar system center of mass move farther from the Sun as the distance of the planetary masses increase from the Sun (unlike tidal forces that weaken over distance). Would not the Sun’s orbit around the barycenter follow Kepler’s laws (even thought they were written for planets around the Sun)?

    I find your discussion about center of mass and center of gravity interesting. If you dig in a little further, you’ll find that approximations are made for mathematical simplicity. Every atom attracts every other atom (so yes, I disagree with how you describe it). It makes things easier mathematically when lots of atoms/molecules are in the same approximate place. I haven’t figured out how that adds to this discussion though…

    Thanks for your insights and time.

  147. Phi.

    The infrared photon excites a transition from a lower rovibronic state (v=0, j=n) to a higher state (v=1, ∆j=0,±1), that takes a single quantum of light. However, there are many intervening rotational states with a small energy separation compared with the 667 cm-1 vibrational separation, so collisions can deactivate one quantum of rotational energy at a time (there are no selection rules for this process). Think of it as jumping onto a second story and climbing back down a ladder on step at a time..

    Right, quantum into classical.

    I need a link before I can begin thinking it is not hand waving here, preferably with experimental results.

  148. Ok, one flaw in my prev post is that 31% of the 3,7 W increased insolation is reflected so it should be removed from the equation.
    But still, the remaining 2.54 W should give a 1.1 K temp increase which gives a sensitivity of 0.43 K/(W/m2) or +1.6 C for a CO2 doubling.
    (very close to Lyman et al. 2006 btw)

  149. Alphajuno (21:50:24) :
    Have you experienced that sensation in your stomach after near free fall like on a roller coaster.
    As long as the free fall is maintained, no force is felt.

    This is the telling formula for center of mass: xcm = (m1×1 + m2×2 + m3×3 +… )/(m1 + m2 + m3 +… ). The distance of the planetary masses (all other things equal) makes the solar system center of mass move farther from the Sun as the distance of the planetary masses increase from the Sun (unlike tidal forces that weaken over distance). Would not the Sun’s orbit around the barycenter follow Kepler’s laws (even thought they were written for planets around the Sun)?
    Consider a little pea at some distance from the Sun. As you point out, the barycenter moves away from the Sun as the bodies of the solar system increase their distance. So, now move the pea away from the Sun; since there is no limit to how far away you can move the pea, there will be no limit to how far away you can move the barycenter either. All of this has been discussed over and over again before. To get a feeling for the arbitrariness of the barycenter notion, consider this question: Since both the Sun and the Earth orbit the barycenter, will the distance between the Sun and the Earth reflect that motion? or will the distance be unaffected by the barycenter orbits? For simplicity, one may assume that the eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit is zero. If so, the distance between the Sun and the Earth will be constant at all times. Agree?

    If you dig in a little further, you’ll find that approximations are made for mathematical simplicity.
    No, not at all. Mother Nature does not make any approximations. Astronomers and navigators do not make approximations either, but calculate the positions as close to actuality as humanly possible [important when trying to land a spacecraft on Mars].

  150. Anna V

    Right, quantum into classical.

    I need a link before I can begin thinking it is not hand waving here, preferably with experimental results.

    There is generally much handwaving in Phil.’s posts and he can’t even answer simple questions like “Prove that CO2 in LTE emits no radiation while it absorbs the available IR” (that is what he believes :) ) .

    Actually it is not necessary to consider lasers that work in non equilibrium conditions and only mudy waters when it comes to the atmosphere .

    The things that happen are rather simple .
    Let’s consider only a mixture of N2 and CO2 exposed to IR radiation to avoid strawmen and red herrings that come when adding other molecules , non equilibrium conditions and such .

    The behaviour of this mixture will be dominated by only 2 processes .
    1) absorption and emission of infrared radiation
    2) absorption and emission of kinetic energy by collisions

    1)
    The first process is quantum mechanical .
    N2 having no permanent electrical dipole will negligibly interact with IR radiation (it actually has collision induced dipole so emits and absorbs IR but we’ll neglect this) .
    CO2 has 3 vibration modes that present an electrical dipole so will interact with IR and 1 mode that is IR inactive .
    The vibration energy levels are of course quantified , therefore CO2 has absorption and emission bands .
    For the most important energy levels the mean decay time is in the order of millisecond .

    As the CO2 has no permanent electrical dipole , it has no pure rotational transition .
    However we have seen above that 3 vibration modes induce an electric dipole , so there will also be rotation lines BETWEEN every 2 vibration lines .
    The molecule will therefore absorb and emit photons with energy that corresponds to the difference between 2 vibration lines and 2 rotation lines .

    2)
    The second process is semi classical .
    During collisions between CO2 and N2 following can happen with notations : T = translationnal energy , V = vibrationnal energy , R = rotationnal energy .

    T-T transfer which is the classical collision where the molecules exchange only translationnal energy
    T-V transfer where CO2 changes its vibrationnal energy (e.g excites or decays) while N2 changes correspondingly its translationnal energy (e.g decreases or increases) .
    V-V transfer where CO2 changes its V and N2 changes its V too .
    T-R transfer is forbidden because neither CO2 nor N2 has a permanennt dipole
    T- V+ R transfer where CO2 changes both its V and R while N2 changes its T . This is actually the general case .

    (For more technical details you can consult f.ex “V.Joly , C.Marmignon , P.Jacquet in Aerospace Science and Technology 1999 No5 , “Vibrationnal relaxation of CO2 in a CO2-N2 mixture”)

    When our mixture is in LTE (Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium) what is the case up to some 100 km altitude , following is true :

    – the mean time between collisions is much shorter than the emission mean time . About 100 000 times less . So the mixture is collision dominated what is precisely the condition for LTE .
    – the energy is distributed according to the Planck-Boltzmann law what is the consequence of the great number of collisions that equilibrate T with V and R . The V-V processes are a specific matter that I won’t consider here .

    From the 2 results above follows and even if Phil. doesn’t like the idea that
    The radiation emitted by the excited CO2 can be described by the Planck and Stephan-Boltzmann black body laws at the local equilibrium temperature
    So yes , the CO2 in LTE radiates and radiates exactly as much as is necessary to maintain a constant temperature regardless of all collisional processes that are in themal equilibrium too .

  151. anna v (22:10:35) :

    Right, quantum into classical.

    I need a link before I can begin thinking it is not hand waving here, preferably with experimental results.

    Be my guest, Googling “collisional quenching” should find you plenty to start from. In your case there are so many holes in your knowledge on the subject (10+ orders of magnitude out on radiative lifetime!) that a text book would be more appropriate. Laser Diagnostics for Combustion Temperature and Species (Combustion Science & Technology Book)
    by Alan C. Eckbreth would be a good start.
    Given all your errors in this thread it would be a good idea if you provided links when you posted, it might save some bandwidth.

  152. ‘Liquid Carbon Dioxide Pump delivers high-pressure operation.’

    Interesting; but isn’t it still the case that under natural atmospheric pressures, CO2 does not exist in the liquid state?

  153. Thanks for the new word. I must say, barracking is a bit… unusual. I had to obambulate over to my dictionary to find out what it means.

    Will we be seeing a lot of this word in the next, say, eight years?

  154. Arthur Glass (07:18:16) :

    ‘Liquid Carbon Dioxide Pump delivers high-pressure operation.’

    Interesting; but isn’t it still the case that under natural atmospheric pressures, CO2 does not exist in the liquid state?

    True. I was only pointing out that CO2 can exist as a liquid as can all gases under certain conditions.

  155. Thanks, Tom.

    I am out of my field in this.

    I can see the semiclassical as a sort of coherent interaction/exchange of very low energy photons between whole molecules exciting vibrational bands. After all the kinetic energy available from collisions is very soft.

    Can you clarify for me if, once the CO2 has absorbed a “hard” infrared photon it can get deexcited by a collision? I can see cascade decays spewing out softer photons if the energy levels are there, but can collisions trigger this, which is what Phil is saying?

  156. But then, isn’t the issue that N2 cannot give up its energy by radiation and can only transfer it back to H2O and CO2? And given that it is much more abundant than either of those, they will pretty much absorb as much energy as they can from N2 and radiate it away?

  157. Richard Sharpe (10:05:49) :
    But then, isn’t the issue that N2 cannot give up its energy by radiation and can only transfer it back to H2O and CO2? And given that it is much more abundant than either of those, they will pretty much absorb as much energy as they can from N2 and radiate it away?

    M. Chrysos et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. vol 100, 133007, 2008 show that a large class of molecules, including CO2, absorbs and scatters light during intermolecular collisions. During a molecular interaction [e.g. collision with N2], a transient ‘supermolecular’ complex arises with its own degrees of freedom [different from those of the constituent molecules]. The net result is that a broader band of frequencies [not available to single molecules] can be absorbed or scattered. They show that these long-range intermolecular interactions are far more important than short-range ones for absorption, in conflict with mainstream assumptions.

  158. Leif Svalgaard (01:36:36) :

    Leif,
    Thanks for your continuing dialog. May I suggest that you visit an amusement park on your next vacation?
    The pea analogy I think would apply to Pluto but not more massive bodies like the gas giants.
    Consider a lever. The fulcrum is the barycenter. As you get farther and farther from the fulcrum, it takes less force to raise the large mass on the other side of the fulcrum. I think this analogy would only apply to bodies orbiting another body. Certainly a distant star does not have the same influence if the star is not gravitationally bound to our Sun.
    In order for equilibrium to be maintained for the gas giants, the Sun must move with them (otherwise the universe would be a very chaotic place with no bodies orbiting other bodies). When the Sun moves, it may disrupt its internal equilibrium and the 11ish year solar cycle. There are probably other things going on as well but I would find it hard to believe that a relatively chaotic response (referencing the link to the plot of the Sun’s orbiter around the barycenter due to Jupiter only) to large gas giants causing the Sun to speed up and slow down (or wobble) would have no influence. At some point, the Sun’s innards will get reorganized again and then we’ll start seeing sunspots again. But right now, there may be internal solar chaos due to the Jupiter/Uranus/Neptune alignment. The only other answer we have is “this happens once in a while – solar activity will pick up again soon”. That’s not a very good answer.

  159. Leif Svalgaard (01:36:36) :

    Sorry, I should have answered your Earth question a little bit more directly. In a two body system with circular orbits – yes I agree. We don’t have that in the solar system.

  160. Alphajuno (20:52:16)

    I think it was Aristotle who said: give me where to stand and I can move the earth. He should have added: and a strong and long enough stick.

    The fulcrum is a good analogy of why barycenters are just virtual points:

    Think of your fulcrum. Substitute the whole length of it with an (large)elastic material keeping the mass there constant. Will the fulcrum work and raise the other mass?
    Why not?
    Because it depends on the transfer of the forces, no matter how slight, through the strong bonds of the solid material. The elastic material defuses the forces into distortions.

    Thus, for gravity and the motion of the planets to have any strong measurable effect on the sun, the force of gravity should have been much stronger than it is. It is the weakest of the four forces we know .

    The only way the planets can affect the sun is through tides, and those of course will be correlated with the barycenter motion, but not caused by it, as the lifting of the mass in your fulcrum is not caused by the barycenter. These tides are very small, order of mm lift as Leif has taught us, to make any difference in what the sun does internally.

    The tides of the moon on the earth are much stronger. Did you know that the barycenter of the earth moon system passes underneath us, in the earth? Nothing extra than the normal tides happens, because the barycenter is a virtual point sometimes helpful ( as in the fulcrum, and the design of cars) in calculations and mostly irrelevant.

    Walk with somebody down a road, one on each side . There is a barycenter between you walking the middle of the road. A car goes through the barycenter of the two of you. Do you feel anything?

    It is the forces, not the virtual constructs that are important.

  161. Alphajuno (21:06:56) :
    In a two body system with circular orbits – yes I agree. We don’t have that in the solar system.
    A three-body system: Sun, Jupiter, Earth. Still agree? Since the Earth’s orbital eccentricity varies, at some point it could be exactly circular [this is just to make the argument simpler]. Your argument should work even if the orbits were circular. If you don’t think so, then at what eccentricity should it begin to work?

    This is the telling formula for center of mass: xcm = (m1×1 + m2×2 + m3×3 +… )/(m1 + m2 + m3 +… ).
    Does not involve a fulcrum nor anything gravitationally bound. But if you like, let the pea be in circular orbit. Consider two comets orbiting very close to one another. One has eccentricity 0.999,999,999,999,999 and is therefore gravitationally bound, the other has eccentricity 1.000,000,000,000,001 and is therefore not gravitationally bound. You are suggesting that one would orbit the barycenter and the other one not? The orbits that bodies follow have nothing to do with being ‘bound’. The two comets will see almost exactly the same gravitational field and will travel side by side to a very high degree when within several astronomical units of the Sun. If not close enough for you, throw in some more 999s and 000s, until satisfied.

    May I suggest that you visit an amusement park on your next vacation?
    I may need it, as it is sad in this day and age to be confronted with such blatant ignorance. Maybe there is something to the notion that the school system has failed the public.

  162. Alphajuno (20:52:16) :
    […] Sun’s orbiter around the barycenter due to Jupiter only) to large gas giants causing the Sun to speed up and slow down (or wobble) would have no influence.

    To see the basic physics, consider a system with only the Sun and Jupiter moving in a circular orbit. The sun would not speed up or slow down, but move with constant speed. Agree? The Sun would still wobble, but at constant speed, therefore no forces. So wobbling has nothing to do with anything.

  163. Continued.
    Come to think of it, it is in the sea-saw that the fulcrum is in the baricenter. In a general level it is not. Due to english not being my first language I confused level with fulcrum, as can be seen in the “Think of your fulcrum. Substitute the whole length of it with an (large)elastic material keeping the mass there constant.”

    So it is : “think of your lever”.

  164. Leif,

    The sun would not speed up or slow down, but move with constant speed.
    Are you sure? If the barycenter is moving in an orbit around the center of the galaxy, the sun will sometimes be outside of this orbit and sometimes closer to the center. To preserve the momentum it will have to speed up when closer to the center and slow down when outside the barycenter orbit.
    But it’s probably the 0.000,000,000,001 number again :-)

  165. lgl (09:49:23) :
    “The sun would not speed up or slow down, but move with constant speed.”
    Are you sure? If the barycenter is moving in an orbit around the center of the galaxy, the sun will sometimes be outside of this orbit and sometimes closer to the center. To preserve the momentum it will have to speed up when closer to the center and slow down when outside the barycenter orbit.
    But it’s probably the 0.000,000,000,001 number again :-)

    And the Galaxy is in orbit around the center of mass of the local group of some twenty other galaxies, which is in orbit around …, etc. Lots of stuff going on once you get past the first ten zeroes… But totally irrelevant. Explore http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/news/2008ScienceMeeting/posters/P4_01_Lynch_Poster.pdf to see how crackpotty one can get.

  166. Leif

    You can’t say it’s totally irrelevant. The sun’s orbit is changing all the time so it feels a force. It’s the free fall that’s irrelevant. An object can be torn apart by gravitational forces in a free fall.

  167. lgl (14:41:39) :
    An object can be torn apart by gravitational forces in a free fall.

    What tears the body apart are tidal forces which are zero [or negligible] across the body in a uniform field. For the field to be non-uniform, the source must not be too far away as tidal forces fall off as the cube of the distance. For a body falling into a black hole or a satellite getting too close to Saturn [breaking up into a ring], the distances are very small compared to planetary, stellar, galactic, etc distances.

    The sun’s orbit is changing all the time so it feels a force.
    ‘Free fall’ is motion with no acceleration other than that provided by gravity, but since all parts of the body feel the same gravitational field [unless the field is non-uniform and we are back to the tidal situation], they are all accelerated the same way and therefore move together and therefore do not ‘feel’ the motion. This is what is meant by ‘feeling no forces’. And since they all move together no ‘readjustment’ of or ‘effects’ on the parts of the body occur, so the body does not know it is being accelerated or moved. It cannot even measure the field. Consider the unfortunate man in a free-falling elevator dropping his ipod. The ipod will float in front of his nose and not move away towards the floor. It is impossible for the man to measure the field or even know that there is a field. With the mass of the Earth twice as large, so that the elevator is accelerated twice as much, the man would not feel any thing different, his ipod would still float in front of his nose.

    Now, how many times must this be said? And didn’t we all learn that in school? [discounting the science-challenged which really cannot participate as critics in this discussion].

  168. Leif
    I learned in school that you need to apply a force to change the direction of a moving body so the sun is not in free fall in the meaning ‘feeling no force’.
    This cannot be a matter of gravity between the sun and the planets only but maybe the gravity of the spiral arm is more important than gravity from the galactic center, since the sun is moving relative to the spiral arm too and it is much closer.

  169. lgl (02:12:40) :
    I learned in school that you need to apply a force to change the direction of a moving body so the sun is not in free fall in the meaning ‘feeling no force’.

    I’ll try again:
    ‘Free fall’ is motion with no acceleration other than that provided by gravity, but since all parts of the body feel the same gravitational field [unless the field is non-uniform and we are back to the tidal situation], they are all accelerated the same way and therefore move together and therefore do not ‘feel’ the motion. This is what is meant by ‘feeling no forces’. And since they all move together no ‘readjustment’ of or ‘effects’ on the parts of the body occur, so the body does not know it is being accelerated or moved.

    And, BTW, check page 150 of the reference I gave. In General Relativity, gravity is not a force at all.

    so the sun is not in free fall in the meaning ‘feeling no force’.
    Is muddled. ‘Free fall’ is one thing. ‘Feeling a force’ is something else. Free fall is motion with no acceleration except gravity, so even if gravity changes the direction [which is acceleration] it is still a free fall. ‘Feeling no force’ does not mean there is no force [in the classical sense – in General Relativity, gravity is not a force] just that whatever forces there are are in balance and are felt equally by all parts of the body. Like you do not ‘feel’ that you are moving 30 km/s around the Sun, or 600 mph in an airplane.

  170. AnnaV

    Can you clarify for me if, once the CO2 has absorbed a “hard” infrared photon it can get deexcited by a collision? I can see cascade decays spewing out softer photons if the energy levels are there, but can collisions trigger this, which is what Phil is saying?

    Of course . It is either that or to radiate .

    Both are possible and necessary because the proportion of excited CO2 must stay constant (LTE) .
    It is simply a (reversible) interaction between translationnal and vibrationnal degrees of freedom and works both ways .
    In the collisionnal case NO IR photon is involved .
    The energy is transferred directly from the vibrationnal CO2 energy to the translationnal N2 energy .
    And of course N2 can symetricaly excite the CO2 by hitting it and transfering just enough energy to make it go 1 vibrationnal step up .

    Well those are the basics and it is not very complicated .

    L.Svalgaard rightly says that the reality is more complicated .
    IMHO he should not have said that because I see that some people struggle with barycenters so I imagine that metastable dimers are … ummmm … somewhat far away from the topic .

    Actually it is not the principles that are more complicated but the computations are .
    Indeed any molecules in collision create transient complexes (mostly dimers) that are quasi bound and present collisionnaly induced electrical dipoles .
    So they absorb and radiate and have an IR spectrum .
    Via this mechanism H2 , O2 , N2 , you name it , radiate and absorb IR too . It is generally neglected because it is much less than the molecules with either permanent of vibrationnal dipoles and because the computations are horrible and experiences difficult .
    But it exists and is major for dense cool objects made of homonuclear molecules like N2 .

  171. Leif
    I’ll also try again.
    If you are driving a car at high speed from one side of the road to the other and back, will you feel a force?
    (assuming you do this as an experiment and not because you are drunk:)

  172. Now, how many times must this be said? And didn’t we all learn that in school? [discounting the science-challenged which really cannot participate as critics in this discussion].

    We can correct the physicist, encouraging him to change his use of which to who, since we science-challenged are still people.
    ; – )

  173. lgl (11:29:49) :
    If you are driving a car at high speed from one side of the road to the other and back, will you feel a force?
    That is because your butt is in direct contact with the car, but your head is not, so what you feel is a difference of forces [which is all one can feel anyway]. And don’t confuse the force delivered by the engine with gravity. Did you read page 150? And why not?

  174. Bill P (13:58:22) :
    [discounting the science-challenged which really cannot participate as critics in this discussion].
    We can correct the physicist, encouraging him to change his use of which to who, since we science-challenged are still people.
    ; – )

    English is not my first language [number five or six :-) ], but I considered the ‘science-challenged’ to be a ‘class’ or ‘group’ and not ‘a people’, so my internal spell-checker thought it appropriate to use ‘which’ which is usual for ‘objects’ or, perhaps, ‘classes’, but I’m always happy to learn something new, if, indeed, I have to.

  175. Igl

    Here is a classic thought problem for you. You are in a space ship with the engines turned off. You are “zooming” through space (from Earth’s reference frame). In the frame of your ship, you are just floating motionless and everything else is moving past you. You have an accelerometer in your lap.
    This ship’s hull is negatively charged with electrons. As you fly through a solar system, you bypass a positively charged planet (or whatever). What happens? You “feel” yourself being accelerated toward the planet. Your path is “bent”, if you will. Your skin feels it, your butt feels it from the ship, and your accelerometer reads this acceleration. In fact, there is a particle interaction that is carrying this electromagnetic force which is the cause of your acceleration.
    Next, you bypass a massive planet. Once again, from Earth’s reference frame, you are accelerated around the planet. In this ship, however, you feel… NOTHING! The accelerometer remains at a reading of zero. Your butt is not pressed into your seat by the “force” that is “bending” your path. In your reference frame, you are continuing on your free fall with engines off, and the universe is shifting by you.
    As Leif mentioned, in General Relativity, gravity is not a force. In classical mechanics it is. Gen Rel. predicts the orbit of Mercury with astonishing accuracy, while classical mechanics fails. Now, there are other theories of gravity which also predict planetary motion quite well (quantum loop gravity and others). In Gen. Rel., but not QLG, there need not even be a particle transmitting the “force”, unlike the electromagnetic force which has a carrier particle. Also, it is possible that there is no particle transmitting gravity.
    I, for one, am anxiously awaiting those technicians to fix the danged Large Hadron Collider so we can see if gravitons really exist.
    The unfortunate basis for all this confusion is the way we teach physics in High School and undergraduate classes. We teach gravity as a force because it gives the brain a nice concrete picture that we can use to solve problems and make predictions. This is very similar to the way we teach basic chemistry using the Bohr model of the atom. We know that the atom (or gravity) does not look the way we teach it, but it is good for creating a visual and solving the basic problems. Since most people never take general relativity, cosmology, or anything of that nature, they always have this simplified and incomplete understanding of gravity.

    Having said this, I am confident that nobody understands gravity. There has to be some big (and maybe even obvious) leap of understanding that we are all missing. For instance, it sure seems like a fine coincidence that gravitational mass appears to be identical to inertial mass.

  176. Old Coach (22:57:27) :
    This ship’s hull is negatively charged with electrons. As you fly through a solar system, you bypass a positively charged planet (or whatever). What happens? You “feel” yourself being accelerated toward the planet.
    But if you were also negatively charged to the same potential as the hull [i.e. no spark or current if you touch the hull], then you would not feel anything either. The crucial point is that is all parts of a system undergo the same acceleration then that acceleration cannot be felt.

  177. puh- inertial mass, finally you said it :)
    That’s exactly what I’m talking about, not gravitational mass.
    The sun is wiggeling in it’s orbit so there is a force applied perpendicular to the direction of motion hence the sun ‘feels’ it.

  178. Since you have never heard about linear momentum, start here:

    http://www.racquetresearch.com/linmom.htm

    “Linear momentum is the tendency of an object moving in a certain direction to keep going at the same speed in the same direction. It is the product of the object’s inertia (its mass M) and its velocity (v), or Mv”

  179. Leif & Old Coach
    “This ship’s hull is negatively charged with electrons. As you fly through a solar system, you bypass a positively charged planet (or whatever). What happens? You “feel” yourself being accelerated toward the planet.
    But if you were also negatively charged to the same potential as the hull [i.e. no spark or current if you touch the hull], then you would not feel anything either. The crucial point is that is all parts of a system undergo the same acceleration then that acceleration cannot be felt”

    I would have been pushed agains the hull and so would you, unless you only have gravitational mass and not inertial mass. But what do I know, I have heard about antimatter, maybe you are made of anti-inertial-matter :-)

  180. lgl (02:08:35) :
    puh- inertial mass, finally you said it :)
    That’s exactly what I’m talking about, not gravitational mass.

    General Relativity posits that the inertial mass is equal to the gravitational mass, even Newton’s laws posit that, and all experiments show that to great precision, so you cannot [and don’t] talk meaningfully about their difference. You seem to have no idea what you are talking about.

    The sun is wiggeling in it’s orbit so there is a force applied perpendicular to the direction of motion hence the sun ‘feels’ it.

    You simply don’t get it:
    “The crucial point is that if all parts of a system undergo the same acceleration then that acceleration cannot be felt.”

    If the whole Sun wiggles, the wiggeling is not felt. If only a part of the Sun wiggles the Sun will feel it. And again, gravity is not a force.

    lgl (02:46:39) :
    No I have not read page 150. Your link is just a review of the book as far as I can see.

    The review is conveniently positioned at page 150, so read it. Or better, get the book and read it, but at least read page 150, line 17 at the link. You refusal is telling. You could at least humor me.

  181. Leif,
    Your link says “Gravity emerges not as an actual physical force but as a consequence of space-time geometry”
    I can’t see what that has to do with linear momentum.

  182. lgl (07:10:31) :
    Your link says “Gravity emerges not as an actual physical force but as a consequence of space-time geometry”
    I can’t see what that has to do with linear momentum.

    There seems to be many things you cannot see. I was under the impression that the barycenter effects had to do with gravity in the first place, no?

    lgl (05:46:24) :
    “This ship’s hull is negatively charged with electrons. As you fly through a solar system, you bypass a positively charged planet (or whatever). What happens?” […] I would have been pushed against the hull and so would you, unless you only have gravitational mass and not inertial mass. But what do I know, I have heard about antimatter, maybe you are made of anti-inertial-matter :-)

    I think you hit it on the head this time. The example had to do with electromagnetic forces, and has nothing to do with mass and in any event the inertial and gravitational mass are equal.

    Your error has nothing to do with General Relativity, Inertial/gravitational mass or anything exotic. It is simply that you [among other things] cannot see that “The crucial point is that if all parts of a system undergo the same acceleration then that acceleration cannot be felt.”

    So, slowly now: can you agree with the statement that “The crucial point is that if all parts of a system undergo the same acceleration then that acceleration cannot be felt.”?

  183. This is not about gravity, but about the fact that the sun is moving through space in a close to sin-shaped path, period around 20 years, amplitude a couple of solar diameters, and any inertial mass moving like that will feel a force.

  184. lgl (11:05:13) :
    This is not about gravity, but about the fact that the sun is moving through space in a close to sin-shaped path, period around 20 years, amplitude a couple of solar diameters, and any inertial mass moving like that will feel a force.

    You have still not gotten it:
    “The crucial point is that if all parts of a system undergo the same acceleration then that acceleration cannot be felt.”?

    Apart from the fact that any mass [inertial or not] moving solely under the force of gravity does not feel any forces. But even if you don’t believe that [which you should as that what 21st century physics teaches].

    So, do you agree with the crucial point?

  185. lgl (11:05:13) :
    This is not about gravity
    Would you not agree that it is gravity that ‘makes’ your Sun move like like? Take away gravity, would the Sun still move as you think it does…? So it is very much about gravity.

  186. Yes gravity is the cause but is still not the point. The sun is moving in one direction and is the forced to change direction, and it’s not a constant force like in a circular orbit. Where is the limit then for when it will start feeling a force? Say if it was bouncing 10 solar diameters in 1 year, would it then feel a force?
    Or what if the speed was 10 times higher, 100 times higher?

  187. lgl (15:15:43) :
    Yes gravity is the cause but is still not the point. The sun is moving in one direction and is the forced to change direction, and it’s not a constant force like in a circular orbit. Where is the limit then for when it will start feeling a force? Say if it was bouncing 10 solar diameters in 1 year, would it then feel a force?
    Or what if the speed was 10 times higher, 100 times higher?

    It doesn’t matter what the speed is [until you get up in the neighborhood of light-speed], and it doesn’t matter that the orbit is not circular [it is actually a helix]. And you still don’t get the crucial point: Even if it felt a force, all parts of the Sun would feel it the same way and no rearrangement or alteration of circulations or movements would occur. And I have not asked you, what? seven times? to agree or disagree with the crucial point. One more post ignoring this and no more discussion, and you would not learn anything [perhaps you don’t want to hear an ‘inconvenient truth’…]

  188. Leif

    Yes I agree with your crucial point if you can ignore the gravity of the spiral arms.
    Yes I agree with you on the speed. I realized that flaw right after posting and to be sure I just verified that in my car. Zig-zaging down the road in 300 km/h gave the same sensation as in 100 km/h, when keeping the frequency and amplitude constant (actually I didn’t have much choice regarding the amplitude) However, when passing 250 the car started shaking badly, especially in the curves, which led me to a plan-B conclusion:
    There is an rotational imbalance in the solar system. Because of the high speed this will be more noticable in a bended orbit than when the orbit is more straight.
    Since you will probably not buy this plan-B explanation either, what have we?
    Plan-A: stranded because we don’t know the properties of the galaxy, it’s getting boaring and Leif will soon go ballistic.
    Plan-B was a joke.
    What about plan-C? The planets follow elliptical orbits. They are accelerating from aphelion to perihelion. The energy required must be taken form the sun’s momentum and since they are gravitationally bound to the sun they will give this energy back to the sun after passing perihelion. Their orbits are not always in the sun’s equatorial plane leading to disturbances in the sun.

    I have a feeling we should probably wait a little with plan-C so that Anthony does not kick me out of here.

  189. From Richard deSousa (10:35:13) :
    Certainly the Maunder and Dalton Minimums can be considered natural cycles. Due to our huge population growth we are just as vulnerable as the Mayans. If a catastrophe such as another Maunder or Dalton Minimum befalls us we’re going to suffer a huge die off.
    -end quote

    This is, IMHO, the closest to the truth. We are more vulnerable than the Maya ever were, though. Populations grow to the limit of their resources. In good times (i.e. warm – optimums) that last a few hundred years, the population can increase a lot. Then a bad time comes (cool pessimum) and populations die off. It doesn’t take total collapse of the food system; all it takes is a ~20% reduction in food crop yields. THAT then leads to disease, social unrest, wars and civilization collapse.

    We could avoid it this time. We have unlimited power via nuclear reactors & coal and unlimited fresh water via desalinization. I just think we won’t avoid it. We are not preparing what would let us dodge the civilization collapse.

    I’m generally the one with the endless positive attitude that we are unlimited in resources, and technology will set use free. In this case, though, I don’t see us doing what we need to do. I’m also pretty sure that we’re very near the point where that [cold] climate shift is going to bite us. Hard.

    I don’t think a Dalton type event would do us in. We could survive that, IMHO, via eating the grains we would otherwise feed to animals. The problem is a minimum AND something like a rock from space (as it seems happened in 535 AD) or a major volcano (Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death).

    Why are we more vulnerable? During my lifetime we’ve dropped from a world where we had a 1 to 2 YEARS grain inventory to where it’s measured at a few weeks. We can’t survive even ONE bad crop year globally, never mind 4 or 5. Folks don’t keep 6 months food in the pantry anymore, it’s a 4 days supply in the grocery store… And unlike the Maya, we can’t just go foraging in the jungle if things get tough.

    We’ve built a very brittle and unforgiving system predicated on no widespread crop failure. Ever.

    BTW, the NH is not the only bread basket of the world. The major exporting countries include Argentina and Australia. In fact, that’s part of the problem.

    We, globally, depend on moving grains between hemispheres rather than keeping a year inventory locally after harvest. If we lose the ships somebody dies. Which hemisphere, will depend on who’s harvesting when a meteor strike in the ocean makes a tsuname and wipes out the ships. Not likely in any 1 century, but …

    Defending against THAT is where we ought to be spending our money, not on putting CO2 into a hole in the ground.

    But nobody wants to hear that putting grain in storage for a year ought to be a national priority. It’s not sexy and their is no grant money…

    FWIW, if you want to store your own emergency inventory the best way I’ve found is glass jars. Bug, vermin, and water proof. They keep air out. They are very sturdy to physical abuse if stored in a cardboard box with crushed newspaper or packing peanuts between them. Mine have been through a richter 7.3 and a couple of 5 to 6’s already.

    Lentils store the best of all legumes. Several years as opposed to 1 or 2 for peas and beans (which get hard). White rice stores better than brown rice (less oils to oxidize) and noodles keep for a very long time. (I ate some after a decade… but they were a bit bland… but what noodles aren’t ;-) Salt and sugar are indefinite storage life. Lentils, rice and sprouts may not be exciting, but you’ll live after the {quake, flood, freeze, hurricane… and yes, crop failure}. And truth is, I like curry and the spices keep well 8={0} I have some chili spice mix and some canned powdered milk too. Allow one pound dry / person / day for total food needed. It swells…

    Wheat berries keep well, but making bread from 100% whole wheat is a pain… better to make heifweizen :-) And jars of spaghetti sauce or fruit keep better than cans (couple of years before the flavor drops off and stored upright no liquids are on metals…)

  190. IGL,

    There exist galaxies which with respect to us are traveling at very high velocities. That means that if we take one of them as the stationary center of calculations ( the way you are taking the barycenter as the center of calculations) we are traveling at a huge velocity in the cosmos.

    Do you feel it? Is your hat blowing off?

  191. lgl (02:25:36) :
    What about plan-C? The planets follow elliptical orbits. They are accelerating from aphelion to perihelion. The energy required must be taken form the sun’s momentum and since they are gravitationally bound to the sun they will give this energy back to the sun after passing perihelion. Their orbits are not always in the sun’s equatorial plane leading to disturbances in the sun.

    Apart from the physics being totally wrong [but that does not deter some people], observations [which may convince some people – although not others whose faith in their pseudo-science is strong, just think of the 45% of Americans who believe the Earth is 6000 years old] show that plan-C isn’t working either. The Moon is in an elliptical orbit inclined to the Earth’s equator, so should have an influence [according to your fallacious argument] on the Length-of-the-Day. The LOD is carefully monitored. Here is some good data and graphs with that:

    http://www.iers.org/MainDisp.csl?pid=95-97

    I advocate plan-D: leave astrology well alone.

  192. But the kinetic energy of Jupiter increases by 1/13 and the Earth’s by 1/30 from their aphelion to perihelion, that’s an awful lot of energy. Where is it coming from?

  193. lgl (10:51:01) :
    But the kinetic energy of Jupiter increases by 1/13 and the Earth’s by 1/30 from their aphelion to perihelion, that’s an awful lot of energy. Where is it coming from?

    If you lift a stone in a gravitational field, it is gaining potential energy, when you drop the stone that potential energy becomes kinetic energy as the stone falls. When Jupiter is further away from the Sun it has more potential energy. As it falls closer to the Sun, some of that potential energy becomes kinetic energy, which enables Jupiter to speed up around the Sun in its orbit until it begins to move away again and then slow down, when the kinetic energy again becomes potential energy, and so on the planet cycles.

  194. If Jupiter was accelerated by a collision or something to above the escape velocity, at next perihelion it would accelerate around the sun but escape, ‘steeling’ some energy from the sun and having more kinetic energy than before perihelion, but what about conservation of energy in this case? All potential energy gone since it’s no longer bound to the sun?

  195. lgl (15:32:08) :
    All potential energy gone since it’s no longer bound to the sun?

    The potential energy has nothing to do with being ‘bound’ to the Sun. This idea of things depending on something being gravitationally bound to the Sun is false. The laws of Nature works on all objects, ‘bound’ or not. If I throw a stone straight up it gains potential energy by ‘climbing out of the gravity well of the Earth’. With less than escape velocity [say 0.000000000001 mph less] it gains a lot of potential energy as it will go far [assume a non-rotating Earth to keep things simple], but eventually it will come crashing down. With 0.00000000000001 mph higher than escape velocity it will still gain potential energy [in fact, indefinitely]. If some alien far, far out will stop the stone with a gentle push, it will begin its fall back to the Earth, converting all that potential energy back into kinetic energy. You better step aside as it comes down.

    lgl, you really are not qualified for this discussion if we have to discuss things at this elementary level and it may only be a question of time before Anthony gets tired of this charade as it brings nothing to the blog, except, perhaps, some embarrassing humor, which with time becomes stale.

  196. When the sun is far away from the barycenter it has more potential energy, then it falls closer to the center and gains some kinetic energy ie. speeding up, right?

  197. Leif,
    Correct me if I am wrong- rusty.
    As currently modeled by standard theory- Strong, nuclear, and electromagnetic forces are communicated with photons. There is a “particle” interaction “transmitting” this force. In other words, information is being communicated. The electron -or whatever- “notices” this communication.
    Gravity is still up for grabs. Some theories suggest a graviton that transmits the “force”, others suggest that it is not a force par se and there is no particle interaction. If gravity is space-time geometry, then no information is communicated by a vehicle and and so it is not “noticed”.

    IGl,
    When objects are “unbound”, they gain potential energy forever with increasing distance. However, the affects of gravity approach zero as distance increases, so this PE gain also decreases to zero. As Lief alluded, it is better to consider orbital mechanics as total mechanical energy rather than kinetic. This has little to do with your argument with Lief, but is something to keep in mind when thinking about orbiting planets.

    A fair question – one that has probably been asked before on this blog – is the following:
    How much does Earth respond to the orbit of Jupiter. It should be much more than the effect Jupiter has on the Sun, as our relative distance to Jupiter changes significantly. Do the oceans notice? Is our atmosphere perturbed at all? If yes, then maybe Igl and the gravity-cycle crowd have an argument worth pursuing. If no, then they are likely off target.

  198. lgl (16:29:53) :
    When the sun is far away from the barycenter it has more potential energy, then it falls closer to the center and gains some kinetic energy ie. speeding up, right?

    Even though you agreed to the ‘crucial point’, you seem to forgotten it again. Even if the Sun speeded up or slowed down or moved crazily because a massive black hole showed up, all parts of the Sun would react the same way and no differential of forces would exist and the Sun wouldn’t feel a thing.

    Old Coach (18:03:57) :
    If gravity is space-time geometry, then no information is communicated by a vehicle and and so it is not “noticed”.
    In General Relativity which has passed all tests with flying colors gravity is just geometry.

    How much does Earth respond to the orbit of Jupiter
    Not at all, apart from the usual small perturbations in an N-body situation. And even if it did, all parts of the Earth would react the same way and no effect would be felt. This is the crucial point, that lgl cannot get. Imagine you are in a rocket that I shoot at the Moon; as long as the engine is burning fuel, you feel the acceleration [strongly], but the second the engine is turned off and the only ‘forces’ at play are gravitational, you become ‘weightless’ and feel nothing [even if still moving as fast], you fly out to the Moon, around around the Moon guided by the Moons gravity, then fall back to Earth. You change speed, direction, potential energy, the works. And all the time you feel nothing. People have actually done that and that is the way it is.

  199. Leif,
    Not long time ago you said: “The sun would not speed up or slow down, but move with constant speed.” so it’s a bit confusing, but the ‘crucial point’ is still fine, just a couple of things. I thought if the rotating sun is accelerated in an arc it would create turbulence or change the rotation speed, but I know you will say thats wrong too, so jumping to the next:
    Why can’t you put all the planets in their ‘planetary center of mass’ and use that mass point when calculating the tidal effect on the sun? From time to time that center of mass must be quite close to the sun.

  200. So Leif, would it be true to say that you believe that the Sun is in a free-fall orbit around the barycenter? How does every particle move in tandem with every other particle? It seems counterintuitive with experiments you can do on earth in which an object of varying densities is accelerated (like a glass ball filled with water and air) – not everything accelerates at the same rate.

    But, I understand your point and still respectfully, disagree. I don’t think anyone will change their mind but I enjoyed learning about your perspective. Maybe in another 400 years humanity will have this all figured out.

  201. Alphajuno

    Careful now you heretic :-) The sun is so close to the barycenter it will experience a non-uniform field, so Leif will never buy that.
    It’s a mystery to me too why the sun would not be in free fall around the barycenter like all the other objects (bet thats wrong too), but there is probably a good explanation.

  202. lgl (06:00:59) :
    Why can’t you put all the planets in their ‘planetary center of mass’ and use that mass point when calculating the tidal effect on the sun? From time to time that center of mass must be quite close to the sun.
    Several things wrong with this. First, gravity makes no distinction between the Sun and the Planets and the moons and comets, each is just one of the N-body problem. So, if you want to put the planets at the ‘center of mass’ you must put the Sun in there too. But the whole notion is absurd. Imagine that the Earth has two moons in identical orbits, but 180 degrees apart in longitude, so the moons are always on opposite sides of the Earth. Their ‘moonary center of mass’ would be at the center of the Earth, if the orbits were circular. Image the orbits are eccentric such that the center of mass [or the midpoint between the two moons] would be at the surface of the Earth. Just think of the gigantic tides that would produce if your scheme made sense. No, each planet produces its tides independent of where the other planets were.

    lgl (10:03:11) :
    It’s a mystery to me too why the sun would not be in free fall around the barycenter like all the other objects (bet thats wrong too), but there is probably a good explanation.
    They are all in free fall, including the Sun. If I shoot a rifle bullet straight up, that bullet is in free fall as well.

    Alphajuno (06:35:19) :
    It seems counterintuitive with experiments you can do on earth in which an object of varying densities is accelerated (like a glass ball filled with water and air) – not everything accelerates at the same rate.
    Has 400 years of science been in vain? Galileo [supposedly] proved that objects with different densities accelerate identically by dropping them from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and more recently an astronaut showed to the world that a hammer and a feather fell at the same rate and hit the surface at the same time [on the Moon – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C5_dOEyAfk ].

    But, I understand your point and still respectfully, disagree. I don’t think anyone will change their mind but I enjoyed learning about your perspective. Maybe in another 400 years humanity will have this all figured out.
    This is a remarkable statement and bodes ill for humanity if this is the level of science literacy that we have. If you understand the point, you cannot with scientific integrity intact, respectfully, disagree. And if your mind cannot be changed by acquired insight, that is deplorable. Humanity figured this out 400 years ago, and if that cannot change your mind, then I doubt that if you should be alive 400 years from now, that you would change your mind then.
    You can always claim willful ignorance and respectfully disagree with anything and even refuse to be educated so that you could maintain your denial. This is clearly your choice and nobody would deny you the right to believe stupid things, but say that you foist that belief onto your children, then I would accuse you of a criminal act – like the people that deny their children proper medical treatment because of parental religious belief.

  203. Leif
    I did say ‘planetary center of mass’, meaning planets only. Then you have a two body system and both bodies will accelerate towards their ‘perihelion’
    (maybe that’s not the right word as their orbits are not stable elliptical)
    I know it’s absurd in the context you describe it but my ‘crucial point’
    is: Will the sun be accelerating in an non-uniform gravitational field?

  204. Leif
    b t w in your two moons example their center of mass would have been at center of earth as would the earth-moons center of mass, hence no tide.
    Is that a general rule that if the center of mass is at the center of rotation then no tidal force, and the tide increases as the distance between those two centers increases? Think I’ve read about a Jupiter moon beeing very volcanic because of tidal forces from Jupiter.

  205. lgl (04:28:34) :
    I did say ‘planetary center of mass’, meaning planets only. […] Will the sun be accelerating in an non-uniform gravitational field?
    How is Mother Nature to know what you say? You can’t cherry pick like that.
    There is acceleration in any field, uniform or not. Tides are the result of a non-uniform field. There are always tides. The only question is how high they are.

    b t w in your two moons example their center of mass would have been at center of earth as would the earth-moons center of mass, hence no tide.
    I immediately amended the example to place the CoM at the surface, hence gigantic tides.

    Think I’ve read about a Jupiter moon beeing very volcanic because of tidal forces from Jupiter.
    Yes, Io is being ‘kneaded’ by tidal forces. Again, tides are always there, sometimes they are important, sometimes they are not. It all depends on the distances [cubed], masses, and the diameter of the body. In the case of the Sun, the planetary tides amounts to 1 millimeter.

  206. lgl (04:28:34) :
    I did say ‘planetary center of mass’, meaning planets only. Then you have a two body system
    Imagine you had a two-body system: a double star. Their center of mas [CoM] is halfway between them. Now, put the mass of one of stars at the CoM as you will want for the planets. Putting that mass at the CoM, makes a new CoM to be halfway between the first star and the CoM where you want the mass of the other star to be. Then you want the mass to move to the CoM, this makes yet another new CoM halfway, etc, and before you know it the two stars are on top of each other. Nature avoids that absurdity by not working the way you want it to. The tide depends on the distance to the physical planet.

  207. Old Coach

    Correct me if I am wrong- rusty.
    As currently modeled by standard theory- Strong, nuclear, and electromagnetic forces are communicated with photons. There is a “particle” interaction “transmitting” this force. In other words, information is being communicated. The electron -or whatever- “notices” this communication.
    Gravity is still up for grabs. Some theories suggest a graviton that transmits the “force”, others suggest that it is not a force par se and there is no particle interaction. If gravity is space-time geometry, then no information is communicated by a vehicle and and so it is not “noticed”.

    All modern theories are field theories . Actually quantum field theories (QFT) with 1 exception , the gravity .
    QFT applied to electromagnetical field makes appear special excitation states of the field called photons . So it is said that electromagnetical forces between charged particles are “mediated” by photons .
    QFT applied to weak nuclear forces makes appear vector bosons as “mediators” .
    QFT applied to strong nuclear forces (the name is QCD – quantum chromodynamics) makes appear gluons as “mediators” .

    Those theories are not really separated entities , when the energy goes up , they unify (aka you can’t make the difference) . So for example the electromagnetical and weak force unify in an electroweak force and there is a unified theory describing it (valid only above the unification energy) .
    Next comes the strong nuclear force .
    And last , if everything goes well , gravity .

    Gravity is a special case because a QFT of gravity is not fully developped .
    The string theory is probably the best (some would say the unique) canddate for that .
    Sofar the “working” gravity theory is the general relativity that we have practically unchanged for 100 years .
    In GR no gravitationnal “forces” exist , matter and energy have as property to modify (curve) the geometry . So the geometry becomes just another physical field and boides only follow the valleys and ridges in the space-time without feeling any “forces” .
    As it is a field , it has waves . A gravitationnal wave is a ripple in the geometry that propagates .
    Unfortunately quantifying gravity necessitates to quantify space-time what is a problem because in quantum mechanics space-time is the background where things happen .
    It’s like trying to write a theatre piece where the stage is changing all the time .
    So it is hard to do and that’s why after 80 years it is still not done .
    But a rather “naive” attempt at the quantification of the general relativity shows that the field would be represented by a massless particle of spin 2 that was called graviton .
    It’s just another way to describe a gravity wave but sofar none were observed .
    On top the place where the quantum gravity would really be necessary and apparent is the most unpleasant place in the whole Universe – a black hole and its central singularity .

  208. Leif Svalgaard (22:15:49) :
    Alphajuno (06:35:19) :
    It seems counterintuitive with experiments you can do on earth in which an object of varying densities is accelerated (like a glass ball filled with water and air) – not everything accelerates at the same rate.
    Has 400 years of science been in vain? Galileo [supposedly] proved that objects with different densities accelerate identically by dropping them from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and more recently an astronaut showed to the world that a hammer and a feather fell at the same rate and hit the surface at the same time [on the Moon – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5C5_dOEyAfk ].

    Lgl seems to be ignoring air resistance for experiments done “on Earth”. If you do the same experiments in a vacuum there will be no difference in acceleration.

  209. Ok, I realize I’ve been talking tide but been thinking ‘something that alters fluid flows’, not exactly the same thing. Agree tide is not the issue.
    I will rephrase to: Is the sun accelerating and decelerating?
    If it is, orbiting the barycenter, the side closest to the barycenter will accelerate far less than the other side. This must have impact on the fluid flows in the sun.
    Luckily I have evidence: http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0711/0711.0799v1.pdf fig.6 number two from the top. Frequencies: 0.09/yr (Jupiter) 0.5 (Mars) 1 (Earth) and 1.6 (Venus)

  210. Igl,

    Can you please give up? This is becoming like the play where we are waiting for Godo.( Becket?).

    The paper you cite has nothing to do with the imaginary world through the looking glass you are occupying.

    ” Off with their heads” said the Red Queen.

  211. anna
    Sorry, no, I never give up, but I’m done with all the stupid stuff.
    This last question is relevant and simple, why don’t you answer it?

  212. lgl (14:15:08) :
    Sorry, no, I never give up, but I’m done with all the stupid stuff. This last question is relevant and simple, why don’t you answer it?

    These variations have been known for almost 30 years [but now seen more clearly]. You have cause and effect backwards. Just like on the Earth, the length of the day show seasonal changes because of flows in the atmosphere, solar activity causes flows or ‘winds’ in the uppermost part of the solar convection zone, which then results in the changes of the ‘rotation’ [they are actually just measuring the winds in the solar atmosphere – for a description of this see also http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~obs/torsional.html ]. These changes are akin to the changes in an ice skaters spin as she raises and lowers her arms. And nowhere in your ‘evidence’ is there a hint or suggestion of these changes being caused by ‘barycentric’ or planetary voodoo. You might find wordings like gravity waves or inertial waves [Rossby waves – google it to see what these words mean]. But that does not mean that waves are caused by the planets’ gravity or the solar ‘inertial motions’. They simply mean that gravity [or the Coriolis pseudo-force] is the restoring force for random small pertubations, pulling the disturbance down again, but with an ‘overshot’ that has to be restored, etc. See the google for more.

    There is a time to give up, namely when the idea has been shown to be untenable. To continue is not only silly, but a real waste of time, except as [as you said] an act one can find in an amusement park [I don’t need to go there on vacation, the amusement is right here. You are, of course invincible in your ideas, protected by the ‘amour of blissful and stupendous ignorance’]. But, try to consider if the ‘fun’ by now possibly is past its ‘sell by date’.

  213. lgl (14:15:08) :
    Perhaps you missed the conclusion by the authors:
    “Therefore, apart from a possible periodicity characteristic of solar-cycle variation, we find no evidence for periodicity at any depth.”
    All the little wiggles are just noise. The noise-level can also be determined from the data, and the authors take that into account for their conclusion.

  214. IGL,

    I will answer this, but it will be my last reply on this thread. Do not expect a reply by me to more comments.

    I will rephrase to: Is the sun accelerating and decelerating?

    As Leif already told you, anything going around in an ellipse about a gravitational center will be accelerating and decelerating .

    If it is, orbiting the barycenter, the side closest to the barycenter will accelerate far less than the other side. This must have impact on the fluid flows in the sun..

    A qualified no to both as far as significant effects go. When first the planetary system emerged, however it emerged, all the Angular Momenta were balanced and distributed in the system as rotational AM about the center and rotational AM about the self. Angular momentum is conserved and does not change per planet except by the very small ( for the sun) gravitational exchanges that induce the tiny tides of 1mm in total on the sun, as Leif has told us.

    Tides from the moon on earth are bigger, more energy and angular momentum is exchanged and finally after n ( where n is a very large number) years the moon will fall in the earth . After n1 more years ( where n1 is a very much larger number) the whole planetary system will theoretically fall in the sun and become one body ( whatever body the sun will be at that time) .

    Let me give you an analogy of why your questions are irrelevant and why you cannot understand and accept the answers.

    When a young child learns arithmetic in grade school, it is a great mental exercise to figure out problems with :” water runs into a reservoir at 30 kilos a second and goes out of the reservoir 20 kilos a second from one faucet and 3 kilos a second from a leak , how long will it take to fill the reservoir?”
    And this because the child does not know algebra. Once the tool of algebra is assimilated, the problem is trivial.

    In the same way, you are trying to think of solutions of gravitational systems using logical tools closer to algebra, when the tools needed are calculus and classical mechanics 101 or so. It cannot be done. You have to accept the solutions found by people who know how to do the calculations, or study enough to do the calculations and convince yourself.

  215. Leif,
    Just one last question. How can you give a liquid/gaseous body a non-uniform acceleration without creating turbulence?
    Their conclusion doesn’t matter as long as they show:
    “Fig. 6. Power spectrum of temporal variation in rotational kinetic
    energy in different depth ranges”
    “Coriolis pseudo-force” is fine, maybe that’s all we need.

  216. lgl (23:43:30) :
    How can you give a liquid/gaseous body a non-uniform acceleration without creating turbulence?
    Since the acceleration is not non-uniform, it doesn’t matter. You confuse the variation with time with that with space.

  217. lgl (23:43:30) :
    Just one last question. How can you give a liquid/gaseous body a non-uniform acceleration without creating turbulence?
    The Earth-Moon barycenter is 1700 km below the surface. So, to take your ‘theory’ to its conclusion, the ocean [liquid]/atmosphere [gaseous] on one side of the Earth is 1700 km from the barycenter and on the other side 8100 km from the barycenter, so one side ‘accelerates’ a lot more [has a much tighter ‘orbit’] than the other side. Yet nobody has ever seen any of the huge effects that must have. Also, the tides raised by the Moon does not stem from all the Moon’s mass be concentrated 1700 km below the surface [an earlier ‘idea’ of yours]. But is is really silly to even discuss any of this as
    (1) it is nonsense
    (2) even if the nonsense is made clear to you, you will not waver.

  218. Leif
    No I’m not. One side of the sun is moving in a sharper bend than the other.
    Suppose you could turn on the breaks and stop the sun in it’s barycentric orbit you would see one he.. of a circulation.

  219. lgl (09:16:34) :
    No I’m not. One side of the sun is moving in a sharper bend than the other.
    [sigh] They are both in free fall and feel no forces. Imagine a double star [two equal stars]. The barycenter is halfway between them. You say, that one side of the star is moving in a sharper bend than the other and hence a circulation is set up. Let’s run with that nonsense and see what trouble that gets us into. Shrink the mass of one star [e.g. with a stronger stellar wind]. That would move the barycenter closer to the other star, thus making the bend sharper and the circulation stronger. Shrink the mass a bit more, stronger circulation would follow. Keep shrinking, the barycenter moves closer and closer to the ‘main’ star, the bend gets sharper and sharper, and the circulation gets stronger and stronger. So, by decreasing the gravitational ‘force’ between the two stars [F=H.M1.M2/r^2] you increase the effect on the circulation. For maximum effect, remove the smaller star altogether. This is like the homeopathic claim that the more dilute the medicine is, the better it works.

    Suppose you could turn on the breaks and stop the sun in it’s barycentric orbit you would see one he.. of a circulation.
    An easier way [which is physically possible, at least as a thought experiment] is to remove Jupiter [and the other planets] . I don’t think the Sun would notice.

  220. Leif,
    Yet nobody has ever seen any of the huge effects that must have
    Oh yes we have, volcanoes can be hugh. (and there’s a 18-yr cycle in the PDO)

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/t8v61x328483v045/

    I have accepted tide is not the issue so forget it. (but my earlier ‘idea’ was not like you describe it and it was just an attempt to get you to say something smart about the mysterious gravity)

  221. Shrink the mass a bit more, stronger circulation would follow
    No, acceleration would decrease. And if you removed Jupiter, Sun’s acceleration would decrease.

  222. lgl (13:36:57) :
    “Shrink the mass a bit more, stronger circulation would follow
    No, acceleration would decrease. And if you removed Jupiter, Sun’s acceleration would decrease.

    “Shrink the mass of one star [e.g. with a stronger stellar wind]. That would move the barycenter closer to the other star”
    Agree?

    “thus making the bend sharper”
    Agree?

    “One side of the sun is moving in a sharper bend than the other.”
    Agree? [actually your own words]

    “and the circulation stronger.”
    Sharper bend = stronger acceleration
    Agree?

    “Shrink the mass a bit more”
    This move the barycenter closer, hence making the bend sharper.
    Agree?

    “sharper bend = stronger acceleration”
    Agree?

    “stronger acceleration = stronger circulation”
    Agree?

  223. Leif,
    It’s the change of speed that matter. Look at it this way:
    The sun makes appr. 292 revolutions in 20 years. The barycenter orbit adds 1 revolution in 20 years and this revolution is not constant so it will appear as a revolution variation.
    Imagine there is one inner layer and one outer layer. If you are an observer at the rim of the inner where you can ‘see’ the outer layer, when the sun speeds up the outer layer will appear to be moving in one direction, when the sun slows down it will appear to be moving in the other direction.
    I don’t know how much the acceleration is changing so I can’t say how much the revolution changes but I would guess around 1 %

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/260/5115/1778

    :-) (yeah I know, that 1% is mainly the solar cycle)
    The effect in question here should be somewhere well below 1/292 I guess.
    This is not an ‘idea’, it’s a question why it can’t be an idea.

  224. lgl (00:31:31) :
    Imagine there is one inner layer and one outer layer. If you are an observer at the rim of the inner where you can ’see’ the outer layer, when the sun speeds up the outer layer will appear to be moving in one direction, when the sun slows down it will appear to be moving in the other direction.
    Since both the inner layer and the outer layer make 292 ‘revolutions’ in 20 years and since both the inner layer and the outer layer go around the barycenter once in 20 years, they both move together and there will be no relative motion as they make the same number of ‘revolutions’ in 20 years.
    The Earth turns 366 times in a year. Add 1 revolution going around the Sun [your argument, now]. Imagine there is one inner layer and one outer layer. If you are an observer at the rim of the inner where you can ’see’ the outer layer, when the Earth speeds up the outer layer will appear to be moving in one direction, when the Earth slows down it will appear to be moving in the other direction. Let the floor of my house be in the inner layer and the roof in the outer layer, then as the Earth goes around in its orbit, the floor moves one way and the roof moves the other way. No wonder there is a crack in the wall.

  225. Phil. (07:36:51) :
    lgl (13:06:53) :
    Here’s the PDO Index […]
    Not much indication of an 18 year cycle there.

    and one would expect a daily effect from the ‘mechanism’ as the far-side goes in an arc that is 4 times wider than the front-side [towards the Moon]. In any event, there are no such effects and none would be expected because the ‘mechanism’ does not operate. Nonsense at its finest. But that never deters people, in fact, often is an encouragement [“see, I have an open mind”, “I’m able to think outside of the box” – of reason, “I’m on the forefront of the fight against scientific dogma”, etc, etc].

  226. Phil,
    I like this one better: http://virakkraft.com/PDO-mag-dec.ppt
    I agree you can’t really tell whether it’s a 20 yr or 18 yr cycle from this but I took the liberty of using the peaks in the declination curve at 1925 and right before 1980, that’s very close to 18×3 yrs. (and there are of course other cycles making phase shifts)

  227. Leif,
    Yes you are doing a fine job, I really appreciate it.
    Just to clarify the ‘sharp bend’ or radius. The radius only matters because it changes through the orbit. That difference makes, or at least reflects, the acceleration. Once the acceleration is determined the radius probably doesn’t matter. Earlier I didn’t realize that if you increase the radius the travelling distance difference between the ‘inner side’ and the ‘outer side’ remains 2*pi*r, (inner side beeing the side of the sun closest to the barycenter and r=solar radius) but, as you know, I have a problem with numbers so not sure my calculations are correct.
    Your example with the house could have been better. You know there need to be some distance between the points. My example was, as you know, a simplification.
    It’s an easy experiment to do. Just place a bowl of water on a rotating (note, rotating :) plate and place it to one side of the plate so that the rotation center is not at the center of the bowl (sun around the barycenter). Then spin the plate slowly, increase and decrease the speed and you will see what I’m telling. (also put some grains of coffee or something in the water and some color (milk) to get good contrast.)
    And of course report your result here :-)
    Damn, maybe I have to buy that video camera just to show you.

  228. lgl (10:17:40) :
    Your example with the house could have been better. You know there need to be some distance between the points. My example was, as you know, a simplification.
    It does not need to be better, because our measuring accuracy today is so high that such an effect could easily be found [and would earn its discoverer a Nobel Prize]. But let the outer layer be the satellites in geostationary orbit [38,000 km high]. These do not move one way and the surface the other way as the Earth moves in its orbit. [or just take the Moon, it doesn’t do it either]

    Then spin the plate slowly, increase and decrease the speed and you will see what I’m telling You will see the water at the inner rim move radially outwards towards to outer rim, but not start the water rotating around the center of the bowl. Instead of a bowl use a long skinny tray reaching from the center of the plate to the outer rim to see what I’m telling. In any event the movement is always away from the axis of the plate regardless of increasing or decreasing speed. The water never begins to move back towards the center. And you are introducing the friction between the bottom of the bowl and the plate to make the water move. Image [as in space] that there were no such friction, then the bowl would just stay put and you can rotate the plate to your heart’s content and the bowl and the water would never move.

  229. Leif Svalgaard (22:44:33) :
    I was being specific. Please respond to each point.

    lgl (13:36:57) :
    “Shrink the mass a bit more, stronger circulation would follow
    No, acceleration would decrease. And if you removed Jupiter, Sun’s acceleration would decrease.

    “Shrink the mass of one star [e.g. with a stronger stellar wind]. That would move the barycenter closer to the other star”
    Agree?

    “thus making the bend sharper”
    Agree?

    “One side of the sun is moving in a sharper bend than the other.”
    Agree? [actually your own words]

    “and the circulation stronger.”
    Sharper bend = stronger acceleration
    Agree?

    “Shrink the mass a bit more”
    This move the barycenter closer, hence making the bend sharper.
    Agree?

    “sharper bend = stronger acceleration”
    Agree?

    “stronger acceleration = stronger circulation”
    Agree?

  230. Leif,
    In my example with the layers I didn’t say they would move in opposite directions. You, the observer, is rotating along with the inner layer (or actually revolving this time:), but one time the outer layer is moving faster than you, next time it is moving slower than you, so from your point of reference the outer layer is moving first in one then the other direction.
    Your questions is not relevant anymore, since I have said radius probably is not as important as I first stated. (and your far away little star can not change the acceleration of the large star much)
    We can simplify even more. You have a slowly rotating bowl of water. Then you stop the rotation, and the outer parts will get a higher angular velocity than the inner parts because of its higher momentum.

  231. I can see I have missed a long thread ….


    Old Coach (18:03:57) :
    A fair question – one that has probably been asked before on this blog – is the following:
    How much does Earth respond to the orbit of Jupiter.

    I have been playing with that question. Jupiter does not generate significant tides on Earth, but it (together with Saturn++) does perturb the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. By my own revised estimates (to be taken with some skepticism) it amounts to about 2/3 Lunar distance (relative to a perfect ellipse) and with a period just over a year. But the Earth is still in free fall as i has been emphasized.

  232. lgl (14:09:30) :
    since I have said radius probably is not as important as I first stated.
    You surely change your mind a lot. good thing that Mother Nature doesn’t.

    We can simplify even more. You have a slowly rotating bowl of water. Then you stop the rotation, and the outer parts will get a higher angular velocity than the inner parts because of its higher momentum.
    So if I slow the rotation a bit, the outer parts will speed up…
    Again, good that Mother Nature doesn’t know about this…

  233. Leif,
    Yes, unlike you I didn’t conclude how everything works decades ago.
    “So if I slow the rotation a bit, the outer parts will speed up”
    Relative to the inner parts, yes.

    http://einstein.atmos.colostate.edu/~mcnoldy/spintank/

    There’s even a video:

    http://einstein.atmos.colostate.edu/~mcnoldy/spintank/btrop_instab.mpg

    (see I even have Einstein on my team :)
    And this is not caused by friction. Without friction the effect would be even bigger.
    I must say I’m not sure about this when the bowl is at the center of rotation but taking one step back to the rotating plate, I’m sure you are wrong when you say “but not start the water rotating around the center of the bowl” It will.

  234. Carsten Arnholm, Norway (15:52:21) :
    By my own revised estimates (to be taken with some skepticism) it amounts to about 2/3 Lunar distance (relative to a perfect ellipse) and with a period just over a year.
    This is much too large. Try again. I think the influence of Jupiter is 2251 km = 0.00586 lunar distances with a period of 398.9 days, or ~100 times smaller than what you have.

  235. lgl (05:49:17) :
    And this is not caused by friction. Without friction the effect would be even bigger.
    Without friction none of these spin tables would work. So describe why the lack of friction would make the effect bigger.

  236. Because when decelerating the friction will decrease the speed of the outer part.
    When accelerating the friction will pull on the outer part so it will not drag behind as much as it otherwise would do. I’m of course talking about friction between the water and the bowl. I you mean it would not work without friction between the bowl and the plate you are of course right, but that’s not relevant, the setup is just a way to simulate the system.
    So you still do not agree the water will start circulating? How can that be avoided when the tangential speed of the outer rim is much higher the that of the inner when you stop the rotation? Do the experiment and see for yourself.


  237. Leif Svalgaard (07:40:27) :

    This is much too large. Try again. I think the influence of Jupiter is 2251 km = 0.00586 lunar distances with a period of 398.9 days, or ~100 times smaller than what you have.

    Do you have a reference to support this value? I agree on the period roughly, but 2251 km appears to be a very small value indeed. It sounds like the perturbations caused by the Moon?

    I am playing with some close encounters of asteroids that seem to work reasonably well, so … a reference would be of interest.

  238. Carsten Arnholm, Norway (11:43:37) :
    “This is much too large. Try again. I think the influence of Jupiter is 2251 km = 0.00586 lunar distances with a period of 398.9 days, or ~100 times smaller than what you have.”
    Do you have a reference to support this value?

    Do I need one? :-)
    The standard reference is JPL’s ephemeris calculator that we have referred to earlier, but here is it again: http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/?horizons.

    Here http://www.leif.org/research/Earth%20Orbit%201990-2008.pdf is plot of the distance between the Center of the Sun and the Center of the Earth. This distance is the one seen by a solar photon [emitted ~8 minutes before observed at Earth] that makes up TSI. The data is for 1990-present and the X-axis is in days. Distance is plotted in AU.
    In the second plot I show the result of subtracting a perfect sine wave with a period of precisely one year. This makes any deviations caused by other bodies easier to see. In particular, you can see the 1/2 year period of the diminished difference between center and shell…
    In the third plot I show the FFT power spectrum for the difference. Because the strictly one-year period has been removed, there is a sharp dip right at 1 year. [frequency 0.0027278]. And a 1/2 year period has been introduced. You can also see the synodic periods of other bodies as indicated by the arrows, in particularly the largest effect due to the Moon, and the second largest due to Jupiter [power = 0.00001505 AU = 2251 km].

  239. you can see the 1/2 year period of the diminished difference between center and shell… ===>
    you can see the 1/2 year period of the difference between a circular and an eccentric orbit.

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